STANDISH — Bonny Eagle has closed the books on another respectable winter season, and with spring sports still several weeks out, now is an opportune time to look back on what the Scots achieved in recent months.
Sean Munkacsi’s downhillers, who ski together with a cadre of compatriots from nearby Gorham, repped well at SMAAs, then sent a contingent on to States. Aaron Rae, Polly Rae and Nell Spencer took to the slopes at Mt. Abram Feb. 21-22, competing admirably. Aaron Rae finished fifth in the boys Slalom (in 1:23.36), and Polly Rae 16th (in 1:36.13) and Spencer 20th (1:40.04) in the girls Slalom. Polly Rae also finished 14th in the Giant Slalom (1:54.57).
Mike Francoeur’s boys finished 6-13 on the year, falling 51-30 to Scarborough in the first round of the playoffs. That’s not a bad haul for a team in a rebuilding phase – a team that last year went 2-16 and missed the postseason by a mile.
The Gentlemen Scots began their season with a W, 58-49 over Noble, before dropping a game to eventual State Champs Portland, 61-50. They then tacked on two more victories, 64-59 over Massabesic and 61-57 over the Storm. They picked up another win over Massabesic later in their schedule, and triumphed over both Sanford and Gorham as well.
“Honestly, we had a great season,” said junior Connor Sirois, one of the team’s best outside weapons. “Last year we only won two games, and everyone expected the same results out of us this year. With only one senior, Jack Hogan, who I have the utmost respect for, we surprised many and got the fourth seed in the playoffs. It didn’t end how we would have liked, but I think our future is very bright.”
“I’m very excited, like I said next year I feel as we can make a deep playoff run, we have many talented young kids returning, and three junior captions, including myself, who should lead this team to more success.”
Scott Regan’s girls went 8-10 this season, narrowly missing out on the last playoff slot, which went instead to Thornton Academy. The Lady Scots picked up three of their victories in an early-season streak, when they downed Westbrook (50-35), the Maine Girls’ Academy (58-45) and Portland (61-54) back-to-back-to-back.
“I’m disappointed in not making the tournament; we had a great stretch at the end of the season, however,” said Regan. “Beating Scarborough at Scarborough to close the season was a great way to end it.” The Scots topped the Red Storm – who posted an outstanding season at 17-3 – by a score of 45-35.
Regan named sophomore Mackenzie Emery MVP, senior Natalie Bushey most dedicated and freshman Emma Abbott most improved. He bestowed the Bruce Dobkowski Sportsmanship on Samantha Morash.
Six seniors now depart the program for good: Bushey, Morash, Tracie Townsend, Lauryn Fagan, Jennifer Turner and Blake Morin.
“This group of seniors will be missed and hard to replace with the leadership and teamwork they displayed,” Regan said. “Natalie and Tracie were four-year varsity players, and the other four were two-year varsity players.”
Regan also took a moment to highlight a special event the Bonny Eagle community pulled together this winter: Hoops for a Cause.
“Two weeks before basketball started,” Regan said, “my wife was diagnosed with cancer. A group of my players and parents got together with (Athletic Director) Eric Curtis and some other students and thought out a fundraiser for us. In combination with the high school and middle school staff, they pulled together an incredible evening on March 2. There were over 1,000 people in attendance, working to raise $5,000. All of the proceeds were donated to the Regan and Pike families (a football player’s is mother also battling cancer).”
Loren Blair’s boys, who co-op with Massabesic and Old Orchard Beach, heaped up an impressive 11-5-2 regular season record this winter, good enough for the five-seed in A South, come tourney time. That’s a substantial improvement over last year’s 9-9 performance, which left the so-called MOB looking in on the playoffs from outside.
“I’m happy with the success that we had,” said senior Captain Tanner McClure. “After going 0-3 to start the season, we really proved ourselves by turning it around and going 10 straight games without a loss.”
Midway through their schedule, the team picked up a particularly key win over Portland/Deering, 8-6. That result showed the MOB had the potential to take down the Bulldogs – whom they eventually met again, in the first round of the bracketing. Alas, Portland/Deering, down 5-3 in the late third period of that game, staged an astounding comeback, ultimately pulling off a 6-3 win.
“Once we found out we would be playing Portland/Deering in the playoffs, we were all very excited, knowing that it would be one heck of a game,” said McClure. “We had already played them twice (a win and a tie).”
“Unlike last year, when we faced Scarborough in playoffs, we knew we had a chance to win this year,” McClure said. “None of our school’s hockey programs had ever advanced past the first round of playoffs, so that was motivation enough to get the W. With roughly five minutes left in the game we found ourselves up 5-3 and it was a great feeling.
“But, I somehow had that feeling deep down that the game wasn’t over yet…and I was right. With less than one second left, they scored the game-winner. That is a feeling I will never forget. To end my high school career like that is a dagger to the heart. But I’m proud of the season we had and all that we accomplished.”
A lengthy list of MOB seniors hang up their high-school skates, including McClure, Travis Marsh, Nate Whitehouse, Spencer Shields, Robbie Axelson, Chandler Doustou and Kyle McKay.
Long the team’s standout, McClure, asked to reflect on his career, sounded off on senior night, separating from his friends, and more:
“Although there were lots of memories that I will never forget from my senior season, senior night was the most memorable,” he said. “Sitting down with all of the seniors, all kids that I have played with since the beginning, and thinking that it was the last time I would ever play competitive hockey with them was crazy. It was a night full of emotions, happy and sad, but sharing it with them, and embracing them and thinking of what a ride it has been over the past fourteen years, was unforgettable.
“Hugging my parents was the best part. Over the course of my career, always being so busy traveling to hockey and focused on the next game, I never got to thank them enough. They have sacrificed so much for me to have become the hockey player I am today, and for it to come down to handing that rose to my mom and saying ‘Thanks for all the support over the years’ was something really special. Keeping the tears back wasn’t easy, not gonna lie.”
“Ending my high school career is bittersweet,” McClure said, “because although it’s not the end of hockey for me, I’m leaving kids that I have grown up with, and some that I just started to make bonds with this year. I will definitely miss my teammates and all of the memories from the past four years, but I’m excited to see what the future holds. I’d like to thank every teammate that I have played with over the past four years for making high school hockey as fun as it was.”
Nat Germond’s squad, a co-op with Gorham, took impressive strides this year. After going 0-18 in ’15-’16, finishing in dead last and (naturally) missing the playoffs, the team picked up six wins this winter: a pair over Portland/Deering, one over Mt. Ararat/Morse, one over York/Traip and a pair over Biddeford. That performance earned them the six-seed, come tourney time.
Unfortunately, the team fell in their quarterfinals matchup to No. 3 Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland. Four seniors leave their high school hockey careers behind: Mary Adams, Karen Stemm, Jordan Currier and Catherine Biegel.
Chris Strout and Mike Burleson’s tracksters put together another respectable season, with the boys finishing eighth at States and the girls 11th.
On the boys’ side of the action, Ben Steeves finished second in the 800, Caleb Pendleton third in the Mile, and the foursome of Steeves, Pendleton, Anthony Breton and Aiden Willey third in the 4×800.
Those performances earned the boys spots at March 4’s New Englands, held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston. There, Steeves finished 23rd in the 1000, won by Stephen Tyler of Weston, Conn. Likewise, Pendelton finished 18th in the Mile, won by Tristan Shelgren of St. John’s Prep in Massachusetts; Steeves, Pendelton, Breton and Willey combined for 14th in their Relay, won by the outfit from Danbury, Conn.
Over on the girls’ side of things, Kayla Raymond’s second-place 800 run and Amy Beaumier’s fourth-place Mile run earned both girls slots at New Englands, where Raymond finished 13th in the 1000 (Leya Salis of Bedford, N.H. won the event) and Beaumier finished 23rd in the Mile (Jacqueline Gaughan of Exeter, N.H. came out on top).
Hanging up their track shoes this year are seniors O’Clair, Pendleton, Steeves, Jake Cook, Matt Cormier, Jordan Fournier, Ryan Moody, Trevor Neal, Jacob Sirois, Archer Thomas, Maddie Corbett and Holly Thomas.
Morgan and David Gryskwicz’s swimmers turned in a low-key season. A small group of girls repped for the team at States: Emily Gryskwicz, Karina Hou, Megan Roy and Andrea Medina competed in the 200 Medley Relay, while Alex Farley, Alexandra Carr, Jenne Fecteau and Caitlin Roberts competed in the 200 Free Relay. Additionally, Megan Roy competed in the 50 Free.
Hou, Carr, Roy, Anush Arsenyan, Cici Deakin, Sarah Mazerolle, Leiya Pillieri and Nicole Sfeir are the squad’s seniors this year.
Greg Gonyea’s kids wrestled well at Regionals, held at Massabesic on Feb. 11, finishing seventh with 69 points. Marshwood won the day at 246.5. Individually, Brian Dupuis (220) took second, while teammates Michael DeBaker (182), Dillon Miner (113) and Alex Smith took third, fourth and fourth, respectively.
All four boys moved on to States, held at Camden Hills the following weekend. Dupuis won his first bout at the meet, but fell in his next matchup to eventual second-place finisher Dylan Schenk; Dupuis ultimately bowed out of the consolation bracket in a battle with Aren Dickman of Scarborough.
DeBaker lost his initial bout, but won his second, vs. Alex Vokey of Camden Hills. He lost his next, however, succumbing to fourth-place finisher Zuka Mabior, of Oxford Hills.
Miner and Smith fell in both their first and second contests – but of course, merely qualifying for States is an accomplishment in and of itself.
DeBaker, Miner, Justice Duquette, Marshall Farwell, Cody Mains, David Meehan, Leo Palumbo and Caelin Worthington are the team’s seniors this year.
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME
Robbie Axelson dashes forward on the attack for the MOB vs. Gray-New Gloucester/Poland/Oak Hill/Leavitt.
Ami Beaumier, Bonny Eagle standout in the distance events, took fourth in this race, the Two Mile, at States.