It began with snowbanks as a backdrop, but the spring sports season, like the weather, quickly ramped up into something quite enjoyable.
A compelling baseball season saw Falmouth, Freeport and Yarmouth all reach the playoffs before being ousted, leaving only perennial powerhouse Greely, which found a way to repeat as Class B state champion, after first surviving a couple challenges from rivals in the regional tournament.
Falmouth and Greely’s softball teams saw their title dreams denied, but Yarmouth made history, reaching the state championship game for the first time before winning it all at last.
Boys’ lacrosse saw every local team make the playoffs, with Falmouth, North Yarmouth Academy and Yarmouth getting to the regional finals. Yarmouth was the lone local team to get to the state game, where it lost again to Cape Elizabeth.
The top girls’ lacrosse story most of the spring was the dominance of Falmouth, but the Yachtsmen’s dream of a first championship was dashed by Kennebunk. After ousting Freeport in the regional final, Yarmouth got a crack at Kennebunk and did what Falmouth couldn’t, shocking the Rams in an overtime epic in the state final as the Clippers repeated as Class B champions.
On the track, there were no team titles, but several individuals dazzled.
Falmouth’s boys’ tennis team made it two straight Class A crowns, but that paled in comparison to what local girls’ squads achieved.
Falmouth won Class A for the second year in a row and took an eighth successive championship overall, while extending the state’s longest win streak. Greely repeated as Class B champion and NYA earned its first Class C crown since 2010.
Before we all take a deep breath and enjoy a well-earned summer break, here’s one last look at the highlights of spring:
Falmouth boys’ tennis, Class A
Falmouth girls’ tennis, Class A
Greely baseball, Class B
Greely girls’ tennis, Class B
North Yarmouth Academy girls’ tennis, Class C
Yarmouth softball, Class B
Yarmouth girls’ lacrosse, Class B
Yarmouth boys’ lacrosse, Eastern B
Olivia Leavitt, Falmouth, girls’ tennis singles
Jalique Keen, Falmouth, Class A boys’ javelin
Alyssa Coyne, Greely, Class B girls’ shot put
Alyssa Coyne, Greely, Class B girls’ discus
Siana Emery, Greely, Class B girls’ racewalk
Muriel Adams, North Yarmouth Academy, Class C girls’ discus
Emma Egan, Yarmouth, Class C girls’ high jump
5) Falmouth girls become a power
Few expected Falmouth to be the top girls’ lacrosse team in Western B this spring, but if you asked the Yachtsmen and their followers, not only did they say they expected to contend, but they thought they could win it all. They almost did. Falmouth made an immediate statement with a victory at defending champion Yarmouth and wound up going 11-1 in the regular season, stumbling only once, by a goal, at home to Cape Elizabeth, a loss the Yachtsmen later avenged. Falmouth won at Yarmouth, Waynflete and Kennebunk in the same season, a feat never previously accomplished, and earned the top seed for the playoffs. After beating Waynflete for the first time ever in the postseason and for the first time ever in Falmouth, the Yachtsmen were just one step from states, but they couldn’t solve Kennebunk a second time and a transcendent season ended in disappointment. Just wait til’ next year.
4) Greely baseball does it again
Greely’s defending Class B champion baseball team appeared mortal much of the regular season as the Rangers lost five times, but no one flips the switch like this proud program. As the No. 3 seed in Western B, Greely had to go nine innings to survive rival sixth-ranked Yarmouth in the quarterfinals, went to York’s bandbox and erupted late to oust the second-seeded Wildcats in the semifinals, then rallied to force extra innings where it downed top-ranked Cape Elizabeth in an eight-inning thriller in the regional final. The state game proved anticlimactic, at least the 10-0 five inning score did, but these Rangers love to celebrate and they don’t care how they get to the championship pigpile. In this case, it was a lot of offense and a no-hitter from sophomore Ryan Twitchell. Greely had never gone back-to-back before. Anyone want to suggest that the Rangers aren’t capable of a three-peat?
3) Four champions on the court
Forecaster Country was truly the center of the high school tennis world this spring, as four team champions and a top singles player all resided here. Falmouth’s nonpareil standout Olivia Leavitt got the hardware party started by winning her third successive girls’ singles crown in late May. Then, in the team tournament, Falmouth’s girls ensured they’d be crowned champion, just like the Yachtsmen have every year since 2008. The program’s record match win streak now sits at 125. Falmouth’s boys made it two straight Class A titles, as did Greely in Class B, on the girls’ side. Then there was NYA’s girls, who had spent four years away from the pinnacle, only to return to the top in Class C this season.
2) Repeat crown for the Clippers
When Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team lost its first two games to Falmouth and York, then fell to 1-3 after a home loss to Kennebunk, repeating as Class B state champion appeared to be a longshot. You can never count out the Clippers though and did they ever save their best for last. Yarmouth won seven of its final eight regular season games, then laid waste to the Eastern B field, easily advancing to the state game for the third year in a row and the fourth time since 2011. There awaited Kennebunk, which had just outlasted Falmouth in a regional final game many felt was the de facto state final. Unlike the regular season meeting, the Clippers played from ahead, took great care of the ball, got a transcendent performance from senior captain Emma Torres, huge saves from sophomore goalie Mary Kate Gunville and in overtime, a go-ahead goal from junior Lilly Watson which held up and Yarmouth went on to an 11-10 victory, making it two titles in a row. The Clippers have never gone back-to-back-to-back, but it wouldn’t be wise to bet against them in 2016.
1) Yarmouth softball makes history
Yarmouth’s softball program had long taken a backseat to lacrosse in the spring, but this year, the Clippers etched their name into history and had a lot of fun doing it. A year after a most gutwrenching playoff ouster imaginable, Yarmouth was among the top teams in Western B all year and after a 13-3 campaign, entered the tournament as a team that had a shot to go all the way. The Clippers blanked Leavitt in the quarterfinals, then had to go to top-ranked Greely for the semifinals. In the regular season, the Rangers handed Yarmouth its worst loss, but this time, the Clippers were up to the task behind a balanced offense and a second straight shutout from junior ace Mari Cooper. In the regional final, Yarmouth mustered just one run, but Cooper made it stand up and for the first time, the Clippers were regional champions. Defending Hermon awaited in the Class B state final and Yarmouth did everything it took to prevail, building an early lead behind three more shutout innings from Cooper (giving her 24 overall) and the timely hitting of junior centerfielder Colleen Sullivan to go up, 4-0. After the Hawks drew within 4-3, the Clippers opened the lead back to 7-3. Then, in the fateful seventh, Hermon scored twice and had the tying run at the plate, but the sweetest of twin killings, a double play started by Sydney St. Pierre and ended by her twin sister, Andrea, brought the curtain down on Yarmouth’s 7-5 victory and the program’s first ever championship.
Another season, another trophy for Greely baseball.
A celebration decades in the making broke out after Yarmouth’s softball team won the Class B state title for the first time.
For the third year in a row, Falmouth’s Olivia Leavitt had no peer when it came to singles girls’ tennis. For the eighth straight season, the Yachtsmen team brought home a championship.
Yarmouth’s girls’ lacrosse team got to celebrate a second consecutive championship.