VASSALBORO — For the Freeport golf team, the only mystery was whether it would get a chance to play.

“We were lucky and fortunate that Cumberland County stayed green,” coach Jason Ouellette said. “I’ve been counting the days since the season started, to just get us through Columbus Day weekend.”

The Falcons got that chance, and they didn’t leave much room for drama at Natanis Golf Course on Saturday afternoon. Led by individual champion Matt Kempf’s 5-over 77, Freeport rolled to its first Class B golf championship, shooting 324 for a 12-stroke victory over Waterville and Yarmouth. Leavitt (342) and Oceanside (357) rounded out the top five.

“I think our top four is probably one of the strongest in the state,” said Kempf, a senior. “It’s pretty hard to beat us. We’ve grown as a team. We’ve come very far.”

Defending champion York didn’t play, as York County’s yellow designation ruled out fall sports for its schools. But after finishing runner-up the previous fall, the Falcons reached a level that would have been hard for any team to match.

“We knew this was the strongest team we’ve had so far,” said TJ Whelan, who shot 7-over 79 and tied with Maine Central Institute’s Owen Moore for second. “We knew we may not have this strong of a team for the next five or six years. It either happened or it didn’t today.”


Kents Hill’s T.J. Folsom tees off during the Class B/C state championship Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Another former runner-up got over the hump in Class C, as Orono, second to Kents Hill a season ago, shot 345 to beat St. Dominic (351), North Yarmouth Academy (357), Mattanawcook (363) and Winthrop (368). The Red Riots, in only their fourth season as a program and their first under coach Adam Gray, got 83s from Jason Desisto and Zack Dill, as well as an 88 from Jordan Cota and a 91 from Franc Fowler.

“It feels remarkable,” Desisto said. “We came in just trying to execute, not have any blow-up holes, try not to three-putt at all. Just do what we do. It feels great to win. … To bring home a state championship, that’s crazy.”

In a testament to Freeport’s talent, the Falcons cruised on a day in which they felt they didn’t play their best. They were more than good enough on Natanis’s Tomahawk course, however, as freshman Eli Spaulding — the youngest player in this summer’s Maine Am — turned in an 81 and Finn Sharpe carded an 87.

“Even though we didn’t play our A games, I guess our B or C games were good enough,” Whelan said. “Going into the season, we had nothing on our mind other than this day.”

“It’s been something that they’ve been building towards,” Ouellette said. “I’d say, probably December, we really started focusing on a state championship.”

The biggest contribution came from Kempf, who according to Ouellette was shooting in the 60s for nine holes as a freshman, but who was locked in from the start three years later.


“I put (my first shot) on the green, and I felt confident after that,” he said. “Everything fell into place. I don’t really know how to feel right now. It’s really overwhelming.”

The Class B girls individual title went to Leavitt’s Ruby Haylock, who shot 6-over-78 to edge teammate Morghan Dutil (80). It was another battle for the two Hornets, who shared the title last year.

Waterville’s Lindsay Cote reads a green during the Class B state golf championship Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

“We’ve always had a competitiveness between us,” Haylock said. “Even when we’ll go out and play matches, we’re always picking on each other, we’ll bicker and trash talk like crazy. But we have so much fun.”

Haylock had par or better on 13 holes to earn more hardware in what’s been a season to remember. The junior won the Women’s Am in July.

“This year has been my most successful year overall,” she said. “It’s been amazing. I love it.”

Yarmouth and Waterville tied for second, but the Clippers took the fifth scorer tiebreaker.


“When I saw Freeport’s score in the qualifer, I knew they were going to be tough to beat,” said Waterville coach Khristian Clement, who got 83s from Brandon Bearce and Pete Sack, an 84 from Charlie Haberstock and an 86 from Lindsay Cote. “I’m very proud of the guys. Some of them are a little frustrated that they didn’t play as well as they’d hoped and didn’t finish off their round as well as they should have, but tied for second is a great showing for our team.”

The Class C boys title came down to a single stroke, as Waynflete’s George Fahey shot 2-over 74 to edge Kents Hill’s T.J. Folsom.

“I was putting really well. I didn’t really drive the ball that great, but I got it in play when I needed to,” said Fahey, who was helped by four birdies on the Arrowhead course, including three in a row on the fourth, fifth and sixth holes. “I knew if I played well, I’d definitely have a pretty good chance. But I didn’t want to come in expecting to win.”

He didn’t have to wonder where he stood — Folsom, who had two birdies and an eagle, was in the group with him.

“We definitely knew (we were close) and we were very competitive about it,” Folsom said. “All the credit to him, he closed it out. … He played lights-out golf.”

Monmouth’s Abby Flanagan capped off her high school career with the Class C girls title, shooting 84 to hold off the field by nine strokes.

“It feels really good to come out on top. I’ve been working hard this past summer and fall,” she said. “I know I didn’t play the best today, it was one of my worst rounds. But I just had to keep shooting every shot. On to the next one.”

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