Yarmouth Clippers Spring Sports Preview

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Coach: Marc Halsted (ninth year, 92-53 overall record)

2014 record: 9-9 (Lost, 4-0, to eventual state champion Greely in Western B quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Jordan Brown (Senior), Connor Lainey (Senior), C.J. Cawley (Junior), Cody Cook (Junior), Luke Klenda (Junior), Jack Snyder (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 27 @ Cape Elizabeth, April 29 @ Freeport, May 6 GREELY, May 9 @ Cape Elizabeth, May 20 FALMOUTH, May 22 YORK, May 27 FREEPORT, May 29 @ Falmouth

Coach’s comment: “We have 15 kids back from last year’s varsity team. Seven of our nine starters are back. We have a highly competitive group of juniors. Every one of them has a chance to start. It’s a nice problem to have. We want to win double digit games and make the playoffs. I think we’re a top eight team talent-wise.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Yarmouth is starting from a much better place this spring and will once again find itself near the top of the Western B standings. The Clippers eked out a 3-2 home win over Poland in the opener on a wild pitch. This season, like always, Yarmouth will make things happen on the basepaths and that usually leads to big things.

The Clippers’ top pitcher is Brown, who went 4-3 with a 3.98 earned run average in 2014. he throws strikes (44 strikeouts to just 13 walks a season ago) and will play outfield when he doesn’t pitch. Klenda is another starter. Juniors Andrew Kinsman and Conor O’Donnell will also see time, while Cook is the closer. Cook, who hit .400 with 15 steals last year during a second-team all-star season, will play short and Klenda (.395 with a team-high 16 RBI as a second-team all-star in 2014) is the cleanup hitter. Snyder is the catcher. He has a penchant for getting on base (.417 on base percentage last season). Cawley, Kinsman, Lainey and O’Donnell will also be critical components on offense.

Yarmouth will be competitive every time out, will pitch well, play steady defense and be fun to watch on offense. Look for this team to improve on last year’s win total and be a top threat come playoff time.


Coach: Amy Ashley (third year, 20-16 overall record)

2014 record: 11-7 (Lost, 9-8, to Cape Elizabeth in Western B semifinals)

Top returning players: Kallie Hutchinson (Senior), Michelle Robichaud (Senior), Mari Cooper (Junior), Eleanor O’Gorman (Junior), Cat Thompson (Junior), Andrea St. Pierre (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 27 CAPE ELIZABETH, May 1 @ Fryeburg, May 4 @ Gray-NG, May 6 GREELY, May 13 @ Poland, May 20 FALMOUTH, May 29 @ Falmouth

Coach’s comment: “Losing four amazing seniors is tough, but this group is ready to work. We have a strong returning group and all of our pitchers are back. All three have a year of varsity experience under their belt and we’ll look to them to use what they learned from last year’s ups and downs. Behind our pitchers, we have returning players, but most of them are in new positions. We have options everywhere, which as coaches, is all we can ask for. Our two seniors will need to step up and lead this team and so far, they’re doing a great job. We have varsity experience, it will just take time to learn our new positions and gain confidence. Last year’s playoff loss has really motivated us to work even harder. We hope to play our best softball late in the season and build on what we accomplished last year.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Yarmouth was as exciting a team that you could possible ask for at the end of last season. The Clippers closed on a six-game win streak, then beat defending regional champion Greely in the quarterfinals. Yarmouth then had undefeated, top-ranked Cape Elizabeth on the ropes in the semifinals, but saw the Capers rally to break their hearts. While four key players, most notably all-stars Monica Austin and Melissa Levinson, departed, the returning group shows a lot of promise and Ashley will get the most out of her charges.

The Clippers have three solid pitchers starting with Cooper, who had a 7-5 record with a 3.22 earned run average in 2014. Thompson and St. Pierre (3.65 ERA) will get the job done in their time on the hill. Thompson and Cooper both pitched well in a season-opening 11-4 win at Cape Elizabeth, which somewhat avenged the playoff gutwrencher. Yarmouth boasts several offensive threats. Hutchinson, the catcher, figures to hit for more power. She was a second-team all-star last spring and tripled in the opener Thursday. Robichaud, the second baseman, had three doubles against Cape Elizabeth and can do a little of everything. St. Pierre had three hits in the first game. O’Gorman (.341 average in 2014) plays first base and the outfield and Thompson, who plays first base when she’s not pitching, is coming off a campaign which saw her hit .304 with two home runs. Three newcomers, junior infielder Tori Messina, junior outfielder Jen Dubois and freshman catcher Cate Ralph, will make an immediate impact.

There isn’t a heavy preseason favorite in Western B and if Yarmouth can get steady offensive production and play consistent defense, it should find itself primed for another deep playoff run. This time, the Clippers might just finish the job.


Coach: David Pearl (fourth year, 31-16 overall record)

2014 record: 10-6 (Lost 6-3, to Cape Elizabeth in Class B state final)

Top returning players: Garrett Flanagan (Senior), Connor Hoehle (Senior), Sam Morris (Senior), Henry Oliva (Senior), Joe Oliva (Senior), Tim Pietropaoli (Senior), Sam Rouda (Senior), Ricky Tillotson (Junior), Jack Venden (Junior), Bill Jacobs (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 28 @ Cape Elizabeth, May 1 GREELY, May 9 BRUNSWICK, May 12 NYA, May 15 @ South Portland, May 19 @ Falmouth, May 27 @ Kennebunk, May 29 CAPE ELIZABETH, June 3 @ NYA

Coach’s comment: “We have a really good group. They’re working hard and growing fast. It’s a coach’s dream. We’re pleased to return a veteran bunch on defense. Players are emerging on offense. We come into every game and every season feeling like we can beat anyone. If we find ourselves and forge our identity, we expect to be in the hunt for a state championship.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Last season, Yarmouth fell one win shy of a crown for the second year in a row. This spring, the Clippers are the favorite in Eastern B again, but once again, the specter of having to beat the Cape Elizabeth juggernaut in the final game of the season looms.

Yarmouth appears to be solid in goal and on defense again. The Clippers need to find a way to consistently produce goals against the top teams in the state. Hoehle, a captain, is back in goal. He’s primed for a strong final campaign. On defense, Henry Oliva, who missed most of 2014 with a knee injury, is back and will be a captain, along with Rouda (an honorable mention all-star last year). Flanagan and Venden are other defenders of note. The offense will be paced by Joe Oliva (who had 18 goals during a second-team all-star campaign last season), Jacobs, Morris and Pietorpaoli. Tillotson takes faceoffs. Sophomores Matt Dostie and Anders Neuberg can get the job done in the midfield. Yarmouth handled visiting York in Thursday’s opener, 17-2, as Joe Oliva went off for seven goals. Matt Beatty and Will Garrett hinted that they’ll be key cogs in the offense as both scored three times.

The Clippers will be tested by just about everyone on their schedule, but that will make this group battle tested by June. This program measures itself by what happens in the playoffs. A third straight trip to the state game appears likely. Can Yarmouth develop its offense to the point where it can dethrone Cape Elizabeth? It won’t come easily, but don’t underestimate this squad.


Coach: Dorothy Holt (11th year, 110-36 overall record, four state championships)

2014 record: 13-2 (Beat Cape Elizabeth, 13-10, to win Class B state championship)

Top returning players: Mary Coyne (Senior), Shannon Fallon (Senior), Sarah Meyers (Senior), Lane Simsarian (Senior), Caitlin Teare (Senior), Emma Torres (Senior), Lauren Bartlett (Junior), Sophia Harrison (Junior), Lilly Watson (Junior), Mary Kate Gunville (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: May 2 @ Freeport, May 5 KENNEBUNK, May 15 SCARBOROUGH, May 21 GREELY, May 26 @ Waynflete, May 29 CAPE ELIZABETH, June 4 @ NYA

Coach’s comment: “We’ll turn the page. We have big shoes to fill, but I think we’ll do it. We’ll be challenged every single game. Everyone knows it’s really hard to win a championship, but that’s where we want to be. Our offense will be more balanced this year. We’ll be more diverse and use our strengths. I have younger players to watch and with the senior leadership they’re getting, it’s going to be awesome.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Yarmouth got an immediate reminder of how tough it will be to repeat when it was beaten by visiting Falmouth in Thursday’s opener, 14-9. That would be cause for concern for some programs, but Yarmouth isn’t phased by slow starts. The Clippers dropped last year’s opener at Scarborough, then won 10 in a row. This squad has the type of talent that can dominate again. It will just take a little while to replace the likes of two-time Spring Female Athlete of the Year Grace O’Donnell (62 goals in 2014) and defensive stalwarts Abby Belisle-Haley and Julia Primeau.

This year’s squad will be more balanced offensively. Watson excelled in the opener, scoring four times. Fallon, who had a breakout junior campaign, which earned her second-team all-star recognition, hinted at more dominance when she scored three times against the Yachtsmen. The onslaught will continue behind first-team all-star Simsarian, honorable mention all-star Torres, Teare, Harrison and sophomore Ella Antolini. Bartlett, Coyne, Meyers and junior Campbell Dorsett are the top defenders in front of Gunville, who had a stellar freshman campaign. Four sophomores: Gretchen Barbera, Cory Langenbach, Eliza Lunt and Katie Waeldner, all project to play bigger roles.

Yarmouth is fine tuning its game in Florida over vacation week and should be vastly improved when it returns to countable play. The Clippers wear a bulls-eye, but will wear it well. By June, the road to the Eastern B title will likely go through Yarmouth. Again. A repeat crown won’t come easily, but it wouldn’t be the least bit shocking it if happens.


Coach: Mike Griffin (second year)

2014 results:

(Boys) 12th @ Class C state meet 
(Girls) Tie-5th @ Class C state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Sam Gerken (Senior), Gaelon Kolczynski (Senior), Cote Sawyer (Senior), Darren Shi (Senior), Tucker Whitney (Sophomore)
(Girls) Meaghan Gorman (Senior), Simone Laverdiere (Senior), Molly Walsh (Senior), Emma Egan (Junior), Abby Condon (Sophomore), Johanna Hatten (Sophomore)

Top foes: Falmouth, Greely, York

Coach’s comment: “Being in Class C this year, our hopes are high. The boys are led by the senior ‘big three’ of Gerken, Kolczynski and Shi, who had a successful indoor season. They’re supported by freshman distance talent Luke Laverdiere. The goal is to set to personal bests throughout the season and to perform well at the Western Maine Conference and state meets. We have a talented supporting cast to help with balance and depth. The girls are led by the talents of Emma Egan, an emerging talent in freshman Anneka Murrin and a great distance group, along with throwers. The team hopes to qualify many for the state meet. The potential to score points in different events will lead to a high place.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Both Yarmouth outdoor track teams have reason for optimism entering the season.

The boys return reigning Class C shot put champion Shi, who will also look to score points in the discus. Gerken also scored last year, placing sixth in the 800. He can compete in the middle distance or distance races. Kolczynski is a top sprinter. Sawyer will throw the shot put and Whitney is the top jumper. The top addition is Laverdiere, who will be a top threat in the distance. Classmate Tahj Garvey is a sprinter to watch. This group will build on the success from last year and the indoor season and will be in the hunt for a solid finish at the postseason meets. A top 10 finish isn’t out of the question.

On the girls’ side, Egan is coming off an outdoor season which saw her score all 28 of her team’s points, which helped Yarmouth finish in a fifth-place tie. Egan, the school’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, is hoping to win titles in the sprints and jumps. Walsh will compete in the hurdles. Laverdiere is a top distance threat. Condon, Gorham and Hatten look to score in the throws. The addition of freshman Anneka Murrin is a pleasant one. She’ll be a threat in the middle distance and distance. Sophomores Grace Cowles (distance), Abby Hamilton (distance) and Julia Bailinson (jumps) will also be heard from. The Clippers cover the events well and have the ability to once again be among the top teams in the conference and the state.


Coach: Mark Marstaller (17th year, one state championship)

2014 record: 11-4 (Lost, 5-0, to eventual state champion Cape Elizabeth in Western B Final)

Top returning players: Ben Vigue (Senior), Henry Becker (Junior), Devin Shields-Auble (Junior)

Pivotal matches: April 28 @ Falmouth, May 20 @ Waynflete, May 26 CAPE ELIZABETH

Coach’s comment: “During each of the last three years, I lost at least four of my starting seven. We were able to make it to the Western Maine Finals last year with a couple tennis players and several athletes who chose to pick up tennis for fun. This year, I’m hoping our team comes together, develops tennis skill and ends with the same result. I expect we’ll have a hard time as we’re developing skills with limited practice. What matters is how long it takes us to develop playing skills. With the right playoff seeding, we could again reach the Western Maine Final.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Yarmouth could be the team best equipped to derail Cape Elizabeth, but it won’t come easily.

Becker will move up from doubles and will likely be in the first singles spot. Shields-Auble and Vigue are also in the hunt for top spots. Sophomores Jackson Clarke and Andrei Lougovstov come up from junior varsity and four newcomers, juniors Walter Conrad (the erstwhile lacrosse standout) and Henry Jones and freshmen Hunter Harrington and Sam Potter, could get an opportunity.

The Clippers will have to navigate a tough regular season slate with enough wins to make it to the playoffs. If they get there, look out.


Coach: Ann Harradon (19th year, four state championships)

2014 record: 6-8 (Lost, 5-0, to eventual state champion Greely in Western B quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Emily Parker (Senior), Morgan Hamre (Junior), Danielle Laverdiere (Junior), Makenzie Sheehan (Junior)

Pivotal matches: April 28 FALMOUTH, May 11 NYA, May 12 @ Greely, May 14 @ NYA, May 15 GREELY, May 20 WAYNFLETE, May 26 @ Cape Elizabeth

Coach’s comment: “We have four returning players and some new players, but I don’t know yet where they will be playing. We should make a strong showing in the playoffs again this year.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Yarmouth missed the playoffs in 2013, but returned to form last season. This year’s group should be playoff-caliber and could make a run at the regional crown with powerhouse Falmouth still playing in Class A for the postseason.

The Clippers return Hamre, Laverdiere, Parker and Sheehan. They’ll vie for singles positions. Several other new girls will look to step in and make an immediate impact and if that happens, Yarmouth should post a winning record. The Clippers are up for the challenge and should be in for a very good year.

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

Jordan Brown is a top returning pitcher for Yarmouth’s baseball team, which is once again eyeing the playoffs.

Jack Snyder is back behind the plate for the Clippers.

Mari Cooper will be a top pitcher for a Yarmouth softball squad which should be among the best in Western Class B.

Cat Thompson looks to pitch and hit Yarmouth to great things this season.

Senior Michelle Robichaud will be a key contributor to the Clippers’ success this spring.

Connor Hoehle is back in goal for a Yarmouth boys’ lacrosse team seeking to get back to states and finish the job.

Henry Oliva is healthy and will be a force for the Clippers.

Bill Jacobs had a solid freshman season and will play a key role for the Clippers.

Senior Joe Oliva had 18 goals in 2014 and already has seven in 2015.

Look for senior Shannon Fallon to score a lot of goals for the defending champs this spring.

Senior Lane Simsarian is back for her fourth varsity season.

Senior Emma Torres does it all for the Clippers.

Junior Lilly Watson will be a much bigger part of Yarmouth’s offense this season.

Mary Kate Gunville had a standout freshman season and is back between the pipes for the Clippers.

Emma Egan is a standout in several outdoor track events. Don’t be surprised if she wins one or more state titles.

Sidebar Elements

Last spring, Yarmouth ran roughshod on Class B, winning its first state title in four years. This season, the Clippers are back for more.

File photos.

More photos below.

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