VASSALBORO — Two years ago, the Mt. Ararat golf team missed out on the Class A state championship when it lost a tiebreaker to Gorham. All these years later, the sting hadn’t completely faded for the players from that team who are still on the Eagles’ roster.

“A couple of years ago, we had one slip away from us,” Coach Gerry Caron said. “We didn’t forget that.”

Caleb Manuel, Cade Charron and Will Kavanaugh – all of whom were present for the bitter runner-up finish – broke 80 Saturday at Natanis Golf Course as the Eagles posted a score of 312, beating defending champion Scarborough (317) for the Class A championship.

Thornton Academy (331), Camden Hills (331) and Falmouth (342) rounded out the top five.

“It’s kind of what we’ve had in mind the last three years,” said Manuel, who tied for the day’s second-best round with a 71. “Two years ago, we tied for first and were really disappointed, last year we weren’t as strong. This year, we came out on top.”

York, fueled by its own story of redemption, shot 333 to win its seventh Class B state title – and first since winning four straight from 2009-12. The Wildcats, who didn’t qualify for last year’s team championships, were followed by Mt. Desert Island (342), Freeport (345), Cape Elizabeth (346) and Hermon (356). York got an 80 from Tyler Rivers and an 82 from fourth player Trevor Lavigne.


“They were focused,” York Coach Steve Freeman said. “We missed qualifying up here last year by one stroke, and right from then until now, this was the mission. They said ‘OK, we’re going back.'”

Houlton’s depth proved too much for the rest of the field in Class C, as the Shiretowners got four scores of 85 or better en route to 333 points, taking the title over St. Dominic (352), North Yarmouth Academy (366), Monmouth Academy (375) and Orono (376).

“They’ve played like that all year,” said Houlton Coach David Grant, whose team got solid rounds from Wyatt Harvey (81), Nick Brewer (82), Isaac Vega (85) and Collin Moody (85). “I’ve got six kids that are all equal, 80 to 85, 86. You never know which one’s going to be No. 1.”

Mt. Ararat went in as one of the favorites but knew the competition would be strong. Scarborough has a deep team anchored by 2017 Class A co-champion Anthony Burnham, Camden Hills has three-time champion Cole Anderson, and Thornton Academy was in the mix with a top-tier player of its own in Armond Ouellette.

“I wouldn’t say we were coming here thinking we were favorites,” Kavanaugh said. “I think we just came in here thinking we had a chance.”

The Eagles have a standout of their own, however, in Manuel. He matched Anderson and Burnham at 1-under 71, while Ouellette shot 75.


“That was a good group,” Manuel said of the foursome. “(Anderson and Burnham) were both 4 under at one point. I was just kind of hanging back, being patient. … I threw one to three feet on 11 to make a birdie, and I just kind of coasted in from there. (That) shot was definitely the turning point.”

The key, however, was Kavanaugh, who said his best previous score at Natanis was a 78. Saturday, he carded a 75.

“I couldn’t be more focused today,” Kavanaugh said. “From two years ago when we tied for first and we ended up losing the tiebreaker, the whole team didn’t want to do that. I just tried to do my best, as well as everyone else. It was a team thing. I’m so happy we won.”

Cade Charron added a 79 and Ben Hickson shot 87 for Mt. Ararat.

“We had three seniors: Will showed up with a 75, and that’s really what did it for us,” Manuel said. “Three rounds in the 70s is pretty hard to beat.”

Scarborough got a 79 from Ethan Mason, an 83 from Peter Malia and an 84 from Alden Griffiths.


Thornton’s Manuel Barbachano shot the day’s best round – a 2-under 70.

York’s No. 1, Chris Cummins, struggled to an 86, but the Wildcats’ depth paid off, with Rivers, Lavigne and Brady Cummins (85).

“I think our strength all year has been that we’re pretty deep,” Freeman said. “They rely on one another. It’s really fun to watch. They’re a really close group of kids, so this has been a special one.”

“It feels good. We put a lot of work in for it,” Rivers said. “We set high goals. We expected to win. That was pretty much our goal all season.”

MDI got an 80 from Peter Ryan and an 81 from Kyle Nicholson. Sullivan Smith (81), Tom Robinson (83) and TJ Whelan (86) led Freeport to its third-place finish. Cape Elizabeth Austin Legge has the best round in Class B with a 72.

In Class C, Houlton finally broke through after finishing fourth, third and second the last three years. Harvey, a senior, helped the Shiretowners finish the climb, posting Class C’s third-best round.

“It feels really good to finally win a state championship,” Harvey said. “We kind of called it our ‘Revenge Tour’ for the seniors, because as freshmen, we were behind Mattanawcook all the time. This year, we kind of took them out. It felt really good.”

St. Dom’s was led by Demetri Gammaitoni (84), Neil LaRochelle (86), Valerie Doucette (87) and Will Fletcher (95). NYA got an 85 from Jared Buckner and an 89 from Reed Silvers.

George Stevens’ Percy Zentz (76) and Mattanawcook’s Max Woodman (77) had the lowest rounds in Class C.

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