Spring Coaches of the Year-Portland edition

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Mac McKew
Cheverus baseball

Tim Eisenhart
MGA/Falmouth softball

Boys’ team:

Mac McKew, Cheverus baseball

After successive losses in the preliminary round of the playoffs, McKew led a Cheverus resurgence this spring as the Stags became one of the most formidable teams in the state and advanced all the way to the Class A South Final.

For sparking a turnaround and producing a historic campaign, Mac McKew gets The Forecaster’s nod as our Portland edition Spring Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

McKew was also honored in 2011.

McKew played baseball at Lewiston High and the University of Southern Maine After coaching in American Legion ball, McKew took over the Stags program in 2009. By his third season, Cheverus was the Class A state champion and it got back to the regional final in 2012.

This spring, the Stags produced their finest regular season in decades, losing only once in 16 outings. Cheverus had tremendous pitching, clutch hitting and solid fielding and rarely made mistakes, the sign of a well-coached squad.

The Stags would earn the No. 2 seed in Class A South and eliminated Deering (the team which had ended their season in 2015 and 2016) and Gorham to get to the regional final where they finally met their match against Falmouth.

“We had a great season,” McKew said. “I’m very proud of these guys. It was probably our best regular season since the 1960s. We won a couple playoff games and got to the regional final.”

While Cheverus graduates many of its top players, you have to believe that the Stags will remain in contention in 2018.

As long as Mac McKew, our Portland edition Spring Coach of the Year of a boys’ team, is at the helm, Cheverus always has to be viewed as a team to beat.

Previous winners:

2016 Jeff Madore (Waynflete tennis)

2015 Mike Rutherford (Portland baseball)

2014 Steve Virgilio (Cheverus track)

2013 Jeff Madore (Waynflete tennis)

2012 Deke Andrew (Cheverus lacrosse)

2011 Mac McKew (Cheverus baseball)

2010 Steve Kautz (Waynflete baseball)

2009 Eric Begonia (Portland lacrosse)

2008 Mike D’Andrea (Deering baseball)

2007 Mike D’Andrea (Deering baseball)

2006 Stephane Pejic (Waynflete tennis)

2005 Eric Begonia (Portland lacrosse)

2004 Mike D’Andrea (Deering baseball)

Girls’ team:

Tim Eisenhart, MGA/Falmouth softball

When you take over a new co-op program on the brink of the season, not knowing how many players you’ll have, you can only hope to stay afloat and get through the season in one piece.

Tim Eisenhart and the Maine Girls’ Academy/Falmouth softball team did much more than that.

The Sea Lions overcame some early struggles and saved their best for last, making a surprising run to the playoffs and setting the stage for future success in the process.

For his role in making year one such a success, Tim Eisenhart gets The Forecaster’s nod as our Portland edition Spring Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Eisenhart grew up in Portland, starred at Deering and went on to play at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York. Eisenhart coached baseball for five years at Westbrook High School and three more at his alma mater, but this spring, he took over a varsity softball program for the first time.

With both schools struggling to field enough players to form a team, MGA and Falmouth decided to merge and while both schools boasted strong players, there were some rough patches, including a 2-9 stretch. The Sea Lions then caught fire at the best possible time, edging favored Noble and South Portland and closing with a win over Deering to secure a playoff spot.

MGA/Falmouth even led Noble heading to the final inning of the teams’ preliminary round contest, but couldn’t hold on. Regardless, it was quite a run.

“Bringing two groups of girls together couldn’t have gone more smoothly,” Eisenhart said. “The coaches and the kids didn’t want the season to end. We got a lot of support from the parents and we had a blast. It was a special experience.”

Eisenhart, a father of two who teaches at Deering and is also well known for his musical abilities (you can find him at many Portland venues with guitar in hand), looks forward to another season with the co-op group and stands to enjoy more success.

Tim Eisenhart, our Portland edition Spring girls’ team Coach of the Year, stepped into a challenging situation and helped produce a memorable season. 

Previous winners:

2016 Robbie Ferrante (Portland softball)

2015 Cameron McManus (Portland lacrosse)

2014 Maureen Curran (Cheverus softball)

2013 Jamie Chamberlain (Cheverus lacrosse)

2012 Cathie Connors (Waynflete lacrosse)

2011 Linda Cohen (Waynflete tennis)

2010 Robbie Ferrante (McAuley softball)

2009 Bonnie Moran (Portland tennis)

2008 Cathie Connors (Waynflete lacrosse)

2007 Jamie Chamberlain (Cheverus lacrosse)

2006 Jamie Chamberlain (Cheverus lacrosse)

2005 Rick Supinski (Cheverus softball)

2004 Cathie Connors (Waynflete lacrosse)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached atmhoffer@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.