Players and officials observe a moment of silence for the victims of a mass shooting in Lewiston prior to Monday’s Yarmouth-Brunswick football playoff game. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

An unspeakable tragedy and subsequent manhunt stole the state’s attention and put high school sports on the back burner last week and as a result, the fall sports playoffs took a short hiatus.

As the quarterfinal round of the field hockey and boys’ and girls’ soccer tournaments were coming to an end last Wednesday, word came from Lewiston of a mass shooting incident which ultimately took 18 lives. For the next 48 hours, everything was on hold due to a manhunt for the gunman, Robert Card, who was eventually found after dying by suicide.

Contests scheduled for Friday, Saturday were postponed, as were most games Monday.

Maine Principals’ Association Executive Director Mike Burnham said it decided it was important for schools to connect with their students and check on them mentally and socially before resuming playoffs.

“We’ve never been through this,” Burnham said. “We’ve not had one school say to us we should be playing this weekend. Schools across the state are dealing with this. It’s truly impacted everyone.”

While hearts remained heavy, games returned Monday night.


Here’s an overview of just who’s left in the postseason picture, who they play and what remains on the schedule:

Cross country

The cross country state meet was originally scheduled to be held Saturday in Belfast, but was rescheduled for this coming Saturday at the same location.

The Class B girls get the day underway at 11 a.m. The Class B boys’ race begins at 11:40 a.m. The Class C girls’ meet will be held at 12:20 p.m. and the Class C boys follow at 1 p.m. The Class A girls’ race starts at 1:40 p.m. The Class A boys’ meet begins at 2:20 p.m.

The New England championship meet is the following Saturday, Nov. 11, also in Belfast.



Yarmouth’s Ella Cameron goes up for a kill during last week’s five-set victory over Messalonskee in the Class B state semifinals. Mike Mandell / Morning Sentinel

Yarmouth’s four-time Class B state champion volleyball team was in position to bring home another championship at press time.

The Clippers, ranked second, swept No. 7 Falmouth in the quarterfinals and last Wednesday, hosted third-seeded Messalonskee in what proved to be an epic semifinal. Yarmouth won the first two sets, 25-15 and 25-16, but the Eagles answered, taking the third game (25-20) and the fourth (25-19) to set up a first-team-to-15-points, winner-take-all fifth set. There, the Clippers dug deep into their reservoir of championship heart and earned a 15-7 victory to improve to 13-3 and advance.

With the decisive fifth game tied 4-4, Madi Beaudoin stepped up to serve for Yarmouth. The junior defensive specialist/libero immediately gave the Clippers the counter-surge they needed, serving nine straight points to essentially put it away.

“I was really just hoping to get that momentum back up for us and once I got going, I think the energy on and off the court really helped us do that,” Beaudoin said. “I haven’t (played in a match that crazy before). States last year was intense, but the energy from the crowd and the other team coming back was amazing.”

“We were swinging really big early in the game and when we swing big, good things happen,” said Yarmouth first-year coach Erin Quirk. “I thought we went away from that a little bit, but fortunately, we found it again at the end. We just had to play it set by set. We knew they were a tough team.

“I think the crowd being as full as it was just really shows how much we love this sport. There was such good energy. We knew Messalonskee would bring a lot of people and have really big energy and we wanted to be able to match that and have fun with it. It was a great atmosphere and a great game.”


The Clippers battled top-ranked, unbeaten (16-0) Washington Academy in the Class B state final Tuesday in Augusta. Yarmouth lost, 3-0, at home in the teams’ regular season encounter, Sept. 23. The teams met just once before, a memorable five-set victory for the Clippers in the 2013 state final.

Greely’s exciting run ended in the semifinals. The Rangers, ranked fourth in Class B, advanced with 3-0 wins over No. 13 Mt. Desert Island in the preliminary round and fifth-seeded Kennebunk in the quarterfinals, but Greely lost in three games (6-25, 19-25, 9-25) at Washington Academy in the semifinals to finish the year 12-5.

“Washington Academy is a solid team,” said Greely coach Autumn Vargo. “It was tough, but the team hung in there.  We improved year over year and made it to our goal of the semifinals. I had considered this a rebuilding year after graduating eight seniors last season. We had players that were able to push themselves past their comfort zone and started working on enhancing some of the basic skills a bit more. We’ll be losing eight seniors from our varsity team this year so we will be rebuilding again next season.”

Field hockey

Freeport and Yarmouth’s field hockey teams were preparing to play in the Class B South semifinals at press time.

The top-ranked Clippers blanked No. 8 Wells in last week’s quarterfinal round, 6-0, as Sophie Smith scored three goals and Robyn Felmly, Dylan McElhinney and Celia Zinman added one apiece.


Yarmouth (13-1-1) advanced to take on No. 4 York (8-5-2) in the semifinals Tuesday at home. The teams tied, 1-1, in the regular season meeting Oct. 4. The Clippers had lost two of three prior playoff meetings, with a 2-1 setback in the 2018 quarterfinals the most recent.

If Yarmouth advanced to the regional final, it would be its first appearance since 2016.

Freeport, the reigning regional champion, ranked No. 2 this year, rolled over No. 7 Greely, 7-1, in the quarterfinals last Tuesday to improve to 11-3-1. Emily Groves led the way with three goals, while Lizalyn Boudreau, Sophie Bradford, Liza Flower and Ellie Foss had one goal apiece.

The Falcons advanced to host No. 3 Lake Region (9-4-2) Tuesday in the semifinals. Freeport won the regular season meeting, 2-0, Sept. 15 at home. The teams split two prior playoff encounters, with the Falcons’ 3-0 victory in last year’s quarterfinals the most recent.

If Freeport meets Yarmouth in Thursday’s Class B South Final in Fryeburg, it will be a rematch of the season opener, won by the Clippers, 4-3. Yarmouth has won all six prior playoff meetings, with a 2-1 win in the 2021 quarterfinals the most recent.

If Freeport advances to take on York, it will be a rematch of last year’s regional final, won by the Falcons in penalty corners.


The Class B state final is Saturday at a time to be announced in Lewiston.

Greely got a goal from Anna Hendry in its 7-1 loss at Freeport in the quarterfinals. The Rangers finished the season 7-8.

In Class A South, Falmouth, ranked fifth, gave No. 4 Scarborough fits in the quarterfinals last week, but lost in overtime, 2-1, to finish 8-6-1. Violet Westburg had the Navigators goal and Jenna Nunley made eight saves.

Boys’ soccer

Falmouth and Yarmouth’s boys’ soccer teams were still in the title hunt at press time.

In Class A South, the Navigators, ranked seventh, dispatched No. 10 Westbrook in the preliminary round, 4-1, then shocked No. 2 Gorham, 3-2, in last Wednesday’s quarterfinal round to improve to 10-4-2. Mikey Christman scored twice and Evan Mayo had the winning goal in the 72nd minute. Falmouth goes to No. 3 Deering (10-3-2) for the semifinals Thursday at 5 p.m. The teams didn’t meet this year. The Navigators won the lone prior playoff encounter, 2-0, in the 2017 quarterfinals.


If Falmouth moves on to the Class A South Final, which will be held Tuesday of next week in Kennebunk, it will meet top-ranked Windham (14-0-1) or No. 4 Portland (12-2-1).

The Class A state final will be contested Saturday, Nov. 11 at Messalonskee High School in Oakland.

In Class B, South, Yarmouth, the three-time reigning state champion and top seed, had no trouble with No. 8 Fryeburg Academy in its first playoff test, advancing, 5-1, in the quarterfinals last Tuesday. Luis Cardoso had three goals, while Adam McLaughlin and Zach Turkel also found the net. The Clippers (13-2) play host to No. 4 York (9-5-1) in the semifinals Wednesday at 7 p.m. (see our website for game story). Yarmouth beat the Wildcats twice this  year, 3-0 at home Sept. 7 and 4-1 in York Oct. 12. The Clippers are 11-5 all-time versus York in the tournament, dating to 1985, with a 3-0 win in the 2021 quarterfinals the most recent.

If Yarmouth moves on to the Class B South Final Wednesday of next week at Deering High School in Portland, it will take on No. 2 Cape Elizabeth (10-4-1) or third-ranked Lincoln Academy (11-1-3). The Clippers split with the Capers this season, winning 4-1 on the road Sept. 14 and losing at home, 3-1, in the finale Oct. 16. Yarmouth didn’t face the Eagles this fall.

The Class B state game is Saturday, Nov. 11 at Mt. Ararat High School in Oakland.

Greely, seeded fifth, dropped a 2-0 quarterfinal round decision at York to finish 9-5-1.


Freeport, the No. 6 seed, lost a heartbreaker in the quarterfinals at No. 3 Lincoln Academy, 3-2 (falling in penalty kick), to wind up 7-5-3. Gordie Frye and Owen Rusiecki scored in regulation.

In Class C South, North Yarmouth Academy, the No. 8 seed, was eliminated by top-ranked Mt. Abram, 4-0, in the quarterfinal round to wind up 3-12. Goalkeeper Gavin Thomas made 10 saves.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, four teams were preparing to take the pitch for semifinals at press time.

In Class B South, Yarmouth, the top seed, improved to 13-1-1 after blanking No. 8 Morse, 2-0, in the quarterfinals last week. The Clippers got goals from Lilah Pernal and Aine Powers. The Clippers advanced to host No. 4 Freeport (8-4-3) in the semifinals Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. (see our website for game story). Yarmouth beat the Falcons twice this year, 1-0 in Freeport Sept. 26 and 2-0 at home Oct. 10. The Clippers are 4-1 all-time versus the Falcons in the playoffs with last year’s 2-0 quarterfinal round victory the most recent.

Freeport, meanwhile, won a quarterfinal round game for the first time since 2019, blanking No. 5 Lake Region, as Lana DiRusso and Rosie Panenka scored the goals.


The Falcons have a chance to advance to a regional final for the first time since 1990.

The Freeport-Yarmouth winner will take on No. 2 Cape Elizabeth (13-2) or No. 3 Greely (8-5-2) in the Class B South Final Wednesday of next week at Deering High School in Portland.

The Rangers advanced by virtue of a 1-0 overtime win over No. 6 York in last week’s quarterfinal round. Abby Lennox scored the golden goal. Greely lost twice this year to the Capers, 4-1 at home Sept. 7 and 2-1 in Cape Elizabeth Oct. 5. The Capers have won 11 of the 21 all-time playoff meetings, with a 5-0 win in the 2021 quarterfinals the most recent.

The Rangers are seeking their first regional final berth since 2016.

The Class B state game is Saturday, Nov. 11 at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.

In Class C South, NYA, which won the past four Class D state championships before moving up this fall, earned the top seed and passed its quarterfinal round test, 3-0, over eight-seeded Sacopee Valley last week to improve to 11-1-3. Lyla Casey, Natasha Godfrey and Hayden Wienckowski scored the goals. The Panthers moved on to host No. 4 Hall-Dale (11-4) in the semifinals Friday at 2 p.m. (see our website for game story). The teams didn’t play this fall. NYA won both prior playoff encounters, with a 2-1 (double overtime) victory in the 2006 quarterfinals the most recent.


If the Panthers move on to the Class C South Final Wednesday of next week in Lewiston, they’ll battle either No. 2 Maranacook (14-0-1), the reigning regional champion, or third-ranked Waynflete (10-5).

The Class C state game is Saturday, Nov. 11 at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham.

In Class A South, Falmouth, seeded sixth, blanked No. 11 Portland (2-0) in the preliminary round, but last Tuesday, lost, 2-0, at third-ranked Windham to wind up 10-4-2.

“We had some opportunities and their keeper came up big,” said Navigators coach Ben Johnson. “We weren’t winning any of the 50-50 balls we needed to continue to go forward. They got pushback in our half and kept us there.”


Yarmouth’s Michael McGonagle gains yardage during Monday’s playoff loss to Brunswick. McGonagle scored five touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough. Derek Davis / Portland Press Herald

Yarmouth’s football team, ranked first in the eight-man large school South region, finally returned to action Monday night. The reigning state champion Clippers hosted No. 4 Brunswick in the semifinals.


Yarmouth beat the Dragons in the regular season meeting, 64-20, Oct. 13 at home, but the rematch, in the teams’ first-ever playoff game, would be a vastly different story.

The Clippers got five touchdown runs from senior standout Michael McGonagle, including a pair that produced an early 12-0 lead, but Brunswick wouldn’t buckle, even when Yarmouth went ahead, 40-26, in the third quarter. The Dragons scored 22 straight points and after Sam Bradford hit Wyatt Gawtry with a 60-yard touchdown pass with 1:05 to play, they denied McGonagle on a two-point rush attempt to shock the local football world, 48-46.

McGonagle gained 284 yards in his swan song, but the Clippers turned the ball over twice and committed nine penalties for 74 yards as their season ended at 6-2.

“It’s a heartbreaking way to end. Big time.” Yarmouth coach Jim Hartman said. “There’s only one team that ends happy and wins. We did as much as we could. We got 46 points. It’s tough.”

The Clippers lose some talent to graduation, including Bradford and McGonagle, but should be back in the title hunt in 2024.

There might be a change at the top though.


“My goal when I came back here was to make the program strong again,” Hartman said. “The youth is doing well. I’m 72 now and I have some things to think over.”

Greely also had a bye into the semifinals and hosted Mt. Ararat Tuesday with a trip to the regional final hanging in the balance. The Eagles won the regular season encounter, 34-28, Sept. 22 in Cumberland.

If the Rangers reach their first regional final, they’ll take on a Brunswick team they lost to, 42-38, Sept. 14 at home. The teams have no playoff history.

In Class D South, Freeport, the No. 5 seed after a 2-6 campaign went to No. 4 Poland (4-4) for the semifinals Tuesday. The Knights won the regular season meeting, 22-2, Sept. 22 in Freeport. The Falcons won the lone prior playoff encounter, 27-7, in the 2021 quarterfinals.

If Freeport sprung an upset, it will go to No. 1 Wells (5-3) for the semifinals Saturday at a time to be announced. The teams didn’t play this year and have no playoff history.

Press Herald staff writers Steve Craig and Travis Lazarczyk and Kennebec Journal staff writer Mike Mandell contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at For game updates and links to game stories, follow him on Threads: @foresports2023

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