Scarborough Red Storm Fall Sports Preview

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Scarborough’s football team had no peer a year ago as it celebrated a Class A state championship for the first time. The Red Storm have some new faces this fall, but will still be near the top of the heap.

File photos.

More photos below.

FOOTBALL

Coach: Lance Johnson (ninth year, 52-29 overall record, one state championship)

2017 record: 10-1 (Beat Windham, 57-0, to win Class A state title)

Top returning players: Tyler Gobeil (Senior), Anthony Pizzella (Senior), Zach Reed (Senior), Jarett Flaker (Junior), Nate Mars (Junior), Sean Shackford (Junior)

Pivotal games: Aug. 31 @ Sanford, Oct. 6 @ TA, Oct. 12 @ Lewiston, Oct. 19 BONNY EAGLE

Coach’s comment: “We only have three starters back on offense and five on defense. We’re still big and very athletic. We have a good group of juniors and seniors and good depth in the line and with our skill guys. Our depth will really help us. These guys have been waiting their turn. They’ve worked hard and have something to prove. We’re big on the line. We average 260 pounds up front. I think we’ll be very good by the end once we gain some experience.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough delivered on its preseason expectations a year ago, avenging its only loss by crushing Thornton Academy in the regional final, then dominating Windham in record-setting fashion in a lopsided state final to earn the program’s first Class A Gold Ball. While many standouts, including quarterback Zoltan Panyi and Fitzpatrick Trophy winning running back Owen Garrard, have graduated, don’t expect the Red Storm to take much of a step back.

Looking to fill Panyi’s big shoes will be junior Chase Cleary, who started one game in 2017, and sophomore Jake Keim. The biggest offensive weapon figures to be Flaker, the track standout, whose nonpareil speed will be used for more than returns and the occasional run this time around. Flaker figures to see the ball quite a bit on offense, as a running back or receiver. Pity the defense that has to game plan again him. Juniors Zach Alofs and Sal DeBenedetto and sophomore Thomas Galeckas will also carry the ball. Plenty of wide receiving talent has also departed. This year, Gobeil will be a key target. Seniors Andrew Granzier, Connor Oliver and Jared Quintiliani and junior Manny Gallaraga look to get open as well. Scarborough has plenty of size and skill on the line. That group includes Mars, Pizzella, Reed and Shackford. Junior Liam McDonnell will do the punting and kicking. 

On defense, Mars, Pizzella, Reed and Shackford anchor the line, Galeckas and Quintiliani are top linebackers and the secondary features Alofs, DeBenedetto, Gobeil, Granzier and Oliver, as well as senior Sam Huff, he of the quintessential football name. 

Thornton Academy is considered the Class A South favorite by many “experts,” but Scarborough is out to prove them wrong. Yes, this team isn’t a finished product and will take some time to hit its stride, but its upside is undeniable. The Red Storm aren’t satisfied with one championship. They believe they can begin a dynasty and it wouldn’t be wise to doubt them.

BOYS’ SOCCER

Coach: Mark Diaz (20th year, 255-48-16 overall record, six state championships)

2017 record: 11-5 (Lost, 1-0, to Portland in Class A South quarterfinal)

Top returning players: Liam Bridgham (Senior), Noah Drapeau (Senior), Noah Frink (Senior), Wyatt Keller (Senior), Connor LaBonte (Senior), Tommy Stratis (Junior)

Pivotal games: Aug. 31 DEERING, Sept. 6 @ TA, Sept. 11 GORHAM, Oct. 2 FALMOUTH, Oct. 4 @ Cheverus, Oct. 11 @ Portland

Coach’s comment: “We’re coming along. We graduated a lot of starters, but last year’s junior class is getting their chance now as seniors. We’re trying out some different formations. There are going to be a lot of one-goal games in the league this year. We’ll have to be up for every game. We have a chance to be a top team. It could be a special year, but we have to be consistent.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough posted its 15th consecutive double-digit-win season a year ago, but for the first time since 2010, the Red Storm weren’t able to reach the semifinals. This fall, even with a lot of new faces, Scarborough is primed to return to form in a deep and balanced Class A South.

Keller returns as a top scoring threat up front. Senior Elliot Dumais and junior Ben Hatch also look to score. In the midfield, Bridgham and Drapeau are top returners. Senior Collin MacLeod will play a bigger role at that position. In the back, Frink, LaBonte and Stratis all have experience. Senior Nate Taggert replaces all-star Morgan Pratt in goal.

While the Red Storm won’t have many breathers with their schedule, they have enough pieces in place to contend with many talented foes. Scarborough will be a squad that no one wants to square off against when the postseason begins and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the Red Storm return to form and enjoy a long playoff stay.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

Coach: Mike Farley (14th year, 173-27-15 overall record, two state championships)

2017 record: 16-1-1 (Lost, 3-2, to Camden Hills in Class A state final)

Top returning players: Leah Dickman (Senior), Sophia Martens (Senior), Molly Murnane (Senior), Jessica Rinaldi (Senior), Suzanne Wooldridge (Senior), Madison Marinko (Junior), Ashley Sabatino (Junior), Nikki Young (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 1 @ Falmouth, Oct. 5 @ Cheverus, Oct. 10 @ Marshwood, Oct. 12 GORHAM, Oct. 16 WINDHAM

Coach’s comment: “We lost seven starters from last year, with the most glaring loss being in the back. We’ll most likely have some growing pains in the beginning of the season as we sort things out. Our group of attacking players has the potential to be better than last year and that was one of the best attacking groups we’ve had. We have a really good mix of experienced players along with younger players who will push for playing time. We need to find our defensive identity. 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 our opponents will give us their best game, so we’ll have to embrace the pressure and rise to the challenge.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: After getting to the state final for the first time since 2012, Scarborough almost pulled off a dramatic rally from three goals down against Camden Hills before falling a goal short. The Red Storm look to get back to the pinnacle this autumn and while Scarborough is on the short list of Class A South favorites, nothing will come easily in a very deep and balanced region. 

Murnane was an offensive revelation a year ago, scoring 16 goals (including the winner against Cheverus in the semifinals and three goals against Kennebunk in the regional final) and adding five assists. The all-region selection will make life miserable for the opposition in the weeks to come. Dickman, who had eight goals and a program-record 12 assists in 2017 and Sabatino (10 goals and three assists last season) are other proven scoring threats. Junior Emily Johnson is a scorer who can also find her teammates in optimal positions. Sophomore Grace Pettingill has dazzled over the summer and is expected to do big things on offense. Junior Sarah Callahan, who was limited by injury last season, could be in for a breakout year as well. Junior Emily Johnson is the team’s premier playmaker and will also factor into the scoring mix. In the back, Marinko, Martens and Wooldridge all have experience. Rinaldi and Young will both see time in the cage. Rinaldi can also be a factor in the field, which will allow Young to see key minutes in goal. 

As always, Scarborough has weapons galore and after falling agonizingly short a year ago, the hunger to capture that elusive Gold Ball remains. The Red Storm will take some time to hit their stride, but with the toughest games coming at the end of the season, Scarborough should be up to the challenge. How the Red Storm fare against Gorham, Marshwood and Windham late in the year will determine how long they can stay at home in the postseason. If the road to the title goes through Scarborough, it might just result in the Red Storm being the last team standing.

FIELD HOCKEY

Coach: Kerry Mariello (17th year, 201-53-6 overall record, two state championships)

2017 record: 14-2 (Lost, 2-1, to Biddeford in Class A South semifinal)

Top returning players: Caitlin Tyrrell (Senior), Anna Walker (Senior), Julia Booth-Howe (Junior), Hannah Dobecki (Junior), Carrie Timpson (Junior)

Pivotal games: Sept. 5 FALMOUTH, Sept. 15 WESTBROOK, Oct. 3 @ Cheverus, Oct. 9 MASSABESIC

Coach’s comment: “We have to replace Lucy (Malia), who made a lot of things happen for us. I hope we can be in the thick of things and made a deep run. We need to get the younger girls to believe in themselves. It will be the difference of how the ball bounces. There’s a lot of talent out there.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough is coming off another stellar season, its 13th straight with 10 wins or more, but it ended earlier than the Red Storm hoped and this fall, the perennial powerhouse has some holes to fill as they look to keep up with a very deep and balanced Class A South.

Tyrrell was an honorable mention all-star in 2017. She’ll be one of the team’s top players in the midfield and up top. Timpson, Scarborough’s Rookie of the Year last season, should do her share of scoring as well. Booth-Howe can do damage in both the midfield and at the forward position. Sophomore Bella Turner is another offensive weapon. Defensively, Dobecki and Walker lead the way. Junior Abby Roy replaces Sam Carriero as goalie.

For the first time in awhile, the Red Storm aren’t viewed as a clear favorite in the region, but that doesn’t mean Mariello won’t mold them into a title contender by mid-October. If Scarborough saves its best play for last, it’s still capable of going on a memorable run.

VOLLEYBALL

Coach: Kim Stoddard (first year)

2017 results: 15-2 (Beat South Portland, 3-1, to win Class A state title)

Top returning players: Katie Shaw (Senior), Mayne Gwyer (Sophomore), Shaelyn Thornton (Sophomore)

Pivotal matches: Aug. 31 DEERING, Sept. 13 @ Falmouth, Sept. 25 GREELY, Sept. 27 CAPE ELIZABETH, Oct. 5 @ Greely, Oct. 11 BIDDEFORD, Oct. 16 SOUTH PORTLAND

Coach’s comment: “We return a lot of players who have some experience playing varsity and high-level club. We’re also adding some exciting younger players to the mix who will make an immediate impact on the program. My goal is for us to be known for serving tough, passing well and not letting the ball hit the floor. We have a deep roster and the girls play well together and embrace a team-first attitude.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough returned to the Class A pinnacle a year ago, but in the aftermath, the program lost several key contributors, as well as coach Jon Roberts, who led the Red Storm to the next level. This fall, Stoddard takes over. She was Roberts’ assistant for eight years and has also coached at the club level. She inherits a squad that has some holes to fill, but as has happened so many times before, Scarborough has what it takes to save its best for last.

Gwyer is the team’s primary setter. She had 137 assists a year ago as a freshman. Shaw and Thornton are top returning hitters. Junior hitters Anna Gardner and Meredith Winslow will play key roles on the varsity team this season. Several other girls will look to work their way into the regular rotation.

The Red Storm have good numbers and a winning tradition. While Class A is full of talented teams, including Biddeford, Falmouth and Gorham, by the end of the season, Scarborough could once again be the cream of the crop.

CROSS COUNTRY

Coaches:
(Boys): Jim Harmon (21st year, nine state championships)
(Girls): Ron Kelly (46th year, five state championships)

2017 results:
(Boys) 2nd @ Class A state meet
(Girls) DNQ for Class A state meet (12th @ regionals)

Top returners:
(Boys) Sam Curtis (Senior), William Ducott (Senior), Jonathan Hayes (Senior), Harrison Osborne (Senior), Connor Coffin (Junior), Tristram Coffin (Junior)
(Girls) Sydney Bloom (Senior), Gina Carbone (Senior), Isabella Cook (Junior), Ryanne Cox (Junior), Olivia Desjardins (Junior), Lena Wood (Sophomore)

Coach Harmon’s comment: “This is the largest and possibly the most talented team I’ve coached at Scarborough, so if we can stay healthy and our training progresses, we should be a serious contender for the state title.”

Coach Kelly’s comment: “We have a talented group of freshmen. We’ll battle for top three in regionals and top five in the state.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough’s boys and girls will both make a run at regional and state meet glory later this fall.

The boys are looking to get back to the top spot in Class A for the first time since 2015. Top returners include Connor Coffin (fourth at last year’s state meet), Tristram Coffin (eighth), Osborne (14th) and Hayes (44th). Ducott and Curtis look to move up the standings. Seniors Anthony Gatti and Brandon L’Heureux, sophomores Benjamin Cassellius and Erik Losacco and freshmen Zachary Barry and Bryce Beeler will be heard from as well. The Red Storm will have their hands full with Falmouth, among other teams, but if this group stays healthy, a championship celebration could result.

On the girls’ side, after missing the state meet for the first time since 2013, Scarborough appears ready to return to form and be one of the top squads in Class A South. Cook, Cox and Wood all scored at the regional meet a year ago. Bloom, Carbone and Desjardins also have experience. A strong freshman class will immediately help the cause. Look for Lindsay Bilodeau, Emily Dunham, Megan Randall and Kayla Werner lead that group. The Red Storm will be battling Bonny Eagle and Falmouth in the league and Camden Hills will be a top team at states, but this group will be capable of being right there with them. A top five showing on the big stage is the likely end result.

GOLF

Coach: Mike Murphy (30th year, two state championships)

2017 results: 8-2 (Class A state champions)

Top returners: Anthony Burnham (Senior), Jack Clark (Senior), Ethan Mason (Senior), Cam Chamberlain (Junior), Ted Forsley (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We have some holes to fill, but I think we’ll be OK. If some kids come around, we’ll be tough again. Golf is such a mental game. We want to peak at the end of the season. Hopefully, we’ll be up for it.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough has established itself as a perennial Class A power, as evidenced by another state title a year ago. The Red Storm lost standout Elizabeth Lacagnata, the girls’ individual champion, to graduation, but plenty of talent returns to likely keep this squad near the top of the heap.

Burnham had a magical year in 2017, winning the Class A individual title with an 18-hole round of 70 and also shooting a 72 at the team state match. Chamberlain and Mason each shot 80 last season at states and will again play key roles. Clark and Forsley also have experience and a solid incoming group, which includes sophomores Peter Malia and John Webber and freshman Alden Griffiths, will provide depth and set the stage for future success.

Scarborough has plenty of challengers and not just in its always daunting division. This team will win its share of matches, but ultimately will be judged on how it does in October. The guess here is that the Red Storm will once again save their best for last.

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

Junior Jarett Flaker, whom you may have heard is very, very fast, will have the ball in his hands a lot this season as Scarborough chases a repeat crown.

Senior Liam Bridgham is a top returner for Scarborough’s promising boys’ soccer team.

Senior Molly Murnane joined Scarborough’s girls’ soccer team last year and led the Red Storm to the Class A state final. Murnane projects to be one of the state’s best players this fall.

Senior Leah Dickman set a program record for assists (12) last fall. 

Junior Ashley Sabatino scored 10 times last season and is another scorer to watch for the defending regional champs.

Junior Carrie Timpson will be a top scorer for the always-tough Scarborough field hockey team.

Senior Caitlin Tyrrell was a league all-star in 2017.

Scarborough’s volleyball team won its second Class A championship in three years last fall. The Red Storm will be tough again this season.

Junior Connor Coffin came in fourth at last year’s Class A boys’ cross country state meet. He and his teammates are eyeing the top spot this fall.

Junior Tristram Coffin, eighth last year, is another top returning runner for the Red Storm.

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