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Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ basketball team erupted in joy last year after Ethan Murphy’s last-second layup produced the program’s first state title in 27 seasons. The Capers have a new look this winter, but hope to repeat.
More photos below.
COACH: Jim Ray (22nd year, 288-143 overall record, one state championship)
2014-15 record: 19-3 (Beat Medomak Valley, 44-42, to win Class B state title)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: J Bottomley (Senior), Marcus Donnelly (Senior), Justin Guerette (Senior), Jack O’Rourke (Senior), Quinn Hewitt (Junior), Finn Bowe (Sophomore)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 8 @ Falmouth, Dec. 22 WESTBROOK, Jan. 2 @ Marshwood, Jan. 9 @ Lake Region, Jan. 12 @ York, Jan. 22 @ Yarmouth, Jan. 26 GREELY, Feb. 2 FALMOUTH
COACH’S COMMENT: “We don’t talk about last year. We’ve moved on. We’re looking forward to this year. We have a lot of experience back. The trick is how we’ll jell. We were very balanced last year and I’m hoping for more of the same this season. We’re not clicking on both sides of the ball right now. If we can get the right chemistry, share the ball, attack the rim and knock down shots from the perimeter and our rhythm is right, we can be good.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: While the Capers might not be focusing on last year, it is worth revisiting one final time. After 26 years of close calls, Cape Elizabeth finally returned to the Class B pinnacle in the most dramatic fashion possible, erasing a fourth quarter deficit and beating Medomak Valley at the horn on an improbable layup from Ethan Murphy. While Murphy and fellow league all-star Eddie Galvin have departed, the Capers are primed to make another title run, this time in the newly formatted Class A South, which includes traditional rivals Falmouth and Greely and several unfamiliar foes.
Cape Elizabeth has some holes to fill, but also returns plenty of talent. Guerette was a third-team all-star a year ago after finishing fifth in the Western Maine Conference in rebounds (9.2 per game). He’ll be joined down low by 6-foot-6-inch freshman Andrew Hartel, who could be a matchup nightmare. Ray has several players who can play guard or forward, a list that includes Bottomley, Donnelly and Hewitt. O’Rourke, Cape Elizabeth’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, runs the point and Bowe could be deadly from his shooting guard position.
As always, the Capers will play hard for 32 minutes, will be smothering on defense and will spread the ball and share the scoring on offense. They will have to learn some new opponents and will be tested by old foes, but this team should be in the hunt throughout. A dozen victories would put Ray at the exclusive 300 career victory mark and would also likely guarantee a 19th straight playoff berth and perhaps a high seed. Cape Elizabeth has never won repeat championships and the odds are stacked against it, but this group has the ingredients to make another deep tournament run. Don’t be surprised if the Capers make late February noise once again.
COACH: Chris Castarella (ninth year, 62-90 overall record)
2014-15 record: 12-10 (Lost, 53-28, to eventual state champion Greely in Western B Final)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Maddie Bowe (Senior), Montana Braxton (Senior), Carter Harvey (Senior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 8 FALMOUTH, Dec. 15 @ Fryeburg, Jan. 2 MARSHWOOD, Jan. 9 LAKE REGION, Jan. 12 YORK, Jan. 26 @ Greely, Feb. 2 Falmouth, Feb. 4 FRYEBURG
COACH’S COMMENT: “We have a lot of good pieces, but a lot of kids haven’t gotten a lot of varsity minutes. We have some athletic freshmen. Hopefully our defense can generate some transition looks on offense. We have to find a way to set up our shooters. We have some kids who can shoot from the outside. We have a tough schedule like we do every year. I just want to win enough games to make the playoffs. I don’t care about our seed because anything can happen once you get in, like with us last year. I expect we’ll get better as we go along.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth stole the headlines a year ago with a stirring playoff run that resulted in its first trip to the regional final this century. While the Capers finally met their match in eventual state champion Greely, they were one of Feburary’s feel-good stories. The Capers have some holes to fill this time around and will be challenged almost every time out in the newly classified Class A South, but this is a team you can never overlook.
The uncertainty at the season’s outset surrounds Braxton, a first-team league all-star last winter, who is an elite athlete and projects to be a top scorer. She was still recovering from concussion symptoms, but it’s hoped she’ll be a factor soon. In the meantime, Bowe (Cape Elizabeth’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year) and Harvey will lead the scoring brigade, perhaps with help from freshman Jess Robicheaw. Sophomore Erin O’Rourke and freshman Brooke Harvey will see time at the point guard position. Senior Mo Lavallee, a top defender, and freshman Allison Ingalls are forwards to watch. This will be a collective effort.
Cape Elizabeth will be scrappy, athletic and won’t give up easy baskets. If the offense is consistent, the Capers will be formidable. This team just wants to get to the dance and as it knows better than anyone, anything can happen from there. Cape Elizabeth won’t be boring, that’s for sure.
COACH: Matthew Buotte (fourth year, 25-31-3 overall record)
2014-15 record: 10-9-1 (Lost, 6-3, to Kennebunk in Western B semifinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Matt Riggle (Senior), Grant Rusk (Senior), Eli Babcock (Junior), Ben Ekedahl (Junior), Alex Glidden (Sophomore)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 16 @ Kennebunk, Dec. 18 @ EL, Dec. 21 YARMOUTH, Dec. 23 @ Gorham, Jan. 2 @ York, Jan. 7 CHEVERUS, Jan. 23 GREELY, Jan. 28 KENNEBUNK, Feb. 4 SCARBOROUGH, Feb. 15 @ Yarmouth
COACH’S COMMENT: “We want to improve with every game. I know it’s cliche, but we have a very young team and are looking to grow and get better every single day. We have a lot of young defensemen who have tremendous upside and some great leaders and mentors in our dressing room. My response to those asking how we will be this year is, ‘Ask me in February, I will have a better idea.’”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: While Cape Elizabeth’s fate will be determined down the road, the Capers do enter the season with reason for optimism. Cape Elizabeth has been to the semifinals in four of the past five seasons, but hasn’t been able to advance any farther. This year’s team has the looks of a playoff contender once again.
Offensively, Ekedahl (5 goals, 13 assists in 2014-15) and Riggle (8 goals, 7 assists) lead the way. Ekedahl has a penchant for the big moment and Riggle is seasoned. Glidden (7 goals last season) is another potential finisher. Junior Gavin Spidle is moving from defense to offense and will be in the mix, as will freshman Phil Tarling. Defensively, the Capers will rely on Babcock and sophomore Gus Frankwicz. Rusk returns in goal and will be spelled at times by sophomore Peter Haber.
Cape Elizabeth is in a very tough and balanced region, but the Capers can compete with everyone. The program’s success will be determined by how quickly it jells and if it improves steadily as the season progresses. A sixth straight playoff trip is likely. If Cape Elizabeth is clicking on all cylinders at that point, it might just go on a long run.
COACH: Bob Mills (fourth year, 23-31-4 overall record)
2014-15 record: 8-11-1 (Lost, 7-1, to Falmouth in West Region semifinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Hannah Bosworth (Junior), Eliza Connolly (Junior), Kate Ginder (Junior), Abby Joy (Sophomore)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 12 @ Cheverus, Dec. 19 FALMOUTH, Dec. 22 GREELY, Jan. 16 @ Leavitt/EL, Jan. 18 @ Falmouth, Jan. 23 CHEVERUS
COACH’S COMMENT: “After graduating nine seniors, we’re a very young team this season. We have no seniors, but we do have a group of core, skilled players who should be able to keep us in most games. Abby is coming into her own and has the potential to be one of the best goalies in the state. With Eliza and Kate powering our defense, we should be strong. Hannah is strong on the puck and creates scoring chances every game. Our goals are to stay healthy and earn a third consecutive playoff bid. We need to work hard every game.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth, which again includes players from South Portland and Waynflete, has been one of the most exciting teams in the state the past couple seasons, but has some big holes to fill this winter. All-stars Kathryn Clark and Julia Ginder lead a list of top players who have departed, but the cupboard isn’t bare. Cape Elizabeth opened with a 5-2 win over York, then lost, 9-5, to Yarmouth, 8-1 to Lewiston and twice to Scarborough, 2-0 and 5-3.
Thus far, the offense has been led by captains Bosworth, Connolly and Kate Ginder. Freshmen Abby Eckdahl, Sophie Miller and Sophia Venditti (a South Portland student) will be heard from as well. Bosworth (All-Conference second-team last year) and Ginder (All-Conference first-team) anchor the defense in front of Joy, another Red Riot, who has a great upside.
Cape Elizabeth will have its hands full against the top teams, but should score goals and win games against the balance of the foes on its schedule. Look for steady improvement and another playoff berth as the end result.
COACH: Doug Worthley (20th year)
(BOYS) Tie-12th @ Class B state meet
(GIRLS) 10th @ Class B state meet
(BOYS) Jared Duperre (Senior), Nikko Pappas (Senior), Henry Shroder (Senior), Will Steidl (Senior), Roman Cloutier (Junior), Luc Houle (Junior), Brett McAllister (Junior), Harry Queeney (Junior)
(GIRLS) Sam Feenstra (Senior), Lily Norris (Senior), Katie Olberholtzer (Senior), Lily Bergh (Junior), Anna Friberg (Junior), Liv Palma (Junior), Emma Schoonover (Junior), Erin Thibeault (Junior)
COACH’S COMMENT: “The boys look to improve from last year. The throwers look very strong. Rookies will definitely be a huge factor this season. The girls look to be strong and hope to land in the top six in the state behind many returning veterans.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth has a nice mixture of veterans and newcomers this winter and that should spell a successful campaign.
The boys return state meet scorer Queeney, who placed sixth in the high jump last year. Queeney will also sprint, along with McAlister, Steidl and sophomores Hajmil Carr, Matt Concannon and Hans Kremer. Duperre is a distance runner to watch. Cloutier, Houle, Pappas and sophomore Fox Silva make up a formidable throwing contingent. Shroder also has experience, while new seniors Brandon Ledoux and Riley Pillsbury, junior Matt Galvin and sophomore Ethan Avantaggio add depth. The Capers have what it takes to get back into the top five in February.
On the girls’ side, after consecutive seventh-place state meet showings, Cape Elizabeth hopes to move up. Oberholtzer (third in the high jump) and Feenstra (fourth in the mile) are the lone returning state meet scorers. Feenstra is joined in the distance races by Friberg and Palma. Norris and Olberholtzer are sprinters and jumpers. Bergh, Schoonover and Thibeault also sprint. Sophomores Sophie Garland-Dore and Kristen Penley and freshmen Annika Demeter and Emelie Jarquin will also be heard from. The Capers will be very competitive in the regular season and in February.
COACH: Ben Raymond (10th year, three state championships)
(BOYS) Class A state champions
(GIRLS) 3rd @ Class A state meet
(BOYS) Stephen Bennett (Senior), Tommy Brett (Senior), Alex Mukai (Senior), RJ Sarka (Senior), Kyle Long (Junior), Elliot McGinn (Junior), James Planisek (Junior), Connor Thoreck (Junior), Owen Thoreck (Junior), Ben Carroll (Sophomore), Andrew Herrera (Sophomore), Dan Howard (Sophomore), Sam Loring (Sophomore)
(GIRLS) Lexie Bakke (Senior), Phoebe Coburn (Senior), Mya Hodgdon (Senior), Gabby Lawrence (Senior), Gabrielle Raymond (Senior), Nakita Wallace (Senior), Rose Baillie (Junior), Maggie Baker (Sophomore)
COACH’S COMMENT:“The boys return a great corps from last season’s championship team. We did lose a lot of points with Harry Homans moving out of state, but we have some quality freshmen coming in to try to help. We have strong senior leadership and almost every upperclassman that returns scored points at last year’s state meet. We’re looking to compete every single day and to improve as individuals and as a team. The girls have some quality seniors and upperclassmen who will help a fast group of freshmen adjust and have a great time in the pool. In our first meet of the season, two of our freshmen already had swims that placed them in the top 15 in Cape history, which is pretty fast. The coaches are really excited about this young group and are looking forward to watching it all come together, the upperclass experience with the freshmen speed. It should be an outstanding year.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both Cape Elizabeth teams are in for outstanding seasons.
The boys are coming off their first championship season this century and despite the departure of Homans (who won the 500 freestyle with a record time and the individual medley a year ago), are loaded for bear once more. Loring was third in the 200 free and fourth in the breaststroke as a freshman and could move up. Mukai was third in the 500 free and fourth in the 200 free last winter and will be a top distance freestyler. Sarka hopes to move up in the sprint freestyle (he was seventh in the 50 free last winter). Long (seventh in the backstroke and eighth in the 100 free) will be a threat in the freestyle, IM and backstroke. Bennett (distance freestyle), Brett (50 free, breaststroke), Carroll (sprint freestyle), Herrera (fly, backstroke, IM), Howard (fly, backstroke, IM), McGinn (butterfly), Connor Thoreck (sprint freestyle, breaststroke), Owen Thoreck (sprint freestyle) and Planisek (freestyle, breaststroke) all boast experience. Newcomers to watch include freshmen Ryan Connelly (backstroke, distance freestyle), Rohan Freedman (sprint freestyle, IM), Oliver Kraft (IM, fly, freestyle) and Matt Yim (distance freestyle). The Capers will be tested by many teams in the regular season and in the postseason (most notably by Cheverus), but when all is said and done, this group has what it takes to capture a repeat crown.
On the girls’ side, a fifth straight top five state meet finish appears likely. Top returners include Baillie (sprint freestyle, IM), Baker (50 free), Bakke (distance freestyle), Coburn (sprint freestyle), Hodgdon (backstroke), Lawrence (distance freestyle), Raymond (100 free) and Wallace (sprint freestyle). Several freshmen arrive to help the cause. That group includes Hope Campbell (freestyle, IM), Casey Concannon (freestyle), Maddie Culkin (IM, freestyle, breaststroke), Zahra Freedman (backstroke), Kate Friberg (freestyle) Alicia Lawrence (freestyle), Jade Lindenau (freestyle, IM, fly), Madeline McCormick (fly, breaststroke, IM), Maria Smith (fly), Daphne Te Bokhurst (freestyle, backstroke, IM), Olivia Tighe (freestyle, fly, backstroke) and Corinne Wight (backstroke, freestyle). If this group develops as hoped, look out, Cape Elizabeth could win it all.
(BOYS) No score @ Class B meet
(GIRLS) 4th @ Class B meet
COACH: Jeff Davis (third year)
(BOYS) No score @ Class B state meet
(GIRLS) Class B state champions
(BOYS) Jon Fiutak (Junior), Cole Spencer (Junior)
(GIRLS) Emma Dvorzniak (Senior), Kinnon McGrath (Junior), Caroline Paclat (Junior)
COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re in a new class, Class A, so although our regular season will look the same, we’ll be newcomers at the state meet. The girls, coming off two straight championships, have lots of experience as well as a few impressive newcomers. The boys have a solid group of newcomers and we have the potential to surprise people this year.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth once again will boast a strong Alpine ski team, but this year, the Capers will compete in Class A.
The girls repeated as Class B champion last winter and this year, they return Dvorozniak (second in the slalom and third in the giant slalom a year ago), McGrath (17th in the GS, 19th in the slalom) and Paclat (fifth in the GS, ninth in the slalom). Freshmen Tori McGrath and Morgan Stewart are newcomers to watch. A third straight title won’t come easily, but it isn’t out of the question.
On the boys’ side, after not scoring as a team, look for Fiutak (eighth in the slalom and 10th in the GS) to lead the way. Spencer also has experience. Freshman Duncan Geikie, Bearh Huffard and Devon Lathrop provide depth and should allow the Capers to score. This team could make great strides between now and February.
COACHES: Shawn Guerrette (third year) and Stanis Moody-Roberts (first year)
(BOYS) 7th @ Class B state meet
(GIRLS) 9th @ Class B state meet
(BOYS) Calvin Barber (Junior), Will Corsello (Junior), Jon Fiutak (Junior), Jack O’Brien (Junior), Henry Menz (Sophomore)
(GIRLS) Caitie O’Sullivan (Senior)
COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m hoping that both our teams continue improving. With the addition of the freshman boys, we’re starting to build a core group that could be competitive this year and next.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth hopes to move up the Nordic standings this year as Guerrette is joined by a former standout in Moody-Roberts.
The boys feature Menz, who was 18th in the classic and 19th in the freestyle as a freshman. Barber and O’Brien are the captains and Corsello also has experience. Sam Prabble and freshmen Rowan Connolly, Peter DiNinno and Cullen Sullivan round out a promising team that should be able to compete in a tough league and place well at states.
On the girls’ side, O’Sullivan leads the way. Freshman Hannah Babcock is a new skier to watch. The Capers will steadily improve and will be ready to turn heads in February.
Finn Bowe turned heads as a freshman and should be an even bigger part of Cape Elizabeth’s success in the weeks to come.
Senior Marcus Donnelly can hit tough shots.
Senior Justin Guerette will battle against the league’s best big men.
Junior Quinn Hewitt is another key returner.
Senior Jack O’Rourke played a key role a year ago and knows how to win big games.
Senior Maddie Bowe helped Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ basketball team make an improbable run to the regional final a year ago and returns hoping for more February glory.
Senior Montana Braxton is one of the state’s premier athletes and will be tough to stop.
Senior Carter Harvey will also look to score her share of points.
Junior Ben Ekedahl is a top returning player for a Cape Elizabeth boys’ hockey team seeking to get back to Lewiston.
Senior Matt Riggle will be a top scorer for the Capers.
Junior Hannah Bosworth will be a scoring machine for the Cape Elizabeth girls’ hockey team.
Junior captain Kate Ginder is back to anchor the defense.
Abby Joy is back in goal this winter.