Falmouth remains soccer´s title town
Minutes after the Falmouth High girls´ soccer team received the Gold Ball for winning its third consecutive Class B state championship, players and coaches gathered in the goal for the traditional team photo.
They were joined by Falmouth´s boys´ soccer players and coaches.
Both teams proudly posed together, with the Gold Balls won Saturday by the Yachtsmen at Scarborough High´s Mitchell Sports Complex.
The boys won their second consecutive Class B championship, beating Camden Hills for the second straight year by a 2-1 score.
The girls won their third title in a row, beating Hermon 2-1.
Asked if there was a contest between the programs to see who can win the most championships, Wally LeBlanc, the girls´ coach, said no.
"We´ll have a celebration with the boys," he said. "But no contests."
The girls have won eight championships since 2001 and 11 overall, including three in Class C.
The boys have nine state championships since 2000 and also 11 overall, including two in Class C.
"It´s just a friendly contest," said Cassie Darrow, a senior midfielder for the girls. "We definitely joke, but it´s all in good fun."
Bri DiPhillipo, a senior defender who had an outstanding game in the championship match, said, "We´re in it together. It´s kind of fun. It´s just awesome for both of us to win it again."
ASKED THE secret to his team´s success, Falmouth boys´ coach Dave Halligan gave all the credit to his players.
"I think success perpetuates itself," he said. "The younger players, even the ones who didn´t get in the game today, saw what these seniors had to do over the last four years to be successful. It´s working hard, doing the extra stuff.
"Everyone sees what happens on the field in the state game, but they don´t see the sweat and the blood and the effort that goes into the summer sessions, the preseason, the training. Year after year. And they do it the right way."
But J.P. White, the senior captain who scored the winning goal on a penalty kick, had another reason:
"It´s Halligan," he said. "He prepares us to win. He knows how to train us. He gets us ready for every game, to play every game like it´s our last. We´re ready for anything."
FALMOUTH´S BOYS battled Camden Hills for the second year in a row and came away with another impressive win.
But the Windjammers caught some attention, too. Playing without three starters out because of injuries, they hung with one of the best teams in the state.
"I knew we could do it," said Coach Ryan Hurley. "I couldn´t be more proud of my boys. And we had them, we had them 1-0."
"That was a great high school soccer game," said Halligan. "They gave us as much as we could handle. It could have gone either way."
IN ADDITION TO winning their third state soccer title in five seasons Saturday, the Scarborough boys received the Western Class A sportsmanship award.
"We found out about that a couple of days ago, and we´re as proud of that as anything else we´ve accomplished," Scarborough Coach Mark Diaz said. "We try real hard. We´re not perfect, but we try real hard to do the right thing. Sometimes, if you´re winning, that´s not always an easy thing, so we worked real hard on that."
Mt. Blue won the Eastern Class A banner for boys´ soccer.
The Class A sportsmanship awards for girls´ soccer went to Kennebunk in the west and Skowhegan in the east.
CHEVERUS COMMITTED four personal fouls in its football game with Portland on Saturday, and Coach John Wolfgram let the Stags know he wasn´t happy about it.
Wolfgram ripped into his team during its postgame huddle, delaying his "give me an S, give me a T" cheer for a second team huddle moments later. Top-ranked Cheverus won 35-7 to advance to another Western Class A final Saturday against No. 2 Thornton Academy. It was the Stags´ 34th straight win over three seasons, but Wolfgram had other things on his mind besides the victory, namely his team´s lack of discipline.
Later, Wolfgram said: "We just lost control of our emotions. There is no excuse for that. We have to control our emotions and play better."
Portland was called for two personal fouls. Tempers can flare in a game between longtime rivals, particularly when one team has a distinct advantage over the other.
"I think it was because Portland is our big rival," quarterback Liam Fitzpatrick said of the personal fouls. "But it was uncharacteristic of us. We´ll have to keep a level head against Thornton Academy."
Cheverus will be playing in its fourth straight regional final. In 2009, the Stags lost 7-6 at Windham in rainy, muddy conditions. Windham went on to win the state title. Cheverus hasn´t lost since.
Two years ago, Cheverus and Deering engaged in an epic final, won by the Stags, 35-34. A week later, Cheverus beat Bangor for its first state title since 1985. The Stags repeated last year, beating Thornton Academy in the regional final and Lawrence for the state championship.
THORNTON ACADEMY´S only football loss was three weeks ago against Cheverus, 28-14. For Trojans running back/defensive back Andrew Libby, time has gone by slowly while the team´s headed toward another showdown.
"I´ve been waiting for (the rematch) for a long time," Libby said Saturday after the Trojans beat Scarborough 49-14 to advance to the Western Class A final against Cheverus.
Quarterback Eric Christensen was extremely efficient against Scarborough, completing 6 of 6 passes for 140 yards. And the Trojans showed they can pound the ball inside, with 248 yards rushing.
"We want to show that we´re a physical team," Libby said. "We can run all day if we need to."
LIKE WOLFGRAM, Marshwood Coach Alex Rotsko is a master of coaching the wing-T offense. Rotsko is in his first year with the Hawks after building a dynasty in 19 season at Longmeadow High, where his team won 11 Western/Central Massachusetts Super Bowls.
Marshwood´s execution of the wing-T Friday night against Wells was something to watch. The sweeps, the counters and quarterback Cameron Roll´s deft pitches to his running backs kept the Hawks on the move. The gains wouldn´t have happened without the strong blocking up front. Marshwood eliminated the defending Class B state champions with a 15-13 win.
Coupled with York´s 21-14 victory over Westbrook in the other Western Class B semifinal, the results set up a classic regional final between old Southern York County League rivals. Marshwood and York will square off at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in South Berwick.
Rotsko, a graduate of Springfield College, was the head coach at American International College in Springfield, Mass., for 10 years. He left the college ranks for high school and said it was the best move he made.
-- Staff Writers Mike Lowe, Paul Betit, Kevin Thomas and Tom Chard contributed to this report.
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