What a spring! Rough weather overshadowed by high drama
The spring of 2014 is now in our rearview mirror and while it will certainly be remembered for challenging weather conditions, ultimately, it will be hailed for the thrills it produced.
Outdoor track gave out its hardware first and while Forecaster Country didn't produce a team champion, there were many individuals who impressed.
Tennis was next and both Falmouth teams made an immediate mark on Class A, while Greely's girls won Class B for the first time.
On the diamond, Greely's baseball team had no peer, while Falmouth, Freeport and Yarmouth also took part in the postseason. Falmouth and Greely were softball playoff participants, but were ultimately overshadowed by a Yarmouth squad which almost pulled off the upset of the tournament.
Lacrosse brought the curtain down. Yarmouth's girls proved once and for all that they were the best team in Class B. The Clippers first had to go through upset-minded Freeport and North Yarmouth Academy to get there. Falmouth and Greely were also playoff teams.
On the boys' side, Yarmouth returned to the state final, Freeport enjoyed the best season in its history and Falmouth, Greely and NYA all took part in the postseason.
Here's one last glimpse at the top moments of the spring before we enjoy the summer and look ahead to fall sports (practice starts Aug. 18)...
Falmouth boys' tennis, Class A
Falmouth girls' tennis, Class A
Greely baseball, Class B
Greely girls' tennis, Class B
Yarmouth girls' lacrosse, Class B
Olivia Leavitt, Falmouth, girls' singles
Brendan McCarthy, Falmouth, boys' singles
Adelaide Cooke, Falmouth, girls' discus, Class A
Harrison Stivers, Freeport, boys' 400, Class B
Alyssa Casarez, Greely, girls' discus, Class B
Kirstin Sandreuter, Greely, girls' mile, Class B
Kirstin Sandreuter, Greely, girls' two-mile, Class B
Michael McIntosh, NYA boys' 100, Class C
Darren Shi, Yarmouth, boys' shot put, Class C
Yarmouth boys' lacrosse, Eastern B
Michael's top five stories/moments
5) Freeport boys' lax makes history
Freeport's boys' lacrosse team has long played second fiddle to neighbors Yarmouth and NYA, but this spring, the Falcons enjoyed their most successful campaign to date. Freeport, which had absolutely no preseason buzz, rode a strong effort from underclassmen to a winning season, then won in the quarterfinals and the semifinals for the first time. The Falcons earned the right to host perennial power Yarmouth in the regional final, spotlighting the program like never before. While Freeport was ultimately no match for the Clippers, it earned attention like never before and arrived on the map for good.
4) The Cardiac Clippers
Yarmouth's softball team was in the midst of a 4-6 campaign and was on the fringe of the playoff picture when it caught fire in May. The Clippers won their final six games, highlighted by improbable seventh inning comebacks against rival Falmouth and at Sacopee Valley in a less than 24-hour span. Yarmouth then outlasted Greely in the quarterfinals, but that was a mere tuneup for what came next. Playing at top-ranked Cape Elizabeth, a team they lost to twice in the regular season, in the semifinals, the Clippers rode home runs from Monica Austin, Kallie Hutchinson and Melissa Levinson to an 8-3 lead heading to the final inning. There, with Yarmouth on the brink of one of the biggest wins in its history, it couldn't hold on and the Capers rallied for six runs to finally bring the curtain down on the most palpitating Clippers' campaign in years.
3) Greely baseball blanks Class B
Greely's baseball team has long been known for great pitching, but what the 2014 Rangers did set the bar and was the stuff of legend. Greely enjoyed a solid 13-3 regular season and had to like its chances entering the postseason, but recent playoff disappointments lingered. It's impossible to lose, however, if you don't give up a run and these Rangers managed to shutout every postseason foe. When the dust settled, after Connor Russell blanked Caribou in the state game, 1-0, Greely's scoreless pitching streak was at 39 innings and the Rangers had a new addition to their trophy case.
2) Three tennis titlists
Falmouth's tennis juggernaut faced a new challenge this spring. Long in the driver's seat in Class B, the Yachtsmen moved up to Class A and weren't even tested, winning a title in their new classification. Making matters even sweeter for the program, Olivia Leavitt (girls) and Brendan McCarthy (boys) won individual titles. Into Falmouth's Class B void stepped the Greely girls, who not only won a regional title for the first time, but went all the way, making history in the process.
1) Simply the best
In a season of great girls' lacrosse parity, the team so many felt would be the best found a way to wind up atop the heap. Yarmouth, which lost in last year's state final, stumbled in its opener and its regular season finale, but in-between put on a display of beautiful lacrosse, featuring offensive balance, strong defense and a revelation in goal in freshman Mary Kate Gunville. The Clippers were led, as expected, by senior standout Grace O'Donnell, but there was much, much more, as senior Molly Maguire and juniors Lane Simsarian and Emma Torres lived up to lofty expectations, while junior Shannon Fallon became a star. Seniors Abby Belisle-Haley and Julia Primeau anchored the defense. Yarmouth was pushed in the regional playoffs by NYA and Freeport, but on the biggest stage, the state game, versus Cape Elizabeth, the Clippers played close to a perfect first half, eventually went ahead, 12-3, then held on to prevail, 13-10, behind six goals from O'Donnell. Title number six was emphatic and memorable.