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- The Forecaster
BEN BRAGG, Senior-Hockey
* Senior All-Star
To win a hockey championship, you have to have a steady, confident goalie and Bragg was just that as he calmly and adroitly backstopped the Red Storm to their first-ever Class A title.
Bragg’s road to becoming the state’s best goalkeeper wasn’t always smooth. He started playing the position at the age of 10 and took to it right away, but after making the varsity team as a freshman, he had to bide his time behind Dalton Finley before becoming the full-time goalie as a junior, a season which saw him become a second-team all-star.
Scarborough, which lost to Falmouth in the regional final in both 2013 and 2014, weren’t expected to contend for a championship this winter, but Bragg made sure it happened.
Bragg saved 94.1 percent of the shots he saw this winter and had a 1.33 goals against average. Highlights included 11 saves in a win over Lawrence/Skowhegan, 21 saves in a loss to Biddeford, 15 saves in a shutout win over Portland/Deering, 18 saves in a win over Edward Little, 26 saves in a tie versus Biddeford, 32 saves in a tie versus Cheverus, 27 saves in a win over Falmouth and 15 saves in a victory over Thornton Academy.
Bragg was even better in the playoffs. Scarborough survived Biddeford in overtime in the quarterfinals, as Bragg made 21 saves. The Red Storm then avenged their playoff losses to Falmouth with a one-goal semifinal win, thanks in part to Bragg’s 28 saves. He stopped 25 Cheverus shots in the regional final as Scarborough finally advanced past that round. Then, in the state final versus potent St. Dom’s, Bragg gave up an early goal, but didn’t surrender another, as his 32 saves helped the Red Storm stay alive until Sean McGovern scored in the second overtime to clinch the title.
“We had plenty of motivation in the playoffs,” Bragg said. “Beating Falmouth was the confidence booster we needed. I was never nervous at states. I just wanted to do my best. I’m very competitive. I wanted to reach my full potential.”
Bragg also played with the Junior Pirates. He’s planning to play juniors hockey in either Massachusetts or New York with an eye on playing in college at the Division III level.
After his triumphant senior season, the sky is the limit. Ben Bragg, Scarborough’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, faced enormous pressure this season, but sparkled throughout.
Coach Norm Gagne’s comment: “I thought when Ben was a freshman that he had the tools to be an outstanding goalie, he just lacked strength and confidence. He did well his junior year, but I still think he had his doubts. He really became a leader this year. He matured. He was great in the big games. We wouldn’t have won it without him. His athleticism showed in the state game. He was so fluid. Nothing bothered him.”
2013-14: Jake Gross (hockey)
2012-13: Jerry Gravel (swimming)
2011-12: Alec James (track)
2010-11: Mike Cyr (wrestling)
2009-10: Robby Gravel (swimming)
2008-09: Brad Nakanishi (track)
2007-08: Chris Hughes (basketball)
2006-07: Brent Mayo (hockey)
2005-06: Doug Endrizzi (swimming)
2004-05: Andrew Rogers (swimming)
2003-04: Mike Walker (basketball)
2002-03: Ryan Colpitts (basketball)
2001-02: Sean Flaherty (swimming)
SAMI SHOEBOTTOM, Sophomore-Hockey
* West Region all-star
Shoebottom has quite the hockey family pedigree and she hasn’t wasted any time making a special name for herself at the high school level, producing a prolific sophomore campaign.
Shoebottom is the daughter of Bruce Shoebottom, a one-time Maine Mariner and Boston Bruin and not surprisingly, she took up hockey at an early age. While she also played soccer and lacrosse, hockey came first and Shoebottom debuted as an immediate star, helping Scarborough go undefeated and win the state title her freshman season.
Shoebottom was named to the all-star first-team and produced more memories as a sophomore, tallying 46 goals and adding 15 assists as Scarborough finished second in the West Region. The Red Storm got to the regional final, but this time fell short, losing to Falmouth.
“It was a lot of fun this season,” said Shoebottom. “It was a bummer not to win states, but we defied the odds of what we were expected to do.”
Shoebottom credits her father and his former teammates for motivating her. She plays travel hockey in Massachusetts on the weekends, wants to win another state title or two before graduating, then hopes to play in college at the Division I level.
Her talent is undeniable and her determination to excel is obvious. Sami Shoebottom, Scarborough’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year, is already one of the finest girls’ hockey players we’ve seen. She’s still got plenty of greatness and triumph to come.
Coach Caitlin Cashman’s comment: “Sami really came out of her shell this season and stepped up in more ways than one. She was a power forward who would do anything to get the puck in the net. She’s a tough player. Sometimes, finesse players are a little scared to mix it up in the corners or in front of the net, but Sami thrives on that, which makes her such a threat on the ice. She loves the game, loves her teammates and would do anything to make our team successful. She’s the type of kid any coach is lucky to have.“
2013-14: Ashley Briggs (basketball)
2012-13: Devan Kane (hockey)
2011-12: Emily Tolman (track)
2010-11: Emilia Scheemaker (track)
2009-10: Laura Flewelling (swimming)
2008-09: Reegan Brackett (basketball)
2007-08: Nicole Harmon (swimming)
2006-07: Kaitlynn Saldanha (track)
2005-06: Erica Jesseman (track)
2004-05: Jenn Flaherty (swimming)
2003-04: Sarah Mills (hockey)
2002-03: Jenn Flaherty (swimming)
2001-02: Mandi Rapisardi (basketball)