Boys’ team

TYLER TRACY, Freeport basketball

File photo

Freeport’s boys’ basketball team knew it was close, but as far it went this winter came as a most pleasant surprise.

Last season, the Falcons missed the playoffs with a 5-13 record, as most of their losses came in agonizingly close fashion.

This year, Freeport turned the close losses into victories, won 10 of 11 games in one stretch, ended up with the program’s most wins since 2008 and got to the semifinals for the first time in 16 seasons.

Making all of that happen was a talented group of veteran players under the leadership of Tyler Tracy, a coach who has already made name for himself in regards to surprising the pundits.

And in light of this year’s success, Tyler Tracy is The Forecaster’s choice as our Northern edition Winter Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

Tracy previously coached Poland’s boys’ program for 11 years, best remembered for leading the Knights on a surprising run to the 2014 Class B state final. Tracy was named the Maine McDonald’s Class B South Coach of the Year in both 2012 and 2015. He came to Freeport in 2021 and after the Falcons lost in the preliminary round of the tournament his first season, they couldn’t figure out how to win close games in 2022-23 and fell short of the postseason.

This year was a completely different story.

“We struggled late in games last year and hopefully, we’ll flip that,” said Tracy, prior to the start of the 2023-24 season. “We have high expectations.”

Those expectations were exceeded, as Freeport opened with a win over a talented Noble team and thanks in part to overtime victories over Wells and Yarmouth, the Falcons found themselves 12-2 in late-January. While Freeport cooled off down the stretch, losing three of its final four, it still earned the No. 4 seed for the Class A South tournament.

The Falcons then avenged one of their regular season losses with a 64-54 win over Kennebunk in the quarterfinals, the program’s first triumph in that round since 2008. Freeport gave top-ranked, eventual champion Gray-New Gloucester a scare in the semifinals before going down to a 62-56 defeat.

“Losing hurts, but I wouldn’t trade this team for any other,” said Tracy. “I have 15 high-character guys who give their best effort to each other every night. I’m so happy this group had a great season. They have an incredible work ethic, they all embrace their role and they are committed to getting better every day. This is also a team that played their best when their backs were against the wall. We went from a team that lost a handful of games by five points or less in 2023, to 2024, where we won a lot of games when we were trailing in the fourth quarter. This is just one example of the toughness and resilience of this team.”

While graduation will take its toll on the Falcons, you can rest assured that they’ll remain a contender as long as Tyler Tracy, our Northern edition boys’ team Winter Coach of the Year, is pushing the buttons.

Previous winners:

• 2022-23 Dave Halligan (Falmouth basketball)
* 2021-22 Jonas Allen (Yarmouth basketball)
* 2020-21 Jonas Allen (Yarmouth basketball)
• 2019-20 Tip Kimball (Falmouth skiing)
2018-19 Barry Mothes (Greely hockey)
2017-18 Bill Ridge (Freeport basketball)
2016-17 Travis Seaver (Greely basketball)
2015-16 Dave Halligan (Falmouth basketball)
2014-15 Dave St. Pierre (Yarmouth hockey)
2013-14 Rob Hale (Greely swimming)
2012-13 Deron Barton (Falmouth hockey)
2011-12 Adam Smith (Yarmouth basketball)
2010-11 Adam Smith (Yarmouth basketball)
2009-10 Marc Halsted (Yarmouth hockey)
2008-09 Barry Mothes (Greely hockey)
2007-08 Craig Sickels (Freeport basketball)
2006-07 Adam Smith (Yarmouth basketball)
2005-06 Jorma Kurry (Falmouth track)
2004-05 Scott Rousseau (Falmouth hockey)
2003-04 Barry Mothes (Greely hockey)
2002-03 John Maloney (Yarmouth basketball)
2001-02 Scott Matusovich (Yarmouth hockey)

Girls’ team

TOM ROBINSON, North Yarmouth Academy basketball


Contributed photo

A year after graduating arguably the finest player in program history, the North Yarmouth Academy girls’ basketball program was at a crossroads.

With just one senior on the roster and a lot of unproven players needing to step into bigger roles, the Panthers, accustomed to gaudy records and deep playoff runs in recent seasons, could have come back to pack.

But they didn’t.

Instead, NYA was nearly perfect in the regular season, made it to Augusta as the top seed in the Class C South field and reached the semifinals before being eliminated.

For getting the most out of his players once again, Tom Robinson is The Forecaster’s choice as our Northern edition Winter Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Robinson served a previous stint at NYA, as the school’s boys’ coach, in the 2000s, leading the Panthers to the semifinals four consecutive seasons. After serving as an assistant with the Cape Elizabeth girls’ team, he returned to NYA to take over the girls’ program in 2018 and in his first five years, won 77 games and reached the regional final three times. That included the 2022-23 season, when the Panthers lost in overtime to eventual champion Old Orchard Beach.


NYA had to say goodbye to transcendent point guard Angel Huntsman (who missed the latter part of her senior season due to a knee injury), as well as Sarah English, and with Graca Bila the lone senior returning, the Panthers appeared vulnerable.

NYA instead won its first 13 games, with 10 victories coming by double-digits. The Panthers fell from the unbeaten ranks with a loss at Hall-Dale, but closed on a four-game surge to earn the top seed in the region.

NYA then dispatched Carrabec (37-19) in the quarterfinals before falling short against Madison in the semifinals, 47-37, to finish 18-2.

“It’s never a good feeling when you lose, but I’m happy with how the girls battled to the end,” Robinson said. “They left everything on the court.”

NYA should be primed for another big year next season.

“We will have eight out of our nine varsity players back,” Robinson said. “It will all depend if our returning players can continue to make improvement in their games. It’s a very coachable, hard-working team that still has room for growth.”

The Panthers are always primed for growth, improvement and triumph with Tom Robinson, our Northern edition girls’ team Winter Coach of the Year, at the helm.

Previous winners:

• 2022-23 Dave Intraversato (Yarmouth/Freeport hockey)
* 2021-22 Todd Flaherty (Greely basketball)
* 2020-21 Todd Flaherty (Greely basketball)
2019-20 Dawn Armandi (Falmouth basketball)
2018-19 Seth Farrington (Freeport basketball)
2017-18 Mike Hart (Freeport basketball)
2016-17 John Folan (Greely track)
2015-16 Christina Strong (Yarmouth basketball)
2014-15 Joel Rogers (Greely basketball)
2013-14 Jeff Haley (Yarmouth/Freeport hockey)
2012-13 Nate Guerin (Greely hockey)
2011-12 Jay Lowery (Yarmouth basketball)
2010-11 Mark Ouellette (Greely Alpine skiing)
2009-10 Rob Hale (Greely swimming)
2008-09 Billy Goodman (Greely basketball)
2007-08 Nick Nash (Yarmouth basketball)
2006-07 George Conant (Falmouth basketball)
2005-06 John Keyes (Falmouth swimming)
2004-05 John Folan (Greely track)
2003-04 Jim Seavey (Greely basketball)
2002-03 Jim Seavey (Greely basketball)
2001-02 Eric Austin (NYA basketball)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at

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