BASEBALL (co-op team with Waynflete)

Coach: Paul Grazia (seventh year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 2-11 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Cal Davies (Senior), Will Jackson (Senior), Anders Jonsson (Senior), Luke Josephson (Senior), Liam Slocumb (Junior), Payton Smith (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 24 OOB, April 26 @ OOB, April 28 @ Gray-New Gloucester, May 26 @ Fryeburg

Coach’s comments: “We are looking forward to the season. The athletes have been working hard and are challenging themselves everyday. This year, our team is led by a wonderful group of seniors and we look to be competitive in every game. After losing last season, it is wonderful to be back with the team and on the field. Our first goal is to complete our season safely and healthy. We hope to build off of our growth from two years ago and make a push in the playoffs. I know all the athletes and coaches are looking forward getting back on the field and competing this spring.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete/NYA is optimistic it can contend this season.

Josephson was a first-team all-star two years ago. He’ll pitch and play in the infield. Davies (pitcher/infield) and Jonsson (pitcher/infield) were second-teamers in 2019 and should be top contributors as well. Jackson (pitcher, first base) is the other returning senior. The junior class features Slocumb behind the plate and Smith on the mound and in the outfield. Seniors Gabe Garcia (pitcher, outfield) and Derek Wolverton (pitcher/infield) are new and should immediately have an impact.

Waynflete/NYA plays a lot of games against Class C competition, which should get the team ready for the postseason. Waynflete/NYA is poised to win some games and turn some heads with its play.

SOFTBALL

Coach: Ricky Doyon (first year)

Top players: Acadia Gee (Junior), Jasmine Huntsman (Junior), Lauren Powers (Junior), Angel Huntsman (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 24 OOB, April 26 @ OOB, April 28 @ Gray-NG, May 26 @ Fryeburg, May 29 LAKE REGION

Coach’s comment: “This is NYA’s first year having its own varsity team since the 2011 season. We were ready to hit the field last year which would have been helpful in developing our young players. The positive is that we don’t have any seniors, so we will have an opportunity to get a year under our belts and build some experience and cohesiveness. Our goal for this coming season is to keep building upon each practice and game. I hope to be competitive and build a successful program. Further, we hope to get a full season in without interruption so we can build continuity. At the end of the season, we want to be a better team and show that the hard work was well worth the time and effort and that we had fun during the process.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA’s softball program is back after a long hiatus (a few individual players competed with Cheverus in recent years) and the squad, albeit untested, features some familiar names and standout athletes.

Gee and freshman Haley Hegarty will be the pitchers. Angel Huntsman, coming off her terrific basketball season, will be the catcher. She’ll also see time at shortstop. Jasmine Huntsman will be an anchor on the infield at either shortstop or third base. Gee will play second base when she doesn’t pitch. Powers will play first base and can also fill in behind the plate. Freshman Hayden Wienckowski has speed and can play different positions. Junior third baseman Eliza Chace figures to make an impact as well.

The Panthers’ success this spring will be about more than wins and losses. Establishing itself at the varsity level and showing steady improvement will be NYA’s goal. Don’t be surprised if the Panthers do quite well in their return as a stand-alone program.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

North Yarmouth Academy’s boys’ lacrosse team won the 2019 Class C championship and hopes to do it again this spring. File photo.

Coach: Peter Gerrity (fifth year, 20-35 overall record)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 11-4 (Beat Maranacook, 17-5, to win Class C state title)

Top returning players: Pat Alberding (Senior), Chris Hamblett (Senior), Henry Bergeron (Junior), Chas Rohde (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 24 @ Greely, April 30 YARMOUTH, May 19 BERWICK, May 24 @ York, May 29 @ Waynflete

Coach’s comment: “I’m thrilled to be back at NYA. The team looks good. We’re still learning to play as a team. I think we’ll be strongest on defense. We want to repeat as state champions. That’s what the kids’ expectations are. I’m excited for the season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA has enjoyed the luxury of celebrating its 2019 Class C state title for nearly two years. Now, finally, the Panthers, who welcome back Peter Gerrity as coach (his previous stint was between 2013-16), will get their chance to defend their crown and the pieces are in place to do so.

Alberding was a second-team all-star two years ago. He and Bergeron will anchor the defense in front of new goalie, sophomore Jack Curtis. Hamblett, coming off a stellar basketball season, and Rohde will be top offensive threats along with junior Caleb Waterman, a transfer from Gorham.

NYA will be tested frequently during the regular season and appears to be on a collision course with Waynflete (the 2018 state champion). If the standings work out, the Panthers and Flyers could meet in the state game, instead of the semifinals, and what a treat that would be. Regardless, look for a lot of good things from NYA over the next two months.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Julia Sterling (fifth year, 41-18 overall record, one state championship)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 8-6 (Lost, 11-10, to Lake Region in Class C state semifinals)

Top returning players: Natalie Farrell (Senior), Ally White (Senior), Maggie Holt (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 23 GREELY, April 27 FREEPORT, May 1 ST. DOM’S, May 8 @ Lake Region, May 12 @ Cheverus, May 26 @ Yarmouth, May 28 @ Waynflete

Coach’s comment: “It’s great to be back. It’s a great group of girls. If we build the team as the season goes on, I think we’ll have a chance. We all had a year off and now are regrouping, getting to know each other and going back to the basics. As the team builds together throughout the season, we’ll see how it all turns out.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Sterling, who coached the Panthers from 2008 through 2011 and won the 2010 Class B state title, is back for a second stint as NYA coach, with former program standout Molly Moss-Stokes on board as an assistant. Sterling inherits a squad that could wind up battling for the top spot in Class C if all goes well.

Holt was a second-team all-star in 2019. She’ll be a captain, will take some draws and figures to be one of the team’s top scorers. Farrell will also see time in the draw circle and will be a top midfielder. The Panthers should feature pretty impressive offensive balance. Seniors Camilla Lattanzi (a transfer from Greely), Camille Beaudoin (a captain) and Lily Weinrich, junior Emma Sharp and promising sophomore Vy Tran will make it impossible for the opposition to contend with. On defense, senior Elyse Baron leads the way in front of White in goal.

NYA has some challenging games on its schedule, including several against likely Class C playoff foes. This is a squad that will only get stronger by the day and will be a very tough out come June. Don’t be surprised if Sterling pulls some of her playoff magic and leads the Panthers all the way to the final game.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach: Chris Mazzurco (25th year, four state championships)

2019 results (no 2020 season): 

(Boys) 15th @ Class C state meet
(Girls) No score @ Class C state meet

Top returning athletes:
(Boys) Jack Nice (Senior), Joaquim Bila (Junior), Noah Hallward-Rough (Junior)

(Girls) Emma Collins (Senior), Eleanor Commons (Senior), Emma Haims (Junior), Faith Robillard (Junior), Maddie Vaillancourt (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “After losing the 2020 season, the team lost an amazing amount of experience and leadership. This year, less than 25 percent of the team has ever competed in outdoor track at NYA, so we are working hard to quickly get everyone up to speed and get ready for competitions. With the championship structure for track and field still up in the air, we are primarily working on establishing strong fitness and technical skills that will help us compete this season but also reestablish the depth of the program for the future.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA, which also has athletes from Maine Coast Waldorf, will look to quickly get up to speed this season.

The boys’ squad returns Bila (sprints and jumps), Hallward-Rough (distance) and Nice (throws). Four newcomers add depth. Senior Kit Cassatt is a thrower, senior Josh Huntsman competes in the sprints and throws and classmate Seamus Woodruff is a sprinter and distance runner, while junior Jeremy Dumont competes in the sprints and distance events as well. This is a year for the Panthers to learn and grow and hopefully have some individuals step up at the state meet.

On the girls’ side, sprinters to watch include Collins, Commons and Robillard. Vaillancourt competes in the hurdles. The distance contingent is led by Haims. Commons is also a jumper. Collins and Vaillancourt compete in the throws. Newcomers to watch include junior Marion Robbins (throws) and freshmen Graca Bila (sprints, hurdles and jumps) and Maeve Woodruff (sprints, distance). This is a team that could surprise the competition in the weeks to come.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Charlie Hudson (42nd year, two state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 5-8 (Lost, 5-0, to eventual state champion Waynflete in Class C South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Bryce Poulin (Junior), Noah Silander (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We all are excited to be back out on the courts. The two returning varsity starters are particularly motivated after losing a season last spring. This is as deep a team as I have had in over 40 years coaching. Although we may not have a Eric Blakeman on the top of the lineup, if the doubles develop to the potential I believe they have, we will be a strong team this year. As always, Waynflete is the team to beat in Class C.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA is optimistic about the season to come and for good reason, the Panthers could emerge as the top threat to perennial champion Waynflete in Class C South.

Poulin and Silander are singles veterans and will lead this year’s team. Sophomore Carson Gall projects to be in a single spot as well. Junior Aidan Lacombe and freshmen Finlay Gepfert and Nate Oney are all in the doubles mix.

NYA needs to get up to speed quickly, but the talent is there to believe that a memorable season will be the end result.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Lorena Coffin (11th year, five state championship)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 6-7 (Lost, 4-1, to Carrabec in Class C South quarterfinals)

Coach’s comment: “I think everyone is just excited and thankful that there are spring sports this year. We have a young team this year, so we want to maximize play experience for our athletes while also providing an enjoyable and safe environment.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA is a young team this year, as it returns no players with varsity experience.

Juniors Emilia McKenney and Emma Rothrock played junior varsity in 2019 and make the move to varsity this season. Freshman Sasha Schutz will play first singles. Classmates Maddie Prokopius and Cecilia Albin are other newcomers to watch.

The Panthers are used to being a top contender in Class C South and this year should be no different. It will take a few weeks to get up to speed, but once NYA does, it will be very tough to beat.

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

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