Another spring sports season has come and gone and it’s safe to say that the events of April, May and June 2016 won’t soon be forgotten.
On the diamond, Cheverus, Deering and Portland’s baseball teams all qualified for the playoffs.
Portland’s softball team, the lone squad from the city to make the playoffs, stole the most headlines, awakening the echoes of the program’s proud past and getting to the quarterfinals.
Cheverus’ boys’ lacrosse team got to the semifinals. Along the way, the Stags ousted Deering. Waynflete produced one of its best teams and also got to the semifinals.
On the girls’ side, Waynflete continued its string of never losing in the quarterfinal round. Cheverus and Deering also qualified and both lost in the quarterfinals.
The state track meet saw some individuals excel.
Waynflete’s boys’ tennis team won its ninth successive Class C championship. Cheverus, Deering and Portland’s boys’ squads also made the playoffs, as did Cheverus, Deering, Portland and Waynflete’s girls’ teams.
Before we savor summer, here’s one last look at the spring of 2016:
Waynflete Flyers boys’ tennis, Class C
Emily Turner, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 400 (new record)
Emily Turner, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 100
Emily Turner, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 200
Paolo DeMarco, Deering, Class A boys’ 300 hurdles
Six of nine local lacrosse teams qualified for the playoffs this year. Deering’s girls got in for the first time since 2008. The Rams lost in the quarterfinals, as did Cheverus. Waynflete kept its all-time streak alive of not losing in the quarterfinals, when the Flyers avenged a regular season loss and knocked off Lake Region in that round. Waynflete, like everyone else this season, was no match for Kennebunk in the semifinals, however. On the boys’ side, in the quarterfinals, Cheverus held off a Deering squad which made great strides this season, but fell one goal shy against defending state champion Brunswick in the semifinals. Waynflete enjoyed one of its best seasons in a long time, beating Fryeburg Academy in the Class B South quarterfinals before the Flyers were ousted by three-time defending state champion Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals.
The surest rite of spring is Waynflete’s boys’ tennis team earning a championship trophy. This season, as has been the case every year since 2008, the Flyers were the last team standing in Class C, following up a solid 10-2 regular season by winning four playoff matches, including the state final against George Stevens Academy, to bring the hardware home again. Does anyone doubt that number 10 is right around the corner?
There wasn’t an elite baseball team in the Southwestern Maine Activities Association this spring, but there were many good squads with Cheverus, Deering and Portland among them. The Bulldogs were a surprise regional finalist in 2015 and were expected to excel again this spring. Portland got out to a 9-0 start, then stumbled to a 2-5 mark down the stretch, but as was the case a year ago, turned it up a notch for the playoffs, dominating Kennebunk in the preliminary round, then riding a gem from Dan Marzilli to a win at Thornton Academy in the quarterfinals. The Bulldogs were then victimized by a stellar pitcher, Falmouth’s Reece Armitage, and they bowed out in the semifinals. Deering beat Cheverus in the preliminary round for the second year in a row, this time in an extra inning thriller at a game played on the diamond of the University of Southern Maine. The Rams lost to Falmouth in the quarterfinals, but like the Bulldogs and Stags, they posted a winning record.
While no city teams won state outdoor track and field titles, there were some highlights from an individual perspective. Cheverus’ Emily Turner was the biggest star anywhere, setting a new state record in winning the 400 and also coming in first in both the 100 and 200. Turner was also part of a 4×400 champion relay team as the Stags placed third as a team. Deering’s Paolo DeMarco, like Turner, coming off a superb indoor season, capped his high school career in style by winning the 300 hurdles. The Rams finished sixth as a team.
It was a season of first-time-in-a-long-time for Portland’s softball team. The Bulldogs were once the state’s flagship program, but struggled for the better part of a decade before returning to prominence this spring. Portland beat South Portland for the first time since 2005 and did the same against a Biddeford squad which went on to win the Class A title. The Bulldogs posted a winning regular season record for the first time in 11 years and made the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Portland hosted a playoff contest for the first time since 2005 and that game, a preliminary round tilt with Marshwood, proved to be an instant classic. The Bulldogs trailed by a run going to the bottom of the seventh inning, but Morgan Boyle dashed home to tie it. Then, in the eighth, Taylor Crosby led off with a triple and Gianna Gaudet followed with a base hit that brought Crosby home, unleashing a wild celebration. Portland’s run ended with a quarterfinal round loss at top-ranked Scarborough, but this group’s effort won’t soon be forgotten.
This spring of 2016 had its share of joy, but no one celebrated harder than Portland’s softball team after winning a playoff game for the first time in a decade.
Cheverus and Deering’s boys’ lacrosse teams (along with Waynflete) qualified for the playoffs this spring.
Cheverus’ Emily Turner was a one-woman wrecking crew at the Class A state meet, winning three events.
Brandon Amgelio and his Waynflete boys’ tennis teammates won Class C for the ninth year in a row.