BASEBALL

When we last saw Scarborough’s baseball team, it was celebrating an improbable Class A state title two years ago. This spring, the Red Storm, under a new coach, look to run it back. File photos.

Coach: Wes Ridlon (first year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 16-4 (Beat Oxford Hills, 3-2, in eight innings, to win Class A state title)

Top returning players: Ryan Gamberdella (Senior), Peter O’Brien (Senior), Nic Frink (Junior), T.J. Liponis (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 27 PORTLAND, April 30 GORHAM, May 4 @ Falmouth, May 11 @ Cheverus, May 14 TA, May 18 SOUTH PORTLAND, June 1 @ South Portland

Coach’s comment: “I’m excited for all spring student-athletes to have the opportunity to get back on to the field to compete and be a part of helping their communities get back to a sense of normalcy. As with all years, we are focused on competing for a state championship. We have a core group returning from the 2019 team along with a strong group of newcomers who will be gaining their first year of varsity baseball experience. It will be important that we continue to gel as a team and develop over the course of the year.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough stole headlines in 2019, shocking South Portland in a marathon (11-inning) regional final, then outlasting Oxford Hills in eight innings to win an improbable first Class A championship. The architect of that title, legendary coach Mike D’Andrea, has moved on to Falmouth, but Ridlon, his former assistant, is primed to keep the Red Storm on top. Ridlon, who won a pair of state titles as a player at Deering before going on to play at Bowdoin College, has been a longtime assistant with Portland, South Portland and for the past four seasons with Scarborough. He takes over a team that still has plenty of talent.

Frink, one of the top catchers in the league, wields a potent bat as well (posting five doubles, one home run and 13 runs batted in two years ago). O’Brien, Scarborough’s Winter Male Athlete of the Year, is a top outfielder who can also crush the ball. O’Brien hit .409 with runners in scoring position and had 13 RBI two seasons ago. Liponis, the shortstop, hit .296 in 2019. He’ll play an important role at the plate and on defense. Pitching, of course, is the name of the game in high school baseball and the Red Storm are hopeful that Gamberdella (1.90 earned run average as a sophomore), junior Ryan Kelly and freshman Harrison Griffiths can come up big. Junior outfielders Thomas Donahue and Ben Seguin and sophomore infielder Cade Sullivan look to step in and make their mark.

Scarborough has lost some top-notch talent to graduation the past couple of years, but this program simply reloads. The faces might be unfamiliar, but the end result could be most familiar indeed, with the Red Storm making a deep run in the playoffs.

SOFTBALL

Scarborough’s softball team has celebrated three consecutive Class A state titles and has won with breathtaking regularity. The Red Storm will be challenged this season, but can’t be overlooked.

Coach: Tom Griffin (31st year, 472-88 overall record, eight state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 20-0 (Beat Skowhegan, 11-1, to win third straight Class A state title)

Top returning players: Sylvia Foley (Senior), Mollie Verreault (Senior), Katie Roy (Junior), A.J. Swett (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 27 PORTLAND, April 30 GORHAM, May 8 @ Westbrook, May 14 TA, May 19 SOUTH PORTLAND, May 21 BIDDEFORD, June 1 @ South Portland

Coach’s comment: “We have a lot of kids back who got experience a couple years ago. We’ll have a good lineup and I think we’ll be OK on defense. Our pitching staff is where we got hurt. We don’t have any kids who have pitched a varsity inning. Teams will score against us, but we have a lineup that will score runs too. There’s a lot of expectations on the kids. Hopefully, as the season goes on, we’ll gain experience and grow stronger.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: When we last saw Scarborough, it was extending some mind-boggling streaks and winning more hardware. In 2019, the Red Storm finished the regular season unbeaten for the sixth straight year, stretched their regular season win streak to 105 games, their overall win streak to 60 and captured their third consecutive Class A state title. Since then, graduation has taken its toll and the pitcher expected to be this year’s ace, Caitlin Noiles, has transferred to Westbrook. Weep not for Scarborough, however, as it will once again be very good, albeit perhaps more mortal than in many, many years.

This year’s team has four crucial veterans looking to lead the way. Roy, who can play the corner infield, catch, or be the designated hitter, wields a powerful bat. Roy was a second-team SMAA all-star in 2019, hitting .537 with a home run, 13 runs scored and 18 runs batted in. Foley, the catcher, hit .435 as a sophomore in a season which saw her named an honorable mention all-star. Foley will play a key role breaking in new pitchers (more on them in a moment). Verreault, the shortstop, another honorable mention all-star in 2019, batted .354 two years ago when she scored 20 times. Swett, who will be in centerfield, is another tough out. She batted .373 and drove in 15 runs in 2019. Senior outfielder Jordan Crosby, senior utility player Anna Saraceno and senior second baseman/outfielder Alyssa Desbeaux will also contribute at the plate. So the offense appears to be just fine. The question will be pitching, but there is promise in that category. Senior Jenna Giguere, sophomore Lina Pizzella (who is another good hitter) and freshman Megan Robinson will all see time this spring.

In a year where several other teams in the league have gotten stronger, the hope elsewhere is that Scarborough has come back to the pack. That might be true, but when the games matter most, it might not mean a thing. The Red Storm know how to win better than anyone. That trait will carry them far and seeing them in the season’s biggest games once more wouldn’t come as a surprise.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Zach Barrett (third year, 7-18 overall record)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 4-9 (Lost, 12-5, to eventual champion Thornton Academy in Class A South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Alex Callahan (Senior), Aidan Joyce (Senior), Owen Leadley (Senior), Will St. Germain (Senior), Jeremiah Park (Junior), Finn Patterson (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 24 @ TA, April 29 SOUTH PORTLAND, May 4 @ Falmouth, May 7 KENNEBUNK, May 11 @ South Portland, May 13 TA, May 24 FALMOUTH, May 25 @ Kennebunk, June 1 CAPE ELIZABETH

Coach’s comment: “The guys are excited. I think we have an extremely talented, motivated team this year. The guys have worked hard. They’re committed. The guys don’t want to have seasons like 2018 and 2019 again. Our senior class is talent-heavy and enthusiastic. The underclassmen are a question mark, since they haven’t had much time, but I think they’re ready to step up. We have the pieces. We just have to go out and execute. I think we’ll be right in the mix. We want to go far and be one of the best teams.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough is ready to climb back into the upper echelon this spring, but with a daunting schedule, it won’t be easy.

The Red Storm are led at attack by Joyce and Patterson. In the midfield, Leadley, Park and St. Germain have experience. Callahan is the top returning defender. He’s joined by senior Mason Hertlein in front of new goalie, senior Josh Medeiros.

Scarborough has its share of talent and depth and it will steadily improve this spring. The Red Storm’s win-loss record will be of secondary concern. The lessons learned along the way will pay huge dividends as they try to make a run at greatness. Rest assured that none of the top Class A teams will want to face Scarborough with their season on the line.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Emily Hopkins (third year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 1-11 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Natalie Bilodeau (Senior), Ashley Farrington (Senior), Kathleen Murphy (Senior), Kayleigh York (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 23 GORHAM, April 29 @ Cheverus, May 4 MASSABESIC, May 12 @ Greely, May 29 @ Falmouth

Coach’s comment: “I think lacrosse has taken on a whole new meaning for us this year after losing all of last season. There’s certainly a seriousness and a level of dedication now that we’re back, but there’s also such a feeling of joy for being outside on the field with teammates again. For the past few seasons, we’ve felt like our team has had huge potential out on the field. We’ve left tough matchups feeling proud of what we put out there, but our potential hasn’t paid off in the win column. This year, we’re changing that. We’d like our record to reflect what we’re doing out on the field with big defensive stops and fast, talented players through the midfield into the attacking end. This group of girls feels special, so we’re going to take it as far as we can this year, hoping the season allows us to stay out on the field.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The Red Storm have high hopes this spring and there’s certainly reason for optimism.

Murphy returns in goal. She was an SMAA second-team all-star in 2019. Farrington, a member of the SMAA All-Rookie team two years ago, and York pace the defense. Bilodeau will be a top offensive threat. Sophomore Molly Henderson could make an immediate impact as a scorer at attack, while sophomore Stella Grondin is a midfielder to watch. Junior Darby Stolz will take draws.

Scarborough will get ample opportunity to prove itself this spring, as it faces some of the best teams in the region. The Red Storm should be able to improve their win-loss record by several victories and position themselves to be a factor in the postseason.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Junior Jayden Flaker will be one of the state’s premier hurdlers this season.

Coaches:

(Boys) Derek Veilleux (18th year, four state championships)

(Girls) Ron Kelly (47th year, 10 state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 

(Boys) Class A state champions
(Girls) 4th @ Class A state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Carter Chen (Senior), Erik LoSacco (Senior), Warren O’Shea (Senior), Zach Barry (Junior), Noah Batoosingh (Junior), Nicholas Connolly (Junior), Jayden Flaker (Junior), Toby Martin (Junior)

Coach Veilleux’s comment: “Our goal is to improve throughout the season. Hopefully, we will have a state championship meet. If we do, I expect this team to compete for a state title.”

Coach Kelly’s comment: “Because of no season last year, we have two groups of kids to develop. We are a young team looking for experience this season and beyond.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Both Scarborough teams are accustomed to being at or near the top of Class A and the Red Storm will be very strong again this spring.

The boys’ squad will miss departed all-time standout Jarett Flaker, but the team still features Barry, who was part of a state champion 3,200 relay team as a freshman, Jayden Flaker, who was part of a champion 1,600 relay team and placed third in both the 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles two years ago, and O’Shea, who joined Jayden Flaker on that champion relay squad. This spring, Barry and O’Shea lead the distance contingent, while Flaker will make a run at the top spot in the hurdles and the sprints. Batoosingh (sprints), Chen (hurdles and pole vault), Connolly (throws) and Martin (hurdles and pole vault) are other veterans. Newcomers of note include senior Griffin Hebert (sprints and hurdles), junior Justin Liang (throws) and sophomore Adam Bendetson (distance).

On the girls’ side, no points return from the 2019 state meet, but several athletes are primed to make their mark. Senior distance runners include Maggie Amman, Harshini Chaganti and Lena Wood. The Red Storm are deep in the sprints behind seniors Lily Davis and Abby Drapeau, juniors Sophie Brooks, Caroline Canatsey, Alexis Clement, Una Djuranovic and Dani Michaud and some promising underclassmen. Juniors Alayayhf Schmitz and Annie Wright are top hurdlers. In the throws, look for senior Elaina Panagakos and junior Grace Boucher to be top contenders. Upperclassmen jumpers include Michaud, and juniors Elisabeth Lefebvre and Emma Saraceno. This will be a growth year for the Red Storm, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be very tough by the time the state meet rolls around.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Craig McDonald (20th year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 2-10 (no playoffs)

Top returning player: Preston Rainsford (Senior)

Coach’s comment: “The team is excited just to have the opportunity to enjoy being outside, play tennis and connect with their peers. The team is returning one varsity starter from 2019. We have two positions to fill this year at singles and four in doubles. The new match schedule has us playing multiple teams twice. This is the first time in at least 15 years that we will play teams more than once during the regular season. This will give us the ability to see how we have progressed over the season when we play teams for the second time. In terms of wins and losses, we are looking to be above .500 for the season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough missed out on the playoffs two years ago, but should be much improved this season.

Rainsford is the lone veteran. He returns at first singles. Senior Adam Peterson, junior Jayson Thatcher and sophomore Brendan Amann are newcomers to watch.

The Red Storm look forward to a season of growth and improvement. They could be a difficult matchup when the playoffs arrive.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Lincoln MacIsaac (13th year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 14-2 (Lost, 5-0, to Lewiston in Class A state final)

Top returning players: Mayne Gwyer (Senior), Grace Keenan (Senior), Mia Ranello (Senior), Madison Scammell (Senior), Kelsey Erb (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We graduated six of seven starters, so our lineup will definitely be different, however, many of them have either varsity experience or other tennis competition experience. This group is working hard every day and we have a great mix of upperclassmen and younger players with a variety of skills. They all want to win and compete and they know that there are some open roster spots on varsity that need to be filled. We have a great core of senior players that have already had a big impact our new players and have willingly worked with them to get us in a position to be competitive. The singles players have been relentless in their play, forcing all of them to dig a little deeper and stay focused. We may be young, but this team wants to win. We hope to push for a playoff spot and then see what happens. I think we have a chance to do some remarkable things, but we need to stay focused and do the day to day work.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Scarborough enjoyed the finest season in program history in 2019, ending Falmouth’s record win streak in a regional final shocker before losing in the state final. The Red Storm were primed to go all the way last spring, but never got the chance. This season, Scarborough has a lot of talent, but it might take some time to put it all together.

Gwyer was an all-star at doubles in 2019. She’s a captain and will play an integral role in the team’s success. Scammell is another veteran who will play doubles. Keenan can play singles or doubles. Ranello has doubles experience. Erb projects to be at either second or third singles. The top singles spot will go to sophomore Amber Woods. Freshman Sanibel Shinners is in line for a singles spot as well. Other players looking to earn a spot on the ladder are Anna Borelli, sophomores Ayden Harris and Stella Lafayette and freshmen Talia Borelli, Isabella Cosma and Lana Djuranovic.

The Red Storm have shown that they can do great things. This year’s squad has high hopes as well. Another deep postseason run isn’t out of the question.

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

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