Raiders top Hawks, earn playoff spot

By Lloyd Jones

FRYEBURG — The Fryeburg Academy boys' soccer team's streak of consecutive playoff appearances is alive and well and reached nine years in a row following a hard-fought 1-0 victory on the road in a misty rain at Sacopee Valley in Hiram in the regular season finale on Tuesday night.

The Raiders entered the match on the outside looking in at the post-season, needing a win and then a little bit of help from around the league to secure a playoff berth. The stars aligned for Coach Bob Hodgman-Burns and his troops.

"We were in 13th going in (only the top 12 make the playoffs)," Hodgman-Burns explained. "I didn't know if we were going to make it or not, but I think that may have helped us. We played loose. I told the boys,  'Go out and have fun, don't let your last time playing as a senior be something you regret.' It worked.

"We played well," he continued. "I'm glad we got in (the playoffs). These guys deserve it, they're a really good bunch. We have a lot of seniors. I'm glad for them to get a tournament game."

Seniors on this year's team are Evan Wadsworth, Nabeel Ghadfa, Huxley Lovering, Will Davis, Ethan Swayze, Dominic Malia, Owen Sullivan, Andrew Malia and Will Zeliff.

Fryeburg, the No. 10 seed, will face a familiar foe in the Class B preliminary round match, traveling to No. 7 seed Gray-New Gloucester (7-6-1) on Friday at 6 p.m.

The Raiders beat the Patriots 1-0 in Gray on Sept. 27.

"That win is probably the biggest reason we're in the tournament," Hodgman-Burns said. "It got us a bunch of heal points."

In that first encounter, Fryeburg (6-8) took the lead three minutes into the contest when Ghadfa beat two defenders to score the lone goal and then the Raiders played brilliant defense to leave town with the points.

"My thinking is we need to score early," Hodgman-Burns said. "We don't score a ton of goals, but when we do we tend to protect the lead well. We did a really good job of defending in that first game."

It was a familiar formula on Tuesday for the Raiders in Hiram. Sullivan beat a Hawk down the sideline, crossed into the penalty area to a charging Bishton, who met the ball, took one dribble and then tucked it calmly into the back of the net.

"We'd been working on that in practice the day before and it translated to the game," Hodgman-Burns said, laughing. "It's always nice when that can happen."

Fryeburg came out playing a 4-3-3 formation looking to be a little more offensive-minded. It paid off. The Raiders carried play through much of the first half.

With the lead at halftime, Hodgman-Burns reverted back to a 4-4-2 in order to protect the advantage. Goalie Zeliff had just one save on the night, yet was a constant thorn to the Hawks.

"He's so good at coming off his line and getting to balls that at one point (a Sacopee) player yelled, 'That's not going to work tonight,'" Hodgman-Burns said. "Will is a difference-maker. He's definitely the best goalie I've had here."

Hodgman-Burns praised the play of midfielder Wadsworth, who was all over the pitch, and Max Kummer, who made a seamless transition to the defensive ranks to fill in for the injured Lovering.

Fryeburg picked up valuable points on Oct. 13 with a 3-0 win at Poland.

"We won 3-0 in a pretty steady rain in a match where we didn't see a shot on net from them and had well over a dozen good chances," Hodgman-Burns said.

Bishton put the Raiders in front with a goal in the fifth minute, scoring on a header off a corner.

Gaige Daigle found the back of the old onion bag with 20 minutes to play with a head roof his own off another corner kick.

Ghadfa made it 3-0 with a blast from the top of the 18-yard line on a nice dribble and low shot.

"We played with only three backs and went with five midfielders to maximize possession and offense and it worked well," Hodgman-Burns said.

Hodgman-Burns likes the underdog role for the tournament.

"No one thought we'd be here," he said, "It's like we're playing with house money. We've got nothing to lose. We're going to stay loose and see how the ball bounces."

In other soccer notes, the reserve team closed the book on a successful first season under the helm of Coach Izzy Hodgman-Burns. The Raiders topped Poland 5-2 in their final match.

"It's been really nice having her coach with me," Hodgman-Burns said of his daughter. "It's been a nice bonding experience. (Laughing) She's been like a big sister to the boys while I've been the stern dad."



The second season is set to begin for running Raiders

By Lloyd Jones

FRYEBURG — The second season is about to begin for the Fryeburg Academy boys' and girls' cross-country teams.

"The next three weeks are what the girls and boys train for all season," said Bill Reilly, Raiders' head coach. "There are no regular season standings."
First on the schedule is Western Maine Conference Championships at St. Joseph's College in Standish this Friday at 3 p.m.

"This meet is a prelude to the Regionals (at Twinbrook, in Cumberland, on Oct. 22) and a great meet for all the teams to meet for a test of strengths," Reilly said. "We have been dealing with sickness, as other teams have also, and we will try to run hard on Friday while getting 100 percent healthy for the biggest meet of the year. If the teams don’t finish in the top half at Regionals, the season is over. You have to get through Regionals to make it to the State Meet. Over the years both teams have had great success in achieving this goal."

Reilly spoke about his teams.

"Captain Emily Carty looks to challenge at the front, while Emily Grzyb, Zoe  Maguire and Irina Norkin should run a tight pack for a top thirty finish. Merys Carty, Madeline Choyce and Ella Forbes have greatly improved to cover the all-important middle pack scoring. Alanceiah Waiters, Abigail Burnell and Jessica Frum are our alternates just in case.

"On the boy’s side, he continued, "Alfie Walker has come from being a good freshman runner to a sensational sophomore and should finish high along with captain Christian Bedell in the meets. As always the key to team success, will be the pack consisting of Seth Johnston, Antonin Santarelli and Ethan Reinbach. Josh Rose, Ben Caffrey and Sam Paulding will provide the backup. Reed Wales has also helped the team with his strong running."

In the team's most recent meet at Poland on Friday, there were timing issues and thus no official results, according to Reilly.

The Raiders ran well in Naples at the Lake Region Invitational on Sept. 30 with the girls finishing second, despite not having top runner Emily Carty, to Kennebunk in a six school meet.

The Rams took team honors for the girls with 33 points, followed by Fryeburg, 47; and Poland, 48.

Lake Region, Sacopee Valley and Old Orchard Beach did not have five runners finish the race and therefore did not record a team score.

Individually, Kennebunk's L. Holway won the 2.95 mile race by almost a minute in 17:27. Poland's O' Oullette was second in 18:24, while H. Wuerthher of Kennebunk grabbed third in 18:57.

Fryeburg was led by Maguire, who was fifth in 19:11. She was followed by Grzyb, who was sixth in 19:19; Merys Carty, 10th, 20:38; Choyce, 11th, 20:34; Forbes, 17th, 21:38; Waiters, 21st, 23:04; Frum, 23rd, 23:06.

For the boys, Knnebunk took team honors with 30 points, followed by Fryeburg, 50; Poland, 70; and Lake Region, 82.

Sacopee Valley and Old Orchard Beach did not have five runners finish the race and therefore did not record a team score.

Individually, Fryeburg's Walker won the race by 33 seconds in a time of 15:26.

Kennebunk's S. Lightbody was second in 15:59, while Sacopee's Hendricks was third in 16:03.

Other Raiders were Bedell, fourth, 16:03; Santarelli, 19th, 17:55; Johnston, 20th, 17:57; Reinbach, 23rd, 18:05; Rose, 38th, 18:18; Caffrey, 44th, 20:12; Wales, 45th, 20:21; and Paulding, 46th, 20:28.

The Raiders ventured to the Granite State on Sept. 24 for the largest meet of the fall thus far. Fryeburg made the trek to Manchester to compete in the legendary 42nd annual Manchester Invitational.

The meet attracted teams from across New England and New York for a full day of racing. The hometown Fryeburg harriers turned in a number of solid performances in the small school division.

The girls from Fryeburg finished 13th out of 28 schools in the team standings in the small school division with 354 points.

The small school champs were Greely from Cumberland, Maine, which finished with a score of 99 points.

Hanover was second with 108 points, while third went to Harwood Union High School of Moretown, Vt., with 110 points.

Individually, Eleanor Lowler of South Kingstown High School in Wakefield, R.I., topped 195 finishers in a time of 18:45, winning the race by 13 seconds.

Katherine Leggat of Greely was second in 18:58, while Windham's Susie Poore was third in 19:11.

Junior Emily Carty led Fryeburg, placing eighth overall in 20:02.

Other Raiders to finish were Maquire, 74th, 22:36; Grzyb, 88th, 23:00;  Norkin, 98th, 23:20; Merys Carty, 111th, 23:53; Choyce, 149th, 25:44; and Forbes, 156th, 26:00.

For the boys, Union 32 High School of East Montpelier, Vt., was the top team with 90 points, beating Oyster River, 124, while Monadnock was third with 151 points.

Fryeburg was 26th out of 32 small school with 692 points.

Individually, Oyster River's Patrick O'Brien topped a field of 231 runners, winning the race by 24 seconds in 15:22.

Jeremy Hoyne of Montpelier was second in 15:46, while U-32's Stephen Looke was third in 16:04.

The Raiders were led by Walker, who was 60th in 17:57.

Bedell was 81st in 18:22; Santarelli, 197th, 20:55; Reinbach, 198th, 20:57; Johnston, 202nd, 21:15; Rose, 215th, 22:34; and Caffrey, 220th, 23:25.

In the girls' junior varsity race, Waiters was 158th in 27:50, followed by  Burnell, 208th in 31:36

For the boys, Paulding finished 289th in 23:54, and Wales crossed the finish line in 305th in 24:40.


Raiders secure playoff spot; eye a home game

By Lloyd Jones

FRYEBURG — The Fryeburg Academy football team (5-2) accomplished one of its preseason goals on Friday night when it secured a playoff berth following an impressive 39-6 victory on the road at Class B school Gorham (0-7).

"We played pretty well," said David Turner, Raiders' head coach. "I was a little concerned going into the game against Gorham. I knew they hadn't had a lot of success this fall, but being a Class B school, they play a pretty tough schedule. They're pretty tough up front on the lines, too, and we'd been a little lethargic coming into the game, but we did a lot of things well. We had good intensity, the boys were flying around all over the field. It was a good night."

Next on the checklist is a home playoff game — something the Raiders can clinch this Saturday (1:30 p.m.) when arch-rival Lake Region (1-6) comes to town for Fryeburg Homecoming in the annual clash for the Pleasant Mountain Cup.

It's the third straight trip to the post-season for Raider Nation, which won a home playoff game last year and reached the regional semifinals.

Last year's team went 5-3 during the regular season, providing more significance to this Saturday's contest as the current Fryeburg cast would like to get to six wins on the fall.

The Raiders, who are now riding a four-game win streak in which they've outscored their opponents 168-33 (and average scoreline of 42-8), got off to another fast start on Friday against the Rams.

Fryeburg scored on his first possession with Cody Gullikson, who was coming off a five touchdown performance the week before in a 41-13 victory at Poland, capping the drive with a 5-yard TD run up the middle.

The extra point was no good, but it took the Raiders less than five minutes to get back in the end zone. Gullikson ripped off a 43-yard run, carrying a pack of Rams to the 9-yard line. After another gain of 6 yards on the ground by Gullikson, quarterback Oscar Saunders connected with Scott Parker on a 3-yard touchdown pass. The point after attempt went wide right.

It was the first of three TD passes on the night by Saunders, who was perfect, completing all of his passes.

Fryeburg upped the lead to 20-0 in the second quarter on an impressive six-play, 92-yard drive. The drive featured big ground gains by Jared Chisari and Gullikson along with a 33-yard pass to Cobey Johnson. Gullikson capped the march with a 3-yard TD run. Johnson caught the two-point conversion pass from Saunders.

The Raiders closed out the half on a terrific 17-yard pass from Saunders to Johnson, who made a leaping, falling backwards catch in the left corner of the end zone.

Fryeburg led 26-0 at the half.

The Raiders added two second-half touchdowns on a long catch by Johnson and a run by Chisari.

"We've clinched the playoffs, now we're fighting for a home playoff game," Turner said. "We're going into the end of the year and the goal now is to get to 6-2. We want to be playing at a high level. Every game is like a playoff game from here out.

The top 8 teams in the Class B Southern Conference qualify for the playoffs. Fryeburg currently sits in third place behind Wells and Cape Elizabeth, who are both 7-0 and will square off this Friday in Wells.

Cape Elizabeth beat Fryeburg 29-6 in the opening game of the season in Fryeburg on Sept. 2. Wells topped the Raiders 35-18 in Fryeburg on Sept. 17.

Lake Region comes to town on a two-game losing streak, including an 18-6 loss to Freeport (3-4) on the road on Saturday.

"We know we're going to have to play good football," Turner said of the Lakers. "They'll be ready for us and have nothing to lose."


Raiders upset Sacopee, punch playoff ticket

By Lloyd Jones
FRYEBURG — The Fryeburg Academy girls' soccer team is playing its best soccer of the season at the right time. Nine days ago, the Raiders were riding a seven-match losing streak and came into their final three regular season matches knowing they had to win out if they had any playoff aspirations.
The Raiders (6-8) did exactly that, including knocking off previously unbeaten Sacopee Valley (11-1-2) 3-2 in Fryeburg on Monday. That win shot Fryeburg up to 10th place in the Class B Heal Points and into the playoff picture.
The Class B playoffs are slated to begin this Saturday. If current seedings hold, Fryeburg would travel to Freeport (7-5-2).
Freeport topped the Raiders 2-0 in a close match on Sept. 6 in Fryeburg.
The winner of that match would travel to Greely (10-4), the No. 2 seed, who gets a first round bye, on Wednesday, Oct. 26 in the quarterfinals.
Greely beat Fryeburg 4-1 in Cumberland on Sept. 13.
Current Heal Point standings have Yarmouth at 12-1-1, followed by Greely, 10-4; York, 7-2-4; Cape Elizabeth, 6-5-2; Oak Hill, 9-3-2; Morse, 11-2; Freeport, 7-5-2; Mountain Valley, 7-7; Gray-New Gloucester, 6-7; Fryeburg, 6-8; Maranacook Community, 5-6-2; Lincoln Academy, 5-5-3; Leavitt, 5-6-2; Lake Region, 5-9; Poland, 3-10; Spruce Mountain, 2-11; and Wells, 0-13.
Prior to the Sacopee match, Fryeburg beat Poland 5-0 at home on Oct. 13, and scored a 4-1 win at Wells on Oct. 11.
"We've had a great spell of games recently," said Chris Gaskin, Raiders' head coach. "We played pretty well against Wells. I was disappointed to have given up the goal but the girls were on top for large spells of the game."
Against Wells, Sophie Trepohl scored twice with Kaylin Delaney and Kalie Eastman also netting goals.
"Mackenzie Buzzell was busy all game as she tallied three assists on the day and Ali Fraize (who returned to the side after missing four matches due to a concussion) assisted the other goal," Gaskin said.
"Against Poland we were absolutely on top and the girls played some fantastic football," he continued. "Kaylin, Sophie, Ali, Mackenzie and Kalie were a handful going forward. Sophie bagged another brace while Kaylin, Mackenzie and Kalie all found the back of the net. It was great to keep a clean sheet as well and Makayla Cooper and the defenders were great throughout."
That set the stage for the mach against the Hawks from Sacopee Valley.
"The girls were fierce and wanted the win badly," Gaskin said. "They came out and displayed some of the best passing I've seen from them all season. The ideas going forward were great."
Buzzell put the Raiders ahead early in the opening half, but the girls from Hiram answered back with a goal of their own.
"Madi McIntyre scored her first goal of the season with a great left-footed volley inside the box from a rebound," Gaskin said. "We got a little sloppy and gifted them an equalizer before halftime. With a bit better finishing and crossing, we could have scored one or two more before the half."
With overtime looming, the Fryeburg girls were rewarded for their tireless effort when Buzzell pounced on the rebound of Eastman's shot, tucking the ball in the back of the old onion bag with just 40 seconds remaining to make it 3-2.


Sachems spoil senior night for the Eagles, 14-7

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — Jacob Filgate's 13-yard touchdown run with 5:08 to play was the deciding score in a 14-7 Laconia victory over host Kennett High on Friday night at Gary Millen Stadium.

The win lifted Laconia to 3-4 on the season in Division 2, while Kennett, which lost for the third week in a row, fell to 3-4 and saw its playoff hopes take a huge hit.

It was another frustrating night on the gridiron for the hometown Eagles, who failed to cash in on two other trips to the red zone and also saw another promising drive end due to the penalties, which at one point saw KHS facing the rare second down and 47 yards to go for a first down situation.

Prior to kickoff, the Eagles honored their seniors — Theo Charles, Tanner Brown, Aaron Lamar, Shawn Kenny, Pat Cullen, Jamie Kelemen, James Hounsell, Dalton Pope and Chris Farinella — for their commitment and dedication to the program.

Kennett behind two runs of over 20 yards by Devon Ouellette, was able to move to the Sachems' 13-yard line on its second possession. Laconia stopped the Eagles on downs with senior Jake Ellis sacking Brett Miller on fourth and seven to end the drive.

The Sachems got the ball on the 14 and moved it effectively down the field on a pair of 11-yard runs by Filgate along with a 28-yard run by Jake Steele. Laconia drove to the Kennett 26-yard line, but a holding penalty and an offsides call essentially stymied the drive. Facing fourth and eight, Riley Roy attempt to go to the air to get the first down, but was forced to scramble and was brought down well short of the first down marker by Cullen and Lamar.

The Sachems were the first to get on the scoreboard, finding the end zone with 2:34 left in the first half. Laconia went 55 yards on six plays with Filgate running up the middle for the 14-yard touchdown. Sam Guyer split the uprights for the point after to put Laconia in front 7-0.

Kennett moved the ball on its next possession, driving 40 yards to the Laconia 29, but the drive ended on an interception by Ellis at the 9-yard line with 46 seconds in the half.

The Eagles got the ball to open the third quarter, and once again moved it. Starting from the their own 38-yard line, Miller connected on a quick 14-yard pas to Ouellette on the first play. Ouellette followed that up with a 10-yard run. Runs by Lamar for 5 yards; Jack Hanson for 4 yards and Ouellette for 3, gave KHS first down on the Laconia 26. A holding penalty followed by offside and false start penalties and then a quarterback sack pushed Kennett back to its own 41-yard line. The Eagles were forced to punt.

Kennett finally broke through with 2:06 left in the third quarter. Lamar returned a punt 38 yards to the Laconia 33. Three plays later and facing fourth and eight, Miller ran a perfectly executed keeper that picked up 18 yards down to the Sachems' 13. Two plays later, Ouellette darted around the left side untouched for a TD. Sam Pollard's extra point boot knotted the contest at 7-7.

The Eagles kept that momentum going, stopping Laconia on downs to get the ball on their 46-yard line with 10:35 to play. A pass interference call and another brilliant 22-yard scamper by Miller gave Kennett the ball on the Sachems' 6-yard line. Lamar was stopped for no gain; Miller was sacked for a loss of 6 yards by Ellis; and an incomplete pass left fourth and goal from the 12. Hanson was stopped on a 2-yard run to give Laconia the ball back with 7:07 to play.

The Sachems went 90 yards on five plays to take the lead for good. Filgate outran a flock of Eagles for a 65-yard run. After three 4-yard runs by Filgate and two by Dustin Muzzey, Filgate carried the final 13 yards capping the drive, running untouched around the left end for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown. Guyer closed out the scoring with a successful extra point.

Kennett was able to drive to the Laconia 33 on its final possession, but the drive ended on a sack by James McDonald with 1:54 to play.

Filgate closed out the game with back-to-back 7-yard runs paving the way for Roy to take a knee on the final two plays as time ran out.

Kennett is on the road for its final two regular season games, including a trip to Hanover (7-0) this Friday (7 p.m.).

The Marauders are coming off a 31-9 victory at Kingswood (0-7) in Friday.

Laconia is scheduled to play its final home game of 2016 on Friday (7 p.m.) when Trinity (1-6) comes to town.