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Medomak’s Perez-Marsa gains semi

Sport:   Posted: June 1st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Singles champions to be crowned today
By Ernie Clark
BDN Staff

LEWISTON, Maine — An exchange student from northern Spain will represent eastern and northern Maine in Monday’s state singles tennis championships at the Wallach Tennis Center on the campus of Bates College.

Joaquin Perez-Marsa, a junior at Medomak Valley of Waldoboro from the Spanish province of Cantabria, easily advanced through the round of 16 and quarterfinals Saturday to earn a semifinal berth against two-time defending state champion and top-seeded Mike Hill, a senior from Mount Ararat of Topsham.

Hill, who has not lost a set since losing to Hampden Academy’s Eliot Potvin in the 2006 state final, is seeking to become the first Maine schoolboy player to win three consecutive state titles since Eric Blakeman of North Yarmouth Academy won four in a row between 1987 and 1990.

“I’ve seen him play,” said Perez-Marsa. “He’s very good, but I will just go out and give it my best.”

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Bapst sweeps PVC ‘C’ crowns

Sport:   Posted: June 1st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Fogler, MA’s Pelkey top performers
From Staff Reports

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Purple and white again reigned supreme over the Penobscot Valley Conference Class C track and field championships at Oakes Field.

John Bapst of Bangor swept the team titles for the second consecutive year, with the girls winning comfortably and the boys dramatically.

The John Bapst boys edged Central of Corinth 86-83 while Foxcroft was third with 70. Dexter and Bucksport tied for fourth with 47 points.

The Crusaders defeated Orono 179-140 in the girls competition, while Mattanawcook of Lincoln was third in the 15-school field with 59 points, Fort Kent fourth with 50 and Foxcroft fifth with 40.

Outstanding performer honors went to Mattanawcook’s Hillary Pelkey in the girls meet and John Bapst’s Chris Fogler in the boys competition.
Flaherty is eligible for the MLB draft this June for the first time, and lately he's been busy fielding phone calls and e-mails from several big league clubs. The Seattle Mariners, New York Yankees, and San Francisco Giants have all sent scouts to at least one Deering game this spring. The Yankees and Giants went to the Rams' game at Scarborough in early May and set up video cameras to record that classic lefty swing during pregame batting practice. They picked a good day, Flaherty launched a towering blast over the rightfield fence that bounced in the street and made its way to the parking lot across the way before rolling to a stop. The blast, like a Hollywood producer after that perfect take, was one of those "that's a wrap" type shots for scouts on the scene. They left after Flaherty's first at-bat of the game. He was intentionally walked.

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This is a baseball story about Regan Flaherty

Sport: Baseball  Posted: June 1st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Eric Carson

Regan Flaherty is one of the good guys.

A fine young man indeed, with several characteristics that will most certainly help him as he shuffles through this thing called life. But these are the sports pages of the Portland Forecaster, and this is a story about a young prospect lighting out to carve his own little place in this game we call baseball.

Between the white lines, the Flaherty baseball story begins and ends with one thing: his smooth, yet powerful, left-handed swing. It's one of those skills that just can't be taught. Sure, he can work on it, refine it, and he does, but for the most part he was born with it. Now 18, the Deering High School senior already stands 6-foot-2 and tips the scales at 190 pounds, and with some serious pedigree in the sport, he's begun to make some noise on a national scale in this game he so dearly loves.

Last summer, Flaherty stepped out beneath that ancient white frieze at the real Yankee Stadium and impressed enough to earn a spot on the East Coast Showcase team, a gathering of the top 30 high school players each year in Lakeland, Fla. That led to a spot on the Area Code team, where Flaherty raked, driving in a pair with a bases-loaded single in his first at-bat with over 200 scouts on hand at Long Beach State University in Southern California.

And as the hits and accomplishments, both team and individual, continue to pile up for Flaherty, he's begun to inch ever closer to realizing the most ultimate of American boyhood dreams, a shot at someday digging his spikes into a Major League Baseball batters box.

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Putting the squeeze on

Sport: Baseball  Posted: June 1st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Randy Whitehouse
Staff Writer
Monday, June 1, 2009

More than ever, high school baseball teams in Maine are buying into the old adage that baseball is a game of inches.

The squeeze play, whether utilized in "safety" or "suicide" form, is an increasingly popular way for teams to maximize every inch on the diamond. Combining strategy, timing, baserunning and bat control, it is the pet play of baseball purists and the pet peeve of unsuspecting defenses.

And all it requires is a runner at third base and a bat meeting the ball.

"The suicide squeeze is seemingly being used more than ever in high school baseball," Lewiston coach Todd Cifelli said. "When it's executed effectively, it's one of the prettiest plays in baseball. When something goes wrong, it's the proverbial joke cigar blowing up in your face."

St. Dom's appeared in four straight Class C state championship games this decade, winning two, following the premise that all it takes to change an inning, a game, or even a season, is a ball rolling in front of home plate.

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MBR 'Extend the Season' basketball tourney

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: May 31st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Ron Hawkes

HAMPDEN — It may be getting close to summer, but with the weather we have been having one would think it was early spring, still a good time for some exciting hoops action.

Saturday was the opening day of the MBR.ORG 'Extend the Season' basketball tourney for AAU, YBOA and Travel teams at Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden.

The tourney was promoted by MBR.ORG and Mark Leclerc and was a fundraiser for the MBR 15U girls basketball team coached by Kenrick Liburd.


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Click to view 100's of photos from Saturday action

Vikings shake off Eddies

Sport: Softball  Posted: May 31st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Kevin Mills,  Staff Writer
Sunday, May 31, 2009
SOUTH PARIS - Kristy Jurczak might have thought she'd have a lazy and relaxing day at the softball field Saturday.

The Oxford Hills pitcher had been given the day off from starting duties, leaving her expecting a slightly easier role against Edward Little.

"I thought I was going to come in and maybe play some outfield," said Jurczak.

Instead, she not only came in to pitch late in the game with her team behind but also capped off a three-run seventh inning to lift the Vikings to a thrilling 7-6 win over the Red Eddies.

"I was just hoping to get a hit and make solid contact and force them to make the plays," said Jurczak, who earned the win in three innings of work.

Oxford Hills (12-2) had to rally three times before winning the game in its last at bat. The Vikings were down 2-0, 4-2 and 6-4.

"We haven't been able to keep the energy up the entire game," said catcher Mindy Rugg, who tied the game in the seventh with a two-run single. "Being able to come back twice is a huge confidence boost to our team. It showed what we're capable of."

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Ramblers rip Cougars

Sport: Baseball  Posted: May 31st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Bob McPhee
Staff Writer
Sunday, May 31, 2009

DIXFIELD - Jake Steele hit a three-run homer to highlight a seven-run third inning and Easton Morang flirted with perfection before settling a four-hitter as Winthrop cruised to a 9-2 triumph against Dirigo in a Mountain Valley Conference baseball game at sun-drenched Harlow Park on Saturday afternoon.

Winthrop (9-3) was ranked fourth and wanted to earn a bye in the first round of the playoffs, so a win against the top-ranked Cougars secured it. The Ramblers started out strong and didn't let up as the offense pounded out 11 hits, led by Ryan Conant (3-for-4, three RBIs, one run) and Riley Cobb (3-for-5, two runs). Morang (two hits, two runs) also contributed and a near flawless defense helped set the tone.

"This was a big game," Winthrop coach Marc Fortin said. "We haven't been able to beat a team ahead of us in Heal Points, so the kids looked forward to this match up."

Morang (3-2) had a no-hitter going until Tyler Gates singled sharply leading off the sixth inning. The Rambler right-hander had kept the Cougar batters at bay. Dirigo had three base runners through five innings. Morang finished with two strikeouts and three walks in throwing approximately 83 pitches.

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Thrown for a loop Red Eddies toss aside the competition

Sport:   Posted: May 31st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Justin Pelletier
Assistant Sports Editor, Online
Sunday, May 31, 2009

BATH - Paced by an unprecedented 64 points in the three throwing events alone, and by 38 individual points from Emily Dodge - including three first-place finishes - Edward Little surpassed its own lavish projections in the KVAC Girls' Class A championship meet, reaching 282 points to run away with the title by 192 over second-place Brunswick (90), and a staggering 208 over second-seeded Mt. Ararat (74).

"We're extremely overjoyed with the effort today," EL girls' coach Rebecca Hefty said. "I know the points are astronomical, but ultimately, it's about getting better marks and getting more people in for next week at states, and trying different things for next week."

The Edward Little girls' throwers accounted for nearly one quarter of the team's astounding total, something that has been the squad's goal from the beginning of the season.

"Throwers take season after season of training to get better," throwing coach Mike Smith said. "It's very rare to have many underclassmen doing well in the throwing events, and we don't have a lot of seniors, either. It's staggered all over the place."

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Scarborough rides brilliant pitching performance to 2-0 win at South Portland

Sport: Softball  Posted: May 31st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Michael Hoffer

SOUTH PORTLAND— The litany of superb Scarborough softball pitching efforts is a long one, but it's safe to say that a Red Storm freshman never had a day quite like Mo Hannan did Saturday afternoon at Wainwright Farms.

Hannan dominated the host Red Riots from start to finish, striking out 23 batters while holding them hitless. She then drove in the second run in a two-run top of the ninth inning as Scarborough bounced back from a tough loss at Biddeford with a 2-0 victory.

"I had a lot of movement on my ball, which helps a lot," Hannan said. "I was confident. My pitches fell where I wanted them to. It was nice to face a team like this. I wanted it."

Red revival

Scarborough joined the Southern Maine Activities Association in 2004, but its rivalry with South Portland actually started the previous season, when the Red Storm downed the Red Riots in the Western A semifinals.

The teams have met almost every year since in the playoffs with South Portland edging Scarborough to capture the regional crown in 2005, while the Red Storm eliminated the Red Riots in the 2004 quarterfinals, 2007 regional final and in the semifinal round a year ago.

Both teams have enjoyed plenty of success in 2009.

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Waynflete dominates again, rolls past NYA, 12-3

Sport: Lacrosse (Boys)  Posted: May 31st, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Michael Hoffer

PORTLAND— Perhaps the Waynflete girls' lacrosse team really won't be tested this spring.

The Flyers hosted North Yarmouth Academy Saturday afternoon in a rematch of last year's memorable Class B state final, but the Panthers, like 10 other teams to date this season, had no answer for Waynflete's balanced offense and smothering defense.

The Flyers broke the game open with a 6-0 run in the first half and never looked back as they improved to 11-0 with a 12-3 victory.

Junior Morgan Woodhouse had four goals and one assist and senior Anna Libby added three goals for the offense. Waynflete also had a big edge in ground balls, shots on goal and turnovers forced as it took another step toward what is looking more and more like a coronation next month.

"It was really exciting," Libby said. "We're all really excited right now. We've really worked hard to prepare. We thought about this game a lot. (NYA's) a really good team. We just played our game."

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Gorham works hard, stays undefeated

Sport: Lacrosse (Boys)  Posted: May 30th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

The Rams come away with a 13-9 victory against Noble to improve to 10-0 in girls' lacrosse.
By RACHEL LENZI, Staff Writer May 30, 2009

GORHAM — The Gorham High girls' lacrosse seniors wanted to go out in style. Not just because it was their last home game, but because they had a spotless record.

Their 10th win of the season didn't come the prettiest way Friday, but Mackenzie Smith came up with two saves in the final 90 seconds to help the Rams remain undefeated with a 13-9 victory against Noble.

"Our goal when we came into this season was that we wanted to work as hard as we can, and we know that we aren't looked at as the best team," said Aimee St. Germain, who led the Rams with four goals.

"But we wanted to prove that we can work hard and go undefeated. There have been challenges. Knowing that we've won all of our games, we wanted to end our home season undefeated and especially today, our start wasn't so great. Noble gave us all they had."

The Rams are atop the Western Class A Heal points with two games remaining before the playoffs, which will begin June 9. In only its fourth varsity season, the Rams have averaged 13 goals in their 10 games and have 14 seniors, including St. Germain and Smith.

"For the most part we've been practicing and playing games to get ready for the playoffs, when we do play more competitive games against Kennebunk and Scarborough," Gorham Coach Ashley Dyer said.

"We're getting ready for that."

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Bulldogs make trip worthwhile

Sport: Lacrosse (Boys)  Posted: May 30th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Portland goes back up to Yarmouth, but this time returns with a result more to its liking.
By PAUL BETIT, Staff Writer May 30, 2009

YARMOUTH — The Portland boys didn't like the way the game turned out the last time they came up Interstate 295 to play a team in this small coastal community, where lacrosse seems to be king in the spring sports season.

Two weeks ago, on the Bulldogs' first visit of the lacrosse season to Yarmouth, the Clippers, the top-ranked team in Eastern Class B, squeezed past them for an 11-9 win in a battle of unbeaten teams.

On Friday, Portland, the top-ranked team in Western Class A, dominated the middle two quarters to roll to a 17-5 win over North Yarmouth Academy.

"That other game was definitely in the back of our minds," said KR Jurgelevich, who scored five goals and had two assists to lead the Bulldogs to their 10th win in 11 games. "We wanted to come out strong, and not like we did the last time (in Yarmouth). It took us a while last time, but we wanted to come strong and show them what we had."

After a tightly contested first quarter, which ended with Portland clinging to a 2-1 lead, the Bulldogs scored seven goals in the first eight minutes of the second quarter for a 9-2 lead.

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Lisbon boys, girls roll to MVC victories

Sport:   Posted: May 29th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

LEWISTON -- Lisbon had the numbers, times and distances.

Add them all up, and it was a long day for the rest of the field at the Mountain Valley Conference championships Friday at Lewiston High School.

No one was able to stay with either the Lisbon boys or girls teams, who pulled away to win their fifth consecutive MVC titles.

The Lisbon girls finished with 143 points while Hall-Dale finished second with 90. Winthrop followed with 78.

The Lisbon boys won with ease, finishing with 181 points. Hall-Dale checked in at second with 83.5.

"It would've been a big accomplishment to beat them," said Hall-Dale jumper Kerry Freddette. "Our team is pretty big. We were hoping."

Kyle Huston and Joe Doughty each won two events for the Lisbon boys. Doughty won the shot put and discus while Huston won the 100-meter run and the high jump. The Lisbon girls received a big day from Tara Metzger, who won the 200, long jump and triple jump.

The Madison boys rode strong performances from Sam Perkins and Jake Hartigan to finish third with 61 points. Winthrop was fourth with 69.5.

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Fifield Returns as USM Women’s Basketball Head Coach

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: May 29th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

GORHAM, Maine  --  The University of Southern Maine Athletic Department today announced that former women’s basketball head coach Gary Fifield will return to the sidelines next season, reassuming the reins of a program he guided for 21 years before retiring from coaching last fall.

Fifield returns to the program he guided to a 541-86 record over 21 seasons after interim head coach Mike McDevitt resigned to return to his alma mater, St. Joseph’s College, as its new women’s basketball head coach.  In his one season as the Huskies coach, McDevitt led the team to a 22-7 overall record, the Little East Conference tournament championship and a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament.  McDevitt also spent five seasons as Fifield’s assistant after leaving St. Joseph’s in 2003.

USM Director of Athletics, Al Bean, indicated that McDevitt, who was hired on a one-year interim basis when Fifield retired, had been offered the head coaching position at USM following a search process to name Fifield’s permanent successor.  At the same time, St. Joseph’s was seeking a new head coach following the departure of Deb Reardon after five seasons.

In 21 seasons, Fifield led the Huskies to the NCAA Division III Final Four five times (1988, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2006), including three appearances in the national championship game.  Prior to the 2008-09 season, his .863 winning percentage was the highest among active Division III coaches with five or more years on the sidelines, and his 541 career wins ranked seventh among active coaches.

During that span (1987-2008), he guided the Huskies to 17 Little East Conference tournament championships, including 11 straight from 1997 through 2007, and won or shared the LEC regular season crown an amazing 19 times.  In the 2007-08 season, Fifield led the Huskies to a 25-4 overall record and a 13-1 regular season mark in the Little East Conference.

Fifield guided the Huskies to an NCAA tournament berth in 20 of his 21 seasons as head coach.  His teams won 20 or more games every season, extending the Huskies’ streak of consecutive seasons with 20 or more wins to 28, an NCAA Division III women’s basketball record.  Six players combined to win the Little East Conference Player of the Year award 11 times, and five players were named to the WBCA/Kodak Division III All-America team.

Among his numerous honors, Fifield was named the WBCA Division III National Coach of the Year in 2005 after leading the Huskies to 31-3 overall record and a third-place finish in the NCAA tournament.  He also was named Little East Conference Coach of the Year 13 times.  He served as an assistant coach at the U.S. Olympic Festival in 1993, and was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Fifield came to USM from South Royalton (Vermont) High School in 1987, succeeding legendary coach, the late Dr. Richard “Doc” Costello, as women’s basketball coach. He also coached the USM men’s soccer program for five seasons (30-35-10).

Patrick Kelley pitches, bats Ellsworth to 1-0 win over John Bapst

Sport: Baseball  Posted: May 29th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Skip Hawkes

Bangor — Thursday afternoon at the John Winkin Complex on the campus of Husson University, Ellsworth's Patrick Kelley did it all as the Eagles squeaked out a 1-0 victory over John Bapst of Bangor in an Eastern Maine Class B baseball contest. Ellsworth improved to 12-2 with the win, while the Crusaders fall to 8-5-1.

Kelley allowed just two hits over the first five innings, and tough luck losing pitcher Chris Hammond took a no-hitter into the sixth inning retiring 14 straight batters at one point.

In the sixth inning, Ross Saunders led off for the Eagles drawing a walk. Saunders was the first Ellsworth base runner since Kelley reached on an error in the first inning. Pinch runner A.J. Miller was forced at second base when Garrett Kaspala reached first on a fielders choice. Kaspala advanced to second when Brad Folmer was thrown out at first on a grounder deep in the hole at second base. Kelley then delivered the crucial blow sending a drive into the right center field gap. As the ball rolled all the way to the warning track, Kelley landed on third base with an RBI triple scoring Kaspala with the lead and eventual winning run. Kelley shut down the Crusaders in order in the bottom half of the sixth.

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