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Scarborough Red Storm Fall Sports Preview

Sports

Scarborough Red Storm Fall Sports Preview

Scarborough could be on track to win multiple championships this autumn. Both cross country teams are defending crowns and like their chances to repeat. Boys' soccer is defending a championship and although many players are new, that squad has the look of a potential title-winner again. The girls' team is always in the mix and hopes to overcome recent playoff disappointments. Field hockey was an overtime goal shy of a first-ever championship in 2008. This year's team won't settle for anything short of a title celebration. Volleyball has been a playoff regular in recent years and hopes for a deep postseason run this season. Football is hoping to build on its best Class A season to date. Golf is also a team to keep an eye on.

FOOTBALL

COACH: Dave Sterling (third year)

2008 Record: 3-5 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Luke Bogdanovich (Senior), Pat Damicis (Senior), Nick Neugebauer (Senior), Evan Twomey (Senior), Billy Wahrer (Senior), Zach Bean (Junior), Dennis Liu (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 4 (H) MASSABESIC, Sept. 12 @ TA, Sept. 25 (H) BIDDEFORD, Oct. 2 @ Gorham, Oct. 23 (H) KENNEBUNK

COACH'S COMMENT: "We hope to improve to 5-3 and make a run at the playoffs this season. We have a number of good athletes who perform well in open space as well as on defense. We'll move some people around on defense to try and create confusion in the opponents' backfield. We've had a very good preseason. I'm very pleased with our development."

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: While Scarborough enjoyed its best Class A season to date a year ago, it did drop its final four games and fall out of playoff contention at the end. Now, the Red Storm are striving for consistency and looking to make the postseason for the first time in seven seasons. Bean will be under center. He'll look to move the ball through the air to the likes of Liu and Twomey and hand off to Neugebauer. The line features Bogdanovich, Damicis and Wahrer. On defense, Damicis and Wahrer will look to control the line of scrimmage. The linebacking corps includes Bogdanovich, Neugebauer and Twomey. Bean and Liu will be in the secondary. Scarborough is making strides and plays a schedule that should lead to some victories. The Red Storm should compete against everyone, with the possible exception of Thornton Academy. Scarborough needs to take advantage at home and find a way to win a game or two on the road. If that happens, the Red Storm could produce a .500 or better mark and possibly be in the playoff hunt. This program continues to develop.

FUN FACT: Last year was the first time Scarborough started 3-1 since 2002. That team won the Class B state title.

BOYS' SOCCER

COACH: Mark Diaz (11th year)

2008 Record: 18-0 (Beat Bangor 1-0, in overtime, to win Class A state championship)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Chase Beech (Senior), Trevor Hoxsie (Senior), Andrew Nigro (Senior), Nate Tolman (Senior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 8 (H) PORTLAND, Sept. 17 @ Gorham, Sept. 22 (H) WESTBROOK, Sept. 24 @ Cheverus, Sept. 29 (H) KENNEBUNK,

COACH'S COMMENT: "We were hit very hard by graduation. We only have two starters back. We lost experience and we lost depth. We've had so much depth the past three or four years. I'll have to play my starters longer this season. I think we'll have a nice starting lineup. It'll be a maturity thing this year. If my juniors are mature emotionally by midseason, we could have a decent team."

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: Decent is an understatement. Scarborough stands to be very, very good once again. Probably not as strong as last year's juggernaut, which ran roughshod through the SMAA, then blanked four straight opponents en route to the state title, but still very tough. Last fall, the Red Storm were able to avoid dreaded penalty kicks in the state game, getting an overtime goal from senior Ian Philbrick to beat Bangor. The roster was indeed decimated by graduation (the loss of standout goalkeeper Adam Blanchard was especially harsh), but this is one program that is able to reload time after time. Last season was actually a rarity for Scarborough, where just about everyone returned. The uncertainty Diaz faces this autumn is something he's addressed and overcome on several occasions already during his tenure. The stars this year will likely be Hoxsie (a first-team league all-star last season) and Tolman (honorable mention in 2008). Beech could also make a mark. New sophomore Andrew Jones will be a force on offense. Nigro anchors the defense in front of new goalie, freshman Tennessee Peters. If the Red Storm had to take a step back, this is the year to do it. No one else in the league appears ready to step up and challenge them and their two biggest traditional playoff rivals, Cape Elizabeth and Greely, were hit equally hard by graduation. This Scarborough team might not be as overwhelming as last year's all-timer, but by year's end, expect a familiar result. The Red Storm should boast another stellar regular season mark and will have a great shot at playing for all the marbles once again in November.

FUN FACT: Scarborough outscored its opposition 84-4 last season.

GIRLS' SOCCER

COACH: Mike Farley (fifth year)

2008 Record: 8-4-3 (lost 2-1 to Cape Elizabeth in Western Class A preliminary round)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Mimi Abrams (Senior), Shelby Carignan (Senior), Jenn Colpitts (Senior), Lindsay Hagerman (Senior), Crysti Tsujiura (Senior), Tori Armishaw (Junior), Nicollette Caron (Junior), Jill Deering (Junior), Cortney Hughes (Junior), Margaret Palmer (Junior), Abby Van Note (Junior), Jessica Broadhurst (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 9 @ Portland, Sept. 11 (H) MARSHWOOD, Sept. 17 (H) GORHAM, Sept. 24 (H) CHEVERUS, Oct. 5 @ Windham, Oct. 20 (H) TA

COACH'S COMMENT: "I believe we'll be one of the teams looking to make our mark on the league in the regular season to get a good seed going into the playoffs. We have a great mix of experience and youth. We have five seniors who will provide much needed leadership for this year's team as well as a very strong junior class that has extensive varsity experience. The juniors and seniors will lead the way and hopefully draw from their talent and experience to get us through the tough conference games with wins. We have six sophomores who will be in pressure situations throughout the year. Our hope is to take the season one game at a time. We want to strive for a level of consistency that will allow us to play our style and impose our will on every team we play regardless of what their record is. If we can achieve that level of consistency, I believe we'll be a team that has the ability to go deep into the playoffs."

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: After last season ended much too early for the Red Storm's taste, they have high hopes for 2009. With Gorham expected to come back to the pack somewhat, the door is open for Scarborough to make a run. Farley certainly has plenty of talent to work with. Sophomore Haley Carignan (a JV player last fall), Hughes and Tsujiura are the top offensive threats. Tsujiura was a first-team all-star a year ago. She and Hughes will be a handful for opposing defenses, as they can dominate the midfield, distribute and finish. Abrams, Colpitts and Palmer will also be dangerous. Junior Sarah Little and freshman Sarah Martens will also figure into the mix. Defensively, the Red Storm feature Armishaw, Broadhurst, Shelby Carignan, Caron (an honorable mention all-star last year) and Hagerman. Speedy sophomore Emily Tolman will join that unit. Deering (an all-star in 2008) is battling Van Note (who started as a freshman) for the starting goalkeeping job. Scarborough will quickly learn just how good it is or how much work it has to do. After opening at Massabesic, the Red Storm face top contenders Portland, Gorham and Marshwood. A win or two would do wonders for confidence and position Scarborough to be near the top of the standings. The Red Storm have no shortage of athletes who will be hungry to play deep into the playoffs this autumn. Scarborough will enjoy a longer postseason stay this time around.

FUN FACT: Last year was the first time Scarborough has ever lost a preliminary round playoff game.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Kerry Mariello (eighth year)

2008 Record: 16-2 (Lost 2-1, in double overtime to Skowhegan in Class A Final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Ashley Anastasoff (Senior), Heather Carrier (Senior), Molly Gove (Senior), Ellie Morin (Senior), Jackie Morin (Senior), Brittany Ross (Senior), Jordi Saunders (Senior), Anna Wagner (Senior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 16 @ Deering, Sept. 28 @ Sanford, Oct. 2 @ Westbrook, Oct. 8 @ Cheverus, Oct. 10 (H) GORHAM

COACH'S COMMENT: "This group is outstanding. Very mature, skilled and focused. We have 14 seniors and some new players who will come in and bring the 'wow factor.' They're blending very well. They came in in shape and know what they need to do. This group feels the pressure to go all the way. They're very hungry. They have no doubt that they'll get back."

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: The final score reflected otherwise, but those on hand last Nov. 1 at Hampden Academy knew that Scarborough was deserving of being crowned Class A state champion. The Red Storm just couldn't find a way to finish in overtime and had to watch in horror as Skowhegan transitioned and rattled the cage to break their heart. The good news is that many star players return and they're eager to rectify that sting with a first-ever championship. This team won't settle for anything less. Two first-team all-stars return: Jackie Morin in the midfield, and Ross, the prolific, dynamic scoring threat at forward. Ross was Scarborough's 2008 Fall Female Athlete of the Year. Carrier (a second-team all-star last year) is another returning forward. Ellie Morin was an honorable mention and will also be in the midfield. Joining Ross as potential top scorers are Anastasoff and Gove. New junior Kristen Felt, a transfer from Cony, and new sophomore Shauni Cowan, will also have to be dealt with. On defense, Wagner is the top returner. She's joined by freshman Stephanie Felt. Saunders is back in goal, but probably won't see a lot of shots in many of the games. The Red Storm offense figures to dominate against just about everyone and could easily match or surpass the 57 goals the 2008 squad scored. Scarborough's defense knows what to do when called upon. This team doesn't appear to have any holes and has two simple goals. First, the Red Storm look to beat Sanford (they have to play at Sanford for the second year in a row on Sept. 28) so they can have homefield advantage in the playoffs. Then, they'll embark on a title chase. Scarborough would love nothing more than a chance to meet Skowhegan again with title on the line. This time, it's hard to see anything derailing this potential powerhouse.

FUN FACT: After winning just five games total her first two seasons, Mariello has tasted victory on 60 occasions over the past five years.

CROSS COUNTRY

BOYS COACH: Jim Harmon (12th year)

GIRLS COACH: Ron Kelly (37th year)

2008 Results:
(BOYS) Class A state champions (18th @ New Englands)
(GIRLS) Class A state champions (21st @ New Englands)

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS
BOYS: Sean Griffin (Senior), Nate Hathaway (Senior), Nate Lynch (Senior), Joe Prosack (Senior), Ross Thomas (Senior), Zach Brown (Junior), Tom Hague (Junior), Ethan Law (Sophomore), Nick Morris (Sophomore) Wout Moulin (Sophomore)
GIRLS: Margaret Benoit (Senior), Libby Davis (Senior), Melissa Dellatorre (Senior), Abby Chick (Junior), Sarah Dugas (Junior), Catherine Hall (Junior), Emily O'Connor (Junior)

TOP FOES: Cheverus, Thornton Academy

COACH HARMON'S COMMENT: "We have a great group of talented returning runners along with some newcomers who will surprise a lot of people, so I believe we have a good chance to challenge Cheverus for the state championship again."

COACH KELLY'S COMMENT: "We have to potential to be better than last year with a lower pack time. Three or four girls are battling for a top five spot. Dellatorre, Chick and Dugas all have the potential to be a top 15 in the state."

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: Scarborough is the reigning king and queen of the cross country world and is looking to do it again.

Led by league Coach of the Year Harmon, the boys won their fourth crown in five years and return several top runners. Hathaway was a fraction of a second shy of winning the individual Class A crown a year ago at states. He'll lead the pack. Griffin (18th at states), Brown (25th) and Prosack (43rd) also have big-meet experience. Hague, Law, Lynch, Morris, Moulin and Thomas add depth. Senior Conor Sullivan and freshman Robbie Hall are new to the team this fall and will look to make a mark. Cheverus appears formidable and Lewiston could be a factor at the state meet, but Scarborough has to like its chances. If the Red Storm can stay healthy and hungry, they'll have a great shot at winning another title.

On the girls' side, four girls return who scored at the state meet last year. Chick was 12th, Dellatorre came in 13th, Dugas was 17th and Davis placed 34th. Benoit, Hall and O'Connor are experienced and there are some promising newcomers as well. Junior Emilia Scheemaker (a track standout), sophomores Shelby Bernier and Lauren Kelly and freshman Marissa O'Toole (who could become an immediate star) add depth to an already formidable group. Cheverus is loaded for bear and will be seen as the favorite this year, but never write Scarborough off. The Red Storm will excel in the regular season and should be very strong in the postseason once again. Perhaps good enough to go back-to-back.

GOLF

COACH: Mike Murphy (21st year)

2008 Results: 4-6 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Kevin Fasulo (Senior), Andrew Myers (Senior), Neil Suchecki (Senior)

TOP FOES: Cheverus, Deering

COACH'S COMMENT: "We hope to build on our season of last year. We need some consistency from the top three spots in the order."

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: Scarborough has a nice mix of returning players and newcomers this fall. Fasulo, Myers and Suchecki all have experience. They're joined by junior Kyle Nablo, sophomore Zach Pelczar and freshman Brendan Hall. The Red Storm played very tough against eventual state champion Deering a year ago, but ultimately proved too inconsistent to reach states. This year, Scarborough should hold its own against a challenging schedule and expects to be better when it comes to qualifying. If all goes well, the Red Storm will be in the hunt to play at Natanis.

VOLLEYBALL

COACH: Jody King (sixth year)

2008 Results: 7-8 (Lost 3-2 to Gorham in West Region quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNERS: Caroline Baker (Senior), Christina Chase (Senior), Paige Conley (Senior), Christie Edwards (Senior), Abby Lalone (Senior), Kathleen O'Donnell (Senior), Laura Suarez (Senior)

PIVOTAL MATCHES: Sept. 4 (H) FALMOUTH, Sept. 8 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 17 @ Biddeford, Sept. 22 (H) GREELY, Sept. 23 (H) GORHAM, Sept. 29 (H) BIDDEFORD, Oct. 6 @ Gorham, Oct. 8 @ Greely, Oct. 14 @ Falmouth, Oct. 16 (H) YARMOUTH

COACH'S COMMENT: I'm very excited with the progress of my returning players. They're more seasoned and are playing more consistently. The new varsity players are very quick learners and will make a major contribution. We hope to improve on last year's record and compete with the top teams in the league.

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: Scarborough has been very competitive in recent seasons and will look to take advantage of the new Class A/B classification this fall. The Red Storm, along with their traditional rivals, are in Class A. Only six teams will make the playoffs, but Scarborough will control its destiny, going head-to-head with the other squads in the running. This year's team is senior-laden and hungry. Baker and Chase will be middle hitters. Edwards is an outside hitter. Lalone is an opposite and Suarez is a setter. Conley and O'Donnell are defensive specialists. Joining the mix are sophomores Brittany Bona (middle hitter) and Emily Robbins (setter). While six-time champion Greely is the team to beat until further notice, Scarborough has a chance to be right there among the next group of contenders. They'll have to overcome Biddeford, Falmouth, Gorham and Yarmouth, but the Red Storm are more than capable of posting a winning record and of being a postseason entrant once again.

Photo: File photo
The defending Class A state champion Scarborough boys' soccer team was decimated by graduation, but one standout who is returning is senior Nate Tolman.

Photo: File photo
Junior Courtney Hughes is one of the premier midfielders in the SMAA.

Photo: File photo
Senior Crysti Tsujiura is always around the ball, making good things happen for the Red Storm.

Photo: File photo
Senior Nate Hathaway was a close second at last year's state meet, which saw Scarborough win the team title.

Photo: File photo
Juniors Sarah Dugas (left) and Abby Chick both finished in the top 20 at states last year, helping the Red Storm win the Class A title. They return as part of a potent pack seeking to repeat.