Southern edition Winter Coaches of the Year

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Boys’ team:

DEREK VEILLEUX, SCARBOROUGH TRACK

A year ago, Scarborough’s four-year Class A title reign came to an end with a stunning loss to Falmouth in the final relay. This winter, the Red Storm returned to their accustomed perch.

Scarborough has become the state’s premier boys’ indoor track program thanks to superb talent, but there another’s reason, the devotion and top-notch coaching of Derek Veilleux.

Veilleux, who was also honored in 2009 and 2012, is a track and field aficionado who gets the most out of his athletes and the results are plain to see. In light of his accomplishments, The Forecaster selects Derek Veilleux as our Southern edition Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

Veilleux grew up in Fairfield and ran at Lawrence High and the University of Southern Maine. He has led not only Scarborough’s indoor and outdoor boys’ teams to championships, but also has done the same with the Cape Elizabeth boys’ cross country squad in the fall.

The Red Storm continued to dominate in league meets, finishing first against its rivals every time, as they have done for several years. Scarborough then tallied 166 points and beat runner-up Thornton Academy by 13 in the SMAA Championship meet and at states, Scarborough’s 74 points were 29 clear of Falmouth as the Red Storm won Class A for the sixth time in eight years. The Red Storm used their great depth and ability to score in myriad events to prevail.

In addition to coaching, Veilleux serves as the editor of the Milesplit Maine website, a great resource for cross country and track.

The sun hasn’t begun to set on the Scarborough track dynasty. As long as Derek Veilleux, our Southern edition boys’ team Coach of the Year, is at the helm, the dominance figures to continue.

Previous winners:

2014-15 Norm Gagne (Scarborough hockey)

2013-14 Joe Robinson (South Portland hockey)

2012-13 Phil Conley (South Portland basketball)

2011-12 Derek Veilleux (Scarborough track)

2010-11 Jim Ray (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2009-10 Joe Robinson (South Portland hockey)

2008-09 Derek Veilleux (Scarborough track)

2007-08 Phil Conley (South Portland basketball).

2006-07 Tony DiBiase (South Portland basketball)

2005-06 Jay Mazur (Scarborough hockey)

2004-05 Jason Tremblay (Cape Elizabeth hockey)

2003-04 Jim Ray (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2002-03 Matt Townsend (Scarborough basketball)

2001-02 Paul Brogan (South Portland indoor track)

Girls’ team:

LYNNE HASSON, SOUTH PORTLAND BASKETBALL

South Portland’s girls’ basketball team enjoyed its best season in a decade this winter, a campaign which saw the Red Riots exorcise some demons and entertain from start to finish.

Steering South Portland to greatness this year was a coach who had to fill some holes, get younger players to believe they could produce at the varsity level and oh yeah, one whose best player was her daughter.

That coach managed to push all the right buttons in a season which didn’t end until the regional final and for her ability to do so at such a high level, The Forecaster is selecting Lynne Hasson as our Southern edition Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Hasson is a Red Riot through and through. She was a basketball standout and also played field hockey and ran track before graduating in 1983. After playing basketball at the University of Maine. Hasson served as an assistant field hockey, softball and basketball coach at South Portland.

She achieved her dream of being the Red Riots girls’ varsity coach in 2013. After winning 15 games in her debut season, Hasson produced 15 more last winter, as South Portland got to the semifinals before losing to nemesis McAuley.

This season, the Red Riots, led by senior standout Maddie Hasson, started 1-2, then caught fire and turned the corner for good when they beat McAuley with relative ease. South Portland wound up the third seed in Class AA South and after downing Scarborough in the quarterfinals, beat McAuley again, this time in an overtime thriller, in the semifinals, to reach the regional final for the first time since 2006. There, the Red Riots led undefeated Gorham at halftime before finally meeting their match.

“It was a great year,” Lynne Hasson said. “Our team camp last summer started us in the right direction. We had no attitudes, no drama. Just a bunch of girls who were passionate about basketball. We had a tremendous group of parents. Everyone was on the same page and stayed positive.”

Hasson, the mother of four basketball standouts in all, has taught seventh grade math and social studies at Memorial Middle School for 29 years, so when she finds something she likes, she sticks with it.

She likes what the future holds with the Red Riots.

“We have 10 kids back and some good JV and middle school kids coming through,” Hasson said.

South Portland will make another run next season and the season after that. With Lynne Hasson, our Southern edition girls’ team Coach of the Year, at the helm, the present and the future are quite bright indeed.

Previous winners:

2014-15 Chris Casterella (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2013-14 Caitlin Cashman (Scarborough hockey)

2012-13 Chris Casterella (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2011-12 Tom Maines (Scarborough basketball)

2010-11 Chris Roberts (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2009-10 Jim Seavey (Scarborough basketball)

2008-09 Chris Roberts (Cape Elizabeth basketball)

2007-08 Bre Fortiguerra (Scarborough hockey)

2006-07 Ron Kelly (Scarborough track)

2005-06 Deven Morrill (Cape Elizabeth Nordic skiing)

2004-05 Ron Kelly (Scarborough Indoor track)

2003-04 Mike Giordano (South Portland basketball)

2002-03 Kerry Kertes (Cape Elizabeth swimming)

2001-02 Tim Kipp (Scarborough swimming)

Other edition winners:

Portland: Joe Russo (Portland basketball), Kent Hulst (Cheverus hockey)

Northern: Dave Halligan (Falmouth basketball), Chris Strong (Yarmouth basketball)

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.