Talk about a memorable week.

Cross country and volleyball held their state championships, field hockey and soccer featured memorable quarterfinals and semifinals, while football’s postseason is also underway.

The best part of the fall sports season hasn’t disappointed, but it’s almost over, so don’t blink, you might miss it.

Here’s a glimpse at the entertaining week that was and how things stand as the calendar flips from October to November:

Cross country

The cross country state meet was held Saturday in rainy conditions in Belfast.

Portland’s boys’ squad, which won the regional championship the week before, tallied 143 points to finish fourth (Hampden Academy was first with 69 points), the program’s best finish since a third-place showing in 2007. The Bulldogs were led by sophomore Nathan Blades, who was 15th individually, with a time of 17 minutes, 17.64 seconds. Also scoring were Miles Fischer (18th, 17:35.9), Daniel Niles (24th, 17:41.31), Charlie Jacques (37th, 18:12.87) and George Theall (49th, 18:31.69).

Deering (295 points) was 14th. The Rams were paced by Alexey Seredin, who came in 12th in 17:10.10. Also scoring were Willem van Oosterum (52nd, 18:35.23), Sam Anderson (72nd, 19:09.9), Deven Abrams (74th, 19:15.62) and Asa Tussing (85th, 19:36.83).

In the Class A girls’ meet, won by Bonny Eagle with 51 points, Portland (181) placed seventh, its first top-10 finish since coming in seventh in 1998. The Bulldogs top finisher was freshman Samantha Moore (10th, 19:52.93). Also scoring were Tenley Flint (25th, 21:08.21), Alyssa Sigfridson (29th, 21:20.20), Greta Holmes (50th, 22:30.75) and Ava Chadbourne (67th, 23:30.76).

Cheverus (211) came in 10th. Annabelle Brooks was fourth individually in 19:34.67. Also scoring were Grace Turner (19th, 20:44.62), Leska Whitmarsh (43rd, 22:17.97), Bo Miller (68th, 23:33.18) and Mary Herman (77th, 24:04.04).

Deering didn’t score, but individual standout Megan Cunningham did produce the 10th-best time (19:50.2).

The Class C girls’ meet was won by Orono with 38 points. Waynflete (111) came in fifth. The Flyers were led by Blythe Thompson, who finished 16th in 22:27.89. Also scoring were Skylar Harris (18th, 22:42.06), Vivi Jenkins (24th, 23:04.63), Vera Shattuck (25th, 23:08.64) and Maeve Mechtenberg (28th, 23:47.68).

Orono also won the Class C boys’ title with 69 points. Waynflete (246) placed 11th. Scoring for the Flyers were Sawyer Linehan (35th, 19:01.81), Ben Duda (40th, 19:15.64), Eli Schair-Rigoletti (52nd, 20:33.45), Miguel Molina Ovalle (55th, 20:46.21) and Colton Nelson (64th, 21:50.59).

Portland’s boys’ team, along with Samantha Moore from the Bulldogs girls’ squad, Cheverus’ Annabelle Brooks and Deering’s Alexey Seredin and Megan Cunningham qualified for the New England championship meet Nov. 13 in Thetford, Vermont.


Portland and Cheverus’ football teams have advanced in their respective playoff brackets.

The Bulldogs, ranked first in Class B South after an 8-0 regular season, had no trouble with No. 8 Biddeford Friday in the quarterfinals, romping, 63-14, as they blew it open with a 27-point first quarter. A 5-yard touchdown run from Brandon Boyle broke the ice and before the frame was over, quarterback Grant Crosby found Kennedy Charles for a 31-yard score, Boyle scored on a 6-yard TD run and Nathan Isajar returned an interception 59 yards for a score. After Crosby kept the ball and broke away for a 50-yard touchdown and a 34-0 halftime lead, Crosby and Charles connected from 60 yards out, Crosby scored on a 10-yard dash and Sam Esposito scored from 3 yards out for a 55-0 advantage after three periods. After the Tigers scored a pair of touchdowns, Devin Hall’s 39-yard scoring run capped the scoring.

Portland hosts No. 4 Noble (7-2) Friday in the Class B South semifinals (see for game story). On Sept. 17, the host Bulldogs downed the Knights, 21-6. The teams split two prior playoff meetings, with a 27-7 Portland victory in the 2004 Western A semifinals the most recent.

In the eight-man large division, top-ranked, undefeated Cheverus, had no trouble advancing against No. 4 Lake Region, 44-0. No information was provided on the game. The Stags (6-0) play host to No. 2 Mt. Ararat (7-1), the reigning eight-man champion, in the regional final Saturday afternoon. Cheverus’ closest game of the year resulted in a 44-32 win at Eagles Oct. 1. The teams have playoff history.

Field hockey

Cheverus’ Lucy Johnson chases the ball during the Stags’ 7-0 win over Falmouth in Saturday’s Class A South field hockey semifinal. Johnson scored three goals in the victory. Carl D. Walsh / Portland Press Herald

Cheverus’ field hockey team continued the best season in program history last week with a pair of victories to put the Stags on the cusp of just their second-ever regional title.

Cheverus, ranked first in Class A South, took care of No. 8 Kennebunk, 5-1, in the quarterfinals, in a game played on Deering High’s turf, as freshman sensation Lucy Johnson and Taylor Tory both scored twice and Mackenzie Cash also rattled the cage. Saturday, in a 9:30 a.m. start on a rainy day, the Stags were even more impressive against fifth-ranked Falmouth in the semifinals, rolling to a shockingly decisive 7-0 victory.

Johnson scored twice in the first quarter and Olivia McCartney added a goal as well for a quick 3-0 lead. Johnson completed her hat trick in the third period and her older sister, Lily Johnson, who assisted on two earlier goals, got in the on the fun, scoring twice on corners, the first from senior Norah Slattery and the second from freshman Lillian Magda, to make it 6-0. Cheverus tacked on a goal from freshman Zoey Radford in the final stanza, assisted by Lucy Johnson, to finish it off.

The Johnsons had a hand in all seven goals and the Stags improved to 16-0.

“We had so much energy the whole game and our teammates on the sidelines were so supportive,” Lily Johnson said. “The coaches gave us positive feedback and that all helped us. I’m not surprised we’re 16-0. We’ve grown so much.

“We had a lot of energy this morning. We came together as a team and got pumped up. We communicated very well on the corners.”

“Today was a great example of us playing together as a team,” added Cheverus coach Theresa Hendrix. “The girls are so coachable and are able to focus on playing the game. They came out and put into the game what we worked on in practice.”

The Stags advanced to the Class A South Final where they will battle No. 2 Scarborough (16-1) Wednesday at Freeport High School, at a time to be announced.

Cheverus edged Scarborough in the teams’ regular season meeting Sept. 16, on Lucy Johnson’s goal and a smothering defensive effort. The Red Storm have won three of four prior playoff meetings, with a 2-0 victory in the 2018 Class A South quarterfinals the most recent.

“It’s just one game at a time,” Hendrix said. “We talk about the process and having an opportunity to just play. Scarborough’s a really good team. They play well together. We’ll focus on what we can bring and on playing together from the start.”

If the Stags move on to the Class A state final for the first time since 2010 and just the second time ever, they will face either perennial champion Skowhegan (16-0) or Oxford Hills (11-5). Cheverus lost to Skowhegan, 3-0, in the 2010 state final. The Stags have no playoff history with the Vikings.

“We’ve done so well this season and I don’t want it to end,” Lucy Johnson said.

The North Yarmouth Academy/Waynflete co-op team, ranked third in Class C South, finished 10-5 after a 6-1 loss to sixth-seeded Lisbon in the quarterfinals last week. The squad struck first, on a goal from Greta Tod, but an injury to standout Emilia McKenney hindered the effort and a five-goal Greyhounds’ outburst in the third period broke the game open.

“This group has been phenomenal to work with,” said NYA/Waynflete coach Annika King. “They’ve worked so hard to get to this point. We have a strong senior class and we’re fortunate to have their talent and their skill and their overall strength in so many ways. It will be hard to lose that, but we’re grateful for what we had.”

As for NYA/Waynflete, considering it didn’t even compete a year ago during the COVID season and had to incorporate players from two schools on the fly this fall, its season was an overwhelming success.

The future is bright as well.

“I’m excited to keep moving forward and excited about our eighth grade class coming up,” King said. “We’ll be ready to work hard.”

Boys’ soccer

Waynflete senior Samir Sayed plays the ball during the Flyers’ 4-1 victory Friday in a Class C South semifinal. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team was once again one of the last squads standing at press time.

The Flyers, who won Class C in 2018 and 2019 and would have been an overwhelming favorite to three-peat had there been a postseason during the COVID-shortened campaign of 2020, were preparing to play in the regional final at press time.

Waynflete, ranked second in Class C South, began its playoff run last Wednesday with a 2-0 victory over No. 10 Sacopee Valley in a quarterfinal-round game played on the turf at Deering High. Nils Burton-Johanson and Henry Hart scored the goals. Friday, the Flyers returned to Deering to meet No. 3 Lisbon in the semifinals. Waynflete hit the post, lost top defender Dana Bigelow to injury and fell behind early, but roared back, as Hart set up Matt Adey for the tying goal, and in the second half, Samir Sayed, Jasper Curtis and Jacob Woodman all scored for a 4-1 victory.

“The only difference in the second half was more communication and our passes were a little more accurate,” Sayed said.

“We had so many chances in the first 10 minutes, but I knew we wouldn’t go without scoring and I knew we’d get back in the game,” Adey said.

“We enjoy playing from ahead more than from behind, but we’ve shown we can come back a few times this year,” added Waynflete’s veteran coach Brandon Salway. “I thought Lisbon was great today. Credit to them. We really had to earn it.”

The Flyers had a showdown versus top-ranked Mt. Abram (15-0-2) in the Class C South Final, which was held Tuesday in Lewiston (see for game story). The teams didn’t play this year. Waynflete beat Mt. Abram in all four prior encounters, with a 2-0 win in the 2018 Class C South semifinals the most recent.

“I want to win this badly for our seniors,” Adey said. “A lot of them don’t know what it’s like to win a state championship, so for their last game, I want them to know what it feels like to win one.”

“Mt. Abram is really outstanding,” Salway said. “They’re really dangerous up top. They’re creative. I feel we’ll have to play even better than we did (against Lisbon).”

If the Flyers reach the Class C state final, they’ll travel to Presque Isle Saturday to take on Orono (13-0-1) or Fort Kent 14-2). Waynflete beat Fort Kent, 3-1, in the 2018 state game and has no history with Orono.

Portland, the No. 8 seed in Class A South, which beat No. 9 Cheverus in overtime in the preliminary round (1-0), saw its season end Thursday with a tough 3-2 loss at top-ranked Windham. The Bulldogs took a 2-1 halftime lead on goals from Brady Toher and Ben DiYenno, but couldn’t hold it as their season ended at 10-6.

Girls’ soccer

Waynflete’s Emily Girard fights for a ball during last week’s 1-0 upset win over top-ranked Hall-Dale in a Class C South quarterfinal. Joe Phelan / Kennebec Journal

The girls’ soccer season has come to an end in Portland.

Waynflete, ranked just eighth in Class C South, made a spirited run to the semifinals. After blanking No. 9 Madison, 7-0, in the preliminary round, the Flyers went to Lewiston High last Thursday to meet top-ranked, undefeated Hall-Dale and Waynflete sprung a 1-0 upset, as Lucy Hart scored the goal.

“Our defense has been great all year, really strong,” Hart said. “Especially (today). They did a really great job keeping it away when they needed to.”

“We play in a tough conference, so we know we’re usually better than our record shows,” said Carrie Earls, who co-coaches Waynflete with George Sherry. “I think that was clear (today). We just didn’t want (Hall-Dale) to be comfortable at all. We wanted to continuously put pressure on the ball. They know how to play soccer, we just wanted to disrupt their flow and put pressure on the ball.”

The Flyers then lost, 1-0, to No. 4 Traip Academy in a semifinal round game played Saturday in Dover, New Hampshire, to finish the year 10-7. Goalkeeper Jesse Connors made five saves in defeat.

In Class A South, Cheverus, the No. 6 seed, which downed No. 11 Bonny Eagle, 2-1, in the preliminary round, was eliminated Thursday at No. 3 Gorham, 3-0, to finish 10-6.

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

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