Friday, January 19, 2018

Coach spotlight on Edward “EJ” Regan by Matt Pascarella

Coach Regan
Edward “EJ” Regan graduated from Bonny Eagle High School in 1998 and attended the University of Maine to earn his degree in secondary education in English. He taught English at Lisbon High School from 2002 to 2008.
Although Regan has been an English teacher at Windham High for the past 10 years, he has been teaching English, overall for 16 years. He currently is the girls’ JV basketball coach and has been since 2012.

It was during Regan’s second year teaching at Lisbon High School that he got into coaching. 

He’s always been a fan of basketball and wanted to continue to be a part of the game. A middle school coaching position opened in the girls’ program and he became involved at that point, coaching for four seasons. Also, while at Lisbon, he was the JV boys’ basketball coach for a season and the middle school softball coach for two seasons.

Regan moved to Windham in 2008. He continued coaching as the seventh-grade girls’ basketball coach, which he did for two years prior to becoming the high school coach of the freshman girls’ team. 

Regan coaches because it gives him the opportunity to connect with students outside of the regular classroom setting. He loves to see students challenge themselves and improve athletically. Coaching also provides an opportunity to work with students he does not have in the classroom and, as a result, Regan gets to know more students.
You will also find Regan coaching the softball program which he has done since 2009. He has also been the freshman team coach for three seasons and the JV coach for five, as well as the varsity assistant for one season. Regan has coached boys and girls middle school soccer in Windham for six seasons. He’s been coaching 10 total seasons overall in the girls’ program. 

By the end of every basketball season, Coach Regan wants his players to have an enjoyable experience competing, bonding with peers and walking away with a better understanding of what it means to be on a team. He also hopes the players learn that everyone brings something to the table and that they develop a love of the game of basketball.

What makes a successful season? It’s not just wins on the court. If players are able to improve their fundamentals and apply that to their games, Regan sees that as a success; if players learn to understand their roll on the team, and work hard within that roll, that’s a success.  If the JV players and the [players who play both JV and Varsity] can mesh together on the court, that’s also a success.
For Coach Regan, being involved with sports is a great way for students to escape the daily stresses of school and life; and he likes to be a part of the healthy outlet sports provides.  

In addition to coaching and teaching, Regan’s life includes his wife, Chelsey (formerly Graves) who graduated from Windham in 2001. They’ve been married for nine years and have two children; Lily, who is seven and Sawyer, who is five. They also have a dog name Charlie.

Regan enjoys spending time with his family, camping, fishing, boating, going to the beach, snowboarding and carpentry.

Boys battle Bangor in double header by Matt Pascarella

Windham came out with intensity. They had great teamwork and excellent ball control from the beginning. 

 #11 Anthony Gugliuzza, #12 Ryan Walker, #23 Hayden Bilodeau
Bangor was pressuring, but the Eagle’s defense was staving off Bangor’s force. Windham kept up the enthusiasm at the start of the second quarter, keeping a comfortable lead over Bangor. The Eagle’s solid offense and defense, kept Windham ahead in the first half.

At the half, Windham led 26-19.

At the start of the third quarter, Windham took to the court with a veracity, ready to shut down Bangor. Despite the Eagle’s lead, Bangor was not far behind.

Bangor was trying hard to steal this one, but the Eagles were not about to let that happen. With 4:24
#12 Ryan Walker, #13 Drew Curtis and #15 Sean Cunniffe
left on the clock, Windham was up by three. 

As the final minutes played out, the Eagles were capitalizing on any mistake Bangor made and worked to secure rebound opportunities.

Final score: 49-38, Windham.

“They played really well together; the attitudes were very, very good,” said Varsity Coach Chad Pulkkinen, filling in for Coach James Clark. “That allowed us to stay ahead. The first half, we got into a lot of foul trouble, which allowed [Bangor] to get a lot of points from the foul line. In the second half, we played with our feet a little bit better and came together as a group and made some great plays . . . everyone stuck together and that’s what basketball’s all about . . . guys all contributed from the bench.”


Windham takes the court and immediately begins pressuring Bangor. The Eagles had good teamwork, moving the ball around quickly. Bangor was pressuring Windham, but the Eagles were pressuring back.

#3 Nick Curtis and #21 Dierhow Bol 
Windham had good offense and defense early on. 

Bangor had a small lead, but the Eagles were working hard to get back on top. Windham got several turnovers in the second quarter. Windham had worked hard and had done well to close the points gap.
At the half, the scoreboard read 30-26, Bangor.

The Eagles took the court determined to regain the lead in the second half. Windham continued moving up and down the court with speed and agility. They also doubled up their teamwork, passing quickly and moving the ball around, up and over Bangor’s players.

After the third quarter, the score was 44-42, Windham.

At the start of the fourth quarter, Windham was working to keep Bangor in the red. 

Both teams were putting the squeeze on each other and tensions were running high, on the court and in the stands. These final two quarters were heavy “edge of your bleacher seat action”; each team holding the lead for several moments.

Windham came together in the fourth quarter giving well over 100 percent. Every basket they made -
#5 Nathan Watson and #10 Nazari Henderson
the crowd went wild. Neither team was letting up. Three minutes left in the game. This was the definition of a nail biter.

With 1 minute 14 seconds on the clock, Cam Brown gets a turn over and ties the game up at 61. With 35 seconds left on the clock, Bangor is up by two. 

Now, with 23.5 seconds left Bangor is up by one. 

Windham pulls ahead 64-63 with 13.8 seconds left. 

Then Bangor is up by two with 7.3 seconds left in the game.

As the final play of the game, Windham went in for the layup to send the game in to overtime, but didn’t make it. 

Bangor won 66-64. 

Coach Chad Pulkkinen commented on the team and the game:
“We did a decent job; we had opportunities to steal the game and we came up short. Our guys did a good job sticking together towards the end and coming back, we had a chance to tie it up and then we took the lead and we went back and forth at the end. As a team we need to get back to work; we need to get better, learn from it and keep going. We’ll be ready and . . . more prepared next game.”

Windham swimmers - a powerful and unwavering team in the water by Matt Pascarella

A swim competition between Windham, Maine Girls Academy and Bonny Eagle took place last Wednesday, January 10 at St. Joseph College in Standish. 
The Windham swimmers were “in the zone,” with the mindset to give 100 percent at each event. As soon as they hit the water, they can only be described as fast and furious, swimming with speed and agility. 

Windham is a team made up of powerful swimmers, each one ready to compete. The energy in and around the pool was high; as there were many alumni swimmers visiting from Christmas break with excitement that ran through both fans and swimmers. As a team, Windham was tenacious, starting strong and continuing at that pace throughout their events.

Windham has high stamina, both individually and as a team, particularly noticeable in the 400 and 500-meter swims. Even when swimmers were visibly tired they persevered, putting everything they had towards the finish line. Windham is an unwavering team in the water.

After giving what can only be described as their best, Windham came out on top, with several players qualifying for the state meet. The final scores:

Men: Windham 109, Bonny Eagle 39

Women: Windham 82, Maine Girls Academy 71              Windham 107, Bonny Eagle 41

The following swimmers qualified for state:

Rosie Haibon - 2nd place - 2:29.73
Girls 200 Yard Freestyle

Elizabeth Lucas - 1st place - 2:44.26
Girls 200 Yard IM (Individual Medley)

Evan Desmond - 1st place - 2:30.62
Boys 200 Yard IM (Individual Medley)

Haley Theberge - 1st place - 28.79
Girls 50 Yard Freestyle

Davin Farinella - 1st place - 26.50
 Boys 50 Yard Freestyle

Katharyn Lucas - 1st place - 1:04.66
Girls 100 Yard Freestyle

Evan Desmond - 1st place - 1:07.98
Boys 100 Yard Backstroke

“They were incredible today,” remarked assistant coach Kevin Roy. “I thought they swam some of the best swimming we’ve seen from them all season. It’s a trend with this team; they continually get better and better; we see things that we don’t expect that tell us what we have for a team and who we have for swimmers. It’s really positive and is something awesome to see . . . they really swam phenomenal today.”

Friday, January 12, 2018

Windham Swim Team update

On Friday January 5, the Windham Swim Team had a tough meet against a very talented Scarborough Swim Team. Both Windham boys and girls had strong swim times. Congratulations to the following swimmers who had qualifying times for States: Evan Desmond for the 200-yard free event and
Michael Ryan for the 50-yard free event. Katharyn Lucas also posted a qualifying 
time for the 100-breast stroke event. 

The next home meet will be held on January 15th against Cheverus.

Coach Spotlight on Greg Leclair by Matt Pascarella

Coach Leclair
Greg Leclair is the boys’ varsity hockey coach and this year is his eighth year coaching at the high school level. The first two years were as an assistant with the former Windham/Sacopee Valley Co-op Team. He coached a stand-alone program for three years and the last three years he has been the Head Coach of what is now the Windham/Westbrook Co-op Program.
Leclair grew up in Brunswick and graduated from Brunswick High School. During high school he was a member of the hockey and soccer teams. He graduated from Assumption College in Worcester, Massachusetts with a bachelor of arts in accounting. He currently works as the Director of Finance and Administration at Efficiency Maine Trust in Augusta. He lives in Portland with his wife Kerrie, their daughter, Amelie and Harper, their dog. 

Leclair likes getting out on the ocean, fishing and spending time with his family. He also coaches his daughter at a local rink and plays in a men’s hockey league.

Prior to getting involved at the varsity level, Leclair did not have much experience - except for the 25 plus years he’d been playing or involved with the game. He worked hard to improve his coaching awareness and understanding, with the hopes that those efforts would pay off when it was time for players to hit the ice. At this point in his coaching career and his life, Leclair had either played or coached the game for 36 years. coaches for very personal reasons. “High school athletics, have given me more than I could ever give to it,” Leclair said. “Interscholastic athletics provided me with the avenue towards a college education that I might not have been able to obtain otherwise. I was fortunate to receive some financial assistance as a result of my athletic accomplishments in high school; and that assistance allowed me to attend the institution of my choosing, not simply the one I could afford.  Beyond that, I was very fortunate to have had very good coaches growing up, to whom I will be forever indebted.

Legendary Brunswick soccer coach Peter Gardner, without a doubt, has been one of the most influential people in my life, and certainly had the most profound effect on me as an athlete and person.” 

Other coaches taught him what it means to be a teammate and what it means to sacrifice for your team. Many other athletes, along with the coaches Leclair grew up with, made him the man he is today.  

Leclair wants his team to learn that the efforts and disciplines they use throughout the season(s) are lifelong lessons. One of his goals for the season is to improve each day and be competitive each game night. 

The Windham/Westbrook Co-op Team is a young team this season; almost half of the team is made up of freshman or limited experience players. Many kids are learning as they go and that can create challenges as the season progresses. The few upperclassmen will have the responsibility of leading the team through some tough stretches. Success is not only measured in wins and losses, but in how the team conducts themselves over the course of the year; this applies to both the classroom and the rink. 

We look forward to a great season and best of luck to Coach Leclair and his team!