Spring Previews: Bonny Eagle

Natalie Bushey will be among the Lady Scots' key contributors.

: Ricky Hession
Last year’s record: 11-6, fell to Marshwood in first round of playoffs
Key players lost: Dana McKay, Troy Bogdahn, Cam Robinson, Drake Laughlin, Noah Scribner
Key returners: Brady Grass (sr., Captain, 1B); Arlo Pike (sr., Captain, 3B); Kolby Lambert (jr., CF); Christian Napolitano (jr., Captain, C)
Key newcomers: Connor Sirois (jr., SS); Will Whyte (so., RF)
Key matchups: @ Deering, @ Portland, @ Windham (at St. Joe’s)
Outlook: Graduation in June did a number on the Scots, claiming seven seniors – including five starters. On the upside, this year’s outfit is, despite their comparative youth, full of promise. “We have a very athletic and versatile team,” says Hession, adding, “This team has the makings of one of the smartest teams, baseball-wise, that I have ever coached. They understand the game … It stems from their passion.” Offensively, expect the Scots to look good at the plate. “Our lineup should be solid,” Hession says, “and will be spearheaded by our team leaders in RBIs last year, Brady Grass, with eight, and Arlo Pike, with 11.” Also worth noting: The Scots genuinely enjoy being around one another and working together. Such bonds can prove decisive during tough games, and since the SMAA looks deep again this year, Bonny Eagle is likely to find themselves in more than one tough game. “I truly believe that all of our matchups will be very important,” says Hession, “especially our road games. We have a very tough road schedule, including playing at Hadlock against Deering and Portland and playing our annual game at St. Josephs against Windham.” Those games will all be played at night, under the lights, a special occasion for any team.

Boys Lacrosse
Coach: Andrew Slefinger
Last year’s record: 3-9, missed playoffs
Key players lost: Jared LeClerc (G), Zack Brannon (D)
Key returners: Spencer Shields (sr., A); Tanner McClure (sr., A); Aaron Rae (sr., M)
Key newcomers: Jon Merrill (fr., M); Anthony Breton (fr., M); Alex Dyer (fr., M)
Key matchups: Lake Region, Noble, Massabesic, Biddeford, Portland
Outlook: The Gentlemen Scots battled through a frustrating season in 2016, and will look to turn their fortunes around in 2017. “Losing two key games in the final minutes kept us from the postseason last year,” says Slefinger. “Focus and execution will be the point of emphasis. Twelve seniors will be relied upon for experience and leadership. I’m excited to watch how these kids want to finish off their high school career. Freshmen Breton, Dyer and Merrill have added young spark to the team. I expect them to have a great first year.”

Girls Lacrosse
Coach: Judy Martin
Last year’s record: 5-8, fell 15-1 to Marshwood in the tournament quarters
Key returners: Catherine Biegel (sr.); Natalie Bushey (sr.), Jenna Litif (jr.)
Key matchups: South Portland
Outlook: The Lady Scots could take another step forward this year, what with their key players all reaching the peak of their high school years. Martin looks for an especially strong midfield presence from her girls, and a staunch defense. “Biegel and Bushey play aggressively and with confidence,” she says, “and they show strong skills. We have a solid defense led by tenacious play from Bushey with help from fellow teammates Alex Farley, Samantha Morash and Evie Ernst. Biegel and Litif will provide much of the team’s firepower. “Biegel led our scoring last year with 27 goals,” says Martin. “She is very accurate with her shot and always looks for team openings. Litif led our team in assists last year. She has a good shot and is also able to see and make key passes around the arc.” Bonny Eagle will need to communicate well to assemble all the pieces of their puzzle, however. Martin notes as much, saying, “Communication is a key we are working on.” The team looks forward to their opening bout with South Portland, which should be a good indicator of the direction their season will take.

Boys Outdoor Track
Coach: Mike Burleson
Last year’s record: 11th @ Southwesterns, 21st @ States
Key returners: Jake Cooke, Alex Sprague, Trevor Neal, Michael O’Clair
Key newcomers: Ben Steeves, Caleb Pendleton, Aiden Willey
Key matchups: Scarborough, South Portland, Deering
Outlook: Burleson is optimistic about the upcoming season, in part because his newcomers display great talent and his elder statesmen remain stalwart. “With the addition of Steeves and Pendleton to a strong senior class,” he says, “and the addition of freshman standout Willey, we look to be a strong team in the big meets at the end of the season.” Interestingly, both Steeves and Pendleton are making the switch to track from lacrosse.

Coach: Jan Corliss
Last year’s record: 6-11, fell 6-1 to Noble in the postseason prelims
Outlook: Corliss is returning to the post of head coach after six years away. “This year,” she says, “we have a core of players with some good skills, superb attitudes and an incredible work ethic. We are still in the process of getting to know each other, but I can see that the effort and dedication necessary to develop into a successful team is evident in six-days-a-week practices. I honestly believe that each player has certain strengths that will contribute to our success. We don’t have that one dominant player, but rather a mixture of different talent that contributes to a team environment.” Among her key contributors will be a healthy list of upperclassmen, including senior Nell Spencer and juniors Journey Barnes, Sadie Denico and Maddie Corbett, all of whom will see time pitching. Spencer will otherwise start at short, and Corbett is flexible enough to play across the field. At the plate, Corbett, Blake Morin (C/3B), Taya Phelan (OF), Lauryn Fagan (OF), Liz Gaddy (U) and Sarah Champagne (C/U) should offer up consistent contact. “Overall, I’m very optimistic about our season,” says Corliss, “and if progress continues at the current pace, we could surprise a few teams. This is a close, determined, hardworking, and focused group who are new to each other and new to me – let’s go where it takes us!”

Boys Tennis
Coach: Hossein Miremadi
Last year’s record: 3-9, missed playoffs
Key players lost: Devin Borchard
Key returners: Aiden Rausch, Cam White, Brandon Hogan, Evan Smith, Caleb Curtis, Zach Walker
Key newcomers: Fynn Frenzel
Key matchups: Westbrook, Massabesic, Marshwood, Windham
Outlook: These Gentlemen Scots look to end their three-year playoff drought this spring. A handful of high hurdles stand in their way, however. Borchard was their No. 1 singles player, and he graduated in June. Meanwhile, their No. 2 and No. 3 singles players, as well as their No. 1 doubles player, are either injured or not returning. On the upside, those personnel losses present opportunities for others to show their stuff. “The door is wide open for players to step up and prove themselves,” Miremadi says. Rausch, White and Hogan will vie for singles spots, alongside Frenzel, arriving from Germany, while Smith, Curtis and Walker “look to build on last year’s doubles experience.” 

Girls Tennis
Coach: John Pelletier (first year)
Last year’s record: 5-7, fell 4-1 to Portland in playoff prelims
Key returners: Katie Bearor (sr., singles); Katie Blohm (sr., singles)
Outlook: This spring, the Lady Scots return six of their top seven from last year; that foundation should serve them well as the season unfolds. The team also adds a large contingent of newcomers. Both factors lead Pelletier to feel optimistic. “I hope for a strong season this year,” he says. “With many returning players who have great experience, I hope that we will be a force throughout our season. I look forward to coaching this team and hopefully they can compete deep into the postseason.”

Girls outdoor track coach Samantha Pomroy, new to the program, could not be reached.

Adam Birt can be reached at abirt@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME

Natalie Bushey will be among the Lady Scots’ key contributors.

Aaron Rae should be among the Gentlemen Scots’ key contributors this spring.