Cape Elizabeth Capers Winter Sports Preview

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Finn Bowe has produced countless highlights for the Cape Elizabeth boys’ basketball team. Now, as a senior, Bowe hopes to lead the Capers to the Class B state title.

File photos.

More photos below.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Coach: Jim Ray (24th year, 315-156 overall record, one state championship)

2016-17 record: 12-8 (Lost, 43-38, to Falmouth in Class A South semifinals)

Top returning players: Finn Bowe (Senior), David Hare (Senior), Andrew Hartel (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 8 GREELY, Dec. 20 @ Waynflete, Dec. 27 vs. Falmouth @ Expo, Dec. 29 WESTBROOK, Jan. 5 BRUNSWICK, Jan. 9 YARMOUTH, Jan. 23 @ Yarmouth, Jan. 30 @ Greely, Feb. 2 WELLS, Feb. 6 @ Gray-NG

Coach’s comment: “I have a great group of kids and good leaders. They’re fun to coach. We’ve been going nine deep in the preseason to see who performs. We don’t know night to night who will score. The guys have the green light, but we want open shots. We’ll keep working and learning. We always hope to get better as the season goes along.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: After yet another solid season in Class A South, Cape Elizabeth returns to Class B this winter. The Capers have the necessary firepower to navigate a challenging regular season schedule and to make a serious run at a state title.

The offense will be led by Bowe, who battled back from injury to produce the team’s most memorable tournament moment last season, a game-winning free throw in overtime against Brunswick in the quarterfinals. Bowe, a second-team All-Conference selection, is a captain, who is well known for his shooting precision, but he can play any position on the floor. Hare, a captain, will run the offense as the point guard. Hartel, who now stands 6-foot-9, will be a matchup nightmare in the post. Senior guards Liam Jacobson and Val Murphy and freshman Nathan Mullen provide depth in the backcourt, while juniors Tanner Carpenter and Aman Hagos look to play a bigger role in the frontcourt.

As always, Cape Elizabeth will play tenacious defense and will move the ball to produce the best shot on offense. The Capers will be tested and battle-hardened by their regular season schedule and by the time the playoffs begin, Cape Elizabeth will be in position to make a run. After some frustrating near-misses, these Capers could finish the job.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Coach: Chris Casterella (11th year, 70-119 overall record)

2016-17 record: 1-17 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Erin O’Rourke (Senior), Brooke Harvey (Junior), Alison Ingalls (Junior), Isabel Berman (Sophomore), Karli Chapin (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Dec. 8 @ Greely, Dec. 20 WAYNFLETE, Jan. 5 BRUNSWICK, Jan. 9 @ Yarmouth, Jan. 11 LAKE REGION, Jan. 13 FALMOUTH, Jan. 23 YARMOUTH, Jan. 27 @ Freeport, Jan. 30 GREELY, Feb. 6 GRAY-NG, Feb. 8 @ Poland

Coach’s comment: “We return a lot, but we’re still young. We only have one senior. We’ll have to play our best game every night to be competitive. We’re small and athletic. Anyone can score. The challenge for us is learning how to win. That takes experience. There are a lot of good teams on our schedule. Every night will be a battle. We hope to get better and improve on last year.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth took its lumps a year ago, but that experience could pay off this winter. The Capers are still in a building mode, but could make a leap up the standings if all goes well.

O’Rourke, a guard, is the top returning scorer. She averaged 8.8 points and 2.3 assists per game in 2016-17. Harvey returns in the point guard spot. Berman and Chapin will play bigger roles in the backcourt this winter. Ingalls was 10th in the league in rebounds (6.6) last year. She’ll be a top frontcourt presence. Junior Jessie Robicheaw, who has enjoyed great success in volleyball and softball, is another forward to watch. Junior Saylor Wood and sophomore Zoe Preble will provide guard depth.

Cape Elizabeth will be tested by tough teams from multiple classes, but the Capers know they can hang tough. Learning how to prevail will be the key. Once the wins come, look out. This is a squad that could wind up in the tournament and could spring an upset if it gets there.

BOYS’ HOCKEY

Coach: Matt Buotte (sixth year, 45-47-6 overall record)

2016-17 record: 12-6-1 (Lost, 4-1, to Yarmouth in Class B South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Ryan Collins (Senior), Gus Frankwicz (Senior), Ethan Gillespie (Senior), Alex Glidden (Senior), Peter Haber (Senior), Phil Tarling (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 14 ST. DOM’S, Dec. 16 @ Greely, Dec. 22 @ Scarborough, Jan. 25 YORK, Jan. 27 CHEVERUS, Feb. 3 @ Yarmouth, Feb. 17 YARMOUTH

Coach’s comment: “’We graduated a lot of talent, so we’re hoping to get back to the playoffs and see what happens. In many ways, this is a transition year, so we want to get our systems and concepts into place as quickly as possible and see where it takes us.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: While graduation took its toll on the Capers, they can’t be overlooked and by the end of the year, they will be on the short list of teams capable of going all the way.

Haber returns in goal. He was 10-5-1 with a 2.64 goals-against-average and an .886 save percentage and was a third-team all-star in 2016-17. He’s a solid building block. Defensively, Gillespie will lead the way. He had a plus/minus of 12 last winter. Offensively, Cape Elizabeth features Glidden (a third-team all-star last season) and Tarling (an honorable mention). Tarling had 13 goals and 11 assists and Glidden scored nine goals with 18 assists. Both figure to put the puck in the net with regularity. Collins (8 goals, 10 assists) and Frankwicz (2 goals, 7 assists), along with freshman Gavin Simpopoulos, are other potential scorers to watch.

The Capers are always in the thick of things in Class B South and despite a learning curve, this year’s team will be no different. Expect steady improvement, another playoff berth and perhaps this is the year that Cape Elizabeth gets the bounces to go its way so it can advance in the postseason.

GIRLS’ HOCKEY

Coach: Bob Mills (sixth year, 39-54-4 overall record)

2016-17 record: 10-10 (Lost, 5-1, to Scarborough in South Region semifinals)

Top returning players: Laura Baginski (Senior), Abby Joy (Senior), Erika Miller (Senior), Sophia Venditti (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 9 GREELY, Dec. 13 LEWISTON, Dec. 16 PORTLAND/DEERING, Dec. 27 @ Scarborough, Jan. 3 @ Cheverus, Jan. 6 ST. DOM’S, Jan. 15 @ Portland/Deering, Jan. 22 SCARBOROUGH, Jan. 27 CHEVERUS, Feb. 1 FALMOUTH

Coach’s comment: “We have a promising and skilled group of ninth graders on the team this year to complement our core returning players. This year’s team boasts more depth than we have had in several years. Abby is one of the best goalies in the state and will make us competitive in every game. With several skaters on both offense and defense that can score, we hope to have a balanced game top to bottom. Our goal this season is to match up with the best teams in the state. If we can stay healthy and continue to work hard and improve, we have a good chance of doing so.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete co-op team is off to a hot start this winter and could be in for a memorable season. The squad has already downed Gorham/Bonny Eagle/Massabesic (12-2), defending regional champion Falmouth (7-3) and Biddeford (5-1) and could be in line for its first winning season since 2013-14.

As has already been witnessed, Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete’s offense could be prolific. Venditti, who had 19 goals and 15 assists during an all-star season a year ago, already scored five times in the opener and had nine goals so far this season at press time. Baginski and Miller are captains and also have experience on the front line. That unit is bolstered by the addition of some terrific young players, freshmen Nicoletta Coupe (4 goals, 4 assists to date) and Koto Yamada (4 goals, 6 assists in three games). Another freshman, Abbey Agrodnia, is a defenseman, but has already scored twice and assisted on three other goals. Freshman Annie Guimond is another new defender to watch. Joy returns in goal. She was an all-star last winter and is a captain this season. She’ll be one of the best goalies around who will be at her best in big games.

For many years, the South Region consisted of Falmouth and Scarborough and everyone else, but it appears that Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete is ready to make the jump to top contender status. With a great mix of experience and youth, this team will only continue to improve and excite. Don’t be surprise if Cape Elizabeth/South Portland/Waynflete is one of the last teams standing in February.

INDOOR TRACK

Coach: Doug Worthley (22nd year)

2016-17 results:

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

(Girls) 12th @ Class B state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Matt Concannon (Senior), Luc Houle (Senior)

(Girls) Kristen Penley (Senior), Darcy Cochran (Sophomore), Jaya McClure (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “The boys have a smaller but good squad with a few top-flight athletes. We hope to place in the top 10 at states. The girls have a young and strong team. We should be in the top 10.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Cape Elizabeth track program features some standout athletes this winter.

The boys will be led by Concannon, a first-rate sprinter who was runner-up in the 55 and seventh in the 200 last winter. Seniors Simon Britt and Michael Brooks are part of the sprint contingent as well and Theo Brucker, Aidan Connor, Max Patterson and Calvin Stoughton will also be heard from. On the field side, Houle was fourth in the shot put last season. Seniors Ben Keller and Ryan Weare are other top throwers. Britt, Brooks and Concannon will look to score in the jumps. The Capers should hold their own in the conference and could move into the top 10 at the state meet.

On the girls’ side, Cochran is a top returner. As a freshman, she won the 55 hurdles and was fourth in the 200. She’ll be a force to be reckoned with in both events yet again. McClure, Penley, senior Sophie Garland-Dore and freshman Savannah Braxton will also compete in the sprints. Grosso is a top distance runner. Kaitlin Norrad and freshman Lila Gaudrault, who had a strong cross country season, will also be heard from. Braxton, McClure and Penley are top jumpers. Look for Cape Elizabeth to produce some event winners and be one of the best teams in the conference and the state.

SWIMMING

Coach: Ben Raymond (12th year, four state championships)

2016-17 results:

(Boys) 4th @ Class B state meet

(Girls) Class B state champions

Top returners:

(Boys) Sam Berman (Senior), Ben Carroll (Senior), Andrew Herrera (Senior), Dan Howard (Senior), Sam Loring (Senior), Ryan Connelly (Junior), Rohan Freedman (Junior), Oliver Kraft (Junior), Jacob Membrino (Junior), Matt Yim (Junior)

(Girls) Hope Campbell (Junior), Casey Concannon (Junior), Zahra Freedman (Junior), Alicia Lawrence (Junior), Maddie McCormick (Junior), Avery Palma (Junior), Maria Smith (Junior), Daphne TeBokhorst (Junior), Olivia Tighe (Junior), Corinne Wight (Junior), Milo Cook-Sharp (Sophomore), Bella Eremita (Sophomore), Caroline Mahoney (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “The girls should be very strong again this season. We return a lot of talent and have the depth to be strong in dual meets and the championship meets as well. We have experienced swimmers who have played key roles for many years and their experience will be very helpful. We should be an exciting team to watch. We hope to challenge for another Southwestern championship and state title. The boys should be competitive in all of their dual meets. We have enough depth to compete at Southwesterns and states. A lot will depend on how our seasonal swimmers progress. I look forward to the boys challenging for a second straight Southwestern championship and improving on last year’s state meet finish.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth’s powerhouse swim program is ready to make another run at glory.

The girls won the state title with ease a year ago and have a great shot to repeat this winter. Lawrence, Mahoney and Tighe are back from a record-setting medley relay team. Tighe also won the butterfly and the 100 freestyle, while Lawrence was runner-up in the 50 free and 100 free and Mahoney was second in the backstroke and fourth in the 50 free. All three girls will swim multiple events. Other returning state meet scorers include Campbell (third in the backstroke, fourth in the 100 free) and Concannon (sixth in the 500 free). If that’s not overwhelming enough, the Capers also return Wight (backstroke, fly, individual medley), TeBokhurst (backstroke), Smith (freestyle, fly, IM), Palma (freestyle), McCormick (IM, breaststroke), Freedman (IM, backstroke, fly), Eremita (freestyle, backstroke, IM, butterfly) and Cook-Sharp (freestyle). Zoe Evans (IM, distance freestyle), Emma Frothingham (freestyle, backstroke, fly, IM) and Hannah Leiss (IM, freestyle) are new to the team and will make Cape Elizabeth that much stronger. This could be a juggernaut yet again and the program’s first repeat since 2002, 2003 and 2004 could be the end result.

On the boys’ side, Kraft and Loring are top returners. Kraft placed second in the backstroke and fifth in the fly, while Loring was runner-up in the 200 free and fifth in the breaststroke last season. Also back are Freedman (fourth in the IM and fifth in the 500 free) and Yim (sixth in the 200 free). Berman (backstroke), Carroll (freestyle), Connolly (distance freestyle, backstroke), Herrera (fly, backstroke, IM), Howard (freestyle) and Membrino (backstroke) add depth and freshman Caden Gilbert is new to the team and will swim the backstroke. The Capers will be a team to be reckoned with throughout.

ALPINE SKIING

Coach: Jeff Davis (fifth year)

2016-17 results:

(Boys) 2nd @ Class A state meet

(Girls) 7th @ Class A state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Duncan Geikie (Junior), Bear Huffard (Junior), Devon Lathrop (Junior), Nick Martin (Junior), Killian Lathrop (Sophomore)

(Girls) Tori McGrath (Junior), Morgan Stewart (Junior), Piper Strunk (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We’re back in Class B after being in Class A the last two years. We have a lot of depth on the boys’ team which will be key. We expect to do well at states. With only five girls on our roster this year, each girl will need to focus on finishing runs to ensure we score.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth’s Alpine teams will be very strong in Class B this winter.

The boys return Devon Lathrop, who won the giant slalom and was runner-up in the slalom a year ago. Killian Lathrop (seventh in the slalom and 10th in the GS) looks to move up, while Geikie (28th in the GS last season), Huffard and Martin also return. Seniors Liam Flanagan and Chase Kozlowski, juniors Sam Dresser and Natty Holmes and freshman Ian Geikie are new to the team and add depth. The Capers have a great shot to return to the top in their return to Class B.

On the girls’ side, McGrath (21st in the slalom and 29th in the GS a year ago) and Stewart (27th in the GS and 33rd in the slalom) anchor this year’s squad, with help from Strunk. Junior Annika Demeter and freshman Adeline McGrath are new skiers to watch. Cape Elizabeth could be very strong all season and will be one of the best squads at the state meet.

NORDIC SKIING

Coach: Ted Reiner (first year)

2016-17 results:

(Boys) 6th @ Class A state meet

(Girls) No score @ Class A state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Henry Menz (Senior), Sam Preble (Senior), Cullen Sullivan (Senior), Peter DiNinno (Junior)

(Girls) Catherine Morrissey (Senior), Helen Vaughan (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We have a team of 15 skiers, some young and new to the sport, some seasoned, all-around good athletes. Our goal is to dream the big dream and make lifelong commitments to Nordic skiing and outdoor experiential skill sets.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth returns some talent and adds some promising athletes as a new season gets underway. The program will be led by a new coach this winter in Ted Reiner, a lifelong runner and skier.

The boys’ team returns Preble (31st in the classical a year ago) and DiNinno (32nd in the classical 34th in the freestyle). Menz and Sullivan also have experience. Junior Evan Medunitza, sophomores Hunter Grimes and Connor Labonty and freshman Jasper Fontana, along with Darius Rieger, are new to the team and add depth. The Capers might find themselves moving up the standings in February.

On the girls’ side, Vaughan (31st in the classical and 32nd in the freestyle competing as an individual a year ago) is the top returner. Morrissey also has experience. Look for those two to turn heads in the weeks to come.

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

Senior David Hare returns at point guard for a Cape Elizabeth boys’ basketball team that is on the short list of favorites in Class B South.

Junior Andrew Hartel, who stands 6-foot-9, is an imposing defender.

Ryan Collins scored eight goals a year ago and hopes to lead Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ hockey team on a deep playoff run this winter.

Senior Alex Glidden is a team leader and top scorer.

Senior Peter Haber returns in goal for the Capers.

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

Junior Sophia Venditti will be a top scorer for the Cape Elizabeth/Waynflete/South Portland girls’ hockey squad.

Matt Concannon will be a top sprinting and jumping threat for Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ indoor track team.

Luc Houle is a top thrower for the Capers.

Junior Camilla Grosso is a top returning distance runner for Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ indoor track team.

Kristen Penley will score in the sprints and jumps.

Jaya McClure is a top returning jumper for the Capers.

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