Sunday, December 14, 2014

Winter sports heat up, who to watch and where to see them - By Stephanie Coffin

The following coaches have given some insight of how they predict the season to go. Here are their thoughts:
Windham Boys' Track – Coach Paula Pock

Be on the lookout for these key athletes: Distance Runners: Jeremy Bennett, Reese Preston, Aaron Graves; Sprint Runners: Eric Webb, Hawar Haddadi; Shot Put- Kyle Mandel, Thomas Sappier; Hurdles- Ernie Ruby

Key Match ups: Though all meets are really important, we always enjoy competing against Westbrook, Bonny Eagle and Gorham.

Goals: To get as many kids as possible to qualify for the state meet.

Outlook: “Our team this year has a lot of young athletes and returning athletes that will be expected to take leadership roles and perform big in meets.” 

Upcoming meets: Dec. 13 vs. Biddeford/McAuley/Portland at 11:15 a.m. at USM field house in Gorham.

Dec. 20 vs. Cheverus/Gorham/Noble at 2 p.m. at USM field house

Windham Girls Track – Coach Scott Rush-Donohue and assisted by Christine Cyr

Be on the lookout for these Key athletes: Alexis Wintle, who was the state champion in the high jump, will be attempting to repeat. Mattison Marcello, Alana Cobb, and Alex Lewis are sprint returnees that should score well and qualify for states. Freshman Madhuri Leslie met qualifying times running in middle school last year and will most likely do the same at the high school level. Joelle Bockus, McKenzie Pepin, and Amanda Turner should give the distance contingency a good boost as they and the other members of the cross country team came off another impressive season. Most should score for us. 
Ali Wintle will be joined by many other jumpers that will be able to meet the mark this season, including Julia Preston, Crystal Frappier, Meghan Knights, Katie Hunter, Lewis, Marcello and Leslie. Knights, Hunter, Leslie, and Lewis all should be contenders in qualifying in the hurdles. You never know what gems may shine! 

Teams that will be a challenge: Any team with more members ... depth will be difficult to overcome during the regular season. The playing field evens out more when only the championship qualifiers remain in the state meet.

Predictions for the season: The girls indoor track and field team is about one-third smaller this year. This would be difficult to gain a great number of team wins (most likely under 500 this season), however the goal once again is to have as many member qualify for the Class A State Championship as possible. Last year we had 12 girls attend states and believe we may once again have that number, even after losing several seniors.

Upcoming meets: Come visit any of our meets which run mostly on Saturdays at the USM field house on the Gorham campus, leading to the SMAA League Championships on February 7th and the State Championships on February 16th. Love to see our fans cheering on the Lady Eagles!

Windham Ice Hockey – Coach Greg Leclair

Be on the lookout for these key athletes: Seniors Clayton Owens (G); Juniors Zack Callahan (F/D), Tyler Johnson (F), Gage Chenard (F); Sophomores Jack Gresh (F), Gio Ruotolo (F), and Chris Lekousi (D) and Freshman Keegan Pock (F)

The hockey team is looking to build off of its 6-11-1 record from a year ago. The team returns much of its scoring from last season, as well as senior goaltender Clayton Owens. We are hoping that the continued improvement, coupled with another year of experience will result in the first winning season in program history. It'll be an uphill battle to make the playoffs in Eastern Class A where limited playoff spots (seven) are hard to come by in the face of stiff competition top to bottom throughout the division. If things break right, we have a chance, but it will take consistency and positive results in our toughest games.

Teams that will be a challenge: Noble/Wells, Mt. Ararat, South Portland and Marshwood/Traip Academy.
On January 1, 2015, the Windham Ice Hockey Boosters will be sponsoring a bottle drive to support the high School and middle school teams. More information regarding the location and times will be available as we approach the date of the event.

Home games are played at the USM ice rink.

Alpine Ski Team – Coach Gavin Glider

Be on the lookout for these key athletes: Jordan Crowley in slalom and Kyle Joseph in giant slalom (boys) and Mary Brackett and Meagan Jones for the girls in both slalom and giant slalom. 

We are hoping for a strong season, however, we have a fairly new team so it is tough to make predictions prior to getting on snow in January. 

As always, we expect Marshwood to field a strong team on the hill. Windham Alpine will be having a fundraiser later in the season. 

Home meets are at Shawnee Peak and start in January.

Varsity Boys Basketball – Coach Kevin Millington

Be on the lookout for these key athletes: Returning contributors Seniors Troy Davis, guard; Kevin Weisser, guard; Ryan Gorman, guard; Greg Gledhill, forward; Markus D'Andrea, guard; Jack Giampino, forward; Junior Kyle Kilfoil; forward. We have very talented underclassmen who have joined the team this year including one junior, three sophomores Chris Brown, Austin McGowen and Kyle Houser, and three freshmen; Mike Gilman, Hunter Coffin and Nick Curtis. 

Predictions: Certainly a hard thing to do and one I don't usually like to get involved in. I like our team a lot. This is a great bunch of kids. We have talent so I expect this to be a successful season. The league is very, very competitive this year. In conversations with other coaches, any of 11 or 12 teams could finish in the top three. That is the first time in my 18 years that there has been no clear favorite.

Teams that will be a challenge: Again, extremely tough league. All of the city schools are good as usual – South Portland, Cheverus, Portland, and Deering. Our doubles or teams we play twice are all as good as ever - Westbrook, Bonny Eagle, Gorham and Scarborough. Marshwood, Thornton Academy and Massabesic are also pretty good.

It’s always great to have the gym filled with Windham fans for our Gorham and Bonny Eagle games.
Windham Night at the Red Claws is January 24th. Tickets are available through Windham Youth Basketball.

Windham Girls Basketball – Coach Brody Artes

Be on the lookout for these key athletes: Sadie Nelson, Luisa Sbardella, Ciera Berthiaume, Katie Herzig, Mya Mannette, Macy Mannette and Lyndsey Arsenault 

Predictions – I think we are going to be very competitive in a league that is going to have a lot of parody this year. There are eight or 10 teams in the SMAA that could potential come out of the west. It all depends on who is playing the best basketball at the right time.

Teams that will be a challenge: Cheverus, McAuley, Thornton Academy, Gorham, Deering, Westbrook, Scarborough.

Wrestling – Coach Jason Dryburgh

Be on the lookout for these key athletes: Senior captains Dominick Cancelarich, Brandon Huntington, TJ Kenney and Jesse Mailer. Also expected to make an impact are junior Ethan Winde, sophomores Sebastian Foster and Sean Butterworth as well as freshman Chris McGary.

Outlook: Last year’s record: 9-9, with low numbers and a strong schedule in front of this team the outlook is still an optimistic and positive one. Windham is driven by four senior captains who each know what it takes to win on and off the mat. New comers and veterans alike are working harder than ever before with a new mindset in place. By placing their effort, attitude and execution as priority the team is equipped with the tools to take on all challenges and challengers and be successful.

Windham Swimming and Diving – Coach Peter Small
Be on the lookout for these key girl athletes: Maelah Nadeau, Elizabeth Lucas, Colby Nadeau, Hannah Nadeau, Bryanna Power and Olivia Verrill.

Be on the lookout for these key boy athletes: Joe Paluso, Lyle Webster, Sam Shoberg, Josh Labrecque, John Giberti and Francis Watson.

Predictions for the season: I see the team having more individual qualifiers for the state meet this year. The team has competitors from top to bottom, with student athletes who have set lofty individual goals and are working hard to meet them. They have been motivating each other and that will help us achieve their goals.

Teams that will be a challenge will be Massabesic, Kennebunk, Yarmouth. 

Home meets take place at Saint Joseph’s College.

Windham Cheerleading – Coach Jamie Gaudreau

Be on the lookout for these key athletes: Captains Analyse Harris, Melanie Farrington, Ayla Sheets and Breanna King.

The Eagles have several veteran cheerleaders returning and also are welcoming many newcomers to this year’s competitive team.  This is a great group of fine young athletes who are motivated and inspired to work together as a unified team and be the best that they can be.  We will continue to challenge ourselves and perfect the needed skills to compete.  I am looking forward to seeing our veterans lead our newcomers in our cheering program.

Competitions are Jan 17th at Gorham High School and Jan 24h regionals at the Augusta Civic Center.  All are welcome to come support these ladies.

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