Boston High School: Penobscot Valley

New England Roundup: Maine

May, 22, 2013
Penobscot Valley High School softball coach Thom Coyle already knew how good Kayla Dube is. But when umpires starting raving to him about the movement on Dube’s pitches, Coyle decided to check it out from their perspective.

Maine“I’ve stood back there behind the umpire,” Coyle said. “I’ve never seen a ball actually spin upwards. A lot of girls, they can start it low and it goes up, but hers actually has movement on it.”

Dube is from Enfield, a town of about 1,600 people around Cold Stream Pond, and Penobscot Valley, a Class D school, has only about 175 students. Dube’s high school accomplishments belie her small-town roots. She has over 600 strikeouts in her career, and led the Howlers (PVHS is located in Howland) to the Class D state title last year. In the state championship game, facing a Richmond team that was averaging 11.7 runs per game, Dube threw a four-hitter with 14 strikeouts in a 4-2 victory.

This season, the Howlers are undefeated, and Dube has already thrown six no-hitters. She’s also batting around .300 with one home run, doing so despite a bad leg.

“I strained a muscle behind my knee,” Dube said. “It’s my landing foot, so it really has a bad effect on my knee.”

Dube said the strain could become a tear, and it is painful not only when she pitches, but sometimes when she’s just sitting down. Still, it’s her senior year, and there’s a state title to defend.

“They’d have to pull me off the field,” she said.

Dube has shown that kind of dedication for a long time. Every school year, from September to June, she travels to Bucksport every Sunday to work with pitching coach Bob Mercer. The ride is about three hours round-trip for a two-hour session with Mercer.

“She’s one of the hardest workers you’ll ever see,” Coyle said. “Whenever she does anything, she puts her head right into it, and goes all the way. She rises to the next level when she gets into trouble. She’s really one of a kind.”

With any Class D athlete in any sport in Maine, people always wonder how a star would do playing against teams from larger schools. In softball, Class D schools are all under 200 students. PVHS, which also faces some Class C schools, outscored its opponents 208-23 last season and 187-10 through its first 13 games this spring, making it clear the Howlers are too strong for most of their competition.

But Dube has faced teams from Class B in preseason. This spring, she faced Maine Central Institute, which won seven of its first 12 regular season games in Class B this year. Although it was her first time pitching outside this season, Dube struck out 21 batters in nine innings, and she said she’s always motivated when facing a bigger school.

“I want to prove that [even though] we’re in Class D, we can beat any team,” Dube said. “I think our team is good enough to compete with just about anybody.”

There’s also the question of how Dube will fare in college. Coyle says she’s been clocked at consistently between 55 and 61 miles per hour, and he thinks that can go up when she gets to college and starts lifting weights regularly.

“She’s definitely Division I or II,” Coyle said. “She can handle it. If she wanted to go to the University of Maine, there would be no problem there, because she’s already better the pitcher the University of Maine has.”

Dube is looking at Husson University, a Division III school, but says she has offers from other schools as well and has not made a final decision.

“I really want to play softball,” she said. “So a school with a good softball team that wants me would be great, but it also has to be a nursing school, because I’m going to be a nurse.”

Cony High School lost both of its basketball coaches within a few weeks of the end of the season. Tim Bonsant resigned from the boys’ job, while Karen Magnusson stepped down after leading the Cony girls to the Eastern A title game.

Cony recently hired its two replacements. Coincidentally, they’re both resigning from head coaching positions at Thomas College in Waterville to take the Cony jobs.

The new boys coach is T.J. Maines, a teacher in the Augusta school system who coached the Thomas men for the last seven seasons, compiling a record of 89-88. Maines led the Terriers to a winning record in each of the last five seasons.

Ted Rioux, the former Thomas women’s coach, takes over for Magnusson on the girls’ side. Rioux coached five years at Belfast Area High School, then won three consecutive Class B state championships at Waterville. His last two teams at Waterville went 11-8 and 4-14, and did not win a tournament game. He then took over the Thomas program and was in the process of building that team. Rioux’s record at Thomas was 12-38 over two seasons.

Oddly enough, the new girls coach at Skowhegan Area High School (another Eastern A school) was also a head coach at the college level last season. Bob Witts comes to Skowhegan after spending one season coaching the Unity College women. Witts led the NAIA in scoring with Hawthorne College in New Hampshire when he averaged 35.4 points per game during the 1980-81 season.

Courtney Veilleux’s coaches were hoping she’d be back by May. After all, Veilleux had surgery in February to remove one of her kidneys.

“I had an appointment in Lewiston with an urologist,” Veilleux told the Morning Sentinel. “He told me that when my mom was pregnant with me, my kidney didn’t fully develop, and it just filled up with fluid. So it was just a really thin layer of kidney material and the rest was all fluid that was just sitting there, getting bigger and bigger.”

While the average kidney is about the size of a fist, one of Veilleux’s kidneys was approximately the size of a football. After being unable to take mour than four or five swings in batting practice during the early days of preseason, Veilleux has played every game in center field for the Eagles, and is hitting over .400. She plans to play at Thomas College next spring.

New England Roundup: Maine

June, 25, 2012
Longtime Bangor High School boys' basketball coach Roger Reed reluctantly resigned recently after being informed by the administration to make a choice between coaching and serving in the legislature.

MaineLeonardi Reed, 73, submitted his resignation a day before winning the Republican primary to represent House District 23 in the Maine Legislature. Reed will face Democrat Richard Thomas in the Nov. 6 general election for the right to fill the seat formerly held by Rep. David E. Richardson, who is also a Republican.

Reed, who retired this spring after a 47-year career as a teacher, hoped to continue coaching the Rams. In 27 seasons he led them to eight Class A state championships. In a career than began at Bangor Christian Academy, Reed has a career record of 571-201, a .740 winning percentage. After going 7-11 in his first year at Bangor, Reed’s teams posted 26 straight winning season including a 14-6 mark last winter. The Rams won their eighth state title under Reed in 2011.

Reed wanted to continue coaching next season but was told Bangor principal Paul Butler that demands of time and travel to Augusta would be too great to do both jobs. The Legislature is in regular session during the winter months.

“Somewhere and sometime ago, it was decided that I wouldn’t be allowed to do both,” Red told the Bangor Daily News. “I really don’t think that it has anything to do with logistics. I was assured by all who encouraged me to run that I would have no reason to give up coaching.”

Butler, who played for Reed in the late 1980s, said he asked several people if someone could serve in both capacities and do justice to both jobs. He determined than it wasn’t “It was an honest, good-faith decision. I think Bangor High School athletes and our program deserve 100 percent of a person’s attention, and I just felt that it was untenable for somebody to do both,” he told the BDN.

“Once I made the decision, I waited until after the season and asked Roger to choose us,” Butler said. “I wanted, and offered, to have Roger back as coach and gave him until June to make that decision. I told him the only time I ever rooted against him was going into the primary.”

Scarborough High School senior Ben Wessel won the Dr. John Winkin Award, presented annually to the state’s top baseball player at the senior all-star game. Wessel sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament which prevented him from pitching the Red Storm in the second half of the season but he returned to the lineup as a designated hitter and helped the team to the Western Maine Class A title.

Wessel led the Southern Maine Activities Association in batting average (.486), slugging (.943), on-base percentage (.600), RBI (21), triples (4) and home runs (2). As a pitcher the right-hander went 6-0 with a 0.62 earned run average and struck out 45 batters in 34 innings.

He expects to undergo Tommy John surgery in July and will attend the University of Rhode Island this fall.

Thornton Academy senior Julia Geaumont could have won the Miss Maine Softball Award as a pitcher or a hitter. She excelled at both. Geaumont got the good news at last week’s senior all-star games. The award is presented annually by the Maine High School Softball Coaches Association.

This season Geaumont went 14-2 on the mound with an 0.84 earned run average and 136 strikeouts. At the plate, she batted .679 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI. Geaumont, who will attend Bowdoin College next fall, was also named Gatorade and Southern Maine Activities Association player of the year.

Soon after its boys track and field team won the Class A state championship, Sanford High School announced its new mascot.

Superintendent David Theoharides reported the new mascot will be the Spartans. Students in grades seven through 12 voted on four new nicknames — Spartans, Pride, Stampede and Cardinals. The Spartans claimed 587 votes to 423 for Pride, 202 for Stampede and 113 for Cardinals. The new mascot will go into effect starting with the 2012-2013 school year.

Sanford’s school committee voted 4-1 last month to retire the Redskins mascot, the last high school in the state with such a nickname.

Baseball and softball championships in four classes were decided on June 16 at venues in Bangor and Windham. Eastern Maine teams swept the softball championships while East and West split for the baseball titles.

Class A Baseball
Messalonskee 6, Scarborough 3: The Eagles took advantage of seven errors by the Red Storm to win their first Class A title. All six of Messalonskee’s runs were unearned. The Eagles turned two double plays including a memorable one in the bottom of the fifth when shortstop Sam Dexter dove for a ball in the hole, relayed it to second to younger brother Jake who threw to first. Messalonskee finished at 15-5, winning its last 10 games.

Class B Baseball
Falmouth 2, Foxcroft 0: Ninth-place hitter Ryan Conley ripped a two-run double in the second inning to lead the Yachtsmen to their first state title since 1998 and their first in Class B. Starter Thomas Fortier pitched a complete game, holding the Ponies to two hits while striking out six. Falmouth finished at 17-3.

Class C Baseball
Dirigo 6, Calais 1: The Cougars took an early lead and senior Ben Holmes preserved it to give the Cougars their second title in three years. Dirigo took a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the second, the big hit a two-run double from Caleb Turner. Holmes finished with eight strikeouts in running his season record to 12-1. Dirigo finished at 19-1 overall while three-time reigning Eastern champion Calais closed at 18-2.

Class D Baseball
Bangor Christian 7, Buckfield 3: Sophomore Cody Collins drove in four runs on a pair of singles and a double to lead the Patriots to their first baseball title. The Eastern Maine champs scored five runs in the first inning en route to the win. They finished at 19-2 while Buckfield closed at 17-2.

Class A Softball
Cony 2, South Portland 0: Junior Sonja Morse pitched a one hitter and struck out 10 to lead the Rams to their first state title since 1983. Morse lost her no-hitter with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. She also issued a walk but both runners were picked off as she faced the minimum number of batters. Cecelia Fuller singled home both Cony runs in the fifth inning.

Erin Bogdanovich allowed three hits and struck out 13 for South Portland (17-3). Cony finished at 20-0.

Class B Softball
Old Town 4, Fryeburg 1: Junior Kendra Hayward struck out 15 and contributed a two-run double to lead the Coyotes to their first state championship. Hayward allowed three runs in four Eastern Maine games while striking out 38 batters in 28 innings for fifth-seeded Old Town. The Coyotes finished at 17-4 while defending Class B champion Fryeburg closed at 18-2.

Class C Softball
Bucksport 2, Dirigo 0: Cassidy Adams pitched a two-hitter to lead the Golden Bucks to their first Class C title. The Bucks, who dropped down a class this season, reached the Class B title game last year before losing to Fryeburg. They last won a Class B title in 2006 and have gone five for eight in championship games. The win completed a perfect season at 20-0.

Class D Softball
Penobscot Valley 4, Richmond 2: Jenna Hope’s two-run single in the third inning capped a three-run rally to lead the Howlers to their first state championship. Winning pitcher Kayla Dube allowed four hits, including three bunt singles, while striking out 14. Penobscot Valley finished at 19-1, while Richmond, playing in its third straight state title game, finished at 16-2.

Class A Boys
Scarborough 9, Cheverus 4: Ryan Pallotta scored five goals as the Red Storm rolled to its third straight state championship. Scarborough finished at 14-1.

Class B Boys
Falmouth 7, North Yarmouth 4: Charlie Fay scored three goals to lead the yachtsmen to their second straight state championship. It was Falmouth’s third win this season against North Yarmouth and also the second straight time the Yachtsmen have beaten the Panthers in the state final.

Class A Girls
Scarborough 11, Brunswick 9: Mary Scott scored four goals to lead the Red Storm to their third consecutive state championship. Scarborough (15-1) also defeated Brunswick (14-2) in last year’s state final by a score of 13-11.

Waynflete 16, Freeport 5: Martha Veroneau had four goals and five assists to lead the Flyers, who were playing in their fourth straight championship game. Sadie Cole added five goals and Walker Foehl scored four for Waynflete (14-1) which rallied for wins against Falmouth and Cape Elizabeth in the regional tournament.

New England Roundup: Maine

April, 6, 2011
A snowstorm that dumped up to 12 inches of snow on many areas of the state last Friday set baseball teams back a week or 10 days, but indoor practices continue and many teams in southern Maine should be outside this weekend.

MaineThe season gets under way at the end of next week.

Here’s a look at some of the top teams in all four classes:

Westbrook: The Blue Blazes return several players from the team that was upset by Biddeford in the Western Maine final last season. Many of the players on this year’s team also played on a Little league World Series team five years ago. Among them is left-handed pitcher Scott Heath who will play at the University of Maine next season.

Sean Murphy, a 6-foot-5 right-hander, is also back and apparently over shoulder problems that limited his innings last season. He has verbally committed to play at St. John’s next season.

Deering: The Rams return seven seniors from last year’s playoff team, including center fielder Sam Balzano and pitcher Jamie Ross who was also the school’s quarterback. The Rams, who last won a title in 2009, have won eight out of the last 12 state championships. Former University of Maine standout and minor leaguer Mark Sutton takes over as coach.

Bangor: The Rams went undefeated during the regular season last spring before being upset by Brewer in the East A semifinals. Despite key graduation losses they return a lot of pitching, led by lefties Joe Stanevicz (8-0, 2.21 ERA) and Curtis Worcester. Catcher Dylan Morris, who hit .475 last season, also returns. Bangor also features a number of players who played for the team that reached the Senior League World Series championship game last summer.

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New England Roundup: Maine

December, 16, 2010
Thirteen semifinalists have been selected for the James J. Fitzpatrick Trophy, symbolic of the state’s top high school senior football player.

MaineBallots were mailed to media and members of the football community and will narrowed to three finalists which will be announced Dec. 19. In addition to football accomplishments, grades, character and extracurricular activities are also factors in the award.

The winner will be announced at the Fiztpatrick Trophy Banquet on Jan. 16 in Portland.

The finalists are:
  • Kyle Bishop, Waterville — The averaged 6.8 yards per carry and passed for 902 yards. He also kicked 19 of 21 PATs and was in on 73 tackles. He carries a GPA of 3.47.
  • Max Cloutier, Leavitt — The center/defensive tackle made 95 tackles and was credited with 12 1/2 sacks. He added 49 PATs and kicked a field goal. He carries an 85 grade average.
  • Michael Cyr, Scarborough — The two way end caught 17 passes for 336 yards and eight TDs. On defense, he made 73 tackles and recovered three fumbles. He carries an 89.9 GPA.
  • Ethan Drigotas, Kennebunk — The receiver/defensive back caught 36 passes for 659 yards and averaged 5.5 yards a carry as a halfback and scored seven TDs. He carries a 92 GPA.
  • Luke Duncklee, Cony — The quarterback passed for 1,442 yards and rushed for another 1,147, accounting for 25 touchdowns in all. He is a top 10 member of his class.
  • Nicholas Gagne, Biddeford – The fullback/linebacker rushed for 973 yards and scored 15 TDs. On defense he made 40 tackles, 13 for sacks. He carries a 3.5 GPA.
  • Peter Gwilym, Cheverus — The QB/safety led the Stags to their first Class A title since 1986. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and scored 13 TDs. He also passed for seven TDs. On defense he made 64 tackles and made four interceptions. H carries a 3.89 GPA.
  • Jonathan Haws, Hampden — The QB/safety is one of the most prolific players in school history. He carries a GPA of 94.
  • Cam Kaurbis, Mountain Valley — The QB/defensive back led the Falcons to the Class B state title, passing for 873 yards and seven touchdowns. On defense, he had 21 tackles and eight interceptions. He carries a 98.8 GPA.
  • Caleb Kenney, Portland — The FB/TE/LB made 44 tackles. He rushed for 328 yards and four TDs and caught 10 passes for 165 yards. He carries a 95 GPA.
  • Nicholas Proscia, Yarmouth — The FB.LB totaled 707 yards and nine touchdowns and played on all the special teams. He carries an 89.5 GPA and helped the Clippers to the Class B state title.
  • Jamie Ross, Deering — The quarterback threw for 1,511 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushed for an additional 912 yards and 19 TDs. He also punted and kicked 36 PATs and a field goal. He carries a 90 GPA.
  • Josh Woodward, Thornton — The WB/DB averaged 8.6 yards per carry and scored nine touchdowns. He also completed 52 percent of his passes for nine TDs. He carries a 3.3 GPA.

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