Special spring sports season won't be forgotten-Portland edition

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Thorne Kieffer and his Waynflete boys’ tennis teammates won a Class C championship for the 11th straight season.

Cheverus’ Emma White won the long jump and triple jump at the Class A girls’ outdoor track state meet, helping the Stags repeat as state champions.

The booming bat of Laini Legere helped Portland’s softball team post another winning record and making the Class A South playoffs.

Deering goalie Max Morrione and his boys’ lacrosse teammates got to the playoffs this season.

The spring of 2018 will be remembered for high drama, more hardware and weather that might not have been ideal, but certainly better than the year before.

Waynflete’s tennis dynasty continued, as the Flyers boys’ team won its 11th straight Class C crown. Several other teams enjoyed runs to the playoffs as well, with the Portland boys and girls making it to the Class A South Finals.

The outdoor track state meets also produced glory, as several individuals came in first and the Cheverus girls repeated as Class A champions.

The diamond produced much drama as well.

Portland’s softball team got to the playoffs for the third year in a row and reached the Class A South quarterfinals before losing to eventual repeat state champion Scarborough.

Deering’s baseball team rallied to beat Biddeford in the Class A South preliminary round, then lost to Cheverus in the quarterfinals. Portland got to the semifinals, then lost to Gorham. The Stags rallied for a dramatic semifinal round win over Falmouth, then met their match in the regional final for the second year in a row, this time losing to Gorham.

Four girls’ lacrosse teams made the playoffs. Maine Girls’ Academy lost to St. Dom’s in the Class C state quarterfinals. Waynflete’s upset bid fell a goal short in a loss to Greely in the Class B state quarterfinals. In Class A North, Cheverus ousted Portland in the semifinals, then lost to eventual state champion Falmouth in the regional final.

Boys’ lacrosse produced a champion and three of four teams made the postseason. Deering was ousted by Lewiston in the Class A North quarterfinals. Portland enjoyed a resurgent campaign which didn’t end until the Class A North Final with a loss to Falmouth. Waynflete, meanwhile, took advantage of the first year of three-class play, rolling to the Class C crown in dominant and historic fashion.

We’re all eager to get on to summer, but before we do, here’s one last look back at the champions and best moments of the spring:

Portland edition spring champions

Team

Cheverus Stags girls’ outdoor track, Class A
Waynflete Flyers boys’ lacrosse, Class C
Waynflete Flyers boys’ tennis, Class C

Individual

Outdoor track

Victoria Bossong, Cheverus, Class A, girls’ 100
Victoria Bossong, Cheverus, Class A, girls’ 400
Owen Burke, Cheverus, Class A, boys’ 400
Emma Gallant, Cheverus, Class A, girls’ 200
Sean Tompkins, Cheverus, Class A, boys’ 100
Sean Tompkins, Cheverus, Class A, boys’ 200
Emma White, Cheverus, Class A, girls’ long jump
Emma White, Cheverus, Class A, girls’ triple jump
Annah Rossvall, Deering, Class A, girls’ 300 hurdles

Michael’s top five moments

5) Cheverus baseball a surprise regional finalist 

Cheverus’ baseball team got to the 2017 Class A South Final in dominant fashion, but this year’s run was totally unexpected. The Stags graduated some key contributors from the previous squad and started 1-4 and 3-5, but after senior Griffin Watson moved from shortstop to catcher, Cheverus caught fire and didn’t lose again until the playoffs. After closing on an eight-game win streak to earn the number four seed in the region, the Stags downed Deering and Falmouth (on Andrew DeGeorge’s epic walk-off hit) to return to St. Joe’s, where they fell one run short against Gorham, 3-2. 

4) Waynflete boys’ tennis makes it 11 straight

It only seems like Waynflete’s boys’ tennis team shows up every year and wins a championship. In truth, the Flyers’ dynasty requires talent and hard work and this spring, like the 10 preceding it, Waynflete featured athletes who not only excelled on the court, but were willing to put the team first and do whatever it took to raise another trophy to the heavens. After the Flyers navigated a challenging regular season with an undefeated record, they dispatched Lisbon, Madison, Hall-Dale and a new final foe, Mattanawcook, to finish 16-0 and make it 11 consecutive Class C championships. The end of this dynasty is nowhere in sight.

3) Portland boys’ lacrosse wakes up the echoes 

One year after winning just twice, Portland’s boys’ lacrosse team put it all together this spring. The Bulldogs, behind coach Mike DiFusco and a senior core which desperately wanted to go out in style, won 11 of 12 regular season games, then, as the No. 2 seed in Class A North, downed Windham in the semifinals to reach a regional final for the first time since 2010. While Portland ultimately lost to Falmouth, it turned heads from start to finish and is once again in the discussion of the state’s best programs.

2) Cheverus track excels 

Cheverus’ girls’ track team repeated as Class A state champions this spring and while the boys didn’t win a team title, that squad produced some memories as well. The girls were led by Victoria Bossong (first in the 100 and 400), Emma White (winner of the long jump and triple jump) and Emma Gallant (who was first in the 200). All three standouts will be back next year to help the Stags make a run at another crown. The boys’ team got wins from Sean Tompkins in the 100 and 200 and Owen Burke in the 400, as it placed third behind co-champions Falmouth and Thornton Academy. That squad’s future is also bright.

1) Waynflete ascends to boys’ lacrosse pinnacle

After many seasons in the shadow of powerhouses Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth, Waynflete’s boys’ lacrosse team got it chance to shine this spring in the newly formed Class C division and shine the Flyers did, especially in June, when it mattered most. Waynflete played a very challenging regular season schedule and while the Flyers stumbled four times, they also earned some memorable victories, as dynamic tandem Hank Duvall and Miles Lipton scored huge goals late in wins over Deering and Yarmouth. As the No. 4 seed in Class C, Waynflete ousted fifth-ranked Oak Hill in the quarterfinals, avenged a regular season loss with a decisive victory at No. 1 North Yarmouth Academy in the semifinals, then pulled away to dominate Lincoln Academy, 18-4, behind seven goals apiece from Duvall and Lipton, in the state final. For the first time since 1997, the Flyers can call themselves state champions.

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.