Rams impressive on several fronts

Gorhamite Noelle Dibiase jumps off base in a midseason matchup vs. South Portland.

The Rams may not have picked up any state titles this spring, but they looked strong on several fronts, and Dan Soule’s lacrosse boys were very much contenders to go all the way.

Soule’s boys went 10-2 in the regular season – the single best record in A South – to enter the tournament ranked third, behind rivals Westbrook. The team summarily dispatched No. 6 Massabesic 20-7 in their quarters matchup, then shocked Westbrook in the semis with a lopsided win on the Blazes’ own turf, 14-4. Westbrook had beaten Gorham in the regular season, a 9-8 thriller in double-OT, the memory of which undoubtedly helped fuel them in achieving their postseason W.

In the regional final, Gorham met up with mighty Scarborough, an outfit the Rams had triumphed over – for the first time ever – at the beginning of the regular season. Unfortunately, they couldn’t replicate that success a second time, and ultimately fell 12-8.

Mary Guimond’s lady laxers turned out an impressive regular season as well, finishing 7-5 for a fourth-place entry into the bracketing. Their first-round contest, vs. No. 5 South Portland, turned into one of the tournament’s most nailbiting games.

Gorham controlled early, building a substantial lead, but the Riots surged late, and tied things up with just seconds remaining in regulation. Alas, South Portland capped that evening with a sudden-death goal in double-OT, sending the Rams packing till 2017.

Chuck Nadeau’s baseballers battled to a 10-7 regular-season record, good enough for the tournament six-seed. In the prelims, then, they slipped past No. 11 Massabesic 3-1.  In the quarters, however, they fell to No. 3 Scarborough 4-0.

“Gorham had five players recognized with All-Conference honors,” said Nadeau proudly, “including Logan Drouin, Ben Nelson, Trent Bassingthwaite, Sam Kilborn and Gerek Brown.”

Drouin, just a junior, was named First-Team Pitcher; Nelson, a sophomore, First-Team Infielder; Bassingthwaite, a senior, First-Team Outfielder; Kilborn, a senior, Second-Team Pitcher; and Brown, a senior, Second-Team Outfielder.

Nadeau noted two other important accolades: “Ben Nelson was crowned the batting champion of the SMAA with a season batting average of .442,” he said, “ and Sam Kilborn was awarded the SMAA Fred Harlow award, which recognizes one player in the league for exceptional sportsmanship and leadership both on and off the field.”

Renee Thibodeau’s softballers faced a few more struggles than their baseballing brothers, but still fought their way to 7-9 in the regular season. They also overcame Massabesic in the prelims, a 6-5 result in eight innings, and they likewise succumbed in the quarters – though their opponent was No. 2 Sanford, and the final score in that game was 8-4.

Both the boys and girls tennis teams logged superb springs. The boys, under the tutelage of Aaron Landry, sailed to 11-1 in the regular season, thus earning the tournament three-seed and also a bye through the prelims. But their quarterfinals opponent, No. 6 Deering, upset them 3-2, ending a beautiful run prematurely. The team says goodbye to seniors Thomas Brent, Kevin Brewer and Connor White.

On the ladies’ courts, Nicole Bergeron’s girls also amassed 11 wins and a lone loss through the regular season to enter the bracketing ranked third in A South. Skipping through the prelims, they met No. 6 Portland in the quarters – and squashed them, 5-0. For the semis, however, the Rams traveled to No. 2 Scarborough, where they narrowly fell, 3-2.

Three seniors also graduated from the team in June: Isabella Griffin, Elizabeth Kutzer and Molly VanLuling.

Finally, on the track, Jason Tanguay’s boys posted several impressive individual results at Southwesterns, where they finished fifth overall. In particular, Brandon Kuusela took second in the 300 hurdles and Sean Pratt won the racewalk. A week later, Kuusela took third in the 110 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles at States, and Pratt took third in the Racewalk.

John Caterina’s girls finished 11th as a unit at Southwesterns, where Evelyn Kitchen won the javelin and Hayley Bickford won the racewalk. At States, Bickford took second in the racewalk.

Gorhamite Noelle Dibiase jumps off base in a midseason matchup vs. South Portland.

Gorham’s Trent Bassingthwaite leads off third in a midseason win at Windham.