Freeport Falcons 2011 Fall Sports Preview

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Freeport’s fall sports teams all expect to compete in 2011. Boys’ soccer will improve. The girls’ team made nice strides a year ago and hopes to make a run to the playoffs this time around. Field hockey will be one of the better squad in Western C. Both cross country squads make the jump to Class B this autumn and both will hold their own. Golf looks to match or better last year’s record.

BOYS’ SOCCER

COACH: Joe Heathco (14th year)

2010 Record: 2-10-2 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Jack Dawe (Senior), Zach Greene (Senior), Evan Hench (Senior), Owen Petherbridge (Senior), Josh Weirich (Senior), Connor Dietrich (Junior), Landon Easler (Junior), Parker Matheson (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 6 @ Gray-NG, Sept. 10 (H) NYA, Sept. 14 (H) YORK, Sept.16 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 20 @ Greely, Sept. 26 @ Cape Elizabeth, Oct. 1 (H) FALMOUTH, Oct. 10 @ Falmouth, Oct. 14 (H) WAYNFLETE

COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m really pleased so far. The boys are working hard. We have a lot of returning, experienced players. Ten seniors. We’re young and inexperienced in the back. We need to spread the scoring around. We’re trying to be a more complete team. We have a big hill to climb with our schedule. We’ll try to compete every time we step out there. Playoffs are the goal.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: While Freeport has struggled the past couple seasons, it doesn’t figure to stay down for long. This year could see the program return to form and be a thorn in the side of the traditional powers. The offense will feature forwards Dawe and Greene, supported by midfielders Easler, Hench, Matheson and Weirich. Petherbridge, along with freshman Connor Cameron, anchors the defense in front of new senior goalie Alex Campbell. While the Falcons took their lumps in 2010, that experience should pay some dividends this fall. Some early success would go a long way for this team. Freeport should be able to compete with just about everyone on the schedule and will see some positive results as the season progresses.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

COACH: Elayna Girardin (third year)

2010 Record: 5-8-1 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Jessica Hench (Senior), Alexandra Mitch (Senior), Abby Roney (Senior), Ashley Richardson (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 14 @ York, Sept. 16 (H) YARMOUTH, Sept. 20 (H) GREELY, Sept. 22 @ Waynflete, Sept. 26 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, Oct. 4 (H) FALMOUTH, Oct. 13 (H) NYA

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have a great mix between experienced and new players that will make for a very dynamic year. We are hoping to work toward improving our record, as well as continuing to work hard to compete with the top teams.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Freeport made some great strides in 2010, but ultimately fell short of the postseason. This time around, the Falcons could crash the party. While five players graduated, there are some talented girls back. Richardson will move to the striker position and will look to tickle the twine on a regular basis. Hench (a three-year starter) will direct the midfield. Mitch anchors the defense from her sweeper position. Roney is back in goal for a third season. Junior Naomi Otis, who missed last year due to injury, should help the offense as well. While Freeport might still struggle with the league’s elite, it has what it takes to compete and win many games. If the Falcons continue on their upward trajectory, they could post a winning record and take part in the playoffs. This is a potential darkhorse.

FOOTBALL

COACH: Rob Grover (third year)

2010 Record: 3-5 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Caleb Emerson-Maines (Senior), Jared Knighton (Senior), Morgan Kuntz (Senior), Luke Lamagna (Senior), Dan Burke (Junior), Jared Polley (Junior), James Purdy (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 2 @ Dirigo, Sept. 24 @ Lisbon, Oct. 8 @ Traip, Oct. 14 @ Boothbay, Oct. 22 (H) YARMOUTH

COACH’S COMMENT: “The kids are working hard. We have a good freshmen class. Our seniors are strong. We have good leadership out there. We have a quarterback who can throw, so I hope to throw more. I think we’ll be very competitive this year and I think we can make the playoffs. Dirigo’s going to be a big game. We hope to be a surprise.”

FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Freeport did a nice job becoming a contender in its second varsity season, tripling its win total from the year prior. Now, the Falcons look to make a run to the playoffs and they’re on the radar of some of the more established and successful programs in Western Class C. While Freeport was almost strictly a running team its first two years, you might see Purdy putting the ball in the air more this fall. Knighton will be a top receiving threat. On the ground, Burke, Lamagna, Polley and Purdy can all do damage. The line features Emerson-Maines and Kuntz. Defensively, Emerson-Maines, Kuntz and Polley will hold the fort up front. Burke is a top linebacker, while the secondary features Knighton and Purdy. The schedule gets more difficult as the season moves along, so a good start is paramount for this squad. A few early wins would provide confidence and put the Falcons in line for a postseason berth. Don’t be surprised if they get there.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Sara Dimick (fourth year)

2010 Record: 6-9 (Lost 3-1 to Telstar in Western C quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Jenny Breau (Senior), Abigail Mahoney (Senior), Kayla Thurlow (Senior), Katie Turner (Senior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 7 (H) NYA, Sept. 13 (H) SACOPEE, Sept. 27 @ NYA, Oct. 5 @ Sacopee, Oct. 11 (H) YARMOUTH

COACH’S COMMENT: “Our team has worked very hard in the offseason to prepare for our season. We are hoping to set attainable goals for our season and we are hoping to become a stronger contender in our conference by working hard on our skills and by learning how to connect on the field together as a team. Our numbers are better this year which is exciting and the team as a whole seems very eager to start regular season.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Freeport is always in contention and 2011 won’t be any different. Dimick had the Midas touch last spring in helping the girls’ lacrosse program at Greely (her alma mater) turn things around. Field hockey could follow a similar script this autumn as the Falcons have the potential to win more than they lose and make a deeper playoff run. Mahoney and Turner are both reigning league all-stars and along with Thurlow, are serving as captains. Breau also brings experience and will join Turner in leading the offense. Mahoney and Thurlow are top midfielders. Junior Tallie Martin and sophomore Sydney Ambrose (who will also play on the forward line) will see time in goal. Junior Lorin Martens (defense) and freshman Abby Smith (midfield), add depth and promise. While defending champion NYA is still the gold standard in the region, it’s likely that the Panthers will come back to the pack a bit. Freeport is a team that could fill the void. The seniors have now been with Dimick for four years. This group figures to be eager to improve and will have a chance to shine early. By October, the Falcons will make their run and it could wind up being a very successful season for this crew.

CROSS COUNTRY

COACH: Brian Berkemeyer (fifth year)

2010 Results:

(BOYS) 2nd @ Class C state meet

(GIRLS) 4th @ Class C state meet

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS:

(BOYS) Charlie Baker (Senior), Taylor Saucier (Senior), Nick Sweet (Senior), Mason Cyr (Junior), Brady Davis (Junior), Victor Skoropa (Junior), Vinnie Zolla (Junior), Mark Donahue (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Ellie Soule (Senior), Lia Wellen (Junior), Emily Jennings (Sophomore), Gabriel Tilton (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Greely, York

COACH’S COMMENT: “On the boys’ side, we look to show that being in Class B makes no difference. We have a solid lead five and a large pack behind them. The summer training went well as well as preseason. The team is very competitive. We hope to be in somewhere in the mix this season. For the girls, we have had a new infusion of talent. A lot of them are beginning runners but they are learning fast. We hope to contend in the WMC. Our numbers keep growing and the program continues to improve.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Freeport’s cross country program has been one of the state’s best in recent years. After holding their own and better in Class C, the Falcons move up to Class B this year and will have to compete with several neighboring schools with larger enrollments. Regardless, Freeport feels it’s up for the challenge.

The boys’ team has a new look as four of last year’s top five have departed. Cyr (26th at last year’s Class C state meet) is the lone returning scorer. Saucier is quite promising. Baker and Sweet will help lead the squad. Davis, Donahue, Skoropa and Zolla, along with three freshmen and junior Abrim Berkemeyer, who’s come to the team from soccer, provide depth. The Falcons will hold their own in the regular season and should have no trouble making it back to states.

On the girls’ side, Soule is the top returner. She placed 10th at last year’s Class C state meet. Tilton (19th) and Jennings (23rd) both scored as freshmen and could be even better this fall. Wellen (30th) also scored a year ago. Juniors Caroline Rowell and Ciera Wentworth and sophomores Nina Davenport (a transfer from McAuley), Emma Egan, Bethanie Knighton, Lily LaMare, Heather Margerison, Shelby Sawyer and Hayley Stecker will look to make a mark. Freeport hopes to put together a solid pack and by the end of the season, should be one of the better teams in the conference.

GOLF

COACH: Jason Lemont (seventh year)

2010 Results: 3-7 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Nick Cartmell (Junior), Nick Tardiff (Junior)

TOP FOES: Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth, York

COACH’S COMMENT: “I have predominantly the same team back from last year. We’re looking toward a good season. We want to have fun and to compete.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Freeport had one of its more competitive seasons a year ago and looks to duplicate that feat in 2011. Cartmell and Tardiff both have experience and could be two of the better golfers in the conference. If a couple others can emerge, the Falcons will be able to hold their own with most foes. This program has steadily improved and that trend figures to continue this fall.

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

Senior Luke Lamagna is a big-play threat on the gridiron.

Senior Zach Greene could be a top scorer for the Freeport boys’ soccer team this fall.

Senior Taylor Saucier is a top returning runner for a Falcons boys’ cross country team making the jump to Class B this autumn.

Sidebar Elements


Senior Jared Knighton will be a leader for a Freeport football team ready to make a run at the playoffs.

More photos below.

2011 schedules

FOOTBALL

Fri., Sept. 2 @ Dirigo

Sat., Sept. 10 H SACOPEE

Sat., Sept. 17 H TELSTAR

Sat., Sept. 24 @ Lisbon

Sat., Oct. 1 H OOB

Sat., Oct. 8 @ Traip

Fri., Oct. 14 @ BBR

Sat., Oct. 22 H YARMOUTH

BOYS’ SOCCER

Fri., Sept. 2 H LAKE REGION

Tues., Sept. 6 @ GNG

Thurs., Sept. 8 @ Poland

Sat., Sept. 10 H NYA

Wed., Sept. 14 H YORK

Fri., Sept. 16 @ Yarmouth

Tues., Sept. 20 @ Greely

Thurs., Sept. 22 @ Lake Region

Mon., Sept. 26 @ Cape Elizabeth

Sat., Oct. 1 H FALMOUTH

Thurs., Oct. 6 H FRYEBURG

Mon., Oct. 10 @ Falmouth

Fri., Oct. 14 H WAYNFLETE

Mon., Oct. 17 H WELLS

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Fri., Sept. 2 @ Lake Region

Tues., Sept. 6 @ GNG

Thurs., Sept. 8 H POLAND

Sat., Sept. 10 H WELLS

Wed., Sept. 14 @ York

Fri., Sept. 16 H YARMOUTH

Tues., Sept. 20 H GREELY

Thurs., Sept. 22 @ Waynflete

Mon., Sept. 26 H CAPE ELIZABETH

Fri., Sept. 30 @ Fryeburg

Tues., Oct. 4 H FALMOUTH

Tues., Oct. 11 @ Wells

Thurs., Oct. 13 H NYA

Mon., Oct. 17 @ OOB

FIELD HOCKEY

Wed., Aug. 31 @ Traip

Fri., Sept. 2 @ Waynflete

Wed., Sept. 7 H NYA

Sat., Sept. 10 H POLAND

Tues., Sept. 13 H SACOPEE

Thurs., Sept. 15 H OOB

Wed., Sept. 21 @ GNG

Fri., Sept. 23 H TRAIP

Tues., Sept. 27 @ NYA

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Poland

Mon., Oct. 3 H WAYNFLETE

Wed., Oct. 5 @ Sacopee

Fri., Oct. 7 @ OOB

Tues., Oct. 11 H YARMOUTH

CROSS COUNTRY

Fri., Sept. 2 @ Poland (Wayn, Yarm)

Sat., Sept. 10 H CAPE, LR, TRAIP, WELLS

Fri., Sept. 16 H

Sat., Sept. 24 @ Manchester Invitational

Thurs., Sept. 29 @ York

Fri., Oct. 7 @ NYA

Fri., Oct. 14 @ WMC Championships

Sat., Oct. 22 Western C Regionals

Sat., Oct. 29 Class C States

GOLF

Thurs., Sept. 1 @ Lake Region

Thurs., Sept. 8 H SACOPEE

WAYNFLETE

Mon., Sept. 12 H YARMOUTH

FRYEBURG

Wed., Sept. 14 @ OOB

Mon., Sept. 19 @ Fryeburg

Wed., Sept. 21 @ Poland

Mon., Sept. 26 H OOB

GNG

Thurs., Sept. 29 @ Sacopee

Waynflete

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