Cape Elizabeth Capers 2011 Fall Sports Preview

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Fans of Cape Elizabeth athletics will have several exciting teams to follow this autumn. Football looks to keep alive its run of playoff seasons and could be one of the top contenders again in Western B. Boys’ soccer fell in agonizing fashion in last year’s semifinals, but this season, the Capers will get another shot at greatness and should be very good. The girls’ team welcomes a new coach and expects to hold its own in the regular season and in the Class A playoffs. Field hockey made nice strides a year ago and could be one of the top threats to York. Both cross country teams feature good athletes and will be among the best of Class B. Golf has to like its chances, especially with the departure to Class A of a longtime rival. Volleyball hopes to climb its way up the standings.

FOOTBALL

COACH: Aaron Filieo (eighth year)

2010 Record: 6-4 (Lost 47-7 to Wells in Western Class B semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Billy Brooks (Senior), Donald Clark (Senior), Andrew Lavallee (Senior), Derek Roberts (Senior), Matt Ross (Senior), Austin Petsinger (Junior), Kyle Snowden (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 2 @ Wells, Sept. 9 (H) YORK, Sept. 23 (H) FALMOUTH, Oct. 1 @ Westbrook, Oct. 8 (H) MARSHWOOD, Oct. 21 (H) MOUNTAIN VALLEY

COACH’S COMMENT: “It’s been a fulfilling preseason. We have a great group of kids with great character and leadership. We’re not very deep, but we’re talented. As always, we’ll try to be balanced and will run and pass. It will be receiver by committee this year. We want to just get in the playoffs, then anything can happen. I think we have a good shot if we stay healthy.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth wasn’t able to return to the state final in 2010, but did make the playoffs for the fifth year in a row (the team has averaged almost 10 wins per year in the process). The complexion of Western Class B has changed this year as the addition of Marshwood and Westbrook has expanded the playoff field from four teams to eight. Last year, the Capers had to win a coin toss to qualify, but in 2011, they should be able to get the job done on their own merit. Filieo has created a program that reloads every year and once again, the Capers have the necessary ingredients to contend. Junior Connor Maguire will step in under center and will direct an attack that can move the ball on the ground or through the air. Cape Elizabeth always has a strong rushing game. This year, Clark and Roberts will seek to move the chains behind the blocking of standout Lavallee (a first-team Campbell Conference all-star in 2010), along with Ross and Snowden. Through the air, Maguire will look for Brooks and Petsinger. Ross will do the kicking. Defensively, the Capers have long had a mindset that they’re able to impose their will on anyone. That will need to continue in 2011 for another winning season and playoff berth to result. Up front, Brooks, Ross and Snowden will wreak havoc. The linebacking corps features Lavallee and Petsinger. In the secondary, Clark, Maguire and Roberts hope to hold opposing receivers at bay and perhaps take a few interceptions back the other way. Defending state champion Mountain Valley and Wells appear to be the gold standard in the region as the season begins, but there’s plenty of room for other teams to step up and push the favorites. Cape Elizabeth feels it has what it takes to win a lot of games this fall. Don’t be surprised if the Capers are one of the final teams standing in November.

BOYS’ SOCCER

COACH: Ben Raymond (sixth year)

2010 Record: 10-4-2 (lost 2-1, in OT, to Portland in Western Class A semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: James Barlow (Senior), Blake Barritt (Senior), Brian Brett (Senior), Forrest Hewitt (Senior), Tim Lavallee (Senior), Ian MacInerney (Senior), Macklin Sweeney (Senior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 2 @ Yarmouth, Sept..8 (H) YORK, Sept. 14 (H) FALMOUTH, Sept. 16 @ Greely, Sept. 22 @ York, Oct. 4 (H) YARMOUTH, Oct. 11 @ Waynflete, Oct. 14 (H) GREELY, Oct. 18 @ Falmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “Although we need to replace a large and talented senior class, the outlook for this season is great. We have another strong senior class with talented soccer players who are also very good leaders. Our goal is to go through the regular season with no injuries and to gain enough Heal Points to get at least one home game in the playoffs. We’re in a unique position where we play a Class B schedule and then Class A playoffs, so once we hit playoffs, we get a whole new set of teams to play which makes it more exciting. We feel as though our regular season prepares us to compete with the best programs in the state year in and year out and we should be in that list of top programs.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth is coming off a very good season, one that ended in agony after the Capers couldn’t hold a late lead at Portland in the semifinals and went down to an overtime defeat. The Bulldogs went on to the state final and Cape Elizabeth was left to wonder what if. The Capers then graduated 10 players, including all-star Timmy Takach, 2010 Fall Male Athlete of the Year Jack Queeney and standout goalkeeper Cam Brown. As one of the state’s premier powers, Cape Elizabeth will reload quickly and should be right back in the thick of things. Lavallee was a league all-star a year ago and scored his share of goals. He’s be one of the key offensive players, but can also be moved elsewhere on the field. Barritt will be another force to contend with. Barlow (whose 2010 time was limited by injury), MacInerney, Sweeney and freshman Cole Caswell also will play key offensive roles. Brett and Hewitt anchor a defense that will need to be at its best as it breaks in a new goalkeeper, possibly junior Brett Parker (who saw some time last year while Brown was out with a concussion), or sophomore Austin Andrews. Junior Charlie Laprade (a transfer from Waynflete) and freshman Griffen Thoreck will also have an opportunity to make a mark on defense. Cape Elizabeth opens the year with a showdown against defending Class B champion Yarmouth. The regular season brings a pair of games with the Clippers and two more versus perennial powers Falmouth and Greely, along with one each against Gray-New Gloucester, Waynflete and York. Matching last year’s mark won’t come easily, but Raymond always does a good job molding a team to get it at its best come the postseason. After last year’s heartache, the Capers would love to get hot at the right time and make it to a state game for the first time since the 1997 squad made it three straight titles. It might be a longshot, but you can’t rule this team out.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

COACH: Luke Krawczyk (first year)

2010 Record: 8-6-2 (Lost 2-0 to Scarborough in Western Class A quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Lexi Cantara (Senior), Abby Houghton (Senior), Kelsey Jackson (Senior), Ali Johnson (Senior), Sasha Lennon (Senior), Ziana Merlim (Senior), Kayla Raftice (Senior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 2 (H) YARMOUTH, Sept. 8 @ York, Sept. 14 @ Falmouth, Sept. 16 (H) GREELY, Sept. 22 (H) YORK, Oct. 11 (H) WAYNFLETE, Oct. 14 @ Greely, Oct. 18 (H) FALMOUTH

COACH’S COMMENT: “We want to be competitive in every game we play and will try and be as positive as possible when playing. Hopefully with the positive approach we will have a successful and enjoyable season.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Krawczyk replaces Gary Newell as coach this season. He has a pretty impressive resume having coached in the United Kingdom for professional clubs Peterborough United FC and Lincoln City FC. He takes over a team that will miss departed standout Karyn Barrett (Cape Elizabeth 2009 and 2010 Fall Female Athlete of the Year), but one that is primed to compete and perhaps surprise in the weeks to come. Replacing Barrett’s firepower could be new sophomore Melanie Vangel, a highly touted player who has transferred from Camden Hills. Merlim and Houghton will also be in the offensive mix, along with senior Hannah Brewster and freshman Kathryn Clark. The defense features Jackson, Lennon and Raftice, solid athletes who will make life easier for Johnson in goal, who replaces all-star Lexi Weatherbie. The Capers will be an intriguing team to follow this fall. It might take them awhile to hit their stride as they fill new positions and learn a new system, but the talent is there for a late surge. If Cape Elizabeth is able to navigate its very difficult regular season schedule with enough victories to make the playoffs, they could be a very tough out.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Darci Holland (fifth year)

2010 Record: 7-7-1 (Lost 4-3 to Greely in Western Class B quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Maria Morris (Senior), Bella Robinson (Senior), Julianne Ayers (Junior), Jane Coffrin (Junior), Hannah Newhall (Sophomore), Liz Robinson (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 9 @ Falmouth, Sept. 13 @ York, Sept. 15 (H) WELLS, Sept. 24 (H) FRYEBURG, Sept. 27 (H) GREELY, Oct. 1 @ Fryeburg, Oct. 3 (H) YORK, Oct. 5 @ Wells, Oct. 7 @ Greely, Oct. 11 (H) FALMOUTH

COACH’S COMMENT: “It’s usually a strong conference. You never know what you’re going to get from any team on any given day. I’m super hopeful for this season. We are young with only three returning seniors, but with the exception of some new freshmen, everyone saw playing time on varsity last season. We have good fundamentals and good field sense (passing, moving) but definitely need to work on our corners and creating more scoring opportunities. Also, coming to play every game and knowing that we can win if we play how they are capable.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth increased by three its win total from 2009 and made the playoffs, where they took Greely to the wire in the quarterfinals. With the Rangers going on to the regional final, the Capers have to believe they’re getting close to joining the elite squads in Western B. This fall, Cape Elizabeth hopes to finish with a winning mark for the first time since 2002 and it has several promising players who can make that happen. The forward line is quite potent behind Coffrin, Newhall and Liz Robinson. Sophomore Abby McInerny is new to the team (she came over from soccer) and will help the offense, as will other new sophomores Sammi Alznauer and Hailey Petsinger. Morris and Bella Robinson help anchor the midfield. Ayers will be in goal, while the defensive unit is still in flux with Morris likely to see some time on that side of the ball. The Capers will look to get off to a hot start and build on last year’s momentum. This is a team that could contend from start to finish and make life difficult for everyone in the playoffs.

CROSS COUNTRY

BOYS COACH: Derek Veilleux (second year)

GIRLS COACH: Eliza Eshelman (first year)

2010 Results:

(BOYS) 3rd @ Class B state meet

(GIRLS) 2nd @ Class B state meet

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS

BOYS: Thomas Bottomley (Senior), Thomas Robinson (Senior), Peter Doane (Sophomore), Julian Pelzer (Sophomore), Liam Simpson (Sophomore)

GIRLS: Tori Brigham (Senior) Catherine Tierney (Senior), Ellen Best (Junior), Emma Inhorn (Junior), Dana Hatton (Sophomore), Emily Lobosco (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Falmouth, Greely, York

COACH VEILLEUX’S COMMENT: “We’ll be in the mix once again. The kids had a great summer of training. Our goal will be to improve on our third place performance at the state meet last fall. We return four of the seven runners from that squad. If we can stay healthy throughout the season, the team will be ready to compete at a high level during the championship meets. Falmouth is the team to beat and Greely and York will field strong teams as well.”

COACH ESHELMAN’S COMMENT: “The season so far is going great. It’s a nice time to be training in Maine. We are training to be the best in the state and we have fun doing it.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both Cape Elizabeth cross country teams excelled in 2010 and will be on the short list of favorites this autumn.

The boys return two scorers from last year’s state meet in Bottomley (eighth) and Doane (31st). Pelzer and Simpson are primed to move up. Robinson has experience. Freshmen Tim Brigham and Kyle Kennedy figure to be heard from as well. The conference is very strong, with some of the best teams in the state, but the Capers should hold their own, make it to states and finish in the top 10 for the 10th successive year.

On the girls’ side, Eshelman replaces Mary Ann Doss as coach. She founded her high school track team in Indiana, competed in cross country and track at the Division III college level and has run in five marathons, including Boston. She worked with the Cape Elizabeth indoor and outdoor programs a year ago and takes over a team that has plenty of talent. As always. While last year’s stars Kelsey Barton and Rachel Nichols have departed, the team returns the likes of Tierney (ninth at last year’s state meet), Inhorn (21st) and Lobosco (37th), all of whom made the league all-star team. Best, Brigham and Hatton will look to make their move, while seniors Cassandra Quimby and Noelle Webster, sophomore Sarah Long and freshman Eva Brydson join the team and provide depth. The Capers have finished among the top three teams in the state eight years running. This group has a great shot at keeping the good times rolling.

GOLF

COACHES: Bill McGary (fourth year) and Tim Desmaris (first year)

2010 Results: 2-8 (7th @ Class B state match)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Max Gore (Senior), Will LeBlond (Senior), Connor Logan (Senior), Jackson Berman (Junior), Sam Koslowski (Junior), Zander Schonewolf (Junior)

TOP FOES: Yarmouth, York

COACH MCGARY’S COMMENT: “Our goal this year is to qualify for the state championship and do our best there.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth is coming off a down regular season (by its lofty standards), but last year’s team did perform well in the postseason. Entering 2011, the best news for the Capers is that longtime rival Falmouth (the defending Class B champion) has moved up to Class A, leaving a power vacuum in its wake. Cape Elizabeth has a solid roster of golfers and will look to take advantage of its opportunity. Berman is the top returner, shooting an 83 at the state match. LeBlond (93) also took part. Gore and Logan will help serve as senior leaders, Koslowski and Schonewolf have experience and there are several newcomers who will provide depth and possibly push the Capers over the hump. That group includes senior Max Aronson, juniors Max Barber, Matt Gilman, Chris Robicheaw and Sam Sherman, sophomore Gavin Cotrell and freshmen Mark Coleman and Reese McFarlane. Look for Cape Elizabeth to post a much better won-loss record this regular season and to move up at the state match. Perhaps all the way to the top.

VOLLEYBALL

COACH: Rob Thompson (fourth year)

2010 Record: 1-13 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Olivia Cooper (Senior), Maggie Jacobson (Senior)

PIVOTAL MATCHES: Sept. 2 (H) FALMOUTH, Sept. 3 @ Scarborough, Sept. 6 (H) BIDDEFORD, Sept. 8 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 27 @ Greely, Oct. 7 (H) SCARBOROUGH

COACH’S COMMENT: “We will continue to build our program and focus on our fundamentals and love of the game.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Cape Elizabeth program is still young, but could make some strides this season. Top returners include Cooper (a middle hitter) and Jacobson (at setter). New junior Natalie Underdown (middle hitter) and sophomore Emma O’Rourke (opposite) will provide some depth. The Capers hope to keep improving and increase their win total. While serious contention and the playoffs are still in the future, this program will keep moving in the right direction.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Junior Jackson Berman is the top returner for a Cape Elizabeth golf team hoping to win Class B.

Junior Emma Inhorn looks to build on her strong 2010 campaign.

Senior Thomas Bottomley is a key returner for the Cape Elizabeth boys’ cross country team.

Senior Derek Roberts will make his presence felt all over the field for the Cape Elizabeth football team.

Kayla Raftice is another top returning senior for the Capers.

Senior Abby Houghton will be in the middle of Cape Elizabeth’s playoff push.

Senior Brian Brett is one of the top defenders in the region.

Senior Blake Barritt will look to propel the Cape Elizabeth boys’ soccer team to great things this season.

Sidebar Elements


Senior Catherine Tierney is one of several top returning runners for a Cape Elizabeth girls’ cross country team that should again be near the top of Class B.

More photos below.

2011 schedules

FOOTBALL

Fri., Sept. 2 @ Wells

Fri., Sept. 9 H YORK

Fri., Sept. 16 @ Lake Region

Fri., Sept. 23 H FALMOUTH

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Westbrook

Sat., Oct. 8 H MARSHWOOD

Sat., Oct. 15 @ Fryeburg

Fri., Oct. 21 H MOUNTAIN VALLEY

BOYS’ SOCCER

Fri., Sept. 2 @ Yarmouth

Thurs., Sept. 8 H YORK

Wed., Sept. 14 H FALMOUTH

Fri., Sept. 16 @ Greely

Tues., Sept. 20 H FRYEBURG

Thurs., Sept. 22 @ York

Sat., Sept. 24 @ Gray-NG

Mon., Sept. 26 H FREEPORT

Wed., Sept. 28 @ Lake Region

Tues., Oct. 4 H YARMOUTH

Thurs., Oct. 6 H POLAND

Tues., Oct. 11 @ Waynflete

Fri., Oct. 14 H GREELY

Tues., Oct. 18 @ Falmouth

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Fri., Sept. 2 H YARMOUTH

Tues., Sept. 6 H WELLS

Thurs., Sept. 8 @ York

Wed., Sept. 14 @ Falmouth

Fri., Sept. 16 H GREELY

Tues., Sept. 20 @ Fryeburg

Thurs., Sept. 22 H YORK

Mon., Sept. 26 @ Freeport

Wed., Sept. 28 H LAKE REGION

Mon., Oct. 3 @ Gray-NG

Thurs., Oct. 6 @ Poland

Tues., Oct. 11 H WAYNFLETE

Fri., Oct. 14 @ Greely

Tues., Oct. 18 H FALMOUTH

FIELD HOCKEY

Thurs., Sept. 1 @ Yarmouth

Wed., Sept. 7 H GRAY-NG

Fri., Sept. 9 @ Falmouth

Tues., Sept. 13 @ York

Thurs., Sept. 15 H WELLS

Mon., Sept. 19 @ Traip

Wed., Sept. 21 H LAKE REGION

Sat., Sept. 24 H FRYEBURG

Tues., Sept. 27 H GREELY

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Fryeburg

Mon., Oct. 3 H YORK

Wed., Oct. 5 @ Wells

Fri., Oct. 7 @ Greely

Tues., Oct. 11 H FALMOUTH

CROSS COUNTRY

Fri., Sept. 2 H GNG, SACOPEE

Sat., Sept. 10 @ Freeport (LR, Traip, Wells)

Fri., Sept. 16 @ York (Merriconeag, Poland)

Fri., Sept. 23 H FRYEBURG, NYA, YORK

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Fryeburg (Merriconeag, NYA)

Fri., Oct. 7 @ Greely (Falmouth, Yarmouth)

Fri., Oct. 14 @ WMC Championships

Sat., Oct. 22 Western B Regionals

Sat., Oct. 29 Class B States

GOLF

Thurs., Sept. 1 @ Gray-NG

Thurs., Sept. 8 H WELLS

Mon., Sept. 12 @ Poland

Wed., Sept. 14 @ Fryeburg

Thurs., Sept. 15 H FALMOUTH

WELLS

Mon., Sept. 19 @ York

Wed., Sept. 21 @ Lake Region

Tues., Sept. 27 H YORK

Thurs., Sept. 29 @ York

VOLLEYBALL

Fri., Sept. 2 H FALMOUTH

Sat., Sept. 3 @ Scarborough

Tues., Sept. 6 H BIDDEFORD

Thurs., Sept. 8 @ Yarmouth

Tues., Sept. 13 @ Kennebunk

Fri., Sept. 16 H GORHAM

Mon., Sept. 19 @ NYA

Thurs., Sept. 22 @ Lake Region

Tues., Sept. 27 @ Greely

Fri., Sept. 30 H KENNEBUNK

Tues., Oct. 4 @ Gorham

Fri., Oct. 7 H SCARBOROUGH

Tues., Oct. 11 H CONY

Fri., Oct. 14 H LAKE REGION

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.