Senior Gabe Wagner is a top returner for a hungry Freeport boys’ basketball team, which could be among the best in Class B South this winter. File photo

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Coach: Bill Ridge (fifth year, 31-44 overall record)

2018-19 record: 12-7 (Lost, 56-49, to Cape Elizabeth in Class B South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Heath Cockburn (Senior), Gabe Wagner (Senior), Alex Helie (Junior), Elias Thomas (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 14 @ Cape Elizabeth, Dec. 23 @ Waynflete, Jan. 2 @ Gray-New Gloucester, Jan. 4 GREELY, Jan. 9 YARMOUTH, Jan. 11 GRAY-NG, Jan. 17 LAKE REGION, Jan. 28 YORK, Jan. 31 @ Yarmouth, Feb. 4 WELLS, Feb. 6 @ Lake Region

Coach’s comment: “We lost six of our top seven top minutes played and a lot of senior leadership. We had a strong JV group last year, so we have good talent coming up. The guys like playing together and playing fast. We’ll take some lumps, but we want to peak in February. We want to find our way into the Tournament and if we progress the way we hope, we’ll be in a position to make some noise.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Falcons are poised to make a lot of noise in the weeks to come, as this group has the potential to finish atop a balanced Class B South if all goes well.

Wagner, Freeport’s Fall Male Athlete of the Year, is primed for his final high school basketball season. Wagner was the team’s second-leading scorer a year ago with 13.3 points per contest. He’ll likely be even more prolific this winter. Cockburn will do his share of damage at guard as well. The point guard projects to be sophomore Blaine Cockburn. Seniors Liam Holt and Tre Morris and junior Cam Strong provide depth at that position. Up front, Helie and Thomas have experience. Sophomore Colby Arsenault will make his presence felt as well.

While Cape Elizabeth, Lake Region, Wells and Yarmouth make up formidable competition, the Falcons should have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with those squads, as well as some other powerhouses on the schedule. With this group, it will be about coming together as a team and saving its best for last. Freeport is no longer content just making the tournament field, it wants to be one of the last teams standing and it wouldn’t be wise to bet against these Falcons.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Freeport senior Caroline Smith is one of the state’s premier players and she hopes to lead the Falcons to their first championship in over 40 years before graduating. File photo

Coach: Seth Farrington (second year)

2018-19 record: 16-5 (Lost, 42-31, to eventual champion Gray-New Gloucester in Class B South Final)

Top returning players: Abby Brier (Senior), Catriona Gould (Senior), Lindsay Routhier (Senior), Caroline Smith (Senior), Hannah Spaulding (Senior), Hannah Groves (Junior), Rachel Wall (Junior), Mason Baker-Schlendering (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Dec. 20 GREELY, Jan. 2 @ Gray-New Gloucester, Jan. 4 @ Greely, Jan. 7 BRUNSWICK, Jan. 9 @ Yarmouth, Jan. 11 GRAY-NG, Jan. 28 @ York, Feb. 1 YARMOUTH, Feb. 4 @ Wells

Coach’s comment: “We’re off to a pretty good start this preseason. We’ve competed against some good teams. We return everybody from last year’s team. We know what the expectation is. This group focuses on taking it one game at a time really well. We won’t look past anybody. We’ll focus on playing all 32 minutes. These girls have been there. They’ve played in big games and won big games. Now, we have to go out and find ways to win.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport has lost in the Class B South Final two years running and now, the Falcons are primed to take that next step. And they’re expected to and while wearing the bulls-eye might be overwhelming for some, this group will welcome the challenge.

Smith is the top returner. She dazzled as a junior, averaging 17.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.8 assists per contest and was a first-team league all-star and Freeport’s Winter Female Athlete of the Year. Smith has shown the ability to hit the biggest shots in the most clutch situations and will lead the team again, but she has plenty of help. Gould, the soccer standout/Freeport’s Fall Female Athlete of the Year, averaged 2.9 steals a game last year. Her speed allows her to do big things and she’ll be a captain and point guard this winter. Wall, a third-team all-star, who averaged 10.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in 2018-19, along with Groves and Baker-Schlendering, gives the Falcons an imposing front-court. Brier, Routhier and Spaulding will be key contributors as well

Freeport will get pushed by the likes of Wells and Yarmouth, but the Falcons will be primed for the challenge. If this squad stays healthy and hungry, a historic season and a first trip to the state final since the bicentennial year of 1976 is the likely end result.

BOYS’ HOCKEY

Coach: Joe Robinson (13th year, 107-115-9 overall record)

2018-19 record: 11-8-1 (Lost, 3-1, to Biddeford in Class A South semifinals)

Top returning players: Austin Gross (Senior), Deven Hannan (Senior), Gus Lappin (Senior), Liam McGibbon (Senior), Eric Walker (Senior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 7 ST. DOM’S, Dec. 12 @ Portland/Deering, Dec. 21 BIDDEFORD, Dec. 30 @ Scarborough, Jan. 9 CAPE ELIZABETH, Jan. 15 @ St. Dom’s, Jan. 18 LEWISTON, Jan. 23 @ Biddeford, Feb. 15 PORTLAND/DEERING, Feb. 18 @ Falmouth

Coach’s comment: “With North and South A combined now, it will be super-competitive with no clear-cut team at the top. All of the teams have a legitimate chance, so we’ll have to be consistent and come ready to play every single night. Hopefully we achieve this and in the end find ourselves in a position to compete for a state championship.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete co-op team is coming off a special campaign, one of its best ever and with a lot of talent back, the squad is poised to be one of the top contenders in Class A yet again.

Lappin was a second-team All-State selection a year ago. He’ll be a top scoring threat, along with Hannan and Walker. Juniors Owen Anderson and Anthony Panciocco and sophomore Cullen Adams will be in the scoring mix as well. On defense, Gross, along with freshmen Connor Cochran and Ian Wright, will make life easier for McGibbon, who is one of the league’s top goalies. Freshman Jasper Curtis will also see some time between the pipes.

South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete has learned how to compete with and beat the state’s top teams. This year’s squad needs to stay healthy and hungry and if that happens, a return trip to Lewiston could be the end result. This program has never played beyond the semifinals, but this could be the year it breaks through.

GIRLS’ HOCKEY

Coach: David Intraversato (first year, 18-36-2 overall record)

2018-19 record: 12-8 (Lost, 8-0 to Lewiston in North Region semifinals)

Top returning players: Sophie Newberg (Senior), Paige Rinaldi (Senior), Emma Moll (Junior), Lizzie Guertler (Junior), Allie Perrotta (Junior), Olivia Bradford (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Dec. 7 LEWISTON, Dec. 11 @ Greely, Dec. 21 CHEVERUS, Dec. 23 GREELY, Jan. 8 @ Lewiston, Jan. 11 @ Cape/SP/Waynflete

Coach’s comment: “We hope to have enough Heal Points to get into the playoffs and be playing at the top of our game by tourney time.  We have a great keeper that will get hot and who knows where that could take us.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Yarmouth/Freeport co-op team had a strong season a year ago and welcomes a new coach in Intraversato, who has spent the past couple autumns coaching the Freeport girls’ soccer team. He inherits a squad that is chasing after the likes of Lewiston, St. Dom’s and Edward Little in the North Region. Yarmouth/Freeport began the year with a 2-1 loss to Winslow, then beat Portland/Deering in overtime (1-0) before losing to Edward Little (1-0) and St. Dom’s (7-0).

Yarmouth/Freeport returns Perotta, who was an All-Conference goalie in 2018-19. Perotta, who has a .962 save percentage, will keep her team in a lot of games. Newberg and Rinaldi are top defenders. Freshman Chloe White is part of that mix as well. Other scorers to watch include Bradford, Guertler Moll and freshman Sadie Carnes, who scored the winning goal against Portland/Deering.

Yarmouth/Freeport will play hard every night and some wins will start rolling in. This is a team that could be a tough out when the postseason arrives.

INDOOR TRACK

Senior Tara Migliaccio was third in the Class B 400 last season and looks for even bigger things this winter. File photo

Coaches: Ginger Ivanov and Halie Lyons (first year)

2018-19 results:

(Boys) tie-26th @ Class B state meet

(Girls) 10th @ Class B state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Nate Davis (Junior)

(Girls) Emma Abbott (Senior), Edie Hayden-Hunt (Senior), Tara Migliaccio (Senior), Shaina Curry (Junior), Emily Pagnano (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “With an altered coaching staff and a roster heavily weighted to underclassmen, we are keeping an open mind with our expectations for the season. We have a lot of talented athletes returning who I think will serve as great models for newer and younger athletes and help us build up our program even more. We think they will provide a great foundation for the team now and in the future.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport has some top athletes returning on the girls’ side, while the boys will have a developing squad this winter.

The girls return Migliaccio, who was third in the 400 last year, and Abbott (fourth in the 200). They’ll anchor a strong sprinting unit. On the field side of things, Curry and Pagnano are top jumpers, while Hayden-Hunt throws the shot put.

On the boys’ side, no scorers return, but some promising athletes are eager for their chance. Davis will be a top distance runner. Junior Martin Horne comes over to indoor track from Nordic skiing and should make an immediate impact in the distance as well. Freshman Jack DiRusso is another runner to watch.

SWIMMING (co-op team with Yarmouth)

Coach: Dave Cox (third year)

2018-19 results:

(Boys) 6th @ Class B state meet

(Girls) tie-8th @ Class B state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Jeremy Brogan (Senior), Chase Bradbury (Junior), Brian Brogan (Sophomore)

(Girls) Selena Cummings (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We have three focused male athletes who will work to improve on last year’s finish. There are six girls who want to keep moving up.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport has several swimmers who train with Yarmouth who figure to represent their school in style this winter.

The boys will be led by Jeremy Brogan, who is a threat to score in the breaststroke and individual medley. Bradbury (backstroke and sprint freestyle) and Brian Brogan (distance freestyle and backstroke) will make some noise as well in the weeks to come.

On the girls’ side, the team will feature Cummings, who will compete in the butterfly and sprint freestyle.

ALPINE SKIING

Coach: Phil Wagner (first year)

2018-19 results:

(Boys) 3rd @ Class A state meet

(Girls) 7th @ Class A state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Noah Fowler, Parker Hall, Parker Landsbergen, Peyton Landsbergen, Andrew Morrisey, Ben Wagner

(Girls) Callie Fowler, Bella St. Cyr, Maisy St. Cyr

Coach’s comment: We graduated out a lot of talent last year, but have some exciting new skiers joining us. We’re hoping to make some noise at states this year and (fingers crossed) should have a much stronger showing on the ladies side.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport will once again be one of the top contenders in Class A as both squads feature some top-notch talent.

The boys have a veteran core returning in Fowler, Hall, Parker Landsbergen, Peyton Landsbergen, Morrisey and Wagner. They’re joined by promising newcomers Evan Ashanti and Bobby Strong, along with Coner Fox, Finn Furtney, Aiden LaPointe and Sam Maneikis to make up a formidable contender.

On the girls’ side, Maisy St. Cyr is the top returner. She placed 10th in the slalom and 19th in the giant slalom a season ago. Fowler and Bella St. Cyr also have experience. They’re joined by Anna Roy, Alejandro Toledano and Emily Wallace and Brunswick skiers Elenora Canfora, Amelia Donsbach and Helen Maher.

NORDIC SKIING

Coach: Joel Hinshaw (18th year)

2018-19 results:

(Boys) 2nd @ Class B state meet

(Girls) 2nd @ Class B state meet

Top returners:

Galena Fallon (Senior), Noah Hight (Senior), Caleb Hunter (Senior), Caitlin Keliher (Senior), Tom Robinson (Senior), Henry Southall (Senior), Sadie Southall (Senior), Maximo Steverlynck-Horne (Senior), Jane Dawson (Junior), Elias Dorsey (Junior), Tessa Erico (Sophomore), Helen Pope (Sophomore), Sam Robinson (Sophomore), Savannah Tracey (Sophomore), Ellie Whittier (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “I think we have a good season ahead of us. We have a strong boys’ team with a lot of upperclassmen. I expect we will see the team as a whole skiing strong. The girls have a younger team, but have a couple of really strong upperclassman leading the way. I think they will ski hard and we will have some very strong results and a lot of underclassman talent to be developed.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport is once again a top contender in Class B.

The Falcons have a strong senior core, which features four-year skiers Fallon, Hight, Hunter and Robinson, as well as veterans Keliher, Henry Southall, Sadie Southall and Steverlynck-Horne. Juniors Dawson and Dorsey have three years of experience. Sophomores Erico, Pope, Robinson, Tracey and Whittier are also familiar to the program. Keep an eye on freshmen additions Al Dawson, Henry Horne and Jillian Wright.

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

Comments are not available on this story.