Northern edition Winter Coaches of the Year

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Winter 2010-11 Northern edition Coach of the Year-Boys’ Team

ADAM SMITH—Yarmouth Basketball

Adam Smith has done some wonderful things during his time as the Yarmouth boys’ basketball coach.

This winter, he and the Clippers turned back the clock and reached the regional final for the first time since 1974.

Yarmouth didn’t face many expectations coming in to the season and had to navigate a difficult schedule, but Smith instilled belief, made the most of his talent and got his kids to believe that they were as good as anyone.

In the end, they almost were.

For continuing to prove that he’s among the finest coaches around and for leading a group of relative unknowns to within a victory of the state final, Adam Smith is The Forecaster’s selection for our Northern edition Winter Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

Smith is from Newport and was a three-sport athlete (cross country running, basketball and baseball) at Nokomis High School. He went on to play soccer, basketball and baseball at the University of Maine-Presque Isle, where he received a degree in education.

After spending time coaching in Mars Hill and Milo, Smith came to Yarmouth and in the winter of 2004-05, he inherited a program that hadn’t seriously contended for years.

After winning six games and one game, respectively, in his initial two seasons, Smith and the Clippers turned the corner in 2006-07, reaching the quarterfinals and earning Smith our Coach of the Year nod. Yarmouth got to the semifinals in 2008 (for the first time since 1974), made it to the quarterfinals in 2009 and lost in the preliminary round a year ago.

In all of those seasons, the Clippers boasted a winning record, their longest stretch of success in decades.

While this year’s team boasted prolific scorer junior Josh Britten and key seniors Matt Murphy and Luke Pierce, most felt that Yarmouth’s collective talent paled in comparison to teams like Cape Elizabeth, Greely and York.

The Clippers got off to a hot start, winning five of their first six (highlighted by a 23-point romp at Cape Elizabeth), but then lost at York and at home to Gray-New Gloucester. Yarmouth turned things around, winning nine of its final 10, highlighted by a first-win-in-memory at Greely, which wound up being the region’s top seed.

Along the way, Smith got the most out of unheralded players like senior Connor Ertz, juniors Chris Knaub and Sam Torres and first-year senior Aidan Sullivan.

The Clippers, seeded fourth in Western B, pulled away to roll over Mountain Valley in the quarterfinals, then, in the semis, rallied from a second half deficit to shock Greely and reach the regional final for the first time in 37 seasons. The run ended with a loss to Cape Elizabeth, but this Yarmouth team earned the respect of all and a place in school lore.

“This team was a family,” Smith said. “We had great senior leadership. We learned on each other.”

Smith has taught health science at Yarmouth High for 11 years. He also coaches middle school soccer in the fall and is a track throwing coach in the spring. He lives in Harpswell with his wife, Karyn.

The Yarmouth boys’ basketball program appears to be here to stay as a contender. That was inconceivable not too many years ago, until Adam Smith, our Northern edition Winter boys’ Coach of the Year, got a hold of the program.

Falmouth coach Dave Halligan’s comment: “Adam brings a combination of passion, enthusiasm and knowledge to the game of basketball and he instills those same qualities to his teams. Adam Smith-coached teams are going to be well prepared, aggressive,and competitive. Adam has done a great job of developing the Yarmouth program into one of the top programs in the Western Maine Conference.”

2009-10 winner: Marc Halsted (Yarmouth hockey)

2008-09 winner: Barry Mothes (Greely hockey)

2007-08 winner: Craig Sickels (Freeport basketball)

2006-07 winner: Adam Smith (Yarmouth basketball)

2005-06 winner: Jorma Kurry (Falmouth indoor track)

2004-05 winner: Scott Rousseau (Falmouth hockey)

2003-04 winner: Barry Mothes (Greely hockey)

2002-03 winner: John Maloney (Yarmouth basketball)

2001-02 winner: Scott Matusovich (Yarmouth hockey)

Winter 2010-11 North Coach of the Year-Girls’ team

MARK OUELLETTE-Greely Alpine skiing

Prior to this winter, the Greely girls’ Alpine ski team had never won a Class A state championship.

That changed with a flourish this season as the Rangers not only won it all, but defeated every team they faced along the way.

Greely’s season for the ages was the culmination of many years of hard work by coach Mark Ouellette, who came late to skiing, but helped the Rangers become Class A’s best.

For getting this talented group to keep its eye on the prize and bring home the hardware, Mark Ouellette is The Forecaster’s choice for our Northern edition Winter Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Ouellette grew up in Lewiston, playing hockey, baseball, football and soccer. He skied occasionally as a kid, but it wasn’t anywhere close to his top sport. After playing soccer at the University of Maine-Farmington, where he got into skiing more seriously, Ouellette embarked on a teaching and coaching career.

He took over the Greely Alpine program in the mid-90s and has had some very good teams, including the 2009-10 squad, which was second at states, but this group was something special.

This year’s team, featuring Jordan Ouellette, Jill Booth, Eliza McKenney, Elyse Dinan, Liz Clifford, Delaney Stevens, Maddie Whittier, Abby Patch and Catherine Ferguson dominated from Day 1, going 15-0 and defeating 27 other squads. In their nine Western Maine Conference meets, Greely had all four scorers in the top 10 and in one meet, it had four girls among the top five finishers. The Rangers won all four races at Mt. Abram and were at their best at the Class A state meet, rolling in both the slalom and giant slalom, to win the hardware.

Whittier was the state champion in the giant slalom and Dinan was Class A’s top skimeister.

Ouellette, who coaches middle school girls’ soccer and boys’ varsity tennis at Biddeford, is a highly respected soccer official and teaches math at Biddeford High. He lives in Cumberland and has coached two daughters, Jordan and Kelsey.

With much talent returning, Greely should be a force once again in 2011-12.

Continued success will come as no surprise as long as Mark Ouellette, our Northern edition Winter girls’ Coach of the Year, is at the helm.

Greely athletic director Mike Griffin’s comment: “Mark’s done a nice job working with kids who have a variety of skills. He’s been very welcoming of student-athletes who have an interest in skiing, as well as his very skilled skiers. He had a very talented group that went on and did some wonderful things.”

2009-10 winner: Rob Hale (Greely swimming)

2008-09 winner: Billy Goodman (Greely basketball)

2007-08 winner: Nick Nash (Yarmouth basketball)

2006-07 winner: George Conant (Falmouth basketball)

2005-06 winner: John Keyes (Falmouth swimming)

2004-05 winner: John Folan (Greely track)

2003-04 winner: Jim Seavey (Greely basketball)

2002-03 winner: Jim Seavey (Greely basketball)

2001-02 winner: Eric Austin (NYA basketball)

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