Falmouth applying to SMAA; Yachtsmen would be Class A in all sports, lose traditional rivalries

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Falmouth High School athletic director James Coffey announced Friday that the school is in the process of applying to join the Southwestern Maine Activities Association.

Falmouth, a longtime Western Maine Conference power, has been in athletic purgatory the past four seasons, playing its traditional Class B and C foes in the regular season, then moving up to Class A with no familiarity with its opponents come playoff time.

“I think it’s the best thing for the program,” said Coffey. “We’re going to be in Class A when the new alignment comes out.”

Falmouth, which competed in Class C in most sports until the turn of the century, excelled in Class B through the 2012-13 school year and has remained very competitive since taking part in the Class A postseason, winning state titles in multiple sports.

Falmouth will make a proposal to the SMAA Feb. 2 and will likely be joined by another current WMC school.

Per its website, the SMAA drew its original membership from the “Big Five,” a group of Portland area schools (Cheverus, Deering, Portland, South Portland, Westbrook), whose rivalries in basketball dated back to the early part of the 20th century. The “Big Five” became the “Big Seven” and eventually the “Big Eight” with the addition of three York County schools (Biddeford, Sanford, Thornton) in the late 1960’s. The SMAA was formally organized under its current name in the mid 1970’s and several schools have come and gone over the past four decades.

SMAA President Mike LeGage, the AD at Scarborough, couldn’t confirm Falmouth’s application, but said that the application process includes the following:

1. An initial (informal) presentation at a league meeting
2. A membership application form is then sent to the “interested school”
3. The school completes the membership application form and attaches it to a cover letter
4. The school will then return to a league meeting and make a more formal presentation and be prepared for Q & A of league members
5. The league members will then convene and discuss the impact of the school joining the league and make a decision.

If accepted, Falmouth’s longstanding rivalries with the likes of WMC foes Cape Elizabeth, Greely and Yarmouth would go by the wayside in most sports, but the school would soon join Biddeford, Bonny Eagle, Cheverus, Deering, Gorham, Maine Girls’ Academy, Marshwood, Massabesic, Noble, Portland, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Thornton Academy, Westbrook and Windham in the SMAA.

“We’ll roll up our sleeves and play with the big boys,” Coffey said.

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

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