Scarborough’s golf team has long been a top contender, but until this fall, it hadn’t taken the final step to the top of the mountain.

You can now check that accomplishment off the list.

Mike Murphy has long been synonymous with the program and this fall, he put the pieces in place for greatness and got his players to believe they could win it all. And they did, which was enough to convince The Forecaster to name Mike Murphy our Southern edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

Murphy was a standout athlete in his own right, starring in basketball (while also playing baseball and running track) at Cheverus and later playing hoops at Merrimack College and at the University of Southern Maine.

Murphy was named Coach of the Year after leading Deering’s girls’ basketball team to a state title in 2009, but he’s been on the sidelines for golf for a quarter century.

This fall, Scarborough knew it had a chance to do something big and after going 10-0 in the regular season, the Red Storm finished a close second to Gorham in the league qualifier.

Scarborough went to Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro knowing it had what it took to bring home a championship, but that it wouldn’t be easy. The Red Storm then produced a round for the ages and held off Greely and Falmouth by two strokes to reach the pinnacle for the first time.

“It was a unique bunch of great kids,” Murphy said. “Golf is different from other team sports. It’s more about the psyche. This group had the guts to not be afraid to succeed.”

Murphy didn’t play golf until his basketball career ended, but he now plays religiously.

“It’s become an addiction,” Murphy said.

Murphy, who lives in Westbrook, is the father of three. He is a longtime teacher at Scarborough Middle School.

He’s accomplished a lot in a lifetime of sports, but until this season, he hadn’t been able to say he’d coached a golf state champion. Mike Murphy, our Southern edition boys’ team Fall Coach of the Year, has taken care of that.

Prior winners:

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)



Rest assured that Hollywood would have rejected the script about Cape Elizabeth’s playoff run.

Three times, the Capers stared defeat in the face. Three times, the Capers found a way to win and for the first time, they can call themselves state champions.

Not only did Cape Elizabeth have to overcome playoff deficits, it also had to rebound from a slow start to the season and play away from home for weeks due to the installation of a new court, but the Capers cleared every obstacle.

A big reason why was the leadership of coach Sarah Boeckel, who turned the program into a contender and now, a champion.

For persevering, leading and motivating a championship team, Sarah Boeckel gets The Forecaster’s nod as our Southern edition Fall Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Boeckel is no stranger to volleyball excellence. The Buffalo, New York native starred in high school and played at Stony Brook University. She also played basketball, softball and lacrosse growing up.

Boeckel got her start in coaching while she was still in college and returned home to assist at Canisius College. After coming to Cape Elizabeth, Boeckel was the Capers junior varsity coach for four seasons, then took over the varsity team in 2013. That year, Cape Elizabeth became a contender for the first time and fell mere points shy of going to the state final. This fall, the Capers set out to win it all.

It wouldn’t come easily, as the lack of a homecourt spelled a slow start, but Cape Elizabeth came together and as the season progressed, wins over the likes of Scarborough and Greely hinted at greatness to come.

Despite a stellar 12-2 record, the Capers were only ranked fifth for the playoffs and faced the crucible of having to beat Scarborough, Greely and Falmouth to win it all.

Cape Elizabeth would do so, but it would take five sets and a dramatic comeback each time. Against the Red Storm, the Capers trailed, two sets to one, before rallying. Against the Rangers, they were down, 2-0, and responded. Cape Elizabeth dropped the first two sets to Falmouth as well, but once more they rose up and rallied to prevail in epic fashion.

“I can’t believe what we pulled off,” Boeckel said. “It was so unbelievably amazing. The girls were unbelievable. They didn’t take plays off. What an amazing run and an even better championship. People are still talking about it. We were so close last year, but our inexperience handcuffed us. This year, we knew we could do it.”

Boeckel also coaches middle school basketball and varsity tennis at Cape Elizabeth and teaches physical education. She lives in South Portland. She hopes to continue coaching for many years.

That likely means a lot more success is in the Capers’ future. Sarah Boeckel, our Southern edition girls’ team Fall Coach of the Year, has created a powerhouse overnight. One that has learned how to win. By any means necessary.

Prior winners:

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)

2001: Erin McLaughlin (Scarborough field hockey)

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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