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Greely Rangers 2010 Fall Sports Preview

Sports

Greely Rangers 2010 Fall Sports Preview

Several Greely fall sports teams are poised to steal headlines in 2010. Boys' soccer is dangerous and hungry. The girls' team is stinging over last year's playoff ouster and could be one of the teams to beat by season's end. Field hockey stands to improve and make a playoff run. Boys' cross country defends its hardware and likes its chances to do it again The girls' team hopes to improve. Golf boasts several standout players of both genders and could be a Class A power. Volleyball hopes to make it eight straight titles. Football hopes to propel itself back into the Western B playoff mix.

BOYS' SOCCER

COACH: Michael Andreasen (13th year)

2009 Record: 10-6 (Lost 2-1 to Windham in Western A semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Jon Coyne (Senior), John Downey (Senior), Brandon Pinette (Senior), Chase Rochon (Senior), Sean Ross (Senior), Ryan Rybka (Senior), Austin Spencer (Senior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 16 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, Sept. 20 (H) YARMOUTH, Sept. 22 (H) FALMOUTH, Oct. 2 @ Falmouth, Oct. 5 @ Cape Elizabeth, Oct. 14 @ Waynflete, Oct. 18 @ Yarmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “I don't know what to expect after losing 15 seniors. We're young and inexperienced. It will depend on well the seven returners develop. We haven't given up a lot of goals in the preseason. We need to win the ones we're supposed to and hopefully get something out of the six games with Cape, Falmouth and Yarmouth. My guys will compete. We'll play hard, have fun, get better every day and make our run.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely's task in 2010 is similar to 2009, as it needs to find a way to beat Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth and/or Yarmouth to ensure a playoff berth and perhaps a home playoff game. The Rangers have the potential to be very good. They do return their top scorer from last year in Coyne (a second-team league all-star). Downey, Pinette and Ross will also look to score. On defense, Rochon, Rybka and Spencer will look to limit the shots that goalies Liam Maker (a junior, who saw plenty of time last postseason) and Elijah Leverett (a new-to-varsity sophomore) will have to face. Its imperative for the Rangers to get off to a hot start as the schedule doesn't get all that challenging for awhile. Andreasen should be able to get his charges to evolve into a formidable unit as the season progresses. Greely just needs to win some big games. If they do make another trip to the playoffs, look out. This will be a team that no one wants to face. The Rangers are always at their best when expectations aren't high. That means the 2010 campaign could wind up very successful.

GIRLS' SOCCER

COACH: Michael Kennedy (third year)

2009 Record: 12-2-2 (Lost 2-1 to Thornton Academy in Western Class A semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Kelly Burrell (Senior), Maggie Johnson (Senior), Alicia Rost (Senior), Audrey Parolin (Junior), Sara Schad (Junior), Libby Thomas (Junior), Holly Rand (Sophomore), Sammi Toorish (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 16 @ Cape Elizabeth, Sept. 20 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 22 (H) FALMOUTH, Oct. 1 @ Falmouth, Oct. 5 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, Oct. 7 @ York, Oct. 12 (H) YORK, Oct. 14 (H) WAYNFLETE, Oct. 19 (H) YARMOUTH

COACH’S COMMENT: “Our preseason has been great and we had a good summer. We're very young. We lost 11 seniors, five who are playing in college. It's a good core group. We can score goals, but Jamie's 11 shutouts will be hard to replace. Our expectations are to improve and get some experience and hopefully be there at the end.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely was one of the best teams in the state in 2009, but its title quest ended in agony and controversy at Thornton Academy. This year's squad might not be as strong on paper, but will be heard from often between now and the postseason. Up top, the Rangers have as many scoring threats as anyone in Burrell, Parolin and Toorish, who had a dazzling freshman season. Midfielders Johnson, Schad and Thomas will also be difficult to contain. Rand and Rost anchor the defense, along with new senior Ali Waterman. Jamie Moody will be missed in goal, but junior Lindsay Arsenault and sophomore Caton Beaulieu will seek to step in and hold the fort. As always, Greely has a challenging schedule and it's likely the Rangers won't boast as impressive a win-loss mark in 2010. Regardless, they will be a very tough out come playoff time. Good luck holding their offensive weaponry in check. If the defense and goalkeeping follow suit, Greely will be capable of beating anyone and even playing into the month of November.

FOOTBALL

COACH: David Higgins (second year)

2009 Results: 2-7 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Michael Burgess (Senior), Jon Higgins (Senior), Justin Moore (Senior), Alex Parenteau (Senior), Dana Rogers (Senior), Ethan Wyman (Senior), Michael Leeman (Junior), Svenn Jacobson (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 3 @ Wells, Oct. 1 (H) YORK, Oct. 8 @ Mountain Valley, Oct. 15 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, Oct. 29 (H) FALMOUTH

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have 13 returning letterman. We're senior-heavy. Much the same team as last year. I'd say we're probably stronger defensively. Offensively, we've made significant improvement. I'm excited for the season to start. We consider ourselves to be a force to be reckoned with. I truly believe we'll do just fine.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Greely football program isn't mentioned among the Western B elite, but the Rangers are capable of making some noise in 2010. The roster is littered with strong athletes and the team should improve dramatically between now and the end of the year. Moore is a threat with his speed and athleticism from the quarterback position. Leeman, Parenteau and Wyman will also handle the ball. Jacobson is an up-and-coming star. Greely won't throw much, but should move the ball efficiently on the ground. The line features Burgess, Higgins (a league all-star last year) and Rogers. Defensively, the Rangers need to step it up, especially against the premier teams in the league, if they want to compete for a playoff spot. The line includes Burgess, Parenteau and Rogers. The linebacking corps features Higgins, Jacobson and Wyman. Leeman and Moore play in the secondary. While Greely might struggle with the top teams in Western B, it will be able to compete with and beat several of the foes on the schedule. Look for an improvement in the win column and for the Rangers to position themselves as a contender in future seasons.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Kristina Prescott (fourth year)

2009 Record: 8-7 (Lost 2-0 to Maranacook in Western Class B quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Jackie Andrews (Senior), Maggie Bower (Senior), Hannah McCord (Senior), Emily Curato (Junior), Ceci Hodgkins (Junior), Eliza Porter (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 4 @ Falmouth, Sept. 7 @ Wells, Sept. 13 @ York, Sept. 17 @ Freeport, Sept. 23 (H) FALMOUTH, Oct. 1 (H) YORK, Oct. 7 (H) WELLS

COACH’S COMMENT: “'We're always a strong team and we are looking to capitalize on that this year.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely has been among the Western B elite for the better part of a decade and should be formidable in 2010. Prescott, who is eight months pregnant, will miss part of the season, but has help from Callie Chase, mother of former Rangers standouts Amanda and Julia, and junior varsity coach Becki Belmore. On the field, Greely has an abundance of returning talent and a plethora of newcomers who could step right in and shine. On offense, Hodgkins has been making highlights since her freshman year. She'll look to team with Andrews, Curato, Porter and new sophomore Jessica Wilson to create offense. Bower and McCord will vie for time at the goalie position. New juniors Meaghan Labbe, Julia Maine and Maggie Norton and sophomore Kaley Sawyer also figure into the equation. The Rangers have enjoyed winning records and playoff berths every year since 1997. This year's squad has all the pieces in place to not only continue those trends, but to also enjoy a longer playoff run and play deep into October.

CROSS COUNTRY

COACH: David Dowling (14th year)

2009 Results:

(BOYS) Class B state champions

(GIRLS) 12th @ Class B state meet

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS:

(BOYS) Sam Johnston (Senior), Connor Regan (Senior), Jamie Currie (Junior), Isaak Emery (Junior), Stefan Sandreuter (Junior), Ian Byron (Sophomore), Nate Madeira (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Meaghan Crowley (Senior), Julia Isaacson (Senior), Dee Little (Senior), Sarah Ezzio (Junior), Melissa Jacques (Junior)

TOP FOES: Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, York

COACH’S COMMENT: “The boys hope to stay in the top three in the region and be healthy at state meet time. The girls hope to improve on last year's finish at regionals and make it to the state meet.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both Greely cross country teams project to be very strong this autumn.

The boys are going for a fourth straight Class B championship. Even though they graduated state meet scorers and premier standouts Logan Price (Greely's 2009 Fall Male Athlete of the Year) and Mark McCauley (the school's Winter and Spring Athlete of the Year), three other scorers return to set the pace. Johnston (ninth at states a year ago), Sandreuter (28th) and Regan (29th) all played a major role on the 2009 state champion. Emery also ran at states and despite finishing 38th, did not score. That group is complemented by Byron, Curry and Madeira, which should be enough to keep the Rangers hot on Falmouth's heels for league honors and in the hunt for a regional and another state crown.

On the girls' side, three scorers from last year's state meet return. Leading the way is Jacques (32nd in 2009), who could be one of the fastest runners in the conference. Little (53rd) and Ezzio (60th) also earned valuable experience last November. Crowley and Isaacson are other veterans. Freshman Kirsten Sandreuter is highly touted and should immediately help the cause. While Cape Elizabeth remains the heavy favorite, Greely should be able to contend with the rest of the league. An improvement on last year's regional and state championship meet showings is realistic.

GOLF

COACH: Brian Bickford (second year)

2009 Results: 8-1 (5th @ Class A state match)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Meghan Bickford (Senior), Edith Aromando (Junior), Chadd Crosson (Junior), Laura Grant (Junior), Kyle Bickford (Sophomore), Kyle McGathlin (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Yarmouth, York

COACH’S COMMENT: “We graduated four of our top five. We're going young this year. We have 32 kids, probably 25 who are freshmen or sophomores. A realistic goal is to be competitive in-conference and try to qualify for states. I have a couple kids who can make an individual run. We have a strong girls' contingent. We have a deep squad, but we're young. We have a lot of promise.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greely has a different look this year, but the Rangers are unique in that they have so many stellar female players. Grant is the reigning female state champion, shooting an 83 a year ago. Aromando had an 88 and Meaghan Bickford shot a 91 in 2009. They'll all make a run at individual glory and help the team be very strong. Kyle Bickford projects to be the Rangers' top individual (he shot an 85 at the Class A state team match). Crosson and McGathlin look to step in make some noise. Greely has a very challenging regular season schedule, but if it can qualify, will be capable of doing great things at states. Both as a team and with its many talented individuals.

VOLLEYBALL

COACH: Kelvin Hasch (ninth year)

2009 Results: 15-1 (Defeated Falmouth 3-0 to win seventh consecutive state championship)

TOP PLAYERS: Michelle Poulin (Senior), Sara Warnock (Senior), Maggie Bradley (Junior), Emily Sampson (Junior)

PIVOTAL MATCHES: Sept. 3 (H) BIDDEFORD, Sept. 7 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 13 (H) GORHAM, Sept. 15 (H) SCARBOROUGH, Sept. 24 (H) FALMOUTH, Sept. 28 @ Scarborough, Sept. 30 @ Biddeford, Oct. 1 @ MDI, Oct. 6 (H) YARMOUTH, Oct. 13 @ Gorham, Oct. 15 @ Falmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “We're very young this year with a lot of players filling new roles on the team. Once we get used to playing together, we should see improvement and start moving toward the top. I believe that captains Michelle and Sara will be instrumental in leading the team. Look for Sara to be a huge impact after being hurt most of last year. Maggie is an explosive player, so once she gets going, watch out. All the setters are learning how to run a team.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: While the rest of the state is catching up to the Rangers, no one has been able to dethrone them. Yet. Falmouth came oh-so-close a year ago, beating Greely in the regular season and giving the champs a mighty scare in the first two sets of the state final, but in the end, the Rangers, as they have every year since 2003, hoisted the trophy. Graduation has hit the program very hard. First-team all-stars Karlee Biskup, Erin Cadigan (the school's 2009 Fall Female Athlete of the year) and Michaela Campbell are gone, but a new batch will do its best to keep Greely at the top. Bradley (an outside hitter) was a second-team league all-star in 2009. She could be the latest in a long line of Rangers' standouts. Warnock looks to bounce back from injury with a strong season at her middle hitter spot. Poulin is another middle hitter of note. Sampson moves from libero to outside hitter. She's a superb passer. Newcomers to watch include senior Katherine Harrington (setter), juniors Elizabeth Bouchard (libero), Catherine Fellows (middle hitter) and Ellie Weichert (outside hitter) and sophomores Kristen Atwood (outside hitter), Dani Cimino (setter), Haleigh Roach (setter) and Katie Ventre (outside hitter). Hasch is as good as anyone in molding a team. He has more of a challenge this year after all the departures, but there is still plenty of raw talent on the roster. It's possible Greely might stumble a time or two in the regular season, but by October, the Rangers will likely be the team to beat once again and No. 8 won't be nearly enough.

Photo: File photo

Senior Jon Coyne is a returning all-star for a dangerous Greely boys' soccer team.

Photo: File photo

Senior Kelly Burrell is one of several Greely girls' soccer players who will make life miserable for the opposition in 2010.

Photo: File photo

Junior Audrey Parolin will be a force for the Rangers, who are seeking their first state championship since 2002.

Photo: File photo

Sammi Toorish had a dazzling freshman campaign for the Rangers. She should be even stronger this fall.

Photo: File photo

Senior Hannah McCord returns in goal for the Rangers field hockey team.

Photo: File photo

Greely junior Melissa Jacques was all smiles upon crossing the finish line at last year's regional meet. Jacques and her teammates look to move up the standings this fall.