Cape Elizabeth Capers Winter Sports Preview

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BOYS’ BASKETBALL

COACH: Jim Ray (21st year, 269-140 overall record)

2013-14 record: 11-8 (Lost, 45-43, to Yarmouth in Western B quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Eddie Galvin (Senior), Ethan Murphy (Senior), Justin Guerette (Junior), Jack O’Rourke (Junior), Quinn Hewitt (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 9 @ Lake Region, Dec. 20 YARMOUTH, Jan. 3 FALMOUTH, Jan. 10 @ Yarmouth, Jan. 23 @ York, Jan. 24 @ Greely, Jan. 27 @ Poland, Feb. 3 @ Falmouth, Feb. 6 GREELY

COACH’S COMMENT: “We had a great summer. I’ve never had a summer in my 21 years where there were so many times I said, ‘Wow!’ We have our starters back and everyone else has a year under their belts. I hope to have better depth than last year so we can play at the pace I’d like to play. The kids understand their roles. We have kids who can do things. Everyone has to be covered.  I tell my guys that on paper, everybody’s talking about us, but we don’t play on paper. They have to prove it. If they want it, they have to go get it. The mental side worries me. Will we be disciplined enough? Will we get good and open shots?”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: After so many close calls, this could be the Cape Elizabeth team to finally finish the job. The Capers not only have their starters back, but the quality of those starters is unrivaled in Western Class B and there’s a new addition with a most familiar last name who will help the cause even more. Galvin, Cape Elizabeth’s reigning Winter Male Athlete of the Year after making the all-conference second-team a year ago, is a key returner. Galvin has grown and filled out during the offseason and will be a matchup nightmare whether he plays guard or forward. O’Rourke was eighth in the league in made 3-pointers a game (1.8) a year ago. He’ll run the point this winter. Murphy is a shooting guard who can do damage. Hewitt, who made an impact as a freshman, will be an even bigger part of the team this winter as a guard and forward. Guerette will be a force down low. The new addition is freshman Finn Bowe, the younger brother of former standouts Alex and Theo. He can play guard or forward and while Ray will likely bring him along slowly, there’s no denying that his lineage suggests special things are in store down the road. The future is now for this group. The Capers are favorites for good reason. Now, they just have to go out and be at their best. By the end of the season, there might be no better team in all of Class B than the one which made their coach say, “Wow!” so often this summer.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

COACH: Chris Casterella (eighth year, 50-80 overall record)

2013-14 record: 9-9 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Hannah Sawyer (Senior), Ashley Tinsman (Senior), Maddie Bowe (Junior), Montana Braxton (Junior), Kate Breed (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 9 LAKE REGION, Dec. 12 GRAY-NG, Jan. 3 @ Falmouth, Jan. 8 @ Gray-NG, Jan. 23 YORK, Jan. 24 GREELY, Jan. 30 @ Fryeburg Academy, Feb. 3 FALMOUTH, Feb. 6 @ Greely

COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re a work in progress and I’ve already seen progress. We have decent size this year. My hope is if we improve, we can be competitive with everybody. If we improve, the wins will be there. We’re in for a tough 18 games. The league is so good. There just aren’t any rollovers. Everybody will beat everybody. Our realistic goal is to make the tournament. We have to win close games against the teams that are in the middle with us.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Capers deserved a better fate last winter, as they were competitive with everyone, but didn’t garner enough Heal Points to make it back to the tournament after qualifying three of the previous four winters. This season, Cape Elizabeth is one of a plethora of squads in the hunt and if it develops as hoped, it could be a very dangerous out come February. This group will be led by a special talent in Braxton, at point guard. Braxton, a third-team all-star a year ago, can score points with anyone, but she’s more likely to dish off to her teammates. She’s also a terrific defender (she had 4.2 steals a game last season, good for third in the league), who can rebound (8.0 per contest last winter, good for ninth in the WMC). Sawyer has the ability to pour in shots from the outside, as will Bowe and Breed. Tinsman could get some putback baskets down low. Junior Carter Harvey will also help the cause as a guard and forward. Just like last year, the Capers figure to be competitive throughout. Unlike last winter, they have to find a way to win more consistently to get into the tournament. If they get there, they could make life miserable for the teams that most view as favorites. This is a group that will be fun to watch in the weeks to come.

BOYS’ HOCKEY

COACH: Matthew Buotte (third year, 15-22-2 overall record)

2013-14 record: 7-11-1 (Lost, 5-2, to Greely in Western B quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Jack Drinan (Senior), Curtis Guimond (Senior), Eli Babcock (Sophomore), Ben Ekedahl (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 10 @ York, Dec. 13 @ Cheverus, Dec. 20 @ Gorham, Dec. 23 FALMOUTH, Dec. 27 KENNEBUNK, Jan. 10 GREELY, Jan. 19 @ Yarmouth, Jan. 24 @ Scarborough, Jan. 28 @ Kennebunk, Jan. 29 BIDDEFORD, Feb. 5 GORHAM, Feb. 7 @ Camden Hills, Feb. 14 YORK

COACH’S COMMENT: “We will make no bones about it. We want to be the best in the West. We have been waiting for this year for awhile. Our leadership group is older and experienced and we have a great mix of younger players. We have great camaraderie in our locker room, exemplary role models in our seniors and a good feeling around the team. An early exit won’t be good enough. We want to go as deep as we can.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Capers have been playoff regulars, but haven’t enjoyed a deep run since reaching the regional final in 2009. This winter, Cape Elizabeth might have the personnel to go all the way. Guimond, an honorable mention all-star a year ago, had 20 goals and seven assists. He and Drinan (12 goals, 15 assists in 2013-14) will pace the offense wit help from Ekedahl (4 goals, 5 assists as a freshman) and freshman Alex Glidden. Babcock (5 assists last season) is the top returning defender. He’s joined by freshman Ethan Gillespie. There’s a three-horse race for the goalie spot between junior Grant Rusk, new junior Ross LeBlond and freshman Peter Haber. The Capers find themselves in a very balanced region this winter. There isn’t a clear favorite. If this group can stay healthy and develop as hoped, it might just find itself in an optimal position by late February. This could be the postseason that sees Cape Elizabeth go a long way. Perhaps back to Lewiston for the first time in six seasons.

GIRLS’ HOCKEY

COACH: Bob Mills (third year, 15-20-3 overall record)

2013-14 record: 11-9 (Lost, 11-1, to eventual state champion Scarborough in West Region semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Kathryn Clark (Senior), Katie Ewald (Senior), Julia Ginder (Senior), Lily Jordan (Senior), Allison Mills (Senior), Hannah Bosworth (Sophomore), Eliza Connolly (Sophomore), Kate Ginder (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 10 EL/LEAVITT, Dec. 17 FALMOUTH, Jan. 3 @ Biddeford, Jan. 7 GREELY, Jan. 17 YARMOUTH/FREEPORT, Jan. 19 @ EL/Leavitt, Jan. 24 @ Scarborough, Jan. 31 BIDDEFORD

COACH’S COMMENT: “With eight seniors and only two players lost to graduation, we hope to be one of the top teams in the state. We have skill and experience at every position and we have strong goaltending with Lily back for her fourth campaign. We have 26 players total with some promising newcomers who will give us more depth than we’ve had before. Our goal this season is to build off of last season’s success and go deep into the playoffs.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The 2013-14 season was a breakthrough campaign for this co-op program, which turned heads from the get-go and wasn’t stopped until it ran into the eventual state champions in the semifinals. This year, Capeflete, which has added a pair of South Portland players to the co-op, might be even better. Capeflete opened with victories over Portland/Deering (6-0) and Gorham/Bonny Eagle (7-1), then went toe-to-toe with established power Falmouth (losing, 3-2) and Scarborough (dropping a 2-1 overtime heartbreaker). This squad will be led offensively by Clark (19 goals, 16 assists during a first-team all-star campaign in 2013-14) and Bosworth (who was a second-teamer as a freshman after scoring 16 times and adding 16 assists). Honorable mention all-star Julia Ginder (10 goals, 8 assists), Mills (10 goals, 7 assists) and Ewald (5 goals, 6 assists) are also forwards of note. The defense features some goal scorers too in second-team all-star Kate Ginder (4 goals, 13 assists) and Connolly (3 goals, 3 assists). Jordan was a first-team all-star last winter and might be the state’s best between the pipes. She always seems to be at her best in the biggest games. South Portland freshman Abby Joy will also get a chance to play goalie. Senior Maddy Pellow from Waynflete is new to the sport, but has picked it up quickly and will help the cause, as will Waynflete freshman Laura Baginski. If Capeflete can learn how to beat the upper echelon (and it’s very close to doing so), it could easily surpass last winter’s wonderful accomplishments and perhaps make a run at a title. Don’t put such lofty heights past this group.

INDOOR TRACK

COACH: Doug Worthley (19th year)

2013-14 results:

(BOYS) Tie-5th @ Class B state meet

(GIRLS) Tie-7th @ Class B state meet

TOP RETURNERS:

(BOYS) Tim Brigham (Senior), Andrew Kelly (Senior), Kyle Kennedy (Senior), Mitch Morris (Senior), Devon Stanford (Senior), Nate Weare (Senior), Jared DuPerre (Junior), Harry Queeney (Junior), Henry Shroder (Junior), Will Steidl (Junior), Tucker Wanzer (Junior), Mac Huffard (Sophomore), Jack O’Kelly (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Eva Brydson (Senior), Hayley Doss (Senior), Lily Norris (Senior), Morgan Carpenter (Junior), Sam Feenstra (Junior), Caroline Lengyel (Junior), Katie Olberholtzer (Junior), Anna Friberg (Sophomore), Jade Hunter (Sophomore), Rachel Kriger (Sophomore), Erin Thibeault (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Falmouth, Greely, York

COACH’S COMMENT: “After losing major point scorers from last season, the boys are young, but look to be strong nonetheless. The distance squad looks to be quite strong. The sprints and jumps look to improve. The throws will be the strength of the team. We look to iprove throughout the season and hope to be in the top six again at the state meet. The season promises to be a good one for the girls. We return many veterans and have some hopeful newcomers. The team looks to be competitive throughout as the emphasis is on states in February.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth’s indoor track program is in good shape as a new season dawns.

The boys return some firepower in the likes of Morris (third in the two-mile last year), Kennedy (another top distance threat) and Queeney (who was sixth in the high jump a year ago). Kennedy and Morris are joined in the distance races by DuPerre and Huffard. Queeney will also sprint. He’s joined by Brigham. Shroder, Steidl and Wanzer also sprint and jump. Kelly, O’Kelly, Stanford and Weare look to score in the throws. The Capers will be very good in the league and should be among the best teams at the Class B state meet as well.

On the girls’ side, Brydson (third in the 800 last season), Doss and Feenstra all scored in distance races or relays last season. They’re joined by Friberg to make up a formidable unit. Carpenter, Hunter, Norris, Oberholtzer and Thibeault, along with freshman Kristen Penley, will look to score in the sprints and jumps. Kriger and Lengyel are top throwers. This group has what it takes to be strong from start to finish. Don’t be surprised if Cape Elizabeth moves into the top five at states.

SWIMMING

COACH: Ben Raymond (ninth year, two state championships)

2013-14 results:

(BOYS) 3rd @ Class A state meet

(GIRLS) 2nd @ Class A state meet

TOP RETURNERS:

(BOYS) Reese McFarlane (Senior), Wyatt Page (Senior), Griffin Thoreck (Senior), Stephen Bennett (Junior), Tommy Brett (Junior), Alex Mukai (Junior), RJ Sarka (Junior), Kyle Long (Sophomore), Elliot McGinn (Sophomore), Connor Thoreck (Sophomore), Owen Thoreck (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Sierra Bates (Senior), Taylor Herrera (Senior), Sarah Loring (Senior), Michaela Pinette (Senior), Sadie Stiles (Senior), Haylee Walsh (Senior), Arden Wing (Senior), Lexie Bakke (Junior), Katie Connolly (Junior), Phoebe Coburn (Junior), Jana Freedman (Junior), May Hodgdon (Junior), Gabby Lawrence (Junior), Sarah Merriam (Junior), Gabrielle Raymond (Junior), Nikita Wallace (Junior), Rose Baillie (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Greely, Scarborough

COACH’S COMMENT: “The boys’ team returns a number of key swimmers. Along with the returning talent, we have a very strong freshman class who will have an immediate impact on the program and in dual and championship meets. With this combination of senior leadership and outstanding freshmen talent, we should be one of the top teams. The girls are once again very excited. We have a good mix of distance swimmers and sprinters and stroke and freestylers. The girls work well together. They will encourage each other throughout the season. We should see lots of improvement and drops in time. The team should do very well in dual meets and will once again challenge for a championship. It should be an exciting season for us all.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth made the transition to Class B quite nicely a year ago and will be in the hunt for glory again this winter.

The boys won’t have the services of Griffin Thoreck, a sprint freestyle specialist, who is out with a knee injury. He may be back later in the season. The team does return Mukai, who was fourth in the 500 freestyle and fifth in the 200 free a year ago at states. He’ll not only specialize in the distance freestyle this year, but will also swim the backstroke, butterfly and individual medley. McFarlane was seventh in the breaststroke a year ago and looks to move up. He’ll also swim the sprint freestyle. Long (eighth in the backstroke) also scored last season and hopes to improve. Long also swims the spring freestyle, fly, IM and breaststroke. Page (freestyle), Bennett (distance freestyle), Brett (breaststroke), Sarka (sprint freestyle), Connor Thoreck (sprint freestyle and breasstroke), Owen Thoreck (sprint freestyle) and McGinn (IM, freestyle) are other swimmers to watch. Freshmen Andrew Hererra (backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, IM), Harry Homans (freestyle, fly, IM, backstroke, breaststroke) and Sam Loring (freestyle, IM, fly, breaststroke) add depth and the promise of future success. This team has all the pieces in place to be dominant in the regular season and make a run at the top spot at Southwesterns and states.

On the girls’ side, the graduation of reigning Class B 200 freestyle champion Sydney Wight will hurt, but there is plenty of firepower in reserve. For starters, the Capers have one of the state’s elite divers in Pinette (who was Class B runner-up last winter). Herrera and Stiles were part of a runner-up 200 medley relay team a year ago. Herrera will swim the backstroke, IM and freestyle this season. Stiles will compete in the freestyle, IM and breaststroke. Other key returners include Loring (freestyle, IM, fly), Bates (fly, IM, freestyle, backstroke), Walsh (freestyle, backstroke), Wing (freestyle, IM, fly), Bakke (distance freestyle, backstroke), Connolly (freestyle), Coburn (sprint freestyle), Freedman (distance freestyle, IM), Hodgdon (backstroke), Lawrence (distance freestyle, IM, fly) and Merriam (distance freestyle). Baillie (sprint freestyle, IM, breaststroke), Raymond (100 free) and Wallace (freestyle, backstroke, IM) will also be heard from. The Capers are on the short list of favorites. Don’t be surprised if this season culminates with a title.

SKIING

Combined results:

(BOYS) 6th @ Class B meet

(GIRLS) 4th @ Class B meet

ALPINE

COACHES: Jeff Davis (second year)

2013-14 results:

(BOYS) 8th @ Class B state meet

(GIRLS) Class B state champions

TOP RETURNERS:

(BOYS) Thomas Rioux (Senior), Jon Fiutak (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Emma Landes (Senior), Emma Dvorzniak (Junior), Kinnon McGrath (Sophomore), Caroline Paclat (Sophomore)

TOP FOE: Yarmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “The girls will still be able to contend for states. The boys are very young. We have several new skiers.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth had a very successful campaign in 2013-14 and should be in the hunt again this winter.

The boys’ team returns Fiutak and Rioux. Fiutak was 18th in the slalom and 41st in the giant slalom at last year’s state meet. Rioux placed 45th in the GS. Others will look to make a name for themselves in the weeks to come. The Capers will be strong all year and should be primed to move up at the state meet.

The girls had a dream season a year ago, but lost Sara Paclat (ninth GS, 14th slalom) to graduation and Sophie Hewitt (third in the GS) to Gould Academy. The Capers do return Landes (fourth in the GS), Dvorozniak (fifth in both the slalom and GS), Caroline Paclat (seventh in the GS, 17th in the slalom) and McGrath (eighth in the GS and eighth in the slalom). That’s a solid nucleus. Don’t be surprised if Cape Elizabeth finds a way to ski its way to another championship come February.

NORDIC

COACH: Shawn Guerrette (second year)

2013-14 results:

(BOYS) 7th @ Class B state meet

(GIRLS) 7th @ Class B state meet

TOP RETURNERS:

(BOYS) Walker Grimes (Senior), Daniel Menz (Senior), Andrew Thomas (Senior)

(GIRLS) Rhoen Fiutak (Senior), Amelia Morissey (Senior)

TOP FOES: Falmouth, Merriconeag, Yarmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “Hopefully we can improve on last year’s results. Truth is, we’re a program that is in the process of reubilding.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both Cape Elizabeth Nordic teams have promise this winter.

The boys return Grimes, Menz and Thomas, who are all experienced. Sophomore Jon Fiutak and freshman Henry Menz will be heard from as well. The Capers will be competitive during the league season and have the ability to move up the standings at the state meet.

The girls’ squad returns Fiutak and Morissey and welcomes promising sophomores Liv Palma and Emma Shedd to make up a formidable unit. This group will show steady improvement and could also make a run at a top five finish at the state meet.


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

Junior Justin Guerette is another key returner for the Capers.

Senior Ethan Murphy has great range.

Junior Jack O’Rourke will be the Capers’ point guard.

Expect sophomore Quinn Hewitt to play a bigger role this winter.

Senior Hannah Sawyer has a sweet shot and should be one of the Capers’ top scorers.

Junior Kate Breed has shown her flair for the dramatic. Expect her to play a bigger role in the Capers’ success this season.

Junior Montana Braxton is one of the best athletes in the conference. She’ll be hard to stop in the weeks to come.

Senior Ashley Tinsman will get it done on both ends of the floor.

Coming off a volleyball championship, junior Maddie Bowe is ready to make an impact on the basketball court.

Ben Ekedahl had a strong freshman season and will be heard from again in the weeks to come.

Senior Jack Drinan is a matchup nightmare for the opposition.

Senior Curtis Guimond scored 20 times in 2013-14 and will be a force to be reckoned with again this winter.

Junior Grant Rusk will see his share of time in the cage for the Capers this winter.

The unstoppable force known as Kathryn Clark is coming off a prolific scoring season and is up to her old tricks so far this winter.

Julia Ginder will lead Capeflete a long way this season.

Kate Ginder had a strong freshman campaign. She’ll score her share of goals in the weeks to come.

Allison Mills is another top returning scorer.

Katie Ewald is back for her senior season, hoping to lead Capeflete deep into the playoffs again.

Senior Lily Jordan might be the best goalie in the state this winter.

Hannah Bosworth had an explosive freshman season and will be among Capeflete’s scoring leaders this winter.

Kyle Kennedy is coming off a great cross country season and will look for big things indoors in the distance races.

Mitch Morris is one of the league’s top distance runners.

Will Steidl could score in the sprints and the jumps this season.

Harry Queeney will look to score in the sprints and jumps.

Senior captain Eva Brydson will be a force in the longer races.

Hayley Doss returns for her senior campaign.

Sam Feenstra is another member of the Capers’ deep distance contingent.

Caroline Lengyel is a thrower to watch this winter.

Katie Oberholtzer is a top returning jumper for the Capers.

Sidebar Elements


Senior Eddie Galvin and his teammates are eager to go all the way this winter. The Capers are viewed as the Western B favorites as the new season dawns.

File photos.

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