It's playoff time in Forecaster Country

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The 2010 golf season has come to a close. Field hockey and volleyball’s playoffs are underway and cross-country’s regional meet will be held Saturday. Soccer’s postseason is set to begin and football isn’t far behind.

Rest assured, there will be plenty of drama in the weeks to come.

Here’s an overview:

Golf

A week after golf crowned its team state champions (Falmouth won Class B), individuals took their turn Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro.

A pair of local defending champions weren’t able to repeat.

In Class C, North Yarmouth Academy’s Tim Millett, seeking a third successive crown, wound up tied for 11th after shooting an 85. Teammate Jake Landry tied for 25th with a 92. Madison’s Seth Sweet had the low score (73).

Greely’s Laura Grant, last year’s girls’ champion, placed fifth with a 91. Teammate Megan Bickford was third (86). Edith Aromando (sixth, 92), Emma Seymour (seventh, 93) and Sarah Hansen (ninth, 97) also represented the Rangers. Yarmouth’s Monica Austin came in fourth (89). Teammates Jordan Brown (10th, 98), Emily Lunt (22nd, 112) and Grace King (tie-26th, 121) also took part. Fort Kent’s Ali Prescott won with a 79.

In Class A, Greely’s Kyle Megathlin tied for 17th place with an 84. Gorham’s Mike Arsenault won with a 72.

In Class B, Falmouth’s Matt Packard came in third (79), three shots ahead of teammates Will Bucklin and Connor Burfeind, who tied four others, including Yarmouth’s Iam Marr for fourth. Yarmouth’s Red DeSmith and Falmouth’s Nick Franco shot an 82 to tie for 12th. Ellsworth’s Greg Martin won the crown with a 77.

Field hockey

Four of the five local teams qualified for the field hockey playoffs.

NYA, the 2008 Class C state champion and 2009 runner-up, won’t be able to play on turf all the way through the state finals this time around, but still has to be considered one of the favorites. The Panthers were 13-1 in the regular season, outscored the opposition, 97-8, and earned the No. 3 seed in Western C.

NYA hosted No. 6 Waynflete (8-5-1) in Tuesday’s quarterfinals. The Panthers dominated the Flyers in two regular season meetings, 11-0, at home on Sept. 21 and 5-1, in Portland, Oct. 7. The teams’ lone prior playoff encounter came in the first round in 2001 (a 4-0 NYA win). If, as expected, the Panthers advance, they’d likely go to No. 2 Livermore Falls (13-1) for the semifinals Saturday. The teams don’t play in the regular year. The last postseason meeting came in the 2008 semis (a 1-0 NYA victory).

Freeport made the Western C playoffs as the No. 8 seed after a 6-8 campaign. The Falcons lost their final five games, but still qualified. As a reward, they went to No. 1 Telstar (13-1) for the quarterfinals Wednesday. The teams don’t play in the regular season. The last time Freeport faced Telstar in the playoffs was the 1999 quarterfinals (a 3-0 loss).

In Western B, Greely’s 10-4 mark gave it the No. 3 seed. The Rangers played five overtime games this fall and don’t figure to be phased in the least by postseason intensity. Greely opened its title quest Tuesday at home against No. 6 Cape Elizabeth (7-6-1) in the quarterfinals. The teams split in the regular season, both winning at home (the Capers, 2-1 and the Rangers, 1-0). The last time Greely faced Cape Elizabeth in the playoffs was in the 2005 quarterfinals (a 3-0 win). The Rangers are 4-2 all time against the Capers in the postseason.

If Greely was able to advance, it would either go to No. 2 Leavitt (10-2-1) or host No. 7 Mountain Valley (9-5) in the semifinals Saturday. The Rangers didn’t play either team in the regular season. They played both teams three years ago in the playoffs, edging the Falcons, 3-2, in the quarterfinals, before suffering a gut-wrenching 3-2 (overtime) loss to the Hornets in the semis.

Falmouth extended its postseason streak to 14 years, despite finishing 4-10 after a four-game slide. The Yachtsmen earned the No. 8 seed in Western B and had the daunting task of visiting top-ranked, defending regional champion York (13-1) in Wednesday’s quarterfinals. Falmouth has had its fill of the Wildcats in recent years, losing to them four times in the postseason since 2004. Last year, York eliminated the Yachtsmen, 2-1, in the semis.

Yarmouth, which lost, 3-0, at Lake Region in its finale, wound up 2-11-1 and 10th in the Western B Heals (only eight teams made the cut). The Clippers made great strides as the season progressed and should be a team to be reckoned with in 2011.

Looking ahead, the regional finals are next Tuesday at Scarborough High School. The Class A, B and C state games are Saturday, Oct. 30, at the University of Maine in Orono.

Cross-country

The cross-country regular season is complete.

NYA hosted Greely, Merriconeag and Waynflete Friday. The hosts won the boys’ race, with Merriconeag third and Greely fourth. Individually, Merriconeag’s Jack Pierce was second to Waynflete’s Abshir Horor with a time of 16:54. NYA’s Evan Kendall was third (17:06) and Greely’s Justin Murphy placed 11th (18:23). In the girls’ meet, won by Waynflete, Merriconeag placed second, NYA third and Greely fourth. Merriconeag’s Zoe Chace was second (20:45), NYA’s Hillary Detert third (20:50) and Greely’s Jordan Ouellette fourth (20:51).

Results for Falmouth, Freeport and Yarmouth’s final meets weren’t available at press time.

Next up is the regional championships Saturday at Twin Brook in Cumberland. Teams in the top half of each region qualify for the state meet. The Western B boys’ race, featuring Falmouth (second to Scarborough in the latest coaches’ poll), Greely (fourth) and Yarmouth, starts at 10 a.m. The Western B girls (Falmouth is sixth in the coaches’ poll) go at 10:35 a.m. Freeport, Merriconeag and NYA’s boys take part in the Western C meet at 11:10 a.m. The girls begin at 11:45 a.m.

The state meets are Saturday, Oct. 30, in Belfast.

Volleyball

The volleyball postseason is underway and three local teams are participating.

Seven-time champion Greely and newly minted power Falmouth met twice last week with Heal Points and playoff positioning at stake. Last Tuesday, in Cumberland, the Yachtsmen won the first two games, 25-21 and 25-12, but the hosts rallied, 27-25, 25-14, to force a decisive fifth game, which Falmouth took, 15-11. Two nights later, the host Yachtsmen won three straight, 25-20, 25-18, 25-9.

“It was nice,” said Falmouth senior Kate Sparks, who led her team eight kills and three blocks in the second match. “We weren’t expecting that after taking them in five on Tuesday. We were expecting them to bring it. They did. They played really well. We just happened to get the ups on them, and played hard.”

“I thought the game would be closer, but we’ve gotten into our rhythm now,” said Falmouth coach Gary Powers. “We had some injuries that we had to deal with earlier in the season. Now everyone’s back and healthy and things are going well.”

The Yachtsmen finished 12-2, good for third behind Biddeford and Mt. Desert Island in the final Class A Heals. The Rangers ended their regular season with a 3-1 (25-20, 25-21, 18-25, 25-21) win at Gorham, wound up 9-5 and fourth in Class A.

Falmouth hosted No. 6 Scarborough (7-7) in Wednesday’s state quarterfinals. The Yachtsmen swept the Red Storm this season, 3-0 and 3-1. This was the teams’ first-ever postseason meeting. If Falmouth advances, it will be at No. 2 MDI (13-1) Saturday in the semifinals. They teams did not meet this season.

“A lot more of the teams are getting stronger, so (Greely’s) still a great club, but so is Biddeford, Scarborough, Yarmouth, Gorham, everybody’s stepping up,” Powers said. “It’s a whole new league.”

Speaking of the Clippers, they ended 7-7 and fifth after losing, 3-0 (22-25, 21-25, 16-25), to Scarborough and winning, 3-1 (25-7, 25-27, 25-22, 25-21), at Kennebunk.

“Coming on the heels of our win over Falmouth, I hoped we’d carry some momentum into the Scarborough match, but it didn’t happen that way,” said Yarmouth coach Jim Senecal.”

Yarmouth went to Greely for the quarterfinals Wednesday. The Rangers won both regular season meetings by 3-0 scores. The last playoff encounter came in the 2004 quarterfinals (a 3-0 Greely triumph).

The Rangers are looking to find some consistency, but with their history and tradition, it’s too early to write them off just yet.

“If we continue playing the way we are, we’ll have an early exit, and either Biddeford or Falmouth will be around at the end,” Greely coach Kelvin Hasch said. “But you never know. We’ve had some bursts where we’ve played well and we’ve had some where we haven’t played well. I’m not sure what to expect every night.”

The winner goes to top-ranked Biddeford (13-1) Saturday for the state semifinals. The Tigers swept the Clippers, 3-2 and 3-0 and did the same to the Rangers, 3-1, 3-0.

NYA finished 4-10 after a 3-2 (21-25, 25-16, 25-14, 23-25, 15-9) home victory over Cape Elizabeth Friday. The Panthers wound up eighth in Class B (only five teams qualified), but doubled their win total from a year ago.

The state final match is Saturday at 1 p.m. at Windham High School.

Freelance writer Tom Minervino contributed to this story.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net

Sidebar Elements


Members of the Falmouth volleyball team celebrate a point during Thursday’s 3-0 home win over seven-time state champion Greely.

Several members of the Greely golf team took part in the individual state championships Saturday at Natanis Golf Course.

Left to right: Emma Seymour, Sarah Hansen, Laura Grant, Edith Aromando, Meagan Bickford, Kyle Megathlin, coach Brian Bickford.

Greely’s Justin Murphy (left) and Merriconeag’s Jack Pierce lead the pack during Friday’s cross country race in Yarmouth. Pierce wound up second individually, while Murphy placed 11th.

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