Friday, September 17, 2021

Tales from the Outdoors: It’s a family affair

By Bob Chapin

David Ferris won first place and his brother
Dean won second place during the
Sebago Lake Anglers Association's Annual
Open Water Togue Derby on Sebago
Lake last weekend. SUBMITTED PHOTO
The Brothers Ferris made it a family affair last weekend when they won both first and second place in the Sebago Lake Anglers’ Association’s (SLAA) Annual Open Water Togue (Lake Trout) Derby on Sebago Lake.

The brothers caught their fish deep (12 colors of lead core line) between the areas of the lake known as the Camel Pasture and the Shoals and they caught them on Flatfish lures. The weather was tough, particularly on Sunday, where high winds kicked up rollers of 3 and 4 feet with white caps blowing down wind. It took a substantial boat under you to maintain a steady heading. But, if you could get out of the wind, it was sunny and downright pleasant.

The brothers earned high praise for their catches from other fishermen and ladies and cold hard cash from SLAA. David earned First Place and $500. Dean won Second Place and $400. Further, because the fish were caught on Saturday and upheld through Sunday the largest fish earned an additional $100 making their haul an even $1000, pretty good wages for doing what they loved to do anyway. Their fish weighed 12.56 and 8.84 pounds respectively. 

Those fish placing 3rd through 10th earned as follows:

Charlie Miner, 7.56 lb. $300; Mike Donavan, 6.05 lb. $200; Bob Spindler, 5.73 lb. $175; John Sailhamel. 5.50 lb. $150; Caleb Judd, 4.92 lb. $125; Glenn Geisel, 4.79 lb. $100; Dana Direnzo, 4.75 lb. $75; Jay Lenane, 4.63 lb. $50.

In addition to the prizes won above there were prizes for three lottery drawings where fishermen were awarded one ticket for each Togue they legally caught and turned in. Those tickets were drawn at random out of a rotating bin. Finally, an award was given for the smallest Togue caught on hook and line. Those winners were as follows:

$100 lottery winners went to Ed Zeigler, Tyler Santero, and Glenn Geisel. Smallest togue $100 prize went to Tyler Santero.

This has been a difficult year for anglers fishing Sebago Lake and the catch rates reflect that. The numbers of fish caught and their weights have been down across all species from previous derbies. Local fishermen attribute the drop to loss of habitat, some due to invasive plant removal efforts; reductions in bait fish such as smelt, shiners, and alewives; and, predation by Togue on the more desirable fish such as salmon. Togue will even cannibalize their own young when they get hungry.

SLAA has been putting on these derbies for five years, having skipped last year for COVID concerns. They use the money to finance Club activities such as this derby, a Veterans’ Fishing Event in May, a Veteran’s Ice Fishing Hut on Long Lake during ice fishing season and various other community events such as Boy and Girl Scout fishing demonstrations, alternative school fishing events, and support to Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. However, the bulk of the funds raised in this event goes towards purchasing State of Maine Youth Lifetime Fishing Licenses for Maine children. These licenses are good for the life of the child regardless of their age or adult state of residency. Parents can augment the funding provided by SLAA to procure companion lifetime licenses to hunt or trap.

SLAA has awarded more Youth Lifetime Licenses than any other organization in the state, including Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM).

This year’s sponsors included:

Brother Flecker’s Bar and Restaurant, Causeway Dairy Bar, Dag’s Bait Shop, Don Campbell Band, Finelines Collision and Glass Auto Body, Gorham Savings Bank, Great Northern Docks, Hancock Lumber, Jordan’s Store, Moody’s Collision Center, Moose Landing Marina, Naples Bait & Tackle, Norway Savings Bank, Point Sebago Resort, Port Harbor Marine, Q-Team Tree Service, R.J. Grondin Construction, R.N. Willey Excavation, and The Umbrella Factory Supermarket.

Children get their names in the lottery for a license by being nominated by a member of SLAA. Vendors whose names are on the back of the Derby T-shirts also earn the right to nominate a youth for the lottery. Drawings are held at the October meeting of the Club, at 6:30 PM the second Tuesday of the month at the United Church of Christ in Naples., public welcome.

For further information regarding the derby or SLAA contact Bob Chapin 571-217-1700 or 207 655-1028.

Lady Eagles’ field hockey teams grab big wins over Marshwood

Windham senior Ellie Miller charges toward the net before
scoring the winning goal in overtime and breaking a 2-2 tie
against Marshwood on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at Windham.
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA 
By Matt Pascarella

After forging a tie with time running out in regulation play against Marshwood, Windham’s varsity field hockey forced overtime before senior Ellie Miller scored a late goal to secure a 3-2 come-from-behind win for the Lady Eagles.

During the JV game, Windham scored early and kept the goals coming one after another after another. At the final buzzer, they walked off the field with a 10-0 win over the Hawks.

When all was said and done, Windham’s junior varsity and varsity field hockey teams played two very impressive games at home against Marshwood on Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Varsity

“We kind of had a shaky start [to the game] in terms of cohesively being together as a team,” said Windham varsity coach Cory DiDonato. “So, what the girls were able to do was to figure out the kinks on their own ... we just came off two losses and I think they were really hungry to turn it around.”

DiDonato added a player like Miller who is so hungry for a win and that hunger bleeds into the rest of the team and they all feel it. DiDonato was really excited and proud of the way Windham picked it up and played until the end.

Windham pressured early on. The Lady Eagles were passing nicely and had strong hits that moved the ball well. However, Windham wasn’t able to score until the end of the first half when freshman Zoe Dries put the ball between the posts. Marshwood led 2-1 at the half.

In the second half, Windham’s defense stopped Marshwood from scoring more goals. With 3:42 left in the game, Windham sophomore Emma Morrison tied the game at two. This sent the game into overtime.

There was less than 18 seconds left in overtime when Miller shot the ball from the corner of the field, and it had just enough space to roll into the net.

“I didn’t think it was going in, but it just squeezed in between the goalie and the side of the cage,” said Miller. “We all worked really well together in overtime and gave it our everything.”

Junior Varsity

Once Dries scored for Windham early on, their aggressiveness did not stop. Windham had excellent passing with strong defense.

Windham freshman Piper Chicoine scored next followed by Dries again. Windham led 3-0 at the half.

At the start of the second half, Chicoine scored twice. Windham’s aggressiveness increased as they headed toward the final buzzer. They went after and stayed with the ball, as they took shot after shot after shot on goal. Sophomore Elizabeth Gurney scored back-to-back goals, then again before the end of the game. Dries scored once more. Windham freshman Zocia LaWind pushed Windham’s score into double digits.

Gurney said Windham had good passes and communication. She added it felt good to score as much as she did but thought overall it was a good team effort.

“The team really had a chance to work on our offense,” said Windham JV coach Lyndsay Stretch. “The forwards did really well with using their eliminations to get past the Marshwood defense. We were able to use strong passes successfully and keep the intensity and focus strong.” 

Stretch added the forward line stayed strong in the circle with many shots on goal and was able to be there for the rebound shot. Defensively they were able to hold back Marshwood and keep the pressure on with great teamwork.<

Windham coed golf teams make improvements in every match

Windham varsity golf's Logan Marden, a junior, stays focused
while making a nice putt during the Eagles' match against
Gorham on Monday, Sept. 13 at Riverside Golf Course
in Portland. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA 
By Matt Pascarella

It’s early in the season, and there is room for improvement with Windham’s young varsity and junior varsity golf teams. On Monday, Sept. 13 at Riverside Golf Course in Portland, Windham faced Gorham and showed off some of their improving skills.

On the Riverside North Course, a par 36, Windham sophomore Brady Harvie shot a 43; and Windham junior Logan Marden shot a 45.

On the JV team Windham freshman Addison Leger and sophomore Nathan Jordan defeated Gorham in the matches.

Gorham beat the varsity team with team totals of 204-244 strokes and a match total of 13-0.

The JV team lost to Gorham with a match total of 2-1.

Varsity

“The first two holes I tripled and doubled,” said Marden. “Then I started to lock in, I bogeyed the par three and followed that with a birdie on the par five. Then I’ve been playing par-bogey golf for the rest of the match.”

Marden said he was only a few strokes behind where he liked to be shooting. He added the season’s been going well. He’d like to fix up his short game, but other than that it’s going alright.

“This year is all about progressing as the season goes on,” said Windham varsity golf coach Adam Manzo. “We have 13 total kids between JV and varsity and eight of them are freshman. We’ve got a lot of young kids and this year is about making progress each match and getting better.”

Manzo said each match this season the scores are dropping. He added there is room for development.

Other scorers for Windham were freshmen Phillip Traina and Fiona Harmon who both shot 50s. Freshman Joseph Donnelly shot a 56 and freshman Addison Profenno shot a 58.

Junior Varsity

The junior varsity team played a two-man scramble during their matches where they were playing off each other’s shots.


Leger had a nice drive on one of the final holes.

“On this last hole I made sure to breathe when I got up and take my time and keep my eye on the ball to make sure that I had the best hit possible,” said Leger.

Leger said her drive went right up the middle of the fairway, near the green. The end result of that hole, a bogie, was better because of her drive.

Leger saw improvement as she progressed through the course.

“The kids worked hard today,” said Windham JV coach Brody Artes. “[Windham] is working on just improving each and every day. It’s a really, really good group of kids and were just out here having a lot of fun.”

Gorham defeated Windham sophomore Shamus Morrison and freshman Cole Heanssler.

Gorham defeated Windham freshmen Ben Shaw and Nolan Cyr.

Artes said the team is young and still learning various aspects of the game and are looking to get better individually and as a team. He added he definitely saw improvements during the match. <

Friday, September 10, 2021

Tales from the Outdoors: Fishing with Children

Bob Chapin's grandson, Paul, age
3 1/2, shows off a perch that he
caught recently on Thomas Pond
in Raymond. COURTESY PHOTO
By Bob Chapin

Sooner or later as the word gets out that you, as a sportsman or sportswoman, enjoy a day of fishing you will get a request from the family, a co-worker or neighbor to take a child or small group of kids fishing.

Before you say yes, there are a few considerations and preparations you should think about. Be honest with yourself and answer the question, “Will l want to fish too, or will this just be for the kids?”

If you accept you not only accept entertaining and educating the kids, but you are also accepting responsibility for their safety around the water and on the boat, their warmth when outdoors, sunscreen for their more sensitive skin, and of course the ever-popular snacks and plenty of them. If you take more than one child, consider not fishing yourself at all because they will need almost constant attention, even if you fish from shore.

Plan the outing to be, by your probable standards, short. That means no more than about two hours. The driving distance to the fishing should be short as well. Kids have a much shorter attention span than adults and that includes the drive out there. The “When are we going to get there?” questions will start almost before you clear your driveway!

Keep the fishing gear as simple as you can. Simply handing junior your shortest spinning rod is a formula for disaster. Consider, a closed face spinning reel similar to those found in the children’s toy section. There is a reason that Zebco has stayed in business so many years making simple-to-use push button reels, some of which are used very successfully by adults.

Keep the terminal tackle simple too. A snelled bait holder hook (#6) tied directly to the line coming out of the tip of the rod or to a snap swivel with a single split shot non-lead weight covers many fishing situations on brooks and rivers and only requires the addition of a small bobber for ponds, lakes and boat fishing where you anchor or drift.

Stick with worms for bait, best would be night crawlers available at most variety stores and Walmart. They are a source of entertainment for the kids and remarkably effective on fish. Check the regulations to be sure live bait is accepted at the location you plan to fish. Minnows are a great bait but not so much with small children. They entertain the kids, but the handling is rough on the fish, and some will end up belly up in your bait bucket.

At the fishing location there can be lots of distractions that may appear more interesting to the kids than what you want them to do. There may be other kids, a loose dog running along the shore, a stick on the ground, a caterpillar, or some other bug, it doesn’t take much.

Be patient. In fact, the whole outing may try your patience but remember you’re making memories for the children.

Prepare the children for a fish-less day. This starts by not building up their expectations too high when selling them on the idea in the first place. Fishing is a sport, and it can be quite a challenge. It is not catching necessarily. Certainly, celebrate any success they have, but remember the other kids may remain fish-less. 

I had a couple of reminders myself recently of how enjoyable fishing with children can be when my grandkids came for a visit. My 13-year-old grandson, who had on previous visits not expressed any interest, suddenly wanted Grandpa to take him fishing.

We fished for a couple of hours on Thomas Pond, and he caught enough white perch and bass to feed the family. My second reminder was my other grandson, only 3 ½-years-old. He kept pestering me to take him fishing and when I took him out in the boat, he also caught a limit of perch and a bass. 

I traveled with him back to Lander, Wyoming and we fished a reservoir and a small river catching Brook trout and grayling—what a joy! <

Eagles overpower Brunswick in prep football season opener

Senior Dylan Mathieson carries the American flag as the
Windham High School Eagles take the field for the first time
since 2019 before a crowded and cheering stadium. Windham
rolled to an impressive 47-8 win over Brunswick in the game.
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA 
By Matt Pascarella

Tackle football is back, and a crowd cheered for their Windham High School Eagles in the first home game of the season on Saturday, Sept. 4. The last time Windham took the field in this capacity was back in 2019 and players, coaches and fans are happy to be back.

Windham started very strong as they scored four times in the first half alone and ended the game with an impressive 47-8 victory over the Brunswick High School Dragons.

It was clear from the way Windham took the field as well as their energy from the sidelines, these Eagles had missed this and were ready to play.

Brunswick won the toss and elected to receive. Windham’s defense didn’t let them get far before it was first and 10 Windham. The Eagles advanced quickly, and it wasn’t long before Windham senior Tate Chork crossed into the end zone.

Windham junior Alex Yeaton recovered the ball after a blocked punt from Brunswick and ran the ball in for a touchdown and successful extra point which gave Windham a 14-point lead.

“We’ve been preaching it and coaching it, trying to have the players understand [that] anyone can be used at any time, we may need you,” said Windham varsity football coach Matt Perkins. “We had guys coming off the bench and jumping in and just living in the moment and getting after it; it was awesome.”

The Dragons scored a touchdown in the second quarter, but not before Windham sophomore Ezra Foster scored before the end of the first half.

Also before the end of the first half, sophomore Tobias Perkins intercepted a pass intended for Brunswick. Windham ran the ball right up the goal line and Chork got the touchdown. At the half, Windham led 35-8.

In the second half, Windham’s defense would hold Brunswick to their eight points. Windham’s offense would not be stopped as they kept adding to the scoreboard. Windham was at the 47-yard line when senior Nick Garrison ran the ball in for a touchdown.

It was first down on the 48-yard line and Windham senior quarterback Robert “Will” Ledbetter made a pass to Yeaton who scored again.

“We were just really motivated,” said Yeaton. “We haven’t been out there in two years, and we got it done ... today.”

At the 14-yard line, Windham sophomore Erik Bowen made it into the end zone for the Eagle’s final touchdown.

“We played tough no doubt about it. During the week we focused heavily on a ‘next play’ mentality,” said Ledbetter. “Always looking forward, not in the past on good or bad plays. A positive attitude among the team really helped us get this win.”

Windham junior Jordan Bridge went 5 for 7 for extra points. Chork charged for 81 yards during the game. Five of Ledbetter’s eight passes were completed for 140 yards. < 


Windham High volleyball squads showcase skills against Scarborough

By Matt Pascarella

In their first games of the regular fall season, Windham High’s varsity and junior varsity volleyball teams took on Scarborough Friday, Sept. 3 at Scarborough High School and showcased determination and great improvement. Although the Lady Eagles fell 3-0 to the Red Storm, Windham set the tone that this season will be one where they will give a strong effort every game.

Windham High's Victoria Lin, a junior, taps the ball just enough
to get it over the net during the Lady Eagles' season opener
for varsity volleyball  against Scarborough High on
Sept. 3. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA  
Windham’s JV squad fell 2-0, but not before they showed Scarborough that they had hustle during every game in the match.

Varsity

The teams played a match of the best of three games, with Windham coming together nicely in Game One. Scarborough took an early lead, but soon the game was tied.

The Lady Eagles had good communication and made several smart plays to add points to the scoreboard. Windham was not far behind Scarborough. Windham junior Scarlette Sawyer had a nice spike as the Lady Eagles closed the gap. After a great effort by Windham, Scarborough got this one 25-12.

In game two, Scarborough took an early lead, but Windham was quick to put themselves on the scoreboard. Windham had several serves Scarborough just couldn’t return. Windham sophomore Savannah Heanssler dove for a ball and returned a serve; senior Samantha Murphy did the same as Windham showed Scarborough what they were capable of. While Windham played hard, Scarborough won 25-5.

Game Three brought no lack of intensity from the Lady Eagles. The Red Storm had a lead, but Windham wasn’t far behind. Windham continued to play smart until the very end. Scarborough won 25-12.

“I think as a team we played really well together,” said Murphy. “I feel like we really bonded this year; we could have done better, we can always do better, but there’s always next game.”

Murphy said she thought this season was going to be a lot better than last, because they are making a better connection and have a more positive outlook.

Windham varsity volleyball coach Chuck Fleck said he knew Scarborough was going to come at Windham hard. They could have done a little bit better, but he is confident they’ll end up on top throughout the season.

JV

The games are best of three and in game one, Windham put themselves on the board early. They were returning serves and working well together with nice volleying. The Lady Eagles had a great effort, but Scarborough won 25-5.

In game two, Windham scored early and pulled ahead. When Scarborough got a lead, Windham was not far behind. Windham freshman McKenzie Keeney had a solid serve coupled with several volleys that Scarborough eventually couldn’t return. Windham kept adding points to their score.

Windham sophomore Lilly McLean had an awesome serve that helped the Lady Eagles bridge the gap after Scarborough had begun to pull away. So did Windham sophomore Jocelynn McFarlane. After a tough game, Windham lost 25-17.

“They came out ready to play,” said Windham JV volleyball coach Megan Fleck. She added that Windham had some nerves which were definitely a part of it but were able to shake them off and showed they could play.

McLean said she thought they did really well and wishes everyone could have seen them at practice to see how well they pulled together. She said that she thinks Windham will be able to pull together and win a lot of their future games. <

Friday, September 3, 2021

Windham High boys’ soccer shows promise for upcoming season

Junior Tyler Johnsen, drives the hall for Windham's varsity
boys soccer team toward the goal during a preseason match
against Freeport on Tuesday, Aug. 31. Johnsen scored which
tied the match at 2-2. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA 
By Matt Pascarella

The varsity and junior varsity boys’ soccer teams took on Freeport, at Freeport on Tuesday, Aug. 31 in a preseason game before the start of the regular season next week and both teams showed the potential to enjoy solid seasons this fall.

Windham gave strong efforts against the Falcons and Windham’s varsity and JV teams each walked off the field with 2-2 tie games as their final results in the preseason matches.

Varsity

Freeport took control early and scored. Windham worked to be first to the ball.

Freshman Luke Cunniffe put Windham on the scoreboard when he scored to tie the game. Windham moved the ball nicely. Freeport pulled ahead 2-1 before the end of the half.

In the second half Windham continued to go strong and took multiple shots on goal. Windham freshman goalie Lukas Hammond did not let the ball get by him the entire half.

At one point, the ball got away from the Freeport goalie and

Windham junior Tyler Johnsen capitalized on this error to score and tied the game at 2-2, where it stayed until the final buzzer.

“I think we did ok,” said Cunniffe. “I think we could have possessed the ball better; we also could have made less mistakes on defense. Overall, I think it was okay.”

Cunniffe said a couple things that went well were the team’s cross passes and when Windham got the ball wide and gained possession in the final third of the game to tie it up.

“I thought we were pretty flat,” said Windham varsity boys’ soccer coach Ben Schulz. “I have higher expectations than what we showed on the field. If our effort doesn’t pick up, it’s going to be a long season.”

Schulz is confident the team’s effort will pick up and they are going to have a good week of practice leading up to the start of the season. He also said several younger players rose to the challenge and delivered needed efforts.

Junior Varsity

Windham freshman Sam Rogers scored less than five minutes into the game. Windham passed nicely and went hard after the ball. The game was tied at one at the half.

Windham pressured in the second half after Freeport scored early on. Windham’s defense did a nice job of holding Freeport at two.

With a little over five minutes left, Windham was down by one. Rogers rocketed the ball between the posts again and tied the game. As the clock wound down, Windham continued to take shot after shot on goal.

Rogers thought Windham did pretty well. He said they could work on distributing the ball. Rogers added shooting and short passes went well. His goal is to improve as a team and get to know other kids and how they play in the upcoming season.

“I think they did well,” said Windham JV boys’ coach Mitch Hodge. “Their best moment was the last 10 minutes. We tied it up, but then didn’t quit, didn’t leave our half. They finished strong and that’s nothing but promising.”

Hodge said he’s positive about the upcoming season. <