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Cape Elizabeth Capers Winter Athletes of the Year

Sports

Cape Elizabeth Capers Winter Athletes of the Year

2012-13 Winter Male Athlete of the Year:

EVAN LONG, Senior-Swimming

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CITATIONS

· Class A state champion, 50 freestyle (state record)

· All-State, first-team, 50 free

· All-State, first-team, 200 medley relay

· All-State, first-team, 200 free relay

· All-State, second-team, 100 free

· All-Conference, first-team, 50 free

· All-Conference, first-team, medley relay

· All-Conference, first-team, 200 free relay

· Team captain

Long capped a great high school career with a tremendous state meet, etching his name into Capers lore.

Long grew up in Cape Elizabeth and started swimming in middle school, but it took him some time to find his stride.

"At first I was terrible,” said Long. “Then I started swimming with Coastal Maine Aquatics (club team) and I kind of took off from there.”

Did he ever.

After placing sixth at states in both the 200 and 500 freestyle as a freshman, Long, who has devoted countless hours to improvement and who has relied on his burning desire to win as motivation, was the Class A state champion in the 50 free and the 200 free as a sophomore. He stole headlines again as a junior, winning the 50 free, also keying a first-place 200 free relay team and coming in third in the breaststroke.

The bar was set high entering this winter, but Long rose to the occasion, losing only once, in the butterfly, while sparking the Capers to another strong campaign. Not surprisingly, Long was at his best in February, winning the 100 free, placing runner-up in the 500 free and helping the 200 free relay to a second-place finish at Southwesterns. At states, Long won the 50 free in a new state meet record time of 21.41 seconds. He also beat the existing 100 free record, but was runner-up to Windham's Nick Sundquist (47.11) in that race. If that wasn't enough, Long helped lead the 200 free relay team to a victory as Cape Elizabeth wound up fourth as a team.

Long also plays ultimate frisbee, plays the violin and credits several of his older teammates earlier in his high school career for serving as positive role models. He will continue his career next year at Trinity College, his first choice.

From “terrible” to transcendent, Evan Long wrote the book on dominance during his time with the Capers. His legacy will be long lasting.

Coach Ben Raymond’s comment: “I think what has made Evan so successful is his competitiveness and desire to win. His practice habits are not the best I have ever seen, but his results in big meets when it matters most are amazing. His desire to be the best and to help his team excel are outstanding. Evan has a very powerful, efficient stroke and the mental ability to be tougher than everyone else when it counts. He is confident in his abilities because he has been so successful for so long and that confidence is apparent whenever he gets on the blocks in a meet that matters.”

2011-12 winner: Nick Breed (Hockey)

2010-11 winner: Theo Bowe (Basketball)

2009-10 winner: Conor Maloney (Basketball)

2008-09 winner: Alex Bowe (Basketball)

2007-08 winner: Tommy Ray (Basketball)

2006-07 winner: Graham Egan (Nordic skiing)

2005-06 winner: Kevin Harrison (Indoor track)

2004-05 winner: Dan Rautenberg (Hockey)

2003-04 winner: Ben Weimont (Indoor track)

2002-03 winner: Luke Holden (Hockey)

2001-02 winner: Tom Alberi (Swimming)

2012-13 Winter Female Athlete of the Year

MARLO DELL'AQUILA, Senior-Basketball

ACCOMPLISHMENTS AND CITATIONS

· WMC All-Star, third-team

· WMC Senior All-Star

· Team captain

Dell'Aquila was a key contributor, as well as a leader of a Capers team which made an unforgettable run to the Expo and produced its best season this century.

Dell'Aquila started playing basketball at a young age, but had to be talked into playing in high school by varsity coach Chris Casterella.

“I'm so glad I decided to play,” said Dell'Aquila, who also dabbled in field hockey and volleyball during high school. “(Basketball) is such a big part of my life.”

Dell'Aquila learned from the upperclassmen as a young player and along with fellow senior Kisa Tabery (a tremendous player and captain her own right) prepared to lead this year's squad to contention.

Problem was, Cape Elizabeth didn't play well as the season began, winning just one of its first six games (Dell'Aquila did have 11 points in the lone win, at Freeport, as well as 15 versus Falmouth and 10 again Fryeburg). To many outsiders, it looked as if they'd be the same old Capers, bound for a losing record and no postseason.

Dell'Aquila and Tabery then took matters into their own hands, calling a team meeting.

“No one was playing like they wanted to win,” said Dell'Aquila. “We had to get everyone on the same page.”

Cape Elizabeth turned it around in dramatic fashion on a surprising stage, at eventual Class C champion Waynflete, three days into the new year. In one of the year's more surprising results, the Capers hung tough with the Flyers, forced overtime on a Dell'Aquila foul shot in the final minute, then won it, 49-45. Dell'Aquila was the game's top scorer (finishing with more points than eventual Miss Maine Basketball Martha Veroneau) with 15 points. She also had five rebounds and a pair of steals. That helped Cape Elizabeth turned the corner as it closed on a 9-3 run to finish 10-8 and make the playoffs.

Along the way, Dell'Aquila had 16 points, five rebounds and four steals in a win over Poland, nine points, five boards and three steals in a victory at Gray-New Gloucester, 14 points and nine rebounds against Wells and eight points in a regular season-ending win over Greely, the Capers' first triumph over the Rangers this century.

On Feb. 13, Cape Elizabeth hosted a playoff game for the first time this century and downed Oak Hill by 19 points in the preliminary round, the program's first postseason victory since 1996. Dell'Aquila had her best game of the season at the most optimal time, scoring 22 points to key the romp. She bowed out with six points, eight rebounds and three steals in a quarterfinal round loss to perennial power York in a game the Capers made the Wildcats sweat throughout before prevailing by eight.

“It was an exciting year,” said Dell'Aquila. “We had great team chemistry. We knew our strengths. Everyone was on the same page. Kisa and I balanced each other out.”

Dell'Aquila finished with an average of 9.7 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.

Dell'Aquila will attend Merrimack College next year. She doesn't plan to play basketball, but might go out for the crew team. She plans to study sports medicine.

This young lady was just what the doctor ordered this winter. Marlo Dell'Aquila played an integral role in leading the Capers to contention and was at her best when games mattered most.

Coach Chris Casterella's comment: “It amazes me how far Marlo has come in four years. She was our second leading rebounder and she's only 5-foot-6. She's just determined. She's a joy to watch. You can see it in her body language. She's a fighter. She showed great leadership.”

2011-12 winner: Hannah Homans (Swimming)

2010-11 winner: Emily Donovan (Basketball)

2009-10 winner: Emily Attwood (Nordic skiing)

2008-09 winner: Marita Stressenger (Track)

2007-08 winner: Nora Daly (Swimming)

2006-07 winner: Nora Daly (Swimming)

2005-06 winner: Kinsey Tarbell (Swimming)

2004-05 winner: Kate Barton (Nordic skiing)

2003-04 winner: Taylor McFarlane (Swimming)

2002-03 winner: Taylor McFarlane (Swimming)

2001-02 winner: Whitney Rockwell (Swimming)

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