Spring season in full flower
As the surprisingly good weather continues (knock on wood), fans and athletes alike are thrilled that all spring sports are underway.
Portland-area schools have impressed in the early going. Here's a glimpse:
Baseball: Deering remains dynastic
Stop me if you've heard this before, but the Deering baseball team is looking mighty good. Again.
The Rams, despite a turbulent offseason and a coaching change, are already clicking on all cylinders this season. After opening with a 10-0 (five inning) home win over Windham, Deering went to Thornton Academy and won 11-0 (also in five innings), then downed host Noble 6-3 Friday to improve to 3-0.
Against the Golden Trojans, senior Regan Flaherty threw a three-hit shutout and had a pair of hits. Against the Knights, it was senior Luke Hammond's turn to excel on the mound, while classmate Marc Ouimet had a pair of key hits.
The Rams face some big tests this week. They looked to improve to 4-0 Tuesday night when they hosted South Portland (too late for print, check Web site for game story). Thursday, Deering hosts Westbrook in a game many expect to be a preview of the regional final. Saturday, the Rams are at another top contender, Scarborough.
After losing their first two contests, the Portland Bulldogs finally won the program's 1,000th all-time game Thursday, 5-1, at Kennebunk. The Bulldogs had fallen 6-5 at South Portland and 9-1 at Bonny Eagle, but in the win, got a strong start from junior Adam Gould and broke open a tight game with five runs in the third.
Portland hosted Noble Tuesday in its first home game (too late for print). Thursday, the Bulldogs welcome Scarborough. Saturday, they're at Windham.
Cheverus hopes to be in the mix this spring. The Stags gave top contender Westbrook fits in a 2-1 season-opening loss, then got in the win column last Tuesday with a 5-0 home victory over Kennebunk (sophomore Joe Royer, with help from junior Kyle Randall, excelled on the mound, and senior Mick DiStasio had a two-run triple). But Thursday, Cheverus more than met its match at Scarborough. DiStasio gave up a first-pitch home run to junior Jake Rutt and the Red Storm cruised to a 14-0 (five inning) win, dropping the Stags to 1-2.
Cheverus looked to get back on the right track Tuesday (too late for print) when it hosted Marshwood. Thursday, the Stags are home against Gorham. Saturday, they go to Massabesic and Monday they're at Bonny Eagle.
In Western C, as expected, Waynflete has been more competitive this spring. The Flyers opened with a 14-3 (five inning) loss to Traip, then crushed Windham Christian 15-3 behind senior Zohar Azoulay's huge game (single, double, triple and home run) and a solid start from senior Nick Bessette. Thursday, Waynflete fell to 1-2 with a 4-3 loss at Sacopee, despite three more hits and strong pitching from Azoulay.
The Flyers were at Old Orchard Beach Monday (too late for print), visit North Yarmouth Academy Wednesday and host St. Dom's Friday.
Softball: Lions roar at Portland's expense
The McAuley softball team earned its first win Friday night at Portland. The Lions, who previously lost 6-3 to Thornton Academy, 12-0 (in five innings) to Scarborough and 3-2 to defending regional champion Biddeford, took a 2-0 lead in the third on a two-out, two-run single from sophomore Jasmyn Welch, added a run in the fifth and put it away with two in the seventh en route to a 5-0 triumph. Sophomore Jen Field allowed just three hits.
McAuley hosted South Portland Monday (too late for print), visits Cheverus Wednesday and plays host to Bonny Eagle Friday.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the Bulldogs. They previously fell 1-0 at South Portland, 12-0 at home against Cheverus and 4-2 at Bonny Eagle. Portland was at Sanford Monday (too late for print), hosts Kennebunk Wednesday and visits Deering Friday.
Cheverus bounced back from its season-opening 5-0 loss to Biddeford with a 12-0 win over Portland behind the bat and arm of junior Theresa Hendrix. The Stages also recorded their first-ever victory over South Portland, 2-1 (a team the Stags lost to 14-0 last spring). In that one, Hendrix allowed just two hits while striking out 10 and junior Audrey Grinnell had a key double. Cheverus visited Bonny Eagle Monday (too late for print), hosts McAuley Wednesday, goes to Sanford Friday and hosts Kennebunk Monday.
After losses to Marshwood (8-2) and Gorham (7-0), Deering gave new coach Maggie Soule her first victory Wednesday, 17-5 (in five innings) over visiting Massabesic. Senior Heather Muzzy and junior Annalisa Ferrante both homered. The Rams fell to 1-3 Friday after a 4-3 setback at Thornton Academy.
Deering hosted powerhouse Scarborough Monday (too late for print), goes to Biddeford Wednesday, welcomes Portland Friday and visits South Portland Monday.
Boys' lacrosse: Bulldogs dominate Flyers
The Portland Bulldogs figure to be the top local boys' lacrosse team this season and has lived up to the billing so far.
The Bulldogs opened with a 14-4 victory at Greely. Senior Tyler Sandler had three goals and two assists, senior standout K.R. Jurgelevich had three goals and one assist, senior Andy Holt scored three times and senior Sam Guimond had two goals and two helpers.
Friday, Portland went to Waynflete and dominated again, winning 18-2 behind Sandler's five goals and four from Jurgelevich. The Bulldogs, second in the latest coaches' poll, host Cheverus Tuesday night (too late for print, see Web site for game story), then have a home showdown with defending Class A champion Scarborough Friday.
Waynflete fell to 1-1 with the loss. The Flyers opened with a 12-3 home victory over Windham behind three goals from junior Miles Beaven and a pair of goals and three assists from Josiah Baker-Connick. Waynflete was home with Marshwood Tuesday (too late for print) and visits Freeport Saturday.
Deering lost 11-7 at home to Cheverus in its first game, despite two goals apiece from sophomore Carleton Allen and senior Justin Clouatre. Saturday, the Rams fell to 0-2 with a 13-1 loss at Scarborough. Deering goes to Kennebunk Wednesday and plays host to Cape Elizabeth Saturday.
Cheverus opened with an 11-7 win at Deering (behind four goals from senior Ryan McQuaid and three from Trevor Greene). The Stags then lost 13-5 at home to NYA Saturday. Cheverus, eighth in the coaches' poll, was at Portland Tuesday (too late for print), plays host to defending Class B champion Yarmouth Saturday, then welcomes Massabesic Monday.
Girls' lacrosse: Waynflete up to old tricks
On the girls' side, Waynflete is once again staking its claim as the team to beat in Western Class B.
The Flyers opened their year with a 14-6 home win over York as junior Amy Allen scored four times. Friday, Waynflete hosted Falmouth and raced to an 11-1 halftime lead behind four goals from Allen and two apiece from senior Ellie Cole and junior Morgan Woodhouse. The Flyers cruised to a 16-7 triumph. Waynflete, second to NYA in the latest coaches' poll, went to Massabesic Tuesday (too late for print), visits Marshwood Friday and returns home Monday to host Greely.
Cheverus started its season with a 9-4 home win over Marshwood as junior Grace Fitzpatrick had three goals. Friday, the Stags hosted dangerous Scarborough. They took a 7-6 lead early in the second half on senior Bethany Schleh's goal, but the Red Storm held Cheverus scoreless for 14 minutes, scored the next six goals and went on to a 14-10 triumph. The Stags, eighth in the coaches' poll, were home against Kennebunk Tuesday (too late for print), played host to Falmouth Thursday and welcome Deering Saturday.
Speaking of the Rams, they dropped their opener, 13-4 at Cape Elizabeth Friday. Senior Natalie Mitchell did have three goals in defeat. Deering went to Greely Tuesday (too late for print) and visits Cheverus Saturday.
Portland made great strides last spring and is building on that success so far this season. The Bulldogs, thanks to junior Nancy McAdam's seven goals, held off host McAuley 16-15 in their opener, then won 8-6 at Noble Friday (as McAdam scored five more and freshman Rachel Allen had three). Portland was scheduled to host Westbrook in a playoff rematch Tuesday, but that game was postponed due to impending bad weather. The Bulldogs travel to Freeport Friday and host Windham Monday.
McAuley, which got five goals from senior Gina Johnson in the loss to Portland, dropped another 16-15 decision Thursday, at Bonny Eagle. In that one, the Lions couldn't hold a late lead and lost despite four goals from Johnson. McAuley hoped to get into the win column Tuesday (too late for print) when it hosted Thornton Academy.
Track: Cheverus girls come in first
The outdoor track season saw the Cheverus girls' team get off to a great start last week, defeating host Marshwood, Bonny Eagle, McAuley (fourth) and Westbrook. Results for the Cheverus boys weren't available.
Deering's girls were second to host Gorham in a meet which also included Kennebunk and Massabesic. The Rams boys' team came in third.
Portland competed against Noble, Scarborough and Thornton Academy and came in fourth on both the boys' and girls' sides.
Results for Waynflete's meet against Cape Elizabeth, Freeport and Wells weren't available.
Tennis: Waynflete boys win showdown
On the hardcourt, defending Class C state champion Waynflete had no trouble beating Fryeburg and Freeport 5-0 in its first two matches, but Friday, the Flyers were tested as they went head-to-head against Western B power Falmouth. They found a way to eke out a 3-2 win and improved to 3-0. Waynflete dropped both doubles matches, but got singles wins from Brandon Thompson, Devin Van Dyke and Ross Cummings.
The Flyers girls' squad lost 3-2 to defending Class B champion Falmouth Friday to fall to 3-1. Waynflete earlier beat Old Orchard Beach, Fryeburg and Freeport by 5-0 scores.
In Western A, the Portland girls are looking like world-beaters. The Bulldogs were 2-0 at press time with impressive 4-1 home wins over Deering and Windham.
Portland's boys are 0-2, losing 3-2 to Deering and 5-0 to Windham.
Cheverus' boys downed South Portland and Sanford by 5-0 scores before beating Thornton Academy 4-1 to improve to 3-0. The Stags girls' team lost 4-1 at South Portland in their opener, then dropped back-to-back 3-2 decisions to Sanford and Thornton Academy.
Deering's boys are 2-1, sandwiching wins over Portland (3-2) and Massabesic (5-0) around a 5-0 loss to Windham. The Rams girls' squad lost 4-1 to Portland and 3-2 to Windham before getting in the win column with a 5-0 victory over Massabesic.
McAuley beat Bonny Eagle 5-0, lost 3-2 to Scarborough and downed South Portland 4-1.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mailto:email@example.com