Friday, March 17, 2023

WMS indoor track and field team shows a lot of promise

By Matt Pascarella

In the first meet of the season, the Windham Middle School indoor track and field team went up against Westbrook and King Middle Schools at the Portland Expo on Saturday, March 11.

Windham seventh grader Renner Gerrity soars over the
hurdles during Windham Middle School's indoor track
and field meet against King and Westbrook on Saturday,
March 11 at the Portland Expo.
Windham showed they have what it takes to compete as the boys and girls both finished second. The boys had a score of 80 and the girls had a score of 81.


“I think things went really well; we’re working well together as a team,” said Windham eighth grader Caroline Cunningham. I think we all did a good job working on our form today.”

Cunningham finished first in the 300-yard dash with a time of 49.5 seconds.

Seventh grader Morgan Clark finished first in the open 1 mile run with a 6:34.4-minute time. Eighth grader Megan Little finished fourth with a 7:27.2 time.

Little said she kept a steady pace. She has a positive outlook for the season and thinks the team will be better than last season because they have a lot of strong runners.

In the junior 40-yard dash, sixth grader Cadence Penley finished second with a time of 6.6. She finished fourth in the 440 with a 1:31.3 time.

Seventh grader Jennifer Schwarz finished first in the intermediate shot put with a distance of 22 feet.

In the senior shot put, eighth grader Shailyn Farwell finished second with a 26-foot distance.

Windham came in first in the intermediate 560-yard relay with a 1:24.7 time.

“All I expect is the athletes do the best they can,” said WMS girls’ indoor track and field coach Jason Lanoie. “As long as they try, that’s all that we care about. The sportsmanship was awesome they all cheered for everybody, and I love it when that happens.”


Seventh grader Liam Jorgensen finished first in the intermediate 40-yard dash with a time of 6.2.

Seventh grader Adam Slomcynski fished first in the intermediate 440 with a time of 1:17.8.

Sixth grader Liam Sanborn finished first in the junior shot put with a distance of 19-06.00.

In the senior 240-dash, eighth grader Zach Downs finished second with a 39.7 time.

Sixth grader Landyn Crossman finished second in the junior 40 dash with a time of 6.2. He also finished second in the senior 440 and junior 150 with 23.1 times in both events.

Crossman said the team did really good. Their form has improved, and they did a great job staying focused.

In the open 1 mile run, eighth grader Mason Bragdon finished third with a 6:20.5 time.

Seventh grader Renner Gerrity finished third in the 45-yard hurdles with an 8.1 time.

Gerrity said it went well with hurdles and relay. He liked the atmosphere and said he is looking forward to doing more relays and getting better at high jump.

“They did a lot better than I was expecting performance-wise,” said WMS boys’ indoor track and field coach Dan Flaherty. “There’s a lot of potential on this team. My main concern is that they are steadily progressing throughout the season and if they win, that’s an added bonus, my thing is they are working hard and competing.” <

Middle School swimmers triumph in meet against Westbrook

By Matt Pascarella

In just their second meet of the season, the Windham Middle School swim team showed immense skill and sportsmanship against Westbrook at St. Joseph’s College on Friday, March 10.

Windham seventh grader Rocco DiDonato shows his skill
during the 50-year freestyle event in Windham Middle
School's swim meet against Westbrook on Friday, March 10
at St. Joseph's College. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA 
Windham was victorious over the Blue Blazes. The girls won, 47-44, and the boys won, 64-34.

“After our first meet we really discussed positive sportsmanship and stepping up our game with that,” said Windham Middle School swim coach Anne Fougere. “I think they really wanted to work hard at that. As coaches, we’ve been pushing that more than the swimming; so, we were happy to see improvement there too.”

Windham began with two first-place finishes in both medley relays. The girls finished with a time of 3:04.72 minutes and the boys finished with a time of 2:27.67.


Seventh grader Peter Funk finished first in the 50-yard butterfly with a time of 34.11 seconds. He also finished first in the 100-yard backstroke with a 1:11.90 time.

Eighth grader Sullivan Scharf finished first in the 50-yard backstroke with a 29.72 time. He also finished first in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:16.84.

“I think we got some great swims in today, not just myself, I would say the whole team did great,” said Scharf. “Sportsmanship went up a whole bunch. We’re more bonded than before. Now, we’re here for everyone.”

With a time of 48.84, seventh grader Timothy Slabbinck-Unser finished second in the 50 breaststroke.

In the 50 freestyle, eighth grader Jacob Leavitt finished second with a time of 32.81, eighth grader William Blyther finished third with a time of 36.23 and seventh grader Rocco DiDonato finished fourth with a time of 45.50.

Eighth graders Mason Butterfield and Brock York both put in great efforts in the 50 freestyle. Butterfield finished with a 44.59 time and York finished with a 46.93 time.


In the 50-yard backstroke, seventh grader Mareina Lavalle finished first with a time of 46.01. Behind her was eighth-grader Allison Shardlow who finished second with a time of 49.59. Shardlow also finished fourth in the 100-breaststroke with a time of 1:51.18.

In the 50 freestyle, seventh grader Stephanie Roghelia finished first with a time of 29.46. She also finished first in the 100 breaststroke with a 1:24.28 time.

Roghelia said the team did amazing with sportsmanship and their times. She underestimated her strength, but feels she did awesome. She also received a ducky award from Coach Fougere for being an overall team player. It was unexpected to receive this and Roghelia said it felt awesome.

Sixth grader Lucy Stretch finished second in the 50 freestyle with a 48.83 time and third in the 50 breaststroke with a 1:06.36 time.

Sixth graders Zoe Varney and Bevie Yekeh both had excellent times in the 50 freestyle; Varney finished with a 52.43 time and Yekeh finished with a 1:58.85 time.

“They’ve put everything to use today that we’ve worked on during practice this week and that’s really exciting to see,” said Fougere. <

Friday, March 10, 2023

JV Trail Blazers battle hard, come up short in hockey championship

By Matt Pascarella

After reining victorious in the semifinal playoff round with a 5-2 win over Cape Elizabeth, the junior varsity Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle/Sacopee Valley Trail Blazers stepped onto the ice on Thursday, March 2 at the Casco Bay Ice Arena in Falmouth ready to go head-to-head against the Mount Ararat/Lisbon/Morse/Hyde Eagles in the Wakelin Cup Championship game. Unfortunately, the Trail Blazers weren’t able to catch up in time and lost, 3-1 at the final buzzer.

Windham JV junior Trail Blazer John Ulmer goes after the 
puck at the Casco Bay Ice Arena in Falmouth in the Wakelin
Cup Championship game on Thursday, March 2 against
Mount Ararat/Lisbon/Morse/Hyde.
“We wanted to win; I think we had a good group of kids that could win,” said JV Trail Blazer assistant coach Mike Fothergill. “What killed us was the penalties, too many penalties – and now we’re wasting energy on penalties and trying to recoup from all that. When you’re in the box that much, it’s going to hurt you.”

Fothergill said aside from penalties, the team played great. They battled, skated hard and were right on top of pucks.

After both teams went scoreless in the first period, Mount Ararat/Lisbon/Morse/Hyde scored two goals on power plays and then one more goal with roughly four minutes left in the second period. After two periods, they led 3-0.

The game was not over though; less than two minutes into the third period, Windham junior Tobias Perkins fired a shot that found the back of the net.

He said he was forechecking hard, went to get a shot, got the rebound and then his shot hit the bottom of the crossbar and went right into the net.

According to Perkins, the Trail Blazers hustled, forechecked, backchecked and went after rebounds, but didn’t come out as hard as they could. He said one thing that might have turned the tables was more shots on net and better passing. All in all, he said it was a good season and the boys played well.

Goalie and Windham junior Jake Marston said he felt good going into this game. While the Trail Blazers had a lot of shots on net, they were pretty high – if they had hit the net more, the game may have been different.

Marston said morale dipped a little for him after that second goal; he said he should have been able to block that one. He fought hard until the end.

“We had some really good movement throughout the game, a lot of good defensive work in front, we just let some plays get by us,” said Windham junior John Ulmer.

The Trail Blazer coaching staff is proud of everyone. The entire team worked hard for them. They did everything asked of them and put in a great effort. <

Windham’s unified basketball closes season with strong performance

By Matt Pascarella

Surrounded by packed stands and cheering fans, Windham’s unified basketball team played their final game of the regular season against Scarborough at home on Tuesday, March 7. It was also senior night where Dani Iaconeta, Kayla Fillinger, Austin Rice and Alexandra Tetrault were each presented with a small gift to thank them and their parents for their years of dedication to Windham sports.

Windham Unified freshman Zachary O'Brion could not be
stopped as he sinks a three-pointer early in Windham's
final regular season basketball game at home against
Scarborough on Tuesday, Match 7.
Right from the very start Windham’s energy was way up and their teamwork and offensive skills were excellent. Windham kept it close with the Red Storm for the entire game, but after two halves Scarborough inched ahead, 43-40.

“We did really great,” said Iaconeta. “I’ve been passing the ball to my friends, and we’ve done really good.”

Iaconeta said she was bummed that this was her last game of her high school career. It’s been really great and exciting for Iaconeta to be on the team throughout high school.

She said passing and advice from coaches both went well during the game. She had a lot of fun.

Rice stole the ball and headed down the court and got Windham on the scoreboard.

He said the team played well and it was exciting. He’s had a lot of fun playing over the season.

Windham defense was strong. Sophomore Colby Schmid sank a layup after he grabbed a rebound and made it down the court. Freshman Zachary O’Brion sunk a three-pointer to tie the game at 9.

This game remained close. Windham junior Jacob Smith’s basket put Windham in the lead for the first time in the half.

Windham kept up their solid defense. Freshman Jack Shirley had a nice steal as Windham was neck-and-neck with Scarborough.

At the half, the game was tied at 20.

Windham freshman Katie Plummer sunk a basket early in the second half as Windham continued to work hard. Windham defense and intensity were both forceful.

Freshman Mary-Elizabeth Jean’s basket helped the Eagles stay in the lead.

Fillinger said the game was good; Windham was fast and shot big hoops. She had fun and is pleased with how the season went. It’s been really fun for her to play on the team these past four years.

“The game was tremendous; the whole team came to play,” said coach Anne Blake. “It was a great finale to a great season. The atmosphere of the game was the biggest thing. It was a very inclusive game, everyone played together as a team. The season was a challenge at times ... but we made great strides and look forward to next year.” <

Friday, March 3, 2023

JV Trail Blazers advance to hockey championship game

By Matt Pascarella

After a first round bye, the Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle/Sacopee Valley junior varsity Trail Blazers hit the ice against Cape Elizabeth in the semifinal round of the playoffs at the Casco Bay Ice Arena in Falmouth on Saturday, Feb. 25. The Trail Blazers left it all on the ice and advanced to the Wakelin Cup Championship by beating Cape Elizabeth, 5-2.

Windham junior varsity sophomore Caleb McNulty works
the puck around a defender during a semifinal playoff game 
for the Trail Blazers against Cape Elizabeth at the Casco Bay
Ice Arena in Falmouth on Saturday, Feb. 25.
“I thought we were ready to play,” said JV Trail Blazer coach Ben Haskell. “I think they knew they were going to have a battle ahead of them. That’s what was mentioned in the locker room beforehand; they are a good, decent team, and this isn’t going to be a cakewalk. We were prepared.”

Haskell said the Trail Blazers kept their composure, kept working hard, had a lot of shots and spent a lot of time in the offensive zone. Once the Trail Blazers settled down and looked to other areas to make plays, that’s when it started clicking. It all came down to the last two minutes.

Haskell is looking forward to the championship game and can’t remember the last time the Trail Blazers made it this far. He said the kids deserve it and have worked hard all year.

Both teams hit the ice with intensity and their defenses kept the first period scoreless. The JV Trail Blazer offense worked hard and gave Cape Elizabeth’s goalie a workout with several shots at the goal, even one shot that nicked the goal post.

“I think we worked hard the whole game, we kept it physical; we didn’t retaliate to them,” said Sacopee Valley sophomore James Ritter. “We kept our head in the game and it worked out for us. It feels great to be going to the championship.”

There was a little over a minute left in the second half when Windham sophomore Caleb McNulty scored.

The Trail Blazers had seen Cape Elizabeth earlier in the season in a close game that the Trail Blazers won.

Cape Elizabeth was quick to answer and tied the game 1-1 by the end of the second period.

The Trail Blazers stayed aggressive as the third period began. They were giving 100 percent and continued to play like they wanted to win. With 4:55 left in the game, McNulty scored again. With two minutes left Cape answered and the game was tied at 2.

As the clock wound down, McNulty got a hat trick. Then Ritter scored. Then McNulty again on an empty net.

“I think we come into every game expecting the best team,” said McNulty. “We go out there and try our best; get up one and play like it’s 0-0. We worked our systems really well, our forecheck was amazing, it was getting chippy out there and we didn’t take any stupid penalties.”

The Wakelin Cup will be played at the Casco Bay Ice Arena in Falmouth at 6:40 p.m. on Thursday, March 2. <

Trail Blazer varsity hockey wraps up season

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle Trail Blazer varsity hockey team ended their season with amazing efforts competing until the final seconds in their final regular season game at the University of Southern Maine against Edward Little on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

Trail Blazers senior and captain Wyatt Carpenter of Windham
keeps possession of the puck during a varsity ice hockey
game against Edward Little at the University of Southern
The Trail Blazers left it all on the ice and fought hard, but Edward Little won 5-0 and unfortunately, the Trail Blazers did not make post-season playoffs.

“We have a lot of things to work on,” said Windham sophomore Sam Foley. “Being man-to-man in the neutral zone and taking away passing lanes. They moved the puck quickly and every time we get caught watching the puck and there’s a good chance they’ll score.”

Edward Little took more shots at goal than the Trail Blazers in the first period that soon put them on the scoreboard. The Trail Blazers had trouble turning the puck over and after one period Edward Little led, 3-0.

The Trail Blazers came out immediately aggressive in the second period and attacked Edward Little’s net, but nothing got in. Trail Blazer defense slowed Edward Little’s offense as Westbrook senior goalie Isaac White notched almost 40 saves over the course of three periods. Edward Little led 5-0 after two periods.

“They gave me everything they had, every practice, every game, they never quit,” said Trail Blazer head coach Bobby Fothergill. “We had good leadership, and it was the right way.”

Fothergill said the Trail Blazers competed to the very last buzzer and never gave up. Even though they were outmatched by a bigger, older team, the Trail Blazers tried to make plays, doing what is asked of them. The record wasn’t there, but Fothergill is very proud of his team; he said next year will be their year.

The Trail Blazers defense held off Edward Little for a scoreless third period.

Windham senior and captain Wyatt Carpenter said they need to get to the puck faster with more energy on the bench, a lot more movement, passing on the ice and a lot more shots at goal.

It was the last game of the season, and Carpenter said that the team wanted to go out, play hard and have some fun.

White said it was tiring and he thought the Trail Blazers picked it up and got more confident toward the end. He felt like they ended the season with solid effort. He said they were able to get opportunities in the third period, but Edward Little’s defense shut them down. Team confidence in general went up toward the end of the season. <

Friday, February 24, 2023

WHS swimmers finish strong in Class A State Swimming and Diving Championships

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham High swim team competed in the Maine Girls Class A State Swimming and Diving Championships against schools from all over Maine at Bowdoin College in Brunswick on Monday, Feb. 20 and WHS ended the season with a solid 12th place finish.

Windham junior Riley Small shows her speed through the
water at Bowdoin College in Brunswick during the Maine
Class A State Swimming and Diving Championships on
Windham had several swimmers who medaled by finishing in the top eight during the events.

“With this type of a meet all the work is done – this is showtime,” said Windham swim coach Peter Small. “They’ve worked so hard ... now it’s time to, for lack of a better word, celebrate, just swim – race. I think we were kind of nervous at the beginning, it took us a little bit to get into it.”

Small said that in a lot of the first swims there wasn’t that fire in the belly, but as the meet progressed the team found it and swam really well.

Windham sophomore Sarah Inman finished fifth in the 500-yard freestyle with a 5:45.14 time. She also finished eighth in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:27.67.

Inman said she wanted to do her best and prove to herself what she can do. She medaled four times and said the team did great today. They were focused and tried not to overthink the events. The day went great.

Windham senior Hannah Heanssler finished eighth in the 50 freestyle with a time of 26.99 seconds. She also finished 14th in the 100-breaststroke with a 1:18.06 time.

“I’m proud of everyone, I’m proud of myself,” said Heanssler. “We all have worked so hard this season, the way we swam and executed today was really good. We all put everything we had into it, and we all fought with grit and swam really well.”

Heanssler said some highlights of the day were continuing to get their best times, swimming well with each other and everyone racing hard.

Windham freshman Martina Jefferson finished 19th in the backstroke with a time of 1:15.22.

In the 400-freestyle relay, Windham finished fifth with a time of 4:06.46. This team was made up of Inman, sophomore Morgan Farley, Heanssler and junior Grace Theriault.

Theriault finished 18th in the 200 with a 2:18.66 time.

Theriault said team spirits were high and Windham really showed what they are capable of. She thought the team did great altogether.

In the 200-freestyle relay of Heanssler, Theriault, Inman and senior Reagan McDougall, Windham finished with a time of 1:54.09 in seventh place.

Windham’s relay team of Jefferson, Farley, McDougall and junior Riley Small finished with a time of 2:20.10 in the 200 medley-relay, in 15th place.

While no boys on the team qualified for states, during southwesterns at Cape Elizabeth on Saturday, Feb. 11, Windham sophomore CK Kennedy finished 10th in the 50-yard freestyle with a 28.46 time. In the same event, McDougall finished 13th with a time of 30.18. McDougall finished sixth in the 500 with a time of 7:00.58. <