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Cape Elizabeth Capers 2010 Spring Sports Preview

Sports

Cape Elizabeth Capers 2010 Spring Sports Preview

As always, Cape Elizabeth's spring sports teams will be very competitive. Baseball is still stinging over last year's playoff ouster and should be at or near the top this season. Softball has been as good as anyone over the past five seasons and despite some huge graduation hits, shouldn't be overlooked. Boys' lacrosse is the regional favorite again and is looking to solve nemesis Yarmouth at the state level. The girls' team is only getting better and is closing the gap with traditional power Waynflete. Boys' and girls' tennis should be among the better teams in the region.

BASEBALL

Coach: Chris Hayward (fourth year)

2009 Record: 13-5 (Lost 1-0, in 10 innings, to Greely in Western B semifinals)

Top returning players: Tanner Garrity (Senior), Conor Moloney (Senior), Will Pierce (Senior), Kyle Piscopo (Senior), Sam St. Germain (Senior), Ezra Wolfinger (Senior), Cam Brown (Junior), Kyle Danielson (Junior), Rob MacDonald (Junior)

Pivotal games: May 3 (H) GREELY, May 12 @ Yarmouth, May 14 (H) YORK, May 19 (H) YARMOUTH, May 21 @ Falmouth, May 26 @ York, June 2 @ Greely

Coach's comment: “We return nine players who saw significant time. We'll be strong on the hill and on the field. We could potentially be strong throughout the entire lineup with lots of experience. Our goal is to win enough games to make it to the playoffs and hopefully do some damage there.”

The Forecaster's forecast: The Capers enjoyed their ninth straight playoff season a year ago, but are still stinging over the agonizing playoff loss to Greely, a team Cape Elizabeth beat twice in the regular season. This time around, the Capers might be the favorite, as they have an abundance of talent returning. On the mound, look for Moloney (Cape Elizabeth's Winter Male Athlete of the Year), MacDonald and Brown to lead the way. In the opener last week, a 4-2 home win over Falmouth, MacDonald and Moloney combined to get the win. Wolfinger (Cape Elizabeth's Fall Male Athlete of the Year) returns at catcher and is viewed as a stellar defender. The offense is paced by second baseman Piscopo, a reigning league all-star, who hit .327 with two home runs, five doubles and 13 RBI in 2009. Garrity had a clutch two-run triple versus Falmouth. He'll play third base and the outfield. MacDonald (who plays the outfield when he's not pitching) has pop in his bat. He hit .341 with two dingers, six doubles, a triple and 14 RBI last season. Infielder/outfielder/designated hitter Danielson (.400, 2 HR, 12 RBI in 2009, a key two-run single in this year's opener), third baseman St. Germain (.571 last year in limited action) and first baseman Pierce (.302 in 2009) are other top hitters. Hayward also expects senior A.J. Frustaci, juniors Jack Barber, Ben Berman and Pat Tyler and sophomores Will LeBlond and Derek Roberts to contribute. The Capers will score their share of runs and should have enough pitching to be at or near the top of the league. If the team can channel the disappointment of last spring into this year's run, there might be no stopping it. Cape Elizabeth will turn many heads between now and mid-June.

SOFTBALL

Coach: Joe Henrikson (13th year)

2009 Record: 16-2 (Lost 7-1 to Fryeburg in Western Class B semifinals)

Top returning players: Gabe Donahue (Senior), Abby Flynn (Senior), Delaney Rockwell (Senior), Lauren Nicholson (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 30 @ Gray-NG, May 3 (H) GREELY, May 12 @ Yarmouth, May 14 (H) YORK, May 19 (H) YARMOUTH, May 21 @ Falmouth, May 24 (H) LAKE REGION, June 2 @ Greely

Coach's comment: “We have a lot of work to do. Hopefully we'll improve every day and good things will happen. We've been right there for several years, but this year, we have a lot of younger kids. Hopefully this experience will pay off down the road. I'd be happy to make the playoffs this year.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Cape Elizabeth has enjoyed 10 straight winning seasons, averaged over 14 victories a year and played in the semifinals or better five springs in a row, but last year's surprising one-sided semifinal round loss to Fryeburg might have heralded the Capers coming back to the pack. Cape Elizabeth graduated its dynamic battery of 2008 Spring Female Athlete of the Year Trish Thibodeau and 2009 Spring Female Athlete of the Year Colleen Martin, along with four other key contributors. In this year's opener, the Capers lost 13-8 to Falmouth, falling behind 12-1 before a late rally fell short. Junior Ellie Boyington is the new pitcher. She will get stronger as the season produces, but doesn't have much varsity experience. Nicholson replaces Martin behind the plate. The infield is solid with reigning league all-star Donahue at third base and Rockwell at first. Flynn leads the outfield contingent. Donahue (five hits) and Boyington (two) led the offense in the first game. Cape Elizabeth will have trouble with the elite teams in the league, but there aren't many of them this season. The Capers have a ton of pride and will battle all season long. By year's end, look for Cape Elizabeth to be playing well and if it can win enough games to reach the postseason, no one will want to match up with a program that has enjoyed so much success over the years.

BOYS' LACROSSE

Coach: Ben Raymond (13th year)

2009 Record: 12-3 (Lost 12-9 to Yarmouth in Class B Final)

Top returning players: Ben Brewster (Senior), Tom Foden (Senior), Harper Nelson (Senior), Jack Roos (Junior), Teddy Smith (Junior), Tim Takach (Junior), Tim Lavallee (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 30 (H) NYA, May 3 @ Yarmouth, May 8 @ Kennebunk, May 11 (H) GREELY, May 15 (H) LEWISTON, May 18 @ Falmouth, May 21 @ NYA, May 28 (H) YARMOUTH

Coach's comment: “As long as we stay healthy, we'll be in good shape. Having a three-year goalie really helps with confidence. We lost a lot of talented kids, especially on offense. A lot of freshmen played a bunch last year and have experience. We're more spread out on offense this year. We'll get groundballs. I think we're as good as anybody else. We want to get back to the state game and win it.”

The Forecaster's forecast: It's now been five long years since the Capers won a state title and even though they keep getting close, they haven't been able to solve Yarmouth. This year's team suddenly has another team it has to overcome, Falmouth. In the opener Friday night, host Cape Elizabeth was stunned by the Yachtsmen, 11-4. The Capers beat Falmouth in last year's Western B Final, but will need to improve rapidly to hold on to their regional crown. As always, Cape Elizabeth has several very good players. Foden, last year's leading scorer, Lavallee, Nelson, Smith (two goals in the opener) and Takach (two goals versus Falmouth) set the pace. Sophomore Thomas Bottomley, who along with Takach handles faceoffs, could also be a scoring threat. On defense, Brewster (a second-team all-star in 2009) is a force. He led the team in groundballs a year ago. He's joined by new junior Matt Donovan. Roos is now in his third year in goal and is one of the best in the league. The Capers, as always, face a brutal schedule, but it will steel them for the battles of June. Falmouth might be riding high right now and Yarmouth has to be viewed as the favorite, but by season's end, don't be surprised if Cape Elizabeth is clicking on all cylinders and is able to steal the glory on the biggest stage.

GIRLS' LACROSSE

Coach: Kurt Chapin (third year)

2009 Record: 8-6 (Lost 9-5 to Waynflete in Western Class B Final)

Top returning players: Maddie Spagnola (Senior), Karyn Barrett (Junior), Anna Darling (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 29 @ Falmouth, May 3 @ Yarmouth, May 10 (H) WAYNFLETE, May 12 (H) GREELY, May 22 @ NYA

Coach's comment: “We have a pretty young team. I'm starting three freshmen and three sophomores. We only have two seniors and a few juniors, but I think we have a lot of talent. The younger kids will have to step up for us to compete. It's a matter of them getting used to the high school game. We have good athletes and good lacrosse players. We hope to make the playoffs where anything can happen.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Last year, Cape Elizabeth made it to its first regional final since the Maine Principals' Association began sponsoring lacrosse in 1998. The Capers lost to Waynflete for a third straight postseason, but gave the Flyers a scare. Cape Elizabeth graduated seven key players, including a pair of all-stars, but has to be viewed as a top threat in 2010. This year's offense features Barrett and freshman Talley Perkins on attack, Darling (who handles draws) can also score from her midfield position. Spagnola returns to lead the defense. Sophomore Elin Sonesson steps in at goalie. The Capers are always athletic and after last year's success will be hungry for more. Cape Elizabeth has a few challenging games on the slate, but there are several winnable contests as well, meaning the Capers should approach or better last year's mark. As was the case a year ago, the rest of the Western B playoff field won't want to matchup with Cape Elizabeth in June.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach: Doug Worthley (14th year)

2009 Results:

(Boys) 24th @ Class B State Meet

(Girls) 6th @ Class B State Meet

NO INFORMATION ABOUT THE TEAM WAS PROVIDED

BOYS' TENNIS

Coach: Andy Strout (32nd year)

2009 Results: 9-4 (Lost 3-2 to Falmouth in Western Class B quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Calvin Alden (Senior), Bailey Dittrich (Senior), John Tranfaglia (Senior), Sean Donegan (Junior), Ben Morse (Junior), Ross Sherman (Junior)

Pivotal matches: April 26 @ Waynflete, May 5 @ Falmouth, May 17 @ Yarmouth, May 19 (H) GREELY, May 21 (H) WAYNFLETE

Coach's comment: “If the seniors provide quality leadership and the young kids prove themselves, we'll be in contention at the top.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Falmouth eliminated Cape Elizabeth for the fourth straight postseason in 2009, but this year could be different. The Capers return plenty of experience and as always, add some key newcomers. Last year's second singles (Sherman, a league all-star in 2009) and third singles (Alden) are back. Dittrich and Morse were the second doubles team in 2009. Donegan and Tranfaglia are also in the mix. Add to that group senior Greg LaTorre, junior Andy Lynch and freshmen Matt Gilman, Satchel McCarthy and Sam Sherman and Cape Elizabeth has enough depth and athleticism to compete with anyone. If this team develops as hoped, it will be in serious contention by playoff time. In a season devoid of a heavy favorite, the Capers could swoop in and take home some hardware.

GIRLS' TENNIS

Coach: Sarah Boeckel (first year)

2009 Results: 9-5 (Lost 5-0 to Falmouth in Western Class B semifinals)

Top returning players: Jenni Hewes (Senior), Kristin Kerney (Senior), Rebecca Manning (Senior), Elizabeth Marcuse (Senior)

Pivotal matches: April 26 (H) WAYNFLETE, May 5 (H) FALMOUTH, May 7 @ NYA, May 17 (H) YARMOUTH, May 21 @ Waynflete

Coach's comment: “We have a great mix of veteran and new players that will all play an important role in our success. I'm looking for my veteran players to be good leaders. We're going to take one match at a time, have fun and work toward mini-goals. Of course, we'd love to make playoffs, but in order to get there, we need to focus on the little things.”

The Forecaster's forecast: As is the case with the boys' team, the girls' squad has had its trouble with Falmouth in recent postseasons, being eliminated by the Yachtsmen in four of the past five years. This year, Falmouth is the heavy favorite, but the Capers think they'll be right there by season's end. This season, Boeckel, an assistant coach last year, takes over and she inherits some very promising players. The four seniors, Hewes, Kerney, Manning and Marcuse, all bring experience. Three newcomers, junior Sarah Cummings and freshmen Allie Briggs and Catie MacDonald, figure to step right in and make an impact. Look for steady growth from this team. Cape Elizabeth should keep its long postseason streak alive and will be a very difficult out once it gets there.

Photo: File photo

Senior Will Pierce is a top defensive and offensive player for the Cape Elizabeth baseball team.

Photo: File photo

Senior Kyle Piscopo is a returning league all-star for a Cape Elizabeth baseball team hoping to go all the way in 2010.

Photo: File photo

Senior Delaney Rockwell and her teammates hope to get back to the playoffs this spring.

Photo: File photo

Senior Ben Brewster is a defensive standout for the Capers.

Photo: File photo

Senior Tommy Foden returns as a top scoring threat in 2010.