The fall sports season is in full swing, and while local teams have had their share of hits and misses, everyone is thrilled to be back in action, enjoying a normal campaign.

Here’s a look back at the week that was:

Football

Freeport’s football team is off to a 2-0 start. After opening with a 33-0 home victory over Madison, the Falcons handled visiting John Bapst Saturday, 46-12. Aidan Heath opened the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run and a 52-yard interception return for a score by Cooper Delois made it 12-0 after one quarter. In the second period, Tony Casale scored on runs of 2 and 24 yards, Noah Michaud recovered a fumble (caused by Danny Casale) in the end zone and Tony Casale hit Heath with a 27-yard TD pass for a 40-0 advantage at the half. Jackson Carr added Freeport’s final points on a 58-yard run in the third period. The Falcons take their first road trip Friday when they travel to Foxcroft Academy (2-0).

Yarmouth got in the win column for the first time Saturday. After starting with a 54-8 loss at Cheverus, the Clippers defeated visiting Traip Academy, 46-14. Spencer LaBrecque put Yarmouth ahead to stay with a 7-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion. Jaxson Dauphinee added a 40-yard TD run before the Rangers answered to make the score, 14-6, after one period. The Clippers broke it open in the second quarter, as LaBrecque (12 carries, 117 yards, three touchdowns) had touchdown runs of 15 yards and 1 yard and Dauphinee added a TD rush of 10 yards to make it 34-6. Dauphinee (16 rushes, 140 yards, three TDs) added a 6-yard touchdown run in the third period for a 40-6 advantage, then Rufus MacVane added the final points in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard TD run. Yarmouth stays home Friday to welcome Spruce Mountain (1-1).

Falmouth/Greely lost its opener to visiting Gorham, 16-6. The squad was supposed to host Windham Saturday, but that game was canceled. Falmouth/Greely goes to Mt. Blue (0-1) Friday.

Boys’ soccer

Yarmouth’s Adam McLaughlin boots the ball up field as Freeport’s Owen Rusiecki looks on during the Clippers’ 4-0 win last week. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

Yarmouth’s boys’ soccer team, the reigning Class B champion, not only gave its longtime coach Mike Hagerty a landmark win last week (see story), but is off to a perfect start this fall. The Clippers opened with a 2-0 win at Cape Elizabeth, then blanked both visiting Freeport and host York by 4-0 scores. Against the Falcons, Steve Fulton scored in the first half, then Sutter Augur, Fulton again and Matt Robichaud added second half goals.

“At halftime, we talked about switching fields, and if we did, we knew we’d get them because they’d over-shift,” Augur said.

“It’s great to be back and have a postseason to look forward to this year,” Fulton said. “It’s fun working toward something. We approach every game we play to win. Starting the

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Job seekers offered $1,000 to travel north and harvest ripening melon crop – with more cash bonuses for working 30-hour weeks

  • Coronavirus travel restrictions leaves growers short of labourers to pick fruit
  • More than 75,000 tonnes of melon crop supply needs to be harvested now 
  • Fruit pickers will be paid $1000 with $200 bonus for working a 30 hour week
  • Workers with licences to operate trucks and forklifts are also in high demand 

The Northern Territory is offering thousands of dollars to fruit pickers who travel to the Top End and help harvest the ripening melon crop.

Coronavirus travel restrictions and closed borders have stopped foreign backpackers travelling to Australia, leaving growers desperately short of labourers to pick their fruit.

The NT government wants Australian workers to fill the shortfall and help harvest the 75,000-tonne melon crop, which includes seeded and seedless watermelons and rockmelons.

The Northern Territory government will pay thousands of dollars to fruit pickers who travel to the Top End and help harvest the ripening melon crop

The $70 million per year NT industry is critical to national melon supply and allows shoppers to buy the fruit all year round.

The NT government is offering $1000 per worker for up to 200 workers to pick the fruit, along with $480,000 for bonuses to help businesses retain them.

A bonus of $200 per week will be available for people that work a minimum of 30 hours per week, for at least five weeks between April 12 and July 12.

‘We produce the best melons in Australia and we have to get them off our farms into grocery shops and supermarkets across Australia,’ Minister for Agribusiness Nicole Manison said on Thursday.

‘Our message is simple, come to the Territory to work in a great place, have a great experience, and pick our melons.’

The jobs on offer include picking, packing, sorting and logistics roles.

Growers in the NT are in desperate need of labourers to help harvest more than 75,000 tonnes of ripened melon crop

Growers in the NT are in desperate need of labourers to help harvest more than 75,000 tonnes of ripened melon crop

Workers with licenses to operate forklifts, trucks and production machinery will be in hot demand.

Ms Manison said the NT’s seasonal and overseas workforce has fallen by 73 per cent over the past year.

The NT Farmers Association attempted to arrange workers to come from Timor Leste to help harvest the melon crop, but COVID-19 stopped that.

The association has previously brought two groups of South Pacific fruit pickers to the Territory to help harvest the mango crop in September and October.

About 320 labourers from Vanuatu helped pick about 33,000 tonnes of the fruit, worth more than $100 million.

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It’ll be no small task for the Lightning — a co-op of Pequot Lakes, Crosby-Ironton, Aitkin and Pine River-Backus — in their first trip to the Xcel Energy Center as they will open with two-seeded and undefeated Gentry Academy in the Class 1A quarterfinals 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 30.

The Lightning entered the Section 5-1A tournament as the two seed and needed overtime to advance in the section quarterfinals.

With a Kyler Couture goal with 31 seconds left in the first overtime, the Lightning escaped with a 4-3 win over No. 10-seeded Princeton.

In the semifinals, Northern Lakes blew out Pine City 7-1 highlighted by a four-goal first period to reach the section finals.

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The Section 5-1A finals was a rematch of Northern Lakes’ last regular-season game against Monticello.

The Moose beat the Lightning in the regular-season finale 4-3 in Breezy Point.

The Lightning beat Monticello 6-3 behind a Tyler Seeling hat trick to earn their first trip to state.

“For every kid that plays hockey in the state of Minnesota it’s a dream come true,” Lightning head coach Craig Larson said. “We were able to keep our emotion under check when we were getting ready to play. They just showed up and were mentally prepared and ready to go. We were ready to win this thing.”

RELATED: Boys Hockey: Lightning land in state tournament

Larson kept his message to his team brief prior to the section final on the road.

“We knew what to expect from them,” he said. “We had an overtime win early in Princeton and we told the kids Monticello is the bar for the section. And we have to figure out how we can raise the bar. Now the next step is a bigger one.”

Caiden Kjelstrom leads Northern Lakes with 44 points. The senior has tallied 21 goals and 23 assists — both team highs.

His linemate — senior Hunter Nybakken — is second with 39 points with 19 goals and 20 assists.

“They really work well together,” Larson said. “They score shorthanded goals, power play, five-on-five, they just get it.”

The Lightning’s top scorers go to separate high schools. Nybakken attends Pequot Lakes, while Kjelstrom goes to Aitkin.

“The only time they see each other during the day is at practice and in games,” Larson said. “They know how to find each other and can communicate. Their nose for the net and nose for making plays. It’s really easy to coach. Their consistency is key and their leadership is second to none.”

Northern Lakes averages 5.71 goals per game.

“We didn’t expect that,” Larson said. “I think with the game of hockey, defense is so important that you have to make that a priority. And my philosophy as a coach is good defense makes for good offense. We blocked a lot of shots against Monticello and that really disabled their team and it really created a lot of opportunities for our speed which we emphasize.”

Of the Lightning’s three losses only one was