Virtually all of Cape Elizabeth’s fall sports teams figure to contend for championships. Football moves down to Class C, but still faces several familiar foes. This is a squad that might sneak up on some of the preseason favorites. Boys’ and girls’ soccer competes in Class B for the postseason and both squads will be in hunt. Field hockey is coming off a strong season and has what it takes to contend. Boys’ cross country won a state title in somewhat surprising fashion last autumn. This season, the Capers are the favorite and if all goes well, they could be the best in the state regardless of class. Golf is always on the short list of title contenders in Class B and this year is no exception. Volleyball reached the playoffs a year ago and could become a top contender this time around.
COACH: Aaron Filieo (10th year, 63-29 overall record)
2012 Record: 3-6 (Lost, 27-7, to Marshwood in Western B quarterfinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Damien Allain (Senior), Tom Feenstra (Senior), Caelan Houle (Senior), Nick Moulton (Senior), Tony Moulton (Senior), Noah Wolfinger (Junior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 6 LEAVITT, Sept. 13 @ Poland, Sept. 20 WELLS, Oct. 11 YARMOUTH, Oct. 25 MOUNTAIN VALLEY
COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re still relatively young. We have a lot of role players. I like the team and the guys are excited. We’ve had a really good preseason experience. Our chemistry’s good. There’s a very positive vibe on the team. We’re very balanced. We can run and throw the ball. Our numbers have dipped a bit, so a move to Class C is good for us.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth’s run of winning seasons ended at seven last year, but the Capers still managed to reach the postseason for the seventh year in a row. This fall, Cape Elizabeth joins former rivals Mountain Valley and Wells and 2009 state game foe Leavitt in moving to Western C, creating a powerhouse region that already includes Yarmouth, the 2010 and 2011 state champion. As a result, the Capers won’t have many breathers, but they’ll battle from start to finish.
Wolfinger is one of the better quarterbacks in the league. He’ll look to throw to Feenstra, among others. Nick Moulton and Tony Moulton are the top running backs. The line is anchored by Allain and Houle. The offense could put up a lot of points if all goes well.
On defense, Allain, Feenstra and Houle are on the line, Nick Moulton is a top linebacker and the secondary features Tony Moulton and Wolfinger. Several other players will look to make a mark as well.
Cape Elizabeth has been as consistent and proud as any program anywhere in recent seasons. Rest assured that this group is aware that it isn’t getting much in the way of preseason accolades. They’ll do their best to channel that into several victories and when all is said and done, the Capers will once again be taking their act to the playoffs. Perhaps to stay awhile.
COACH: Ben Raymond (eighth year, 64-33-15 overall record)
2012 Record: 8-6-2 (Lost, 1-0, to Gorham in Western A quarterfinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Austin Andrews (Senior), Eli Breed (Senior), Danny Brett (Senior), Matt Fisher (Senior), Omar Khalidi (Senior), Kayne Munson (Senior), Brian Taintor (Senior), Cole Caswell (Junior), Eddie Galvin (Junior), Noah Haversat (Junior), Griffin Thoreck (Junior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 10 @ York, Sept. 18 @ Falmouth, Sept. 21 GREELY, Sept. 27 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 30 @ Kennebunk, Oct. 2 FALMOUTH, Oct. 5 YARMOUTH, Oct. 8 KENNEBUNK, Oct. 12 @ Greely, Oct. 16 YORK
COACH’S COMMENT: “Our hopes this season in our first year ever as a Class B team are to be very competitive and compete for a state championship. We have a very competitive regular season schedule that will surely prepare us for the playoffs.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth, long a Class A contender, moves down to Class B and faces a new set of challenges this autumn, but the Capers project to be one of the best teams in the region.
The offense features the cannon-legged Thoreck (a second-team league all-star in 2012), one of the most dazzling free kick specialists in the state, along with Caswell, Galvin, Haversat and Khalidi. Andrews will be in goal. Breed, Brett, Fisher, Munson and Taintor also have experience and will play key roles. A pair of freshmen with a familiar last name, Connor Thoreck and Owen Thoreck, step in and will begin making names for themselves.
Cape Elizabeth has posted a winning record and has made the playoffs every year since 1986. That run should continue in Class B. The Capers will have to deal with powerhouses like Greely and Yarmouth (as well as York) come playoff time, but they have the capacity to beat anyone. Cape Elizabeth’s new era should begin with a lot of triumph.
COACH: Craig Fannan (first year)
2012 Record: 15-2-1 (Lost, 1-0, to eventual state champion Scarborough in Western A Final)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Mary Perkins (Senior), Lizzie Raftice (Senior), Phoebe Shields (Senior), Addie Wood (Senior), Kathryn Clark (Junior), Sierra Aceto (Sophomore), Montana Braxton (Sophomore), Kate Breed (Sophomore), Katherine Briggs (Sophomore), Tori Diaz (Sophomore), Sarah O’Connor (Sophomore)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 7 @ Freeport, Sept. 10 YORK, Sept. 18 FALMOUTH, Sept. 21 @ Greely, Sept. 27 YARMOUTH, Oct. 2 @ Falmouth, Oct. 5 @ Yarmouth, Oct. 12 GREELY, Oct. 16 @ York
COACH’S COMMENT: “It’s a great group. We’ve had a good preseason. We expect to go pretty far this season. We have players who can score. We’re fast and we’ll attack.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth was one of the most exciting teams in the state a year ago, scoring goals with abandon. The Capers downed rival Greely with surprising ease in the quarterfinals, upset top seed Windham on penalty kicks in the semifinals, then, in their first regional final since 2000, gave eventual champion Scarborough fits before dropping a tough one-goal decision. The team has a new coach this year in Fannan, who played in England and coached premier and youth soccer prior to taking this job. While graduation did hurt (six players departed), an abundance of young players who received trial by fire as freshmen and sophomores return, suggesting that Cape Elizabeth will be a power in its first season at the Class B level.
Clark will pace the offense. The school’s reigning Fall Female Athlete of the Year tickled the twine 18 times last year and added six assists as she was named to the all-conference first-team. That’s just the beginning of the offensive onslaught as Braxton, Breed, Briggs, Diaz, O’Connor, Raftice (all-conference last season) and Wood all will be heard from. Breed and Briggs both scored several key goals as freshmen. Freshman Mariah Desena is another potential threat. On defense, Aceto and Shields will help protect Perkins, who was solid in goal last fall.
The Capers will be tested often this season, but their depth, skill, speed, athleticism and hunger to finish what last year’s team started should carry them through. A year after falling just short, this could be the squad that produces a state champion for the first time this millennium.
COACH: Darci Holland (seventh year, 35-49-6 overall record)
2012 Record: 9-7 (Lost, 3-1, to Fryeburg in Western B quarterfinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Sam Altznauer (Senior), Abby McInerney (Senior), Hannah Newhall (Senior), Hailey Petsinger (Senior), Caroline Garfield (Junior), Julia Ginder (Junior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 9 FALMOUTH, Sept. 13 FRYEBURG, Sept. 17 @ Greely, Sept. 19 FREEPORT, Sept. 25 YARMOUTH, Oct. 3 @ Falmouth, Oct. 7 @ Fryeburg, Oct. 9 GREELY, Oct. 12 YORK
COACH’S COMMENT: “We lost three key players from last year, including two top goal scorers and our three-year starting goalie, so we have some crucial positions to fill. We’ll need some players to step up and score goals. Overall, this is a team that’s played together for awhile now. Hopefully, we can build off last year’s success. As long as we stay healthy, we have depth. I look forward to another successful year.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Capers are coming off their best season in a decade and are looking for even bigger things this autumn. The loss of all-stars Jane Coffrin and Lauren Steidl and goalie Julianne Ayers will be felt, but there is plenty of talent in reserve.
This year’s team has a lot of experience on offense. Top scorers figure to be Altznauer, Garfield, McInerney, Newhall and Petsinger. New sophomores Megan Nicholson and Jillian Petersen will also be in the scoring mix. Ginder is the lead returning defender. Junior Mary DiPietro will step in as goalie and Holland is optimistic about her potential.
There are several strong teams in Western B this year, but Cape Elizabeth should be able to hold its own against all of them. Another winning season and playoff trip appears likely. The Capers would love to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2002 and appear to have the necessary ingredients to do so.
BOYS COACH: Derek Veilleux (fourth year, one state championship)
GIRLS COACH: Amber Cronin (second year)
(BOYS) Class B state champions
(GIRLS) 9th @ Class B state meet
TOP RETURNING RUNNERS
BOYS: Peter Doane (Senior), Trevor Ewald (Senior), Julian Pelzer (Senior), Liam Simpson (Senior), Will Britton (Junior), Kyle Kennedy (Junior), Joe Inhorn (Sophomore)
GIRLS: Dana Hatton (Senior), Sarah Long (Senior), Eva Brydson (Junior), Hayley Doss (Junior), Emily Faria (Junior), Sam Feenstra (Sophomore), Rhoen Fiutak (Sophomore)
TOP FOES: Falmouth, Greely, Yarmouth, York
COACH VEILLEUX’S COMMENT: “Expectations are high coming off a state championship and returning six of the top seven. The team came back hungry this summer and the varsity runners put in the best summer of work since I’ve been a part of the coaching staff. I’m excited to see what another year of experience, maturity and growth can mean. I told the team from Day 1, we won’t fly under anyone’s radar. We’ll have a bulls-eye. With a senior-laden group, we’re in a good position to handle the pressure. Our goal is to get better every day and run our best in the championship meets. Like all teams, staying healthy is a key to our success.”
COACH CRONIN’S COMMENT: “My hope is definitely to make it to states. I’d really like to crack the top five. I think we have the team to do it, provided we stay injury-free and everyone continues on their current trajectory. Summer training has been really beneficial and I think we’re in good shape heading into our first meet.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Cape Elizabeth cross country program will once again be among the finest around.
The boys had a fantasy season a year ago, winning the regional crown, then taking the Class B championship for the first time since 2006. With a ton of talent back (only Justin Guerette, now playing football, doesn’t return from the top seven), the Capers are favorites to repeat and might just be the best the state of Maine has to offer when all is said and done. Four of last year’s state meet scorers are back, led by Simpson (sixth) and Doane (ninth), both of whom were named first-team league all-stars and qualified for New Englands. Also returning are Britton (18th) and Kennedy (20th). Ewald, Inhorn and Pelzer have experience and look to move up the ranks. Junior Mitch Morris, sophomore Jared DuPerre and freshman Alex Depke are new to the team and provide even more depth. Cape Elizabeth appears to have it all, top talent at the front and several other strong runners who will score high. If the Capers stay healthy and hungry, another title is the likely result.
On the girls’ side, Cape Elizabeth is hoping to move up this fall and should manage to do so. Three state meet scorers, second-team all-star Fiutak (23rd), along with Feenstra (44th) and Hatton (51st), return. They’re joined by veterans Long, Brydson, Doss and Faria. Newcomers Anna Friberg, Maggie Gleason, Midori Kwan and Emma Shedd all look to break into the top seven. The Capers will be among the best teams in a stacked conference (only Greely was more highly touted heading into the season) and will be a factor at regionals and states. A return to the top five at states (where every team from 2003 to 2011 resided) is a realistic goal.
COACHES: Tim Desmaris (third year)
2012 Results: 7-4 (5th @ Class B state match)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Mark Coleman (Junior), Reese McFarlane (Junior), Bryce Hewitt (Sophomore), Nate Ingalls (Sophomore), Ross LeBlond (Sophomore),
TOP FOES: Yarmouth, York
COACH’S COMMENT: “We hope to finish in the top three at states, but we’d really like to win it. I’d like to see Reese win states individually. We always hope for good weather.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: While the weather is uncertain, McFarlane’s play was anything but last fall as he won the Class B individual championship with a score of 74. He was even better at the team state match, shooting a 69, and was named Cape Elizabeth’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year. He could be even more dominant as a junior, which is a scary prospect indeed for the opposition. Coleman, Hewitt, Ingalls and LeBlond also return from last year’s team. Freshmen Hans Croft, Patrick MacDonald and Lauren Schonewolf all look to make their mark in the weeks to come.
The Capers will likely win the vast majority of their matches again, but they measure themselves by what happens in October, when champions are crowned. There’s a good chance McFarlane will repeat. The question is can he and his teammates match his individual hardware. Cape Elizabeth might just reach the pinnacle.
COACH: Sarah Boeckel (first year)
2012 Record: 6-10 (Lost, 3-0, to Biddeford in Class A quarterfinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Sophie Moore (Senior), Emma O’Rourke (Senior), Sarah Stacki (Senior)
PIVOTAL MATCHES: Sept. 6 GORHAM, Sept. 16 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 20 FALMOUTH, Sept. 24 @ Biddeford, Oct. 17 GREELY
COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m very excited for the season. I’ve watched a lot of these athletes grow as players. We have a solid core and great support players who can play many positions when called on. I’m looking for us to take the next big step and I think this is the year we can do it. We have great leaders and a lot of players who have experience. We hope to surprise a lot of people.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Capers might not surprise too many people as the word is already out that this is a program on the rise. Whether or not they can reach the level of perennial champion Greely, or top contenders like Biddeford, Falmouth and Gorham remains to be seen. The important thing is that Cape Elizabeth believes it will be very good. That starts at the top with Boeckel, who steps in as coach. Boeckel was the junior varsity coach the past four seasons and has coaching experience at the club, high school and college levels.
She returns an all-star in O’Rourke, an outside hitter. Moore (setter) and Stacki (middle hitter) are other key returners. Two new players figure to step right in and help the cause. Sophomore Tess Haller will be an outside hitter and Lydia Brenneman will an ouside hitter/defensive specialist.
This program will continue its upward trajectory in the weeks to come. A first-ever winning record is a probability, as is a return to the playoffs. The Capers already have a postseason win under their belts and are now looking for more. Don’t be surprised if they make a deep run and put the program on the map once and for all.
Junior quarterback Noah Wolfinger will run the Capers’ offense this season.
Senior Tony Moulton figures to have the ball in his hands a lot in the weeks to come.
Junior Griffin Thoreck will make opposing coaches lose sleep this fall. Thoreck, who will be joined by a pair of his brothers on the team this fall, is one of the conference’s top players.
Junior Cole Caswell will show off his foot skills in the weeks to come.
Junior Noah Haversat will play on a key role on this year’s team.
Senior Eli Breed is looking for big things in his senior season.
Katherine Briggs scored some big goals as a freshman and will play a key role again this sophomore.
Senior Addie Wood hopes to bow out with a championship.
Senior Lizzie Raftice is a reigning league all-star and top threat for this year’s team.
Kate Breed is another Caper who turned heads as a freshman. She could be even more prolific as a sophomore.
Senior Mary Perkins returns as one of the state’s top goalkeepers.
Senior Hannah Newhall will be a key player for the Capers this season.
Senior Abby McInerney will be a touch matchup for the opposition.
Senior Hailey Petsinger is another key returner for the Capers.
Two of the state’s best boys’ cross country runners, senior Liam Simpson (left) and senior Peter Doane, look to lead Cape Elizabeth to a repeat state title in Class B.
Junior Will Britton was 18th at last year’s state meet.
Junior Kyle Kennedy is another returning state meet scorer. He was 20th last fall.
Senior Julian Pelzer brings depth to the Class B favorites.
Rhoen Fiutak is coming off a strong freshman campaign which saw her finish 23rd at the Class B state meet a year ago.
Senior Dana Hatton is a top, veteran returner for the Capers.
Fri., Sept. 6 H LEAVITT
Fri., Sept. 13 @ Poland
Fri., Sept. 20 H WELLS
Fri., Sept. 27 @ Spruce Mtn.
Sat., Oct. 5 @ Freeport
Fri., Oct. 11 H YARMOUTH
Fri., Oct. 18 @ Gray-NG
Fri., Oct. 25 H MTN. VALLEY
Sat., Sept. 7 H FREEPORT
Tues., Sept. 10 @ York
Mon., Sept. 16 @ Poland
Wed., Sept. 18 @ Falmouth
Sat., Sept. 21 H GREELY
Tues., Sept. 24 H LAKE REGION
Fri., Sept. 27 @ Yarmouth
Mon., Sept. 30 @ Kennebunk
Wed., Oct. 2 H FALMOUTH
Sat., Oct. 5 H YARMOUTH
Tues., Oct. 8 H KENNEBUNK
Sat., Oct. 12 @ Greely
Mon., Oct. 14 @ Fryeburg
Wed., Oct. 16 H YORK
Sat., Sept. 7 @ Freeport
Tues., Sept. 10 H YORK
Mon., Sept. 16 H POLAND
Wed., Sept. 18 H FALMOUTH
Sat., Sept. 21 @ Greely
Tues., Sept. 24 @ Lake Region
Fri., Sept. 27 H YARMOUTH
Mon., Sept. 30 H KENNEBUNK
Wed., Oct. 2 @ Falmouth
Sat., Oct. 5 @ Yarmouth
Tues., Oct. 8 @ Kennebunk
Sat., Oct. 12 H GREELY
Mon., Oct. 14 H FRYEBURG
Wed., Oct. 16 @ York
Wed., Sept. 4 @ Gray-NG
Mon., Sept. 9 H FALMOUTH
Wed., Sept. 11 @ Poland
Fri., Sept. 13 H FRYEBURG
Tues., Sept. 17 @ Greely
Thurs., Sept. 19 H FREEPORT
Mon., Sept. 23 @ Kennebunk
Wed., Sept. 25 H YARMOUTH
Fri., Sept. 27 @ Lake Region
Tues., Oct. 1 H KENNEBUNK
Thurs., Oct. 3 @ Falmouth
Mon., Oct. 7 @ Fryeburg
Wed., Oct. 9 H GREELY
Sat., Oct. 12 H YORK
Wed., Sept. 4 H FALM, FREE, SACOPEE
Fri., Sept. 13 @ Lake Region (Greely, Yarm)
Fri., Sept. 20 @ NYA (Frye, Wayn)
Fri., Sept. 27 @ GNG (Merric, Poland)
Sat., Oct. 5 @ Belfast Invitational
Thurs., Oct. 10 @ Kennebunk (Traip, Wells, York)
Fri., Oct. 18 @ WMC Championships
Sat., Oct. 26 @ Western B Regionals
Sat., Nov. 2 @ Class B State Meet
Tues., Sept. 3 H FREEPORT
Wed., Sept. 4 H YARMOUTH
Thurs., Sept. 5 @ Wells
Tues., Sept. 10 H YORK
Wed., Sept. 11 @ Yarmouth
Thurs., Sept. 12 @ York
Mon., Sept. 16 @ Freeport
Tues., Sept. 17 H WELLS
Wed., Sept. 18 @ Lake Region
Tues., Sept. 24 H FRYEBURG
Fri., Sept. 6 H GORHAM
Tues., Sept. 10 H SP
Thurs., Sept. 12 @ Windham
Mon., Sept. 16 @ Yarmouth
Wed., Sept. 18 H CONY
Fri., Sept. 20 H FALMOUTH
Tues., Sept. 24 @ Biddeford
Fri., Sept. 27 @ TA
Thurs., Oct. 3 H CHEVERUS
Tues., Oct. 8 @ Lake Region
Fri., Oct. 11 @ Kennebunk
Tues., Oct. 15 H NYA
Thurs., Oct. 17 H GREELY
Mon., Oct. 21 @ SP
Junior Kathryn Clark is one of the state’s most potent offensive forces and she and her teammates have a legitimate shot at ending the Capers’ 13-year championship drought and bringing home a Gold Ball this autumn.
More photos below.