It was a calendar year that began with a return to a full winter sports schedule, featured another triumphant spring campaign, which included some surprises, then roared into a memorable autumn, when more local champions were crowned, before culminating with the arrival of winter sports again and the promise of more thrills to come.

All in all, 2022 was a year to remember.

And hail.

With the calendar about to flip to 2023, here’s a look back at the past 12 months of triumph and occasional heartbreak for local high school athletes, coaches and fans.


South Portland’s J.P. Estrella soared above the competition last winter, leading the Red Riots to heights not seen in three decades. File photos.

For the first time since 2020, winter athletes entered the new year knowing that championships awaited and they several set themselves up for big things.


South Portland’s boys’ basketball team, featuring junior big man extraordinaire J.P. Estrella, was the clear favorite in Class AA South. In the North, Cheverus, under new coach Richie Ashley, was returning to prominence, while Deernig and Portland were also in contention. Falmouth was clearly the class of Class A South, while Yarmouth, led by senior standout Peter Psyhogeos, was staking its claim as a top contender in Class B South with Cape Elizabeth one of the teams in pursuit. North Yarmouth Academy and Waynflete were hoping to make noise in Class C South.

On the girls’ side, Cheverus, which had to play half the regular season without sophomore standout Maddie Fitzpatrick, rode the brilliance of sophomore post star Emma Lizotte and a solid senior core to battle Oxford Hills for the top spot in Class AA North. Scarborough was poised to surprise in the South. In Class A South, Brunswick led the way, with Falmouth and Greely in hot pursuit. Yarmouth was in the hunt in Class B South, while NYA was eyeing the top spot in Class C South.

On the ice, top boys’ contenders included Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Greely, Scarborough and the South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete and Cheverus/Yarmouth co-op teams.

On the girls’ side, Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland, along with Cheverus, Falmouth and Scarborough, were jockeying for the top spot in the South Region.

Local swimmers, track and field athletes, wrestlers and skiers were gearing up to make noise at the state championship meets.



Senior Tiernan Lathrop had no peer individually as he led Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ Alpine ski team to the Class B championship.

The month of February saw many champions crowned.

Wrestling was up first, where the Mt. Ararat/Brunswick co-op team took home the Class A championship, with Brycen Kowalsky (126 pounds) and Spencer LeClair (152) winning individual crowns.

Girls’ hockey culminated its postseason with some instant classics. In the semifinals, on the same night, the Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland co-op team outlasted Falmouth in a four-overtime epic and not to be outdone, Cheverus and Scarborough then took the ice and needed three OTs before the Red Storm advanced. Scarborough then beat Cape/Waynflete/SP to make it to the state final, where it finally met its match and lost to Lewiston.

On the track, Greely’s girls won the Class B team championship, while Scarborough’s boys finished atop the heap in Class A yet again. Individual titlists included Cheverus’ Frank Morang (Class A boys’ long jump), Freeport’s Enoch Boudreau (Class B boys’ pole vault), Greely’s Elle Jowett (Class B girls’ 55, 200 and 400), Mt. Ararat’s Grady Satterfield (Class A boys’ two-mile), Scarborough’s Zach Barry (Class A boys’ 800), Nicholas Connolly (Class A boys’ shot put), Jayden Flaker (Class A boys’ 55 hurdles) and Toby Martin (Class A boys’ pole vault) and Yarmouth’s Frazier Dougherty (Class B boys’ 400).

The pool saw tremendous, triumphant performances as well, as Scarborough’s boys won an inspirational first-ever Class A crown, while Cape Elizabeth swept the titles in Class B. In Class A, individual champions included Cheverus’ Taylor Belanger (girls’ 50 freestyle and 100 breaststroke), Deering/Portland’s Maria DelMonte (girls’ 500 free and 100 backstroke), Falmouth’s Patrick Gill (boys’ 50 free), Cole Gorsuch (boys’ 100 backstroke and 100 butterfly), Jillian James (girls’ diving) and Will Porter (boys’ 500 free) and Scarborough’s Jack Pillsbury (boys’ 200 individual medley and 100 breaststroke) and Ethan Schulz (boys’ 100 free and 200 free).

In Class B, champions included Cape Elizabeth Ali Bragg (girls’ 200 IM), Cookie Mahoney (girls’ 200 free), Keegan McKenney (boys’ 200 IM and 500 free), Ethan Smith (boys’ 100 fly) and Hope Taylor (girls’ 500 free), Freeport’s Brian Brogan (boys’ 50 free and 100 free), Greely’s Audrey Cohen (girls’ 50 free and 100 breaststroke), Matt Desmond (boys’ 200 free), Abby Hollis (girls’ 100 backstroke) and Charter Sasseville (boys’ 100 backstroke).


Skiing also featured dominance, as Cape Elizabeth’s boys took home the Class B Alpine title, Freeport’s boys won the Class A Alpine crown, Yarmouth’s girls won the Class B Alpine championship and Yarmouth’s boys were tops in Class B Nordic.

Individually, on the Alpine side, champions included Cape Elizabeth’s Tiernan Lathrop (boys’ slalom) and Dana Schwartz (girls’ slalom), Falmouth’s Andrew Christie (in both the boys’ slalom and giant slalom) and Yarmouth’s Brooke Boone (girls’ GS). Falmouth’s Joey Rouhana swept the Class A boys’ Nordic titles in the classical and freestyle and Yarmouth’s Owen Redfield was first in the Class B boys’ freestyle.

As always, the boys’ basketball tournament provided thrills throughout. Ultimately, the Cheverus girls, Falmouth boys, Greely girls, South Portland boys and Yarmouth boys all survived their respective regions and earned a berth in the state finals.

The month ended with the puck set to drop on what would be an epic boys’ hockey tournament.


Brunswick’s boys’ hockey team celebrates after winning the program’s first state title.  

The month of March began with Scarborough’s boys’ hockey team, the No. 7 seed in Class A, surviving Portland/Deering in overtime on freshman Wyatt Grondin’s goal in the state preliminary round and the fun was just beginning for the Red Storm. Scarborough then dispatched Bangor in the quarterfinals and advanced to take on South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete in the semifinals. This game also went to overtime, where Grondin played the hero again in a 5-4 victory and the Red Storm earned a berth in the state game against Thornton Academy. To the surprise of no one, 45 minutes weren’t enough to determine a winner and overtime was needed again, where guess who? (hint, his first name is Wyatt) played the hero one final time and Scarborough had a 2-1 victory and an improbable championship.


Class B featured marathons and dramas too, as Brunswick outlasted Yarmouth/Cheverus in a five-OT classic in the semifinals, then ended Greely’s two-year title reign in the regional final before blanking Camden Hills, 2-0, for its first title.

Cheverus’ girls’ basketball team celebrates with the Gold Ball after winning the program’s first state title.  

Back to basketball, Yarmouth’s boys rallied to beat Ellsworth in an overtime classic in Class B, 59-52, as junior Stevie “Wonder” Walsh hit a game-tying 3 in the waning seconds to extend the game before the Clippers pulled away for their third Gold Ball and first in a decade. Falmouth ran into a supernova named Cooper Flagg and his Nokomis Warriors in the Class A Final and went down to a 43-27 defeat. In Class AA, South Portland ended a three-decade title drought by downing Oxford Hills, 58-44.

On the girls’ side, Greely finally met its match against Skowhegan in the Class A state final, losing, 60-46. Cheverus wouldn’t be denied, winning a crown for the first time, beating Gorham, 49-36, to take home the Class AA Gold Ball.

April and May

Yarmouth senior Katelyn D’Appolonia had a tremendous season and led the Clippers to the state final in their first year in Class A.

The spring sports regular season saw area teams contend in everything.

On the diamond, South Portland’s reigning Class A baseball champion was back for more and was at the top of the South region, with the likes of Falmouth, Portland and Scarborough giving chase. In Class B, Greely gave longtime coach Derek Soule a landmark win (his 300th), but reigning regional champion Freeport hung tough, as did Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth. The NYA/Waynflete co-op team enjoyed a terrific season in Class C South.


Turning to softball, Scarborough, in its final season under legendary coach Tom Griffin, came back to the pack and wasn’t the favorite in Class A South for the first time in a long time, but still managed to contend, as did Portland and South Portland. Brunswick was nearly unbeatable in the North. In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth went for a repeat title, but found the opposition to be fierce. Freeport came from nowhere to enjoy its best campaign in decades.

Lacrosse has long been a Forecaster Country specialty and 2022 was no difference.

In Class A, reigning boys’ champion Cape Elizabeth was mortal this time around but still had that title look, but in the South, the Capers were pushed by Scarborough and South Portland. In Class A North, Falmouth was primed for a deep run. In Class B, two-time champion Yarmouth rode an early win over Cape Elizabeth to a solid campaign, with Brunswick hanging around, getting better and biding its time. NYA and Waynflete appeared finally destined to meet in the Class C state game with Freeport also in contention.

On the girls’ side, Yarmouth moved up to Class A and immediately made its presence felt, as did Cape Elizabeth, Cheverus, Falmouth and Scarborough. In Class B, Greely eyed its first championship in the MPA-sanctioned era and with Yarmouth out of the picture, liked its chances. Waynflete hoped to repeat in Class C, but those dreams were dashed when senior standout Jesse Connors broke her ankle. That left Freeport and NYA fighting for top honors.

The tennis team tournament and the outdoor track state meet were just around the corner.



Waynflete’s Henry Kerr first a shot as the Flyers win yet another Class C team title, their 14th in a row.

Spring sports coronations began the first Saturday of June with outdoor track, as Scarborough’s boys won yet another title. Individually, the Red Storm were led by champions Zach Barry (mile), Nick Connolly (discus and shot put), Jayden Flaker (110 hurdles and 300 hurdles) and Toby Martin (pole vault). Cape Elizabeth’s Tori Hews (Class B girls’ 100 and 200) and Vaughn Lindenau (Class B boys’ two-mile), Cheverus’ Frank Morang (Class A boys’ long jump and triple jump), Freeport’s Molly Cobbs (Class B girls’ pole vault) and Henry Horne (Class B boys’ mile and high jump) and Greely’s Gage Cooney (Class B boys’ 300 hurdles) also finished first.

Waynflete’s boys’ tennis team won Class C for the 14th consecutive time, while the Yarmouth boys made it three straight in Class B. Brunswick’s girls got to the Class A state final, but lost to Kennebunk.

Freeport’s baseball team won yet another regional title, but suffered heartbreak in the Class B state game against Ellsworth.

On the diamond, Freeport made another run to the Class B baseball state final, upsetting Greely in the regional final, but the Falcons couldn’t hold a seventh inning lead and suffered an agonizing 3-2 loss to Ellsworth. South Portland got back to the Class A South Final, but this time, the Red Riots were dispatched by Thornton Academy.

Five local lacrosse teams wound up bringing home hardware.

North Yarmouth Academy’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrates its first state title in a dozen years after downing Wells at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Waynflete’s boys’ lacrosse team survived NYA in an epic in the Class C state game, as the Panthers scored late to force overtime, but in the second OT, Jacob Woodman played the hero in a 9-8 victory. NYA’s girls had more luck, building a huge lead, then holding off Wells late for a 12-11 win and its first crown in a dozen seasons.

Cape Elizabeth’s boys repeated in Class A, handling Falmouth again, this time, 18-7. Yarmouth got to the Class A Final in its first year at that level, but lost to repeat champion Kennebunk, 11-8.


In Class B, Brunswick’s boys completed a stunning late-season surge by edging Yarmouth, 14-13, on an improbable late goal from Jonas McGrath, his first of the whole season. Greely’s girls then put a bow on the season by downing York, 13-7, to finally reach the pinnacle.

July and August

High school sports were on hiatus for much of the summer before beginning again with fall practices in mid-August.


Sophomore sensation Lucy Johnson was unstoppable in leading the defending Class A champion Cheverus field hockey to an undefeated regular season.

A fantastic fall season saw local schools compete in every sport and in many cases, dominate.

On the gridiron, Cape Elizabeth, Cheverus, Falmouth, Freeport, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland and Yarmouth had mixed results, but showed promise.


Soccer boasted an abundance of title contenders, from the Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, Deering, Falmouth, Freeport, Greely, NYA, Portland, Scarborough, South Portland, Waynflete and Yarmouth boys to the Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, Cheverus, Falmouth, NYA, Scarborough, Waynflete and Yarmouth girls.

Cheverus’ field hockey team picked right up where it left off from its 2021 championship run, obliterating every team that crossed its path. Cape Elizabeth, Freeport and Scarborough emerged as contenders as well.

Reigning volleyball state champions Scarborough and Yarmouth remained formidable, cross country boasted some terrific individual talent, while local golfers geared up for the upcoming state match.


Greely senior Ruth Weeks won the Class A girls’ individual golf title.

The first fall sport to bestow hardware was golf and while no local teams won titles, three individuals finished first, as Scarborough’s Marc Twombly took the Class A boys’ title, Freeport’s Eli Spaulding repeated as the Class B boys’ champion and Greely’s Ruth Weeks won the Class A girls’ crown.

Cross country and volleyball were next.


Yarmouth’s volleyball team won its fourth straight Class B championship, then said goodbye to longtime coach Jim Senecal, who retired on top.

On the trails, Freeport’s boys repeated in Class B.

The field hockey playoffs featured Cheverus and Freeport getting through to their respective regional finals.

On the pitch, the Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, NYA, Scarborough, Waynflete and Yarmouth boys and the Brunswick, NYA, Scarborough and Yarmouth girls all got through to the regional final round.

The football playoffs also got underway, with several local squads entertaining legitimate title hopes.



Brunswick’s boys’ soccer team continued the school’s recent parade of championships with a come-from-behind state game win over Scarborough in the Class A final.

There were no shortage of thrillers in the championship-heavy month of November.

Field hockey ultimately resulted in heartbreak, as Cheverus continued to run roughshod over the opposition by winning the Class A South title, but in the state game, the Stags finally met their match and lost to Skowhegan, 3-2, while Freeport managed to survive York in penalty corners to win their first regional crown in 22 years, but in the Class B state final, the Falcons were beaten by Lawrence, 1-0.

Soccer did produce champions.

Many, many champions.

NYA swept Class D, as the boys edged Madawaska, 2-1, and the girls made it four straight crowns, capping a perfect season with an 8-0 domination of Penobscot Valley.

In Class C, Waynflete’s boys won their fourth consecutive championship, handling Fort Kent, 6-1, as senior standout Myles Culley capped arguably the finest season in state history with five goals, giving him a sensational 52 for the year.


Yarmouth swept Class B, but not without drama, as the boys, who upset Cape Elizabeth in a regional final thriller, held off John Bapst, 3-2, to make it three in a row and seven in eight postseasons, while the girls had to dig out of a two-goal hole against Hermon and did so, as senior star Ava Feeley scored in the second overtime for a 3-2 victory.

That left Class A, where Brunswick’s boys continued the school’s theme of winning big games, rallying for a 2-1 win over a powerhouse Scarborough team. The same squads met on the girls’ side and 80 minutes of regulation and 15 minutes of overtime couldn’t produce a goal, but in the second overtime, off senior Ali Mokriski’s corner kick, junior Lana Djuranovic soared into legend, heading home the game-winner to give the Red Storm their first crown in a decade.

Portland and Yarmouth’s football teams then brought the curtain down on the fall sports season by reaching the state final.

Yarmouth senior Spencer LaBrecque ran over the opposition, including Waterville in the state game, to lead the Clippers to the eight-man, large school championship.

In Class B, the Bulldogs, who were once 1-3, made it all the way through behind the heroics of senior quarterback Kennedy Charles, but in the final, Portland fell just short against Skowhegan, 20-14.

Yarmouth met up with Waterville in the eight-man, large school final and the teams produced a game for the ages. The Clippers trailed late before embarking on an epic 16-play, 86-yard drive to victory, as Spencer LaBrecque’s block freed Michael McGonagle for decisive 2-yard touchdown with just 32 seconds to play to win it, 30-26.



Cheverus/Yarmouth’s Quinn McCoy carries the puck during a recent game against defending Class B champion Brunswick. Local hockey teams will again be in the hunt for championships once the calendar flips.

Now, we’re on the brink of saying goodbye to 2022 as another winter sports season is in full swing.

Cape Elizabeth, Cheverus, Falmouth, Portland, South Portland and Yarmouth’s boys’ basketball teams look good in the early going, as do the Cheverus, Falmouth, NYA and Yarmouth girls.

Boys’ and girls’ hockey will feature multiple local contenders and it’s going to be a strong season in track, swimming, wrestling and skiing.


That’s because the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Michael Hoffer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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