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Coming off an injury-marred junior season, Thomas Coyne is ready to drain shots from all over the floor and lead Falmouth’s boys’ basketball team on a deep tournament run.
More photos below.
COACH: David Halligan (29th year, 464-107 overall record, five state championships)
2014-15 record: 17-4 (Lost, 57-47, to Portland in Western A Final)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Thomas Coyne (Senior), Sam Skop (Senior), Matt Wuhlbrecht (Senior), Colin Coyne (Junior), Ben Simonds (Junior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 8 CAPE ELIZABETH, Dec. 15 YORK, Dec. 19 @ Greely, Jan. 5 LAKE REGION, Jan. 8 @ Marshwood, Jan. 15 @ Waynflete, Jan. 18 SOUTH PORTLAND, Jan. 23 @ Westbrook, Jan. 26 @ York, Jan. 29 YARMOUTH, Feb. 2 @ Cape Elizabeth, Feb. 4 GREELY
COACH’S COMMENT: “We’ve had a tough preseason. We’ve played some tough games. We have six new opponents this year. It’s a great power schedule that should help us come tournament time. We’ll always be in the running. Having Thomas back is a huge plus. If we can get our other players besides our scorers involved, we’ll be one of the last teams standing. We have quite a few seniors. It’s now or never for those guys.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Falmouth certainly produced its share of dramatics in last year’s postseason, but ultimately ran out of gas in the regional final. The Yachtsmen then had to say goodbye to standout Jack Simonds, who was brilliant in the tournament and is now playing at Bowdoin. While Simonds’ loss is huge, Falmouth still has plenty of firewpower in reserve and the return of Thomas Coyne, who missed almost all of the 2014-15 season with injury, suggests that the Yachtsmen will be in the hunt for a title in the newly formed Class A South.
Colin Coyne made the most of his opportunity a year ago, earning Western Maine Conference second-team honors after averaging 15.2 points and 3.9 assists per game. He’s hit his share of big shots and this year will be looked upon to both score and set up his teammates as he’ll share time at the point guard spot with Thomas Coyne (in truth, the brothers can dominate at either backcourt spot). The elder Coyne looks to return to all-star form and should make up for lost time. Expect some huge offensive outbursts from him. Senior Nick Wissemann will also see time at point guard and sophomore Jack Bryant, the football quarterback, will be a key reserve at the guard spot. While Falmouth can knock down outside shots, this team’s biggest strength might be its size and ability to dominate in the paint. Skop (6-foot-4-inches) and Wuhlbrecht (6-4) return and are joined by senior Drew Chamberlain, the football lineman extraordinaire, who stands 6-4, junior Sean Walsh, who stands 6-6, senior Sean Bryant and Ben Simonds. This team will provide matchup nightmares all over the court. If the outside shots aren’t falling, the Yachtsmen will simply pound the ball inside.
Falmouth’s foes this year include traditional WMC rivals like Cape Elizabeth, Greely and Yarmouth, but the Yachtsmen will also square off with last year’s tournament foe, South Portland, and new opponents like Marshwood and Westbrook. It’ll make for a compelling, challenging season. One which also figures to be triumphant, perhaps even golden.
COACH: Mari Warner (sixth year, 45-49 overall record)
2014-15 record: 12-7 (Lost, 51-46, in overtime, to Windham in Western A preliminary round)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Alaina Birkel (Junior), Adelaide Cooke (Junior), Abby Ryan (Junior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 8 @ Cape Elizabeth, Dec. 15 @ York, Dec. 19 GREELY, Jan. 5 @ Lake Region, Jan. 8 MARSHWOOD, Jan. 18 @ South Portland, Jan. 22 FRYEBURG, Jan. 23 WESTBROOK, Jan. 26 YORK, Feb. 2 CAPE ELIZABETH, Feb. 4 @ Greely
COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re young and absorbing everything. I’m happy with our growth so far. We’re learning on the go. We’ve been in our games in the preseason. I have a talented group to work with. We have the ability to have everyone chip in. Our schedule will make us stronger. I think we’ll literally go one game and one day at a time. We’ll be a far different team midway through the season than we are now.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Last winter, Falmouth suffered a second straight agonizing overtime loss in the preliminary round, then saw the heart and soul of that talented team, led by reigning Winter Female Athlete of the Year Ally Hickey, depart. This season, the Yachtsmen face their share of question marks, but foes would be wise to take this squad seriously as they’ll be quite formidable as the season progresses.
This winter, the team will be in the hands of Birkel, the point guard, who was ninth in the Western Maine Conference in assists a year ago (3.0 per game). Birkel will also look to score on a regular basis. Ryan is a top returning shooter. Junior guard Maddy Adams can knock down shots, while sophomore Candice Powers could step in and make an immediate impact. Cooke is the other key returner. She’ll be a force in the post and could help fill the scoring void. Senior Jess Collins, who was injured as a junior, returns to provide depth and she’ll get help in the post from junior Hadley Wiggin and sophomore Grace Dimick. Sophomore Shannon Birks and freshman Natalie Birkel can play guard or forward.
While Falmouth might not have a big-name star, the team’s balance will be its strength. The Yachtsmen will look to their defense to help create offense and if they get open shots, look for those to fall. Falmouth faces a daunting slate in its first season in the newly formed Class A South and will be tested by just about everyone. The Yachtsmen might not match last year’s win-loss record, but with a few breaks, this squad could last longer in the postseason and reach the quarterfinals for the first time since 2010. This is a potential darkhorse.
COACH: Deron Barton (fifth year, 64-19-2 overall record, two state championships)
2014-15 record: 14-6 (Lost, 5-4, to eventual state champion Scarborough in Western A semifinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Hogan Tracy (Senior), Reece Armitage (Junior), Robbie Armitage (Junior), Chris Camelio (Junior), Henry Norris (Junior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 9 @ St. Dom’s, Dec. 15 BIDDEFORD, Dec. 19 CHEVERUS, Dec. 23 @ EL, Jan. 1 @ Greely, Jan. 7 LEWISTON, Jan. 12 SCARBOROUGH, Jan. 21 ST. DOM’S, Feb. 3 @ Biddeford, Feb. 9 @ Lewiston, Feb. 17 @ Scarborough
COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m excited. We have a very well-conditioned team. We lost a lot, no question, but we had an exceptional freshman class last year and they’re sophomores now. Our hockey IQ is high, but we’re young and we’re not very deep. The success of our season depends on how tight of a group we become. We have the hardest schedule we’ve had since I’ve been here. Anything is possible. Our success will be defined in the second half of the season. Once again, we want to win it all.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Falmouth’s quest for a third consecutive Class A championship was derailed by Scarborough, but the Yachtsmen managed to post double digit victories for the 21st year in a row. After losing an abundance of talent, headed by reigning Travis Roy Award winner Isac Nordstrom, Falmouth appears vulnerable, but teams should overlook the Yachtsmen at their own peril. By the postseason, Falmouth will be capable of beating anyone,.
This year’s offense will be paced by Camelio, who had 12 goals and 19 assists in 2014-15. Camelio, an all-state selection last year, will be a tough matchup for any defense, as will Reece Armitage (3 goals, 8 assists), all-stater Robbie Armitage (5 goals, 12 assists), Norris (10 goals, 3 assists) and Tracy. Barton also expects big things out of a sophomore forward triumvirate he calls the “triplets,” David Hawkes, Theo Hembre and Louis Mainella (7 points last year). Reece Armitage and Tracy anchor the defense in front of sophomore Spencer Pierce, who replaces all-stater Ryan Bonnvie in goal. Pierce saw limited time last winter.
This is a team with a lot of promise, but it’s one that might take some time to hit its stride. As always, the Yachtsmen play a very difficult schedule, so expect the team to take some lumps. That slate will pay dividends come playoff time when Falmouth should once again find itself one of the last teams standing.
COACH: Rob Carrier (seventh year, 78-37-4 overall record)
2014-15 record: 16-5 (Lost, 5-2, to Lewiston in state final)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Camden Carrier (Senior), Sarah Hutcheon (Senior), Marcy Kittredge (Senior), Martina St. Angelo (Senior), Evie Clement (Junior), Ally Hurdman (Junior), Caroline Proctor (Junior), Devon Sarazin (Junior), Abi Lebel (Sophomore)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 9 YARMOUTH, Dec. 19 @ Cape Elizabeth, Jan. 1 @ Greely, Jan. 6 @ Biddeford, Jan. 16 BIDDEFORD, Jan. 18 CAPE ELIZABETH, Jan. 22 @ Scarborough
COACH’S COMMENT: “We want to make the playoffs and we feel like we can do that. It’s a long season and a lot can happen between now and February between illness and injury that can derail good teams. I like how we’ve improved over the past couple of weeks and we’re a lot better than we were to open the season. Both lines are balanced and experienced. The scoring can come from anyone at anytime, which we hope can cause matchup issues for opponents. We return all of our forwards, two defensemen and our goalie. We’ve got good depth and a balanced offense with scoring coming from multiple girls. We’re breaking in a couple freshmen in defense and they’ve made good strides as they’ve seen game action and they’ve still got a long way to go, but I expect by the end of the season they’ll be putting in solid performances each game. In goal, Ally returns and will lead us to some wins.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Falmouth came oh-so-close to a state title a year ago and this season, the Yachtsmen just might finish the job. Falmouth is off to an impressive start, tying Scarborough (3-3) and Edward Little (3-3) before defeating York (6-1) and avenging its state game loss with a 4-0 victory over Lewiston.
The offense has been balanced so far, as Carrier (All-Conference last year), Kittredge and Hutcheon scored against Scarborough, Lebel, Sarazin (honorable mention) and Carrier lit the lamp versus Edward Little, Carrier, Clement (All-Conference), Hutcheon (All-Conference), Kittredge, Proctor (second-team all-conference) and St. Angelo (All-Conference) all scored in the win over York and Clement and Proctor both scored twice against Lewiston. Proctor and St. Angelo anchor the defense in front of Hurdman, who already has a pair of victories. She’ll be spelled at times by sophomore Julia Bonnvie. Freshmen Sarah Noyes and Kayla Sarazin are new defenders who will see important minutes.
Falmouth has been knocking at the championship door for several seasons. The Yachtsmen could kick it down this time around. Falmouth will continue to score goals and will be difficult to score against. It all adds up to a team that will be exciting to watch and one that likely will be very, very successful.
COACH: Jorma Kurry (17th year, six state championships)
(BOYS) Class A state champions
(GIRLS) 10th @ Class A state meet
(BOYS) Nigel Dunn (Senior), Noah Martin (Senior), Nick Sanzari (Senior), Josh Simensky (Senior), Sean Soucy (Senior), Tony St. Angelo (Senior), Matt Polewaczyk (Junior), Aaron Thomas (Junior), Ben Wyman (Junior), Conner Piers (Sophomore)
(GIRLS) Emma England (Senior), Lydia Farmer (Senior), Gina Pardi (Senior), Hannah Berzinis (Junior), Paige Chamberlain (Junior), Elizabeth Cyr (Junior), Mira Wyman (Junior), Danielle Casavant (Sophomore)
COACH’S COMMENT: “Both teams should be very competitive. The girls lost only one state qualifier to graduation and add a good mix of competitors across the board. The boys return a strong team and add some good distance runners. We expect both teams to compete well at the championship meets as well as the regular season.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Falmouth added another memorable chapter to its storied legacy last winter and is back in the hunt for more hardware.
The boys saved their best for last back in February, edging Scarborough in the final relay to win Class A for the first time. Repeating won’t be easy, but the Yachtsmen have plenty of firepower. Sanzari and St. Angelo return from a state champion 4×200 relay team. This winter, Sanzari will be a top sprinter (he was fourth in the 400 last season), while St. Angelo competes in the jumps (he was fourth in the high jump last winter). Simensky and Soucy helped the 4×800 relay squad come in first. Simensky will run distance (he was fourth in the 800 last year) and Soucy middle distance in the weeks to come. Thomas (fifth in the pole vault) is the other returning scorer. Dunn (hurdles/sprints), Martin (sprints), Polewaczyk (sprints) and Wyman (distance) bring experience and Piers could be a top threat in the distance. Newcomers of note include juniors Noah Gull (hurdles) and Jeremiah Sands (distance) and freshman John Auer (distance). Look for Falmouth to excel in Western Maine Conference meets and once again give the top teams in Class A all they can handle at states. A 10th top five finish in 11 years is a likely result.
The girls’ team hopes to move into the top five at states for the first time since 2008 and has the pieces in place to do so. Berzinis (fifth in the two-mile last winter), England (fourth in the 200), Farmer (fifth in the long jump) and Wyman (sixth in the 800) are all returning. Chamberlain and Pardi (along with Berzinis and Wyman) were part of a runner-up 4×800 relay team. Cyr (along with Wyman, Pardi and England) scored in the 4×200 relay, which came in fifth. Casavant (jumps) also returns. They’re joined by several promising newcomers, a group which includes sophomore Andrea Coyne (pole vault) and freshmen Caitlyn Camelio (sprints), Delaney Goodell (sprints), Abbie Farmer (jumps) and Malaika Pasch (middle distance). Falmouth will have its hands full with teams like Greely and York during the regular season, but should be well equipped to go toe-to-toe with the best of Class A come February vacation week.
COACH: Dave Cox (sixth year)
(BOYS) 4th @ Class A state meet
(GIRLS) Tie-6th @ Class A state meet
(BOYS) Logan Herodes (Senior), Winslow Robinson (Senior), Connor Perron (Junior), Griffin Conley (Sophomore)
(GIRLS) Charlotte Janelle (Senior), Keunjoo Kim (Senior), Blair Legere (Senior), Piper Alexander (Junior)
COACH’S COMMENT: “Despite some boys’ losses from last year, a strong group of returning juniors and seniors plan on continuing their run in the top five in Class A. The girls have an exceptional leadership group of captains and seniors, who lead a deep and hardworking set of underclassmen who look to improve on last year’s finish at states.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Falmouth’s swim program has held its own in Class A and the Yachtsmen should be strong again this winter.
The boys are coming off their best state meet showing since 1987, but will greatly miss Jake Perron, who won the 200 freestyle and the 500 free a year ago. Connor Perron, a captain, will help fill the void and should be solid in the 500 free (he was fourth last year) and 200 free (eighth), as well as in the relays. Herodes, a captain, was fifth in the 50 free last year and should be a top sprinter. He’ll also be a key member of the 200 and 400 freestyle relay teams. Conley is the top diver. He was first at Southwesterns and placed sixth at states. Robinson, the third captain, also has experience and can swim everything from the individual medley to freestyle to backstroke to butterfly. Junior Booway Bikales, a transfer from Cheverus, joins the team and should score in the distance freestyle. Look for another strong season from this group.
On the girls’ side, after placing sixth a year ago, Falmouth hopes to move into the top five for the first time since 2010. The top returning scorer is Janelle, the three-time defending diving state champion, who hopes to bow out in style with one more crown. Alexander, a captain, is a top distance threat (she was seventh in the 500 free and eighth in the IM last winter). Captains Kim and Legere both scored in the relays a year ago. Kim will compete in the backstroke and freestyle and Legere will look to score in the sprint freestyle. Freshman Grace Perron is an exciting addition. She’ll be a force in the distance races. This group has the pieces in place for a triumphant campaign.
2014-15 combined results:
(BOYS) No score @ Class A state meet
(GIRLS) Class A champion
COACH: Tip Kimball (13th year)
(BOYS) No score @ Class A state meet
(GIRLS) Class A state champions
(BOYS) Tom Lesniak (Senior), Owen White (Sophomore)
(GIRLS) Krysia Lesniak (Senior), Alex Shapiro (Senior)
COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m hoping the girls can repeat their first ever championship win. The boys’ numbers have significantly increased from an all time low of two last year to 11, including six freshmen.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both Falmouth Alpine ski teams will be in the title hunt this winter as they’ve formed a co-op team with Waynflete to make them even stronger.
The boys weren’t able to score as a team last winter, but should return to form this season with much better numbers. Lesniak is coming off a stellar season which saw him win the Class A slalom title and place fourth in the giant slalom. White is another top returner. Freshmen Peter Alexander and Gibson Scott and Waynflete freshmen Henry Dorsky and William Seely add depth. Look for the Yachtsmen to be very competitive throughout and for Lesniak to have a great shot at winning both races at this year’s state meet.
On the girls’ side, Falmouth is defending a title behind Lesniak, who won the slalom last winter. She fell in the GS, but hopes to add that title to her hardware collection this time around. Shapiro came in third in the slalom and fourth in the GS a year ago. She’ll be right near the top again. Waynflete skiers Beata Vest (fifth in the slalom, eighth in the GS) and Kelly Frumer (ninth GS, 10th slalom) can score for the Yachtsmen this season. Freshman Olivia DeWolf is another new skier to watch. Falmouth has a great shot to win another title this winter.
COACHES: Sarah Beliveau (third year)
(BOYS) Class A state champions
(GIRLS) Class A state champions
(BOYS) Adam Meyer (Senior), Devin Ventura (Senior), Simon Pratico (Sophomore)
(GIRLS) London Bernier (Senior), Gabby Farrell (Junior), Antoinette Lambert (Junior)
COACH’S COMMENT: “Despite losing some terrific skiers to graduation, I expect to have a competitive team. With fewer numbers, keeping the skiers healthy will make a big difference in how we do.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Falmouth swept the Class A Nordic ski crowns a year ago and could very well repeat this winter.
The boys return top state meet scorer Ventura (ninth in the classical and 10th in the freestyle a year ago). Meyer and Pratico also have experience. Ethan Livingood is a top new addition. While the Yachtsmen will be tested by several teams in the regular season and at states, if they stay healthy, they should make another run at a championship.
On the girls’ side, Bernier is the reigning champion in the classic and she also placed fourth in the freestyle. Expect more great things from her. Farrell and Lambert have experience as well. Falmouth doesn’t have a big team, but there is plenty of talent. Look for another strong campaign from this group.
Colin Coyne had a breakout season as a sophomore. He’ll be a top scorer again as a junior this winter.
Sophomore Jack Bryant is coming off a terrific performance as quarterback in football and hopes to play a key role in basketball this winter.
Senior Sam Skop is a matchup nightmare down low.
Senior Matt Wulhbrecht brings size to the Yachtsmen frontcourt.
Junior Maddy Adams will see a bigger role this winter for Falmouth’s girls’ basketball team.
Junior Alaina Birkel will run the Falmouth offense.
Junior Adelaide Cooke can do a little of everything for Falmouth.
Robbie Armitage is a key returner for the Falmouth boys’ hockey team.
Junior Evie Clement returns as one of Falmouth’s top players this winter.
Junior Ally Hurdman is back in goal for the Yachtsmen.
Senior Sarah Hutcheon figures to lead Falmouth deep into the playoffs again.
Ali Lebel is coming off a strong freshman campaign.
Martina St. Angelo is back for her senior season.