Greely’s Ashley Storey (left) and Haley Felkel celebrated winning a girls’ basketball Gold Ball in late February.
Kallie Hutchinson and her teammates celebrated Yarmouth’s first-ever softball state title in June.
Yarmouth’s boys’ soccer team won a repeat Class B state championship in November.
Greely 3 Cape Elizabeth 1 (8 innings) Western B baseball final
Yarmouth 11 Kennebunk 10 (OT) Class B girls’ lacrosse final
Yarmouth 37 Cape Elizabeth 36 Oct. 16
A highly anticipated football showdown in week six more than lived up to billing as defense largely took a vacation. The game was tied early at 6-6 and 13-13. After Yarmouth took a 20-19 lead, the Capers rallied to go up, 27-23, at halftime. After falling behind by 10, the Clippers pulled within three on a touchdown pass from John Thoma to Jack Snyder. Cape Elizabeth took a 36-30 lead on a field goal with 1:23 to go, but Yarmouth saved its best for last. After a nice kickoff return from Cody Cook, the Clippers drove 57 yards and with just 28 seconds remaining, Thoma found Cook for a 6-yard TD pass and Andrew Beatty’s extra point put Yarmouth on top. A Remi Leblanc interception of a last-second desperation pass iced it and the Clippers got a huge victory, one which resulted in a joyous celebration where the student section mobbed the field and one that won’t soon be forgotten.
Local high school sports athletes set a high standard again in 2015.
Whether the season was winter, spring or fall, triumph was the theme and there were countless memorable moments.
With another winter season underway and a new year upon us, here’s one final look back at the thrills that made up the year just past.
When 2014 gave way to 2015, Falmouth’s boys’ basketball team was playing without injured standout Thomas Coyne, but his younger brother, Colin, and Jack Simonds were keeping the Yachtsmen near the top of the heap. Greely and Yarmouth were also playing well, while North Yarmouth Academy was in the playoff hunt.
On the girls’ side, Greely overcame a couple losses to emerge as a title contender. Falmouth was also chasing a playoff berth.
On the ice, Falmouth’s boys’ hockey team was gearing up to make a run at a third successive state championship, while Yarmouth overcame an 0-5 start to become a top contender in Western B. Greely’s long run of qualifying for the postseason appeared in jeopardy.
On the girls’ side, Falmouth, Greely and the Yarmouth/Freeport/Gray-New Gloucester co-op teams were all winning their share of games and each qualified for the playoffs.
Skiing, swimming and track teams and individuals made their mark as they geared up for the postseason.
February vacation week brought the first hardware of the new year.
Greely’s girls’ swim team won the Class B championship by the slimmest of margins (a half point) over Mt. Desert Island. Falmouth had a pair of individual champions, as Charlotte Janelle won another girls’ diving crown and Jake Perron captured both the boys’ 200 and 500 freestyle.
Falmouth’s boys’ indoor track team won the Class A crown for the first time in epic fashion, edging Scarborough in the final event, the 4×200 relay, as Andy Clement, Kohl Valle, Nick Sanzari and Tony St. Angelo etched their name into program lore. On an individual level, Forecaster Country produced Class B champions in Greely’s Alyssa Coyne (girls’ shot put) and Izzy Evans (girls’ mile) and Yarmouth’s Emma Egan (girls’ high jump).
Skiing was the sport that produced the biggest volume of hardware, as Falmouth’s girls swept Class A, the Yachtsmen boys won the Class A Nordic crown, Merriconeag won both the boys’ and girls’ Class C Nordic championships and Yarmouth’s girls took yet another Class B Nordic title and also finished first in the combined standings.
The individual results were even more impressive, as Falmouth’s London Bernier was first in the girls’ Class A Nordic classic race, Anna Morin won the girls’ Class A Nordic freestyle, Krysia Lesniak took the girls’ Class A Alpine slalom, Thomas Lesniak was first in the boys’ Class A Alpine slalom and Gabe Mahoney won the boys’ Class A Nordic classic and freestyle, Greely’s Nettie Cunningham won the girls’ Class A Alpine giant slalom, Merriconeag’s Fiona Ahearne won the girls’ Class C Nordic freestyle, Samantha Pierce won the girls’ Class C Nordic classic and Forrest McCurdy was first in the boys’ Class C Nordic classic and freestyle and Yarmouth’s Margaret Elder took the girls’ Class B Alpine giant slalom, Abby Condon was first in the girls’ Class B skimeister standings and John Lane took the boys’ Class B Nordic freestyle.
On the ice, Greely and Yarmouth/Freeport/GNG were both ousted in the girls’ East Region semifinals. Falmouth managed to win the West Region, but despite a valiant effort, the Yachtsmen lost in the state final to Lewiston, 5-2.
On the boys’ side, Greely managed to make it to the playoffs yet again, but lost to Yarmouth in the Western B quarterfinals. The Clippers then dropped an agonizing overtime decision to Gorham in the semifinals. Falmouth began its bid for a three-peat with a decisive Western A quarterfinal round win over Portland/Deering, but the Yachtsmen’s reign came to an end in the waning hours of the month with a frustrating 5-4 loss to eventual champion Scarborough.
Attention then turned to the basketball championships.
On the boys’ side, in Western D, NYA was ousted by Forest Hills in the quarterfinals. In Western B, Greely lost to eventual champion Cape Elizabeth in the quarterfinals and top-ranked Yarmouth was upset by Lake Region in the semifinals. Falmouth made a spirited run in Western A. The Yachtsmen first rallied to beat Westbrook in overtime in a quarterfinal round thriller, then, behind Simonds’ heroics, upset South Portland in the semifinals. Falmouth finally met its match in Portland in the regional final.
On the girls’ side, Falmouth lost in overtime in the Western A preliminary round for the second year in a row, this time to Windham. That left Greely and the Rangers were never tested, avenging previous playoff losses to Lake Region in the quarterfinals, crushing Gray-New Gloucester with surprising ease in the semifinals, then ending Cape Elizabeth’s Cinderella run in the regional final. In the state game, Presque Isle got off to a fast start, but the Rangers erupted in a display of brilliance that left no doubt and Greely won its first championship in 11 years, 56-39.
Local athletes rested up for most of March until practices for the spring season began.
April and May
The short spring regular season featured much excitement and triumph.
Greely’s baseball team geared up for a run at a repeat Class B championship, something the Rangers had never accomplished. Falmouth, Freeport and Yarmouth were very competitive as well.
Yarmouth’s softball team embarked on what would become the finest season in program history, while Falmouth and Greely also reached the playoffs.
Boys’ lacrosse again featured all five local teams making the playoffs, with some memorable games contested along the way.
On the girls’ side, Yarmouth got off to a slow start in its title defense, but ultimately hit its stride. Falmouth was the big story, knocking off the Clippers in the opener and stumbling just once during a dominant regular season. Freeport and Greely also reached the postseason.
Area track stars geared up for the state meet.
The tennis story featured more excellence from the Greely and NYA girls and both Falmouth teams. Yachtsmen standout Olivia Leavitt once again won the girls’ individual state crown.
The spring championship season began with the track state meet and while no team titles were won, several individuals stood tall. Falmouth’s Jalique Keene won the boys’ Class A javelin, Greely’s Alyssa Coyne won the girls’ Class B shot put and discus and teammate Siana Emery took the girls’ Class B racewalk, NYA’s Muriel Adams won the girls’ Class C discus and Yarmouth’s Emma Egan took home the girls’ Class C high jump.
A week later, four tennis team titles were won, as Falmouth’s boys repeated in Class A, while the Yachtsmen girls also went back-to-back in Class A and made it eight titles in a row overall, extending their match win streak to 125 in the process. If that wasn’t enough, Greely’s girls, who barely survived Yarmouth in the semifinals, repeated in Class B and NYA ended Waynflete’s run in Class C.
On the diamond, Falmouth’s softball team lost in the Western A quarterfinals to Thornton Academy and top-ranked Greely was upset by Yarmouth in the Western B semifinals. The Clippers then won their first regional title with a thrilling 1-0 decision over Fryeburg Academy and capped their storybook run with a 7-5 win over Hermon in the state final.
Baseball provided plenty of excitement too. Falmouth got to the Western A semifinals before losing to Portland. In Western B, Freeport was ousted in extra innings by Gray-New Gloucester in the preliminary round and Greely beat Yarmouth in the quarterfinals. After a win over York in the semifinals, the Rangers were on the ropes in the regional final, but after tying the game in controversial fashion, Greely scored twice in the eighth inning to beat Cape Elizabeth, 3-1, to get back to the state final, where the Rangers repeated with a decisive 10-0 victory over Camden Hills.
Falmouth’s boys’ lacrosse team started June with a memorable come-from-behind win at two-time defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth, but the Yachtsmen had to go back to Hannaford Field for the regional final and this time, fell short. Greely lost to Kennebunk in the quarterfinals and NYA was ousted by Yarmouth in the Eastern B Final. For the third year in a row, the Clippers hoped to beat Cape Elizabeth in the state game, but despite a strong effort, Yarmouth fell short again.
On the girls’ side, Greely was beaten by Kennebunk in the quarterfinals, Falmouth got to the regional final before dropping a tough decision to Kennebunk and Freeport, after surviving Morse in a 17-16 slugfest in the semifinals, was no match for Yarmouth in the regional final. The Clippers weren’t given much of a chance to repeat, going against red-hot Kennebunk in the Class B state final, but Yarmouth started fast, then kept its poise after the Rams rallied to force overtime as the Clippers prevailed, 11-10, to go back to back for the first time since 2006-07.
July and August
High school action took a short break, while familiar names competed in road races and American Legion ball. By mid-August, fall practice was underway.
Autumn brought football, soccer, field hockey, cross country, golf and volleyball excitement.
On the gridiron, Yarmouth lived up to its billing as the Western C favorite, winning its first four games in easy fashion. Falmouth excelled as well and was also undefeated at month’s end, downing the likes of York, Westbrook and Biddeford. Greely was hamstrung by injuries and lost its first three games before getting in the win column.
On the pitch, Yarmouth’s boys were every bit the powerhouse they were predicted to be, although the Clippers did stumble late in the month at Waynflete. Falmouth, Freeport, Greely and NYA also won their share of games.
On the girls’ side, Greely had no equal, going undefeated during the month. Falmouth and Yarmouth were also in the hunt.
Yarmouth’s field hockey team got off to a hot start in its return to Class B. Falmouth, Freeport, Greely and NYA positioned themselves for the playoffs.
On the volleyball court, Falmouth, Greely, NYA and Yarmouth all won their share of matches.
Cross country and golf teams hinted at success to come.
Greely’s golf team capped a strong season by coming in fifth at the Class A state match. Perennial power Falmouth placed seventh. NYA was sixth in Class C.
Yarmouth’s girls’ cross country team won another regional title, then finished the job that last year’s team started, winning a Class B crown for the first time. Freeport’s boys repeated in Class B, as Falcon Chandler Vincent won the individual crown. Greely’s Katherine Leggat-Barr took the girls’ Class B individual crown.
NYA’s volleyball team produced the first winning season in program history and won the Class B Sportsmanship Award, but the Panthers lost in the quarterfinals. Yarmouth won a Class A prelim, but was ousted by defending champion Cape Elizabeth in the quarterfinals. Falmouth and Greely met in a memorable Class A semifinal. The Yachtsmen won the first two sets, but the Rangers rallied for an epic five set win to send them to yet another state final. There, against Scarborough, Greely won the first set, but lost the next three as its championship dream was denied.
The field hockey playoffs produced plenty of drama and ultimate disappointment. Falmouth had to go to penalty corners to survive Bonny Eagle in a prelim, then lost at defending champion Scarborough in the final seconds of the Western A quarterfinals. Freeport lost its preliminary round game at Gray-New Gloucester in double overtime. Greely fell by a goal against Spruce Mountain in the preliminary round. Yarmouth then hosted Spruce Mountain in the quarterfinals, but after scoring early, the Clippers were upset in double overtime. NYA beat Mountain Valley in double overtime of the Western C quarterfinals to once again get to the semifinals, but lost in double overtime to Lisbon.
The soccer playoffs began with Falmouth’s girls dropping a prelim to Thornton Academy. Yarmouth beat Fryeburg Academy in a quarterfinal, then had to go up against Greely, which won its first 12 games before closing the season with losses at Yarmouth and York. The Rangers, who got back on track with a quarterfinal round victory over Lincoln Academy, thanks in large part to three goals from standout Izzy Hutnak, edged the Clippers, 2-1, in the semifinals,
On the boys’ side, Freeport lost an overtime heartbreaker at Cape Elizabeth in the preliminary round, while NYA also lost a tough one in its first playoff game, at Monmouth in the quarterfinals. Falmouth edged Portland in overtime in the Western A quarterfinals, then lost to Scarborough in the semifinals. Yarmouth’s quest for a Class B repeat saw the Clippers have to run a tough gauntlet, but they beat Cape Elizabeth in the quarterfinals, then ousted dangerous Greely in the semifinals.
Football’s playoffs began with Falmouth and Yarmouth both easily winning their respective quarterfinals. Greely, meanwhile, which overcame injuries and a forfeited win and had to beat Falmouth in the regular season finale just to get in the postseason, upset Leavitt in the quarterfinals for its first-ever playoff win.
The soccer drama continued into November, where Greely’s girls downed York in the regional final, 5-1, behind another Hutnak hat trick. In the state final, Hutnak scored twice more to cap a mesmerizing nine-goal postseason and Greely downed Hermon, 6-0, to win a championship for the first time since 2002.
Yarmouth’s boys had to rally for a stirring overtime win over Maranacook in the regional final. The state game was a relatively easy victory by comparison and thanks to a Hollywood movie-type goal from Walter Conrad, who missed almost the whole season with an ankle injury, Yarmouth blanked Erskine Academy, 3-0, to win another title.
Football then took center stage, as Greely finally met its match against Marshwood in the semifinals and Marshwood came to Falmouth and avenged a regular season loss by eliminating the Yachtsmen and ending their finest-ever season in the regional final. In Western C, Yarmouth defeated Fryeburg Academy in the semifinals, but had to rally from 14 points down against Wells in the regional final and despite being without standout Cody Cook, rode the brilliance of Jack Snyder to a 17-14 win and a trip to the state final. There, the Clippers met their match in Winslow and fell one win shy of their goal, 24-10.
And with that, the fall season was over.
Winter has returned and the fun begins again.
In boys’ basketball, Falmouth, Greely and Yarmouth are all off to sizzling starts. Freeport, which didn’t win a game in 2014-15, earned a pair of early victories.
On the girls’ side, Greely once again looks like a title contender. Freeport has already eclipsed last year’s win total, Yarmouth is off to a promising start and Falmouth has been competitive as well.
On the ice, Greely’s girls look like they could win it all, unless Falmouth has something to say about that.
Falmouth and Yarmouth’s boys both have the look of teams that could go all the way.
Swimming and track teams and individuals are once again dominating and skiing is about to get underway, now that the snow has arrived.
Say goodbye to the wonderful year that was. We welcome 2016 and look forward to a new batch of highlights.
Happy New Year everyone!