A fabulous fall is in the books

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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 and history made, as Yarmouth made it to the Class C state final, Falmouth reached the regional final for the first time and Greely overcame the odds to reach the semifinals.

On the pitch, Yarmouth’s boys repeated as Class B champions, while Falmouth, Freeport, Greely and North Yarmouth Academy also made the playoffs.

On the girls’ side, Greely left no doubt that it was the state’s best team, winning the Class B championship. Falmouth and Yarmouth also reached the postseason.

All five field hockey teams made it to the playoffs. NYA making it to the semifinal was the best postseason performance. 

All four volleyball teams got to the postseason. NYA and Yarmouth were ousted in the quarterfinals, Greely rallied to stun Falmouth in the semifinals, then the Rangers were ousted by Scarborough in the state final.

Cross country saw Yarmouth’s girls win a first-ever Class B championship, while Freeport’s boys repeated in Class B. A pair of individuals came in first as well.

Falmouth, Greely and NYA’s golf teams all reached states.

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.

Fall champions

Freeport Falcons boys’ cross country, Class B
Greely Rangers girls’ soccer, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers boys’ soccer, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers girls’ cross country, Class B 

Yarmouth Clippers football, Class C South

Chandler Vincent, Freeport, Class B boys’ cross country
Katherine Leggat-Barr, Greely, Class B girls’ cross country

Michael’s top five stories 

5) Excellence above the net

The sport of volleyball continues to get more and more exciting and some of the best action was right in our backyard. NYA produced its first winning record and made it to the Class B playoffs. In Class A, Yarmouth performed very well in its return to that level, but couldn’t solve defending champion Cape Elizabeth, losing in the quarterfinals. Falmouth and Greely produced a semifinal round battle for the ages, as the Yachtsmen won the first two sets before the Rangers woke up the echoes and rallied to prevail in five. Greely hoped for its first crown in three years, but lost in four sets to Scarborough at states.

4) Another pair of Class B cross country crowns

Yarmouth’s girls’ cross country team nearly won the Class B championship in 2014, but finished a close second to Greely. This time around, the Clippers had no equal and they made history in the process. Freeport’s boys went back-t0-back and hinted that they aren’t close to being finished. The Falcons were led by individual champion Chandler Vincent. Greely’s Katherine Leggat-Barr was the Class B girls’ individual winner.

3) Yarmouth boys go back-to-back

Yarmouth’s boys’ soccer team has long resided among the state’s finest. This fall, the Clippers might not have had a peer. Even though the squad was decimated by injuries, they still managed to go 12-1-1 and after downing rivals Cape Elizabeth and Greely to get to the regional final, Yarmouth had to reach deep into its reservoir of heart and pride to rally to survive Maranacook. The state game produced an abundance of thrills, most notably a goal from senior captain Walter Conrad, who missed almost the whole season with an ankle injury, and the Clippers’ 3-0 win over Erskine Academy allowed them to go back-to-back. Yarmouth will seek the program’s first “three-peat” next fall.

2) Gridiron greatness

Forecaster Country has long been known for its soccer excellence, but football continues to thrive as well. Greely appeared doomed to a tough season when senior quarterback Matt Pisini suffered a season-ending knee injury in the preseason, but after a slow start, the Rangers came to life and behind senior workhorse Sam Peck, finished strong, upset Falmouth in the finale to make the playoffs, then shocked defending Western B champion Leavitt in the quarterfinals before finally meeting their match against Marshwood in the semifinals. Falmouth, meanwhile, bounced back from its loss to Greely, its only regular season setback, to earn the top seed in Class B South, then beat Morse and Westbrook to make it to the regional final for the first time. The Yachtsmen were ousted by Marshwood in a mistake-plagued contest, but won a program-record nine games. Yarmouth went undefeated during the regular season, eking out one-point wins over Wells and Cape Elizabeth to earn the top seed. After dominating Mountain Valley and Fryeburg Academy, the Clippers fell behind Wells in the regional final, but despite playing without standout Cody Cook, they rallied to win, 17-14, on Andrew Beatty’s late 37-yard field goal. Yarmouth finally met its match in the state final, losing to repeat champion Winslow, 24-10.

1) Greely girls finally reach the pinnacle

Greely’s girls’ soccer team lost in the regional final in 2013 and 2014, but this year, the Rangers weren’t about to settle for anything shy of a Gold Ball. Greely dominated nearly from start to finish, winning its first 12 games before losing at Yarmouth and York to close the regular season. The Rangers still wound up first in Class B South and behind the brilliant play of senior Izzy Hutnak, roared to the championship, getting tested only once, by Yarmouth, in the semifinals. In the state final, all of Greely’s excellence was on display in a 6-0 victory over Hermon. The team was a joy to watch and was truly the best girls’ squad around.

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

Sidebar Elements

Greely senior Izzy Hutnak scored nine times in the playoffs to help lead the Rangers to a long-awaited Class B state championship.

Falmouth’s Sydney Bell had another superb season, helping the Yachtsmen back to the playoffs.

Chandler Vincent led Freeport’s boys’ cross country team to a second consecutive Class B championship.

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