Drew Eid volleys in the Rams’ playoff win over Westbrook this spring.
Brooke Greatorex defends in the Rams’ midseason win over Bonny Eagle.
GORHAM – The school year is behind us, the awards all awarded; now’s the time, then, to recap the Rams’ spring. A good many Gorham teams turned in fantastic seasons, with several making deep playoffs runs.
Chuck Nadeau’s boys went 14-2 through the regular season, dropping games only to No. 2 Cheverus (who finished 17-2, losing in the Regional Final) and No. 7 Biddeford (a real eye-opener, that one, as the Tigers were reasonably strong at 7-10, but nevertheless were not supposed to upend the Rams – and especially not in the way they did: 5-0). That means Gorham picked up huge wins over tough opponents like No. 4 Portland (13-5) and No. 5 South Portland (13-5).
Ranked third in A South headed into the postseason, Gorham skated through the first round on a bye and bested, in the second round, a hot No. 11 squad, Sanford, fresh off an upset win over No. 6 Thornton. In the semis, however, the Rams ran up against Cheverus once more. That game got away from Gorham in one big inning and they ultimately fell 5-1.
Dan Soule’s squad racked up an impressive 9-3 regular-season record, falling only to No. 1 Scarborough at the start of the spring, No. 4 (in A North) Cheverus midway through and No. 2 TA at the end.
In the bracketing, Soule & Co., ranked fourth in A South, easily dispatched No. 5 Biddeford. They rematched with rivals Scarborough in the semis, and initially appeared to have the upper-hand, grabbing a four-goal advantage on a big, first-quarter push. But, no strangers to high-pressure situations, the Storm methodically battled back to take the day 6-5.
Mary Guimond’s outfit went 7-5 through the regular season to nab the five-seed in A South. The Lady Rams opened their schedule with a dispiriting loss to Falmouth, then jumped back to .500 with a defeat of South Portland. They suffered three consecutive losses after that, to Cape Elizabeth, TA and Marshwood, but then barreled into a winning stretch. They didn’t lose again until their last game of the season, when they met up with eventual State Champions Massabesic. The Mustangs controlled that battle thoroughly, shoving Gorham aside 13-1.
In the playoffs, the team moved to 8-5 when they narrowly upset No. 4 Biddeford in the quarterfinals. In the semis, however, they found themselves faced with Massabesic once again. Gorham offered the Mustangs a significantly tougher challenge the second time around, but nevertheless found themselves still behind 4-1 at the final buzzer.
The team says goodbye to a number of important seniors, including the Pappalardo twins, Marina and Athena; luckily, they also return a talented crew of underclassmen – Celia Begonia, for instance.
Renee Whipkey’s crew fought their way to 9-7 in the regular season. The Lady Rams notched Ws against all the teams they should’ve – and even turned in a huge upset when they offed No. 4 Windham 4-1.
Seeded eighth entering the A South bracketing, Gorham began their tournament push with by crushing No. 9 Marshwood 8-1 in the prelims. In the quarters, however, they ran aground on mighty Scarborough, ranked first and fated to take the state crown.
Whipkey was satisfied with the progress she saw this season. “I think our program made big strides this year,” she said. “We were able to field two solid teams – our numbers have been low over the past few years, so it was nice to see our numbers back up. This was also the first time in several years that our varsity team finished over .500.”
“Grace McGouldrick was a real standout this year,” Whipkey remarked, asked about her leaders on the field. “A junior captain, batted .609, and made the SMAA first team. We’re looking forward to getting her back next year!”
Five seniors depart the team: Carlie Labrecque, Moira Corbett, Noelle DiBiase, Abby Flint and Tiril Wiig.
Aaron Landry’s boys piled up an 8-4 record in the regular season. Among their wins, the No. 8 Rams counted a 5-0 upset of Windham, who finished just above them (at No. 7) in the standings.
In the tournament prelims, Gorham met first with No. 9 Westbrook (6-7); the match was well-fought, but the Rams prevailed in the end, 4-1. Then, however, they drew No. 1 Thornton, falling 5-0.
Nicole Bergeron’s squad logged another outstanding regular season, winning 11 contests and losing just one, their first of the year, vs. TA.
“They performed as well as I had hoped, with solid accomplishments despite the weather,” Bergeron said of her girls. “Climactic moment: beating Scarborough. That was the girls’ primary goal.” The Lady Rams and the Lady Storm have been rivals in recent years, but Scarborough has consistently held the edge. So when Gorham upended Scarborough 3-2 in the teams’ last match of the regular season, naturally they were ecstatic.
Gorham entered the tournament ranked third, good enough for a bye through the prelims. In the quarters, they drew No. 6 Portland – and skunked them, 5-0. Unfortunately, the semis saw that fate reverse on them; faced with No. 2 Falmouth, Gorham succumbed 5-0 and retired till 2018.
2018 could prove a rebuilding year for the Lady Rams. “The team is losing many seniors,” Bergeron said. “The entire varsity team, with the exception of our number one singles player, has graduated. It’ll be an entirely new team next year.”
Boys Outdoor Track & Field
Jason Tanguay’s boys “ended at about a .500 record,” as Tanguay said. “I was pleased with the dedication and improvement by our young team. The highlight of the season was watching senior Ethan Orach break two minutes in the 800 in his final race of his high school career. This was a long term goal for him and I was so pleased to see him achieve it.”
Girls Outdoor Track & Field
The Lady Rams, head coach John Caterina said, “had a very successful season, with a sixth place finish in the SMAA and 10th place in Class A. A highlight for the season was the new school record set by the 4×800 Relay, consisting of Sarah Johnson, Kate Tugman, Anna Slager and Iris Kitchen.”
Adam Birt can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME