The big story out of Gray-New Gloucester perhaps belongs to the track squads this spring. Zack Haskell grabbed two first-place finishes at states, and Clara Phillips one, as the boys and girls teams rolled into sixth and fifth in Class B, respectively.

Haskell won both the 100 and the 200, while Phillips, one of several outstanding Patriots throwers, won the shot put (by more than a foot!).

“The girls team won the WMC Division II Championships – for the first time in at least 20 years,” said G-NG coach Mike Griffin. “In the throwing department, five shot putters and four discus throwers qualified for states. Fifteen girls qualified for states overall, and we had a state champion in Clara (a senior), along with a total of 11 medals awarded.

“The boys teams had a successful WMC and State Championship season as well,” Griffin said. “Boys placed in 14 of 19 events at WMC Champs. At states, Zack (another senior) was state champ in 100 and 200, second in high jump and third in 4×100 relay. Senior Ben Garcia was third in 3200.”

Amanda Harmon’s softballers also looked sharp, going 11-5 through the regular season to earn the playoffs eight-seed. In a strong conference, though, not only were the No. 8 Patriots formidable, so were the No. 9 Warriors of Wells, who visited G-NG in the prelims and emerged victorious 12-5.

Brad Smith’s baseballers went 3-13 through the regular season and missed the playoffs. But Smith sees much to look forward to with this young group. 

“Finishing with a 3-13 record doesn’t conjure up a long list of all-stars,” he said. “But considering the fact that my MVP, Josiah Rottari, is just a sophomore and the Coaches’ Award went to a junior, John Henry Villaneuva, I’m optimistic about the future. And despite our sporting a lopsided win-loss record, our opponents thought enough of us to put their top ace on the mound whenever they faced us – Davenport for Freeport, Guarino for Falmouth and Twitchell for Greely.”

“Rottari really matured over the season,” Smith said, “pitching more with his head than his arm. His physical maturity will obviously develop. Not to be overlooked is the fact that he led the team in hitting.

“Villaneuva was our best infielder, playing shortstop when he wasn’t on the mound. Our lead-off hitter, he was second in team batting average. We were not as strong defensively when he pitched, which impacted the final outcome in a few of the games.

“If there’s a ‘player to watch,’ it would have to be Nick McCann. He’s only a freshman and was my starting catcher. Very good defensive skills, with the confidence to throw behind baserunners. I’ve had several All-Conference catchers and one Boston Globe All-Scholastic, and the fact that Nick is mentioned in the same sentence speaks volumes about his potential, in my opinion.”

 

G-NG softballer Grace Kariotis jumps off third in a mid-season matchup with visiting Cape Elizabeth.

The Patriots cheer on their man at the plate in the bottom of an inning versus visiting Cape Elizabeth.


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