Sophomore Tavian Lauture will play a big role for Deering’s football team this fall. File photos.

Coach: Leon Smith (first year)

2021 record: 0-8 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Dawson Waterman (Senior), Jack Caron (Junior), DeShawn Lamour (Sophomore), Cristiano Silva (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 1 @ Massabesic, Sept. 23 BIDDEFORD, Oct. 8 @ Kennebunk

Coach’s comment: “Our numbers are good and the kids are working hard. We have a lot of new faces and young talent. A lot of good athletes. My goal is to change the morale and bring Deering back. We have enough good young kids to turn the program around. I think we’ll be a competitive team this year.

The Forecaster’s forecast: After John Hardy stepped down after a short stint as Deering coach, Smith takes over this fall. He served as the Rams’ defensive coordinator last season and has 27 years of coaching experience, with other stops at Falmouth and Westbrook. Smith inherits a team with a lot of question marks, but some promising athletes eager to step up.

At press time, sophomores Santino Cavallaro and Tavian Lauture were vying for the quarterback position. Caron figures to get the lion’s share of carries on offense. Waterman will be a top receiver. The line is highlighted by Lamour and Silva. The Rams only scored 36 points in eight games last season. Look for much more production this fall.

On defense, Lamour will be a top lineman, while Caron and Silva will play key roles at linebacker and Waterman will be in the secondary.

Deering hopes to gain experience quickly and be competitive as the season progresses. The Rams would love to earn some victories and threaten for a playoff spot as well. They’ll be a much stronger squad by season’s end than at the beginning.



Senior Celda Mouckala earned plenty of praise for his play a year ago and will be a key contributor for a talented Deering boys’ soccer team this fall.

Coach: Joel Costigan (12th year, 91-54-17 overall record)

2021 record: 9-5-1 (lost, 1-0, to Bonny Eagle in Class A South preliminary round)

Top returning players: Celda Mouckala (Senior), Patricio Mowa (Senior), Jeannot Ndayishimiye (Senior), Adilson Vidal (Senior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 12 WINDHAM, Sept. 14 MARSHWOOD, Sept. 28 CHEVERUS, Oct. 4 GORHAM, Oct. 7 @ Falmouth, Oct. 18 @ Scarborough

Coach’s comment: “This season is tremendously meaningful for all of us at Deering. We have a very skilled, fast, and close-knit group of seniors and we return eight starters, so we know we will be in the hunt, but most importantly, we want to pay tribute to our beloved fallen teammate, Pedro Matala, whom we tragically lost over the summer. The preseason already feels different for us. Our players are motivated, focused and determined. They understand the importance of this year and they will most definitely always remember this season. So, ultimately, we just want to take it one game at a time and we want to focus on creating positive moments to remember.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering takes the pitch this fall with a heavy heart after the loss of Matala, who lost his life in the Presumscot River in July. The Rams will be playing in his memory and will look to produce another winning record. There is talent in place for Deering to give every foe a battle.


The Rams return Mouckala, Deering’s Fall Athlete of the Year in 2021. Mouckala is a top-notch defender, who made the regional all-star team, as well as the All-Conference first-team in 2021. He’s joined by sophomore Alberto Lucas in the back to shut down the opposition in front of junior goalkeeper Adao Lufumbo-Mbenza. Deering is loaded in the midfield as well, with SMAA honorable mention Mowa (five goals last year), Ndayishimiye (six goals) and Vidal (three goals, one assist) sparking the offense. They’re joined by senior Carlos Adriano-Muaco, who played soccer as a sophomore, played football last season and is back this fall to help the cause.

The Rams will have their hands full in a league with few easy games, but Deering is used to posting a winning record, having done so in eight of the past 10 seasons. A deep playoff run is the only thing the Rams have lacked, but this year’s squad, with its extra inspiration, could turn some heads when the postseason arrives.


Coach: Paul Cameron (second year)

2021 record: 4-10-1 (lost, 1-0, to Scarborough in Class A South preliminary round)

Top returning players: Mae Carroll (senior), Grace Marino (Junior), Shay Rosenthal (Junior), Elsa Freeman (Sophomore), Mya Landry (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 10 @ Windham, Sept. 27 @ Cheverus, Oct. 4 @ Gorham, Oct. 6 FALMOUTH, Oct. 18 SCARBOROUGH


Coach’s comment: “Last year we graduated 12 seniors, so this year we have a young team and the hope is to gain valuable experience that will stand us in good stead for the next couple of years.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering made nice strides in Cameron’s first season and gave perennial power Scarborough fits before falling just short in the playoffs. This year’s team is looking to continue to climb the ladder and get back to the postseason.

Freeman was a standout as a freshman, being named a co-SMAA Rookie of the Year as well as a second-team league all-star, and will pace the offense, playing either midfield or forward. Carroll, Marino and Rosenthal are in similar roles. Sophomore midfielder Violet Blum Levine looks to help the scoring cause as well. The defense features Landry and junior Saya Breiting-Brown, the track standout. Junior Sophie Hill will be in goal.

With a year in Cameron’s system under their belts, the Rams will hit the ground running this fall. Look for this team to give its all every time it takes the pitch and to surprise some teams as the season progresses.

FIELD HOCKEY (co-op with Portland)

Coach: Beth Romano-Arsenault (23rd year)

2021 record: 1-14 (Lost, 9-0, to Scarborough in Class A South preliminary round)


Top returners: Sal Beyer-Lebrecque (Senior), Delainey Black (Senior), Hannah Caron (Senior), Hannah Dionne (Senior), Francesca Marinaro (Senior), Sophie Volk (Senior), Ainsley Dunn (Junior), Gabbie Harrigan (Junior), Hannah Hawkes (Junior), Deyoncé Ward (Junior), Erin Winship (Junior), Ruby Chase (Sophomore), Leah Sigfridson (Sophomore), Maya Zager (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 1 @ Massabesic, Sept. 13 SOUTH PORTLAND, Sept. 21 @ Scarborough, Oct. 10 BONNY EAGLE

Coach’s comment: “Our overall squad is a little smaller this year, but we still have solid numbers and are glad to be able to continue to offer the program. We had decent summer participation, but had some challenges as well. Both the Deering and Portland school communities suffered monumental losses this summer when Deering lost senior Pedro Matala and Portland High lost teacher Donna Barnard, our former timer, so we are dedicating our season to them. We want to honor both of them by working hard and always putting our best effort forward while carrying ourselves with respect and dignity. We feel like if we keep the right perspective and consistently reach this goal, we will be competitive and can win some games. We graduated a big senior class, but I carried a large team last year to plan for that departure so we do still have several players returning. We finally got a win last year and definitely became more competitive and ultimately, we would love to keep that going and earn a playoff spot.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Portland/Deering co-op team made big strides a year ago when it downed South Portland to end a stretch of 65 games without a victory. This year’s squad is determined to pay tribute to the memory of those who were lost far too young by giving its all on the field. If all goes well, Portland/Deering will continue to work its way back into contention in what Arsenault has announced will be her final season at the helm of the program.

Up top, look for Caron, Dunn, Harrigan, Hawkes and Marinaro to be top scoring threats. The midfield features Beyer-Lebrecque, Black, Sigfridson, Volk (a captain) and Zager. On defense, Chase, Dionne (a captain), Ward and Winship will hope to hold the opposition at bay as the squad breaks in a new goalie, promising freshman Emma Walsh. Junior Kaitlyn Vigue, sophomores JoJo Philbrook and Lucy Susen and freshman Avery Black were also in the mix in goal at press time.

Portland/Deering will have its share of winnable games as the season progresses. Look for this squad to play hard every time out and to be a handful for the opposition by the time all is said and done.



Coach: Nika Francois (fourth year)

2021 record: 8-7 (Lost, 3-0, to Sanford in Class A South preliminary round)

Top returning players: Hope Paquette (Senior), Isabelle Adji (Junior), Lara Gin (Junior)

Pivotal matches: Sept. 8 BIDDEFORD, Sept. 14 PORTLAND, Oct. 6 @ Cheverus, Oct. 11 SCARBOROUGH

Coach’s comment: “My team is looking great this year and I cannot wait for others to see. We have a great group of girls with the willingness to learn and give their best efforts on and off the court. My goals are to continue to foster the development of a positive and strong mental attitude on the court. We will continue working together to improve our skills and becoming a top-tier program in our league. I expect this season to be a great one, as always.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering is looking forward to the upcoming season and believes it can build on last year’s winning record.


Gin was a second-team league all-star in 2021. She’s back at outside hitter and is joined by Adji. Paquette returns at libero. Junior Maya Gayle is new and will play outside hitter. Shea Fenton will be the defensive specialist and junior Emma Murphy takes over the all-important setter position.

The Rams will be tested early by powerhouse Biddeford and late by reigning Class A champion Scarborough. In-between, they’ll play teams they should match up well with. Another winning mark and perhaps a longer playoff stay could be the end result.



(Boys) Gerry Myatt (20th year)
(Girls) Maria Curit (first year)

2021 results: 

(Boys) 14th @ Class A state meet
(Girls) DNQ for Class A state meet

Top returners:
(Boys) Danny McLaughlin (Senior), Lucas Richards (Senior), James Tedder (Senior), Sam Anderson (Junior), Max Stratton (Junior), Asa Tussing (Sophomore)
(Girls) Zabel Kasabian (Sophomore), Fiona Nichols (Sophomore)

Coach Myatt’s comment: “We have great kids. The boys should have a decent pack and we’ll work on building that. States is always the goal. We only have three girls right now. We’re trying to get five, so we can score. They’ll do as well as they can.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering again has small numbers, but there are some individuals to keep an eye on.

The boys’ squad got to states a year ago and has the talent to return. Anderson (72nd at states in 2021), Tussing (85th), Stratton (92nd) and Tedder (101st) all have big meet experience. McLaughlin and Richards will play key roles as well. New sophomore Liam Goldman and freshmen Roderick Ariza and Ellis Wood add depth and will help form a winning pack. This group will be small but mighty and could make it 10 state trips in 11 tries if all goes well.

On the girls’ side, Kasabian had the 62nd-best time at last year’s regional meet and looks to move up. Nichols also ran a year ago. They’re joined by junior Iris McVain, who comes to Deering from Massachusetts. She’s a promising runner. Individual improvement will be the theme this fall.


Coach: Greg Stilphen (third year)

2021 results: (DNQ for Class A state match)

Top returners: Jackson Forrest (Junior), Grayson Frothingham (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “The team has been working hard and coming together and is working toward team members shooting to qualify for the state tournament in October. Team work, camaraderie and continued improvement is the constant goal.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering is a young squad this fall, but the Rams show promise and should steadily improve.

Forrest and Frothingham are captains and three-year members of the varsity team. They’ll lead the way. Newcomers Trip Marston, Finn McMahon and DJ Hooks Wayman will provide depth.

The Rams play in the most difficult division in the conference, against the likes of Cheverus, Falmouth, Scarborough and South Portland, who all made it to states a year ago. Deering’s focus will be getting better match by match and hoping to play its best at the qualifier. This season’s experience will pay dividends in future seasons.

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

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