SCARBOROUGH — For 11 consecutive years, a Neugebauer brother has played lacrosse for Scarborough High. The Red Storm have won six Class A championships in that time.

High-scoring senior attack Sam Neugebauer is the last of the Neugebauers – the best of the three, according to his brothers – and he hopes to go out the same way his brothers did, with a championship in his senior season.

“I always wanted to live up to the expectation of being better than my brothers,” said Neugebauer. “And it’s not just the last name. It’s all the people that have been there before you. There’s always an expectation with Scarborough lacrosse.”

After scoring 60 goals as a junior in Scarborough’s 2016 title run, including four each in the regional and state finals, Neugebauer is continuing to live up to expectations this spring.

Entering the playoffs, he has 56 goals (bringing his career total to 157) and 11 assists – for an average of 4.67 goals and 5.58 points per game. As the player who is guarded by the top defenseman of each opponent, he opens creases for teammates Marc Guerette (38 goals, 16 assists), Marco Manfra (20 goals, 21 assists in eight games) and Cam Thibault (20 goals, 11 assists).

Top-seeded Scarborough (10-2) will host Class A South semifinal Saturday against the winner of Wednesday’s quarterfinal between No. 5 Biddeford (7-5) and No. 4 Gorham (9-3).

Nick Neugebauer, an assistant coach at the University of New England, brought lacrosse to the family.

The oldest of Kyle and Bev’s three boys, Nick was an active eighth-grader who craved contact when he first picked up a lacrosse stick. That spring, he played middle school lacrosse and travel team baseball.

“By the end of eighth grade, I had stopped going to baseball,” said Nick Neugebauer, now 25.

A year later, Nick was on Scarborough’s 2007 varsity squad as a defensive midfielder. He was part of a state championship team as a sophomore in 2008 and captained the 2010 title team, scoring three goals in the championship game.

Ben Neugebauer, 21, is a private first class in the Army, stationed at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. Ben played attack and made the varsity as a senior in 2013, when Scarborough won its fourth straight Class A title.

The next year, Sam was on the varsity roster.

Joe Hezlep has been Scarborough’s head coach for 10 seasons. His first year was Nick’s sophomore season. While he won’t miss trying to spell their last name – “Thank god. There’s very few times I’ve spelled it right,” he said – he will miss what the brothers have brought to the program.

“They’ve all meant a lot to the program and so has their family,” said Hezlep. “They’re kids that bring the lunch pail every day and do the little things that make a difference.”

As the youngest brother, Sam was exposed to lacrosse at an early age.

First, it was playing catch in the backyard. Then he began tagging along with Nick and playing against older, stronger players in men’s pickup games.

“He still plays tough, but he’s figured out the touch and the vision, and I’d like to think it’s from beating the crap out of him in the backyard,” Nick said. “Even at a young age, he’d get knocked down and he’d get right back up. He never shied from contact.”

Sam’s hard, accurate, left-handed shot made him an immediate scoring threat. He scored four goals against eventual state champ South Portland in his first start as a freshman.

“His freshman, sophomore years, he was more of a one-trick player,” said Nick Neugebauer. “He stood out on an island and let it fly.”

“That was a learning curve for me,” Sam agreed. “I could shoot. Yes, I could do that. But as the years went on, more defenders know who you are, and that’s when you’ve really got to learn new stuff.”

Neugebauer is still at his best when he’s catching and shooting quickly but has become more adept at breaking down a defender and getting to the goal.

“He’s really been able to take the ball and go one-on-one and not run himself into trouble and actually quarterback the offense a little bit,” Hezlep said.

Neugebauer will attend Bridgton Academy this fall, with the intent of playing college lacrosse the following year.

But first he has to finish the Neugebauer era at Scarborough, hoping to recapture the feeling of winning a state title.

“It was breathtaking; a great experience and a great feeling to be with the people that you love and to play the game that you love,” he said.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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