Friday, June 24, 2022

Hard work pays off for Windham athletes Garrison, Scott

Windham seniors Nick Garrison, left, and 
Jason Scott smile after signing letters
of intent to continue their athletic careers
in college.
PHOTO BY MADDIE MICHAUD
By Matt Pascarella

Windham seniors Nick Garrison and Jason Scott have been working hard on and off the field and court since they were in elementary school and that effort has paid off significantly as both signed letters of intent to continue their athletic careers in college during a ceremony at Windham High School on Tuesday, June 7.

Scott will attend the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he will play football.

Garrison was named Class B “Football Player of the Year” and had WMTW Travis Lee’s “Play of the Year,” but has decided to play basketball for Keene State College in New Hampshire.

Nick Garrison

Garrison has loved basketball his whole life and plays it year-round. He started playing in first grade. His dad has been very supportive, driving him around the eastern side of the United States to various games.

“He was our backbone; a competitor like you read about,” said Windham varsity boys’ basketball coach Chad Pulkkinen. “He’s going to excel because of his work ethic and who he is. All the coaches and fans that he’s accumulated over the years are excited for Nick and what he’s going to do at the next level.”

Garrison was on his school teams in seventh and eighth grade, but it wasn’t until sophomore year of high school that things really began to change; he got some playing time on the varsity team, and he began to improve his game.

During the pandemic quarantine he stepped up his game. He hit the weight room a lot and spent a lot of time practicing on the court; he received private training sessions, played Amateur Athletic Union basketball, and did anything he could to improve.

“Once you see results on the basketball court and results in your physical body it really made me want to play and pursue basketball,” said Garrison.

He said he plans to major in business marketing at Keene State and that it felt great to sign his letter of intent. It’s taken a strong work ethic to get to this point and it feels good that he is beginning to see that hard work pay off.

Garrison said he would like to thank Coach Pulkkinen, who helped push him to the next level and WHS Football Coach Matt Perkins and the coaching staff of the football team; it was a fun four years. He also is grateful to his family for driving him everywhere, all that time and effort was worth it.

Jason Scott

Scott was doing football skills and drills with his uncle in the yard while in second grade. He said he’s always played hard with a lot of encouragement from his family.

He went to football camps in seventh or eighth grade and knew he wanted to stick with it, and he set an ultimate goal of playing college football.

“Senior year was the year,” said Scott. “We probably had one of the best teams I’ve ever been on.”

Scott was injured in the second game of the playoffs when he tore his lateral meniscus and medial collateral ligament but that did not stop him from supporting his team all the way to the state championship.

While Scott couldn’t be there on the field, he said he supported them from the sidelines and motivated them the best he could.

While the injury was a setback, Scott is resilient and he’s been training, running, and doing all he can to be ready for next season.

Scott said he plans to major in business and marketing in college and use that to become a salesman.

“The thing about Jason is he will push himself to the most of his ability, he empowers so many others, he’s very selfless and he is a team-first guy,” said Windham varsity football coach Matt Perkins.

According to Scott, he would like to thank his dad, who was there for his games and took him to many activities and camps and his mom, who is a big supporter of him.

“She’s the best mom ever,” said Scott.

He would also like to thank his aunt who motivated him to work hard in the classroom, his grandfather, his brother Landon, and his girlfriend, Gianna Fowler. <

Windham’s defense shines in boy’s lacrosse regional final

Windham High junior Alex Yeaton moves by a Falmouth
opponent and heads to the goal during the Class A North
boys' lacrosse regional final on June 15 at Falmouth
High School. Falmouth won, 2-0.
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
By Matt Pascarella

For the second year in a row, the Windham boys’ lacrosse team made it to the Class A North regional final on Wednesday, June 15 at Falmouth and for the second year in a row the opponent has been No. 1 Falmouth. Windham offense put in a strong effort and kept its shots at goal coming but did not get by Falmouth’s goalie. The Navigators won 2-0.

Windham defense was very intense; Windham goalie junior Phillip (Reed) Wescott blocked many shots to keep Falmouth to a low score.

Wescott said the first time they saw them in the season it was a close game. He said going into this game he thought they had a good chance, but said Windham maybe rushed the ball too much, getting it to offense. Overall, he thought Windham played a very good game.

According to Wescott, Windham’s defense was a positive; their rides and their clears were really good.

In the first quarter, Windham moved the ball well and had several shots at goal. Their defense was strong and both teams were scoreless after the first 12 minutes.

Wescott had block after block in the second quarter, consistently shutting down Falmouth’s offense.

With seconds remaining in the first half, the Navigators scored and led 1-0.

“We were ready for them in all aspects of the game,” said Windham junior Alex Yeaton. “We knew we had to tighten down on their outside shots which we did this game. I think, offensively, we came out shooting we just got unlucky in that their goalie made some great saves and we’ve got to put up better shots. It was a great season.”

The Eagles kept defense strong in the second half. Windham had many shots at goal, but none found the back of the net. Falmouth scored again in the third quarter.

Windham senior Will Woolston said he thought they did play hard, but the execution wasn’t there. They had great effort and moved the ball well on offense.

In the fourth quarter, Windham kept at it and did not get down on themselves. They fought until the final buzzer.

“We tried to create the best matchups that we could offensively, defensively, midfield” said Windham varsity boys’ lacrosse coach Peter Small. “I think our defense played out of their minds. I don’t think there’s anybody that thought after this game there’d be two goals total.”

Small said that this team is gritty, and they are a hardworking, get-after-it type of team. He said he loves working with guys like that who are just going to grind.

They got to this point by playing this way all year. It’s awesome to see them dig deep and hold tough, he said. <

Windham High School Scoreboard

From left, Windham freshman Brian Gilheany, Zac Noonan,
WHS boys tennis coach Garry Stone, and freshman Asher
Knott accept the Class A South Sportsmanship Award
on behalf of Windham high boys' tennis in South Portland
on Saturday, June 11 during the Class A  championships.
PHOTO BY PATRICK NOONAN 
Complied by Matt Pascarella

Baseball

In the Class A South preliminary, #17 Windham took on #16 Biddeford, at Biddeford on Saturday, June 4 at Biddeford.

Windham was down 2-0 before senior Fisher Allen smashed a three-run double in the top of the fourth inning and scored on a single by sophomore Login Desrochers.

Biddeford had a two-run double in the bottom of the fourth inning. They knocked in three runs in the sixth inning and won 7-4 over the Eagles.

Girls Tennis

After defeating Biddeford 4-1 in the Class A South first round, the Lady Eagles traveled to Thornton Academy on Thursday, June 2. Unfortunately, Windham fell 4-1 to the Trojans in the Class A South quarterfinals.

Boys’ Tennis

The boys played Cheverus in the Class A South first round, at Cheverus in Portland on Wednesday, June 1. After a solid effort, Cheverus won 5-0.

On Saturday, June 11, the team received the Class A South Sportsmanship award in South Portland at the Class A Championship match.

Outdoor track

On Saturday, June 4, the outdoor track team participated in the state meet at Bangor. The Windham boys’ finished 15th with a score of 15.20. The Windham girls finished eighth with a score of 26.

Windham senior Matthew Fox tied for first with Oxford Hills in the high jump with a distance of 6.00 feet.

Junior Connor Langstaff came in third in the high jump with a height of 5-9.00.

Windham senior Estella Inman finished first in the discus with a throw of 129-03.00, fourth in the javelin with a throw of 108-2.00 and third in shot put with a distance of 35-8.50.

Inman also placed ninth in New Englands in the shot put.

Windham freshman Tayla Pelletier came in fourth in the triple jump with a distance of 35-04.25.

Girls Lacrosse

Windham made it to the Class A North semifinal at Falmouth on Saturday, June 11 and came back from a 6-0 deficit to show Falmouth they remained a hard team to beat. Falmouth advanced 12-7.

Windham senior Isabelle Babb scored four goals; Windham sophomore Mallory Muse scored one as did Windham junior Ashley Clark and Windham freshman Grace Joly.

Softball

After three scoreless innings where Windham defense and Windham sophomore pitcher Brooke Gerry were in top form, Biddeford scored two runs in the fourth inning and those were the only runs scored as the Tigers got by 2-0 on Tuesday, June 14 in the Class A South regional final at St. Joseph’s College. <

Friday, June 17, 2022

Windham’s Gerry wins ‘Gatorade Maine Softball Player of the Year’

Sophomore Brooke Gerry is the first Windham High softball
player to win the 'Gatorade Maine Softball Player of the Year'
Award, reserved for the state's top player.
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
By Matt Pascarella

Ever since sophomore Brooke Gerry stepped on the Windham varsity softball field as a freshman, she stood out. She’s an impressive pitcher who helped take the varsity team to the regional finals in 2021 and in 2022.

On Thursday, June 9, Gerry was chosen as the 2021-2022 “Gatorade Maine Softball Player of the Year” an honor reserved only for the nation’s best high school athletes. She is the first softball player to be chosen from Windham High School.

Gerry led the Windham Lady Eagles varsity softball team to a 13-2 season end. As of June 11, Gerry had struck out 263 batters with only 35 walks this season, including playoff games. At the plate, her average is .554 with 46 hits and 40 runs scored.

“It meant a lot,” said Gerry. “It showed that all my hard work has finally paid off and other people are acknowledging it.”

The “Gatorade Maine Softball Player of the Year” recognizes outstanding achievements in athletics, academics as well as demonstration of model character as an individual, on and off the field.

While it’s nice for Gerry to be named best in the state, she credited her teammates and coaches who were there to back her up and helped her get to where she received this honor.

“She is such a hard-working kid, said Windham junior and teammate Ella Wilcox, who has played softball with Gerry for several years. “She is a great person and a great teammate. She’s always supportive and has your back – keeps you going when you’re down.”

Ella Wilcox said Gerry has dominated this year. She goes out there and plays for everyone on the team, not for herself.

Gerry started playing softball around age 4 or 5 and began pitching at 6. She said from then on, she continued and has progressed heavily. Softball is her place for whenever she’s feeling down; one of the best places she can be.

“Right from her freshman year she came in throwing hard, had great accuracy and was a fierce competitor on both sides of the ball,” said Windham varsity softball coach Fred Wilcox. “She has a high softball IQ. Her work ethic is contagious, and she showed strong leadership skills. She has a great presence in the circle and is very diverse at the plate.”

Gerry volunteered for the Special Olympics as a track and field coach, and this was her first year as a youth clinic softball coach. She said connecting with the kids was really amazing.

“From a coach’s perspective, Brooke is always very respectful,” said her New England Elite 18U Gold Demmons coach Travis Demmons. “She respects her coaches, her teammates, her opponents and the umpires. She's human so she gets frustrated, but more times than not, she handles any issues in the appropriate manner and is always classy - win or lose.” 

Demmons said as a teammate Gerry is always one of the loudest for her team. Even during travel ball, when she is competing for innings with teammates, she’s respectful and supportive of her team.

"Brooke is a person who has high standards for herself,” said Windham assistant varsity softball coach Raquel Gerry. “Her work ethic is second to none. When she sets goals for herself, whether it be on the field or in the classroom, she works incredibly hard to attain those goals. Her perseverance and work ethic make her a fit for the “Player of the Year” award. I'm excited to see what the rest of her high school career, and her dream of playing at a higher level, holds for her.”

In these high-profile playoff games, Brooke Gerry deals with the pressure by reminding herself to breathe, and execute, taking it one pitch at a time.

Coach Wilcox said Brooke Gerry is beyond her years in talent level and skill. He’s extremely proud of her and happy she’s been recognized for this award.

Through Gatorade’s “Play It Forward” program, Brooke Gerry will have the opportunity to donate $1,000 to an organization of her choice. She will probably donate to the Special Olympics because it had a positive impact on her and its players and participants. <

WHS softball finishes as Class A South regional runners-up

Windham freshman Addison Leger crushes the ball during
the Class A South regional final softball game against
Biddeford at St. Joseph's College on June 14.
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
By Matt Pascarella

Windham held the Tigers scoreless for several innings, but a bunt and pop fly and Biddeford crossed the plate twice. Second-ranked Biddeford inched by No. 1 Windham at St. Joseph’s College on Tuesday, June 14 in the Class A South regional final, 2-0.

Up to this game, the Lady Eagles softball team had won 13 games in a row and advanced a bracket higher than last year. The Lady Eagles ended with a 16-3 record.

“I thought it was going to be a really close game, we went into it loose and ready to play,” said Windham junior Reilly Russell.

Russell said they played well as a team and came together at the end. They fought the entire time and did not give up. Russell said they had an amazing run this season and she’s ready for next season.

This game began as an intense defensive contest. Windham sophomore pitcher Brooke Gerry struck out the first nine Biddeford batters and the two teams went scoreless into the fourth inning.

Windham had a leg up on Biddeford offensively in the first inning when junior Ella Wilcox singled. Sophomore Jaydn Kimball reached first on an error.

From the pitcher’s circle, Gerry viewed this as just another away game, not something to be looked past though. Windham varsity softball Coach Fred Wilcox told the team if they were nervous, it meant they were going to do something exciting. Gerry said they took that into place. Even though the game didn’t go their way, they put-up exceptional energy.

Gerry admitted to going a little too fast, not taking enough time between pitches, and realized she had to slow the game down and take it pitch by pitch.

Gerry said communication went well and they picked each other up.

“This is probably one of the best seasons I’ve ever been a part of,” said Gerry. We battled together and had 13 shut outs in a row. Not many teams go out and do that. The bond that we had was amazing.”

In the top of the fourth inning, Biddeford doubled; then a bunt resulted in a run scored. Biddeford singled. Biddeford pops out to right field; the runner tags up and Biddeford scored again.

Biddeford hit a ground ball and Wilcox and Kimball got the double play at first base and home to end the fourth inning.

With two outs, Biddeford loaded the bases in the sixth inning. A pop up to left field and Windham senior Kelsey Gerry was there and made the catch.

The Lady Eagles gave it their best effort in the seventh inning and made contact with the ball, but did not get on base, except for a walk from freshman Chloe Edwards.

“I felt pretty good coming into today,” said Windham varsity softball coach Fred Wilcox. “I thought our players have been playing really well the last 13 games; they just ran into a buzzsaw. [Biddeford] happened to squeeze out a couple of hits and score a couple of runs.”

Wilcox said they’ll be back strong next year. He said Brooke Gerry threw well. Windham had tight defense; it was just those two plays that equaled runs.

He said it’s good for Windham to see how hard it is to get to this game and what has to be done to get past it. Windham’s progression is unbelievable; everyone contributed, and you couldn’t ask for more than that. <

Windham girls’ lacrosse ends season on high note

Windham varsity sophomore Mallory Muse makes her way
toward the goal during  the Class A North girls' lacrosse
semifinal game at Falmouth High School on June 11.
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
By Matt Pascarella

The Windham girls’ lacrosse team ended their regular season with a record of 7-5, falling to Falmouth, 12-7, in the Class A North semifinal on Saturday, June 11 at Falmouth.

The third-ranked Lady Eagles had reached the semifinals by defeating sixth-ranked Lewiston, 17-3, in the Class A North quarterfinal.

Windham put in a solid effort against Falmouth but fell just short of advancing to the Class A North title game.

“Last time we played them in the regular season it was not our best game,” said Windham senior Isabelle Babb. “We knew this time we could show them we could keep up with them.”

Babb said Windham was able to keep their heads up early in the game when Falmouth was a few goals ahead because Windham knew they would score if they took their time.

It was Babb who put Windham on the scoreboard in the first half when she scored back-to-back goals.

Windham increased their defense. Sophomore Mallory Muse scored; then Babb put another between the pipes. At the half, Falmouth led 8-4.

“We knew we had to come out and try our hardest, get every ground ball, little things that we knew we could do,” said Windham junior Ashley Clark.

Clark said Windham wanted to show Falmouth they were a team that would be hard to beat.

And Windham did that in the second half. Clark flipped the ball into the net early in the half. Then Babb scored, then freshman Grace Joly scored assisted by senior Molly Black.

Windham defense blocked a couple shots and slowed down Falmouth’s offense in the second half.

Clark and Babb both agreed they showed Falmouth they weren’t to be underestimated.

“Falmouth is a very, very well-rounded team ... really pleased with our guys and our effort, they really worked hard,” said Windham varsity girls’ lacrosse coach Matt Perkins. “We drastically improved all year long; one thing we love about this program is we get kids who really, really work hard and I’m really pleased with their efforts.”

Windham had had only three returning players this season. They had several new players who had never played before. They had six starters this year who were in just their second season playing.

Perkins said Windham did much better on the draw and cleaned up some things there, which improved their chances during the game. Windham didn’t give up; they’re a tough team.

He said Windham was a great group all season and is pleased with the senior class. Perkins thought they did a great job leading and a really good job pushing everyone to do things right. <

Windham’s Flibbert, Washburn to compete in college soccer

By Matt Pascarella

Windham seniors Wyatt Flibbert and Cole Washburn have both wanted to play collegiate soccer since they started playing soccer at a young age.

Windham graduates Cole Washburn and 
Wyatt Flibbert display their letters of intent
to play college soccer during a ceremony at
Windham High School. Washburn will
attend Thomas College and Flibbert will
attend New England College.
PHOTO BY TIFFANY FLIBBERT
Next fall, Flibbert and Washburn will have achieved their goals of being on collegiate soccer teams. Flibbert will attend New England College and Washburn will attend Thomas College.

They are both all-conference players. Flibbert is an all-state player and Washburn is an SMAA defender.

Windham varsity boys’ soccer coach Ben Schulz said these accolades are just the beginning when it comes to these student athletes.

“Both New England College and Thomas College are getting not just great players, but quality people and student athletes. I’m really excited to see what next year brings,” said Schulz.

Wyatt Flibbert

Flibbert, who plans to major in early childhood education to become an elementary school teacher, started playing soccer when he was four and said it’s been a lot of hard work along the way.

He’s enjoyed playing and it has created many friendships through the years. He’s also had a lot of support from his friends and family.

Flibbert said it felt good to sign his letter of intent. He wasn’t sure if he would make it and be able to play collegiate soccer. After all the hard work he’s put in, it’s nice to have something to show for it.

His advice to underclassmen who want to sign a letter of intent and play collegiately is to keep working. Flibbert said there is a spot for everyone; work hard, keep your grades up and be a good person – you’ll get there.

He would like to thank his brother and sister who have had a big impact on him. His brother helped him get better at soccer; they even played a couple years together in high school. He would also like to thank his mom and his dad who he said are really proud of him.

Cole Washburn

Washburn said he chose Thomas College because it was a good fit, both athletically and academically.

Washburn plans to major in entrepreneurship with a minor in digital media. He would like to do something with sports videography and photography.

Washburn began playing soccer when he was three or four. He played recreational soccer for Windham, then club soccer all the way up to varsity.

It has been a lot of hard work to get to this point, a lot of grinding it out over the preseasons in high school and double sessions.

Since it’s been a dream of Washburn’s to play in college, signing his letter of intent really solidified Washburn playing for a good, competitive Division III program.

To underclassmen who want to sit where he sits Washburn said to work hard, never give up and always have a good attitude about playing, even if you’re not starting. A good attitude is important when it comes to thinking about your future athletic endeavors.

He would like to thank Nick, his coach at New England Fitness and Athletics; he’s helped Washburn train and get a lot better. He’d also like to thank Coach Schulz, all his coaches and club coaches, his parents and sister. <

Friday, June 10, 2022

Big end-of-season wins for Windham Middle School softball, baseball

Windham Middle School eighth-grader Nola Bryant throws
to fist base after stopping a ball from reaching the outfield
during a middle school softball game against Westrbook
at home on June 1. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
By Matt Pascarella

Windham Middle School softball and baseball teams played their final home games of the season on Wednesday, June 1 and Thursday, June 2 against Westbrook and Gorham and posted solid victories in each sport.

WMS softball took command of the game by the third inning and pummeled Westbrook 16-6.

In baseball, Gorham had tied the game before WMS eighth-grader Liam Kalakowsky’s walk with bases loaded in the seventh inning cemented a 3-2 win for Windham.

Softball

Westbrook scored four runs in the first inning. Windham responded when eighth-grader Nola Bryant walked. Then, eight-grader Lacie Higgins bunted for an in-the-park homerun. Eighth-grader Addison Caiazzo and seventh-grader Sarah Smyth singled. Caiazzo scored.

In the third inning, Smyth and seventh-grader Kaylee Napolitano singled. Eighth-grader Ashley Cloutier, Bryant and Higgins each walked. Caiazzo tripled; five runs scored.

Higgins was in the circle and had a couple innings where Windham sent three consecutive batters back to the dugout.

“I think we’ve been working really well as a team together,” said Higgins. “We’ve been really aggressive around the bases, and I have a good defense behind me, so it’s easy for me to ... get in the zone and pitch well.”

Higgins said hitting, swinging at strikes more than usual and defense all went well.

Smyth singled in the sixth inning. So did eighth-grader Chloe Delewski. Bryant singled, Higgins walked, and eighth-grader Oakley McLeod doubled. Windham knocked in another five runs.

“It’s a really good group of kids who are super passionate about softball,” said Windham eighth-grade softball coach Brody Artes. “They are really students of the game. They want to get better and practice, practice, practice – the commitment level is good to see.”

Baseball

In the first inning, after eighth-grader Wyatt Washburn walked, eighth-grader Ethan Clapp singled; Washburn scored.

Kalakowsky tripled, and Clapp scored.

Windham had some nice hits, like a single from seventh-grader Kellen Gardiner in the fourth inning and eighth-grader Ronan Mace’s single in the sixth inning.

Clapp was on the mound for most of the game and had several innings where he and Windham’s defense sent three consecutive batters back to the dugout.

Gorham tied the game at two in the seventh inning.

Windham loaded up the bases in the seventh inning when seventh-grader Caleb Hayman doubled, Washburn was intentionally walked, and Clapp walked.

Kalakowsky’s careful eye at the plate earned him a walk and brought in the winning run.

“I wasn’t really looking to hit it that far I just wanted to put it in play and avoid swinging at bad pitches,” said Kalakowsky. “The second it came out of the pitcher’s hands you could tell it was going to be a ball. I was happy we got the win especially on our last game of the year.”

Windham Middle School baseball coach Adam Manzo said Windham was an enjoyable group to coach and got better all year. He said the games they lost they weren’t throwing strikes and fielding, and both happened during this game. <

Windham varsity softball eliminates Falmouth in playoffs

Windham High sophomore Jaydn Kimball wallops a three-run
homer during a Class A South first-round softball playoff
game against Falmouth on Tuesday, June 7 at Windham High
School. Windham won, 11-0 and now advance in the playoffs.
PHOTO BY JENNY PICKETT 
By Matt Pascarella

In the Class A South first-round playoff game, No. 1 Windham took on No. 16 Falmouth at Windham on Tuesday, June 7 and although the bats were booming for Windham, it was sophomore Jaydn Kimball’s three-run homer in the bottom of the fifth inning that ended the game early and propelled the Lady Eagles to an 11-0 victory.

Windham put runs on the scoreboard every inning but one, with strong defense. Sophomore Brooke Gerry was in the pitcher’s circle and kept Falmouth to a one-hit game. Gerry had 11 strikeouts and zero walks over five innings.

“Falmouth came in last year and beat a tough team, so I didn’t want to look past them; any team in this league can go out and beat anybody on any given day,” said Windham varsity softball coach Fred Wilcox. “We just wanted to come into this game and play the way we’ve been playing for the last 10 games or so.”

Wilcox said Gerry is throwing really well and the team is getting key hits from players up and down the lineup.

Windham got things going when Gerry singled and junior Ella Wilcox doubled. Gerry scored.

Windham freshman Stella Jarvais singled to left field. A sacrifice fly from Kimball and Wilcox scored.

Jarvais said Windham players do a great job of knowing their roles on the team and manufacturing enough runs.

In the second inning, Windham senior Kelsey Gerry hit a ground ball and reached second on an error. This drove in Jarvais who had singled earlier.

Windham junior Hannah Heanssler singled on a pop fly to left field; two runs scored.

In the fourth inning Windham freshman Addison Leger singled to center field; two runs scored.

Windham led 8-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Wilcox walked, then Jarvais singled. Kimball homered on a fly ball to center, easily clearing the fence.

“I’ve been struggling recently [at the plate] and I know my team relies on me,” said Kimball. “I went into today thinking about them and playing for them and not myself; being selfless at the plate and getting my pitch.”

Kimball said as a team, they’ve come together so well, even though they had low energy during this game with not a lot of talking on the field or from the dugout. However, that shows what they can do with high energy if they put 11 runs up with low energy. <

Friday, June 3, 2022

Windham girls’ tennis defeats Biddeford in first-round playoff

By Matt Pascarella

The Lady Eagles had played Biddeford early in the Class A tennis playoffs last year and came out on top and this year was no exception as Windham defeated the Tigers 4-1 in the Class A South first-round and will advance to the next round of the playoffs.

Windham sophomore Samantha Bell returns a serve on
Tuesday, May 31 at Windham High against Biddeford in the
Class A South first round playoff match. 
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
After ending the season with an 8-4 record, The No. 5 Windham girls’ tennis team hosted No. 12 Biddeford in a first-round playoff match on Tuesday, May 31.

Windham was focused, quick on their feet and had several nice return serves, both in Lady Eagles’ singles and doubles matches.

In the singles matches, Windham sophomore Alyssa Conley beat her Biddeford opponent 6-1 and 6-1.

Windham junior and co-captain Grace Paiement defeated Biddeford 6-2, 6-1. 

“We were all excited, because playoffs,” said Paiement. “We were hopeful because we played Biddeford last year and we want to get through to ... the next round. I thought I played pretty well; I went in strong and stayed strong.”  

Paiement said they are excited and hopeful to keep going during playoffs.

Windham senior and singles player Lauren DeLuca lost 4-6, 1-6.

In the doubles matches Windham sophomores Samantha Bell and Taylor Juhase grabbed 6-0 and 6-2 wins.

Windham freshman and doubles player Katelyn Cotter said the match was going to be good, no matter the score because of how the girls have played this season.

She said she and her doubles partner, junior Breeauna Bonin, stayed in sync and communicated which had a big effect on the positive outcome of their matches. She’s excited for the rest of playoffs.

Cotter and Bonin won their matches 6-1 and 6-1.

Windham girls’ tennis coach Katy Dresnok said the girls felt confident going in and she’s seen improvement leading up to this point. She said doubles communication went really well as well as learning how to keep the ball away from the net player. In the singles matches they kept the ball in play and had better timing of when to execute the point with the winner.

Windham advanced to compete in the Class A South Tennis Quarterfinals on Thursday, June 2. <

Windham Little League softball secures win over Bonny Eagle

Windham Little League softball seventh-grader Sarah Smyth
is shown before making a throw to first base in a game
against Bonny Eagle at St. Joseph's College on Thursday,
May 26. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
By Matt Pascarella

The Windham Little League softball team was down 5-3 at the end of two innings against Bonny Eagle and in the end, its defense lifted the team to a 16-9 victory on Thursday, May 26 at St. Joseph’s College.

Windham came back to tie the game at five, but after three innings, Bonny Eagle held the lead before Windham seventh-grader Lily Gallagher hit a fly ball to center in the sixth inning and brought in seventh-grader Kiley Card to tie the game at nine.

“We did a really good job cheering on in the dugout,” said Windham seventh-grader Sarah Smyth. “We really wanted that win, and it was a tied game, so we had to play the extra mile.”

Smyth got things going with a single in the first inning. Seventh-grader Jaden Kennedy bunted and advanced to second on an error. Smyth scored.

Windham seventh-grader Ava Cole tripled; Kennedy scored. Sixth-grader Eliana Kostopoulos tripled; Cole scored.

At the end of the third inning, Bonny Eagle led 9-5.

In the fourth inning, Kostopoulos reached first on a ground ball and later stole home. Seventh-grader Evelyn Anderson hit a line drive. Anderson scored on a passed ball.

In the top of the sixth inning, Gallagher doubled on a fly ball to center. This brought in Card and the game is tied at nine.

Gallagher said she was very excited and happy when she drove the tying run in. She knew she had a great team and great coaches that supported her no matter the outcome. She added the team got the win because of their competence level and teamwork.

Cole was in the pitching circle and sent three consecutive batters back to the dugout in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Windham crushed it in the top of the seventh inning. After Windham put two batters on base, sixth-grader Joey Morin scored. Then fifth-grader Layla Pinto scored on a passed ball.

After Smyth popped up for a fielder’s choice, seventh-grader Alexis Pelletier scored. 12-9, Windham.

Kennedy walked. Sixth-grader Kaylee Napolitano bunted; Smyth scored. A ground out and Kennedy scored. Kostopoulos tripled; Napolitano scored. Kostopoulos stole home.

Kostopoulos said the team stayed together when they were down. She added in the final inning they got loud, and the bats came alive.

Windham defense took care of the rest which included Anderson who stopped a runner and got the third out as they tried to steal home.

Windham Little League softball coach Stephen Napolitano said Gallagher’s clutch hit to tie, some key bunts and the girl’s desire to want to compete were all successes during the game.

He said they started the game behind, but never gave up, leading to a win. <

Friday, May 27, 2022

Windham varsity baseball prevents Bonny Eagle shutout

Windham High junior Ethan Barker runs to first base after 
driving the ball to the outfield during a prep baseball game
against Bonny Eagle at Windham High School on Tuesday,
May 24. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA 
By Matt Pascarella

Windham varsity baseball prevented a shutout by Bonny Eagle on Tuesday, May 24 at Windham when they scored in the bottom of the third inning.

After two scoreless innings, Bonny Eagle scored several runs in the top of the third inning.

Unfortunately, the Scots scored three more runs before the end of the game and got an 8-1 win.

“It’s rough,” said Windham junior Blake Peeples who was on the mound for a little over six innings. “I thought we had them in the first inning and second, but then we just kept making errors. We lasted the whole game, so we’ll get credit for that.”

Peeples said communication went well. He added the team can improve for next game by working harder, staying together ... and just play the game of baseball.

The Scots got things going with a double and then a runner was hit by the pitch. Windham was able to end the inning with two runners on base and one in scoring position.

In the top of the third inning, Bonny Eagle knocked in five runs.

Windham junior Ethan Barker singled on a line drive to right field. Junior Ryan Bernard walked. Sophomore Login Desrochers singled on a ground ball to the shortstop. This brought in Barker. It’s now 5-1, Bonny Eagle.

“I think we played pretty good defense in the outfield, we got the ball in quick,” said Barker. “And we were swinging [the bats] a lot more.”

Barker said he thought they stuck together as a team and did not get down on themselves.

Bonny Eagle scored one run in the fourth inning.

In the seventh inning, Windham picked a runner off at first base who was caught in a pickle. Windham also stopped a runner at home. Despite this, Bonny Eagle scored two runs.

Windham varsity baseball coach Cody Dube said this was one of the best opposing pitchers they’ve seen this season. He worked quick, threw strikes, and got after Windham. Dube said it’s tough when you have a pitcher in a groove like that.

He pointed out that the Eagles are making similar mistakes on defense they have all year; instinctual things like not knowing ahead of time where the ball needs to go. He said more reps and situational awareness and things will start to come together.

Dube said that Blake did a nice job on the mound, and got a lot of weak contact, which made his batters look uncomfortable. Windham also had good outfield play. <

Windham boys’ lacrosse captures back-to-back wins against Cheverus

Windham High sophomore Tobias Perkins makes his way
around defenders and moves toward the goal during a boys'
varsity lacrosse game against Cheverus on Friday, May 20
in Portland. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA  
By Matt Pascarella

Windham’s varsity and junior varsity lacrosse teams had two solid wins against the Stags at Cheverus on Friday, May 20.

Windham’s varsity team came out strong and scored early. They continued to score and won 15-1 after two halves.

While Windham’s junior varsity team had a little bit of a slower start in the first half, the Eagles increased intensity in the second half and walked off the field with an 8-2 win.

Varsity

“Ball movement was well,” said Windham varsity boys’ lacrosse coach Peter Small. “The further into the season we get, we’re moving the ball better with our sticks. Now we’re doing a better job of seeing where our teammates are and moving it and our teammates getting into position to receive those passes.”

Windham pressured early and it wasn’t long before junior Alex Yeaton put Windham on the scoreboard.

Cheverus answered to tie the game, but that was all the scoring the Eagles would allow the Stags.

Windham seniors Nolan Brennan and William Woolston both scored. When the Cheverus goalie stepped away from the net, Yeaton took the opportunity and flipped the ball in for another goal.

Windham sophomore Blake McPherson scored twice in the second half. Windham freshman Evan Yale scored back-to-back-to-back. Brennan scored in the final 30 seconds of the half. Midway through, Windham led 10-1.

Yale said the win was a result of the team passing well and using their formation. He scored his first goals as a varsity player, which he said the team helped him. He added it felt great.

“We came out strong, it was a team effort; we were moving the ball really good,” said Windham varsity sophomore Tobias Perkins. “Everyone stepped up and was shooting.”

There was no lack of intensity in the second half. Woolston scored again. Also to score were Perkins, senior Sam Glicos and junior Owen Gaulrapp.

Junior Varsity

Windham freshman Aiden Heath found the back of the net early in the game.

The Eagles pressured but had a slow start. Yale scored and gave Windham the lead 2-1 at the half.

“We moved the ball really well and down the field and got some good goals on fast breaks,” said Heath. “We are trying to be a full quarter team and we start slow sometimes, but we really ... thrived in the third and fourth quarters.”

Windham junior Logan Orr scored. Then Heath scored three more times.

Windham scored again before the final buzzer.

Windham junior varsity boys’ lacrosse coach Seth Fournier said it was the fundamentals that led to the win.

“Things like defensive position and off-ball movement,” Fournier said. “Passing and catching, good shot selection, people getting open, making the right passes at the right time were also positives. <

Friday, May 20, 2022

Windham High track team continues excellence

Windham senior Matthew Fix clears the high jump bar at
5 feet 10 inches during a track meet with Bonny Eagle,
Marshwood and Gorham at Bonny Eagle in Standish
on Thursday, May 12. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA 
By Matt Pascarella

It was a hot day, but Windham’s outdoor track and field boys’ and girls’ teams were ready to compete. The girls remain undefeated, 3-0, as they finished first with a score of 99 against Gorham, Marshwood and Bonny Eagle in a dual meet at Bonny Eagle High School in Standish on Thursday, May 12.

The boys’ team had several athletes finish in the top five at the meet. Windham senior Matthew Fox finished first in the high jump with a height of 5 feet, 10 inches. He has already qualified for states.

“It feels good,” said Fox. “The main goal now is I want to win out states. It’s fun to be up here, but I think the main job is winning that.”

The boys finished with a score of 56; Gorham finished first with 79.50, Marshwood 70 and Bonny Eagle 59.

Girls

Freshman Tayla Pelletier finished first in the high jump with a distance of 4-11.00. She finished first in the triple jump with a distance of 35-04.00; she finished second in the 300 hurdles, with a time of 51.15 seconds. She qualified for states in all these events.

Pelletier said it was a good day. She felt like the heat didn’t impede her performance and she got several personal records. She said it’s nice to have teammates cheering you on.

In the pole vault, senior Isabel Dionne finished first and qualified for states with a height of 7-06.00.

Sophomore Jasmynne Heath finished first in the 1600 racewalk with a time of 11:17.23 minutes and qualified for states.

Freshman Ava Gerrity finished second in the long jump with a distance of 15-08.75 and the triple jump with a distance of 32. She qualified for states in both events.

“The Lady Eagles track and field team is showcasing excellence. These ladies ... bring the fun to the ‘game’ daily; they set goals, they are building self-confidence and belief in themselves ... as an all-in and incredibly motivated team.”   

Boys

Windham junior Max Arbour finished second in the shot put with a distance 38-03.25.

Senior Josh Guite finished second in the javelin throw with a distance of 132-00.

Junior Owen Weatherby finished third in the 400 with a time of 56.75.

Senior Wyatt Flibbert came in second in the long jump with a distance of 18-10.00.

Windham boys coach Paula Pock said the athletes had a lot of personal bests in the sprints, jumping and throwing events. The weather was a motivator; the team was looking forward to this and the nice weather helped with performances. <

Windham Youth Lacrosse turns in solid defensive effort

Windham Youth Lacrosse Organization's Ivan Arsenault,
right, a sixth-grader, gets by  a Cape Elizabeth opponent
on Sunday, May 15 at Twin Brooks Recreation Area in
Cumberland. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
By Matt Pascarella

Windham Youth Lacrosse Organization’s fifth and sixth-grade team played back-to-back games with Cape Elizabeth and Marshwood at Twin Brooks Recreation Area in Cumberland on Sunday, May 15 and looked sharp defensively.

Cape came out strong and scored several goals early on in the game. In the second half, Windham came back and got close to tying the game. Unfortunately, Cape scored a flurry of goals before the final whistle and won.

In the Marshwood game, the Hawks scored a bunch early on, but Windham worked hard to close the gap. Despite a great effort by Windham, Marshwood overtook this game.

Windham fifth-grader Kaleb Fitch thought the team played pretty well but could have done better. He said they had good passing, had some nice chances and their defense did well.

During the game with Cape Elizabeth, Windham had solid defense early on and blocked several opportunities for Cape Elizabeth before the end of the first half. Sixth-grader Josh Arbour scored first for the Eagles. Windham fifth-grader Carson Richard put the ball between the posts ahead of the first whistle.

In the second half, Windham kicked it up a few notches when Fitch, fifth-grader Bryce Rogers, Richard and sixth-grader Ivan Arsenault all scored.

Cape fired several goals in goal before the last whistle.

In Windham’s game with Marshwood, Windham defense held off Marshwood early on and Windham took several shots at goal. Richard found the back of the net three times in the first half.

In the second half, Windham’s Arbour scored. He was followed by Richard, who scored back-to-back goals, then Fitch. Windham scored two more times.

Richard said he thought they did well passing-wise and spreading out was decent. As the season has progressed, he’s seen their spacing, when to cut and where to be improve.

Windham fought Marshwood up to the last seconds and never wavered in intensity.

“The passing was better this game than the last,” said Windham Youth Lacrosse Organization’s fifth and sixth-grade boys’ coach Joe Somma. “The kids need to work on spreading the ball around doing cuts toward the goal, but overall, they did a pretty good job.”

Somma said that Windham continues to show improvement. 

“It depends on where the kids are playing; I want to get the kids in as many positions as possible. Some kids are better at other positions ... but they should all play those positions. Depending on who’s where, you’ll get different effort,” Somma said. <

Friday, May 13, 2022

Windham girls’ tennis team shuts out Sanford

Windham senior Lauren DeLuca focuses on returning the ball
during a girls' prep tennis match against Sanford at Windham
High School on Monday, May 9.
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
By Matt Pascarella

In their second shutout victory of the season, the Windham High girls’ tennis team defeated Sanford 5-0 and earned their fifth win of the season to bring their record to a sparkling 5-1 overall.

Earlier this month, Windham shut out Westbrook 5-0 as well.

During this match against Sanford at home on Monday, May 9, Windham had to adjust its playing style mid-match in order to defeat the Spartans.

The Lady Eagles persevered, then adjusted when they were down, as they played a different style of play, to come back and secure the win.

“It was rough at first, off to a slow start, but after I got into it, it went well,” said Windham sophomore Alyssa Conley. “I wasn’t in a very good spot at the beginning. [Later on] I got more aggressive with my shots and took more chances.”

Conley won her matches 6-3 and 6-0 and said her placement was good. She got her opponent to move around the court, which made it more difficult for Sanford. She hopes Windham has a good rest of the season.

Windham’s doubles team of junior Sarah Bell and sophomore Madeline Dumont won their matches, 6-2 and 6-0.

“Things went well,” said Windham girls’ tennis coach Katy Dresnok. “[Windham] started off a little shaky, took a little time to warm up. They are smart players, they take instruction really well, they think about their placement and are enthusiastic along with some natural athletic abilities.”

Windham singles junior Grace Paiement won her matches, 6-2 and 6-2.

Windham’s doubles team of sophomore Samantha Bell and freshman Katelyn Cotter beat their opponents, 7-6 and 6-1.

Windham senior Lauren DeLuca said she thought the match went very well. She was having a bit of a hard time in the beginning, but said it was a mental game. DeLuca had to pull it together and dig deep down to believe she was going to win and in the end, she got by with 6-2 and 6-4 victories.

“I had to take some deep breaths and couldn’t overthink it, because overthinking it is going to make it worse,” DeLuca said.

She took simple shots, placement, with no need to overdo it or try to go overboard. She said her placement and cross-court shots helped her get the win.<

Windham’s Estella Inman what every coach wants in an athlete

Estella Inman, center, joins her parents, Kristen and Hal
Inman, during a ceremony at Windham High School in
which Inman signed a Letter of Intent to attend the 
University of Maine Orono and compete on that school's
track and field team. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA 
By Matt Pascarella

Estella Inman began competing in track and field her sophomore year at Windham High, but COVID-19 and then an injury delayed her advancement. She made up for it through intense training and her strong efforts have her presently ranked No. 1 overall in shotput and discus in the state and No. 2 overall in javelin and signed her letter of intent on Thursday, May 5 to attend the University of Maine Orono and participate in the women’s track and field program.

Inman is ranked third in her high school class academically and also competes in cross-country, indoor track and recently began powerlifting.

She’s wanted to sign her letter of intent for four years ever since she saw a friend of hers do it, and she said she wanted to be a part of collegiate athletics.

Windham cross-country and girls’ outdoor track and field coach Jeff Riddle said Stella is the definition of excellence. She is a positive teammate, and her dedication is exemplified by her progression. Inman has a relentless pursuit to progress and achieve the excellence she expects of herself.

Riddle said she brings her team along every day in that pursuit.

Inman recently broke Windham High School’s discus and javelin records set in 1992. Her new discus record is 119 feet, and her new javelin record is 118-07.00.

In indoor track last season, she became a shotput state champion when she threw a distance of 37-10.75.

Inman is close to breaking the school’s shotput record and plans to do so this season.

“Stella has always been that kind of teammate who works hard every single day in practice,” said teammate and Windham junior Elise Schultz. “She’s that kind of person who you want to walk in the room and see and seek her out. She’s definitely a model athlete.”

Inman has been running cross-country since she was a freshman and began competing in outdoor track her sophomore year. Unfortunately, it was canceled because of COVID-19. Inman was going to compete in indoor track her junior year but was not able to because of an injury.

Once recovered from this injury, Inman began powerlifting her senior year. In March, she placed first in her division during a powerlifting competition.

In the spring season of her junior year, she began competing in outdoor track and field. She went to states for javelin and shotput but did not compete well. Inman trained all summer and began getting more competitive in outdoor track and field. That competitiveness has led up to where she is now.

“In my over 20 years of coaching track and field I can’t remember having a young lady who had greater potential to be an outstanding thrower than Stella,” said Windham javelin coach George McCrillis. “I have not coached someone who has worked so hard to fulfill that potential. I have no doubt she has paved the way for more young ladies to feel comfortable doing the same.”

Inman said to get to this point has taken a lot of training and consistency. She’s had to push herself to work out when she might not feel like it.

“Having teammates there to support you is what makes everything worth it,” she said.

Inman would like to thank Coach Riddle who has been pushing her to be a better athlete since she began cross-country. <

Raymond softball overachieves in first game against Old Orchard Beach

Raymond eighth-grader Caitlyn Bergsen
bats during Jordan-Small Middle School
softball's opening game of the season
against Old Orchard Beach.
PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
By Matt Pascarella

Raymond’s Jordan-Small Middle School played their first home game of the season against Old Orchard Beach on Tuesday, May 10 and did a spectacular job.

Raymond has been practicing since before April vacation and the team had a very nice first showing; Raymond battled up until the last out. Old Orchard Beach won 17-10.

Eighth-grader Audrey Getchell hit two in-the-park home runs with everyone on the team doing a great job on the field, offensively and defensively.

“I did alright throwing and catching, and I was hitting pretty good,” said eighth-grader Katie Plummer.

Plummer said that they’ve come a long way since that first practice.

In the first inning, OOB scored five runs.

Raymond answered when eighth-grader Briella Beers walked. Sixth-grader Kylie Gervais doubled, and Beers scored. Gervais then stole home.

In the second inning, Raymond defense nabbed a runner at home. OOB scored five runs.

Raymond brought force in the second inning after eighth-grader Caitlyn Bergsen walked. Plummer was hit by the pitch, then seventh-grader Karla Rodriguez singled and bases are loaded. Bergsen scored.

Beers walked; Plummer scored. Gervais walked and Rodriguez scored. Getchell walked and a run came in. Beers scored. After two innings OOB led 10-7.

In the fifth inning, Getchell ripped the ball deep into the outfield, rounded the bases and made it home.

In the sixth inning, Raymond sixth-grader Phinlee Afthim singled. So did eighth-grader Sarah Penna; Afthim scored.

Getchell hit another in-the-park home run in the seventh inning. Bergsen doubled.

Bergensen said overall she thought the team did very well. There were a couple things she thought they could improve on, but she was pleased with how they played.

“Our teamwork went really well, knowing that we were actually a team,” said Getchell.

Getchell has seen improvement with defense and offense. It felt really nice for her to hit two in-the-park-homeruns.

“We overachieved today,” said Raymond softball coach Jim Beers. “We haven’t had a lot of practices ... our first week of games got rained out. We’re mixing in a lot of inexperienced with some experience on our team.”

Beers said he couldn’t be happier with the outcome and is pleased they can build on that. There are little things to iron out now, little intricacies of the game; if they get those ironed out, they should be fine. <