BASEBALL

Junior Bennett Smith could be a top pitcher for Falmouth’s baseball team. File photos.

Coach: Mike D’Andrea (first year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 11-8 (Lost, 3-1, to eventual champion Scarborough in Class A South semifinals)

Top returning players: Gus Ford (Senior), Sam Kidder (Senior), Dominic Tracy (Senior), Brady Coyne (Junior), Bennett Smith (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 20 WESTBROOK, May 4 SCARBOROUGH, May 8 PORTLAND, May 11 TA, May 22 @ Gorham, May 25 @ South Portland, May 29 CHEVERUS

Coach’s comment: “It’s great to be out there. I’m pleasantly surprised with this group so far. We’re figuring some things out. We have good athletes, but not a lot of pitching experience. The pieces of the puzzle are there. It depends on how the kids respond to teaching. If we could win a couple playoff games, that’s where I’d like to be.”

Senior Gus Ford is active all over the field for the Yachtsmen.

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Mike D’Andrea Era begins, a year later than scheduled, this spring. D’Andrea, the state’s foremost high school baseball coach is coming off leading Scarborough to a surprising championship in 2019 (beating Falmouth along the way). He inherits a program that is always in the mix and while the Yachtsmen have many question marks at the onset, D’Andrea will elevate them to top contender status by season’s end.

Kidder, who will play at Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts next year, is a top returner. D’Andrea raves about Kidder’s five-tool abilities and argues that he’s one of the state’s top players. Kidder will anchor the outfield in centerfield. Ford, best known for his brilliance on the soccer pitch, is also in the outfield and will hit at the top of the lineup. Coyne is the shortstop and will be one of the team’s best hitters. Tracy (an honorable mention all-star as a sophomore) returns as a top pitcher. Smith has experience on the mound as well. Sophomore Eli Cowperthwaite and freshman Brennan Rumpf look to contribute innings also.

The talent is there, it just has to be optimized. Luckily for Falmouth, it has the best possible person to do just that. This might not be a championship program, yet, but look for the Yachtsmen to battle every time they take the field and to give any potential playoff foe nightmares.

SOFTBALL 

Coach: James Coffey (second year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 0-16 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Cam Birks (Senior), Natalie Fortier (Senior), Maddie MacDowell (Senior), Emily Charest (Junior), Maddy Cooney (Junior), Olivia Rogers (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 30 WESTBROOK, May 8 PORTLAND, May 19 WINDHAM, May 29 CHEVERUS

Coach’s comment: “The weather’s been great and it’s been really fun to be out there. Two years ago was our first back as a varsity program. We ended up with 15 girls in the program, many who had never played. We rebuilt the program from scratch, then lost out on last year. We have 28 girls this year. We have a varsity and a JV team, so there’s competition for positions. We’ll be better, but I don’t know how much better.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth is much better equipped this season and the wins and a rise up the standings should ensue.

The Yachtsmen return a couple of All-SMAA honorable mentions from 2019, Birks, the pitcher and a captain, and Rogers, who will play third base and can also serve as the designate hitter. Sophomore Miranda Birks will play catcher, giving Falmouth a Birks-to-Birks battery. Joining Rogers on the infield will be Charest at first base and Cooney at either second or shortsop. MacDowell, a captain, and Fortier will help secure the outfield.

The Yachtsmen should be competitive in most of their games this season and are primed to make big strides. This will be an important year for the program and don’t be surprised if Falmouth positions itself for an even bigger jump in 2022.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Dave Barton (fourth year, 35-10 overall record)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 10-6 (Lost, 8-7, in overtime, to Thornton Academy in Class A state final)

Top returning players: Kazden Berry (Senior), Jonah Eng (Senior), Sam Gearan (Senior), Satchel Kaplan (Senior), Wyatt Kerr (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 21 KENNEBUNK, April 27 TA, May 4 SCARBOROUGH, May 11 @ TA, May 22 @ Cape Elizabeth, May 24 @ Scarborough, May 28 YARMOUTH

Coach’s comment: “It’s been awesome to be outside again and the kids’ attitudes have been awesome. In some ways, it feels like we haven’t played in forever and in other ways, it feels like we hit the ground running. It’s a really fun group to work with. We’re very experienced on offense and inexperienced on defense. We’ll make up for it athletically. The kids will battle. We’ll take steps in the right direction and build culture. We’ll let the chips fall where they may.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Everyone missed playing in 2020, but it’s possible that no team has been chomping at the bit to return to action more than the Yachtsmen. When we last saw them, they were heartbroken after an epic overtime loss to Thornton Academy in the 2019 state final. Falmouth desperately wanted to avenge that game a year ago, but never got a chance. Now, the Yachtsmen get their opportunity, even if they’re not looking any farther ahead than the day at hand. And that approach will serve them well all season.

Falmouth is once again loaded with talent on offense. Berry, Eng, Gearan, Kaplan and Kerr lead the way. Seniors Kurt Robaczewski and Gio Ciraulo are also on board. Defensively, the Yachtsmen are a work in progress, as there is no Riley Reed-type of standout this spring. Look for seniors Jake Rand and Owen Drummey (the hockey standout), juniors Cooper Bush and Ben Wentworth and sophomore Luke Crowder to all play key roles. Sophomore Drew Noyes will be in goal this season.

The Yachtsmen don’t worry about regular season results. It’s all about the process of coming together and showing steady improvement and they do that as well as anyone. Falmouth is tired of the near-miss. After two straight state game losses, this could be the year that the Yachtsmen return to the pinnacle for the first time since 2016. It won’t come easily, but bet against them at your peril.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Falmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team has done plenty of celebrating in recent years. Don’t be shocked if that trend continues this spring. 

Coach: Ashley Pullen (third year, 27-3, two state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 14-1 (Beat Kennebunk, 5-3, to repeat as Class A state champions)

Top returning players: Abby Blakeman (Senior), Eva Clement (Senior), C.C. Cohen (Senior), Avi Fishman (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 19 @ Windham, April 30 @ Massabesic, May 3 GREELY, May 12 CAPE ELIZABETH, May 18 @ Yarmouth, May 25 KENNEBUNK, June 2 @ Cheverus

Coach’s comment: “Everyone’s excited to get started. There’s so much energy, excitement and positivity after not playing for two years. It’s a young group. We only have five seniors and five juniors. We have a challenging regular season schedule, which I’m excited about. We’d love to contend for states again.”

Senior Avi Fishman is one of many potent offensive weapons the Yachtsmen possess this season.

The Forecaster’s forecast: Much has changed since June of 2019, when Falmouth won its second consecutive Class A state championship, including the departure of some of the finest players in program history, but that doesn’t mean that the Yachtsmen aren’t well positioned to make another title run, as evidenced by Thursday’s decisive 14-3 win over Gorham in the season opener.

Falmouth is still loaded on offense. Clement, a first-team all-star in 2019, who plans to play at Colby College next year, leads the way. She scored six goals in the opener. Blakeman and Fishman are also experienced at attack. Juniors Molly Scribner (two goals versus the Rams) and Kinsey Barry, sophomores Lucy Taylor and Sloane Ginevan, the basketball star who scored three goals in her first game, and freshman Heather “Peaches” Stucker provide ample depth. On defense, the Yachtsmen return a standout in Cohen, who is heading to play next year at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She’ll play a critical role as overall, Falmouth’s defense is young and big-game performer Hannah Dubinsky has to be replaced in goal as well. Sophomores Brooke Saulter and Sydney Shiben will also contribute on defense in front of a pair of sophomore goalies, Victoria Abbott and Patty Riley.

Pullen has been a mastermind in her two previous seasons and has gotten the absolute most from her team, whether the Yachtsmen were the favorites or underdogs. This spring, Falmouth will face many stern tests during the regular season and may not post as glowing a record as the past few years, but when June rolls around, expect the Yachtsmen to be knocking on that championship door. Again.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Falmouth senior Sofie Matson stands alone when it comes to distance dominance. She’ll put on one final show this spring.

Coach: Jorma Kurry (21st year, six state championships)

2019 results (no 2020 season): 

(Boys) 7th @ Class A state meet
(Girls) 5th @ Class A state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Luka DePatsy (Senior), Ben Greene (Senior), Faran Igani (Senior), Colby MacCheyne (Senior), Cole Matthews (Senior), Sam Nonni (Senior), John Peelen (Senior), Thomas Pender (Senior), Connor Quiet (Senior), Charlie Adams (Junior), Will Addison (Junior), Andrew Christie (Junior)  Declan Frueh (Junior), Eli Grover (Junior), Ryan Gray (Junior), Logan Ross (Junior), Joey Rouhana (Junior), Miles Spelman (Junior)

(Girls) Hillary Bouchard (Senior), Hallie Bruno (Senior), Shannon Dye (Senior), Sofie Matson (Senior), Maria Neuhauser (Senior), Maggie O’Brien (Senior), Karley Piers (Senior), Lila Findlay (Junior), Viviana Griffin (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “The boys have the potential to be very competitive. We will need to build more field event strength but the potential is certainly there. The sprint and distance groups will be very strong and deep, led by the very versatile Ben Greene. The girls are in a bit of a rebuilding year. We need to replenish our younger classes and build more depth. Regardless, we will feature some outstanding talent at the top led by our distance runners, Sofie and Karley. Shannon Dye is poised for a great year in the throws. We will work toward being able to cover as many events as possible and learning some new ones while we’re at it.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth’s outdoor teams are, as always, primed to do great things.

The boys’ squad is led by Greene, who was part of a runner-up 1,600 relay team his sophomore year. This season, Greene will be one of the elite distance runners in the state. Frueh, Gray, Igani, Ross, Rouhana and sophomore Miles Woodbury will also contend in longer races. In the sprints, keep an eye on Addison, Christie, MacCheyne and Nonni, along with Quiet, Adams and sophomores Jackson Boyd, Finn Caxton-Smith and Mason Quiet. Grover and Peelen will be top throwers. DePatsy, Matthews and Pender also take part in the throws and jump as well. Nonni is another jumper of note, as is Spelman. The Yachtsmen will be very strong in dual meets. Come June, Falmouth has the ability to be a top five state meet finisher.

On the girls’ side, the Yachtsmen return the dynamic Matson, who is the reigning Class A champion in the mile and the two-mile. Piers (third in the two-mile and fourth in the mile two years ago) is a distance star as well. Findlay and Griffin and sophomore Fiona Hanrahan join them. In the sprints, look for Bruno, Neuhauser and O’Brien, along with freshman Bella Koepsell, to contend. Top throwers include Bouchard and Dye. Falmouth will get plenty of points from Matson and Piers. If others can contribute, another strong season will be in store.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Bob McCully (49th year, 12 state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 16-0 (Beat Camden Hills, 3-2, to win third straight Class A state title)

Top returning players: Jack Forester (Senior), Aiden Hendry (Senior), Willie Parker (Senior)

Coach’s comment: “The loss of the season last year was tough. We lost momentum and some players I thought we would have aren’t available now, but I see improvement every practice and I very much enjoy the players we do have. Our goal is to be the best we can be. The seniors are all former doubles players, who were on very strong teams and could have been singles players on many other teams. Our freshmen are very athletic. I have no idea what other teams will be like, so we will have to figure that out as the season progresses.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth has run roughshod over Class A the past three seasons and the pieces are in place for the Yachtsmen to make it four in a row.

Henry returns at first singles. Parker (second singles) and Forester (third singles) make up a formidable unit. Six freshmen, Karl Chamberlain, Daniel Kim, Raymond Li, Marcus McLain, Jack Verrill and Charley Wolak, look to take advantage of doubles openings and will provide depth.

Falmouth might not run the table this season, but by the time the postseason rolls around, it won’t be any surprise if the Yachtsmen are the last team standing once more.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Larry Nichols (first year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 14-1 (Lost, 3-2, to Scarborough in Class A South Final, snapping a 187-match win streak)

Top returning players: Ella Holland (Senior), Nina Woodbury (Senior)

Coach’s comment: “Many of our players are just happy to be back outside and participating in a sport that they love. We also have a number of players that are relatively new to the sport, but want an opportunity to do something with their friends, so the overall mood of everyone is very upbeat. In many ways, the program sometimes feels like it’s just been created as the veterans of the team were only sophomores the last time that there was a season. The two senior co-captains, Ella and Nina, have done a great job at mentoring what a season looks like, expectations and working together. With only two seniors, the team’s goals for this season will be to establish productive sessions, get better every day and have fun. We also hope to have each player be able to be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses and to make adjustments as needed as they continue their progression. As a program, we would love to challenge every team that we face.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth’s mind-boggling, likely never-to-be-approached 187-match win streak came to a close the last time the Yachtsmen took the court. Then, after a season when not a single ball was struck, Falmouth returns to action this spring with a very different look. It begins at the top as Nichols, the school’s very successful volleyball coach, inherits the state’s premier program. Nichols coached Deering for nine seasons between 1998 and 2006 and won three regional and a pair of state titles. He takes over a team that should be very strong again.

Holland and Woodbury (a doubles all-star in 2019) will be in the top two singles spots this time around. Freshman Gracyn Mick will be in the third singles spot. Juniors to watch include Carmen Cereo, Olivia Fallon, Natalie Glockler and the doubles tandem of Liv McHugh and Marissa LeFevre. Sophomores Elise Gearan and Audrey Murray and freshmen Victoria Cereo, Adele Gamage, Mary McPheeters and Charlotte Williamson will also vie for key roles.

Despite a new look, Falmouth still wears the bulls-eye in the region. A perfect season might not be in store, but the Yachtsmen going deep in the playoffs remains likely. It’s only a matter of time until the hardware returns.

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

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