BASEBALL

Senior Matthew Keast is a returning veteran for Deering’s baseball team. File photo.

Coach: Ryan Martin (first year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 4-12 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Lucas Harbaugh (Senior), Matthew Keast (Senior), Dempsey Brady (Junior), Conner Coleman (Junior), Drew Hamilton (Junior), Qwest Newhall (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 23 SCARBOROUGH, May 1 FALMOUTH, May 8 CHEVERUS, May 11 @ South Portland, May 13 CHEVERUS, May 18 PORTLAND, May 29 @ Gorham

Coach’s comment: “It seems like a lot of guys have been very excited for the season to start, even more so after missing last year. It’s been great to be out on the field right from the beginning. The guys should have a lot of outside reps before our first regular season game which will be very helpful, especially after missing out on a year. Our goals are to take it one day at a time and enjoy every day we are out on the field with a focused approach of becoming better each day. If we focus on this, then we will be the best we can be at the end of  the season, giving ourselves the best chance to reach our team goals. We want to be great at being ready every single pitch, want to be great at backing up bases and we have some speed, so we’ll be aggressive on the bases. The great high school teams are the ones who can field the ball and make the routine plays and not give teams any extra outs. We are improving on this each day.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering has a small team this spring, but there is optimism around the program. Much of that is due to the arrival of Martin, a one-time baseball and basketball star at Maranacook (he was Maine’s Mr. Basketball in 2008). Martin previously coached baseball at his alma mater and takes over a program that looks to climb up the standings.

The Rams return Coleman, Harbaugh and Keast, who can all pitch. Brady and Coleman will see time behind the plate. Brady, Hamilton, Harbaugh, Keast and Newhall will help make up the infield. In the outfield, look for Hamilton and Newhall to lead the way. Freshman Avery Lawrence will help with pitching depth and can also play at shortstop and centerfield. Freshman Jackson Forrest is a corner infielder and outfielder.

Deering figures to show steady improvement as the year progresses and will put the foundation in place for even more growth next spring.

SOFTBALL

Coach: Anais Aguirre (first year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 1-15 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Kim Clifford (Senior), Emily Hill (Senior)

Pivotal games: May 7 CHEVERUS, May 14 FALMOUTH, May 19 @ Portland

Coach’s comment: “Losing a season definitely had an impact on numbers, on top of graduating seniors.  The girls, however, are eager to be on the field and are working hard. As coaches, we love to see the drive some of the girls have and are excited to be on the field again. Our goal is to have the team connect and fall in love with softball so that they return throughout their high school careers. We are looking to be competitive this year as well as have fun and grow the program.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering is in a rebuilding mode this spring with a new coach. Aguirre played softball at the University of Southern Maine and previously served as an assistant coach with the Falmouth and Westbrook programs. She inherits a program that hopes to turn things around quickly.

Clifford is a top hitter and will play centerfield. Hill is another veteran, who will play third base. Junior Katie Gallagher will see most of the time on the mound. Junior Bela Nieves will also get a chance to pitch. A pair of newcomers will be heard from as well. Sophomore Kira Siteman is the catcher. Freshman Sophie Hill could be a top hitter and will play shortstop.

Like every other team, the Rams will need some time to figure things out and get up to speed. Being competitive in some games this spring will serve the program well going forward.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Geoff Arris (first year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 2-10 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Gridley Abercrombie (Senior), Andrew James (Senior), Robert Johnson (Senior), Sam Spach (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 20 @ Cheverus, April 23 CHEVERUS, May 11 PORTLAND, May 15 @ Portland

Coach’s comment: “I can tell you since day one, the energy, attitude and effort have all been incredible. These boys really missed the opportunity to play last season and so far during this preseason, the guys have really bought into what we are trying to accomplish and are sponges. There are some young and new players that we need to catch up to speed, but they are definitely up for the challenge. The team as a whole have really been pushing themselves and each other to be better. Taking a year off does a lot to the game. I think these guys are ready to prove they’ve been waiting for this moment. As a new coach, I have several goals for them. I want to help build the culture and make it something these players and future players are proud and excited to play for. I want these guys to have fun and want to be on the field every day. I want them to feel and see that they are getting better each day.  ur numbers are not ideal, but the guys that are here play like there are a hundred guys competing for a spot. They’re hungry and I think they have a lot they want to prove to the state of Maine and make Deering known for lacrosse again.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering welcomes a new coach this season, one who has an impressive background. Arris played for Freeport High School and at Plymouth State (New Hampshire) University. He coached 11 years for the Falcons and has served as an assistant at St. Joseph’s College as well. He’ll take over a squad that looks to quickly get back in contention.

This year’s offense will be paced by Abercrombie and James at attack, along with new senior Finn Swanson. Johnson anchors the midfield and takes faceoffs. He’s joined by freshman Andrew Burke, who will get an opportunity to take faceoffs as well. On defense, Spach is the veteran. Sophomores Billy MacVane and James Tedder join the squad to provide depth. Junior Aidan Foss will be in goal.

This will be a season for the Rams to get to know each other and their new coach and to steadily improve. Deering could be a dangerous foe by the time the postseason arrives.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Megan Violette (first year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 0-12 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Riley Forrest (Senior), Grayson Soldati (Senior), Morgan Shibles (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 27 @ South Portland, May 22 SCARBOROUGH, May 29 PORTLAND

Coach’s comment: “We’re very much a rebuilding program. We have a good group of kids. Most of them are freshmen and sophomores. They’re buying in. We want to reignite the flame. The process will matter more than wins and losses. Wins and losses won’t measure how well we do.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering is going back to the future this spring as a familiar face steps in as coach. Violette is a Ram through and through (Class of 2016). She is finishing up her playing career at the University of Southern Maine this spring, in addition to coaching Deering, and is up for the challenge to turn her alma mater around.

Soldati is a top returner on offense. Shibles has some experience and will be a key midfielder. Forrest will lead the defense.

While wins and losses won’t be Deering’s focus this season, a few victories would be huge for morale. Look for this squad to begin its climb back to contention. Perhaps faster than anticipated.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Boys’ coach: Frank Myatt (eighth year)

Girls’ coach: Gerry Myatt (eighth year)

2019 results (no 2020 season): 

(Boys) Tie-15th @ Class A state meet
(Girls) 23rd @ Class A state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Anthony O’Donnell (Senior), John Pomerleau (Senior), Owen Richards (Senior), Seth Tedder (Senior), Ben Vachon (Senior), Deven Abrams (Junior), Alexey Seredin (Junior)

(Girls) Mimi Bankworth (Senior), Hadley Poirier (Senior), Jonna Rosenthal (Senior), Megan Cunningham (Junior), Emma Hallee (Junior), Courtney Jackson (Junior)

Coach Frank Myatt’s comment: “We’re low on numbers, but we’ll try to keep adding. It’s going to be an interesting year. Only dual meets this year. It’ll be a different style of coaching. We’ll look to have guys do different events. It’ll be more about winning meets than the big picture.”

Coach Gerry Myatt’s comment: “We’re still building, but we have some good kids who will surprise. Sometimes you can shine at a dual meet. That may help us evolve as a team. We’re going to have fun.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Both Deering outdoor track teams have their share of promising athletes this year.

The boys’ squad features several strong distance runners, led by Abrams, O’Donnell, Richards and Seredin. Sophomore Dany McLaughlin could be a top sprinter. Pomerleau does a little of everything, from sprints and hurdles to throws and jumps. He’s joined in the jumps by Vachon. Tedder is a top thrower. Junior Abdul Al-Tahee is a newcomer to watch in the hurdles. The Rams could surprise some folks during the course of the season.

On the girls’ side, Cunningham and Poirier return from a third-place 3,200 relay team in 2019. They’ll pace the distance contingent, which also includes Rosenthal. Banksmith and Hallee return in the sprints. They’re joined by sophomore Jada Stevenson and freshman Lara Gin. Jackson hopes to score in the pole vault. Sophomore Claire Dunn could become a top jumper and thrower. Look for Deering to find points from many different sources as it enjoys a competitive campaign.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Regina Morton (11th year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 9-5 (Lost, 4-1, to eventual state champion Falmouth in Class A South semifinals)

Top returning player: Harry Greene (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “Even though our numbers are low this year, we are so excited to be back on the courts and my team is small but mighty with great attitudes and a willingness to work hard. It has truly been one of the most fun years to coach even with the circumstances. Our goals are to just fight as hard as we can and not feel any pressure. This is a total learning year where my players will gain valuable match experience.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: After losing a lot of seniors the past two years, Deering has a lot of new faces this season and is poised to show steady improvement.

Greene will be in one of the singles spots and will serve as a team leader. Freshmen Conor Green and Daniel Landry should step right in and make an impact at singles as well.

The Rams have a lot of question marks beyond those three players, but they’ll move in the right direction and will be poised to challenge come playoff-time, then will be much stronger when the 2022 season begins.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Kyle Mersereau (first year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 4-9 (Lost, 5-0, to Marshwood in Class A South preliminary round)

Top returning player: Mattea Losears (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “This season will be a building year for us. We have a young team and most of the girls are new to tennis. Our goals are to have fun, learn more about tennis, as it’s a great lifetime sport, and enjoy competing.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering has a lot of new faces this season, including at the top. Mersereau starred as a player at Brunswick High, then played at Springfield College in Massachusetts. He’s the tennis pro at Apex Racquet and Fitness in Portland. He’s eager to take on the challenge on teaching the game to his team.

Losears is the lone experienced returner. She’ll be a captain. From there, plenty of girls will have a chance to fill spots and gain valuable playing time.

The Rams hope to win some matches this season and position themselves to be even stronger in 2022.

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

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