A spring season to savor

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The weather was far from ideal, but the high school sports action was memorable this spring.

Baseball produced a state champion and plenty of drama as Cheverus won it all for the first time, and Deering and Waynflete both made it to the playoffs.

Softball saw last year’s upstart team, McAuley, prove even stronger, as the Lions made it all the way to the semifinals for the first time.

Lacrosse action was fast and furious as several local teams excelled. Deering’s boys made it all the way to the regional final for the first time, while Portland and Waynflete were ousted in the semis.

On the girls’ side, Waynflete made it to a fourth successive state final, but dropped a one-goal heartbreaker to Yarmouth. Cheverus made a stunning run from a 1-9 start to the regional final.

Outdoor track produced triumph, while tennis also had its share of thrills, especially at Waynflete.

Before we move on to an all-too-short summer, here’s one final look back at the best of the spring season:

Portland edition spring state champions

Cheverus Stags baseball, Class A
Waynflete Flyers boys’ tennis, Class C
Waynflete Flyers girls’ tennis, Class C

Portland edition spring regional champion

Waynflete Flyers girls’ lacrosse, Western Class B

Portland edition spring individual champions

Outdoor track

Katie Shapiro, Cheverus, Class A girls’ discus
Caroline Summa, Cheverus, Class A girls’ high jump
Jack Terwilliger, Cheverus, Class A boys’ 800
Jack Terwilliger, Cheverus, Class A boys’ mile
Jack Terwilliger, Cheverus, Class A boys’ two-mile
Bryan White, Deering, Class A boys’ shot put
Imadhi Zagon, Portland, Class A boys’ 100

Tennis

Patrick Ordway, Waynflete, boys’ singles

Michael’s Top Five Stories

5) McAuley softball impresses again

Emphasizing that 2010’s 11 victories were no fluke, the Lions were even better this time around. Behind strong pitching from senior Jen Field and sophomore Gabby Townsend, a potent offense paced by junior Shelby Bryant and sophomore Sam Schildroth and key contributions from everyone on the team, McAuley started 11-0 and wound up setting a program record for wins with 13. The final one came in the quarterfinals as the Lions rallied past and held off Kennebunk in a thriller. While serious between the lines, McAuley knew how to have fun and its attitude was infectious during another memorable campaign.

4) Waynflete tennis teams sweep Class C

While Waynflete has long set the bar for excellence in Class C tennis, the 2011 season wasn’t supposed to produce three championships. The fun began in the singles tournament when Patrick Ordway proved to be the best individual in the state. Neither Flyers team was highly ranked when the playoffs began, but the No. 8 girls caught lightning in a bottle, didn’t have to face nemesis NYA, then won it all for the first time since 2006. The boys capped their year in fine style, peaking in the playoffs to win Class C for the fourth season in a row. There’s no sign of the dominance letting up.

3) Waynflete girls’ lacrosse falls one goal shy

Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team wasn’t highly touted entering the 2011 campaign and longtime coach Cathie Connors feared the Flyers might be in for a difficult season. If a “difficult season” results in a dozen wins, you can go ahead and sign up every other squad in the state. Waynflete stumbled early at home to Kennebunk, then knocked off powerhouse Yarmouth and defending state champion North Yarmouth Academy back-to-back en route to nine straight victories. The Flyers stumbled in their finale at Yarmouth, but still wound up first in Western B. After surviving Greely and Cape Elizabeth in one-goal thrillers in the playoffs, Waynflete met up with Yarmouth again in the state final and even held a brief second half lead, but in the end, the dream fell one goal short, 9-8. Next year, don’t be surprised if the Flyers get back to their familiar perch as the state’s best team.

2) Deering boys’ lacrosse reaches first regional final

Deering’s boys’ lacrosse team had played second fiddle to rival Portland for the past several seasons, but this spring, the Rams had no peer in the city. Deering posted a program-best 11-1 mark, beating Portland along the way for the first time in seven years. The Rams wound up ranked second in the Eastern A playoffs and held off Messalonskee in the semifinals to make it to a first-ever regional final. There, despite a valiant effort, Deering suffered a close loss to Lewiston, but this program made great strides and enjoyed a tremendous statement season.

1) Cheverus baseball wins first championship

Considering what Cheverus’ boys’ athletic teams accomplished in the fall and winter, seeing the baseball team celebrate on June 18 shouldn’t have come as a surprise, but the Stags entered the year without much of a pedigree. That changed quickly in a season devoid of a heavy favorite. Cheverus got great pitching and the bats boomed from the get-go. The Stags only stumbled twice in the regular season (once in a 14-inning marathon), earned the top seed for the playoffs and eliminated Thornton Academy, South Portland and Westbrook before downing Lewiston, 9-1, to win it all for the first time. A finer year for boys’ sports at one school is hard to find.

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

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The 2011 season was one of celebration and triumph for senior Nic Lops (9) and his Cheverus baseball teammates. The Stags won their first Class A state championship.

The booming bat of junior Shelby Bryant helped the McAuley softball team advance deeper than any team in program history.

Deering senior Carleton Allen and Portland senior Caleb Kenney took centerstage this spring as they each earned all-star mention and led their teams to the playoffs.

Senior Scout Haffenreffer and the Waynflete girls’ lacrosse team made it back to the state final this spring.

Waynflete’s Patrick Ordway had a sensational spring, winning the state singles crown and leading the Flyers to another Class C team championship.

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