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Scarborough Red Storm Spring Sports Preview

Sports

Scarborough Red Storm Spring Sports Preview

Scarborough's spring sports teams hope to cap what has been a special and triumphant school year. Baseball is coming off its best Class A season and looks to build on that momentum. Softball is perennially a powerhouse and will once again begin formidable in defense of a state title. Boys' lacrosse wasn't able to repeat as champion last season, but could rectify that situation this spring. The girls' team is explosive and hungry and could be the best Class A squad in the state. Both track teams are always superb and that should be the case again. Boys' and girls' tennis have been very close to the top recently and look to finish the job this time around.

BASEBALL

Coach: Jim Cronin (fourth year)

2009 Record: 14-5 (Lost 16-10 to Deering in Western Class A Final)

Top returning players: Blake Brubach (Senior), Andrew Myers (Senior), Jake Rutt (Senior), Brendan Sullivan (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 27 (H) BONNY EAGLE, May 6 @ Westbrook, May 18 @ Cheverus, May 22 (H) PORTLAND, May 25 (H) SOUTH PORTLAND, May 27 @ Deering, May 28 @ Thornton Academy

Coach's comment: “We had our most successful season ever last year and we hope to battle for one of the top spots again this season. We lost some key players, but we have more guys that should be ready to go. Although we lost the pitcher of the year, we have some young arms that should be able to pick up some of those wins. We lost some big bats and that will be one of the areas we'll focus on. Our biggest improvement the last three years has been on defense. We feel like we have the players to continue that trend and be even better this season. We'll be strong up the middle. Overall, we feel we have some top-of-the-league seniors who will provide leadership for some strong underclassmen to give us a strong season. The guys take the game seriously and want to win. That's always a good way to start.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Scarborough arrived as a Class A power a year ago, riding the unrivaled arm of Spring Male Athlete of the Year Chris Bernard and a potent offense to 14 victories and a first-ever trip to the Western A Final. While graduation took a toll on the program, those writing off the Red Storm in 2010 will be unpleasantly surprised. Myers is the team's top returning pitcher. He went 4-2 in 2009. He's ready to become the ace. Sophomore Ben Wessel is another hurler to watch. He tied Bernard in appearances a year ago, won a game and had a 2.58 earned run average. Sophomore Joe Cronin will also see some time on the hill. The offense has some pop. Leading the way will be catcher and captain Rutt, who, as a league all-star a year ago, hit .418, with a .522 on-base percentage, 23 hits, five home runs, four doubles, a triple and 16 RBI. Infielder/outfielder and captain Sullivan, who batted .375, with a .479 on-base percentage, 21 hits, five doubles and 10 RBI in 2009, can also pitch in relief. Brubach, an outfielder, can swing the bat. He hit .317 last year, had 13 hits, three doubles, a triple and seven RBI. He's another relief pitcher. Cronin plays second base. He hit .279 a year ago and is a defensive stalwart. He'll be in the middle infield when he's not pitching. Sophomore Conor McCann, who will see time behind the plate, is another player to watch. Junior Kevin Philbrick is also in the outfield mix. Scarborough wants to prove that it wasn't a one-year wonder. The pieces are in place for the Red Storm to be very good once again. This program has arrived and the rest of the SMAA better watch out.

SOFTBALL

Coach: Tom Griffin (21st year)

2009 Record: 19-1 (Beat Skowhegan 3-1 to win Class A state championship)

Top returning players: Heather Carrier (Senior), Jenn Colpitts (Senior), Melissa DellaTorre (Senior), Jordan Finley (Senior), Mo Hannan (Sophomore), Abby Rutt (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: May 3 @ Gorham, May 6 @ Thornton Academy, May 12 (H) BIDDEFORD, May 17 (H) SOUTH PORTLAND, May 19 @ Cheverus, May 22 (H) BONNY EAGLE, May 28 @ Kennebunk

Coach's comment: “I have four pitchers and they'll all pitch this year. We have two very strong freshmen who will help us out. We'll make up for the loss of Catie Funk with more balance in the lineup. I'm three deep at every single position. We have so much versatility, speed and good bats. There are a handful of very good teams this year, but I like my kids a lot.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Scarborough has a virtual embarrassment of riches this spring. Coming off their second championship in three seasons, the dominant Red Storm will make the opposition green with envy, both with their pitching depth and hitting. Since joining the Southern Maine Activities Association in 2004, Scarborough has won 89 of 94 regular season contests. This year figures to be more of the same. On the mound, Griffin can utilize his 2008 phenom, DellaTorre, or last year's revelation, Hannan (still recovering from a knee injury), and know that either will excel. If that's not enough, sophomore Dominique Burnham and freshmen Erin Giles (the team's hardest thrower) and Marissa O'Toole are waiting in the wings for their opportunity. Carrier is a stalwart behind home plate. She's coming off undefeated championship seasons in field hockey and basketball and last lost a game last May 26, a span of 46 straight victories. Carrier also promises to be one of the team's top hitters and help fill the void left by the graduated Catie Funk, last year's league Offensive Player and Player of the Year. The infield features junior Alana Peoples at first base, junior Lauren Aceto or O'Toole at second, Colpitts (a top hitter who's been turned into a left-handed slap leadoff hitter this spring) or Hannan at shortstop and Finley or Giles at third. Rutt can do a little of everything. DellaTorre, along with Aceto, Burnham, Giles and O'Toole will all see time in the outfield. Having one great pitcher is a luxury in this sport, but Scarborough has enough to stock four or five teams. The Red Storm can also swing the bats, are always aggressive on the basepaths and should be one of, if not the best defensive team in the league. Five all-stars (Carrier, Colpitts, DellaTorre, Hannan and Rutt) return. Nothing's a given in high school sports, but another season of Scarborough dominance is a virtual lock. It will be very surprising if the Red Storm don't excel from start to finish. They have a great shot at winning it all once again.

BOYS' LACROSSE

Coach: Joe Hezlep (third year)

2009 Record: 11-4 (Lost 14-1 to Portland in Western A Final)

Top returning players: Matt Mayo (Senior), Nick Neugebauer (Senior), Sam Parenteau (Senior), Tennessee Peters (Senior), Nick Prince (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 23 (H) CHEVERUS, April 30 (H) KENNEBUNK, May 5 @ Thornton Academy, May 8 @ Falmouth, May 14 (H) NYA, June 1 @ Portland

Coach's comment: “We have so many new players in so many new spots. They're getting thrown into the fire. We lost seven starters and three role players, but we still have solid depth. If we can get better every day, we should be all right. It's so wide open this year.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Scarborough hopes its recent trend of winning state championships in even-numbered seasons continues in 2010. The Red Storm won it all in 2006 and 2008, but fell in the regional final to Portland in 2007 and again last year. Scarborough figures to follow the blueprint of the 2008 squad, which started slowly, then got hot at the right time. Saturday, the Red Storm opened the new season with a hard-fought 8-7, overtime loss at South Portland, believed to be Scarborough's first ever setback at the hands of the Red Riots. It won't be long, however, until the Red Storm turn things around. This year's attack features Mayo (three goals in the opener) and promising freshman John Wheeler, who scored a goal on Saturday. Peters could also be a scoring threat. At the midfield spot, Neugebauer moves up from defense to take faceoffs. Junior Drew Harvey will also have an opportunity. On defense, Parenteau and Prince return in front of the goalie, who will be either senior Matt Galyean or junior Brett Leighton. If Scarborough can weather a tough first half of its schedule, it will be in good shape down the stretch. After the South Portland loss, some pundits might write this team off, but you simply can't ever overlook the Red Storm. By June, this could be a powerhouse. One that's capable of avenging its early season loss and going all the way.

GIRLS' LACROSSE

Coach: Marcia Wood (sixth year)

2009 Record: 9-4 (Lost 13-9 to Kennebunk in Western A quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Molly Carbin (Senior), Akashia Gergler (Senior), Lindsay Hagerman (Senior), Ellie Morin (Senior), Jackie Morin (Senior), Brittany Ross (Senior), Meghan Quirk (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 29 @ Portland, May 8 @ Yarmouth, May 13 @ Cheverus, May 14 (H) MT. ARARAT, May 18 @ Thornton Academy, May 22 (H) GORHAM, May 27 @ Kennebunk

Coach's comment: “Being eliminated so early last year really hit home and the girls were upset about it. They're ready this year. I hope Ellie and Brittany not losing a game this school year will help our drive. We have a good mix of seniors and underclassmen. We have good balance. A lot of girls can score. The defense has experience. Our midfield and transition look good.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Last year's playoff loss was an aberration. It was clear going into the postseason that the Red Storm and Kennebunk were the two top teams in Western A, but the vagaries of the Heal Points system decreed that they square off in the quarterfinals. This time around, Scarborough aims to stick around much longer. Several players on this team literally don't know how to lose. Gergler, both Morins and Ross were on the undefeated field hockey state champion. Ellie Morin and Ross then led the girls' basketball squad to a first-ever championship, in undefeated fashion. It's distinctly possible that those players will be able to cap their final high school season with yet another title. Ellie Morin (a first-team all-star in 2009) will get things started in the draw circle. She's very skilled at winning possession. New sophomores Kelsey Howard and Maggie Smith, along with Quirk and Ross (an all-star last year), make up arguably the best midfield anywhere. All five girls can score. Then, there's Hagerman on attack. Another reigning all-star, she has a nose for the goal and figures to tickle the twine frequently. Jackie Morin, back from an injury that sidelined her much of the school year, anchors the defense, along with Carbin and Gergler. Senior Marina Sterrer was the starting goalie last year and will likely see time again in 2010. Scarborough has a very favorable schedule this spring, with just one huge test: at perennial powerhouse Yarmouth. The Red Storm look like the clear favorite in the SMAA and will get a chance to avenge recent playoff heartbreak when they go to Kennebunk in the regular season finale. If Scarborough stays healthy, it's hard to see anyone stopping this potential juggernaut. A first trip to the state game since 2006, and perhaps a second championship as well, could be in offing.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach:

(Boys) Derek Veilleux (eighth year)

(Girls) Ron Kelly (33rd year)

2009 Results:

(Boys) 3rd @ Class A state meet

(Girls) 2nd @ Class A state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Eben Bradley (Senior), Sean Griffin (Senior), Nate Hathaway (Senior), Scott McFarland (Senior), Conor Sullivan (Senior), Ross Thomas (Senior), Zach Brown (Junior), Tom Hague (Junior), Orin James (Junior), Alex Pok (Junior), Nick Morris (Sophomore)

(Girls) Christy Manning (Senior), Molly O'Connor (Senior), Kelsey Schild (Senior), Jenny Snyder (Senior), Abby Chick (Junior), Sarah Dugas (Junior), Emelia Scheemaker (Junior), Samantha Armishaw (Sophomore), Haela Booth-Howe (Sophomore), Nicole Kirk (Sophomore), Andrea Tolman (Sophomore), Emily Tolman (Sophomore)

Top foes: Cheverus, Gorham, Windham boys; Cheverus, Thornton Academy girls

Coach Veilleux's comment: “We graduated a lot of talent, but we have a strong nucleus returning, along with several newcomers and freshmen that are expected to have an immediate impact. Our goal will be to develop the athletes to be ready to compete at their highest level at the championship meets. I feel we'll be well-rounded, with much improvement in the sprinting area. Our distance team will be strong as well. Our biggest strength may be in the jumping events. Developing some throwers will be pertinent to our success this year and in the future.”

Coach Kelly's comment: “Relays will be the key for the team's success. We have experience in the throws and jumps. Some newcomers will help the team.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Both Scarborough outdoor track teams are loaded in 2010.

The boys' squad made a big-time jump last year, moving up eight spots to second at the state meet. This year, the Red Storm have several scorers returning. That group includes Hathaway (second in the mile), Thomas (third in the high jump) and Sullivan (fourth in the high jump). Hague and Morris scored in relays. Hathaway once again leads the distance charge. He's joined by Brown, Griffin, Hague and Morris, along with freshman Robbie Hall. McFarland takes part in the racewalk. James and Thomas could score in the hurdles. Sprinters of note include Pok, new juniors Colin Cain, John Gonzalez, Scott Merrill, Colin Pierce and Mike Wofford and sophomore Jordan Bathe. On the field side, jumpers include James, Merrill, Sullivan, Thomas and Wofford. Bradley and freshman Alec James compete in the pole vault. There is plenty of athleticism and depth on this squad. The Red Storm will be formidable in league competition and will have a great shot to excel at the championship meets.

On the girls' side, Chick, Kirk and O'Connor all were part of state champion relay teams a year ago. This spring, Chick and O'Connor will be distance threats, along with Dugas, Schild and Emily Tolman. Kirk could be a top sprinter and will have company from Armishaw. Snyder will be tough in the hurdles and middle distance, where Andrea Tolman could also be a factor. Scarborough is equally strong on the field side where it is led by Manning, coming off a Miss Maine Basketball award and a state title this winter. She was second in the discus and javelin in 2009 and looks to dominate in the throws before taking her skills to Holy Cross. Booth-Howe (fourth in the javelin last year) is another top thrower. Scheemaker (third in the triple jump and fourth in the long jump a year ago) is the lead jumper. Andrea Tolman will compete in the pole vault. Scarborough will be tested by up-and-coming Cheverus and traditional rival Thornton Academy in the league and perhaps Edward Little at the state meet, but if all goes well, the Red Storm could capture a fourth outdoor title in five seasons come June.

BOYS' TENNIS

Coach: Craig McDonald (10th year)

2009 Results: 12-3 (Lost 4-1 to Windham in Western Class A Final)

Top returning players: Zach Porter (Senior), Tim Przybylowicz (Senior), Adam Saltz (Senior), Dennis Liu (Junior), Alex Henny (Sophomore)

Pivotal matches: April 26 (H) WINDHAM, April 28 @ Marshwood, May 7 @ Deering, May 12 @ Gorham

Coach's comment: “We return five starters. The strength of our team is our depth and senior leadership. At this point, we have 12 players who have a legitimate shot at starting. Our goal this year is to take it to the next level and win the regional and Class A state championships.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Scarborough has been to the regional final two years in a row, but hasn't been able to get over the hump. This season, the Red Storm are hoping to take that final step. They have several strong returning players and some new talent that will help fill some holes. Leading the way at singles is Saltz, a league all-star in 2009. Other experienced returners include Henny, Liu, Porter and Przybylowicz. A trio of sophomores look to make an immediate impact. That group features Joe Corbeau, J.D. Herrman and Zach Pelczar. Scarborough will get a good idea just where it stands right out of the gate when it hosts Windham in a playoff rematch next week. The Red Storm have all the pieces in place to be very good once again. If they can finally make it to states for the first time, they might just win it all.

GIRLS' TENNIS

Coach: Lincoln MacIsaac (third year)

2009 Results: 12-2 (Lost 3-2 to Gorham in Western Class A semifinals)

Top returning players: Julia Agger (Senior), Ashley Anastasoff (Senior), Margaret Benoit (Senior), Shannon Eddy (Senior), Suzanne Fenton (Senior), Sarah Moody (Senior), Callie Walker (Senior)

Pivotal matches: May 10 @ McAuley, May 12 (H) GORHAM, May 19 (H) PORTLAND

Coach's comment: “We're hoping to build on our success from the past two seasons. We're extremely athletic and we have a lot of team chemistry. If we can stay focused on the daily matches and find ways to win, we can qualify for playoffs and who knows what can happen from there? The girls are excited and we're proud of the leadership our captains have provided.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Scarborough has been to the playoffs three years in a row and seven of the past nine, but duplicating last year's mark will be difficult without standout Kasia Jania, who won't play high school tennis this year. While the ladder wasn't established at press time, the Red Storm have a lot of experience back. The seniors, Agger, Anastasoff, Benoit, Eddy, Fenton, Moody and Walker will all have a chance to contribute. Juniors Christina Bilodeau, Maya Glab, Bridget Hicks, Courtney Hughes, Jenna Posey and Kelly Reardon, sophomore Rachael Webber and freshmen Mikaela Gove, Maria Philbrick and Katie Warher will also be in the mix. Look for steady growth from this group, another good record and probably another trip to the playoffs where Scarborough could be very dangerous.

Photo: File photo

Scarborough senior catcher Heather Carrier is a standout on offense and defense and is on a personal three-sport, 46-game win streak since last May.

Photo: File photo

Scarborough senior Nick Prince and his teammates look to go all the way this season.

Photo: File photo

Scarborough senior Lindsay Hagerman is a top scoring threat.

Photo: File photo

Senior Connor Sullivan hopes to outleap the field this season.