Senior captain Walter Conrad is healed from an ankle injury and is looking to add a hockey state title to the one he just captured in soccer. Yarmouth should be one of the last teams standing in Class B South.
More photos below.
COACH: Adam Smith (12th year, 135-81 overall record, one state championship)
2014-15 record: 16-4 (Lost, 52-50, to Lake Region in Western B semifinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: CJ Cawley (Senior), Bailey Darling (Senior), Joey Fortin (Senior), Musseit M’Bareck (Senior), Conor O’Donnell (Senior), Devin Shields-Auble (Senior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 8 LAKE REGION, Dec. 11 @ Waynflete, Dec. 15 @ Greely, Dec. 18 @ Maranacook, Jan. 2 LINCOLN, Jan. 5 GREELY, Jan. 22 CAPE ELIZABETH, Jan. 29 @ Falmouth, Feb. 2 @ Lake Region
COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re getting used to each other. I like our defense. What we lack in team speed, we’ll make up for on the glass. We have more kids willing to pull the trigger this year. Cody (Cook) can’t be replaced, but we’ll formulate a team around what’s left. Our aspirations are still very high. I think we should be a tournament-contending team. We hope to make shots and come into our own at the end.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Yarmouth has been to the playoffs a program-record nine straight seasons, but last year’s ouster left a sour taste in the Clippers’ mouths. Yarmouth then lost standout Adam LaBrie to graduation and on the eve of the new season, lost senior standout Cody Cook, a second-team league all-star in 2014-15, for the year when he hurt his knee in the football regional final. Even with those absences, there are many reasons to believe that the Clippers will make a run at glory again.
Yarmouth has a senior core which has been in a lot of big games, not just on the basketball court, but in other sports as well. M’Bareck is entering his third season as the point guard. He’ll look to pick up some of the scoring slack as well. Darling could score some points from his guard position. Shields-Auble is a guard/forward hybrid who looks to make a mark. The Clippers’ frontcourt has the potential to be absolutely dominating. For starters, Fortin (coming off a great football season), Cawley and O’Donnell (who played a key role on a soccer state champion) return. Sophomore Nolan Hagerty, who stands 6-foot-5, is going to play a much bigger role after breaking out and turning heads during last year’s tournament. Then you mix in 6-7 junior Alecsandar Medenica, a transfer student from Serbia, and most teams will have no way to match up as it isn’t traditional for Yarmouth to boast such size.
If the Clippers are able to generate consistent offense by hitting outside shots as well as relying on their big men, they’ll be a very tough team to beat. Yarmouth is in the new Class B South and will face a mixture of traditional rivals and new foes like Lincoln Academy and Maranacook. The Clippers should post another winning record and should be in good position come playoff time to make a run at finishing what last year’s team started. This team will be a lot of fun to watch. That’s a certainty.
COACH: Christina Strong (third year, 11-25 overall record)
2014-15 record: 7-11 (No postseason)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Aizhan Gwynne (Senior), Sarah Kirk (Senior), Alison Clark (Junior), Johanna Hattan (Junior), Cory Langenbach (Junior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 8 LAKE REGION, Dec. 11 WAYNFLETE, Dec. 15 @ Greely, Jan. 5 GREELY, Jan. 22 @ Cape Elizabeth, Jan. 26 GRAY-NG, Jan. 29 FALMOUTH, Feb. 2 @ Lake Region
COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re going to be more disciplined this year. We’re changing our defensive strategy because we’re taller. Our defense will win games for us. I think we’ll shoot better than last year. We’re working on our halfcourt offense. I think we can play with anyone. It’s a very coachable team. I’m optimistic.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Yarmouth has improved steadily the past couple seasons under Strong, going from one win in 2012-13 to four, then to seven and just missing the playoffs last winter. This season, the Clippers are young again and will have to replace last year’s point guard, Sara D’Appolonia, who isn’t playing basketball this winter. Yarmouth has a lot of potential, but just how quickly that potential turns into victory will determine the Clippers’ fate.
Langenbach, a terrific athlete with great court sense, will step into the point guard role this season. She can score as well. Another top returner is Clark, who is coming off a terrific volleyball season. She’ll look to be a factor in the post along with Hattan, a three-year varsity player. Freshman Clementine Blaschke also shows promise. Freshman Claire Brady is a guard/forward who will help put the ball in the basket. Gwynne and sophomores Jessica Kirk and Sophie McGrath also look to score. Sarah Kirk and junior Isabel Bates are other guards to watch. Yarmouth will be well coached and will play tenaciously at both ends of the floor.
The Clippers will be a work in progress, but there’s reason for optimism. If this group comes of age quickly, it will compete with just about everyone and win its share of games. Yarmouth will be hard pressed to make the playoffs in a new look, tough region, but don’t count out this plucky bunch. Whatever the Clippers accomplish this winter will serve as a promising building block for future success.
COACH: Dave St. Pierre (fifth year, 40-33-5 overall record)
2014-15 record: 11-8-1 (Lost, 3-2, in overtime, to Gorham in Western B semifinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Walter Conrad (Senior), Patrick Grant (Senior), Noah Grondin (Senior), Bill Jacobs (Junior), Anders Newberg (Junior), Chris Romano (Junior), Cooper May (Sophomore)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 8 GORHAM, Dec. 12 @ Kennebunk, Dec. 17 @ Cheverus, Dec. 21 @ Cape Elizabeth, Jan. 16 @ Greely, Jan. 18 @ Gorham, Jan. 23 YORK, Feb. 2 @ Falmouth, Feb. 13 GREELY, Feb. 15 CAPE ELIZABETH
COACH’S COMMENT: “I expect we will have similar results to last year. With our inexperience and early injuries we may start slow, but I’m impressed with our hockey IQ and our leadership is off the charts with captains Walt, Pat and Noah. All three are incredible young men that are well-suited to lead this group to success. Assuming health, we hope to be a team no one wants to face come playoff time. I see another year of deep parity. There are five or six teams that can make a case for winning the regional crown. It should be another fun year of very competitive hockey.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Yarmouth provided a lot of excitement a year ago, reaching the semifinals before falling in an overtime heartbreaker, a performance which earned St. Pierre Coach of the Year honors. Now 14 years removed from their last state title, this group of Clippers is primed to wake up the echoes.
The three captains all figure to light the lamp often. Grant, a forward and honorable mention all-star in 2014-15 after scoring eight goals and adding 14 assists, is speedy and tenacious. Grondin, a forward, who had seven goals and seven assists last season, will look to add to those numbers. Conrad, a defenseman and reigning first-team all-star as well as Defenseman of the Year, is recovered from the ankle injury which limited his time during soccer. He has a potent shot from the blue line and scored eight goals and added 14 assists last season. He’ll not only tickle the twine, but also do his best to frustrate the opposition. May, a forward, who made the All-Rookie team and was an honorable mention all-star last year, had nine goals and 18 assists in 2014-15 and led the team in scoring as a freshman. He’s still recovering from a knee injury, but is expected to contribute sooner rather than later. Mix in centers Jacobs (6 goals, 4 assists) and Romano (2 goals, 4 assists) and Newberg (6 assists), another defenseman, along with sophomore forward Joe Truesdale and freshman forward Sam Marjerison, and Yarmouth has the ability to score with abandon. Conrad and Newberg will be aided on defense by junior Owen Ramsay, who say limited time a year ago. Sophomore Dan Latham will be the starter in goal. He’s backed up by sophomore Greg Kamra.
The Clippers will be tested virtually every time out by a daunting schedule, but this group has what it takes to take the next step. If Yarmouth can stay healthy, it will be in position to be a high seed for the playoffs and from there, anything is possible. This could be the season the Clippers are finally able to add another number to their championship banner.
GIRLS’ ICE HOCKEY
COACH: Meghan Vaughan (first year)
2014-15 record: 11-8-1 (Lost, 4-0, to eventual state champion Lewiston in East Region semifinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Keeley Arnold (Senior), Jenny Holmquist (Senior), Colleen Sullivan (Senior), Katie Clemmer (Junior), Kelsey Meyer (Junior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 9 @ Falmouth, Dec. 21 SCARBOROUGH, Jan. 2 EL/LEAVITT, Jan. 9 @ Greely, Jan. 23 GREELY, Jan. 27 @ Lewiston
COACH’S COMMENT: “We have a short bench this season, but we’re a team full of heart. I hope to see improvement every game from all the players and to have a team that has strong chemistry and leaves everything they have on the ice each and every game after representing themselves with passion and good sportsmanship. I’d like to finish the season with a strong record and see my older players emerge as leaders both on and off the ice.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Yarmouth, which again includes players from Freeport and Gray-New Gloucester, has been very competitive the past couple seasons and this winter, the Clippers expect more of the same under new Vaughan, who played at Greely, Hebron Academy and the University of Southern Maine and coached previously with the Falmouth Middle School program. She’s assisted by Liz Bergstrom and Beth Fulton. Yarmouth was 2-3 at press time, beating Cape Elizabeth (9-5) and Mt. Ararat (8-0) and losing to St. Dom’s (12-1), Lewiston (11-0) and Leavitt/EL (5-2).
Clemmer, Holmquist and Meyer all have produced multiple goal games this season. Arnold and Sullivan are also top scoring threats. Holmquist anchors the defense. Meyer also sees time on that side of the ice and a pair of newcomers, senior Maddie Wilkes and Kyaira Grondin, provide depth. Senior Miranda O’Shea is new in goal and is receiving trial by fire.
Yarmouth will might struggle against the elite teams, but should be able to hold its own against the rest of the squads on its schedule. If all goes well, the Clippers will make another run at a winning record and should get back to the playoffs. Yarmouth will play a pleasing style and will give its fans a lot to get excited about in the weeks to come.
COACH: Christie Orcutt (first year)
(BOYS) Tie-12th @ Class B state meet
(GIRLS) 10th @ Class B state meet
(BOYS) Tucker Whitney (Junior), Luke Laverdiere (Sophomore)
(GIRLS) Emma Egan (Senior)
COACH’S COMMENT: “I hope to have a growing season. I’m looking for committed attendance and open-mindedness while training for versatility with the team ‘vision’ in mind, which means we move where we need to and acquire new skills along the way. I also have hopes for a solid cross-training and conditioning program that hits all elements of fitness and sport specific training and promotes not only run and jump performance but injury prevention. I would like to see us place in the same spot, if not higher than last season, competing with ourselves to be better each meet than the one before and seeking out community or training experiences that makes us better people and athletes.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The competitive Yarmouth track program welcomes a new coach this winter in Orcutt, a former wrestler and track athlete, who is a personal trainer and exercise physiologist. She takes over a team long on promise.
The boys return Laverdiere (fourth in the two-mile at last year’s state meet), Whitney (a top long jump threat) and Ian Murrin (a thrower to watch). Cole Buchanan is a newcomer who can score points in the sprints or jumps. This group will steadily improve and should be capable of scoring some points in February.
On the girls’ side, Egan, Yarmouth’s reigning Winter Female Athlete of the Year, is the top returner. Egan set a new record in winning the high jump last winter and also placed second in the long jump and third in the 55. She’ll score an abundance of points again. Junior Abigail Hamilton and sophomore Anneka Murrin, members of the Clippers cross country state championship team, are new to indoor track and will be heard from in distance races. Four freshmen, Kim Fuller (sprints, jumps), Zoe Hardell (hurdles), Paige Reinfelder (middle distance, pole vault) and Sophie Walsh (hurdles), will also make some noise. Look for the Clippers to post a top 10 state meet finish for the third year in a row.
COACH: Lenora Felker (third year)
(BOYS) 10th @ Class B state meet
(GIRLS) 8th @ Class B state meet
(BOYS) Paul McNeil (Senior), Jack Snyder (Senior), Charlie Keefe (Junior), Camden Thaxter (Junior)
(GIRLS) Cara Ricciardi (Senior), Eliza Lunt (Junior), Amanda Murray (Junior)
COACH’S COMMENT: “We hope to keep the Yarmouth tradition of having great sportsmanship, great academics, enjoying what we do and having head-turning results when it counts. We may be small, but we make an impact.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Yarmouth’s swim teams have consistently scored in the top 10 at states and that should continue this winter.
The boys are led by Snyder, Yarmouth’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, who was ninth in the 50 free and joined Thaxter on a seventh-place 200 freestyle relay team a year ago. Snyder will be a top threat in the butterfly and freestyle. Thaxter swims the freestyle and breaststroke. Also returning are Keefe (breaststroke, freestyle, individual medley) and McNeil (freestyle). Junior Drew Michaud, a Freeport swimmer competing with the Clippers, swims the IM, fly and freestyle. Look for this group to be strong all season and be a force to be reckoned with in the postseason.
On the girls’ side, Lunt leads the way. She was third in the 50 free and third in the breaststroke last winter. She’ll also swim the IM. Murray and Ricciardi scored in the 200 free relay and the medley relay last season. Murray, a captain, will take part in the fly, freestyle and IM and Ricciardi, the other captain, swims the backstroke and freestyle. Some newcomers add depth and promise. Senior Eleanor O’Connor (freestyle, backstroke), junior Calista McLaughlin (freestyle, fly, IM), sophomore Natalie Bourassa (freestyle, breaststroke) and freshman Kara Murray (IM, fly, breaststroke) will soon make their presence felt. Expect some big things from Lunt and another strong showing from the Clippers as a team.
(BOYS) 3rd @ Class B state meet
(GIRLS) Class B combined state champions
COACH: Jill Thomas (first year)
(BOYS) 3rd @ Class B state meet
(GIRLS) 3rd @ Class B state meet
(BOYS) Jack Diggins (Senior), George Jutrus (Junior)
(GIRLS) Anna Bouton (Senior), Hannah Van Alstine (Junior), Greta Elder (Sophomore), Cate Ralph (Sophomore), Emilia Ruth (Sophomore)
COACH’S COMMENT: “Considering the season we had last year and with the new blood we have, I’m expecting our girls’ team could do very well. I’d be very surprised if we don’t come out on top consistently throughout the season. We have a lot of new racers, so my hope is to give them tools to help them learn about ski racing and how to prepare for a race.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: After yet another strong season, Yarmouth’s Alpine program welcomes a new coach, one who is very familiar in Clipper-land. Thomas has been a longtime girls’ lacrosse assistant and has assisted with the ski program as well. She inherits a program ready to make a run at the top spot in Class B.
The boys are led by Diggins, who came in ninth in the slalom last year at states. Jutrus also has experience. Freshmen Benjamin Pearl and Griffin Primeau will quickly make their presence felt. Look for the Clippers to be competitive throughout the regular season and to be one of the very best teams at the state meet again.
On the girls’ side, Elder returns after winning the giant slalom and coming in fifth in the slalom last year. Bouton (seventh in the slalom) also returns. Also vying for top spots will be Ralph, Ruth and Van Alstine, along with new seniors and top athletes Lauren Bartlett and Campbell Dorsett and freshman Emily Glass. This group will make a run at a championship. Don’t bet against it.
COACH: Bob Morse (34th year)
(BOYS) 3rd @ Class B state meet
(GIRLS) Class B state champions
(BOYS) Ethan Humphries (Junior), Joseph Inger (Junior), John Lane (Junior)
(GIRLS) Lucy Alexander (Senior), Emma Glessner (Senior), Meredith Hawkins (Senior), Lydia Sullivan (Senior), Gretchen Barbera (Junior), Abby Condon (Junior), Grace Cowles (Junior), Tessa Houston (Junior), Hannah Corey (Sophomore), Sophia Laukli (Sophomore), Anneka Murrin (Sophomore)
COACH’S COMMENT: “The boys will be hard-pressed to crack the top three teams in Class B, Caribou, Freeport and Maranacook. This year, we’ll focus on developing classic and skate techniques. The team is young and building. The girls will work hard to defend their seventh title in a row against strong teams from Caribou, Freeport and Maranacook.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Yarmouth’s Nordic ski juggernaut rolls on and foes will have much to contend with again this winter.
The girls have won seven straight state titles and are in good hands this year behind Cowles (fourth in the classic and fifth in the skate), Laukli (seventh in the classic and 10th in the skate as a freshman) and Alexander (a captain, who was sixth in the skate and eighth in the classic). Glessner, Hawkins and Sullivan are the other captains. Barbera, Condon, Corey, Houston and Murrin are other returners who will look to make their mark. Several others are waiting their chances. Depth will not be a problem. The Clippers will be tested by many teams, but when all is said and done, don’t be surprised if this group finds itself atop the podium once more.
On the boys’ side, Lane returns and defends his Class B freestyle title (he also placed third in the classic last year). Humphries and Inger return and an abundance of sophomores and freshman are awaiting their turn. Look for Yarmouth to steadily improve in the weeks to come and be a very dangerous squad come February.
Senior Musseit M’Bareck is back for his third season as Yarmouth’s point guard as the Clippers look to win the Class B title.
Sophomore Nolan Hagerty made his presence felt during Yarmouth’s tournament run and will be tough to stop this winter.
Junior Alison Clark is coming off a terrific volleyball season and hopes to have a similar impact in basketball.
Jessica Kirk showed glimpses as a freshman and hopes to score some points this winter.
Junior Cory Langenbach is a seasoned veteran for Yarmouth’s girls’ basketball team and will be a key part of the Clippers’ success.
Senior captain Patrick Grant will be tough to stop this season.
Senior captain Keeley Arnold is a key playmaker for a Yarmouth girls’ hockey team seeking another trip to the playoffs.
Junior Katie Clemmer is close to unstoppable and will put the puck in the net often this season.