Junior Amber Rose is a top returner for North Yarmouth Academy’s field hockey team, which welcomes back Julia Sterling as coach and looks to make a deep playoff run.

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Coach: Martyn Keen (sixth year, 52-25-4 overall record)

2016 record: 10-5-1 (Lost, 2-1, to Monmouth in Class C South semifinal)

Top returning players: Connor Clock (Senior), Ryan Baker (Junior), Xander Kostelnik (Junior), Jackson Linscott (Junior), Alasdair Swett (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 5 @ Richmond, Sept. 12 @ Waynflete, Sept. 19 FREEPORT, Sept. 23 WAYNFLETE, Oct. 5 @ Yarmouth, Oct. 14 GREELY

Coach’s comment: “It’s good to be back on the sidelines. I have great kids who are fun to work with. We’re a work in progress. I hope the kids’ effort is rewarded. We have athletic kids and hopefully they’ll help us stay in games. I expect us to improve from start to finish. We hope to make the Class D tournament, but getting enough Heal Points to get in will be tough.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA has been a playoff regular, extending its postseason streak to 21 a year ago, but this fall, playing in Class D South, the Panthers will have their hands full with a daunting schedule. NYA is very happy to welcome Keen back as coach. He took last year off to battle cancer and recently got a clean bill of health. He re-inherits a squad that boasts some athletes and should consistently improve in the weeks to come.

Clock was an all-star goalie a year ago and is back between the pipes. He’ll be aided by defenders Kostelnik and Linscott. Up top, look for Baker and Swett to be the top scoring threats. After that, other players will look to make their mark and help the Panthers stay competitive.

Rest assured that Keen will get every ounce possible out of this team. NYA hopes that’s enough to spell the requisite number of wins to make it to the postseason again. If NYA does get in, it might just embark on a deep run.


Coach: Ricky Doyon (second year)

2016 record: No varsity team

Top returning players: Kara Jensen (Senior), Isabella MacMahon (Senior), Helen Hamblett (Junior), Madison Argitis (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 5 @ Buckfield, Sept. 9 RANGELEY, Sept. 22 @ Waynflete, Sept. 29 @ Richmond, Oct. 2 @ Rangeley, Oct. 11 BUCKFIELD

Coach’s comment: “We’re a very young team, comprised of 17 underclassmen and three seniors. We’re inexperienced, but the girls have a lot of heart. There’s no doubt these young ladies will improve with every training session. It’s our goal to be as competitive as we can while enjoying this great sport. It’s a fun bunch of young ladies that I’m proud to coach.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA returns to the varsity ranks after playing a sub-varsity schedule in 2016 (going 3-6-3). Doyon, a longtime premier coach and an assistant at Biddeford for six years, has some promising building blocks in place as the Panthers hope to compete in Class D South.

This year’s offense will be led by Hamblett and four freshmen: Lainie Lemieux (who played a year ago as an eighth grader), Jackie Ellsworth, Natalie Farrell and Abby Matusovich. Argitis, Jensen and MacMahon are top defenders. Aisley Snell, an eighth grader, will be the goalie. She holds great promise and will likely be a fixture in that position for several seasons. 

NYA faces a challenging schedule and there will certainly be a learning curve with a return to varsity play with such a young roster, but plenty of athletes are eager to show what they can do and the Panthers have what it takes to improve dramatically as the season progresses. The future is even brighter.


Coach: Julia Sterling (eighth year, 94-22-1 overall record, two state championships)

2016 record: 7-6-2 (Lost, 3-1, to Lisbon in Class C South quarterfinal

Top returning players: Hannah Gagne (Junior), Alex Markonish (Junior), Amber Rose (Junior), Maya Davis (Sophomore), Katie Larson (Sophomore), Eliza Tod (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Aug. 31 YORK, Sept. 16 @ St. Dom’s, Sept. 22 YARMOUTH, Oct. 2 ST. DOM’S

Coach’s comment: “It’s fun to be back. I have a young team with no seniors, but I think we’ll be very competitive. Playoffs is the goal and I’m very excited.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: One year after falling in the quarterfinals for the first time in a decade, NYA goes back to the future and welcomes Sterling back for her fourth stint with the program. She takes over a small, but promising group that should be very much in the hunt as one of the best teams in Class C South.

Replacing reigning Western Maine Conference Class C Player of the Year and Fall Female Athlete of the Year Savannah Shaw will be difficult, but this year’s team will be led by Rose, who made the all-conference team last season. She’ll be a top scoring threat, as will Larson. Eighth grader Emelia McKenny could also join in the scoring parade. Defensively, Davis, Gagne, Markonish and junior Maggie Larson make up a formidable unit in front of Tod, who returns as the goalie.

The Panthers open with defending Class B champion York and a few other tough tests on the schedule, but for the most part, NYA will be able to enter games confident in coming out victorious. Sterling always gets the most of her charges and the Panthers will steadily improve between now and mid-October. By then, NYA will be ready for another playoff run, one which will likely be longer than the one a year ago.


Coach: Nora Krainis (12th year)

2016 results: 12-4 (Lost, 3-0, to Washington Academy in Class B semifinal)

Top returning players: Jordan Ackerman (Senior), Tessa Quattrucci (Senior), Sydney Plummer (Junior)

Pivotal matches: Sept. 26 YARMOUTH, Oct. 6 @ Jonesport-Beals, Oct. 7 @ Bucksport, Oct. 7 @ Sumner, Oct. 14 WASHINGTON ACADEMY, Oct. 14 MACHIAS

Coach’s comment: “With five returning varsity players, we’re working on filling positions and building a relatively new team. So far, the coaches couldn’t ask for more effort and determination and we hope to have a winning season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA is coming off the best season in program history, one which saw Krainis named Coach of the Year, and while the Panthers have some holes to fill and now play in the newly formed Class C, there’s reason to believe they’ll make some noise again.

Ackerman was a second-team league all-star last fall and also made the all-state team. She is a top server (113 aces, 85 percent serving accuracy in 2016), who can also get the job done at the net (44 kills) and set up teammates (16 assists). She’s joined as a top senior by Quattrucci, an honorable mention all-star last autumn, who had 52 aces and 110 digs from her libero position. Plummer is a force at the net (57 kills and seven blocks) as well. Junior defensive specialist Avery Jackson and sophomore opposite hitter Afton Morton are new players to watch.

NYA has learned how to win and is accustomed to the many Down East foes it will face late in the season and potentially in the playoffs. Look for this group to continue the program’s recent success. 


Coach: Peter Sillin (11th year w/boys’ team, 1st year w/girls’ team, two state championships)

2016 results:
(Boys) 7th @ Class C state meet
(Girls) DNQ for Class C state meet (6th @ regionals)

Top returners:
(Boys) Brennan Flatt (Senior), Rick Hilscher (Senior), Kieran Rowe (Senior)
(Girls) Charlotte Collins (Senior)

Coach’s comment: “The boys have a lot of senior leadership and I’m hopeful that will pay off in the big races. A lot will depend on if we can develop a strong fourth and fifth scorer. If we can, then we can punch our ticket to the state meet again. The girls may not have the numbers to score as a team this year, but the girls we do have are determined and work hard, so I think we can expect significant and satisfying personal improvement as the season wears on.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA is ready for another competitive season on the trails. Sillin, the longtime boys’ coach, also replaces Chris Mazzurco as the girls’ coach this fall and has good runners of both genders to work with.

The boys return state meet scorers Flatt (17th), Hilscher (20th) and Rowe (37th). That triumvirate is joined by freshman Chris Hamblett. The Panthers are hopeful a few more runners will step up and help NYA get over the hump at qualifying and make it to states for the second year in a row and eighth time in nine seasons.

The girls don’t have the numbers to qualify as a team, but Collins will lead the way and look to perform well individually. Freshman Emma Collins is a newcomer to watch. This small group will build for the future.


Coach: Charlie Hudson (sixth year)

2016 results: 5-3 (DNQ for Class C state match)

Top returners: Connor Millett (Junior), Reed Silvers (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We have a lot of new faces, so we’re a work in progress. We’ll be competitive against programs who don’t have a lot of experience and we’ll learn against the top teams. We’ll have some fun and build on it going ahead. Connor will have a good shot at the individual tournament.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA has been a state match regular, but last year, fell short of qualifying. This fall, the Panthers hope to show steady improvement and get back to Natanis.

Millett is the clear number one. He could do some big things in the weeks to come. Silvers also has experience. They’re joined by senior Evan Davis, a junior varsity player in 2016, sophomores Brendan Bolduc and Mason Parks and freshmen Jonah Eng and Anders Jonsson. 

NYA will hold its own in most matches and will look to be at its best on qualifying day. If so, a triumphant return to the big stage will be the end result.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Junior Ryan Baker will be a top scoring threat for NYA’s boys’ soccer team this season.

Junior Xander Kostelnik will help anchor NYA’s defense.

Sophomore Katie Larson will score her share of goals this fall for the Panthers.

Junior Alex Markonish is a key returner on defense.

Senior Jordan Ackerman was named an all-star last fall after leading NYA’s volleyball team to its best season to date. She’ll be a top player again.

Senior Brennan Flatt was 17th at last year’s Class C boys’ cross country state meet. He’ll be a top runner again.

Senior Rick Hilscher also scored at states last season, placing 20th.

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