BOYS’ SOCCER

Chas Rohde, now a senior, hopes he and his NYA boys’ soccer teammates will have a lot to celebrate this fall. File photos

Coach: Matt Williams (second year)

2020 results: 5-3 (No postseason)
2019 record
: 9-8-2 (Lost, 2-1, to Central Aroostook in Class D state final)

Top returning players: Michael Belleau (senior), Chas Rohde (senior), Seamus Rohde (junior), Noah Silander (junior), Wyatt Thomas (junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 8 WAYNFLETE, Sept. 16 YARMOUTH, Sept. 23 @ Waynflete, Oct. 1 SACOPEE, Oct. 8 @ Gray-NG, Oct. 12 @ Sacopee

Coach’s comment: “Defense will always be a bedrock for our team. It starts in goal with Michael Belleau, for my money the best shot-stopper in the state. We retained the core of our backline from last year, so they know the expectations of our defensive group. We’re strong in midfield. Attacking wise, we’re lead by Chas Rohde, but we’re deep with options. Our goal is to get better each game and enter the playoffs playing our best soccer. We play a lot of Class C teams and jump into Class D for the playoffs, so we should be battle-tested come October.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA is in line for a memorable season, as the Panthers will get some stern tests during the regular year and hope to learn from those games and be at their best when they look to make a third-consecutive run to the Class D state final.

The Panthers are led by Belleau, a senior goalkeeper, who will keep the team in every game. Seamus Rohde and Silander are top defenders. Thomas leads the midfield contingent. Chas Rohde could be a top scorer up top. A couple junior transfers from Lewiston, Cooper St. Hilaire and Daxton St. Hilaire, will step right in and make an impact.

NYA’s win-loss record won’t be as important as how much growth the Panthers show between now and late October. If the squad develops as hoped, it will have all the pieces in place to return to the pinnacle.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

NYA’s girls’ soccer team won the Class D state title in 2018 and 2019 and hopes to return to the top this fall.

Coach: Ricky Doyon (fifth year, 38-19-1, two state championships)

2020 results: 6-2 (no postseason)
2019 record: 16-2 (Beat Penobscot Valley, 1-0, to win second consecutive Class D state title)

Top returning players: Eliza Chance (senior), Maggie Holt (senior), Jasmine Huntsman (senior), Lila Jackson (senior), Marion Robbins (senior), Angel Huntsman (junior), Erin Reid (junior), Vy Tran (junior), Michala Wallace (junior), Hayden Wienckowski (sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 3 RICHMOND, Sept. 8 @ Waynflete, Sept. 10 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 14 ST. DOM’S, Sept. 23 WAYNFLETE, Sept. 25 @ St. Dom’s, Oct. 6 @ Richmond

Coach’s comment: “The Western Maine Conference always produces excellent competition. We have a solid group of girls who hope to have a competitive season again this season. Fortunately, many of the girls have had a ball at their feet throughout the summer, which will help in their progression. We have younger players mixed in with our experienced girls who should blend well together. The girls are eager to be back on the pitch and have some normalcy. The opportunity to play a regular season and the chance to work toward tournament play is something the girls are aiming for. Our goal is to have an entire season without any interruption.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA is in the midst of its most dominant stretch since winning five straight Class C crowns between 2003-07. The Panthers won Class D in both 2018 and 2019 and were primed to do so again only to not have a postseason due to the pandemic. This year, NYA hopes to return to the top of the heap and it wouldn’t be wise to bet against the Panthers.

NYA will be led on offense up top by Jackson and Wienckowski. The midfield is bursting with athleticism and talent featuring Holt, Angel Huntsman, Jasmine Huntsman and Wallace. Defensively, the Panthers will rely on Chance, Reid, Robbins and Tran to hold the fort in front of new junior goalie Charlotte Harper-Cunningham. juniors Anna Belleau and Josie Harper-Cunningham and freshmen Ella Giguere and Emily Robbins should step right in and make an impact on the varsity squad.

The Panthers have the pieces in place for another great season. NYA will be tested by some tough foes in the regular season but that will only make it stronger for when the games mean the most. Come late October and early November, look for the Panthers to do what they’ve done so often in recent years. Excel.

FIELD HOCKEY (co-op with Waynflete)

Coach: Annika King (third year)

2020 results: No season
2019 record
: 5-10 (Lost, 5-2, to Wells in Class C South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Emily Kalinich (senior), Larkin Kern (senior), Emelia McKenney (senior), Elisabeth Traister (senior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 8 ST. DOM’S, Sept. 11 @ Greely, Sept. 23 @ St. Dom’s, Sept. 30 YARMOUTH, Oct. 14 @ St. Dom’s

Coach’s comment: “Still being a new co-op between Waynflete and NYA, we are looking forward to being a cohesive and united force. We have a talented group of athletes who are itching to play in games this year. Not having played in any contests last year, we are eager to see what the other teams have established and look forward to playing against them this season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA/Waynflete didn’t play last fall during the pandemic, but the squad is eager to return to action and should hold its own against some tough competition from Class B and Class C.

Kalinich and McKenney are veterans on the forward line and will hope to spark the offense. Freshman Emma Bowdoin will also be involved in the goal-scoring. Kern is an anchor in the midfield and also has experience. On defense, Traister leads the way. senior Ellie Howerton-Lynch will be in goal.

Getting re-acclimated to varsity play will be the biggest concern at the start of the season. That and the joy of returning to action after a year away. Winning will be a secondary concern, but as the season progresses, look for some positive results and by the time the playoffs start, this squad could be primed to make some noise.

VOLLEYBALL

Coach: Nora Krainis (16th year)

2020 results: No season
2019 record: 8-7 (Lost, 3-1, to Calais in Class C state quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Maddy Vaillancourt (senior), Madilyn Onorato (junior)

Pivotal matches: Sept. 11 SUMNER, Sept. 18 JONESPORT-BEALS, Oct. 9 @ Bucksport, Oct. 9 @ Jonesport-Beals

Coach’s comment: “Last year, we played intramurals on the tennis court and graduated seven seniors, so this is a brand new team.  They’re smart, committed, hard workers and I am looking forward to a successful season with them.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA didn’t get to compete in a traditional season last year and has its share of question marks as a new season dawns, but the Panthers have been a perennial playoff team and that consistency figures to continue this fall.

Vaillancourt returns and can play setter, opposite or even libero. Onorato is another veteran who will be in the middle. senior Bella Moulton and juniors Laurel Buehner, Sarah English and Jessica Merrill will step right in and be key contributors.

The Panthers play teams from all three classes and will do their share of traveling in the weeks to come. By late October, NYA will be primed to give any potential Class C playoff foe fits and the future appears bright as well.

CROSS COUNTRY

Coaches:
(Boys) Peter Sillin (15th year, two state championships)
(Girls) Chris Mazzurco (21st year, one state championship)

2020 results: No state meet
2019 results
:
(Boys) 7th @ Class C state meet
(Girls) DNQ for Class C state meet (9th at regionals)

Top returners:
(Boys) Noah Hallward-Rough (senior), James Tourigny (senior), Caleb King (sophomore), Fynn MacCarthy (sophomore)

Coach Sillin’s comment: “This is an unusually inexperienced boys’ squad once we get past the returning seniors. A lot of our team results will depend on how the new guys respond to racing for the first time. The energy on the team is light and fun so far and I think that bodes well for team cohesion once the races and the practices start getting tougher. We’ve had a solid streak of qualifying for states in recent years that we’d like to keep up. This is James’ year to put his stamp on the team after running in the shadow of Chris Hamblett for several years. James has done a fair amount of running this summer and seems to be in a good place to show some solid improvement this fall. Noah is also back in camp stronger and fitter than ever. He is the quiet leader of the team and I can count on his leadership. The girls’ team is hoping to find another classmate or two to join us before the season starts so we can score as a team.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: North Yarmouth Academy has a small but talented program this fall.

The boys’ team will be led by Tourigny and Hallward-Rough, the veterans. King and MacCarthy look to make their mark and help the pack. Freshmen Leif MacCarthy, Chris Noreika and Timmy Taylor add depth. The Panthers have qualified for the past four (normal season) state meets and have the pieces in place to get there again.

On the girls’ side, senior Lila Ojakaar and sophomore Liv Urbanek ran last year, but are overcoming injuries. junior Harper Fremont-Smith shows early promise and freshman Olivia Hamilton could step in and impress. NYA is looking for steady growth and some encouraging individual performances this season.

GOLF

Coach: Charlie Hudson (10th year)

2020 results: (3rd @ Class C state match)

Top returners: Topher Prokopius (senior), Maddy Prokopius (sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We have a solid top four of two varsity returnees and two newcomers. Our likely competition for state qualifying is St. Dom’s and a much-improved Waynflete program.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: NYA had a strong season a year ago and finished as one of the best teams in Class C. This fall, the Panthers hope to make it back to states and have some individuals who could turn heads as well.

Topher Prokopius will move into one of the top spots this season. Maddy Prokopius was fourth at the Class C girls’ state meet in 2020 and should be a top player again. sophomores Nick Pelletier, a transfer from Lewiston, and Connor Wolverton should make an immediate impact, while former junior varsity players senior Aidan Lacombe, juniors Alden Hunold, Ethan Rapkin-Stiles and Ethan Schutz and sophomore Nate Oney are also vying for spots.

Only one Class C team from the Western Maine Conference qualifies for states and NYA will have its hands full fending off St. Dom’s and Waynflete, but if all goes well, the Panthers could do some big things again when October rolls around.

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

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