There wasn’t much fault to be found with the 2022 fall sports season.

The weather was largely terrific and the highlights were plentiful across the board, as champions were produced in almost every sport.

Soccer excellence was a common theme, as Scarborough’s girls won a Class A state title in epic fashion, the Red Storm boys fell one goal short, Cape Elizabeth’s boys went undefeated in the regular season and made it to the regional final, the Capers girls didn’t lose a game until the semifinals, South Portland’s boys enjoyed another solid campaign, reaching the semifinals, and Greater Portland Christian’s boys’ team made the postseason as well.

On the gridiron, Cape Elizabeth wasn’t able to repeat in Class C, but the Capers did return to the regional final after navigating challenges on and off the field. South Portland enjoyed its best season in over two decades, reaching the Class B South Final. Scarborough also qualified for the playoffs.

Cape Elizabeth and Scarborough’s field hockey teams made runs to the postseason, as the Red Storm were knocked off in the quarterfinals and the Capers were ousted in the semifinals.

Scarborough’s volleyball team wasn’t able to repeat as Class A state champion, but enjoyed another strong season and made it to the state semifinals. Cape Elizabeth also reached the postseason.

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On the trails, the Cape Elizabeth girls won a regional title, but couldn’t reach the top spot at states. The Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough and South Portland boys also made it to the state meet.

No local team won a golf state title, but an individual standout did.

It’s time to move indoors and think winter sports, but before we do, here’s one last tip of the cap to the champions of autumn and a glimpse at the best stories of the season:

Northern edition fall champions

State
Scarborough Red Storm girls’ soccer, Class A

Regional
Cape Elizabeth Capers girls’ cross country, Class B South
Scarborough Red Storm, boys’ soccer, Class A South

Individual
Marc Twombly, boys’ golf, Class A

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Michael’s top five stories

5) Cape Elizabeth overcomes obstacles, reaches regional final

Senior Nick Laughlin capped his transcendent high school career with a superb senior campaign, helping Cape Elizabeth reach the Class C South Final. File photos

The Capers wore the bulls-eye as defending state champions and wore it well. Cape Elizabeth did lose close games at Wells and Leavitt during the regular season, but won its other six contests, including a four-touchdown victory at eventual Class B South finalist South Portland. The postseason brought a series of challenges that no one could have foreseen, as illness worked its way through the school and decimated the roster, forcing the quarterfinal game against Fryeburg Academy to be delayed three days. While the Capers had no trouble beating the Raiders, 46-8, they only had 96 hours until their next game, the semifinals at Wells, which proved to be a dogfight. Again, Cape Elizabeth stood tall, taking an early lead and holding on for an inspirational 20-14 triumph. The last mountain proved to be too high to climb, as the Capers took on Leavitt again in the regional final and went down to a 43-0 defeat, but their season was anything but boring and they turned heads with their resilience.

“I’m really proud of the guys,” said Cape Elizabeth coach Sean Green. “We just have a strong culture in our program.”

4) An inspirational individual golf title

Scarborough’s Marc Twombly drives the ball during his run to the Class A individual golf title last month.

Scarborough’s golf team enjoyed a strong regular season, but couldn’t quite take home the team title, tying Falmouth for second, as Brunswick took home top honors. Red Storm sophomore Marc Twombly stole the show as an individual, however, shooting an 18-hole round of 69, good for three-under-par. Twombly had to overcome challenges from other top players, as well as edema in his legs, which causes fluid to build up in his bone marrow and leads to pain when walking long distances. He wears a walking boot away from the course and rode in a cart for the qualifier and championship.

“It was a lifetime round,” Twombly said. “Everything was going my way. My putter was hot. Until the last two holes, I was making everything. It’s just a great feeling. I was hoping to, but I had no idea I was going to go this low.”

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3) Red Riots reach first regional final since 2000

South Portland senior quarterback Jaelen Jackson gained yardage by any means necessary during the Red Riots’ run to the Class B South Final.

South Portland entered the 2022 season believing it would be a top contender in Class B South. The Red Riots proved to be just that, but it was a winding road. The season began with a confidence-inspiring victory over reigning champion Marshwood, but after downing Gorham, South Portland was beaten at Massabesic, then suffered a 41-13 home setback to Cape Elizabeth. The season could have gone either way at that point, but behind the excellence of senior quarterback Jaelen Jackson and a strong supporting cast, the Red Riots rose off the deck, won three straight, then, after a close loss to Portland in the “Battle of the Bridge,” wound up third in the region. South Portland ended Marshwood’s title reign in the quarterfinals, then avenged a loss with a victory at Massabesic in the semifinals to advance to the regional final for the first time since John Wolfgram took the Red Riots there in his final season, 2000. South Portland held a first half lead at Portland in the Class B South Final, but ultimately fell short, 29-20, to finish 7-4. The program is poised for even more greatness down the road.

“This is just the beginning for the program,” said Red Riots coach Aaron Filieo. “My first freshman class got us to a regional final and we’ll just go up from here. I couldn’t be more proud of what these guys have done to buy in and carry us forward and their legacy will continue on. We’ll just continue to climb from here. This isn’t devastating because we’re in this for the long haul. We’re in this for the city of South Portland and the school and the program.”

2) Scarborough’s boys get oh-so-close to Gold Ball

Kilson Joao and his Red Storm teammates produced a ton of thrills over the course of the 2022 season.

The Red Storm turned heads from start to finish and nearly brought home their first championship since 2013 before watching it slip away in the final 13 minutes of the state final. Scarborough won its first 13 games this fall and after falling at home to Deering in the finale, took the top seed into the Class A South playoffs and navigated a daunting road, eliminating Falmouth, Gorham, then Windham (on junior Kilson Joao’s unforgettable overtime goal) to make it to the state game for the first time in seven games. There, against Brunswick, Jack Moreau scored in the first half and that goal stood up deep into the second, but the Dragons tied the score, then won it off a corner kick in the final minute to prevail, 2-1. The Red Storm were left heartbroken, but should be proud of the highlights they provided.

“Overall, the season was a tremendous success,” said Scarborough coach Mark Diaz. “I’m very proud of the guys. Everyone thought we’d just be OK this year. My senior class got us this far. They took it to another level all year. To go 16-2 with our schedule, that’s quite an accomplishment.”

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1) Red Storm girls rise to the pinnacle

It was a Gold Ball celebration for Scarborough’s girls after beating Brunswick in double-overtime in the Class A state final earlier this month.

It was a perfect ending to a perfect season for the perfect team. Scarborough hinted at big things to come when it won at defending state champion Windham early. The Red Storm then ran the table and at 14-0, earned the top seed for the Class A South tournament. After blanking Portland in the quarterfinals, Scarborough held off Cheverus in the semifinals. Lana Djuranovic, Ali Mokriski (twice) and Julia Black then scored memorable goals in a surprisingly decisive regional final victory over Gorham in a battle of unbeaten teams. The Red Storm’s final win was the toughest, against Brunswick in the state game. After 80 minutes of scoreless regulation, Scarborough extended the season in the first overtime when sophomore goalkeeper Sophia Rinaldi made the save of her life. Then, in the second OT, Mokriski served in a corner kick and Djuranovic soared into lore, heading it home for the punctuation mark. The Red Storm were champions for the first time in a decade and they did it in style.

“It was well-worth the wait,” said Scarborough coach Mike Farley. “This feels good, because I know how hard these kids have worked. It was a really fun season. We knew we were good, but as the season went along, you could tell we got better and better. We hit another gear in the playoffs. To grind this out, it shows how much this group has grown as soccer players.”

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

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