BASEBALL

Senior Bennett Smith will be an ace pitcher for Falmouth’s talented baseball team this spring. File photos

Coach: Mike D’Andrea (second year)

2021 record: 15-4 (Lost, 3-1, to Thornton Academy in Class A South semifinals)

Top returning players: Brady Coyne (Senior), Bennett Smith (Senior), Dom Tracy (Senior), Eli Cowperthwaite (Junior), Ethan Hendry (Sophomore), Brennan Rumpf (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 28 @ Portland, May 7 THORNTON ACADEMY, May 12 @ Cheverus, May 14 SCARBOROUGH, May 19 GORHAM, May 24 @ South Portland

Coach’s comment: “I think we’ll be solid and we’ll be able to compete. We lost our top four hitters from last year, but we have a lot of good arms and some depth. I think with our pitching depth we’ll have a shot. We have to make the plays and we can’t make mistakes. We’re hoping to win it.”

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The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth was very strong in D’Andrea’s first season and in his second year, the Navigators hope to make a run at the top spot.

Falmouth had to say goodbye to league all-stars Sean Dilworth, Gus Ford and Sam Kidder, but there is talent in reserve. Smith, a first-team all-conference selection in 2021, will be the ace pitcher. He’ll also see time at third base. Cowperthwaite (an honorable mention selection last spring), Rumpf and Tracy will also see time on the mound, as will senior Patrick Gill. Hendry returns behind the plate after a strong freshman campaign. The infield is led by first-team all-star Coyne at shortstop. Rumpf will see time at second base, Gill at first and junior Mitchell Ham can play multiple positions. Cowperthwaite is joined in the outfield by junior Miles Gay and senior Eban Daniels.

The Navigators will hold opposing bats at bay. If the team can get consistent enough hitting, or if D’Andrea can generate enough runs with his aggressive coaching style, Falmouth will be right there chasing the top teams in the region. By the time the postseason rolls around, this squad will have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with anyone.

SOFTBALL 

Coach: James Coffey (third year)

2021 record: 4-14 (Lost, 17-0, in five-innings to Windham in Class A South quarterfinals)

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Top returning players: Emily Charest (Senior), Maddy Cooney (Senior), Olivia Rogers (Senior), Miranda Birks (Junior), Eva Chace (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 29 PORTLAND, May 2 @ South Portland, May 4 SCARBOROUGH, May 9 THORNTON ACADEMY, May 11 @ Biddeford, May 13 WINDHAM, May 16 @ Cheverus

Coach’s comment: “Hopefully, we’ll build on our momentum from last year. The seniors were freshmen when I took the program over. We have a good mix of veterans and younger players who could be pretty good. We went 0-16 (in 2019), then went 4-14 last year. The goal this year is to win more than last year and make noise in the playoffs.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth only won four games last spring, but it was the fourth victory which turned heads around the state. Given no chance against three-time reigning state champion Scarborough in the preliminary round of the Class A South playoffs, Falmouth somehow sprung the upset on the Red Storm’s field for one of the biggest wins in program history. Now, the Navigators want to make victory a regular occurrence.

The team will rely on junior Izzy Malloy and freshman Ventura Van Zandt to lead the way on the mound. Sophomore Tabby Worthen will be the catcher. Chace, who plays first base, is the top returning hitter after batting .325 in 2021, when she was an honorable mention league all-star. Birks (.250 last season), Cooney and Rogers (.233 a year ago) will also see time in the infield. Charest anchors the outfield.

Falmouth has some holes to fill and some questions to answer and there will be a learning curve this season, but the program’s upside is high. The Navigators no longer hope to win, but expect to do so. Look for this year’s team to continue to rise up the standings.

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BOYS’ LACROSSE

Senior Jay Thomas is a top returner for a Falmouth boys’ lacrosse team seeking to return to the Class A state final.

Coach: Dave Barton (fifth year, 46-15 overall record)

2021 record: 11-5 (Lost, 19-6, to Cape Elizabeth in Class A state final)

Top returning players: Cooper Bush (Senior), Robby Drum (Senior), Xavier Grenier (Senior), Rory Skillin-Lanou (Senior), Jay Thomas (Senior), Ben Wentworth (Senior), Drew Noyes (Junior), Caden Barnard (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 23 THORNTON ACADEMY, April 27 @ Gorham, May 2 CAPE ELIZABETH, June 3 @ Scarborough

Coach’s comment: “It’s such a fun group. We lost a lot from last year, but we bring back most of our defense and we have three senior attack. There’s a lot to learn, but we have good leaders. We get so much better every day in practice. We have five freshmen on varsity. Most years I only have one. We’ll get better throughout the year. We hope to be there on the last day.”

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The Forecaster’s forecast: The last game notwithstanding, 2021 was another terrific season for Falmouth. This year’s squad has some shoes to fill, but rest assured, by June, the Navigators will be the favorite in Class A North yet again.

Offensively, Drum, Grenier, Skillin-Lanou and Thomas figure to score an abundance of goals. The midfield is young and features Barnard, who was an all-star as a freshman. You’ll also be hearing about senior Nick Fishman, sophomores Cole Allen and Torin Svedlow and freshmen Gio Guerette and Joey Guerette soon enough. Fishman and Svedlow will take faceoffs. On defense, Bush and Wentworth (an all-star last spring) are seasoned and freshman Indy Backman is poised to make an immediate impact. Noyes returns in goal and will be one of the best around.

The schedule is daunting, especially early, but Falmouth welcomes the opportunities to learn and improve. Getting to the final Saturday of the season hasn’t been a problem for the Navigators. Taking the final step has been. While Cape Elizabeth remains the prohibitive favorite, don’t overlook this proud Falmouth squad.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Junior Sydney Shiben is a top returning defender for Falmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team, which fell one goal shy of a state title last spring.

Coach: Ashley Pullen (fourth year, 39-7, two state championships)

2021 record: 12-4 (Lost, 9-8, to Kennebunk in Class A state final)

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Top returning players: Whitney Adams (Senior), Kinsey Barry (Senior), Molly Scribner (Senior), Sloane Ginevan (Junior), Patty Riley (Junior), Brooke Saulter (Junior), Sydney Shiben (Junior), Peaches Stucker (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 22 YARMOUTH, April 26 @ Kennebunk, May 12 @ Scarborough, May 18 WINDHAM

Coach’s comment: “I like this group and its potential. Our energy is really good and it’s good to be out there. We still have some work to do. We hope to have a balanced offense. I’m all about having top competition in Class A. It forces us to work harder. Last year motivates these girls.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: After winning the program’s first state titles in 2018 and 2019 and missing out on a season altogether due to COVID in 2020, Falmouth nearly reached the pinnacle again last spring, but lost a thriller to Kennebunk in the state game. The Navigators lost Eva Clement, one of the finest players in program history and a clutch goal scorer extraordinaire, to graduation, but plenty of talent remains and Falmouth will be battling deep into the season yet again.

Ginevan was sensational and was an all-star in her first high school season a year ago, but she’ll miss the start of this campaign due to an injury suffered in the preseason. Ginevan, when she’s on the field, is almost unstoppable, as she can win draws, possess the ball, feed teammates and score with regularity. While Ginevan is out, look for Barry and Stucker to handle the draws. Up top, the Navigators can rely on Adams and Scribner to score. Junior Addy Tolley will also be in the scoring mix, while freshman Maisy Clement, Eva’s younger sister, debuts and will be heard from as well. On defense, Saulter and Shiben are veterans in front of Riley, who really came on as the 2021 season progressed and made some huge saves in the postseason. Freshman Amelia Brann will also see some time between the pipes. Other newcomers of note include junior defender Teagan Barry, sophomore defender Mallory Kerr and freshman Maeve Ginevan, Sloane’s sister.

The Navigators open the season with the two teams most likely to be standing in their way come June, Yarmouth (which is new to Class A this spring) and Kennebunk. Falmouth will need to get up to speed quickly and even if there are some hiccups, rest assured that it will be at its best when it matters most. In June. When champions are crowned. If all goes well, the Navigators could be celebrating on the Fitzpatrick Stadium turf.

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OUTDOOR TRACK

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

2021 results:

(Boys) 4th @ Class A state meet
(Girls) 7th @ Class A state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Charlie Adams (Senior), Will Addison (Senior), Andrew Christie (Senior)  Eli Grover (Senior), Ryan Gray (Senior), Kevin Lu (Senior), Logan Ross (Senior), Joey Rouhana (Senior), Kaleb Barrett (Junior), Finn Caxton-Smith (Junior), Miles Woodbury (Junior)

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(Girls) Lila Findlay (Senior), Fiona Hanrahan (Junior), Samantha Gaudet (Sophomore), Bella Koepsell (Sophomore), Ruby Prentiss (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “The boys cover a good range of events with experience and should be competitive throughout the season. With experience being a strong point, we are aiming for late season success and the team has built a good base with preseason workouts and weight room time. They’re excited to compete. The girls have graduated a lot of top talent, but we have a lot of newcomers and it should be a fun season. The focus will be on building experience and confidence. The girls have worked hard and the good spring conditions have allowed us to get some good work in so far.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth’s outdoor teams again boast an abundance of talented athletes.

Despite losing some key contributors from a year ago, the boys’ squad will be among the best in Class A, battling the likes of Scarborough, Gorham and South Portland. The Navigators will be very strong in the sprints, as Adams and Christie return from a state champion 4×100 relay team. They’re joined by Addison and Caxton-Smith (seventh in 100 last season). Lu is a top hurdler. Gray (seventh in the 400 in 2021), Ross (third in the two-mile last year), Rouhana and Woodbury are veteran distance runners. Freshman Chris Jaynes joins the team and will provide depth in the longer races. In field events, Grover (seventh in the discus last season) is a returning thrower and he’s joined by sophomore Olin Archer and freshmen George Klatsky and Avery Park-Morong. Barrett, Gray and Rouhana look to score in the jumps.

On the girls’ side, replacing the points from distance standouts Sofie Matson and Karley Piers won’t be easy. This year’s team will feature Findlay and Hanrahan in the longer races, along with freshman Haley Barrett. Koepsell is a top returning sprinter who is joined by junior Abbie Ford and freshmen Skylar Bush, Caroline Davis, Allie Sweetser and Dahlia Verrill. Throwers Gaudet and Prentiss are top field athletes.

BOYS’ TENNIS

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Coach: Bob McCully (50th year, 12 state championships)

2021 record: 10-5 (Lost, 5-0, to Kennebunk in Class A South semifinals)

Top returning players: Karl Chamberlain (Sophomore), Daniel Kim (Sophomore), Raymond Li (Sophomore), Marcus McLain (Sophomore), TJ Rhoades (Sophomore), Jack Verrill (Sophomore), Charlie Wolak (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We are very young. We improved throughout the season last year and kept improving in the offseason. Having a strong number one and a lot of good athletes and great guys should lead to a rewarding season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth fell short of the regional final round a year ago for the first time since 2013, but that figures to be an aberration and a very young but extremely promising squad is poised to do big things this spring.

Freshman Sam Yoon projects to play first singles and he will likely quickly become a household name. The sophomore contingent of Chamberlain, Kim, Li, McLain, Rhoades, Verrill and Wolak not only can play singles or doubles, but will provide a solid core for the next three seasons.

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Falmouth has a promising present and a very strong future and as far as the Navigators are concerned, the future is now. You better beat this team while you can because trips to the regional final and state final figure to become a regular occurrence once again.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Junior Elise Gearan is one of many top returners for Falmouth’s girls’ tennis team, which hopes to return to the pinnacle this spring.

Coach: Larry Nichols (second year)

2021 record: 15-1 (Lost, 3-2, to Brunswick in Class A state final)

Top returning players: Natalie Glockler (Senior), Marissa LeFevre (Senior), Liv McHugh (Senior), Avery Quinn (Senior), Elise Gearan (Junior), Gracyn Mick (Sophomore), Charlotte Williamson (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “I hope for all members of our program to improve in multiple areas each week and for us to return to the state final.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth carries a 153-match regular season win streak into the 2022 campaign, but the Navigators are seeking their first state championship since 2018 after losing to Scarborough in the 2019 regional final, having the 2020 season wiped out by COVID, then falling to Brunswick in the state match last spring. This year’s squad, even without many veterans, is ready to return to the pinnacle.

Mick, a second-team league all-star in 2021, will play number one singles, even though she’s still rehabbing from a foot injury as the season dawns. Glockler and Williamson project to also play singles. LeFevre and Quinn were doubles all-stars last spring and are in the mix for doubles spots, along with Gearan and McHugh. Also looking to break into the rotation are junior Audrey Holland, sophomores Adele Gamage, Avery Matthews, Mary McPheeters and Jenna Nunley and freshmen Gwen Long and Addie Morneault.

Falmouth will be tested this year, both in the regular season and in the postseason, but come June, this program will be poised to return to the pinnacle. The Navigators know it won’t come easily, but don’t bet against them.

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

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