Portland edition Fall Coaches of the Year

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Amethyst Hersom

Brandon Salway

BOYS’ TEAM

BRANDON SALWAY—WAYNFLETE SOCCER

Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team has enjoyed many memorable seasons over the past three decades.

Brandon Salway should know. He’s been a part of all of them.

This fall, the Flyers produced arguably their finest season and once again, Salway put all the right pieces in all the right places and for the first time in seven years, Waynflete wound up celebrating a state title.

In undefeated fashion.

The Flyers navigated a daunting schedule, wound up atop the heap and as a result, Brandon Salway earned The Forecaster’s nod as our Portland edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

Salway was also honored in 2011.

Salway has molded talented players, produced winning teams and put the Flyers in contention year after year, but this fall, Waynflete took it to another level, rising to the occasion time and again, winning 11 of 14 regular season games, tying three others, and getting results against the likes of Yarmouth, Cape Elizabeth, York and eventual Class D champion and rival North Yarmouth Academy.

The Flyers earned the top seed in Class C South for the first time and didn’t surrender a goal in the regional tournament before downing Fort Kent, 3-1, in the state game to win the Gold Ball for the fifth time.

“When you take into consideration our schedule, not losing a game and (winning the state title), it’s hard not to say this isn’t our best (team),” said Salway, who was also named the New England Region 1 Coach of the Year, of a boys’ private school team.. “We’ve had some good teams, but this was our best season.”

Brandon Salway, our Portland edition boys’ team Fall Coach of the Year, might have penned his finest chapter, but it won’t be his last, something Waynflete is thankful for.

Prior winners:

2017 Rocco Frenzilli (Portland soccer)

2016 Frank Myatt (Deering cross country)

2015 Jason Jackson (Deering football)

2014 Colin Minte (Cheverus soccer)

2013 Rocco Frenzilli (Portland soccer)

2012 John Wolfgram (Cheverus football)

2011 Brandon Salway (Waynflete soccer)

2010 Rocco Frenzilli (Portland soccer)

2009 John Wolfgram (Cheverus football)

2008 Billy Goodman (Deering golf)

2007 Andy LeFebvre (Deering soccer)

2006 John Simpson (Cheverus cross country)

2005 Jim Ouellette (Cheverus golf)

2004 Mike Bailey (Portland football)

GIRLS’ TEAM

AMETHYST HERSOM—DEERING FIELD HOCKEY

After winning just two games in 2017 and starting the 2018 campaign 0-6, the prospect of Deering’s field hockey team making the playoffs was slim, to say the least.

The Rams came alive at the right time, however, and after they won five of their final six games, a postseason berth was the reward.

The program had to be broken down to be built back up and Amethyst Hersom and her staff did that masterfully and Deering’s journey from a winless team to one playing in the postseason deserves praise. In that light, Amethyst Hersom earns The Forecaster’s nod as our Portland edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Hersom played four years at Biddeford, then went on to play two seasons at the University of Southern Maine before spending some time assisting the Huskies program.

She took over the Deering program for the 2017 season and went 2-11-1, an expected result, as Hersom knew fundamental changes were needed.

“Last year, we stripped the game down and went back to basics,” said Hersom, in the preseason. “This year, we’ll be taking all of those pieces and constructing them into a team that is offensively aggressive, has great control, great ball movement on the field and a backfield that will be tough to break through.”

When the Rams dropped their first six games this fall, by a composite 25-5 margin, it appeared the rebuilding process would have to extend into 2019, but everything clicked at the right time and down the stretch, Deering was as tough as anyone.

The Rams went 6-2 in their final eight games and defeated Bonny Eagle and Kennebunk with a playoff berth hanging in the balance to qualify for the postseason. While Deering lost, 4-1, to Marshwood in the preliminary round, it’s hard to call its season anything short of an unmitigated success.

“Coach was really amazing,” said Rams junior standout Aleah Murph. “She has a lot of experience. She turned us around team-wise and skill-wise.”

Amethyst Hersom, our Portland edition Fall girls’ team Coach of the Year, has re-established Deering as a team to be reckoned with. The Rams’ future is bright with her at the helm.

Prior winners:

2017 Larry Nichols (Deering volleyball)

2016 Craig Roberts (Cheverus soccer)

2015 Amy Ashley (Cheverus field hockey)

2014 Arthur Mosen (Portland soccer)

2013 Todd Dominski (Waynflete soccer)

2012 Todd Dominski (Waynflete soccer)

2011 Beth Arsenault (Portland field hockey)

2010 Noelle Surette (Waynflete field hockey)

2009 Amy McMullin (Cheverus field hockey)

2008 Ziggy Gillespie (Waynflete cross country)

2007 Patsy Fowler (Cheverus field hockey)

2006 Dave Levasseur (Portland soccer)

2005 Tim Donovan (McAuley cross country)

2004 Jon Shardlow (Waynflete soccer)

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

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