Boston High School: North Yarmouth Academy

New England Roundup: Maine

May, 31, 2013
5/31/13
3:31
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On May 16, a Foxcroft batter was hit by a pitch in a game against Hermon. Within a couple weeks, Hermon had a new baseball coach.

MaineNumerous media outlets have suggested that those two events are related. According to the Bangor Daily News, Foxcroft led 7-1 in the fifth inning and needed four runs to end the game by the 10-run mercy rule.

With one out, Brooks Law put down a suicide squeeze to score Foxcroft's ninth run. Law reached first on the play, then stole second and third. The batter was hit by the next pitch.

"It did seem suspicious because they were clearly getting very frustrated and it felt like the pitcher really reared back and put something extra on that pitch," Foxcroft coach Mark Chevalier told the BDN.

Aaron Brideau is no longer Hermon's coach. Junior varsity coach Justin Perry coached the hawks in their final regular season game. In his article about the incident, BDN writer Ernie Clark wrote, "The coaching change is believed to be related to the circumstances involving a batter hit by a pitch" in the game in question.

NEW DEFINITION OF PITCHER'S PARK
Madison High completed an undefeated softball season Wednesday with a 7-2 victory over Oak Hill. The Bulldogs are 16-0, and will go in as the No. 1 seed in Western C.

One of Madison's stars is junior pitcher Emily McKenney. With McKenney leading the way, the Bulldogs allowed only 27 runs during the regular season.

But other than the undefeated record, the highlight of Madison's season was a recent home game against Oak Hill. In the top of the first inning, Oak Hill batter Jamie Prue noticed McKenney seemed unusually close. When somebody brought out a tape measure before the fourth inning, it was discovered that the pitcher's plate was 40 feet away, not the regulation 43 feet.

"I got up there," Prue told the Kennebec Journal, "and I remember I squared up to the plate, and I was like, 'She's on top of me.' Three feet is a big difference in softball, and obviously, it was very noticeable. I could tell just by how she was leaping out of the circle. It was unbelievable how close she was."

McKenney, who is a strong candidate for the Moluntain Valley Conference's Player of the Year award, said she believed the pitcher's plate had been at 40 feet all season.

"I definitely told my stepdad at other away games, 'I feel really far away when I pitch,'" McKenney told the KJ. "But I never thought anything of it."

It should be noted that McKenney has pitched -- and hit -- well in both home and road games this spring.

FRIEDLAND, LEAVITT WIN TENNIS SINGLES TITLES
Lincoln's Jordan Friedland defended his state singles title, but Falmouth's Olivia Leavitt upset No. 1 seed and defending champion Maisie Silverman of Brunswick in the state tennis singles tournaments.

Friedland, the No. 1 seed, lost a total of 14 games in his five matches during the tournament. He defeated No. 2 seed Brendan McCarthy of Falmouth, 6-3, 6-0, in the finals.

Silverman rolled through her first four matches, as she lost only six games combined. But in the finals, Leavitt posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory.

That matched appeared to turn in the third game of the first set. Silverman was trailing and appeared to hit a winner and yelled a short burst of encouragement to herself. But Leavitt returned the ball, and then complained that Silverman broke the rules by shouting during play. Silverman was given a warning, and Leavitt went on to win the next eight games.

"After that I feel like I wasn't as focused as I was in the beginning," Silverman told the BDN. "But she played really well. She really didn't miss a shot at all."

A happier moment came on the first day of the Round of 48. In a second-round match, Johnny Xue of George Stevens Academy was looking a match point for a straight-sets win. Xue retired at that point because he would have been unavailable for his third-round match two days later. That enabled York's Andrew LaMonica to advance to the next round, where he lost to McCarthy, 6-3, 6-3.

The lightest moment of the tournament came when North Yarmouth Academy's Burke Paxton outlasted Cape Elizabeth's Peter Higgins, 6-7 (6), 7-6 (3), 6-4 in a three-hour match.

After reporting the score, Paxton said to the tournament directors, in reference to his next match later that afternoon, "How long do I have? An hour? Let's push it to the last second possible."

New England Roundup: Maine

September, 12, 2012
9/12/12
1:43
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The high school football season in Maine started Aug. 31. Here’s a look at how each class shapes up this fall:

MaineClass A
In the East, Lawrence won the Pine Tree Conference Class A last season and has posted two convincing victories this fall, including a 42-12 win over a Bangor team that is usually one of the best in the PTC A. While the Bulldogs probably won’t have a 1,000-yard rusher, they have six good backs, led by Anthony Sementelli and Josh Doolan. Bangor transfer Xavier Lewis adds more depth to the offense. Against his old teammates, Lewis had three touches and scored two touchdowns.

In contrast, Brunswick will rely almost completely on running back Jared Jensen. After rushing for 129 yards all of last season, Jensen ran for 428 yards on opening night and 283 the next week, giving him 711 yards in two games.

Messalonskee will look to its lines to challenge for the top spot in the PTC A. The Eagles run the double-wing on offense, with back Corey McKenzie getting most of the carries, and have one of the best rushing defenses in the conference.

Cheverus and Thornton are the two best teams in what should be a deep Western A. Cheverus has won 26 straight games and two consecutive state titles. The Stags returned 10 starters this year, including fullback Donald Goodrich, who scored five touchdowns in last year’s state championship game.

“I think we’re as good as we were last year,” Goodrich told the Portland Press Herald. “We did lose some big players but the other guys have done a nice job replacing them.”

Thornton plays Cheverus on Oct. 13, and that’s already shaping up as the game of the year. The Golden Trojans return the entire backfield from a team that won nine games last year. Foremost among those backs is junior Andrew Libby, who scored 16 touchdowns last season and is a threat to go the distance anytime he returns a punt. Quarterback Eric Christensen is another key player in an offense that has big-play potential. If the offense can’t get the job done, kicker Brandon Briggs (14 touchbacks last fall) has a strong leg.

Windham could be a dark horse candidate. The Eagles are led by twins Joe and Shawn Francoeur on the lines, and quarterback Damien Shepard is a threat running or passing. Unlike many teams in the West, Windham wants to beat you with strength instead of speed.

Class B
Leavitt defeated Mt. Blue 22-21 in double overtime in last year’s PTC B final, and these could be the two best teams in the league again this fall. Leavitt has a pair of 300-pound tackles, and an offense led by Brian Bedard and Josh Faunce. The Hornets have won 35 consecutive games in the regular season.

Mt. Blue lost most of its starters at skill positions but brings back quarterback Jordan Whitney, who threw 25 touchdown passes last fall. This season, Whitney has completed 22 of 29 passes for 416 yards.

Hampden will look to challenge those teams behind running back Logan Steward and quarterback Matt Martin. Gardiner has a do-everything quarterback/kicker in Dennis Meehan, but line play will be the true test for the Tigers. Waterville began the season with two strong victories, but the Purple Panthers will have to prove that they can beat the top teams before they can be seen as a contender. They’ll get that chance this week against Gardiner and Sept. 29 against Leavitt.

The West looks to be up for grabs. Westbrook was 5-5 last fall, but began this year by drilling perennial power Mountain Valley, 30-0, then knocking off defending state champion Wells, 28-20. Senior running backs Ben Grant and Cale Bollig do most of the work on the ground, and Collin Joyce is a factor running or receiving. Wells graduated all but three starters, but Dante Fanning and Drew Shelley are the big backs in a powerful offense.

Greely opened the season with two lopsided victories. The Rangers run the triple option on offense, and quarterback Drew Hodge is also a dangerous passer. Marshwood, coming off a 2-6 season, has already matched that win total and could be a sleeper team. Mountain Valley, despite starting the season 0-2, could pose problems by the end of the season.

Class C
The Little Ten Conference is not the place to go if you want to see close games. Five teams started off the season 2-0, and all 10 of those wins were by at least 20 points.

The four big contenders are Bucksport, Foxcroft, John Bapst, and Orono. Bucksport has a powerful offense, with quarterback Matt Stewart and running back Nic Bishop the top weapons. Foxcroft returns running back Don Boyer and Ryan Rebar (8 TDs receiving and 8 INTs as a cornerback last fall).

John Bapst has impressive speed at the skill positions, but must replace the graduation of quarterback Deven Romain and his top two receivers. Orono has a great backfield tandem of Christian Mowrer (15.9 yards per carry this season) and Norton Revell (15.5 yards per catch).

The big story in the West was Oak Hill’s 33-7 victory over Yarmouth, which had won 24 consecutive games. That win cemented the Raiders, who were 3-6 in 2011, as a true contender in the Campbell Conference. Oak Hill has good size in the line for top running backs Alex Mace and Kyle Flaherty, both of whom are sophomores.

Yarmouth will still contend behind quarterback Brady Neujahr and a running game paced by Matt Klepinger and Thomas Lord. So will Maranacook, with quarterback Caleb Castonguay, a running and passing threat. Traip has only about 20 players on its roster, but two of them are stud running backs in Corey Aldecoa and Devon Draker. Dirigo and Winslow could also make a run.

Maine Statewide Top 10
1. Cheverus - Stags have outscored opponents 85-6 in two games.
2. Thornton - Golden Trojans coming off 67-7 pasting of Gorham, face No. 9 Bonny Eagle next.
3. Windham - QB Damien Shepard has four touchdowns running, two more passing.
4. Lawrence - Bulldogs have outscored opposition 65-0 in first halves of games this fall.
5. Scarborough - Red Storm, 3-6 last fall, stunned Bonny Eagle 35-18 last week.
6. Portland - Bulldogs didn’t get inside Cheverus 30 in 42-0 loss, but looked great against Massabesic.
7. Mt. Blue - Cougars beat Madison/Carrabec 41-28, but led 41-0 at half before pulling starters.
8. Leavitt - Hornets keep rolling with 36-0 blanking of Belfast.
9. Bonny Eagle - QB Tyson Goodale has ran or thrown for all nine of team’s touchdowns this fall.
10. Westbrook - Blue Blazes overpowered Mtn. Valley, then beat defending state champ Wells, 28-20.

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New England Roundup: Maine

June, 8, 2012
6/08/12
12:53
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Abbey Leonardi concluded her stellar high school running career last Saturday with a pair of wins at the State Class A track and field championships. The Kennebunk senior won the 1,600 and 3,200 meter races despite missing a month of training this spring with a strained tendon in her leg.

MaineLeonardi finished the 1,600 in 4 minutes, 56.87 seconds, a little more than five seconds off her state record pace in 2010. She caught Lawrence’s Erzsebet Nagy on the final lap and held her off down the stretch.

“I missed more than a month of training," Leonardi said, "so it was just more about being mentally tough."

Leonardi won 3,200 later in the meet in 10:45.49, again a few seconds off the state record she set in 2010. In four years, Leonardi has posted four cross country individual championships and 12 outdoor track titles. She holds state records in 1,600, mile, 3,000, 3,200 and the two mile.

She is widely considered Maine’s best female high school runner since Joan Benoit Samuelson, who won the inaugural women’s marathon at the 1984 Olympics. This year Leonardi finished fourth in the prestigious Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals, setting a PR of 17:35.30 in the 5,000 meter event.

“What we’ve tried to do is not go too crazy with her in high school and chase every big meet,” her father Jack said.

Abbey will attend the University of Oregon next fall on a running scholarship and will step on campus with plenty of gas left in her tank. She hasn’t run indoor track in high school nor has she over-trained.

“I actually think she can get a lot better,” her dad said. “We’ve tried not to stress her too much. I think Abbey’s at the low end of the top kids in high school in terms of mileage.”

Her dad got her started in running and said he got up to speed in training methods as she progressed. He credits middle school coach Mike LeBlanc as an important influence. As she’s grown older, Leonardi has trained with Kristen Barry, a former 2:40 marathon runner and Falmouth’s Sheri Piers, the top American female finisher in this year’s Boston marathon.

“She definitely has some physical talent but she works as hard as anybody at it,” jack Leonardi said of his daughter. “She’s really methodical about what she does. She’s pretty educated about what she’s doing.”

Leonardi won’t complete in this weekend’s New England meet in Saco, but will follow a training regimen to get her ready for cross country season next fall. Her only appearance in the new England cross country meet was her freshman year when she finished first. Oregon is one of the country’s strongest track and cross country school. Last fall, the Ducks placed fifth in the NCAA cross country meet and return five of their top seven runners.

“She had lots of opportunities (to attend other schools),” Jack said, “but she definitely is choosing to jump into the big pond. If she didn’t give the biggest stage a chance, she wished she would have.”

Leonardi, who has a twin sister, is a straight A student who also loves to cook.

“She’ll probably end up studying business and hope to apply that in some food area,” her father said.

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New England Roundup: Maine

November, 17, 2010
11/17/10
3:02
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State football championships in Class A, B and C are on the line Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

MaineHere is a rundown of the games:

Class A, Cheverus (11-0) vs. Bangor (10-1), 2:30 p.m.
Both teams squeaked by in regional finals last week. Cheverus downed Deering 35-34 when a last-second 36-yard field goal attempt by Deering’s Jamie Ross missed by two feet. And Bangor won 28-25 against Lewiston when the Blue Devils gambled on fourth and one from their own 10-yard line with two and half minutes left. Bangor held and scored the game-winning touchdown to seal the win.

Cheverus is making its first appearance in a state game since it won in 1985. The Stags, however, have made a rapid climb in the past four years under Coach John Wolfgram who has won seven state titles at Gardiner and South Portland and is the state’s winningest coach. They rely on the passing and running of quarterback Peter Gwilym who has accounted for 21 touchdowns. Running back Evan Jendrasko has rushed for 13 touchdowns. Equally important is the play of the Stags’ special teams which has accounted for several scores.

Bangor has a history on state title appearances, having won five since the current format began in 1967 while also losing in the state game eight times. The Rams lost to Windham in the state final last year and to Bonny Eagle in 2004. They last won a championship in 2001. They led the East in points scored behind a balanced attack that features the passing and running of 6-foot-6 quarterback Joe Seccareccia and the running of Josiah Hartley. They’ve combined for 36 touchdowns. Included in that number are eight receiving scores by Nick Sherwood.

Class B, Leavitt (11-0) vs. Mountain Valley (11-0), 11 a.m.
Leavitt defeated Gardiner, 27-7, in the East regional game last week while Mountain Valley shut out Wells 18-0. The shutout was the seventh of the season for the Falcons who have allowed just 30 points in 11 games. Quarterback Cam Kaubris leads the offense along with running backs Josh Allen and Taylor Bradley who have combined for 29 touchdowns. The Falcons are looking for their fourth Class B title in seven, last winning in 2008.

Leavitt is the defending Class B state champion and is riding the state’s longest winning streak at 23 games. The Hornets allowed 81 points during the regular season and outscored their three playoff opponents 110-23. Junior quarterback Jordan Hersom accounted for 26 touchdowns in the regular season and an additional five in the playoffs. Running back Jake Ouellette is a complement, having scored 15 touchdowns.

Class C, Stearns (11-0) vs. Yarmouth (11-0), 6 p.m.
Stearns defeated John Bapst in the regional final 26-7 while Yarmouth downed Lisbon 14-12 thanks to a late 65-yard scoring run from freshman quarterback Brady Neujahr.

Stearns, located in Millinocket, has the longest trip of any of the state finalists at 200 miles. It’s doubtful the Minutemen will complain too much, though, since this is their first trip to the state championship game since winning in 1998. The team is both the northernmost as well as the smallest football playing school in the state. This season they carry a roster of just 29 players. Stearns also features one the toughest defenses in Class C, having allowed 49 points. Running back William Eurich leads the offense with 18 touchdowns.

Yarmouth is playing just its fourth year of varsity football, yet the Clippers excelled under coach Jim Hartman with an offense that led the state in the regular season with 391 points. Four players — Neujahr, Anders Overhaug, Nate Pingitore and Nick Proscia — have scored 10 or more touchdowns this season. Neujahr has passed for eight touchdowns and rushed for 10. A win by the Clippers would give them a unique double this fall since the soccer team won the state title last weekend. A win by the football team would complete unbeaten seasons for both.

FOOTBALL TOP 10
1. Cheverus
2. Bangor
3. Deering
4. Bonny Eagle
5. Lewiston
6. Mtn. Valley
7. Lawrence
8. Leavitt
9. Stearns
10. Yarmouth

MIKE LANDRY AWARD
Scarborough football coach Lance Johnson recently won the Mike Landry Award, given annually to the top coach in the Southern Maine Activities Association. Johnson led the Red Storm to a 7-1 regular-season record, its best ever, as well as its first playoff victory.

LOOKING FOR RARE DOUBLES
The Bangor and Yarmouth football teams will look to duplicate the success of their soccer teams in state championship games this weekend. No Maine high school has ever won a football and soccer championship in the same year. The Bangor soccer team defeated Portland 3-2 for the Class A title while Yarmouth won the Class B crown with a 5-0 win against Ellsworth.

Yarmouth can also complete an unbeaten season for both teams if it stops Stearns in Saturday’s Class C football championship game.

SOCCER TITLES AWARDED
Soccer titles in four classes were decided earlier this month.

In boys Class A, Bangor downed Portland 3-2 to win its second title overall and first since 2006. In girls Class a, Scarborough won its first state title with a 3-0 win against Bangor. The Red Storm allowed only one goal all season.

In Class B, the Yarmouth boys completed a 17-0-1 season with a 5-0 victory against Eastern Maine champion Ellsworth. The Falmouth girls won their second title in three years and eighth overall with a 1-0 win over Caribou in a game decided on a penalty kick.

In Class C, the Fort Kent boys downed North Yarmouth Academy to win their first state championship. Sacopee Valley won the girls' title with a 2-1 overtime win against Fort Kent.

In Class D, the Richmond girls defeated Van Buren 1-0 for their seventh state title. Bangor Christian won the boys title with a 5-2 victory against Richmond.

DURGIN PLACES 2ND
Cheverus junior Emily Durgin finished second at last Saturday’s New England cross country meet in Thetford, Vt. Durgin, who won the title last year, finished 12 seconds behind Linda Crevoiserat of Glastonbury, Conn.

Durgin placed second her freshman year behind Kennebunk’s Abbey Leonardi, who skipped this year’s meet to concentrate on the Foot Locker Regionals the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Last fall, both Durgin and Leonardi qualified for the Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego.

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