Winter sports season kept us warm with drama-Portland edition

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(Ed. Note: The basketball season was recapped in last week’s edition)

Sports excitement came in many forms this winter. There were dramatic finishes on the ice and transcendent individual and team performances in swimming, skiing, wrestling and indoor track.

In boys’ hockey, Cheverus got to the playoffs, then rallied from four-goals down to knock off Biddeford in the quarterfinals. The Stags’ run ended with a semifinal round loss to defending champion Scarborough.

On the girls’ side, Cheverus got to the semifinals, but proved to be no match for Falmouth. 

Cheverus’ boys’ swim team continued to set the bar, winning another Class A title, its fourth in succession. Several individuals from the city also turned heads on the biggest stage.

Deering’s boys had the most success in indoor track, with one athlete in particular rewriting the record book.

On the snow, several Alpine and Nordic skiers and their teams turned heads.

City wrestlers took aim at state titles as well, with Deering’s Michael Darling reaching the final of the heavyweight division before falling just short.

Here’s a last look back at the winter excitement that was.

Winter state champions–Portland edition

Cheverus Stags boys’ swimming, Class A
Portland Bulldogs boys’ basketball, Class AA

Winter regional champion–Portland edition

Waynflete Flyers boys’ basketball, Class C South

Winter individual state champions–Portland edition

Indoor track

Emily Turner, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 400
Paolo DeMarco, Deering, Class A boys’ 400

Swimming

Michael O’Donovan, Cheverus, Class A boys’ 200 freestyle
Michael O’Donovan, Cheverus, Class A boys’ 500 freestyle
Shane Moore, Cheverus, Class A boys’ 100 freestyle 
Abby Longstaff, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 50 freestyle
Abby Longstaff, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 100 backstroke
Caroline Arpin, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 100 breaststroke

Skiing

Brad Ravenelle, Portland, Class A boys’ Nordic freestyle

Michael’s top five stories

5) Rise of Portland/Deering girls’ hockey

After improving from no wins in 2013-14 to two a year ago, the Portland/Deering girls’ hockey team made an even bigger jump this winter. Led by standout senior captains Lauren McIntyre and Mia Thurston, Portland/Deering eclipsed last year’s win total by Jan. 2 and was in contention for a playoff berth as late as the regular season finale. In that game, against York, McIntyre suffered a season-ending knee injury and Portland/Deering fell short. Ultimately, the team won six games and served notice that it will be a playoff team very soon.

4) Cheverus hockey’s comeback heroics

Cheverus’ boys’ hockey team didn’t win as many games as hoped this winter, but the Stags took part in some absolutely breathtaking contests. On Jan. 21, Cheverus fell behind Portland/Deering, 6-2, in the third period of the “City Cup” and appeared to have no chance to win, but the Stags erupted for four goals to tie the game and sent it to overtime, where Jesse Pierce delivered the goal that produced an improbable 7-6 triumph. That excitement would be trumped a month and a day later in the Class A South quarterfinals. Hosting Biddeford, Cheverus spotted the Tigers four goals, but this time, a comeback was almost expected and sure enough, the Stags forced overtime again. There, Michael Hatch played the role of hero and Cheverus had its final victory of the season, as the Stags couldn’t rally in the semifinals and were ousted by Scarborough. What a ride it was.

3) Deering’s DeMarco has a transcendent track season

It was a memorable indoor track season at Deering. The Rams came in fourth in Class A at states, but there was much more to report, especially for a standout individual. Paolo DeMarco had a season to remember, taking the senior 200 and senior 400 and being named senior division meet MVP at Southwesterns, winning the 400 championship at states, placing sixth at New Englands in the 300 (35.62 seconds, a new school record), and then, after paying his own way, posting a time of 23.15 seconds, a new personal record, in the Emerging Elite 200 at Nationals. DeMarco was highly decorated during the regular season too, winning the Jim Daly Trophy as the league MVP. 

2) Skiing excellence in abundance

Skiing has a small presence in the city of Portland, but the quantity is lacking, the quality is excellent. In Class A, girls from Waynflete teamed up with Falmouth to win the Class A Alpine championship. Portland’s Brad Ravenelle raced his way to a first-place finish in the Class A Nordic freestyle. Waynflete’s Willson Moore won the conference title in the Nordic classic, then was Class C state runner-up in the classic and skate races. Moore wasn’t done when the state meets were finished, as he went on to capture the 5k classic at Maine’s selection race for the New England championships. That’s some high level excellence on the slopes and trails.

1) More glory in the pool for the Stags

While Cheverus’ boys’ swim team wasn’t able to win a fourth consecutive Southwesterns championship, the Stags did take home the hardware from the big meet, winning Class A for the fourth straight season. Cheverus was led by Michael O’Donovan, who won both the 200 and 500 freestyle. Shane Moore captured the 100 free title. The Stags also won the 200 free relay (as O’Donovan and Moore were joined by Jacob Griffin and Kevin Kane) and the 400 free relay (as Griffin, Kane and O’Donovan were joined by Ben Tompkins). To completely put this program’s excellence in perspective, consider that the Stags’ senior swimmers will graduate knowing nothing but state titles.

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

Sidebar Elements


Luke Trickey and his Cheverus teammates produced a lot of dramatic goals this season.

Lauren McIntyre and her Portland/Deering girls’ hockey teammates were very competitive this winter and just missed the playoffs.

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