Thursday, January 16, 2020

JSMS basketball put a good effort against Lake Region

Ethan Fletcher

By Matt Pascarella

The Jordan-Small Middle School B basketball team travelled to Lake Region Middle School to take on the Lakers on Thursday, January 9th.

Raymond wasted no time, as they put points on the scoreboard shortly into the first half. Lake Region took the lead, but JSMS wasn’t far behind. Raymond took several shots on basket, passed the ball well and got rebounds and a turnover. Noah Campbell, #51, put the ball up twice for two flawless layups.

Half: 30-8, Lake Region

JSMS worked hard to put points on the scoreboard. They continued to move the ball well and got a few rebounds. Ethan Fletcher, #33, sunk a couple foul shots. Lucas Wood, #24, grabbed a nice turnover; Logan Inman, #25, put the ball up for two more points. Harrison Behnke, #31, did the same as he added more points to the scoreboard. Although Raymond turned up the offense in the second half, Lake Region got this ‘W.’

Final: 53-18

“We did a really good job with our passing, finding each other and moving without the ball,” observed coach Ryan Roderick. “What hurt us was our defense. We definitely can bring more intensity to our next game.”

Indoor track performs well as they head towards post season

Wyatt Flibbert
By Matt Pascarella

The Indoor Track teams competed against Biddeford, Kennebunk, Scarborough, Westbrook and South Portland at the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus on Saturday, January 11th.

The Eagles gave it everything they had; pushing themselves to the limit as they worked to perform their very best.

Hailey Applebee finished first in the 800-meter, senior division, with a time of 2:42.38. Applebee also won the girls one-mile, open division, with a time of 5:59.25.

Molly Skvorak finished first in the pole vault, open division, with a height of seven feet six inches. Isabel Dionne finished fourth with a height of six feet.

Scarlette Sawyer finished first in the girls high jump, junior division, with a height of four feet eight inches.
Wyatt Flibbert finished first in the boys triple jump, junior division, with a distance of 35 feet and 10.25 inches. Coming in second was Connor Langstaff with a distance of 35 feet 9.75 inches.
Langstaff finished first in the high jump junior division with a distance of five feet, six inches.

In the 200-meter dash, senior division, Ethan Wert came in first with a time of 24.28 seconds. Wert also finished first in the 400-meter dash, senior division, with a time of 56.62.

Overall, the girls finished third with a score of 143. Overall, the boys finished third with a score of 119.

“We did really good; we had a lot of PRs (personal records),” observed coach Denise Curry. “We had a lot of qualifications for our regional meet. Scarlette Sawyer won the junior high jump for a PR; Hailey Applebee won the 800...that was really good. And Isabelle Dionne won the two mile which was...real big.”

Overall, the boys had solid performances, including multiple athletes qualifying for states,” remarked coach Paula Pock. “Top performers of the day: Connor Langstaff, who received athlete of the meet for the junior division, Ethan Wert, winning both 200 and 400 and Caleb Young with a tough double in the 600 yd/2 mile.”

School records were earned on January 12th at the Dartmouth Track & Field Relays by Hannah Langstaff & Katelyn Smith.

Hannah broke a 20 year old 400m record to place 3rd overall, with a school record of 1:01.63 and she won the 800 meter in 2:25.10; another school record!

Katelyn Smith again broke her own triple jump school record and placed second overall in the event, with a jump of 36 feet 8 inches.

The girls that competed at Dartmouth Relays came in 5th overall as a team.

Well Done Eagles!

Trail Blazers get the win in overtime

Hunter Jellison
By Matt Pascarella

The Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle varsity hockey team, the Trail Blazers, hit the ice against the Marshwood/Noble/Traip/Sanford Knighthawks at the Dover Ice Arena in Dover, New Hampshire on Monday, January 13th.

The Trail Blazers began strong, as they moved the puck nicely and pressured the Knighthawks right away. The Trail Blazers had strong defense and fought hard going after the puck. Halfway into the period, Hunter Jellison, #9, put the puck in the back of the net.

After one period: 1-0, Trail Blazers

Almost immediately into the second period, Knighthawks tied the game. The Trail Blazers continued to go hard after the puck and took multiple shots on goal.

After two periods: 1-1

Knighthawks took the lead at the start of period three. The Trail Blazers pressured and took many shots on goal. The Trail Blazers remained in control in the third period as they worked to tie the game and kept the Knighthawks from pulling away. A short time before the buzzer, Jordan Cantz, #27, slipped the puck around the post and past the goalie.

After three periods: 2-2 a pile of both Trail Blazers and Knighthawks found themselves in front of the Knighthawks’ goalie, less than 1:30 into overtime, it was Austin White, #34, who pushed the puck in and ended the game.

Final: 3-2, Trail Blazers

“Our discipline was fantastic,” said Coach Greg Leclair. “[Knighthawks] played a very physical game. They took some liberties at times and we’ve been fighting our discipline and not retaliating and tonight we had zero penalty minutes. That is a big step compared to our first game of the year. Our kids stayed composed and we stayed out of the box – and we got the result we needed.”

Friday, January 10, 2020

Basketball a big part of first team coach’s life

Doug Elder
By Matt Pascarella

Doug Elder is in his second year as high school first team basketball coach; comprised primarily of freshman with a few sophomores. He comes from a basketball family with older brother Darren being the first inductee to Windham High’s 1000 Point Club.

A graduate from Windham High, Doug says he was born into playing the sport, and as the years went on, he found his niche and he got to play with great players like Greg Merrill and Dan Giguere, taking Windham to the Class A tournament in 1996. Elder is also a seventh-grade math and social studies teacher at Windham Middle School.

Graduating in 1996, Elder never got to play alongside his brother, Darren. When Doug Elder went to the University of Maine at Farmington, he and Darren got to play beside each other. After college, Elder was ready to let the basketball piece of his life go, surmising it would find him again. Once he began working at the Middle School, it felt like it was the right time to get involved and back into it.
Elder’s interest in coaching and basketball came from being surrounded by the sport. he started teaching at the Middle School in 2016, he offered to do open gym to help the kids get more practice. Although he wasn’t on the coaching staff, he offered to do what he could and did some shooting clinics, alongside Pat Moody. After that, one thing led to another and the first team coaching position opened up and Elder threw his hat in the ring.

Elder got his degree in Elementary Education with a focus in American Studies from the University of Maine at Farmington. He described social studies as his ‘sweet spot.’ Elder and his family are the eighth generation to settle in Windham and go back to the 1720s/1730s. He really likes to focus on Maine and local history as well as Native American history. “Windham chose me...I just love talking about Windham’s history,” Elder stated.

Comradery and teamwork are two of his favorite things about being a coach. “There’s life lessons involved,” explained Elder. “Operating under pressure; some kids need to find out at some time in their life that they really operate well under pressure. And some kids don’t. If we insulate them from
pressure, they’ll never have the opportunity to realize that that’s where they thrive. I love the roleplaying piece: that we have to learn that we need each other – one person can’t do it all.”

Comradery from basketball has really stuck with Elder post-high school.

“When I see somebody that I’ve played with and haven’t seen in a long time, I feel like there’s still something there that we worked so hard together in order to reach certain goals. That’s where I’m coming from building that comradery and family atmosphere. That’s of the utmost importance to me.”

Elder wants his players to leave after a season being able to think under pressure and being somebody that can be counted on. “Depending on each other is big. I think that can take them a long way as they develop through the program.”

He feels blessed to have his wife, daughter and son supporting him every step of the way. Elder enjoys songwriting and playing music. He also enjoys deer hunting, campfire cooking and spending time with friends and family in remote Maine locations.

Girls basketball beat Gorham

By Matt Pascarella

The girls basketball team played Gorham, at home, on Monday, January 6th.

Carly Morey
Windham scored first after they came onto the court with intensity. The Lady Eagles jumped to an early lead. They nabbed rebounds which made it very hard for Gorham to catch up in the first half. Sarah Talon, #12, had an exceptional block. Windham’s strong defense kept Gorham’s score low. Kayla Flanders, #22, scored right before the first buzzer.

Half: 30-14, Windham

Windham’s aggressiveness never lessened. Destiny Potter, #45, had a stellar block to keep Gorham from putting much of anything on the scoreboard. Windham was up by 15 with 3:38 left in the game. Gorham wasn’t able to recover and lost to the Lady Eagles for the first time in several years.

Final: 47-30

High scorers: Sarah Talon, #12, Carly Morey, #14, Hannah Talon, #33

“We needed to play 32 minutes of intense basketball and they showed that they can do that right from the start to the finish,” remarked coach Brody Artes. “They had a look in their eye today; they were very focused on going out and getting a win against a team we haven’t had a ton of success against in the past couple years. I thought our leadership was great, I thought they played great team basketball. The girls did a great job.”

Seventh and Eighth grade boys basketball pressure Gorham

Luke Cunniffe
By Matt Pascarella

The seventh and eighth grade boys basketball teams took on Gorham, at home, on Monday, January 6th.

Seventh grade:
Windham started as they worked hard to be first to the ball. They got a few turnovers and rebounds. Windham played aggressively; right before the end of the first quarter, Connor Janvrin, #9, sunk a three pointer.

Half: 28-21, Gorham

Gorham had the lead, but the Eagles battled and worked to turn the score around. Shortly into the half, Creighty Dickson, #30, hit a three pointer to put Windham closer to catching up. The Eagles made basket after basket, as they pulled away from Gorham. The Eagles hustled and were up by 10, then 12, then 14. With 2:16 left in the game, Windham led by 10. A short time later, 50 seconds remained and Windham led by four. The Eagles did not let up until the final buzzer; Gorham was never able to catch them.
Final: 52-46

High scorers: Luke Cunniffe, #12, Dickson, #30, and Braycen Freese, #21.

“They always seem to come out in the first half not as intense and in the second half they come out with a lot more intensity, you could see it in the game. They are a second half team,” remarked coach Craig Dickson.

Eighth grade:
Windham grabbed an early lead and pressured, as they got rebounds. The Eagles kept their lead in the first quarter. Soon, Gorham took the lead and the teams were neck and neck.

Half: 18-16, Windham

Jacob Earle, #30, sunk a three pointer at the top of the second half. Windham was very assertive. The game was tied at 21. Gorham took the lead in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had worked hard and with 2:35 remaining, Windham led by three. With 55.7 seconds remaining, one point separated the teams. The Eagles led by two with 13 seconds left, but Gorham sunk a three pointer to take the lead and the game, 31-30.

High scorers: Quinton Lindsay, #23, and Blake McPherson, #21

“We played them in the holiday tournament and lost by 21,” explained coach Adam Manzo. “Having known what to expect, we focused and practiced on defense and I thought the kids came out and played really hard.”

Ski team shows a strong start to upcoming season

Emma Debrosse
By Matt Pascarella

On Friday, January 3rd the Alpine ski team hit the slopes at Shawnee Peak in Bridgton for their season opener, competing in the Giant Slalom against Gorham, Marshwood, Kennebunk, Falmouth and Cheverus. Each athlete took two runs and their total time was those two runs added together.

Windham gave it all they had as they rounded the gates with focus and determination; passing through the finish line at high speeds.

The top finishers were:

Sarah Hare finished first among the team (and first overall among the girls) with a time of 1:11.46 minutes. Paiement with a time of 1:25.61
Annie Jackson with a time of 1:26.79
Emma Debrosse with a time of 1:28.84
Mya Bolk with a time of 1:40.63
Julia Thompson with a time of 1:54.95
And team captain Madelynn McGary with a time of 2:03.30

The girls placed third overall with a total of 63 points.

The top finishers were:

Nolan Dries with a time of 1:17.08
Benjamin White with a time of 1:17.63
Logan Marden with a time of 1:19.35
Cody Taylor with a time of 1:23.11
Owen Flibbert with a time of 1:29.92
And Samuel Plummer with a time of 2:03.02

The boys placed fourth overall with a total of 68 points.

“[We have] a lot of new freshman, and they were extremely surprising in their skill,” observed coach Emily Atwood. “The freshman we have are great...positive; a lot we can work with this season. The returning skiers were incredibly helpful and supportive to the new racers on our team. It was a great first race and with this amount of talent, I think we will have a very strong and competitive season.”