A fabulous fall is in the books–Portland edition

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The weather was great and the competition was even better.

The fall sports season, circa 2015, won’t soon be forgotten in Forecaster Country.

The gridiron saw tremendous play from all three city teams, as Portland reached the state final and Cheverus and Deering both made it to the semifinal round.

Both Waynflete soccer teams lost in overtime of the Class C state final. Six of the other seven local squads also qualified for the playoffs.

Cheverus’ field hockey team turned heads, making a spirited run to the regional final. Deering also qualified for the postseason.

Cross country saw strong performances from teams and individuals.

Cheverus’ golf team got to the Class A state match.

Volleyball saw Cheverus reach the playoffs and also featured the debut of the Deering and Portland varsity programs and both suggested that plenty of excitement is ahead.

There indeed was plenty of excitement since early September. Before we turn our attention to winter sports, here’s one last look at a fun and fabulous fall.

City of Portland fall champions

Portland Bulldogs football, Class A North
Waynflete Flyers boys’ soccer, Class C South
Waynflete Flyers, girls’ soccer, Class C South
Waynflete Flyers, girls’ cross country, Class C South

Michael’s top five stories 

5) Cheverus boys’ soccer almost does it again

A year ago, Cheverus’ boys’ soccer team made a stirring run from the No. 7 seed to win an improbable state championship. When the 2015 regular season came to a close, the Stags found themselves seventh again and once more, saved their best for last. After blanking Marshwood in the preliminary round, Cheverus upset Gorham in the quarterfinals and outlasted South Portland in the semifinals. The Stags had to go to Scarborough for the regional final, the site of last year’s epic upset, but this time around, Cheverus couldn’t find the net and lost, 2-0. The Stags fell just short, but earned a lot of admiration in the process.

4) Cheverus field hockey steals the show

Cheverus’ field hockey team expected to compete when the season dawned, but no one thought the Stags would excel the way they did, winning their first eight games, including a first-ever regular season victory over defending Class A champion Scarborough. After losing two in a row, there were concerns, but the Stags won their final four games, earned the top seed for the playoffs for the first time, then outlasted both Westbrook and Sanford in emotionally-draining penalty corners to reach the regional final. There, Cheverus finally met its match, losing, 4-1, to Thornton Academy, but by any measure, it was a season to hail.

3) Waynflete soccer teams come oh-so-close

Waynflete’s boys’ and girls’ soccer teams ultimately fell a goal shy of a coveted Gold Ball, but both squads gave their followers an abundance of thrills. The boys’ team had to survive Carrabec in a marathon penalty kick drama in the quarterfinals, then found their way to the state final before losing in overtime to Washington Academy. The girls rose from the No. 6 seed and got to states behind the heroics of senior Arianna Giguere. There, the Flyers rallied from an early 2-0 deficit against Orono, but ultimately lost in overtime too.

2) Deering football awakens the echoes

Deering’s football team endured more turbulence than triumph the past few seasons, but the Rams returned to prominence this fall under first-year coach Jason Jackson. Deering gained some early confidence and behind a solid group of determined and proud seniors, went 6-2 and earned the No. 2 seed in Class A South. After a quarterfinal round bye, the Rams gave perennial power Bonny Eagle a 48-minute battle in the semifinals, but ultimately fell one painful point short, 20-19. We haven’t heard the last of Deering, however, as the Rams will battle ancient rival Portland Thanksgiving Day.

1) Portland football returns to big stage

Across town, Portland entered the season as one of the favorites in Class A North and it didn’t take long for everyone to realize that the Bulldogs’ defense had no peer. Portland went 8-0 in the regular season, earned the top seed and after a quarterfinal round bye, the Bulldogs dominated Bangor in the semifinals, then made a powerful statement with a win over preseason favorite Windham in the regional final. Portland’s title dream ended with a loss to repeat champion Thornton Academy in the state game, but a proud program produced one of its most inspirational chapters.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sidebar Elements

Portland’s football team had a season of celebrations as the Bulldogs went all the way to the Class A state final.

Waynflete goalkeeper Milo Belleau and his Flyers teammates made a stirring run all the way to the Class C state final.

Cheverus’ field hockey team exceeded all expectations and won a couple of dramatic playoff games en route to the Class A South Final.

Deering’s Grace Tumavicus was one of the city’s top cross country runners this autumn and qualified for states as an individual.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.