December 31, 2013

TOP 10 SPORTS STORIES: Skowhegan field hockey dominates

Indians' continued run of excellence tops list of Sports stories.

By Matt Difilippo And Travis Lazarczyk
Staff Writers

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Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer Skowhegan's Mikayla Toh, left, receives a hug from Rylie Blanchet, as the Indians celebrate their win over Scarborough in the Class A field hockey championship at Yarmouth High School Saturday, November 2, 2013.

The Waterville girls finished with 136 points, which was more than the next two teams combined. Bethanie Brown set a Class B record in the 800 and also won the 1,600 and 3,200. Sarah Shoulta took first place in the 100 hurdles, the 300 hurdles and the pole vault, while Kellie Bolduc won the triple jump. Waterville also won the 4x400 relay, with Brown as the anchor.

Nick Danner lifted the Waterville boys with first-place performaces in the javelin and the shot put. Danner’s throw in the javelin set a state record. Teammate Jordhan Levine won the triple jump and placed second in both the 110 hurdles and the 300 hurdles, while Devin Burgess was second in the pole vault and first in the long jump. The Waterville boys also won the 4x400 relay, with Burgess serving as the anchor.


8. Nokomis wins Class B field hockey title

Since 2008, Nokomis has been one of the top field hockey programs in the state. The Warriors won the state title in 2010, reached the regional final in 2011, and went to the Eastern B semifinals last year. This season, powered by six spectacular seniors — Kayla Braley, Drew Graves, Kelsey Kerstetter, Taylor Shaw, Kendra Underhill and Lindsay Whitney — Nokomis won its second state title in four years.

Nokomis was unbeaten this season, but that’s not to say the Warriors weren’t challenged. They won in overtime on the road against Winslow in the regular season, and needed overtime to get by Camden Hills in the Eastern B quarterfinals. It wasn’t easy after that, either: Both the regional final against Old Town and the state final against York were 1-0 games.

Graves had the game-winner to beat Old Town, and freshman Olivia Brown put one in to defeat York. That state championship game showed how much of team Nokomis really was. York had freshman Lili Posternak — probably the best player in the state — and super-scorer Taylor Simpson. But Whitney did a marvelous job controlling Posternak, and the Nokomis defense worked together to keep Simpson off the scoreboard. The result was a Gold Ball for the Warriors.


9. Winslow football wins East Class C regional title

After playing two seasons in Western Class C, Winslow was back home in the East in 2013, and was once again one of the top teams in the state.

Winslow rolled through most of the regular season, losing just once, to rival Waterville, on a last-minute touchdown. The Black Raiders gained revenge on the Purple Panthers in the regional final, beating Waterville to advance to the Class C championship game.

Winslow’s run ended with a loss to Leavitt at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland in the state final. Top players for Winslow included running back/place kicker Dylan Hapworth, fullback Zach Guptill, tackle Troy Ellis and linebacker/defensive back Justin Martin.


10. Gary Parlin and Frank Knight retire

Two of central Maine’s most successful football coaches said goodbye after the 2013 season. Mt. Blue’s Gary Parlin and Waterville’s Frank Knight each retired after more than 20 years on the sidelines.

Parlin was an innovator in Maine high school football and was one of the first coaches in the state to use the spread offense. The Cougar Gun, as it became known, worked well for Mt. Blue. Quarterback Dustin Ireland won the Fitzpatrick Trophy in 1996. Parlin took the Cougars to two state championship games, winning the Class B title in 2012.

Knight led Waterville to back-to-back Pine Tree Conference Class A titles in 1993 and 1994, and took the Panthers to the regional final in each of his last two seasons. Knight’s teams were known for their hard working defense and toughness.

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