George Cutone of Kennebunk returns a shot during the boys’ tennis state singles championship match against Matthew Morneault of Falmouth. Cutone won his third state title with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

His exit from high school tennis did not go as well as he had hoped, because the Kennebunk team he spearheaded for four years came up a point short in the regional final.

Even so, George Cutone leaves behind one of the finest legacies in Maine schoolboy tennis history.

Cutone (pronounced coo-toe-knee) won three singles titles in his four years at Kennebunk High. He led the Rams to two Class A state championships and two more appearances in the Class A South final. And he did it all with a grace and verve and joy that endeared him to teammates, opponents and onlookers.

“He always plays with a smile,” said Mike Spenlinhauer, who just completed his first year as Kennebunk’s head coach. “He has a lot of fun with it. It’s really fun to have – and watch – somebody with that kind of talent. I think all spectators and opponents appreciate that.”

Cutone is our choice as Player of the Year for boys’ tennis. He also won the state singles title as a 5-foot-4, 120-pound freshman in 2021, and again as a sophomore in 2022. For college recruiting purposes in 2023, he bypassed the state singles tournament, opting to play a national tournament to gain exposure.

Only five Maine boys have won more than two state singles titles. Mike Hill of Mt. Ararat (2007-09) and Rob Somerville of Gardiner (1972-74) won three. Erik Blakeman of North Yarmouth Academy (1987-90) and Sam Ladd of Brunswick (1956-59) won four.


Cutone, who now stands 5-8 and weighs 150, rolled through this year’s singles tournament. He won his first two matches without dropping a game. Yarmouth senior Andi Cobaj, the eighth seed, spoiled the run of perfection in a 6-1, 6-0 quarterfinal loss.

Cutone proceeded to beat a pair of freshmen, No. 4 Will Meyer of Camden Hills in the semifinals and No. 2 Matt Morneault of Falmouth in the final, by 6-0, 6-0. It was Morneault who prevented an all-Cutone championship match, grinding out a 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Kennebunk sophomore Alberto Cutone in a semifinal that lasted nearly three hours.

“Obviously, I had goals,” George Cutone said. “I wanted to win another state title, both team and individual. I was able to get the individual one. Unfortunately, fell a little short on the team one.”

Falmouth edged Kennebunk 3-2 in the regional final on the way to a second consecutive Class A state title. The Cutone brothers won their singles matches, but that was it for the Rams (13-2), whose only regular-season loss was to Falmouth by the same score.

Kennebunk did come away with a banner this spring: The Rams won the Class A South Sportsmanship Award.

“I was pretty surprised about that, to be honest, but we’ll take it,” Cutone said. “We had a great group of guys.”


George, Alberto and their sister, Olivia, a junior at Kennebunk who opted out of high school competition this spring, started their tennis journeys by whacking a ball that hung from a rope tied to a tree in their Kennebunkport backyard.

It was Alberto, the youngest, who first took to tennis. Gymnastics and soccer were the sports that initially captured George’s imagination, and clearly contributed to his balletic footwork on the court. He is rarely the more physically imposing player in any match, but his intelligence, his movement and his athletic ability helped him rise to his current U.S. Tennis Association junior ranking of third in New England among boys 18-and-under.

Now he moves on to collegiate tennis. He began training Thursday at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, where he plans to study engineering. Both electrical and nuclear engineering have piqued his interest, and aviation is another potential path.

Although the singles title was nice, he said the season as a whole was more meaningful:

“Getting to play with a team, be with my friends, and just be on the court and be in that team environment is the most important, the most impactful thing that I’ve had this year.”

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