Scarborough Red Storm Fall Sports Preview

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Once again, Scarborough’s fall sports program is brimming with teams who could go all the way to the pinnacle. Boys’ soccer is defending another state title and while graduation was not kind, you can never write off this program and it’s championship chances. Girls’ soccer fell just short last season, but will be in the hunt throughout. Football enjoyed a very competitive campaign in 2013 and looks to extend its playoff streak to five seasons. Field hockey once again reached the state final a year ago and once again couldn’t solve perennial champion Skowhegan. The Red Storm will keep trying this fall. Both cross country teams look state meet-bound, with the boys in the hunt for another crown. Golf will be very strong and should get back to states and volleyball, after coming painfully close a season ago, starts over with a lot of new players, but can’t be discounted as it seeks its first title.

FOOTBALL

COACH: Lance Johnson (fifth year, 24-15 overall record)

2013 record: 6-4 (Lost, 27-0, to eventual champion Bonny Eagle in Western A semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Zach Carriero (Senior), Patrick Shaw (Senior), Andrew Simons (Senior), Griffin Madden (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 12 @ Bangor, Sept. 19 THORNTON ACADEMY, Sept. 27 BONNY EAGLE, Oct. 3 @ Biddeford, Oct. 10 @ South Portland

COACH’S COMMENT: “We only have four starters back. The strength of our team lies in the work ethic of our players and the effort they have put in during the offseason and summer. We will have the ability to spread the field with athletic players and big and athletic tight ends. On defense, we should be an aggressive unit that plays fundamentally sound football. We don’t have a lot of varsity experience returning, but we have developed depth in our program with good players ready to step in and fill important roles for us. If we continue to work hard and focus in practice we should have a successful season.

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Johnson has turned Scarborough into a perennial contender, as the Red Storm have made the playoffs in each of his four seasons and have gotten to the semifinals on three occasions. This year’s team doesn’t have a lot of experience, but can’t be written off.

Losing reigning Fall Male Athlete of the Year Ben Greenberg and what he could do running and throwing the ball will not come easily. Junior Jack Hughes moves into that role and will look to move the ball behind Carriero, who could be a premier back, and through the air via Madden and three ample sized tight ends: Simons, senior Anthony Quintiani and junior Jacob Gardner. Shaw returns on the line. He’ll be assisted by new junior center Josh Reed. Scarborough hopes to approach last year’s production and if it can, it will be able to contend with everyone on the schedule.

Only one starter, Shaw, is back on defense. He’ll be in the all-important nose guard spot. Gardner, Quintiani and Reed are also on the line. The secondary looks strong behind Carriero, Hughes and Madden. They’ll be aggressive and should cause several turnovers.

Scarborough has the misfortune of being in the same region as arguably the state’s two best teams: defending Class A champion Bonny Eagle and 2012 champion and preseason favorite Thornton Academy. The region as a whole is deep and the Red Storm will be tested virtually every time out. The potential is there for another successful season, but it will be paramount for newer players to quickly get up to speed. If they do, Scarborough could be the Western A sleeper when all is said and done.

BOYS’ SOCCER

COACH: Mark Diaz (16th year, 202-37-13 overall record, six state championships)

2013 record: 17-1 (Beat Hampden Academy, 2-1, in OT, to win repeat Class A state championship)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Ian Corey (Senior), Sam Ware (Senior), Matt Caron (Junior), Noah Stracqualursi (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 5 @ South Portland, Sept. 9 @ Portland, Sept. 20 CHEVERUS, Sept. 23 @ Noble, Oct. 2 GORHAM, Oct. 7 DEERING, Oct. 16 @ TA

COACH’S COMMENT: “It’s a different challenge this year, but I’m excited. We’re extremely young. We only have two starters back. Our sophomores and juniors will really be involved. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a few stumbles. There’s a lot to figure out. We’ll find out quickly how good we are opening at South Portland and Portland. I’d be happy to be in the top four for playoffs. We’ll make a run at it.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough’s fourth state title in six seasons might have been the most dramatic in program history. The Red Storm had to rally late to tie a very good Hampden Academy team, then captured the Gold Ball on an epic blast off Ware’s foot in overtime. Graduation did a number on the program, as nine starters departed, headlined by the loss of all-staters Sam Cekada and Wyatt Omsberg. This year’s team isn’t as seasoned or heralded, but Scarborough doesn’t care much for August accolades. The Red Storm are measured by where they finish and there’s a good chance they’ll make yet another deep postseason run.

This year’s offense features Caron, Stracqualursi (who had a solid freshman campaign), junior Josh Morrissey and sophomore Garrett King. The defense is in good shape behind Corey and Ware, with help from junior Nick Lorello. Seniors Cam Nigro and Sam Warren were vying at press time to replace Pat Stanton in goal.

It will take some time for this team to hit its stride and playing in a league which keeps getting stronger means that Scarborough will likely stumble more than it typically has during its 11-year run of dominance (the last time the Red Storm dropped more than two games in a regular season was way back in 2002). By the postseason, however, Scarborough will be right back in the thick of things and no one will want to face it. Another championship won’t come easily, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility. This program just knows how to win when it matters most.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

COACH: Mike Farley (10th year, 118-19-10 overall record, two state championships)

2013 record: 12-2-2 (Lost, 1-0, 3-1 on PKs, to eventual state champion Windham in Western A semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Ashley Gleason (Senior), Katherine Kirk (Senior), Sam Sparda (Senior), Aly Atherton (Junior), Mary Farnkoff (Junior), Elise O’Reilly (Junior), Emma Smith (Junior), Ashley Perriello (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Oct. 3 @ Gorham, Oct 8 @ Deering, Oct. 15 @ Windham, Oct. 18 TA

COACH’S COMMENT: “We obviously lost a lot of impact players to graduation, but I’ve been very impressed with the way this year’s team has approached the summer and preseason. Role players from last year have improved greatly over the last year and look to take leadership roles. They’re playing like they have something to prove and that’s always a great way to approach a season. We have some players back who were key contributors last year and some who have been waiting for their chance to become go-to players. The difference with this year’s team is we’ll be relying on some younger players to make an impact, especially at the offensive end. The mix of experience on the defensive end and veteran playmakers through the midfield, paired with some youth and aggressiveness up front, will hopefully make us one of the top teams in the SMAA again. We hope to start the season with a consistent level of play and try to be playing our best come playoff time. I know this team will embrace the pressure of the big games and will really try to challenge the top teams in the league.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough’s reign as state champion and its three-year run as regional champ came to an end last year, but the proud Red Storm didn’t go quietly, taking Windham to PKs before falling in the semifinals. Graduation then hit hard, as all-staters Ainsley Jamieson, Sydney Martin and Hadlee Yescott departed, as did several other key contributors. With that said, anyone who expects this powerhouse to come back to the pack will be surprised and disappointed.

For starters, Scarborough returns an all-stater in Gleason, who set a program record last fall with 11 assists (she scored five goals of her own), while finishing third on the team in points. SMAA all-star Kirk (seven goals, eight assists, fourth in points in 2013) is also back and further bolstering the offense will be Perriello, who set a freshman record in 2013 with seven goals and nine assists. Freshman Gabriella Panagakos could be this year’s Perriello, as she has shown promise over the summer. The midfield includes Atherton and Farnkoff. Junior Maddie Chen and sophomore Jillian Ware provide depth. O’Reilly and Smith are top returners on defense and they’ll be joined by Sparda (who scored five goals and added three assists in an all-star campaign last autumn), who moves back this season. Juniors Emma Koukos and Bryce Nitchman will also have an opportunity to keep the opposition at bay. Junior Molly LeComte will replace Martin in goal. Sophomore Erin Ryan will see some time as well.

The league keeps getting stronger, so Scarborough will be tested on a regular basis (the schedule really gets tough toward the end), but there is enough reason to think that the Red Storm will again be one of the last teams standing (they’ve won 73 games over the past five seasons) and if the pieces fall into place, another trip to states is a possibility. Scarborough would love another shot at Windham when the postseason rolls around.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Kerry Mariello 13th year, 143-45-6 overall record, one state championship)

2013 record: 16-1-1 (Lost, 4-1, to Skowhegan in Class A state final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Maddy Dobecki (Senior), Kristen Murray (Senior), Kaitlin Prince (Senior), Abby Walker (Senior), Alyssa Souza (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 4 MARSHWOOD, Sept. 8 @ Massabesic, Sept. 18 @ Sanford, Sept. 22 WINDHAM, Sept. 30 @ Westbrook, Oct. 10 @ Cheverus

COACH’S COMMENT: “We only graduated three starters, so we have game experience. That’s definitely a bonus. We should have a balanced attack. It’s going to be a pretty strong league this year. For us, it’s just a matter of putting the pieces together. The girls are very hungry after coming close the last couple years.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough had another tremendous season in 2013, but like the rest of the state, for the second year in a row, couldn’t solve Skowhegan. The Red Storm have won 108 games over the past seven seasons (second only to Skowhegan) and look as if they’ll be a powerhouse again.

Scarborough returns a pair of all-staters in Dobecki and Walker. They project to be top scorers, as will Murray, who was named to the SMAA All-Rookie team last fall. Prince, a multi-sport star, anchors the defense in front of Souza, who returns to that spot after playing very well a year ago. Sophomore twin sisters Ashley Levesque and Kristen Levesque will likely play a bigger role this autumn and will do their share of goalscoring.

The Red Storm will be tested early in the season by the likes of Marshwood and Massabesic (in a regional final rematch) and there will be some other challenges along the way, but there’s no reason to think that Scarborough won’t again secure the top seed and homefield advantage for the playoffs (even the “neutral site” regional finals will be at Scarborough this year). This group is hungry to get back to states and this time finish the job. Skowhegan might be ripe to be dethroned and the Red Storm, as they did in 2009, would love nothing more than to be the team that does the honors.

CROSS COUNTRY

BOYS COACH: Jim Harmon (17th year, six state championships)

GIRLS COACH: Ron Kelly (42nd year, four state championships)

2013 results:
(BOYS) 2nd @ Class A state meet
(GIRLS) DNQ for Class A state meet (9th @ regional meet)

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS
BOYS: Jacob Bloom (Senior), Maxim Doiron (Senior), Will Fowler (Senior), Colin Jones (Senior), Sean McGovern (Senior), Jacob Terry (Senior), Connor Doherty (Junior), David Grover (Junior), John Pillsbury (Junior), Andrew Sholl (Junior), Colin Tardiff (Junior), Sam Rusak (Sophomore)
GIRLS: Maria Quartararo (Senior), Madalyn Sirois (Senior), Morgan McKeown (Junior), Laura Volan (Junior), Marisa Carbone (Sophomore), Maureen Degrinney (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Deering boys; Bonny Eagle, Massabesic girls

COACH HARMON’S COMMENT: “If we can stay healthy and avoid injuries, we should be one of the top teams in the state and will make a run for the state title.”

COACH KELLY’S COMMENT: “We should be battling for a top five spot this year.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough’s cross country teams are going to be among the best in the conference, region and state.

The boys have won six of the past 10 Class A crowns, but have fallen short each of the past two years. That might change this fall.The Red Storm return all five scorers from last year’s state meet. Tardiff (seventh at states), Terry (11th), Sholl (14th), McGovern (25th) and Doiron (37th) will get help from other veterans like Bloom, Doherty, Fowler, Grover, Jones, Pillsbury and Rusak and a group of newcomers which includes sophomores Andrew Goodwin and Matt Higgins and freshmen Jared Beers, Zachary Brodeur, Sebastian Doiron, Luke Grover, Charles Piper and Sam Whitaker. The pieces are in place for another strong season, perhaps even another run to a title.

On the girls’ side, after falling short of the state meet three years running, Scarborough doesn’t just expect to qualify, but it hopes to be among the state’s top teams. The Red Storm return two girls who ran as individuals at last year’s state meet: Carbone (40th) and Volan (45th). McKeown (65th at regionals) and Degrinney (88th at regionals) also return. Quartararo and Sirois are captains who provide depth. Other girls looking to break into the top five include juniors Hope Corrow and Sophie Lawsure, sophomore Edie Christian and freshmen Kirsten Dennen and Bethany Sholl. This could be one of the top teams in the conference and region and if all goes well, Scarborough, as it did in days of yore, will be a factor at the state meet.

GOLF

COACH: Mike Murphy (26th year)

2013 results: 7-3 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Braeden Kane (Senior), Chandler Langlois (Senior), Drew Kane (Junior), Mitchell Wedge (Junior)

TOP FOES: Cheverus, Falmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “We lost some competitors. We have some big shoes to fill. I think we’re on the doorstep of being better than respectable. We’ve got the potential to be pretty good this year.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough enjoyed a strong regular season in 2013, but couldn’t make it to states. This year’s team hopes to take that next step.

The top returner is Drew Kane, who was an SMAA second-team all-star in 2013. Braeden Kane and Langlois each missed qualifying for states as individuals by four strokes last season and should be even better this time around. Wedge looks to make his mark. Freshman Elizabeth Lacagnata is the program’s lone girls’ golfer and will hope to make it to the state match.

Look for another winning record from this group and this time around, don’t be surprised if the Red Storm make the cut and get to the state match, where they could perform very well.

VOLLEYBALL

COACH: Jon Roberts (fifth year, 48-17 overall record)

2013 results: 16-1 (Lost, 3-1, to Falmouth in Class A state final)

TOP RETURNER: Kayla Savage (Senior)

PIVOTAL MATCHES: Sept. 5 GORHAM, Sept. 11 @ Falmouth, Sept. 13 @ Ellsworth, Sept. 18 @ Cape Elizabeth, Sept. 29 GREELY, Oct. 7 BIDDEFORD, Oct. 16 FALMOUTH

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have new seniors who haven’t been on the court much because of the talent of last year’s graduation class, but they’ve been practicing against great players for years and most of them have years of club experience. We have a very talented bunch of juniors and sophomores who are pushing the seniors every day in practice and will be competing for court time in games. We have a new team and a tough schedule this year, but we hope to come together in time to qualify for the playoffs and then, anything is possible.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarboorugh appeared destined for its first title a year ago when it blew through the regular season undefeated, then got to the state match by virtue of an exhausting semifinal round win over perennial powerhouse Greely. But after defeating Falmouth in two close regular season matches, the Red Storm couldn’t solve the Yachtsmen on the big stage and fell just short. Graduation then took a mighty toll, but even after the departures of several standouts, including reigning Fall Female Athlete of the Year Abby Mills, Scarborough has reason for hope, due in large part to some unproven talent eager to get their chance to shine.

Savage is the lone returner. She will be a captain and a top hitter. Seniors Maddi Leadley (libero) and Emma Tirrell (setter) are also captains. They’ll make an immediate impact. Other new seniors to keep an eye on include outside hitter Megan Brooks, middle hitter Krissy Maloney, outside hitter Mina Puig and opposite Lindsey Thurston. Those girls are lacking in varsity volleyball experience, but have played the sport at a high level outside of high school and will quickly get up to speed.

The Red Storm won’t get through the schedule unscathed this fall, but this is a team that will only get better in the weeks to come. Good enough to get to back to the playoffs and if they peak at the right time, perhaps good enough to earn another crack at that elusive championship.

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

Senior Zach Carreiro will be Scarborough’s feature running back this fall as the Red Storm aim for a return to the playoffs.

The last time we saw senior Sam Ware, he was scoring the state championship-winning goal in overtime.

Junior Matt Caron will look to pick up the scoring slack for the Red Storm this season.

Junior Josh Morrissey will step into a bigger role this autumn.

Noah Stracqualursi is coming off a strong freshman campaign.

Senior Ashley Gleason can put the ball in the net, but always looks for her teammates first and that unselfishness could help the Red Storm’s girls’ soccer team to a championship this year.

Junior Aly Atherton can do a little of everything for the Red Storm.

Ashley Perriello set a program record for scoring as a freshman and could be even more dangerous this fall.

Senior Sam Sparda was an SMAA all-star a year ago.

Senior Abby Walker was an all-state selection last fall. This season, she and her Red Storm teammates hope to get over that final hurdle and win a championship.

Senior Maddy Dobecki is another reigning all-state player returning to the Red Storm this fall.

Senior Kristen Murray was named to the SMAA All-Rookie team last fall and will be one of the league’s top players this season.

Junior Alyssa Souza returns in goal for the Red Storm.

Sophomore Marisa Carbone is a promising runner for the Scarborough girls.

Senior Kayla Savage is the lone returning veteran from a volleyball team which almost won a state title a year ago.

Sidebar Elements


Last fall, once again, Scarborough got to celebrate winning the Class A state boys’ soccer title. The Red Storm have a new look this season, but can’t be discounted.

File photos.

More photos below.

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