Seven different teams in our coverage area are defending state titles this spring and all have at least a puncher’s chance of doing it again.
On the diamond, Greely has won two of the past three Class B baseball titles. While the Rangers were hard-hit by graduation, they’ve slugged their way to a pair of wins in the new season. Greely will benefit this spring from the fact that no one else in Western Class B appears dominant. Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth are very good, but the Rangers know they’ll be in the hunt throughout.
Forecaster Country has been a lacrosse hotbed all decade and 2010 figures to be no different. The Yarmouth boys’ team has become the standard bearer and has now won back-to-back championships. Last spring, the Clippers went undefeated. They opened with a relatively easy win over rival North Yarmouth Academy and have the skill and experience to go all the way again. Yarmouth will get a stern test from Falmouth Friday and still has to deal with Cape Elizabeth and Brunswick.
But talk of dominance begins and ends with the Clippers, who are up for the challenge.
“We have every opportunity to compete with anyone,” said Yarmouth coach Craig Curry, who has lost just eight games since taking over in 2004. “It’s a matter of how well we come together as a group. It will be more of a challenge this year than in the past. Clearly, we’ve got the kids.”
Local runners, jumpers and throwers are as good as anyone and the Falmouth (Class B) and North Yarmouth Academy (Class C) boys’ teams had no peer in 2009.
The Yachtsmen are defending their first Class B championship and with several standouts on the roster, should be in the hunt all season.
“The boys hope to get back to the state meet and repeat as champions,” said coach Danny Paul. “We cover all the events well and have a strong, experienced group returning.”
The Panthers have improbably won four straight Class C crowns, despite a very small roster. Senior Henry Sterling should have no peer, but NYA needs to find other scorers for the big meets.
“We have most of the events covered,” said coach Chris Mazzurco. “There aren’t a lot of points scorers back. It’s a stretch for us to win the state title this year, but we hope to be competitive.”
Tennis brought the greatest glory to the area a year ago as the Yarmouth boys’ team won its first Class B championship and Falmouth and NYA’s girls’ squads repeated.
This time around, the Clippers will have their work cut out, but with a field devoid of a favorite, Yarmouth could do it again.
“I expect we’ll have another good year,” said coach Mark Marstaller. “My singles are pretty good and my doubles will get better with experience. I expect about nine wins, a decent berth in the playoffs, then we’ll see what damage we can do, hopefully a trip to at least the Western Maine finals.”
On the girls’ side, Falmouth has excelled for the past five seasons, winning states four times. In 2010, the Yachtsmen are again heavy favorites.
“The team looks very strong,” said coach Sandra Stone. “It might be our best season yet.”
The Panthers won Class C in 2007, 2008 and 2009 and could easily do it again this spring.
“We’re very fortunate to have four of our top seven players returning,” said coach Lorena Coffin. “Our team goals for this year include having fun, being competitive and coming away from each match feeling like each team member gave it their best effort. If we successfully accomplish these goals, it would be a great outcome to make the playoffs again.”
Come June, a lot of familiar names could be celebrating once again.
Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at email@example.com