Sunday, April 28, 2013

Are you fitter than a fidth-grader? by Michelle Libby

On Wednesday, all of the fifth-graders from George E. Jack School in Standish visited with students at Saint Joseph’s College to compete in “Are you fitter than a fifth-grader?” The brain child of Maureen LaSalle, director of Alfond Center, events and wellness at Saint Joseph’s College, the competition consisted of 10 events, from minute-to-win-it and relays to obstacle courses and trivia. 

“Everyone is a winner today,” said Jenna Chase, wellness coordinator and summer housing specialist from St. Joe’s. Each of the 105 students received a certificate and a card for one free pass for admission to the pool for them and a family member. 

Between 40 and 50 St. Joe’s students worked the event, leading the challenges and monitoring the students. In the minute-to-win-it game the fifth-graders tied a Kleenex box filled with ping pong balls on to their back and while wearing a pedometer, they had to jump up and down to empty the box. There was a basketball head-to-head challenge, where a line of fifth-graders competed against three St. Joe’s students who were blindfolded. (The students won.)
“We always talked about getting St. Joe’s into the community. We have such a robust wellness program on campus that we want to actively bring that into the community,” said LaSalle.  

The Monks sweep Simmons Sharks at home by David Field

Standish-With the GNAC top spots all in contention, the Monks and Simmons Sharks battled it out on Sunday, April 21 with Saint Joseph’s College taking both games.  Prior to the games, St. Joe’s honored their four seniors: Danyelle Shufelt, Kayla Vannah, Heather Tripp and Danielle Leavitt.  

The Monks wasted little time in the first game as leadoff hitter Danielle Shufelt hit a single.  Connie Grovo sacrificed her to second.  Lindsey Moore came to bat and flew out to shortstop.  Heather Tripp then crushed a shot over left fielder Jen Field’s head to knock Shufelt in.  

In the third, Simmons’ Calin Pagel batted a single and eventually scored on an error by pitcher Kayla Vannah.  St. Joe’s quickly quieted the hungry sharks by turning a double play to get out of the inning.  

The Monks then answered in the fourth when Theresa Hendrix took advantage of a dropped third strike and reached first base.  Melissa Mayhew hit a single to put two on.  Danielle Leavitt hit a ground out that scored Hendrix and left Leavitt at second. 

Simmons didn’t give up.  In the top of the seventh inning, Alaina DeNoncour crushed a home run to tie the game.  The Monks quickly put the feisty visitors down and picked up their bats.  However, Simmons retired the first two batters.  Danyelle Shufelt hit her second base hit of the day and stole second.  Connie Grovo then hit a bloop single behind pitcher Lauren Backhaus.  Shufelt ran for all she was worth and scored the winning run.  

Game two saw the Monks stifle the Sharks and win 2-0.  In the third, Danyelle Shufelt reached base on an error by the Shark’s right fielder.  She would score her third run of the day to give St. Joe’s the lead.  In the top of the sixth, Heather Tripp answered with some insurance by crushing a home run to seal the deal for the Monks. 

Eagle baseball holds season opener by David Field

Windham-The Windham Eagles opened their 2013 baseball season with a close loss to rival Marshwood.  Shawn Francoeur gave up five hits and struck out three.  Marshwood’s pitcher, Robert Jones, struck out 10 Eagles to help his team. 

Marshwood got on the board in the second inning after Tanner Laberge missed a ground ball at shortstop.  Two batters later, the Hawk batter crushed a shot to left field which Andrew Whiting tried to stop on a diving play.  Nate Boyle picked up the missed ball and gunned it to the infield.  With the leadoff batter across the plate, the batter got caught in a rundown between second and third and was put out by Spencer Hodge. 

The Eagles wouldn’t answer the scoring challenge until the following inning.  Zach Conley reached on a single and advanced on Spencer Hodge’s sacrifice.  Tanner Laberge moved Conley to third on a nice single.  Conley scored on a passed ball and Laberge made it to second base.  There, the scoring ended for Windham. 

The Hawks answered to break the tie in the fourth inning.  Leadoff batter Mark Brenner cranked a hard triple to the outfield.  The next Marshwood batter popped out to right field which allowed Brenner to score and seal the victory. 

On-the-go health and nutririon by Glenn Hutchinson

You wouldn't put unreliable fuel in your car, so why put harmful food into your body? Here's a list of the foods that should not meet your standards:

•Sugar-filled beverages like soda pop, sweet coffee drinks or sweetened tea.
•Packaged snack foods, like chips, crackers or popcorn.
•Baked goods containing gluten and/or sugar.
•Sweets or candy made with sugar or corn syrup.
•Food from a fast food chain.
•Food that's been fried.

The truth is that more than 90 percent of gym-goers fail to achieve the level of results they want—even after a full year of faithfully going through their routine. Maybe you can relate.

It doesn't have to be this way. I believe that you deserve to get the highest level of results possible from that valuable time that you invest in your health and wellness program.
If you simply go through the motions, while staying in your comfort zone, then results will always be a hope for tomorrow and not today's reality.

Intensity is a measure of how much energy you're expending while exercising. The harder you safely push yourself, the greater your results. When you're simply going through the motions of a routine, without digging down and giving it your all, the workout lacks intensity and your results will be disappointing.

During your workout pay attention to how you feel. Could you be working harder? If the honest answer is yes, then step it up a notch.

The first benefit is that when you bring the intensity you're able to shorten exercise time.

The second benefit is the after burn that you'll experience after an intense workout. Your body will continue to burn extra calories long after you have finished exercising. 

One thing to remember - it's important that you never sacrifice proper form in favor of intensity. As soon as your form starts to be compromised, reduce your intensity to where proper form is achieved.

I'm here to help you transform your body (and your whole life!) through the power of fitness. 

Glenn Hutchinson runs On the Go Health and Wellness Coaching for Busy People in Raymond. To reach him, email

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Girls lacrosse looks to improve record by David Field

Varsity coach Deb Lebel heads into her sixth year and possibly faces a rebuilding year after going 4-8 in 2012. “We are hoping some of our younger athletes are ready to take on bigger roles this year. We lost four or five games last year by two goals or less, so we know we can compete.”

Senior Kayla Kennedy will be in goal for the Eagles this spring.  “She trained a great deal in the off season so we are expecting great things from her.”  Senior Christina Pollard (22 goals last season) and junior Emily Gilman will be strong contenders on attack.  On defense, senior Lauren Coughlin (Defense award winner 2012) and junior Haley Batchelder will be called upon to help Kennedy.  

In the conference, Lebel sees Scarborough, Cheverus and Kennebunk being the strong favorites.  Windham started preseason play on April 9, against Fryeburg.  They will face Bonny Eagle on April 12 at 4pm on Field 9.  They also will travel to Massachusetts on April 17 for a play day before starting their regular season at home on April 23 against Deering High School. 

In addition to Lebel, Jennifer Sullivan coaches the junior varsity and Mary Peters assists both teams. 

GlennHutchinson defies the odds by Michelle Libby

Fitness coach Glenn Hutchinson was given six months to live. That was almost 17 years ago. One day at a time, he took control of his life and lifestyle.

When the doctor told Glenn, “I’d like to see you and your wife,” “It’s never good,” he said. He had stage 4 liver disease.

A death sentence.

“There was nothing to gage it to,” Glenn said. The Internet was new, his children were young and he was only 50 years old. Finding information to help was hard, but not impossible. He experimented with vitamin C and taking milk thistle for his liver.

“He went from working 16-hours a day to not being able to get out of bed,” said his wife, Janice.
“I was always waiting for the other shoe to drop,” Glenn said. “I often said the Internet saved my life.” Seventeen years ago, Glenn was a trailblazer in healing his body from the inside out.

Today, he is a presenter at all-day health and wellness seminars and runs his own fitness coaching business out of his home in Raymond as well as online. He does one-on-one coaching in his private studio and has a national following with his online training programs with over 3,000 clients.
He also produces his own videos for clients to download on their mobile device to use while traveling, or to refresh what they already know.

“It’s what you do 80 percent of the time that matters. There’s always an exception,” he said.
A lot of what Glenn does is metabolic fitness. He tests his clients to see where they stand metabolically and helps them through diet as well as exercise. “It’s lifestyle,” he said. “If your base isn’t right, you’d have a strange looking house when you get to the roof. If your hormones and the cells are not balanced, no matter what you, do it’s not going to come off.”

He checks C-reactive protein, lifestyle, food people are eating and sleep deprivation.

He trains people year round, but also offers a four-month program, which is the right amount of time to make sure the education is there for clients to have better lifestyles. The holistic approach, he feels, is the best way for clients to gain results.

“I found you can’t be the best of all things to all people,” he said, knowing that some people prefer a trainer who will work with them on a fitness program only.

Glenn also produces a weekly newsletter and a monthly magazine for his clients. They are both written in layman’s terms and the magazine targets the beginner clients, according to Glenn.
“I encourage them to have some control of themselves,” he said.  

Glenn’s fees can run up to $11,700 a year for private one-on-one sessions to $1,588 per person for a four-month program, both of which give the client 24/7 access to Glenn with unlimited Facetime or Skype. Each client also has an online fitness folder.

“I know how much money I would have given,” Glenn said about his diagnosis all those years ago.
During his recovery it took him two years to go from driving 15 minutes, jogging for 15 minutes, then driving home for 15 minutes before he considered himself well. “If I was a single guy, I don’t think I would have done it.”

“The body’s amazing if you give it the right food” he said. Glenn was able to re-grow his liver without having to have surgery solely through his lifestyle changes.

 “I’m a 110 percent person, if it’s something I’m really passionate about,” Glenn said.

When Glenn started seeing another doctor, the doctor’s advice was “Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.”

Glenn can be reached through his website

Preseason comes to an end for Windham baseball by David Field

The Windham Eagles have played three games in the last week to conclude their preseason stint.  Windham starts their regular season today, April 19 against Marshwood at home.  Last year, the Eagles were victorious against the Hawks.
The Eagles faced Oxford Hills last Thursday and soundly defeated the Vikings 9-1.  Shawn Francoeur took the hill for five innings and held Oxford Hills to only one run in the second inning.  The Windham offense found their groove in the third inning and unloaded a five run attack, through a combination of hits, walks and errors.  

The Windham offense came alive in the fifth inning to record four more runs.  Sharp hitting by the Eagles coupled with a few walked base runners gave Windham the decisive edge.  Spencer Hodge closed the game on the hill to seal the game.  

On Monday, the Eagles did a double header in Lewiston.  In game one, Windham faced the Lewiston Blue Devils.  Windham’s defense and hot bats controlled the game to give them the 9-1 victory.  Keep in mind, this is preseason and nothing should be taken for granted on either part.  However, Windham did look sharp.  

Spencer Hodge led the game off with a single.  He stole second base to get in scoring position.  Tanner Laberge grounded out to put Hodge on third.  Shawn Francoeur drew a walk and got caught in a rundown that allowed Hodge to score before he was put out.  It was a very dramatic way to start the game for sure. 

Senior Nate Boyle took the mound for Windham and hurled four scoreless innings for the Eagles.  In the second inning, Windham bats found a lot more life.  Lewiston committed two errors and Windham capitalized on walked batters and a couple of hits to generate five runs.  The Eagles were silenced in the third and produced two more runs in the fourth.  In the fifth, Windham bats caught fire again and had four hits to generate four more runs to ensure the victory. 

In the second game of the day, Windham faced Monmouth.  The Eagles used their younger players to give them a game opportunity.  Joe Francoeur threw the first two innings for Windham and then the underclassmen took control.  In the fourth, Monmouth started hitting sophomore Eli Williams’ pitches, which allowed three runs before the Eagles made a change to Ethan Petty.  Petty finished that inning and the next.  Dan Hansen made his pitching debut and allowed one run.  Since it was a controlled scrimmage, Windham forgave their at bat and Kyle Joseph pitched a very strong three batter inning to conclude the game.  

Windham opens their season against Marshwood on this Friday at 11 a.m. at Windham HS.  Coach Brody Artes is excited to get his team underway. 

Boys lacrosse looks to improve record by David Field

This is lacrosse varsity coach Pete Small’s second year with the Eagles.  In his first season, Windham went 2-10.  “We are looking to build off of last year and would see a .500 record as a giant step forward. We need to elevate all aspects of our game to do so, and have demonstrated a strong movement in that direction this spring.  Our successes this season will depend upon our ability to control the ball more this year than we did last year.”

Matt Aldrich (Sr), Christian Coons (Sr), Zach Davis (So) and Hunter Bowen (So) anchor a strong defense for us.  They should be able to help slow down opposing offenses and keep them from getting to the inside.  Damian Cummings (Sr), Owen Philips (Sr), Liam Sullivan (Jr) and Griffin Jacobson (Fr) add speed, strength and skill at the midfield position.  A key to both midfield and defense will be Danny Stewart (Sr) who has elevated his game this spring at the LSM position and should help us with our midfield transitions.  Ryan Schweitzer (Sr), Christian Zwirner (Jr) and Regan McCarthy (Sr) have demonstrated an elevated ability to move the ball from the attack position.

Windham played a controlled scrimmage against Gorham on April 4.  “We were pleased with what we saw.  There was some rust as we had only been playing in a parking lot up until that time.  We were able to capture teachable moments from that scrimmage.” The Eagles also faced Fryeburg Academy and Lake Region in the preseason.  

Lacrosse is in the East conference.  Coach Small sees four teams being the heavyweight contenders: Deering, Cheverus, Brunswick and Messalonsksee.  Windham opened Thursday against Noble in Berwick. 

Coach Small is joined by John Skvorak at the varsity level and first team. Pete Cekutis coaches junior varsity with John Yates. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Windham High School ield recognized as a Field of Excellence by Lean Hoenen

The stadium field at Windham High School has been recognized for the second time as a Field of Excellence, and a photograph of the field will cover the directory of the New England Sports Turf Managers Association.
District Athletic Director Rich Drummond credited Mike DiDonato, head groundskeeper, for the field winning acclaim, praising the work of DiDonato and the grounds team for maintaining the field. “This is a well-deserved honor. It’s a reflection of him and the staff he has working for him,” Drummond said.
Principal Chris Howell said, “The thing I like best about that field being recognized is that schools like to come play here. It’s nice our students are recognized not only for the field we have for them to play on, but for the sportsmanship they show on those fields.”

Athlete of the Week "Lyndsey Arsenault"

Lyndsey Arsenault is The Windham Eagle athlete of the week. The 14-year-old eighth-grader from Windham Middle School is involved in four sports, soccer, basketball, indoor track and outdoor track. 

Arsenault was nominated by her track coach, Jarrod Fornier, for her commitment and leadership qualities. She is already planning to go to college and play college soccer. 

When she’s not competing, she likes hanging out with her friends and playing sports. After that’s over she kicks back in her hot tub. Arsenault said she can’t live without food.


Three brothers: Brendan, Cameron and Matthew
Mom: Julie, Dad: Anthony, Step-mom: Sue

Getting and Staying FIT! by Rita H. Losee, ScD, RN

Congratulations on joining Fit4Summer. Perhaps you have jumped on the fitness train before and much to your chagrin and dismay have fallen off. Very likely you’ve made multiple attempts at getting fit. 

Fitness and health is not just a matter of what you do, it’s a matter of what you think. Very often, the impetus to initiating a fitness program is: “OMG, I’m so ____! (Fill in the blank).

Does that statement inspire you and build confidence? No! Perhaps you chose the word “fat”. Observe: how often do you say or think, “I am fat.”? If you think of yourself as “fat” or “out of shape,” you are predicting your future. Note that predict, literally, means spoken before.

Lasting fitness demands changing what you are putting into your mouth. It also means changing what is coming out of your mouth. Change what you say about yourself and your body. Practice saying, “I love being fit!” The first time you say it, (go ahead, try it!), a part of you will shout, scream, and yell something on the order of, “No way! You’re _____.” It takes practice.

Write out a detailed description of how you’ll look and feel at end of Fit4Summer. What are you saying about yourself? What are your behaviors? What are you feeling about you and your body? What are you loving about the “new” you?

Winning athletes always focus on and continually visualize success. See yourself, act as you want to be 12 weeks, 12 months or 12 years from now. Continually ask, “What would a healthy, fit person do, think, say?” Then do it, think it, say it. 

You don’t make one decision to get fit. A successful effort means making thousands of decisions, day after day, for as long as you want to be fit.
When you slip, skip the exercise session, eat food loaded with fat, calories and virtually no nutrition, and you inevitably will, resist saying or thinking something like, “I was so bad. I skipped ___.” Never do that!

Ax murderers are bad! People who make mistakes on a fitness journey are just human, learning to change old habits of thought and action. View your mistakes as a movie director would -- as “mis-takes.” Simply shoot the scene over again until you get it just the way you want.

It takes practice to get fit and stay fit. You practice thinking thoughts aligned with fitness, you practice behaviors aligned with fitness, and you practice the emotions of being fit, strong and successful. And, then you are!

Windham Drops Preseason Games by David Field

Photo by David Field
Cumberland-On an extremely cold and blustery day, Windham dropped to Greely 6-5 and 8-7.  As with most preseason games, the win or loss is not really meaningful.  It is about seeing players in game situations and how they react.  “We learned a lot” said Varsity Coach Brody Artes.

In game one, Windham started offensively well with Spencer Hodge and Jack Herzig getting on base.  Calvin Field advanced them but the remaining line up couldn’t put Hodge and Herzig across the plate.

Shawn Francoeur started the pitching and went three scoreless innings for the Eagles.  In the fourth, Greely’s pitching started to suffer as three walked batters reached base.  Calvin Field hit a single and drove all three runs in as the Greely defense seemed to collapse and Field reached third on the exchange from center field.  Joe Francoeur batted Field in to give Windham the short-lived 4-0 lead.

Greely got started when it took advantage of a cold Spencer Hodge.  Hodge walked his first two batters and then gave up a single that drove in a Ranger run.  That was all Greely would muster until the sixth inning.

In the fifth, Spencer Hodge reached base on an error and managed to score on a passed ball to complete the Eagle offensive threat.  Eli Williams took the mound and gave up two runs and Jack Herzig came in to close the game in the seventh.  Despite throwing great fast balls, the Rangers quickly picked up on his delivery and quickly put the ball in play several times to take the lead.  Herzig completed his inning by striking out the final batter. 

In game two, the two teams battled hypothermia and numb hands in their competition.  In the first inning, Jake Mello and Calvin Field crossed the plate to give the Eagles a quick lead.  Four Eagles had hits in the first inning.  The Rangers answered with one run but stranded three on base.  In the second, they answered with four runs to answer Windham’s one run to tie the game.  

Windham answered forcefully in the fourth inning when Shawn Francoeur crushed a home run over the centerfield fence to put three on the board.  The Rangers answered with one in the fourth and one in the sixth.  Both teams substituted frequently to keep players warm and to give younger players some action.  

Windham faced Oxford Hills this Thursday.  We will have coverage of that in next week’s editon.

Softball coach optimistic for 2013 team in SMAA by David Field

Morgan Richmond
After a 3-13 record in 2012, varsity head coach Mark Tucker is a little more optimistic for 2013.  “We had three 1-run losses and kept most of the games in reach.  This year, I hope to close the gap even more and grind out some wins out of those close games we were previously on the losing end of.  We have an awesome bunch of girls this year who really enjoy the game,” said Tucker.

Tucker enters his fourth year at the helm of the Eagles.  This season, he has three seniors that have been four-year varsity starters for him: third baseman Colleen Holtan, first baseman Haley Plante and left fielder Julia Loscuito.  Tucker also will be depending on juniors Katelyn Tucker for pitching and Morgan Richmond in centerfield to anchor the defense.  The remaining four spots on the roster are up for grabs for a myriad of players including freshman Sadie Nelson, who Tucker plans on using at catcher.

Haley Plante

“The SMAA is always the toughest conference,” said Tucker.  He expects that South Portland and Scarborough to be the top contenders.  South Portland won the west last year and lost in the state championship game.

The varsity squad is coached by Tucker and his assistant, Kris Allen.  The Eagle JV coach is EJ Regan and the middle school coach is Travis Demmons.

Windham will open its season against Sanford on April 19.  “We should be in the right mix and should make it back to the playoffs after years of rebuilding,” said Tucker.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Athlete of the Week - Emily Bland

Emily Bland, a senior at Windham High School, is the athlete of the week after being nominated by the athletic office for her individual state title in Nordic Ski. 

“She is a great representative of Windham High School on and off the playing surfaces,” said athlete director Rich Drummond.

Bland, 18, is on the cross country team, Nordic ski team and the girls’ lacrosse team. She enjoys physical fitness and being with family and friends and she says she can’t live without her phone. Her parents are Jeff Bland and Wendy Bland. She has a brother Jonathan and a sister Abby.

The best way for her to unwind after competition is to get much needed rest and replenish with food and water.

Bland is looking to attend a four-year college and will be deciding on the luck one soon.

Wrestling Coach of the Year by Michelle Libby

“Wrestling is one of the most demanding sports that anyone can compete in,” said this year’s wrestling coach of the year Kurt Pelletier. The Windham High School coach has been coaching for 10 years in Windham. He also refereed for eight years on the local high school circuit. 

Ten years ago, he started Kratos Wrestling Club for children in grades kindergarten through fifth and has made that a successful “feeder” program for the middle school and high school teams. 

Two weeks ago, he was notified that he has been voted coach of the year by his fellow Southern Maine Athletic Association (SMAA) coaches. 

“I have a good rapport with all the coaches in the state,” Pelletier said. Having refereed for many years, he has gotten to know the other coaches and considers them personal friends. 

“It’s nice to get the award. It has a lot of meaning. I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing – putting the sport on display. The kids are my ultimate goal so they have something to go back to, or to remember back on,” Pelletier said. “I can’t say enough that the award should have two names on it.” He referred to his assistant coach Thom Johnson, who Pelletier considers his co-coach. “We both have the same philosophy and even wore the same color clothes at regionals,” he said. “Unfortunately, the coach gets all the accolades.”

Pelletier said he doesn’t need a plaque. He got a letter from Superintendent Sandy Prince and emails from most of the administration congratulating him. “It’s good to know that they’re there to support me,” he said.
This year there were 28 athletes on his team and they had a winning team record. 

As a coach interested in promoting the sport and creating wrestlers, he agreed to train wrestlers from Gray and Greely. “I never wanted to refuse anyone who was willing and wanted to wrestle. We’ll be there for them,” he said. The State champion this year was Pelletier’s wrestler from Greely.  

Pelletier’s wrestlers are dedicated and want to be there. “Winning is not everything. I have a good rapport with the kids. Having a good group of kids that do whatever the coach wants is good. It’s an individual sport, but you can’t do it without your team,” he said. 

Pelletier’s full-time job is working for Homeland Security, but his number one priority, he said, is his family - his wife, Aileen, a teacher at Windham Primary School, son Devon, who is at the Air Force Academy and daughter Bailey, who is a junior at Windham High School. 

“As a coach, you look at these kids as one of the family. I have 28 kids that belong to me. I have the trust of the kids, parents, administration and community,” he said. 

Pelletier comes from a wrestling family from Fort Kent, where his brother is the coach and his nephew just beat Pelletier’s old high school wrestling record. “We still coach the way we were coached 26 years ago,” he said. 

His son called home during Air Force basic training and told his father, “This is nothing like wrestling practice.”

Baseball Pre-season Opens by david Field

The Major League Baseball season kicked off on the right foot with the Red Sox defeat of the Yankees on Monday 8-2.  Looking locally, high schools have had their tryouts and are making the best of their indoor workouts.  The Windham Eagles hope to hit the field and play a preseason double header Saturday, April 6, against Class B Greely HS.  The Rangers won the Class B State Title in 2009.  The games will be played at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. possibly at SMCC.  As of press time, field location was still being worked on.

Windham’s new Varsity Coach, Brody Artes, is excited to get the team on the field.  Coach Artes gave The Windham Eagle an inside look at what the team outlook is for 2013: “The Eagles will be led by returning starting pitchers Seniors Shawn Francoeur and Nate Boyle.  We have a lot of depth on the mound with six different players that could potentially start.  Junior Catcher Jack Herzig is one of the best in the SMAA behind the plate.  Senior Outfielders Calvin Field and Nate Boyle will be key defensive players for the Eagles and will provide much needed speed on the base paths.  Junior Spencer Hodge and Sophomore Tanner Laberge will be key contributors on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball.  If the Eagles can get consistent quality outings from their pitching staff and can play nearly errorless defense, they could be a potential contender in the SMAA.”

Coach Artes thought the Class A contenders would be: Scarborough – can't count out the defending champs.  They have solid pitching and always swing the bat well.  Cheverus – well coached, the Powers kid will be one of the best pitchers in the league and can't be count out.  Portland – has potential to be a very good team and has some depth on the mound.  Westbrook – probably has the best one-two punch in the SMAA with Zach Bean and Keenan Lowe on the mound.  Thornton – Gelinas kid (going to UMaine next year) is one of the best pitchers in the conference and they have some great athletes in their program right now.  South Portland – very well coached and is always a scrappy team that could be this year’s SMAA sleeper heading into the playoffs.

In addition to Head Coach Artes, the 2013 Windham baseball staff consists of Aaron Talon, varsity assistant coach; Erik Carlson, varsity assistant coach; Nick Dubay, junior varsity coach; Matt Shardlow, first team coach and Brett Turenne, middle school coach.  The Varsity Eagle’s other preseason action will include Oxford Hills on April 11 at 3:30 p.m. and Gray-New Gloucester on April 15 at 11 a.m.  Both games will be played at Windham.

Did you know?  A batter that offers at a pitch and is struck by the pitch will not get his base.  The ball is called dead and the batter is assessed a strike on the play. 

5K Infatuation by Michelle Libby

A 5K.
3.1 miles.
Getting off the couch and running is exactly what hundreds, if not thousands, of people do every weekend in the spring, summer and fall. The trend of running a 5K race has grown in popularity and notoriety to the point that someone could conceivably run a 5K every weekend during warmer weather, according to running coach and owner of Heaven & Earth Day Spa in Windham Maura Malia.

“Running has just grown exponentially over the last few years,” she said. “It’s very popular and there are apps you can download.” 

Not everyone is born a runner, but with a little help running may be a new passion. 

It takes most people 10 to 12 weeks to build up their skills to run a 5K, especially if they are not active, said Malia. By using an app or a coach to help motivate someone to try a run/walk and if it’s done gradually, “You find out you love it,” said Malia. 

Starting out, run slow. Pace is important. Malia suggested still being able to talk to someone while you’re running is a good measure of exertion. 

“We’re not Kenyans. We’re not going to win any awards. We want to like running,” she said. “A 5K is an attainable goal for just about anyone who wants to run.” Races provide a goal and motivation to get into shape. Some people look at a 5K race and work toward that date. 

“A lot of people want to run, but are scared to,” she said and suggested that someone who is nervous should go as a group. “If you do it, I’ll do it.”
5Ks are good for new runners, but marathoners use them as speed workouts and walkers use them as a nice scenic walk. “They reach a wide range of people,” said Malia.

One runner said, “You’ve paid a lot for this race. Slow down and enjoy it.”
In addition to the conditioning, races are fun. Some do them for the “bling” of a medal or to get a special tech-material t-shirt. Many 5Ks support charities. “It’s nice to know you’re running a race to support something,” said Malia. 

The Mother’s Day and Father’s Day 5K at Hadlock Field are family-oriented. The 10K Duo Duel Relay encourages partners to sign up to each run a 5K, but there is accountability. There is a St. Patrick’s 5K and a 5K Jingle Bell Run in December. There is also a 5K where at the end beer awaits at RiRa’s. 

 If 5Ks are a piece of cake, there are a few known 10K races, like the Beach to Beacon race held in August of every year. That race has gotten so popular that when registration opens, it closes in four and a half minutes, completely full. “That’s the race to run in. You have to run it at least once,” said Malia. There is also a 10K at L.L. Bean over the fourth of July.     

Runners have their own way of thinking. Some figure if they race in the morning they can eat all they want the rest of the day, said Malia. There is also the “runner’s high” that according to Malia is not a myth. “You get to a place where you’re so happy,” she said. 

Having a coach isn’t crucial with phone apps available like “Couch to 5K”. However, if someone doesn’t know where to start, or needs someone to be accountable to, it might be a good place to start. Also if a runner wants to get better, a coach could help. 

There are health benefits to running, according to Malia, including losing weight, maintaining weight, naturally wanting to eat better, psychological benefits and bringing friends together.

“Anyone can run. It’s like life. Embrace it, slowly make progress and say you’ll love it. You probably will love it,” Malia said.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Fit 4 Summer Challange

The search for fields in WIndham by Michelle Libby and David Field

There is a field shortage in Windham. For weeks there has been an undercurrent of dissatisfaction within the town primarily over the property at Gambo field, used and developed by Windham Youth Soccer (WYSA). Although the fields at Gambo have been under the care of Windham Youth Soccer since at least 1998, that organization does not own the land they have improved over the years. 

Windham Youth Lacrosse Organization (WYLO) has grown in the last two years from a fledgling program to one that registered 250 players for the spring season. They have grown so fast there they haven’t had the opportunity to locate useable fields although they began looking in the fall of 2011. 

Windham, like other communities, faces the ever increasing demand for athletic open spaces. High school athletics take priority over the recreational leagues, many times bumping those teams off over used fields. 

In the spring, flat fields at the school campus are used primarily by lacrosse, but are also used by Windham Little League for T-ball and coach pitch games. Little league also uses the fields Manchester School. 

Given the fall usage, the high school stadium field needs time to rest, as does the football practice field. In the fall, these fields get used by football and soccer from several levels. High school lacrosse usually starts having their games at the stadium mid-May, said Rich Drummond, Windham’s athletic director.  

“(Drummond) has been fantastic with us. His fields are taking a beating they are way over used,” said WYLO president Dough McInnis. 

With all the school fields occupied, WYLO looked around Windham to find available fields. What they found was Gambo fields and a much forgotten about lease agreement between Windham and the Portland Water District. The property at Gambo Road is owned by Portland Water District and is leased to the town for $1 plus yearly taxes, which averages $800, according to WYSA. 

The debate over the fields at Gambo Road became an issue after both parties were frustrated with the lack of action on the part of the town. WYLO had spoken with Town Manager Tony Plante about the need for field space, said McInnis. He also said they turned in a plan to Plante outlining what WYLO wanted to use at Gambo fields. 

WYLO had an informal meeting with WYSA in February of 2011. “We outlined what we were looking for. We said, ‘we’ll write a check out to you right now. Make sure your program isn’t compromised by wear and tear on the fields’,” said McInnis. WYLO would like to use four fields at Gambo for practice and games for their youngest players. In 2012, Brian Ross and Tony were going to be the mediator. The town told us to work with them,” said McInnis.  

“Windham lacrosse never presented us with anything, no concrete plan, no concrete financial plan at a board meeting,” said WYSA vice president Shari Levesque. She stated that WYSA carries their own liability insurance and pays all the maintenance for the fields at a cost of $20,000 to $25,000 a year. 

“We do not want to approach this in any negative way,” said Levesque. 

“The town is lacking in fields for one reason. The town has said, ‘you pay your own way,” said Town Councilor Dave Nadeau. “This town does no planning. We’re putting together another comprehensive plan. You have to be involved in this.”

“We need equitable access to Gambo for all youth sports and organizations,” said Mike Ross, vice president of WYLO at the public comment section of the Windham Town Council meeting Tuesday. “I understand that soccer has a hefty investment there,” he said. “It’s not about the youth organizations, it’s about the children.” 

“We want them to learn the sport, bring a championship to the high school and get scholarship for athletes,” said McInnis. 

WYLO parent Lori Witherow spoke as well. “I as a tax payer feel I have every right to go to Gambo to kick a ball.” Her daughter, Carly asked to use Gambo fields “so we can practice and play games so we can be the best we can be to represent Windham.” 

WYSA president Jennifer Kent spoke in soccer’s defense. “Windham had no desire to develop the property (when they first leased the land). We’ve put half a million dollars into the property with no tax payers money,” she said. 

“We built field F with our money and the club money. We got approval from the town for field G. I added onto the parking personally,” said former grounds keeper at Gambo Jim Cummings. He told the council that the fields were built to the bare minimums because they were using what money they had, but that also means that the fields can’t take over use. “It’s a matter of capacity,” he said. 

Other fields and town own land that could be developed are Lincoln Circle, a field developed by Peter Busque eight years ago, Windham Christian Academy has fields for a fee, The Donnabeth Lippman Park at Chaffin Pond is slated for development, but according to one woman, not even an acre of that land was earmarked for fields. The final place is a 24-acre parcel of land near the rotary at Route 302 and Route 202 owned by the town and set aside for a cemetery or public works space. 

“Nobody should have a monopoly on anything in this town,” said Town Councilor Tom Gleason. “The problem is financing it. We have a money problem in this town. Where we put our resources is an issue.” 

“It’s not a recent deficiency,” said Kevin Call. “We need the Windham Youth Lacrosse to do the same thing Windham Youth Soccer did 30 years ago.”
Compromise is what town councilors asked for. Councilor Peter Anania called for WYSA, WYLO and Parks and Rec Director Brian Ross to sit down and discuss the proposal for this spring season. 

The town didn’t want to take a risk at Gambo, said Anania. “The soccer team took that risk – that’s what it is.”

“I think it’s too bad that it got to this point. We have agreed to sit and talk,” said Kent. “I’m confident we can work this out.”