Boys Cross Country

Coach: Dave Kahill

Last year’s record: 5-9

Key athletes: Gavin Damian-Loring (sr.), Jake Maloney (sr.), Xander Keiter (jr.), Steven Smith (jr.), Dan Woodhouse (jr.), Brad Mileson (jr.), John Sullivan (so.), Josh Hyssong (so.), Lionel Whitehead (so.)

Key meets: Regionals, States

Outlook: “The Riots will be very competitive during the regular season and championship meets,” says Kahill. “The guys have worked hard in the track seasons and summer, and they are in great shape.” Damian-Loring, Keiter, Smith, Maloney and Sullivan are the team’s top five – and a strong top five, at that – and Woodhouse, Mileson, Hyssong and Whitehead round out South Portland’s top nine.

Girls Cross Country

Coach: Karen Reardon (13th year)

Last year’s record: 12-3 regular season, fifth at Regionals, sixth at States

Key athletes: Casey Loring (sr.), Abby Donahue (jr.), Taylor Nappi (jr.), Toia Francis (jr.), Phoebe Letourneau (jr.), Thaovy Duong (jr.), Serena McKenzie (jr.), Ling Bol (so.), Delphi Bourassa (so.), Jenny DiPhillipo (so.), Eileen Porterfield (fr.)

Key meets: “Racing Scarborough in the conference will be a good challenge, as they are the defending champs,” says Reardon, “but we have several meets that will be good races: Massabesic, Windham, and Westbrook, for example”; Belfast Invitational.

Outlook: “The last three years, we have been sixth at the State Meet; we would like to improve on that finish this year,” says Reardon. “If we can run as a solid pack, we could go far.” To that end, the Riots return two of the top runners in Class A, Casey Loring (seventh at States) and Serena McKenzie (12th). “Both are coming off strong outdoor seasons,” says Reardon, “so I am expecting good things from them.” Rounding out the team’s top three is Bourassa, 38th at States last year as a freshman. The remaining Riots all show the potential to fill in the squad’s fourth and fifth slots.

Field Hockey

Coach: Leslie Dyer

Last year’s record: 5-10

Key players: Maddie Hasson, Lydia Henderson, Grace Chitam

Key games: Massabesic, Windham, Westbrook, Biddeford, Cheverus

Outlook: The Riots made the playoffs last season for the first time in four years; this year, they mean to penetrate past the prelims. Their odds look good. They return a majority of last season’s squad, now older and wiser. Hasson, Henderson and Chitam, the team’s three captains, are excellent leaders, both on and off the field; Dyer calls them “intense.” Hasson is a four-year starter and plays the most important role, that of center midfielder. “She’s faster than ever and seems to be all over the field, part of every play,” Dyer says. “Maddie has the capabilities of shutting down dominant players and bring the ball coast-to-coast.” Henderson is a third-year varsity starter who assisted on numerous goals last season. “She trained hard in the off-season, and will make more of an impact this season,” Dyer says. “Her confidence has improved and her work ethic will make her an impact player.” Chitam starts for the second year in goal. “Grace is quick, confident and not afraid to make her presence known,” says Dyer. “She is smart, hard-working and looking forward to having a few shutouts.” She might particularly like shutouts against Massabesic, Windham and Westbrook, all important losses in 2014. Biddeford and Cheverus, on the other hand, were wins for the Riots last year; the team will look to capitalize on those opportunities again. Finally, the team gains three new, dominant freshmen, including their backup goalie. They also re-gain Molly Skeffington, who tore her ACL in the first game of the 2014 season and has been out ever since.

Football

Coach: Steve Stinson (11th year)

Last year’s record: 5-4, fell to Biddeford in playoff quarterfinals

Key players: Dylan Rottkov (sr., WR/DB); Dan Guiliani (sr., OL/DL); Nick Mezzanotte (sr., RB/DB); Aaron Radziucz (sr., OL/DL); Chris Green (sr., OL/LB); Jordin Jackson (sr., OL/DE)

Key games: TA, Bonny Eagle, Scarborough, Sanford

Outlook: “We’re an experienced team with our strength in our offensive and defensive fronts,” says Stinson. Likewise, the Riots’ younger players bring talent to the field, and the team will look to them to contribute as well.

Golf

Coach: Tom Hyland

Last year’s record: 3-7

Key players: Matt Pelletier, Sam DePaulo, Daniel Mickiwicz, Aidan Schifano, Noah McHugh, Robbie Plummer, Jacob Bloes

Key matches: Scarborough, Falmouth

Outlook: “We look to continue our improvement and post additional wins in a very tough conference,” says Hyland. The Riots especially look forward to the challenge of Scarborough, the defending champs, and Falmouth, perennial contenders. Pelletier will lead, both as team captain and as their No. 1 player; DePaulo returns after a year away from the team, and should provide both senior leadership and consistent play. Mickiewicz, Schifano and McHugh – all sophomores – progressed notably in the off-season, and “should help us post some low scores and compete as a team for a playoff position,” says Hyland.

Boys Soccer

Coach: Bryan Hoy

Last year’s record: 10-5-2, fell 2-1 on PKs in playoff semifinals to Cheverus

Key players: Ahmed Suja, Kervens Antoine, Khalid Suja, Charlie Cronin, Riley Hasson, Drew Bradbury, Gary Maietta, Patrick Graff

Key games: Gorham, Cheverus, Scarborough, Portland, Deering, TA

Outlook: The Riots are looking at significant turnover this year, particularly on defense. “We lost three of our four backs and our starting goalie to graduation,” Hoy says, “and our sole returning starter on the defense, Brian Elsemore, was lost to a knee injury suffered in the lacrosse state final.” Hoy nevertheless sees his squad fielding a formidable defense, anchored by Maietta and Graff, both strong midfielders-turned-defenders. Joining them are newcomers Princiel Kunieki and Alecks Kaurin, and Hasson in the net, who “has made some big strides in the off-season and keeps looking better and better each day in practice.” On the attack, the Riots are ready to intimidate: Ahmed Suja and Antoine are two of the conference’s top scorers, and Cronin and Liam are emerging talents. Khalid Suja is flexible. “He should be a defensive force,” Hoy says, “and is one of the most dangerous free-kick specialists in the conference.”

Girls Soccer

Coach: Jeff Selser (second year)

Last year’s record: 2-11-1

Key players: Emma Benington (sr., B); Baleigh Burns (sr., B); Mary Cronin (sr., A); Sophia Romano (jr., M); Zoe Brown (jr., G); Juliana Selser (so., M); Meghan Graff (so., M); Callie O’Brien (jr., A); Sophie Chase (so., A)

Key games: Sanford, Deering, Cheverus, Biddeford, Gorham

Outlook: After a discouraging 2014, the Riots’ “aim this year is to get back into the playoffs and make a strong postseason run,” says Selser. “Last season was the first year of a multi-year overhaul of the program from top to bottom. While we made great progress on the field, we were disappointed that the gains on the field did not translate to results on the scoreboard.” South Portland looks to build on the foundations they laid last fall, and expect to start seeing success in the win column. “We have a young squad, but they are very talented,” says Selser. “Our new goalie, Zoe Brown, will be key. She had a fabulous JV season last year, and performed well in the limited varsity time she saw.” Benington and Burns will helm the Riots’ defense, feeding forward to a Juliana Selser, Graff and Romano in the midfield. Cronin, O’Brien and Chase provide firepower on the front lines. “We have a very deep bench,” says Selser, “and there are some incoming freshmen who will really push the upperclassmen for playing spots.”

Volleyball

Coach: Nicole McAllister (first year)

Last year’s record: 4-10

Key players: Molly Mawhinney

Key matches: “It’s hard to pick just a few [matches],” says McAllister.

Outlook: “This season will definitely be a growing season,” says McAllister. “We only have three players with varsity experience returning to the team. We are looking for our underclassmen to step into some key roles. All of our girls have shown a lot of hard work and dedication during preseason, so I can’t wait to see them compete.” McAllister sees in each of the Riots’ opponents a different and valuable challenge. “Our schedule has us facing a good group of newer programs similar to ours. [Deering, TA, Portland, Cheverus and Bonny Eagle] will be good opportunities to benchmark our progress. We also play other, more established programs – [Windham, Biddeford, NYA] – which will be a good challenge, to see how far we have come and where we hope to be.”

South Portland’s Molly Mawhinney saw a good deal of time on the court last year, and can be expected to do the same this year.The Riots’ Gary Maietta – seen here in action against Westbrook last year – returns to the field for one final go-round in 2015.


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