There wasn’t much fault to be found with the 2022 fall sports season.

The weather was largely terrific and the highlights were plentiful across the board, as champions were produced in almost every sport.

On the gridiron, Yarmouth won an eight-man large school title in scintillating fashion, Falmouth made a run to the regional final and Freeport was among the final four teams standing in Class D. Greely didn’t win a game, but did return to stand-alone varsity status.

Soccer, as it always does in Forecaster Country, produced an abundance of hardware, as Yarmouth’s boys and girls took the Class B crowns and NYA swept Class D. Every local team made it to the playoffs.

Freeport’s field hockey team shocked the pundits by winning its first regional title in 22 years. Falmouth and Yarmouth also qualified for the playoffs.

Yarmouth’s volleyball team won yet another Class B championship, while Falmouth, Greely and NYA made postseason appearances as well.

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Freeport’s boys won another cross country title and runners from several schools turned heads.

No local teams won golf team titles this year, but a couple of individuals wound up having no peer.

It’s time to move indoors and think winter sports, but before we do, here’s one last tip of the cap to the champions of autumn and a glimpse at the best stories of the season:

Northern edition fall champions

State
Freeport Falcons boys’ cross country, Class B
North Yarmouth Academy Panthers boys’ soccer, Class C
North Yarmouth Academy Panthers girls’ soccer, Class C
Yarmouth Clippers football, eight-man, large school division
Yarmouth Clippers boys’ soccer, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers girls’ soccer, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers volleyball, Class B

Regional
Freeport Falcons, field hockey, Class B South

Individual
Eli Spaulding, Freeport, boys’ golf, Class B
Ruth Weeks, Greely, girls’ golf, Class A

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Michael’s top five stories

5) Yarmouth volleyball gives coach a going away present

Another year, another championship celebration for Yarmouth’s volleyball team. File photos.

Yarmouth’s Class B volleyball state title wasn’t just its fourth in a row, it proved to be the final one captured by the coach who turned the program into a juggernaut, Jim Senecal. The Clippers rolled through the regular season schedule with just one blemish, a loss to defending Class A champion Scarborough. As the top seed in Class B, Yarmouth wasn’t seriously threatened in the postseason, beating Cony, York and Gardiner in straight sets to finish atop the heap once more. Following the season, Senecal announced he was stepping down (see story), but his impact will live on as the Clippers chase more glory down the road.

4) A repeat crown for Freeport cross country 

Henry Horne and his teammates captured another Class B state title this fall.

Freeport’s boys’ cross country team saved its best for the biggest meets this fall. The Falcons won the regional title with a score of 40 points, easily outdistancing runner-up York (97), as senior standout Henry Horne placed first. Will Spaulding (fifth) and Teo Styverlink-Horne (ninth) also placed in the top 10. The following week, at the state meet, Freeport did even better, posting a score of 35 points, again beating York with ease (93). This time, Horne was individual runner-up, while Spaulding came in third and Styverlink-Horne (ninth), Alex Gilbert (10th) and Connor Smith (11th) rounded out a powerhouse pack. With only Horne graduating from the top five, the Falcons figure to making yet another run at the top spot next fall.

3) Freeport field hockey falls one goal short of championship 

Freeport’s young field hockey team came of age quickly and won a surprising Class B South title.

There was plenty of excitement around the Falcons when the season began, as they welcomed a promising freshman class that figured to play real dividends in a year or two. Guess again. Freeport’s freshmen stepped up faster than that and what resulted was the program’s best season in over two decades. The Falcons started with a loss to perennial powerhouse York, but later avenged that setback, beating the Wildcats for the first time. Freeport also lost twice to Cape Elizabeth and tied Greely, but won every other game. The Falcons then dazzled in the playoffs, first blanking Lake Region in the quarterfinals, then dominating Cape Elizabeth in a revenge-is-a-dish-best-served-cold 6-2 victory in the semifinals. York stood in the way in the regional final, but Freeport was able to win it in penalty corners, courtesy Anna Maschino’s goal. The Falcons then met their match in the state game, losing, 1-0, to Lawrence, but the future is very bright for this group.

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2) Yarmouth wins football title on drive for the ages

After rallying to beat Waterville, Yarmouth celebrates its eight-man large school championship.

Just one year after winning one game, Yarmouth’s football team reached the eight-man large school pinnacle this fall, as a small-but-mighty group saved its best for last. The Clippers won their first seven games, then lost to Mt. Ararat in the regular season finale. Yarmouth blanked Spruce Mountain in the semifinals, then got another shot at the Eagles and this time prevailed in a thriller, 20-18. The state final versus Waterville would be even more dramatic, as the teams went back-and-forth. The Clippers found themselves down by two in the fourth quarter when they took over at their 14 and began an epic 16-play drive to victory. Yarmouth ran on every down, twice converted on fourth downs and with 32 seconds left, Michael McGonagle capped his tremendous campaign with a 2-yard rush and the Clippers went on to a 30-26 victory and hoisted a Gold Ball for the first time in 11 years.

1) NYA, Yarmouth sweep soccer crowns

NYA’s boys won the Class D title, joining the girls at the pinnacle.

If you played soccer in the town of Yarmouth this fall, the season ended in celebration. Without exception. The North Yarmouth Academy girls winning Class D again came as no surprise. It was the Panthers’ fourth straight title and capped the finest season in program history, one which included a first-ever victory over Yarmouth. NYA’s boys were 2-5 at the midway point, but they caught fire and won Class D for the first time since 2018, avenging state game losses in 2019 and last year. Yarmouth’s girls weren’t viewed as the favorite when the playoffs commenced, but behind the brilliance of senior Ava Feeley, the Clippers won their first championship since 2016, as Feeley’s tally in the second overtime of the state game capped the stirring run. Yarmouth’s boys extended their state record of total titles, garnering their 15th, and they weren’t the favorites either, but an upset win over Cape Elizabeth in the regional final set the stage for a win over John Bapst in the state game. Not only did NYA and Yarmouth sweep, it was the first time ever that all four teams were triumphant in the same year.

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

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