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Scarborough Red Storm Fall Sports Previews

Sports

Scarborough Red Storm Fall Sports Previews

Once again, Scarborough’s fall athletic teams will make a run at hardware in every sport. Football has made the playoffs two years in a row and hopes to advance even deeper this time around. Boys’ soccer is in the midst of a two year drought without a championship, but is poised to get back to the top. The girls’ team fell in the state game a year ago, but is eying a second championship in three seasons. Field hockey suffered a stunning upset playoff loss in 2011, but could channel that disappointment into a title celebration if all goes well. The boys’ cross country team has had a stranglehold on the top spot in recent years and hopes to win it all again. The girls’ squad will also be heard from. Golf has a chance to produce the best team in program history. Volleyball made a first-ever state match appearance last season and hopes to finish the job this time around.

FOOTBALL

COACH: Lance Johnson (third year, 11-8 overall record)

2011 Record: 3-6 (Lost, 35-7, to Cheverus in Western Class A quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Merrick Madden (Senior), Nate McClellan (Senior), Dillon Russo (Senior), Greg Viola (Senior), Ben Greenberg (Junior), Dan LeClair (Junior), Mike Pino (Junior), Charlie Raybine (Junior),

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 7 (H) BONNY EAGLE, Sept. 14 (H) WINDHAM, Sept. 21 @ Deering, Sept. 29 @ Thornton Academy, Oct. 12 @ Portland

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have five starters back on each side of the ball. The kids are working hard and doing everything I ask. We have seniors who haven’t played much before. If we can develop our line, I think we’ll be good. Our skill kids are good players. I’d be upset if we don’t play in November. That would mean winning one playoff game. You have to stay healthy and have a little bit of luck.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Red Storm wasn't quite as successful last year as it was during the breakout 2010 campaign, but still managed to make it to the playoffs for the second year in a row. This season should see Scarborough make a run at a winning record and a program-first third straight trip to the postseason. Russo is back under center. He's a dual threat quarterback, one who can effectively run and throw. His top receiving targets will be Greenberg, Madden, Viola and junior tight ends Chris Cyr and Brendon Smith. In addition to Russo, LeClair, Raybine and senior Nick Pelletier, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound transfer from Yarmouth's two-time defending Class C champion program, will handle the ball. The line features McClellan and Pino as the centerpieces. Viola (a second-team all-star last year) will also handle punting and placekicking duties. On defense, Cyr, McClellan, Pino and Smith anchor the line. The linebacking corps features LeClair, Pelletier and Raybine. In the secondary, Greenberg, Madden and Russo look to make plays. While two-time defending state champion Cheverus and potential powerhouse Thornton Academy are getting the lion's share of preseason attention, the field is open after that. If Scarborough can stay healthy and get some early momentum (playing a couple tough teams, Bonny Eagle and Windham, at home will help), this team could wake up the echoes of 2010 and turn heads as the weeks progress. The Red Storm has plenty of skill. A memorable season could be in store.

BOYS' SOCCER

COACH: Mark Diaz (14th year, 169-36-11 overall record, four state championships)

2011 Record: 13-2-2 (Lost, 1-0, to Windham in Western Class A Final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Chris Cleary (Senior), Austin Downing (Senior), Dan Ornstein (Senior), Trevor Sparda (Senior), Sam Cekada (Junior), Charlie Mader (Junior), Andrew Morrissey (Junior), Pat Stanton (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 1 @ South Portland, Sept. 8 (H) GORHAM, Sept. 11 @ Portland, Sept. 13 (H) CHEVERUS, Sept. 25 @ Deering, Sept. 29 (H) WINDHAM

COACH’S COMMENT: “We were young last year. We started four sophomores. A lot of teams lost more players than we did. We have a chance to score more goals this season. I think this year we have a chance to be a pretty good team if we stay healthy. We want to be better than last year. I’m excited.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough produced another superb season in 2011, but falling at home in the regional final left a bad taste in its mouth. It's now been consecutive years without a state title for what has been the premier program in Class A boys' soccer over the past decade, but there's a good chance that “drought” could come to an end. This year's team, as always, has holes to fill, but has plenty of able bodies to do so. Cleary (defense) and Downing (forward) were first-team league all-stars last autumn (Downing was also named to the Western A regional squad). Ornstein (forward) and Stanton (goalkeeper) made the second team. That's a nice nucleus. In addition to Downing and Ornstein, offense will come from Cekada, Mader, Sparda and a junior by the name of Wyatt Ormsberg, a transfer from last year's Class A state runner-up Messalonskee. Morrissey and junior Mike Caryl join Cleary on defense. The rest of the SMAA is catching up to the Red Storm and that will make for a series of tough regular season tests, starting with the opener at South Portland Saturday. Scarborough will be up for the task. It's used to wearing the bulls-eye. For the Red Storm it all comes down to how it performs in the playoffs. After a couple of disappointing finishes, Scarborough won't settle for anything short of a championship. There's a very good chance this group could earn its happy ending on Nov. 3.

GIRLS' SOCCER

COACH: Mike Farley (eighth year, 90-16-7 overall record, one state championship)

2011 Record: 14-2-2 (Lost, 4-0, to Bangor in Class A state final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Taylor Leborgne (Senior), Sarah Martens (Senior), Jessica Meader (Senior), Maria Philbrick (Senior), Ashley Ronzo (Senior), Ainsley Jamieson (Junior), Sydney Martin (Junior), Hadlee Yescott (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 8 @ Gorham, Sept. 14 @ Cheverus, Sept. 25 (H) DEERING, Sept. 27 @ TA, Sept. 29 (H) WINDHAM

COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m really looking forward to starting the year with this team. For the second year in a row, we lost a lot of impact players, but I have been very impressed with the way this year’s team has approached the summer and preseason. Role players from last year have improved greatly and look to take leadership roles. They are playing like they have something to prove and I think that is always a great way to approach a season. We have some players back who were key contributors on last year’s team and some players who have been waiting in the wings for the opportunity to put their stamp on the team. That mix of experience and a desire to prove something will hopefully make us one of the top teams in the SMAA again. I believe we will have one of the best forward combinations in the league. We also have some seniors and some up and coming players that will help us keep the pressure on opposing defenses. As we did last year, I think we’ll get a great contribution in the scoring department from our midfielders. Our hope is to start the season with a consistent level of play and try to be playing our best come playoff time. We know that teams will be looking to knock us off and I know this team will embrace the pressure and really try to defend our standing in the league.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough's bid for a repeat championship was dashed by Bangor last November, so the Red Storm has regrouped for another run at the top spot. Once again, Scarborough is loaded with talent and will be difficult for anyone to match up with. This year's offense includes Leborgne, Martens (an honorable mention all-star in 2011), Meader, Ronzo and Yescott. Junior Morgan Rodway and sophomores Ashley Gleason and Katherine Kirk will also be heard from. Defensively, Scarborough is known for being stingy (its 2010 championship run included a mere one goal allowed in 18 contests). Jamieson and Philbrick are the top returning defenders. They're joined by new senior Katie Wahrer. Martin and MacKenzie O'Brien will battle it out for goalkeeper job and each will see action between the pipes. As is the case on the boys' side, the SMAA is catching up with former Western Maine Conference powers like Scarborough and Gorham. That means the Red Storm will have its share of tests in the weeks to come, but it figures to pass most of them. Scarborough will score a lot of goals, probably making jaws drop on a lot of them, will limit the opposition and should improve a lot in the weeks to come. After back-to-back trips to State Championship Saturday, the goal is simple. The Red Storm wants to get back there and party like it's 2010. Don't be surprised if this group accomplishes that mission.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Kerry Mariello 11th year, 110-43-5 overall record, one state championship)

2011 Record: 13-1-1 (Lost, 1-0, in 11th round of penalty corners, to Windham in Western Class A quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Karli-An Gilbert (Senior), Mikaela Gove (Senior), Shannon Hicks (Senior), Ali Pelczar (Senior), Grace Whelan (Senior), Rachel Wallace (Junior), Maddie Dobecki (Sophomore), Abby Walker (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 5 (H) WESTBROOK, Sept. 11 (H) PORTLAND, Sept. 13 @ Sanford, Sept. 15 (H) MARSHWOOD, Sept. 19 @ Cheverus, Sept. 29 (H) WINDHAM

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have 10 seniors. We’re a veteran team. We don’t want to harp on last year, but the girls have come in strong, in shape and focused. I’m pumped about what we’re going to do. We’ll be very balanced. We’ll win games with a team effort. I like what I have. Good quality athletes who work hard.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Mariello has good reason to like the hands she's dealt. After all, Scarborough has gone 76-6-2 over the past six regular seasons and didn't lose a game last year until it mattered most. That stunner is in the past, but rest assured, the coaches and players remember and the sting of seeing Windham spring that upset will  drive the Red Storm through this campaign. Scarborough has the ingredients to go on a championship run. The offense is balanced and features several top athletes who will be tough to deny. Leading the goal-scoring charge will be Dobiecki, Gilbert, Walker, Whelan and new sophomore Kaitlyn Prince. Pelczar and sophomore Kristen Murray add depth to the midfield. On defense, Gove and Wallace lead the way in front of Hicks, who returns in goal. In a year without a clear favorite, the Red Storm could be the best team in Western Classs A. It just has to go out and prove it. Scarborough won't be denied on offense, won't surrender much on defense and should post an eighth straight autumn of double digit victories. For this team, however, it'll be all about how they do in the crucible of the postseason. Fortunes weren't kind last time around. The Red Storm will be difficult to stop this season. The quarterfinal round will likely be a speed bump for this crew, which has the pieces in place to go all the way.

CROSS COUNTRY

COACHES:
(BOYS): Jim Harmon (15th year, seven state championships)
(GIRLS): Ron Kelly (40th year, four state championships)

2011 Results:
(BOYS) Class A state champions
(GIRLS) Did not quality for Class A state meet (12th @ regionals)

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS
BOYS: Jake Alofs (Senior), Robby Hall (Senior), Jack Sullivan (Senior), Sam Terry (Senior), Matt Aceto (Junior), Alex Karam (Junior), Ian Morris (Junior), Sam Freeman (Sophomore), Sean McGovern (Sophomore), Jacob Terry (Sophomore)
GIRLS: Lauren Foley (Junior), Stephanie Ostrowski (Junior), Maria Quartararo (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Cheverus, Massabesic, South Portland boys; Bonny Eagle, Cheverus, Massabesic, South Portland, Windham girls

COACH HARMON’S COMMENT: “We have a strong and competitive team with great depth and plan to get in the best possible shape we can to stay healthy and injury-free and make the state meet and try for another title.”

COACH KELLY’S COMMENT: “It’s a very young team that’s in the rebuilding process. Seven girls have no cross country experience. As we gain experience, the team will improve. We’re looking to get back to the state meet.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough's cross country program figures to remain at the front of the pack this season.
The boys have won Class A seven times in the past nine years, including the past two. Enough firepower returns for the Red Storm to do it again. While state champion Nick Morris has graduated, three state meet scorers are back: league all-star Ian Morris (17th last year), Hall (18th) and Sullivan (22nd). Alofs and Terry bring senior leadership. Aceto and Karam also have experience. Freeman, McGovern and Terry add depth. Freshmen Andrew Sholl and Colin Tardiff could crack the top seven. Scarborough will be tested both in conference and in the postseason, but should be at or near the top again when the dust settles.
On the girls' side, after missing the state meet for the first time in nearly a decade, the Red Storm is ready to return to form. Ostrowski is the lone returner from last year's regional meet (she came in 81st). Foley and Quartararo also have experience. Senior Jessica Cote is expected to be one of the fastest girls on the team. Meg Kirsch is the other senior on the roster. Junior Marisa Agger is expected to lead the pack. Katy Beneman and Kelsey Given are new juniors. The sophomore class includes Haley Franklin and Kayla Griffis. Freshmen Vera Gardner, Katherine James, Morgan McKeown and Laura Volan (who is a star in the making) are also on the team. Scarborough will claw its way back to the top, starting this season. Look for the Red Storm to be competitive all year and to take part at states in late October.

GOLF

COACH: Mike Murphy (24th year)

2011 Results: 7-3 (4th @ Class A state match)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Brendan Hall (Senior), Kyle Parrott (Senior), Hunter Sackville (Senior)

TOP FOES: Cheverus, Falmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “We lost two very good seniors who will be tough to replace, but I expect the guys to go out there and compete. We have good kids and a lot of good players back. We don't have a stud, but we have depth. All the guys are capable of shooting 45 or under.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough is coming off one of the finest seasons in program history and hopes to do even better in 2012. Two of last year's state match scorers, Hall (who shot a 79) and Parrott (86) return. Sackville also took part at states and shot a 98 (he finished with a 95 at the individual championships). Hall, a second-team league all-star last autumn, could make a run at the top spot individually. He had a 40.1 stroke average in 2011 and may finish as the program's all-time leader in matches played. Parrott had a 39.5 stroke average last fall and is also capable of doing great things. Sackville led in points scored with 18.5 out of a possible 20 and projects to have another strong campaign. Seniors Christian Harvie and Kevin Manning, juniors Matt Hartle, Garrett McDonald, Matt McLary, Cam McMullin, Nick Sucheski and Colby Whitaker will battle it out for the No. 4 spot. The Red Storm will be very good, but will have its hands full getting past reigning state champion Falmouth and top contender Cheverus (both are division foes as well as possible state meet rivals). Come October, a few individuals and Scarborough as a team might just steal all the headlines. It could be that good of a year.

VOLLEYBALL

COACH: Jon Roberts (third year, 21-11 overall record)

2011 Results: 14-3 (Lost, 3-1, to Greely in Class A state final)

TOP RETURNERS: Cameron Bowker (Senior), Lily Lemire (Senior), Meghan Lynch (Senior), Mary Cleary (Junior), Lauren Piper (Junior)

PIVOTAL MATCHES: Sept. 6 @ Biddeford, Sept. 19 @ Gorham, Sept. 24 (H) BIDDEFORD, Oct. 3 (H) GREELY, Oct. 5 @ Falmouth, Oct. 12 (H) GORHAM

COACH’S COMMENT: “We are coming off of a great season that ended in the state finals and we are looking to maintain a high level of play. We pride ourselves on tough defense and a never give-up attitude. I think this will be a very competitive season with Greely still the team to beat.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough made history in 2011, making it to the state match for the first time. The Red Storm battled Greely for four sets before ultimately bowing out, but its effort earned Roberts our Coach of the Year award and standout Brittany Bona Fall Female Athlete of the Year selection. Bona, an all-state player, has graduated, as did Emily Robbins, another all-state selection, but another strong team returns, hungry to finish the job that last year's edition started. Outside hitters include Bowker and Cleary. Piper is a setter. Lynch is a middle blocker. Lemire is in the defensive specialist position. New players to watch include junior outside hitter Natalie Foster and middle blocker Abby Mills and sophomore outside hitter Kayla Savage. Replacing some premier talent will be a challenge, but Scarborough should be up to the task as finding quality athletes is never a problem for this program. Expect another very competitive team which will post a winning record and get back to the playoffs. With a little luck, the Red Storm might just make it to the final Saturday once more.

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

Photo: File photo

Senior quarterback Dillon Russo will spark what should be a potent Scarborough offense this season.

Photo: File photo

Junior Ben Greenberg will be a frequent target of quarterback Dillon Russo this season.

Photo: File photo

Senior Merrick Madden is another top receiver for the Scarborough air attack.

Photo: File photo

Junior Sam Cekada will be a top midfielder for the Red Storm this season.

Photo: File photo

Junior Charlie Mader is another key returner for last year's regional runners-up.

Photo: File photo

Senior Trevor Sparda will lead the Red Storm to great things.

Photo: File photo

Senior Austin Downing will be in the scoring mix for Scarborough this autumn.

Photo: File photo

Senior Sarah Martens can do a little of everything for the two-time defending Western A champion Scarborough girls' soccer team.

Photo: File photo

Senior captain Grace Whelan is a top scoring threat for the Red Storm.

Photo: File photo

Senior captain Mikaela Gove is a top returner for the always talented Scarborough field hockey team.

Fall Schedules

FOOTBALL

Fri., Aug. 31 @ Kennebunk

Fri., Sept. 7 H BONNY EAGLE

Fri., Sept. 14 H WINDHAM

Fri., Sept. 21 @ Deering

Sat,. Sept. 29 @ TA

Sat., Oct. 6 H MASSABESIC

Fri., Oct. 12 @ Portland

Fri., Oct. 19 H GORHAM

BOYS' SOCCER

Sat., Sept. 1 @ SP

Tues., Sept. 4 H MARSHWOOD

Sat., Sept. 8 H GORHAM

Tues., Sept. 11 @ Portland

Sat., Sept. 13 H CHEVERUS

Tues., Sept. 18 @ Kennebunk

Thurs., Sept. 20 H BONNY EAGLE

Tues., Sept. 25 @ Deering

Sat., Sept. 29 H WINDHAM

Tues., Oct. 2 @ Noble

Thurs., Oct. 4 @ Sanford

Tues., Oct. 9 @ Westbrook

Thurs., Oct. 11 H BIDDEFORD

Tues., Oct. 16 H MASSABESIC

GIRLS' SOCCER

Fri., Aug. 31 H SP

Wed., Sept. 5 @ Marshwood

Sat., Sept. 8 @ Gorham

Wed., Sept. 12 H PORTLAND

Fri., Sept. 14 @ Cheverus

Tues., Sept. 18 H KENNEBUNK

Tues., Sept. 25 H DEERING

Thurs., Sept. 27 @ TA

Sat., Sept. 29 H WINDHAM

Tues., Oct. 2 H NOBLE

Fri., Oct. 5 H MCAULEY

Wed., Oct. 10 @ Westbrppl

Fri., Oct. 12 H BIDDEFORD

Tues., Oct. 16 @ Massabesic

FIELD HOCKEY

Thurs., Aug. 30 H MCAULEY

Sat., Sept. 1 @ Bonny Eagle

Wed., Sept. 5 H WESTBROOK

Tues., Sept. 11 H PORTLAND

Thurs., Sept. 13 @ Sanford

Sat., Sept. 15 H MARSHWOOD

Mon., Sept. 17 @ SP

Wed., Sept. 19 @ Cheverus

Tues., Sept. 25 @ Gorham

Thurs., Sept. 27 H TA

Sat., Sept. 29 H WINDHAM

Mon., Oct. 1 @ Deering

Wed., Oct. 3 H NOBLE

Fri., Oct. 5 @ Kennebunk

BOYS' CROSS COUNTRY

Fri., Sept. 7 @ Massabesic (SP)

Fri., Sept. 14 @ Marshwood (Portland)

Fri., Sept. 21 H BIDD, DEER, SANFORD

Thurs., Sept. 27 @ Deering (Kbunk, Noble)

Sat., Sept. 29 @ Belfast Inv.

Fri., Oct. 5 H CHEVERUS, TA

Fri., Oct. 12 @ Gorham (BE, West, Windham)

Sat., Oct. 20 Western A Regionals

Sat., Oct. 27 Class A States

GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY

Fri., Sept. 7 @ Massabesic (SP)

Fri., Sept. 14 @ Marshwood (Portland)

Fri., Sept. 21 H BIDD, DEER, SANFORD

Thurs., Sept. 27 @ Deering (Kbunk, McA, Noble)

Sat., Sept. 29 @ Belfast Inv.

Fri., Oct. 5 H CHEVERUS, TA

Fri., Oct. 12 @ Gorham (BE, West, Windham)

Sat., Oct. 20 Western A Regionals

Sat., Oct. 27 Class A States

GOLF

Thurs., Aug. 30 @ Falmouth

Tues., Sept. 4 @ Cheverus

Thurs., Sept. 6 H SP

Mon., Sept. 10 H DEERING

Wed., Sept. 12 @ Portland

Mon., Sept. 17 H FALMOUTH

Wed., Sept. 19 H CHEVERUS

Thurs., Sept. 20 @ SP

Tues., Sept. 25 @ Deering

Thurs. Sept. 27 H PORTLAND

VOLLEYBALL

Fri., Aug. 31 @ Windham

Tues., Sept. 4 H KENNEBUNK

Thurs., Sept. 6 @ Biddeford

Mon., Sept. 10 H CHEVERUS

Sat. Sept. 15 H MDI

Wed., Sept. 19 @ Gorham

Fri., Sept. 21 @ Cape Elizabeth

Mon., Sept. 24 H BIDDEFORD

Thurs., Sept. 27 H CONY

Sat., Sept. 29 @ Cheverus

Mon., Oct. 1 @ Lake Region

Wed., Oct. 3 H GREELY

Fri., Oct. 5 @ Falmouth

Fri., Oct. 12 H GORHAM