Skowhegan’s Cam Herrick returns the ball during the Class A North tennis championships at Bates College in Lewiston. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

A lack of a true home court didn’t stop the Skowhegan boys’ tennis team from having another dominant season.

Although renovations to the high school forced the team to play and practice more than 12 miles away, the River Hawks still won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and Class A North championships for the second straight season.

Skowhegan set up shop at Camp Somerset for Girls in Smithfield and didn’t miss a beat, as the River Hawks (13-3) lost only one home match all spring. No. 2 singles players Dom Clifford and No. 3 Cam Herrick were named KVAC first-team all-stars, while No. 1 Drake Turcotte earned a second-team nod. 

Turcotte, a junior, and Clifford, a senior, both participated in the MPA state singles’ tournament, with Turcotte reaching the Round of 16. Turcotte’s only regular-season losses were to Camden Hills freshman sensation Will Meyer, who reached the semifinals of the state singles’ tourney.

“Drake Turcotte is a phenomenal player who is so committed to tennis,” Skowhegan coach Dan Riley said. “(Clifford is) a kid who we talked about early in the season about mental toughness and how important that is in playing tennis. His mental toughness was a struggle at times but he really brought it together toward the end of the season.”

One of the most valuable River Hawks, however, never appeared on a score sheet: Mike Herrick, Cam’s father and the Skowhegan girls’ soccer coach, drove players who lacked drivers’ licenses to and from Smithfield in a school van.


“That was a huge help so I could focus on getting ready for the match,” Riley said.

Turcotte likely will return at No. 1 next year, while Riley also has several promising freshmen and sophomores waiting in the wings.

“They have natural ability,” Riley said, “they just need to put in the time.”

Also in Class A, Mt. Blue (9-4) reached the A North quarterfinals, while the Cougars’ Tim Williamson and James Stinson qualified for the state singles’ tournament. Lincoln Tierney and Eli Hoeft reached the state doubles’ tourney.

In Class B, Waterville’s Colby Tardif was a KVAC fist-team selection as the Purple Panthers reached the Class A North quarterfinals.

In Class C, Maine Central Institute (11-5) reached the Class A South final, where it lost to eventual state champions Waynflete. The Huskies’ Harry Holmstrom participated in the state singles’ tournament.


Winthrop/Maranacook/Monmouth’s Sawyer Rooney was an Mountain Valley conference first-team all-star, while teammate Jospeh Szakas earned a second-team nod, and Madison’s Ethan Linkletter was an MVC first-team all-star.

Cony’s Lilah Goldey hits the ball during warm-ups at practice in Augusta earlier this spring. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

On the girls side, Waterville (13-2) continued its recent run of excellence by reaching the Class B North final for the fifth straight season. 

No. 3 singles player Piper Hamilton and the No. 1 doubles pairing of Skylah Talon and Taylor Doane were KVAC first-team all-stars, while No. 2 singles player Arian Gilman and the No. 2 doubles team of Sadie St. Peter and Nina Stojanovic earned second-team nods. Talon and Doane also reached the quarterfinals of the state doubles’ tournament.

Kira Gregor, a second-team KVAC all-star for Cony, reached the quarterfinals of the state singles’ tournament as a No. 9 seed, defeating her first two opponents in straight sets before falling to top seed and eventual champion Sofia Mavor of Yarmouth. Teammate Lilah Goldey also qualified for the state tourney, and Kirk Cooper was named KVAC coach of the year as the Rams went 10-3 and reached the Class B South quarterfinals.

Gardiner (8-5) reached the Class B South quarterfinals on the strength of another strong season from Haylie Peacock, who earned  her second straight KVAC Class B player of  the year award and was the No. 3 seed in the singles’ tournament, where she was upset in the second round by Brunswick’s Molly Tefft, 6-1, 1-6, (10-6).

A year after winning the first state title in program history, Maranacook had another strong season, going 12-2 and reaching the Class C South final. 


Maranacook first singles player Claire Dwyer returns a shot against Hall-Dale during a Class C South girls’ tennis semifinal match at A-Copi Tennis Center in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The Black Bears’ Claire Dwyer and Cassidy McCormack were MVC first-team all-star selections, Grace Tweedie made the second team. Louis Gingras was named coach of the year. Dwyer reached the Round of 16 in the singles’ tournament, while the duo of Ava Candage and Lilly Brosey won the MVC title.

Hall-Dale’s Jenna Lee (first team), Sierra Gibbons and Grace Leach (both second team) were named MVC all-stars while the Bulldogs reached the Class C South (8-4) semifinals.

Maine Central Institute (8-5) reached the Class C South quarterfinals while the Huskies’ Ava Vardaros reached the singles’ tourney quarterfinals. Olivia Varney (first-team) and Maria Palamarchul (second-team) were all-KVAC selections.

Also, Messalonskee (10-3) reached the Class A North quarterfinals; Nokomis’ Emma Vardaros reached the second round of the singles’ tournament; Madison’s Emilee Norton earned a first-team all-MVC nod, and teammate Jade Young made the second team; and Winthrop/Monmouth Academy’s Kaitlyn Brito was an MVC second-team selection.

Comments are not available on this story.