Cape Elizabeth Capers Spring Sports Preview

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One year after winning two state titles and playing for a third, Cape Elizabeth’s spring sports teams are looking to provide an encore. Baseball was oh-so-close to winning it all in 2010 and should be once of the best teams in Western B again this season. Softball fell just short of the postseason in a rebuilding season a year ago. This time around, the team could be a top contender. Boys’ lacrosse finally back to the top last season and this year is the favorite, just like in the good old days. If all goes well, they could be joined at states by a potentially powerhouse girls’ squad, which has opposing coaches abuzz. The track program will feature several solid athletes. Boys’ tennis hopes to win it again, while the girls should be one of the better teams in its region.

BASEBALL

Coach: Chris Hayward (fifth year)

2010 Record: 18-2 (Lost 9-5 to Waterville in Class B state final)

Top returning players: Jack Barber (Senior), Cam Brown (Senior), Kyle Danielson (Senior), Rob MacDonald (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 28 @ Falmouth, April 29 (H) GRAY-NG, May 2 @ Greely, May 11 (H) YARMOUTH, May 18 @ Yarmouth, May 20 (H) FALMOUTH, June 1 (H) GREELY

Coach’s comment: “As usual, the entire conference is strong. We hope to win enough games to make the playoffs and see what kind of damage we can do there..”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth has been to the Class B Final in two of the past three seasons, but has been unable to win it all. This year’s team should be very good once again. While the loss of ace pitcher Conor Moloney to graduation will certainly hurt, the Capers still have MacDonald (a reigning Western Maine Conference second-team all-star), who went 7-2 last year, striking out 38 batters and registering a 2.84 earned run average. Junior Will LeBlond and sophomores Zach Culver and Sam Kozlowski will also fill in. The offense is paced by Brown (another second-teamer a year ago) at the leadoff spot. He hit .444, scored 19 times, drove in 11 runs, stole six bases and even homered once in 2010. He was a key cog on a basketball state finalist this winter. Other big bats include leftfielder Barber (.290, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 10 runs scored), catcher Danielson (.295, 1 HR, 16 RBI) and MacDonald, who will hit in the cleanup spot and play centerfield when he’s not on the hill. Seniors Ben Berman and Pat Tyler, juniors Max Gore and Matty Pierce and sophomore Seth Dobieski also return from last year’s regional champion. Junior utilityman Donald Clark, sophomore utilityman Chris Robicheaw (who played a huge supporting role in the boys’ basketball team’s run to the state final) and freshman catcher Chris Tinsman give Hayward plenty of depth and options. Last year, Cape Elizabeth was the regional favorite. This season, the Capers will cede those expectations to Yarmouth, but they remain right near the top of the heap. If some pitching depth develops and if the offense can produce consistently, Cape Elizabeth will have no trouble making it to the playoffs for the 11th year in a row. Another deep postseason run is also a distinct possibility.

SOFTBALL

Coach: Joe Henrikson (14th year)

2010 Record: 8-8 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Ally Boyington (Senior), Emily Donovan (Senior), Lauren Nicholson (Senior), Lexi Cantara (Junior), Emily Ham (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 27 @ Fryeburg, April 28 @ Falmouth, May 2 @ Greely, May 11 (H) YARMOUTH, May 16 @ Freeport, May 18 @ Yarmouth, May 20 (H) FALMOUTH, June 1 (H) GREELY

Coach’s comment: “Hopefully we’ll do a little better this year. We almost made the playoffs last year. Ally will throw strikes and I have four freshmen who can pitch. I’m optimistic, but realistic. We have to make plays and outhit other teams. We want to improve every day like we did last year. We definitely want to make the playoffs.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth struggled early in 2010, losing its first four and even a late charge wasn’t quite enough to extend the program’s postseason streak to 11 seasons. This year’s squad is much better equipped to compete from the get go and should get the Capers back to their winning ways. Boyington (a second-team WMC all-star a year ago) is the lead pitcher. She keeps her team in games even without overpowering stuff. Several newcomers will also see some time in the circle. Offensively, Cape Elizabeth should be in good shape. Boyington swings a hot bat and infielders Donovan (second base and the school’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year), Ham (third base) and Nicholson (who moves from catcher to shortstop) will score and drive in plenty of runs. Cantara anchors the outfield and is also a very good hitter. There are still some holes to plug in the lineup and while this team doesn’t have the firepower and name recognition of the championship-caliber squads of a few years back, the Capers will be one of the better teams in a balanced region. Look for last year to be a minor hiccup as Cape Elizabeth returns to the big playoff stage and once there, comports itself very well.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Ben Raymond (14th year)

2010 Record: 12-3 (Beat Yarmouth 7-6 to win Class B state championship)

Top returning players: Brad Dickenson (Senior), Will Daly (Senior), Casey O’Donovan (Senior), Wilson Laprade (Senior), Wes Richards (Senior), Jack Roos (Senior), Teddy Smith (Senior), Timmy Takach (Senior), Thomas Bottomley (Junior), Brian Brett (Junior), Tim Lavallee (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 30 (H) KENNEBUNK, May 2 (H) YARMOUTH, May 7 @ NYA, May 13 @ Lewiston, May 18 (H) FALMOUTH, May 20 @ NYA, May 27 @ Yarmouth

Coach’s comment: “I think we’re doing very well right now. We’re ahead of where we were last year at this time. We’ll build as the season goes on. It’s the same approach every year. We play quality teams. The guys are really focused on getting back to the state final.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Consensus held that Cape Elizabeth was a year away from greatness in 2010 and after an early season pounding at the hands of regional rival Falmouth (at home, no less), that perception appeared to be the case, but in one of the better coaching jobs in a distinguished career, Raymond got the Capers to improve and believe and by season’s end, they had no peer. Cape Elizabeth avenged two regular season setbacks with a stirring overtime win (Lavallee had the winner) at Falmouth in the regional final, then captured the state crown for the first time since 2005, in a thrilling one-goal win over a Yarmouth program which had passed the Capers in recent seasons. Now, with plenty of firepower back, Cape Elizabeth once again wears the bullseye, but it has every reason to believe it can repeat. The Capers will have to follow a familiar script, however, as Friday night, they lost their opener, 12-4, at Falmouth, in a game that wasn’t as lopsided as the final score would suggest. As was the case in 2010, the 2011 team should improve dramatically in the weeks to come. There are offensive weapons aplenty. Smith had two goals and Takach (a second-team WMC all-star in 2010) and promising sophomore Alex Bornick one apiece in the loss. Lavallee added an assist. O’Donovan and middies Bottomley, Brett, Laprade and Richards will all be scoring threats. Takach takes most of the faceoffs, with help from Bottomley. Defense is where the question mark lies after the departure of standout Ben Brewster (Cape Elizabeth’s 2010 Spring Male Athlete of the Year). Dickensen will be the leader of that unit, with help from Daly and new senior Jack Queeney (the school’s Fall Athlete of the Year from soccer), who will wield the longstick. That unit can take its time hitting its stride as the Capers feature arguably the best goalie around in Roos, another second-team all-star, who was phenomenal last June. The loss to Falmouth might have served as a helpful wakeup call. Cape Elizabeth knows what it can accomplish with hard work. Once the Capers get used to being the hunted, they’ll be fine. With all this talent, they’ll win most of their remaining games and it will likely all come down to yet another regional final showdown with Falmouth. Don’t be surprised if, when all is said and done, the Capers find a way to celebrate on the Fitzpatrick Stadium once again.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Kurt Chapin (fourth year)

2010 Record: 8-5 (Lost 11-10 to Falmouth in Western Class B semifinals)

Top returning players: Paris Bethel (Senior), Anna Darling (Senior), Emily Taintor (Senior), Elin Sonesson (Junior), Jane Coffrin (Sophomore), Talley Perkins (Sophomore), Lauren Steidl (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: May 2 (H) YARMOUTH, May 11 @ Falmouth, May 27 (H) NYA

Coach’s comment: “Expectations are high. The girls have put in a lot of work. This is a group that was really young last year. We only lost two seniors. We have 10 starters back. A lot of them have played since freshman year and have a chip on their shoulder feeling we can compete with the top teams. We’ve been able to hold to top teams in check the past few years. We can score. We see ourselves as a top team that could be there at the end in June. Anything less than playing on the final day would be a disappointment for these girls.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth’s optimism is well founded, but the Capers received a crushing blow in the preseason when standout senior Karyn Barrett went down for the season with a knee injury. While her absence will certainly be felt, the Capers have enough talent in her wake to compete with even the state’s traditional powers and extend their run of playoff appearances to 11 years. This spring, the offense will be paced by Darling, Perkins (33 goals during a second-team WMC all-star campaign in 2010), Steidl (who handles draw controls) and freshman Abby McInerny. The defense is anchored by Coffrin, with help from Bethel and Taintor. Sonesson returns in goal. She’s viewed as one of the best around. Cape Elizabeth has the athletes, skill and hunger to be successful. The Capers need to find a way to get past Falmouth to become the top threat to traditional powerhouse Waynflete. Cape Elizabeth was scheduled to open the season at the Flyers last week, but poor field conditions postponed that game to a yet-to-be-determined date. The Capers have their destiny in their hands. They see all the best teams and will have a chance to not only rack up confidence-building victories, but also gain coveted Heal Points, which could allow them to play at home in the postseason. If this squad can overcome Barrett’s departure and rely on its myriad skills, it will turn heads well into June.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach: Doug Worthley (15th year)

2010 Results:

(Boys) 12th @ Class B State Meet

(Girls) tie-10th @ Class B State Meet

Top returning athletes:

(BOYS) Paul Trantina (Senior), Billy Brooks (Junior), Paul Hamerski (Junior), John Harrison (Junior), Thomas Janick (Junior), Matt Propp (Junior)

(GIRLS) Kelsey Barton (Senior), Rachel Nichols (Senior), Skyler Dunfey (Senior), Kelsey Maguire (Senior)

Top foes: Falmouth, Greely, York

Coach’s comment: “The boys’ returning veterans favor the throws, but we also have some power in the sprints and jumps. We have an impressive group of freshmen who look to hone their skills. The girls’ returning veterans are deep in the distance events and we’re looking to develop the middle distance and sprints.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth has its share of good athletes this spring.

The boys are looking to hold their own with two rivals, Falmouth and Greely, who aren’t just top powers in the Western Maine Conference, but in all of Class B. The team has no returning state meet scorers, but the Capers do cover events well. The sprints and jumps feature Brooks, Janick and Trantina, along with sophomores Sam Barksdale and Zach Hillman. Top throwers are Hamerski, Harrison and Propp. Freshmen Trevor Gale and Deven Roberts look to become household names quickly. The Capers should be formidable in the league and will look to finish top 10 at states.

On the girls’ side, distance standouts Barton and Nichols look to close their high school careers with a flourish. A year ago, Barton came in second in the two-mile, while Nichols was runner-up in the 800. Dunfey and Maguire are top threats in the sprints and jumps. Sophomores Anna Brogan and Ana Kouros and freshman Elizabeth Cloutier give this squad depth. Like the boys, the girls’ team should only get better as the season progresses and will score some points in the postseason.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Andy Strout (35th year)

2010 Results: 13-3 (Beat Camden Hills 5-0 to win Class B state championship)

Top returning players: Ben Morse (Senior), Ross Sherman (Senior), Matt Gilman (Sophomore), Satchel McCarthy (Sophomore)

Pivotal matches: April 25 (H) WAYNFLETE, May 4 (H) FALMOUTH, May 17 (H) YARMOUTH, May 18 @ Greely, May 20 @ Waynflete

Coach’s comment: “It looks like it will be Falmouth and us in Western B. We hope for a repeat, but it will depend on developing doubles teams that can compete.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: A year ago, the Capers entered the playoffs as the No. 5 seed in Western Class B, but caught fire at the right time and cruised to their first championship since 2004. Now, Cape Elizabeth hopes to do it again. Gilman and Sherman are the top returners. Each was named to the WMC all-star team in 2010. McCarthy and Morse are other players to watch. A group of newcomers, including seniors Sean Donegan and Reid Douty, junior Matt Barksdale and sophomore Sam Sherman, will vie for doubles spots and provide depth. As usual, the Capers’ biggest test will come from Falmouth, which might be the favorite this time around. Regardless, Cape Elizabeth has shown it can come from any spot in the standings to make a championship run. This year’s team should be very formidable again and if some newer players quickly get up to speed, another title is a possibility.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Sarah Sullivan (second year)

2010 Results: 7-6 (Lost 3-2 to Yarmouth in Western Class B quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Sarah Cummings (Senior), Catie MacDonald (Sophomore)

Pivotal matches:April 25 @ Waynflete, May 4 @ Falmouth, May 6 (H) NYA, May 17 @ Yarmouth, May 20 (H) WAYNFLETE

Coach’s comment: “We graduated quite a bit of our top seven last year. I’m very lucky with the group of players I have this year. I have four seniors, One that has been in the top seven for three years, giving her great experience in matches. I have a lot of sophomores that are great athletes and will be a major part of the top seven. Obviously, the playoffs is always a goal, but more importantly, I’m looking for them to play good tennis and to improve every match. We’re young, so there will be some growing pains.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth is once again a Western Class B contender, even though it appears defending champion Falmouth is head and shoulders above the field. This year, sophomore Madeline Ciraldo will step in and play No. 1 singles. MacDonald will be in the No. 2 spot, with Cummings playing No. 3 singles. Senior Abby Armstrong and sophomores Sarah Bosworth, Allie Briggs and Kisa Tabery will make up the doubles teams. This team has a good mix of experience and youth and will only get better over the next month. In 23 of the past 27 seasons, the Capers have been to the semifinals or beyond. They have a very good chance to add to that total in 2011.

                  Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net and followed on Twitter @foresports

Cape Elizabeth senior hurler Ally Boyington was a Western Maine Conference all-star in 2010. This spring, she hopes to pitch the Capers into the playoffs.

Junior Lexi Cantara should be one of the Capers’ top hitters in 2011.

Senior Timmy Takach will strike fear into opponents’ hearts this spring.

Junior Timmy Lavallee scored some clutch goals for Cape Elizabeth last season. He’s looking for more of the same in 2011.

Senior Casey O’Donovan is another top scoring threat for the Capers.

Senior Jack Queeney is a newcomer to the boys’ lacrosse team and will be a menace with his stick skills.

Senior goalie Jack Roos came up huge time and time again in 2010. He’s hoping to backstop the Capers to another championship in June.

Sophomore Talley Perkins hopes to build on last year’s breakout campaign and lead the Cape Elizabeth girls’ lacrosse team to great things.

Senior Paul Trantina is a top returner for the Capers boys’ outdoor track team this spring.

Senior Kelsey Barton is a top distance threat for the Capers girls’ track team.

Senior Rachel Nichols is another top-notch distance runner seeking to close her high school career with a championship.

Skyler Dunfey is a top jumper for the Capers.

Sidebar Elements


After an agonizing five years away from the pinnacle, the Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse team restored order in 2010 and upset Yarmouth for the Class B title. The 2011 Capers are seeking to go back-to-back.

More photos below.

Cape Elizabeth Spring Schedules

(For updated game times, visit https://sites.google.com/a/capeelizabethschools.org/athletics/)

BASEBALL

Wed., April 27 @ Fryeburg

Thurs., April 28 @ Falmouth

Fri., April 29 H GNG

Mon., May 2 @ Greely

Wed., May 4 H LAKE REGION

Fri., May 6 H POLAND

Mon., May 9 H WELLS

Wed., May 11 H YARMOUTH

Fri., May 13 @ York

Mon., May 16 @ Freeport

Wed., May 18 @ Yarmouth

Fri., May 20 H FALMOUTH

Mon., May 23 @ Lake Region

Wed., May 25 H YORK

Fri., May 27 @ Wells

Wed., June 1 H GREELY

SOFTBALL

Wed., April 27 @ Fryeburg

Thurs., April 28 @ Falmouth

Fri., April 29 H GNG

Mon., May 2 @ Greely

Wed., May 4 H LAKE REGION

Fri., May 6 H POLAND

Mon., May 9 H WELLS

Wed., May 11 H YARMOUTH

Fri., May 13 @ York

Mon., May 16 @ Freeport

Wed., May 18 @ Yarmouth

Fri., May 20 H FALMOUTH

Mon., May 23 @ Lake Region

Wed., May 25 H OOB

Fri., May 27 @ Wells

Wed., June 1 H GREELY

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Wed., April 27 H FREEPORT

Sat., April 30 H KENNEBUNK

Mon., May 2 H YARMOUTH

Sat., May 7 H NYA

Tues., May 10 @ Greely

Fri., May 13 @ Lewiston

Wed., May 18 H FALMOUTH

Fri., May 20 @ NYA

Wed., May 25 @ York

Fri., May 27 @ Yarmouth

Tues., May 31 H WAYNFLETE

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Thurs., April 28 H FRYEBURG

Fri., April 29 @ Marshwood

Mon., May 2 H YARMOUTH

Fri., May 6 @ Wells

Wed., May 11 @ Falmouth

Fri., May 13 H MASSABESIC

Thurs., May 19 @ York

Sat., May 21 @ Fryeburg

Tues., May 24 H WELLS

Fri., May 27 H NYA

Tues., May 31 H GREELY

OUTDOOR TRACK

Fri., April 29 H POLAND, SACOPEE, TRAIP

Tues., May 3 @ York (LR, Traip)

Fri., May 6 @ GNG (Fryeburg, OOB)

Fri., May 13 H FREEPORT, WAYN, WELLS

Fri., May 20 @ Yarmouth (Falmouth, Greely)

Sat., May 28 @ WMC championships

Sat., June 4 CLASS B STATES

BOYS’ TENNIS

Mon., April 25 H WAYNFLETE

Wed., April 27 @ Lake Region

Fri., April 29 @ York

Tues., May 3 H FREEPORT

Wed., May 4 H FALMOUTH

Fri., May 6 @ NYA

Sat., May 7 H FRYEBURG

Wed., May 11 @ Fryeburg

Tues., May 17 H YARMOUTH

Wed., May 18 @ Greely

Fri., May 20 @ Waynflete

Mon., May 23 H NYA

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Mon., April 25 @ Waynflete

Wed., April 27 H LAKE REGION

Fri., April 29 H YORK

Tues., May 3 @ Freeport

Wed., May 4 @ Falmouth

Fri., May 6 H NYA

Sat., May 7 @ Fryeburg

Thurs., May 12 H OOB

Tues., May 17 @ Yarmouth

Wed., May 18 H GREELY

Fri., May 20 H WAYNFLETE

Mon., May 23 @ Greely

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