Scarborough Red Storm Winter Sports Preview

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Scarborough’s winter athletic program is daunting. The girls’ basketball team won its first ever state championship a year ago. After being decimated by graduation, the Red Storm won’t be as highly touted, but will be in the mix. The boys’ team turned the corner a year ago and should be a playoff contender. Don’t sleep on the boys’ hockey squad. They’ll be very dangerous by February. The girls’ team could be one of the best in the state. Both track teams are loaded and dangerous. Swimming welcomes a new coach and both squads will be among the best in the state. Wrestling has some talent and the school has a varsity ski program for the first time.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

COACH: Joe Johnson (third year)

2009-10 Record: 11-8 (Lost, 49-34, to Cheverus in Western Class A quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Zach Bean (Senior), Kyle Kelley (Senior), Peter Moore (Senior), Kevin Philbrick (Senior), Michael Wofford (Senior), Ben Wessel (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 17 (H) DEERING, Jan. 4 @ Westbrook, Jan. 11 (H) SOUTH PORTLAND, Jan. 13 @ TA, Jan. 15 @ Cheverus, Jan. 25 @ Windham, Feb. 3 (H) PORTLAND, Feb. 8 (H) TA

COACH’S COMMENT: “We hope to build on last year. We made a nice run at the end. The kids remember the tough circumstances we had with Cheverus. Last year’s behind us. We want to be the first Scarborough boys’ team to win a Class A playoff game. I think we’ll compete. I think we’re better and deeper than last year. It’s all up to the seniors. That’s what we’ve preached. Their leadership will take us to the next level.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough hasn’t won a playoff game at any level in a quarter-century, but this could be the year. The Red Storm could very well be a sleeper in a not overly deep Western Class A. A year ago, Scarborough finally got to the Expo, but had its party ruined when just hours before tip time, Cheverus standout Indiana Faithfull (who had earlier been ruled to have used up his eligibility) was reinstated and the ensuing surreal scene made the Red Storm seem like an afterthought. That’s in the past now and after gaining some big-time confidence behind last year’s strong finish, Scarborough has plenty of reasons for optimism in 2010-11. It got off to a great start Friday with a 42-23 win at Gorham. Bean (an honorable mention all-star a year ago after finishing 10th in the league with a 12.9 points per game average and fifth in rebounding, 7.1) could be one of the best players in the league this winter. He opened with 16 points. Kelley, Moore and Wofford will also be heard from down low, while Wessel can score from the perimeter. Philbrick (11th in assists last year, 2.6 per contest) handles the point guard duties. Senior Ryan Kennedy, a transfer from South Portland, and sophomore Dillon Russo provide backcourt depth. Juniors Kolbey Adams and Connor McCann will seem ample minutes in the frontcourt. The Red Storm need to score more this year (they were eighth in the league in offense in 2009-10). If they do, they’ll have enough pieces in place to compete with just about every team in the SMAA. Scarborough has a strong inside and outside game and will be solid on the defensive end. This squad won’t be content making the playoffs. They want to steal some headlines this time. They have a great shot to do so.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

COACH: Jim Seavey (fifth year)

2009-10 Record: 22-0 (Beat Skowhegan, 52-32, to win first Class A state championship)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Hannah Freeman (Senior), Brittany Bona (Junior), Mo Hannan (Junior), Taylor LeBorgne (Sophomore), Maria Philbrick (Sophomore), Ashley Ronzo (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 17 @ Deering, Dec. 23 (H) BIDDEFORD, Jan. 7 @ McAuley, Jan. 11 @ South Portland, Jan. 13 (H) THORNTON ACADEMY, Jan. 15 (H) CHEVERUS, Jan. 21 @ Sanford, Feb. 8 @ Thornton Academy

COACH’S COMMENT: “We haven’t fallen off the edge of the earth. We’ll be competitive and get better. We’re inexperienced at the varsity level, but we’re athletic and the kids work hard. If we can find a way into the tournament, anything can happen. We don’t have a lot of size. We’ll have to use our athleticism and play the style we’ve always used. We’ll be solid fundamentally. There’s no pressure on us this year. It’s not a bad thing to be the underdog.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: A year after producing the finest season in program history, highlighted by a pair of stirring come-from-behind wins over two-time defending champion Deering, then culminated by a relative easy victory over Skowhegan in the state final, the Red Storm have a vastly different look in 2010-11. Not only did six standout seniors graduate (including 2010 Miss Maine Basketball, Christy Manning), but junior Carly Rogers, who was pegged as the top returner, blew out her knee and won’t be available this winter. Even without Manning, Heather Carrier, Jenn Colpitts, clutch-shooting Sarah Moody, Ellie Morin and Brittany Ross, the immediate future holds promise. Those who think Scarborough will struggle will be in for an unpleasant surprise, however. There is plenty of raw talent on this roster and the Red Storm will only get better as the season progresses. Scarborough did see its 22-game win streak end with a 59-42 home loss to talented Gorham in the season opener. The bright side of the setback was the debut of freshman Alisha Starbird, who led the Red Storm with 13 points. She’ll become an immediate factor at the forward position. Scarborough is led inside by Bona, who had 12 points in the opening game. She stands 6-foot-2. Sophomore Courtney Alofs can also be counted on to battle down low. The Red Storm have several promising guards as well. Hannan, who missed almost all of the title season with injury, is healthy and will produce offense. Freeman (a scorer), LeBorgne (a solid defender), Philbrick (nine points versus Gorham), Ronzo and senior Dani Foster will all be difficult for the opposition to contend with. Scarborough will have to go about winning games differently this winter, but ultimately, win games it will (an above .500 mark would make it a program record-tying four straight victorious seasons). Seavey’s pressure defense will wreak havoc and allow this squad to hit its stride offensively. By the end of the year, the Red Storm will be able to go toe-to-toe with everyone but perhaps the elite city teams. Look for the state champs to get back to the Expo and perhaps beyond.

BOYS’ HOCKEY

COACH: Norm Gagne (second year)

2009-10 Record: 6-11-2 (Lost, 5-2, to Biddeford in Western Class A quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Connor Gullifer (Senior), Hunter Lynch (Senior), Brian McKeown (Senior), Zach Pettingill (Senior), Doug Pitts (Senior), Andrew Talbot (Senior), Jordan Bathe (Junior), Ryan Johnston (Junior), Nick Bagley (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 16 (H) TA, Dec. 17 @ Biddeford, Jan. 6 @ Portland, Jan. 15 @ Falmouth, Jan. 17 (H) BIDDEFORD, Jan. 22 @ TA, Jan. 27 (H) SP, Feb. 3 (H) FALMOUTH, Feb. 9 @ Lewiston, Feb. 19 @ SP, Feb. 21 (H) PORTLAND

COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m pleased with what we have and that the kids are working hard. It’s a young group. We have seniors, but with little varsity experience. As the season goes on, I think we’ll get better. Our goal is to compete hard every night. There’s a lot of parity. We’ll be fighting for a spot. We want to make the playoffs and go deep. We have that type of team..”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough has made the postseason eight years running and looks to extend that streak this winter. Six key seniors graduated and while there is talent on the roster, it needs time to evolve. The top line of Lynch, McKeown and Pettingill will be potent. Bagley, Bathe and new sophomore Jack Rousselle will also threaten to score. On defense, Gullifer, Johnston and Talbot hold the fort in front of Pitts. It might take the Red Storm a little while to get up to speed, but this will be a very dangerous team by late February. If Scarborough can qualify for the playoffs, the rest of Western A would be well advised to watch out.

GIRLS’ HOCKEY

COACH: Catilin Cashman (second year)

2009-10 Results: 12-7 (Lost, 3-2, to Falmouth in West Region semifinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Spencer Shoebottom (Senior), Michaela Price (Junior), Abby Rutt (Junior), Shannon Hicks (Sophomore), Sarah Martens (Sophomore), Sam Nablo (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 16 @ Falmouth, Dec. 18 (H) PORTLAND, Jan. 8 (H) CHEVERUS, Jan. 10 @ Biddeford, Jan. 15 @ York, Jan. 17 @ Portland, Jan. 22 (H) GREELY, Jan. 24 (H) ST. DOM’S, Feb. 1 (H) YORK, Feb. 5 @ St. Dom’s

COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m very happy with the team. We’ll be very competitive. I think we’re young, but extremely hard working and disciplined. I want to focus on teamwork and moving the puck. My goal is to make it past the semifinals this year. Hopefully it will all work out for us.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough has had a very competitive program for several years and last year fell just one goal shy of the regional final. This year’s team could finish the job. The Red Storm started the 2010-11 campaign with a 2-1 home loss to Biddeford, but rallied to defeat Cape Elizabeth (7-3) and Gorham (5-0) and after tying Winslow, 1-1, ended defending state champion Cheverus’ 24-game win streak Saturday, 3-1. Thus far, Nablo, Rutt (a first-team all-star last winter) and Shoebottom have led the offensive charge. Martens, Price and freshmen Kristina Block and Rachel Wallace will do their share of scoring in the weeks to come. On defense, Nablo, Rutt and Shoebottom do their best to protect Hicks and freshman Devan Kane in goal. This team will only get better and needs to win as many games as it can before a brutal end-of-the-regular-season stretch, which includes a pair of games with preseason favorite St. Dom’s. Look for Scarborough to once again be one of the last teams standing. With a little luck, the Red Storm will get past the semifinals this time around.

INDOOR TRACK

BOYS’ COACH: Derek Veilleux (seventh year)

GIRLS’ COACH: Ron Kelly (15th year)

2009-10 Results:

(BOYS) 3rd @ Class A state meet

(GIRLS) Class A state champions (sixth in a row)

TOP RETURNING ATHLETES:

(BOYS) Zach Brown (Senior), Colin Cain (Senior), John Gonzalez (Senior), Tom Hague (Senior), Orin James (Senior), Joe Viola (Senior), Nick Morris (Junior), Robert Hall (Sophomore), Alec James (Sophomore), Ryan Jamison (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) , Abby Chick (Senior), Emelia Scheemaker (Senior), Samantha Armishaw (Junior), Kat Gadbois (Junior), Nicole Kirk (Junior), Andrea Tolman (Junior), Emily Tolman (Junior), Jessica Meader (Sophomore), Avery Pietras (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Bonny Eagle, Deering boys; Cheverus, Thornton Academy girls

COACH VEILLEUX’S COMMENT: “We have a strong team returning this year, along with the addition of a few new key athletes and another strong freshman class. Our team is a good mix of sprinters, distance runners, jumpers and throwers. We need to develop the long jump and triple jumps to cover all the events. We need to stay healthy to achieve our goals, but we have a lot of athletes who have state meet experience, which should help in the championship meets. Our goal will be to go undefeated in the SMAA and win the conference title and Class A state meet. We’re looking forward to seeing what this group can do over the course of the season. We have the opportunity to do some big things.”

COACH KELLY’S COMMENT: “We’ll again battle for top honors. A strong nucleus returns. We have high expectations for the freshman class. Our strengths will be the relays, sprints, hurdles, pole vault, 400, 800 and jumps.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough hopes to sweep the Class A track titles for the second time in three seasons.

The boys cover most events nicely. Gonzalez was runner-up in the 55 at last year’s state meet. Viola (fifth in the 400), Alec James (seventh in the pole vault) and Orin James (tied for seventh in the high jump) also scored last winter. Joining Gonzalez in the sprints will be Cain and Jamison. The middle distance features Viola and senior Scott Merrill. Brown, Hague, Hall and Morris front a strong distance contingent. Orin James will threaten in the high jump, hurdles and pole vault. Junior Logan Mars could emerge as a scorer in the shot put. Depth and athleticism will be the Red Storm’s strength as they figure to be a top team in the SMAA. By February, this team will be primed for a state championship run. It won’t be easy, but Scarborough could find a way to get it done.

On the girls’ side, getting it done has been a tradition for six years now. A lucky seventh championship could be in the offing. Scheemaker is an elite jumper, placing runner-up in the triple jump and third in the long jump a year ago. She’s joined by Emily Tolman (fourth in the long jump in 2010). Andrea Tolman was the third-best pole vaulter in Class A a year ago. She’s joined by junior Catherine Bailey. On the track side, Kirk leads the way. She came in third in the 55 and fifth in the 200 last winter. Distance will be a strength as Emily Tolman was fourth in the 800 and Chick sixth last season. Armishaw, Gadbois, Meader and Pietras also will compete in the longer races. Scheemaker could score in the hurdles. Several newer athletes are eager to make a mark as well, making it quite likely the Red Storm will once again have no peer.

SWIMMING

COACH: Eric French (first year)

2009-10 Results:

(BOYS) 2nd @ Class A state meet

(GIRLS) 2nd @ Class A state meet

TOP RETURNING SWIMMERS:

(BOYS) John Breggia (Senior), Jack Clark (Senior), Mark Endrizzi (Senior), Martin Schelasin (Senior), Andrew Doran (Junior), Dan Ornstein (Sophomore), Karsten Schelasin (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Maya Glab (Senior), Colleen L’Heureux (Senior), Alison Reynolds (Senior), Hannah Yerxa (Senior), Dayna Ankermann (Junior), Samantha Couillard (Junior), Amita Gelinas (Junior)

TOP FOES: Cape Elizabeth, Cheverus, Deering, Greely

COACH’S COMMENT: “Overall, I believe this will be a dogfight type year. With the 5P system (proper preparation prevents poor performance), we can be right in the mix. Our boys’ team has a shot at doing well with dual meets, as well as Southwesterns. We’ll look to be a top five finisher at states as we lost some top performers to club swimming and graduation. We’ll make sure with our work ethic that we rise to the occasion. Our girls’ team is very young with a large core of divers. We have some veterans that will be key in molding us into a state championship-caliber group. I’m very optimistic that we might just surprise this year.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough welcomes its third coach in as many years in French, a swimmer at South Portland, longtime official and assistant coach. He takes over a program that hopes to contend for top honors.

The boys will miss the dominant Gravel brothers, who have either graduated or returned to club swimming, but the cupboard isn’t bare. Endrizzi was part of a state champion medley relay team last winter and also placed seventh in the 100 free and eighth in the 50 free. Clark is a top distance freestyler. He was eighth in the 500 free and 10th in the 200 free last winter. Breggia (tied for 14th in the breaststroke) and Doran (16th in the butterfly) also scored a year ago. They’re joined by Karsten Schelasin (distance freestyle), Martin Schelasin (sprint freestyle) and Ornstein (diving). Several newcomers, including junior Robert Kemmler, a German exchange student who swims the breaststroke, sophomore Jonathan Alas (diving) and freshmen Nate Caldwell (sprint freestyle), Andrew Chase (50 free and breaststroke) and Noah Paradis (breaststroke, backstroke) will be heard from as well. Look for the Red Storm to be among the best teams in the conference and state.

On the girls’ side, the loss of multiple state champion Laura Flewelling will hurt, but others will step up. Top returners include Couillard (runner-up in the breaststroke and seventh in the IM), Ankermann (sixth in the 100 free and sixth in the backstroke), Glab (10th in the 500 free, 11th in the 200 free), Reynolds (11th in the breaststroke and 13th in the fly) and Yerxa (15th in diving). L’Heureux and Gelinas add experience and freshmen Katy Benemen (sprints), Hallie O’Donnell (diving), Anya Pakulski (diving) and Mikhayla Welsch (distance freestyle) look to make an immediate splash. The diving numbers will help in the long run as Scarborough makes a run at the top spot. Don’t be surprised if the Red Storm get there.

SKIING

COACH: Kurt Jepson (first year)

FIRST YEAR PROGRAM

SKIERS TO WATCH:

(BOYS) Dave Bibeau (Senior), Alex Colville (Senior)

(GIRLS) Erica Meader (Senior), Shelby Bernier (Junior), Meghan McAlary (Junior), Madie Palmer (Junior)

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have 19 kids, 11 boys and eight girls. Ten are freshmen. We’re still getting established. The girls won the SMAA giant slalom last year. We’ll only be stronger this year. We’re looking to build on our middle school pipeline in the future.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough now officially has an Alpine and Nordic ski program and it probably won’t be long before the Red Storm excel in that sport like they do seemingly in every other. The squad is coached by Jepson, who skied at Caribou and at Bates and who started this program at the club level. The majority of the team is Alpine skiers. The boys feature Bibeau and Colville. The girls are led by Bernier (who was 56th in the Class A giant slalom a year ago), McAlary, Meader and Palmer. Look for this program to come of age quickly and be a factor going forward.

WRESTLING

COACH: Phil Hamilton (fifth year)

2009-10 Results: 16th @ Class A state meet

TOP WRESTLERS: Mike Cyr (Senior), Chris Muth (Senior), Pannawat Phijarnwanit (Senior), Travis Profit (Junior), Brandon O’Roak (Sophomore)

COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re led this year by 2009 state placer Mike Cyr and fellow senior Pannawat Phijarnwanit. They’ll look to pick up where they left off. We also feature several hungry and tough freshmen and sophomores.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough went 7-10 last season and could be improved this winter. The top returner is Cyr, who made it to the consolation finals of the 189-pound weight class. Coming off a Fall Male Athlete of the Year performance in football, Cyr is up to 215 pounds this season and will make a run at a state crown. Phijarnwanit (125) is also highly touted. Muth (140), O’Roak (145) and Profit (171 or 189) will also be heard from. The Red Storm hope to fill as many weight classes as possible, be competitive in the regular season and produce some memories at regionals and states. Those goals are realistic.

Senior Zach Bean and the Scarborough boys’ basketball team have high hopes for 2010-11.

Sophomore Nick Bagley is an up and coming star for a Scarborough boys’ hockey team which could be very dangerous by year’s end.

Senior Hunter Lynch delivers plenty of scoring punch.

Senior Brian McKeown is another explosive player to watch.

Junior Abby Rutt is recognized as one of the finest girls’ hockey players in the state.

Junior Michaela Price brings depth and skill to one of the best teams around.

Sophomore Sarah Martens is becoming a household name for the Red Storm.

Junior Emily Tolman is a top hurdler for a Scarborough squad which seeks to repeat as Class A state champion.

Sidebar Elements


For the first time ever, the Scarborough girls’ basketball team found itself on top of the world last winter. The new-look Red Storm hope to keep the good times rolling this season.

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.