Scarborough Red Storm Fall Sports Preview

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Senior quarterback Zoltan Panyi and his Scarborough football teammates face big-time expectations this fall. After getting to the regional final in 2016, the Red Storm are eyeing their first Class A championship this season.

File photos.

More photos below.

FOOTBALL

Coach: Lance Johnson (eighth year, 42-28 overall record)

2016 record: 8-3 (Lost, 40-20, to eventual state champion Bonny Eagle in Class A South Final)

Top returning players: Alex Bryer (Senior), Cody Dudley (Senior), Owen Garrard (Senior), Anthony Griffin (Senior), Connor Kelly (Senior), Reece Lagerquist (Senior), Zoltan Panyi (Senior), Jeremy Sendrowski (Senior), Zach Reed (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 15 THORNTON ACADEMY, Oct. 6 @ Windham, Oct. 20 @ Bonny Eagle

Coach’s comment: “We had a great offseason and we have nine starters back. All we can do now is get better and try to keep the kids focused. I have a great senior class. Very coachable, smart and hardworking. We’re balanced on offense. We’ll make teams defend the entire field. This is the first time we’ve had legitimate size and depth up front. We expect to be very competitive every night and hope to take two more steps this year.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Meet Maine high school football’s “it team,” circa 2017. The Red Storm are receiving a ton of preseason publicity and for good measure. Last year, Scarborough finally got past the semifinal round, upsetting defending champion Thornton Academy in Saco thanks to a palpitating, late rally and while the Red Storm couldn’t solve eventual champion Bonny Eagle, they set the stage for what could be a magical season this fall. All the pieces are in place for greatness.

The offense will be high powered and will decimate opposing defenses both on the ground and through the air. Panyi is back under center. He can make all the throws and is a dangerous runner as well. Panyi will look to pass to league all-stars Dudley and Lagerquist, along with Kelly (Scarborough’s top receiver in 2015 before being sidelined last year), Sendrowski and new senior Jaquan Seme. Garrard (all-conference last season) will be tough to corral when he runs the ball. Dudley will also see carries ,as will sophomore Jarret Flaker, who was a sprinting standout in track as a freshman. Making it all possible will be an imposing line featuring Griffin (an all-star last year), Bryer and Reed. Dudley will punt and Sendrowski will do some placekicking.

Just scoring points isn’t enough to win a championship, but Scarborough also boasts a potential top-notch defense. Up front, Bryer, Griffin and Lagerquist look to do damage. The linebacking corps is led by Garrard. Dudley, Kelly, Seme and Sendrowski will look to stymie opposing attacks in the secondary.

It all adds up to what is deservedly viewed as the favorite to win the Class A state title. That crown won’t come easily, however, as the Red Storm share a region with the defending champs as well as a Thornton Academy squad that would love to avenge last year’s ouster. If Scarborough plays up to its potential, however, it will advance deeper than ever before in Class A and possibly join the 2002 Class B champs as Gold Ball winners.

BOYS’ SOCCER

Coach: Mark Diaz (19th year, 244-43-16 overall record, six state championships)

2016 record: 12-4 (Lost, 3-1, to Gorham in Class A South semifinal)

Top returning players: Nick Anderson (Senior), Alex Dobecki (Senior), Jared Greenleaf (Senior), Marco Manfra (Senior), Owen Tyson (Senior), Noah Drapeau (Junior)

Pivotal games: Aug. 30 @ Deering, Sept. 12 @ Gorham, Oct. 3 @ Falmouth, Oct. 5 CHEVERUS, Oct. 12 PORTLAND

Coach’s comment: “We lost eight or nine starters, so we have a lot of holes to fill. This is pretty much a new group. We need to improve. We’re still very green. It’s a good group of guys. They’re working hard to get better. We’ll try and win the games we’re supposed to win and improve enough to wind up in the top four for playoffs.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough’s string of trips to the regional or state final ended at five with its semifinal round loss to Gorham last fall, but the Red Storm enjoyed yet another very successful campaign (their 15th consecutive winning season and 14th in a row of double digit victories). Graduation took many key players, but as has been the case before during this run, Scarborough is ready to turn to some untested talent and bounce right back to be among the best teams in a very deep region.

This year’s team will feature Drapeau and Manfra (last seen scoring tons of goals for a regional champion lacrosse team in the fall) up top. Dobecki and Tyson will be top midfielders. The Red Storm are always stingy on the defensive end and that will be the case again this fall thanks to the presence of Anderson and Greenleaf. Scarborough needs a new goalkeeper to replace all-star Chris Franklin and will turn to either senior Morgan Pratt or junior Nate Taggert. 

Scarborough has a couple tests early, then faces some big games in October. In the interim, this group should evolve into its typically strong self. The Red Storm might stumble a few times, but they’ll learn from their struggles and be tougher in the long run. For the first time in a long time, Scarborough isn’t viewed as a favorite, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be playing deep into October. It wouldn’t even be that shocking if the Red Storm are still alive when the calendar flips to November.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Coach: Mike Farley (13th year, 157-26-14 overall record, two state championships)

2016 record: 12-3-2 (Lost, 2-0, to Gorham in Class A South Final)

Top returning players: Sophie Glidden (Senior), Gaby Panagakos (Senior), Ellie Patten (Senior), Emily Royce (Senior), Lauren Sabatino (Senior), Leah Dickman (Junior), Sophia Martens (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 1 FALMOUTH, Sept. 8 @ Thornton Academy, Oct. 7 CHEVERUS, Oct. 11 MARSHWOOD, Oct. 13 @ Gorham, Oct. 17 @ Windham

Coach’s comment: “We only lost one starter from last year, so players are very familiar with their roles and what we’re trying to do as a group. The additions to the team will have a positive impact on our play and make us a much more dynamic attacking team. We have the most dangerous group of forwards we’ve had in my time at Scarborough and it isn’t even close. By the end of the season, hopefully we’ll have built a level of consistency on both ends of the field, making us tough to deal with. We know our opponents will give us their best game, so we have to embrace that pressure and rise to the challenge.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough has posted double digit wins in eight straight seasons and has been at least a semifinalist seven years running and this fall, the Red Storm are primed to get back to the state final for the first time since winning Class A in 2012. While Class A South has many fine teams, Scarborough could wind up being the best of the bunch.

The Red Storm’s offense will likely be prolific. For starters, first-team league all-star Panagakos returns at forward. She set a school record last season with 22 goals and added six assists. With Panagakos understandably receiving a ton of attention from opposing defenses, look for Dickman (13 goals, 9 assists in an honorable mention all-star season in 2016), Sabatino (all-star), new junior Molly Murnane (a transfer from Maryland) and sophomore Sarah Callahan (who returns from injury) to get plenty of opportunities to tickle the twine. Glidden, Martens (all-star) and Patten (all-star) are seasoned defenders in front of Royce, who had six shutouts as the starting goalkeeper a year ago.

Scarborough has a challenge in its opener against Falmouth (the first time the former Western Maine Conference rivals are meeting in the regular season since playing to a pair of ties in 2oo2, but the majority of the tough games come at the end, which should allow the defense to get up to speed and the offense to mold itself into an unstoppable force. The Red Storm have unfinished business to tend to with Gorham and know they’ll have to be at their best against other teams too. If this group produces as expected, this season could very well end with a celebration.

FIELD HOCKEY

Coach: Kerry Mariello (16th year, 187-51-6 overall record, two state championships)

2016 record: 13-3 (Lost, 2-0, to Marshwood in Class A South semifinal)

Top returning players: Lucy Bogdanovich (Senior), Sam Carriero (Senior), Lucy Malia (Senior), Rachel Paradis (Senior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 1 FALMOUTH, Sept. 6 @ Thornton Academy, Sept. 15 @ Westbrook, Sept. 19 MARSHWOOD, Oct. 5 @ Cheverus, Oct. 11 @ Massabesic

Coach’s comment: “We lost 10 seniors, including seven starters, but the girls are coming along. We have a lot of young talent that just needs experience. Once we gain confidence, we’ll do well. Losing Lily (Nygren) means a lot of missing goals. We’ll see who can score this year. The league is very balanced. Hopefully we’ll progress quickly and we can be a playoff-caliber team. We want to be one of the top teams.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Scarborough program has been a model of consistency over the past dozen seasons and last year was no exception, as the Red Storm overcame an 0-2 start with 13 consecutive victories before being ousted. This time around, however, Scarborough has a lot of questions to answer, but even if they take a few lumps, expect the Red Storm to figure it out as the season progresses and be one of the teams to beat in the postseason yet again.

Paradis made the SMAA All-Rookie team a year ago and has already scored some big goals in her career. She’ll be one of the top players in the midfield. The forward line features Malia and sophomore Carrie Timpson, who could become a breakout star. Defensively, Bogdanovich returns and is joined by Anna Walker. Carriero is back in goal and will be one of the best keepers in the region.

No one will feel sorry for Scarborough as it reloads and no one will want to see the Red Storm in mid- and late-October. Look for this group to follow last  season’s script and steadily improve. Another winning season and some more playoff noise is the likely end result.

VOLLEYBALL

Coach: Jon Roberts (eighth year, 88-28 overall record, one state championship)

2016 results: 16-2 (Lost, 3-1, to Greely in Class A state final)

Top returning players: Natalie Simonton (Senior), Asia Mattress (Sophomore)

Pivotal matches: Sept. 1 DEERING, Sept. 12 FALMOUTH, Sept. 26 GREELY, Sept. 28 @ Cape Elizabeth, Oct. 3 @ Gorham, Oct. 12 @ Biddeford

Coach’s comment: “We’re looking forward to a great season. After graduating 14 seniors who took up the majority of playing time over the past two years, we have a lot of players hungry to make this team their own. It should be fun.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough has had an abundance of fun in recent years, winning the Class A championship in 2015 and getting back to the state match a year ago before falling to Greely. With the sport going to three classes, the Red Storm stay in Class A, but Greely, Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth and Yarmouth go to Class B, meaning Scarborough remains a favorite this fall even though it has some key players to replace.

Mattress (who made quite an impact as a freshman) and the veteran Simonton will lead the charge this year as hitters. Freshman Shaelyn Thornton could quickly make a name for herself as well as a hitter. After that, a lot of girls have a chance to make their mark and keep the Red Storm at the top of the standings.

Scarborough will be tested by the likes of Biddeford and Gorham once the playoffs commence, but this program has gotten to the point where it expects to play for a championship, regardless of personnel turnover. It would surprise no one if the Red Storm find themselves back on the big stage again. Another title could await.

CROSS COUNTRY

Coaches:
(Boys): Jim Harmon (20th year, nine state championships)
(Girls): Ron Kelly (45th year, five state championships)

2015 results:
(Boys) 7th @ Class A state meet
(Girls) 10th @ Class A state meet

Top returners:
(Boys) Luke Grover (Senior), Erik Larkin (Senior), Charles Piper (Senior), Jason Derrick (Junior), William Ducott (Junior), Anthony Gatti (Junior), Brandon L’Heureux (Junior), Harrison Osborn (Junior), Connor Coffin (Sophomore)
(Girls) Samantha Saraceno (Senior), Bethany Sholl (Senior), Izabel Desjardins (Junior), Ryanne Cox (Sophomore)

Coach Harmon’s comment: “If we can stay healthy, we should have a team that can make a solid run at the state title.”

Coach Kelly’s comment: “It’s a young team that will improve as the season progresses. Our goal is to qualify for the state meet and finish in the top six.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough’s cross country teams might not be the favorite this year, but expect both Red Storm squads to do very well in the regular and postseasons.

The boys saw their string of 13 straight top four finishes at states come to an end last autumn and they’re ready to climb back up the ladder. Four of five state meet scorers are back this fall. Coffin leads the way. He was 13th as a freshman. Grover (33rd), Larkin (47th) and Osborn (65th) also scored. They’ll all hope to move up this season. Derrick, Ducott, Gatti, L’Heureux and Piper all have experience and will look to take part in the pack and sophomore Tristram Coffin and freshmen Benjamin Cassellius and Erik LoSacco are new to the team and bring depth. Scarborough will be one of the best teams in the SMAA and should move back into the top five at states.

On the girls’ side, three scoring runners return. Sholl leads the way. She was eighth as a junior and hopes to bow out as a top five finisher. Cox (33rd) and Saraceno (36th) should be even better this fall. Desjardins and junior Sydney Bloom have the potential to be top five runners on the team and sophomore Olivia Desjardins and junior Madison Diaz will also figure into the scoring mix. Bonny Eagle and Falmouth will likely be the top teams in the region, but the Red Storm won’t be far behind. 

GOLF

Coach: Mike Murphy (29th year, one state championship)

2016 results: 8-2 (4th @ Class A state match)

Top returners: Brogan Kane (Senior), Elizabeth Lacagnata (Senior), Ian Trumpler (Senior), Anthony Burnham (Junior), Jack Clark (Junior), Ethan Mason (Junior), Cam Chamberlain (Sophomore), Ted Forsley (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “I have good kids who take golf seriously. We have eight kids back. We’re looking good. We almost snuck it out last year when no one expected it. The kids played a lot this summer and that’s fueled their fire.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough is coming off a typically strong season and is loaded for bear again in 2017 as it chases a Class A crown.

Burnham is a top returner. He was a Northern Division first-team all-star in 2016 and he shot 76 at the team state match and a posted a 75 to tie for third at the individual championship match. He’ll be in the mix for the top spot this time around. Mason was a second-team all-star last season. Mason also finished with a round of 76 at team states and tied for 10th individually after shooting an 80. Lacognata is one of the state’s best female players. An all-star last autumn, Lacognata shot an 87 at team states and tied for fourth in the girls’ individual championship with a round of 78. She’ll be in the hunt for a crown as well. Rounding out a very strong veteran unit are Forsley (84 at team states), Kane (90 at team states), Chamberlain, Clark and Trumpler. They’ll be pushed for spots by new junior Cal Berry and freshmen Sam Clark, Peter Malia and John Webber.

While the Red Storm will face some stiff competition from Cheverus, Falmouth and Portland in the division, that will only make them better when qualifying time rolls around. Another trip to states is likely and its possible that Scarborough could bring home hardware as a team and see a pair of individuals capture crowns as well before all is said and done.

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

Senior Owen Garrard will be a workhorse running back this fall for the Red Storm.

Senior Cody Dudley will make some big plays in the weeks to come.

Look for senior Reece Lagerquist to catch his share of passes this season.

Senior Jeremy Sendrowski is best known as a state champion wrestler, but he’ll play a key role for Scarborough’s football team as well this fall.

Senior Alex Dobecki is a top returner for Scarborough’s boys’ soccer team, which again should be in the title hunt.

Senior Jared Greenleaf is a top returning defender.

Senior Marco Manfra is another key returner for the opposition to contend with.

Senior Gabby Panagakos set a program record for goals last season for Scarborough’s girls’ soccer team, scoring 22 times. She’ll be the focal point of opposing defenses again this fall.

Junior Leah Dickman is another top returner. She scored 13 goals as a sophomore.

Senior Lauren Sabatino is another returning all-star. She’ll be a scoring threat. 

Senior Emily Royce returns as the goalkeeper.

Senior Rachel Paradis made the SMAA All-Rookie team last season and will likely score some big goals for the Red Storm this season.

Senior Lucy Malia is another veteran who returns for the Red Storm.

Senior Sam Carriero returns in goal for Scarborough.

Asia Mattress was a difference maker as a freshman. She’ll be a top player this fall as Scarborough looks to win the Class A title.

Senior Natalie Simonton is a steady veteran for a promising team in transition.

Sophomore Connor Coffin was 13th at last year’s Class A boys’ cross country state meet. He hopes to move up into the top 10 this season.

Senior Bethany Sholl has been one of the state’s best cross country runners. She’s back for a final season with the Red Storm.

Senior Samantha Saraceno also scored at states last year, placing 36th in Class A.

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