Boston High School: Bryce Snyder

New England Roundup: Maine

August, 31, 2011
Although the Maine Principals’ Association voted down adding a fourth class to Maine high school football earlier this year, there are still
plenty of changes awaiting teams and their fans this season.

MaineThe classification committee of the MPA decided not to include a fourth class, perhaps waiting for a few more schools to adopt the sport to push the number to 80. There are currently 76 football playing schools in the state, with some schools combining teams this year and others playing for the first time.

Class A saw the fewest changes with four schools — Brewer, Mt. Blue, Marshwood and Westbrook — dropping to Class B. Marshwood is the only Maine high school to have won a state football championship in each of four classes, including the now-defunct Class D. Marshwood and Westbrook will play in Western Maine Class B where they’ll be joined by Spruce Mountain, a new school combining former Class C rivals Jay and Livermore Falls.

Brewer and Mt. Blue will play in Eastern Maine Class B that now includes Oceanside, a new school combining Rockland and Georges Valley. Rockland previously played in Class C while Georges Valley did not have football. Also joining Class B East this season are Old Town and Madison/Carrabec, both of whom played in Class C last season.

Eastern Maine Class C is adding two new programs in Hermon and Washington Academy while Telstar is also playing varsity football after
fielding a club team the past few seasons and will compete in Western C. The West also includes two teams that have dropped from the B ranks in Winslow and Poland.

Here’s a look at some of the top teams in each class who get under way Friday night:

Lewiston: The Blue Devils return eight starters on offense and defense from a team that lost 28-25 to Bangor in the conference final. Quarterback Chris Madden highlights a returning backfield that includes tailbacks Jeff Turcotte and Matt Therrien. Rudy Pandora, a 6-foot-5 two way tackle, returns to the line.

Lawrence: The last East team to win a state title (2006), the Bulldogs have been upset in the playoffs the past two seasons after going
unbeaten in the regular season. Junior Spencer Carey returns at quarterback while senior Shaun Carroll and junior Anthony Sementelli are
the top returning rushers. The defensive line is new but the secondary is experienced.

Brunswick: The Dragons upset Lawrence in the playoffs and nearly knocked off Bangor. They return one of the top backs in the conference in senior Dylan Walton who was injured midway through last season. Also returning to the backfield is Keith Kitchens.

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New England Roundup: Maine

October, 7, 2010
Two more teams were knocked form the ranks of the unbeaten in Week 5 of high school football. Thornton Academy of Saco had outscored its Class A opponents 201-13 coming into its game against Deering, but the Trojans were dominated by the Rams, 35-6.

MaineDeering quarterback Jamie Ross did most of the damage, passing for 125 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 134 yards and two more scores. Deering sustained its only loss in Week 3, losing 34-12 to Bonny Eagle.

In a Class C battle of unbeatens, Yarmouth’s Bryce Snyder kicked a 28-yard field goal with 19 seconds left to lift the Clippers to a 16-14 victory over Lisbon. Yarmouth, which has only had varsity football for five years, was led by Anders Overhaug who rushed for 169 yards on 14 carries.

There are only 12 unbeaten teams left in the state, five in Class A — Cheverus, Bonny Eagle, Lawrence, Lewiston and Bangor. That number will be reduced this week when Lawrence hosts Lewiston. Unbeaten teams in Class B include Gardiner, Leavitt, Cape Elizabeth and Mountain Valley while Stearns, Winthrop and Yarmouth are all 5-0 in Class C.

Top performances:
  • Rockland’s Derek Miller scored eight touchdowns in a 66-6 rout of Dexter. Miller passed for one score, rushed for five, caught one TD pass and scored another on a punt return.
  • Cony’s Luke Dunklee threw for 158 yards and two touchdowns and also rushed for 205 yards and two scores in a 28-21 win against Brunswick. Duncklee has rushed for 13 touchdowns and 743 yards and passed for three scores and 653 yards.
  • Messalonskee’s Keenan Knox rushed for 176 yards and four scores in a 48-8 win over Brewer. Knox has rushed for 827 yards on the season.
  • Bonny Eagle’s Matt Rollins passed for three touchdowns and rushed for two more as the unbeaten Scots downed Massabesic, 40-20.
  • Traip Academy’s Tyler Nay rushed for 203 yards and four touchdowns as the surprising Rangers moved to 4-1 with a 34-25 victory over Livermore Falls.
  • John Bapst’s Jordan Charpentier passed for four touchdowns in the Crusaders’ 36-13 win over Foxcroft Academy.
Big games to watch for:
  • Oct. 15, Bangor at Lawrence. A potential battle of Class A unbeatens if Lawrence gets past Lewiston this week. The teams were in the same position last season when Bangor nipped Lawrence 28-21 on its way to a state title appearance.
  • Oct. 16, Bonny Eagle at Cheverus. Bonny Eagle has developed into a Class A power under oach Kevin Cooper, winning four state championships in the past six years. Cooper is assisted by his father Pete who led Lawrence to several state titles. Cheverus’ program has been resurrected under John Wolfgram, the state’s winningest coach. Wolfgram and Pete Cooper met a number of times when Wolfgram coached Gardiner to three state titles in the late ‘70s and ‘80s.
  • Oct. 22, Gardiner at Leavitt. Another potential battle of unbeaten teams in the Pine Tree Conference’s Class B division. Both are led by outstanding juniors, Gardiner by running back Alonzo Connor and Leavitt by quarterback Jordan Hersom. Leavitt is defending Class B state champ while Gardiner won the title in 2007.
  • Oct. 29, Cape Elizabeth at Mountain Valley. These teams gained a measure of statewide immortality when the film “The Rivals” was produced in 2008 documenting the rivalry between wealthy Cape Elizabeth and Rumford, the mill town where Mountain Valley is located. It was recently shown on the Smithsonian Channel. So far this season, Mountain Valley has outscored opponents 212-12 while Cape holds a 152-27 advantage.
Gardiner’s Connor sets school record
Gardiner High junior running back Alonzo Connor has packed nearly a season’s worth of statistics into his first five games. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound tailback has already rushed for 1,022 yards and 17 touchdowns.

Two weeks ago against Mount Desert Island, Connor rushed for a school record 346 yards and scored five touchdowns. He also scored five times the previous week in a week against Waterville.

Against MDI, Connor pulled off one of the most memorable runs in school history. With Gardiner at the MDI 35 and a second left in the half, quarterback Spencer Allen threw a screen to Connor who headed down the left sideline. He ran into a pack of defenders near the 20-yard line and reversed fields, circling back 15 yards to pick up blocks. With all 11 defenders in pursuit, he weaved his way through traffic, took a hit near the goal line and scored. The run brought the Tigers in a 21-all tie and
changed the momentum of the game.

“That’s the best play I’ve ever seen,” Gardiner coach Jim Palmer said. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

Football Top 10
1. Bonny Eagle
2. Cheverus
3. Bangor
4. Lawrence
5. Lewiston
6. Mountain Valley
7. Deering
8. Leavitt
9. Scarborough
10. Cape Elizabeth

Leonardi's big day
Kennebunk High School junior Abbey Leonardi won the annual Festival of Champions cross country race in Belfast on Saturday.

The race attracted over 100 boys and girls teams and nearly 1,300 runners. Leonardi finished the 5K course in 17 minutes, 58 seconds while Madison junior Matt McClintock won the boys race in 16:06. Leonardi has long been considered one of New England’s top distance runners. She won the New England high school cross country race her freshman year and last spring as a sophomore set state records in the 1,600 (4:51) and 3,200 (10:42) meter runs. She followed by winning the New England 3,200 in 10:26. She closed her sophomore year by placing fourth in the 3,200 in the New Balance Nationals, also in 10:26. The 5-foot-1, 16-year-old placed second last year in the Foot Locker Northeast Regionals and 22nd in the national race.

Scarborough won the boys' team title at the Festival while Cheverus captured the girls' title. In the latest girls' coaches poll, Cheverus is ranked first with Cape Elizabeth second. In the boys poll, it’s Gorham followed by Falmouth.

Boys' soccer Top 10
1. Bangor
2. Scarborough
3. Yarmouth
4. Portland
5. Ellsworth
6. Brunswick
7. Cape Elizabeth
8. Gorham
9. Maranacook
10. Camden Hills

Girls' soccer Top 10
1. Brunswick
2. Scarborough
3. Yarmouth
4. Bangor
5. York
6. Cheverus
7. Hampden
8. Waterville
9. Thornton
10. St. Dominic