Scarborough Red Storm Winter Sports Preview

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BOYS’ BASKETBALL

COACH: Tony DiBiase (third year, 22-17 overall record)

2013-14 record: 9-10 (Lost, 55-50, to Cheverus in Western A preliminary round)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Ian Corey (Senior), Sam Freeman (Senior), Milani Hicks (Senior), Nate Wessel (Senior), Jake Gardner (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 9 WESTBROOK, Dec. 23 GORHAM, Dec. 27 @ South Portland, Jan. 6 SOUTH PORTLAND, Jan. 8 @ Marshwood, Jan. 16 @ Bonny Eagle, Jan. 20 PORTLAND, Jan. 23 @ Deering, Jan. 27 CHEVERUS

COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m optimistic we’ll have a good season. In the preseason, we’ve had some good moments and some moments we need to improve on. We have three starters back. They’re a solid group of quality kids. We have good depth. Our bench will be good. We’ll play up-tempo. If we get production down low, we’ll be competitive with most teams. It’s a year where a lot of teams will compete. We want to make the tournament and hopefully peak toward the end of January and into February.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Once again, Scarborough is undersized, but once again, the Red Storm will give their all every night out and figures to find their way to the tournament. Possibly for a long stay. Scarborough can do a lot of things offensively, will battle on the defensive side of the ball and will be a fun team to watch. The top returner is Hicks, a guard and an SMAA honorable mention all-star and All-Rookie team member last winter after finishing 14th in scoring (14.6 points per game), 18th in rebounds (6.0), 15th in assists (3,0) and fourth in steals (3.4). Hicks also can hit free throws (77.5 percent a year ago). Wessel was also an honorable mention all-star and a member of the All-Rookie team a year ago after placing fifth in scoring (16.8) and sixth in rebounds (7.8) despite standing just 5-feet-11. Freeman will run the point, but he has long range ability (making nearly two 3-pointers a contest last season). Corey will add leadership, while Gardner stands 6-feet-6 and will look to make an impact down low. Junior forward Andrew Porada and junior guard Mitchell Wedge hope to see playing time as well. Like the past two seasons of the DiBiase Era, this team will live and die by the 3, but this winter, Gardner’s size can’t be overlooked. This squad should hold its own against everyone in a balanced league and won’t be content just making the playoffs this time around. Scarborough might just be a darkhorse come tournament time.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

COACH: Mike Giordano (second year)

2013-14 record: 7-12 (Lost, 49-36, to Deering in Western A preliminary round)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Bailey Adams (Senior), Ashley Briggs (Senior), Brooke Malone (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 12 WINDHAM, Dec. 23 @ Gorham, Jan. 2 THORNTON ACADEMY, Jan. 6 @ South Portland, Jan. 13 @ McAuley, Jan. 20 @ Portland, Jan. 23 DEERING, Jan. 27 @ Cheverus, Feb. 3 @ Thornton Academy, Feb. 5 SOUTH PORTLAND

COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re progressing like we should. I’m very confident with our starting group. We’re figuring out our rotations and our bench..There are a lot of minutes to be had. Ashley, Bailey and Sam (Sparda) are really good leaders. I hope that rubs off on the younger kids. We’d like to fit in after the top four teams. I’d like to think we could be fifth and go right to the quarterfinals. There’s a lot of good teams out there. It will be a fun year.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough got to the playoffs last winter and should be very competitive in a balanced league. The Red Storm have some accomplished senior leaders and a strong supporting cast which has the potential to win a lot of games in the weeks to come. Leading the team will be reigning Winter Female Athlete of the Year Briggs, a first-team all-star and All-Defensive team member last year, who will attend and play at Saint Anselm College next winter. First, she hopes to build on her strong junior campaign, which saw her average 13.4 points (eighth in the SMAA) and 3.9 assists (tied for second). She also was fourth in free throw percentage and tied for 10th in made 3-pointers. All that was in a season when she wasn’t 100 percent physically. Look for big things from Briggs. Adams too will play a key role, alternating at point and shooting guard with Briggs. Adams tied Briggs for second in the league in assists last winter. She was 16th in scoring (10.4) and made nearly one 3-pointer per contest. Sparda, who didn’t play last winter due to injury, will give the squad a boost with her athleticism down low. She’s joined by Malone, an SMAA All-Rookie team selection last winter, who rebounds tenaciously (8.1 a game in 2013-14, which tied her for fourth in the league) and can make free throws (70 percent). Freshman Sophie Glidden is another forward to watch and freshman guard Natalie Taylor could quickly become a household name. Scarborough is starting in a better place this season (Giordano took over the program without much prep time last year) and has a lot of promise. The Red Storm should compete with most teams in the league and could spring an upset or two along the way. This is a squad that might just be very dangerous by tournament time.

BOYS’ HOCKEY

COACH: Norm Gagne (sixth year, 61-34-5 overall record)

2013-14 record: 14-6-1 (Lost, 5-2, to eventual state champion Falmouth in Western A Final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Ben Bragg (Senior), Sean McGovern (Senior), Kevin Smith (Senior), Jack Callahan (Junior), Matt Caron (Junior), Sean McDonald (Junior), Cam Nigro (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES:Dec. 10 @ St. Dom’s, Dec. 17 BIDDEFORD, Jan. 6 @ Biddeford, Jan. 10 @ Falmouth, Jan. 19 @ Lewiston, Jan. 24 CAPE ELIZABETH, Feb. 7 CHEVERUS, Feb. 11 FALMOUTH, Feb. 19 @ Cheverus

COACH’S COMMENT: “We’ve very young. We graduated almost all of our scoring and some of our better defensemen. We have seven sophomores who will have to play big roles. They’ll have to pick up the slack for us to be successful. They’re talented, but it will take awhile. We’re emphasizing defense right now. We play one of the toughest schedules. We hope to come on strong at the end at do some damage in the playoffs. With our leadership, I think we’ll be that team at the end.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: After being one of the top teams in Western A for several years running, but falling agonizingly shy of the big prize, Scarborough is expected to take a step back this fall, but it’s never wise to write off the Red Storm. There are still many talented players on the roster and several newcomers are eager to make a name for themselves. This team will be anchored by an experienced goalie in Bragg, a second-team all-star a year ago. He has a veteran corps of defensemen in front of him in Callahan, McDonald and Smith. Sophomores Eric Murray and Justin Perry, along with freshman Eric Quirk, will also see time protecting the defensive zone. The offense is largely unproven, but that unit will dramatically improve in the games to come. Caron, McGovern and Nigro all have experience and former junior varsity team members, sophomores Skylar Pettingill and Cam Smith, hope to play a key role. Quirk could also see time at center. Scarborough’s schedule does it no favors and while the Red Storm might have trouble extending their streak of winning seasons to four, they only care about making the playoffs, which they should manage to do. This time around, there will be no pressure on the program in the postseason, which means they just might sneak up and spring an upset which would make for a happy ending to a transitional campaign.

GIRLS’ HOCKEY

COACH: Caitlin Cashman (sixth year, 77-18-4 overall record, one state championship)

2013-14 results: 21-0 (Beat Lewiston, 3-1, to win state championship)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Kristen Murray (Senior), Lily Nygren (Sophomore), Sami Shoebottom (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Dec. 13 GREELY, Jan. 6 FALMOUTH, Jan. 17 @ Greely, Jan. 19 @ Lewiston, Jan. 24 CAPEFLETE, Jan. 28 @ Falmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “This season, we want to be that team that can outwork and outhustle every team until the final buzzer goes off. We have a young team  and I think many people have written us off, which is okay, it gives us the opportunity to show people Scarborough is about the entire team, not one player and not one line.  I can honestly say the girls I have this season are the most hardworking, dedicated and determined players I’ve coached. There’s something different about them. They want to learn, they have fantastic attitudes, they’re competitive and hungry and they want to be successful on their own terms. We’re a pretty quick team this season, so we will use our speed all over the ice and especially in our forecheck. With our attitude, speed and work ethic, we’re hopeful of what this season can be.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough overcame several years of close calls by leaving no doubt a year ago. The Red Storm lost a lot of talent, however, and things won’t come as easily this winter. That doesn’t mean Scarborough won’t be one of the final teams standing though. This is still a potentially special group, something the Red Storm have demonstrated to date, defeating York (6-1), Gorham/Bonny Eagle (5-2) and Capeflete (2-1, in an overtime thriller), extending their win streak to 24 games. This year the offense will be led by Shoebottom, who had an excellent freshman campaign (being named a first-team all-star), and Murray, last seen delivering the state championship winning goal in the final seconds of the field hockey state final (Murray’s improbable flair for the dramatic continued when she scored in OT to beat Capeflete Thursday). Meghan Doak is another scorer to watch. Freshmen Lucy Bogdanovich, Ivy DiBiase, Vinly Dorion and Lauren Topchik look to be this year’s Shoebottom and make a name for themselves, giving this squad even more depth on offense. Nygren, a second-team all-star a year ago, will join Murray on defense in front of new goalie Lucca Sterrer, who has the daunting task of replacing program legend Devan Kane. Perhaps the Red Storm aren’t a juggernaut this winter, but if all goes well, they might still end up at the top of the heap. Don’t bet against this group of determined girls.

INDOOR TRACK

BOYS’ COACH: Derek Veilleux (11th year, five state championships)

GIRLS’ COACH: Ron Kelly (19th year, nine state championships)

2013-14 results:

(BOYS) Class A state champions (fourth in a row)

(GIRLS) 8th @ Class A state meet

TOP RETURNERS:

(BOYS) Jacob Bloom (Senior), Maxim Doiron (Senior), Lucas Foerster (Senior), Edward James (Senior), Colin Jones (Senior), Jerry Kenney (Senior), Hugh McSorley (Senior), Jacob Terry (Senior), Griffin Madden (Junior), Colin Tardiff (Junior), Sam Rusak (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Jenna Douglas (Senior), Mina Puig (Senior), Sarah Rinaldi (Senior), Aly Atherton (Junior), Emma Koukos (Junior), Laura Volan (Junior), Marisa Carbone (Sophomore), Edie Christian (Sophomore), Sydney Rusak (Sophomore), Ellen Shaw (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Cheverus, Deering, South Portland, Thornton Academy, Westbrook

COACH VEILLEUX’S COMMENT: “We return an experienced roster that includes 12 athletes who scored in individual events or relays at last year’s state meet. This experience will be key for the team once we get to the championship season. We also have a talented group of underclassmen, 38 sophomores and freshmen. The coaching staff is looking for them to have an impact as well. Our goal is to make progress each day and perform our best at the championship meets. If we can stay healthy, we should have a very strong winter.”

COACH KELLY’S COMMENT: “It’s a young team, but we should continue to improve. Relays, high jump, hurdles, distance and the 400 are areas where we have experience. As the young kids get experience, it will be a fun season to see what we can accomplish.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Another fun and triumphant season appears to be in store for both Scarborough indoor track squads.

The boys’ team has run roughshod over Class A for several years and has the requisite pieces to take home more hardware in February. The top returner is Terry, who won the two-mile a year ago. He’ll look to repeat, while also playing a key role on the 3,200 relay team. Bloom (fourth in the mile in 2013-14) and Tardiff are other distance runners to watch. Foerster, Fowler and Jones (third in the 800 last year) will be heard from in the middle distance. Kenney (third in the 400 and fifth in the 55 a year ago) is the top sprinter. Doiron (fifth in the 55 hurdles a year ago) and Madden are hurdlers to watch. On the field side, Rusak is coming off a third-place showing in the pole vault and was seventh in the high jump. He’ll look to score in both events again. Joining Rusak in the pole vault will be James (fourth last season). McSorley is a scoring threat in the shot put. He looks to improve on his third-place finish from last winter. This is a potential juggernaut again. The Red Storm will get tests from many foes in the regular season and at states, but they’re the team to beat until someone pulls the trick.

Expect the girls’ team to move up this year. Rinaldi is the top returner from states last winter, having placed second in the high jump. She’ll also run the hurdles. Atherton was third in the 400 and seventh in the high jump last season. She looks to move up even higher. Koukos came in fifth in the 800 last season and will lead the middle distance runners. Volan (sixth in the mile last winter) is a top distance threat, along with Carbone, Christian, Douglas and freshman Bethany Sholl. Freshman Gaby Panagakos could quickly emerge as a star in the sprints. Rusak and Shaw will hurdle and jump. Puig could be heard from in the pole vault. After making a leap up the standings and winning states in cross country this fall, the Red Storm hope to follow a similar script this winter. While a first-place finish might be a stretch, don’t be surprised if Scarborough winds up in the top five and produces several strong individual performances.

SWIMMING

COACH: Eric French (fifth year)

2013-14 results:

(BOYS) 11th @ Class A state meet

(GIRLS) 14th @ Class A state meet

TOP RETURNERS:

(BOYS) Tristan DeYoung (Senior), Nate Howard (Senior), Kyle Ankermann (Junior)

(GIRLS) Brooke Hallett (Junior), Edie Frederick (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Cape Elizabeth, Cheverus, Greely

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have 55 swimmers this year. We hope to be near the top five in both boys’ and girls’ at Southwesterns and in the top 10 at states. We’re still very young, but we look for the team to come along as the season progresses. I look forward to some tight races and close meets this year. We enjoy being the underdog.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough, which lost diving due to budget cuts and pool time, should be a very good program this winter.

The boys will be led by Ankermann, who came in fifth in the 50 free and eighth in the 100 free a year ago at states. Howard (butterfly) and DeYoung (breaststroke and 500 freestyle) also have the potential to produce points. Look for freshman Sam Greenberg (breaststroke, individual medley) to quickly become a household name. The Red Storm face a daunting schedule, but welcome the challenge. It will make them that much stronger come February, when they’ll likely move up the standings.

On the girls’ side, Frederick (breaststroke) and Hallett (IM) lead the way. They’re joined by freshman Hannah Griffin, who can swim the distance freestyle and backstroke. Several other girls will look to fill spots and Scarborough should only get better as the season progresses. Look for this group to be very tough on the big stage.

SKIING

COACHES: Kurt Jepson and David Mills (third year)

ALPINE

(BOYS) 12th @ Class A state meet

(GIRLS) 6th @ Class A state meet

NORDIC

(BOYS) No score @ Class A state meet

(GIRLS) No score @ Class A state meet

TOP RETURNERS:

(BOYS) Marc Guerette (Junior), Andrew Mills (Junior)

(GIRLS) Sara Hassler (Junior), Sophia Zidow (Junior)

COACH MILLS’ COMMENT: “It’s a young team overall. We have many new freshmen. We’re looking to get back to the top of the SMAA.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough has small numbers, but will make some noise in the weeks to come.

The boys’ team features Mills, one of the best Alpine skiers in the conference and state, and Guerette, who was 19th in the slalom and 27th in the giant slalom at last year’s state meet. Freshman Nate Gerkie joins the team and will help the cause. This squad will be competitive throughout.

On the girls’ side, Zidow is the top returner. She was 45th in the GS and 50th in the slalom last season. Hassler also has experience and will be heard from. Look for this team to make a run at being one of the best in the conference.

WRESTLING

COACH: Shane Stephenson (fifth year)

2013-14 results: No score @ Class A state meet (12th at regionals)

TOP RETURNERS: Soriya Yong (Senior), Andy Blanchard (Junior), Michael Libby (Junior), John Stolz (Junior), Aren Dickman (Sophomore)

COACH’S COMMENT: “I’d like to walk away with some state place finishers this year and keep building the program.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Scarborough is a work in progress, but there are some promising wrestlers on the roster. That group includes Blanchard (170 pounds), Dickman (195), Libby (152/160), Stolz (152/160) and Yong (106). Three freshmen, heavyweight Lincoln Andrews, Robert Jipson (113/120) and Jeremy Sendrowski (113), join the squad and add depth and promise for future success. Don’t be surprised if a few these wrestlers make a name for themselves as the season goes on. This year, the Red Storm could be a factor in February.

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

Sam Freeman is a returning sharp-shooter for the Red Storm.

Milani Hicks will be a matchup nightmare for the opposition this winter.

Jake Gardner will be a force down low for the Red Storm.

Senior Ian Corey is back for his senior campaign and will provide steady backcourt leadership.

Senior Nate Wessel was one of the league’s top scorers and rebounders last season, even though he’s only 5 feet-11 inches.

Senior Bailey Adams is looking to bow out with a terrific campaign.

Brooke Malone proved her toughness and tenacity as a freshman. Look for her to play an even bigger role this winter.

Senior Kristen Murray is just a month removed from scoring a state championship winning goal in field hockey. Now, she’s hoping to help the Red Storm girls’ hockey team to a repeat title.

Sophomore Sami Shoebottom scored several clutch goals a year ago in helping the Red Storm to the championship.

Griffin Madden looks to score in the hurdles this season.

Edward James will be one of the conference’s top pole vaulters this winter.

Ellen Shaw will be a force in the jumps this season.

Laura Volan looks to score again in the distance races.

Sidebar Elements


Saint Anselm College-bound senior standout Ashley Briggs will be front and center in the Red Storm’s quest for a playoff spot this winter.

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.