Scarborough Red Storm 2011 Fall Sports Preview

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Scarborough had strong fall sports teams across the board a year ago and expects more excellence in 2011. Football finally arrived as a top Class A contender last autumn and is in position to make a deep run this time around. Boys’ soccer is still stinging over an early exit from last year’s playoffs, but the Red Storm have the pieces in place to get back to the pinnacle. That’s where the girls’ team finally arrived a year ago in simply dominant fashion. While graduation hurt, Scarborough has the pieces in place to once again make a run. Field hockey was upset in the semifinals in 2010, but will look for a second championship in three seasons. Boys’ cross country hopes to win Class A again. The girls’ squad should also be in the hunt. Golf had a stellar season a year ago and expects to be one of the best teams around. Volleyball could be in line for its best finish to date.

FOOTBALL

COACH: Lance Johnson (second year)

2010 Record: 8-2 (Lost 21-14 to Cheverus in Western Class A semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Kolbey Adams (Senior), Jesse Bell (Senior), Matt Brown (Senior), Dave Conceison (Senior), Logan Mars (Senior), Conor McCann (Senior), Kellen Smith (Senior), Scott Thibeault (Senior), Dillon Russo (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 2 (H) WINDHAM, Sept. 23 (H) BONNY EAGLE, Oct. 1 @ Cheverus, Oct. 6 (H) DEERING, Oct. 15 @ Thornton Academy

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have a good group of seniors. They’ve worked hard. I have tough, smart kids. A lot of them played last year. I think we’ll be alright even though we have a much tougher schedule this year. We’ll run some I, some Wildcat and some spread offense. There are multiple things we can do. We’ll take advantage of the athletes we have. It’ll come down to playing defense. There are probably six or seven teams who have a shot this year.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: In its first seven years at the Class A level, Scarborough won just 12 times in 56 games. Last fall, the Red Storm turned the corner big-time under Lance Johnson, who won several postseason honors, including our Coach of the Year. The Red Storm started fast, won a playoff game for the first time in Class A and even gave eventual champion Cheverus a mighty scare before bowing out in the semifinals. Climbing into contention is one thing. Staying is there is something else entirely and now Scarborough won’t be able to sneak up on anyone. Not that the Red Storm will have to. While the team was hurt by graduation (the losses of Zach Bean and 2010 Fall Male Athlete of the Year Michael Cyr were most notable), this program is still well-equipped to remain one of the best teams in the region. Russo, who showed flashes of brilliance last year, will play quarterback. Through the air, he’ll look to Adams, Conceison and McCann. On the ground, Thibeault should be the workhorse, while Brown and Smith will also get their opportunities. The line features Bell and Mars. The Red Storm’s balance and ability to boast multiple looks should produce a lot of points. On defense, Scarborough will bring it every week. On the line, Adams, Bell, Conceison and Mars (an all-star in 2010) will be formidable. Brown, Smith (another all-star from last autumn) and Thibeault lead the linebackers. McCann and Russo pace the secondary. Western Class A has plenty of parity in 2011 and there are several teams who could emerge. The Red Storm is one of them. The team will be tested right from the start when Windham pays a visit. While the schedule is more difficult this time around, triumph should remain constant. This team is playoff-caliber and might have a long postseason run in store if all goes according to plan.

BOYS’ SOCCER

COACH: Mark Diaz (13th year)

2010 Record: 12-3 (Lost 1-0, 5-4 on penalty kicks, to Kennebunk in Western Class A quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Andrew Jones (Senior), Chris Cleary (Junior), Austin Downing (Junior), Trevor Sparda (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 3 (H) SOUTH PORTLAND, Sept. 8 @ Gorham, Sept. 13 (H) PORTLAND, Sept. 15 @ Cheverus, Sept. 21 (H) KENNEBUNK, Oct. 1 @ Windham, Oct. 11 (H) WESTBROOK

COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re pretty young, but the whole league’s young. We’ll have five or six sophomores and a freshman and they’ll play a lot. We’re just starting over. This group’s different, but I really like them. They’re very low key. Not much drama. Pretty even keel. We’re not thinking about streaks or reputation. Just plodding along. There are still question marks in goal and in the back. By midseason, we should be able to make a run at it.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough’s long run of dominance came to a close last fall when the Red Storm lost for the first time in 41 matches early in the year to Gorham, was later stunned at Deering, then, despite earning the top seed yet again for the playoffs, was upset in dreaded penalty kicks by Kennebunk in the quarterfinals (Scarborough’s earliest playoff departure since 2002). Hopefully the rest of Western Class A enjoyed it, because the Red Storm simply won’t be held down for long and could deliver several doses of payback this time around. Jones (a first-team SMAA all-star, as well as an all-region and all-state selection in 2010) might wind up being one of the most prolific players in the state. He’s joined by Downing (an honorable mention selection a year ago), who was hampered by injury in 2010, but is a potent scorer in his own right. Sparda will also be a big-time factor on offense. Cleary leads the defense. Those are the only returning starters, but as always, Scarborough’s reserves and JV players are itching for their turn and stand to deliver. Senior Ben Sirois and sophomore Pat Stanton are vying for the goalie spot. The Red Storm will be tested early by some of the best teams in the region, but if Scarborough can tread water, it will find itself in a familiar spot by season’s end, at or near the top of the Heal Points standings. This postseason, the Red Storm will be on a mission and it’s not likely it’ll be ousted in the quarterfinals. Or the semis. Or even the regional final. Come November, Scarborough could be setting the pace once again as it chases its fourth Class A crown since 2005.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

COACH: Mike Farley (seventh year)

2010 Record: 18-0 (Beat Bangor 3-0 to win Class A state title)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Jessica Broadhurst (Senior), Haley Carignan (Senior), Molly Carter (Senior), Emily Howes (Senior), Kaitlin Reynolds (Senior), Emily Tolman (Senior), Meghan Tyson (Senior), Taylor Leborgne (Junior), Sarah Martens (Junior), Jessica Meader (Junior), Maria Philbrick (Junior), Ashley Ronzo (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 10 (H) GORHAM, Sept. 17 (H) CHEVERUS, Sept. 24 (H) THORNTON ACADEMY, Oct. 1 @ Windham

COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m very optimistic about this year’s team. We obviously lost a lot of impact players, but I’ve been very impressed with the way this year’s team has approached the summer and preseason. They’re playing like they have something to prove and I think that is always a great way to approach a season. We have some players back that were key contributors on last year’s team and some players that have been waiting in the wings for the opportunity to put their stamp on the team. That mix of experience and desire to prove something will hopefully make us one of the top teams in the SMAA again. Our hope is to start the season with a consistent level of play and really try to build on what we accomplished last year defensively. We know that teams will be looking to knock us off and I think this team will embrace the pressure and really try to defend our standing in the league.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: After many years of close calls, Scarborough had no peer in 2010 and won a state title in smothering and historic fashion. Other than a penalty kick goal by Cheverus in the semifinals, the Red Storm didn’t surrender a single tally in 18 games. A dominating performance against Bangor in the state final cemented the crown and led to an abundance of postseason awards, including Farley earning Western Maine (and Forecaster) Coach of the Year honors. Twelve players have departed, including both goalies and 2010 Fall Female Athlete of the Year Cortney Hughes, but the cupboard isn’t anywhere close to bare. While pitching 17 shutouts might be a stretch, this year’s defense will once again be staunch behind Broadhurst, Howes, Philbrick and Tolman (an SMAA all-star in 2010). Sophomore Ainsley Jamieson and freshman Sam Sparda will also be in the mix. Senior Katie Mader and sophomore Sydney Martin are vying for the goalkeeper spot and both should see time. Carignan led the offense each of the past two years (scoring 12 times in 2010) and projects to be prolific again. Martens (three goals last year) and Tyson (eight tallies last fall) will also be difficult for the opposition to contend with. Then, there’s Carter, Leborgne, Meader, Reynolds and Ronzo, along with senior Andrea Tolman (who’s returned to the program from cross country) and sophomore Hadlee Yescott, suggesting the Red Storm’s attack will be quite balanced. This team will get plenty of competition and can circle several dates on the calendar as occasions it will have to bring its ‘A’ game. Despite the new faces in new places, this program is loaded again. If the team can stay healthy and hungry, it will excel anew. By year’s end, once again, the road to the Western A title will likely go through Scarborough.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Kerry Mariello 10th year)

2010 Record: 14-2 (Lost 2-1 to Cheverus in Western Class A semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Shauni Cowan (Senior), Lindsay Dobecki (Senior), Kelsey Howard (Senior), Stephanie Felt (Junior), Shannon Hicks (Junior), Rebecca Miller (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 8 @ Westbrook, Sept. 10 @ Portland, Sept. 14 (H) SANFORD, Sept. 20 (H) SOUTH PORTLAND, Sept. 22 (H) CHEVERUS, Sept. 24 (H) GORHAM, Sept. 28 @ Thornton Academy, Oct. 12 (H) KENNEBUNK

COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m impressed so far. They’ve taken what I’ve given them in the preseason and they’re ready for more. It’s a solid crew with more experience and fire. It’s helpful to lose when you’re young and inexperienced. Now we’re breathing fire. I think we’ll be right up there again. It’s going to be a fun season. It’s going to be a crapshoot in the region. We’re ready.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: After seven straight seasons of producing a better mark than the year before, culminated by an 18-0 championship campaign in 2009, Scarborough was due to come back to the pack a little bit last fall. Still, despite being hard-hit by graduation, the Red Storm ran roughshod over most foes and appeared primed to go to the state final for the third year in a row before being upset by eventual regional champion Cheverus in the semifinals. Now, Scarborough has something to prove and will be difficult to deny. The Red Storm have several key contributors returning. Dobecki and Howard (an SMAA honorable mention all-star in 2010) figure to lead the offensive charge. Defensively, Cowan and Felt are reigning all-stars. Hicks and Miller have seen time in goal and both will get an opportunity to hold the fort in the cage this autumn. On balance, Western A appears deeper this season, but it’s hard to find a team that has Scarborough’s firepower. After last year’s close call, the Red Storm will be bound and determined to restore order. There will be obstacles, but this team has what it takes to return to the turf at Yarmouth High and look for a second championship in three years.

CROSS COUNTRY

BOYS COACH: Jim Harmon (14th year)

GIRLS COACH: Ron Kelly (39th year)

2010 Results:

(BOYS) Class A state champions

(GIRLS) 8th @ Class A state meet

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS

BOYS: Nick Morris (Senior), Wout Moulin (Senior), Ike Tudor (Senior), Robby Hall (Junior), Sam Terry (Junior), Ian Morris (Sophomore)

GIRLS: Catherine Bailey (Senior), Shelby Bernier (Senior), Haela Booth-Howe (Senior), Kat Gadbois (Senior), Nicole Kirk (Senior), Haley Knaus (Senior), Mary Scott (Senior), Katie Shottes (Senior), Maggie Smith (Senior)

TOP FOES: Cheverus, Gorham, Massabesic, South Portland boys; Cheverus, South Portland girls

COACH HARMON’S COMMENT: “We have a very good group with good depth. We only lost two of our top seven. We have a very good nucleus. On paper, we look like we should be the favored team. Obviously, we’ll shoot for the state title.”

COACH KELLY’S COMMENT: “We will be looking for a new front runner from the team, developing a 4-5 runner will be the key to our season, Two freshmen will help with the development,”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both Scarborough cross country teams look to be among Class A’s finest once again.

The boys are coming off their fifth title in seven seasons and have the pieces in place to do it again. Nick Morris, the defending Class A individual champion and a first-team SMAA all-star, leads the returners. Other state scorers who are back include Hall (18th at states and a second-team league all-star last year) and Moulin (26th). Ian Morris, Terry and Tudor will strengthen the pack and four newcomers make the team even deeper. Senior Ethan Law, the JV champion in 2010, sophomores Matt Aceto and Alex Karam and freshman Sean McGovern will all look to make their mark. The Red Storm has an embarrassment of riches. If the team stays healthy, it will once again be the favorite come the postseason.

On the girls’ side, Scarborough has placed eighth each of the past two years, but this autumn will likely produce a different story and a higher finish. The Red Storm return Smith (57th) as the only scorer from last year’s state meet. Gadbois could be primed to move up. Kirk, a track standout (and Scarborough’s Spring Female Athlete of the Year) is one of several seniors who provide depth and leadership. That group includes Bailey, Bernier, Booth-Howe, Knaus, Scott and Shottes. Freshmen Kayla Griffis and Maria Quatararo will look to step right in and make an impact. While the Red Storm lacks a top runner, the pack is impressive and should keep the program competitive throughout the regular season and into the postseason.

GOLF

COACH: Mike Murphy (23rd year)

2010 Results: 8-1-1 (6th @ Class A state match)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Zach Pelczar (Senior), Dan Slavin (Senior), Brendan Hall (Junior), Kyle Parrott (Junior), Hunter Sackville (Junior)

TOP FOES: Cheverus, Deering, Falmouth, TA, Windham

COACH’S COMMENT: “We were fifth last year and we have everyone but two seniors back from that team. I like our senior leadership. Anything can happen in golf, good or bad. The kids work hard and enjoy the game. We look forward to meeting the challenge of the season.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough enjoyed a wonderful season in 2010 and could be one of the better squads in Class A in 2011. The regular season will have a different feel as the Red Storm will compete against Falmouth (the reigning Class B champion), along with traditional rivals and powers Cheverus and Deering. Slavin (78), Hall (85) and Pelczar (90) all scored at last year’s state match. Slavin also shot an 82 to tie for 10th at the individual championships. Parrott shot a 91 at states, but didn’t score. Sackville hopes to build on his first season. Seniors Joe Cronin and Christian Langlois, junior Christian Harvie and sophomores Matt Hartl, Garrett McDonald, Nick Suchecki and Colby Whitaker provide depth. While golf is as fickle a sport as you’ll find, Scarborough has athletes and experience and should be able to hold its own in the regular season, qualify for states and again make an impressive showing on the biggest stage.

VOLLEYBALL

COACH: Jon Roberts (second year)

2010 Results: 7-8 (Lost 3-0 to Falmouth in Class A quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNERS: Meghan Bickmore (Senior), Brittany Bona (Senior), Amber Bowen (Senior), Meghan Mcalary (Senior), Emily Robbins (Senior), Rachel Webber (Senior),

PIVOTAL MATCHES: Sept. 13 @ Falmouth, Sept.15 (H) GREELY, Sept. 19 @ Biddeford, Sept. 22 (H) FALMOUTH, Sept. 27 @ Gorham, Oct. 11 @ Yarmouth, Oct. 13 (H) BIDDEFORD

COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re very excited about our improved team defense and passing. Younger players are already making an impact. Our team goals are optimistic..”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough has been competitive in recent seasons, but hasn’t been able to crash the elite. That might change this year as the senior-laden Red Storm could be the best in a parity-laden class. Bona and Robbins might be among the state’s premier players. Bona was the league leader in kills in 2010, while Robbins was tops in assists. Bona will be an outside hitter and a force at the net, while Robbins is the setter. Webber also plays outside hitter, while Bickmore, Bowen and Mcalary all specialize in defense. Sophomores Mary Cleary (a top blocker) and Lauren Pipen (new to the team, who is a talented passer and setter) will help the cause. Juniors Cameron Bowker, Lily Lemire and Meghan Lynch and sophomore Abby Mills also look to make a mark. All the pieces are in place for a strong season. The Red Storm will be able to hang with every team on the schedule, should post an impressive mark and might have a first-ever deep playoff run in store. This team will certainly be exciting to follow in the weeks to come.

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

Senior Nick Morris is the defending Class A individual state champion and looks to lead the Red Storm to another team title.

Junior Stephanie Felt will anchor the defense for a Scarborough field hockey team bound and determined to make another run at a Class A championship.

Senior Emily Tolman and her defensive mates didn’t surrender a single even-strength goal in 2010.

Senior Haley Carignan was last year’s leading scorer and will be one of the region’s top players in 2011.

Senior Scott Thibeault is active all over the field for one of the top contenders in Western A.

Senior Conor McCann will be a top receiving threat this autumn.

Junior Dillon Russo looks to lead Scarborough to the playoffs again in 2010.

Sidebar Elements


Scarborough’s girls’ soccer team was all smiles after its perfect season culminated in a state title last year. The Red Storm are ready to make a run at doing it again.

2011 schedules

FOOTBALL

Fri., Sept. 2 H WINDHAM

Fri., Sept. 9 @ Sanford

Fri., Sept. 16 H BIDDEFORD

Fri., Sept.23 H BONNY EAGLE

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Cheverus

Thurs., Oct. 6 H DEERING

Sat., Oct. 15 @ TA

Fri., Oct. 21 @ Gorham

BOYS’ SOCCER

Sat., Sept. 3 H SP

Tues., Sept. 6 @ Marshwood

Thurs., Sept. 8 @ Gorham

Tues., Sept. 13 H PORTLAND

Thurs., Sept. 15 @ Cheverus

Wed., Sept. 21 H KENNEBUNK

Fri., Sept. 23 @ Bonny Eagle

Tues., Sept. 27 H DEERING

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Windham

Mon., Oct. 3 H NOBLE

Tues., Oct. 11 H WESTBROOK

Thurs., Oct. 13 @ Biddeford

Sat., Oct. 15 H SANFORD

Tues., Oct. 18 @ Massabesic

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Wed., Sept. 7 H MARSHWOOD

Sat., Sept. 10 H GORHAM

Mon., Sept. 12 @ SP

Wed., Sept. 14 @ Portland

Sat., Sept. 17 H CHEVERUS

Tues., Sept. 20 @ Kennebunk

Sat., Sept. 24 H TA

Wed., Sept. 28 @ Deering

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Windham

Wed., Oct. 5 @ Noble

Fri., Oct. 7 @ McAuley

Thurs., Oct. 13 H WESTBROOK

Sat., Oct. 15 @ Biddeford

Tues., Oct. 18 H MASSABESIC

FIELD HOCKEY

Wed., Aug. 31 @ McAuley

Tues., Sept. 6 H BONNY EAGLE

Thurs., Sept. 8 @ Westbrook

Sat., Sept. 10 @ Portland

Wed., Sept. 14 H SANFORD

Fri., Sept. 16 @ Marshwood

Tues., Sept. 20 H SP

Thurs., Sept. 22 H CHEVERUS

Sat., Sept. 24 H GORHAM

Wed., Sept. 28 @ TA

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Windham

Tues., Oct. 4 H DEERING

Thurs., Oct. 6 @ Noble

Wed., Oct. 12 H KENNEBUNK

BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY

Fri., Sept. 9 @ Massabesic (SP

Fri., Sept. 16 H MARSH, PORTLAND

Fri., Sept. 23 @ Sanford (Bidd, Deering)

Wed., Sept. 28 H KBUNK, NOBLE

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Belfast Invitational

Fri., Oct. 7 @ Cheverus (TA)

Fri., Oct. 14 H BE, GOR, WEST, WIND

Sat., Oct. 22 Western A Regionals

Sat., Oct. 29 Class A States

GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY

Fri., Sept. 9 @ Massabesic (SP

Fri., Sept. 16 H MARSH, PORTLAND

Fri., Sept. 23 @ Sanford (Bidd, Deering)

Wed., Sept. 28 H KBUNK, MCA, NOBLE

Sat., Oct. 1 @ Belfast Invitational

Fri., Oct. 7 @ Cheverus (TA)

Fri., Oct. 14 H BE, GOR, WEST, WIND

Sat., Oct. 22 Western A Regionals

Sat., Oct. 29 Class A States

GOLF

Tues., Sept. 6 H DEERING

Thurs., Sept. 8 @ SP

Mon., Sept. 12 H CHEVERUS

Wed., Sept. 14 H FALMOUTH

Mon., Sept. 19 @ Portland

Wed., Sept. 21 @ Deering

Fri., Sept. 23 H SP

Mon., Sept. 26 H PORTLAND

Tues., Sept. 27 @ Cheverus

Wed., Sept. 28 @ Falmouth

VOLLEYBALL

Thurs., Sept. 1 H LAKE REGION

Sat., Sept. 3 H CAPE ELIZABETH

Tues., Sept. 6 H KENNEBUNK

Tues., Sept. 13 @ Falmouth

Thurs., Sept. 15 H GREELY

Mon., Sept. 19 @ Biddeford

Thurs., Sept. 22 H FALMOUTH

Tues., Sept. 27 @ Gorham

Mon., Oct. 3 H NYA

Thurs., Oct. 6 @ Cape Elizabeth

Tues., Oct. 11 @ Yarmouth

Thurs., Oct. 13 H BIDDEFORD

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Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.