Falmouth and Yarmouth’s boys’ soccer teams last met in a countable game in 2016. The teams will play a pair of countable contests this fall. File photos.

After nearly seven months of inactivity, high school sports are set to make their return this weekend.

Cross country, field hockey and golf will be playing at least, while football and volleyball can only train and hope to get in some countable games later this school year, although the potential exists for some exhibition, non-traditional play this fall.

The 2020 fall campaign will be anything but normal, but there are some compelling matchups on the docket.

For instance, Falmouth’s boys’ soccer team, the defending Class A champion, and Yarmouth, winners of four of the past five Class B crowns, including last fall, haven’t met in a countable game since Sept. 24, 2016 (a 5-3 Yachtsmen victory).

This season, the Clippers go to Falmouth for a game under the lights Saturday, Oct. 3, while the Yachtsmen will travel to Yarmouth on Oct. 20.

The Clippers’ schedule also features games against traditional rivals Cape Elizabeth, Freeport and Greely, as well as a first-ever contest with Mt. Ararat.

Longtime Yarmouth coach Mike Hagerty was hoping for even more variety in this unique year.

“I actually wished we were playing more teams we never play,” Hagerty said. “I requested Portland, Deering, Cheverus and Scarborough, but we are grateful to be playing anything at this point.”

As for Falmouth, the Yachtsmen will face former Western Maine Conference rivals Cape Elizabeth and Greely and will also meet Brunswick for the first time, in addition to playing SMAA foe Portland.

Waynflete, the two-time defending Class C boys’ champion, has long prided itself on playing the best teams, regardless of class, and that will be the case again this fall.

The Flyers will meet traditional rivals North Yarmouth Academy and Sacopee Valley, but will also meet three teams from just down the road: Cheverus, Deering and Portland. Waynflete never gets to play countable games against those teams, since the SMAA and WMC don’t cross over, but that’s not the case this autumn.

“We are thrilled to be playing games in the area against quality opponents,” said longtime Flyers coach Brandon Salway. “We have a tradition of playing the city schools in ‘friendlies,’ but this will be a bit different though and a challenge we are excited about. No schedule is going to be perfect but honestly this group would have gone to Presque Isle if it meant they could get a game. We are thankful to all for the hard work they put in to making a schedule and getting this approved. Personally, I’m just glad that many fall student-athletes are able to have this opportunity to play.”

There will be no shortage of rivalry games as well. Greely and Cape Elizabeth square off twice (Sept. 25 in Cape Elizabeth and Oct. 17 in Cumberland), Waynflete and NYA meet twice (Sept. 26 in Portland and Oct. 24 in Yarmouth), Falmouth and Greely play Oct. 6 in Cumberland and Oct. 23 in Falmouth and Portland meets Deering Oct. 13 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

In other boys’ games of note, Cape Elizabeth will be at Scarborough next Wednesday in the teams’ first regular season meeting since Oct. 9, 2002 (a 1-0 Capers’ victory) and Gorham will play at Cape Elizabeth Oct. 13 in the teams’ first regular season encounter since Sept. 22, 2004 (a 1-1 tie).

In girls’ soccer, Cape Elizabeth is the two-time defending Class B state champion and has lost just one game in that span. The Capers will be tested by the likes of regional rivals Greely and Yarmouth and will also face Scarborough in the regular season for the first time since 2002, meet Falmouth in a countable game for the first time in four years and go up against South Portland for the first time ever.

“At this point, I’m just happy for our seniors and our full roster that we can get out there and compete again,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Graham Forsyth. “Our schedule looks really tough. While it’s disappointing that we don’t have an end goal of the state championship, we completely understand this and are just happy to compete.

“We want to win every game we play, especially our seniors and the girls who have been involved in the back to back state championship wins. There’s a target for the girls to maintain high standards and we feel that if we can win as many games as possible, it reflects what could have been a three-peat.”

Yarmouth, which beat Cape Elizabeth early in the regular season a year ago before being blanked by the Capers in the regional final, will take on the Capers Oct. 7 at home.

The season begins Friday with three rivalry games: Waynflete at NYA, Deering at Portland and Cape Elizabeth at Greely.

Other girls’ games of note include Scarborough at Falmouth Sept. 26, Falmouth at Yarmouth Sept. 30, Cheverus at Portland Oct. 2, Greely at Falmouth and Gorham at Scarborough Oct. 6, Falmouth at Cape Elizabeth Oct. 9, Yarmouth at Greely Oct. 10, a first-ever Cheverus at Waynflete contest Oct. 13, Cape Elizabeth at Scarborough Oct. 14, Greely at Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth at Falmouth Oct. 17, Scarborough at Cape Elizabeth Oct. 20, Falmouth at Greely and NYA at Waynflete Oct. 23 and Greely at Yarmouth Oct. 31.

Scarborough’s field hockey team will play traditional rivals like Cheverus this fall, but the Red Storm will also meet Greely for the first time in two decades.

Longtime field hockey powerhouse Scarborough twice battles rival Cheverus (Oct. 1 at home and Oct. 14 in Portland) and also meets league rivals Falmouth and South Portland twice apiece. In addition, the Red Storm will play Greely in a countable contest for the first time in two decades and the teams will square off twice: Oct. 20 in Cumberland Oct. 30 in Scarborough.

Other games of note include Yarmouth at Cape Elizabeth Sept. 26, Cape Elizabeth at Greely, Yarmouth at Falmouth and South Portland at Portland Sept. 30, Cape Elizabeth and South Portland playing in the regular season for first time, Oct. 2 in South Portland, Falmouth at Cheverus Oct. 6, Cape Elizabeth at Freeport and Yarmouth at Greely Oct. 7, Freeport at Yarmouth and Portland/Deering going to Cape Elizabeth for a first-ever meeting Oct. 10, Yarmouth visiting Freeport Oct. 21, Freeport playing at Cape Elizabeth Oct. 23, Greely going to Yarmouth Oct. 28 and Scarborough hosting Gorham Nov. 2.

And while football and volleyball aren’t playing this fall, there are a couple of events to look forward to.

Deering and Portland’s football teams aren’t playing a normal season this fall, but the teams do plan to square off in a 7-on-7 flag football contest next month. 

Deering and Portland are planning a 7-on-7, flag football game Oct. 9. The game will be in honor of former Deering football player Blain Alves, who died this past May. Alves would have been a senior this year, and Oct. 9 would have been his 17th birthday.

“As of right now, that’s a set date,” said Deering coach John Hardy. “What happens between now and then, we can’t be sure, but that is a set date and that is something these kids can look forward to and work toward. I’m hoping we, as a Portland community, can rally around this idea of 7-on-7.”

And 7-on-7 flag football (or possibly 5-on-5 between eight-man teams) will provide a competitive outlet.

“That’s the secret of being the good athlete, the good coach, always being positive, always trying to knock down the negatives and look to the prize,” said Yarmouth coach Jim Hartman. “And for us, we already have talked about playing Portland in 7-on-7, and that means having to learn 11-man concepts. That’s another great learning experience, and hopefully we get those six to eight games in the spring.”

A potential Yarmouth-Portland matchup has been floated as well.

As for volleyball, there is talk of an outdoors exhibition between two-time defending Class A champion Falmouth and two-time defending Class B champion Yarmouth sometime this autumn.

It’s going to be an interesting and wild ride, so buckle up.

It’s almost time to, Play Ball!

Press Herald staff writer Steve Craig contributed to this story.

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

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