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Mosher making strides

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 23rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Mosher making strides

Christina Mosher was in a lot of different roles this season. She began as an unused reserve, gradually became a starter and ended the winter as one of the top players off the bench for the University of Maine women's basketball team.

Mosher was a freshman on a team with little experience, and the 6-foot-2 Mt. Blue High School grad mostly sat and watched in the early going. Of UMaine's first six games, she played a total of six minutes in two and didn't get off the bench in the other four.

"She didn't stick out immediately," UMaine coach Cindy Blodgett said. "She slowly continued to work on her footwork, pick up the offense, that sort of thing, and found herself playing more minutes."

Although the Black Bears had a rebounding edge on their opponents this season, Mosher's ability on the boards was what Blodgett especially liked about her. Mosher twice led the Bears in rebounds, and her per-minute rebounding rate was the second best on the team.

"She's a very good offensive rebounder," Blodgett said. "She has an ability to come find the ball. You can't really teach that."

Blodgett wanted to bring Mosher along slowly, but with Maine on its way to a 7-23 record, she had more room -- and reason -- to experiment. Mosher played 29 minutes Feb. 13 against Albany, then started three days later against Stony Brook.

"It was amazing, to say the least," Mosher said. "It's been a dream for so long to help out the team, just to be entrusted to give it your all to start the game."

Mosher started the next three games before returning to the role of a substitute for the final three games of the regular season. She was one of only three reserves Blodgett used as the Bears fell to Stony Brook 64-58 in the quarterfinals of the America East tournament.

"We have great team chemistry," Mosher said. "We come to practice and still work hard. We've never given up on the season. Even though the games haven't gone our way, we haven't stopped trying for it."

Mosher also enjoyed playing under Blodgett, a Lawrence High and UMaine grad in her first season coaching the Black Bears.

"She's a great coach," Mosher said. "She's very patient with us. She looks out for us. Not just on the court, too. She's there if we need her off the court."

Mosher played 15.5 minutes per game this season. Blodgett thinks that number can go up with some improvements. She would like Mosher to get stronger, as Mosher often had trouble finishing inside baskets when she got bumped.

"It's all going to depend on how hard she wants to work," Blodgett said. "It's really the same for everyone on this team. They all have potential to play big minutes."

Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243


Ramsay hoping to do it all

Sport: Baseball  Posted: March 23rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Ramsay hoping to do it all
By BILL STEWART Staff Writer


Kris Ramsay knows what he wants and says he can do it. On the mound, he figures he has five or six more starts for the Colby-Sawyer College baseball team this spring.

"I want to go 4-1, 5-1," he said.

In the field, Ramsay says he expects to hit .330 or better, slam three or four home runs and lead the team in runs as the starting center fielder.

"I expect a lot out of myself," added Ramsay, a Gardiner native. "I'd like to finish batting around .330 or close to 350. I'm expecting to be one of top scorers on the team in terms of runs. As much as I can get on the bases the more productive I'll be."

Ramsay isn't conceited -- far from it -- and if the Florida trip to open the season is any indicator of how the season will go, he should meet his high expectations.

The Chargers played 10 games in the Sunshine State, losing seven of them, but returned a better team, Ramsay said. The two-way player hit .333 in nine games. On the mound, he was the losing pitcher in an 11-9 game to Skidmore.

The team left March 7 for Florida and returned a week later. The Chargers stayed in a Comfort Inn in downtown Tampa, a short drive to Legends Field, where the New York Yankees play their spring training games.

"The area was a little shady," Ramsay said. "It wasn't a place you would go out in at night. It was a good time. The weather was kind of bad, like 46 degrees, but no snow. It was fun."

The Chargers played a tough schedule in Florida, including games against Rhode Island College, Salem State College, Skidmore and Husson.

"It was a much better schedule this year than last year," said Ramsay, whose team went 13-7 in league play last season and 18-19 overall. "We played four doubleheaders and two single games."

Colby-Sawyer is coming off a third-place finish in The Commonwealth Coast Conference. Although the Chargers lost all-time strikeout leader Sean Gildea to graduation, they returned plenty of talent and figure to be in the mix again this season.

Ramsay, a co-captain, is the only player on the team who will pitch and play the field. He hit .350 last season and went 2-3 with a 4.55 ERA.

"I think it's rare," he said. "I'm pretty much the only person that's going both ways, doing pitching and playing the field. It's tough on the arm, but we manage it pretty well."

Ramsay spent most of the offseason strengthening his shoulders. He lifted weights, focusing on the rotator cuff.

"We tried to isolate the rotator cuff with a lot of small exercises," he said. "You keep doing them while you're in the season, too. I'm definitely getting old though. I can see the wear and tear."

Older, but wiser and more confident. Ramsay added that he's embraced the role of captain.

"I think becoming a captain I have the ability to speak up more often," he said. "I don't like to speak up often, but I feel like I have more responsibility to speak up and make sure guys are doing what they are supposed to be doing. I just matured quite a bit going into my senior year because of the realization that this is my last year in school."

Bill Stewart -- 623-3811, ext. 515


Lancaster gets the most out of Bobcats

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 23rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Lancaster gets the most out of Bobcats


Staff Writer

Paul Lancaster took over as head basketball coach at Richmond High School in 1990, the year his son Brandon was born.

Lancaster stayed around long enough to see his son develop as one of the best point guards in Class D and his team come within a last-second shot of winning a state championship. Shortly after losing to Central Aroostook in the state final, Lancaster made the decision to step down.

"I thought about it quite a bit," he said. "I just think the time's right. I have two younger girls and I want to focus on them."

The Bobcats finished 19-2 this season, despite losing 6-foot-10 center Marc Zaharchuk for a dozen games. For his efforts, Lancaster has been selected Kennebec Journal Coach of the Year.

Also considered were Maranacook coach Rob Schmidt and Winthrop coach Dennis Dacus, both of whom led their teams to state championships.

Lancaster's teams have contended for state honors the past three seasons. The Bobcats lost to Central Aroostook in the state game two years ago and went 19-1 last season. They might have contended for more if not for Valley High, which won 10 straight regional titles and dominated Class D for a decade.

Lancaster hoped to emulate Valley coach Dwight Littlefield, who he considers one of his role models.

"Paul has always been a class act himself, a true gentleman, win or lose," Littlefield said. "He's a great guy to have around the conference."

Lancaster was also influenced by many of the coaches he played for growing up, including Little League coach Peter Gardner and his high school soccer, basketball and baseball coaches, Ed Halperin, Gary Veilleux and Bobby Hurley, respectively.

"Veilleux had a big influence on my basketball coaching," Lancaster said. "Mr. Halperin was more of a motivational type of guy."

Lancaster accepted his team's one-point loss to Central Aroostook with typical aplomb.

"It was just a great ball game," he said. "It's unfortunate someone had to lose."

Lancaster, 47, has not ruled out a return to coaching, but for now, he's sitting back and contemplating the results.

"You see kids grow into athletes and people," he said. "All the things you talk to your team about, you can apply in life."

Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638


Former St. John's Prep star Goff preparing for NFL Draft

Sport:   Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Former St. John's Prep star Goff preparing for NFL Draft
By Jean DePlacido

Jonathan Goff does not like to talk about himself.

He prefers to let his performance on the football field speak for him — and the star linebacker from Vanderbilt certainly has all the skills and intangibles that pro teams take into consideration on draft weekend.

The 6-foot-2, 245-pound Goff, a former St. John's Prep star, is expected to be selected during the NFL Draft, which will be held April 26-27. The Lynn resident is being projected as a mid-round selection.

One mock draft Web site, walterfootball.com, projects Goff going early in the fourth round as the 99th overall pick to the Atlanta Falcons. On another Web site, Robert Davis ranks him as the No. 1 inside linebacker in this year's draft on footballsfuture.com.

"I have no idea where I'll wind up, and I'm not going to pick any favorites," said the soft-spoken Goff, who graduated from St. John's Prep in 2003. "I just want to play (pro) ball and hope to go to a team that will give me a good opportunity.

"I think all pro players have to be students of the game, but it's true that some teams are a better fit for you than others. I don't even care what round I'm selected in — as long as I'm picked by some team."

Two days after Christmas, the two-time Commodores' captain flew to Orlando to being working with the guru of performance coaches, Tom Shaw, in preparation for last month's NFL combine at Indianapolis. An All-Southeastern Conference Second Team All-Star the last two years, Goff's hard work paid off with an impressive showing at the combine. He finished in the top 10 in every drill — often among the top five linebackers.

"Shaw used to work with the Patriots and now trains guys getting ready for the ombine," said Goff. "We trained for every aspect. I went into it hoping to do the best I could after working to get better all around. Speed and footwork were incorporated into my training."

Goff turned a lot of heads at Indianapolis with his performance, running the 40-yard dash in the fifth-fastest time for linebackers (4.63 seconds). He also bench pressed 28 reps, the second-best among all linebackers; had a height of 311/2 inches in the vertical leap (8th best); had a broad jump of nine feet 10 inches (9th).; and ran a 6.86 in the 3-cone drill (4th), 4.26 in the 20-yard shuttle (8th) and 11.50 in 60-yard shuttle (3rd).

Goff's strengths are his size and physicality. Scouts see him as a player who is both powerful and a sure tackler; a great fit as an inside run stuffer.

Goff has been working out on campus in Nashville, but plans to return home before the NFL Draft weekend late next month so he can be with his family.

A four-year starter for the Commodores after being redshirted as a freshman, Goff started 40 consecutive games in college. His statistics kept getting better each year, and he finished his career with 307 tackles. This past season he had 113 tackles (fourth best in the SEC), including 61/2 for losses, and added three sacks and two interceptions.

Goff has been placed in the top group of linebackers available this year by many draft experts. He played in the East-West Shrine Game and took advantage of another chance to make an impression at Vandy's Pro Day in Nashville.

Although he had plenty of personal highlights in his illustrious career, he prefers to point to team milestones such as their 17-6 win at South Carolina, as his best this year.

"We had a few really big wins for the program over the years," said Goff. "South Carolina was ranked No. 6 when we beat them on their field. Last year we upset Georgia (24-22) on their Homecoming Day, and we beat Tennessee (18-24) on the road in 2005. They were all very big steps for the program.

"Four of us went to the combine, and there are six other seniors interested in playing in the NFL," added Goff. "Pro Day provided another opportunity for all of us to get some attention."

One of the high points of Goff's college career came off the football field, when he received his degree in mechanical engineering. But he'd love to put that career on hold for a while to continue playing the sport he loves.

His linebacker coach at Vanderbilt, Warren Belin, has coached three players who went onto the NFL during his 17-year coaching career. He believes Goff has what it takes to be his fourth.

Goff has heard lots of rumors about where he might end up, including one that projects him being a perfect fit for the Patriots' 3-4 defensive system, since he is a quick learner and tireless worker.

But he doesn't pay much attention to which teams might be most interested; he said he has no preference about playing for the team he grew up cheering for, one in a warm climate or someplace else where games are played on frozen fields.

Goff has hired James "Bus" Cook of Mississippi as his agent. Some of Cook's most famous clients include recently retired Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre and former Vandy QB Jay Cutler, who now plays for the Denver Broncos. Tennessee Titans QB Steve McNair is also a client of his.

Goff's career stats at Vanderbilt

Year Games Tackles TFL Sacks INTs

2004 11 38 0 0 0

2005 12 63 3 1 0

2006 12 93 6 21/2 1

2007 12 113 61/23 2

TOTALS 47 307 151/2 61/2 3

TFL — Tackles for loss

Pitching in: Uniquely versatile Souhlaris pitches, hits and defends, but the losses continue to mount

Sport:   Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Pitching in: Uniquely versatile Souhlaris pitches, hits and defends, but the losses continue to mount
By Dave Dyer
Staff Writer

It's been a bit of a rocky transition for former Pinkerton star Alexis Souhlaris at the University of Maine, but it's one that she's confident will be successful.

The Eagle-Tribune Player of the Year in 2006 when she posted an ERA of 0.65 and struck out 227 batters in 140 innings, Souhlaris was recruited primarily as an outfielder. Possessing blazing speed, the former Eagle-Tribune All-Star in indoor track is a natural leadoff hitter with pop at the plate as well as a superb defensive outfielder.

Souhlaris showed all of that last year as a freshman center fielder when she hit a team-leading .367 with 22 RBIs, led the league in stolen bases with 30 and was named to the All-America East first team for the 24-26 Black Bears.

Also considered one of the top defensive outfielders in America East, Souhlaris was surprised when head coach Stacey Sullivan, who coached for a year at Merrimack College prior to taking the Black Bears job, took her aside at the end of the year and told her to get ready to pitch this season.

"She said she wanted to add some more depth to the pitching staff and that was fine with me," said Souhlaris. "I missed not pitching."

Although it's unusual for collegiate pitchers to also play in the field, Souhlaris has remained in the outfield when not on the mound. She worked out at both positions last summer when she played for Storm USA, a California team which won the national championship for Women's Majors Class A.

"It's taken an adjustment but I've done it in summer ball for years, so I'm kind of used to it," said Souhlaris. "Pitching again wasn't easy at first but I've felt better the more I've done it. I have as much velocity as I've ever had, but I'm trying to mix my pitches more — I have to. I can't rely on my fastball like I did in high school."

Thus far, Souhlaris has struggled on the mound with an 0-6 record and 5.30 ERA, striking out nine and walking 14 in 34 innings. They aren't dazzling stats, to be sure, but her opponents' batting average of .294 is the lowest on the staff (the others are .337, .354 and .396) and the entire team is struggling as its 0-24 record attests.

Unfortunately, Souhlaris' offense has suffered while she's been on the mound. For the first 20 games, she was battling the .200 mark, but she recently heated up, hitting .455 over three games on a trip to Hawaii, to lift her average to a more respectable .221 with two home runs and five RBIs.

Some would argue that the pitching distracts from Souhlaris' hitting, but she rejects that idea.

"If anything, it (pitching) helps my hitting," she claims. "I don't think about it (hitting) as much if I have a bad game. I have to focus on pitching, too."

Sullivan, however, may not agree, which may be why Souhlaris hasn't pitched in more than a week. At this point, Maine probably needs Souhlaris in the field and at the plate more than on the mound.

"As of right now, our decision to keep her in the (pitching) circle is in flux," said Sullivan. "Alex is a competitor and it is something her team really responds to. ... She always tries to put the team in a position to win.

"She is a force both at the plate and in the field and I hope that she can continue to dominate the America East Conference as she did her freshman year."

Souhlaris insists that better days are ahead for both her and the Black Bears.

"I'm hitting better now, which is a relief because I have never struck out as much as I did the first two weeks (of this season)," said Souhlaris. "We've played some incredibly tough competition and stayed close, and I think it's going to get better when we're in the conference.

"We played the University of Hawaii tough (a 6-3 loss to the 16th-ranked Rainbows) and they have an amazing team. We also played teams like UNC (North Carolina, ranked 33rd) and Texas (ranked 30th). It's been a bit of a downer so far but, after 10 losses, you get used to it. And I see us coming around."

Much of it may depend on how much Souhlaris comes around, no matter where it is. She and the rest of the team need to catch up with Amesbury's Ashley Waters. With a .333 mark and five home runs, she's been Maine's one consistent hitter all season.

From all wins to all losses

At Pinkerton, Alexis Souhlaris knew nothing but winning. She shined for the 2004 Astros, who won the school's first state title in 28 years. The following year, she led the Astros back to the title game, where they fell to Concord. As a senior, Pinkerton was ousted in the quarterfinals but she was named Eagle-Tribune All-Star for the third straight year.

This year, however, her Maine team is 0-24.


The Alex Souhlaris update

2006 — Eagle-Tribune Player of Year and Gatorade State Player of the Year at Pinkerton Academy mainly as pitcher, posting 0.65 ERA. Also hit .379 with .491 on-base percentage

2007 — All-America East selection at Maine as freshman outfielder, hitting .367 with 22 RBIs, league-leading 22 stolen bases

2008 — Switched to pitching, has 0-6 record with 5.30 ERA; also playing outfield, hitting .221.

HOCKEY EAST SEMIFINAL; BC comeback spoils Butlerís 2-goal game

Sport:   Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

BC comeback spoils Butler’s 2-goal game




New Hampshire’s Bobby Butler of Marlboro takes a diving shot ahead of a Boston College defender during the third period of last night’s Hockey East semifinal. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

BOSTON— New Hampshire and Boston College are locks to be among the 16 hockey teams to receiving invites tomorrow to the NCAA Tournament. And neither may have to dig deep into the travel budget to reach their next stop.

Heading into the weekend, USCHO.com had both schools joining Minnesota and Minnesota State in the East Regional, which will be held March 29-30 at the DCU Center. If that’s the case, get ready for a good one.

BC scored the game’s final four goals, the last 43 seconds into triple overtime, to pin a 5-4 defeat on UNH last night in a Hockey East semifinal before a highly entertained crowd of 12,522 at TD Banknorth Garden.

“This has to go in the annals when you look at the first 24 years of Hockey East,” Eagles coach Jerry York said after his seventh-ranked Eagles won the 12th longest game in NCAA history.

Boston College (20-11-8) will meet Vermont at 7 tonight in the final. The Eagles defeated the Wildcats, 5-2, last year to win their league-record seventh tournament title.

New Hampshire, which is ranked fourth or fifth depending on the poll, is 25-9-3. The Wildcats got two goals from Bobby Butler of Marlboro while building a 4-1 lead 12:23 into the second period.

“We were feeling good, we just didn’t keep it going,” Butler said. The Wildcats were blanked over the final 68-plus minutes as freshman goalie John Muse finished with 45 saves.

Butler, who tallied four goals here while leading Marlboro High to a state title in 2005 and had the winner in UNH’s double-overtime semifinal win over UMass a year ago, gave the Wildcats leads of 1-0 and 3-1. The second-line right wing ranks third on the team with 14 goals.

The first came on the power play, Butler nailing a one-timer in the slot 5:17 into what would become an extremely long evening. The second also came between the circles, Butler taking a through-the-legs back pass from center James vanRiemsdyk and placing the puck in the left corner while skating away from the net at 9:27 of the second.

The Wildcats, who allowed three goals while winning all three regular-season meetings with the Eagles, made it a three-goal game three minutes later. Junior Thomas Fortney got his second of the season, and shorthanded no less.

But BC tightened it up defensively and unleashed an offensive barrage that resulted in three goals over an 11-minute span bridging the second and third periods. The Eagles thought they won it with 90 seconds left in the first overtime, but saw senior Matt Greene’s goal waived off due to a collision a few seconds earlier that left UNH goalie Kevin Regan helmetless.

“It was definitely a second life,” Butler said. “I was on the ice when it happened and it hurt. But we said, ‘Now we know what (losing) feels like.’ ”

There was only one penalty in all of overtime and BC made the most of its man advantage, junior forward Benn Ferriero’s shot from up top deflecting off a UNH defenseman and past Regan early in the third OT. The league’s Player of the Year finished with a career-high 62 saves.

“He’s the backbone of this team,” Butler said of Regan, a Bruins draftee.

Tech, St. Mary's prepare for boys lax seasons

Sport:   Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Tech, St. Mary's prepare for boys lax seasons

By Joyce Erekson / The Daily Item
LYNN -- Tech lacrosse coach Brad Tilley is hoping the year or two of seasoning some of his players will bring to the field this spring will help get the Tigers heading in the right direction.

Tech won its first two games (ever) last year to finish with a 2-16 record. Tilley is looking to put a few more in the win column this year and he may get his wish. He had 26 players show up for tryouts and many of them are returnees, including co-captain Richard Contreras.

"We'll finally have a goalie with some experience," Tilley said.

The midfield, with senior co-captain Jeff Valley as the anchor and juniors James Wall and Jordan Rucker joining him, should provide some stability. The Tigers lost two attackmen to graduation, but they do have Mike Donovan returning.

"We're looking for someone to stop up," Tilley said.

Senior Dave DiPietro will bring some experience to the defensive effort, along with Pedtro Aparicio, a three-year player and Bulger Limchau. Patrick Cherry, another veteran, will move from deep middie to long pole middie and Bulger Limchau
"We have some young kids we're looking at," Tilley said.

The Tigers' will be doing some traveling this year, with games in Chatham, Worcester, Framingham and New Bedford on the schedule. .


The Spartans finished 4-12 last year, but second-year coach Jeff Smith is optimistic about his team's prospects this season. St. Mary's finished the season with 38 guys last year and this spring, 52 showed up for tryouts.

Senior captains Shane Swain, Mike Toomey and Joe Twomey should shore up the midfield nicely while Don Hesse, who started in net as an eighth grader last year, will return battled tested. Senior attackman Craig Story, junior defensemen Chris Toomey and junior attackman Seamus O'Leary should also help the cause.

The Spartans lost a couple of key players from last year including Jim Mamos, a captain, who graduated and is now at Salem State College, and Bobby Adam, who transferred to Pingree.

"We have a lot of guys coming back and a lot of guys who worked hard in the off-season. Our goal this year is to play well in the Catholic Central League and make the tournament," Smith said.

Newbury hopes Spartan softball team can move on after tough tourney loss

Sport:   Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Newbury hopes Spartan softball team can move on after tough tourney loss

By Joyce Erekson / The Daily Item

Colleen Newbury

The St. Mary's High softball players will start the season with the memory of a heartbreaking loss to North Reading in the Division 3 North final fresh in their minds.

The Spartans saw their tournament run end on two controversial umpiring calls that and a throwing error in the eighth inning that opened the door for the tying and winning runs to score.

St. Mary's coach Colleen Newbury is hoping the bad taste that experience left will help motivate the team to get back to the North final.

"I'd like to think we have the talent to get back to the North final. It's a goal we have because of last year," Newbury said.

If the Spartans get there, they'll be doing it without three key players from last year's team. Pitcher Lesley Zaya, first baseman Michelle McDermott and third baseman Marisa McKinnon have all graduated, leaving Newbury a few holes to fill.

The good news for Newbury is she has eight players returning with considerable experience including senior pitcher Katelynn Fanning, who alternated starts with Zaya. When she's not pitching, Fanning can play the outfield.
The only other returning senior with some experience is Anna Jackson, a first baseman/outfield. The junior class includes Kristen Mondello, who started at shortstop, and Jenna Fraher, who played third base as a freshman, but spent much of last season trying to come back from foot surgery.

Sophomore Kristina Burri started at second base last year and is back this year. The Spartans also have some experience behind the plate with sophomore Erin McAndrews. Maria Nazarro, also a 10th grader, is back in the outfield. Brittany Hanscom, a backup catcher who can also play in the infield and outfield, is also back.

The pitching contingent, in addition to Fanning, includes sophomore Sam Kiley. Kiley was on junior varsity last year. Newbury said she also has a couple of freshmen, Brianna Holmes and Vanessa LaFauci, who can pitch.

Newbury will have plenty of talent to pick from with 68 players, 30 of them freshmen, turning out for tryouts earlier this week. That group will be spread out among the four teams (junior high, freshmen, junior varsity and varsity).

Newbury said she's encouraged after the first week and not just because of the talent.

"So far it seems like there's a lot more team unity with the kids who are back," she said. "There's a lot more of a positive attitude and a lot of encouragement going on."

Newbury's coaching staff includes her assistant, Rachel Henry, Don Harp, Michele Bruno, junior varsity coach Frank Sarro and Jim McHugh, the freshman coach.

Teammates go head-to-head at Connie Bean

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Teammates go head-to-head at Connie Bean


Bill Lane/Democrat photo Traip's Heather Orr, on floor, reaches for a loose ball along with Marshwood's Lindsey Cynewski. Looking on is Marshwood's Michelle Williams.

PORTSMOUTH — Not too long ago they were teammates playing on the state-champion Maine Wave U-11 AAU basketball team at a national tournament in Florida.

Friday night was a reunion of sorts for those six girls when they once again took the court together, except this time they were going head-to-head instead of playing together when Marshwood took on Traip in the Seacoast Basketball Tournament.

In the end it was the three girls from Marshwood who won the bragging rights with a 57-30 victory over the three girls from Traip in the girls' high school division game at the Connie Bean Community Center.

"It's fun to play them," said Marshwood's Michelle Williams, one of the six girls. "I think it's more competitive. We want to beat each other. It feels good (to beat them). Probably not as good as if we played them in the regular season, but a wins a win."

The three girls from Marshwood who were on the Maine Wave are Erin Augulewicz, Chelsea Watson and Williams. The three on Traip are Amy Lemieux, Heather Orr and Sarah Higgins.

The team went 0-5 at the national tournament, but at least the kids got to go to Disney World.

"It's a lot of fun," Orr said about playing her former teammates. "It's cool to see how we all improved, but we're still all really good friends."

Marshwood never trailed in the game. It scored the first four points and never looked back. Traip cut the lead to one point a couple of times, at 6-5 and then again at 8-7, but never pulled ahead. The Hawks were just too big, too deep, and their defense was too tough.

They pulled down 14 offensive rebounds while forcing the Shoxx, which is what Traip is going by in the tournament, to turn the ball over 18 times.

Even with all those fond memories of a run to the national tournament bonding the two teams, the girls who did play together admit that only fuels their competitiveness now when they face each other. That only happens at the park, or in tournaments during the off season, like the Seacoast Basketball Tournament.

"I'd say it's more competitive," Augulewicz said. "It's always nice to win, but I'm indifferent about the games."

With the two schools separated by only a few miles, it would seem like a natural rivalry. But since Marshwood is Class A and Traip is Class C, the two squads don't get to play each other during the regular season.

Instead, Traip plays other Class C schools in the nether regions of southern Maine like Sacopee Valley, a trip that can take hours on bus. Marshwood is only about 15 minutes away by car.

"I would definitely sacrifice a three-hour bus ride (to play Marshwood)," Orr said. "It would be a good change."

The size difference could be a bit overwhelming, still, the proximity could make things very interesting.

"It definitely would be a good rivalry," Augulewicz said. "They're a smaller school, but maybe."

For now that rivalry is restricted to the confines of the Connie Bean, where this year Marshwood has the upper hand.

"It's kind of like a reunion," Williams said. "I had fun. We were joking around, but we were so competitive."

n n n

Devin Harris scored 16 points and registered eight blocks to help power Farmington to a 56-38 win over Wells in the girls' high school division on Friday night.

Brooke Stevens and Lily Colley each scored 13 to lead Wells.

In the boys 5th- & 6th-grade division, the Hampton Attack beat Chester, 56-28, as Erik Dunn had eight points and Seth Edwards seven. Brett Harris had six points for Chester.

York beat Winchester, Mass., 47-29, behind seven points from Ross Hogan and six from Ben Wallace.

Michael Grassey had 12 for Winchester and Patrick Foley added eight.

Records fall in YMCA New Englands

Sport:   Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Records fall in YMCA New Englands
Long Reach Swim Club and Casco Bay shine in Harvard University event

BATH — The Long Reach Swim Club of the Bath Area Family YMCA and the Casco Bay YMCA of Freeport competed last weekend in the YMCA New England Championships, held at Harvard University.

Long Reach picked up several first places as did Casco Bay.

In 11-12 boys, Evan Coleman of Casco Bay won the 50 butterfly in 27.26 and he captured the 50 backstroke in 28.39. Coleman also took second overall in the 100 back (1:01.45) and swam a leg on the 200 free relay of Zach Roland, John O'Gorman and Lucas Seid, which took ninth in 1:55.28.

James Wells of LRSC took first in the 100 back in 52.32, a state, team and New England record. In the same event, Niall Janney of LRSC was third in 52.91 and Matt Libby of Casco Bay fourth in 52.96. The old record was 53.07, set in 2000 by Matthew Musiak of Holyoke, Mass.

The LRSC Senior Boys 400 free relay of Philip Jacques, Ian Nichols, Wells and Janney took first in 3:17.08, while the 200 medley relay team of Wells, Janney, Nichols and Jacques set a team, state and New England record with a time of 1:37.58.

Janney established a team, state and New England record in the 100 individual medley with his winning time of 1:53.84. Not to be outdone, Janney also set a team, state and New England record in the 100 butterfly with a time of 50.83. In the same event, Wells was third (53.56), Libby fifth (54.73) and Jacques 12th (57.33).

In 11-12 girls, Jessica Russell set a state and team record in the 200 IM (2:19.05, good enough for second place), and she also set a state record in the 100 back (fourth, 1:05.17),

The 11-12 girls 200 medley relay of Jessica Russell, Hope Logan, Audrey Thames and Celia Ouellette set a team record (2:02.12, fourth), while the 200 free relay of Logan, Jessica Russell, Ouellette and Kara Mullin set a team and state record (1:48.12) to take second overall.

The boys team rankings had Western Conn. YMCA (747.5) in first, followed by the Andover (Mass.) YMCA (681), YMCA of the (Mass.) Northshore (632), Westport (Conn.) Weston Family YMCA (554) and Melrose (Mass.) YMCA (418). Long Reach was ninth with 259.50 points.

YMCA of the Northshore (1,160) took first for the females, followed by Andover YMCA (688), Long Reach (485.5), YMCA of Cape Cod (Mass., 385) and Melrose YMCA ( 357.5).

YMCA of the Northshore took first overall with 1,792 points with Long Reach fifth (748.5) and Casco Bay 34th (155.5).

"The kids once again swam great," said Long Reach coach Jay Morissette. "It is the end of a long season for most of them and the last of many championship meets so they were hanging on pretty well. The 15-18 boys finished second for the division with just six guys."

Heading to the National YMCA Championships in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. in early April are Wells, Niall Janney, Jacques, Nichols, Jack Burnham, Matt Johnson, Metcalf, Ridge, Bonnett, Petra Janney and Buczkowski, along with Matt Libby of Casco.

Following are the top-16 finishes for LRSC and Casco Bay.

Caitlin Tycz of LRSC took 13th in the 25 butterfly (17.81), third in the 25 back (18.90) and seventh in the 25 free (15.96).

Maxwell Gurney of LRSC took 15th in the 50 free (36.65) and 14th in the 25 free (16.20).

Sonia Lin of LRSC was third in the 100 breaststroke (1:23.81), ninth in the 50 back (36.30) and third in the 50 breaststroke (38.11).

Lin also swam with Lynsie Russell, Emilie Burrill and Bronwyn Morissette to take eighth in the 200 medley relay (2:28.54).

Also, Burrill placed eighth in the 100 breaststroke (1:26.91) and the 200 free relay of Morissette, Russell, Burrill and Lin took 12th in 2:12.81.

For the boys, Nate Samson placed 15th in the 100 free (1:10.73).

The 200 medley relay team of Spencer Lindsley, Tucker Banger, Kevin Tolan and Samson took 14th in 2:35.67, while the 200 free relay of Lindsley, Samson, Banger and Tolan placed 13th in 2:16.38.

Hope Logan of LRSC took third in the 50 butterfly (29.20), and Ouellette placed 11th in the 50 back (32.29), second in the 100 butterfly (1:05.72), and sixth in the 200 IM (2:27.18).

Jessica Russell placed fourth in the 100 free (57.03) and fourth in the 100 back (1:05.17).

Casco Bay's Abby Belisle Haley placed 15th in the 50 butterfly (30.44) and ninth in the 100 butterfly (1:01.59), while Amelia Deady placed 16th in the 200 free (2:14.80).

For the boys, Will Hadden of Casco Bay took 10th in the 50 butterfly (30.40), 13th in the 100 free (1:01.59), and 11th in the 50 free (27.70), while Travis Libsack placed 14th in the 50 back (33.62).

The LRSC 200 medley relay of Racheal Vanhooijdonk, Caitlin Foster, Petra Janney and Emily Buczkowski placed sixth in 2:02.45. The same four girls also swam the 200 free relay and took fourth in 1:48.40.

Also, Buczkowski placed seventh in the 50 free (26.43), while Janney was eighth in the 100 butterfly (1:03.20), 12th in the 100 back (1:05.35) and fifth in the 500 free (5:25.32). Foster placed 16th in the 500 free (5:53.77).

For the LRSC boys, Robbie Johnson placed 10th in the 100 back (1:03.08) and 10th in the 500 free (5:27.05).

The LRSC Senior girls 200 medley relay of Annie Metcalf, Abbey Ridge, Rebecca Bonnett and Rachel Clegg took ninth in 1:56.84.

Also, Bonnett was fifth in the 100 IM (2:19.50) and Clegg eighth (2:20.45), while Bonnett was 16th in the 100 butterfly (1:03.75), Clegg 11th in the 100 free (2:04.86) and Metcalf sixth in the 100 back (1:01.49) and fourth in the 500 free (5:23.89). Ridge took sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.26), while the 400 free relay of Metcalf, Bonnett, Clegg and Ridge placed 13th in 3:54.25.

For the LRSC boys, Wells took third in the 100 IM (2:04.52) and Cameron Lindsley was 15th (2;16.78).

Nichols took 16th in the 50 free (23.42) and fourth in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.58),

The Casco Bay boys 200 medley relay of Libby, Jordan Lajoie, Chris Gervais and Pat McCann placed 16th (1:51.76). Also, Libby placed fourth in the 100 free (49.39)

Harrington tops Maine Moose scoring

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Harrington tops Maine Moose scoring
HALLOWELL — The Maine Moose, a junior hockey Super Elite team that plays its home games at the Kennebec Ice Arena, recently was eliminated from the International Junior Hockey League playoffs after getting swept by the Exeter Freeze Fury, 2-1 in a best-of-three series.

Andrew Harrington, a junior at Richmond High School, finished as the leading scorer for the Moose this season and became one of the team's alternate captains.

"Andrew has continued to grow as a player and as a young man," said Moose coach Glenn Carey, who has coached Harrington since the team's inception last season. "He puts points on the board and works harder than most of the players I have ever coached. His hard work has allowed his natural gifts to come out, and that has not only earned him more ice time, but has earned him the right to be a captain."

With one final tournament scheduled this weekend in Exeter, N.H., Harrington leads the team with 60 points (23 goals, 37 assists) in 48 games. He plays on the power play (six man-advantage goals) and the penalty kill (one shorthanded goal) and has shown some grittiness with 118 penalty minutes.

"I had some trouble for a little while in taking too many penalties, especially when opponents were being chippy with me, and then I would come back at them and get called," said Harrington, who broke the team's scoring record this year. "My points have gone way up this season. My passing has been better and this team has done a lot of good things this year."

The Moose compiled a 17-7-1 league mark (25-18-5 overall), good for second place in the regular season. In the first playoff game at Exeter, the Moose dropped a 6-3 contest before returning home, where the team dropped game two, 6-4. Harrington had three points in the second game.

"This was the first time for me not winning a playoff game," said Harrington.

High school
Like all Moose players, the athletes are expected to attend school. For Harrington, that is easy considering that he is still a high school student at Richmond.

"My friends and teachers at Richmond High School are great, and I feel so lucky to live in Richmond," said Harrington. "At times, I have to leave school early for a road trip, or miss a day, and my teachers have always been there to make sure that I am getting the stuff that I need."

Harrington helped his Richmond soccer team claim the Class D state title in November. He scored the game-winning goal and assisted on two more as the Bobcats grabbed a 3-1 win over East champion Ashland. Harrington had 18 goals and 12 assists overall.

He didn't have long to celebrate. The Moose season had already begun and Harrington was off to join his teammates on a road trip in Montreal.

"I never have played high school hockey because we don't have a team in Richmond, but playing soccer and winning the championship was a great feeling and a long time coming for the team," said Harrington. "With this Moose team, we are nearing the end of the season and soon I will have to say good-bye to my 25 'brothers,' which is always a sad time of the year."

"Andrew brings an incredible amount of emotion and he's aggressive," said Carey, who hopes Harrington returns next season. "He is a likely candidate to be this team's captain next season because he has really matured into a leader. There is still some boy left in him, but he is just 17-years-old."

When the season ends, Harrington plans to hit the weight room and race his horses.

"I do lift weights, but I just try to stay toned," said Harrington. "Also, I help raise standard-bred horses, and I plan on racing at Scarborough (Downs) and other places during the offseason."

As for next year, Harrington hasn't decided where he will play, but knows he has a local option.

"I know that I can go back to the Moose next season, but I will weigh my options and go from there," said Harrington.


MAINE MOOSE HOCKEY PLAYER Andrew Harrington takes part in a recent team practice at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston. Harrington, from Richmond, leads the Moose in scoring as the team winds down their season with a tournament in Exeter, N.H., this weekend.

Changes made to Class C football

Sport: Football  Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Changes made to Class C football
The Courier-Gazette
by Jim Leonard, SAD 5 Athletic Director
The Little Ten Conference will have a new look, and an expanded playoff format, after a series of decisions over the last month.

Earlier this month, the LTC voted to accept Old Town and Calais into the league. Old Town had formerly played in the Class B ranks, but petitioned down to Class C in order to rebuild its program. Calais, a new program, had completed a season of club football as mandated by Maine Principals’ Association rule. By MPA rule, club teams must play two years at that level before applying for full varsity status. However, by allowing Old Town to petition to Class C, the MPA created an unbalanced league at the LTC. By allowing Calais to play at full varsity status a year early, the LTC is now the Little Twelve Conference.

Over the past several years, all LTC teams played a nine game regular season schedule against the balance of the league. With twelve teams, that is no longer possible. Beginning in the fall of 2008, the LTC will split into two divisions – Division 1 and Division 2. Each division will have six teams. Each team will play one game against the remaining team within the division, and then  play three “crossover” games with opponents from the other division. All LTC teams will now play only eight regular season games.

Another difference will be the playoff format. In the recent past, the LTC took the top four teams (using Crabtree Points as the determining factor) to the playoffs. This season, the top eight teams will qualify for the playoffs. The top four seeds will host first round games on Oct. 24. The LTC semifinals will be held on Oct. 31 and the regional/league championship game will be played on Nov. 7. Throughout the LTC playoffs, games will be played at the site of the higher seeded team.

Rockland will play in Division 2 with Bucksport, John Bapst, Maine Central Institute, Mt. View and Calais. Division 1 includes Foxcroft Academy, Mattanawcook, Orono, Stearns, Dexter and Old Town.

Included on the Tigers’ schedule this season are games at Orono, John Bapst, Maine Central Institute and Foxcroft Academy. Rockland will play host to Mt. View, Bucksport, Calais and Mattanawcook. The varsity schedule opens with an exhibition against Boothbay on the last Saturday in August (kickoff at 7 p.m.). The regular season opens with a road game at Orono on Friday, Sept. 5.

Frame leads Panthers to 2nd straight state title

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Frame leads Panthers to 2nd straight state title

Staff photo by Jim Evans
Staff photo by Jim Evans
ALL STAR: Morning Sentinel Girls Basketball Player of the Year Morgan Frame is keeping her family’s tradition in basketball alive. As boys, her father and uncles played indoor hoops in the family barn.

There was no one like Waterville junior Morgan Frame in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B division this season. As a 6-footer, she probably had a size advantage on you. If she didn't, she was definitely quicker.

"I'm happy that I don't have to game plan for her," Waterville coach Ted Rioux said, "because she absolutely is a nightmare to game plan for."

This season, Frame averaged 18.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.2 steals and 2.1 blocked shots per game. That makes her the choice for the Morning Sentinel Girls Basketball Player of the Year. Lawrence standout Brogan Liberty was also considered.

Frame's many skills meant she never really had an off game all season. From playing AAU basketball, she could move left or right after posting up and could also face the basket and drive for a score. From spring track, she had speed, running technique, and strength.

"I was never really fast until eighth grade," Frame said. "I started playing soccer. We had a new coach. Her name was (Trish) Pfluger, and she ran us and ran us. That was really what made me faster, and it made me do track."

The only potential downfall in Frame's game is her occasional foul trouble. She stayed away from that this season, which kept her on the court when needed.

"I've always had a hard time with foul trouble," Frame said. "My dad and my grandfather, before the game, the only thing they say is, 'No fouls. No fouls.' They know that's my weakness. If I get lazy, then I do that. So I really have to push myself to be in position."

Of course, Waterville was so deep and dominant this season that in most games, Frame getting into foul trouble would not have been a problem. The Purple Panthers rolled to their second straight undefeated season.

While Waterville fell behind Lake Region in the first quarter of the Class B title game, the Panthers stormed to a 54-35 victory and their second state title in a row.

"You read (the Web site) MBR and you read other things, and they say, 'Oh, other teams are going to beat them,' " Frame said. "That, for us, is what really does it. That's what we really play for. All of us. We all think about that and talk about how they think we can't do it again."

Frame is already a force near the basket, so Rioux wants her to develop a consistent outside shot to make her even more attractive to college coaches. While Rioux lets her shoot 3-pointers in practice -- he says she makes about 33 percent -- he has not yet let her do that in games.

"What she needs is the repetitions to make sure that her form is correct every single time," Rioux said. "I've seen her go around the arc and hit seven, eight, nine in a row."

Frame will visit colleges next month, and says it is her dream to play Division I college basketball. She is looking at the University of New Hampshire and Maine.

"It's scary to think about," Frame said. "It's a different level in basketball. I don't know what division I'm going to be doing. And to be away from these girls is hard, too, obviously. We've grown up together."

Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243


Cony's Mack helps young team reach its potential

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Cony's Mack helps young team reach its potential

Staff photo by Joe Phelan
Staff photo by Joe Phelan
BEST ON THE COURT: Cony’s Rachael Mack is the 2008 Kennebec Journal Girls Basketball Player of the Year.

The stoic facade Cony High School senior Rachael Mack presents during basketball games belies what's happening underneath.

"I call her the Robert Parish of Cony High School," Cony coach Paul Vachon said, alluding to the stone-faced former Boston Celtics center. "You don't know if you're winning or losing by her facial expressions."

No danger of that with Vachon who wears his basketball heart on his sleeve. But Mack simply finds this the best way to channel her energy.

"That's how I control my emotions," Mack said. "If I got mad, I just wouldn't focus on the game."

Mack's focus helped the young Rams to an 18-3 record this year as well as Maine's most prestigious individual awards: Miss Maine Basketball and Gatorade Player of the Year.

Mack averaged 18.2 points and 10.7 rebounds a game this season and -- along with Shelby Pelkey, Cony's only other senior -- emerged as a team leader. For her efforts, Mack has been selected Kennebec Journal Girls Player of the Year. Also considered were Pelkey and Monmouth Academy's Jenn Lola.

Like her on-court demeanor, the 6-foot-1 Mack compiled her statistics quietly, often surprising coaches and opponents by game's end.

"She gets open when she has to and finishes when she has to," Pelkey said.

A complementary player for the first three years of her high school career, Mack evolved into an all-around player this season, often receiving the ball in the low post and kicking it back out to Cony's 3-point shooters.

The slender Mack posted up out of necessity but admits "I'm not much of a back-to-the-basket player."

She was much more effective when facing the basket and pulling the trigger on her jump shot, which this season extended to the 3-point line.

"She has the touch," Pelkey said.

Mack will play at Colby next season and plans to work even more on her outside shot during the summer.

She played on two Class A state championship teams at Cony and calls her experiences there invaluable, on and off the court.

"It's an experience you can't match," she said. "Everyone involved in the Cony program is like a family. So many people follow Cony basketball because we have such a good tradition."

She also has great admiration for Vachon, who she sees as misunderstood at times by people who only observe him on the sidelines.

"He's the nicest person in the world," Mack said. "He just cares so much about his players. He's made me expand outside my quiet exterior."

Vachon has seen Mack grow on and off the basketball court.

"As soon as she knows you, she is probably as personable as any player I've ever had," he said.

Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638


Swedish players commit to Maine

Sport: Hockey (Boys)  Posted: March 22nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Swedish players commit to Maine
By Larry Mahoney
Saturday, March 22, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

The University of Maine men’s hockey team will have three Swedish players next season after receiving verbal commitments from a goaltender and a right winger who have Swedish national team experience.

Goalie Pontus Hansson and right wing Theo Andersson will join forward Gustav Nyquist with the Black Bears in the fall.

Nyquist, who has played for the Swedish Under-18 and Under-17 teams, has already signed a National Letter of Intent.

Hansson and Andersson play for Frolunda in the Swedish Under-20 Elite league while Nyquist plays for Malmo in the same league.

Their coming to Maine is contingent upon their acceptance into the school and passing NCAA Clearinghouse requirements.

Hansson will battle incoming freshman Scott Darling for the goaltending job vacated by All-Hockey East second-teamer Ben Bishop, who passed up his senior year to sign with the St. Louis Blues. The Blues drafted him in the third round.

The 6-2, 185-pound Hansson had a 1.54 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage through 20 games for Frolunda while Andersson, who is 5-11, 168 pounds, had 17 goals and 24 assists in 41 games.

The 20-year-old Hansson has played for the Swedish Under-17 team and Andersson, who is 18, has played for the Under-16 team.

"I’ve heard many good things about Maine," said Hansson. "It seems to be a very good place to be, especially if you’re a goalie."

Maine has had eight goalies play in the NHL over the past 20 years.

Hansson described himself as an aggressive "butterfly-style goalie" who likes to "challenge the shooters."

He knows the goaltending job is open and there will be a good opportunity to earn significant playing time.

"I’m hoping to be the No. 1 goalie. I don’t know how hard it is going to be [for a first-year player] but I’m going for it," added Hansson, who is excited about coming to Maine.

He said the Bears are getting a quality winger in Andersson.

"He’s a really good player. He scores goals all the time," said Hansson. "He’s fast, he’s a good stickhandler and he’s dangerous in front of the net."

Andersson will help fill the void left by the departure of players who produced 50.6 percent of Maine’s goals and 54.8 percent of Maine’s assists this past season.

Bears name co-captains

Defenseman Simon Danis-Pepin and center-right wing Jeff Marshall, who are both juniors, have been chosen as co-captains for next season in a vote among the players and coaches.

The 19-year-old Danis-Pepin, who was the youngest player on the Maine team for the third straight year, had four goals and eight assists in 34 games while Marshall had 5 & 6 in 34 games.

Maine went 13-18-3 overall 9-15-3 in Hockey East, and finished ninth in the conference.

Maine coach Tim Whitehead said both players deserved the honor.

"They did a great job this past season. They are both very hard workers and they lead by example," said Whitehead.

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