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Greely Rangers Winter Sports Preview

Winter Sports Previews

Greely Rangers Winter Sports Preview

As usual, Greely has no shortage of championship-caliber winter sports teams. The boys' basketball squad has consistently knocked on the door to no avail in recent years, but this could be the season that the Rangers take the final step. The girls' team welcomes a new coach and should be a contender in Western B. Boys' hockey fell short of its championship dreams last season, but has what it takes to go all the way this winter. Girls' hockey appears in line for a special season. Both track teams, as always, are loaded. Both swim teams will again be among the top in Class B. The girls' Alpine ski team hopes to win another title, while the boys' squad and both Nordic teams have high hopes as well.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

COACH: Ken Marks (25th year, 333-142)

2010-11 Record: 17-3 (Lost, 54-42, to Yarmouth in Western Class B semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Cooper Allen (Senior), Nick Clark (Senior), Liam Maker (Senior), Brad McKenney (Senior), Jimmy Whitaker (Senior), Michael McDevitt (Sophomore), Bailey Train (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 13 @ York, Dec. 15 (H) FALMOUTH, Dec. 20 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, Dec. 22 @ Poland, Jan. 6 @ Yarmouth, Jan. 14 @ Falmouth, Jan. 20 (H) YORK, Jan. 31 (H) YARMOUTH, Feb. 10 @ Cape Elizabeth

COACH’S COMMENT: “I think this group is showing more effort and tenacity than any team I've had in a long time. It's cool to see. We play well on defense and we've changed our focus a little. Our inside game will be solid. Michael McDevitt's one of the best big men in the area. Liam Maker has the potential to be All-Conference. He'll turn some heads. We're playing well right now. I think we'll be competitive.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Despite graduating league all-stars Sam Johnston and Tanner Storey, Greely figures to once again finish near the top of the Western B standings. This year, the Rangers will be very tough to contend with in the paint as McDevitt (who stands 6-foot-7) is emerging as one of the league's and state's best big men. Train is 6-3, but does much of his damage way out on the perimeter. He has a nice shooting touch. Whitaker also plays forward. The point guard is McKenney and he's joined in the backcourt by Allen, Clark and Maker, who can light it up. In a season opening 69-60 win over Wells, McDevitt went off for 21 points, 11 rebounds and blocked four shots. Clark and Train both added 11 points, Maker and Whitaker five apiece. This squad is a nice mix of veteran experience and young promise. The Rangers are going about things the right way, playing with confidence and will only get better as the season progresses. Western Class B has several good teams, but Greely will be able to hang with all of them. By February, expect the Rangers to have another very good record and to extend their streak of making the postseason to 21 years. Once they get there, this group hopes to win the program's first Gold Ball since 1998.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

COACH: Kim Hilbrich (first year)

2010-11 Record: 15-5 (Lost, 46-15, to York in Western B semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Caroline Hamilton (Senior), Haylee Munson (Senior), Taylor Readio (Senior), Caton Beaulieu (Junior), Jaclyn Storey (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 13 (H) YORK, Dec. 15 @ Falmouth, Jan. 4 @ Lake Region, Jan. 10 (H) TRAIP, Jan. 12 @ Freeport, Jan. 14 (H) FALMOUTH, Jan. 20 @ York, Feb. 3 (H) LAKE REGION

COACH’S COMMENT: “We hope to continue to be one of the top programs in the conference. We hope to build on a good, solid base and have a strong defense.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely welcomes a new coach in Hilbrich, who played in college and once made the All-Army team before assistant coaching in Texas. She replaces Billy Goodman, who was very successful in his three seasons, and inherits a team that regularly contends and one that's sick and tired of seeing York in the tournament. The Rangers have some solid building blocks in the sharpshooting Hamilton (she was third in the Western Maine Conference last winter in 3-pointers made with 29), the potentially dominating post standout Storey and other returners including point guard Beaulieu, capable scorer Munson and Readio. Sophomores Jordynne Copp (who impressed during volleyball's run to a championship) and Mykaela Twitchell and freshman Ashley Storey will be in the mix as well. Greely suffered a tough 49-43 loss at Wells in the opener Friday, but got 16 points from Jaclyn Storey. With a new coach and some new faces, the Rangers will take some time getting up to speed, but there is plenty of upside. Greely will be very competitive in the weeks to come and by February, should be in position to once again make a deep tournament run.

BOYS' HOCKEY

COACH: Barry Mothes (18th year, 214-133-6)

2010-11 Record: 15-4-1 (Lost, 6-4, to York in Western B Final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Pete Stauber (Senior), Kenny Richards (Junior), Tim Storey (Junior), Drew Hackett (Sophomore), Ted Hart (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 17 @ Yarmouth, Dec. 19 @ Biddeford, Jan. 5 (H) CAMDEN HILLS, Jan. 9 @ York, Jan. 14 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, Jan. 21 (H) YARMOUTH, Jan. 23 @ Lewiston, Jan. 25 @ St. Dom's, Jan. 28 @ Leavitt, Feb. 2 (H) YORK, Feb. 8 @ Camden Hills, Feb. 11 (H) LEAVITT, Feb. 20 @ Falmouth, Feb. 23 @ Cape Elizabeth

COACH’S COMMENT: “This is arguably the toughest regular season schedule we've ever had. These games present great challenges and opportunities to grow as a team and will push us to prepare and work hard. These kinds of games should make us a better team and that's what we're looking for. We believe we're right there with any of our rivals and competitors and hopefully over the season, the challenging crossover and tournament schedule will push us to grow competitively. The guys have worked hard and played some good hockey so far in the preseason and we just need to work harder and get better every day.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely liked its chances to win a second Class B state championship in three seasons last winter, but the Rangers were knocked off in the regional final by eventual state champion York. This year, in a region that appears very balanced, look for Greely to be near or at the top of the heap again. Hart has lived up to his family legacy and is already a star. He scored 13 goals and added eight assists last year and was named to the Western B All-Rookie team. He'll likely be even more prolific this winter. Richards (13 goals, 13 assists), captain Stauber (five goals, 14 assists) and Hackett (six goals, 11 assists) will also look to tickle the twine. Freshman forward Mitchel Donovan, a former Greely Middle School standout and member of the Casco Bay Bantam team which won the Tier II national title, along with classmate Reid Howland (also on the Bantam title team), look to follow in Hart's footsteps and become scoring threats right out of the gate. Storey (a second-team league all-star in 2010-11 and a captain this winter) is the anchor on defense where there will be pressure to perform after Matt Labbe (a four-year starter in goal) graduated. Freshman Kyle Kramlich is ready to step in. He was also on the national champion Casco Bay team and has faced his share of pressure situations, passing with flying colors. Kramlich is backed up by sophomore Christian Kroot. The Rangers simply won't have many easy games and will need to be on virtually every time they strap on the skates. While they'll certainly stumble at times (who wouldn't against this type of schedule?), Greely has the look of a championship contender. If the Rangers can stay healthy and the freshmen make the quick adjustment to varsity, by playoff time, Greely might be ready to finish the job it started last season.

GIRLS' HOCKEY

COACH: Nate Guerin (second year, 12-7-1)

2010-11 Record: 12-7-1 (Lost, 3-2, to St. Dom's in East Region Final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Shannon Donovan (Senior), CeCi Hodgkins (Senior), Emma Seymour (Senior), Halley Taylor (Senior), Chelsea Andrews (Junior), Etta Copenhagen (Junior), Meg Finlay (Junior), Paige Tuller (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 28 @ EL/Leavitt, Jan. 4 (H) ST. DOM'S, Jan. 11 (H) LEWISTON, Jan. 25 (H) EL/LEAVITT, Feb. 1 (H) YORK, Feb. 3 @ Falmouth, Feb. 4 @ Portland

COACH'S COMMENT: “We have a strong core of returning players. The girls are hard working and they love to compete. Backstopped by our goalie, the girls have all the skill needed to make a playoff run, but will need to be mentally focused down the stretch if we want to reach our ultimate goal.”

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: Coach Guerin didn't say what that ultimate goal is, but after falling a goal shy of the state final last winter, you have to believe these Rangers think they can go all the way. Based on early results this winter, you have to like their chances. Greely captured its first five contests by a composite 25-0 margin. Seymour has cemented her reputation as one of the state's best goalies by not allowing a single puck to get past her. The run ended Saturday with a 4-1 loss to Falmouth. Seymour has been aided by a solid defensive corps, which includes Andrews and Taylor, along with newcomer Mary Morrison. The offensive threats are plentiful. Copenhagen, Morrison and Tuller all scored twice in a 10-0 win over St. Dom's, Andrews, Morrison and Tuller all scored twice against Yarmouth and great balance has been demonstrated in other games. Donovan, Finlay, Hodgkins, Sarah Kurland (who had the winner in a 1-0 triumph at Lewiston) and Freyja Victory (who assisted on the winner at the Blue Devils) will do their share of scoring as the season progresses. The Rangers have all the pieces in the place for a special season. They don't surrender goals and they can roll player after player on to the ice who can light the lamp. There might be a few teams out there that are Greely's equal, but you'll have to search for them. If the Rangers stay healthy and hungry, look out. That ultimate goal might be attained.

INDOOR TRACK

COACH: John Folan (19th year)

2010-11 Results:

(BOYS) 5th @ Class B state meet

(GIRLS) 2nd @ Class B state meet

TOP RETURNING ATHLETES:

(BOYS) Greg Ferland (Senior), Stefan Sandreuter (Senior), Eric Storey (Senior), Liam Campbell (Junior), Ben Giffard (Junior), Jake Isaacson (Junior), James Ferrar (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Deanna Barry (Senior), Abby Bonnevie (Senior), Sarah Ezzio (Senior), Catherine Fellows (Senior), Shannon Fitzpatrick (Senior), Melissa Jacques (Senior), Julia Maine (Senior), Helena McMonagle (Senior), Libby Thomas (Senior), Robyn Estes (Junior), Sarah Fitch (Junior), Molly Fitzpatrick (Junior), Lila Hall (Junior), Sarah Ingraham (Junior), Cora Lyden (Junior), Kathleen McKersie (Junior), Gabby Morris (Junior), Nina Oberg (Junior), Kelsey Saunders (Junior), Kaley Sawyer (Junior), Lindsay Steinberg (Junior), Cassidy Storey (Junior), Whitney Williams (Junior), Jessica Wilson (Junior), Kirstin Sandreuter (Sophomore)

COACH’S COMMENT: “After heavy graduation losses, mostly in a powerful field event crew, this is a rebuilding year for the boys. We hope for improvement and the emergence of developing athletes. We'll still make noise at the state meet on the tails of talented distance runners. The team includes a number of young, untested folks who could contribute as we go along. The girls have a large team with a good veteran presence, some excellent newcomers and lots of untested, but interesting underclassmen. We should be competitive at both the league and state levels. Attitude to this point has been focused and excited.“

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Once again, Greely boasts a ton of athletes and an abundance of talent.

The boys, even in a “rebuilding year,” will be very formidable. Campbell (second in the mile) and Sandreuter (third in the two-mile) scored at states last year. They're joined in the distance by Ferland, new senior Nestor Taylor and freshman Troy Cochran. In the sprints, Isaacson and Storey hope to make an impact. Giffard (jumps) and Ferrar (throws) are the top field event hopes. The Rangers will find a way to hold their own in the league and should be top 10 (probably top five) material once again come February.

On the girls' side, there are almost too many competitors to keep track of. Sandreuter was second in the two-mile and third in the mile last season. She is joined in the long races by Ezzio, Shannon Fitzpatrick, Jacques (fourth in the 800 last year), Maine, McMonagle, Fitch and new senior Sasha McLean. Wilson (who was fourth in the 400 a year ago), junior Julia Mitiguy and sophomore Cameron Keefe are middle-distance runners. The sprint contingent includes Estes, Hall, Ingraham, McKersie, Thomas and senior Audrey Parolin (best known for her all-star play on the soccer pitch in the fall). Sawyer and freshman Hannah Keisman are hurdlers to watch. In the field events, Barry, Bonnevie (fifth in the pole vault last year), Lyden, Oberg and senior Emily Curato are all vaulters. Jumpers include Molly Fitzpatrick (fifth in the triple jump last winter), Ingraham (third in last year's long jump), Morris, Saunders, Sawyer (sixth in the high jump), Keisman and freshman Emily Saunders. The top throwers are Fellows (seventh in the shot put), Steinberg, Storey (fourth in the shot put last winter) and Williams. The Rangers will be tested in the conference, but should be right at the top in February. Greely has a great shot to place in the top three at states for the 21st time in 23 seasons.

SWIMMING

COACH: Rob Hale (18th year w/boys' team, 21st year w/girls)

2010-11 Results:

(BOYS) Class B state champion

(GIRLS) 2nd @ Class B state meet

TOP RETURNING SWIMMERS:

(BOYS) Evan Campbell (Senior), Dan Spencer (Senior), Joe Dunnett (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Sara Schad (Senior), Katie Whittum (Senior), Emily Domingo (Junior), Sarah Easterling (Junior)

COACH’S COMMENT: “The boys graduated a top swimmer and a bunch of role swimmers, but we were deep last year, so we will still be in the hunt. Regionally, we'll look to defend our championship. At the state level, if we can find some kids to replace my four football iron horsemen, who were 200 free relay champs, we'll be right there. The girls didn't graduate many, but we did graduate a couple big contributors. With our graduation losses, we can't match up with Waynflete and we don't have the depth to match MDI's numbers.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely produced yet another superb season in the pool in 2010-11, as the boys's squad repeated as Class B champs and the girls (2009-10 champions) were runners-up. Both squads expect to excel again this winter under Hale, who was The Forecaster's Coach of the Year in 2010 and earned the same honor at the state level last winter..

The boys are led by Spencer (the Class B champion in the 100 free and runner-up in the 200 free) and Campbell (runner-up in the backstroke). Dunnett joined Campbell and Spencer on state champion medley and 400 free relay teams. Spencer will also compete in the butterfly, Campbell in the sprints and Dunnett in the butterfly and individual medley. The Rangers will be very good in the regular season and will vie with Cape Elizabeth and Cheverus at Southwesterns. At the state meet, Greely's bid for a three-peat will have to go through Belfast and Ellsworth. Don't be surprised if the Rangers make it happen.

On the girls' side, Greely returns a pair of reigning conference and state all-star standouts in Easterling (champion and record-holder in the backstroke and champion and school record holder in the IM) and Schad (reigning champion in the 100 and 200 free). Schad was the schools' 2008-09 Winter Female Athlete of the Year. Easterling's taken the award each of the past two seasons and was named the Class B Swimmer of the Year a year ago. Domingo and Whittum were part of a 400 free relay champion last season. This year, Easterling will look to dominate again in virtually every stroke. Schad will do the same in her swan song. Whittum will compete in the sprints and Domingo will swim the freestyle. The Rangers are one of the top teams in the region, but might not have enough to get past Mt. Desert Island or Waynflete. Still, Greely's a top three team at worst.

SKIING

2010-11 Results:

(BOYS) 3rd @ Class A combined state meet

(GIRLS) 3rd @ Class A combined state meet

ALPINE SKIING

COACH: Mark Ouellette (16th year)

2010-11 Results:

(BOYS) 3rd @ Class A state meet

(GIRLS) Class A state champions

TOP RETURNING SKIERS:

(BOYS) Richard Judge (Senior), Luke Wilcox (Senior), Shane DelBianco (Junior)

(GIRLS) Jordan Ouellette (Junior), Jill Booth (Sophomore), Elyse Dinan (Sophomore), Kristin Dugas (Sophomore), Eliza McKenney (Sophomore), Teal Otley (Sophomore)

COACH’S COMMENT: “Our ladies look to be deeper than last year so it will be interesting. The boys are ready to blossom and compete at the highest level. We're training toward co-ed state championships.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely will make plenty of noise on the slopes once again this winter.

The boys hope to move up behind returning state meet scorers DelBianco (seventh the giant slalom, ninth in the slalom), Judge (20th GS, 28th slalom, sixth in the Class A skimeister standings) and Wilcox (32nd slalom, 42nd GS). If the Rangers can find a fourth top competitor, they'll be in the hunt all season. Expect Greely to hold its own in the regular season and have another high state meet finish.

The girls were simply unbeatable in 2010-11 en route to conference and Class A state titles. That group returns state meet scorers Dinan (the Class A skimeister champion, second GS, ninth slalom), Jill Booth (seventh slalom, 15th GS) and Ouellette (12th slalom). The departure of GS champion Maddie Whittier (private school) and state scorer Cat Ferguson (graduation) will hurt, but there's plenty of talent in reserve, including Dugas, McKenney and Otley, sophomores Liz Clifford and Delaney Stevens and freshmen Jessie Hoffman, Anna Murphy and Kristina Volta. If it's possible to improve on perfection, this could be the team to do it. Don't be surprised if 2011-12 is an encore performance of last year's sheer domination.

NORDIC SKIING

COACHES: Tyler Jasud (second year)

2010-11 Results:

(BOYS) 4th @ Class A State Meet

(GIRLS) 6th @ Class A State Meet

TOP RETURNING SKIERS:

(BOYS) Costa Pollack (Senior), Ian Byron (Junior), Doug Mitiguy (Junior), Evan Morrison (Junior), Philip Hodgkins (Junior)

(GIRLS) Eloise Peabbles (Junior), Elyse Dinan (Sophomore), Krista Marble (Sophomore)

COACH’S COMMENT: “We're a younger team in a very competitive conference. I'm looking forward to making improvements on that stage and bring competitive skiers to the state meet.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both Greely Nordic ski teams have the opportunity to turn heads this winter.

The boys lost some firepower, most notably state meet scorer Connor Regan, but do return Byron (26th in the freestyle at states) and Pollack (33rd in both the freestyle and the classic). Hodgkins, Mitiguy and Morrison all have experience. Freshmen Tim Adams and Haley Cunningham hope to step in and make a mark. The Rangers have the potential to be a competitive team throughout the regular and postseasons.

On the girls' side, Dinan (last year's Class A skimeister champion) is a returning state scorer. She was 31st in both the classic and the freestyle. Peabbles (29th in the classic, 34th freestyle) also scored a year ago. Marble and freshmen Eva Bates and Emily Follett hope to fill the void created by the departure of Maddie Whittier, who transferred. Greely has promise and should only get better between now and February, when it will be among the top teams in Class A.

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

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Junior Kelsey Saunders looks to be one of the league's top jumpers.

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Junior Sarah Ingraham is a top sprinter and jumper (third in the long jump a year ago).

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Senior Stefan Sandreuter (Greely's Fall Male Athlete of the Year) finished third in the two-mile a year ago. He'll be part of a strong distance contingent.

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Junior Liam Campbell was the runner-up in the mile at last year's Class B state meet. He hopes to move up a spot this winter.

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Sophomore Kirstin Sandreuter hopes to follow up a strong freshman campaign (second in the two-mile, third in the mile) with more excellence this winter.

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Senior Caroline Hamilton is a sharpshooter for the Greely girls' basketball team.

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Sophomore Ted Hart is poised for a huge season for a Greely boys' hockey team that will be one of the best in Western Class B.

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Junior Kenny Richards is another top scoring threat for the Rangers.

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Senior captain Pete Stauber looks to lead the Rangers to great things.

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Senior CeCi Hodgkins will be one of the state's best players.