Boys’ team:

Bill Shardlow, Yarmouth tennis

 

File photo

Yarmouth’s boys’ tennis team once again rose to the occasion in 2021 and despite having the previous season wiped out by COVID and despite having to integrate many new players, the Clippers wound up the last team standing and “repeated” as Class B state champion.

Bill Shardlow has only coached the program for three seasons, but two of them have ended with trophy presentations and in light of all the obstacles Yarmouth had to overcome this year, The Forecaster is naming Bill Shardlow our Northern edition Spring Coach of the Year of a boys’ team.

Shardlow has spent decades playing and coaching tennis and replaced longtime Clippers coach Mark Marstaller for the 2018 season. That year, Yarmouth lost to Freeport in the regional semifinals. In 2019, the Clippers wouldn’t be denied, capturing the Class B title for the first time in a decade.

This spring, Yarmouth won its first 11 matches, then closed with a loss to perennial Class C champion Waynflete. As the top seed for the Class B South tournament, the Clippers simply wouldn’t be denied, downing Lincoln Academy and York by 4-1 margins, before edging Greely, 3-2, in the regional final and holding off Waterville, 3-2, to go back-to-back for the first time since 1993 and 1994.

“We had a very deep team,” Shardlow said. “Of all the teams that I’ve coached, the difference in ability between 1 and 8 is the closest on this team I’ve ever had. We had to rebuild a little bit this year, retool. None of our three singles players had played singles before this year. We’re a deep team that just grinds it out.”

A repeat title helped salve the wound of a lost season and with Bill Shardlow, our Northern edition boys’ team Spring Coach of the Year, at the helm more hardware figures to be right around the corner for the Clippers.

Previous winners:

• 2020 No season
• 2019 Kyle Goodrich (Freeport baseball)
• 2018 Jay Harper (Freeport tennis)
• 2017 Marc Halsted (Yarmouth baseball)
• 2016 Bill Ridge (Freeport baseball)
• 2015 Derek Soule (Greely baseball)
• 2014 Geoff Arris (Freeport lacrosse)
• 2013 David Pearl (Yarmouth lacrosse)
• 2012 Kevin Winship (Falmouth baseball)
• 2011 Bob McCully (Falmouth tennis)
• 2010 Marc Halsted (Yarmouth baseball)
• 2009 Mike LeBel (Falmouth lacrosse)
• 2008 Casey Abbott (Greely lacrosse)
• 2007 Derek Soule (Greely baseball)
• 2006 Chris Carpentier (Freeport lacrosse)
• 2005 Chris Mazzurco (NYA track)
• 2004 Craig Curry (Yarmouth lacrosse)
• 2003 Bruce Poliquin (NYA baseball)
• 2002 Hank Ogilby (Freeport baseball)

Girls’ team:

Becca Koelker, Greely lacrosse

Contributed photo

Greely made it to the state final this spring for the first time in 21 years and it was fitting that the team was led there by a player who played a big role the last time the Rangers made it to the big stage.

For getting the Rangers to the state game and for having them poised to remain a top contender, Becca Koelker is The Forecaster’s choice as our Northern edition Spring Coach of the Year of a girls’ team.

Koelker, then Becca Lambertson, helped Greely get to the 2000 state game, which the Rangers lost by a goal to Bonny Eagle. Greely has had several talented teams since, but prior to 2021, hadn’t been able to return to the final.

Koelker, who went on to play lacrosse at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts, and who spent time as an assistant coach with the Yarmouth girls’ program, took over her alma mater in 2013. In four of her first seven seasons, the Rangers made it to the semifinals, but couldn’t advance any further.

After the 2020 campaign was wiped out altogether by the pandemic, Greely hoped to contend this spring and the Rangers wound up exceeding expectations.

Greely won its first two games, then was brought back to earth with decisive losses to two-time Class A champion Falmouth and perennial Class B title contender Yarmouth.

But the Rangers bounced back in positive fashion, winning seven of their final eight regular season games, including a decisive home win over Class A South finalist Scarborough, losing only in a close game at home to the Clippers.

As the No. 2 seed for the Class B state tournament, the Rangers didn’t disappoint, blanking Westbrook in a preliminary round game, then dominating Brunswick and Messalonskee to reach the final.

There, Greely hung tough with top-ranked, favored Yarmouth much of the way and was within a goal in the second half before a late Clippers’ surge produced a 13-8 victory.

Despite the loss, the Rangers had turned heads and Koelker was thrilled with her team’s effort.

“I’m so proud of the girls,” Koelker said. “For us to be so young and to overcome quarantine and injuries, they’ve done more for this program than any other team. They have so much to be proud of.”

Becca Koelker, our Northern edition girls’ team Spring Coach of the Year, has much to be proud of, too, and it won’t be the least bit surprising if her third trip to the state game figures to be the charm.

Previous winners:

• 2020 No season
• 2019 Dorothy Holt (Yarmouth lacrosse)
• 2018 Ashley Pullen (Falmouth lacrosse)
• 2017 Bill Goodspeed (Falmouth tennis)
• 2016 Rob Hale (Greely softball)
• 2015 Amy Ashley (Yarmouth softball)
• 2014 Ben Caswell (Greely tennis)
• 2013 Sandra Stone (Falmouth tennis)
• 2012 Karin Kurry (Freeport lacrosse)
• 2011 Sara Dimick (Greely lacrosse)
• 2010 Julia Sterling (NYA lacrosse)
• 2009 Sandra Stone (Falmouth tennis)
• 2008 Julia Littlefield (NYA lacrosse)
• 2007 Robin Haley (Falmouth lacrosse)
• 2006 Dorothy Holt (Yarmouth lacrosse)
• 2005 Sandra Stone (Falmouth tennis)
• 2004 Ann Harradon (Yarmouth tennis)
• 2003 Julia Seely (NYA tennis)
• 2002 Julia Littlefield (Yarmouth lacrosse)

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

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