The 2022 spring sports season was very short and very sweet for local teams as, once again, plenty of memories were made.

On the diamond, Cheverus and Deering were ousted in the preliminary round of the playoffs, but Portland and the Waynflete/North Yarmouth Academy co-op squad played on. The Bulldogs rallied for a stirring extra-inning victory over Noble in the Class A South preliminary round, then gave Falmouth a scare in the quarterfinals before going down to defeat. Waynflete/NYA edged Old Orchard Beach in extra innings in the Class C South preliminary round, then was ousted by Monmouth Academy in the quarterfinals.

Cheverus and Deering’s softball teams lost in the preliminary round, but Portland capped a strong season by beating Bonny Eagle in the preliminary round before losing a close one to Kennebunk in the quarterfinals.

Boys’ lacrosse produced a repeat champion in a Waynflete squad, which overcame an up-and-down regular season to edge NYA in a double-overtime Class C state final for the ages. In Class A North, Deering was ousted in the preliminary round, while Cheverus and Portland were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

On the girls’ side, Waynflete wasn’t able to repeat in Class C, losing in the state quarterfinals to eventual champion NYA. In Class A North, Portland surprised Deering in the preliminary round, then lost to Yarmouth in the quarterfinals. Cheverus knocked off Oxford Hills in the quarterfinals, then was also eliminated by Yarmouth in the semifinals.

The outdoor track state meet produced plenty of highlights, including a transcendent performance from a Cheverus standout.

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Tennis saw the Waynflete boys win their 14th championship in succession, while the Waynflete girls made a spirited run to the Class C state match before falling just short against Washington Academy.

We’re already enjoying summer, but let’s take another look back and pay tribute to some of the best moments of the spring.

Team state champions

Waynflete Flyers boys’ lacrosse, Class C
Waynflete Flyers boys’ tennis, Class C

Team regional champion

Waynflete Flyers girls’ tennis, Class C South

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Individual state champions

Track

Frank Morang, Cheverus, Class A boys’ triple jump
Frank Morang, Cheverus, Class A boys’ long jump

Michael’s top five stories/moments

5) Make it 14 in a row for the Flyers

File photos

While it was a challenging season for coach Jeff Madore, who had to deal with COVID and an ailing hip, he and his Flyers still managed to wind up where they always do, as Class C boys’ tennis champions. Waynflete went 8-4 in the regular season, and after downing Mountain Valley and Madison in its first two playoff outings, the Flyers got a test from NYA in the regional final, but they held on for a 3-2 victory. Van Buren/Wisdom would be Waynflete’s state match foe and the Flyers captured their 56th straight postseason match by a 5-0 margin to reach the pinnacle once more, tying Old Town swimming (1985-1998) for the longest championship run in state history. Anyone want to bet against Waynflete making it 15 in a row next spring? I didn’t think so.

4) Another solid campaign for Waynflete/NYA

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The Waynflete/NYA squad has become a model co-op program, as key players from both schools helped produce yet another winning season. Waynflete/NYA enjoyed win streaks of four and six games during the regular season, as the team boasted strong pitching and hitting. Waynflete/NYA then got a mighty scare from Old Orchard Beach in the Class C South preliminary round but found a way to outlast the Seagulls, 8-7, in eight grueling innings, to advance. Waynflete/NYA did meet its match in a good-hitting Monmouth Academy squad in the quarterfinals, losing, 11-2, to finish the year 13-5, making it back-to-back double-digit win seasons.

3) Morang steals show at states

Cheverus outdoor track standout Frank Morang had all eyes on him in the jumps this spring  and he shook off the pressure and leaped into glory. Morang won the Class A long jump in 22 feet, 10.25 inches and captured the triple jump title as well (43-3.25). If that wasn’t enough, Morang was runner-up in the 100 and was part of a third-place 4×100 relay squad. The Stags finished second as a team to Scarborough.

2) Portland softball enjoys resurgent season

While the dynamic arm of junior Sadie Armstrong got a lot of the attention, the success of the 2022 Portland Bulldogs was a team effort. The Bulldogs, who went 8-10 in 2021, saw Jason McLeod take over as full-time coach this spring after Robbie Ferrante was limited by his health. Portland got off to a great start, winning its first five contests. The Bulldogs went 10-5 and finished sixth in Class A South, then knocked off Bonny Eagle with ease in the preliminary round. Portland then nearly erased a 5-0 deficit at No. 3 Kennebunk in the quarterfinals before falling one run shy. The Bulldogs are poised to enjoy another strong campaign in 2023.

1 Waynflete boys repeat in epic fashion 

This time, it came with a struggle, but that only made the aftermath so sweet. Waynflete’s boys’ lacrosse team, which rolled to the Class C championship in 2021 with relative ease, was supposed to come back to the pack this season and gear up for a title run in 2023, but these Flyers had other ideas. Yes, the regular season was challenging, as Waynflete started 3-4 and wound up 7-5, but when the calendar flipped to June and the postseason began, the old champion passed every test and repeated. After downing Lake Region in the state preliminary round and Maranacook in the quarterfinals in decisive fashion, the Flyers won at Oak Hill in the semifinals to set up a state final showdown against top-ranked NYA. On the evening of June 17, the ancient rivals produced the longest state final on record, as Waynflete let an 8-6 lead slip away in the final minute of regulation, but after a scoreless overtime, Flyers goalie Avi Israel made the save of his life to extend the contest, then Jacob Woodman played the hero, giving Waynflete a palpitating 9-8 double-overtime win and a repeat crown and it’s likely there’s still more to come as the Flyers, who didn’t have a single senior on their roster, will return everyone next season.

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

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