Cape Elizabeth Capers Spring Sports Preview

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Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team won a surprise Class B state title a year ago and is back looking for another this spring.

File photos.

More photos below.

BASEBALL

Coach: Glenn Reeves (first year)

2018 record: 12-6 (Lost, 8-2, to Greely in Class B South semifinals)

Top returning players: Jameson Bakke (Senior), Jake Tinsman (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 22 GREELY, May 3 FREEPORT, May 6 @ Cape Elizabeth, May 8 YARMOUTH, May 20 @ Yarmouth, May 24 @ Greely

Coach’s comment: “While the talk around town is that this will be a rebuilding year, our sights are clearly set on winning the state championship. The program is focusing on teaching the fundamentals and playing the game the right way and good things happen when you take care of those little things. We will be learning on the fly and while there will be some setbacks, we will focus on getting better week to week and plan to hit our stride in June for the playoff run. There is an old saying, ‘A champion team will always beat a team of champions.’ We’re a champion team in the making.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: After spending the past several seasons as one of the favorites, Cape Elizabeth finds itself in a different role this spring, but if Reeves’ optimism bears out, the Capers might yet again be one of the last teams standing. Reeves, who replaces Andrew Wood as coach, is a former Portland Sea Dog. He’s assisted by John Casey, a longtime baseball and basketball coach in town. They inherit a squad that has undergone a lot of change, but one that is excited about the opportunity at hand as it pursues a 19th straight playoff berth. Cape Elizabeth started Friday with a 3-2 loss to Lake Region, as it couldn’t hold a late two-run lead.

The loss of Brendan Tinsman will certainly be felt. Tinsman, who is now crushing home runs with regularity for Wake Forest University, was the state’s top senior player a year ago and a catcher that few dared run against. Bakke or Jake Tinsman will move behind the plate this season. On the mound, Cape Elizabeth will turn to Bakke (five scoreless innings with a dozen strikeouts in Friday’s opener), seniors Mike MacKenzie and Ryan Oberholtzer, juniors Cole Hoffman and Aidan Lee, sophomores Charlie Bischoff, Charlie Carver, McGregor Francis and Ben Pierce and freshmen Colin Smith and Hayden Webber. The rest of the squad consists of seniors Ted Choi and Sean O’Sullivan, juniors Liam Concannon and Luke Stephen and sophomores Will Altenberg and Patrick O’Brien.

There are a lot of question marks as to who will play where and some growing pains will ensue, especially against a daunting schedule, but the talent and promise are there. Look for Cape Elizabeth to remain a contender and if everything comes together as hoped, a long postseason stay will be the end result.

SOFTBALL

Coach: Joe Henrikson (22nd year, 262-114 overall record, one state championship)

2018 record: 9-9 (Lost, 9-8, in nine-innings, to Wells in Class B South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Katie Ledoux (Senior), Jessie Robicheaw (Senior), Elena Keller (Junior), Anna Cornell (Sophomore), Haley McIntyre (Sophomore), Julia Torre (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 22 GREELY, April 26 @ Fryeburg, May 1 @ York, May 8 YARMOUTH, May 13 YORK, May 20 @ Yarmouth, May 24 @ Greely

Coach’s comment: “We’re very young this year. We only have two seniors. I have five or six freshmen who will be on varsity. I think we’ll be respectable. A lot depends on the freshmen and how they produce and how they react to the speed of varsity. We hope to be in the mix.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth should very much be in the mix this spring, as it always seems to be. The Capers have made the playoffs eight years running and haven’t finished less than .500 this century. Look for the good times to continue this season (which began Friday with a 7-6 come-from-behind win over Lake Region)

Cape Elizabeth returns Robicheaw for a fourth year on the mound. Robicheaw was a first-team league all-star in 2018 and will not only keep the Capers competitive with her arm, but with her potent bat as well. Cornell was a second-team all-star as a freshman and is another hurler the opposition has to respect. She’s also capable of doing damage at the plate. Keller will be behind the plate at catcher and she’ll do damage when she steps to it. Torre, a first-team all-star a season ago, is another top hitter who will anchor the infield at shortstop. Ledoux is a veteran at second base and McIntyre is a top returning outfielder. After that, several girls have a chance to step up and make a name for themselves.

While York is the preseason favorite, Cape Elizabeth is among a group of teams that will be chasing the Wildcats. Don’t be surprised if the Capers improve their win/loss mark from a year ago, perhaps by quite a bit, and save their best softball for June.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Ben Raymond (22nd year, 269-47 overall record, 11 state championships)

2018 record: 10-4 (Lost, 15-6, to eventual champion Thornton Academy in Class A South Final)

Top returning players: Sam Dresser (Senior), Brendan Goss (Senior), Andrew Hartel (Senior), Devon Lathrop (Senior), Phil Tarling (Senior), Andrew Carroll (Junior), Jack Dresser (Junior), Killian Lathrop (Junior), Max Patterson (Junior), Nick Clifford (Sophomore), Archie McEvoy (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 23 YARMOUTH, April 26 TA, May 3 FALMOUTH, May 7 @ Greely, May 18 @ South Portland, May 23 @ Yarmouth, May 30 GREELY

Coach’s comment: “We have a good group back and some good freshmen. We defend well and Jack’s great in goal. We may be a little better defensively right now, but we’ll be good on offense. We don’t have a dominant scorer, but all the guys can handle the ball and score. We want to play in the Southern Maine final and the state final. TA is our biggest competition. It will come down to who plays the best at the end.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth is accustomed to playing its best at the end, as it’s reached the regional final or better every year for decades, but the gap between the Capers and Thornton Academy was steep last season. This spring, don’t be surprised if Cape Elizabeth bridges it and winds up back atop the heap. The Capers started with an emphatic 17-6 win over defending Class C champion in Friday’s season opener.

Jack Dresser was a second-team all-star in 2018 and will be one of the state’s top goalies this season. He’s supported by a group of talented defensemen, which includes Carroll, Goss, Hartel, Patterson and sophomore Gavin Simopoulos. Offensively, Devon Lathrop will look to give the Capers an advantage in possession with his faceoff skills. In the midfield, Sam Dresser (a first-team all-star last year), Killian Lathrop, Clifford and freshman Nick Boudreau will be strong. Up top, look for McEvoy, Tarling (four goals in the opener), senior Nick Martin (six goals, four assists against Waynflete), freshman Colin Campbell and freshman Tiernan Lathrop will be top threats.

While Cape Elizabeth might not boast as many household names as some years, the depth and overall talent on the roster are undeniable. A tough schedule will need to be navigated and the Capers will probably stumble a time or two, but as always, they’ll be at their best in June. When all is said and done, this year’s squad has the earmarks of a championship team.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Alex Spark (fifth year, 28-26 overall record, one state championship)

2018 record: 10-5 (Beat Yarmouth, 12-11, in OT, to win Class B state championship)

Top returning players: Erin Foley (Senior), Brooke Harvey (Senior), Tori McGrath (Senior), Karli Chapin (Junior), Julia Thoreck (Junior), Laura Ryer (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 26 @ Kennebunk, May 8 @ Yarmouth, May 16 WAYNFLETE, May 20 MASSABESIC, May 30 GREELY

Coach’s comment: “Last year was special, but it’s a new team this year with new goals. We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores rising up through the program. We lost so many key attackers to graduation, so we want to jell on the field and work well together. Being a cohesive group who love to play together is the goal. The girls are competitive. When the competition is high, we rise.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth rose to the pinnacle a year ago in absolutely epic and memorable fashion, rallying to tie favored Yarmouth late in regulation on a goal from Emily Healy, then taking home its first Class B state championship on Healy’s winner in overtime. Healy, along with all-stars Chloe Chapin, Susie Graham and others have departed, but this program remains stocked and is hungry to write its own chapter this spring.

The Capers have the luxury few teams do, bringing back a goalie with three years experience. Foley, a first-team league all-star in 2018, will be a leader and last line of defense. She comes up biggest in the biggest spots. Defensively, Ryer, who saved her best play as a freshman for the end of last season, leads the way. In the midfield, Chapin (who scored the winning goal to give Cape Elizabeth’s soccer its title back in November) and Harvey, who each made the second-team a year ago, along with McGrath and Thoreck (who will also see time on attack), will be factors all over the field, as well as scoring threats.

The Capers have some goal-scoring to replace, but that will come. This team’s talent, athleticism and drive are undeniable. While teams like Greely (which Cape Elizabeth ousted in last year’s semifinal round) and Yarmouth would love to serve up revenge, they might just be disappointed again come June once this promising squad puts it all together.

OUTDOOR TRACK

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

2018 results:

(Boys) tie-13th @ Class B state meet

(Girls) 7th @ Class B state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Matt Conley (Senior), Peter DeNinno (Senior), Will Pearson (Senior), Jack Bassett (Junior), Jack Fibich (Junior), Vince Inhorn (Junior), Ricky Perruzzi (Sophomore)

(Girls) Camilla Grosso (Senior), Kelsey Kennedy (Senior), Chloe Butzel (Junior), Emma Clarke (Junior), Darcy Cochran (Junior), Genevieve Depke (Junior), Meredith Hetrick (Junior), Jaya McClure (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We look to put more boys into the state meet. We have a young but strong group of athletes. We look forward to a good building year. The girls look to build on last year’s state meet and get more qualifiers for states.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth once again has a solid core of athletes as a new season dawns.

The girls’ squad features Cochran, who produced 31 points all by herself at last year’s Class B state meet, winning the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, while placing second in the 200 and fifth in the 100. She’ll be a force in the sprints and hurdles again and will be joined by sophomore Isabelle O’Grady and freshman Camden Woods. McClure will be a contender in the 400. The distance crew is led by Butzel, Depke, Grosso (seventh in the two-mile last season), Hetrick and Kennedy. Freshman Marcella Hesser will run middle distance events. On the field side, Cochran will compete in the jumps, as will Hesser. Clarke and sophomores Alison Gerety and Johanna Powers are top throwers. Freshman Ella Bromage hopes to score in the sprints and jumps. The Capers will have their hands full against talented competition in the league, but they will hold their own. By June, Cape Elizabeth will be poised for another strong state meet showing.

On the boys’ side, Bassett (fourth in the two-mile last season) returns to pace a strong distance contingent, which also includes DiNinno and Perruzzi. Pearson placed fifth in the racewalk last spring and hopes to move up this season. Sophomore Keegan O’Grady will contend in the middle distance. Conley and Fibich are top returning sprinters. They’re bolstered by freshmen Oscar Gustafson, Matt Laughlin, Vaughn Lindenau, Carter Merriam, Ethan Smith, Gannon Stewart and Will Thornton. On the field side, Cape Elizabeth should be strong in the jumps behind Conley, Fibich, Gustafson, Merriam and sophomore Finn McQueeney. Throwers to watch include Inhorn, Merriam and McQueeney. There are enough potential scorers on this roster for the Capers to hang tough against talented league foes and look to improve on last year’s state meet finish.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Andy Strout (41st year, 16 state championships)

2018 record: 9-6 (Lost, 4-1, to Freeport in Class B South Final)

Top returning players: Gus LaRou (Senior), Matt Clarke (Junior), Alex Hansen (Junior), Maximo Kesselhault (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We have only one senior on the team, but with our returning experience, we hope to compete with the best.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth always competes with the best and is often the best team around. Don’t be surprised if that’s the case when all is said and done this spring.

Hansen was a first-team all-star last spring and figures to lead the singles contingent again. Kesselhault was also an all-star last season, as a doubles player. He’ll play a key role again, as will veterans Clarke and LaRou. Freshman Tommy Villiotte is a newcomer to watch.

A 10th straight trip to the regional final is the likely end result and if the Capers put it all together, a first state championship since 2015 could ensue.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

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

2018 record: 12-3 (Lost, 5-0, to Lincoln Academy in Class B South Final)

Top returning players: Isabel Berman (Junior), Blair Hollyday (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We had a great season last year. I’m looking for our experienced players to be leaders and bring the younger players along with them. We’ve got a great group of athletes that work hard and like to win. It should be a great season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth upset undefeated Greely during a stirring playoff run a year ago which ended at the hands of Lincoln Academy. This season, the Capers look to take it all the way.

Hollyday was a first-team league all-star as a freshman in 2018 and she’s back to lead the way at first singles. Berman (a second-team all-star last year) will move into the number two slot. Senior Emelie Jarquin, who didn’t play last year, will play third singles. Boeckel has some options as doubles and was sorting that out at press time.

Cape Elizabeth has some hurdles to clear during the regular season, but should once again boast a very good record when all is said and done. This time around, the Capers could be the last team standing.

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

Senior Jameson Bakke is one of just a few veteran players on this spring’s Cape Elizabeth baseball team. Bakke will see time on the mound and behind the plate.

Senior Jessie Robicheaw will again be the ace pitcher for Cape Elizabeth’s always-competitive softball team.

Junior Jack Dresser returns in goal for Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team, which hopes to return to the top of the heap in June.

Archie McEvoy is coming off a solid freshman season. He’ll be a scorer to watch for the Capers this year.

Senior Sam Dresser was a league all-star in 2018 and will be a force in the midfield.

Senior Phil Tarling will score his share of goals in the weeks to come.

Junior Karli Chapin already has a soccer championship game-winning goal to her credit this school year. She hopes to lead the Cape Elizabeth girls’ lacrosse team to the mountaintop as well.

Senior Erin Foley is back for her fourth season in goal for the Capers.

Senior midfielder Brooke Harvey is a returning all-star.

Junior Jack Bassett was fourth in the Class B two-mile last season is a top returner for Cape Elizabeth’s boys’  outdoor track team.

Senior Will Pearson will be a top racewalker in the conference.

Junior Darcy Cochran is a scoring machine in the sprints and hurdles for a talented Cape Elizabeth girls’ outdoor track squad.

Senior Camilla Grosso finished seventh in the two-mile at last year’s state meet and will pace Cape Elizabeth’s distance squad 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.