Falmouth Yachtsmen Fall Sports Preview

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Senior Nate Arrants is the top returning scorer for Falmouth’s boys’ soccer team which is playing an SMAA schedule this fall and should be in the mix for the Class A state title when all is said and done.

File photos.

More photos below.

FOOTBALL

Coach: John Fitzsimmons (11th year, 55-39 overall record)

2016 record: 6-3 (Lost, 20-7, to Greely in Class B South quarterfinal)

Top returning players: Josh Allen (Senior), Garret Aube (Senior), Griffin Aube (Senior), Noah Barney (Senior), Jack Bryant (Senior), Emmitt Zinn (Senior), Coleman Allen (Junior), Jake Ricker (Junior), Riley Reed (Junior), Brady Douglas (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 15 @ Kennebunk, Sept. 22 @ Biddeford, Oct. 6 @ Marshwood, Oct. 20 GREELY

Coach’s comment: “We’re ready to have a good year. We need to stay healthy and have a little luck. If we do, we’ll be a contender in November. We have some very talented offensive players. The question is how the line will perform. They’re executing well so far. The defense is in good shape. It should be another exciting season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth has consistently put together exciting, successful teams over the past four years, but last season came to an unexpectedly early end when rival Greely won the second “Battle of Route 9” in two weeks in the quarterfinals. While some key players departed, the Yachtsmen return the majority of their talent, add some key components and could have the pieces in place to be a force in a typically deep and balanced Class B South.

Falmouth’s spread passing attack will generate a lot of points in the weeks to come. Bryant is back for another season as the starting quarterback. He made the Campbell Conference all-star team in 2016. Fitzsimmons raves about Bryant’s “football IQ,” which projects to earn him an opportunity to play at the next level. Bryant’s top weapons include Douglas, Zinn, senior Emilio Micucci and sophomore Mike Simonds. The Yachtsmen will be very formidable on the ground as well, as Bryant is capable of taking off and doing damage, or handing off to Garret Aube (an all-star last year), Griffin Aube (another all-star), Coleman Allen or Reed. Up front, Falmouth boasts Josh Allen, sophomore Shane Allen, Barney (a four-year starter) and Ricker. Griffin Aube will punt and Garret Aube and senior John Walker will do the placekicking.

Falmouth’s defense will be forced to contend with some top-notch offenses this fall, but the Yachtsmen are equipped to do so. The line includes Griffin Aube, Barney and Ricker. The linebacking corps features Coleman Allen, Josh Allen, Shane Allen and Reed. Garret Aube, Bryant, Douglas, Simonds and Zinn will be in the secondary. Expect this group to force many turnovers as the season progresses and turn some of them into scores.

Falmouth’s toughest games come on the road and there will be few breathers for this squad, but the Yachtsmen’s abundance of talent will pay dividends and lead to victories. If this group can stay healthy and peak at the right time, a much longer postseason stay could be the end result.

BOYS’ SOCCER

Coach: Dave Halligan (31st year, 357-95-44 overall record, 11 state championships)

2016 record: 12-3-1 (Lost, 3-2, 4-3 PKs, to Portland in Class A South semifinal) 

Top returning players: Nate Arrants (Senior), Ben Wuesthoff (Senior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 5 CHEVERUS, Sept. 12 PORTLAND, Sept. 26 DEERING, Sept. 28 @ South Portland, Oct. 3 SCARBOROUGH, Oct. 10 GORHAM

Coach’s comment: “We lost 17 seniors and nine starters. We’ve been experimenting all preseason to find the pieces. We’re on the young side, but we have capable veterans. We’re looking forward to the new challenges in the SMAA, but we’ll miss the old rivalries in the Western Maine Conference. It’s a two-year project with this group. We hope to be able to compete by the end of the season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth has held its own in the postseason in Class A, but this year, for the first time, the Yachtsmen will play an SMAA-exclusive regular season schedule which means few easy games. After losing so much talent from a team that twice beat eventual Class B champion Yarmouth and nearly got to the regional final, Falmouth will face a tough learning curve in the weeks to come, but Halligan is a maestro at getting his charges to get the most of their talent and improve as a season progresses. Come the postseason, the Yachtsmen will be a team capable of turning heads.

Arrants is a top returner. He led the team in scoring a year ago and could do so again. Wuesthoff, who possesses breathtaking talent, but has also suffered his share of injuries in high school, could dominate in the midfield and finish when he gets the opportunity. After that, there are many question marks, but also many promising athletes eager to strut their stuff. Joining Arrants up front will be sophomore Tommy Fitzgerald. The midfield is deep and talented and features seniors Eli Friedman, juniors Kyle Bouchard and Nick Hester and sophomore Josh LeFevre. Falmouth is always stingy on defense and that will again be the case in 2017. Seniors Brendan Hickey (the lacrosse standout) and Sam Winkeler, along with juniors Sam Manganello and Seamus O’Brien and sophomore Joe Dye, will be charged with making life as easy as possible for senior Griffin Conley, sophomore Jackson Quinn and freshman Navarro Fuentes, who look to replace all-conference selection Jack Scribner in goal.

Class A South boasts an abundance of championship-caliber teams and the Yachtsmen can fit into that mix. If the untested players get up to speed as expected, Falmouth will be there at the end. An appearance in a regional and/or state final is the best case scenario.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Coach: Andrew Pelletier (fifth year, 38-20-5 overall record)

2016 record: 11-5 (Lost, 2-0, to Gorham in Class A South semifinal

Top returning players: Amelia Waite (Senior), Cali Wiberg (Senior), Madison Wolf (Senior), Sydney Williams (Junior), Kelly Yoon (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 1 @ Scarborough, Sept. 15 @ Cheverus, Sept. 23 @ Gorham, Oct. 6 WINDHAM

Coach’s comment: “We return six starters and everyone off the bench. We graduated four and we have nine freshman and four could start, so it’s a totally different team from the midfield back. It’s good for us to play a new schedule. We have the opportunity to create new rivalries. We hope we can build on last year’s run.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth is coming off its best season since moving up to Class A for the postseason and this fall, the Yachtsmen will face the state’s biggest schools in the regular season too. Falmouth has some holes to fill, but is more than capable of being one of the last teams standing once again.

Waite and Wolf were league all-stars last autumn and will pace this year’s attack from the forward position. Both girls will score key goals. A pair of freshmen, Lexi Bugbee and Devon Quinn, are also in the scoring mix. Yoon had a strong freshman season and will be a force in the midfield along with freshman Sarah Wuesthoff. The Yachtsmen should be formidable on the defensive end too, as Wiberg and Williams return and are joined by freshman Izzy Dyer. Senior Catherine Caldwell replaces goalkeeper Adelaide Cooke.

Falmouth will be a fun team to watch as it steadily improves and positions itself for a playoff run. If you’re looking for a team to crash the Gorham/Scarborough party, the Yachtsmen could be the squad stealing headlines when all is said and done.

FIELD HOCKEY

Coach: Robin Haley (23rd year, 198-125-18 overall record)

2016 record: 13-3 (Lost, 2-1, in OT, to Massabesic in Class A South semifinal)

Top returning players: Stone Carmichael (Senior), Bri Douglas (Senior), Nathalie Grobe (Senior), Grace Soucy (Senior), Caitlyn Bull (Junior), Emma Cohen (Junior), Liberty Ladd (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 1 SCARBOROUGH, Sept. 19 @ Cheverus, Sept. 25 @ Massabesic 

Coach’s comment: “We lost a lot, so it’s a new experience this year. Most of our scoring graduated, so we’ll have multiple scorers this year. We’re creating new rivals and we’ll take one game at a time with the new schedule. Class A feels like it’s more physical, so we have to learn that. For us, playoffs is always the goal.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth had a tremendous season a year ago and earned the top seed for the playoffs, but the Yachtsmen’s postseason run ended with an agonizing semifinal round loss. That setback ended not only Falmouth’s season, but also the high school careers of some special seniors, including all-state selections Sydney Bell and Devon Sarazin. While Falmouth has some questions to answer and will have a tough learning curve due to playing SMAA teams in the regular season for the first time, it’s likely that by the end of the season, this group will be in the playoffs again.

Bull is back in goal. She played very well in 2016 and will frustrate the opposition again. Defensively, Bull will rely on Grobe, as well as junior Julianna LaPorta and sophomore Parker Spence to hold the fort. The midfield includes Cohen, Ladd and Soucy. Up front, Carmichael, Douglas and new sophomore MaryKate Bayer will look to rattle the cage.

The Yachtsmen are poised to be a contender from the get-go. Some newer players will need to help fill holes, but the athleticism and desire are there. Haley is on the brink of a landmark win for her career and if all goes well, there will be many more, into late October.

VOLLEYBALL

Coach: Molly Northway (third year, 24-9 overall record)

2016 results: 13-4 (Lost, 3-1, to Greely, in Class A semifinal) 

Top returning players: Lydia Abbott (Senior), Alston Armstrong (Senior), Danielle Casavant (Senior), Teagan McMahon (Senior), Alison Noyes (Senior)

Pivotal matches: Sept. 1 GREELY, Sept. 12 @ Scarborough, Sept. 19 CAPE ELIZABETH, Sept. 21 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 28 @ Biddeford, Oct. 5 @ Cape Elizabeth, Oct. 14 @ Greely

Coach’s comment: “Last year, we worked hard to develop a strong defensive team due to limited height at the net. This year, we’re blessed to have additional height. We are working hard to develop a smart and powerful offense that will be supported by a scrappy defense. With a mixture of upperclassmen and underclassmen making up the varsity team this year, I believe that we have all the right pieces. Now, it’s a matter of moving each piece to find the right fit. I’m thankful to have hardworking, focused and witty players.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth made its 10th straight playoff appearance a year ago, but for the second straight season, couldn’t solve Greely in the Class A semifinals. This year, the Yachtsmen have been reclassified to Class B, but find themselves lumped together with Greely, as well as Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth in arguably the state’s toughest class. It doesn’t matter where Falmouth plays, however, this group has the ability to make it to the season’s final day if all goes well.

This year’s team has size and will be formidable at the net. Casavant and McMahon are top hitters and freshmen Annika Hester and Katie Phillips will step right in and send the opposition diving in vain for shots. Armstrong and Noyes have the potential to be some of the best blockers around. Abbott is the libero, another veteran who won’t be denied.

Falmouth will get a shot at Greely on Opening Night and the schedule doesn’t get much easier from there. Regardless of the Yachtsmen’s final record, they’ll be ready to make a run in the playoffs. This time around, Falmouth has the ingredients to solve the Greely puzzle and get past anyone else that stands in its way. Look for a memorable campaign from this group.

CROSS COUNTRY

Coaches: Jorma Kurry and Danny Paul (14th year, two state championships)

2016 results:
(Boys) Class A state champions
(Girls) 2nd @ Class A state meet 

Top returners:
(Boys) Graham Bernier (Senior), Charlie Henning (Senior), Alex Kinley (Senior), Quinn Minnehan (Senior), Conner Piers (Senior),  Jared Troubh (Senior), John Auer (Junior), Kade Kelley (Junior), Nolan Anderson (Sophomore), Ben Potter (Sophomore)
(Girls) Maria Kuhn (Senior), Heidi Meyer (Senior), Chelsey Smithwick (Senior), Jessica Troubh (Senior), Annie DeCastro (Junior), Malaika Pasch (Junior), Kayla Sarazin (Junior), Molly McDermott (Sophomore), Delaney Wimert (Sophomore)

Coach Kurry’s comment: “The boys return a strong group from last year’s team led by John and Conner. A host of others have been working hard to be ready and there will be strong competition for the remaining varsity spots as well look to challenge the other top Class A teams. The girls graduated quite a bit from last year, but we should be strong and competitive again. Malaika certainly gives us a strong returner up front. Her leadership will help us. We’ll be looking to some of our other runners from last year to fill out what has the potential to be a very strong team, but we’ll have to work smart and hard to be as deep as we need to be. We look forward to an exciting season.

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth nearly swept the state’s biggest class a year ago and while graduation took its toll, the Yachtsmen figure to contend for the top spots again.

The boys lost Jeremiah Sands (third at last year’s state meet) and Ben Wyman (16th last season) to graduation, but state meet scorers Auer (10th), Piers (11th) and Kinley (32nd) all return. There’s plenty more firepower in reserve, as Bernier, Henning, Minnehan and Troubh bring senior leadership and Anderson, Kelley and Potter all have the opportunity to step into bigger roles. Junior Doug Cooke and freshmen Vance Boyd, Marcus Goodbody and Aidan Hoffman are new to the squad and make the Yachtsmen that much deeper. Falmouth is facing a tough SMAA schedule this fall, but they’ll continue to excel as they did for so long in the Western Maine Conference. At the end of the day, there might be a handful of teams on par with the Yachtsmen at the big meets, but Falmouth knows how to run its best when it matters most. That will likely be the case again in late October.

On the girls’ side, Pasch, the reigning Class A champion and Falmouth’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year in 2016, returns to set the pace again. The Yachtsmen’s other four state meet scorers from a year ago, Ally Schimelman, Hannah Berzinis, Antoinette Lambert and Mira Wyman, have graduated, however, meaning other girls will have to step up. Kuhn, Meyer, Smithwick and Troubh are senior leaders. DeCastro, McDermott, Sarazin and Wimert also have experience. Freshmen Sofie Matson and Karley Piers are highly touted and junior Sophie Marcotte and freshman Lauren Welch are other athletes to watch. Falmouth will likely again be paced by Pasch’s excellence. If others can improve as the season progresses, a sixth straight top five finish is a distinct possibility.

GOLF

Coach: John Mullen (fourth year)

2016 results: 8-2 (3rd @ Class A state match)

Top returning players: Matt Adamowicz (Senior), Charlie Emple (Senior), Theo Hembre (Senior), Riley Lonsdale (Senior), Louis Mainella (Senior), Spencer McKee (Junior), Tyler Baker (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We’re excited for a fun season and what we hope will be another trip to the state tournament. Riley and Matt will lead the way and Charlie and Tyler both showed great improvement during tryouts and should round out a strong top four players.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Falmouth is coming off another very successful campaign and this fall, the Yachtsmen are ready to do battle with several talented foes in a tough division before turning their attention to making a run at a state championship.

Adamowicz was an all-conference selection last season and will be a captain this year. He averaged a 39 during regular season matches, then shot an 86 at the team state meet and tied for seventh at the Class A individual championships with a round of 78. Lonsdale was also a first-team all-conference selection in 2016 and will be a captain this fall. He averaged a 40 in the regular season and shot an 82 at the Class A team state meet. Those two are a great nucleus. They’ll be joined by Emple, who shot an 82 at last year’s state match. Baker is pushing for a top spot and Mainella also has experience. Hembre and McKee hope to play bigger roles this autumn, while juniors Garrett Tracy and Reilly Tucker and sophomores Nick Forester, Brady Pierson and Charlie Pochepan are new to the team and will be heard from as well.

Falmouth will have its hands full in a division where Cheverus, Portland and Scarborough also reside and might stumble a time or two during the regular season, but this group has what it takes to save its best for last. Don’t be surprised if the Yachtsmen come in atop the heap in mid-October.

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

Senior quarterback Jack Bryant can make something out of nothing and his many skills promise to lead to another successful season for Falmouth’s football team.

Senior Garret Aube will make his presence felt on both offense and defense.

Senior Josh Allen will be a presence on the offensive line and as a linebacker on defense.

Senior Amelia Waite is a top scorer and reigning league all-star for a Falmouth girls’ soccer team that is seeking another deep playoff run.

Senior Cali Wiberg is a steady veteran presence for the Yachtsmen.

Senior Madison Wolf is another returning league all-star. She’ll be a scoring threat yet again.

Junior Caitlyn Bull returns in goal for a Falmouth field hockey team that expects to be one of the best in Class A South again this fall.

Senior Stone Carmichael is a top scoring threat for the Yachtsmen.

Senior Bri Douglas is another returner who will put the ball in the cage.

Junior midfielder Liberty Ladd will make life miserable for the opposition.

Senior Danielle Casavant will be one of Falmouth’s top hitters.

Senior Alison Noyes will also be busy at the net.

Junior John Auer placed 10th at last year’s Class A state meet, helping Falmouth win the team title. The Yachtsmen have what it takes to repeat this autumn.

Senior Conner Piers came in 11th in Class A a year ago and is another top returner for the defending champs.

Malaika Pasch was the fastest girls’ cross country runner in Class A as a sophomore. As a junior, she’ll set the pace again and look to lead Falmouth to the top of the heap.

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