Thursday, December 31, 2015

Windham's athletic director sums up 2015 seasons and looks to the future - By Rich Drummond

Over the past year at Windham High School, our sports programs have had much success. We have had over two hundred scholar athletes demonstrating success in the classroom. We have had over 50 student athletes place on league and state wide all-star teams for athletic performance. We have had 2015 graduates go on to participate in collegiate athletics and our Windham-Raymond athletic booster club continues to raise funds for our sports programs. We have had two great athletes speak to our communities, Olympian Julia Clukey and former BC hockey player Travis Roy. These two guest speakers provided an excellent message to all in attendance.

 Sportsmanship continues to be a goal for our programs and in one calendar year we have won six MPA sportsmanship banners: Softball, field hockey, boys cross country, girls cross country, volleyball and golf. To win six banners in a year is remarkable but to win five this past fall is unprecedented. It’s a true testament to the hard work of our athletes, coaches and fans on and off the playing surfaces.

 This past fall our volleyball team picked up their first playoff win in school history. Our football team advanced to the regional final and although they fell short to Portland they have qualified for post-season play for eight consecutive seasons. Our golf team qualified for states and placed eighth in Class A. Our boys and girls cross country teams continue to dominate and both had strong performances in the state meet with Ben Breton qualifying for the New England meet. Our girls soccer program lost in the quarterfinals to Kennebunk but what an incredible 3-year run they have had. Our field hockey and boys soccer team did not compete in post-season play but should be commended for their strong performances.

 We are right in the midst of our winter sports season and our hockey team is leading the way. They are currently undefeated at 5-0 and last year qualified for post season for the first time in school history. Our girls’ basketball team is fighting for a playoff spot and so is our boys’ basketball team under new coach Chad Pulkkinen. At this point in December several swimmers and indoor track athletes have qualified for states and our alpine ski team is crossing their fingers for snow as they open up after Christmas break. Our wrestling team despite small numbers is competing every week and our winter cheering team is getting ready for their competition season.

 Looking forward to the spring we have many teams that should be successful. We anticipate both boys and girls lacrosse to be strong along with our boys and girls tennis teams. Baseball should have a successful season along with our rejuvenated softball program that qualified for post-season play in 2015 for the first time in seven years. It goes without saying that we will have many state qualifiers for outdoor track. As the snow starts to fly we can’t help to plan and think of the spring season and the successes.

 As the RSU14 athletic director and community member it gives me much pleasure to say that through the districts athletic programming we provide our communities with the opportunity to root for successful programs. There are a lot of accomplishments on and off the playing surfaces and important life long lessons that are taught through the athletic experience.

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