Boston High School: Brunswick (Maine)

New England Roundup: Maine

December, 3, 2012
12/03/12
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Nick Janes remembers how it used to feel to be a Marshwood football player, and he remembers when that changed.

MaineAt one time, the Hawks had one of the best football programs in the state. But Marshwood hadn’t been to a state title game since 1989, and finished 2-6 and out of the playoffs in 2011.

“You felt secluded,” said Janes, a senior running back and defensive back on this year’s Marshwood team. “Like, everybody knew you were, but no one really cared.”

Marshwood hired coach Alex Rotsko before this season. In addition to coaching at American International College and Ithaca, Rotsko had won 11 Super Bowls in 19 years as coach of Longmeadow High School in Massachusetts.

“The first practice, you looked at him, he just looked confident,” Janes said. “You didn’t want to lose for him.”

For Janes, the moment he realized things were different came in a preseason scrimmage against Portsmouth (N.H.) High. Marshwood struggled to move the ball, and Rotsko told his players what was wrong and how to fix it.

“The next play, we ran for like a 20-yard gain,” Janes said. “I’ve never seen anything like that before.”

Marshwood eventually made it to the Class B state championship game, losing 44-42 to Mt. Blue. It was clear Marshwood is back.

“You could feel the whole community coming around you,” Janes said.

Rotsko, who was also athletic director at Longmeadow, was friends with former Marshwood coach John Caverly, so he was aware when the Marshwood job became open.

“My wife and I own a home at York Beach, and we were coming up here anyway after I retired,” Rotsko said.

As usual, Rotsko installed the Wing-T offense, a run-based system built of multiple weapons.

“We ran it at Longmeadow,” he said. “The 19 years that I was there, we ran it 18 years and had 18 winning seasons. You can guess what happened that one year.”

“We used to run the spread offense,” said Dan Lizotte, a senior fullback/linebacker. “I thought we had the size to run a tighter offense. We just powered it up the middle. I liked it.”

With his favorite offense in place, Rotsko said there were two clear differences for him between Maine and Massachusetts. In Massachusetts, you have to play three games in 12 days at playoff time, including the annual Thanksgiving rivalry, while Maine simply has a game each week. The other notable difference is the size of the rosters.

“The school that I came from was not a real big school,” Rotsko said. “We probably had 500 boys, and 100 played football. I was used to dealing with 105, 110 kids. I came here, we had about 60 kids at the first practice. Out of those 60, 40 or so were freshmen and sophomores.”

Marshwood’s first two games in the regular season were against York and Mountain Valley. York was returning 18 starters from a playoff team, and Mountain Valley is a perennial powerhouse. Rotsko said he was told those were the two teams that Marshwood had no chance to beat, but the Hawks won both games, defeating York 28-12 and Mountain Valley, 19-12.

“It was unbelievable,” Janes said. “Everybody was really excited. It felt surreal.”

Less than a month after its second win, Marshwood lost a former teammate. Troy Pappas, the quarterback in 2011 and a freshman at Bates College, died Oct. 5, six days after falling down a stairwell.

“I’ve thought of him every day,” Janes said. “It’s tough to go through something like that, so he’s always on my mind. Playing with him for three years, you get used to him being there.”

The Hawks took the field just a couple hours after Pappas’ death, and defeated Cape Elizabeth, 20-0, to run their record to 5-1. They did not lose again in the regular season, and after beating Cape Elizabeth again in the quarterfinals, knocked off Wells, 15-13, and York, 21-20 to win the Western B title.

“I feel like Troy was there watching over us, making sure we won by the skin of our teeth,” Lizotte said. “Everyone felt that was it.”

A lot of key players are back for Marshwood next season, like quarterback Cameron Roll, running back Brett Gerry, and linemen Tyler Gagnon and Beau Blanchette.

“I thought it was a great season,” Rotsko said. “It couldn’t have gone any better. I think everybody’s already excited for next year.”

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Peabody, Franklin hold steady in national poll

October, 17, 2012
10/17/12
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Peabody continued its hold on the No. 1 spot in the land in the latest NSCAA national girls' high school soccer Top 20 poll.

The poll's other MIAA entrant Franklin also held steady at No. 19 this week. Meanwhile, Exeter (N.H.) continued inching closer to the Top 5, moving up a spot to No. 6 this week. Glastonbury (Conn.) also moved up a spot to No. 16.

In addition, Brunswick (Maine) H.S. received votes in this week's girls' poll.

In the boys' poll, despite dropping their first loss of the season, Ludlow remained at No. 16 in the boys' national poll. New England's other entrants Daniel Hand-Madison (Conn.) and Norwalk (Conn.) checked in at Nos. 8 and 24, respectively.

New England Roundup: Maine

September, 14, 2011
9/14/11
2:55
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The first two weeks of the Maine high school football season produced a number of surprises.

MaineHere’s a rundown of some of the highlights in each of the three classes:

Class A
Cheverus keeps rolling along despite the loss of several players from last year’s state championship team. Senior Cam Olson stepped in at quarterback after playing behind Fitzpatrick Trophy winner Peter Gwilym for two years and last week threw three touchdown passes. Spencer Cooke, who scored four TDs in the state game last fall, has emerged as one of the state’s top running backs. The Stags are 2-0 and have outscored opponents 94-21.

Lawrence keeps rolling along in Class A’s Pine Tree Conference. The Bulldogs traveled to Bangor and knocked off the Rams 32-25 last Saturday night to go to 2-0. Shaun Carroll led the way with 224 rushing yards and four touchdowns, Lawrence has won its last 11 regular season games, dating back to a 2009 loss to Bangor. Prior to that, the Bulldogs had won 36 regular season games in a row. They are 8-1 against Bangor since 2005.

Many high school handicappers picked Bonny Eagle and Windham among the teams to beat in North Division of the Southern Maine Activities Association (SMAA), but both teams are winless after two weeks. Windham fell 28-20 to a strong Deering team last week while Bonny Eagle fell, 31-28, to upstart Massabesic. Lewiston, one of the PTC favorites, dropped to 1-1, losing 48-27 to Messalonskee, another team that has emerged as a contender. Along with Massabesic, Sanford is the surprise of the SMAA South. Last week, the Redskins knocked off a good Scarborough team 23-12 for one of its biggest wins in years.

Class B
This class is the most competitive in the state at least at the top where four teams in each of the two divisions are unbeaten. Included in those ranks are the two teams who met in the state final last fall, Mountain Valley and Leavitt. Mountain Valley has outscored opponents 81-23 so far while Leavitt, led by quarterback and linebacker Jordan Hersom, holds an 83-12 advantage over opponents.

Mt. Blue may be the most dangerous contender in the class. The Cougars dropped down from several years in Class A this season and in two games have outscored the opposition 87-6. Falmouth, Wells and Fryeburg are also 2-0 as are Waterville and Gardiner. The latter two teams meet Friday night in Gardiner. Waterville must find a way to stop running back Alonzo Connor who is looking to eclipse his total of 31 touchdowns form last year. In two games so far, Connor has scored 10 touchdowns.

Falmouth, which has outscored opponents 98-7 plays this week against Marshwood.

Class C
Foxcroft Academy and Yarmouth are the talk of Class C so far. They play in different divisions and don’t meet in the regular season, but could well square off for a state championship in November. Yarmouth is the defending state champ and so far the Clippers have scored 92 points and allowed seven. Foxcroft has been equally impressive outscoring opponents 108-8. There are contenders in each division. Bucksport, Orono and John Bapst are all 2-0 in the Little Ten Conference headed by Foxcroft while Freeport and Lisbon are unbeaten the Campbell Conference South along with Yarmouth.

Maranacook and Winslow are 2-0 in the Campbell’s North division and play this week in Winslow. The Black Raiders dropped down to Class C this season and are cruising so far, but they’ll face a big test in Maranacook and 6-foot-4, 210-pound running back Luke Emery.

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W-H's Mewis is Gatorade Player of the Year

February, 10, 2011
2/10/11
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The Gatorade Company, in collaboration with ESPN RISE, today announced Sam Mewis of Whitman-Hanson Regional High School as its 2010-11 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Player of the Year. This is the second straight honor for Mewis, who is the first Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Player of the Year to be chosen from Whitman-Hanson.

The 5-foot-11 senior midfielder recorded 28 goals and eight assists this past season, leading the Panthers (17-1-1) to the Division I South Sectional Tournament. Also the 2009-10 Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Player of the Year, Mewis was a member of the U.S. Soccer Under-20 Women’s National Team that participated in the Under-20 World Cup last summer in Germany. The 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America High School Player of the Year, Mewis concluded her high school soccer career with 77 goals and 34 assists.

Mewis has maintained a 3.89 weighted GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally as a youth soccer instructor, served in her school’s student government and assisted in relief efforts for Hurricane Katrina.

“Sam Mewis has really matured as a player over the last year,” said Keith Caldwell, Mewis’ club coach with Scorpions Soccer Club. “The time she has spent with the older national teams has made her a better player. It has exposed her to the highest level of women’s soccer in the world at the youth level, and she’s kept raising her game and raising her game.”

Mewis has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at UCLA this fall.

Two-time winner Mewis joins recent Gatorade Massachusetts Girls Soccer Players of the Year Danielle Dakin (2008-09, Minnechaug Regional High School), and Hayley Brock (2007-08, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

Here are the releases for the other five New England states honoring Gatorade Players of the Year this morning:

CONNECTICUT: RILEY HOULE, WINDHAM

The 5-foot-2 senior midfielder recorded 18 goals and seven assists this past season, leading the Whippets (11-7) to the second round of the Class M state tournament. A member of the U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team Player Pool, Houle was a 2010 ESPN RISE Second Team All-American selection and a 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Youth All-American selection. Houle concluded her prep soccer career with 79 goals and 38 assists.

Houle has maintained a 3.70 GPA in the classroom. A volunteer youth soccer instructor, she has also created a fundraiser, JB24 Believe, to support a friend and teammate afflicted with leukemia, and she has donated her time locally as part of fundraising campaigns to benefit breast cancer research and an area homeless shelter.

“Riley Houle is the complete package in terms of a soccer player,” said Rick Derella, Houle’s club coach with Oakwood Soccer Club. “She’s a very skillful and instinctive player. She’s not a manufactured player. She can beat people on the run, she can shoot, she can pass. She can do it all.”

Houle has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at the University of Connecticut this fall and recently graduated Windham High early to begin attending spring semester collegiate classes.

Houle joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Girls Soccer Players of the Year Kate McCarthy (2009-10, The Loomis Chaffee School), Jessica Schloth (2008-09, St. Joseph High School), and Alex Uscilla (2007-08, St. Joseph High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

RHODE ISLAND: MCKENZIE MEEHAN, LA SALLE ACADEMY

The 5-foot-5 junior forward led the Rams to a 19-0-2 record and their third straight Division I state title this past season. Meehan scored 49 goals and passed for 10 assists, including the game-winning strike with two minutes to play in La Salle’s 1-0 win over East Greenwich in the state title game. A 2010 All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, Meehan is a two-time Providence Journal First Team All-State pick and a U.S. Youth Soccer 1994 Region I Olympic Development Program team member. Through her junior year, Meehan has recorded 101 goals and 28 assists in her prep soccer career.

Meehan has maintained an A average in the classroom. A member of La Salle’s Pegasus Gifted Student Program, she has volunteered locally as a peer Spanish tutor, youth soccer coach and at an area homeless shelter.

“I think McKenzie Meehan is at a different level than any other player,” said Drea Harms, head coach of rival Bay View Academy. “She’s way beyond anyone else. She finds ways to score that I’m astounded by. I just see McKenzie as someone who looks like she’s always had a ball at her feet. She’s just very impressive to me.”

Meehan has verbally committed to play soccer on scholarship at Boston College beginning in the fall of 2012.

Meehan joins recent Gatorade Rhode Island Girls Soccer Players of the Year two-time winner Allison Kelley (2009-10 & 2008-09, La Salle Academy), and Katie Reilly (2007-08, St. Mary Academy-Bay View) among the state’s list of former award winners.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: MORGAN ANDREWS, MILFORD

The 5-foot-9 sophomore forward recorded 28 goals and 13 assists this past season, leading the Spartans (10-7) to the Division II state tournament. A former captain of the U.S. Soccer Under-15 Girls National Team, Andrews is a member of the Under-17 Women’s National Team. A 2010 National Soccer Coaches Association of America Youth All-American, Andrews was the leading scorer in Division II this past season. Through her sophomore year, Andrews has scored 52 goals and passed for 29 assists in her prep soccer career.

Andrews has maintained a B average in the classroom. She has volunteered locally on behalf of a community-outreach program, and she launched her own charity program that allowed coaches and players to donate their time and field-use privileges in exchange for canned goods that were brought to area food banks.

“Morgan Andrews, she’s just an unbelievable player,” said Jason Dewhurst, Andrews’ club coach with the Stars of Massachusetts. “She’s a perfectionist, always has been. Andrews is the type of player you build a team around, she’s that good. She is just a talent like I’ve never coached before. She’s just a different breed.”

Andrews has verbally committed to play soccer on scholarship at Boston College beginning in the fall of 2013.

Andrews joins recent Gatorade New Hampshire Girls Soccer Players of the Year two-time winner Kailey Blain (2009-10 & 2008-09, Merrimack), and Kristy Zurmuhlen (2007-08, Fall Mountain Regional High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

MAINE: ALLISON WALTON, BRUNSWICK

The 5-foot-6 senior forward recorded 31 goals and 14 assists this past season, leading the Dragons (17-1) to the Class A state semifinals. Also the 2009-10 Gatorade Maine Girls Soccer Player of the Year, Walton was a 2010 All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and a three-time Class A First Team honoree. A natural defender, Walton was the 2010 Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Player of the Year. She concluded her prep soccer career with 84 goals and 40 assists.

Walton has maintained an A average in the classroom. A member of the National Honor Society, Walton co-produced a documentary about her experience of being homeless for three days to bring attention to the plight of area homeless. She has volunteered locally as a peer tutor and as a youth soccer coach and referee.

“I think she’s one of the best center backs in the whole region,” said Keith Caldwell, Walton’s club coach with the Scorpions Soccer Club in Massachusetts. “She can play anywhere. She gets better and better with every game and every practice. She’s as good as anyone in the Northeast right now.”

Walton has signed a National Letter of Intent to play soccer on scholarship at Providence College this fall.

Two-time winner Walton joins recent Gatorade Maine Girls Soccer Players of the Year Elise Amioka (2008-09, Marshwood High School), and Rachele Burns (2007-08, Gorham High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

VERMONT: LAUREN BERNARD, COLCHESTER

The 5-foot-3 junior recorded 18 goals and 11 assists this past season, leading the Lakers (10-5-3) to the Div. I state final. Bernard was an All-American selection by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and earned First Team All-State honors from the Burlington Free Press following each of the last two seasons. She is a former member of the U.S. Soccer Federation Under-15 Women’s National Team, and a current member of the Under-17 National Team Player Pool.

Bernard has maintained a 3.99 GPA in the classroom. She has volunteered locally with youth soccer programs and camps.

“She’s one of the most determined and committed soccer players I’ve seen in a number of years,” said Tom Schaefer, head coach of rival South Burlington High. “She has amazing pace, she’s very quick and she’s very smart. She also has a tremendous, tremendous left foot.”

Bernard has verbally committed to play soccer on scholarship at Boston College and will begin her senior year of high school this fall.

Bernard joins recent Gatorade Vermont Girls Soccer Players of the Year Brittany Pfaff (2009-10, Rice Memorial), and two-time winner Natalie LeClair (2009-10 & 2007-08, Essex High School) among the state’s list of former award winners.

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