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Walker to lead Morse sports

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

By Bob Conn, Times Record Staff

BATH —  When Morse High School athletic director Brian Campbell made the decision to step down earlier this year, the school began a search for a new leader for the department, someone who could lead a program deep in tradition.

Enter Scott Walker, the current Mt. Blue AD, who will take over the position once the current school year comes to end in mid-June.

“I am really excited to be able to step into this position at Morse High School,” said Walker, a Lawrence High School graduate who played quarterback for the Bulldogs and starred on the basketball squad before heading off to college at Dartsmouth. “What I know of Morse is the program has a proud, proud tradition, similar to where I went to high school. I’m proud to be able to come to Morse.”

“Scott not only brings experience as an athletic director in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference, but he has assistant principal experience as well and is able to do a large facet of things for us,” said Mike Nelson, who has served as the interim AD at Morse since Campbell departed earlier this year. “Scott is willing to not just become the AD at Morse, but to be a big part of the school and the community.”

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Hard work pays off for Blodgett

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

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

Cindy Blodgett chuckles at the thought of being called a trailblazer. "Trailblazer? My goodness, now I feel older," Blodgett said. "I think of the trailblazers as people who played in college without scholarships, drove to away games in their cars."

Blodgett starred at Lawrence High School and the University of Maine, and her career took her to professional basketball, including the WNBA. On Sunday, the Clinton native and current University of Maine women's basketball coach will be inducted into the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.

"I hope I was able to show young boys and girls in Maine to never put a ceiling on what you can do," Blodgett said. "Look in the mirror and decide how hard you want to work."

Blodgett is one of nine of this year's inductees into the Hall of Fame. Marvin Bolduc of Winslow will receive the President's Award, and the Hall will also award 10 scholarships to Maine student-athletes. Among the recipients are Forest Hills three-sport standout Elise Begin and Hall-Dale's Wade Davis, the two-time Class C state cross country champion.

Blodgett, 33, said she has done some reflecting on her career since hearing about the induction.

"I've always thought about my team, and teammates, and coaches, and obviously my family -- anyone who's helped me through this," she said. "It gives me an opportunity to thank them again.

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Waterville in familiar role

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

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

The Waterville girls and boys are loaded, deep and poised to defend their Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B titles. The Hall-Dale boys and girls look up to Lisbon and perhaps no other team in the Mountain Valley Conference.

In KVAC A action, Cony senior Luke Fontaine, Messalonskee senior Erik Anderson and Skowhegan junior Garrett Nelson are in line for multiple victories after earning top seeds in two events.

Conference track and field championships get under way this weekend, beginning today with the MVC championships at 3 p.m. at Lewiston High School. The KVAC A and B championships are at 9 a.m. Saturday at McMann Field in Bath.

The Waterville boys are chasing their fourth consecutive conference crown while the girls are going after No. 3.

"We all know what we need to do," said Waterville senior JD Gurski, the top seed in the 110-meter hurdles and javelin. "We have to go out and do what we trained to do. There are a lot of teams out there who are gunning for us."

Added Waterville coach Ian Wilson: "Both boys and girls teams are set up well to score heavily at the conference meet. Across the board our kids are really strong. We still have some things to improve upon so we can score in the state meet. We'd like to put ourselves in a position to win the state meet."

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Maranacook wins rematch with Erskine

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

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

SOUTH CHINA -- Here's Maranacook softball pitcher Sarah Maxwell's analysis of why the Black Bears are undefeated this season.

"I would say great defense, halfway decent pitching and great hitting," she said.

Maxwell may be selling herself just a little bit short, as she has been on the mound for all 14 Maranacook wins. The latest came Thursday afternoon, when she fired a two-hitter with 13 strikeouts in a 2-0 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B victory against Erskine.

Sam Morse pitched a four-hitter and struck out nine for Erskine (11-3). The Eagles had a rougher time against Maxwell than in the teams' first meeting May 18. In that game, also a 2-0 Maranacook victory, Erskine had six hits and struck out eight times.

"We came out stronger today than we did at Maranacook, defensively," Erskine coach Mike Soule said. "Offensively was just the opposite. At Maranacook, we put the ball in play right off the bat, and today we struggled through the first few innings."

Maxwell had a perfect game through four innings. In the fifth inning, she chatted on the phone with a former teammate's mother, casually saying, "We're doing good."

"I think softball is more of a relaxed ballgame," Maxwell said. "If you work yourself up, the more errors you're going to make and it's going to crack right then. It's a big game, but you gotta stay relaxed and chill."

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McDevitt Returns to Familiar Post

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

STANDISH, ME – Saint Joseph’s College Athletic Director Brian Curtin announced today that Mike McDevitt has been named as the St. Joe’s Women’s Basketball Head Coach, filling the vacancy that was left by Deb Reardon last month.

For McDevitt, a 1983 St. Joe’s graduate, the post is quite familiar. The former Monks’ basketball standout served as the Lady Monks’ Head Coach for 16 seasons (1987-2003). During that time, McDevitt amassed 326 wins and a .736 winning percentage, both program highs, and led his teams to seven conference titles and seven appearances in the NAIA National Tournament. He collected conference coach of the year honors on five occasions and coached four players who garnered All-America honors.

McDevitt returns to Saint Joseph’s after serving on the women’s basketball staff at the University of Southern Maine for the last six seasons. He worked as an assistant under Gary Fifield for five years and worked as the interim head coach for the Huskies last season. As an assistant at USM, McDevitt helped guide the Huskies to a 144-14 (.923) record, five Little East titles, four “Sweet Sixteen” appearances and a pair of Final Four berths. In 2009, with McDevitt as the interim head coach, Southern Maine posted a 22-7 record, won the Little East Conference Championship, and made an NCAA DIII Tournament appearance. As a student-athlete at St. Joe’s, McDevitt played in 103 games as a four-year starter for the Monks basketball team and scored 1,381 points (11th all-time at St. Joe’s) with 674 rebounds (8th). He was named All-Conference, All-State and All-District in both 1982 and 1983 and received Western Maine Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors following the 1983 season.

No stranger to success on the hard court, McDevitt has been a part of 631 wins in 30 years as a player, assistant, and head coach. “I’m very excited to return to Saint Joseph’s College,” says McDevitt. “I have so many great memories from my years there; St. Joe’s holds a special place in my heart.”

When McDevitt introduces himself to the Saint Joseph’s squad in the coming weeks, there will be a very familiar face in the group. His daughter Megan, an upcoming sophomore guard at St. Joe’s, averaged 5.3 points per game as a key reserve for the 13-13 Lady Monks in 2009.

McDevitt fills the vacancy left by Deb Reardon, who served as the head coach for the Lady Monks for five seasons with a 65-65 record. Reardon guided St. Joe’s to a pair of GNAC Tournament appearances.“This is a great day for women’s basketball at Saint Joseph’s College,” adds Curtin. “Mike is a highly respected coach with a long history of success. He possesses a special passion for Saint Joseph’s and we know he will lead the program to great things.”Coach McDevitt will be available to the media for comment in the Harold Alfond Center on the campus of Saint Joseph’s from 1:00-3:00 PM this afternoon.  

Erskine's Peaslee fitting in at UMA

Sport:   Posted: May 28th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

The University of Maine at Augusta doesn't often spring to mind when the subject of collegiate athletics comes up.

The school has no dormitories and the vast majority of its enrollment is comprised of non-traditional students long past their athletic prime. This didn't discourage Ashley Peaslee.

Peaslee played soccer, basketball and softball at Erskine Academy for four years and wasn't ready to stop after graduating last spring.

"I wanted to play still," Peaslee said. "I was really just coming for basketball. I knew they were looking for players."

Peaslee played for the soccer team, too, and was part of a renaissance in women's athletics last year at UMA.

The previous year, the soccer team won just one game while the basketball team sunk to club status because of a lack of players. Last season, the soccer team earned a spot in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association's national tournament while the basketball team won 15 games and made the Yankee Small College Conference's final four.

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Yarmouth goes OT to edge NYA in epic, 12-11

Sport: Lacrosse (Boys)  Posted: May 28th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Michael Hoffer

YARMOUTH— On a chilly, rainy Wednesday night that was anything but pretty, longtime rivals North Yarmouth Academy and Yarmouth produced nearly 57 minutes of beautiful girls' lacrosse.

Fifty minutes of back-and-forth regulation wasn't enough to decide it, nor was six minutes of overtime. It took 32 seconds of another OT, this one "sudden-victory," before the host Clippers were able to exult.

Yarmouth, which twice let leads slip away in the waning seconds, earned a measure of revenge against the team which ended their 2008 season when senior Lanier Bolmer took a pass from junior Nalini Robbins, raced in and fired a shot past NYA's valiant senior goalie Abigail Moss to give the Clippers a 12-11 triumph and bring the curtain down on what was easily the finest game of the year.

"Oh my God!" said a bruised, drenched, but delirious Bolmer. "I can't even describe it. Typical NYA-Yarmouth, going back and forth. It feels great. I can't stop smiling."

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Top -ranked Eagles keep rolling into playoffs

Sport:   Posted: May 28th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Mike Higgins
Sports Editor
WINDHAM (May 27, 2009): On Tuesday, the Windham boys tennis team wrapped up their regular season in the same shape that they were this time last spring, perfect.

The Eagles (12-0) completed their second straight undefeated regular season on May 26 by traveling down to Scarborough and beating the Red Storm 4-1. The win caps a strong three-year run for the Eagles, who have gone 30-1 in the past three seasons and have won their last 19 straight matches, a streak dating back to 2007. In 2006, the Eagles went 9-2 and won the Western Maine championship before falling to Lewiston in the state final.

Last season, the Eagles beat No. 8 South Portland in the quarterfinals before being upset by No. 5 Cheverus in the semifinals. The Eagles, with that upset still in the minds of six returning players, came into the season determined to get over the hump this year, and their opponents paid the price. This season, the Eagles only dropped two individual matches all spring, beating Cheverus 4-1 on May 22 and topping Scarborough by the same 4-1 score this week.

Against Scarborough on Tuesday, the Eagles got off to a slow start as the Red Storm’s Nick Tolman defeated Nate Johnson, 1-6, 7-6 (6), 6-3. But that was as close as the Storm 10-2, No. 2 in the latest Heal Points) would get as the Eagles swept the rest of the matches to close out the win.

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Bangor teams set to defend PVC crowns

Sport:   Posted: May 28th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Ryan McLaughlin
BDN Staff

Bangor looks to continue its supremacy in the Penobscot Valley Conference Large School track and field championships Friday at 3:30 p.m. at Cameron Stadium in Bangor.

The Rams girls and boys teams have both won the last four conference championships but will have to overcome some tough competition to make a successful defense.

On the girls side, Bangor’s chief competitor is Brewer, which has gone through the regular season undefeated.

The Witches are looking for a yearly conference sweep, as they have KVAC cross country and Eastern Maine Indoor Track League titles to their credit during 2008-09.

Brewer’s strong areas are in the sprints, distance events, jumping events, pole vault and hurdles.

Senior jumping and hurdling specialist Mackenzie DeGraff owns the conference’s top mark among her large-school foes in the triple jump at 33 feet, 7½ inches.

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Santheson, Panthers win battle of pitchers duel

Sport: Softball  Posted: May 27th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Ron Hawkes
Maine Sports Report

Camden Hills' Hayley Buckheit and Medomak Valley's Kayla Santheson battled each other from start to finish in a game that was decided by circumstances beyond the control of either pitcher.

The saying goes, errors will always come back to haunt you. Tuesday's match up between these Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference rivals proved that saying to be correct in the case of the Windjammers who's errors in the first and sixth innings allowed Medomak Valley to take the 2-1 win home with them.

The lone Camden Hills run was scored in the fourth inning on, you guessed it; errors.

Santheson pitched seven brilliant innings for the Panthers allowing one unearned run on one hit and one walk while striking out seven for the win.

Buckheit also went the distance for the Windjammers allowing two unearned runs on six hits and no walks while fanning 10 batters.

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Windjammers capture stunning win over Panthers

Sport: Baseball  Posted: May 27th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By Ron Hawkes

(ROCKPORT) — Sometimes in baseball it does not matter how good the pitcher is throwing the ball if the defense is not there. Tuesday, Medomak Valley's Alex Goldrup found that out first hand as he allowed three runs, all unearned in a 3-2 loss to Camden Hills.

In fact it was Goldrup's own defensive miscues that cost the Panthers two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game 2-2 and two wild pitches that allowed the eventual winning run in the bottom of the sixth.

On the mound Goldrup was sensational for the Panthers pitching six innings allowing three unearned runs on three hits and one walk while striking out five.

Adam Landwehr, Cameron Gartley and Kiefer Lammi combined on the mound for the Windjammer win. Landwehr got the start pitching 4 1/3 innings allowing two runs on five hits and three walks while striking out six. Gartley got the win with 1 2/3 innings of stellar relief allowing one hit while striking out one. Lammi pitched the seventh for the save walking one and striking out the side to end the game.

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Waterville hangs on to beat Winslow

Sport: Baseball  Posted: May 27th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel

WINSLOW -- Early in the season, Waterville freshman J.T. Whitten came up with a pair of game-winning hits for the Purple Panthers. On Tuesday, Whitten earned the first save of his career.

Whitten got out of a bases loaded jam in the bottom of the seventh inning, ending a furious Winslow rally to help Waterville take an 11-9 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B baseball win over its rival.

Waterville is now 11-3, while Winslow is 7-7.

Waterville starter Kyle Bishop took the mound in the bottom of the seventh with an 11-3 lead. Well over 100 pitches, Bishop allowed a single and a walk after a strikeout and was pulled in favor of Sam Nashed, who allowed four hits and a walk while getting one out -- a Neil Carnahan sacrifice fly -- before giving way to Whitten.

Whitten gave up an infield single to Joey McLean to cut Waterville's lead to 11-9 before walking Johnny McCabe to load the bases. After falling behind three balls, no strikes to Jack Nivison, Whitten got Nivison to ground back to the mound. Whitten flipped the ball to catcher Curt Chaput covering the plate to end the game.

Whitten admitted to being nervous when he took the hill.

"I was just hoping to get an out," said Whitten, who threw a fastball down the middle to get the final out. "If I walked (Nivison) it would've been a run."

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Farrell takes over Brunswick girls basketball

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: May 27th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

By George Almasi, Times Record Staff
Tuesday, May 26, 2009 2:43 PM EDT

BRUNSWICK — When Brunswick High School athletic director Gene Keene went looking for a new girls varsity basketball coach, he didn’t have to look very far.

Brunswick math teacher Sam Farrell, who has had coaching stints at Winthrop, Greely in Cumberland and Lincoln Academy in Newcastle, is scheduled to take over for Rita Maines, who resigned this past winter after eight years.

“He’s done a heckuva job helping us out when we really needed some coaching in the past,” said Keene. “He’s even done jayvee baseball when we were in a jam, I think he’s a good team player and that’s one of the things I really liked about him.”

A 32-year-old Lisbon resident, Farrell is taking over a team that went 12-6 in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and loses All-Conference forward Claire Baecher to graduation. Brunswick fell to Oxford Hills 46-31 in the Eastern Maine Class A quarterfinals.

A graduate of South Portland and the University of Maine, Farrell  played rugby in college and, while living and teaching in Old Town, a jayvee soccer position opened up in Bucksport and he caught the coaching bug. Up until last spring he had coached every season.

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Tigers write the latest chapter

Sport: Softball  Posted: May 27th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Biddeford wins a seesaw battle against Scarborough in a rivalry fast becoming a classic.
Staff Writer May 27, 2009

BIDDEFORD — Everyone knows about the storied rivalry between Biddeford High and neighboring Thornton Academy. Well, in the sport of softball, Biddeford has another rival – Scarborough.

The Tigers and Red Storm played another marvelous game Tuesday and like so many others between the two, this one came down to the final out.

Erin Grover scored the winning run on a throwing error with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Tigers won 5-4 at Doran Field to hand the Red Storm their first loss this season. It was a dramatic end to a dramatic game in which seven runs were scored in the final two innings.

"They're rivals," said Grover, who had three hits, including a home run over the left-field fence. "It's not always just Biddeford-Thornton. (The Red Storm) become our rivals too. And we can't lose to them."

Biddeford, which beat Scarborough in the Western Class A final last spring, is 12-2 and ranked second in the Heal point standings. Scarborough, ranked first, is 12-1.

"That was a fun one," said Biddeford Coach Leon Paquin. "It's why we play, why we coach, why we umpire.

"We answered, they answered, we answered back, they answered again and we answered."

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Stags make it clear they belong

Sport: Baseball  Posted: May 27th, 2009 by Tom Nolette

Staff Writer May 27, 2009

PORTLAND — Cheverus High Coach Mac McKew said he can't tell which team will show up from game to game. Will it be the team capable of scoring runs or will it be the team that can't seem to get the big hit and plays indifferently in the field?

"We're a Jekyll and Hyde team," said McKew, in his first season as the Stags' head baseball coach.

The good Dr. Jekyll showed up Tuesday night as Cheverus pounded out 12 hits and Mick DiStasio pitched a four-hitter in a 7-2 Telegram League victory over Portland at Hadlock Field.

The game matched 7-5 teams close in the Heal point standings. Cheverus entered ranked No. 6 while the Bulldogs were ranked eighth.

"This is a huge win for us," said McKew. "We hit the ball well and beat a decent team in Portland.

"Mick DiStasio is our horse. We have a lot of talented young players. The future looks good for Cheverus baseball."

DiStasio, a senior, may be the Stags' go-to guy, but they gave him plenty of support, both at the plate and on the bases with heads-up baserunning. Cheverus did make four errors, but Portland failed to take advantage.

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