CHRIS WHITNEY—CAPE ELIZABETH GOLF
Cape Elizabeth’s proud golf program had been knocking on the championship door for many years and this fall, the Capers kicked it in with abandon.
While the program is littered with talent, someone had to provide leadership and luckily for Cape Elizabeth, a new coach arrived this fall, full of desire and belief and that trickled down and helped the Capers produce a perfect season which was punctuated by a Class B title.
For getting the team over the hump and for getting the maximum out of his players, Chris Whitney gets The Forecaster’s nod as our Southern edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.
Whitney, the assistant golf pro at Falmouth Country Club, inherited a team that was passionate about the sport, well-schooled (Whitney credits Purpoodock Country Club pro Tony Decker for much of his players’ development) and hungry to finish the job after back-to-back runners-up finishes.
The Capers then toyed with the opposition in the regular season, winning every match, placing first at the Western Maine Conference qualifier, then winning Class B for the first time since 2007, bettering runner-up Old Town by a dozen strokes and if that wasn’t impressive enough, a week later, Ryan Collins went out and captured a share of the Class B individual title.
“The kids earned this honor for me,” Whitney said. “These kids have been hungry and worked on their games with and without me all season to get another crack at winning that championship. This championship was won by the entire 19-player team. They practiced so hard all season and are there for each other on the golf course and away from it.”
Life keeps getting better for Whitney, who lives in Jupiter, Florida in the offseason and is awaiting the birth of his first child. He is eager to return to Cape Elizabeth next year and feels that the 2015 title could be the first of several in a row for the Capers.
Based on what we saw this past season, there’s no reason to doubt him. Chris Whitney, our Southern edition boys’ team Fall Coach of the Year, stepped into an ideal situation and made the absolute most of it.
2014 Mike Murphy (Scarborough golf)
2013 Mark Diaz (Scarborough soccer)
2012 Derek Veilleux (Cape Elizabeth cross country)
2011 Steve Stinson (South Portland football)
2010 Lance Johnson (Scarborough football)
2009 Aaron Filieo (Cape Elizabeth football)
2008 Mark Diaz (Scarborough soccer)
2007 Steve Stinson (South Portland football)
2006 Aaron Filieo (Cape Elizabeth football)
2005 Mark Diaz (Scarborough soccer)
2004 Jim Harmon (Scarborough cross country)
2003 Mark Diaz (Scarborough soccer)
2002 Jack Flynn (Scarborough football)
2001 Jack Flynn (Scarborough football)
JON ROBERTS—SCARBOROUGH VOLLEYBALL
After a five-loss regular season, the last place most observers expected Scarborough’s volleyball team to end up was playing for a state championship.
And winning it.
But that’s exactly how the Red Storm’s up-and-down 2015 season played out, as Scarborough saved its best for last, showed immense mental toughness against the most talented foes and after several close calls, finally garnered a first state title.
While he was fortunate enough to boast plenty of talent and depth on his roster, Jon Roberts had to put the right pieces in the right places and develop that mental toughness and the end result was clear that he succeeded in glorious fashion and in light of that triumph, The Forecaster is naming Jon Roberts our Southern edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.
Roberts was also honored in 2011.
Roberts grew up playing volleyball in Connecticut and was on the club volleyball team at the University of Connecticut. He started coaching in Connecticut, then took over the Red Storm program.
After falling in the state match in 2013 and dropping an agonizing semifinal to eventual champion Cape Elizabeth last fall, Scarborough kept plugging and behind contributions from virtually everyone on the roster, the Red Storm were competitive all season, even though they wound up just 9-5.
As the No. 5 seed for the Class A playoffs, Scarborough found its season on the line when No. 12 Biddeford took it to a decisive fifth set in the preliminary round, but the Red Storm escaped and from there, hit their stride, winning in four sets over Thornton Academy in the quarterfinals, upsetting top-ranked Cape Elizabeth in the semifinals, then, after dropping the first set, winning the next three against the most decorated team in the state, Greely, to take home the golden prize.
“I’m super-proud of the girls that they kept fighting,” Roberts said. “We’ve had the players to do it before, but we didn’t have the right mindset to do it before. (These girls) had the mindset that no matter what, we’d play the next ball.”
His players returned the appreciation.
“(Coach) is so dedicated,” said Scarborough senior standout and Fall Female Athlete of the Year, Emily Hanson. “He’s passionate. He pushes us and loves us. He’s easy to talk to. He’s the best coach you can imagine.”
Now that the Red Storm have their first championship won, don’t be surprised if many more follow, especially with Jon Roberts, our Southern edition girls’ team Fall Coach of the Year, at the helm.
2014 Sarah Boeckel (Cape Elizabeth volleyball)
2013 Craig Fannan (Cape Elizabeth soccer)
2012 Mike Farley (Scarborough soccer)
2011 Jon Roberts (Scarborough volleyball)
2010 Mike Farley (Scarborough soccer)
2009 Kerry Mariello (Scarborough field hockey)
2008 Ron Kelly (Scarborough cross country)
2007 Kerry Mariello (Scarborough field hockey)
2006 Jody King (Scarborough volleyball)
2005 Mary Ann Doss (Cape Elizabeth cross country)
2004 Kerry Mariello (Scarborough field hockey)
2003 Mary Ann Doss (Cape Elizabeth cross country)
2002 Maureen Curran (South Portland field hockey)
2001Erin McLaughlin (Scarborough field hockey)