Cape Elizabeth Capers Spring Sports Preview

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Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team celebrated another Class B state title last spring. The Capers have moved up to Class A this season, but could wind up atop the heap again.

File photos.

More photos below.

BASEBALL

Coach: Andrew Wood (fifth year, 43-29 overall record)

2017 record: 13-5 (Lost, 2-0, to eventual state champion Yarmouth in Class B South semifinal)

Top returning players: Sean Agrodnia (Senior), Finn Bowe (Senior), Val Murphy (Senior), Carson Sullivan (Senior), Brendan Tinsman (Senior), Ryan Weare (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 23 @ Greely, May 2 YORK, May 9 @ Yarmouth, May 11 WELLS, May 14 @ York, May 18 @ Wells, May 21 YARMOUTH, May 25 GREELY

Coach’s comment: “We’re excited for the new season. We’ve lost in the Western Maine Final two of the last three years, so all these kids have been there. Now they’re seniors and they know it’s now or never. Our offense will revolve around Brendan and our pitching is very deep. If we score four runs (in a game), we should win. We’ll pitch to contact and if we don’t walk guys, we’ll be tough.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth is coming off another strong season, culminated by another frustrating playoff loss. This time around, the Capers might have what it takes to take the final step and win the program’s first championship since 2004.

Cape Elizabeth boasts a Division One-bound catcher in Tinsman, who is in his last season with the program before taking his booming bat and equally powerful right arm to Wake Forest University. Tinsman hit .500 a year ago with 25 hits, including five doubles and four home runs, to go with 19 runs scored, 11 runs batted in and 20 stolen bases. No one tries to steal on him either. Suffice it say that Tinsman, a first-team all-star in 2017, will give opposing pitching staffs and coaches nightmares. Tinsman will also calm a pitching staff that had a 1.68 earned run average a year ago and returns 70 innings pitched. The Capers have several strong arms, including Agrodnia, Bowe, Sullivan and Weare. Junior Alex Riggle plays first base, Murphy is at second, Bowe will play short when he’s not on the hill and Agrodnia and Sullivan will each see time at third base. In the outfield, junior Jameson Bakke is the anchor in center, senior Cooper Hoffman plays left and Weare will be in right when he doesn’t pitch. Look for Agrodnia and Sullivan to help Tinsman pick up the offensive slack.

While several other tough teams loom in Class B South, none have all the bases covered quite like the Capers. A senior-laden squad knows that this is its last chance to go all the way. If this group stays healthy, it’s difficult to see anyone keeping Cape Elizabeth from playing well into June. After so many disappointing close calls, this could be the group that goes all the way.

SOFTBALL

Coach: Joe Henrikson (21st year, 253-105 overall record, one state championship)

2017 record: 9-8 (Lost, 6-3, to Leavitt in Class B South preliminary round)

Top returning players: Katie Bozek (Senior), Anna Torre (Senior), Katie LeDoux (Junior), Jessie Robicheaw (Junior), Elena Keller (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 20 LEAVITT, April 23 @ Greely, April 27 FRYEBURG, May 9 @ Yarmouth, May 11 WELLS, May 18 @ Wells, May 21 YARMOUTH, May 25 GREELY, May 28 @ Gray-NG

Coach’s comment: “We’re very young. We only have two seniors and two juniors. I’d like to improve on last year. We’ll play hard and compete as best we can. Don’t count us out.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth extended its playoff streak to seven years last spring and while this year’s team is young, the potential is there for another appearance.

The Capers have the luxury of returning Robicheaw, last year’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year and a first-team all-star, who enters her third season as the ace pitcher. Last season, Robicheaw won nine games, had an earned run average of 2.25 and fanned 138 batters. She’s one of the league’s best and will keep Cape Elizabeth in every game. Robicheaw also has a potent bat (hitting .450 last season). Keller returns behind the plate and also has the ability to do big things at the plate. Torre (the third baseman) is another returning hitter of note. LeDoux will be at second base and Bozek has experience in the outfield.

Cape Elizabeth will have a learning curve in the weeks to come, but you can’t ever overlook a Henrikson-coached squad. Robicheaw’s arm and the team’s top hitters will lead the Capers to a record that will allow them to take part in the playoffs. There, if Cape Elizabeth gets hot at the right time, it could win a game or two and make things very interesting.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Ben Raymond (21st year, 259-43 overall record, 11 state championships)

2017 record: 14-1 (Beat Yarmouth, 16-7, to win Class B state title)

Top returning players: Jacob Brydson (Senior), Ben Carroll (Senior), John O’Connor (Senior), Tate Perkins (Senior), Finn Raymond (Senior), Sam Dresser (Junior), Phil Tarling (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 24 YARMOUTH, April 27 @ Thornton Academy, May 4 @ Falmouth, May 11 SCARBOROUGH, May 18 SOUTH PORTLAND, May 23 @ Yarmouth

Coach’s comment: “We have to replace a lot. We have a lot of new faces, but we return some good players as well. The young kids are doing a good job so far. All of these guys have played important roles somewhere down the line in multiple sports. That really carries over. A Class A title is something we’ve never won before. If we do things well, we should be in a position to compete for a championship. We have a solid enough team to compete with anybody.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth returned to its rightful place atop the Class B world a year ago, holding off Falmouth in a thrilling regional final before making it four titles in five seasons with a state game win over Yarmouth. With lacrosse going to three classes this spring, the Capers are making the move up to Class A and figure to remain among the state’s best teams, if not the best team.

Even after the departure of Connor Thoreck and Owen Thoreck, Cape Elizabeth’s reigning Spring Male Athletes of the Year, the offense will once again be potent. Perkins, a first-team league all-star and an Underclass All-Star last spring, will set the tone. Brydson, Tarling and sophomore Killian Lathrop are other threats at attack. In the midfield, Carroll, Dresser and Raymond (all Underclass All-Stars last season) have experience. Freshman Archie McAvoy is a future star to keep an eye on. The Capers are always strong on defense and even after having to replace the likes of Ben Ekedahl and Peyton Weatherbie, that unit will clamp down on the opposition behind O’Connor, senior Jack Glanville, junior Ian Haines, a transfer from Cheverus, junior Brendan Goss and sophomores David Hare, Oliver Moon and Max Patterson (an Underclass All-Star last season). Sophomore Jack Dresser will replace departed all-star goalie Sam Price.

Cape Elizabeth will have its hands full with a much more challenging regular season schedule this time around. Unlike year’s past, the Capers can’t just punch their ticket to the regional final either, as several SMAA squads will provide worthy opposition when the playoffs begin. Despite all of that, expect Cape Elizabeth to end up where it always does, in the regional final. If all goes well, the Capers will make another trip to the state game and could add the one piece of hardware the program is lacking, a Class A title, to its very full trophy case.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Alex Spark (fourth year, 18-21 overall record)

2017 record: 8-6 (Lost, 9-6, to eventual state champion Kennebunk in Class B South semifinal)

Top returning players: Chloe Chapin (Senior), Susie Graham (Senior), Emily Healy (Senior), Erin Foley (Junior), Brooke Harvey (Junior), Karli Chapin (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 25 YORK, April 28 KENNEBUNK, May 5 @ Messalonskee, May 9 YARMOUTH, May 12 THORNTON ACADEMY, May 15 @ Waynflete, May 18 @ Massabesic, May 29 LAKE REGION, June 1 @ Greely

Coach’s comment: “We have a lot of talented teams on our schedule and we’re excited to play them all. I’m excited for this group of players. They’re all very close and I’m excited to see how that translates over to the field. After last year, I know they’re excited to get back out on the field.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth had a breakthrough season a year ago, beating Waynflete in the playoffs for the first time and giving eventual champion Kennebunk a scare in the semifinals before falling. With a lot of talent returning, the Capers are hoping for even bigger things in a new-look Class B this spring.

Cape Elizabeth will be prolific on offense behind Chloe Chapin, a first-team league all-star last spring, Graham, a second-team all-star, and Healy. Karli Chapin will take draws (Chloe Chapin will as well) and will be a force in the midfield. Harvey is the top returning defender. Foley is back in goal. She’s one of the best in the league and will keep the Capers in every game.

Cape Elizabeth will be tested early and often this spring, but this squad has what it takes to hold its own against the best teams from all classes. Class B features rivals such as Greely, Waynflete and Yarmouth and former Class A power Messalonskee, so nothing will come easily in the postseason, but once the playoffs arrive, the Capers will be battle tested. After last year’s success, this season’s team is hungry and confident they can make a run. Don’t bet against them.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach: Doug Worthley (23rd year, two state championships)

2017 results:

(Boys) 13th @ Class B state meet

(Girls) 11th @ Class B state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Matt Concannon (Senior), Luc Houle (Senior), Ben Keller (Senior), Nate LaBrie (Senior), Arsen Scheindel (Senior), Matt Conley (Junior), Peter DeNinno (Junior), Will Pearson (Junior), Jack Bassett (Sophomore)

(Girls) Kelsey Kennedy (Senior), Kristen Penley (Senior), Darcy Cochran (Sophomore), Jaya McClure (Sophomore), Zoe Preble (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “A strong boys’ distance squad will bolster a decent sprint team and the throwers look to be a big part of the team. The girls are looking to build on a decent indoor season, We have lots of quality veterans and newcomers with a strong distance team helping a good sprint squad. The WMC championships are always our focus and getting as many kids to states as we can.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth’s outdoor track teams are looking to make the jump into the top 10 this spring.

The girls return Cochran, who excelled a year ago, winning the state title in the 100 hurdles, while placing second in the 300 hurdles and fifth in the 100 meter dash. She’ll be among the conference’s best sprinters and hurdlers again. McClure, Penley and freshman Savannah Braxton also sprint. Kennedy and Preble are top distance runners. Freshman Lila Gaudrault adds depth in those races. On the field side, Penley is coming off a season which saw her place sixth in the long jump. She’ll lead the jumping contingent again. Sophomore Molly O’Sullivan competes in the throws. This squad has top-end talent and depth and could move up the standings.

On the boys’ side, Concannon is coming off a strong indoor campaign and will be a top sprinter this spring (he placed third in the 200 and fifth in the 100 a year ago). Senior Simon Britt is new to outdoor track and is another sprinter to watch. Bassett (sixth in the two-mile a year ago), DiNinno and Scheindel are top returning distance runners. They’re joined by freshman Ricky Perruzzi. Pearson competes in the racewalk. He placed sixth last spring. On the field side, Conley (sixth in the high jump last season) returns. Concannon will also jump and Houle, Keller and LaBrie will be top throwers. Cape Elizabeth will be a top team in the conference and should make some noise at the state meet as well.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Andy Strout (40th year, 16 state championships)

2017 record: 11-4 (Lost, 3-2, to Yarmouth in Class B South Final)

Top returning players: Sam Berman (Senior), Dan Howard (Senior), Maximo Kesselhault (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We will be quite young at singles and we have some experience at doubles. Hope the season’s experience will pay dividends in the end.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth’s four-year run as regional champ came to a close with last year’s upset loss to Yarmouth, but that was a mere hiccup. Despite graduating five league all-stars, expect the Capers to make another run at the top spot this spring.

While the ladder was still being worked out at press time, his year’s squad will be led by veterans Berman and Howard. Kesselhault could play a bigger role than he did as a freshman. Several others are looking to play their way into the mix.

While there are many questions as the season dawns, expect by late May that Cape Elizabeth will have one of the best records in Class B South and will be primed to do great things. After two years of falling just short, this group could return the Capers to the pinnacle.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Sarah Boeckel (eighth year, one state championship)

2017 record: 7-7 (Lost, 3-2, to eventual champion Greely in Class B South semifinal)

Top returning players: Bridget Brett (Senior), Katie Gilman (Senior), Erin O’Rourke (Senior), Isabel Berman (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “I think we look solid this year. Last year’s loss to Greely was tough. We almost had it. Now we have more experience in tough matches. I have athletes who will dig points out. I think we can make it farther than we did last year.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth fell just short last spring in its quest for a repeat championship, giving eventual champion Greely its closest match before falling. This spring, the Capers will make another run at the top spot.

First-team league all-star Liv Clifford has graduated, but Cape Elizabeth will still be very strong at singles. Gilman, a second-team all-star a year ago, Berman and promising freshman Blair Holliday project to play singles. Brett and O’Rourke are back at first doubles. Junior Lauren Abrahamsen and sophomores Liv Cochran and Amanda Mikukla were vying for spots on the second doubles team at press time.

Greely remains the team to beat in Class B South, but the Capers have what it takes to deny the Rangers a repeat title. Look for this squad to steadily improve and be at its best at the end of the season. A run to a state title wouldn’t come as a surprise.

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

Senior Brendan Tinsman will be playing at Wake Forest University next year, but first, his arm and booming bat will play a big role in the title quest of Cape Elizabeth’s baseball team this spring.

Senior Sean Agrodnia will be a top pitcher for the Capers this spring.

Senior Carson Sullivan is another key returner for the Capers.

Junior Jessie Robicheaw has established herself as one of the league’s top pitchers. She’ll look to lead the Capers to the playoffs again this season.

Senior Katie Bozek is a veteran outfielder for the Capers.

Sophomore Elena Keller is a key contributor for the Capers with the bat and behind the plate.

Senior Tate Perkins can score goals with the best of them. His offensive acumen will pace another Capers’ title quest.

Senior Finn Raymond returns for his fourth varsity season. He’ll play a key role in the Capers’ success in the weeks to come.

Senior Ben Carroll will be a top midfielder for the Capers.

Senior Susie Graham and her Cape Elizabeth girls’ lacrosse teammates are eyeing the Class B title this spring.

Karli Chapin had a terrific freshman season and will be a scoring force as a sophomore.

Sophomore Jack Bassett has emerged as a top distance runner for Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ outdoor track team.

Senior Matt Concannon is the lead sprinter for the Capers.

Junior Will Pearson looks to move up from his sixth-place showing in the racewalk at last year’s Class B meet.

Junior Matt Conley scored in the high jump a year ago. He’ll contend again this spring.

Sophomore Darcy Cochran is the defending Class B state champion in the 100 hurdles. She’s also a top sprinter and will lead the Cape Elizabeth girls’ outdoor track team to big things in the weeks to come.

Sophomore Jaya McClure is another speedy sprinter.

Senior Kelsey Kennedy is a top distance threat for the Capers.

Kristen Penley was sixth in the Class B girls’ long jump last spring. She’ll look to move up this season.

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