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North edition Spring Coaches of the Year

Sports

North edition Spring Coaches of the Year

Male & Female Coaches of the Year

Coach of the year is always a very difficult award to bestow. There are so many devoted and excellent candidates out there. These awards were not necessarily awarded to a man and a woman, but to the top coach of a boys’ team and the top coach of a girls’ team.

Spring 2010 Northern Edition Coach of the Year—Boys' Team

MARC HALSTED—YARMOUTH BASEBALL

The Yarmouth baseball team made the jump to elite contender this spring.

After being in the middle of the pack most years since moving up to Class B at the start of the decade, the Clippers put it all together in 2010, winning 15 of 16 regular season games and reaching the Western B Final for the first time.

The season concluded a climb to greatness orchestrated by coach Marc Halsted. Halsted's aggressive, enthusiastic style got Yarmouth to believe it could play with anyone. The Clippers did, winning several games in dramatic fashion before they were finally silenced in the regional final.

On the heels of winning a similar honor in the winter after guiding the Yarmouth hockey program to its best season in years, Marc Halsted is The Forecaster's choice for our Spring 2010 Northern edition Coach of the Year of a boys' team for the heights he led the Clippers on the diamond all the while awaiting the birth of a child.

Halsted has a strong sports background. He grew up in Orono, playing hockey and baseball, then was an infielder at the University of Maine. After coming to Yarmouth, he took over the hockey job in 2005, then became the baseball coach in 2007. In his first three seasons, the Clippers played .500 ball or better and made the playoffs, but they truly became a power this spring.

Yarmouth rode its senior ace Nick Whittaker, got other pitching contributions from Campbell Haley, Aidan Sullivan and Reed Wommack and consistently pressured opposing defense with big bats and aggressive baserunning. The Clippers started the year with eight straight wins, were blanked, 7-0, at home by Cape Elizabeth ace Conor Moloney, then bounced back by winning their final seven games of the season, which included a pair of victories over defending state champion Greely and a revenge win at the Capers (8-6).

Yarmouth wound up the second seed for the playoffs and eliminated Gray-New Gloucester and Lincoln Academy, setting up a rubber match with Cape Elizabeth in the regional final, which came on the heels of the birth of Halsted's son.

There, the Clippers had no answer again for Moloney, but Whittaker blanked the Capers until they got to him for five runs in the sixth. True to form, Yarmouth didn't go quietly in its final at-bat, reaching Moloney for his first earned run of the season, but it wasn't enough and the fun came to an end.

Through it all, Halsted was one of the more vocal and demonstrative coaches in the league and his players fed off his energy and will to win. More often than not, if Halsted asked for two runs, they'd produce three or four.

Halsted teaches US History, Government and Economics at Yarmouth High. He and his family live in Brunswick.

Clippers baseball pride has been restored after a wonderful campaign, With Marc Halsted, our Spring 2010 Northern edition boys' Coach of the Year, at the helm, Yarmouth is primed to be an annual contender.

2009 winner: Mike LeBel (Falmouth lacrosse)

2008 winner: Casey Abbott (Greely lacrosse)

2007 winner: Derek Soule (Greely baseball)

2006 winner: Chris Carpentier (Freeport lacrosse)

2005 winner: Chris Mazzurco (NYA track)

2004 winner: Craig Curry (Yarmouth lacrosse)

2003 winner: Bruce Poliquin (NYA baseball)

2002 winner: Hank Ogilby (Freeport baseball)

Spring 2010 Northern Edition Coach of the Year—Girls' Team

JULIA STERLING—NYA LACROSSE

North Yarmouth Academy's girls' lacrosse team and its coach, Julia Sterling, ran the gamut of emotions this spring. From frustrating losses, questionable yellow cards, illness and sadness, the Panthers came to epitomize their cheer, 'Family!'. They avenged two regular season losses to rival Yarmouth with a sweet victory in the regional final, then erased a decade's worth of frustration at the hands of the state's premier program with a decisive win over Waynflete in the state championship game.

Sterling, who missed four games with illness, got to enjoy the sweet, happy ending as her team rallied around her and won a first-ever title.

For persevering, continuing to produce an abundance of victories and for finally leading NYA to the pinnacle, Julia Sterling is The Forecaster's choice as our Spring 2010 Northern edition Coach of the Year, of a girls' team.

Julia Littlefield grew up in Cumberland and played field hockey and tennis growing up. She went to Waynflete School and Mt. Vernon College before returning home.

In 1990, Littlefield began the Yarmouth program and it wasn't long before the Clippers were one of the elite teams in the state, winning championships in 1996 and 2002. She stayed two more seasons, then spent three years working with the Yarmouth eighth grade team, Littlefield took the NYA job in 2008. She led the Panthers to the Class B Final in each of the first two years and got remarried in the process, but NYA had no answer for Waynflete, as was also the case in 2001, 2004 and 2005.

This year, however, would be different. In many ways.

While the Panthers boasted established stars like senior Courtney Dumont and junior Lily Wellenbach, they also featured an abundance of sophomores who showed great promise, but needed time to develop and a new senior goalie in Ashley Salerno.

In the second game of the season, NYA lost, 12-8, at Yarmouth, in a game which saw both Dumont and Wellenbach miss much of the second half after being disqualified by a pair of yellow cards. Showing their ability to bounce back, the Panthers answered with a 7-6 home win over Waynflete. After a 13-10 home win over Falmouth, NYA lost, 14-13, at home to Brunswick and three games later, was dominated on its homefield by Yarmouth, 11-6.

Sterling wasn't on the sidelines for that one, nor for season-ending wins over Cape Elizabeth, Waynflete and Greely. Making matters worse, Dumont's mother passed away right before the Yarmouth loss and the Panthers' season could have gone either way, but NYA pulled it together behind its many strong players and the coaching of assistants Mike Genrgas, Jenna McCabe and Lynn Sullivan.

Sterling returned for the playoffs and the Panthers peaked, beating Morse, 17-2, in the semifinals, proving the third time's the charm with a 9-5 regional final win over Yarmouth, then finally slaying Waynflete, 7-3, in the state game.

NYA offered a different look against the Flyers. While Dumont had seven goals in a defeat two years prior, this time around, she didn't even attempt a shot and Waynflete wasn't able to stop all of her talented teammates. Mix in a stellar day from Salerno (12 days) and at long last, the Panthers were state champions.

Sterling also coaches the NYA field hockey program (she led the Panthers to the 2008 Class C crown and the state final last fall) and runs the always-popular Yarmouth Theater Camp.

That's fitting since Julia Sterling, our Spring 2010 Northern edition girls' Coach of the Year, helped produce a most dramatic ending to the lacrosse season.

2009 winner: Sandra Stone (Falmouth tennis)

2008 winner; Julia Littlefield (NYA lacrosse)

2007 winner: Robin Haley (Falmouth lacrosse)

2006 winner: Dorothy Holt (Yarmouth lacrosse)

2005 winner: Sandra Stone (Falmouth tennis)

2004 winner: Ann Harradon (Yarmouth tennis)

2003 winner: Julia Seely (NYA tennis)

2002 winner: Julia Littlefield (Yarmouth lacrosse)