BASEBALL

Senior Colin Smith will be a top pitcher for Cape Elizabeth’s baseball team this season. File photos

Coach: Glenn Reeves (third year, 14-20 overall record)

2021 record: 10-8 (Lost, 12-6, in 10-innings, to York in Class B South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Colin Smith (Senior), Hayden Webber (Senior), Curtis Sullivan (Junior), Gabe Harmon (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 25 YORK, April 29 @ Freeport, May 6 GREELY, May 13 @ Greely, May 20 FREEPORT, May 25 @ York

Coach’s comment: “Last year, we improved by six wins from 2019. We return eight players who saw varsity action last year If our pitchers can stay healthy and we can get improved/timely hitting, we should be in the thick of playoff contention.”

Advertisement

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth made great strides last season and this year, should be among the top contenders in a deep and talented Class B South again.

The Capers return four league all-stars. Smith (who will pitch, as well as play first base and third base) hit .304 in 2021 and led the team in runs batted in. Smith, a co-captain, was the team’s number two pitcher back in his freshman year. Now, after being sidelined first by a pandemic, then by arm injuries, he’ll be a key contributor on the hill again as a senior. Webber, the other co-captain, went 5-2 with a 1.54 earned run average with 44 strikeouts in 41 innings a year ago. He’ll also see time in the infield and the outfield. Sullivan went 2-0 with a 1.30 ERA last spring. A talented fielder, Sullivan will see time at first base and in the outfield when he’s not on the hill. Harmon had a strong freshman campaign, when he led the team in batting with a .324 average. He’ll play shortstop and could see some time on the mound later in the year. Senior first baseman/designated hitter Aidan Connelly, junior catcher/outfielder Antonio Dell’Aquila, sophomore catcher Charlie Song and junior pitcher/first baseman/outfielder Owen Tighe are other players to watch.

Cape Elizabeth has its hands full in the league with the likes of reigning regional champion Freeport and traditional powers Greely, Yarmouth and York, but the pieces are in place for the Capers to again win more than they lose and be in position to make a deep postseason run.

SOFTBALL

Cape Elizabeth’s softball team was simply unbeatable a year ago and celebrated its Class B state title with gusto. The Capers go for a repeat this spring.

Coach: Kristen Duross (second year)

2021 record: 21-0 (Beat Winslow, 19-4, in five-innings, to win Class B state title)

Advertisement

Top returning players: Kat Callahan (Senior), Kathryne Clay (Senior), Dana Schwartz (Senior), Esme Song (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 25 YORK, April 27 @ Fryeburg Academy, May 2 GRAY-NG, May 6 GREELY, May 13 @ Greely, May 16 POLAND, May 25 @ York

Coach’s comment: “The girls worked really hard last year. They practiced how they played and gave 110 percent. If they keep doing that, they will continue to be successful. We hope to bring the same energy and commitment as we had last year to achieve a winning record and win states again.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth didn’t just win the state title for the second time in program history last spring, the Capers were an absolute juggernaut, one of the most dominant teams in recent memory, scoring nearly 300 runs, winning the vast majority of their games by the mercy rule and when they were tested on a couple occasions in the playoffs, they rose to the occasion in memorable style. Graduation claimed ace pitcher Anna Cornell and all-star Julia Torre, but if you think Cape Elizabeth is poised for a step back this spring, guess again.

This year’s team will turn to Clay as its ace pitcher. Clay was the catcher last season and is poised to step in to the circle and dominate. She was an all-star a year ago when she hit the cover off the ball, batting .657 with 10 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 38 runs scored, a dozen stolen bases and a whopping 35 runs batted in. Senior Clara Parker will have an opportunity to throw some innings as well. Sophomore Lauren Steinberg replaces Clay behind the plate and will also play in the infield. Freshman Elsie Maxwell is poised to step in and play first base, while sophomore Sophia Chung will be at shortstop. Callahan returns and will play third base. She hit .429 a year ago with eight doubles, scored 17 runs and had 19 RBI. The outfield features two standouts, Schwartz (who batted .556 during all-star season in 2021 with four doubles, three triples and two home runs, as well as 40 runs scored, 28 RBI and 25 stolen bases), who was Cape Elizabeth’s Winter Athlete of the Year for her skiing brilliance, and Song (.457 last season with six doubles, 36 runs scored, 14 stolen bases and 19 RBI).

It all adds up to another powerhouse. The Capers might not pummel the opposition with quite the same consistency this season and there are teams that will give them a challenge, but if the hunger remains, so will the triumph .One thing this program has never done is repeat as state champions. This squad has the ability to do that very thing.

Advertisement

BOYS’ LACROSSE

The 2021 season was a non-stop celebration for the Cape Elizabeth boys’ lacrosse juggernaut. The Capers are hoping to repeat as Class A champions this spring.

Coach: Ben Raymond (24th year, 298-48 overall record, 12 state championships)

2021 record: 16-0 (Beat Falmouth, 19-6, to win Class A state title)

Top returning players: Nic Boudreau (Senior), Colin Campbell (Senior), Cole Garlock (Senior), Tiernan Lathrop (Senior), Caden Lee (Senior), Caden MacDuffie (Senior), Nick Laughlin (Junior), Nate Patterson (Junior), Andrew Trachimowicz (Junior), Sam Cochran (Sophomore), Keegan Lathrop (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 25 @ Yarmouth, May 2 @ Falmouth, May 9 @ Scarborough, May 11 YARMOUTH, May 20 @ Thornton Academy, May 27 SOUTH PORTLAND

Coach’s comment: “It’s a great group of kids who enjoy practice and competing. These guys are still hungry. They want to prove they’re better than last year. It helps to have so many kids who want to play after high school. To do that, they have to continue to improve. We want to make everyone on the team a better player. Offensively, we’re going to be very hard to stop. One of our guys is always going to get a favorable matchup. We should be a very good team.”

Advertisement

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth was so good, so triumphant and so generational last spring that a documentary was made about the season, “Back on Top,” by Sam Whitney, a former player, now at Syracuse University. The Capers gave Whitney no shortage of footage to work with, as they steamrolled every foe and only were truly tested once, by Berwick Academy in the regional final. After dominating Falmouth in the state game, Cape Elizabeth finally had the one prize that had eluded it, the Class A crown. Even after All-American Archie McEvoy, along with some other key players graduated, this year’s team could (gulp) be even better.

Capers senior Tiernan Lathrop redefines the phrase matchup nightmare. He’ll score a lot of goals this season, even if there are defenders in his path.

Opposing defensive coaches are going to lose sleep deciding over which offensive standout to try to slow down. Do you try to stop Boudreau, a first-team all-star last year despite seeing limited action, who will play next year at Yale? Boudreau is coming back from an ACL injury and is eager to make up for lost time. If Boudreau is the focal point for the opposition, that will open things up for the human physical mismatch known as Tiernan Lathrop, a league all-star and All-American in 2021 who has yet to meet a defender he can’t bull his way through. Lathrop will play next year at Bryant University in Smithfield, Rhode Island. If you can somehow lock off both Boudreau and Lathrop, the underappreciated Campbell will get you. Campbell, another reigning league all-star, plans to play next year at Bowdoin College. Those three in and of themselves would be enough to lead most teams to the promised land, but there’s more. Lee has scored his share of key goals and is poised to do so again. Keegan Lathrop, a second-team all-star as a freshman, is only getting better, as is Cochran. As good as the Capers are on offense, they’re pretty awesome on defense too, on the rare occasions the opposition can set up at that end. For starters, there’s McDuffie, who led the football team to its first state title in November, then was named Cape Elizabeth’s Fall Athlete of the Year and ultimately the winner of the prestigious Fitzpatrick Trophy. He’s joined by Garlock, Laughlin and Patterson, a second-team all-star in 2021 who also plans to play college lacrosse at Bryant. Seniors Simon Algara (a transfer from Yarmouth) and Fred Shur were vying for the goalie spot at press time.

Talk about an embarrassment of riches. The Capers are a veritable all-star team and they’re not content to rest on their laurels. There are no sure things in life and certainly not in high school sports, but if this squad stays healthy and hungry, it will be very, very difficult to dethrone. Better than last year? That’s hard to imagine, but if Cape Elizabeth lives up to billing, that’s a debate that will be a lot of fun to have.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Senior Paige Long is a key returner for Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ lacrosse team, which makes the move to Class A this season.

Coach: Alex Spark (seventh year, 45-38 overall record, two state championships)

2021 record: 4-10 (Lost, 17-4, to eventual champion Yarmouth in Class B state quarterfinals)

Advertisement

Top returning players: Elise Branch (Senior), Ellie Gagne (Senior), Paige Long (Senior), Claire McDonald (Senior), Mia Ramsden (Senior), Annaliese Rudberg (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 14 @ York, April 26 YARMOUTH, April 30 @ Massabesic, May 6 @ Kennebunk, May 10 SCARBOROUGH, May 19 @ NYA, May 20 GREELY, May 24 YORK, May 27 @ Yarmouth, June 1 FREEPORT

Coach’s comment: “It’s a fun group. We have a good group of seniors, but no juniors. A lot of underclassmen. An athletic group of kids. Our schedule is tough, but it pays off. We want to be in Class A, playing teams we want to play. You have to beat the best to be the best. Once we jell, we’ll be a fun team to watch.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth moves up to Class A this season, a year after its two-year Class B title run came to a close. The Capers will have their hands full with a tough schedule, but they have enough talent to hold their own.

McDonald (who takes draws), Gagne and Long pace the offense. The defense features veterans Ramsden and Rudberg. Branch will be the fulltime goalie this spring. Several other athletes are awaiting their chance to shine.

There aren’t many breathers on this year’s schedule and there will be a learning curve moving up a level, but as they always do, expect the Capers to show steady improvement and be a very difficult team to face when the postseason arrives.

Advertisement

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach: Doug Worthley (25th year, two state championships)

2021 record:

(Boys) tie-11th @ Class B state meet
(Girls) 4th @ Class B state meet

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Vaughn Lindenau (Senior), Owen Patry (Senior)
(Girls) Penny Haydar (Senior), Marcella Hesser (Senior), Tori Hews (Senior), Camden Woods (Senior), Grace Gray (Junior), Hadley Mahoney (Sophomore)

Advertisement

Coach’s comment: “The team looks strong with several state meet returners and several newcomers who can make a difference. We hope to be strong heading into the championships and we hope to improve on last year’s finish at the state meet.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth enjoyed a strong season a year ago and will be a top contender in the Western Maine Conference and Class B again this spring.

The girls return Mahoney, who won the state title in both the mile and two-mile last season. She’s joined in the distance events by Haydar, junior Ainsley Fremont and sophomore Emma Young. Hews (who placed second in the 100, third in the 200 and was part of a champion 4×100 relay team a year ago), Gray (part of the champion 400 relay squad), Hesser (a member of the champion relay team), Woods and junior Caroline Concannon will all be top sprinters. Sophomores Evelyn Agrodnia and Emily Noble are jumpers to watch.

On the boys’ side, Patry (second in the two-mile at last year’s state meet) and Lindenau (fourth at states in the two-mile in 2021) are top returners. They’re joined in the distance by Carter Abrahamsen. The sprints and jumps feature Robby Ashe, Bowen Charlebois, Brendan Connolly, Oscar Gustafson, Matthew Leighton, James Rickman and Logan Schwartz. Senior Carter Merria and junior Tommy Gray are top throwers.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Andy Strout (43rd year, 16 state championships)

Advertisement

2021 record: 4-8 (Lost, 4-1, to Greely in Class B South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Jack Carignan (Junior), Eben Harrison (Junior), Gabe Berman (Sophomore), Owen Bromage (Sophomore), Finn Brucker (Sophomore), Theo Rodrigues (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “With such a young team, I would like to see day-to-day growth throughout the season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth is poised to return to top contender status this spring in Class B South.

Harrison was a first-team league all-star last season and figures to be in one of the top singles spots. Carignan, the other junior, along with a strong sophomore contingent of Berman, Bromage, Brucker and Rodrigues, are other players to watch.

The Capers are chasing the likes of Freeport, Greely and Yarmouth as the season commences and while those programs are further along at the moment, Cape Elizabeth hopes to run them down by the end of the campaign. If this group develops as hoped, it will be very formidable when the matches matter most.

Advertisement

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Sarah Boeckel (11th year, one state championship)

2021 record: 13-2 (Lost, 3-2, to Waterville in Class B state final)

Top returning players: Caroline Gentile (Senior), Sarah Hagan (Senior), Isa Kesselhaut (Senior), Aurora Milton (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We’re coming off a great season, where we played a great state final, but just came up short.  We’ve got some great returners from last season and some players ready to step into top positions. We’d like to improve every day and be playing our best tennis at the end of the season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cape Elizabeth came oh-so-close to capturing a state title last spring and this season, despite losing all-star Blair Hollyday to graduation, the Capers hope to finish the job and ascend to the pinnacle for the first time since 2016.

Gentile was a first-team all-star last season and will likely be in a top singles spot. Kesselhaut and Milton were top doubles players in 2021 and are other top returners, along with Hagan.

Cape Elizabeth has to contend with rivals like Greely and Yarmouth in the region just to get to its goal of playing in the state final. The Capers will be the hunted this time around, but will be up for the challenge. Don’t be surprised if they achieve their ultimate goal.

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

Comments are not available on this story.