Winter sports season was a lot of fun-Portland edition

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Michael Hatch and his Cheverus boys’ hockey teammates went all out this winter and got all the way to the Class A South Final.

Deering’s Ezra Chapola won the triple jump at last month’s Class A state indoor track and field meet.

Raven Bradenday was a top scorer for the Portland/Deering girls’ hockey team this winter.

Maine Girls’ Academy’s Ana Neff-Jendrasko had another superb season, winning the Class B breaststroke.

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

The winter sports season will be remembered for triumph and thrills.

On the ice, Cheverus’ boys’ hockey team reached the regional final, while Portland/Deering enjoyed its best season in over a decade. The Cheverus/Kennebunk/Old Orchard Beach and Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland co-op girls’ squads qualified for the postseason.

Cheverus’ boys’ swim team won yet another state title, highlighting the effort in the pool.

Indoor track produced hardware, while skiing and wrestling also garnered their share of excitement.

Here’s one last look at the winter sports season that was:

Winter team state champions

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

Winter individual state champions

Skiing
Annesley Black, Cheverus, Class A girls’ Alpine giant slalom
Willson Moore, Waynflete, Class C boys’ Nordic classical
Willson Moore, Waynflete, Class C boys’ Nordic freestyle 

Swimming
Nina Greenwood, Cheverus, Class A girls’ diving
Abby Longstaff, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 50 free
Abby Longstaff, Cheverus, Class A, girls’ 100 backstroke
Shane Moore, Cheverus, Class A boys’ 50 free
Shane Moore, Cheverus, Class A boys’ 100 free 
Ana Neff-Jendrasko, Maine Girls’ Academy, Class B girls’ 100 breaststroke 

Track
Emma Gallant, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 200
Emma Gallant, Cheverus, Class A girls’ 400
Ezra Chapola, Deering, Class A boys’ triple jump 

Wrestling
Zeb Leavitt, Cheverus, Class A, 275 pounds
Chris Solo, Deering, Class A, 126 pounds 

Michael’s Top Five Stories

5) Solid indoor track state meet showings

Highlights from this year’s Class A state indoor track and field meet included Deering’s Ezra Chapola setting a new school record in winning the boys’ triple jump (43 feet, 7.5 inches) and Cheverus freshman Emma Gallant capturing both the 200 (26.48 seconds) and the 400 (58.86). The Stags girls had the best team showing, finishing second to Scarborough. The Rams boys were third. 

4) Small but potent ski teams impress

City of Portland ski teams are generally small, but usually make the most of their limited numbers. That was again the case this winter, as Deering’s girls’ Nordic squad finished second in Class A and the Rams came in fifth and Portland sixth in the boys’ Nordic meet. Waynflete’s Willson Moore won the Class C boys’ classical and freestyle races. Cheverus didn’t score as a team in the Class A girls’ Alpine meet, but Annesley Black turned heads as an individual, taking first place in the giant slalom. 

3) A pair of wrestling champions

Cheverus’ Zeb Leavitt and Deering’s Chris Solo had no peer at the Class A wrestling state meet. Leavitt grappled his way to victory in the heavyweight division, while Solo was tops at 126 pounds.

2) Boys’ hockey teams go far

Both Cheverus and the Portland/Deering co-op squad enjoyed solid boys’ hockey seasons this winter. Portland/Deering earned its first home playoff game in nearly a decade and made the most of it, rallying to beat Massabesic/Old Orchard Beach/Bonny Eagle on Dom Tocci’s goal as time expired. Portland/Deering then gave top-ranked Falmouth a scare in its first semifinal appearance in 14 seasons before falling short. The Stags produced a solid regular season and finished second in Class A South before downing South Portland/Waynflete/Freeport in the quarterfinals and edging defending regional champion Scarborough in overtime in the semifinals. Cheverus took a 2-0 lead on Falmouth in the regional final, but ultimately fell a goal shy.

1) Cheverus boys’ swim team does it again

One constant ever winter since 2012 has been Cheverus’ boys’ swim team winning the Class A state title. The Stags held off Bangor and Brunswick to ascend to the top spot on the podium yet again. Shane Moore led the way with wins in the 50 and 100 freestyle and he joined Phineas Underwood, Quintin Hastings and Gustav Anderson on a first-place 200 freestyle relay team. Don’t bet against Cheverus’ run ending anytime soon.

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.