BASEBALL

Junior Colin Smith is one of Cape Elizabeth’s top starting pitchers this spring. File photos.

Coach: Glenn Reeves (second year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 4-12 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Will Altenberg (Senior), Charlie Bischoff (Senior), Charlie Carver (Senior), Patrick O’Brien (Senior), Jake Tinsman (Senior), Colin Smith (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 27 FREEPORT, May 1 @ Freeport, May 11 @ Yarmouth, May 14 YARMOUTH, May 18 @ Greely, May 22 GREELY, May 28 YORK, June 2 @ York

Coach’s comment: “After missing their junior season to COVID, the 10-deep sophomore class from 2019 is suddenly now seniors. (Colin) Smith, (Patrick) O’Brien and (Hayden) Webber constitute the core of a solid pitching rotation that welcomes additional new arms. Newcomers from the sophomore and freshmen classes will definitely add to our depth. This, along with expected improved hitting and run production, will most certainly help us improve upon our 2019 record and be a strong contender. Cape Elizabeth has a rich baseball tradition that includes 10 state championships, trailing only Bangor and Deering, and we’ve been a consistent tournament qualifier. Hanging another banner in the rafters remains the primary goal for 2021.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth is primed for a bounce-back campaign and figures to be right in the thick of the Class B South hunt when all is said and done.

Smith could be a top pitcher. He was a hard-luck 1-2 in 2019 with a 2.44 earned run average. He’s a potentially big bat as well, after leading the Capers in doubles two years ago. Smith will play in the infield when he’s not on the hill. O’Brien will be in the pitching rotation as well. He’s emerged over the past couple seasons and could make a big name for himself this spring. O’Brien, who will play in the outfield when he’s not pitching, could be another of the team’s top hitters. Altenberg, Bischoff, Carver and junior Hayden Webber are other pitchers to watch. It’s hard to believe that Tinsman is already a senior, but he is. He’ll be behind the plate (it’s hard to remember the last time Cape Elizabeth didn’t have a Tinsman at catcher) and will contribute to the offense with his big bat. Carver will be in the middle infield. Altenberg, Bischoff and Webber can all play multiple positions in the infield or outfield.

The Capers are thrilled to be back in action and are eager to prove that 2019 was an aberration. Cape Elizabeth will have ample opportunity to prove itself against top foes in the region during the regular season. That will make the Capers ready to make a playoff run when June rolls around. Expect this squad to be one of the final teams standing in Class B South.

SOFTBALL

Senior Anna Cornell returns as the Capers’ ace.

Coach: Kristen Duross (first year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 15-3 (Lost, 11-4, to Fryeburg Academy in Class B South semifinals))

Top returning players: Anna Cornell (Senior), Julia Torre (Senior), Kathryne Clay (Junior), Dana Schwartz (Junior), Esme Song (Junior)

Pivotal games: May 18 @ Greely, May 22 GREELY, May 24 @ Lake Region, May 28 YORK, June 2 @ York

Coach’s comment: “I think losing last year (to COVID-19) has really motivated and energized my girls to work so much harder. I know for me personally, I was very anxious to get this season going. Being hired for last year’s season and not being able to coach was really tough for me. The 2020 season was the first year I hadn’t coached at any level for the first time in five years. It’s like a piece of me was missing. I think everyone involved in softball around the state was more than ready to hit the ground running. We are going to take one game at a time and focus on what’s in front of us. It’s very exciting that spring sports are allowed to have playoffs and we plan to take full advantage of that. We are going to achieve this by coming to practice every day ready to improve and work harder than we did the day before. Our goals as a team are to have a winning record and win states.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth begins a new era, as Duross replaces Joe Henriksen, who coached for 22 years and won 277 games and the program’s only state title. Duross has quite a resume herself, having starred at Thornton Academy and later at the University of Southern Maine. Duross coached at TA and USM, as well as Wheelock College in Boston, then with a pair of travel teams. She takes over a program that is used to winning and the 2021 Capers figure to continue that tradition.

This year’s team returns an ace pitcher in Cornell, who made the Western Maine Conference first-team in 2019 after posting an earned run average of 1.40, striking out 108 batters and hitting .359. Clay, a second-team all-star two years ago, will also see time on the mound and will also serve as the catcher. Freshman Lauren Steinberg should get some innings behind the plate as well. Torre is another returning all-star who is a top hitter (she hit .400 in 2019). She’ll play shortstop. Schwartz and Song are veterans in the outfield. Freshman Sophia Chung will step right in and make an impact at second base.

It might take a few weeks for Cape Elizabeth to completely hit its stride, but the potential is undeniable. Once again, the Capers will go deep in the playoffs. Just how far remains to be seen.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Archie McEvoy has been a top player since his freshman year. Now, as a senior, he’ll look to lead the Capers to a state title.

Coach: Ben Raymond (23rd year, 282-48 overall record, 11 state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 13-1 (Lost, 8-5, to eventual champion Thornton Academy in Class A South Final)

Top returning players: Nick Clifford (Senior), Archie McEvoy (Senior), Nate Mullen (Senior), Gavin Simopoulos (Senior), Nic Boudreau (Junior), Colin Campbell (Junior), Tiernan Lathrop (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 21 @ Greely, April 23 YARMOUTH, May 12 GREELY, May 14 @ Yarmouth, May 18 @ TA, May 22 FALMOUTH, May 28 KENNEBUNK, June 1 @ Scarborough

Coach’s comment: “It’s great to play again. We have a good core back. The preseason is going well. Our senior group is very motivated. They feel like they missed out on a lot. Having talented juniors helps us. We should have some really good competition. Our goal is to win the state championship and be the best team in Class A.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth had its quest for a perfect season dashed in the regional final two years ago and it would have been championship caliber last spring, had there been a season. This year, the Capers are poised to make a run at their first Class A championship and you have to like their chances.

McEvoy, a first-team all-star as a sophomore, will be a top scorer. Look for offense to come as well from Boudreau, Campbell, Clifford, Lathrop and Mullen, while new senior Oskar Frankwicz (the hockey standout) and freshman Keegan Lathrop will also be heard from. Senior Gus Huffard is the faceoff specialist. Defensively, Simopoulos is the anchor. He’ll be joined by sophomore Nate Patterson to lock things down in front of new goalie, senior Charlie Whitney.

As always, Cape Elizabeth will measure itself against the best teams in the region during the regular season and will get a pretty good idea of where it stands as a result. Raymond is well known for getting his team to improve dramatically over the course of the season. That will be especially critical this year after a long layoff. If the Capers develop as hoped, they’ll be on the big stage June 19 and could end their title drought.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team has celebrated state titles each of the past two competitive seasons. The Capers will make a run another crown this spring. 

Coach: Alex Spark (sixth year, 41-28 overall record, two state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 13-2 (Beat Yarmouth, 12-11, in triple overtime, to repeat as Class B state champion)

Top returning players: Charlotte Graham (Senior), Annie Guimond (Senior), Hannah Johnson (Senior), Hannah Leiss (Senior), Laura Ryer (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 20 KENNEBUNK, April 22 WINDHAM, April 28 YARMOUTH, May 12 @ Falmouth, May 19 LAKE REGION, May 21 MASSABESIC, May 28 @ Yarmouth, June 1 @ Greely

Coach’s comment: “We’re all just happy to be back on the field. We’ve lost tons the last two years, but our program is huge. We have some very athletic newcomers. I’m looking for us to come together and jell after a year off. It’s about getting to know each other and find our game. We want to play our best at the very end of the season. That’s always our program’s goal.”

Senior Hannah Johnson is a top returner for the two-time defending Class B champion Cape Elizabeth girls.

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth has won the past two Class B state championships in absolutely magical and memorable fashion. A bid for a three-peat was put on hold, but now that the Capers are back in action, they’re primed to make another title run and it would be foolish to bet against them.

While 2019 state game hero Karli Chapin and goalie Erin Foley, among other key contributors, have moved on to college, plenty of talent remains. On offense, Graham and Johnson will lead the way. Guimond, coming off a terrific hockey season, Leiss and Ryer are all stellar defenders who might see time in the midfield as well. Senior Cammie Wood replaces Foley in goal.

While there might not be quite as much star power this spring as in recent seasons, Cape Elizabeth will still be very good. A tough schedule will serve the Capers well heading into the playoffs and once they’re there, look out.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach: Doug Worthley (24th year, two state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 

(Boys) 8th @ Class B state meet
(Girls) Tie-10th @ Class B state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Ethan Dorval (Senior), Keegan O’Grady (Senior), Ricky Perruzzi (Senior)
(Girls) Zoe Evans (Senior), Isabelle O’Grady (Senior), Mae Rayner (Senior)

Coach’s comment: “Both teams look to turn in strong performances, get several relay teams and individuals to place in the (Western Maine Conference) and the state meet. The boys are a veteran team led by our sprinters and we look to be in the hunt this season. The girls are looking to send strong relays and several hopefuls to states and look to be in the top 10.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth once again boasts some great athletes on both the boys’ and girls’ squads.

Perruzzi, who was sixth in the two-mile at the 2019 Class B state meet, is the lone returning scorer. He’ll be a top distance runner, a unit which also features Carter Abrahamsen, Bowen Charlebois, Vaughn Lindenau and Owen Patry. The sprint contingent includes Nathan Ashe, Robby Ashe, Bodhi Beber, Brendan Connolly, Oscar Gustafson, Sebastian Hesser, James Rickman and Logon Schwartz. That group makes up some of the top jumpers as well. O’Grady and Dorval bring senior experience. Chris Choi, Tommy Gray, Gabe Harrison, Matt Leighton and Carter Merriam will compete in the throws. The Capers will be tough in the regular season and have the potential to be top 10 at states.

On the girls’ side, big-time point scorer Darcy Cochran has graduated, but the cupboard isn’t bare. Sprinting, featuring seniors Isabelle O’Grady and Mae Rayner, along with juniors Marcella Hesser and Camden Woods and newcomer Tori Hews, will be a strength. Senior Zoe Evans, juniors Eva Morris, Emma Mullen and newcomers Penny Haydar and Sabine Spier are top-sprinters. Caroline Concannon, Grace Gray and Piper Rickman are new to the team and look to contribute. Cape Elizabeth should show steady improvement in the weeks to come.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Andy Strout (42nd year, 16 state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 3-9 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Joe Labrie (Senior), Matt Narowetz (Senior), Tyler Rodenberger (Senior)

Coach’s comment: “Thank God we’re back. The kids need this. We want to have fun and to gain experience so we can compete through the year and into the future.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth missed the playoffs in 2019, for the first time in 36 seasons, then didn’t get to play at all last year, but expect things to return to normal for the Capers this spring.

Rodenberger will play singles, while Labrie and Narowetz will be in doubles spots. New junior Crispen Durvee and sophomore Eben Harrison should make an immediate impact.

Cape Elizabeth is chasing the likes of Freeport, Greely and Yarmouth as the season begins. Don’t be surprised if the Capers catch them by the end of the year.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Sarah Boeckel (10th year, one state championship)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 11-3 (Lost, 3-2, to Greely in Class B South semifinals)

Top returning players: Blair Hollyday (Senior), Caroline Gentile (Junior), Sarah Hagan (Junior), Isa Kesselhaut (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “It feels great to get a full season, with playoffs and a singles tournament. It feels like a little normalcy. I hate that we lost a year and the girls are one year older in school. It certainly makes you appreciate the season a little more. I’m really looking forward to watching us grow as a team and as individual players. Obviously we’d love to get to a state final, but we need to take one match at a time and keep getting better.

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth has been to the semifinals or better four years running and should be in contention again this spring before all is said and done.

Hollyday was a first-team league all-star in 2019 and will play first singles this season. Gentile projects to play second singles and Hagan will be in a singles role as well. Kesselhaut will be part of the first doubles team. After that, there were plenty of unknowns at the start of the season, but rest assured that Boeckel will figure it out.

The Capers are accustomed to deep playoff runs and there’s no reason to think they won’t again be one of the final teams standing.

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

Comments are not available on this story.