April triumph brings May optimism

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(Ed. Note: For the complete Greely-Cape Elizabeth softball, Yarmouth-South Portland boys’ lacrosse and Yarmouth-Waynflete, Yarmouth-Scarborough and Falmouth-Yarmouth girls’ lacrosse game stories, including detailed box scores and additional photos, please visit theforecaster.net)

The very short spring sports season is now underway for everybody. Some teams have played several games, others just one or two, but it’s becoming clear that preseason projections of excellence were right on the mark.

Here’s a glimpse at what’s occurred in the past week and what’s to come.

Baseball-Falcons turning heads

Freeport’s baseball team is off to its best start since winning its first four contests in 2004. The Falcons have captured their first four games this spring, downing visiting Yarmouth (11-1, in five innings), visiting York (5-4, in eight innings), host Cape Elizabeth (7-3) and host York (5-3). In the first win against the Wildcats, Chris Farley drove in the winning run and Josh Weirich got the win in relief as Freeport rallied from a 3-0 deficit. In the Falcons’ victory over the Capers, believed to be their first ever, Dan Burke doubled twice and drove in four runs, Connor Dietrich added three hits and Sawyer Williams earned the victory. In Monday’s win at York, Weirich had a pair of hits and saved his team’s bacon in the last of the seventh, fanning the side with the bases loaded.

“It’s the best start we’ve had in years, but it’s only (four) games,” said Freeport coach Hank Ogilby. “I’m very pleased with all aspects of our game right now, pitching, defense, but especially hitting and attitude. We really can hit one through nine. Our seniors and team leaders have set a nice tone for the team. So yeah, we are off to a good start, but as they say, ‘It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish that counts.'”

The Falcons host Old Orchard Beach Wednesday, go to Gray-New Gloucester Friday and have a showdown with reigning Western B champion Greely Monday of next week.

Those Rangers have been dominating in the early going. Greely opened with a 28-0 (five inning) win at Lake Region last Tuesday. Jonah Normandeau threw a perfect game and had five hits, four RBI and three runs scored. Bailey Train homered. The Rangers set school records for margin of victory (28 runs) and hits in an inning (11, in the second). Greely tied a school record by scoring 28 runs. Most impressively, the victory gave longtime coach Derek Soule his 172nd career win, allowing him to leapfrog Bob Anthoine for the top spot in program history.

The next day, the Rangers blanked visiting Sacopee Valley, 10-0, again in five innings, and this time Train threw a no-hitter, striking out 13. Greely scored seven times in the first inning to break it open. Normandeau and Luke Saffian both had two RBI. Last Thursday, Greely won in more conventional manner, 7-2, at Fryeburg. Mike Leeman surrendered the first opponent’s hit of the year, but still earned the win with a four-hitter. Sam Porter had a two-run triple and struck out the side in the seventh. The Rangers improved to 4-0 Monday with an 8-0 home win over Cape Elizabeth (Normandeau allowed two hits this time and struck out 11, while Pete Stauber had two hits and three RBI). Greely was at Wells Wednesday, visits Falmouth Friday and hosts Freeport Monday of next week.

Falmouth beat host York, 8-2, in its first game, then enjoyed a 10-5 victory over visiting Cape Elizabeth in its home opener. Will D’Agostino homered and drove in three runs and Addison Foltmer earned his second win of the season. The Yachtsmen improved to 3-0 Monday with an 11-1 six inning win at Fryeburg (Nick Spencer got the win, Seamus Powers and Drew Proctor each had three hits). They were at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday. After hosting Greely Friday, Falmouth is home with Lake Region Monday.

Yarmouth opened with losses at Freeport and Wells, but bounced back last week with wins over visiting Lake Region (13-3, in five innings) and at Old Orchard Beach (13-0, in six innings). Against the Lakers, Ryan Cody earned the win, while Mike Smith and Tom Sullivan hit home runs. In the win over the Seagulls, Bryce Snyder singled, doubled, tripled and drove in four runs, while Chester Jacobs earned the victory with five shutout frames. The Clippers improved to 3-2 Monday with a 12-2 six inning home win over Gray-New Gloucester. Snyder and Sullivan both had two hits and three RBI, Eamon Costello had three hits and drove in two runs and Nick Lainey earned the win after allowing just four hits. Yarmouth hosted Poland Wednesday. The Clippers are at Fryeburg Saturday.

Softball-Rangers dominate rival

Greely’s highly touted softball team ran the gamut last week. The Rangers opened with an 11-5 triumph at Lake Region (Katie Whittum had three hits, Caroline Hamilton and winning pitcher Danielle Cimino two each), then lost at home to Sacopee Valley, 12-7 (Hamilton had four hits, Edith Aromando three). Everything came together Thursday at rival Fryeburg in a playoff rematch as Greely rolled, 8-1. Cimino earned the win by holding the Raiders to five hits. Elyse Dinan had three hits, Hamilton and Jenna Brink both had two.

That victory proved to be a huge confidence boost.

“It was massive,” Cimino said. “We went into that game knowing we lost to them last year, but we knew we could do it. We wanted it bad and we got it.”

Monday, the Rangers improved to 3-1 with an 8-5 home victory over Cape Elizabeth, behind a double, home run and two RBI from Cimino, who settled down and earned the win after giving up five runs in the fourth, and two RBI from Dinan. Lindsey Arsenault scored three runs.

“It was great how they responded,” said Greely first-year coach Sarah Jamo. “We’re still trying to erase that one inning and play all the way through for seven innings. We kept putting runs on the board consistently. That was good to see.”

The Rangers were at Wells Wednesday, visit Falmouth Friday and host Freeport Monday.

“We definitely have a team that can go a long way,” Cimino said. “If we play our game, I don’t think there’s a team anywhere that can beat us.”

The Falcons were 3-2 at press time. Last Wednesday, Freeport blanked visiting York, 14-0, in five innings. Leigh Wyman threw a one-hitter and had three hits of her own. Dani Perry also had three hits. After a 10-0 loss at Cape Elizabeth Saturday, the Falcons went to York Monday and prevailed, 16-1, in five innings. Wyman allowed three hits in earning the way. She also had a pair of hits, as did Dietrich and Andrea Grant. Freeport is at Gray-New Gloucester Saturday and goes to Greely Monday.

Yarmouth won its first two games, including an 8-5 win at Wells last Tuesday, to avenge last year’s playoff loss. In that one, Melissa Levinson doubled twice and drove in a pair of runs, Michelle Robichaud drove in a pair and McKenzie Gray earned the win. The following day, however, the Clippers fell at home to Lake Region, 13-1 (Julia Anastos’ triple drove in the team’s lone run). Friday, Yarmouth suffered a 9-8 loss at Poland. The Clippers were down, 9-4, heading for the seventh. They pushed four runs across, but fell just short. Gray singled, doubled and tripled and Kallie Hutchinson added a pair of hits. Yarmouth hosted Gray-New Gloucester Monday and fell to 2-3 with an 11-1 loss. Gray had an RBI single The Clippers hosted Poland Wednesday and play at Fryeburg Saturday.

Falmouth, which romped, 15-0, in five innings, in its opener at York, suffered a 4-0 home loss to Cape Elizabeth last Wednesday. The Yachtsmen dropped to 1-2 Monday with an 11-0 loss at Fryeburg. Falmouth was at Gray-New Gloucester Wednesday, welcomes Greely Friday and hosts Lake Region Monday of next week.

Boys’ lacrosse-Clippers back on track

A year after a rare down season, the Yarmouth boys’ lacrosse team is back in form. The Clippers opened with an 11-9 home victory over rival North Yarmouth Academy, then lost, 14-7, at defending Class B state champion Falmouth, despite three goals from Ian Edgecomb. Saturday, Yarmouth improved to 2-1 with a 12-2 home victory over South Portland. Anders Overhaug and Ethan Cyr paced a balanced offensive attack with three goals each, goalie Alex Kurtz made nine clutch saves, Yarmouth raced to a 5-0 lead and blew the game open late in the third period.

“We have a lot of great players on offense,” said Cyr. “We go five, six guys deep at midfield and we have three or four great attackmen. We’ve worked on shooting and finishing and getting everyone to score goals.”

“(The kids have) worked hard,” said first-year Clippers coach David Pearl. “They laugh and have fun and enjoy what they’re doing. I’ve seen so much progress since the beginning of the year. It’s unbelievable.”

Yarmouth faces a home showdown versus Cape Elizabeth Saturday and welcomes Freeport Tuesday.

“We have the whole week to get better,” added Pearl. “We know Cape is a premier team in the state. We look forward to the challenge.”

NYA opened with a 10-4 home win over Wells, then lost at Yarmouth (11-9), at Cape Elizabeth (14-2) and at home to Scarborough (4-3).

The game versus the Red Storm was a benefit for the Wounded Warrior Project (please see story). The Panthers jumped ahead 2-0 on goals from Oliver Silverson and Jacob Scammon. After Scarborough rallied to tie, Scammon scored again for a 3-2 lead late in the third period, but the Red Storm got the last two goals to win.

“I was a little worried about (them being caught up in the pregame ceremony),” said NYA coach Chris Carpentier. “That’s another reason we do stuff like this, so that they’ll have this experience in bigger games down the line.”

The Panthers (1-3) were back in action Tuesday when they hosted Fryeburg. NYA welcomes Falmouth Monday in a rematch of last year’s Class B state final.

Freeport lost its first three games, 9-2 at Greely, 12-3 at York and 9-7 at home to Gorham. Alex Sturtevant made 11 saves against the Wildcats. Evan Hench scored three times in the loss to the Rams. The Falcons host Fryeburg Thursday, go to Waynflete Saturday and visit Yarmouth Tuesday.

Falmouth bounced back from its season-opening loss at Cape Elizabeth with a 15-7 home win over Greely, then downed visiting Yarmouth, 14-7, last Wednesday. Mitch Tapley scored seven times in the win. Monday, the Yachtsmen had no trouble with host Portland, winning, 13-4, to improve to 3-1.  Tapley scored five times, while Hunter LaFond added four. Falmouth was home with Lake Region Wednesday and goes to NYA Monday of next week.

Greely began the week 3-1. The Rangers opened with a 12-2 home win over Freeport. After a loss at Falmouth, Greely defeated host Waynflete (12-7) and visiting Massabesic (5-3). Paul Witte had seven goals in the win over the Flyers and scored three times against the Mustangs. The Rangers were home with Wells Wednesday, go to York Friday and play at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday.

Girls’ lacrosse-Yachtsmen set for showdown

On the girls’ side, Falmouth continued its strong start with recent wins at NYA (17-3) and Marshwood (13-10) and a 19-7 home triumph over Yarmouth. Megan Fortier scored four times against the Panthers, her former team, while Molly Ryan and Geneva Waite both had three goals. Vanessa Audet scored three times in the scare at the Hawks. Monday, the Yachtsmen beat the Clippers for the second time this season (after having never beaten them prior to 2012), behind five goals and two assists from Fortier and four goals each Ryan and Alex Bernier.

“I think we all had a good game,” Fortier said. “I think we have a very talented group. We’ve definitely shown that. We’re getting better every game. You can see that.”

“We’ve always used Yarmouth as a measuring stick,” said Yachtsmen coach Robin Haley. “They’re a very competitive team. They showed some things we need to work on. The score says one thing, but the game said something entirely different.”

Falmouth now turns its attention to a Friday night home showdown with perennial powerhouse Waynflete, the last team the Yachtsmen have never beaten. Heal Points, bragging rights and confidence are at stake.

“We haven’t beaten them yet, but I definitely think we’re up for the challenge,” said Fortier. “We’ve talked about it. We’re anticipating it.”

“Waynflete’s an excellent team,” said Haley. “They don’t turn the ball over. They pass and catch very well. We’ll need to do that to stay with them. If we don’t, it will be a challenge. If we do, it will be a very competitive game. It’s a question of can we rise to the pressure? I hope we do.”

Also in Western B, Greely got its first win last, week, edging visiting York, 11-9, behind four goals and two assists from Audrey Parolin and three goals from Etta Copenhagen. Mary Morrison stopped 11 shots. The Rangers fell to 1-2 Friday after a 9-5 loss at Massabesic. Paige Tuller had a goal and two assists. Krystyna Rybka made 16 saves. Greely was home with Freeport Tuesday, goes to York Friday and hosts Cape Elizazbeth Tuesday of next week.

In Eastern B, Freeport is the lone local team with a victory at press time. The Falcons lost to York (12-11) and Cape Elizabeth (15-7) to start the year, but got in the win column Thursday with a 10-8 home win over NYA. Jess Hench and Alex Mitch both had three goals in the loss to the Capers. In the victory over the Panthers, Freeport’s first this century and perhaps its first ever, Hench and Emily Johnson both scored twice, while goalie Molly Lane made five clutch saves. The Falcons were at Greely Tuesday, visit Fryeburg Thursday and Windham Saturday, then host Waynflete Tuesday of next week.

Defending Class B champion Yarmouth opened the season with a brutal four-game stretch against the three best teams in the state. Last week, the Clippers fell at Waynflete (13-2) and at home to Scarborough (12-5). Monday brought a 19-7 loss at Falmouth. Claudia Lockwood scored twice against the Red Storm. Grace O’Donnell, Ricki Pierce and Maddy Wood all had two goals against the Yachtsmen.

“I’ve got younger kids, but they’re stepping up,” said Yarmouth coach Dorothy Holt. “The improvement is there. We played much better than the first time, even if the score doesn’t show it.”

Yarmouth’s grueling opening stretch finally culminates Friday with a game at dangerous Cape Elizabeth. The schedule then eases somewhat going forward, starting with home games versus Wells and NYA next week.

By June, the Clippers will likely be the last team anyone wants to face.

“I think you’ll see a different team in the second half of the season,” Holt said. “It’s a tough schedule, but we showed we can compete. We just have to look forward. This experience will help. We’ll get there.”

NYA fell to 0-4 with recent losses at home to Falmouth (17-3) and at Freeport (10-8) and Cheverus (13-8). Katie Cawley and Katherine Millett both scored three times against the Falcons. Cawley scored four times versus the Stags. The Panthers look to get in the win column Friday versus Wells.

Track

The outdoor track is underway and familiar names are already leading the pack.

Falmouth dominated its opening meet at Poland (which also included Old Orchard Beach and Waynflete). Charlotte Cutshall sparked the girls with wins in the 100 (13.6 seconds) and the long jump (14 feet, 7.25 inches).

Freeport and Yarmouth joined Traip at Fryeburg. In the boys’ meet, the Falcons came in second to the hosts, while the Clippers were fourth. Yarmouth’s Lucas Davis took the 100 (11.92) and 200 (24.51). Freeport winners included Harrison Stivers in the 800 (2 minutes, 9.31 seconds), Vinnie Zolla in the two-mile (11:25.07), Thomas Dodge in the high jump (5-4), Ethan Roney in the racewalk (9:28.29) and the 3,200 relay team (9:14.52). On the girls’ side, also won by Fryeburg, Freeport placed third and Yarmouth was fourth. The Clippers got a win from Jocelyn Davies in the high jump (4-8). Falcons event winners included Kelsey Grant in the javelin (83-4), Olivia Bubar in the distance (61-7) and Elly Bengtsson in the mile (6:16.44).

The Greely juggernaut was at Wells with Sacopee and Gray-New Gloucester. The boys were runner-up to Sacopee. James Ferrar took the javelin (126-2) and shot put (42-0.75). The Rangers also won the 1,600 (3:52.14) and 3,200 (9:36.11) relays. The girls’ team came in first. Emily Saunders stole the show by capturing the high jump (4-8), long jump (14-9) and triple jump (32-6.5). Cassidy Storey won both the shot put (30 feet) and discus (90-5).

NYA traveled to Cape Elizabeth (along with Lake Region and York) for its first meet. The boys came in second to York. Cam Rayder captured the discus (122-7).  Nick Rayder took the 100 (11.6). Other winners included Kevin Schwarm in the racewalk (10:42.6), Cam Regan in the 400 (54.5), Jake Burns in the 300 hurdles (43.9), Rudy Guiliani in the two-mile (10:35.3) and the 400 relay team (47.5). The girls finished third. Kayla Rose won the discus (83-6).

Tennis

Falmouth continues to set the pace on the hardcourts. The boys’ team is now 4-0 after recent wins over Greely (5-0), Cape Elizabeth (3-2) and York (5-0). The girls are also 4-0, having beaten every foe by a 5-0 score, including Waynflete, Cape Elizabeth and Old Orchard Beach in recent action.

Freeport’s boys improved to 2-1 after a 4-1 win over Fryeburg Monday. The girls dropped to 1-2 after a 4-1 loss at Cape Elizabeth Monday.

Greely’s girls have been a pleasant surprise, improving to 3-1 Monday with a 4-1 win over NYA. The boys lost a 3-2 decision to NYA Monday and fell to 0-4.

The NYA boys improved to 3-1 with the win over Greely. The girls are 2-2 on the year.

Yarmouth’s girls are now 3-1 after a 4-1 win at York Monday. The boys’ team is 1-2 after a 5-0 loss to Cape Elizabeth Monday.

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

Sidebar Elements


Falmouth senior All-American Mitch Tapley prepares to shoot at the Yarmouth goal while Clippers senior goalie Alex Kurtz looks to deny him. Tapley had seven goals as the Yachtsmen won, 14-7.

Greely sophomore Matt Crowley launches a shot on goal during the Rangers’ 12-7 win at Waynflete last week.

NYA sophomore Jillian Bjorn-Caron leaps her way to a second-place finish in the 100 hurdles at last week’s track meet at Cape Elizabeth.

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