Senior Silvano Ismail will be in the middle of the action all season for a Cheverus boys’ basketball team which should be a top contender in Class AA North. File photos.

Coach: Richie Ashley (second year)

2021-22 results: 9-10 (Lost, 59-46, to Oxford Hills in Class AA North semifinals)

Top returning players: Silvano Ismail (Senior), Gio St. Onge (Junior), Leo McNabb (Sophomore), Sammy Nzeyimana (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Dec. 13 @ Deering, Dec. 20 PORTLAND, Dec. 27 EDWARD LITTLE, Dec. 30 @ Hampden Academy, Jan. 5 DEERING, Jan. 7 @ Portland, Jan. 13 HAMPDEN ACADEMY, Jan. 16 @ Edward Little, Jan. 20 OXFORD HILLS, Feb. 1 @ Oxford Hills

Coach’s comment: “We have a lot of returning guys, we don’t have a lot of experience. Class AA North is a gauntlet. You better bring it every night or you’ll get beat. I hope we can build on last year. First and foremost, we want to be over .500 which we didn’t do last year. We want to have a quarterfinal game at home. We want to be in the hunt and be at our best in February.”


The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus made great strides a year ago as Ashley came in and rejuvenated the program. The Stags shocked Portland on Ismail’s unforgettable buzzer beater in the quarterfinals and as a result, they got to the Civic Center for the semifinals for the first time in a decade. That drought is a thing of the past and Cheverus now expects to be a regular downtown.

Junior Gio St. Onge is another key returner for the Stags.

Ismail, an SMAA second-team all-star last winter, will be one of the league’s and perhaps state’s finest players and he’ll do a little of everything, from running the point, to getting out and finishing in transition, to burying long shots. He averaged 13.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.4 assists last season and will likely build on those numbers. Nzeyimana (2.1 assists per game last year) will also play point guard. He had a strong freshman campaign in 2021-22. McNabb (5 points per game last winter) will also be heard from in the backcourt. St. Onge (6.3 points, 2.1 assists per game) made the SMAA All-Rookie team last season and will be an impact player at forward. Seniors Carter Hoglund and Luke McNabb can play guard or forward and will bring leadership and energy. Senior Jacob Lucier, junior Maddik Weisberg and promising freshman Jameson Fitzpatrick will play key roles in the post.

It all adds up to a team that should be even stronger than last year’s breakthrough squad. The Stags won’t be able to sneak up on anyone this time, but they don’t need to. Look for this group to be as tough an out as anyone by the time the postseason arrives.


Cheverus’ girls’ basketball team captured a long-awaited first Gold Ball last winter and will be in the hunt for another this season.

Coach: Billy Goodman (fourth year, 38-12 overall record, one state championship)

2021-22 results: 18-3 (Beat Gorham, 49-36, to win Class AA state title)


Top returning players: Maddie Fitzpatrick (Junior), Emma Lizotte (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 9 @ Bangor, Dec. 29 HAMPDEN ACADEMY, Jan. 3 SCARBOROUGH, Jan. 13 @ Hampden Academy, Jan. 21 @ Oxford Hills, Jan. 31 OXFORD HILLS

Coach’s comment: “Emma and Maddie are awesome, but we lost five really good seniors, so we’re starting over, figuring out who can do what. We have 13 girls who are new to Cheverus varsity basketball. Every practice matters. There’s a lot to do, but it’s a great group of girls. Every scrimmage has been a great experience for us. It’s going to take time to play well. We’re a work in progress. Every team will coming for us. We hope to be playing our best in February. I love our potential. It’s going to be fun.”

Junior Emma Lizotte is one of the state’s premier post presences and should be in line for a huge season.

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus broke through for the first time a year, peaking in February and March and riding not just the brilliance of Fitzpatrick and Lizotte, but also five special seniors, who blossomed into stars and made big plays when it mattered most. The Stags are now the hunted and while they still feature their two standouts, there are some holes to fill and questions to answer, but there is plenty of time to solve the riddle and return to championship form.

Look for junior Maddie Fitzpatrick, who has already verbally committed to the University of Maine, to score a lot of points in the weeks to come.

Fitzpatrick recently announced that she is verbally committing to the University of Maine. She has yet to play a full high school season, as her freshmen year was cut short by COVID and she missed nearly half of her sophomore campaign with a wrist injury. She’s poised to be unstoppable and as brilliant as she is with the ball in her hands, her unselfishness sets her apart. Fitzpatrick (who averaged 18.3 points, 6-1 rebounds and 4 steals in 2021-22) will do a little of everything this winter as her inexperienced teammates settle in. Lizotte, Cheverus’ Winter Athlete of the Year and a first-team league all-star last season after averaging a double-double (14.9 points, 10.4 rebounds), is dominant in the post, controls the glass and plays smothering defense. This season, look for Lizotte to step out and handle the ball as well. Much of the Stags’ offense will come from that terrific tandem, but others will need to step up and Cheverus has some key newcomers to watch. In the backcourt, freshmen Jaelyn Jensen and Jenna Jensen will see time at point guard and junior Megan Dearborn (who transferred from South Portland) and sophomore Rachel Feeley will also be heard from. Junior Ruth Boles, another South Portland transfer, can play guard or forward. She was a third-team all-star in 2021-22. Senior Madison Bunnell-Parker and junior Olivia Conroy add depth in the frontcourt.

Cheverus is wearing the bulls-eye, but will wear it well. The Stags will be pushed by Oxford Hills, Hampden Academy and Bangor (its Opening Night foe) in Class AA North and while they may stumble a time or two, look for a vastly different (and more polished) product to be in place come February. One state title was nice, but Cheverus isn’t content. If this group stays healthy, another coronation could be the end result.


BOYS’ HOCKEY (co-op with Yarmouth)

Junior Brian Connolly will be a top scoring threat this season for the Cheverus/Yarmouth boys’ hockey team.

Coach: Dave St. Pierre (12th year, 110-86-10 overall record)

2021-22 record: 13-6 (Lost, 4-3, in five-OTs, to eventual champion Brunswick in Class B South semifinals)

Top returning players: Ryan Franceschi (Senior), Neal McQuarrie (Senior), Ben Moll (Senior), Jaden Morin (Senior), Truman Peters (Senior), Ethan St. Pierre (Senior), Andrew Cheever (Junior), Brian Connolly (Junior), Ian O’Connor (Junior), David Swift (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 17 CAPE ELIZABETH, Dec. 21 @ Brunswick, Jan. 7 LEAVITT, Jan. 12 SCARBOROUGH, Jan. 26 GREELY, Feb. 1 BRUNSWICK, Feb. 4 @ Greely, Feb. 8 @ Leavitt, Feb. 15 @ Edward Little, Feb. 22 @ Cape Elizabeth

Coach’s comment: “Our preseason was promising. We have good numbers this year. Being a co-op was a good choice. The kids have jelled well. We’re not quite as talented top to bottom as last year, but we’re deep. Our senior class will lead the way. We came really close last year. I liked our chances if we could have gotten past Brunswick. This year, hopefully we’ll stay healthy and be in a good spot. Our league is always tough.”


The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus/Yarmouth came oh-so-close to winning Class B a season ago, but it fell in a  five-overtime marathon to Brunswick, which went on to capture its first title. Cheverus/Yarmouth is on the short list of contenders again this winter as it features strong players all over the ice.

Senior Neal McQuarrie is back in goal for Cheverus/Yarmouth.

Offensively, Connolly was a second-team all-star last winter and he’ll be part of the top line, along with Cheever (honorable mention last season) and sophomore Quinn McCoy. Franceschi, Moll and Peters will be top scoring threats as well. The defense features veterans St. Pierre and Swift, along with Morin and O’Connor. Sophomore Johnny Weinrich and freshman Colby Carnes are new contributors to watch. McQuarrie, who made the All-Rookie team a year ago, is back between the pipes.

Cheverus/Yarmouth will find out quickly where it stands, as it takes on Cape Elizabeth and Brunswick prior to Christmas. Greely still looms as a threat as well and there are several other teams on the rise. Class B South will a battle from start to finish, but this team has what it takes to contend with everyone and if all goes well, wind up the last team standing.


Junior goalie Ella Lemieux looks to lead Cheverus’ girls’ hockey team deep into the playoffs again.

Coach: Scott Rousseau (seventh year, 80-28-2 overall record, one state championship)

2021-22 results: 13-5-1 (Lost, 1-0, in three-OTs, to Scarborough in South Region semifinals)


Top returning players: Elle Cooney (Senior), Maddie Doherty (Junior), Lily Johnson (Junior), Ella Lemieux (Junior), Brynn McKenney (Junior), Charlotte Miller (Junior), Zoey Radford (Junior), Mikayla Talbot (Junior), Lucy Johnson (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Dec. 22 CAPE ELIZABETH, Jan. 4 YARMOUTH, Jan. 12 PENOBSCOT VALLEY, Jan. 16 GORHAM, Jan. 19 @ Cape Elizabeth, Jan. 21 YORK, Jan. 28 @ Yarmouth

Coach’s comment: “We are poised for a very strong season.  We only graduated Olivia Bradford and only have one senior this year. Last year’s team of nearly all sophomores and freshmen are a year older and have the potential to take the next step this year. Our strength is still defense. With All-State-caliber players in Brynn and Lily, who does not get enough credit for her play, on the ice at all times, and solid two-way centers Charlotte and Lucy controlling the middle of the ice, we don’t give up many quality chances and when we do, Ella is there. Offensively, we are not as explosive as top teams of years past, but we should get enough from Lucy and Mikayla, who is finally healthy after suffering a horrible wrist injury last year. Maddie has been a pleasant surprise with her improved offense early this year and should provide scoring balance on her line with always-reliable Charlotte.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus simply couldn’t put the puck in the net when it mattered most last February and as a result, its season came to a frustrating end with a marathon loss to Scarborough in the semifinals. This season, the squad, which also includes players from Old Orchard Beach, Kennebunk and Windham, appears to have what it takes to make an even deeper run, perhaps all the way to the state game.

Well known as the state’s best field hockey player, sophomore Lucy Johnson is going to score a lot of goals on the ice this winter.

For starters, the Stags return Lemieux in goal, who made the South Region All-Conference team last winter after going 12-5-1 with six shutouts, a goals-against-average of just 1.02 and a save percentage of 93. She’ll be the anchor in the back. Freshman Ellie Skolnekovich will see time between the pipes as well. They’ll get plenty of help from a group of talented defenders which includes Lily Johnson (3 goals, 6 assists last season and an All-Conference selection two years running), Radford and McKenney (who made the All-State team last season after scoring six times and adding nine assists). Freshman Briella Doherty will step in and help the cause as well. The offense is led by All-Conference selections Miller (14 goals last year) and Lucy Johnson (10 goals, 11 assists), with plenty of help from the likes of Talbot (9 goals, 13 assists last year, despite being injured), Cooney (6 goals, 9 assists) and Doherty (6 goals, 3 assists).

Cheverus, which opened with wins over York (4-1) and Brunswick (5-1), appears on its way to doing great things. If this group can stay healthy and can produce goals when it matters most, it doesn’t appear there’s a team in the South Region that can stop it. The entire state, for that matter.



Coach: John Wilkinson (fourth year, one state championship)

2021-22 results:
(Boys) 3rd @ Class A state meet
(Girls) tie-10th @ Class A state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) James Baur (Senior), Reagan Bossong (Senior), Bryan Stark-Chessa (Senior), Brendan Rogers (Junior)

(Girls) Maddie Hom (Senior), Lizzie Merrill (Junior), Finley Brown (Sophomore), Annie Vigue (Sophomore)


Coach’s comment: “We have a unique boys’ team. We have a small squad, but we cover almost every event with quality. If we can stay healthy and injury-free, the potential for a top finish is within reach. The girls have low numbers, but are very dedicated and hard-working athletes. Half of the girls are new to the sport. I can envision many personal records each meet.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus will be among the best teams in the league once again this winter.

The boys feature veterans in the sprints in Baur, Bossong and Rogers (the latter two were part of a runner-up 4×200 relay team at the state meet last February). They’re joined by new senior Matt Fogg (the football standout) and freshman Rowan Keller. Stark-Chessa (who was fifth in the mile last season) is a top distance threat. In field events, look for Fogg and junior Elijah Timlin to be top jumpers. Keller and junior Joe Osei (another football star) throw the shot put. Baur and junior Dominic Cortez will compete in the pole vault. The Stags should be competitive all winter and will be in the hunt for a top finish at Southwesterns and states.

On the girls’ side, Vigue (runner-up in the 800 last season) is the top returner. Vigue can also sprint, as will Brown, Hom and Merrill. Sophomore Sophia Monfa and freshman Kate Prestes are new and provide depth in the shorter races. Freshman Lucy Olson is a new distance runner to watch. The jumping contingent is led by Hom, sophomore Madelyn Tierney and freshman Kate Prestes. Senior Tatum Kellen could be a top thrower. It all adds up to a squad that will show steady improvement and be in position to contend in February.


Coach: Olivia Pickering (second year)


2021-22 results:
Boys) 12th @ Class A state meet
(Girls) 3rd @ Class A state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Doni Hallett (Senior), Joe Mullen (Junior)

(Girls) Sarah Agren (Senior), Bianca Cunningham (Senior), Reese Belanger (Junior), Hannah Derrig (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We may be small in numbers this year, but we’ve got some quality swimmers to watch. Last year, our girls were overlooked due to our small team, yet we ended up third at states. I would love for the swimmers to again bring their best to the pool and give the rest of Class A some great competition.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus is always on the short list of title contenders in Class A and this year’s team should be no different.


The girls’ squad is coming off its best state meet showing in five years and even after graduating state champion Taylor Belanger, the Stags feature some key veterans and promising newcomers. Cunningham is the top returner. She came in sixth in both the 50 freestyle and 100 freestyle a year ago. Reese Belanger can swim multiple events. Agren and Deerig are other swimmers with experience. Freshmen Kali McCarthy and Ada Pultorak are key additions.

The boys have some top-end scorers to replace, but will be potent by season’s end. Hallett and Mullen have experience. They’re joined by freshmen Arman Gurcan and Peter Jones.


Coach: John Stamaris (third year)

2021-22 results: Boys 14th @ Class A state meet; Girls 15th @ Class A state meet

Top returners:


(Boys) William Ray (Junior), Reis Stamaris (Sophomore)

(Girls) Maddy Marcisso (Senior)

Coach’s comment: “Our goal is continuous improvement at the individual and team level over the season and strong contention for the Sportsmanship award.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus’ Alpine team has some skiers to watch this season.

The boys’ squad is led by Stamaris, who came in 12th in the slalom last season, and Ray, who was 28th in the giant slalom.

The girls’ team is led by Marcisso, who was ninth at states last year in the GS and 10th in the slalom. Sophomore Aggie LaMontagne is new to the team and could be a difference-maker as well.


NORDIC SKIING (co-op with Deering and Portland)

Coach: George Aponte-Clarke (fifth year)

2021-22 results: Boys 11th @ Class A state meet; Girls tie-2nd @ Class A state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Logan Whitmarsh (Sophomore)

(Girls) Annabelle Brooks (Senior), Aysel Hamlin (Senior), Delaney Whitmarsh (Junior)


Coach’s comment: “We’re looking to challenge the top teams this season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus had a terrific season a year ago and returns some top talent looking to keep the Stags in contention.

The girls are led by Brooks, who was fourth in the freestyle and seventh in the classic last winter. Also returning are Whitmarsh (24th in the freestyle and 33rd in the classic) and Hamlin. Junior Roxy van Oosterum rounds out a solid group that will be heard from in the weeks to come.

On the boys’ side, Whitmarsh returns. He came in 54th in the freestyle and 60th in the classic last year. Look for him to move up the standings this winter.

WRESTLING (Co-op with Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth)

Coach: Jason Barriault (10th year)


2021-22 results: 12th @ Class A state meet

Top returners: Rilan Smith (Senior), Liam Backman (Sophomore), Jack Fenton (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “Our team has a lot of enthusiasm and great energy this season. We have seven Falmouth athletes that have joined the program and are all contributing with a positive attitude and great work ethic. The vast majority of the team is on their first or second year wrestling, but we return a state qualifier and two alternates. I am impressed with everyone’s growth and think by the time the postseason rolls around, we will be able to push a handful of athletes through to the state tournament.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Cheverus is joined by wrestlers from Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth this season and the co-op squad will make some noise in the weeks to come.

Smith (Cheverus’ Fall Athlete of the Year after an impressive football season) will be a top contender in the 138-pound weight class. Backman (170) and Fenton (120) also have experience and are looking for big things. Senior Andrew Balgley (195) is a newcomer to watch.

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

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