Ah, the certainties of spring.

Fickle weather, allergies and Waynflete’s boys’ tennis team winning a Class C state title.

And now that the Flyers have made it 14 in a row, summer can’t be far behind.

A week chock full of playoff action just came and went, and while most city teams suffered disappointing losses, there were some silver linings.

The spring sports season wraps up Saturday and its postseason hasn’t lacked for drama.

Here’s a refresher:



Waynflete’s Ed Cox hits a shot during the No. 1 doubles match as the Flyers beat Van Buren/Wisdom Saturday for their 14th straight state title. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

As has been the case every year since 2008 (with the exception of 2020, when the complete spring sports season was wiped out by COVID), Waynflete’s boys’ tennis team has worn a bulls-eye, but still managed to win the Class C state title.

This year’s squad was 8-4 in the regular season, losing twice to eventual Class B repeat champion Yarmouth and twice to Class B South runner-up Greely, but the Flyers wouldn’t be denied once the playoffs began. As the No. 4 seed in Class C South, Waynflete ousted No. 5 Mountain Valley and No. 1 Madison by 5-0 scores, then held off No. 7 North Yarmouth Academy, 3-2, in last Tuesday’s regional final. Theo Demetriou won at third singles, 6-0, 6-1, Henry Hart and Ed Cox prevailed at first doubles, 6-3, 6-0, and Jeff Adey and Charlie DiNapoli were victorious at second singles, 6-4, 6-2. Henry Kerr lost his first singles match to Bryce Poulin, 6-1, 3-6, 6-10, and Matt Adey was defeated at second singles by Noah Silander, 3-6, 4-6.

“(NYA) played well,” Jeff Adey said. “They made us make mistakes. But once we calmed down and figured out what they were doing, we were on track.”

Waynflete’s Henry Kerr fires a shot during his win at first singles in Saturday’s state match. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

Waynflete had no trouble with Van Buren/Wisdom in the state match Saturday at South Portland High School, winning its 56th consecutive postseason match and 14th straight crown, 5-0, as Kerr won at first singles, 6-4 and 6-2, Matt Adey needed three sets to win at second singles (6-3, 5-7, 6-1), Demetriou took third singles, 6-1 and 6-1, Hart and Cox took care of business at first doubles, 6-1 and 6-0, and Max Shurman and Basil DiBenedetto won their second doubles match, 6-3 and 6-4.

The Flyers finished the year 12-4.

“(The streak’s) not really something you think about in the moment, but everyone we play goes into it wanting to beat us because they know we’ve won a lot, so we’ve got to play with that chip on our shoulder,” Matt Adey said.


“(The streak’s) in our minds, but just playing and having fun is what we try to do every time,” Hart said.

“It’s definitely an unspoken thing that we’re supposed to win,” Cox said.

“I was a little bit nervous going into this year,” said Shurman, who overcame a knee injury and COVID this spring. “We lost a lot of seniors and people quit the team. But we got it.”

“Winning a state title for the 14th year in a row is pretty nice,” DiBenedetto added.

Only Old Town, which won 14 straight Class B boys’ swimming championships between 1985 and 1998, can match what Waynflete’s accomplished.

The Flyers went into the season needing to replace their top two singles players, then dealt with the loss of three seniors who opted for Ultimate Frisbee, as well as injuries and illnesses. Three players and longtime coach Jeff Madore (who was part of the school’s inaugural Athletics Hall of Fame class) had to miss multiple matches after coming down with COVID, and Madore has endured a painful hip that’s scheduled to be replaced later this month.


“He’s really sacrificed a lot for us,” Matt Adey said. “I think (the streak) speaks to how good a coach he is. None of us have been here for the 14. He’s the only one who’s been here for all 14. I improve every season and it’s mostly because of his coaching.”

Cox and Hart depart, but Waynflete will remain strong in 2023, so don’t be surprised if more hardware is the end result.

Waynflete’s Lucy Hart hits a shot during the No. 1 singles match against Washington Academy’s Sarah Moulton at Saturday’s Class C state final match. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

Waynflete’s girls came oh-so-close to joining the boys at the pinnacle.

The Flyers, ranked fourth after an 8-4 regular campaign, defeated No. 5 Winthrop and top-ranked Hall-Dale by 4-1 scores to reach last week’s regional final against No. 3 Maranacook. Waynflete took that match, 3-2, as Lucy Hart took her match at first singles (6-3, 6-2), Vivian Rallis won at second singles (6-4, 2-6, 6-3), and Anna Farmer and Jenny Morrill prevailed at second doubles, 6-2, 7-6 (5). Vivienne Cook lost in three sets at third singles (1-6, 6-3, 3-6), and Maeve Mechtenberg and Jane Livingston were beaten at first doubles (1-6, 0-6).

“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a match like that, where it’s been dependent on me,” Rallis said. “I just kept telling myself, ‘Just one point at a time.’”

“I expected a very, very tough match,” Waynflete coach Linda Cohen said. “But this team, small as they are (with a roster of 11), they’re very tenacious. They never say die and they never surrender.”


Waynflete’s Maeve Mechtenberg hits a shot during the No. 1 doubles match at states Saturday. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

The Flyers then took on Washington Academy at the state match Saturday and dropped a tough 3-2 decision to wind up 11-5. Cook won in a walkover at third singles, and Farmer and Morrill were victorious at second doubles (6-1, 6-2), but Hart was beaten at first singles (4-6, 3-6), Rallis lost at second singles (0-6, 5-7), and Mechtenberg and Livingston fell at first doubles (4-6, 3-6).

Boys’ lacrosse

Deering’s Andrew Burke celebrates after scoring a goal against Edward Little in last week’s playoff loss. Daryn Slover / Sun Journal

Waynflete’s boys’ lacrosse team, the reigning Class C state champion, was the only other city team still alive at press time. The Flyers, ranked sixth, had no trouble advancing to the state semifinals, defeating No. 11 Lake Region (22-3) in the preliminary round and winning at No. 3 Maranacook (19-7) in the quarterfinals. Waynflete (9-5) was at No. 2 Oak Hill (10-3) in Tuesday’s semifinals. The teams didn’t meet this year. The Flyers had won three of four prior playoff encounters, including last year’s 17-5 decision in the state final.

If Waynflete makes it back to states, it will likely have a showdown with rival NYA (10-3) Friday evening at Fitzpatrick Stadium. The Flyers lost at the Panthers in the season opener, 7-4, April 14. Waynflete is 2-1 all-time versus NYA in the playoffs, with last year’s 11-4 state semifinal round win the most recent.

Portland, ranked fifth in Class A North, was eliminated by No. 4 Lewiston, 7-5, in last week’s quarterfinals to finish the year 3-10. Tobey MacCachran had three goals and Brady Toher added a pair.

“It is a game of runs and (Lewiston) went on a good run,” Portland coach Mike DiFusco said. “We tried to battle back in the second half but didn’t have enough in the tank and didn’t have enough time.”

Cheverus, the No. 7 seed in Class A North, was eliminated by second-seeded Windham, 20-1, in the quarterfinals to finish 4-9. Nico Nason scored the goal.


Deering, ranked ninth in Class A North, lost at No. 8 Edward Little, 12-5, to wind up 1-12. Andrew Burke scored three goals to lead the Rams.

“(Andrew’s) only a sophomore and bigger things are coming for him,” Deering coach Geoff Arris said. “He’s our leader, he’s our captain and he’s our go-to guy. I couldn’t be more proud of the effort he puts in. He rarely comes off the field.”

Girls’ lacrosse

Cheverus’ Riley O’Mara scoops up a ground ball during Saturday’s Class A North semifinal round loss at Yarmouth. Michael Hoffer / The Forecaster

On the girls’ side, both Cheverus and Portland were eliminated by the same team, Yarmouth.

The ninth-ranked Bulldogs upset No. 8 Deering in the Class A North preliminary round last Monday, 9-7, ending the Rams’ season at 3-10 (Shay Rosenthal had two goals in defeat). Lilah Green, Phoebe Knoll and Emily Seavey all scored twice, while goalie Caitlyn Huynh made nine saves. Portland then lost, 15-3, at the top-ranked Clippers in the quarterfinals to wind up 2-12. Knoll, Seavey and Gabrielle Harrigan all scored once.

Cheverus, seeded fifth in Class A North, went to No. 4 Oxford Hills for the quarterfinals Friday and earned a 14-10 victory, as Riley O’Mara scored six goals and Lucy Johnson added three, while goalie Elle Cooney made a dozen saves.

“I think it’s evident in our fast-break goals and in our transition that we can utilize our speed and our midfielders to take the ball in the attacking zone,” Stags coach Sarah Varney said.


Cheverus was then eliminated at Yarmouth, 20-10, in Saturday’s semifinals to finish 9-5. O’Mara had three goals, while Johnson and Reese Belanger both scored twice, but the Clippers pulled away in the second half.

“We have a completely different team from last year,” Varney said. “Riley did a phenomenal job raising the level of play and expectations for our team. We have really hard workers. It’s a team that trusts the coaching and coaches that trust the players. We have built upon that trust to create a very cohesive team that is driven and wants to see success. I’m super proud of the turnaround we had this year.”

Reigning Class C champion Waynflete wasn’t able to repeat. The Flyers, ranked sixth in Class C, blanked No. 11 Traip Academy, 15-0, last Wednesday in the preliminary round, as Morgan Earls, Lolie Millspaugh and Lucy Sarno all scored three goals and Tilsley Kelly added two goals and three assists. Saturday, Waynflete gave No. 3 NYA all it could handle in the quarterfinals, leading early, 2-0, and tying the game early in the second half before going on to an 8-6 defeat to wind up 7-7. Kelly, Millspaugh and Lydia Birknes all scored twice.

The Flyers had to deal with illness and injury, most notably a season-ending broken ankle by senior standout Jesse Connors, but fought to the end.

“I’m really proud of the girls and how they played so hard until the very last minute,” Waynflete coach Cathie Connors said. “We had a good start, then the girls were just playing scared. It was a mental game. I don’t mind physical, but it was too much. I’m pleased with our effort. I just wish it could have been a prettier game.

“It’s hard to say goodbye. It’s such an amazing group. We had to deal with injuries and COVID every week and they had to change positions constantly and never complained and they always rallied. I’m grateful to have been their coach. I’m psyched for our young kids. We have a whole lineup of young kids, so we’ll be back next year.”



Portland catcher Ryan Becker can’t tag out a Noble base runner during the Bulldogs’ preliminary round win last week. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

Portland’s baseball team, ranked seventh in Class A South, again made some noise in the tournament. Last Monday, the Bulldogs erased an early 4-0 deficit, let an 8-6 seventh inning lead slip away, then beat No. 10 Noble, 9-8, in an eight-inning thriller in the preliminary round. Andrew Legere had three hits and three RBI and Anthony Bisco’s single won it in extra innings. Liam Winship earned the victory in relief.

“I knew it was a curveball,” Bisco said. “I didn’t think it would get that low, but I just poked it right off the ground. I just put my head down and ran. Thank God that got through. We were down 4-0, but no one was down about it because we’ve been in that situation before. We just came back and won the game. We never quit.”

“If there’s such a thing as a team win, that was a team win,” said longtime Bulldogs coach Mike Rutherford. “That wasn’t one or two guys. That was all 14 or 15 guys who played.”

Portland advanced to take on No. 2 Falmouth in the quarterfinals last Wednesday and nearly prevailed again, leading 2-0 and 5-3, but the Navigators scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth to turn the game around and the Bulldogs lost, 8-5, to finish the year 10-7-1. Henry Bibeau had two hits and two RBI. For the first time in 14 years, Rutherford squared off against Mike D’Andrea, Falmouth’s legendary coach, who formerly coached at Deering and Scarborough, in a playoff game.

“Mikey and I go way back coaching against each other in these kinds of games,” Rutherford said. “You could write a book on our battles over the years. It’s always fun to coach against him. I take the lead, he takes the lead. Throughout our career, we’ve had a bunch of wins and losses against each other.”

After the contest, Rutherford said that he’s uncertain on his status going forward.


“I haven’t decided,” Rutherford said. “I’m thinking about going into an assistant coach role. Family-wise, I have a grandson. I want to go on vacations. I have to sit down and think about it. I’ve told the kids I’m thinking about it. If this was my last game, I wouldn’t have had it any other way with the seniors. I love these guys. We’ve battled through a lot of things through COVID, on and off the field. It was a bunch of football players playing baseball, which I was. I told the kids, ‘If I don’t coach again and if this is my last game, I’ll go to war with this team.’ I love this team. The seniors are great. They battled.”

Rutherford, 57, has won 270 games (Edson Hadlock still holds the program record with 283 victories) and a state title in his two stints at Portland, as well as 59 games in his four seasons at Westbrook from 2008-11. When SMAA tournament (also known as Telegram League playoff) games are factored out, his record stands at 316-120-1.

Cheverus, the No. 11 seed in Class A South, was ousted by No. 6 Westbrook, 6-3, last Tuesday in the preliminary round, to wind up 7-10. Richie Tremble had four hits, but it wasn’t enough.

“We had that one inning where we didn’t play well,” said Stags coach Tony DiBiase.

Deering, ranked 14th in Class A South, lost, 11-1 (in five innings), last Monday at reigning state champion South Portland, the No. 3 seed, to finish 3-14. Qwest Newhall had a pair of hits.

In Class C South, the Waynflete/North Yarmouth Academy co-op team, seeded fourth, survived No. 13 Old Orchard, 8-7 (in eight-innings) in last Monday’s preliminary round. Lincoln Smith had three hits, including the winner in the eighth, and Connor Wolverton added three hits, including a home run. Waynflete/NYA then was eliminated, 11-2, by No. 5 Monmouth in the quarterfinals last Thursday to finish 13-5. Dylan Kullman had two hits and an RBI in defeat.


“We had some chances,” said Waynflete/NYA coach Paul Grazia. “Like we did all year, the team never gave up. We had three walk-off wins this year and I think we were one play away from getting back into it and getting momentum back.

“We’ve really turned the corner the last couple years. We’ve had two of our best years in Class C ever. It’s been revitalizing for the program to be competitive. We’ve had a lot of really talented pitchers. Our offense has been hit-or-miss at times, but pitching and defense has carried us. It’s always been an emphasis of this program and it’s great to see all that hard work show up.

“We’ll have a lot of younger, talented players who will get an opportunity to play. We return a lot and I really hope we can get back here. We want to learn from this experience to take the next step next year. I’m very excited about where we’re heading.”


Portland’s softball team, ranked sixth in Class A South, had no trouble with No. 11 Bonny Eagle in the preliminary round, prevailing, 9-1, as Sadie Armstrong threw a two-hitter, had seven strikeouts and doubled twice, while Hannah Hawkes added three hits and three RBI, Ruby Chase had two hits and scored twice, and Ainsley McCrum also scored two runs. The Bulldogs then ran into third-ranked Kennebunk in the quarterfinals and lost, 5-4, to finish the year 11-6. Portland fell behind, 5-0, but made things interesting with four runs in the sixth before falling just short. Gabby Daniels had two hits and an RBI.

“(Kennebunk’s) a really good team,” Armstrong said. “They deserved to win, but it was a battle to the end, so it made it a lot more fun, a little easier to take.”

Deering, seeded 15th in Class A South, was beaten by No. 2 Biddeford, 24-0 (in five innings), in its preliminary round game to wind up 1-15. The Rams were no-hit in that game.


Cheverus’ Frank Morang stole the show at the New England outdoor track championship meet Saturday in New Britain, Connecticut, winning the long jump in 23 feet, 5.5 inches. Morang was also 23rd in the 100 (11.61 seconds). Bryan Stark-Chessa came in 28th in the mile (4 minutes, 37.56 seconds). The Stags’ 4×100 relay squad (Andrew Griffiths, Morang, Matthew Fogg and Brendan Rogers) was eighth (43.35). Cheverus’ 4×400 relay team (Fogg, Rogers, Jesse Cadigan and Griffiths) placed 17th (3:30.17). Portland’s 4×800 relay team (Jason Hargeshermer, Charlie Jacques, Benjamin Prestes and Nathan Blades) was 15th (8:23.06).

In girls’ competition, Deering’s Lara Gin was 16th in the 400 (1:00.42) and Megan Cunningham placed 26th in the 2-mile (11:46.49). Portland’s 4×400 relay team (Iman Alaari, Samantha Moore, Alisandra Lindos and Inas Alaari) came in 20th (4:15.51). Cheverus’ 4×400 relay team (Finley Brown, Tatum Kellen, Lizzie Merrill and Annie Vigue) was 28th (4:27.08).

Portland Press Herald staff writers Steve Craig and Glenn Jordan and Sun Journal staff writers Nathan Fournier and Adam Robinson contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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