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The fall sports season, circa 2011, produced great drama and triumph in the city of Portland.
Cheverus’ football team repeated as Class A state champion.
Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team shook off three years worth of playoff heartache to win Class C for the first time. Each of the city’s other three teams also made it to the postseason.
On the girls’ side, Cheverus, Deering and Waynflete all took part in the playoffs.
Field hockey produced one of the best feel-good stories in many a year, the Portland Bulldogs reaching the regional final for the first time ever.
Cheverus’ girls’ cross country team was the best of many strong squads from the area, winning Class A for the third year in a row.
Golf didn’t give us a team champion, but a Deering individual managed to bring home some hardware.
Before we move on to winter, here’s one final look back at the best of the fall:
Cheverus Stags football, Class A
Cheverus Stags girls’ cross country, Class A
Waynflete Flyers boys’ soccer, Class C
Joe Walp, Deering, Class A
Deering senior golfer Joe Walp entered the individual Class A championships back in October simply hoping to play well on the big stage, something which had eluded him in previous seasons. Despite an up-and-down day, he more than posted a respectable score. He had the best score (tying one other golfer) in Class A, a 75, which gave him the city’s lone individual championship this autumn. It was a fitting ending for the career of one of the better golfers in Deering history. We haven’t heard the last from him either, as Walp hopes to play at the college level.
The Cheverus girls’ cross country team made history two years ago with its first Class A championship, which marked the first ever by a girls’ team at the school. It looks as if the Stags are going to make it a regular occurrence as this fall, they made it three straight, proving without a doubt that this fast and balanced team has no rival anywhere in the state. There’s ample reason to believe that No. 4 will be on tap in 2012.
Cheverus’ football team had no peer in 2010, but its fortunes were in doubt entering 2011 after the graduation of some key players. As it turned out, the Stags simply reloaded and once again reached the pinnacle. After a dominant 8-0 regular season, which saw only two close games, Cheverus had no trouble with Scarborough in the quarterfinals, eliminated Deering in stunningly easy fashion in the semifinals, then awoke in the second half to get past Thornton Academy in the regional championship game. Saturday, the Stags had one final obstacle, Lawrence, in the state final and they passed that test as well, winning, 49-7, to complete a 12-0 regular season, extend their win streak to 24 games and repeat as Class A state champions.
Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team has long been a top contender, but since moving to Class C in 2005, the Flyers had gotten close to a championship, only to fall short in agonizing fashion. That all changed this fall. Waynflete posted an impressive 10-1-3 regular season mark, highlighted by a first ever win over traditional power Cape Elizabeth. As the No. 2 seed, the Flyers blanked Wiscasset in the quarterfinals, edged Hall-Dale in penalty kicks in the semis, then vanquished last year’s regional final loss with a 3-1 win over rival North Yarmouth Academy in the Western C Final. The final piece wouldn’t come easily as Waynflete and Houlton battled into overtime, then a second, but the Flyers finally were able to exult when senior William Cleaves scored 3:01 into the second and final OT session. A most deserving champion was at the top of the heap at last.
Portland’s field hockey program had long taken a back seat to Deering and more recently to Cheverus, but the Bulldogs got their long-deserved moment in the sun this fall. Portland shook off a 2-4 start, went 7-0-1 down the stretch to post its first winning mark since 2004, then embarked on a stirring playoff run. First, the Bulldogs had to go to penalty corners to survive Thornton Academy in a palpitating preliminary round game. They then went to Sanford and sprung an upset and if that wasn’t enough, Portland won once more in the semifinals, 2-1, at Westbrook. That sent the Bulldogs to their first ever regional final and that’s where the dream ended, with a loss to Marshwood. Regardless, Portland had turned heads and given their followers a ride of a lifetime. It might be the start of something special.
Cheverus’ football team celebrated its second straight Class A championship Saturday.
Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team enjoyed several celebrations this fall as it won the Class C championship for the first time.
Senior standout Raechel Allen and the Portland field hockey team enjoyed the finest season in program history this fall.
Deering senior Ella Ramonas was one of several top runners in the city of Portland this autumn.