Deering Rams Spring Sports Preview

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

Junior Andrew James looks to pace the offense of Deering’s boys’ lacrosse team, which looks to contend in Class A North this year.

File photos.

More photos below.

BASEBALL

Coach: Josh Stowell (fifth year, 37-35 overall record)

2018 record: 8-10 (Lost, 11-1, in six-innings, to Cheverus in Class A South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Luke Hill (Senior), Mike Jones (Senior), Josh Paisley (Senior), Mike Randall (Junior), Bennett Berg (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: May 2 @ Thornton Academy, May 7 @ Scarborough, May 9 @ Falmouth, May 18 SOUTH PORTLAND, May 25 @ Cheverus, May 28 PORTLAND

Coach’s comment: “We have good players, but not a lot of depth. We have all of our pitching back and adding a guy like Tre (Fletcher) makes a big difference. We should be middle-of-the-pack. We have the ability to beat anybody. Our goal is to get into the playoffs. Our ultimate goal is to host a quarterfinal.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: There’s plenty of buzz around the Rams this spring, as they figure to be a top contender in a balanced region. Deering had its share of returning talent to begin with, but a huge addition to the roster has helped create even more optimism.

The Rams have good pitching behind Hill, Jones and Paisley. Berg will also see some time on the hill, as will senior Tre Fletcher, who’s getting attention from Major League scouts, and has huge things in his future. Fletcher will also be a top hitter. He can crush the ball and he has speed too. Hill will see some time behind the plate when he isn’t pitching and sophomore Blaine Alves will also have his opportunity to catch. Alves will also play the infield and will see time in the outfield. Jones and Randall will be top infielders. Berg will be in the outfield.

Deering doesn’t have much depth and needs to solidify the catcher’s position, but the Rams will contend with everyone and will post their share of victories. In a one-game, winner-moves-on playoff situation, nobody in the league will want to be sitting in the opposing dugout.

SOFTBALL

Coach: John Coyne (third year)

2018 record: 0-16 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Dela Bernard (Senior), Megan Dunn (Senior), Mackenzie O’Donnell (Senior), Liz Drelich (Junior), Liv Serappa (Junior), Rebekah Dunn (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 18 PORTLAND, April 26 @ South Portland, May 10 @ Cheverus

Coach’s comment: “These guys have been together for a year. There’s cohesion and a sense of team. We were in some games last year and I think if we come together, we can get to the playoffs.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering suffered through growing pains last season, but there’s reason to believe the Rams will turn things around this spring.

Drelich was an honorable mention league all-star in 2018. She returns behind the plate and will pace the offense. O’Donnell (who also plays shortstop) and Rebekah Dunn are the 1-2 pitching punch. Bernard is a veteran at first base. Megan Dunn and Serappa have experience in the outfield. Several other girls will look for their opportunity to secure a spot.

Deering has several games on its schedule where it can compete. An early win would do wonders for confidence and one victory could lead to more. The Rams will take a positive step forward this spring. Maybe a big step forward.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Jon Dubois (eighth year, 43-50 overall record)

2018 record: 5-8 (Lost, 15-9, to Lewiston in Class A North quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Silas Boxer (Senior), Ben Brown (Junior), Andrew James (Junior), Max Morrione (Junior)

Pivotal games: May 10 WAYNFLETE, May 24 SCARBOROUGH, May 29 CHEVERUS

Coach’s comment: “We’re young. The majority of the team is sophomores and juniors, but I’m optimistic. It’s a building year for us. A great goalie is a game-changer in high school lacrosse and we have one. We have top tier teams on our schedule, but we’ll be competitive. We have some games we can win. As always, we want to beat the city teams and get enough Heal Points to get a playoff spot.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering has made the playoffs four years running and despite a daunting schedule this spring, the Rams have enough talent to return.

The loss of first-team all-star and top scorer Nick James will be felt. This season, the offense will be led by Boxer and Andrew James. Brown is a top defender. Morrione will be one of the league’s top goalies. Junior Tyler McAlister is the faceoff specialist.

Deering will have its hands full with the Falmouths and Thornton Academys on their schedule, but if the Rams can compete with them and beat several of their other foes, look out, they won’t just make the playoffs, but make some noise once they get there.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Layne Graffam (first year)

2018 record 3-9 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Britta Kimana (Senior), Alyssa Staples (Senior), Gabby Taliento (Senior), Kiaya Gatchell (Junior), Aleah Murph (Junior), Rachel Pardi (Junior), Janella-Marie Ridge (Junior), Grayson Soldatti (Junior), Riley Forrest (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: May 7 @ Portland, May 9 WINDHAM, May 17 NYA, May 21 @ Cheverus

Coach’s comment: “Our emphasis this year will be on winning 85 percent of ground balls and completing 200 passes a game. We’ll take it one game at a time. I really think we can be competitive. We hope to have a longer season than in the past.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering looks to climb back into contention this spring under Graffam, who played in high school and later coached the Brunswick girls’ team. He inherits a squad that is flying under radar and is ready to make some noise.

Gatchell made the all-star team in 2018 and will be a factor in the midfield for the Rams this spring. She’ll be joined by Murph and Staples. Top scoring threats at attack include Pardi, Ridge, Soldatti and Taliento. Defensively, look for Forrest and Kimara to hold the fort in front of a new goalie, either senior Mbacthana Muka or junior Kayla Nguyen.

Deering has the type of schedule that should allow to play well and win some games early in the season to develop confidence. If the Rams can do that, a run at a winning record and playoff spot is a realistic end goal.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Boys’ coach(es): Gerry Myatt and Frank Myatt (seventh year)

Girls’ coach(es): Kevin Campbell and Kevin Olson (sixth year)

2018 results:

(Boys) tie-14th @ Class A state meet

(Girls) 21st @ Class A state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Jerry Mixangelo (Senior), Samacha Sam (Senior), Hanza Sheib (Senior), Alec Troxell (Senior), Abukar Abu (Junior), Loki Anda (Junior), Ethan Berdega (Junior), Antonio Ciccomancini (Junior), James Opio (Sophomore), Ben Vachon (Sophomore)

(Girls) Nicole Johnson (Senior), Grace Tumavicus (Senior), Madison Alves (Junior), Darcy Lally (Junior), Sierra Aponte-Clarke (Sophomore), Hadley Poirier (Sophomore)

Coach Myatts’ comment: “We’ll be solid. We’ve got a little bit of everything. We have a deep distance crew. We’re probably not a big meet team. We’ll be more competitive in dual meets. If we have a good day at states, we could be top 10.”

Coach Campbell’s comment: “We hope to be a balanced and competitive track team and to qualify as many athletes as possible for the state meet.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Both Deering track teams have ample talent this spring.

The boys return Troxell, who placed third last spring in the mile. Sheib and junior Joey Lancia will also contend in the longer races. Mixangelo is a top middle-distance runner. In the sprints, Berdega, Ciccomancini, Opio, Sam, Vachon and freshman Grant Harron will contend. Abu is the lead hurdler. On the field side, Anda and Ciccomancini are the top jumpers. Junior Jason Pichette hopes to score in the throws. The Rams will be very competitive during the regular season and could move up at states.

On the girls’ side, the departure of Annah Rossvall will be felt, but the Rams have several athletes who can make some noise. Aponte-Clarke, Poirier and Tumavicus make up a strong and experienced distance crew. Newcomer Meghan Cunningham adds depth. Alves hopes to score in the hurdles. Newcomer Fatima Rocha is a sprinter to watch. On the field side, Aves and Rocha are top jumpers, Johnson hopes to score in the throws and Lally will be heard from in the pole vault. Deering will produce some front line talent in the weeks to come and could be a force in the postseason.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Regina Morton (10th year)

2018 results: 8-6 (Lost, 4-1, to Portland in Class A South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: You Kahn (Senior), Kailyss Linnell (Senior), Logan Morrione (Senior), Alex Rubin (Senior), Ben Schoenfeld (Senior), Elliot Weeks (Senior), Hayden Weaver (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “Our team is comprised of seniors, seven to be exact, so we’re very experienced. We want to end our four-year seniors’ careers with a strong record and play our best, all the while having fun, something forgotten in today’s competitive sports. We hope to make a deep playoff run.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering posted a winning record and made the playoffs for the eighth year in a row last spring and with the core of that squad returning, the Rams are primed for more success.

Weeks and Kahn will be in the top two singles positions. Morrione and Rubin were fighting for the third spot at press time. Linnell, Schoenfeld and Weaver will fit into the doubles mix. Newcomers Alvaro Cordero Erbler, Harry Greene and Toby Mueller will look to make their mark on the program.

Deering, like everyone else in Class A South, is chasing Falmouth. The Rams will be competitive with all of their foes this season and could improve on last year’s mark and be in position to make a deep playoff run when all is said and done.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Marcy Weeks and Nicole Kane (second year)

2018 results: 3-10 (Lost, 5-0, to Scarborough in Class A South preliminary round)

Top returning players: Elizabeth Sevigny (Senior), Sarah Wriggins (Junior)

Coach Weeks’ comment: “Our goal this year is to continue developing skills on the court so that the girls can put pressure on their opponents in matches. I want to especially help them gain confidence in their games so they continue to love tennis and have fun.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Deering made it to the playoffs a year ago and this spring, the Rams hope to improve their win-loss mark and enjoy a longer postseason stay.

Wriggins returns in the number one singles role and could be one of the better players in the league. Sevigny is another veteran who will play a key role. Juniors Minka Ineza, Yola Nzuzi, Jessica Ross and Claire Sheehy were all battling for roles at press time and sophomores Stephanie McVane and Edyson Pines and freshmen Mattea Lo-Sears and Zannah Walsh will quickly step in and make a name for themselves.

Deering will be competitive all season and should extend its postseason appearance streak to seven years. Don’t be surprised if the Rams sneak up on some teams in the weeks to come.

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

Luke Hill will be a top pitcher for Deering’s baseball team, which should be in the Class A South mix this year.

Senior Mackenzie O’Donnell will see a lot of time on the mound this season for Deering’s up-and-coming softball team.

Max Morrione returns in goal for Deering’s boys’ lacrosse team.

Jerry Mixangelo will be a top distance runner for Deering’s boys’ outdoor track team.

Madison Alves looks to score in the hurdles and high jump this season for Deering’s girls’ outdoor track team.

0
Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.