BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Senior Brady Coyne will play a huge role in Falmouth’s success this winter. File photo.

Coach: Dave Halligan (35th year, 545-139 overall record, six state championships)

2019-20 record: 16-5 (Lost, 52-34, to York in Class A South Final)
2020-21 record
: 7-1 (no postseason, COVID)

Top returning players: Brady Coyne (Senior), Jack Stowell (Senior), Judd Armstrong (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 14 @ Kennebunk, Dec. 17 MARSHWOOD, Dec. 21 @ South Portland, Jan. 6 GORHAM, Jan. 11 @ Greely, Jan. 14 @ Marshwood, Jan. 21 @ Portland, Jan. 28 THORNTON ACADEMY, Feb. 10 KENNEBUNK

Coach’s comment: “We’ve had a good preseason. We played a AA schedule last year and that helped us prepare for this year. We hope it will pay off. We have good veterans and some good scorers. It’s nice to have our top scorers as seniors. We have more depth than we’ve had in recent years. A lot of opponents will be new for us. We hope to be one of the final teams standing. We have the players to do it. It’ll come down to how much better the younger kids get.”

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The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth made the most of its limited season a year ago, playing top Class AA foes from the area and winning every game but one. This winter, a full season, plus postseason is in store and the Navigators believe they can make a deep tournament run and it’s easy to see why.

Coyne returns at the point and will be a matchup nightmare. He can run, distribute and is deadly from the perimeter. Stowell is another veteran who can play multiple positions and make shots. Armstrong is a star on the rise. He’ll see time at guard and forward. Falmouth has some size too, in 6-foot-6 sophomore center Chris Simonds, 6-4 senior forward/center Zach Morrill (who missed last season with injury) and senior center Cooper Bush, the football standout. Junior guard Lucas Dilworth returns to the program from Cheverus and he will be instrumental to the team’s success as well.

The Navigators don’t have many easy games on the schedule and again, they’ll see their share of Class AA powers along the way. The opportunity to do great things awaits. Look for Falmouth to learn from its regular season challenges and be primed to make a title run when February arrives.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Falmouth junior Sloane Ginevan will be the focal point of opposing defenses all winter. File photo.

Coach: Dawn Armandi (fifth year, 30-39 overall record)

2019-20 record: 12-8 (Lost, 42-24, to Marshwood in Class A South semifinals)
2020-21 record
: 5-5 (no postseason, COVID)

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Top returning players: Sloan Ginevan (Junior), Anna Turgeon (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 21 SOUTH PORTLAND, Dec. 23 @ Brunswick, Jan. 6 @ Gorham, Jan. 11 GREELY, Jan. 25 BRUNSWICK, Jan. 28 @ Thornton Academy

Coach’s comment: “We’re super-young, no seniors. We’re not big, but we’re super-athletic. We’re still working out the kinks, but I’m hopeful we’ll be in the right place by the end of the season. We anticipate that teams will try to shut Sloane down, so the more flexible we can be, the better off we’ll be. I think it will be a pretty even league. This could be the best team I’ve had so far. We have high goals and we want it all to click at the end.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Two years after a surprise run to the Class A South quarterfinals and one year removed from a COVID-abbreviated, competitive campaign, Falmouth is gearing up for what could be the program’s best season in ages. The pieces are certainly in place to do special things, but the Navigators will be tested by many tough foes from Class A and Class AA.

Junior Anna Turgeon is another key returner for the Navigators. File photo.

Falmouth will be led by its two standouts. Ginevan, the point guard who can play multiple positions, has already verbally committed to playing lacrosse at Notre Dame, but is pretty amazing on the hardwood as well, averaging nearly 21 points per game a season ago. Turgeon, meanwhile, can get the job done inside and out. The opposition will focus on limiting their damage, but the Navigators have ample firepower in reserve. Sophomore Maddy Christman will play center, but this team will be guard-oriented, looking to score in transition and knocking down long shots. Helping that cause will be junior Katie Lozoraitis and sophomore Emily Abbott, who both transfer back to Falmouth from Cheverus, juniors Justine Means and Heather “Peaches” Stucker and sophomores Leah Cunningham and Reese Farraher.

The Navigators will need to consistently score in the halfcourt if the opposition can take away their transition game and they’ll need to make outside shots with regularity to be successful against top foes, but there is reason to believe Falmouth can do that and more. The last time the Navigators reached a regional final was 14 years ago. This year’s squad has the ability to end that drought and perhaps take it another triumphant, unprecedented step.

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BOYS’ HOCKEY

Falmouth junior Mitchell Ham will be a top scoring threat this winter. File photo.

Coach: Deron Barton (11th year, 124-65-5 overall record, two state championships)

2019-20 record: 7-11-1 (Lost, 5-4, in overtime, to Bangor in Class A state preliminary round)
2020-21 record
: 5-6 (no postseason, COVID)

Top returning players: Charlie Adams (Senior), Nick Fischetto (Senior), Xavier Grenier (Senior), Sean McDonald (Senior), Rory Skillin-Lanou (Senior), Dominic Tracy (Senior), Sam Belliveau (Junior), Mitchell Ham (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 11 @ SP/Freeport/Waynflete, Dec. 14 BIDDEFORD, Dec. 18 CAPE ELIZABETH, Dec. 30 @ Biddeford, Jan. 1 @ Greely, Jan. 5 @ Edward Little, Jan. 15 LEWISTON, Jan. 20 PORTLAND/DEERING, Jan. 27 @ Cheverus/Yarmouth, Jan. 29 @ Lewiston, Feb. 5 EDWARD LITTLE, Feb. 10 SCARBOROUGH, Feb. 22 @ Scarborough

Coach’s comment: “We’re excited to be back and we have a great schedule. We’re young, but we’re talented. We have good numbers, including 12 freshmen and nine sophomores. We have maturity up front, on defense and in net and we have a great supporting cast. We want to make a deep run. That’s a realistic expectation, even if we’re young.”

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The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth only won 11 games combined in 2018-19 and 2019-20 and was poised to return to form a year ago, but COVID shortened the season and wiped out the postseason. The Navigators did gain some valuable experience, however, which should pay dividends this winter.

While the loss of last year’s Winter Athlete of the Year Owen Drummey will be felt, Falmouth still boasts plenty of firepower on offense. The first line features Adams, Grenier and Ham and will be tough to match up with. The Navigators have plenty more in reserve, as the second line includes Belliveau, Fischetto and Skillin-Lanou and the third line will be manned by sophomores Andrew Belliveau and Rowan Hagerty and freshman Thomas Healey. Falmouth has tremendous depth on the defensive side too. McDonald and Tracy are the seasoned veterans. They’re joined by sophomores Caden Barnard and Theo Kowalski and freshmen Isaac Laliberte and Jack Turgeon. Junior Chase Bevan starts the season in goal. Freshman Brandon White will also see time.

As always, the Navigators’ schedule is daunting and there will be some growing pains as the team gets back in the swing of playing a full schedule in front of fans. Falmouth will score a lot of goals, will be stingy on the defensive end and will get steady goalkeeping. By February, the Navigators should be clicking on all cylinders and it could all result in a deep playoff run.

GIRLS’ HOCKEY

Coach: Rob Carrier (13th year, 133-84-9 overall record)

2019-20 record: 5-14 (Lost, 4-1, to Cheverus in South Region quarterfinals)
2020-21 record
: 1-7 (no postseason, COVID)

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Top returning players: Kate Kinley (Senior), Morgan Adams (Sophomore), Eva Chace (Sophomore), Trinity Grenier (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Dec. 11 CHEVERUS, Dec. 18 CAPE/SP/WAYNFLETE, Jan. 1 @ Greely, Jan. 5 @ Cheverus, Jan. 10 @ Scarborough, Jan. 15 LEWISTON, Jan. 27 @ Cape/SP/Waynflete

Coach’s comment: “We need to play at a consistently high level. We’ve had trouble with that the past couple years and it’s hurt us. We have solid ‘D’ and quality goaltending, we just need to find some scoring. I think we’ll be playing a lot of close games and if we can pull out some wins, I think we could win a playoff game or two.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth is primed to climb back toward top contender status in the South Region this winter. The Navigators opened with a 4-3 victory over Yarmouth/Freeport, then were blanked by Scarborough, 4-0.

Falmouth has talent all over the ice. The Navigators are solid in goal behind senior Whitney Adams and freshman Ella Wiley, who stopped 34 shots on Opening Night. Defensively, Morgan Adams and Chace (who had a goal in the first game), along with freshman Amelia Brann, will look to stymie the opposition. On offense, Kinley leads the way. She scored twice and added a pair of assists against Yarmouth/Freeport. Grenier and freshman Audrey Farnham will also be heard from when it comes to putting the puck in the net.

While Falmouth faces the daunting task of having to contend with regional powers Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland, Cheverus and Scarborough, it believes it can play with those teams. The Navigators should show steady improvement, will make a run at a winning record and could be a team that will give the opposition fits when the playoffs begin.

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INDOOR TRACK

Coach: Jorma Kurry (22nd year, six state championships)

2019-20 results: Boys’ 8th @ Class A state meet; Girls’ 13th @ Class A state meet
2020-21 results
: No postseason (COVID)

Top returners:

(Boys) Will Addison (Senior), Owen Davis (Senior), Eli Grover (Senior) Logan Ross (Senior), Miles Spelman (Senior), Jackson Boyd (Junior), Declan Frueh (Junior), Miles Woodbury (Junior),

(Girls) Fiona Hanrahan (Junior)

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Coach’s comment “The boys will be competitive this season based on our sprints and distance strength. We’ll continue to develop throwers and jumpers as the season goes on. If we stay healthy and focused, we’ll achieve some strong results this season. The girls’ team will be looking to build numbers and versatility. We don’t cover many events, but we’ll be trying new ones and preparing for outdoor track. It’s a very young team with a positive attitude and good work ethic. We’ll continue to make progress as the season goes on.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth is eager to return to action this season and the Navigators will boast a very strong boys’ squad with the girls’ team looking to show steady improvement in the weeks to come.

The boys are led by distance standout Ross. Frueh and Woodbury add depth in the longer races. In the middle distance, look for new junior Miles Gay (who will also compete in the hurdles) to make a mark. The sprint contingent features Addison, Boyd, new junior Finn Caxton-Smith and freshmen Griffin Parr and Max Shapiro. Spelman and junior Kaleb Barrett will be top jumpers and Davis and Grover look to score in the throws.

On the girls’ side, Hanrahan is a veteran in the distance events and could be a top scorer. After that, a group of untested athletes hope to step in and make a mark. Junior hurdler Hillary Carroll, sophomores Samantha Gaudet (throws), Bella Koepsell (sprints) and Ruby Prentiss (throws), along with freshmen Gwen Curran (sprints and hurdles) and Dahlia Verrill (sprints), could all become familiar names in the weeks to come.

SWIMMING

Senior Patrick Gill will be a top freestyler for Falmouth’s boys’ swim team this season. File photo.

Coach: Boomer Druchniak (first year)

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2019-20 results: Boys’ 5th @ Class A state meet; Girls’ 6th @ Class A state meet
2020-21 results
: No season (COVID)

Top returners:

(Boys) Patrick Gill (Senior), Will Porter (Junior)

(Girls) Amalie Bowden (Junior), Katrina Waite (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “Our goals at the beginning of the season have been to get in the water and regain our confidence and to rebuild the positive team environment that the team has had had in the past. My goal as a coach this year is to chase success and give the kids a season that feels as normal as possible. We do have a really talented team, especially on the boys’ side. Our boys’ team has a lot of depth and we have the top-tier swimmers needed to achieve top three finishes at big meets. The upperclassmen are already looking ahead to states and Southwesterns and I anticipate a competitive meet at both events. We also have a large freshman class of six boys who I expect to fill out our depth even further as the season progresses. The girls were hit very hard with graduating seniors in the past two seasons. We are fortunate to have an extremely talented diver, Jillian James, to help bolster our points at meets where she can compete. We have few seniors and underclassmen, but many juniors, so we are very focused on building the proper foundation for ending the season with strong individual performances and having top-tier seasons in the future. My focus is on getting to know the team as individuals and integrating myself and my program to a new district and group of swimmers. The team is focused on building a positive and encouraging environment where everyone feels comfortable and is able to learn, grow and chase success. If we can achieve those goals and train hard while we do it, we will be set up for an incredible season and have set a great foundation for future ones.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth has a new coach this winter in Druchniak, who replaces Betsy Perron. The Navigators had an incomplete 2020-21 campaign and are excited to have a chance to compete again in big meets this winter where they should do very well.

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The boys’ squad features returnees Porter (third in the both the 200 individual medley and 100 backstroke as a freshman) and Gill (eighth in the 50 freestyle and the 100 backstroke at the 2020 Class A state meet). Sean Lowery will be heard from as well in the freestyle.

On the girls’ side, Bowden (distance freestyle) and Waite (distance freestyle) are top returners. Both took part in the state meet as freshmen. New diver Jillian James could enjoy a lot of success very quickly.

ALPINE SKIING

Coach: Janelle Day (first year)

2019-20 results: Boys’ Class A state champion; Girls’ 5th @ Class A state meet
2020-21 results
: No season (COVID)

Top returners:

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(Boys) Andrew Christie (Senior), Caleb Labbe (Senior)

(Girls) Emily Girard (Senior), Celia Geci (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “This year, we are looking forward to connecting more as a team, hitting the snow and having fun racing. Our returning skiers are ready to get out there and earn some (personal records) and our new folks, especially those new to racing, are looking forward to learning the ropes and tearing it up.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth has a new coach this year in Day, who replaces longtime coach Tip Kimball. The Navigators have a few veterans returning and a lot of skiers ready to step in and make an impact.

The boys are led by Labbe, whose 15th-place finish in the giant slalom at the 2020 Class A state meet helped Falmouth take the title. Christie is another veteran for a squad which should show steady improvement this winter.

On the girls’ side, Geci (sixth in the slalom and seventh in the GS two years ago) and Girard (45th in the slalom and 55th in the GS in 2020) are key returners. If some younger skiers can step in and post solid times, the Navigators will be one of the best squads throughout.

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NORDIC SKIING

Senior Joey Rouhana and his Falmouth teammates hope to defend their state title this winter. File photo.

Coach: Troy Barry (first year)

2019-20 results: Boys’ Class A state champion; Girls’ 4th @ Class A state meet
2020-21 results
: No season (COVID)

Top returners:

(Boys) Ryan Gray (Senior), Joey Rouhana (Senior), Isaac Seeker (Junior)

(Girls) Ava Dries (Senior), Lila Findlay (Senior), Teagan Barry (Junior)

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Coach’s comment: “Our goals are to train hard and have fun. Following a year almost zero Nordic events, the kids are excited to be working towards racing again. Ultimately, the kids are motivated and working hard to be prepared and want to do well at regionals and states.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth has long been a Nordic power and you can expect that continue this winter as Barry, with assistance from Kate Lynch, takes over the program.

The boys’ squad seeks another state title and will be led by Gray, who was fourth in the classic and fifth in the freestyle at the 2020 Class A state meet, and Rouhana (fifth in the freestyle and ninth in the classic two years ago). Seeker should play a key role as well. A couple of promising freshmen, Finn Gray and Chris Jaynes, add depth and should also contribute to the cause.

On the girls’ side, the loss of graduated standout Eva Clement will be felt, but the Navigators have a strong nucleus in reserve in the form of Dries (12th in the freestyle and 16th in the classic two years ago), Findlay (33rd in the freestyle and 37th in the classic in 2020) and Barry (36th in the classic and 38th in the freestyle two years ago). Junior Abby Murdick will also be heard from. Sophomore Sydney Young and freshmen Maisy Clement, Zora DeSilva, Kate Retheford and Elise Tardiff are the program’s future and they might just contribute in the here and now as well.

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

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