HA’s Moore set for ‘Challenge’

Posted March 18, 2010, at 9:36 p.m.

Jacob Moore of Hampden Academy is one of five Maine schoolboy basketball standouts expected to participate Sunday in the second annual New England High School All-Star Challenge at Springfield (Mass.) College.

The game, scheduled for a noon start, features 24 of the top senior players from throughout the Northeast, and Moore is one of five Mainers selected.

The 6-foot-6 forward, who will continue his playing career at NCAA Division II power Bentley University of Waltham, Mass., beginning next season, averaged 14.5 points per game this season while being named Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class A player of the year. He is a member of the McDonald’s All-Eastern Maine Classes A-B all-star team.

Moore led Hampden to a 16-5 record and a berth in the Eastern Maine Class A semifinals.

Others selected to represent the Pine Tree State in this year’s New England High School All-Star Challenge are 2010 Mr. Maine Basketball Indiana Faithfull of Class A state champion Cheverus of Portland, Nich Jobin and Dominic Borelli, both of Westbrook, and Keegan Hyland of South Portland.

Hyland, who played just three games this season after suffering a broken pelvis, sat out last weekend’s Maine McDonald’s East-West Senior All-Star Games at Husson University as he continues to undergo physical therapy, and he is unlikely to see extensive duty in the Springfield contest.

Three former Maine high school standouts, Thomas Knight of Dirigo of Dixfield, Mick DiStasio of Cheverus and James Morse of Thornton Academy of Saco, participated in the inaugural New England High School All-Star Challenge last year.

Maine wrestlers head to nationals

Four Maine high school wrestling standouts are scheduled to head to Virginia Beach, Va., to participate in the 21st annual NHSCA National Wrestling Championships March 23-26.

The quartet includes two Eastern Maine wrestlers, Scott Carpenter of Calais and Zachary Ragot of Washington Academy of East Machias.

Carpenter, a junior, is a two-time Class C individual state champion who won the 125-pound title this year after winning the 119-pound crown as a sophomore.

Ragot, a sophomore, placed third this year in both the Class C qualifying meet and the Class C state championships at 215 pounds.

They will be joined at the nationals by three-time Class B state champion Billy Gauthier of York, a senior wrestling at 135 pounds; and classmate Steve Martin of Bonny Eagle of Standish, a two-time state champion who will compete at 171 pounds.

Openings for 7-on-7 league

Hampden Academy football coach Harry McCluskey has organized a successful 7-on-7 summer league on the artificial turf at the Weatherbee Complex in Hampden during recent years, and he is seeking to expand that program this summer.

This year’s league is slated to run 5-8 p.m. on the following Wednesdays, June 23 and 30 and July 7, 14, 21 and 28.

“Over the past 10 years the increase of 7-on-7 among high school football teams has led to an increase in offensive production,” said McCluskey, a longtime coach in the Colorado and Texas prep ranks before taking over at Hampden Academy in 2005.

He guided the Broncos to a 7-3 record and a berth in the Pine Tree Conference Class B semifinals last fall.

“The increase of the spread and wide-open offenses has caused more high schools to compete in a summer league, and by playing 7 on 7, linebackers and defensive backs gain as well as quarterbacks and receivers.”

Teams interested in joining the 7-on-7 league at Hampden this summer should contact McCluskey at 281-546-2948 or by e-mail at hbmccluskey@hotmail.com.

Deering gains national ranking

The Deering of Portland baseball team has earned some lofty preseason recognition.

The state’s dominant program of the last decade — with eight Class A state championships in the last 11 years — has been ranked as the 50th-best team in the nation according to the National High School Baseball Coaches Association/Baseball America preseason poll.

Deering is the only New England team in this year’s rankings. Bellaire (Texas) High School, a team with six NCAA Division I signees, is ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll.

Coach Mike Coutts’ Deering team will be in search of its fourth straight title this spring. The Rams went 20-0 last year, with their 2-1 victory over Cony of Augusta in the state final making the program’s 50th consecutive victory.

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