Friday, November 9, 2018

Coach Travis Demmons steps down from varsity softball

By Matt Pascarella

Winter sports may be gearing up, but come spring, the current varsity softball coach, Travis Demmons, will be stepping down and a new coach, Fred Wilcox, will become the head coach for the varsity softball team.

Coach Demmons will be stepping aside as added responsibilities with his employer, the United States Navy, no longer allow him to miss as much work.

Coach Travis Demmons
Demmons, who was head softball coach for four years at Windham got interested in coaching because of the great coaches he had in soccer and baseball growing up in Bangor. After joining the Navy, he met even more great coaches who also doubled as role models.

“I wanted to pay it forward and having a daughter who played softball, along with my prior baseball knowledge, the fit seemed perfect,” he explains. He coached Windham Little League for five years and was vice president of softball as well as president of the Little League board over the years. He coached softball for two years at Windham Middle School before becoming head coach of the varsity softball team in 2014.

One highlight during Demmon’s softball career includes breaking a seven-year drought and having the Lady Eagles make it into the playoffs in 2015. That year, his team challenged Scarborough in a semifinal game and although Windham lost, the team made it farther than many thought they could. “The girls believed, and that was all that mattered to me and my staff,” he recounts. “My day to day interactions with the girls were absolute highlights as was the support provided by Windham High’s athletic director Rich Drummond. I could not have picked a better man to have as my athletic director.”

Demmon’s daily interactions with the girls is what he will miss most. He thinks of them as his daughters. When they put on that Windham uniform, they were one unit and he truly adored them. The games were fun and were certainly an adrenaline rush, but “it was and always will be about the girls for me.” He hopes to this day that his girls feel they can reach out to him for advice, a recommendation or whatever they might need. Without a doubt, they had a family mentality and stuck together, even when times got tough.

http://windhampowersports.com/Demmons says he can’t take all the credit. Each of these community members contributed in some manner and for that Demmons is very thankful: Fred Wilcox and Eric Mora, who were his assistant coaches through the years; Mike Flanders, Wayne Nelson, Jason Elder, Jeremy Wilson, Dave Fielding, Joe Troiano, Todd Hunter, Dave Field, Su Hammond and Pat Tardiff, who were contributors to Windham/Raymond Little League either as coaches and/or umpires.

Demmons will still be coaching some of the ladies on weekends with the Southern Maine River Rats travel ball organization. He’ll be around as much as possible, but as a fan. He will enjoy watching Coach Fred Wilcox and his squad continue to make Windham proud.

“They are in very good hands though; Coach Wilcox has been in the program for years and I know that he will continue marching the girls toward that gold glove.”

Thanks Coach Travis Demmons for all you’ve done and all you will continue to do!


Windham Youth Basketball Association: An ideal way for kids to learn the game

Tate Robinson and Jack Henry
By Matt Pascarella

The colder weather is on its way and it’s time to start thinking about winter sports. The Windham Youth Basketball Association (WYBA) is a non-profit organization run by volunteer mothers and fathers of past and current participants of WYBA; as well as generous contributions from community sponsors. Windham Youth Basketball Association provides recreation level competition, skills training and travel basketball for boys and girls from grades pre-kindergarten to eighth grade.


The WYBA volunteer board and coaches help provide various opportunities for recreation and travel basketball in the town of Windham. These include skills and drills training for pre-kindergarten to first grade; skills and drills training that is coordinated with high school coaches and players. 

Recreation level teams from Windham, Gray and Raymond include second and third graders as the beginner leagues, third and fourth graders are junior leagues and fifth and sixth grade are senior leagues. Fifth and sixth graders also have a travel league that plays competitively against other local communities.

https://whsfallmusical.weebly.com/Seventh and eighth grade offers ‘D League’ which is a coed league that does not have a regular practice time but plays games on Saturday afternoons. The season starts with open gyms in mid-December and then they formalize teams and start the season in January.  

Pat Moody, president of WYBA for almost 10 years, has been involved in WYBA since he was a participant in fifth grade and it was organized by the Windham Recreational Department. As a young adult he organized a kindergarten through second grade skills and drills program which he ran for a number of years. Shortly after Moody’s daughter Hayleigh was born, he began helping Tim Blackie and other board members to organize and set up the beginnings of what is today Windham Youth Basketball. That was roughly 15 years ago. In addition to managing the logistics of WYBA, Moody is very proud to be coaching his 10-year-old son, AJ, and his friends on the fifth grade boys travel team this year.

“There have been many folks who contribute to the success of WYBA over the years at it shows with the volumes of kids participating at all levels. It takes a lot of volunteers and a lot of their time to make our program run smoothly and I know Windham parents and kids greatly appreciate the time and efforts,” says Moody.  

The deadline to register for the pre-kindergarten to sixth grade programs is Saturday, November 10. You can register by visiting www.windhamyouthbasketball.com. The middle school D league registration will be open until mid-December. 

For more information please visit www.windhamyouthbasketball.com or email windhamyouthbasketball@yahoo.com. If you are interested in volunteering, coaching or becoming a board member they are always looking for community members to help. 

Friday, November 2, 2018

First Fall Ball season exceeded expectations

 AJ Sweet 
By Matt Pascarella

The boys’ Little League and girls’ softball teams had a great Fall Ball season, with 72 boys and girls participating. The 12U softball team had six wins, one loss and one tie.

Fall Ball is a new fall season softball sport to offer more experiential practice and fun for both girls and boys, ages six to twelve according to the Vice President of League.

The 10U Eagles Black team also played well winning three games against Bonny Eagle and Gorham. The 10U Eagles Maroon team were newcomers, with three kids coming up from coach pitch and five kids that had never played before. They stayed in it every single game; getting a win in their final game.

Both 12U baseball teams played against stronger, older, more experienced teams from Falmouth, Gorham and Bonny Eagle. The 12U Black team gave 110% every game and the younger teams went full throttle, not backing down either.

“Overall, we, Windham Little League, exceeded expectations, had great teams, and a blast during Fall Ball. For this being our first year, it couldn’t have gone any better, and the future of Windham Baseball and Softball is bright,” said coach of the 10U Eagles Maroon team, Vice President Of Minors Baseball & Fall Ball Coordinator, Mike Butterfield.



Girls varsity soccer showed skill against Scarborough

Alanna Joyce
By Matt Pascarella

After Windham beat Bonny Eagle 3-0 in the quarterfinal game, #5 seeded Windham went up against #1 seeded Scarborough, at Scarborough, on Friday, October 26.

As I was watching the girls warm up, I saw focus, determination and a concentration ready to put everything they’d been working on all season into this game.

The Lady Eagles took the field with intensity. Right out of the gate they had strong defense and offense, not only keeping Scarborough from putting the ball into the goal but taking multiple shots on Scarborough’s goal. Windham was pressuring with excellent teamwork, giving their all. Scarborough was pressuring Windham right back.

http://windhampowersports.com/Half: 0-0

Windham didn’t slow down in the second half. They continued their tough defense; keeping Scarborough at bay. Offensively, the Lady Eagles didn’t let up either taking many shots on Scarborough’s goal. The clock was winding down with less than ten minutes left until the final buzzer. Windham left it all on the field, giving it everything they had. When the final buzzer went off, there had been 80 minutes of regulation play, against an undefeated team, and no one had scored.

Heading into overtime, the girls showed no signs of slowing down and took the field ready to keep going. Roughly 90 seconds into the overtime period, Scarborough managed to get one in the net, ending the game 1-0.

“We’ve improved so much, even from a week ago. This is a completely different team from what we saw back in August, early September...more composed, played together, really came together and really accomplished a lot. We just took a team that was 15-0 to overtime...I don’t think [Scarborough] has been challenged like this from many other teams, if any, in the league. [Windham] should be proud of the season they’ve had and how far they came,” observed coach Deb Lebel.

Windham cross-country teams rocked it and beat personal best at state championship

Hannah Langstaff
By Matt Pascarella

Saturday, October 27 was quite a day for the Windham High School boys’ and girls’ cross-country teams. They both competed in the state championship meet in Belfast at Troy Howard Middle School’s 5K course.

Senior, Mason Rosborough of the boys’ team and the entire Lady Eagles cross country team qualified in the state regionals in Cumberland on October 20. As a result, they were ready to show their competitors what Windham was made of at the state competitions.

Rosborough, in his final high school cross country race ran his all-time best, a personal record finishing the 5K with a time of 16 minutes 55 seconds and 55 one hundredths of a second. This knocked a full 20 seconds off his past personal record. Rosborough finished as the 24th best runner, out of 120 runners in the Class A competition. When compared with all the runners from each high school class (A, B, C, D) in Maine, he was 30th out of the 344 runners.

https://whsfallmusical.weebly.com/The Lady Eagles had an equally impressive showing. They finished 8th place as a team out of 116 Class A runners. Just like their sweatshirts say, these girls ‘Fight For It’ and let that Eagle Pride show.
The girls were ready to compete and took on teams that had beaten them in the Regional Championships. Individually, Senior Abigail Clinch finished with a time of 21 minutes 51 second and 93 hundredths of a second. Senior Morgan Colangelo finished with a time of 21 minutes 52 seconds and 58 one hundredths of a second. As a team, Windham beat Class A South teams like: Greely, Deering, Gorham, Marshwood and Kennebunk. They were only beaten by Bonny Eagle, Falmouth and Cheverus from Class A South.

When compared to all the runners from each high school class in the state of Maine, the girls, as a team, came in 12th of the 38 girls’ teams that competed on that day.


Friday, October 26, 2018

Windham U9 girls’ soccer team a force to be reckoned with

Maria Rose
By Matt Pascarella

The U9 girls’ travel soccer team went undefeated this season with seventeen wins, and one tie. This included six league games, four friendly games and two tournaments; a Labor Day tournament and the Falmouth Fall Classic. The girls played games against teams from Westbrook, Cape Elizabeth, Gorham, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Kennebunk, South Portland and Gray. 

The season had a smooth start as a lot of the girls had played together on the same team the previous year. As the season progressed and the girls ‘enthusiasm and work ethic increased, they proved they were up to the challenge of competitively battling other teams.
Coach Jason Bowie recalls a particularly close game under the lights at Westbrook: the girls were down by two at halftime and they rallied, tying the game and then, with about a minute left scored the game winning goal.

http://votesahrbeck.comCoach Ken Clark explains working together as a team can be a challenge. The team focused a lot on positioning. “We emphasized Wayne Gretzky methodology of being where the puck, or ball in this case, is going to be, not where it has been. The girls learned this more and more throughout the season and you could see it unfolding during games. The girls were dedicated to improving both their technical skills as well as their knowledge of the game.” 

The girls really gained a thorough understanding of positioning on the field and the role of offense and defense.

“This is special group of talented young soccer players that were an absolute joy to coach,” continues Clark. “The parents and coaches are extremely proud of the team for a memorable season.”
Coach and team mom, Wendy Wardwell, said, They started and ended strong with no in between because they work amazing as a team and all have such great attitudes. They always displayed great sportsmanship.”

Congratulations on an outstanding season and we look forward to seeing you play and making Windham even prouder in the coming years.

Girls’ cross-country team achieve goal

By Matt Pascarella

The girls’ cross-country team participated in and won the opportunity to advance as a team to the state championship after their placement in the state regional event on Saturday, October 20 at Twin Brooks in Cumberland.

Before winning the opportunity to advance to the state cross country championship, the journey to obtain this goal (or Fight for It! as the team sweatshirts say) began the previous year at the cross-country regional meet. Windham lost the opportunity to compete as a team in the 2017 state championship race. Coach Jeff Riddle decided to offer a cross country preseason summer training program and the athletes responded well.

markbryantwindham@gmail.comIn late June 2018 when Riddle and assistant cross-country coach and Windham High School and University of Southern Maine cross country alumni Cianne Plummer hosted a month-long cross-country summer training camp that offered opportunities each week for the runners to train; training wasn’t only running, but swimming and biking as well.

The goal was to build endurance, muscle and grit involving rollers and versa loop bands, like physical therapists use, to build and sustain muscle strength to outwit the stress of the sport on a body and prevent injury.

“It” paid off at the state regional class A event last Saturday when the girls came in the top 56th place and above out of over 120 runners in the Class A race.

“There is nothing more that I could have asked for my senior year and I am so proud of each and every girl on our team,” exclaimed Senior Team Captain, Morgan Colangelo.

Junior lead runner, Hailey Applebee expressed, “Not only is it a team, but it is a family. I could not be prouder of our team and how much everyone has progressed through the season. I am beyond excited for one final push...and I look forward to what is in our future. We couldn’t have done it without our amazing coaches, teammates, and parents who make everything possible.”

The State Championship takes place on Saturday, October 27 at Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast; Class A boys’ race at 11a.m. and girls’ race at 11:45 a.m.