Vikings appear primed for another title run

4 years ago

CARIBOU, Maine — How do you top what the Caribou Vikings accomplished last season? If you’re second-year coach Kyle Corrigan, you simply bring back four starters, rely on last year’s subs to take on greater roles and promote players from last year’s undefeated JV squad to fill the remaining spots on the roster.

 

After winning the Class B state title last year, marking the first for the school in 50 years, Caribou is reloading for another run this year and appears to be the prohibitive favorite.

“We have a great vibe going so far and the guys are getting after it,” said Corrigan. “Our practices have been intense and very competitive and everyone is pushing each other, which is going to pay dividends in the end. We’re much deeper with how many guys can and will contribute.”

Caribou went 15-3 during the regular season to finish second in the division. The Vikings defeated Washington Academy and Ellsworth in the first two rounds of the tournament before getting past 2018 state champ Hermon in the North finals. Next came the triumph over Cape Elizabeth in the state championship game in Portland.

The Vikings’ unquestioned leader was Austin Findlen, who has graduated, but seniors Parker Deprey, Alex Bouchard and Isaac Marker return to the starting lineup along with junior Sawyer Deprey.

Parker Deprey was the MVP of the North tournament last year and Corrigan calls Deprey one of the best all-around players to have ever suited up for the Vikings as he excels on both ends of the floor.

Alex Bouchard, who serves as a captain along with Deprey, is the team’s floor general. He finished with 111 assists for an average of five per game last season.

Marker is one of the best perimeter shooters around and can score in bunches, as evidenced by a 19-point performance in a 4 1/2 minute span against Houlton during the regular season.

Sawyer Deprey is a hard worker in the frontcourt and relishes the chance to guard the opponents’ top big men, doing so effectively in the state game a year ago against 6-7 Andrew Hartel of Cape Elizabeth.

Three players were in the running for the fifth starting position early in the preseason. Senior Jake Berkoski, junior Ethan Holdsworth and sophomore Michael Brigman all bring different elements and all will be valuable members of the rotation.

Senior Jacob Paul, another varsity veteran, is a high-energy player.

Juniors Zack Madore, Riley Bouchard, Cory Hebert, Caleb Espling, Brevin Barnes and Carter Quist and senior Joey Gregson were members of the successful JV team last year and will pad Caribou’s depth.

The only potential hindrance for a defending champ is complacency, but Corrigan doesn’t believe that will be an issue.

“We started the season out with a talk about this being a totally different year,” he said. “The guys understand that last year was last year, and this year is this year. We’re a different team with different guys that will have different roles.

“Last year was great and everything that came with it was amazing, but we’ve moved on. We need to keep the fire going in practice every day so we continuously get better and aren’t taking any steps back,” Corrigan added.