It began with snowbanks as a backdrop, but the spring sports season, like the weather, quickly ramped up into something quite enjoyable.
Cape Elizabeth and South Portland’s baseball teams enjoyed magical seasons, as the Capers, who won just four games in 2014, got to the Western B Final, while the Red Riots made a spirited run to their first state championship game in 24 seasons.
Scarborough’s softball team, for the second year in a row, had no peer during an undefeated regular season, but once again, the Red Storm were stymied just shy of their ultimate goal, as they lost by a run in the state final. Cape Elizabeth and South Portland also made the playoffs.
Boys’ lacrosse saw Cape Elizabeth win Class B for the third straight season. South Portland had a chance to repeat as Class A champion, but lost in the state game to Brunswick.
On the girls’ side, South Portland enjoyed its most competitive season in years, Cape Elizabeth got back to the playoffs and Scarborough reached the Western A Final.
On the track, while no team titles were won this spring, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland all had athletes who impressed.
Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ tennis team made it three straight Class B championships, while the Scarborough girls made a surprise run to the regional final.
Before we all take a deep breath and enjoy a well-earned summer break, here’s one last look at the highlights of spring:
Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse, Class B
Cape Elizabeth boys’ tennis, Class B
Scarborough softball, Western A
South Portland baseball, Western A
South Portland boys’ lacrosse, Western A
Morgan Carpenter, Cape Elizabeth, Class B girls’ javelin
Michael Cuesta, South Portland, Class A boys’ long jump
Daniel Giuliani, South Portland, Class A, boys’ shot put (state record)
Juliana Selser, South Portland, Class A girls’ 800
5) Scarborough softball nearly perfect
Scarborough’s softball team began the year with a 26-0 five-inning win at South Portland and never looked back. The Red Storm got a couple scares during the regular season, but won all 16 games for the second year in a row. As the top seed in Western A, Scarborough was pushed by Windham, Biddeford and Thornton Academy, but managed to escape each time to reach the Class A state final. Since it was an odd-numbered year, the Red Storm appeared pre-ordained to win the title (they won it all in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013), but Scarborough met its match in Messalonskee ace Kirsten Pelletier, who blanked the Red Storm, 1-0, the first time the team had been shut out since May 25, 2006 (a span of 181 games). Scarborough will look to end its even-year jinx and get back to the pinnacle in 2016.
4) Shot put record set
South Portland’s Daniel Guiliani already held the indoor shot put record coming into this spring and now boasts the outdoor record as well after a top effort of 62 feet, 8.25 inches at the Class A state meet June 6. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Guiliani also was runner-up in the discus and helped the Red Riots to a sixth-place team finish by scoring nearly a half of his team’s points all by himself.
3) More Cape tennis excellence
Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ tennis program has long been the measuring stick in the state and on June 13, the Capers’ third straight Class B championship also gave them a new state record of 16 titles overall. Would anyone be surprised if number 17 follows next spring?
2) Close calls on the diamond
The 2015 baseball season was one of great parity and drama and Cape Elizabeth and South Portland were in the middle of all of it. The Capers, who went 4-12 in a playoffs-less 2014 campaign, surprised many by winning 11 games and earning the top seed in Western B. Cape Elizabeth then got to the Western B Final, but lost a frustrating, controversial eight-inning decision to eventual repeat state champion Greely. In Western A, the Red Riots were expected to be a top contender behind senior ace Henry Curran, but when the dust settled, South Portland had enjoyed a 12-win regular season before holding on to defeat Biddeford, Marshwood and Portland in thrilling regional playoff contests. The Red Riots got to the state final for the first time since 1991 and gave defending champion Bangor all it could handle, but South Portland’s late rally was snuffed out by a double play and the Red Riots fell one run shy of the pinnacle.
1) Cape lax dynasty adds another crown
Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team was already the two-time defending Class B champion entering the season, but these Capers were being measured by history. Cape Elizabeth hadn’t won three in a row since an 11-year run between 1990-2000 and many felt that this year’s squad had a chance to be an all-time great team. While they didn’t quite finish at that level, these Capers proved to be excellent as they shook off two close regular season losses (one in overtime to eventual Class A champion Brunswick and the other by two goals to rival Falmouth) to embark on an emphatic playoff run. Cape Elizabeth drubbed Kennebunk by 14 goals in the semifinals, then avenged its earlier loss by handling Falmouth by eight in the regional final. The Capers were pushed to the end by Yarmouth in the state game, but proving their greatness once and for all, they held on to prevail, 7-5. Cape Elizabeth looks to do it again in 2016 and will likely be the favorite once more.
For the third straight spring, Cape Elizabeth’s boys’ lacrosse team had no peer in Class B.
Lilly Volk and her Scarborough teammates won their first 19 games this spring, before losing by a run to Messalonskee in the Class A state final.
South Portland’s Henry Curran lived up to billing as the state’s best pitcher, leading the Red Riots to their first state final since 1991.