Greely Rangers Winter Sports Preview

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Last winter was golden for both Greely basketball teams, as the boys and girls swept Class A championships. The Rangers are going for a double-repeat this season.

File photos. 

More photos below.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Coach: Travis Seaver (seventh year, 99-26 overall record, two state titles)

2017-18 record: 22-0 (Beat Hampden Academy, 47-46, to win second consecutive Class A state title)

Top returning players: Zack Brown (Senior), Mikey Coppersmith (Senior), Andrew Storey (Senior), Logan Bagshaw (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 7 CAPE ELIZABETH, Dec. 10 @ Wells, Dec. 14 @ South Portland, Dec. 21 FALMOUTH, Dec. 28 @ Brunswick, Jan. 3 GRAY-NG, Jan. 10 FREEPORT, Jan. 12 OXFORD HILLS, Jan. 14 @ Yarmouth, Jan. 25 @ Gray-NG, Jan. 29 @ Cape Elizabeth, Feb. 1 YARMOUTH

Coach’s comment: “We’ve hit the re-set button. We lost some key players, but we have some key pieces back, so we’re excited about the season. We don’t have a lot of size. Losing Jack (Kane) in the middle is an adjustment, but I like our athleticism. We pose matchup problems on offense and we can cover on defense. With our success, guys have a lot of expectations. We should be knocking on the door.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Greely has done far more than just knock on the door the past two seasons, the Rangers have kicked it down, winning their last 44 games, some with ease and some in the final seconds as they’ve captured the past two Class A championships. Once again, graduation took its toll, but once again, Greely is poised to rise to the challenge and make a run at something the program has never accomplished, winning a third straight crown.

Brown, Greely’s 2017-18 Winter Male Athlete of the Year, has consistently dazzled in the big spots. He’ll be a star again this fall. Brown, a first-team All-Conference selection last winter, figures to score his share of points from his guard position. Bagshaw, a third-teamer a year ago, is never shy about launching an outside shot and is another backcourt standout. Junior Jakob Bernheisel provides depth. Coppersmith, another player who shines under the bright lights, will see time at guard and forward. Storey, along with senior Joe Cimino, junior Nick Butler and sophomore Luke Gabloff, leads a frontcourt, that while lacking in size, has ample athleticism.

The Rangers will have their hands full from the likes of rival Falmouth, Brunswick and resurgent Kennebunk and a few games against Class AA foes during the regular season makes it likely the win streak could come to an end, but this team will measure itself by what it does in the tournament. Greely knows what it takes to win when the games matter most. Look for that trend to continue this winter.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Coach: Todd Flaherty (third year, 39-4 overall record, one state title)

2017-18 record: 20-2 (Beat Hampden Academy, 53-38, to win Class A state title)

Top returning players: Anna DeWolfe (Senior), Julia Martel (Senior), Brooke Obar (Junior), Camille Clement (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Dec. 14 SOUTH PORTLAND, Dec. 28 BRUNSWICK, Jan. 3 @ Gray-New Gloucester, Jan. 5 @ Gorham, Jan. 8 YORK, Jan. 12 OXFORD HILLS, Jan. 18 @ NYA, Jan. 25 GRAY-NG, Jan. 29 NYA, Feb. 5 @ York

Coach’s comment: “We’re looking pretty good. We’re a veteran team and we know we’ll get everyone’s best. That’s what we want. We’ll focus on getting better. We did a good job of that last year. When we get into the tournament, we’ll hope to play our best.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: After a dominating run to a state title, Greely might enter the season as the heaviest favorite in the state, regardless of class or gender. The Rangers figure to wear the bulls-eye well, however, as they have an abundance of talent returning and no shortage of confidence to go with it.

For starters, Greely gets the services of the nonpareil DeWolfe for one final season. A favorite for Miss Maine Basketball, DeWolfe, who will play at Fordham University in New York next year, was a first-team all-star last year and can score from anywhere on the floor. DeWolfe, who is closing in on 1,500 career points, is unstoppable in transition, can hit shots from the perimeter and is equally happy setting up teammates for easy baskets as she is tickling the twine herself. Just DeWolfe would be enough to make the Rangers the favorite, but she has plenty of help. Obar, a second-team all-star last winter, would be the star on just about any other team and she has consistently stepped up in big spots her first two seasons. This winter, Obar will see time at point guard and shooting guard and if she gets an open shot, she’ll knock it down. Clement, a third-teamer last winter, had a terrific freshman season and is just getting started. She’s clutch from the 3-point line and can get out in transition and make good things happen. Martel, a forward, has played very well in big spots, at both ends of the floor. Junior Katie Fitzpatrick returns to Greely from erstwhile Maine Girls’ Academy and will be a force in the post. Other frontcourt players to watch include senior Rachel Smith, the golf standout, junior Hanna Kane and sophomore Madison Storey, who also played at MGA last season. Senior Maddie Scott and sophomore Mollie Obar will help out in the backcourt and will see key minutes off the bench.

Greely has all the pieces in place to enjoy a memorable season. The Rangers have a title in their back pocket and are favored to capture another. If this squad can stay healthy and hungry, more glory could be the end result. Whatever happens, buckle up and enjoy the ride as this squad will put on a energetic show.

BOYS’ HOCKEY

Coach: Barry Mothes (25th year, 298-187-15 overall record, three state championships)

2017-18 record: 17-3-1 (Lost, 3-2, in overtime, to Old Town/Orono in Class B state final)

Top returning players: Peter Lattanzi (Senior), Jackson Williams (Senior), Caleb Duff (Junior), Jake MacDonald (Junior), Andy Moore (Junior), Owen O’Connell (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 8 @ York, Dec. 14 @ Kennebunk, Dec. 18 @ Yarmouth, Dec. 22 CAPE ELIZABETH, Jan. 1  @ Falmouth, Jan. 3 BIDDEFORD, Jan. 12 BRUNSWICK, Jan. 19 @ Gorham, Jan. 21 GARDINER, Jan. 24 ST. DOM’S, Jan. 30 @ Lewiston, Feb. 9 @ Brunswick, Feb. 12 YARMOUTH, Feb. 16 @ Cape Elizabeth

Coach’s comment: “We return a dangerous group of forwards and veteran depth. We should be a dangerous offensive team. We’ll be relatively young on defense and in net, but many of those players earned some valuable experience last year. We face another tough schedule, including five top Class A crossover opponents. We’re looking to get back to the big playoff games at the Colisee in Lewiston in late-February and March.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Greely fell just short in its quest for a fourth state championship last March and while this year’s team has some holes to fill, it’s quite likely the Rangers will be a position to finish the job this winter, if everything comes together as Mothes, last year’s Class B South Coach of the Year, hopes.

MacDonald, a league all-star and Class B South Forward of the Year in 2017-18 after scoring 26 goals and adding 26 assists, and Moore, a league all-star after putting the puck in the net 17 times and adding 21 assists last season, will anchor what figures to be a potent offense. Williams (14 goals, 19 assists), Lattanzi (6 goals, 5 assists) and O’Connell (2 goals, 1 assist) also have experience. They’re joined by sophomore Chris Williams, who scored two goals and had four assists in limited varsity time last season and freshmen Evan Dutil and Alex Wallace. There isn’t as much experience on defense, but Duff will set the tone. He’s joined by junior Ricky Walker, sophomores Zach Dubbert, Dawson Jowett, Brennan Rawnsley and Devdan Young and freshmen Cam Malette and Brooks Williams. They’ll look to stymie the opposition in front of sophomores Ben Singer and Jared Swisher and freshman Spencer Osgood, who were vying for the goalie position at press time.

Greely won’t boast as gaudy a record as a year ago, but Mothes will pick up his 300th victory shortly and as the season progresses, the Rangers will hit their stride. Ignore Greely’s final record, it won’t be important. What will be important is how well the team is playing and how much confidence it has when the playoffs begin. While Class B South, as usual, has several other quality teams looking to knock the Rangers off, when the calendar hits February, then March, this program is always at its best. Another deep postseason run is the likely end result.

GIRLS’ HOCKEY

Coach: Nate Guerin (ninth year, 128-32-3 overall record, two state championships)

2017-18 record: 19-3 (Beat Cheverus, 3-1, to win state title)

Top returning players: Jayme Morrison (Senior), Leah Walker (Junior), Camilla Lattanzi (Sophomore), Maddie Pelletier (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Dec. 8 @ Cape/Waynflete/SP, Dec. 11 CHEVERUS, Dec. 13 @ Yarmouth/Freeport, Dec. 29 ST. DOM’S, Jan. 1 @ Falmouth, Jan. 12 @ St. Dom’s, Jan. 21 @ Cheverus, Jan. 23 @ Scarborough, Jan. 30 @ Lewiston

Coach’s comment: “We’ve got a large group of first-year players and our goal over the course of the season will be to develop skills to a point where we can try to run some systems consistently. We expect the entire season to be filled with growing pains and new successes. Hopefully we can put together enough wins to make the playoffs and get our new girls a taste of hockey in February.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Greely (which again includes players from Gray-New Gloucester) saved its best for last a year ago, riding the individual brilliance of Courtney Sullivan to a surprise state title. Graduation hit the program hard and the Rangers have some reloading to do, but don’t be surprised if by February, they’re back in the title mix. Greely started with an 11-1 loss to Lewiston, beat Portland/Deering, 8-6, then fell against Edward Little/Leavitt/Poland (6-2) and Scarborough (8-0).

The Rangers have some goal-scoring to replace and will look to Pelletier, senior Linnea Kovisto (a Finnish exchange student) and freshman Kerry Roberts to lead the way. Lattanzi, Morrison and Walker anchor a strong defense and will also get involved on the offensive end. Juniors Meghan Abel and Zahria MacLean will each see time in goal.

Nothing will come easily this year for the defending champs, but by the end of the season, this could be a formidable group. Overall Greely at your peril.

SWIMMING

Coach: Rob Hale (27th year w/boys’ team, 29th year w/girls, 13 state championships)

2017-18 results:

(Boys) 10th @ Class B state meet

(Girls) 2nd @ Class B state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Nicolas Giandrea (Senior), Atticus Smith (Sophomore)

(Girls) Julia Bisson (Senior), Courtney Rog (Senior), Jaehee Park (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “The girls will be similar to last year. We graduated some significant points, but we have some additions who will score. We’ll still be in Cape’s rearview mirror, not necessarily closer than we appear. We’ll be swimming upstream, but it will make us stronger and faster. The boys made huge gains last year. The senior class has come a long way. Deeper voices, hair on their legs and much faster in the pool. They’re excited to leave their mark on our program’s history. It’s the largest boys’ team in my tenure. By the end of the season, I think we’ll turn some heads.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Greely will once again boast a pair of top 10 teams, if not better, this winter.

The girls’ squad will be led by Bisson, who is the defending Class B state diving champion and the school record-holder. She’s looking for more glory. Rog came in second in both the breaststroke and individual medley a year ago and hopes to move into the top spot this season. Park also hopes to move up a spot after coming in second in both the 200 and 500 freestyle. Sophomore Blake Wescott, a transfer from Maine Girls’ Academy, will make waves in the breaststroke and IM. The Rangers always are among the best teams in the regular season and in February. While Cape Elizabeth is again the favorite, Greely could wind up second again.

On the boys’ side, Giandrea looks to move up from his eighth-place finish in the 500 free a year ago. Smith is another freestyler of note. Several other swimmers hope to contribute and help the Rangers enjoy a solid campaign from start to finish.

ALPINE SKIING

Coach: Mark Ouellette (23rd year)

2017-18 results:

(Boys) 7th @ Class A state meet

(Girls) no score @ Class A state meet

Coach’s comment: “Both our boys and girls should be competitive this year. Our girls’ program is growing in numbers back to where we used to be. The boys’ team should have a year-long battle for the top six. It should be a great year.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: It should be a year of growth and improvement for the Greely Alpine program.

The boys return Richard (ninth in the giant slalom and 19th in the slalom last year), Holmes (21st in the GS, 28th in the slalom), Lindsay (26th in the slalom) and Gustafson (39th in the GS, 40th in the slalom). Joe Clapp, George Kendall and Marshall Ray are also in the mix. The Rangers are hopeful of moving up the standings at states.

On the girls’ side, Asherman (30th in the GS, 32nd in the slalom last year) is the top returner. Lizzie Hanson, Sabie Lindsey and Sarah Traister are other skiers to watch. Greely will be heard from this winter from start to finish.

NORDIC SKIING

Coach: Rye Daily (sixth year)

2017-18 results:

(Boys) 7th @ Class A state meet

(Girls) no score @ Class A state meet

Coach’s comment: “We’re small again, but our team is really close. I expect they’ll all be pulling for each other and pushing one another. I expect the team to continue to work hard and ski their best. I think we’re focused and having a lot of fun conditioning, skiing and racing.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Greely will put together a strong team this winter.

The boys return state meet scorers Nate Colavolpe (14th in the freestyle, 23rd in the classical last season), Leif Harvey (20th in the classical, 23rd freestyle) and Lucas Goettel (43rd in the classical, 45th in the freestyle). Colavolpe and Harvey each skied for the J2 Maine team. Varick Olas is new and will help with depth. The Rangers will compete all year and could move up at the state meet.

On the girls’ side, Sam Gailbrath and Grace Ruszkai are top returners. Alex Collins is a key newcomer. The Rangers are primed to improve and score when the state meet rolls around.

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

Senior Zack Brown has been Mr. Consistency and Mr. Clutch for Greely’s two-time defending boys’ basketball champion.

Junior Logan Bagshaw is a deadly shooter and will score plenty of points in the weeks to come.

Senior Mikey Coppersmith has been willing to do whatever it takes to help his team win the past few seasons.

Senior Anna DeWolfe looks to cap her sensational high school career with another state title.

Camille Clement had a strong freshman season and will bury shots from way outside again this winter.

Junior Brooke Obar will help run the Greely offense.

Julia Martel doesn’t get the attention she deserves, but she’s played a critical role for the Rangers.

Madison Scott is a key reserve for the Rangers.

Junior Katie Fitzpatrick, who played for Greely as a freshman, then went to Maine Girls’ Academy as a sophomore, is back with the Rangers this season and will be a force in the paint.

Junior Jake MacDonald was named the Class B South Forward of the Year last season after helping Greely’s boys’ hockey team get to the state final. MacDonald and his teammates are hoping to finish the job this winter.

Junior Andy Moore scored 17 goals last winter and is back for more.

Senior Jackson Williams is yet another scorer for the opposition to contend with.

Jayme Morrison returns for a Greely girls’ hockey team looking to repeat as state champions.

Junior Leah Walker is another key returning veteran for the Rangers.

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