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Spring Preview: Scarborough Red Storm

Sports

Spring Preview: Scarborough Red Storm

As usual, Scarborough is championship-caliber in several spring sports. The girls' track dynasty is alive and well, regardless of the season. This spring, the Red Storm should be right in the mix for another title. The boys' squad will be very tough as well. Boys' lacrosse is also defending a crown. That team could make it three in four years. The girls' were an overtime goal short of the state game in 2008. This time around, Scarborough could be primed to go all the way. Baseball is now on the short list of top contenders. Softball is always dominant and will be again. Boys' and girls' tennis also figure to be in the mix.

BASEBALL

Coach: Jim Cronin (third year)

2008 Record: 8-9 (Lost 5-4, in nine innings, to Portland in Western Class A preliminary round)

Top returning players: Chris Bernard (Senior), Ian Ramsdell (Senior), Neil Ravin (Senior), Jimmy Rouse (Senior), Andrew Myers (Junior), Jacob Rutt (Junior), Brendan Sullivan (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 28 (H) WESTBROOK, April 30 (H) CHEVERUS, May 7 @ Portland, May 9 (H) DEERING, May 14 @ Bonny Eagle, May 26 (H) BIDDEFORD

Coach's comment: "The bottom line is that we have all of our core players back from last year, plus some solid younger players and all of them love to play and go about things the right way. Our pitching has been solid the last two seasons and we should be able to continue that this year. Our hitting greatly improved last year. We hope to continue that trend. We really need to clean up our defense. We really want to improve on our record from last year and make it deep into the playoffs. We think we have the guys to get it done."

The Forecaster's forecast: Scarborough appears ready to make the leap to top contender this spring. The Red Storm made nice strides a year ago, improving their team batting average by 80 points and their win total by three, but the season ended with a painful playoff loss to Portland. This time around, Scarborough's looking to post a winning record and stick around awhile in the postseason. The Red Storm are paced by a standout pitcher in Bernard, who was 4-3 with a 40 strikeouts and a 2.83 ERA a year ago. He also hit .392. Bernard (a first-team all-star in 2008) is headed for the University of Maine next school year. Myers (2-3 last spring), Rouse, Rutt, new sophomore Ryan Mancini and freshmen Joe Cronin and Ben Wessel will also contribute on the hill. The offense is paced by Ramsdell, who led the league with a .490 average last season. Rouse hit .333 and had a team-high eight steals. Rutt hit .548 in a limited role and should put up big numbers at catcher. Sullivan was an All-Rookie selection in 2008, hitting .319 and making no errors at either second base or in the outfield. Ravin adds experience to the outfield. Ramsdell, Rouse and Sullivan anchor the infield. Freshman catcher Conor McCann should see some innings behind the plate. Scarborough is ready to win. Bernard can beat the best of the best and the Red Storm's offense figures to produce on a regular basis. If Scarborough can limit its mistakes and take advantage of opponent's miscues, a winning record is a likelihood. In the postseason, a great pitcher can lead a team a long way. Don't be surprised if fans are marveling over the Red Storm well into June.

Fun fact: Scarborough has qualified for the playoffs in nine of the past 10 seasons, but has won just three postseason games in that span.

SOFTBALL

Coach: Tom Griffin (20th year)

2008 Record: 20-1 (Lost 2-1 to Biddeford in Western Class A Final)

Top returning players: Reegan Brackett (Senior), Catie Funk (Senior), Brianna Mancuso (Senior), Abbey Pelletier (Senior), Heather Carrier (Junior), Jenn Colpitts (Junior), Melissa Dellatorre (Junior)

Pivotal games: May 1 (H) KENNEBUNK, May 4 @ Deering, May 15 (H) GORHAM, May 26 @ Biddeford, May 28 (H) PORTLAND, May 29 @ South Portland, June 3 (H) CHEVERUS

Coach's comment: "We hope to have a successful season. We feel we have the potential to be a better offensive team than last year. Our pitching will be strong. I feel this team is one of the most athletic teams I've coached. We will have good athletes at every position and will have a very strong bench. They're a great bunch of girls that are all working very hard."

The Forecaster's forecast: Scarborough almost got a chance to defend its state title a year ago, but a loss to Biddeford in the regional final was its first setback since 2006 and denied the dream. The Red Storm start over this spring and it's quite likely they'll finish the job that last year's team began. Dellatorre was unhittable for big chunks of last season. She had a pair of perfect games, a 12-1 record and struck out nearly two batters per inning en route to being named the SMAA Pitcher of the Year. It's hard to imagine her improving, but if she does, the opposition will have virtually no chance. To stay fresh and sharp, Dellatorre will occasionally give way to freshman Mo Hannan. The offense is led by Funk, who merely hit .500 last spring with six doubles, four triples and 23 runs batted in. Carrier (an all-star last year) is steady behind the plate and can hit. She was the table-setter last season. Pelletier, Brackett, Mancuso and Funk make up a solid infield that can win games with their gloves, bats and legs. Colpitts will anchor the outfield. Several newcomers will also step right in. Seniors Jenna Libby (catcher/outfield) and Emily Norton (outfield), junior Jordan Finley (outfield), sophomore Alana Peoples (pitcher/first base) and freshmen Dominique Burnham (pitcher/ second base) and Abbey Rutt (catcher/outfield) will all be utilized. There are several other solid teams in Western A, but none that have the Red Storm's dominance on the mound, depth and ability to produce a lot of offense. Scarborough has played some brilliant softball the past two seasons and this team will be a worthy heir. Perhaps even an heir to the throne.

Fun fact: In its five seasons playing a Class A schedule, Scarborough has averaged nearly 19 wins a year, captured three league titles and won the 2007 state championship.

BOYS LACROSSE

Coach: Joe Hezlep (second year)

2008 Record: 14-2 (Defeated Brunswick 8-6 to win Class A state championship)

Top returning players: Jake Barrett (Senior), Nick Broadhurst (Senior), Danny Clark (Senior), Jimmy Soules (Senior), James Wright (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 28 @ Falmouth, May 5 (H) NYA, May 8 @ Portland, May 12 @ Yarmouth, May 20 @ Cheverus, May 27 (H) KENNEBUNK, May 30 @ Cape Elizabeth

Coach's comment: "We don't have a lot of guys with experience, but those we do have are very good. We're thin in the sophomore class, on offense and midfield. Goalie is our biggest hole to fill. Our defense out front is very good. We'll go as far as our seniors take us."

The Forecaster's forecast: Just five years removed from a 6-8 season, Scarborough has become one of a handful of elite boys' lacrosse programs in the state. Last spring, the Red Storm overcame a slow start and won their second Class A crown in three years with a come-from-behind victory against Brunswick, earning Hezlep Coach of the Year honors. Several key players graduated, including 2008 Spring Male Athlete of the Year Ryan Hunt, but the program simply reloaded and is in contention for a championship again. Barrett and Clark were first-team all-stars a year ago. Both are heading to Siena next school year, but first they'll look to win one more title. Barrett anchors the attack. Clark, along with Broadhurst (who takes faceoffs) are forces in the midfield. Soules is a longstick middie and Wright will be key on defense as Scarborough needs to break in a new goalie after Joe Kennedy graduated. Junior Matt Galyean saw limited time a year ago. He, along with seniors Ryan Kane and Tim Wiccum, are in the running for that important spot. While Portland figures to be very strong and Cheverus and Kennebunk will also be in the hunt, the Red Storm have an opportunity to be the best of Western A again. If the goalie position sorts itself out and if the hunger remains after a championship season, Scarborough could be looking at another celebration on the Fitzpatrick Stadium turf come June 20.

Fun fact: Scarborough's 40 wins over the past three seasons are the most of any boys' program in the state.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Coach: Marcia Wood (fifth year)

2008 Record: 12-3 (Lost 10-9, in OT, to Kennebunk in Western Class A Final)

Top returning players: Chelsea Barrett (Senior), Megan Cowie (Senior), Erin McElwain (Senior), Lindsay Hagerman (Junior), Ellie Morin (Junior), Jackie Morin (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 28 (H) GREELY, May 1 @ Cheverus, May 5 @ NYA, May 7 (H) YARMOUTH, May 12 @ Waynflete, May 29 (H) KENNEBUNK

Coach's comment: "After graduating all but one defender, including our goalie, this year, our focus in preseason has been defense. We're trying to get the new players comfortable with the varsity competition and comfortable working with each other. We have our speed in the midfield back from last year, so that will be one of our strengths. Our goal is to take it one step further than we have the past two years. We just want to make it back to the state game. We have a competitive schedule, but hopefully that will just make us stronger when we enter playoffs."

The Forecaster's forecast: The Red Storm are still stewing over last year's agonizing regional final loss, which followed a similar setback in the same game in 2007. Even though Scarborough graduated 12 players, including almost all of its defense, enough talent returns and enough newcomers are in place for it to seriously contend again. Offensively, the Red Storm will be in great shape and should approach last year's production (168 goals in 15 games). Leading the way is Hagerman, who erupted for 59 goals and added 19 assists during an all-star season. Ellie Morin (30 goals, nine assists, second-team all-star selection), McElwain (10 goals), Cowie (eight goals, 14 assists) and Barrett (seven goals) will also do their share of damage. Morin will handle draw controls. Junior Brittany Ross (the field hockey standout) and sophomore Meghan Quirk will look to get in on the fun as well. Jackie Morin anchors the defense with help from junior Akashia Gergler and many others. Marina Sterrer will replace Lily Parenteau in goal. Scarborough will be as quick and potent as any team in either class. The biggest uncertainty is whether or not the Red Storm can keep the opposition at bay. Scarborough's schedule is as daunting as ever so matching last year's win-loss record probably won't happen. Instead, look for the Red Storm to follow the 2006 script (6-6 regular season, surprise state championship). By June, Scarborough will be capable of embarking on a title run.

Fun fact: Prior to Wood taking over a coach, Scarborough had never enjoyed a winning season. In her four years, the Red Storm have gone 42-17 and won the 2006 Class A state championship.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach:
(Boys) Derek Veilleux (seventh year)
(Girls) Ron Kelly (32nd year)

2008 Results:
(Boys) 10th @ Class A state meet
(Girls) Class A State champions (third in a row)

Top returning athletes:
(Boys) Sam Chick (Senior), Billy Gorman (Senior), Eddie Manning (Senior), Brad Nakanishi (Senior), Tom Pogar (Senior), Craig Robinson (Senior), Brian Woodbury (Senior), Nate Hathaway (Junior), Scott McFarland (Junior)
(Girls) Whitney Chamberlain (Senior), Meghan Summerson (Senior), Christy Manning (Junior), Jenny Snyder (Junior), Abby Chick (Sophomore), Sarah Dugas (Sophomore), Rachelle Greene (Sophomore), Emelia Scheemaker (Sophomore)

Top foes: Bonny Eagle, Gorham

Coach Veilleux's comment: "We should figure in there. I think we'll be a better championship meet team. There are more events outdoors. We have some point scorers. We cover events pretty well. I'm confident with the group we have. They know how to win now."

Coach Kelly's comment: "A strong nucleus returns from last year's team and we showed continued improvement indoors. Relays will be the key for this team. We need to develop a little more depth in the throws, racewalk, distance and jumps."

The Forecaster's forecast: After sweeping the indoor Class A championships, Scarborough is seeking an encore outdoors.

The boys' team is primed to move way up from last year. Chick is the defending outdoor and indoor state champion in the 800. He'll also jump. Hathaway was third in the mile a year ago. He, along with Pogar and Robinson, will be a force in the distance events. Nakanishi, Scarborough's Winter Male Athlete of the Year, won the pole vault indoors and was fourth last spring. He aims to soar to the top this season. Manning (sixth in the discus last year), Gorman and Woodbury are top throwers. McFarland will compete in the racewalk. New juniors Evan Bradley and Conor Sullivan look to score in the sprints. The Red Storm will be one of the best teams in the SMAA and could make a run for a top five finish at states.

On the girls' side, Scarborough has no peer. The Red Storm lost their share of talent to graduation a year ago, but return so much depth it's scary. Chamberlain, Chick and Manning were part of a first place 1,600 relay team last spring. Chamberlain (second in the 800 last year, first this winter indoors) and Chick (fourth in the 800 last spring) will be factors in the 800, mile and two-mile, along with the relays. Summerson, sophomore Sarah Dugas and freshman Emily Tolman provide depth in the distance. Greene (sixth in the 200 last year), Snyder, and freshmen Nicole Kirk and Andrea Tolman should sparkle in the sprints. Scheemaker and Snyder will look to score in the hurdles. The jumps feature Scheemaker (who was third in the long jump and fifth in the triple jump in 2008). Throwing threats include Manning (runner-up in the discus, third in the javelin, fourth in the shot put last spring) and freshmen Brittany Bona and Haela Booth-Howe. Scarborough will be pushed by Bonny Eagle and Gorham in league action and by Brewer, Brunswick and Edward Little at the state level. When all is said and done, however, it isn't hard to envision the Red Storm taking another victory lap.

BOYS TENNIS

Coach: Craig McDonald (ninth year)

2008 Results: 13-2 (Lost 3-2 to Cheverus in Western Class A Final)

Top returning players: Nick Tolman (Senior), E.J. Concesion (Junior), Zach Porter (Junior), Tim Przybylowicz (Junior), Adam Saltz (Junior)

Pivotal matches: May 18 @ Cheverus, May 20 (H) MARSHWOOD, May 22 @ Westbrook, May 26 (H) WINDHAM

Coach's comment: "This is the deepest team I've had since coaching at Scarborough. Singles is definitely our strength, with all three starters returning. Our biggest challenge this season will be to find out who will step up and play at first and second doubles. We have eight players who have a legitimate chance to start. The success of our doubles teams will probably determine how well we do."

The Forecaster's forecast: Scarborough is coming off the finest two-year stretch in its history and is looking to go all the way this spring. The Red Storm had never played in a regional final prior to last season's agonizing loss to lower seeded Cheverus. Scarborough will be very formidable in singles action as Saltz returns at No. 1, Tolman (15-0 and a first-team SMAA all-star last year) is at No. 2 and Przybylowicz (14-1 in 2008) mans the No. 3 spot. Freshman Alex Henny will also be in the hunt. Concesion and Porter were first doubles a year ago. One or both might move up. Senior Pat McKeown, junior Kevin Cai and sophomores Dennis Liu, Andrew Talbot and Mike Wofford will also look to crack the top seven and/or provide depth. Western Class A doesn't have a clear favorite this year so the Red Storm have to like their chances. They made it to the semifinals in 2007 and the regional final last year. Don't be surprised if they take another step this spring and play for all the marbles.

GIRLS TENNIS

Coach: Lincoln MacIsaac (second year)

2008 Results: 11-2 (Lost 4-1 to Gorham in Western Class A quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Amy Buttarazzi (Senior), Shannon Eddy (Junior), Sarah Moody (Junior), Jenna Posey (Sophomore)

Pivotal matches: April 29 @ McAuley, May 12 (H) PORTLAND, May 26 @ Windham

Coach's comment: "I'm confident our core of singles players will put up points consistently and set the tone for our matches. Our team is very deep and we have the opportunity to do some special things, but we have to stay focused and work as a team. Last year, we made great strides as a program and we plan to build on that. If we stay on track, stay disciplined and take it match by match, we have the talent to win enough matches to make it into the playoffs."

The Forecaster's forecast: Scarborough loses one Jania, but gains another this spring. Two-time state singles champion Camille Jania, one of the most dominant players in recent memory, has graduated, but her sister Kasia, a freshman, will step right into her No. 1 singles role. The Red Storm are coming off the best regular season in program history and hope to build on that and make a deeper playoff run this spring. Buttarazzi (a second-team all-star in 2008), Eddy, Moody and Posey are vying for the other singles spots. Doubles is up in the air with several players competing for the spot. Ashley Anastasoff and Margaret Benoit return. Four newcomers will add depth and promise. Senior Allie Pastore, junior Crysti Tsujiura, sophomore Courtney Hughes and freshman Rachael Webber will all be heard from this year or in the future. As is the case with the boys, there isn't a powerhouse in Western A this year and the door is open for Scarborough to make a deep postseason run. If Jania continues her family's tradition of excellence and if McIsaac can sort out his ladder with the abundance of athletes at his disposal, the Red Storm will be very strong again and capable of reaching a regional final or better for the first time.

Photo:
Scarborough's boys' lacrosse team celebrated its second Class A championship in three seasons last spring. The Red Storm have a great shot to do it again this season. (File photo)

Photo:
Senior Reegan Brackett is one of several all-star caliber players hoping to lead the Red Storm softball team to great heights. (File photo)

Photo:
Melissa Dellatorre was unhittable at times as a sophomore. As a junior, she hopes to continue her dominance and lead her team to a championship. (File photo)

Photo:
Lindsay Hagerman had 59 goals for the Red Storm a year ago. She and her teammates look to take that extra step this season and reach the state final. (File photo)

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Brad Nakanishi, fresh off a state championship indoors, will look to add an outdoor title to his resume this spring. (File photo)

Photo:
Sophomore Rachelle Greene is an up-and-coming sprinting star.  (File photo)