Sophomore sprinter extraordinaire Victoria Bossong is back to win races, set records and lead the Cheverus girls’ outdoor track team to another Class A state championship this spring.

File photos.

More photos below.

BASEBALL

Coach: Mac McKew (11th year, 120-61 overall record, one state championship)

2018 record: 13-6 (Lost, 3-2, to Gorham in Class A South Final)

Top returning players: Andrew DeGeorge (Senior), Nathaniel Lapoint (Senior), Jack Mullen (Senior), Hayden O’Donnell (Senior), Justin Ray (Senior), John Welch (Senior), Chris Cimino (Junior), 

Pivotal games: May 7 @ TA, May 9 SCARBOROUGH, May 18 @ Portland, May 21 FALMOUTH, May 23 @ South Portland, May 25 DEERING

Coach’s comment: “We’re a senior-laden team. We always expect to be in the hunt. Our success this year will be dependent on our solid staff pitching to their potential, taking care of the baseball by playing sound defense, which is our biggest question mark, and timely hitting.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus has been to the regional final two years running, but hasn’t been able to advance to the state game. This spring, this group of Stags hopes to take the next step and the team has the pieces in place to make that happen.

Ray tops the list of key returners. The Assumption College-bound pitcher/shortstop was a second-team SMAA selection and an Underclass All-Star in 2018. At the plate, Ray hit .328 a year ago. He scored 16 runs and drove in 13. He’ll play shortstop when he doesn’t pitch. On the mound, Ray, a captain, is equally dangerous, boasting a 4-2 record with a 2.19 earned run average and 42 strikeouts last season. Mullen, another captain, will be one of the league’s top pitchers. He was 4-1 a year ago with a 1.39 ERA. Mullen will also play the outfield before taking his talents to Bowdoin College. That’s a powerful 1-2 punch and Cheverus will also rely on junior Nick Galeucia, sophomore Nick Giancotti and sophomore Sam Clark (a transfer from Scarborough) to get the job done on the hill. Cimino, the team’s third captain, will also help pace the offense. Cimino batted .423 with 14 RBI and nine runs scored in 2018. The third baseman will hit at the top of the order. DeGeorge (.286, 16 runs, nine RBI) at first base, O’Donnell at catcher/designated hitter, Lapoint (.261, 10 RBI) in the outfield and Welch (.273, six RBI) at first base/DH are other veterans. Senior Will Zidle (catcher/infield), juniors Avery Conant (outfield/infield), Luke Knowles (infield) and Nate Rogers (an outfielder who transferred in from Falmouth) and freshman Kevin Connolly (catcher/infielder) round out a deep and talented roster.

Class A South features many talented teams this spring, but Cheverus has to like its chances when you consider the arms it possesses and the potential it has on offense. Another winning record and deep playoff run is the likely result. If all goes well, the Stags will take it to the final day of the season.

SOFTBALL

Coach: Theresa Hendrix (second year)

2018 record: 3-13 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Sydney Plummer (Senior), Alex Hammond (Junior), Caroline Taylor (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 20 SOUTH PORTLAND, April 24 WESTBROOK, April 29 BIDDEFORD, May 10 DEERING, May 22 @ Portland

Coach’s comment: “As a co-op team with NYA, we’re blessed to have a group of girls who compete. Continuing to grow each year, this will be a strong squad, as many of our starters are returning players. Fundamentals and team camaraderie will be two keys to our success this season. With strong upperclassman leadership, our girls are ready to continue to build the program.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Cheverus/NYA co-op team is in place for the third year in a row and the Stags are coming off a season of improvement. One that they figure to build on this spring.

Taylor was an honorable mention all-star last spring. She returns on the mound. Sophomore Mackenzie Turner will see some innings as well. Hammond, an honorable mention, will be behind the plate and will also play shortstop. Plummer has a potent bat and will play first base. A pair of seniors from the erstwhile Maine Girls’ Academy, Holly Akey (utility) and Elizabeth Kennedy (third base) will step right in and make their presence felt. 

Cheverus/NYA will score its share of runs and has the pitching that can keep it in games. While they’re not yet at the level of the league’s traditional powerhouses, the Stags believe they can improve on last year’s record and make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Andrew Leach (first year)

2018 record: 2-10 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Colby Anton (Senior), Finn McLain (Senior), Nate Scott (Senior), Jackson Wilson (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 24 @ South Portland, May 1 @ Falmouth, May 17 @ TA, May 24 @ Waynflete, May 29 @ Deering, May 31 SOUTH PORTLAND

Coach’s comment: “So far, so good. The guys have been great. We’re having a youth movement. Eighteen of our 26 are underclassmen. We building and putting last year behind us. We’re trying to contend this year and keep our eyes on the bigger picture.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: One year after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011, Cheverus is starting over under Leach, who played at the University of New England and later coached there, as well as at Gould Academy, Bridgton Academy and with the defending Class C champion Waynflete Flyers. He inherits a squad that will climb back into contention in the weeks to come.

McLain and Scott are captains and will be anchors on defense. Either junior Ethan Hunt or freshman Nolan Pomerleau will be in goal. Anton and Wilson have experience and will play in the midfield. Junior Ethan Hammond and sophomore Julian Lamontagne will also see time there. On attack, the Stags will rely on junior Jake Sargent and sophomore Bryson Pomerleau to lead the way.

Cheverus doesn’t have the kind of schedule that is conducive to quick improvement, but that doesn’t mean the Stags won’t enjoy success. They’ll be a far different team at the end of the season than at the beginning and if Cheverus can break through and win some games, a return to the postseason is a realistic ending. The program’s future appears very bright.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Lauren Lessard (first year)

2018 record: 9-5 (Lost, 17-5, to eventual state champion Falmouth in Class A North Final)

Top returning players: Bella Booth (Senior), Margaret Keating (Senior), Zoe Mazur (Senior), Maeve McGarrity (Senior), Grace Parello (Senior), Aisling Flaherty (Junior), Neve Cawley (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 23 WAYNFLETE, April 25 @ Scarborough, May 9 KENNEBUNK, May 11 @ Windham, May 14 FALMOUTH, May 23 PORTLAND

Coach’s comment: “We have a small squad. We have a lot of seniors and we’re looking good so far. I’m implementing a lot of new stuff. The girls made it far last year and I’m excited to see how we do. We’re excited to play our game and we hope to go far.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: After reaching the regional final a year ago, Cheverus is positioned to be a contender again this spring as they welcome a new coach in Lessard, who played at Lewiston High School and Kents Hill in high school and at the University of Southern Maine. She served as an assistant coach at Lewiston, Worcester State and Cheverus and takes over a team ready to win.

Mazur was a second-team league all-star in 2018 and will be a force to be reckoned with in the midfield. Booth, an honorable mention selection last spring, is another top midfielder. Up top, look for Flaherty, Keating and promising freshman Riley O’Mara to be scoring threats. Defensively, McGarrity and Parello will look to hold the opposition at bay in front of Cawley, who is back in goal after a strong freshman campaign.

This team will be a work in progress, but the Stags will get there. Defending champion Falmouth remains the prohibitive favorite in Class A North and Portland and Windham are top contenders as well, but Cheverus has what it takes to steal its share of headlines in the weeks to come.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach: John Wilkinson (first year)

2018 results:

(Boys) 3rd @ Class A state meet

(Girls) Class A state champion

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Alex Baur (Senior), Nolan Doherty (Senior), Joe Baur (Junior), Matt Sarapas (Junior), Sean Tompkins (Junior), Giovani Fornaro (Sophomore)

(Girls) Mary Kate Earley (Senior), Evelyn Hanley (Senior), Rosie Train (Senior), Emma White (Senior), Emma Gallant (Junior), Helena Bolduc (Sophomore), Victoria Bossong (Sophomore), Sophie Schuele (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “The boys’ team is led by one of the state’s best sprinters in Sean Tompkins and an equally talented thrower in Giovani Farnaro. We have a very interesting team dynamic. Sprinkling in some other talented newcomers allows us a good shot at a top five state meet finish. The girls’ team has a solid representation of athletes in all classes. The returning trio of Emma White, Emma Gallant and Victoria Bossong will be hard for any opponent to duplicate. The team has a supporting cast of returnees and newcomers that will make us a very strong candidate for a championship run.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Both Cheverus outdoor teams will be among the best in Class A this spring, as Wilkinson (who also coached indoors) takes over after 27 years at the helm of the Gorham program.

The girls’ squad is defending an outdoor crown and several team members just won a championship during the indoor season. Bossong was Cheverus’ Spring Female Athlete of the Year as a freshman and after a record-setting indoor campaign, she’ll likely dominate again outdoors. Bossong won the Class A title in both the 100 and 400 last season and she’ll be a sprinter extraordinaire again. If she’s not enough to contend with, there’s Gallant, who won the 200 and was second to Bossong in the 400 last year. That’s a 1-2 tandem that will give the opposition nightmares. White was third in the 100 hurdles a year ago, but she is most dominant in the jumps, having won both the long jump and triple jump last spring. Bolduc (hurdles/sprints), Early (hurdles), Hanley (hurdles), Schuele (hurdles/jumps) and Train (distance) are veteran contributors. Junior Lauren Jordan (the soccer and basketball standout) is new to the team and will throw. Sophomore Madison Durgin (throws) and freshmen Ainsley Gray (hurdles/jumps), Norah Slattery (sprints), Grace Turner (distance) and Leshka Whitmarsh (middle distance) add depth and promise. The sky is the limit for this group and more hardware will likely be the end result.

On the boys’ side, Cheverus hopes to move up from last year’s strong third-place showing and the pieces are place to do so. Tompkins won the Class A title in both the 100 and 200 last season and will again be on the short list of top sprinters in the state. Alex Baur and Joe Baur join Tompkins in the shorter races. Doherty is the top distance threat. Fornaro (third in the discus and fourth in the shot put last season) is going to be a thrower to watch. Sarapas also competes in those events. Frank Morang comes over from the indoor team to contend in the jumps. Teigan Lindstedt, Gavin Callahan and Anthony Pacitti also join the team and bring athleticism and depth. It should be a very competitive season for the Stags, both in conference during the regular season and at the state level.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Ben Putnam (third year)

2018 record: 5-8 (Lost, 4-1, to Gorham in Class A South preliminary round)

Top returning players: Cameron Harris (Senior), Aidan Treutel (Junior), Dylan Morrison (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “The majority of the team returns from last season and their experience will certainly help us. The kids have been working hard in the preseason and we’re eager to see where we stack up with the rest of the league.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus extended its streak of making the playoffs to 18 years last spring and the Stags are ready to contend once again.

Treutel made the SMAA all-star team last season. He’ll be a top singles player. Harris and Morrison also have experience. Keep an eye out this spring for new sophomore Connor Feeney and freshmen Jack Krieger and Odan Strock. 

Cheverus, along with the rest of Class A South, is chasing defending champion Falmouth and powerhouse Thornton Academy. How well the Stags do against teams with similar talent will determine how high they’ll finish. Look for Cheverus to again make the playoffs and this time around, the Stags could go on a run.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Jason Barriault (fifth year)

2018 record: 10-3 (Lost, 3-2, to Portland in Class A South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Anastasia Kapothanasis (Senior), Kristina Matkevich (Junior), Julia Ryan (Junior), Lily Paszyc (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We’ve had some great regular seasons the last few years, but each year we seem to come up short in the the postseason and end up feeling a little disappointed. The team really needs to come together and take it to the next level late in the season. This year the focus is less on the big regular season matches and more on peaking for the playoffs, so that we can make a run when it counts. I think we have the athletes and abilities to be right there with every team in the league. The question will be if we’re able to win the individual matchups at the right time. I’m optimistic we’ve improved this year. The goal now is to execute and reach our full potential.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus has posted nine straight winning seasons and a 10th appears in store. The Stags aren’t looking to just make the playoffs, however, and this might just be the group that produces a long postseason run.

Kapothanasis was a first-team league all-star in 2018 and she’ll be back in a top singles spot. Matkevich will also play singles. Paszyc and Ryan are also in the mix for singles. The other will play doubles. Senior Audrey Byrne and freshmen Cosima Curran and Paige Curran are newcomers to watch.

Cheverus, like everyone else in the region, is chasing Falmouth. The Stags have a good a chance as anyone at being the team to knock the Yachtsmen off their perch. It will take steady improvement and determination, but such a lofty goal is attainable.

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

Senior Jack Mullen will be one of the top pitchers in Class A South this spring and he’ll look to lead Cheverus’ baseball team to the pinnacle.

Look for senior Justin Ray to make a lot of clutch plays in the field and as a pitcher in the weeks to come.

Junior Chris Cimino will be a top hitter for the Stags.

Andrew DeGeorge will make plays in the field and at the plate for the Stags.

Senior Bella Booth is a key returner for a Cheverus girls’ lacrosse team seeking to get back to the regional final this season.

Neve Cawley returns in goal for Cheverus.

Junior Aisling Flaherty will be a top scoring threat for the Stags.

Zoe Mazur will make her presence felt all over the field.

Emma White is a top jumper and hurdler for the defending Class A champs.