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Northern edition Coaches of the Year

Sports

Northern edition Coaches of the Year

BOYS' TEAM

MIKE ANDREASEN—GREELY SOCCER

It might have come a surprise even to him, but Mike Andreasen's Greely Rangers wound up the best boys' soccer team in Class B this fall.

Entering the playoffs, not many expected the Rangers to be able to solve seemingly unbeatable Yarmouth, but Andreasen, as he's done so many times before, authored a stunning road playoff win and Greely went on to win the crown.

For getting his squad to overcome some speed bumps, including the loss of a defensive stalwart, to finish in ideal fashion, Mike Andreasen is The Forecaster's choice as our Northern edition Coach of the Year, of a boys' team.

Andreasen also was named Coach of the Year in 2007.

Andreasen grew up in Cumberland and was a three-sport standout at Greely, leading the Rangers' boys' soccer team to the 1979 state championship. He also played basketball in the winter and was an outdoor track standout in the spring, holding the school's two-mile record for over two decades (it was finally broken by Ben True, who is now an Olympic-caliber athlete).

After playing a little soccer and basketball at Bowdoin College, Andreasen embarked on a teaching and coaching career which brought him to Brunswick and Oxford Hills, Bates College, the University of Maine-Augusta and eventually back home to Greely.

In 1989, the Greely girls' junior varsity soccer job opened and Andreasen took it. The next year, he took over the Rangers girls' varsity team and coached it for six seasons, leading Greely to the 1994 state championship. After a stint as a girls' soccer coach and athletic director at Gray-New Gloucester, Andreasen returned to Greely to coach the boys' team in 1998. He won a surprise Class A crown that first year, got the Rangers back to the state game in 2002 and won titles in 2004 and 2007.

Greely is always a top contender, but an early season loss to Kennebunk, ties against Yarmouth and York and a 4-1 loss at Yarmouth in the regular season finale seemed to suggest that the Rangers weren't going to bring home the hardware this fall.

Instead, Greely handled Gray-New Gloucester and York to earn a rematch with the Clippers and the Rangers went to Yarmouth and pulled out a stunning 2-1 decision. Three days later, Greely held off Camden Hills, 1-0, to win the Gold Ball.

"Coach made sure we were always focused," said Rangers senior standout and Greely Fall Male Athlete of the Year Matt Crowley. "He managed us well. He made sure we stayed in shape."

Andreasen also teaches and coaches girls' basketball at Gray-New Gloucester. The North Yarmouth resident figures to make a run at more hardware in the future.

You can never count out the Greely Rangers and the biggest reason is because Mike Andreasen, our Northern edition boys' team Coach of the Year, knows how to overcome even the most daunting of obstacles.

Prior winners:

2012: Dave Halligan (Falmouth soccer)

2011: Spike Herrick (Falmouth golf)

2010: David Higgins (Greely football)

2009: Jim Hartman (Yarmouth football)

2008: Mike Hagerty (Yarmouth soccer)

2007: Mike Andreasen (Greely soccer)

2006: Dave Halligan (Falmouth soccer)

2005: Joe Heathco (Freeport soccer)

2004: Mike Hagerty (Yarmouth soccer)

2003: Dave Halligan (Falmouth soccer)

2002: Bob Gilman (Falmouth cross country)

2001: Mark Luthe (Falmouth golf)

GIRLS' TEAM

GARY POWERS-FALMOUTH VOLLEYBALL

Falmouth's volleyball team had knocked at the championship door for several years and even this fall, it didn't appear as if the Yachtsmen would kick it in, but when all was said and done, Falmouth had its first title and coach Gary Powers was a big reason why.

For getting the most of a talented roster, getting players to believe they could be their best and putting them in the right places to be successful, ensuring that history would be made, Gary Powers is The Forecaster's choice as our Northern edition Coach of the Year, of a girls' team.

Powers was also honored in 2009.

Powers is from New Jersey. Track was his sport growing up. He ran at West Virginia and also picked up volleyball in gym class. He started playing in pickup games and men's leagues and after coming to Maine eventually got into coaching at Greely. Powers was with the Rangers for four seasons, which happened to correspond with the program's first four of seven successive titles.

When the Falmouth program began in 2007, Powers took the helm and by 2009, he had the Yachtsmen in the state match, but they lost to Greely. The next year, Falmouth got back to states, but lost to Biddeford. After close calls each of the past two seasons, the Yachtsmen finally got over the hump this fall.

It was clear early that Falmouth had a special group, but two five-set losses to Scarborough proved frustrating and dropped the Yachtsmen to the second seed for the playoffs. Falmouth then handled Biddeford in the quarterfinals, but was in danger of being ousted by Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals, before rallying for a 3-2 victory. That sent the Yachtsmen back to the state final and this time, they wouldn't be denied, beating Scarborough in the first two games, then, after dropping the third, taking the fourth to earn the title.

Powers, who works for the postal service, probably has more championships in his future.

That's because he knows how to coach and teach volleyball and get his players to respond accordingly. Gary Powers, our Northern edition girls' team Coach of the Year, truly had the Midas touch this fall.

Prior winners:

2012: Kelvin Hasch (Greely volleyball)

2011: Jim Senecal (Yarmouth volleyball)

2010: Rich Smith (Yarmouth soccer)

2009: Gary Powers (Volleyball)

2008: Julia Littlefield (NYA field hockey)

2007: Jeff Thoreck (NYA soccer)

2006: Kelvin Hasch (Greely volleyball)

2005: Cathy McGuire (Freeport cross country)

2004: Robin Haley (Falmouth field hockey)

2003: Robyn Thayer (Greely field hockey)

2002: Bob Morse (Yarmouth cross country)

2001: Melissa Anderson (Falmouth soccer)

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