Fall sports season won't soon be forgotten

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The fall sports season, circa 2011, produced great drama and triumph in Forecaster country.

Yarmouth’s football team repeated as Class C state champion. Freeport made it to the playoffs for the first time, and Falmouth and Greely also took part in the postseason.

Falmouth’s boys’ soccer team got back to the Class B pinnacle in a season that saw all five local squads qualify for the playoffs.

On the girls’ side, Falmouth won Class B again. Freeport won a playoff game for the first time this century. Greely and Yarmouth also took part in the postseason.

Field hockey produced a state champion (again) in North Yarmouth Academy. That was just the beginning as each team from the area competed in the playoffs.

Falmouth and NYA’s boys’ cross country teams finished atop the heap and had plenty of company from neighboring schools. Merriconeag’s girls also had no peer.

Falmouth’s golf team, one year removed from a Class B championship, won Class A for the first time. Several other teams and individuals also made their mark.

On the volleyball court, not only did Greely capture yet another title, but Yarmouth brought home Class B honors in its first season at that level.

Before we move on to winter, here’s one final look back at the best of the fall:

Northern edition fall state champions

Falmouth Yachtsmen boys’ soccer, Class B
Falmouth Yachtsmen girls’ soccer, Class B
Falmouth Yachtsmen boys’ cross country, Class B
Falmouth Yachtsmen golf, Class A
Greely Rangers volleyball, Class B
Merriconeag girls’ cross country, Class C
North Yarmouth Academy Panthers field hockey, Class C
North Yarmouth Academy Panthers boys’ cross country, Class C
Yarmouth Clippers football, Class C
Yarmouth Clippers volleyball, Class B

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5) Yarmouth football repeats

Yarmouth’s football program earned championship status in 2010, just its fourth at the varsity level. This year, the Clippers solidified their status as a premier program. Yarmouth won all eight regular season games, blew through the regional field, then blew past Bucksport, 41-14, in the Class C Final Saturday to extend its win streak to 24 games. The Clippers continued to get it done on the ground and with timely defense and with several key contributors returning, should make a legitimate run at a three-peat in 2012.

4) Cross country excellence continues

The 2011 cross country season produced three more team championships. Falmouth’s boys were a juggernaut from the get-go and won Class B for the first time since 2002 in relatively easy fashion. The Class C state meet saw North Yarmouth Academy repeat. Merriconeag’s girls’ squad wound up top in Class C as well. If that wasn’t enough, several local runners went on to make a splash at New Englands. Rest assured that 2012 will produce more of the same.

3) Falmouth sweeps Class B soccer crowns

Falmouth’s boys’ and girls’ soccer teams have won several prior state titles in dominant fashion, but this fall, both squads took a more circuitous route than normal to earn a Gold Ball. The boys’ team was struggling late in the regular season before coming alive with a key win over Yarmouth. The Yachtsmen were pushed to the brink in each of their final three playoff games, but managed to rally past upset-minded Fryeburg in the semifinals, edge York on a late Grant Burfeind goal in the regional final and outlast Camden Hills in the state game on yet another late Burfeind tally. That makes eight Class B crowns in 12 seasons, if you’re keeping track. Not to be outdone, the defending champion Falmouth girls’ squad also hit a few speed bumps in the regular season, but put it together for the playoffs, avenging a regular season loss with a quarterfinal round victory over Yarmouth, outlasting York in a palpitating semifinal round shootout, then rallying to down top-ranked Morse in the regional final. At states, junior Alex Bernier (who had a flair for the dramatic all autumn) scored an early goal and the Yachtsmen held off Presque Isle, 1-0, to make it seven Class B titles since 2001.

2) Falmouth golf makes mark in Class A

Falmouth’s golf team had long been a premier Class B program, but this fall, the Yachtsmen moved up to Class A and immediately made their presence felt. After an impressive regular season, playing some of the finest teams in the Southern Maine Activities Association, Falmouth qualified for the state match and there, as has happened so many times in the past, it came up huge on the big stage, outshooting every other team in the field to take Class A honors. What will the 2012 team do for an encore? It’s sure to be memorable.

1) Two local teams win volleyball crowns

Forecaster Country has long housed the finest volleyball program in the state, Greely, but this year, the Rangers had company at the pinnacle. After falling short for the first time in eight seasons in 2010, Greely returned to its perch this autumn, winning all 16 matches, including a tout Class A state final over Scarborough. Yarmouth, in its first year in Class B, proved to be the best team at that level, downing several tough Downeast squads to win the first championship in program history.

Yarmouth repeated as Class C football champions Saturday, thanks in large part to the heroics of senior running back Anders Overhaug, who had six touchdowns.

Sidebar Elements

Senior Andrew Murry helped Falmouth’s boys’ soccer team make it back to the top of Class B this fall.

NYA senior Katherine Millett capped her transcendent career by leading the Panthers to their third Class C championship in four seasons.

Greely senior Maggie Bradley had no peer this fall as the Rangers won the Class A title.

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