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Greely Rangers Fall Sports Previews

Sports

Greely Rangers Fall Sports Previews

Greely will once again feature plenty of star power this autumn. Volleyball is looking to win yet another state title. Boys’ soccer will be one of the stronger teams in the deepest conference in the state. The girls’ squad has been agonizingly close in recent seasons and should be one of the last teams standing yet again. Field hockey will look to solve nemesis York and go all the way. Both cross country teams will be formidable. Football is looking to build on last year’s playoff berth. The golf team will be in the hunt in Class A.

BOYS' SOCCER

COACH: Michael Andreasen (15th year, 140-73-19 overall record, three state championships)

2011 Record: 8-7-1 (Lost, 1-0, to Scarborough in Western Class A quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Liam Campbell (Senior), Nick Dunnett (Senior), Elijah Leverett (Senior), Nick Shain (Senior), Matt Crowley (Junior), Ted Hart (Junior), Sam Porter (Junior), Mitchel Donovan (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 11 (H) FALMOUTH, Sept. 15 @ York, Sept. 21 @ Cape Elizabeth, Sept. 26 (H) YARMOUTH, Sept. 29 (H) YORK, Oct. 2 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, Oct. 9 @ Waynflete, Oct. 11 @ Yarmouth, Oct. 13 @ Falmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “We’ve looked good in the preseason. We’ll still young, but I think we’ll be exciting. We’ll be strong in goal. We have speed.  We have to play physical, but we’re not really big. We’ll get closer this year. I’d like to see us go farther and keep moving in the right direction.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely bounced back from a rare season falling short of the playoffs by getting back to the postseason last year. This fall, the Rangers are primed to get back to the top of Western Class A. Hart was an all-conference selection last season and could be a top scorer from his striker position. Donovan, Shain, senior Ben Giffard and freshman Jacob Nason also hope to score their share of goals. Crowley, another reigning all-conference selection, will help lead the midfield. Junior Aidan Black is also in that mix. Campbell, Dunnett and Porter have experience on defense and are joined by junior Patrick O'Shea in front of Leverett, who returns in goal. Senior Doug Mitiguy is new to the team and will help on defense. Playing in the toughest conference in the state means more than half of Greely’s games will come against traditional powers like Cape Elizabeth and Yarmouth, last year’s power York and reigning champions Falmouth and Waynflete. While the Rangers don’t have the most firepower, they do possess plenty of depth and will battle every time out. If Greely can manage to go .500 or better against the elite, it will be in position to do some serious damage in the postseason. The Rangers have enjoyed many a run from a low playoff seed. Don’t sleep on this squad. Come late October, no one will want to face Greely.

GIRLS' SOCCER

COACH: Michael Kennedy (fifth year, 47-14-4 overall record)

2011 Record: 13-3 (Lost, 3-2, to Thornton Academy in Western Class A quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Caton Beaulieu (Senior), Julia Mitiguy (Senior), Gabby Morris (Senior), Holly Rand (Senior), Allie Morrill (Junior), Teal Otley (Junior), Mykaela Twitchell (Junior), Leah Young (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 11 (H) FALMOUTH, Sept. 15 @ York, Sept. 21 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, Sept. 26 (H) YARMOUTH, Sept. 29 (H) YORK, Oct. 2 @ Cape Elizabeth, Oct. 11 @ Yarmouth, Oct. 13 @ Falmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “It’s been a great preseason. We’re having a good time. Defensively, I think we’re one of the best teams in the state. I think Caton’s the best goalie in the state. That gives our offense time to grow stronger. We’re young with young impact players. It’s a veteran senior class. Several are three-year starters. We’ll have our struggles in the regular season, but we’ll get better and be really good at the end. It’s a unique year in that we don’t come in with a lot of expectations. ”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely’s title hopes once again ended in Saco a year ago. This season, the Rangers have been hard hit by graduation (all-conference selections Audrey Parolin and Libby Thomas) and departure (all-state scoring threat Sammi Toorish wasn’t on the roster at press time), but they will once again be among the best teams in the Western Maine Conference and Western Class A. This fall, the offense will be paced by Mitiguy, Morrill and Young. Freshman Izzy Hutnak will soon be a household name as well. Morris and freshman Jocelyn Mitiguy help control a solid midfield. The defense features Otley, Rand and Twitchell. Beaulieu is back in goal. She’s handled her share of big situations to date. Greely likes its chances, even faced with a brutal schedule. While the Rangers will hit some potholes along the way, by season’s end, they’ll once again be in position to embark on a deep postseason run. Perhaps not facing expectations is the secret. If Greely improves as expected (and can somehow avoid Thornton Academy for a fourth successive postseason), don’t be surprised if it steals headlines when the games matter most and finishes the job in golden fashion.

FOOTBALL

COACH: David Higgins (fourth year, 13-12 overall record)

2011 Results: 5-4 (Lost, 21-9, to Cape Elizabeth in Western Class B quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Eric Coyne (Senior), Drew Hodge (Senior), Svenn Jacobson (Senior), Nick Maynard (Senior), James Ferrar (Junior), Dylan Rasch (Junior), Nick Dubois (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 14 @ Westbrook, Sept. 21 @ York, Oct. 12 (H) MOUNTAIN VALLEY, Oct. 19 @ Falmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “We didn’t lose many seniors, but we did lose Mike Leeman, who was a big loss. We still have a lot of questions, but we’re gaining momentum. We have young kids who will see some playing time. I’m sure we’ll be competitive. Svenn is our horse. Our overall team speed is good. I think it’ll be exciting. We play in a tough class. I’d like to get to the playoffs and play a game at home.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: On the heels of their 2010 heartache, missing the playoffs after losing a coin toss, the Rangers took the extra step last year. Greely’s primed to be one of the top contenders in the Campbell Conference this fall. While league all-star and bruiser Mike Leeman will be missed, Greely still has the type of talent that can get the job done. Hodge returns under center. He was an all-star last year. Jacobson will see the brunt of the ball carrying. Another reigning all-star, he’s a punishing runner who is at his best in big spots. Ferrar will be in the fullback position. When Hodge looks to throw, he’ll turn to Dubois and Maynard (an honorable mention all-star last year). The line features honorable mention all-star Coyne, as well as Rasch. The Rangers will move the ball and have players who can take it to the house on any given snap. Defensively, Coyne, Ferrar and Rasch will be on the line. Jacobson will be a force at linebacker. In the secondary, look for Dubois, Hodge and Maynard to wreak havoc. Greely impressed with a victory over rival Cape Elizabeth in the preseason. The Rangers have some tests on the schedule, but even against Mountain Valley, have a great shot at passing them. The seniors are primed to bow out in style. That could spell another winning season and trip to the playoffs, this time perhaps with a longer stay.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Kristina Prescott (sixth year, 54-23-2 overall record)

2011 Record: 11-5 (Lost, 2-1, in overtime, to York in Western Class B semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Chelsey Andrews (Senior), Emily Domingo (Senior), Rachel Hanson (Senior), Brittany Rogers (Senior), Kaley Sawyer (Senior),  Jessica Wilson (Senior), Cassie Demick (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Aug. 29 @ Falmouth, Sept. 6 @ York, Sept. 8 @ NYA, Sept. 18 (H) FALMOUTH, Sept. 29 (H) YORK

COACH’S COMMENT: “'We’re psyched. We graduated a lot, but we have 14 seniors this year. It’s a great group of girls. Very close. Really supportive. We always have skill and speed. It’s refreshing to have so much experience and maturity this year. They’re hungry. I’m hoping their experience and maturity will get us over that mental hurdle.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely is once again on the short list of favorites in Western Class B. The Rangers lost to nemesis York for the second postseason in a row and there’s little doubt that the Wildcats, who have dominated the region since 2004, will be the team Greely will have to solve if it gets where it wants to be, a first state final appearance in nine years. These Rangers have what it takes to finish the job. On offense, even after Class B Player of the Year CeCi Hodgkins graduated, the goals should come with abandon as Hanson and Wilson figure to be top scorers. Other offensive threats include Demick, Domingo, Rogers, Sawyer and seniors Sarah Holmes and Paige Tuller. On defense, Andrews sets the tone in front of new goalie, senior Leah Dixon, who replaces Emma Seymour, who made so many big saves last autumn. Greely gets some early tests against not only rivals Falmouth and York, but also defending Class C champion NYA. The Rangers figure to post a 16th straight winning record and get back to the postseason with a high seed. It’s probable Greely will have to solve York at some point. If the Rangers could get homefield advantage, they would be helped immeasurably, but regardless, Greely is capable of beating anyone, anywhere. This could be the year the Rangers finally get past that hurdle.

CROSS COUNTRY

COACH: David Dowling (16th year, 10 state championships)

2011 Results:
(BOYS) 2nd @ Class B state meet
(GIRLS) 5th @ Class B state meet

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS:
(BOYS) Ian Byron (Senior), Nate Madeira (Senior), Dan Ray (Junior), Weston Taylor (Junior), Ryder White (Junior), Troy Cochrane (Sophomore)
(GIRLS) Jordan Ouellette (Senior), Jill Booth (Junior), Cameron Keefe (Junior), Krista Marble (Junior), Eliza McKenney (Junior), Kirstin Sandreuter (Junior), Eva Bates (Sophomore), Emma Mason (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, York

COACH’S COMMENT: “It's a rebuilding year for the boys. We hope to make states to give experience to this year's varsity runners. MDI and Camden Hills return as the top-ranked girls' teams in Class B, but we hope to close the gap with the increased experience of our girls entering their second year of competition.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both Greely cross country teams continued the program’s strong tradition a year ago with high state finishes. The boys and girls should be in the mix for October greatness again.
The boys’ squad returns Madeira, who was fifth at the Class B state meet and was a league all-star in 2011. Byron, Cochrane, Ray, Taylor and White also return, but they didn’t score at the big meets last year. They’ll need to step up for this squad to be there at the end. The Rangers might not have high expectations, but they are still respected by the opposition. Look for Greely to make it to states for the seventh year in a row and to finish in the top 10 again.
On the girls’ side, returners include Sandreuter, Greely’s 2010 Fall Female Athlete of the Year, who missed the 2011 state meet with mono, and state meet scorers Bates (10th, to cap an all-star season), Booth (40th) and Ouellette (46th). Keefe, Marble and McKenney, along with Mason, also have experience. If the Rangers can stay healthy, they’ll battle for top honors in the conference, post a top regional finish and look for another strong showing at the state meet. Greely is capable of achieving that across the board.

GOLF

COACH: Brian Bickford (fourth year)

2011 Results: 7-2 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Kyle Bickford (Senior), Sarah Hansen (Senior), Tucker Hawkinson (Senior), Kyle Megathlin (Senior), Nick Plummer (Senior), Tom Buchholz (Junior), Bailey Train (Junior)

TOP FOES: Falmouth, Gorham, Thornton Academy

COACH’S COMMENT: “We would like to play in the team states this year. Our strength is our depth and the ability to reload. We look to jell as the season progresses.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely’s golf program has been as strong as any for many years and this season, the Rangers will look to make it to the Class A state meet for the first time since moving up. The pieces are in place for that to happen. Among the returners are all-stars Bickford, Hansen and Megathlin. Hansen tied for second in the girls’ individual tournament. Megathlin tied for 15th in the Class A boys’ individual match. Train is a great athlete who can crush the ball. Buchholz, Hawkinson and Plummer also have experience. Several newcomers will make the team even stronger. That group includes sophomores Will Bryant, Harry Crosby, Will Schad and John Wright and freshmen Sam Burgoyne, Nathan Gervais, Kyle Hansen, Aidan Roberts and Jacob Storey. Greely has some tough opposition in its division, but should win several matches. The Rangers want to be at their best when it comes to qualifying. Look for this group to get to states as a team and for several individuals to make some serious noise as well.

VOLLEYBALL   

COACH: Kelvin Hasch (11th year, 154-10 overall record, eight state championships)

2011 Results: 16-0 (Beat Scarborough, 3-1, to win Class A state championship)

TOP PLAYERS: Kristin Atwood (Senior), Danielle Cimino (Senior), Haleigh Roach (Senior), Katie Ventre (Senior), Jordynne Copp (Junior), Lexi Foster (Junior)

PIVOTAL MATCHES: Sept. 4 @ Biddeford, Sept. 10 (H) FALMOUTH, Sept. 19 (H) BIDDEFORD, Sept. 29 (H) GORHAM, Oct. 3 @ Scarborough, Oct. 4 @ Yarmouth, Oct. 12 @ Falmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have a strong returning group that knows how to win, plus some fine newcomers to fill in the open spots. It is a matter of getting everyone to jell on the court. We will still have an huge offensive presence which will improve over the season. I expect we will be right where we need to be going into the tournament. ”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: After Greely’s seven-year championship run ended in 2010, the Rangers returned to their familiar perch last autumn in dramatic fashion. The Rangers were paced by a group of standout seniors, led by all-state and Forecaster Fall Female Athlete of the Year Maggie Bradley. Six key contributors graduated from the program, but as always, Greely returns ready to make another run at the top. This year’s top returner is Roach, a captain and setter, who was an all-state second-teamer in 2011. Cimino, the softball ace, is another captain and setter. Outside hitters Atwood and Ventre possess experience. Copp, a middle hitter, had a breakthrough season as a sophomore and could be one of the team's stars this fall. Foster is the squad’s defensive specialist. Four newcomers will help the cause. That group includes junior Michaela Weeks, a transfer from Cheverus, who will be one of the team’s best passers, sophomores Emily Warnock (middle and outside hitter) and Lauren Weickert (middle) and freshman Hannah Butland, who will do a little of everything. The rest of the league is catching up to Greely and the Rangers will have to contend with the likes of Biddeford, Falmouth, Gorham and Scarborough as the season progresses. In the end, if this group comes of age, it will have a great shot at adding more hardware to the trophy case. Greely, which will be playing to honor the memory of longtime assistant coach Bruce Churchill, who recently passed away after his battle with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (Jenn Bailey is the new assistant) has no peer as a volleyball program and hopes to add yet another championship chapter in the weeks to come.

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

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Junior Matt Crowley was an all-conference player last season.

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Mitchel Donovan impressed as a freshman and should be one of Greely's top scorers as a sophomore.

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Senior Nick Dunnett will be a top defender for the Rangers.

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Junior Ted Hart will make life miserable for the opposition during the upcoming season.

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Juinor Allie Morrill is one of many weapons the Rangers will deploy this fall.

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Senior Drew Hodge returns under center for the Rangers.

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Senior Svenn Jacobson is Greely's unstoppable force on offense.

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Senior Nick Maynard is a top receiving threat for the Rangers.

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Senior Jessica Wilson and her teammates are looking to take it all the way to the state game this fall.

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Senior Nate Madeira had the fifth-best time at last year's Class B state meet.

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Junior Kirstin Sandreuter will again be one of the fastest girls' cross country runners in the conference.

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Eva Bates had a stellar freshman running season and is looking for more of the same in 2012.

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Jordynne Copp played a big role on Greely's title team last year.

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Senior Haleigh Roach will play a key role on another strong Greely volleyball team.

Fall Schedules

FOOTBALL

Fri., Aug. 31 @ Spruce Mtn.

Fri., Sept. 7 H LAKE REGION

Fri., Sept. 14 @ Westbrook

Fri., Sept. 21 @ York

Fri., Sept. 28 H FRYEBURG

Fri., Oct. 5 @ Gray-NG

Fri., Oct. 12 H MTN. VALLEY

Fri., Oct. 19 @ Falmouth

BOYS' SOCCER

Fri., Aug. 31 H LAKE REGION

Tues., Sept. 4 @ Freeport

Tues., Sept. 11 H FALMOUTH

Thurs., Sept. 13 H POLAND

Sat., Sept. 15 @ York

Tues., Sept. 18 @ Fryeburg

Fri., Sept. 21 @ Cape Elizabeth

Mon., Sept. 24 H GRAY-NG

Wed. Sept. 26 H YARMOUTH

Sat., Sept. 29 H YORK

Tues., Oct. 2 H CAPE ELIZABETH

Tues., Oct. 9 @ Waynflete

Thurs. Oct. 11 @ Yarmouth

Sat., Oct. 13 @ Falmouth

GIRLS' SOCCER

Tues., Sept. 4 H FREEPORT

Tues., Sept. 11 H FALMOUTH

Thurs., Sept. 13 @ Poland

Sat., Sept. 15 @ York

Tues., Sept. 18 H FRYEBURG

Fri., Sept. 21 H CAPE ELIZABETH

Mon., Sept. 24 @ Gray-NG

Wed., Sept. 26 H YARMOUTH

Sat., Sept. 29 H YORK

Tues., Oct. 2 @ Cape Elizabeth ion

Tues., Oct. 9 H WAYNFLETE

Thurs., Oct. 11 @ Yarmouth

Sat., Oct. 13 @ Falmouth

Mon., Oct. 15 @ Lake Region

FIELD HOCKEY

Wed., Aug. 29 @ Falmouth

Fri., Aug. 31 @ Wells

Tues., Sept. 4 H FRYEBURG

Thurs., Sept. 6 @ York

Sat., Sept. 8 @ NYA

Mon., Sept. 10 H GRAY-NG

Wed., Sept. 12 @ Fryeburg

Tues., Sept. 18 H FALMOUTH

Thurs., Sept. 20 H CAPE ELIZABETH

Sat., Sept. 22 H YARMOUTH

Mon., Sept. 24 @ Lake Region

Sat., Sept. 29 H YORK

Mon., Oct. 1 @ Cape Elizabeth

Thurs., Oct. 4 H WELLS

CROSS COUNTRY

Fri., Aug. 31 @ Merriconeag

Fri., Sept. 14 @ Wells

Sat., Sept. 22 @ Manchester Inv.

Fri., Oct. 12 WMC Championships

Sat., Oct. 20 Western B Regionals

Sat., Oct. 27 Class B States

GOLF

Thurs., Aug. 30 @ Bonny Eagle

Tues., Sept. 4 @ Windham

Thurs., Sept. 6 @ Westbrook

Mon., Sept. 10 @ TA

Wed., Sept. 12 @ Gorham

Mon., Sept. 17 H BONNY EAGLE

Wed., Sept. 19 H WINDHAM

Fri., Sept. 21 H WESTBROOK

Tues., Sept. 25 H TA

Thurs., Sept. 27 H GORHAM

VOLLEYBALL

Tues., Sept. 4 @ Biddeford

Thurs., Sept. 6 H LAKE ERGION

Mon., Sept. 10 H FALMOUTH

Wed., Sept. 12 H KENNEBUNK

Fri., Sept. 14 @ NYA

Wed., Sept. 19 H BIDDEFORD

Mon., Sept. 24 H WINDHAM

Sat., Sept. 29 H GORHAM

Mon., Oct. 1 @ Cony

Wed., Oct. 3 @ Scarborough

Thurs., Oct. 4 @ Yarmouth

Wed., Oct. 10 @ Cape Elizabeth

Fri., Oct. 12 @ Falmouth

Mon., Oct. 15 H CHEVERUS

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