Spring sports season off to rainy, dramatic start-Northern edition

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The North Yarmouth Academy boys’ lacrosse team shows its support for slain Somerset County Sheriff’s Deputy Cpl. Eugene Cole prior to Saturday’s home game against Gardiner. The Panthers won, 9-8, in overtime, to improve to 3-0.

Greely senior Kelsey Currier prepares to launch a double during the Rangers’ 3-2 home win over Yarmouth Saturday.

Falmouth junior Riley Reed gets past a Scarborough defender during the Yachtsmen’s 14-4 victory last week. Falmouth was unbeaten at press time.

Yarmouth’s Ben Cox-Faxon competes in the mile at last week’s outdoor track meet at Gray-New Gloucester. Cox-Faxon was second in the event and the Clippers came in third as a team.

While Mother Nature has given local athletic directors nightmares in the opening couple weeks of the spring sports season, there have been games played and many of them have them memorable.

Now that everyone is underway, here’s a look at what you might have missed in the early action and a glimpse ahead:

Baseball

Yarmouth’s defending Class B state champion baseball team opened its title defense with a 4-3 home win over York April 12 and 16 days later, finally took the field again for a countable game when it blanked host Poland, 12-0, in five innings. In the opener, the Clippers rallied from two runs down with a three-spot in the fifth. Dom Morrill earned the victory and had a single and double. Ben Norton also produced two hits. Against the Knights, Luke Waeldner threw a two-hit shutout and had a pair of hits, Jackson Caruso had three hits and drove in two runs and Toby Burgmaier and John Romano had two hits apiece. Yarmouth was at Greely Tuesday and hosted Poland Wednesday. After going to Wells Friday, the Clippers are home against Cape Elizabeth for a playoff rematch Wednesday of next week.

Greely started with a marathon 13-inning, 4-1 home loss to rival Cape Elizabeth in a playoff rematch. The Rangers left 13 runners on base and wasted strong pitching performances from Will Neleski and Eben Kiesow. Neleski and Luke Miller each had three hits in Greely’s longest game in decades.

“I thought for 12 innings, we had more chances,” Greely coach Derek Soule said. “We should have scored more runs with the opportunities we had. I was pleased with the pitching and defense and we had good at-bats, we just didn’t cash in.”

The Rangers bounced back to down visiting Wells (7-3) and host Gray-New Gloucester (15-2, in five innings) before dropping an 11-2 decision to visiting York Monday. Connor Sullivan earned the win over the Warriors, fanning nine in 6.1 innings of work. Nick Butler had three hits and scored twice. Neleski added two hits and two RBI. Against the Patriots, Kiesow earned the victory and drove in four runs. A.J. Eisenhart added three hits. In the loss to the Wildcats, Miller and Neleski each had a pair of hits. Greely hosted Yarmouth Tuesday and welcomed Freeport Wednesday. After hosting Lake Region Friday, the Rangers visit Fryeburg Academy Monday and go to Poland Wednesday of next week.

Freeport won its first three outings: 7-4 over visiting Poland, 6-5 over visiting Traip Academy and 12-6 at Lake Region. Against the Knights, Heath Cockburn earned the victory and had a pair of hits, as did Colby Wagner and Gabe Wagner.

“We had some aggressive base running and we put a lot of pressure on them and used our aggressiveness well,” Freeport coach Bill Ridge said.

In the win over the Rangers, the Falcons erased a 4-0 deficit and prevailed behind a clutch two-run double from Toby Holt. Finn Johnston earned the victory and drove in the go-ahead runs with a fielder’s choice. Against the Lakers, Holt earned the win, Shea Wagner had a pair of hits and Johnston and Eriksen Shea each had two RBI. Freeport fell to 3-1 Monday after a gutwrenching 5-4 loss at Wells. The Falcons took a 4-0 lead to the bottom of the seventh, but gave up five runs. Freeport got four hits from Colby Wagner, but it wasn’t enough. The Falcons were at Greely Wednesday, host Cape Elizabeth Friday, go to York Saturday and visit Cape Elizabeth Monday.

Defending Class A South champion Falmouth began the season by downing visiting Westbrook (14-4, in five innings) and host Bonny Eagle (11-8) before dropping a 5-2 decision at Noble. Garrett Tracy earned the victory, Garret Aube had four hits and two RBI and Ike Kiely drove in three runs against the Blue Blazes. In the win over the Scots, Connor Coffin had three hits, while Aube, Josh LeFevre and Sam Kidder added two apiece. LeFevre earned the win in relief while Aube picked up the save. In the setback, Kidder and Sam Manganello both had multiple hits. The Yachtsmen hosted Cheverus Tuesday, go to Gorham Thursday, play host to Portland in a playoff rematch Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and go to Thornton Academy Tuesday of next week.

In Class D South, after a pair of rainouts, North Yarmouth Academy finally opened its regular season Monday with an 8-1 win at Waynflete. The Panthers went to Old Orchard Beach Wednesday, host Waynflete Saturday and Monday welcome St. Dom’s.

Softball

Greely’s softball team opened with a 6-0 home loss to Wells, then turned around and knocked off visiting Cape Elizabeth (5-0), rallied for a 4-3 victory at Gray-New Gloucester, then held off visiting Yarmouth in a playoff rematch, 3-2. Against the Capers, Kelsey Currier threw a two-hitter and homered while Taylor LaFlamme had three hits. The Rangers were down, 3-1, going to the seventh inning at the Patriots, but pushed three runs across, as Sawyer Dusch scored the go-ahead run on Audrey Boyle’s ground out. Currier slammed the door in the bottom half.

“We were just looking for a break and we got a couple breaks, balls hit in the right spot,” Greely coach Rob Hale said.

In the win over the Clippers, Currier had a pair of hits and dominated on the hill, allowing just five hits and striking out 12.

“No one expects much of us, but if we keep working hard, I think we can go a long way,” Currier said.

Monday, the Rangers fell to 3-2 with a 6-0 loss to visiting York. Greely made seven errors.

“We just didn’t make plays,” Hale said. “We didn’t play fundamental softball. It’s as simple as that.”

Greely was home with Freeport Wednesday, welcomes Lake Region Friday, plays at Fryeburg Academy Monday and visits Poland Wednesday of next week.

Yarmouth had four games rained out before finally opening the Sandra Sanford Era with a 3-2 loss at Greely Saturday. The Clippers got two hits and two runs from Sophie McGrath and stole five bases, but they fell just short.

“I thought we played solid defense for a first game out,” Sanford said. “It was nice to get out here.”

Yarmouth hoped to get in the win column Wednesday when Poland paid a visit. After going to Wells Friday, the Clippers host York Tuesday and Cape Elizabeth Wednesday of next week.

Freeport started with a 17-0 (five-inning) home loss to Poland, then fell, 13-4, at Lake Region and 12-3 at Wells. The Falcons were at Greely Wednesday, host Cape Elizabeth Friday, visit York Saturday and go to Cape Elizabeth Monday.

The Maine Girls’ Academy/Falmouth co-op team won its opener, 9-5, at Sanford, then lost at home to Portland (11-1), at South Portland (16-10) and at home to defending Class A champion Scarborough (32-0, in five innings) and Thornton Academy (11-0). In the loss to the Red Riots, Falmouth’s Liberty Ladd doubled twice and homered. The Sea Lions visited Biddeford Wednesday, play host to Windham Friday and travel to Cheverus/North Yarmouth Academy Monday of next week.

The Cheverus/NYA co-op team sandwiched one-run losses at South Portland (16-15) and Westbrook (10-9) around a 22-0 five-inning home loss to Scarborough. Cheverus/NYA then fell at home to Windham, 17-4, in five-innings. After hosting Thornton Academy in a makeup game Tuesday, Cheverus/NYA plays host to Bonny Eagle Friday and welcomes MGA/Falmouth Monday.

Boys’ lacrosse

Last Wednesday, Yarmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team ended a 20-game, eight-year dry spell against perennial powerhouse and defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth. The Capers had won the last five meetings by a composite 78-22 margin, including a 17-0 shutout last May 10 and a 16-7 triumph in the state final a little over a month later, but this time around, the Clippers made history.

Yarmouth, which opened the regular season with an 8-4 win at Greely (Cooper May had three goals), trailed at Cape Elizabeth, 5-2, at halftime, but shut down the prolific Capers in the second half and rallied to prevail, 7-6, behind two goals from Michael Guertler. The win was the Clippers’ first over the Capers since May 3, 2010 (8-4 at home) and their first in Cape Elizabeth since May 16, 2008 (9-3).

Yarmouth hosted North Yarmouth Academy Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcomes South Portland for a compelling interclass showdown Friday and plays at York Tuesday of next week.

NYA is off to its best start since 2007. The Panthers won their first three outings: 15-3 over visiting Lake Region, 12-5 at Freeport and 9-8, in overtime, over visiting Gardiner. In the opener, Ryan Baker had five goals, Mason Parks scored four goals and Reese Farrell added six assists. Against the Falcons, Xander Kostelnik had four goals and Jonah Eng added three. Connor Clock had three goals, including the winner in OT, versus the Tigers. NYA went to rival Yarmouth Tuesday, travels to Camden Hills Saturday and is home Wednesday of next week to face Waynflete.

Falmouth might just be the best team in the state at this early juncture. The Yachtsmen started with decisive victories over visiting Kennebunk (13-3), host Gorham (15-3) and host Scarborough (14-4). Tom Fitzgerald scored three goals and Reilly Tucker added a pair in the win over Gorham. In the victory over Kennebunk, Fitzgerald scored three goals and Henry Farnham and Nick Farnham each added two. Against the Red Storm, in a downpour, Fitzgerald had seven goals.

“We’re putting it together,” Barton said. “The kids are buying in. So far, so good.”

The Yachtsmen went to Cheverus Wednesday, then play rival Cape Elizabeth, the defending Class B state champion, for the only scheduled time this spring, Friday night at home (see theforecaster.net for game story). Falmouth is home with South Portland Wednesday of next week.

Greely opened with an 8-4 home loss to Yarmouth, then won at Waynflete, 18-11. Ben Kennedy scored twice in the setback, then had four goals in the victory. The Rangers were home with York Tuesday, go to Cony Saturday and play at Cape Elizabeth Tuesday of next week.

Freeport started with home losses to Fryeburg Academy (12-6) and NYA (12-5). After going to Cape Elizabeth Tuesday, the Falcons host Waynflete Thursday and Morse Saturday. Next Wednesday, Freeport is at Wells.

Girls’ lacrosse

On the girls’ side, Yarmouth, the defending Class B North champion, held off visiting Lake Region in its opener, 15-12, then won at Freeport (22-7) and fell at defending Class A champion Massabesic, 11-7. Against the Lakers, Emma Marston had six goals and Ehryn Groothoff added four.

“It wasn’t pretty but it was the first game of the season so I can’t complain,” said Clippers coach Dorothy Holt, who won her 150th game with the program.

Eva Then erupted for nine goals and Marston added four in the victory over the Falcons. In the setback, Yarmouth’s first in the regular season since 2016, Marston had four goals, but it wasn’t enough. The Clippers hosted NYA Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), welcome Kennebunk in a state game rematch Thursday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and go to Cape Elizabeth Wednesday of next week.

Falmouth welcomed new coach Ashley Pullen by sandwiching wins over visiting Biddeford (11-8) and Messalonskee (15-11) around a 10-3 setback at Kennebunk. In the opener, the Yachtsmen got five goals from Caitlyn Camelio and held on late to prevail.

“We came out hyped up,” said Camelio. “It was our first game of the season and we’d been practicing hard.”

“We wanted to make a statement and show what Falmouth’s all about this year,” Pullen said.

In the win over the Eagles, Pullen’s old team, Camelio had five goals, Eva Clement added four and Jo Stucker finished with three.

In the loss, which was a rematch of the past three regional finals, Camelio had two goals, but Falmouth couldn’t keep up.

“It’s great to play a team like (Kennebunk) early in the season,”said Pullen. “It gives us a lot to work on and gives us a sense of how we stack up.”

The Yachtsmen were at Marshwood Tuesday, host Windham Thursday and go to Massabesic Monday.

Greely opened with a 16-4 win at NYA and after a 13-5 setback at Kennebunk, improved to 2-1 by downing host Morse, 14-3. Freshman Sam Goldburg and Jayme Morrison both had three goals against the Panthers. Morrison and Brooke Clement each had two goals in the setback. Against the Shipbuilders, Clement had four goals and Courtney Sullivan added three. The Rangers were home with Waynflete Wednesday, welcome Gorham Saturday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and host York Tuesday of next week.

Freeport had its first three games at home. The Falcons opened with a 16-2 victory over Fryeburg Academy, then, after a 22-7 loss to Yarmouth, downed Boothbay, 15-3. Taylor Dostie had four goals and Molly Whelan three in the opener. Taylor Rinaldi led the way with three goals in the win over Boothbay. Freeport was at York Wednesday and travels to NYA Tuesday of next week.

NYA followed up losses to visiting Greely (16-4) and at Lake Region (17-5) with an 11-9 win at Mt. Ararat. Isabella MacMahon scored three times against the Rangers and scored three more goals against the Lakers. In the victory, MacMahon scored five times, while Lincoln Hamblett scored three goals and Helen Hamblett added a pair. The Panthers went to Yarmouth Tuesday, host Camden Hills Saturday and welcome Freeport Tuesday of next week.

Outdoor track

Falmouth’s boys’ and girls’ outdoor track teams began Southwestern Maine Activities Association competition by sweeping a four-team meet at Scarborough.

Girls’ event winners included Sophie Marcotte in the 200 (27.22 seconds) and long jump (15 feet, 11.5 inches), Malaika Pasch in the 400 (1 minute, 3.5 seconds), Karley Piers in the two-mile (11:56.32), Danielle Casavant in the high jump (4-8) and Ellie Michaud in the triple jump (30-7.75).

Boys’ first-place finishers included Alvaro Fuentes in the 100 (11.9), Kyle Bouchard in the 200 (24.31), Doug Cooke in the 400 (53.03), John Auer in the 800 (2:03.41) and mile (4:35.81), Conner Piers in the two-mile (10:30.42), Joshua Bradford in the shot put (42-1) and the 4×400 (3:43.30) and 4×800 (9:31.67) relay teams.

Greely and NYA joined Sacopee at Poland. The Rangers girls produced event winners Carolyn Todd in the 800 (2:28.29), Marin Provencher in the mile (5:41.32) and two-mile (12:22.34), Skylar Cooney in the 100 hurdles (17.66), Elizabeth Brown in the high jump (4-10), Abby Civiello in the discus (78-2) and their 4×100 (55.89) and 4×400 (4:30.24) relay teams. The Panthers got wins from Olivia Skillings in the 200 (31.26) and Ellie Hilscher in the racewalk (11:59.10).

Greely boys’ winners included Michael Geary in the 100 (12.14) and 200 (25.3), Isaac Moore in the 400 (57.14), Matthew Todd in the 800 (2:09.30), Luke Marsanskis in the mile (4:48.15) and two-mile (10:43.89), Gavin Poperechny in the 110 hurdles (18.51), Atticus Smith in the long jump (17-00.75), Sean Richard in the triple jump (34-8.5) and the 4×100 (48.26) and 4×400 (3;53.21) relay teams. NYA got a first-place showing from Te’Andre King in the high jump (5-10).

Yarmouth’s boys were third and girls fourth in a four-team meet at Gray-New Gloucester. The boys got wins from Tahj Garvey in the 400 (54.77), Wyatt Bates in the high jump (5-2), Michael McNeil in the shot put (37-11) and Noah Eckersley-Ray in the discus (115-11) and javelin (141-8). Girls’ first-place finishers included Anneka Murrin in the 400 (1:01.40) and Kelcie McGonagle in the pole vault (8-0).

Freeport’s boys and girls were each first at a four-team meet at Lake Region.

Girls’ first-place finishers included Shaina Curry in the 100 hurdles (18.30), long jump (14-7.5) and high jump (4-6), Catriona Gould in the 100 (13.61) and 200 (28.48), Lily Horne in the 800 (2:34.71) and mile (5:24.83), Patricia Dupere in the 300 hurdles (54.23) and the 4×100 relay team (54.97).

The boys got wins from Adam Ulrickson in the 110 hurdles (21.86), Nick Mitch in the 100 (12.08) and 400 (55.53), Gregory Nam in the racewalk (12:02.89), Martin Horne in the mile (4:38.85), Joe Ashby in the 800 (2:09.69), Tanner Morrison in the two-mile (12:12.59), Damon Butler in the long jump (15-10), Duncan Nam in the discus (149-0) and Alex Helie in the shot put (38-3.5).

Tennis

Falmouth’s girls’ tennis team, the 10-time defending state champions, extended its match win streak to 160 after downing South Portland, Scarborough and Bonny Eagle by 5-0 scores. Falmouth’s boys, the defending Class A champs, opened with wins over South Portland (5-0) and Portland (4-1).

Greely’s defending Class B champion girls’ squad beat Freeport in its first match, 5-0, then edged Cape Elizabeth, 3-2.. The Rangers boys lost to Freeport, 5-0, and to Cape Elizabeth, 4-1, then beat NYA, 3-2, for their first victory since May 22, 2015, as they snapped a 27-match skid.

Freeport’s boys opened with 5-0 wins over Greely and St. Dom’s, while the Falcons girls lost to the Rangers, 5-0, in their opener before downing St. Dom’s, 4-1.

The NYA girls split their first two matches, falling, 5-0, to Cape Elizabeth and blanking St. Dom’s, 5-0. NYA’s boys’ team lost, 5-0, to Cape Elizabeth and 3-2 to Greely to start the season.

Yarmouth’s boys, the defending Class B South champions, started with a 3-2 loss to York, but Monday, the Clippers edged Cape Elizabeth, 3-2. The Clippers girls finally played a countable match Monday and lost, 5-0, to Cape Elizabeth.

American Journal staff writer Adam Birt, Sun Journal staff writer Wil Kramlich and Times Record staff writer Bob Conn contributed to this story.

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.