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Wells boys' basketball coach Jay Moore retires after 21 seasons leading program

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Wells boys' basketball coach Jay Moore retires after 21 seasons leading program
From staff reports March 19, 2008

Wells High School boys' basketball coach Jay Moore is resigning after 21 seasons as head coach. Moore, a business teacher at Wells, told Athletic Administrator Joe Schwartzman he wanted to spend more time with his family and watch his daughter and son play basketball next winter.

"He has a daughter who will be in the ninth grade and a son who will be in the seventh grade," said Schwartzman. "Jay has been an excellent leader. The kids respect him and he cares about the game."

Wells finished 8-12 this season and beat Oak Hill 52-41 in a tournament preliminary-round game before losing to eventual Western Class B champion Cape Elizabeth 72-35 in the quarterfinals

Maine lad was a boy among men

Sport:   Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Maine lad was a boy among men

Article Date: Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Jake Bagley, right, works out with his wrestling coach Kevin Gray Tuesday at Noble Middle School. Bagley, 14, recently won an open regional wrestling tournament in Connecticut.
(EJ Hersom/Staff photographer

NORTH BERWICK, Maine — When Jake Bagley registered for the open division at the Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association's Eastern Regional tournament in Connecticut last weekend, some people were concerned.

Bagley lives in Lebanon, Maine, and is a 14-year-old eighth-grader at Noble Middle School and open divisions are typically reserved for wrestlers at least 18 years of age and out of high school. He was a boy among men, but it wasn't Bagley that anybody should have been concerned about.

When he won the 125-pound weight class of the tournament at Windham High School in Willimantic those same people who were concerned were in awe, as were many in attendance, including Bagley himself.

"I was expecting to lose," Bagley said. "I wasn't expecting to win any (matches). I just wanted to have a good run, but lose in the end. I can't believe I won it. Nobody expected me to win."

In fact, Bagley wasn't even supposed to be wrestling in that division. He and his father drove down to Willimantic on Sunday morning thinking he would be wrestling in a tournament with kids his own age. When they got there they found out that tournament took place on Saturday and the open division was wrestling on Sunday.

Jake and his father, Tom Bagley, didn't want it to be a wasted trip so they talked to the tournament organizers, who Tom said were worried Jake might get hurt if they let him wrestle. He was able to convince them that wasn't the case, and he said they eventually decided to let him enter.

"At first they were worried about getting sued," Tom Bagley said. "Then they all watched as the day went along."

Jake went 4-0 at the tournament. He won his first match by a 6-5 decision and then beat the defending champion in the second round with a pin in overtime. Jake pinned his next opponent in the second period and then won the championship with a 9-7 decision over who he said was a member of the University of New Hampshire club team.


Jake Bagley, 14, runs stairs with his team at Noble Middle School Tuesday. Bagley recently won an open regional wrestling tournament in Connecticut.
(EJ Hersom/Staff photographer)

It's the third straight year Jake has won the title of the division he has wrestled in at the tournament, just some of the many championships he has compiled over his 10 years in the sport. He has also won six straight New England titles and eight straight state titles.

Last spring Jake took sixth place at the Tournament of Champions in Columbus, Ohio, and fifth at a tournament in New York state. He is 38-1 this season.

Neither Tom nor Jake were concerned about Jake wrestling college-aged men.

"I wasn't really worried about it," Tom said. "We wrestle with three or four groups and he's always at the top."

It was almost a quick tournament for Jake. He trailed his first opponent, age 20, 5-4, going into the third period. Then Jake scored a reversal for two points and stayed in the neutral position for the rest of the match to earn the 6-5 win.

Next up was the two-time defending champion, who was 23. That match went down to the wire, too, and it was Jake who got the pin in overtime for the stunning win.

"He was supposed to kill me," Jake said. "I pinned him in overtime, which is one of the biggest accomplishments for me."

Jake pinned his next opponent in the second period to earn a berth into the championship, where he trailed 7-5 at the start of the third period. He chose the bottom to start and immediately executed a one-point escape to make it 7-6. It remained that way until the closing seconds when he scored a takedown and a near fall for three points and the 9-7 win.

"It was great," Jake said. "After the match was over I just jumped into my father's arms."

"That was great," said Tom Bagley, who coaches Jake. "Him jumping into my arms was better than the actual win."

At home in Lebanon, Jake's mother, Lorey Bagley, was waiting by the phone.

"I couldn't believe he kept winning," Lorey said. "I lost it. It was great. I could hear the excitement in his voice and how proud he was."

In April, Jake will wrestle in that national tournament in Ohio again and next year he hopes to make the Noble High School team. The Knights are a perennial power in Maine's Class A who won eight straight championships before coming up just short the past two seasons.

Jake hopes he can help restore Noble to prominence — after all, he'll only have to wrestle high schoolers.

"I think it's amazing," Lorey said. "I think he's outstanding. He's gone above and beyond what he can do. I think it's great."

Brunswick 6th boys capture Rec. title

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Brunswick 6th boys capture Rec. title
BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick sixth-grade boys basketball team captured the Brunswick Parks and Recreation Sixth-Grade Basketball Tournament this weekend, holding on for a 32-27 victory over Gorham in the championship game on Sunday. Led by Blake Gordon's nine points, Brunswick cruised to quarterly leads of 6-1, 15-12 and 23-14 over Gorham. Gorham battled back in the fourth, outscoring Brunswick 13-9, but Brunswick held on to capture the title.

Zachary Raubeson chipped in eight points for Brunswick, while Most Valuable Player Ryan Black added five and played strong defense. Brunswick was nine of 20 from the foul line, but made seven of 12 in the fourth quarter to prevail.

Gorham's Nicholas Gratorex led all scorers with 11 points with Jon Woods adding eight. Gorham was five of 16 from the free-throw line.

Augusta 34, Topsham 16
Augusta and Topsham opened tournament play on Saturday with Augusta using strong defense throughout in moving on to the semifinals.

Augusta led 6-2, 17-5 and 30-11 at the quarter breaks behind strong play from Kevin Kingsbury (nine points) and Terrell Mathis (eight). Augusta, which shot eight of 15 from the foul line, received five points from Bronson Kieltyka and Alec Gagne.

Topsham's Jake Demosthenes scored a team-high five points, while Zack Curtis chipped in four. Topsham was two of 16 from the free-throw line.

Westbrook 21, CLC YMCA 19
Noah Collins scored 11 points leading Westbrook to the two-point win on Saturday.

Westbrook led 5-4 after a quarter, 11-8 at the half, and 19-14 after three.

CLC battled back in the fourth quarter behind a 3-pointer from Seward Matel, which led his team with nine points.

Westbrook's Abe Thompson added four points. Westbrook was two of four from the foul line, while CLC was zero for two.

Gorham 37, Augusta 33
In the first semifinal on Saturday, Gorham battled back from a first-quarter deficit as Gratorex scored 18 points including eight in the final two minutes to preserve the win.

Augusta jumped out to a 9-6 lead after a quarter before Gorham battled back for a 15-14 lead at the half. Gorham led 22-18 after three quarters, but Augusta's Kieltyka (11 points) brought his team back with eight fourth-quarter points.

Gorham was nine of 25 from the foul line. Woods and Ed Weymouth chipped in five points apiece with Matt Melton adding four.

Augusta's Mat Carwell and Kingsbury had six points each. Augusta was seven of 13 from the foul line.

Brunswick 40, Westbrook 14
Brunswick outscored Westbrook 15-0 in the first quarter en route to an easy semifinal victory.

Brunswick led 17-5 at the half and 27-6 after three quarters.

Black led Brunswick with nine points, and Gordon had eight and caused numerous turnovers in the first quarter. Cullen Shea chipped in six points, Derek Devereaux had five, and Logan Dewey and Satchel Toole contributed four points apiece. Brunswick was three of nine from the foul line.

Thompson led Westbrook with 10 points. Westbrook was four of 12 from the foul line.

Topsham 47, CLC YMCA 14
Sunday began with Topsham rolling over CLC in a consolation game.

Topsham led 10-4 after a quarter, 21-6 at the half and 33-10 after three quarters.

Branden Garrison led Topsham with 17 points with Devin Monteiro (seven), Demosthenes (five) and Brandon Dionne (four) playing well. Topsham was five of 17 from the foul line.

Matel led CLC with 10 points. CLC was four of seven from the charity stripe.

Augusta 26, Westbrook 18
In a close consolation game, Augusta turned up the defense in the fourth quarter earning a win.

Westbrook led 5-4 after a quarter, but Augusta battled back to take a 15-11 lead at the break. Augusta led 22-16 after three quarters and held Westbrook to one hoop in the fourth.

Kingsbury led Augusta with eight points. Peter Ackelman and Kieltyka contributed four points each. Augusta was six of 19 from the foul line.

Collins led Westbrook with eight points. Westbrook was two of 14 from the free-throw line.

Bowdoin men's hoops end best season ever

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Bowdoin men's hoops end best season ever
BRUNSWICK — The members of the Bowdoin College men's basketball team (22-7) have already turned in their jerseys and packed away their sneakers, marking the end of what transpired as the best season in program history. The Polar Bears advanced to the New England Small College Athletic Conference postseason for the first time ever and made an appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament. After winning a first-round game against Curry College, Bowdoin was knocked out in the second round by Brandeis, 68-53.

Coach Tim Gilbride said although their postseason stint is over, he is more than satisfied with his team's performance over the duration of the season.

"The one thing that I was very proud of was that they came to every practice, every game all the time, prepared both emotionally and physically, ready to play at our best. Sometimes you don't have your best game, even though your coaching that way." said Gilbride.

"In the first half of the game (against Brandeis), I didn't think we played quite to our capability. But that had a little bit to do honestly with their defense and their abilities as well."

The Polar Bears fell behind early, but did what they have done all year — battle to the end.

"We were down 13 at the half, and our team responded to that challenge and came out in the second half and played exceptionally well, especially well right from the get-go in the second half," said Gilbride. "I think we might have outscored them 16-2 early in that half to actually take a lead."

"They (Brandeis, 22-5) are a very good team so they made a little run again and, unfortunately, got it back a little bit. At the end of the game, we had to foul and do some other things where the score spread out a little bit more.

"But, I'm real proud of the way — just as we had all year long — the team responded to the challenge and played probably our best basketball all year for a stretch," offered Gilbride, noting that there was some obvious disappointment in the final outcome.

"Brandeis is a very good team and has a chance of going far," allowed the longtime coach. "But we felt that we were certainly capable of beating them on our best day, and would have loved to have done it."

What to expect in 2008-09
If Gilbride's team hopes to make a repeat of this season, the torch will need to be passed on to a new group of leaders who (hopefully) will maintain the standards set by this season's players.

"We had some outstanding leadership from our three seniors both on, and off the court," said Gilbride. "Forward/center Jordan Fliegel, guard Andrew Hippert and forward Andrew Sargeantson are experienced players who knew what it took to be successful and were willing to lead by both example in anyway necessary to make sure our team did what was necessary to try to be successful."

The graduation of Hippert, Sargeantson and Fliegel should allow for a new group of leaders to emerge for the 2008-09 Polar Bears.

"Every year you lose valuable seniors and you don't really try to replace them, because they're all unique in what energy they bring as individuals and as players, you try and go with what you have for leadership next year and work off of that," said Gilbride.

"And I do think that we have an outstanding group that will be seniors next year with Darian Reid-Sturgis, Kyle Jackson and Tim Lane. We'll look for those guys to step up and fill those same positions."

Gilbride's confident that this new group of seniors will sustain the established leadership and maintain the imperative support system that led to Bowdoin's success this season.

Kyle a key
"Kyle (Jackson) was one of the key players for us this year, Mike Hauser was our starting point guard and Randy Dafeo played a lot of minutes over the course of the season," said Gilbride.

"In the frontcourt, Mark Phillips was our backup center this year and he played exceptionally well down the stretch both in the NESCAC Tournament and the NCAAs. Hopefully he's ready to step in that role," added Gilbride.

As for adding new players to the Bowdoin roster, Gilbride states that recruiting for next season's team is all done but it's still too early to give out a final roster.

"I think we have a very good group coming in so we're excited about that," said the longtime coach. "We're still waiting on the regular decisions which will come out in another month to find out who's been accepted ... and hopefully they decide to come and play next year."

As for local players? "We don't know, there are a few in the 'regular decisions'," said Gilbride. But until the students get accepted his staff won't know for sure who will fill out the roster.

Returning to the NESCAC and NCAA Division III Tournaments next year "certainly will be our goal starting the year." Gilbride said. "We have people on the team that will have experienced this and know what it takes and hopefully provide the same kind leadership to get us there next year."

Medomak grapplers host six-squad event

Sport:   Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Medomak grapplers host six-squad event
The Courier-Gazette

by Mark Haskell

    WALDOBORO — The Medomak Middle School wrestling team competed in a pair of meets last week, fairing well in both and showing promise for the future.

    Medomak hosted Ellsworth, Brewer, Mt. Ararat, Mountain Valley and Augusta Saturday at Medomak Valley High School, and participated in a three-team meet Wednesday with Nokomis and Hermon.

    Saturday, Medomak lost 66-36 to Ellsworth; lost 39-27 to Brewer; fell 66-27 to Mt. Ararat; dropped a 39-24 decision to Mt. Valley; and lost 55-18 to Augusta. On Wednesday at Nokomis, Medomak fell 36-30 to the host team; and earned a 30-30 tie with Hermon.

    The scores were hardly indicative of the level of competition for Medomak, as it gave away many points by way of forfeits.

    The individual local results for Saturday, with Medomak grapplers listed first, were:

    75 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Jack Weeks, E; forfeited to Mark Smith, B; double forfeited with Mt. Ararat; forfeited to D. Jacques, MTV; and double forfeited with Augusta.

    81 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Kyle Lima, E; double forfeited with Brewer; forfeited to Eric Knight, MTA; forfeited to N. Boucher, MTV; and double forfeited with Augusta.

    87 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Braden Beardsley, M; forfeited with Anthony Spring, B; forfeited to Cory Allen; MTA; forfeited to J. Thornton, MTV; and forfeited to Jake Charest, A.

    93 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Hunter King, E; forfeited to Cory Eaton, B; forfeited to Jacob Kenney, MTA; and double forfeited with Mt. Valley and Augusta.

    99 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Robert Banner, E; double forfeited with Brewer; forfeited to Felipe Gunter, MTA; double forfeited with Mt. Valley; and double forfeited with Augusta.

    105 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Cory McMillan, E; double forfeited with Brewer; forfeited to Cody Ward, MTA; double forfeited with Mt. Valley; and forfeited to Ryan Pell, A.

    111 pounds — Zachary Rideout pinned Tommy Merrill, E, at 0:37; won by forfeit over Brewer; pinned Sean Bulder, MTA, at 0:18; pinned Nicole Burgess, MTV, at 0:39; and lost 6-0 to Connor Dufour, A.

    117 pounds — Dylan Upham pinned Kim Farley, E, at 0:20; won by forfeit over Brewer; was pinned by Danny Ewing, MTA; at 0:57; lost 11-8 to J. Provencher, MTV; and pinned Jake Fraser, A, at 0:18.

    123 pounds — Nick Pooley pinned Katelyn Mosley, E, at 0:52; won 8-6 over Dakota Bartlett, B; won by forfeited over Mt. Ararat; was pinned by an unnamed Mt. Valley grappler, at 0:36;and won by forfeit over Augusta.

    129 pounds — Medomak double forfeited with Ellsworth; forfeited to Nate Davies, B; double forfeited with Mt. Ararat; and double forfeited with Mt. Valley and Augusta.

    135 pounds — Adam Lynch pinned Dean Donovan, E, at 0:54; won by forfeit over Brewer; won 4-2 over Keith Kovakzyk, MTA; pinned an unnamed Mt. Valley grappler at 0:31; and pinned Nate Nalley, A, at 1:14.

    141 pounds — Dylan Look pinned Blake Haass, E, at 0:40; lost 5-0 to Victor Irwin, B; pinned Nick Beaudoin, MTA, at 0:20; pinned an unnamed Mt. Valley grappler at 0:26; and lost 11-3 to Thor Ithipaalakarr, A.

    147 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Aaron Guyette, E; double forfeited with Brewer; forfeited to Jared Shuefeldt, MTA; forfeited to G. David, MTV; and forfeited to Blake Doucette, A.

    155 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Mike Philapon, E; double forfeited with Brewer; forfeited to Robert Cornelison, MTA; double forfeited with Brewer; and forfeited to Matt Hagredy, A.

    165 pounds — Zac Sawyer pinned Sam Lounder, E, at 1:56; won by forfeit over Brewer; pinned Ben Davis, MTA; at 0:29; forfeited to Mt. Valley; and was pinned by Cody Dular, A, at 0:51.

    175 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Josh Fowler, E; double forfeited with B; forfeited to Chad Pine; MTA; forfeited to R. Glover, MTV; and forfeited to VJ Tautoco, A.

    190 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Michael Garland, E; forfeited to Marcus Eaton, B; forfeited to Jordan Shuefeldt, MTA; and double forfeited with Mt. Valley and Augusta.

    210 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Patrick Kidder, E; double-forfeited with Brewer, Mt. Ararat and Mt. Valley; and forfeited to Phil Obert, A.

    240 pounds — Medomak double forfeited with Ellsworth and Brewer; forfeited to Dustin Burr, MTA; double forfeited with Mt. Valley; and forfeited to Hunter Frost, A.

     The individual local results for Wednesday, with Medomak grapplers listed first, were:

    75 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Teran Booth, N; and forfeited to Kendrick McCarthy, H.

    81 pounds — Medomak double forfeited with Nokomis and Hermon.

    87 pounds — Medomak double forfeited with Nokomis; and forfeited to Cody Staples, H.

    93 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Joe Crocker, N; and forfeited to David Shepardson, H.

    99 pounds — Medomak double forfeited with Nokomis and Hermon.

    105 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Tristan Brooks, N; and double forfeited with Hermon.

    111 pounds — Rideout won by forfeit over Nokomis; and pinned Luke Potter, H, at 0:30.

    117 pounds — Medomak won by forfeit over Nokomis, and forfeited to Deven Lovett, H.

    123 pounds — Nick Pooley won by forfeit over Nokomis; and was pinned by Nick Bishop, H, at 2:14.

    129 pounds — Medomak double forfeited with Nokomis and Hermon.

    135 pounds — Adam Lynch won by forfeit over Nokomis; and pinned Matt Baits, H, at 0:39.

    141 pounds — Joseph Emerson won by forfeit over Nokomis and Hermon.

    147 pounds — Look was pinned by Adam Micheller, N, at 2:15; and won by forfeit over Hermon.

    155 pounds — Medomak forfeited to Ricky Gruld, N; and double forfeited with Hermon.

    165 pounds — Sawyer was pinned by Kyle Jackson, N, at 0:33; and pinned Dustin Willey, H, at 1:36.

    175 pounds — Medomak double forfeited with Nokomis and Hermon.

    190 pounds — Medomak double forfeited with Nokomis and Hermon.

    210 pounds — Medomak double forfeited with Nokomis and Hermon.

    240 pounds — Medomak double forfeited with Nokomis and Hermon.

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Thomas ready to open season

Sport: Baseball  Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

COLLEGE BASEBALL: Thomas ready to open season

WATERVILLE -- Thomas College baseball coach Greg King doesn't sugarcoat it when he talks about his team's pitching.

"Our pitching is probably going to be the weakest we've had," said King, now in his 12th season as the Terriers' coach. "Some days you come to practice and it looks like we're going to have a pretty darn good pitching staff, and other days it's like we're not sure what we're going to get."

Thomas begins the 2008 season next week with eight games in Arizona. The Terriers, who went 8-17 last season, open the trip next Wednesday with a doubleheader against D'Youville and close the week with two games against Castleton State, the preseason favorite in the North Atlantic Conference.

"We'd just like to take one from them," said Hallowell native Sam Shain, a junior.

Sophomores Payton Austin and Cory Estes will be at the top of the Terriers' pitching rotation. While each had an earned run average of less than 3.00 last season, the pair combined to throw just 35.1 innings and have just one start between them, by Austin.

"They both have outstanding breaking stuff. They're both throwing with a little more velocity right now, but both of those guys just have an uncanny ability to locate. They both throw three pitches for strikes," King said.

Freshmen Andrew Martin and Tony MacMillan, along with Shain, will see time on the mound. Shain threw just 3.1 innings last season. Catcher Nick Shauwecker has spent much of his preseason getting to know all his new pitchers.

"There's a lot of good freshman up and coming this year, so I have to learn and get with them, know everything they do. Learn their pitches. Help them by telling them what's wrong and what they need to work on," said Shauwecker, who hit .360 last season with 16 runs batted in. "I can't wait to see these kids outside. I can't wait to see what these kids are bringing."

The Terriers hit .324 as a team last season, and with five returning players who hit at least .333, offense should be the team's strength.

The lineup will be led by senior center fielder Mike Chamard. The team's only senior, Chamard led the NAC with a .474 average last season and was a second team all-conference selection, driving in a team-high 24 runs.

"Without question, (Chamard) should be one of the top players in the conference," King said.

Shortstop Jared Fieldsend hit .333 last season, as did Shain, who will see time at a number of positions.

"I'll probably be playing first, third, outfield, pitching a little bit. I could be anywhere, really," Shain said.

"With his bat, he's going to have to be in the lineup," King said of Shain.

Newcomers Josh Nickerson and Pat Brooks will see time at first and third base, respectively, while Mike Busa and Alex Pelletier will share second base duties. Sophomore Tom Desjardins will see action at third base, and Nick Cloutier will spell Shauwecker behind the plate or get in the lineup as the designated hitter.

The two corner outfield positions are up for grabs, King said.

"If a kid gets out there, he has to take advantage of their opportunity, and the one who is doing the best is the one who's going to stay out there," King said. "I think this year's team, we're going to have a bunch of kids playing a bunch of different positions. ... We'll just be throwing people into the mix and seeing what they can do."

Travis Lazarczyk -- 861-9242


GIRLS SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: Waterville's Rancourt caps brilliant career

Sport:   Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

GIRLS SWIMMER OF THE YEAR: Waterville's Rancourt caps brilliant career
From staff reports

A swimming coach will face several choices during the high school season. But for Waterville's Bob Johnston, making Megan Rancourt the anchor on his relay teams was an easy one.

"The weight of the team could be carried on her back," Johnston said. "It meant a lot to her to be able to do it."

As a senior this season, Rancourt filled that role for the Purple Panthers, making their 200- and 400-yard freestyle relay teams the best in the area. Rancourt also led Waterville in individual scoring and was named girls swimmer of the meet after winning the 200 and 500 free at the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B championships.

"I like being the last," Rancourt said. "I get pumped up more. You get that extra boost of adrenaline being the anchor on the relay."

For her accomplishments, Rancourt is the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel Girls Swimmer of the Year. Also considered was Messalonskee freshman Emily Clark.

According to Johnston, what made Rancourt so successful was the time she put in at practice, as well as a competitive nature that would surface when she was challenged.

"If you ever saw Megan swim, she kind of would swim to the level of her competition," Johnston said. "If she was racing against someone who was faster than her, she would not let that person go."

Rancourt said she isn't competitive in other sports, or even at swimming practice. But something about the one-on-one aspect of racing would take her to a different level.

"Swimming is pretty much my life," Rancourt said. "I've been doing it since I was 5."

At the Class B state championships, Rancourt finished fifth in the 200 and third in the 500 while also anchoring two relay teams which finished in the top four. She followed that up by finishing eight at New Englands in both the 200 and the 500.

What makes Rancourt's accomplishments even more surprising is that she was not at 100 percent all season. A back injury forced her to cut back her practice time by two hours per session.

"I've had it since I was younger," Rancourt said. "It didn't really take effect until the end of last year. I went to the doctor's and they said to cut it down a little bit.

"In order to prevent surgery, it's what I needed to do."

The back injury will also play a factor in Rancourt not swimming competitively in college, although Johnston feels she could get a Division I scholarship at the right school. Rancourt is looking to study radiology at Eastern Maine Community College, which does not have a swim team.

"I'm not going to swim for a team in college," Rancourt said. "I'm just going to stay competitive and maybe this year or next year, take up Master's swimming."

That level is also quite competitive, and when she does move on to Master's, Rancourt can say she is coming off a senior season in which she met her expectations.

"My goals for this year were to perform well in states, at least get top eight, and top eight in New Englands too, and to win KVACs," Rancourt said. "I feel like I reached my goals this year."

Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243


Cony's Dufour swims through the pain

Sport:   Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Cony's Dufour swims through the pain

Cony High School senior Cameron Dufour still jumps into the pool a few times a week, but his competitive swimming career is done.

It ended last month at the Class A state meet when he posted school records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, placing fourth in both events.

Dufour qualified for the New England meet, but a left shoulder that has grown progressively more painful throughout his career sealed his decision not to attend.

"After the state meet, the next two or three days I had a hard time moving my neck," Dufour said. "I was happy with myself. I said, 'This is the way I want to end it.' "

Dufour, who transferred from St. Dominic High School in Auburn after his sophomore year, ended a successful career at Cony that included being named outstanding swimmer at this season's Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference meet.

For his efforts, he's been selected Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel Boys Swimmer of the Year for the second year in a row.

Despite shoulder problems last season, Dufour didn't consider quitting the swim team. Diagnosed as tendinitis, the injury grew worse.

"His nerves were rubbing against his bones," Cony coach Jon Millett said. "Every time he moved his shoulders, he was in pain."

Dufour's doctor suggested an elastic tape than lifted the nerve away from the bone and for the most part it worked.

The pain still limited his practice time -- he took a day off before each meet -- as well as his goals for the season.

"The 200 freestyle was my race," said Dufour, who holds the school record in that event. "I was hoping to break 1:50. "And I wanted to beat the 500 school record."

Dufour was limited to the 50 and 100 freestyle events as well as the freestyle relays, but injury-free, he could have gone even further.

"He could have been a great backstroker," Millett said. "He's just solid muscle. There's not an ounce of fat on him."

Millett doesn't dwell too much on what Dufour might have done because he's satisfied with what he's been able to accomplish in and out of the pool.

"He's the best kid I've ever had," Millett said. "You won't find a nicer kid, a hard worker. He's a great role model for everybody."

Dufour, who was also a member of the KVAC All-Academic team, plans to attend the University of Fort Kent next fall and eventually become a state trooper, following in the footsteps of his uncle, Bill Harwood.

"The state police motto is, 'Fairness, compassion, integrity and honor,' " Dufour said. "Ever since I was 5 years old, that's what I've wanted to do in my life."

A lifeguard at the Kennebec Valley YMCA, Dufour is sure his competitive days are done. That doesn't mean he'll give up the sport, though.

"Swimming is just a good exercise for the overall body," he said.

Gary Hawkins -- 621-5638


Corrigan faces sporting choice

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Corrigan faces sporting choice

Caribou High School senior Kyle Corrigan has the most important part of his college selection process settled.

He’s headed to the University of Maine-Presque Isle in the fall to study athletic training.

He’s also going to play a sport for the Owls, but he’s not yet sure which one — and he has two high-quality options.

"It’s either soccer or basketball," he said. "I just want to play one, and I don’t know which one I’m going to play yet. It’s going to take a while."

Corrigan earned All-New England honors from the Maine Soccer Coaches Association last fall after breaking a 30-year-old school single-season goal-scoring record with 27 while leading the Vikings to a 12-3 record. He finished his career with 51 goals and 13 assists.

This winter, the 5-9 guard was one of the top basketball players in Eastern Maine Class B, earning first-team All-Big East Conference honors and All-Aroostook accolades while leading Caribou to a 17-3 record and a berth in the regional tournament.

Corrigan also was a McDonald’s senior all-star.

"It’s just where my heart is and which sport I have more fun playing," said Corrigan of his eventual choice. "It’s not really about all the success, it’s about what I feel."

Corrigan’s favorite sport has changed over the years, which likely will make his decision all the more difficult.

"When I was little it was baseball, then in the middle-school era it was basketball," he said. "Once high school came around, I really got into soccer, so it’s definitely shifted."

Martin wins Gatorade honor

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Martin wins Gatorade honor

Ryan Martin of Maranacook of Readfield has capped off a clean sweep of the state’s top schoolboy basketball honors with his selection as Maine’s Gatorade Player of the Year.

That selection, released Monday, comes in the aftermath of the 5-foot-9 senior guard leading the Black Bears to a 22-0 record and the 2008 Class B state championship and being named Mr. Basketball on Friday night during the Maine McDonald’s Senior All-Star Banquet.

Martin concluded his high school career with a stellar senior season that propelled Maranacook to its second state title in three years.

His contribution? Martin averaged 23.1 points and 2.6 assists per game while shooting 61 percent from the field, 60 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and 88 percent from the free-throw line.

He scored a school-record 56 points — including eight 3-pointers — in the Black Bears’ regular-season finale, a 97-60 victory over Oak Hill of Sabattus. He then was named Eastern B tournament MVP for the second time in three years after averaging 25 points in three games.

Martin followed that effort with a game-high 26 points as the Black Bears defeated Cape Elizabeth 56-46 in the Class B state final.

A three-time Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B player of the year and a two-time Bangor Daily News All-Maine choice, Martin ended his career with 1,899 points.

Martin was a four-year starter for coach Rob Schmidt’s Black Bears but burst onto the scene in a statewide sense as a sophomore.

Martin averaged 34 points in three 2006 Eastern B tournament games, including 41 points in a semifinal win against Medomak Valley of Waldoboro and 35 in Maranacook’s championship-game victory over Presque Isle. He also set an Eastern B tournament record with 18 made free throws in the semifinals.

Maranacook went on to defeat Mountain Valley of Rumford in that year’s state final, but the Black Bears were ousted in the 2007 regional quarterfinals before regaining the gold ball this winter.

Martin’s Maranacook team compiled a 69-13 overall record over four years, including 59-4 during the last three years.

Martin is expected to announce his college plans by the end of this week, with options including Maine, Vermont, Quinnipiac, Keene State and Franklin Pierce.

Rams standout Weston taking talents to Bates

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 19th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Rams standout Weston taking talents to Bates
By Ernie Clark
Wednesday, March 19, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

The Bates College men’s basketball team has developed a fruitful connection with Bangor High School in recent years.

Zak Ray, a star guard for the Rams who was named the state’s 2003 Mr. Basketball, went on to become one of the top players in the New England Small College Athletic Conference during his four years at Bates.

And Alex Gallant, a forward who led Bangor to the 2007 Class A state championship, was part of the Bobcats’ regular rotation during his first year at the Lewiston school this winter.

Now Ryan Weston, who helped Bangor to a 42-2 record, one state championship and two Eastern Maine Class A titles over the last two seasons, plans to join Gallant on the Bates roster next season.

"I went there for a visit, and I loved the coach and I thought it was a beautiful campus even though they had a lot of construction going on," said Weston, a 6-foot-5 center. "The campus was absolutely gorgeous, everybody was really friendly and willing to answer your questions."

Weston said his familiarity with two local players on the team, Gallant and sophomore guard Chris Wilson of Brewer, also helped with his decision, as did the team’s style of play.

"I knew a couple of the guys on the team in Chris and Al, and I got to see them play and see how coach [Joe] Reilly coached," he said. "I loved the way coach Reilly coached — hard, intense man-to-man defense similar to what we do here at Bangor."

Weston, a Bangor Daily News third-team All-Maine choice as a junior, was the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A North player of the year this winter while leading Bangor in scoring (12.7 ppg) and rebounding (8 rpg) despite averaging barely 20 minutes of playing time per game.

Bates finished the 2007-08 season with a 17-8 record, qualifying for the NESCAC playoffs before bowing to Bowdoin of Brunswick in the quarterfinals.

Weston’s athletic career at Bates won’t be confined to basketball, as he also plans to join the Bobcats’ football team this fall.

"When I was visiting there I met the football coach [Mark Harriman], who it turns out had been a referee in our quarterfinal [basketball] game last year against Leavitt, and I decided I wanted to play two sports instead of having to give up one," Weston said. "The coaches supported me 100 percent in doing that, so Bates seemed like a pretty good option for me."

Weston, a first-team All-Pine Tree Conference Class A tight end last fall while helping Bangor reach the Eastern A final, won’t be alone among Bangor football players matriculating to Bates. Fellow All-PTC first-team honorees Tyler McDade (linebacker) and Kyle Vanidestine (running back/defensive back) also are planning to play for the Bobcats beginning this year, Weston said.

Weston is hopeful the blend of new talent and experienced veterans will help Bates emerge from a struggling period in its football history. The Bobcats have finished 1-7 each of the last two years.

"It’s a program on the rise," he said, "and there’s a lot of desire and a lot of passion there."

Hiller leaves ORR hockey

Sport:   Posted: March 18th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Hiller leaves ORR hockey

March 18, 2008 6:00 AM

Jay Hiller, the head coach of the Old Rochester/Fairhaven hockey team for six seasons, told his players he was retiring from the job following their playoff loss to Pembroke in the MIAA Division 3 tournament on Feb. 28. But Hiller didn't go public with the news at the time because he didn't want it to detract attention from his players.

"I miss 90 percent of my kids' games. Braly has two years of high school left, and Kenly has three years of college left," said Hiller, whose two daughters are hockey players. "After nine years, it's just time family-wise."

Hiller took over the program in 2002 and won only two games his first season, but the program soon became competitive, making the state tournament four of the next five seasons. The peak came in 2006-07, when the Bulldogs went 14-1-3 and beat Harwich/Provincetown before falling to eventual sectional champion Scituate in the quarterfinals. Hiller finished the six-year run with a 53-54-13 regular-season record.

A 1979 graduate of ORR, he helped out the high school program after playing some hockey at Cape Cod Community College. After sinking his teeth for years in the family car dealership, Hiller decided to give coaching a try. Now he wants to spend his hockey hours watching his children. Kenly Hiller is a defenseman at Connecticut College, and Braly is a goalie on the girls team at Tabor Academy.

"It was a tough decision," said Hiller, who says he already misses working with assistant coaches Scott Hartley and Mike Jenkins. "Those guys I've been coaching with six years, and we added Jon Peters. When you can't play anymore, it's the closest you can get."

Athletic director Bill Tilden said he's talked to some prospective candidates and intends to hire Hiller's replacement this spring.

— Mick Colageo

Cardone kept under wraps by Needham

Sport:   Posted: March 18th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Cardone kept under wraps by Needham
By David Pevear and Rick Harrison, Sun Staff
Article Last Updated: 03/17/2008 11:36:31 AM EDT

BOSTON -- For one of the few times in his career, Westford Academy playmaker/sharpshooter Craig Cardone was kept off the board.

He had several crafty setups to teammates, but ends the season with 19 goals, 31 assists, 50 points and his three-year Grey Ghosts' career with more than 100 points.

"Craig is very shifty, but Needham did a great job of taking him off the puck," said Westford coach Bob Carpenter. "Other than that they did nothing special we saw to neutralize him."

Hockey notebook

"We knew coming in that Cardone is really quick," said Rockets coach Bill Giusti. "Our defense did an excellent job keeping an eye on him."

Cardone's best bid was a superb pass in the slot to set up a teammate all alone late in the second period when it was still 2-0 and the Ghosts were shorthanded.

Cardone lists Phillips Exeter Academy, UMass Dartmouth, Stonehill, Wentworth Institute and possibly junior hockey among his myriad of possibilities for next fall.

All but one of the Wilmington High players' hair was dyed blonde, courtesy of Jackie Mello, a former Wilmington track standout now in the salon business. She is the sister of Wildcats' high-scoring forward Ernie Mello.

Mello finished the season with 27 goals, 18 assists, 45 points while linemate Eric Siegel had 18-20-38 points.

Sandwich carried powerful emotional energy into its game against Wilmington. The Blue Knights yesterday visited the grave of former teammate Jeff Hayes,
who died last January after battling Ewing's sarcoma, a form of bone cancer. A month earlier, Sandwich coach Derackk Curtis had undergone surgery to remove a brain tumor.

Sandwich freshman goalie Pat Farrington registered an overtime shutout in the Division 2 South final against Franklin, and then stopped 22 shots while blanking Wilmington.

"He's going to have a great next three years. He will turn some heads. He's a great goalie," said Wilmington senior goalie Mike Cabral.

Cabral was pretty great himself, stopping 21 of 22 shots.

"(Cabral) did what he did all season for us," said Wilmington coach Steve Scanlon. "He keeps us in games and gives us a chance to win."

Cabral, a senior, is undecided on his college choice. He said he is likely to attend UMass Lowell or Salem State.

Scanlon was upbeat following the loss, reflecting on the season as a whole.

"We accomplished something the program has never accomplished by winning a sectional title," he said. "We'll take the next step someday."

The Wildcats graduate 11 seniors.

Westford will graduate 14 seniors including Cardone, forward Mike Young, All-Conference defensemen Jim Houghton, Tyler Harrington, blueliner Bob Laroche and top goaltender Curt Serafini.

"I'd take a season like this every year," said coach Carpenter. "As the days wear on our guys will be proud. They realize they qualified for Division 1A, were one goal from making the Super 8 tourney and won a couple of championships (league, North). "It couldn't have happened to a better bunch of guys."

A naked-eye estimate of the crowd at both the Wilmington and Westford games placed both between 4,500 and 5,000 fans -- pretty evenly divided among all four participating schools.

Reading High, believed to be the first public school ever to win the Division 1A Tournament, completed an impressive 5-0 run through the brutal round-robin event with a 3-0 victory over Malden Catholic.

David Pevear's e-mail address is dpevear@lowellsun.com. Rick Harrison's e-mail address is rharrison@lowellsun.com

Derek Dana right at home at St. Mary's

Sport:   Posted: March 18th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Derek Dana right at home at St. Mary's

St. Mary's baseball coach Derek Dana instructs catcher Anthony DiSciscio at practice on Monday in the school gym. (ITEM PHOTO / REBA M. SALDANHA)

St. Mary's baseball coach Derek Dana, right, and assistant Tom Donahue watch their team practice Monday. (ITEM PHOTO / REBA M. SALDANHA)
By Joyce Erekson / The Daily Item

LYNN -- Derek Dana is back in the fold.

The St. Mary's High graduate who played on two state title teams during his days as a Spartan is back, only this time he's the guy running the show. Monday was the first official day of practice for high school spring sports teams and it was Dana's first day as the St. Mary's baseball head coach.

"Things went very well," Dana said "I'm very excited to be back."

Dana, who had been serving as an assistant varsity coach under Jim Tgettis at Classical for the last five years, was hired to replace Bill Norcross.

Dana's coaching staff is also comprised primarily of former St. Mary's players. Tim Fila and Tom Donahue (who coached junior varsity at Classical last year) are his varsity assistants. Brian Mulvey is back as the freshman coach and Jason Bullock will work with the junior high team. The only coach who didn't wear the blue and gold for the Spartans is Jason Sport, a Gov. Dummer Academy graduate who is finishing up at Boston College this year. Sport is coaching the junior varsity.

"I'm very happy coming back," Dana said. "I spent some time coaching at Classical and enjoyed it, but I'm from St. Mary's. Getting a chance to coach is, it's a unique experience. It's nice to be back to where it started."

Dana graduated from St. Mary's in 1988. During his tenure there, the Spartans won the Division 3 state title in 1987 and 1988 under then-coach Tgettis. Dana was a pitcher and catcher in high school, but focused on catching at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He was drafted by the San Francisco Giants and played three years in the Giants' minor-league system. He played another couple of years of independent baseball in Texas.

Dana is inheriting a team that finished 10-8 in the regular season in 2007. The Spartans had a nice run in the Division 3 North sectionals, defeating Amesbury, 6-3, in the preliminary round, Savio Prep, 25-1, in the first round and Greater Lawrence, 3-1, in the quarterfinals. The Spartans saw their ride come to an end with a 6-4 loss to North Reading in the semifinals.

If numbers are any indication, Dana should be in good shape this year. He had 75 players come out for the four teams (junior high, freshman, junior varsity and varsity). That number includes a solid core of returnees. Nick Conti, a senior pitcher and shortstop, is back, as is Anthony Struppa, a junior outfielder. Senior first baseman/catcher/pitcher Chris Kefalas is back, as is senior catcher A.J. Capano. The junior class also includes shortstop/second baseman Joe Kasabuski and third baseman Yano Petruzelli, both members of the Saugus American Little League baseball team that played in the 2003 Little League World Series. The returning contingent also features a sophomore, Mike Scanlon, who turned some heads as a freshman on the mound last year, and Ryan Beliveau, a junior pitcher and utility player.

Dana also got a transfer from Malden Catholic, and like Kasabuski and Petruzzelli, his name is a familiar one. Craig Cole, who also played on that Saugus American Little League team, is at St. Mary's this year. There are four players from that renowned Little League team playing baseball for the Spartans, the other one being Anthony DiSciscio. Tyler Grillo, who was also on that team, is at St. Mary's, but he's concentrating on basketball.

Dana said he has also been impressed by some of the younger players coming up in the system.

"The numbers are very good (overall)," he said. "I'm going to have to make some tough decisions, but I liked what I saw today. They're good decisions to make when you have the numbers to pick from."

Dana has scrimmages lined up with English, Classical and Swampscott, weather permitting. The Spartans' regular-season schedule will include non-league games with Everett, Beverly and Marblehead.

Extra effort pays off

Sport:   Posted: March 18th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Extra effort pays off
Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mike Sullivan, who won the Bruce Landon Award as the region's top goaltender, graduated.

So did Garrett Kopeski, winner of the Eddie Shore Award as the area's top defenseman.

So how was Westfield High School's hockey team ever going to top last season when the Bombers came within a whisker of winning a state title?

The only way Westfield could accomplish that was to go one step further than it did a year ago. Sunday afternoon in Boston, Westfield did just that, beating Scituate, 3-2 to win its second state Division III hockey championship at TD Banknorth Garden.

Last year, Westfield lost, 1-0 to Scituate.

"I expected nothing different this year," coach Westfield coach C.B. "Moose" Matthews, Jr. said.

Sure enough, it was another one-goal game, the Bombers' third straight of the tourney.

"We were in the locker room before the third period and we talked about how this was our last game for the seniors," said Rich Asselin, who gave Westfield a 1-0 lead when he scored 29 seconds into the game. "We wanted to redeem ourselves after what happened last year and we worked hard for this."

It was special because of the way it was accomplished. No one player was bigger than the team and the players bought into the concept of doing what they do best.

Westfield was a team that would think defense first. The Bombers played aggressive, physical hockey and got great goaltending from junior Alex Wiggs.

Matthews, and assistants Bob Pouliot and Mike Busiere did an outstanding job creating a system that worked for their team and the Bombers followed a stellar regular season with an even better playoff run.

"It took a lot less motivation getting this team to the final," Matthews said. "Once we got there, our captains took over and provided leadership."

Westfield won four games in the tournament. After starting with a 7-4 triumph over Minnechaug, Westfield beat Longmeadow, Gardner and Scituate by identical 3-2 scores.

Different players stepped up each game. Senior Corey Bellamy got things started with a two-goal, one assist effort against Minnechaug.

A sophomore, Ryan Leonard scored twice in the Western Massachusetts final against Longmeadow. Dan Ross added two goals and Sean Frere, who scored in every postseason game, netted the game winner against Gardner before Ross added another big goal in the state final.

But nothing was more dramatic than Sunday's Garden party. Frere dove for the puck behind the net and passed out front to Leonard, who banged home the game-winner with 50.8 seconds remaining to give the Bombers their second state title since 2003.

"It was a game that could have gone either way," Matthews said. "We didn't want to go overtime and what a big goal by Ryan."

So now what will the Bombers do for an encore next season?

With Wiggs, Leonard, and four defensemen, Anthony Howard, Alex Fouche, Colin Arnold and Nick Cocchi coming back, the Bombers should once again, be the team to beat.

BESSONE BANQUET: The Amo "Bets" Bessone Award banquet will take place on May 4 at 1 p.m. at the Dante Club in West Springfield. The Bessone Award for the best player in Western Massachusetts will be presented.

The Republican's All-Scholastic team will be honored. Other awards presented will be the Eddie Shore Award for best defenseman, the Bruce Landon Award for best goalie, league rookies of the year and coach of the year.
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