Yarmouth came into the season with two experienced players and a ton of question marks.
On June 17, the Clippers culminated a stirring playoff run with the program’s first Class B state championship.
The improbable run was orchestrated by a coach who has long had success, but hadn’t tasted a championship. In the aftermath of this one, there’s little question that Marc Halsted is a worthy recipient of our Northern edition Spring Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.
Halsted was also honored in 2010.
Halsted grew up in Orono, playing hockey and baseball, then was an infielder at the University of Maine. He also served as a sportswriter for a short time. Halsted became Yarmouth’s baseball coach in 2007 (and also served as the school’s boys’ ice hockey coach for a time).
Halsted led the Clippers to playoffs in each of his first 10 seasons, including the regional final twice, but there was so much unknown at the start of the 2017 campaign that nothing was guaranteed.
Not surprisingly, Halsted, who has never met an opportunity to steal or take an extra base he hasn’t liked, got great leadership from returning players Gibson Harnett and Chris Romano and adroitly placed inexperienced players in the right position for the team to be a success.
Yarmouth edged York in the opener to set the tone and posted a solid 11-5 regular season record. That was only good enough for the No. 9 seed in Class B South, however, meaning the Clippers had to become road warriors to make a title run.
Behind Harnett’s arm and key contributions from virtually everyone on the roster, Yarmouth embarked on a run for the ages, downing Leavitt in the preliminary round, holding off top-ranked Carrabec/Madison in a quarterfinal round thriller, blanking Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals, then beating York in the regional final. In the state final, against defending champion Old Town, Harnett threw another gem and on a play that defined Halsted’s tenure, the Clippers scored two runs on a sacrifice bunt en route to a 3-0 victory and the program’s first state title at any level since 1995.
“It’s the most magical season I’ve ever had the opportunity of being a part of and I can’t thank those 22 kids and three coaches enough,” Halsted said. “These kids love to play for championships. They weren’t afraid of the big stage. To get a Class B championship for these kids is something that they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”
Halsted, who lives in Brunswick and teaches social studies at Yarmouth High School, will have a hard time producing an encore, but you can’t bet against him.
Marc Halsted, our Northern edition boys’ team Spring Coach of the Year, helped write one of the most memorable and inspirational championship stories of this or any other year. He and the 2017 Yarmouth Clippers will long live in local baseball lore.
2016 Bill Ridge (Freeport baseball)
2015 Derek Soule (Greely baseball)
2014 Geoff Arris (Freeport lacrosse)
2013 David Pearl (Yarmouth lacrosse)
2012 Kevin Winship (Falmouth baseball)
2011 Bob McCully (Falmouth tennis)
2010 Marc Halsted (Yarmouth baseball)
2009 Mike LeBel (Falmouth lacrosse)
2008 Casey Abbott (Greely lacrosse)
2007 Derek Soule (Greely baseball)
2006 Chris Carpentier (Freeport lacrosse)
2005 Chris Mazzurco (NYA track)
2004 Craig Curry (Yarmouth lacrosse)
2003 Bruce Poliquin (NYA baseball)
2002 Hank Ogilby (Freeport baseball)
Falmouth’s girls’ tennis team just wins and wins and wins, but with that success comes pressure and expectations.
Luckily for the Yachtsmen, they have just the right coach who is able to get the most out of his charges while allowing them to have fun in the process.
Falmouth won all 16 matches this spring and has now won 157 in a row, as well as 10 straight state titles. In light of that continued success, The Forecaster is naming Bill Goodspeed as our Northern edition Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.
Goodspeed, an accomplished high school player in Michigan and at Dartmouth College, was an assistant to Sandra Stone for a year before taking over as the head coach in 2016. His first year, Falmouth went 16-0 and won the Class A crown and this spring, the Yachtsmen did it again.
It wasn’t as easy as it looked, however, as Falmouth was pushed by Kennebunk, eventual Class B champion Greely and eventual Class C champion Waynflete in the regular season. Thornton Academy was no pushover in the regional final and the Yachtsmen blanked Brunswick, 5-0, in the state match, but that wasn’t easy either.
“This year was special and very different from the past few,” said Goodspeed. “We had a flatter team, meaning the difference from top to bottom was less than in past years. This was critical because many of the teams we played had top five state singles players, which made it tough on our top players. The girls played clutch tennis the last week of the season. The girls also had a blast, which was one of our goals.”
Fun and triumph. The beat goes on for the Falmouth girls’ tennis team and as long as Bill Goodspeed, our Northern edition girls’ team Spring Coach of the Year, is at the helm, expect status quo to remain.
2016 Rob Hale (Greely softball)
2015 Amy Ashley (Yarmouth softball)
2014 Ben Caswell (Greely tennis)
2013 Sandra Stone (Falmouth tennis)
2012 Karin Kurry (Freeport lacrosse)
2011 Sara Dimick (Greely lacrosse)
2010 Julia Sterling (NYA lacrosse)
2009 Sandra Stone (Falmouth tennis)
2008 Julia Littlefield (NYA lacrosse)
2007 Robin Haley (Falmouth lacrosse)
2006 Dorothy Holt (Yarmouth lacrosse)
2005 Sandra Stone (Falmouth tennis)
2004 Ann Harradon (Yarmouth tennis)
2003 Julia Seely (NYA tennis)
2002 Julia Littlefield (Yarmouth lacrosse)