Another spring sports season has come and gone and it’s safe to say that the events of April, May and June 2016 won’t soon be forgotten.
On the diamond, Cape Elizabeth and South Portland both returned to the regional final and Scarborough rode the return of a coaching legend to an unexpectedly strong campaign.
Scarborough’s softball team was once again unstoppable, at least until the middle of June. Cape Elizabeth and South Portland also made the playoffs.
Boys’ lacrosse produced a champion in Scarborough. Cape Elizabeth and South Portland weren’t able to get back to the state final.
On the girls’ side, South Portland enjoyed a history-making campaign, while Scarborough once again qualified for the postseason.
The state track meet saw several individuals excel and Scarborough’s boys’ team complete an amazing sweep of the school year.
Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ tennis team won their first championship in nearly a decade and every local team made the playoffs. Cape Elizabeth’s boys couldn’t quite make it four straight titles and Scarborough’s girls got to the regional final before losing to perennial champion Falmouth.
Before we savor summer, here’s one last look at the spring of 2016:
Cape Elizabeth Capers girls’ tennis, Class B
Scarborough Red Storm boys’ lacrosse, Class A
Scarborough Red Storm boys’ outdoor track, Class A
Cape Elizabeth Capers boys’ tennis, Class B South
Sam Rusak, Scarborough, Class A boys’ 110 hurdles
Sam Rusak, Scarborough, Class A boys’ 200
Sam Rusak, Scarborough, Class A boys’ pole vault
Sam Rusak, Scarborough, Class A boys’ high jump
Bethany Sholl, Scarborough, Class A girls’ two-mile
Ruay Bol, South Portland, Class A boys’ triple jump
Daniel Guiliani, South Portland, Class A boys’ shot put
Juliana Selser, South Portland, Class A girls’ 800
It was a dynamite season on the diamond. Scarborough, which failed to make the playoffs in 2015, welcomed Mike D’Andrea as coach and D’Andrea, who led Deering to seven Class A titles in the late-1990s and first decade of the new millennium, worked his magic. The Red Storm had a better-than-anyone-expected 13-3 campaign and beat Gorham in the quarterfinals. Scarborough finally met its match in a South Portland squad which did a great job defending its regional title, winning 14 of 16 regular season contests and winning two playoff games before losing to Falmouth. In Class B South, Cape Elizabeth earned the top seed for the second year in a row and once again got to the regional final, but as was the case last spring, the Capers suffered an agonizing loss at St. Joseph’s College, this time falling to Cinderella Freeport.
Little was expected of the South Portland girls’ lacrosse team entering the year. The Red Riots had little experience and opened with a 12-goal loss at defending Class A champion Marshwood, but South Portland, behind the brilliance of seniors Mary Cronin and Maddie Hasson, soon hit its stride and on May 5, shocked perennial power Scarborough, 12-11, its first win over the Red Storm in 12 years. The Red Riots won five games in a row at one stretch and surprisingly finished with a winning record. Then, in the playoffs, South Portland did something unprecedented in the program’s history, beating Gorham to win a quarterfinal for the first time, as Cronin’s goal in the second overtime capped an amazing late rally (Jena Leckie tied the game with time winding down in regulation). The Red Riots were ousted by Marshwood in the semifinals, but you can’t categorize their season as anything short of an overwhelming success.
Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ tennis team has long been in the running for a championship, but since winning Class B in 2007, the Capers couldn’t solve the likes of Falmouth or Greely when they got close to the pinnacle. This spring, Cape Elizabeth had no peer. The Capers had a solid 9-3 regular season and earned the No. 2 seed in Class B South. After sweeping its way through the regional field, beating two-time champion Greely, Yarmouth and York by 5-0 scores, Cape Elizabeth beat Camden Hills in the Class B state match to call itself state champion again.
Scarborough’s boys’ lacrosse team won Class A six times in eight seasons between 2006-13, but the past two years, the Red Storm lost to Thornton Academy in the semifinals and rival South Portland went on to play for a state title. Scarborough faced a lot of question marks at the start of the 2016 season and lost at home to Gorham in double overtime in the opener, was blanked at Cape Elizabeth and lost at home to Yarmouth, but saved its best for last. The Red Storm won their final three games, earned the top seed in Class A South, then, after nearly three weeks off, peaked for the playoffs, crushing South Portland in the semifinals, holding off Gorham in the regional final, then racing past Brunswick, 18-10, behind a record-setting offensive display, to win title number seven.
In the fall, Scarborough’s boys’ cross country team won the Class A state championship. In the winter, the Red Storm’s boys’ indoor track team was the best in Class A as well. Entering the spring season, Scarborough’s goal was simple, win another championship and the Red Storm went out and did that very thing. Scarborough wasn’t a sure thing going into the state meet, but thanks to the sensational performance of Sam Rusak, who won four events, finished the school year sweep with a first-place finish. Don’t be surprised if the Red Storm add to their stuffed trophy case in 2016-17.
Scarborough’s baseball team enjoyed a better-than-expected campaign, winning 14 games and reaching the semifinals.
Mary Cronin scored the biggest goal in program history and helped South Portland’s girls’ lacrosse team make it to the semifinals for the first time.
Liv Clifford and her Cape Elizabeth teammates won the program’s first Class B state title in nine years.