Southern edition Fall Coaches of the Year

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BOYS’ TEAM

LANCE JOHNSON—SCARBOROUGH FOOTBALL

Scarborough’s football team achieved more than expected and produced the signature victory of the season. The Red Storm started with surprising results, wound up in a regional final no one expected them to make and will only get better going forward. Coach Lance Johnson has long had the program in contention, but this fall, he led them to the next level.

For his efforts, Lance Johnson is The Forecaster’s choice for our Southern edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

Johnson was also honored in 2010.

Johnson grew up in Portland, played football, hockey and baseball at Portland High and played two years of football at Bates College. After graduation, he returned to the Bulldogs and spent 21 years as offensive and defensive coordinator. Johnson took over the Scarborough program in 2010. At that juncture, the Red Storm had never been competitive in Class A. Johnson, who has been ahead of the curve with his offensive approach, produced eight victories his first season and Scarborough went to the semifinals five times in six years, but this fall was something else entirely.

The Red Storm opened with an upset victory at defending Class A North champion Portland and went 6-2 in the regular season. As the No. 3 seed in Class A South, Scarborough handled South Portland in the quarterfinals, then had to go to second-ranked Thornton Academy, the two-time defending state champion, for the semifinals. The Red Storm had never beaten the Golden Trojans, but this time around, Scarborough played a nearly flawless game and prevailed, 36-29. The Red Storm were ousted by eventual state champion Bonny Eagle in the regional final, but what a triumphant campaign it was.

“I can’t help but feel that our program took a big step forward this year,” Johnson said. “We competed better physically and mentally at practice and in games. I could not be more proud of our players for the toughness and determination they showed starting with workouts back in June.”

Johnson, who teaches at Portland High School, will face higher expectations next fall as Scarborough will be a trendy pick to go to the state final.

He’ll be up to the challenge. Lance Johnson, our Southern edition boys’ team Fall Coach of the Year, has discovered the recipe for success and got the absolute most out of his team in a memorable campaign.

Prior winners:

2015 Chris Whitney (Cape Elizabeth golf)

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)

GIRLS’ TEAM

MAURA BISOGNI—CAPE ELIZABETH FIELD HOCKEY

Cape Elizabeth’s field hockey team went 0-14 in 2015. That was the first year as coach for Maura Bisogni. This fall, the Capers returned to contention and even earned a playoff berth, making for a much more enjoyable second campaign.

And for her efforts in leading to her squad to a resurgent season, Maura Bisogni is The Forecaster’s choice for our Southern edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Bisogni coached field hockey in Virginia and Washington D.C. and also coached squash at George Washington University and in New York before taking over the Capers program. Her first season was short-circuited by the loss of some key players and while Cape Elizabeth didn’t win a game, it learned some valuable lessons which paid off this fall.

The Capers won a pair of overtime games to get on track and wound up 5-9, which earned them a playoff berth. While Cape Elizabeth was ousted by Freeport, its five-game improvement was something to hail.

“All the credit goes to the girls,” Bisogni said. “Their spirit, their positive energy and their resilience. For us to be successful, we had to be firing on all cylinders. The girls were always willing to give it their all, win or lose, and they were able to go back to work the next day. I’ve never had a team be able to make adjustments within a game so successfully.”

Bisogni works as the library integrator at Kaler Elementary School in South Portland. She hopes for even more success next season.

The Capers are on their way back to the top and with Maura Bisogni, our Southern edition girls’ team Fall Coach of the Year, at the helm, many good things are in store.

Prior winners:

2015 Jon Roberts (Scarborough volleyball)

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)

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

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