Spring season capped a great sports year

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After a most fulfilling fall and winter, the spring sports season was truly memorable.

While rain, as usual, was plentiful, the season was completed on schedule and had an abundance of highlights.

Cheverus’ baseball team wasn’t quite able to defend its state title, but still got to the Western A Final, where it took part in a game for the ages. Waynflete also reached the baseball postseason.

Boys’ lacrosse saw Cheverus make it to a state game for the first time, while Deering and Portland also turned heads.

The Waynflete girls got back to the pinnacle after two years away in almost unthinkable fashion. Cheverus was a regional finalist and Portland enjoyed its best season to date.

The outdoor track and field state meet produced a few champions.

Tennis gave the city two crowns and another squad which just missed winning it all.

While we’re all glad summer’s here, let’s take one final look back at the moments and champions that made the spring of 2012 one to remember.

Spring 2012 state champions

Waynflete Flyers girls’ lacrosse (Class B)
Waynflete Flyers boys’ tennis (Class C)
Waynflete Flyers girls’ tennis (Class C)

Spring 2012 regional champions

McAuley Lions girls’ tennis (Western Class A)

Spring 2012 individual state champions

Outdoor track

Matt Cushing, Cheverus, Class A boys’ javelin
Joe Slatter, Cheverus, Class A boys’ long jump
Katie Shapiro, Cheverus, Class A girls’ discus

Michael’s Top 5 stories:

5) Terrific tennis teams

The last time the Waynflete boys’ tennis team failed to win a Class C championship, George W. Bush was still in the White House and the Boston Red Sox were en route to a second World Series triumph in four years. The year was 2007. Every season since, the Flyers have reigned and they did it again this spring. For the second year in a row, the boys were joined at the pinnacle by the girls’ squad. McAuley’s girls came within a point of the Class A title. Portland’s girls were oh-so-close to being in the state match instead of the Lions. The Cheverus girls had another superb season and the Deering boys earned the No. 1 seed in Western A before falling in the regional final. The good times keep on rolling on city tennis courts.

4) Cheverus girls turn heads

Cheverus’ girls’ lacrosse team made an improbable run to the Eastern A Final in 2011. This spring, the Stags made it back, but were a vastly more complete team, one of the most exciting in the state. Cheverus almost upset champion Scarborough and Kennebunk in regular season thrillers and did manage to win seven times. Then, for the second year in a row, the Stags saved their best for last and won quarterfinal and semifinal round playoff games. Once again, Cheverus had to face Brunswick in the regional final and this time, the Stags gave the Dragons fits before going down to defeat. With an abundance of talent returning, don’t be surprised if Cheverus takes the final step in 2013.

3) Nice work, boys

Three city boys’ lacrosse teams wound up in the postseason and did they ever create excitement. Our appetites were whetted in the quarterfinals when Deering hosted Portland. Forty-eight minutes weren’t enough to decide matters, thanks to a Rams’ tying goal in the final minute. Deering then escaped on Rick Murray’s goal early in overtime. Cheverus also had to go to overtime, in its semifinal, at top-ranked, undefeated Brunswick, but the Stags found a way to survive. Deering hosted Cheverus in the regional final and goals were at a premium, but the Stags prevailed, 4-2, and qualified for states for the first time in program history. Cheverus eventually lost to Scarborough, 9-4, but the stage has been set for more city greatness going forward.

2) Stags fall in epic regional final

The Cheverus baseball team did a great job defending its championship this spring. The Stags won their final seven regular season games, then defeated Westbrook and Bonny Eagle to make it to the Western A Final versus Scarborough. There, the two best teams in the region put forth a seven inning classic. Just when one team appeared bound for victory, the other would respond. Cheverus found itself down 5-3 in the top of the seventh and three times was down to its final strike, but managed to rise off the deck and pull even on Harry Ridge’s game-tying hit. Unfortunately, the Red Storm had the last at-bat and won the game (and ended the Stags’ reign) on a walkoff home run.

1) Waynflete’s breathtaking run

As hard as it was to believe, the state’s most storied girls’ lacrosse program managed to raise the bar and earn perhaps the two most palpitating victories in its history earlier this month. The Flyers weren’t viewed as a serious title contender by most when the season began, but Waynflete stumbled just once in the regular season. This spring was unique as the three best squads in the state all resided in Western B, meaning the Flyers had to beat Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth just to reach the state final. Beat them they did. Barely. First, Waynflete rallied from a two-goal second half deficit to edge the Yachtsmen on Sadie Cole’s goal inside the final half-minute. Then, in a regional final by which all others will be measured, Waynflete somehow rose off the deck down 8-4 in the second half to tie the game with just over two minutes to play thanks to a scintillating individual effort from Martha Veroneau. The game would go to six minutes of overtime and when that didn’t decide matters, it was on to “sudden victory” OT when Walker Foehl ended matters and sent the Flyers to the state final. There, Waynflete had a much easier time and won yet another championship, 16-5, over Freeport, to end a two-year drought. Not many state finals are viewed as afterthoughts, but nothing could compare to the regional tournament classics.

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

Sidebar Elements

Cheverus senior Louie DiStasio pitched the defending Class A state champion Cheverus baseball team back to the regional final this spring.

Deering’s Veronica Mitchell was a top performer in both lacrosse and outdoor track this season.

For the second year in a row, both Waynflete tennis teams won Class C state titles.

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