Contributed photo

Frank Myatt – Portland cross country

When you lead your team to its first state championship since the year the original “Superman” movie premiered, “Laverne and Shirley” topped the television charts and the name Bucky Dent became a pejorative, and its your first year at the helm to boot, you’d better believe you’re worthy of recognition.

Myatt knew his team had what it took to ascend to the pinnacle and knew it wouldn’t be easy, but he guided the Bulldogs to the top nonetheless and with that accomplishment in mind, Frank Myatt is The Forecaster’s choice for our Portland edition Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

Myatt ran track and was the manager for the boys’ basketball team in high school at Cheverus and began his coaching career at Deering, alongside his father, longtime Rams coach Gerry Myatt. Frank Myatt (who was also named Coach of the Year in 2016) was with the Rams before moving across town to take over the Portland girls’ team in 2021. After guiding the Bulldogs to two of their best seasons in decades, Myatt took over the boys’ squad as well this fall and Portland, viewed as a team to beat, didn’t disappoint.

The Bulldogs were dominant all season, beat Bonny Eagle by 33 points to win the regional title, then fought off a scare from Scarborough at states to win by 10 points and capture the crown for the first time since 1978.


“It’s amazing,” Myatt said. “These guys worked so hard for it. They love the sport and dedicated their high school lives to it. They deserve this payoff.”

Portland then placed 13th at the New England championships.

Myatt, who teaches English at Portland High, is also the longtime color commentator for Portland boys’ basketball on public television.

Frank Myatt, our Portland edition boys’ team Fall Coach of the Year, knew which buttons to push this season, a season which saw the Bulldogs at last stand atop the Class A boys’ cross country world.

Prior winners:

• 2022 Jason McLeod (Portland football)
* 2021 Jason McLeod (Portland football)
* 2020 Brandon Salway (Waynflete soccer)
• 2019 Brandon Salway (Waynflete soccer)
• 2018 Brandon Salway (Waynflete soccer)
• 2017 Rocco Frenzilli (Portland soccer)
• 2016 Frank Myatt (Deering cross country)
• 2015 Jason Jackson (Deering football)
• 2014 Colin Minte (Cheverus soccer)
• 2013 Rocco Frenzilli (Portland soccer)
• 2012 John Wolfgram (Cheverus football)
• 2011 Brandon Salway (Waynflete soccer)
• 2010 Rocco Frenzilli (Portland soccer)
• 2009 John Wolfgram (Cheverus football)
• 2008 Billy Goodman (Deering golf)
• 2007 Andy LeFebvre (Deering soccer)
• 2006 John Simpson (Cheverus cross country)
• 2005 Jim Ouellette (Cheverus golf)
• 2004 Mike Bailey (Portland football)



Nika Francois–Deering volleyball

Contributed photo

Deering’s volleyball team has been consistently competitive in recent seasons, but what the Rams accomplished in 2023 was arguably their finest hour. Deering won a dozen matches and got all the way to the state semifinals as it continues to cement itself as one of the state’s top teams.

The Rams’ climb to the top has been due in large part to their coach and in light of that climb, and especially in light of this year’s excellence, The Forecaster is naming Nika Francois our Portland edition Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Francois played at South Portland and for the Maine Juniors program and previously coached at the club level. She took over at Deering in 2018 and promptly led the Rams to nine victories and a playoff berth. After a one-win campaign in 2019 and a season lost to COVID the following year, Francois rebuilt Deering back into contention, winning eight matches in 2021 and nine in 2022.

This season, Francois believed her team could be as good as any in the state and the Rams went out and proved it, losing only to Gorham early and by 3-2 scores to Kennebunk and reigning Class A champion Biddeford. As the No. 4 seed in Class A, Deering defeated Sanford in the quarterfinals to reach the semifinals for only the second time and there, at top-ranked Gorham, it won the first game, but lost the next three as the season came to a close.

“We accomplished so much as a team,” said Francois. “We’ve developed and honed in on many different skills as a team and everyone was committed to not only improving individually but also as a team as well. I’m proud of this year’s team for getting to the state semis and we couldn’t have done without all their hard work, commitment and grit.”

Nika Francois, our Portland edition girls’ team Fall Coach of the Year, has created a perennially strong program and figures to have Deering in contention for many years to come.

Prior winners:

• 2022 Carrie Earls/George Sherry (Waynflete soccer)
* 2021 Theresa Hendrix (field hockey)
* 2020 Craig Roberts (Cheverus soccer)
• 2019 Curtis Chapin (Portland soccer)
• 2018 Amethyst Hersom (Deering field hockey)
• 2017 Larry Nichols (Deering volleyball)
• 2016 Craig Roberts (Cheverus soccer)
• 2015 Amy Ashley (Cheverus field hockey)
• 2014 Arthur Mosen (Portland soccer)
• 2013 Todd Dominski (Waynflete soccer)
• 2012 Todd Dominski (Waynflete soccer)
• 2011 Beth Arsenault (Portland field hockey)
• 2010 Noelle Surette (Waynflete field hockey)
• 2009 Amy McMullin (Cheverus field hockey)
• 2008 Ziggy Gillespie (Waynflete cross country)
• 2007 Patsy Fowler (Cheverus field hockey)
• 2006 Dave Levasseur (Portland soccer)
• 2005 Tim Donovan (McAuley cross country)
• 2004 Jon Shardlow (Waynflete soccer)

Press Herald staff writer Glenn Jordan 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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