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Cape Elizabeth Capers Winter Sports Preview

Sports

Cape Elizabeth Capers Winter Sports Preview

Cape Elizabeth is loaded for bear this winter. The boys' basketball team will make a run at the top spot in Western B. The girls' squad is coming off its best season this century and could be among the last teams standing. Boys' hockey will be in the mix all season. The girls' squad should show improvement. Track features some promising athletes. Girls' swimming is championship caliber again, while the boys' team should also be very strong. Alpine and Nordic skiing also boast ample talent.

BOYS' BASKETBALL

COACH: Jim Ray (20th year, 258-132 overall record)

2012-13 record: 14-6 (Lost, 58-35, to York in Western B semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Eddie Galvin (Junior), Ethan Murphy (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 6 @ Wells, Dec. 21 @ Yarmouth, Jan. 3 @ Falmouth, Jan. 7 WELLS, Jan. 11 YARMOUTH, Jan. 24 YORK, Jan. 25 GREELY, Feb. 4 FALMOUTH, Feb. 7 @ Greely

COACH’S COMMENT: “It's a work in progress. We're inexperienced, but we'll give all we've got. I have good kids. Not a lot of size, but we'll box out. I'd like to think we'll learn as we go and get better. I hope we can stay in games defensively. We have to develop and put the ball in the basket. Our shot selection will have to improve. Our success is predicated on developing balance. As always, we hope to be in the tournament mix and see what happens from there.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth made it 16 straight tournament berths a year ago and this season, the Capers have the potential to be very good, although the road will be challenging. There isn't a lot of experience on the roster, but Murphy, the point guard, and Galvin, a scorer from the guard or forward position, will lead the way. Junior Grady McCormack saw limited time a year ago, but should be more of a force from the forward position. Sophomore forward Justin Guerette returns from injury and could also be a force in the frontcourt. Sophomore Jack O'Rourke should see ample time at point guard. Freshman Quinn Hewitt is versatile, can play guard or forward, and will make his mark. Cape Elizabeth is lacking in experience, but there is talent on the roster. The Capers face a series of challenges in the regular season, but with defending Class B champion Falmouth moving up to Class A for the playoffs, Cape Elizabeth figures to be right in the mix come tournament time. Ray, who was recently inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame, always gets his team to improve as the season progresses. This year's squad will be very dangerous by late February. Another trip to the Civic Center isn't beyond the realm of possibility.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL

COACH: Chris Casterella (seventh year, 41-71 overall record)

2012-13 record: 11-9 (Lost, 47-39, to York in Western B quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Kate Miklavic (Senior), Emma O'Rourke (Senior), Mary Perkins (Senior), Hannah Sawyer (Junior), Kate Breed (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 6 WELLS, Dec. 10 @ Lake Region, Dec. 14 @ Gray-NG, Dec. 16 FREEPORT, Jan. 3 FALMOUTH, Jan. 7 @ Wells, Jan. 9 GRAY-NG, Jan. 24 @ York, Jan. 25 @ Greely, Feb. 4 @ Falmouth, Feb. 7 GREELY

COACH’S COMMENT: “We lost our top scorers from last year. We could go anywhere from seven deep to 10 deep. Hopefully it's the latter. We have more height than in the past. I want us to get better as the season goes on. We'll look to press and have a fast paced game. I don't have somebody who can score 15 or 20 points per night, but any kid I put on the floor can score. It's a very good league. I don't see anyone going undefeated. The tournament is always the goal.”

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth is coming off its best season since 1995-96, which came at the end of the first Clinton Administration. While Kisa Tabery and reigning Winter Female Athlete of the Year Marlo Dell'Aquila graduated, the Capers return a lot and should be right in the middle of a very deep and talented Western B field. Veteran returners include Miklavic, O'Rourke and Perkins, all of whom can score and all whom will see time in the backcourt. Miklavic will share time at point guard with Breed, Cape Elizabeth's Fall Female Athlete of the Year. Sawyer has great range and will be another guard to keep an eye on. Seniors Elizabeth Cloutier (who plays guard and forward) and Maddison Lengyel (guard) will also factor into the scoring mix. Sophomore Montana Braxton (seventh in the Western Maine Conference in rebounds last year with 8.5 per game) is a top frontcourt talent. She actually managed to neutralize eventual Miss Maine Basketball, Waynflete's Martha Veroneau, in an upset win last winter. Junior Ashley Tinsman, the softball standout, and sophomore Maddie Bowe are new players who will make an impact. Tinsman will help Braxton down low, while Bowe is another talented guard. For many, many years, the Capers simply wanted to contend. The program is now at the point where it is no longer content to simply make it to the Expo. With several players coming off a soccer state title, Cape Elizabeth expects to succeed. It's been 18 years since the Capers have played in a semifinal and while it won't come easily, this group is more than capable of getting to the Civic Center and ending that drought.

BOYS' HOCKEY

COACH: Matthew Buotte (second year, 8-11-1 overall record)

2012-13 record: 8-11-1 (Lost, 7-2, to eventual champion Greely in Western B semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Eli Breed (Senior), Dennis Frank (Senior), Cole Caswell (Junior), Jack Drinan (Junior), Curtis Guimond (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 7 @ Falmouth, Dec. 11 @ York, Dec. 14 @ Greely, Jan. 11 @ Scarborough, Jan. 20 @ Gorham, Feb. 1 YORK, Feb. 8 YARMOUTH, Feb. 15 GORHAM

COACH’S COMMENT: “We want to be in the mix. A state title might be out of reach, but at the end of the season, we want to be one of the teams in the discussion.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Capers will be heard from in the weeks to come as several solid athletes will keep the team viable against a very challenging slate. This year, the offense will be paced by Guimond, who had 11 goals and five assists last year, Breed (6 goals, 13 assists) and Drinan (6 goals, 11 assists), along with Caswell, who switches to forward from defense after registering a goal and four assists in 2012-13. The defense is anchored by Frank, who is joined by freshmen Eli Babcock, Jeb Boeschenstein, Ben Ekedahl and Peyton Weatherbie. Senior Kevin Hare and sophomore Grant Rusk will see time in goal. Cape Elizabeth won't have many easy games on the schedule, but it will be able to hold its own against just about everyone. Look for the Capers to show steady improvement and make it 15 postseason trips in 16 years. Cape Elizabeth might just make life miserable for one of the favorites come playoff time.

GIRLS' HOCKEY

COACH: Bob Mills (second year, 4-11-3 overall record)

2012-13 record: 4-11-3 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Gretchen Stevens (Senior), Kate Bosworth (Junior), Kathryn Clark (Junior), Katie Ewald (Junior), Julia Ginder (Junior), Lily Jordan (Junior), Allison Mills (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 11 @ Scarborough, Dec. 14 FALMOUTH, Dec. 19 @ Cheverus, Dec. 23 @ Yarmouth, Jan. 8 SCARBOROUGH, Jan. 9 @ Falmouth, Jan. 11 YORK, Jan. 18 @ York

COACH'S COMMENT: "With several returning players, we're expecting to surprise. After just missing the playoffs last season, we're hungry to have an overall winning regular season record and get into the playoffs for the first time."

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: Even though the Capers dropped their first two outings (to Leavitt/Edward Little and Yarmouth), they should win their share of games and be in the postseason hunt. Plenty of firepower returns. The top returning scorer is Ginder, a captain, who had 11 goals last winter. Ewald (7 goals, 5 assists), Mills (6 goals, 11 assists), the dynamic Clark, best known for her soccer excellence (4 goals, 8 assists), and Stevens (2 goals, 3 assists) will also factor into the scoring mix. Freshman Hannah Bosworth joins the team and will also be heard from. The defense is anchored by Kate Bosworth. Freshmen Eliza Connolly and Kate Ginder provide depth at that spot. Cape Elizabeth is in good hands at the goalie position, as Jordan, a second-team all-star a year ago, will make the opposition work to tickle the twine. Jordan saved 87 percent of the shots she faced in 2012-13. She'll keep the Capers competitive throughout. Cape Elizabeth has some work to do after it slow start, but there are enough good athletes on this roster to believe it will come together. The Capers should be able to better last year's mark and be in the playoff hunt. The program continues to improve and has much to look forward to. Perhaps even a trip to the postseason.

INDOOR TRACK

COACH: Doug Worthley (21st year)

2012-13 results:

(BOYS) 15th @ Class B state meet

(GIRLS) Tie-26th @ Class B state meet

TOP RETURNING ATHLETES:

(BOYS) Will Britton (Senior), Trevor Ewald (Senior), Trevor Gale (Senior), Omar Khalidi (Senior), Deven Roberts (Senior), Liam Simpson (Senior), Tim Brigham (Junior), Andrew Kelly (Junior), Kyle Kennedy (Junior), Will Kriger (Junior), Robert Mackay (Junior), Mitch Morris (Junior), Nate Weare (Junior), Nikko Pappas (Sophomore), Harry Queeney (Sophomore), Henry Shroder (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Hannah Newhall (Senior), Hailey Petsinger (Senior), Eva Brydson (Junior), Hayley Doss (Junior), Caroline Garfield (Junior), Sam Feenstra (Sophomore), Caroline Lengyel (Sophomore), Katie Olberholtzer (Sophomore)
TOP FOES: Greely, York

COACH’S COMMENT: “The boys are coming off a very successful cross country season. We're also strong in the sprints and jumps. The girls look forward to a strong group of returning veterans. Both teams look forward to the conference championships and see perennial favorites Greely and York as major competitors this season. We hope to be in the mix.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth will be one of the top teams in the Western Maine Conference and should make some noise at states this winter.

The boys' team features several athletes who led cross country to a championship in the fall. That group is led by Fall Male Athlete of the Year Simpson, who was third in the two-mile last winter. Britton, Kenney and Morris are also distance standouts. Roberts returns as a scoring jumper (he was fourth in the high jump last winter). Ewald also jumps. Those two captains, along with Brigham, Gale, Khalidi, MacKay, Queeney and Shroder are also sprinters to watch. Top throwers include Kelly, Kriger, Pappas and Weare. The Capers will score a lot of points in the league and should see some individuals really shine when February rolls around. A leap into the top 10 at states wouldn't come as a surprise.

On the girls' side, no big meet points return, but Cape Elizabeth will be formidable nonetheless. Newhall, a standout athlete, could be primed for big things in the sprints and the jumps. Lengyel and Olberholtzer also sprint and jump, as do freshmen Mariah Deschino (who played a key role on the soccer state championship winning team) and Amelia Melanson. Petsinger will be heard from in middle distance races. There's a strong distance core, which includes Brydson, Doss, Feenstra, Garfield and freshmen Anna Friberg and Emma Shedd. The Capers hope to steadily improve as the season progresses and with their frontline talent, could be much more of a factor in the championship meets this time around.

SWIMMING

COACH: Ben Raymond (eighth year, two state championships)

2012-13 results:

(BOYS) 4th @ Class A state meet

(GIRLS) Class A state champions

TOP RETURNING SWIMMERS:

(BOYS) Ethan DuPerre (Senior), Jordan Petersen (Senior), Tony DeMarco (Junior), Reese McFarlane (Junior), Griffin Thoreck (Junior), Stephen Bennett (Sophomore), Tommy Brett (Sophomore), Alex Mukai (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Caroline Herriman (Senior), Shannon Howard (Senior), Katie Schonewolf (Senior), Jayne Vaughan (Senior), Sydney Wight (Senior), Sierra Bates (Junior), Taylor Herrera (Junior), Sarah Loring (Junior), Michaela Pinette (Junior), Sadie Stiles (Junior), Haylee Walsh (Junior), Arden Wing (Junior), Lexie Bakke (Sophomore), Jahna Freedman (Sophomore), Olivia Hintlian (Sophomore), Gabby Lawrence (Sophomore), Nakita Wallace (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Cheverus, Deering, Greely, McAuley, Waynflete

COACH’S COMMENT: “The boys return a number of key swimmers. This year, in Class B, the depth of the team should be a huge help. With 31 boys swimming, it will just be a matter of getting them qualified and with the attitude and effort they've shown early this season, many will have a great chance of competing at the state meet. It should be a very exciting season. The girls should do well again this season, as we return many key swimmers from last year's championship team. Couple that with the huge depth we have and that should make for a lot of success. Outstanding senior leaders have already set the tone in practice and the expectations are high. It should be a very exciting year.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Indeed, there's a lot for the Cape Elizabeth swim program to look forward to this winter as it moves down to Class B for the first time.

The boys' could make a run at the top spot if all goes well. The loss of standout and reigning Winter Male Athlete of the Year Evan Long will be felt, but there's plenty of firepower in reserve. Petersen and Thoreck were part of a state champion 200 freestyle relay last winter. This season, Petersen will look to excel in the sprint freestyle and butterfly, while Thoreck will is a top sprinter, who can also put up points in the backstroke and individual medley. DeMarco (fly, IM), DuPerre (IM, backstroke) and McFarlane (breaststroke) are other veterans who will help lead the way to great things. Sophomores Bennett (freestyle), Brett (breaststroke) and Mukai (distance freestyle, fly, backstroke, IM) will play bigger roles this year and new sophomore R.J. Sarka (sprint freestyle) and freshmen Kyle Long (freestyle, IM, fly, backstroke), Gabe McGinn (sprint freestyle), Connor Thoreck (sprint freestyle) and Owen Thoreck (sprint freestyle) all provide depth and promise for future success. This squad will cover all the events and will send a multitude of standouts to the big meets, where Cape Elizabeth promises to do very well. Its Class B debut could have a storybook ending.

On the girls' side, Herriman, Stiles and Wight return from a state champion medley relay squad. Wight was a top individual as well last winter, placing runner-up in the fly and the 200 free. This season, she'll cover just about every stroke and will threaten for state titles in at least two of them. Herriman is a top sprinter, who also competes in the backstroke, breaststroke and IM. Stiles swims the 50 free, breaststroke and IM. Howard (distance freestyle), Schonewolf (IM, fly) and Vaughan (distance freestyle) are the other senior leaders. The junior class is plenty deep and talented too, as Bates swims the distance freestyle, IM, and fly, Herrera will be heard from in the backstroke, IM and freestyle, Loring is a threat in the IM, fly and freestyle, Pinette is the lead diver, Walsh is a freestyler and backstroker and Wing competes in the freestyle, fly and IM. Sophomores Bakke (distance freestyle), Freedman (breaststroke), Hintlian (50 free, backstroke), Lawrence (distance freestyle) and Wallace (freestyle, fly, IM) and freshman Rose Baillie (IM, breaststroke and freestyle) will also be in a very talented mix. While the Capers will have to deal with the likes of Greely and Waynflete, they have the pieces in place to go back-to-back in different classes. This team could make history and turn heads over the next couple of months.

SKIING

Combined results:

(BOYS) 3rd @ Class B meet

(GIRLS) 4th @ Class B meet

ALPINE

COACHES: Jeff Davis and Shawn Guerrette (first year)

2012-13 results:

(BOYS) 3rd @ Class B state meet

(GIRLS) 5th @ Class B state meet

TOP RETURNING SKIERS:

(BOYS) Lucas Dvorzniak (Senior)

(GIRLS) Sara Paclat (Senior), Emma Landes (Junior), Emma Dvorzniak (Sophomore), Sophie Hewitt (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Falmouth, Yarmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “The boys lost many top skiers, but look for them to finish well. The girls have five top contenders for the state meet. We suffered many injuries last year, but if we stay healthy this year, there's a good chance we'll finish high.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth boasts some talent on the slopes this winter.

The boys will be paced by top returner Dvorzniak, along with freshmen Jon Fiutak and Gustav Sonesson and skimeister Matthew Hater-Realm. This group will be able to hold its own against a very tough league schedule and should be in line to enjoy another top five finish at the state meet.

On the girls' side, Dvorzniak is coming off a great freshman season, placing third in the slalom and sixth in the giant slalom at states. Paclat was seventh last year in the GS and 10th in the slalom. Hewitt and Landes also have experience. Freshmen Kinnon McGrath and Caroline Paclat look to make an immediate impact. Look for the Capers to make a run at one of the top spots in the state come February.

NORDIC

COACH: Shawn Guerrette and Stanis Moody-Roberts(first year)

2012-13 results:

(BOYS) 7th @ Class B state meet

(GIRLS) 4th @ Class B state meet

TOP RETURNING SKIERS:

(BOYS) Andrew Hollyday (Senior), Julian Pelzer (Senior), Daniel Menz (Junior)

(GIRLS) Dana Hatton (Senior)

TOP FOES: Falmouth, Yarmouth

COACH'S COMMENT: “Hopefully we can continue improving on last year's positive results.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Cape Elizabeth has a new look at the top this year, as Guerrette, who has spent several years with the Alpine program, and Moody-Roberts, a one-time Capers standout, take over. They have plenty of talent to work with.

The boys return Pelzer, who placed 12th in the skate and 16th in the classic at last winter's state meet. He's joined by Hollyday and Menz, who have experience, junior Woody Chiang and freshmen Calvin Barber and Jack O'Brien, who should make an immediate splash. Cape Elizabeth has a lot of tough teams on its schedule, but will be among the best at the conference and state levels.

On the girls' side, Hatton returns after placing second in the skate and eighth in the classic a year ago. A couple newcomers, junior Emily Faria and sophomore Catie O'Sullivan, provide some depth. The Capers should be in line for another strong season, from start to finish.

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

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Junior Eddie Galvin is a top returner for the Capers.

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Junior Ethan Murphy will be a top scorer for the Capers this season.

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Senior Emma O'Rourke looks to be one of the Capers' top scorers this season.

Photo: Michael Strout

Sophomore Montana Braxton will be a force to contend with on both ends of the floor.

Photo: Michael Strout

Just weeks after leading the Cape Elizabeth girls' soccer team to a state title, senior Mary Perkins takes her act to basketball.

Photo: Michael Strout

Junior Hannah Sawyer could be in line for a breakout season.

Photo: Michael Strout

Sophomore Grant Rusk will see a lot of time in goal this winter.

Photo: Michael Strout

Junior Cole Caswell is a top returner for the Cape Elizabeth' boys hockey team.

Photo: Michael Strout

Senior Gretchen Stevens is a top returner for an up-and-coming Capers girls' hockey team.

Photo: Michael Strout

Junior Lily Jordan is one of the top goalies in the area. She hopes to backstop the Capers to the playoffs this season.

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Liam Simpson is coming off a transcendent cross country season and seeks to continue to dominate indoors.

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Deven Roberts is a top returning jumper for the Capers.

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Senior Hannah Newhall will be one of the conference's top athletes.

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Senior Hailey Petsinger will lead Cape Elizabeth's distance brigade.

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Katie Olberholtzer is coming off a strong freshman season and will be a top scoring jumper.