Senior Jack Lent will be a top hurdler for North Yarmouth Academy’s boys’ outdoor track team this spring.

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BOYS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Sam Manders (first year)

2018 record: 9-5 (Lost, 18-6, to eventual champion Waynflete in Class C state semifinals)

Top returning players: Ryan Baker (Senior), Xander Kostelnik (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 20 GREELY, April 30 YARMOUTH, May 8 @ Waynflete

Coach’s comment: “Playoffs is our goal. The team has good size, speed and numbers. They are a bunch of scrappy hockey players that want to win. They also play extremely well together and sometimes share the ball too much. I am honored to be a part of the team. We have a lot of potential.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA is coming off its most successful season in years, one which didn’t end until one game shy of the state final. This year, the Panthers hope to advance even deeper under their new coach, who played SUNY-Cortland and also coaches with the 207Lacrosse program. NYA opened Friday with a 9-4 victory over Lake Region.

Baker and Kostelnik were both league all-stars in 2018 and will lead the way this season. Baker scored over 40 goals last year and will be a top offensive threat again (he had three goals in the opener). Look for Baker to take some key faceoffs as well. Kostelnik scored 25 goals in 2018 and will again be a force in the midfield. A pair of freshmen, Henry Bergeron and Charles Rhode, project to step right in and make an impact and junior Mason Parks has already made his presence felt with five goals against the Lakers. Jared Buckner is stepping in between the pipes. He stands 6-foot-5 and will get terrific coaching from former South Portland standout T-Mo Hellier, who is the goalie coach this spring.

NYA doesn’t boast a lot of traditional lacrosse players, but will have a lot of athleticism and hunger. The Panthers will be tested by their schedule, but will be tough to beat when June rolls around.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Molly Climo (fourth year)

2018 record: 5-8 (Lost, 19-6, to eventual champion Lake Region in Class C state quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Helen Hamblett (Senior), Madison Argitis (Junior), Natalie Farrell (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 24 LAKE REGION, May 8 @ Freeport, May 10 YARMOUTH, May 15 YORK, May 21 CAPE ELIZABETH

Coach’s comment: “It’s a great group of girls. We have a big squad this year. With a varsity and a JV team, we can build experience and have flexibility. I’m excited about the depth we have. We want to keep building a stronger program.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Last season, NYA qualified for the playoffs for the first time in four years and the Panthers hope to build on that success this spring with a roster that features some top returners who are supported by a strong group of newcomers.

Hamblett is a top returner. A second-team league all-star in 2018, Hamblett will be one of the team’s top midfielders along with Farrell, who projects to be a top scoring threat as well. Senior Catherine Reid (NYA’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year and a three-sport standout who was an all-star last spring with Maine Girls’ Academy) is a top newcomer who will be a presence all over the field (Reid had a team-high four goals in Thursday’s 14-7 season-opening home loss to Greely). Defensively, Argitis has experience and senior Ruth Reischmann joins the team and makes that unit stronger. Junior Maya Davis and sophomore Ally White were vying for the goalie position at press time.

The Panthers have a tough schedule, but this group has talented athletes and will come together and become a very formidable squad in the weeks to come. The playoffs are a realistic goal and a long stay wouldn’t come as a surprise.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach: Chris Mazzurco (24th year, four state championships)

2018 results:
(Boys) 18th @ Class C state meet
(Girls) 10th @ Class C state meet

Top returning athletes:
(Boys) Jack Lent (Senior), Jack Bontatibus (Junior), Te’Andre King (Junior), Pierce Manchester (Junior), Matt McGrath (Junior), Max Waldron (Junior)

(Girls) Alex Braunfels (Senior), Ellie Hilscher (Junior), Eliza Tod (Junior), Eleanor Commons (Sophomore), Laini Frager (Sophomore), Olivia Reynolds (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We’re excited to have the Maine Coast Waldorf athletes with us again this year and this time it is both the boys’ and the girls’ teams who will run together wearing the same uniform. With over half of the team new to the sport of track and field, we’re excited about the opportunity to find appropriate events for each athlete and start to fill in a few holes in events that should allow us to be more competitive. Several state medal winners are back again this year and want to improve on their performances. The student-athletes in the program this year should be competitive as individuals in many of the disciplines which, in turn, should help to move both of the teams toward the top come championship time. With increased numbers, we’re also looking forward to another year of strong relay competition.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA/MCW is primed to move up the standings this spring.

The girls’ team returns Reynolds, who won both the mile and two-mile at last year’s Class C state meet. She’s joined in the distance races by Tod and junior Myla McLain. In the sprints, look for Braunfels to lead the way. Frager is a hurdler of note and Hilscher hopes to score in the racewalk. Braunfels also looks to be a factor in the jumps, along with Commons. Frager is a top thrower. Junior Serena Mower will compete in the throws and jumps. This could be a very formidable team by the end of the season.

On the boys’ side, King and Lent are top returners. Lent was part of a runner-up 4×800 relay team and placed sixth in the 300 hurdles at last year’s state meet. He’ll be a top hurdler again. King was fourth in the high jump last spring and will be a force in the jumps and sprints, as will junior Ethan Haag. Waldron is a top distance runner. He’s joined by new junior Aiden Kusche. NYA/MCW should be strong in the throws behind Bontatibus, Manchester and McGrath. Don’t be surprised if this team makes a big move up the standings at the state meet.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Charlie Hudson (41st year, two state championships)

2018 record: 0-12 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Abram Buehner (Senior), Reid Silvers (Senior), Josh Soucy (Senior), Samson Shen (Junior), Reese Merritt (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “I’m excited. We have three really strong freshmen and the seniors are fired up. I think we’ll be competitive with a lot of teams. We’ll see how the youngsters deal with competition. Making playoffs is the goal. It should be a fun season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA should be vastly improved this spring and could wind up as one of the top teams in Class C South.

Soucy made the all-star team as a junior. He’ll play first singles this season. Freshmen Bryce Poulin and Noah Silander were battling for the No. 2 and No. 3 singles spots at press time. Silvers is also in the mix for a singles spot, or could wind up on the first doubles squad. Buehner, Merritt, Shen and freshman Elliott Oney are other doubles options. Junior Carl Mackensen, a student from Germany, will play a role as well.

While Waynflete remains the gold standard in Class C, having won 11 consecutive championships, perhaps the last team other than the Flyers to win the title, that would be NYA (in 2007), could be the one standing in the way when all is said and done.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Gavin Glider (second year)

2018 record: 4-9 (Lost, 5-0, to Carrabec in Class C South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Avery Jackson (Senior), Afton Morton (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We’re really excited to have several wonderful players join us this year. Our goal this season is to make the playoffs and go as far as we can.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA got to the postseason a year ago and hopes for an even longer stay this spring.

Morton was a first-team league all-star last year and will be in the top singles spot this spring. Jackson also has experience. The Panthers will be bolstered this season by the addition of former Maine Girls’ Academy players and juniors Katie Blanc and Abbigail Fournier, along with freshman Maddie Lindquist.

This roster has ample promise and NYA should show great improvement between now and late May. If all goes well, the Panthers could even make some noise into June.

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

Sophomore Natalie Farrell will be in the middle of the action this spring for NYA’s improved girls’ lacrosse team.

Sophomore Olivia Reynolds is the defending Class C state champion in the girls’ mile and two-mile and will be a top scorer again for the NYA girls’ outdoor track squad.