Forget the bad weather, the spring sports season was terrific-Northern edition

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Yarmouth senior Gibson Harnett and his teammates wrote the most memorable story of the spring, helping the Clippers win their first-ever Class B baseball championship.

Amanda Watson and her Falmouth girls’ tennis teammates won yet another state championship this spring and extended the Yachtsmen’s win streak to 157 matches.

Katherine Leggat-Barr helped Greely win a girls’ outdoor track Class B state title. The Rangers also won the indoor championship.

The spring of 2017 will be remembered most for Mother Nature’s uncooperative ways, but in truth, if you were a fan of high school athletics, there was a lot to get excited about regardless of the sport.

Falmouth’s tennis dynasty continued, as the girls won their 10th consecutive championship and along the way, extended their match win streak to an unthinkable 157, with no apparent end in sight. The Yachtsmen boys’ team also brought home a Class A trophy for the third time in four seasons. Falmouth wasn’t alone when it came to tennis glory, as the Greely girls won Class B for the third time in four years, Yarmouth’s boys’ team made a surprise run to the Class B state meet and Yarmouth’s Lana Mavor captured the girls’ state singles championship. 

The outdoor track state meets also produced champions, as Greely’s girls took Class B, adding an outdoor crown to an indoor title they won in February. Katherine Leggat-Barr (two-mile) and Morgan Selby (300 hurdles) helped the cause with individual titles. Several other local boys and girls won individual crowns as well.

Lacrosse produced its usual abundance of excellent players and teams.

Yarmouth’s boys got to the state final for the fifth year in a row, but after a spirited effort, lost to Cape Elizabeth. Falmouth had the state’s second-best team, but the first, Cape Elizabeth, resided in its region and the Capers edged the Yachtsmen in a thrilling regional final that literally came down to the final second.

On the girls’ side, Yarmouth excelled for 15 games, but in its 16th, the Clippers were upset by Kennebunk in the state final. Kennebunk had previous ruined Falmouth’s season as well, beating the Yachtsmen in the regional final for the third year in a row. Freeport also made the playoffs, losing to Morse in overtime in the quarterfinals.

The diamond produced much drama as well.

Softball saw Yarmouth and Greely square off in the playoffs yet again, with the Clippers emerging victorious this time. Yarmouth was then ousted by Wells in the semifinals. Falmouth teamed up with Maine Girls’ Academy to form the “Sea Lions” co-op squad, which surged late and made the playoffs before losing a heartbreaker to Noble in the Class A South preliminary round.

Falmouth’s baseball team gave Coach Kevin Winship his 100th victory and won 14 other games in the regular season behind superb pitching, led by Gatorade Player of the Year Cam Guarino. The Yachtsmen earned the top seed in Class A South and defeated Scarborough, Portland and Cheverus to make a return trip to the state final, but for the second year in a row, Falmouth couldn’t solve Bangor on the big stage and fell a run short of a desired championship. In Class D, North Yarmouth Academy hosted a playoff game, but lost to Greenville in the quarterfinals. In Class B, Freeport wasn’t able to build on its 2016 magic, bowing out in the preliminary round. Greely was ousted by Cape Elizabeth in the quarterfinals. That left Yarmouth, the No. 9 seed, who shocked the world by beating Leavitt in the preliminary round, upsetting top-ranked Madison/Carrabec in the quarterfinals, Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals and York in the regional final. The Clippers then capped a run for the ages by beating defending champion Old Town in the state game, earning its first ever Class B title. 

We’re all eager to get on to summer, but before we do, here’s one last look back at the champions and best moments of the spring:

Northern edition spring state champions

Team

Falmouth Yachtsmen boys’ tennis, Class A
Falmouth Yachtsmen girls’ tennis, Class A
Greely Rangers girls’ outdoor track, Class B
Greely Rangers girls’ tennis, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers baseball, Class B

Northern edition spring regional champions

Falmouth Yachtsmen baseball, Class A South
Yarmouth Clippers boys’ lacrosse, Class B North
Yarmouth Clippers girls’ lacrosse, Class B North
Yarmouth Clippers, boys’ tennis, Class B South

Individual

Outdoor track

Adelaide Cooke, Falmouth, Class A girls’ discus
Katherine Leggat-Barr, Greely, Class B girls’ two-mile
Morgan Selby, Greely, Class B girls’ 300 hurdles
Tahj Garvey, Yarmouth, Class B boys’ 400
Luke Laverdiere, Yarmouth, Class B boys’ 800
Luke Laverdiere, Yarmouth, Class B boys’ mile
Luke Laverdiere, Yarmouth, Class B boys’ two-mile

Tennis

Lana Mavor, Yarmouth, girls’ singles

Michael’s top five moments

5) Top level play in boys’ lacrosse

No local boys’ lacrosse team won a championship this spring, but that doesn’t mean that play wasn’t at a top-notch level. Falmouth, the defending Class B champion, opened the season with a 27-goal outburst against York and enjoyed an early come-from-behind win at rival Cape Elizabeth, but later in the season, the Capers won at Falmouth and as a result, earned homefield advantage for Act III, the regional final, where Cape Elizabeth built a 6-1 lead and held on for dear life to end the Yachtsmen’s season, 6-5. Yarmouth struggled at times against the state’s elite powers during the regular season, but when the Class B North playoffs began, the Clippers couldn’t be stopped, as they won a pair of road games en route to a fifth straight regional final. Yarmouth hung tough for awhile with Cape Elizabeth in the state final, but ultimately, the Clippers didn’t have enough and lost, 16-7.

4) Yarmouth girls’ lacrosse team unbeatable until the end

Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team was a joy to watch this spring and for 15 games, the Clippers were rarely slowed, not to mention ever stopped. Yarmouth was seriously tested just once in the regular season, as it had to rally late to knock off host Falmouth in the finale. After three easy wins in the Class B North playoffs, the Clippers squared off against Kennebunk in the state final for the third year in a row. Yarmouth won, 7-3, at the Rams in the regular season, but in a flip of the script from a Clippers’ upset win in the 2015 game, Kennebunk shot to an early lead, stymied Yarmouth with an amazing defensive effort, then held on late to stun the Clippers, 5-4. 

3) Greely garners outdoor track championship

Greely’s girls’ track program will fondly remember the 2017 calendar year. After breaking through and winning the Class B indoor title in February, the Rangers had another strong season this spring, saving their best for last. After holding off many talented rivals to win the Western Maine Conference championship, Greely had no peer at the Class B state meet and pulled off the indoor-outdoor combo for the first time since 2005.

2) Brilliance on the court

Forecaster Country was the center of high school tennis excellence this spring. Falmouth’s girls continued to set the bar out of reach by winning their 10th straight state title, a victory that proved to be their 157th straight match win. Falmouth’s boys, after a year away, returned to the Class A pinnacle as well. Greely’s girls followed the same script, winning Class B for the third time in four seasons. Yarmouth’s boys got to the Class B state final, losing to Camden Hills. Yarmouth’s girls got to the regional final, losing to Greely, and the Clippers boasted the state’s finest girls’ individual player, Lana Mavor.

1) Yarmouth baseball wins improbable state crown

There’s a reason that No. 9 seeds don’t win championships very often. It’s very difficult and requires playing your best at the right time on your opponent’s home field. A little good fortune doesn’t hurt either. Yarmouth’s baseball team managed that feat last month and the Clippers’ run will long be hailed. A win at No. 8 Leavitt in the preliminary round wasn’t a big surprise, but once Yarmouth held on for a dramatic upset win at top-ranked Madison/Carrabec in the quarterfinals, the buzz got louder. The Clippers then beat rival Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals and after building an early lead against potent York in the regional final, held on down the stretch to punch their ticket to their first state final in any class since 1995. In the Class B state game, Yarmouth had to go up against the defending champion, Old Town, but the Clippers had senior ace Gibson Harnett on the mound and their baserunning derring-do proved too much for the Coyotes to counter and Yarmouth went on to win the championship in storybook fashion. There won’t be another title like this one.

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

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