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It was a winter to savor

Sports

It was a winter to savor

(Ed. Note: We recapped the basketball season last week)

Mother Nature was kind to us this winter. The local sports action was a pleasure as well.

Forecaster Country athletes turned heads on the ice, track, slopes, trails and in the pool.

Before we move on to what might actually be an early spring, here's one last look back at and tribute to the stars of winter.

Winter 2011-12 team state champions

Falmouth Yachtsmen boys' Nordic skiing, Class A
Falmouth Yachtsmen boys' combined skiing, Class A
Freeport Falcons girls' Alpine skiing, Class C
Freeport Falcons girls' combined skiing, Class C
Greely Rangers boys' hockey, Class B
Greely Rangers girls' hockey
Greely Rangers boys' swimming, Class B
Greely Rangers girls' swimming, Class B
Merriconeag girls' Nordic skiing, Class C
North Yarmouth Academy Panthers boys' Nordic skiing, Class C
Yarmouth Clippers boys' basketball, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers boys' Nordic skiing, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers girls' Nordic skiing, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers boys' combined skiing, Class B
Yarmouth Clippers, girls' combined skiing, Class B

Winter 2011-12 team regional champion

Falmouth Yachtsmen girls' hockey, West Region

Winter 2011-12 individual state champions

Indoor track

Reid Pryzant, Falmouth, Class B boys' 55 hurdles
Catherine Fellows, Greely, Class B girls' shot put
Mike Leeman, Greely, Class B boys' long jump
Nestor Taylor, Greely Class B boys' 800

Swimming

Ryan Conley, Falmouth, Class B diving
Jake Perron, Falmouth, Class B boys' 500 freestyle
Dan Spencer, Greely, Class B boys' 50 freestyle
Dan Spencer, Greely, Class B boys' 100 freestyle
Nicola Mancini, Falmouth, Class B girls' diving
Sarah Easterling, Greely, Class B girls' 200 individual medley
Sarah Easterling, Greely, Class B girls' 100 backstroke
Sara Schad, Greely, Class B girls' 50 freestyle
Sara Schad, Greely, Class B girls' 100 freestyle

Skiing

Leika Scott, Falmouth, Class B girls' Alpine slalom
Elly Bengtsson, Freeport, Class C girls' Alpine slalom
Elly Bengtsson, Freeport, Class C girls' Alpine giant slalom
Elyse Dinan, Greely, Class B girls' skimeister
Zoe Chace-Donahue, Merriconeag, Class C girls' Nordic classic
Zoe Chace-Donahue, Merriconeag, Class C girls' Nordic skate
Ian Moore, NYA, Class C boys' Nordic classic
Cam Regan, NYA, Class C boys' Nordic skate
Jack Elder, Yarmouth, Class B boys' Nordic skate

Michael's top five stories

5) Fantastic Fortier

Falmouth's girls' hockey team didn't wind up winning the state title (falling to Greely in the finale), but it did feature the most dynamic player, senior Megan Fortier. Fortier returned to Falmouth from North Yarmouth Academy for her final season and did she ever dazzle. Listed as a defenseman, Fortier was consistently racing up the ice, weaving through the opposition, then firing shots past helpless goalies. She'll take her skills to the college level and won't soon be forgotten.

4) Indoor track champs

While the Falmouth and Greely indoor track juggernauts weren't able to bring home team hardware this winter (a momentary hiccup for certain), those schools did produce individual winners. Falmouth's Reid Pryzant captured the Class B 55 boys' hurdles crown. Greely's Mike Leeman (long jump) and Nestor Taylor (800) were also boys' Class B winners. The lone local girls' champion was Greely's Catherine Fellows, who took the shot put.

3) Greely's swimmers have no peer

In the pool, there was Greely and then there was everyone else. The Rangers boys won their third successive Class B title, riding the dominance of Dan Spencer, who won the 50 and 100 freestyle. Falmouth produced event winners Ryan Conley (diving) and Jake Perron (500 free) and placed sixth. On the girls' side, Greely was tops for the second time in three seasons as Performer of the Meet Sarah Easterling set meet records in both the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke. Sara Schad won both the 50 and 100 free. Falmouth's Nicola Mancini repeated as diving champ.

2) Sensational skiers

Every Forecaster Country ski team save Greely won at least one championship last month, continuing a recent trend. Going by class, Falmouth's boys won the Class A Nordic and combined championships, Yarmouth was first in Nordic and combined on both the boys' and girls' sides in Class B, while in Class C, Freeport's girls won Alpine and combined, Merriconeag took the girls' Nordic crown and NYA's boys repeated as Nordic champs as well. If that wasn't enough, Falmouth's Leika Scott (Class A girls' Alpine slalom), Freeport's Elly Bengtsson (Class C girls' Alpine slalom and giant slalom), Greely's Elyse Dinan (Class A girls' skimeister), Merriconeag's Zoe Chace-Donahue (Class C girls' Nordic classic and skate), NYA's Ian Moore (Class C boys' Nordic classic) and Cam Regan (Class C boys' Nordic skate) and Yarmouth's Jack Elder (Class B boys' Nordic skate) all took home individual crowns.

1) Greely sweeps hockey titles

The Greely hockey teams made history this winter as both took home championship trophies, marking the first time that happened. The girls' didn't go about it easily, struggling down the stretch before riding the goaltending brilliance of senior Emma Seymour and a potent offense through the regional playoffs all the way to a stunning dominance of Falmouth in the state final. The Greely boys entered the season the favorite and made it two titles in three seasons when the Rangers peaked in the tournament, downing rivals Yarmouth and York before handling Messalonskee in the Class B state game. Both programs are primed for further glory going forward.

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