Scarborough Red Storm Spring Sports Preview

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

As we’ve come to expect, Scarborough has several teams ready to vie for titles this spring. Baseball welcomes a new coach with an impressive pedigree and hopes to build on its recent success. Softball fell just short in its repeat bid last season, but the Red Storm have what it takes to make it three championships in five years. Speaking of titles, boys’ lacrosse was a year ahead of schedule in its surprising 2010 run. This time around, Scarborough’s a favorite and for good reason. The girls’ team is also defending a crown and almost certainly won’t breeze through its schedule like last year. By June, however, the Red Storm could be back on top. Both track teams are loaded and will make runs at the Class A crown. Boys’ and girls’ tennis will be fun to watch as they project to be among the best teams in the region.

BASEBALL

Coach: Mike Coutts (first year)

2010 Record: 12-5 (Lost 8-1, in 11 innings, to Biddeford in Western Class A quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Jack Adams (Senior), Kyle Kelly (Senior), Ryan Mancini (Senior), Kevin Philbrick (Senior), Joe Cronin (Junior), Conor McCann (Junior), Ben Wessel (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 23 (H) CHEVERUS, April 28 (H) WINDHAM, April 29 (H) THORNTON ACADEMY, May 14 @ South Portland, May 19 @ Marshwood, May 21 (H) BIDDEFORD, May 24 (H) WESTBROOK, May 26 (H) DEERING, May 28 @ Cheverus, May 31 @ Portland

Coach’s comment: “It’s exciting being around new kids. The kids have been great. I think we’ll be competitive in the league. We play good team defense and have good pitching. The hitting’s behind this time of year because of the weather. I’m still figuring out what everyone can do. I think we’ll be in the mix and be right there at the end.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough’s hoping that Coutts’ Midas Touch follows him from Deering, where he led the Rams to the 2009 Class A championship in his first season with that program. Coutts starred at the University of Maine, has coached all over the country and runs Frozen Ropes Training Center. He inherits a team which has been very close the past two seasons, losing in the regional final (to Coutts’ Rams) in 2009 and getting upset in last year’s quarterfinal marathon by Biddeford. This year, the Red Storm should be right in the hunt again. The pitching staff features a southpaw in Kelly, who didn’t allow a run in 4.2 innings a year ago, Cronin (an 0.81 earned run average with 38 strikeouts in 26 innings in 2010) and Wessel (4-2, 2.87 ERA, 32 Ks last year). Adams and Mancini expect to see some time on the mound as well and two new pitchers, sophomore Jamie Lappin (another lefty) and freshman Ben Greenberg, add depth. Offensively, the loss of the potent Jake Rutt (last year’s league batting champion and first-team all-star) will hurt. Scarborough’s top returning hitters are Wessel (.326, 15 runs scored last spring), Mancini (.306) and Cronin (.250). Cronin (who has verbally committed to Boston College) was a Southern Maine Activities Association second-team all-star and a member of the league’s All-Defensive team a year ago. Wessel (who’s committed to the University of Rhode Island) was also a second-teamer. McCann and Philbrick bring experience. The Red Storm are one of several teams chasing Deering and Westbrook for top honors in Western Class A. Scarborough’s pitching should be more than adequate. If the offense produces, this could be year the Red Storm reach the state final for the first time since winning Class B way back in 1986..

SOFTBALL

Coach: Tom Griffin (22nd year)

2010 Record: 17-2 (Lost 5-2 to South Portland in Western Class A Final)

Top returning players: Alana Peoples (Senior), Dominique Burnham (Junior), Mo Hannan (Junior), Abby Rutt (Junior), Erin Giles (Sophomore), Marissa O’Toole (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: May 7 (H) THORNTON ACADEMY, May 11 @ Biddeford, May 16 @ South Portland, May 18 (H) CHEVERUS, May 23 (H) MCAULEY, May 27 (H) KENNEBUNK

Coach’s comment: “I have a very athletic and experienced team this year. We feel we can be one of the teams that can contend for a state title. We have plenty of pitching and have a strong offensive lineup with good team speed.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough softball has been the model of excellence for many years. Since 2004, the Red Storm have lost a grand total of six regular season games, only 11 total, have reached the regional final six of seven years and won the 2007 and 2009 Class A championships. Last year’s squad appeared en route to a repeat title until South Portland, a team Scarborough had owned, shocked the Red Storm in the regional final. Scarborough hopes its recent odd-year trend of championships continues in 2011. As always, the Red Storm have tremendous talent and a great chance to win it all. Hannan is the top returning pitcher. All she did last year was go 6-0 with a miniscule 0.22 earned run average and 65 strikeouts during an SMAA first-team all-star campaign. Hannan is backed by Giles (3-0, 2.06 ERA) Burnham and new junior Chelsea Damon and freshman Alyssa Williamson. Offensively, Scarborough can slug or play small ball. The Red Storm constantly keeps pressure on the opposition and it pays big dividends. Rutt (catcher/third base) hit .451 last season with four doubles, two triples and two home runs. Hannan (who plays shortstop when she’s not in the circle) batted .488, hit four home runs, scored 23 runs and drove in 25. Other hitters to watch include first baseman/outfielder Peoples (.386 last year, good for a third-team all-star selection), third baseman Giles (.343), outfielder Burnham (.370 in 2010, which landed her on the SMAA second-team) and middle infielder O’Toole. Seniors Lauren Aceto, Carolyn Bennett, Hannah Freeman and Rene Quinn bring leadership. Sophomores Grace Farnkoff and Paige Moore-Haskell and freshman Megan Murrell look to make an impact. While South Portland likes its chances to repeat, Scarborough knows as well as anyone just how hard it is to do. The Red Storm feel it’s their turn again and behind their stellar pitching, defense, hitting and baserunning will be very difficult to deny.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Joe Hezlep (fourth year)

2010 Record: 11-5 (Beat Portland 8-6 to win Class A state championship)

Top returning players: Nate Hopkins (Senior), Brett Leighton (Senior), Mark Pearson (Senior), John Blaisdell (Junior), Andrew Jones (Junior), John Wheeler (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 23 @ Cheverus, April 30 (H) FALMOUTH, May 4 (H) THORNTON ACADEMY, May 7 @ Kennebunk, May 14 @ NYA, June 1 (H) PORTLAND

Coach’s comment: “We have 72 kids in the program. That speaks to how the kids in the school view the sport. We have a great core this year. The guys know how things are done. They’re used to being successful. We had a small senior class last year. We have 16 seniors this year. I prefer to face a tough schedule. We hope to play well into June.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough might have arrived a year ahead of schedule last spring, overcoming a slow start, catching fire and winning an improbable Class A title, its third in five seasons. This year’s team should be even better and is quite capable of repeating as champions for the first time. The Red Storm will certainly carry the burden of expectation and got off to a great start Friday with an 11-0 home romp over South Portland. In that one, Blaisdell had four goals and three assists, Wheeler added three goals and four helpers and Hopkins scored three times. Wheeler had an exceptional freshman year, scoring 37 goals, adding 27 assists and grabbing 58 ground balls. Hopkins is a physical specimen who will also take faceoffs. Blaisdell has shown he score on a regular basis. Pearson is another offensive threat. Then there’s Jones, who was an SMAA second-team all-star in 2010 and also plays longstick middie. Leighton, who played goalie in 2010, will also be a longstick middie. New in goal this spring is sophomore David Pearson (10 saves in the first game). Scarborough has plenty more firepower waiting in reserve. It might take a few weeks for this team to fully get comfortable with some new faces in new places, but the talent level is undeniable. The Red Storm might have caught fire at the right time in 2010, but in 2011, they’re the heavy favorite from the start and have what it takes to go back-to-back.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Marcia Wood (seventh year)

2010 Record: 15-0 (Beat Mt. Ararat 11-7 to win Class A state championship)

Top returning players: Jill Deering (Senior), Dani Foster (Senior), Meghan Quirk (Senior), Kat Gadbois (Junior), Kelsey Howard (Junior), Laura Przybylowicz (Junior), Mary Scott (Junior), Maggie Smith (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 30 (H) YARMOUTH, May 12 (H) CHEVERUS, May 14 @ Mt Ararat, May 19 @ Gorham, May 26 (H) KENNEBUNK

Coach’s comment: “We lost six key players. We’re trying to get new people comfortable in their positions. It’s still a strong group of girls. I want us to get as far as we can. We gunned for a state championship last year. It’s one game at a time this year. We have a lot of scoring threats”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough is coming off the finest season in program history, which culminated with its second state title, but seven players graduated, including the squad’s core. While many think the Red Storm are coming back to the pack and might even play second fiddle to the likes of Gorham and Kennebunk, the feeling here is guess again. Scarborough has been to the playoffs 10 years running, returns some players who saw pivotal time in 2010 and is still hungry to excel. This season, the fun begins with Howard (a second-team SMAA all-star last year), Foster and Przybylowicz in the draw circle. The Red Storm have plenty of scoring options. That group includes Foster, Gadbois, Howard, Przybylowicz, Quirk, Scott and Smith. On defense, Deering is the top returner. She’ll help break in one of two new goalies, junior Tara Buckley, or sophomore Meg Kirsch, who saw limited time in 2010. Scarborough has some tough tests on its slate, including a home game versus Eastern B favorite Yarmouth, a state final rematch at Mt. Ararat, a visit to Gorham and its standout, senior Mia Rapolla (who almost singlehandedly upset the Red Storm in last year’s regional final) and a home showdown with rival Kennebunk. Scarborough probably won’t go undefeated in 2011, but the wins will come and they’ll be plentiful. By June, the Red Storm have the ability to compete with anyone. Once again, this team will have a major say in who wins Western Class A.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach:

(Boys) Derek Veilleux (ninth year) and Jim Harmon (first year)

(Girls) Ron Kelly (34th year)

2010 Results:

(Boys) 11th @ Class A state meet

(Girls) Class A state champions

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Zach Brown (Senior), Tom Hague (Senior), Orin James (Senior), Scott Merrill (Senior), Alex Pok (Senior), Nick Morris (Junior), Robby Hall (Sophomore), Alec James (Sophomore), Merrick Madden (Sophomore), Kevin Manning (Sophomore), Jack Sullivan (Sophomore)

(Girls) Abby Chick (Senior), Sarah Dugas (Senior), Emily O’Connor (Senior), Carly Rogers (Senior), Emilia Scheemaker (Senior), Samantha Armishaw (Junior), Catherine Bailey (Junior), Haela Booth-Howe (Junior), Nicole Kirk (Junior), Lonnie Purcell (Junior), Andrea Tolman (Junior), Emily Tolman (Junior), Courtney Alofs (Sophomore), Stephanie Ostrowski (Sophomore)

Top foes: Bonny Eagle, South Portland boys; Cheverus, Gorham, Thornton Academy girls

Coach Veilleux’s comment: “Our goal will be to be run our best at the end of the season. We will have a very young team this spring with several freshman and sophomores making up a majority of our squad. Developing our younger athletes will be a focus, but we’ve also got a good core of returning athletes that competed in the state meet last spring or this winter that we figure will do very well. We’ll be competitive in all the meets and most likely will have a team built for better success in the postseason.”

Coach Harmon’s comment: We’re seeded to be fifth in the state, but we hope for more than that. We’ll see how much we can improve. We have a lot of talent for the future.”

Coach Kelly’s comment: “We’ll be battling for top honors. The three relays will be important. We need to develop another jumper. We’re looking to replace some of the points from (Christy) Manning’s departure. Our sprints will be very strong.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Both Scarborough teams have an abundance of great athletes and should enjoy tremendous seasons.

The boys are coached this year by Veilleux and Harmon, the cross country head coach. They can rely on several returning state meet scorers. Merrill and Morris were part of a state champion 1,600 relay team last spring. Morris, along with Brown (who scored in the 3,200 relay), Hague (3,200 relay) and Hall, lead the distance contingent. Sophomore Matt Hassler and freshman Ian Morris bring depth to the longer races. Orin James has been a jumping standout. He finished seventh in the high jump last spring. Manning (seventh in the discus in 2010) leads the throwers. He’s joined by freshmen Cam Thayer and Mike Pino. Alec James looks to score in the pole vault. Back on the track side, Sullivan is a racewalker. Merrill, Madden and Pok, along with freshman Kenny Adams, are top sprinters. Junior Christian Langlois (who also runs middle-distance) and freshman Cam Langlois hope to turns heads in the hurdles. Scarborough (which won the Westbrook-Gorham Rotary race earlier this week) will be very formidable in the league and should be in line for a high finish at states.

On the girls’ side, the Red Storm have won four of the past five Class A titles and have a great shot to do it again. Returning state meet scorers include Kirk (first in the 200, third in the 100, part of a champion 1,600 relay and third in the 400 relay), Chick (1,600 relay), Emily Tolman (runner-up in the 400, fourth in the long jump, fifth in the 200, a member of the 1,600 relay champion), Scheemaker, Scarborough’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year (who, a year ago, was runner-up in the long jump, placed third in the triple jump and was a part of a third-place 400 relay), Andrea Tolman (third in the pole vault, third in the 400 relay and first in the 1,600 relay) and Booth-Howe (fourth in the javelin). There’s more. In the sprints, Armishaw, Purcell and freshmen Natalie Foster and Morgan Rodway will be heard from. Dugas and O’Connor add distance depth. Alofs and Rogers will be a factors in the throws. Bailey and Ostrowski pole vault. Freshman Lindsay Hague runs middle distance. This is a veritable all-star team with amazing depth. The Red Storm will blanket the events and score in most of them. Come June, another championship celebration is distinctly possible.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Craig McDonald (11th year)

2010 Results: 13-2 (Lost 4-1 to Windham in Western Class A Final)

Top returning players: Dennis Liu (Senior), Andrew Talbot (Senior), Alex Henny (Junior)

Pivotal matches: April 25 @ Windham, May 2 @ Bonny Eagle, May 23 @ Kennebunk

Coach’s comment: “With only three returning starters this year, our success will depend on how quickly the new starters develop and progress during the season. The strength of our team this year should be our depth and doubles play.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: After three consecutive fruitless trips to the regional final, Scarborough might have to take a step back after being hard hit by graduation, but it isn’t wise to write this group off. Henny (a second-team SMAA all-star in 2010), Liu and Talbot appear to be the singles options (the ladder wasn’t complete at press time). Juniors Joe Corbeau, J.D. Herman, Colin Hulst and Zach Pelczar are also in the mix for positions. There will be a learning curve for this team, but with the quality of athlete on the roster, the Red Storm should be able to hold their own in a region that appears to be without a consensus favorite. If Scarborough develops as hoped, it should be able to extend its postseason streak to seven years.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Lincoln MacIsaac (fourth year)

2010 Results: 10-4 (Lost 4-1 to Portland in Western Class A semifinals)

Top returning players: Christina Bilodeau (Senior), Bridget Hicks (Senior), Courtney Hughes (Senior), Jenna Posey (Senior), Racheal Webber (Junior)

Pivotal matches: May 4 (H) CHEVERUS, May 9 (H) MCAULEY, May 11 @ Gorham

Coach’s comment: “We’re shaping up to be a very good team. We’ve gotten some good athletes to come out for the team. We hope to make it into the playoffs. We have a chance to make a deep push.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough has averaged 11 victories over the past three seasons and has reached the semifinals twice. This year’s team should be able to keep the wins coming and be a force in the playoffs. Posey will play first singles. Webber is in the second spot. Hughes will play No. 3. Junior Fernanda Belboni, an exchange student from Brazil, might find herself in a singles spot before all is said and done. Bilodeau, sophomore Mikeala Gove, Hicks and sophomore Ella Mahoney, along with senior Laura Flewelling (who played as a freshman) are in the hunt for doubles positions. The Red Storm have reason to believe that they can hang with preseason favorites Gorham (the defending regional champion) and McAuley. By season’s end, Scarborough should once again flaunt an impressive record and be highly seeded. This might be the year that sees the Red Storm go on to the regional final. Or even farther.

               Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net and followed on Twitter @foresports

Junior Mo Hannan will be a major presence for the Scarborough softball team on the mound, in the field and at the plate.

Junior John Blaisdell is a top returning scorer for the defending champion Red Storm.

Senior Nate Hopkins is a beast in the faceoff circle for the Red Storm and wields a powerful shot as well.

John Wheeler was a revelation as a freshman and should continue his dominant ways this spring.

Senior Mark Pearson will make life difficult for the opposition this year.

Senior Brett Leighton is the main man in goal for the Red Storm this season.

Junior Kelsey Howard will be a top scoring threat this spring.

Senior Jill Deering is a top defender for Scarborough in its quest for a repeat title.

Junior Nicole Kirk is one of the state’s finest sprinters. She aims for more glory in 2011.

Sidebar Elements


Scarborough’s lacrosse program had no peer a year ago as both the girls (in undefeated fashion)

and the boys, in a bit of a surprise, became the best in all of Class A. Both teams are seeking repeats in 2011.

More photos below.

Scarborough Spring Schedules

(For updated game times, visit http://www.scarborough.k12.me.us/high/athletics/index.html)

BASEBALL

Sat., April 23 H CHEVERUS

Tues., April 26 @ Kennebunk

Thurs., April 28 H WINDHAM

Fri.,. April 29 H TA

Tues., May 3 @ Sanford

Thurs., May 5 H MASSABESIC

Sat., May 7 @ Gorham

Thurs., May 12 H NOBLE

Sat., May 14 @ SP

Tues., May 17 @ Bonny Eagle

Thurs., May 19 @ Marshwood

Sat., May 21 H BIDDEFORD

Tues., May 24 H WESTBROOK

Thurs., May 26 H DEERING

Sat., May 28 @ Cheverus

Tues., May 31 @ Portland

SOFTBALL

Sat., April 23 H WESTBROOK

Mon., April 25 @ Windham

Wed., April 27 H NOBLE

Fri., April 29 @ Marshwood

Mon., May 2 H GORHAM

Wed., May 4 @ Massabesic

Sat., May 7 H TA

Wed., May 11 @ Biddeford

Fri., May 13 H PORTLAND

Mon., May 16 @ SP

Wed., May 18 H CHEVERUS

Fri., May 20 @ Bonny Eagle

Mon., May 23 H MCAULEY

Wed., May 25 @ Sanford

Fri., May 27 H KENNEBUNK

Sat., May 28 @ Deering

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Sat., April 23 @ Cheverus

Wed., April 27 H NOBLE

Sat., April 30 H FALMOUTH

Wed., May 4 H TA

Sat., May 7 @ Kennebunk

Wed., May 11 @ Bonny Eagle

Sat., May 14 @ NYA

Wed., May 18 H WINDHAM

Sat., May 21 @ Gorham

Wed., May 25 @ Massabesic

Wed., June 1 H PORTLAND

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Mon., April 25 @ Sanford

Thurs., April 28 H PORTLAND

Sat., April 30 H YARMOUTH

Mon., May 2 @ Deering

Mon., May 9 @ Massabesic

Thurs., May 12 H CHEVERUS

Sat., May 14 @ Mt. Ararat

Mon., May 16 H TA

Thurs., May 19 @ Gorham

Mon., May 23 H MARSHWOOD

Thurs., May 26 H KENNEBUNK

Tues., May 31 @ Westbrook

BOYS’ OUTDOOR TRACK

Mon.., April 25 H DEER, KBUNK, MARSH

Tues., May 3 @ Gorham

Wed., May 11 @ Marshwood

Tues., May 17 @ Marshwood (BE, Chev)

Fri., May 20 H CHEV, DEER, PORT, SP

Sat., May 28 Southwesterns

Sat., June 4 CLASS A STATE MEET

GIRLS’ OUTDOOR TRACK

Tues., April 26 @ Kennebunk

Tues., May 3 @ Gorham

Mon., May 9 H BIDD, MARSH, MCA, PORT

Mon., May 16 @ BE (Chev, Marsh)

Fri., May 20 H CHEV, DEER, MCA, PORT, SP

Sat., May 28 @ Southwesterns

Sat., June 4 CLASS A STATE MEET

BOYS’ TENNIS

Mon., April 25 @ Windham

Wed., April 27 H MARSHWOOD

Fri., April 29 H TA

Mon., May 2 @ Bonny Eagle

Wed., May 4 @ Massabesic

Fri., May 6 H DEERING

Wed., May 11 H GORHAM

Fri., May 13 H BIDDEFORD

Mon., May 16 @ SP

Wed., May 18 H PORTLAND

Fri., May 20 @ Westbrook

Mon., May 23 @ Kennebunk

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Mon., April 25 H WINDHAM

Wed., April 27 @ Marshwood

Fri., April 29 @ Sanford

Tues., May 3 H MASSABESIC

Wed., May 4 H CHEVERUS

Fri., May 6 @ Deering

Mon., May 9 H MCAULEY

Wed., May 11 @ Gorham

Fri., May 13 @ Biddeford

Mon., May 16 H SP

Wed., May 18 @ Portland

Mon., May 23 H KENNEBUNK

0
Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.