Freeport Falcons Fall Sports Preview

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Senior Henry Jaques was the second-fastest runner in Class B a year ago, trailing only teammate Chandler Vincent. This fall, Jacques is going for the top spot and he and his Falcons teammates are eyeing a third consecutive state title.

More photos below.

FOOTBALL

Coach: Paul St. Pierre (second year)

2015 record: 0-8 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Kyle Campbell (Senior), Max Doughty (Senior), Tucker Ginn (Senior), TJ Morrill (Senior), Cody Vachon (Senior), Josh Burke (Junior), Garrison Thompson (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 3 POLAND, Sept. 17 GRAY-NG, Oct. 15 LAKE REGION, Oct. 21 @ Yarmouth

Coach’s comment: “I’m encouraged. Our numbers are up this year. We have 12 seniors, older and more mature bodies. If we get pass blocking, we can do something through the air. I’m excited about our kicking game. If we stay healthy, we’ll be competitive. I’d love to get enough wins to get in to the playoffs. The program is moving in the right direction.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport took its lumps during St. Pierre’s first season, but there are reasons for optimism as a new season dawns. For starters, the Falcons’ junior varsity squad was undefeated in 2015. Also, this summer, Freeport enjoyed success in the 7-on-7 league. With an older and bigger roster, this team is equipped to be competitive against several teams.

Burke, last seen coming up huge in the Freeport baseball team’s historic run to a state final, will be the quarterback. Vachon is the tailback and Doughty plays fullback. Morrill, who is earning a lot of interest from colleges, will have his hands on the ball quite a bit as well, either via handoffs or passes. The line features Campbell, Ginn and Thompson. Morrill will do the placekicking. The Falcons believe they’ll put up a lot of points in the weeks to come.

Defensively, Freeport is anchored up front by Campbell, Ginn and Thompson. Burke is a top linebacker. In the secondary, Doughty, Morrill and Vachon will be nuisances for the opposition to overcome.

The Falcons are hopeful they can earn some victories and ride that wave all the way to a playoff spot. It won’t come easily, but this group has what it takes to be vastly improved from a year ago.

BOYS’ SOCCER

Coach: Joe Heathco (19th year, 128-127-27 overall record)

2015 record: 4-9-2 (Lost, 2-1, in OT, to Cape Elizabeth in Class B South preliminary round)

Top returning players: Joey Burke (Senior), Max Heathco (Senior), Eric Pelletier (Senior), Ryan Rosado (Senior), Josh Spaulding (Senior), Joe Ashby (Junior), Evan McKittrick (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 2 NYA, Sept. 29 @ Falmouth, Oct. 1 WAYNFLETE, Oct. 7 YORK, Oct. 11 @ Cape Elizabeth, Oct. 13 @ Yarmouth

Coach’s comment: “We lost a lot of kids and have big turnover, but I’m really excited. Athletically, we have a good team. We’ll spread the scoring around. It’s about playing consistently good soccer and building on last year. We want to put it together earlier this year and play well at the end.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport nearly sprung a big upset in last year’s playoffs before dropping a heartbreaker to Cape Elizabeth. This fall, despite having to replace some solid departed players, the Falcons have what it takes to produce a winning record and make some noise in the postseason.

Every good team needs a strong goalie and Freeport has that in Burke, last seen playing a key role in leading the Falcons baseball team to its first-ever regional title in June. He’s a veteran keeper who will make the big save. He’s aided by defenders Pelletier and Rosado. In the midfield, Ashby, Heathco and McKittrick are leaders. Spaulding, along with junior Colby Wagner (the baseball catcher) and sophomore Eriksen Shea, will look to pace the offense.

Freeport has a favorable schedule in that it doesn’t have to play the traditional powerhouses until the end. The Falcons have a chance to gain some early confidence and position themselves for the postseason. This time around, Freeport looks to post a winning record for the first time since 2008. The Falcons have what it takes to be a dark horse.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Coach: Elayna Girardin (eighth year, 39-58-7 overall record)

2015 record: 3-9-2 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Emily Latulippe (Senior), Jordan Randall (Senior), Becca Cameron (Junior), Taylor Rinaldi (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 29 FALMOUTH, Oct. 1 @ Waynflete, Oct. 6 @ York, Oct. 11 CAPE ELIZABETH

Coach’s comment: “We have a nice balance between experience and new players. This year I hope that the team clicks and is able to play as a unit. When we play together we will definitely have a successful season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport fell short of the playoffs in 2015 for the second successive year, but this autumn, the Falcons are hoping to get back into the thick of contention.

Cameron was a league all-star in 2015 and returns as a captain and will control the middle of the field. Randall will look to finish up top, while Rinaldi will be difficult to contend with on the wing. Latulippe is a veteran anchor in the back. Junior Megan Cormier will be in goal. Three newcomers will help the cause as well. Catriona Gould is a freshman striker. Tara Migliaccio is a freshman center-mid and Abbye Koenig-Soon will help in the back.

The first half of Freeport’s schedule is favorable and should allow the Falcons to win some games and gain some confidence. That would help them navigate a tougher slate down the stretch and be in position to get into the playoffs. Look for this group to steadily improve in the weeks to come.

FIELD HOCKEY 

Coach: Marcia Wood (fourth year, 19-26-1 overall record)

2015 record: 6-9 (Lost, 3-2, in 2OT, to Gray-NG in Class B South preliminary round)

Top returning players: Bailey Coffin (Senior), Emily Randall (Senior), Chloe Davidson (Junior), Callie Toothaker (Junior)

Pivotal games: Aug. 31 GRAY-NG, Sept. 10 @ NYA, Sept. 12 KENNEBUNK, Sept. 20 @ Gray-NG, Sept. 22 YARMOUTH, Sept. 24 @ York, Sept. 28 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 30 @ Falmouth, Oct. 8 @ Greely

Coach’s comment: “Our numbers are lower than I’d like, but the talent is there. (Last year’s playoff) loss has really motivated these girls to prepare themselves for the season and be ready to be competitive. I think if we pull it all together we could surprise some teams, but the girls really need a big win to know what that feels like. They are a motivated group of ladies and they are very hard working.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport extended its postseason streak to seven straight years in 2015, but the Falcons’ painful preliminary round loss to Gray-New Gloucester continues to sting. Freeport will get a chance to avenge that setback in its season opener and it’s likely the Falcons will be very competitive throughout the 2016 season.

Offensively, Freeport features Coffin, who has led the team in scoring two years running (she had 10 goals in 2015), and Randall, who had four goals and four assists before her season was cut short last fall. Davidson and Toothaker are midfielders to watch. The Falcons have to replace all-state selection and reigning Fall Female Athlete of the Year Morgan Karnes in goal, but Wood believes that senior Megan Seymour (Karnes’ backup for three seasons) is ready to assume the role.

Freeport expects to once again be in the hunt for the playoff spot, but this year’s team wants to take another step and win a postseason game. Don’t be surprised if the Falcons make some noise later in the year.

CROSS COUNTRY

Coach: Brian Berkemeyer (10th year, two state championships)

2015 results:
(Boys) Repeat Class B state champions
(Girls) 6th @ Class B state meet

Top returners:
(Boys) Evan Donald (Senior), Bennett Hight (Senior), Henry Jaques (Senior), John Smail (Senior), Tom Doyle (Junior), Alex Les (Sophomore)
(Girls) Laura Pierce (Senior), Caroline Stairs (Junior), Lily Horne (Sophomore), Katie Morrissey (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “With Henry returning as the Class B runner up and Alex as one of last year’s best freshman, the boys should be in the mix. As we all know, it takes five quality runners and sometimes seven. We have a strong freshman group of boys this year. With 24 boys on the team it will be interesting to see who steps up. We hope to contend in the state meet. We have 17 girls this year and with only two seniors, we’re young. We look to return to the state meet and improve on last year’s performance.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Both Freeport cross country teams appear bound for another strong season.

The boys have won Class B two years running, but have been affected by graduation, most notably the departure of last year’s Class B individual champion and reigning Fall Male Athlete of the Year Chandler Vincent and last year’s sixth-place state meet finisher, Erik Brobst. The Falcons do boast last year’s Class B individual runner-up in Jaques. Other returning scorers include Les (17th as a freshman) and Doyle (26th). That’s a solid starting point. Also returning are veterans Donald, Hight and Smail. The team is bolstered this autumn by the arrival of senior Yacob Olins, sophomore Paul Biberstein and freshmen Jeremy Brogan and Heath Cockburn. Freeport competes in a brutally tough conference (Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth, Falmouth, Greely and York loom) and Class B as a whole is no picnic either, but look for the Falcons to be one of the top teams throughout the regular season and post another high finish at the championship meets.

On the girls’ side, the top two finishers from 2015, Lily Johnston and Hannah Schnyder, have departed, but Pierce (33rd) and Horne (48th) return as scorers from last year’s state meet. Morrissey and Staires are veterans and they’re joined by new senior Olivia Botting, junior Maggie Murray and freshman Emily Scar to make up what should be a formidable team. Freeport will have to contend with the likes of Greely, Falmouth, York and defending Class B champion Yarmouth this year, but they should be in the hunt for a state meet berth and another top 10 finish.

GOLF

Coach: Peter Tilton (ninth year)

2015 results: 1-9 (no postseason)

Top returner: Steele Young (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “The numbers are there, we have 17 this year, but we’re very inexperienced. We will look for steady improvement.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport has a good number of golfers this fall, they just don’t have much playing time under their belts. That will change in the weeks to come.

Young is the only player with experience (shooting a 110 at last year’s conference qualifier). Junior Ethan Sclar shows a lot of promise and will be in the top spot. Also new to the team are sophomore Sullivan Smith and freshman Molly Whelan.

That’s enough of a foundation to allow the Falcons to improve and be competitive in many matches. The team’s relative youth suggests that the future will bring even better results.

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

 

Senior goalkeeper Joey Burke hopes to lead Freeport’s boys’ soccer team on a long playoff run, similar to the one Burke and his teammates enjoyed in baseball back in June.

Junior Chloe Davidson will play a key midfield role for a Freeport field hockey team which is always competitive.

Senior Emily Randall hopes to be a top scorer for the Falcons this season.

Sophomore Alex Les played a key role on last year’s championship team and looks to move up.

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