Another fantastic year of high school sports action is over.
Local athletes kept us riveted last winter, dazzled in the spring and enthralled in the autumn.
With a new year nearing, here’s one more look back to the thrills that made up 2010.
When 2009 gave way to 2010, the Cheverus boys’ basketball team was once again leading the charge, pummeling all comers, but late in the month, senior standout Indiana Faithfull, a transfer from Australia, was deemed to have used up his eight semesters of eligibility and was declared ineligible, seemingly crippling the Stags’ title hopes. Deering, Portland and Waynflete were jockeying for playoff positioning.
On the girls’ side, two-time defending Class A champion Deering overcame a pair of early losses to become the top threat to undefeated Scarborough. Cheverus, McAuley and Waynflete were also flying high.
On the ice, Deering’s boys’ squad was a pleasant surprise, while Cheverus and Portland were also in the mix. Cheverus’ girls’ team had no peer as it made a run for the top spot.
Skiing, swimming, track and wrestling teams and individuals made a mark as they geared up for the postseason.
February vacation week brought the first hardware of the new year.
In track, Cheverus’ boys stole the show, finishing runner-up. John White won the Class A shot put. Portland’s Imadhi Zagon took the 55 and long jump titles. On the girls’ side, Liana Rubinoff was the champion in the two-mile.
In the pool, both Cheverus teams were third in Class A. Cal Rohde was the Class A state champ in the 200 and the 500 freestyle. Deering’s George Mandic won the 50 free crown. On the girls’ side, Deering’s Genevieve Worthely was the champion in the 100 breaststroke.
On the slopes, Cheverus’ Maggie Corrigan won the Class A girls’ Alpine slalom. Waynflete’s Nate Niles was the Class C boys’ Nordic classic winner.
Deering was 10th at the wrestling state meet.
Attention then turned to the basketball championships.
On the boys’ side, Deering and Portland were ousted in the quarterfinal round, while Waynflete failed to qualify for the Western C tournament. Just hours before top-ranked Cheverus took the floor for its quarterfinal round game versus Scarborough, a buzz filled the Portland Expo as Faithfull was cleared to play. The Stags beat the Red Storm, then downed Windham and Westbrook to take the regional title. Cheverus then made it two Class A crowns in three seasons when it beat Edward Little in the state final, 55-50.
Deering’s girls weren’t able to three-peat. The Rams downed Thornton Academy in the quarterfinals, ended McAuley’s run in the semis, then led Scarborough almost the whole way in the regional final before being done in late by foul trouble, 37-34. Cheverus made it to the Expo for the first time, but lost to Biddeford in the quarterfinals. In Western C, Waynflete, behind standout Morgan Woodhouse, downed St. Dom’s and Hall-Dale (in OT) to reach the regional final for the second year in a row. The Flyers lost to Madison, 37-23.
Hockey’s playoffs saw Deering and Portland’s boys fall in the quarterfinals. On the girls’ side, Cheverus capped a 21-0 season with its first title, 3-0, over Lewiston.
Locals took a between-seasons rest, while many standouts were named to conference, regional and state all-star teams.
April and May
The short spring regular season featured better-than-expected weather and many teams in contention.
The defending Class A state champion Deering baseball team, along with Cheverus and Portland, were in the playoff hunt, while in Western C, Waynflete was enjoying its best season in years.
Cheverus softball was once again competitive, but was overshadowed by the stunning rise of McAuley.
Boys’ lacrosse featured defending Class A state champion Portland not missing a beat despite losing several key contributors to graduation. Cheverus, Deering and Waynflete were all in the mix as well.
Speaking of the Flyers, Waynflete’s two-time defending Class B state champion girls’ lacrosse team proved mortal, but excelled nonetheless, while Cheverus and Portland also made playoff pushes.
Area track stars geared up for the postseason.
The tennis story featured excellence from Portland’s girls and Cheverus and Waynflete’s boys.
On the 5th, three local athletes won individual track titles. Cheverus’ John White was tops in the shot put, while Cheverus’ Caroline Summa took the high jump and Deering’s Ella Ramonas won the 800.
On the 12th, the Waynflete boys’ tennis team capped another undefeated season with a state title and standout Brandon Thompson was the individual champion. Portland’s girls hoped to get back to the state final, but were upset by Gorham in the regional final.
Deering’s run at another baseball title ended with a loss to Westbrook in the semifinals. Cheverus was ousted in the quarterfinals. Waynflete made it to the Western C playoffs, but was eliminated in the preliminary round.
Cheverus’ softball team was sent home by Thornton Academy in the quarterfinals, the same round which saw McAuley’s stirring run end with a loss to eventual champion South Portland.
Portland’s boys’ and Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse teams made it back to the state final, but this time, weren’t able to get the job done. The Flyers fell to NYA, while the Bulldogs (mourning the loss of a fallen teammate) fell just short against Scarborough.
July and August
High school action took a short break, while familiar names competed in road races and American Legion ball. By mid-August, fall practice was underway.
Autumn brought football, soccer, field hockey, cross country and golf excitement.
On the gridiron, one of the most exciting seasons ever began with Cheverus steamrolling everyone, Deering returning to form and Portland looking to hit its stride.
On the pitch, Portland’s boys’ soccer team, a preseason favorite, struggled early, but soon came to life. Waynflete also dazzled.
On the girls’ side, Cheverus, Deering, McAuley and Waynflete established themselves as playoff contenders.
The Cheverus field hockey team rose to the top again, while Portland was in the mix. Waynflete was putting together its best season in over three decades.
Cheverus’ girls’ cross country team was once again dominant and led the local charge.
Deering’s golf team impressed in its title defense. Cheverus was also competitive.
Golf held its state championship on the 9th. Deering was third in Class A, Cheverus fourth.
Cheverus won another Class A girls’ cross country state title on the 30th. The reign of the Waynflete girls ended with a second-place Class C finish.
Cheverus’ field hockey once again stole the postseason headlines. As the No. 4 seed, the Stags beat Kennebunk in the quarterfinals, then upset nemesis Scarborough in the semifinals before getting an epic four-goal performance from senior Emily Sawchuck in a 5-2 regional final round win over Bonny Eagle. Cheverus’ title dreams were denied by perennial champion Skowhegan in the state game, 3-0. Waynflete made the playoffs for the first time since the late-1970s, but lost to eventual Class C champion NYA in the quarterfinals.
The soccer playoffs saw the Portland boys make it to the Western A Final for the first time this century. The Bulldogs eliminated Cheverus in the quarterfinals and rallied past Cape Elizabeth with an overtime victory in the semis. Waynflete moved on to the Western C Final after a dramatic win against St. Dom’s in the semifinals.
On the girls’ side, McAuley’s first playoff trip in several years ended with a preliminary round loss to Windham. Deering was also ousted in the preliminary round, at Cape Elizabeth. Cheverus fell to Scarborough and Waynflete lost to Sacopee in the semifinals.
Cheverus football capped the regular season with a 44-14 drubbing of Deering to earn the top seed for the playoffs. The Stags had to rally against defending champion Windham in the quarterfinals to survive and advance. Deering, ranked third, had no trouble with Thornton Academy. Portland ended up 2-6 and failed to qualify for the postseason.
Soccer held its regional finals on the 3rd. Waynflete’s boys were stunned by No. 8 NYA, but Portland managed to hold off Gorham, 2-1, to reach the state final for just the second time in program history. Three nights later, however, the Bulldogs’ title dreams were dashed, 3-2, by Bangor.
Football then had center stage all to itself. In the semifinals, Deering went to nemesis Bonny Eagle and rode the brilliance of senior quarterback Jamie Ross to a surprisingly easy win. Cheverus again got a scare, but held off upstart Scarborough by a touchdown.
That set up a regional final epic between the Stags and Rams on the 13th. In one of the finest games in state annals, Cheverus raced to a 29-6 lead, but Deering rallied to take a 34-29 lead. A TD run from senior Evan Jendrasko with 30 seconds left appeared to put the Stags over the top, but Ross led the Rams downfield and had a chance to win it with his foot. His 36-yard field goal attempt with just seconds remaining barely missed, however. Cheverus 35 Deering 34.
The Stags’ Class A Final against Bangor the following week proved to be anticlimactic. Cheverus erupted in the second half behind junior running back Spencer Cooke and cruised to its first championship in a quarter-century, 46-8. Senior quarterback/defensive standout Peter Gwilym was named a finalist for the Fitzpatrick Trophy.
Winter has returned and the fun begins again.
In boys’ basketball, Cheverus looks like the team to beat once again. Deering and Portland are hoping to be in the mix. Waynflete could be a contender.
On the girls’ side, McAuley cemented its claim as the team to beat with last week’s thrilling win at Cheverus, which will be in it until the end. Don’t forget about Deering. Waynflete once again will be a threat in Western C.
On the ice, Cheverus, Deering and Portland’s boys could all be in the playoff mix, while on the girls’ side, Cheverus and Portland have impressed.
Swimming and wrestling have provided positive glimpses and track and skiing are about to get underway.
Say goodbye to the wonderful year that was. We welcome 2011 and look forward to a new batch of thrills.
Happy New Year everyone!
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com
Deering’s Kayla Burchill was one of the best players in the state last winter and might be the finest this time around.
All-American Caleb Kenney led the Portland boys’ lacrosse team back to the Class A state final in the spring.
In the fall, Cheverus’ football team celebrated its first state championship since 1985.