Boys’ team

KEVIN MILLINGTON – South Portland basketball

File photo

South Portland’s boys’ basketball team finally got the monkey off its back last winter, winning the program’s first Gold Ball in 30 years.

Capturing another took a mere 52 weeks.

South Portland is once again Basketball Titletown and a native son is a big reason why.

Kevin Millington, who grew up amid a Red Riots Golden Era and got to put on a South Portland uniform in high school, has returned his beloved program to the pinnacle.

This time around, he got the Red Riots there in surprise fashion, convincing The Forecaster to name Kevin Millington our Southern edition Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.


Millington was also selected in 2021.

Millington grew up idolizing the likes of Brett Brown and his legendary father, Coach Bob Brown. He graduated from South Portland in 1991, the year before the Red Riots’ epic five-overtime victory over Bangor in the state final.

Millington spent 18 years coaching the Windham boys, then returned home to take over the South Portland program in 2015. He led the Red Riots to the Class AA state final his first two seasons (they lost to Portland each time) and they reached at least the semifinals every year since. After an undefeated season was ruined by Thornton Academy in the 2020 regional final and the ensuing season was essentially wiped out by COVID restrictions, the thirst for a Gold Ball reached epic proportions in South Portland.

A year ago, the Red Riots left no doubt, riding the post dominance of J.P. Estrella, the all-around brilliance of Owen Maloney and the point guard play of Jaelen Jackson to a championship run.

Then, Estrella left for Brewster Academy, Maloney graduated (he’s now playing at the University of Maine) and while the roster still boasted talent, much of it, outside of Jackson, was unproven.

It took some time for the 2022-23 squad to jell, but Millington brought South Portland along and even though the Red Riots were defeated twice by Thornton Academy and once by Gorham, they earned the No. 2 seed for the Class AA South tournament.


South Portland then knocked off Sanford in the quarterfinals, Scarborough in the semifinals and got a measure of revenge with a victory over Thornton Academy in the regional final. The Red Riots’ final obstacle was Portland, but they wouldn’t be denied, riding a second half run to a 52-42 victory and a repeat championship.

“It’s awesome,” Millington said. “One of the reasons I’m coaching is because I fell in love with those (1979 and 1980) teams. It’s hard to act like we’re the same as them. They’re gods to me. It’s very sweet they’re going to put (2022-23) on the banner. It’s definitely different this year, but we appreciate how hard it was.”

South Portland is riding high again and figures to stay at a championship level as long as Kevin Millington, our Southern edition boys’ team Winter Coach of the Year, is leading his alma mater.

Previous winners:

  • • 2021-22 Eric French (Scarborough swimming)
    * 2020-21 Kevin Millington (South Portland basketball)
    • 2019-20 Jake Rutt (Cape Elizabeth hockey)
    • 2018-19 Joe Robinson (South Portland hockey)
    • 2017-18 Phil Conley (Scarborough basketball)
    • 2016-17 Jim Ray (Cape Elizabeth basketball)
    • 2015-16 Derek Veilleux (Scarborough track)
    • 2014-15 Norm Gagne (Scarborough hockey)
    • 2013-14 Joe Robinson (South Portland hockey)
    • 2012-13 Phil Conley (South Portland basketball)
    • 2011-12 Derek Veilleux (Scarborough track)
    • 2010-11 Jim Ray (Cape Elizabeth basketball)
    • 2009-10 Joe Robinson (South Portland hockey)
    • 2008-09 Derek Veilleux (Scarborough track)
    • 2007-08 Phil Conley (South Portland basketball).
    • 2006-07 Tony DiBiase (South Portland basketball)
    • 2005-06 Jay Mazur (Scarborough hockey)
    • 2004-05 Jason Tremblay (Cape Elizabeth hockey)
    • 2003-04 Jim Ray (Cape Elizabeth basketball)
    • 2002-03 Matt Townsend (Scarborough basketball)
    • 2001-02 Paul Brogan (South Portland indoor track)

Girls’ team

BEN RAYMOND – Cape Elizabeth swimming 


Contributed photo

Ben Raymond shows up and wins championships. That might be perception, not reality, but whether the sport is soccer, lacrosse or swimming, Raymond’s teams always enjoy tremendous success.

That’s no coincidence. The longtime coach is not only a brilliant tactician, he knows how to get the absolute most out of every athlete he leads, be they male or female.

Cape Elizabeth’s girls’ swim team has now won five of the past six Class B crowns and this year, they did so in emphatic fashion (and the boys won it again too).

With that in mind, Ben Raymond is The Forecaster’s choice as our Southern edition Winter Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Raymond also was selected in the winter of 2017, in the spring of 2003, 2010 and 2017 for lacrosse, as well as last fall for soccer.

Raymond was a three-sport star at Cape Elizabeth, playing soccer and lacrosse, as well as swimming. He went to Springfield College to play soccer and also took part in club lacrosse. Raymond returned to his alma mater and took over the lacrosse program in 1998 (he’s won 312 games and 13 championships), boys’ soccer in 2006 (he’s won 151 games and been to three regional finals) and swimming in 2007.


Raymond led the Capers boys’ swim team to championships in 2015, 2022 and again this season, but he’s done his finest work on the girls’ side, which won Class B in 2009, 2013, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2022 and again this year, as Cookie Mahoney, Lucy Shaw and Hope Taylor’s individual victories and first-place 200 and 400 free relay teams (which also included Audrey Alberts and Hadley Mahoney) helped produce an 83-point victory over runner-up Ellsworth.

Very few coaches can handle three different seasons with three different sets of athletes and not only win, but get the absolute best out of their charges.

Ben Raymond, our Southern edition girls’ team Winter Coach of the Year, stands alone and he’s not done influencing young athletes and winning hardware.

Previous winners:

  • • 2021-22 Taylor Fowler (Scarborough hockey)
    * 2020-21 Bob Mills (Cape/SP/Waynflete hockey)
    • 2019-20 Bob Mills (Cape/SP/Waynflete hockey)
    • 2018-19 Mike Giordano (Scarborough basketball)
    • 2017-18 Mike Giordano (Scarborough basketball)
    • 2016-17 Ben Raymond (Cape Elizabeth swimming)
    • 2015-16 Lynne Hasson (South Portland basketball)
    • 2014-15 Chris Casterella (Cape Elizabeth basketball)
    • 2013-14 Caitlin Cashman (Scarborough hockey)
    • 2012-13 Chris Casterella (Cape Elizabeth basketball)
    • 2011-12 Tom Maines (Scarborough basketball)
    • 2010-11 Chris Roberts (Cape Elizabeth basketball)
    • 2009-10 Jim Seavey (Scarborough basketball)
    • 2008-09 Chris Roberts (Cape Elizabeth basketball)
    • 2007-08 Bre Fortiguerra (Scarborough hockey)
    • 2006-07 Ron Kelly (Scarborough track)
    • 2005-06 Deven Morrill (Cape Elizabeth Nordic skiing)
    • 2004-05 Ron Kelly (Scarborough track)
    • 2003-04 Mike Giordano (South Portland basketball)
    • 2002-03 Kerry Kertes (Cape Elizabeth swimming)
    • 2001-02 Tim Kipp (Scarborough swimming)

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

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