A winning winter it was
A triumphant, exciting season in the books
By Michael Hoffer
(Ed. Note: The boys' and girls' basketball season was recapped in last week's edition).
There were ample highlights for winter sports fans, whatever your pleasure, in 2008-09.
On the snow, several locals stood out at the big meets.
On the mat, Deering continued its run of excellence as it produced another state champion.
On the track, while no local team won a championship, all featured several talented runners, jumpers and throwers.
The pool produced stellar showings from several local athletes.
On the ice, Cheverus' girls stole the show for the second year in a row, reaching the regional final in the first season of MPA-sanctioned play. Portland's boys made it back to the playoffs and hosted a preliminary round playoff game.
PLEASE BOX AND RUN WITH STORY
WINTER 2008-09 STATE CHAMPIONS
DEERING RAMS GIRLS' BASKETBALL, CLASS A
WINTER 2008-09 INDIVIDUAL STATE CHAMPIONS
FIONA HENDRY, CHEVERUS, GIRLS' MILE, CLASS A
FIONA HENDRY, CHEVERUS, GIRLS' TWO-MILE, CLASS A
E.J. GOOGINS, DEERING, BOYS' 50 FREE, CLASS A
BRIAN MCRAE, DEERING, BOYS' DIVING, CLASS A
KRISTEN DESROSIERS, MCAULEY, GIRLS' 200 FREESTYLE, CLASS B
KRISTEN DESROSIERS, MCAULEY, GIRLS' 500 FREESTYLE, CLASS B
ALEXANDER MARKELLOS, CHEVERUS, BOYS' SLALOM, CLASS A
ALEXANDER MARKELLOS, CHEVERUS, BOYS' GIANT SLALOM, CLASS A
RYAN TOUSSAINT, DEERING, 125-POUNDS, CLASS A
MICHAEL'S TOP FIVE MOMENTS/STORIES
5. Deering wrestler continues tradition
Every year it seems the Deering wrestling program graduates a superstar or two, but the following February, the Rams always produce another champion. This year's hero was Ryan Toussaint, who captured the Class A crown at 125-pounds, beating an opponent from Noble by a 6-1 count in the final. Toussaint will graduate, but teammates like Tyler Debardino and Ben Sawyer will step into the void. Someone always does.
4. Markellos keeps on dominating
Cheverus' Alpine ski team competes in relative anonymity compared to many of the school's winter sports, but you could argue that the most exciting and accomplished Stag spent the past few months speeding downhill faster than anyone else. Senior Alexander Markellos won the Class A slalom and giant slalom and helped Cheverus finish ninth as a team. He dominated from start to finish and will be a tough act to follow.
3. Swimmers and divers dazzle
While no local team won a state title this year, there was no shortage of drama in the pool this winter. The Cheverus boys were third at Southwesterns and second at the Class A state meet. Deering's boys were second at Southwesterns and fourth at states and E.J. Googins (50 free) and Brian McRae (diving) won individual crowns. The McAuley girls weren't able to repeat in Class B, but did come in third as Kristen Desrosiers won the 200 and 500 freestyle individual titles.
2. Freshman wins two track state titles
Cheverus' girls' indoor track team was eighth with 29 points at the Class A state meet, but one runner, freshman Fiona Hendry, stole the show. Hendry not only took the mile in 5 minutes, 10.99 seconds, but doubled her pleasure in the two-mile (11:40.34). Hendry had company as sophomore teammate Caroline Summa was second in the high jump. Both girls went on to impress at New Englands.
They weren't the only local athletes to excel. McAuley's Allina Verrillo was second in the shot put in Class B. On the boys' side, Cheverus' Andrew Snyder (800), Jack Terwilliger (two-mile) and Portland's Imadhi Zagon (high jump and long jump) all placed second in their events.
1. Cheverus shines in first MPA girls' hockey season
The Cheverus girls' hockey team lost to Biddeford in the Tier I state championship game in 2008. This winter the Stags took part in the first season under the auspices of the Maine Principals' Association and turned heads again. After a 15-2-1 regular year, the Stags defeated Scarborough 3-1 in the West Region semifinals before meeting the nemesis Tigers again. For the third time this winter, Cheverus couldn't find a way to beat Biddeford, playing valiantly, before ultimately falling 2-1. The Stags will look to finish the job next season.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com