Greater Portland Christian School Lions Fall Sports Preview

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Senior Ethan Spaulding, the program’s all-time leading scorer, returns to lead Greater Portland Christian School’s boys’ soccer team on another playoff run.

BOYS’ SOCCER

Coach: Chris Spaulding (eighth year)

2015 record: 9-6-1 (Lost to Buckfield in Class D South semifinal)

Top returning players: Eddie Daigneault (Senior), Jeremiah Hammond (Senior), Ethan Spaulding (Senior), Mason Jones (Junior), Killian Patterson (Sophomore), Jeremy Powers (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 26 @ A.R. Gould, Oct. 6 @ A.R. Gould, Oct. 8 BUCKFIELD

Coach’s comment: “We are hopeful of being a playoff contender again this year after back-to-back semifinal appearances. We graduated four strong starters for the second year in a row, but still have strong core of returning players.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Lions have been consistent contenders in recent years and after successive trips to the semifinals, hope to take the next step in 2016. Coach Spaulding, who is assisted by Jeff Mears and Jon Meek, believes he has the pieces in place to go far. 

Ethan Spaulding is the program’s all-time leading scorer with 77 goals. Spaulding, who made the Class D South all-region team in 2015, will be up top exclusively this fall and figures to make a run at the 100 career goal mark before all is said and done. Hammond is another key returner. He’ll be in the midfield and is closing in on 50 career goals (something only two other GPCS players have ever accomplished), as well as nearing his brother, Ben Hammond’s, program assist record. Daigneault is the anchor of the back line. He’ll be very disruptive of other team’s offenses. Jones returns for a third season in goal and will keep the Lions in every game. Patterson and Powers will both see time in the back and midfield. Eighth graders Micah LaSalle (a midfielder) and Owen Mann (center back) add depth.

GPCS should be a force to be reckoned with all season. The senior core knows that it’s now or never and they won’t be satisfied just getting to the playoffs. Look for the Lions to be one of the top seeds for the Class D South playoffs and perhaps take the next step.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Coach: Chris Spaulding (first year)

2015 record: 2-11-1 (No postseason)

Top returning players: Grace MacDougall (Senior), Natalie Smith (Senior), Courtney Spaulding (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Sept. 6 @ Buckfield, Sept. 10 @ Rangeley, Sept. 13 RANGELEY, Sept. 24 @ Rangeley, Sept. 30 @ Searsport, Oct. 8 BUCKSPORT

Coach’s comment: “The future looks bright despite graduating four strong seniors.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Chris Spaulding, the boys’ coach, takes over the girls’ squad as well this fall (he’ll be assisted by Jeff Mears and Jon Meek). After missing the playoffs a year ago, GPCS hopes to show steady improvement.

The Lions will be led by the veteran MacDougall and Smith in the back. That defensive unit should keep the team in most games. Courtney Spaulding will lead the offense. Eighth grader Grace Mears is another player to watch. She can play several different positions.

GPCS has its work cut out against a daunting schedule, but this group should get better as the season progresses and will set the tone for future accomplishment.

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.