Cape Elizabeth’s Nick Laughlin tries to get past South Portland’s Nolan Hobbs during the Capers’ 41-13 win on Sept. 23. Laughlin had five touchdowns and over 300 all-purpose yards. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Whether Nick Laughlin was clutching a football, racing up the ice with the puck or cradling a lacrosse ball on his stick, two things were bound to ensue this school year.

Laughlin was going to score, and Cape Elizabeth was going to win.

Laughlin didn’t just play three sports as a senior, he dominated in all of them.

Laughlin was named a Fitzpatrick Trophy finalist after stuffing the stat sheet in football last fall, leading the Capers to the Class C South final.

During the winter, he scored twice in the Class B boys’ hockey championship game, helping Cape Elizabeth win an elusive title en route to being named the Varsity Maine Player of the Year in that sport.

And if that wasn’t impressive enough, Laughlin scored twice more in a state final, helping the Capers boys’ lacrosse team to its third consecutive Class A crown in the spring.


Over the course of his senior year, Laughlin’s teams won 44 of 49 games. He is our selection as the 2022-23 Varsity Maine Male Athlete of the Year.

“Nick’s unbelievable,” said Ben Raymond, Cape Elizabeth’s longtime boys’ lacrosse coach. “He’s an amazing athlete, as anyone who’s seen him play all the sports knows. He’s come into his own as a young man as well. He’s an amazing player and an even better teammate and competitor.”

Laughlin played a key role in helping the Capers football team win its first championship his junior season. Last fall, he put up monster stats, rushing for 1,087 yards and 17 touchdowns on 103 carries, catching 57 passes for 852 yards and 10 scores and returning two kickoffs for touchdowns. On defense, Laughlin posted 84.5 tackles and had four interceptions. He finished with 2,165 all-purpose yards and 29 TDs.

“Playing high school football made me fall in love with the game even more,” said Laughlin, who will play football at the University of Maine. “It was great to win a state championship and be a part of a team that was that close.”

“Nick is the best football player I have ever coached,” added Sean Green, the former Cape Elizabeth football coach now coaching at Portland High. “I have never coached anyone as dynamic as him. He is a true three-phase player.”

Laughlin entered the winter season with one void on his resume: a hockey championship.


The Capers were one of the favorites entering the season and they surged down the stretch. They had no peer in the playoffs, holding off Messalonskee, 4-3, behind two Laughlin goals, to capture the Class B title for the first time since 2006.

“It’s a great feeling,” said Laughlin, who scored 17 goals and had 19 assists on the season. “It brought me back to when we won football (in 2021), but it was different with this group of guys. A lot of fun.”

“Nick’s a tremendous competitor,” said Jake Rutt, who stepped down as the Cape boys’ hockey coach after the season. “When someone’s physical and has the skill-set he has, that allows him to make more plays.”

While Laughlin was a longtime star in football and hockey, he didn’t start playing lacrosse until the eighth grade. While it was his “third sport,” he was equally unstoppable this spring, scoring 31 goals, adding nine assists, collecting 43 ground balls and serving as a physical presence all over the field.

Laughlin scored twice in the Class A state final, helping Cape Elizabeth defeat South Portland, 17-6. The Capers went 47-2 with three titles in Laughlin’s three seasons. (There were no spring sports in his freshman year because of the pandemic.)

“Lacrosse might not be (Nick’s) No. 1 sport, but you wouldn’t know it,” Raymond said. “He’s an outstanding two-way player for us and was one of our most important players. He sees the field really well. His ability in transition is unmatched. He also instills confidence in those around him and raises the level of play for everyone on game day.”

While Laughlin is now poised to make his mark in Orono, his contributions to Cape Elizabeth’s impressive sports legacy won’t soon be forgotten.

“It’s great to go out and win with all your boys,” Laughlin said. “We’re all great friends and we had a great year.”

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