Scarborough Red Storm Fall Sports Preview

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Scarborough’s volleyball team got to celebrate its first state championship last autumn. Graduation took its toll, but the Red Storm will make a run at a repeat title this season.

More photos below.

FOOTBALL

Coach: Lance Johnson (seventh year, 34-25 overall record)

2015 record: 5-5 (Lost, 35-0, to eventual state champion Thornton Academy in Class A South semifinal)

Top returning players: Aren Dickman (Senior), Dakota Joy (Senior), Drew LeClair (Senior), Emmett Peoples (Senior), Anthony Simoneau (Senior), Cody Dudley (Junior), Owen Garrard (Junior), Anthony Griffin (Junior), Connor Kelly (Junior), Reece Lagerquist (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 2 @ Portland, Sept. 9 BONNY EAGLE, Sept. 30 THORNTON ACADEMY, Oct. 7 @ South Portland, Oct. 21 @ Deering

Coach’s comment: “I think we’ll be very good. We lost a few seniors, but we played a lot of sophomores and juniors last year. We have a good core group of athletes. Our junior class could be a special group. We have what it takes to make something happen. We’ll play fast on both sides of the ball. We have a tough schedule to get us ready for playoffs, but we’re as talented as anybody.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough has been very consistent in recent years getting to the playoffs, but not advancing beyond the semifinals. The Red Storm would like to change that this fall, but they’re in a division with arguably the two best teams in the state, as well as several others who will be tough to beat. Scarborough believes it’s up for the challenge, however.

Replacing Jack Hughes under center this fall will be junior Zolton Panyi, a good athlete who Johnson believes will step right in and make an impact. In fact, the Red Storm are in great shape at the skill positions. Dickman, Dudley, Garrard (a second-team all-star last year), LeClair and Simoneau can all run the ball. Though the air, Panyi will look for Dudley, Kelly (46 catches last season), Lagerquist, LeClair and Simoneau. The line is anchored by Griffin and Joy. Peoples (a second-team all-star in 2015) is back as the placekicker.

Defensively, Griffin, Joy and Lagerquist are on the line. Dickman was an all-star at linebacker last season and returns to anchor that group, along with Garrard and LeClair. In the secondary, Dudley, Kelly and Simoneau will look to shut down opposing passing attacks.

The Red Storm project to score a lot of points and if the defense can be stingy, look out. Scarborough has a brutal opening stretch, at defending regional champion Portland, then home against Bonny Eagle, and the rest of the slate isn’t very kind either, but it’s likely the Red Storm will post another strong record and be in position come playoff-time to make noise. This could be the year that Scarborough breaks through.

BOYS’ SOCCER

Coach: Mark Diaz (18th year, 232-39-16 overall record, six state championships)

2015 record: 15-1-2 (Lost, 1-0, to Lewiston in Class A state final)

Top returning players: Alex Giles (Senior), Garrett King (Senior), Spencer Pettingill (Senior), Noah Stracqualursi (Senior), Alex Dobecki (Junior), Jarred Greenleaf (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 2 DEERING, Sept. 13 GORHAM, Sept. 15 @ South Portland, Sept. 27 @ Cheverus, Sept. 30 @ Portland

Coach’s comment: “We lost eight starters, including some special players. They ate up a lot of minutes. We’ll take a few bumps, but we’ll still be solid. We’ll be smart. We’ll have to have grow up and come together. We’ll let Gorham be the team to beat this year. We hope to be in the conversation. We’re looking forward to the challenge..”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Only an all-time great Lewiston team kept Scarborough from yet another Gold Ball last autumn. The Red Storm were then hard-hit by graduation as most of the starting lineup, including Fall Male Athlete of the Year Matt Caron, departed. Roster turnover is a mere speed bump for this program, however, and you can expect Scarborough to be in the hunt for yet another championship this season.

King will be one of the state’s best players. A regional all-star in 2015, the midfielder will score his share of goals. Stracqualursi (a second-team league all-star last season) is another scoring threat either from the midfield or up top. Dobecki and Giles provide depth in what could be a very strong midfield. Defensively, Greenleaf and Pettingill both return. Senior Chris Franklin replaces Cam Nigro in goal.

Scarborough has enjoyed an unrivaled run the past dozen seasons, going undefeated on nine occasions and earning the top seed in the region every year but one. The competition keeps getting tougher in Class A South, however, and Gorham is more highly touted coming in to the year, Falmouth is primed to take the next step and the city teams are all formidable. The Red Storm will be more mortal than in recent seasons, but when the dust settles, they will be right in the thick of the title hunt. Expect another big year from this group.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Coach: Mike Farley (12th year, 145-23-12 overall record, two state championships)

2015 record: 13-2-1 (Lost, 2-1, to Gorham in Class A South semifinal)

Top returning players: Ashley Perriello (Senior), Jillian Ware (Senior), Sophie Glidden (Junior), Gaby Panagakos (Junior), Ellie Patten (Junior), Emily Royce (Junior), Lauren Sabatino (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 2 @ Deering, Sept. 6 SANFORD, Sept. 14 @ Gorham, Oct. 8 THORNTON ACADEMY, Oct. 11 @ Marshwood, Oct. 18 @ Windham

Coach’s comment: “We lost a lot to graduation last year, 13 players total and eight starters. We’ll only have one player this year playing the same starting position/role as last year. Everyone else that played last season will be asked to play a different role. With the combination of youth and lack of varsity playing experience will probably come with some growing pains, but I’ve been really impressed with how this group has accepted the challenge. We need to learn to play as a group quickly as we have some of our most competitive games at the beginning of the season. Our goal will be to learn to play the game together, find our defensive identity and get our group of talented attacking players to find consistent goal scoring. By the end of the year, hopefully we’ll have built a level of consistency on both ends of the field making us tough to deal with. We know that our opponents will give us their best games, so we’ll have to embrace that pressure and rise to the challenge.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough produced yet another powerhouse in 2015, winning double digit games for the seventh year in a row. Graduation took its toll, however, and the 2016 Red Storm have an abundance of question marks as a new season dawns. Fortunately, there are no shortage of talented players ready to step in and keep this squad near the top of Class A South.

Panagakos led the offense last season with 11 goals and made the SMAA all-star second-team. She’ll get help this fall from Perriello, who was injured much of 2015 but is capable of tickling the twine on a regular basis, and Ware (four goals in 2015). Sabatino (seven goals last season) is the playmaker who will make the offense go. Sophomore Leah Dickman is expected to make her presence felt as well. Defensively, Glidden and Patten return. They’re joined by promising sophomores Sophia Martens and Jessica Rinaldi. Royce (two shutouts last year) returns in goal. Senior Erin Ryan will also see some time in the cage.

There might be some growing pains to start the season, but the Red Storm will only get stronger in the weeks to come. The league is tough and there won’t be many easy games, but if the pieces come together as hoped, Scarborough will once again win 10 or more games and be in position to make a run at a title.

FIELD HOCKEY

Coach: Kerry Mariello 15th year, 174-48-6 overall record, two state championships)

2015 record: 13-3 (Lost, 2-0, to Thornton Academy in Class A South semifinal)

Top returning players: Annika Batista (Senior), Edie Frederick (Senior), Ashley Levesque (Senior), Kristen Levesque (Senior), Lily Nygren (Senior), Victoria Timm (Senior), Lucy Bogdanovich (Junior), Rachel Paradis (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 1 MARSHWOOD, Sept. 3 @ Massabesic, Sept. 15 @ Cheverus, Sept. 23 THORNTON ACADEMY, Sept. 27 @ Westbrook, Sept. 29 BIDDEFORD

Coach’s comment: “We will have a great deal of experience and depth. If we remain healthy and continue to make the necessary adjustments needed against our competitors then we have the ability to take this season far. The league will be quite strong and we are excited to be a part of some great field hockey.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Anytime Scarborough doesn’t play for a state title it comes as a surprise and while the Red Storm’s three-year regional title reign came to a close in the semifinals last fall, it was by all measure, another highly successful campaign. This time around, Scarborough seeks to return to what it feels is its rightful perch and this hungry group will be tough to deny.

Nygren is a returning all-state player who seems to always be in the middle of big goals. She’ll anchor the forward line along with Paradis. In the midfield, Battista, Ashley Levesque and Kristen Levesque are matchup nightmares and they’ll be part of the scoring parade as well. Look for junior Lucy Malia to play a bigger role in the midfield this season. On defense, Bogdanovich (an SMAA All-Rookie team selection last fall), Frederick and Timm (a second-team league all-star in 2015) return and are joined by Anna Walker. Junior Sam Carreiro replaces departed all-state selection Alyssa Souza in goal. It appears the Red Storm are solid from one end of the field to the other.

Scarborough has posted double digit victories in 11 consecutive seasons, but the Red Storm aren’t too concerned with winning games in September and early October. The goal is to go deep in the playoffs and while Class A South might be as deep as ever, discussion of the best teams always has to start with Scarborough. With a little good fortune, the Red Storm could earn another shiny piece of hardware.

VOLLEYBALL

Coach: Jon Roberts (seventh year, 72-26 overall record, one state championship)

2015 results: 13-5 (Beat Greely, 3-1, to win first Class A state championship)

Top returning players: Libby Chadbourne (Senior), Jordyn Cowan (Senior), Kacey Foerster (Senior), Caroline Goodwin (Senior), Lilly Young (Senior)

Pivotal matches: Sept. 2 @ Greely, Sept. 8 @ Thornton Academy, Sept. 20 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 29 FALMOUTH, Oct. 4 @ Cape Elizabeth, Oct. 13 @ Biddeford

Coach’s comment: “We have a very deep and much improved squad returning with a lot of impact players. Our team is glad to be back in the gym together and we are looking forward to a fun season. We are working hard, trying some new things and the kids seem excited to see how they work out. We know other teams will be giving us their best all season. We hope to do well enough in the regular season to make the playoffs and from there anything is possible.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough proved that anything is possible a year ago when it went into the postseason with little buzz, then embarked on a magical run which culminated with the program’s first state championship. While the departed Chloe Gorey, Taylor Marinko and 2015 Fall Female Athlete of the Year Emily Hanson will be missed, the 2016 Red Storm might be starting from a stronger place, as numerous girls saw time in big spots during the crucible of last year’s postseason.

Cowan was a second-team league all-star in 2015 after posting 133 kills, 52 digs and 33 blocks. The middle hitter makes up a formidable force at the net along with Foerster (116 kills, 26 aces last season), seniors Jillian Harvie, Haley Nelson, Lauren Quintiliani and Raegan Sheil and juniors Marissa Edwards, Caelyn Sheil and Natalie Simonton. Caroline Goodwin (who had a whopping 263 assists and also registered 69 digs last fall) is the top returning setter. Other setters of note include Chadbourne and Young. The Red Storm boast a lot of depth and skill in the serving and defensive specialist roles as well, as seniors Emma Budway, Alice Callahan, Sammy Gott, Aubrey Humpage and Abby Snow will all be heard from.

Class A is as strong as ever, as Greely looks to get back to states and finish, Cape Elizabeth hopes to return to its 2014 championship form and perennial contenders such as Biddeford, Falmouth and Yarmouth also loom, so Scarborough’s repeat quest will be fraught with potholes. Roberts (our Coach of the Year last Fall) does a great job molding the best possible team for a playoff run, so expect that to be the case again this autumn. The Red Storm might stumble at times during the season, but they more than anyone know that playing their best in late October is the only thing that matters and this squad has what it takes to steal more headlines.

CROSS COUNTRY

Coaches:
(Boys): Jim Harmon (19th year, nine state championships)
(Girls): Ron Kelly (44th year, five state championships)

2015 results:
(Boys) Class A state champions
(Girls) 2nd @ Class A state meet

Top returners:
(Boys) Andrew Goodwin (Senior), Shamus Malia (Senior), Sebastian Doiron (Junior), Luke Grover (Junior), Kyle Jordan (Junior), Charles Piper (Junior), Kyle Schuler (Sophomore)
Girls): Marisa Carbone (Senior), Laura Powell (Junior), Samantha Saraceno (Junior), Bethany Sholl (Junior), Elizabeth Tardiff (Sophomore)

Coach Harmon’s comment: “We’re not one of the top-seeded teams this year, but we have a very strong team with good depth, so I think we might be a contender to finish as one of the top five teams.”

Coach Kelly’s comment: “Our top three of Sholl, Saraceno and Carbone are very experienced. We have a mix of youth and experience. We’re a close-knit team which should continue to improve.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough’s cross country dominance continued in 2015 and both teams figure to be strong again this fall.

The boys have won two straight Class A crowns and nine of the past 13 (they have never finished lower than fourth at states during that span). While graduation took last year’s top-1o state meet finishers Colin Tardiff, Connor Doherty and Andrew Sholl, others are ready to fill their accomplished shoes. Goodwin and Grover were 20th and 25th respectively a year ago at states and will lead the way. Malia was 40th last season and looks to move up. Doiron, Jordan, Piper and Schuler look to round out a strong pack. They’ll be pushed by junior Erik Larson, sophomore Harrison Osborn and freshman Connor Coffin. Perhaps the Red Storm aren’t the favorite this time around, but they can never be written off. This squad will be right in the mix again when the stakes are at their highest.

On the girls’ side, after coming in second a year ago, the Red Storm are the favorites in the mind of many coaches, at least in the preseason. Scarborough will miss the departed Laura Volan, but returns state meet scorers Sholl (11th a year ago), Saraceno (12th) and Carbone (23rd). Powell and Tardiff have experience and a couple new promising freshmen, Ryanne Cox and Izabel Desjardins, will make an immediate impact. Scarborough will be pushed in the league by the likes of defending state champion Bonny Eagle, Gorham, Massabesic and South Portland and nothing will come easily at states, but if this group develops as hoped, the Red Storm could wind up at the top of the heap for the second time in three years.

GOLF

Coach: Mike Murphy (28th year, one state championship)

2015 results: 7-3 (3rd @ Class A state match)

Top returners: Brogan Kane (Junior), Elizabeth Lacagnata (Junior), Ian Trumpler (Junior), Anthony Burnham (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “This is the most inexperienced team we’ve had in awhile. We lost five strong contributors from last year. This year will depend on how kids handle the pressure of playing in new spots. Anthony could be one of the best golfers in the state. Making states is always a goal for us and I think it’s a strong possibility.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough wasn’t able to repeat as Class A champions last fall, but still produced a very strong team. The departure of standout Drew Kane and several other key contributors will pose a challenge, but the Red Storm have players with experience and some newcomers who will help the cause.

Burnham (who shot a 77 at last year’s team state match) is the heir apparent to be an elite player in the league and one who could make a run at the individual title (he tied for 12th last year with an 80). Brogan Kane (86) and Trumpler (86) also shot well at last year’s team state match. Lacagnata is one of the state’s premier female players, coming in sixth in the state last year with a round of 83. She’ll make a run at the top spot. Senior Skylar Pettingill, sophomore Ethan Mason and freshman Ted Forsley are new to the team and add depth.

Scarborough will have its hands full in the regular season with the likes of Cheverus, Falmouth and Portland, but the season will be defined by how the Red Storm do in October. With the caliber of player on the roster, it’s quite likely Scarborough will be on the short list of favorites to win Class A yet again.

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

Senior Aren Dickman and his Red Storm teammates are seeking a deep playoff run this fall.

Junior Connor Kelly will be a top receiving threat in the weeks to come.

Bruising senior Drew LeClair will handle the football quite a bit this season.

Senior Anthony Simoneau will cause nightmares for the opposition.

Senior Garrett King is considered one of the state’s best boys’ soccer players. He’ll look to lead Scarborough to November glory.

Senior Spencer Pettingill is another key returner for the defending Class A South champions.

Junior Gaby Panagakos made the SMAA all-star team a year ago after scoring 11 goals. She’ll look to lead Scarborough’s girls’ soccer team deep into the playoffs again.

Junior Lauren Sabatino will be the engine that makes the Red Storm’s offense go.

Look for senior Jillian Ware to score some big goals for the Red Storm this year.

Senior Ashley Levesque and her Red Storm field hockey teammates are thinking state title this autumn.

Senior Kristen Levesque makes up the other half of the dynamic Levesque sister combination.

Don’t let her size fool you, senior Lily Nygren is as tenacious as they come. She’s also got a flair for the dramatic.

Junior Rachel Paradis scored the biggest goal of the Red Storm’s 2015 season and hopes to big an even bigger contributor this season.

Senior Jordyn Cowan played a key role in last year’s title run and will look to lead Scarborough’s volleyball team to big things once more.

Senior Caroline Goodwin is one of the state’s premier setters and servers and will play a key role in the Red Storm’s success this fall.

Samantha Saraceno was 12th at the Class A girls’ cross country meet as a sophomore and will shoot for a top 10 finish this fall.

Bethany Sholl was 11th at last year’s state meet.

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