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Greely Rangers Fall Sports Preview

Sports

Greely Rangers Fall Sports Preview

As usual, there will be no shortage of fall sports excitement at Greely. It's back to the future for boys' soccer, which will be in Class B for the postseason for the first time since the 1970s. That squad is capable of winning it all in its first year there. The girls' team welcomes a new coach and also has an abundance of talent. Football is coming off its best season to date and after some graduation hits, faces some new opponents in a restructured Western Class B. Field hockey is looking for a bounce-back year. Both cross country teams will once again be powerhouses. Golf could capture its first Class A crown and volleyball, which has a lot of new faces, is ready for another title run of its own.

BOYS' SOCCER
COACH: Michael Andreasen (16th year, 151-78-19 overall record, three state championships)
2012 Record: 11-5 (Lost, 2-1, to Scarborough in Western A quarterfinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Aidan Black (Senior), Matt Crowley (Senior), Patrick O'Shea (Senior), Sam Porter (Senior), Joe Saffian (Senior), Ben Ingraham (Junior), Jacob Nason (Sophomore),
PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 10 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 12 FALMOUTH, Sept. 18 @ Kennebunk, Sept. 21 @ Cape Elizabeth, Sept. 27 @ Falmouth, Sept. 30 @ York, Oct. 2 KENNEBUNK, Oct. 8 YORK, Oct. 12 CAPE ELIZABETH, Oct. 16 YARMOUTH
COACH’S COMMENT: "We have the major pieces in place, now we just need to find the others. For us, it's a question of depth. Elijah is a big hole to replace in goal. We also lost three starters from defense. We have to come together and play together. Defensively, we'll hold our own. We don't want to outshoot somebody, 16-4, and lose, 2-1. We'll be one of the good teams.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely is almost always one of the good teams and now, the Rangers appear to have built their way back up to a championship level. They'll still have to deal with rival Cape Elizabeth in the playoffs and now will likely have to defeat a juggernaut Yarmouth squad as well to get to the pinnacle. Greely does have some holes to fill after graduation claimed 11 players and transfers by Mitchel Donovan and Ted Hart to pursue hockey opportunities also hurt.
The biggest hole at press time is in goal. Elijah Leverett was a first-team all-star a year ago and isn't someone you easily replace. Senior Alex McAdoo and junior John Wright were vying for the spot. Luckily for the Rangers, their defense is strong, as all-star and all-region selection Porter is back. He's joined by O'Shea, Saffian, junior Harry Shin and new sophomore Lucas Watt. Black and freshman Hunter Graham are top midfielders. The scoring figures to come from Crowley (a conference and regional all-star in 2012), Ingraham and Nason, who had a breakout freshman campaign, scoring 16 times. Senior Miles Shields, who was limited a year ago, will also be in the mix.
This roster is bursting with talent, eager to go toe-to-toe with the premier powers on the schedule (including two-time defending Class B champion Falmouth, which is now in Class A for the postseason). If the goalkeeping position stabilizes and the Rangers can stay healthy, they could be one of the last teams standing. One thing is certain: the Western B playoffs are going to be incredibly entertaining and dramatic. Greely might just prove to be the best of the bunch.

GIRLS' SOCCER
COACH: Josh Muscadin (first year)
2012 Record: 10-4-2 (Lost, 3-0, to Cape Elizabeth in Western A quarterfinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Allie Morrill (Senior), Teal Otley (Senior), Anja Russell (Senior), Mykaela Twitchell (Senior), Leah Young (Senior), Kristina Volta (Junior), Izzy Hutnak (Sophomore), Jocelyn Mitiguy (Sophomore)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 10 YARMOUTH, Sept. 12 @ Falmouth, Sept. 21 CAPE ELIZABETH, Sept. 24 @ Freeport, Sept. 27 FALMOUTH, Sept. 30 YORK, Oct. 8 @ York, Oct. 12 @ Cape Elizabeth, Oct. 16 @ Yarmouth
COACH’S COMMENT: “Overall, we have talent. The goal is having the kids play their best. We could be very competitive. Our goal is to go all the way to the end. We have to stay away from injuries and we have to support one another. If we do that, we could excel.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely is coming off another strong season, but once again, the Rangers suffered a disappointing playoff loss. The Rangers welcome a new coach this fall in Muscadin, who spent five years with the North Yarmouth Academy boys' program, winning a Class C state title in 2005. Muscadin also runs the Riptide premier team and inherits a Greely group that once again has championship-caliber talent.
Muscadin was using the preseason to experiment with different girls and different positions. One certainty is that Hutnak, who had a tremendous freshman campaign, will be in on scoring. Volta should as well. Mitiguy will be a force in the midfield. After that, Morrill, Otley, Russell, first-team league all-star Twitchell and Young will use their skill and experience to help the Rangers impress. The graduation of all-state goalie Caton Beaulieu creates a hole, but senior Elyse Dinan appears more than capable to step in. Juniors Mia Lambert and Kelsey Otley and freshman Ellie Schad will play key roles as well.
Greely has a lot of top foes on the schedule, but the Rangers thrive on those challenges. This group should improve steadily as the season progresses and if Muscadin can put the right pieces together, Greely could be as good as anyone. Look for this squad to extend its postseason streak to 24 years. The Rangers are looking for their first trip to the regional final since 2007, first trip to states since 2004 and first title since 2002. It's all attainable.

FOOTBALL
COACH: David Higgins (fifth year, 20-16 overall record)
2012 Results: 7-2 (Lost, 9-7, to Wells in Western B quarterfinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Hal Baston (Senior), Jonny Burton (Senior), James Ferrar (Senior), Connor Hanley (Senior), Will Peck (Senior), Dylan Rasch (Senior), Nick Dubois (Junior), Ryan Pomeroy (Junior), Sam Peck (Sophomore), Matt Pisini (Sophomore)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 6 MARSHWOOD, Sept. 20 GORHAM, Sept. 28 @ Westbrook, Oct. 4 @ Kennebunk, Oct. 11 YORK, Oct. 18 CONY, Oct. 25 Falmouth
COACH’S COMMENT: “There's no rest for the weary this year. No easy games. As one of the smaller schools, it's going to be a brutal season, but it's going to be fun. We lost some key players, but we still have a good senior class. Not a whole lot of varsity experience. We're small up front. It will be interesting to see how these kids handle adversity. We want teams to know they've been in a street fight when they play us. We want to be very competitive.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely has been fun to watch the past several seasons, but has it ever been dealt some cruel hands. After the most infamous coin toss in Maine high school football history didn't go its way in 2010, last year's playoff ouster was simply agonizing as a field goal that many NFL kickers would have trouble making, somehow fluttered through the uprights to deny the Rangers their dream of a trip to the semifinals. Greely then graduated Class B Player of the Year and 2012 Fall Male Athlete of the Year Svenn Jacobson, its bruising running back, as well as quarterback Drew Hodge, standout receiver Nick Maynard and several key linemen. That means it's probably not a great year for the Rangers to suddenly have to go up against a new set of foes in a very deep region, but it's quite likely they'll find a way to hold their own.
Burton, a backup to Hodge in the past, will step in under center (Pisini will see time as well). The quarterbacks will hand the ball off to the likes of Ferrar (an all-conference player last fall), Sam Peck and Will Peck. Through the air, Burton will look for Hanley and Pisini. Returning linemen include Baston, Pomeroy and Rasch.
Defensively, Ferrar is the nose guard and will give the opposition fits. Baston, Pomeroy and Rasch are also on the line. The linebacking corps includes Sam Peck. Greely appears strong in the secondary behind Dubois, Hanley, Will Peck and Pisini.
Opening with reigning regional champion Marshwood will quickly give the Rangers an idea of what they're up against. There are very few easy games on the schedule. Greely will have a tough time posting a winning record, but it could still garner a playoff spot and take its chances come November. Two things are for certain: Higgins will have this team ready to play and the Rangers won't be boring. They never are.

FIELD HOCKEY
COACH: Kristina Prescott (seventh year, 56-33-4 overall record)
2012 Record: 2-10-2 (no postseason)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Kat Bower (Senior), Cassie Demick (Senior)
PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 11 @ Falmouth, Sept. 13 YORK, Sept. 17 CAPE ELIZABETH, Sept. 25 WAYNFLETE, Oct. 3 @ York, Oct. 7 FALMOUTH, Oct. 9 @ Cape Elizabeth, Oct. 11 @ Freeport
COACH’S COMMENT: “'I feel like this is the first season where every player could play every position on the field. That's so refreshing. We only have two returning varsity players, but I have a lot of confidence. We have a very fast team this year. I'm hoping we have the confidence to carry us through. It's such a motivated, focused group of girls. I feel very good about the program and my coaching staff.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: There's no way to sugar-coat it, last season was one of disappointment for the Rangers, who entered the year viewed as a top contender. It likely it was an aberration, as Greely hadn't missed the playoffs in 16 seasons prior to falling short last fall. This time around, there isn't much experience, but Prescott (who is due to give birth to a daughter any day now), and her assistants, Becki Belmore and Kristin Rogers, like what they have to work with.
Demick will lead the offense. She'll get some help from seniors Mimi Lyon-Edmonson and Sarah Gooch and junior Mikaela Nolin. Bower is the anchor of the defense. Junior Kate Dransfield steps in between the pipes in goal.
It wasn't like the Rangers were blown out much a year ago. They lost four games by one goal and three others by two, while settling for a pair of frustrating ties along the way. Even though it will take awhile for the new players to settle in, this team should be competitive with everyone and last year's frustration should turn into much more triumph this time around. Hopefully the league enjoyed getting the better of Greely last fall. This season, the Rangers will return to form and should make it back to the playoffs.

CROSS COUNTRY
COACH: David Dowling (17th year, 10 state championships)
2012 Results:
(BOYS) 9th @ Class B state meet
(GIRLS) 4th @ Class B state meet
TOP RETURNING RUNNERS:
(BOYS) Dan Ray (Senior), Weston Taylor (Senior), Ryder White (Senior), Troy Cochran (Junior), Ryan Morrison (Sophomore), Connor Rog (Sophomore)
(GIRLS) Jill Booth (Senior), Cameron Keefe (Senior), Sarah Kurland (Senior), Eliza McKenney (Senior), Kirstin Sandreuter (Senior), Eva Bates (Junior), Emma Mason (Junior)
TOP FOES: Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, York
COACH’S COMMENT: “The boys hope to improve on last year's state finish. The top five had excellent outdoor track seasons and will look to improve their 5K times.
"The girls hope to improve. The addition of Kristina Smith and some experienced underclassmen should make for a stronger team.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely continued its dazzling run of success a year ago, as both teams finished in the top 10 at states. The Rangers will be a team to be reckoned with again this fall.
The boys' squad will miss New England qualifier and all-stater Nate Madeira, but returns state meet scorers Cochran (55th), Morrison (60th) and White (68th). Rog was 54th at the regional meet. Ray and Taylor also have experience. Junior Chris Goding is a new runner to watch. The Rangers have the pieces in place to hold their own against some top-notch talent in the conference and have the potential to move up the ladder at the postseason meets.
On the girls' side, this could be a championship contender. For starters, three-year standout Sandreuter is back. She's coming off a runner-up showing at the state meet, was named to the all-state team and qualified for New Englands. She looks to bow out with individual and team titles. Bates (fourth last year) also qualified for New Englands and was an all-state honorable mention last season. Other returning scorers include Kurland (45th) and Mason (48th). Booth was 33rd at the regional meet. Keefe and McKenney provide experience and depth and highly touted junior Kristina Smith, along with sophomore Sophie Stickney, make the Rangers that much more formidable. Greely appears poised to tangle with Mt. Desert Island and looks to bring home its first state championship since 2001. The Rangers have a very good chance to do so.

GOLF
COACH: Brian Bickford (fifth year)
2012 Results: 7-3 (2nd @ Class A state match)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Tom Buchholz (Senior), Mike McDevitt (Senior), Connor Terison (Senior), Bailey Train (Senior)
TOP FOES: Gorham, Thornton Academy
COACH’S COMMENT: “We were state runners-up last year and look to reload with a strong contingent of sophomores and freshmen. Look for the team to improve as the underclassmen improve during the season. We also have a strong contingent of girls.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely was outstanding a year ago, but fell just short at the state match, finishing second to Gorham by five strokes. The Rangers then said goodbye to all-stars Kyle Bickford, Sarah Hansen and Kyle Megathlin. This is a new team, but there are a couple of strong returners and an abundance of new players primed to make their mark.
Buchholz shot an 83 to finish in a fourth place tie at the Class A individual state match a year ago and hopes to do even better this time. Train (Greely's Spring Male Athlete of the Year) shot an 82 at the team state match and a 94 at the individual match. He hopes to bow out with a bang. McDevitt and Terison also have experience. Senior Nick Ray and juniors Will Bryant and Connor Whittum hope to play bigger roles. Sophomores Sam Burgoyne, Kyle Hansen, Aidan Roberts and Jacob Storey are in the mix for spots as well. Several newcomers also help the cause. That list includes freshmen Matthew McDevitt, Ryan Megathlin, Joe Piwowarski and Tate Porter. As has been the case so often in recent seasons, Greely boasts a strong female player in freshman Erin Holmes, who should soon make a name for herself.
The Rangers have some top-notch competition in Gorham and Thornton Academy, but should be in line to qualify for the state match again. Look for some individuals to shine and for the team to be among the best in Class A once more.

VOLLEYBALL
COACH: Kelvin Hasch (12th year, 166-12 overall record, nine state championships)
2012 Results: 15-2 (Beat Biddeford, 3-1, to win second consecutive Class A state championship)
TOP PLAYERS: Jordynne Copp (Senior), Lexi Foster (Senior), Krystyna Rybka (Senior), Emily Warnock (Senior), Lauren Weickert (Junior)
PIVOTAL MATCHES: Sept. 10 BIDDEFORD, Sept. 12 SCARBOROUGH, Sept. 18 @ Falmouth, Sept. 27 MDI, Sept. 28 ELLSWORTH, Oct. 1 @ Scarborough, Oct. 10 @ Biddeford, Oct. 15 FALMOUTH, Oct. 21 @ Gorham
COACH’S COMMENT: “We have 10 seniors, a junior, two sophomores and a freshman and they all know what Greely volleyball is all about and means. Even though we lost our great setters, we'll get used to new ones early in the season. The seniors are jostling for positions and playing time. Once we figure that out, we should be around for the end. With six or seven teams even in talent this year, it should be a great season to watch.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Last year wasn't supposed to be a championship season for the proudest program in the state, but after dropping a pair of regular season matches to Biddeford, the Rangers rose up and tamed the Tigers when it mattered most. Greely might not be the clear favorite this time around, but when all is said and done, chances are good it will be the Rangers celebrating on the final day of the season. Even though 2012 Fall Female Athlete of the Year Haleigh Roach, Danielle Cimino and three other seniors graduated, this edition has experience and players eager to make their mark. Top returners include Copp (middle), defensive specialists Foster and Rybka, Warnock (outside hitter) and Weickert (middle). Freshman Kayley Cimino could be a star of the future. While this group might lack a go-to player, at least in theory, it is solid across the board. Like last year, there might be some growing pains, but Greely is always at its best in the postseason. Pride, talent and hunger will carry this group a long way. Perhaps all the way to yet another shiny piece of hardware.

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

Photo: File photo

Senior Matt Crowley made the Western A regional all-star team a year ago and will pace the Rangers' offense this fall.

Photo: File photo

Senior Sam Porter made the Western A regional all-star team and is recognized as one of the state's top defenders.

Photo: File photo

Junior Ben Ingraham will look to provide some scoring punch for the Rangers this season.

Photo: File photo

Senior Allie Morrill brings leadership and skill to the pitch and will play a key role for the Rangers as they chase a Class B title.

Photo: File photo

Izzy Hutnak had a great freshman season and looks to do big things again this autumn as a sophomore.

Photo: File photo

Sophomore Jocelyn Mitiguy will be a matchup nightmare all over the field.

Photo: File photo

Senior all-conference back James Ferrar will help pace Greely's offensive attack this fall.

Photo: File photo

Sophomore Matt Pisini will play a key role in the Rangers' attack in the weeks to come.

Photo: File photo

Since taking her first high school stride as a freshman, Kirstin Sandreuter has been one of the state's special girls' cross country runners. Now a senior, Sandreuter is looking for a championship.

Photo: File photo

Junior Eva Bates is a New England-caliber runner and should be among the best in Class B once again.

Photo: File photo

Senior Jordynne Copp has played a huge role on back-to-back championship teams. She's looking for one more before graduating.

Photo: File photo

Senior Lexi Foster is one of the state's premier defensive specialists.

2013 schedules

FOOTBALL
Fri., Sept. 6 H MARSHWOOD
Sat., Sept. 14 @ Fryeburg
Fri., Sept. 20 H GORHAM
Sat., Sept. 28 @ Westbrook
Fri., Oct. 4 @ Kennebunk
Fri., Oct. 11 H YORK
Fri., Oct. 18 H CONY
Fri., Oct. 25 @ Falmouth

BOYS' SOCCER
Fri., Sept. 6 @ Fryeburg
Tues., Sept. 10 @ Yarmouth
Thurs., Sept. 12 H FALMOUTH
Mon., Sept. 16 H GRAY-NG
Wed., Sept. 18 @ Kennebunk
Sat., Sept. 21 @ Cape Elizabeth
Tues., Sept. 24 H FREEPORT
Fri., Sept. 27 @ Falmouth
Mon., Sept. 30 @ York
Wed., Oct. 2 H FALMOUTH
Tues., Oct. 8 H YORK
Sat., Oct. 12 H CAPE ELIZABETH
Wed., Oct. 16 H YARMOUTH
Sat., Oct. 19 @ Lake Region

GIRLS' SOCCER
Sat., Sept. 7 H FRYEBURG
Tues., Sept. 10 H YARMOUTH
Thurs., Sept. 12 @ Falmouth
Mon., Sept. 16 @ Gray-NG
Wed., Sept. 18 H KENNEBUNK
Sat., Sept. 21 H CAPE ELIZABETH
Tues., Sept. 24 @ Freeport
Fri., Sept. 27 H FALMOUTH
Mon., Sept. 30 H YORK
Wed., Oct. 2 @ Kennebunk
Tues., Oct. 8 @ York
Sat., Oct. 12 @ Cape Elizabeth
Wed., Oct. 16 @ Yarmouth
Sat., Oct. 19 H LAKE REGION

FIELD HOCKEY
Thurs., Sept. 5 H LAKE REGION
Mon., Sept. 9 H POLAND
Wed., Sept. 11 @ Falmouth
Fri., Sept. 13 H YORK
Tues., Sept. 17 H CAPE ELIZABETH
Thurs., Sept. 19 @ Gray-NG
Mon., Sept. 23 @ Lake Region
Wed., Sept. 25 H WAYNFLETE
Fri., Sept. 27 H KENNEBUNK
Thurs., Oct. 3 @ York
Mon., Oct. 7 H FALMOUTH
Wed., Oct. 9 @ Cape Elizabeth
Fri., Oct. 11 @ Freeport
Tues., Oct. 15 @ Fryeburg

CROSS COUNTRY
Thurs., Sept. 5 H KBUNK, MERR, NYA, POLAND
Fri., Sept. 13 @ Lake Region (Cape, Yarm)
Fri., Sept. 20 @ Sacopee (York)
Sat., Sept. 28 @ Manchester Inv.
Sat., Oct. 5 @ Belfast Invitational
Fri., Oct. 11 H FALM, GNG, WAYN
Fri., Oct. 18 @ WMC Championships
Sat., Oct. 26 @ Western B Regionals
Sat., Nov. 2 @ Class B State Meet

GOLF
Wed., Sept. 4 H WINDHAM
Mon., Sept. 9 H WESTBROOK
Wed., Sept. 11 H TA
Mon., Sept. 16 H GORHAM
Wed., Sept. 18 H BONNY EAGLE
Tues., Sept. 24 @ Windham
Wed., Sept. 25 @ Gorham
Fri., Sept. 27 @ TA
Tues., Oct. 1 @ Gorham
Thurs., Oct. 3 @ Bonny Eagle

VOLLEYBALL
Tues., Sept. 10 H BIDDEFORD
Thurs., Sept. 12 H SCARBOROUGH
Mon., Sept. 16 H WINDHAM
Wed., Sept. 18 @ Falmouth
Fri., Sept. 20 @ Kennebunk
Mon., Sept. 23 @ Lake Region
Wed,. Sept. 25 H GORHAM
Fri., Sept. 27 H MDI
Sat., Sept. 28 H ELLSWORTH
Tues., Oct. 1 @ Scarborough
Thurs., Oct. 10 @ Biddeford
Tues., Oct. 15 H FALMOUTH
Thurs., Oct. 17 @ Cape Elizabeth
Mon., Oct. 21 @ Gorham