Boys’ team

DAVE KAHILL – South Portland indoor track

Contributed photo

There are few schools that ooze history quite like South Portland High and this winter, the Red Riots made some history on the track, ending a 22-year Class A state title drought in dramatic fashion.

It was truly a team effort and putting the right pieces in the right places was longtime coach Dave Kahill.

The echoes have been awakened as a result, The Forecaster is naming Dave Kahill our Southern edition Coach of the Year, of a boys’ team.

Kahill took over the South Portland boys’ track program in 2007, replacing legendary coach Paul Brogan. Kahill isn’t the first member of his family to coach the Red Riots track team, however, as his grandfather, Charles Kahill, once did as well (the two are also connected through the generations as history teachers at the high school). While South Portland tied for second at the 2014 Class A state meet, most years, the Red Riots finished in the 10th to 15th range, including 2023, when they tied for 10th at states.

But this season would be completely different.

South Portland excelled throughout the regular season, getting strong contributions from both divisions. At Southwesterns, the Red Riots held off Portland by 16.5 points. Then, at a Class A state meet that was considered too close to call, South Portland tallied 53 points, which was just enough to beat Mt. Ararat (48.5), Lewiston (46) and Portland (45). The Red Riots got a win from record-setter Arnaud Sioho in the triple jump and their depth, along with some athletes finishing above their seeding, made the difference.


“Throughout the meet, we matched our seeds or were slightly better than them,” Kahill said.

Now that history has been made, don’t expect it to take 22 long years for another South Portland championship. Dave Kahill, our Southern edition boys’ team Winter Coach of the Year, has the Red Riots primed for even more greatness in the years to come.

Previous winners:

* 2022-23 Kevin Millington (South Portland basketball)
* 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

LYNNE HASSON – South Portland basketball 


File photo

Through four games this winter, South Portland’s girls’ basketball team had a record of 1-3.

Then, the Red Riots, without a single senior on the roster, turned around and won 13 straight and eventually reached the semifinal round of the Class AA South tournament.

That kind of turnaround with a young team is almost unheard of and deserves praise and as a result, The Forecaster is naming longtime South Portland coach Lynne Hasson as our Southern edition Winter Coach of the Year, of a girls’ team.

Hasson was also chosen in 2016.

Hasson has long been affiliated with the Red Riots and excellence, helping win a regional title as a player before going on to play at the University of Maine. Hasson returned to her alma mater and after serving as a longtime assistant, became South Portland’s varsity coach in 2013.

Hasson’s first seven seasons resulted in 119 wins, four trips to the regional title and a state final appearance in 2020 (a loss to Oxford Hills). After the 2020-21 season was shortened by the pandemic, Hasson got the Red Riots back to the playoffs the past two years, but with a sub-.500 mark each time.


This winter, South Portland opened with a win at two-time reigning regional champion Gorham, but turned around and lost to eventual Class AA champion Cheverus, Scarborough and Falmouth and just like that, the season was at a crossroads.

But the Red Riots quickly came of age, started winning and rolled off 13 straight victories to completely turn their season around.

“I wouldn’t have predicted this to be honest,” said Hasson, after the 13th consecutive win, a 38-31 home victory over Gorham. “Losing took a toll and winning builds confidence. When we started winning, I knew we were good enough to compete, but we needed to win to get a mental edge and now we believe we can beat anyone.”

South Portland lost its finale, at Sanford, but as the No. 2 seed in Class AA South, had no trouble with Bonny Eagle in the quarterfinals, winning, 66-32, to reach the semifinals for the first time in four seasons. There, the Red Riots couldn’t quite dig out of an early hole and lost to rival Scarborough, 36-31, to wind up 15-5.

“We learned some hard lessons tonight and we’ll take them to next year,” Hasson said. “We don’t lose anyone and we’ll be pretty motivated.”

Hasson, who coached her daughters, Abby (now the Portland girls’ coach) and Maddie, is married to a former coach (Chris Hasson) and has two boys (Connor and Riley) who made their mark on the hardwood. Lynne Hasson is a longtime middle school teacher in South Portland.

Next year could witness South Portland taking yet another step forward. With Lynne Hasson, our Southern edition girls’ team Winter Coach of the Year, leading the way, the Red Riots can legitimately dream of greatness.

Previous winners:

• 2022-23 Ben Raymond (Cape Elizabeth swimming)
* 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

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