Friday, December 23, 2016

Windham graduate Sadie Nelson receives recognition - By Stephen Signor

Windham resident and University of New England freshman Sadie Nelson was recently named the Common Coast Conference Basketball rookie of the week for the third time in as many weeks.  She was also chosen as the Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association (MWBCA) Rookie of the Week. For the week ending December 4,th 18-year-old, 5’10” (on paper) Nelson averaged 16.7 points, 4 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 3 steals per game in a 2-1 week for UNE. Nelson scored a career high 27 points in a win over Salve Regina. She shot 51.3 percent from the floor for the week. 

This is not surprising as Nelson is no stranger to excelling on the basketball court and appears to be picking up where she left off during her years at Windham High School where she reached a challenging and important milestone of scoring over 1,000 points. She also participated in soccer and softball while attending WHS where she was McDonald’s all-star and first team all-conference performer in basketball.

“Sadie is off to a great start at UNE playing on the women’s basketball team. I’m not surprised she is contributing as soon as she has. All the tools to compete at the collegiate level are in her possession,” said Windham High School athletic director Rich Drummond.

But this just explains her skill set on a physical level. It takes more than that to make a great player. “In looking at what makes Sadie a great player I would have to say her attitude is first and foremost. During her years at WHS she was very coachable and brought a positive attitude to the teams she participated on. She is truly blessed with basketball talent and that was obtained through countless hours of work and dedication,” continued Drummond. 

Clearly her attitude has been her biggest asset having devoted countless hours over the years improving her game through the support of her coaches, teammates and family, added Drummond.
However, Nelson’s contributions are not limited to the court. “It also needs to be mentioned that along with all of the hours she has devoted to her game, she has put in just as much time giving back to her community. During her four years as a varsity player she was seen countless times working with future Windham Lady Eagles Basketball team, improving their skills as players during the season and in the summer. UNE has obtained a great player, but a better person to represent their school on and off the court,” concluded Drummond.
But it wasn’t always easy. “I have a good work ethic but I kind of lost that in my senior year. I didn’t have a normal life. I missed that. All I did was play basketball so I didn’t like it that much anymore. So I was nervous about going to UNE because I didn’t have that good of a last season, but UNE has really changed my perspective and got me back to the way I used to be. I really enjoy playing basketball,” shared Nelson

There also can be pressure to be good. “When I was younger I did feel some. When I was a freshman in high school I didn’t have a lot of confidence compared to now. I probably put more pressure on myself then, but I definitely learned to move away from that. Now I feel like I am on a team with players that are more experienced and it’s not as hard. I’m not the focus anymore. There are a lot of players around me that are really, really good, like player of the year,” she said.

According to Nelson her coaches were instrumental in her success. “I love both coaches. I really love head coach Brody Artes. He took me in when I was a freshman and made me into a great player. With UNE head coach Anthony Ewing I am learning a lot more. I’m becoming a more defensive and offensive player. In high school it was a lot of offense and now I really have to play defense before stepping out onto the court. It’s been different having to learn at a faster pace. That’s probably been the biggest challenges. But I think I’m progressing pretty well. I started off shaky, but I’m moving my way up,” 

Nelson does her best to stay in touch with former coaches and teammates. “Coach Artes came out to see my first game. That meant a lot. I haven’t seen one of their games yet but I’m on break so I will try to get to as many games as I can. I still stay in touch with WHS players. I still miss playing here but I’m glad I can come back and look at it.” With plans of living at home the next couple of years she will have more opportunity.

As for what she would like to accomplish going forward, Nelson stated, “I would like to get another 1,000 points while at UNE. I am averaging a bit more points per game than I was as a freshman at WHS and we play more games at the college level. I just have to continue to get better every day.”

Athlete of the week - Nick Curtis

Nick Curtis #3 in Maroon

The Aroma Joe’s athlete of the week is junior Nick Curtis from Windham High School. The 16 year old plays point guard on the basketball team under the direction of coach Chad Pulkkinen. 

“Nick was chosen for this honor because of his performance last week versus Lewiston. Nick had a triple double (12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists) and it’s possible he is the first one in school history,” said coach Pulkkinen. 

When asked why kids should play sports, he said “to interact with others and make friends.” He has learned about sportsmanship from his years playing. 

The most influential person in his sporting career is Tim Blackie. 

He loves basketball and wants to continue to play in college while getting a degree in business.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Windham Drifters Snowmobile Club creates goodwill - By Shane Spencer

Tis the season to think about snowmobiling!  The Windham Drifters Snowmobile Club has been busy preparing for the upcoming season since the late summer months.  The Drifters are a group of snowmobile enthusiasts who donate much time and effort each year to provide a trail system for all to enjoy in the Windham area.  
Much of the work and efforts each year is spent on landowner relations.  With the growth of the town comes new landowners and development.  In order to keep the trails open, the club contacts each landowner annually to gain permission for access.  As many clubs are aware, landowner relations are critical to the success of the club.  The State of Maine recognizes the importance of landowner relations and work with clubs to retain access.  

One way the state has improved relations is by creating the annual “Landowner Appreciation Day”.  The day was created to clean up illegal dump sites throughout the state.  This year it happened on Sept. 18th.  Four members of the WDSC participated in the event.  Members cleaned up sites on land owned by Phinney Lumber and Central Maine Power Co.  

The photo shows the approximately 9 cubic yards of illegally dumped items that were gathered along the Windham Drifters trail system.

The state provides sites for clubs and organizations to bring the illegally dumped items and it is managed by the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Deptartment.  The thought behind the day is to create good relations between the landowners and the people who use their land.

The Windham Drifters also show thanks to the landowners in Windham by organizing an annual “Landowner Dinner”.  The club provides a free dinner at a local restaurant to all Windham landowners that allow a club trail on their property.  This year’s dinner was provided by the Deck House in North Windham on Saturday November 5th.  These dinners give the club an opportunity to build relationships with the landowners and discuss issues they may have involving the trails.  Every dinner is always a success! Windham Drifters would like to take this opportunity to thank all those that support the sport of snowmobiling.  It takes many contributors to make this sport in Windham successful year after year.  If you have any interest in getting involved, please join the club and come have fun with a great group of snowmobile enthusiasts.  You can learn more at and you can find us on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Windham U12 girls win New England Invitational Soccer Tourney - By Jason Dakin and Leo Tinkham

On Sunday, November 13, the Windham U12 Girls Soccer team competed against state champions from Vermont, Rhode Island and New Hampshire for the regional title. 

Windham opened the tournament on fire with three goals, all by Elizabeth Talbot, in the first five minutes of play. From there, Windham coasted to a 6-0 win over the Vermont State Champion Nordics from Essex, VT. 

The second match, against the Rhode Island State Champions from Warwick, RI, was an evenly contested tilt between two talented and determined opponents. After battling to a scoreless tie at the half, Rhode Island struck in the second half converting a long, pop up, wind assisted, lost in the sun, wobbler off a corner kick. 

It was 1-0 Rhode Island. 

With their backs against the wall, the Windham girls acted on their team rally cry “Now we just play harder!” and dominated play in the Rhode Island zone. After several minutes of intense pressure, the Rhode Island defense cracked by pulling down a Windham striker inside the penalty box. Abbey Thornton converted the penalty kick for a 1-1 tie, which is how the game ended. 

The final match, against the New Hampshire State Champions from Concord, was the match to determine the tournament title. If Windham won the game, it would win the tournament. If they lost, then New Hampshire would win the tournament. And if they tie, then Windham must go cheer for Vermont to beat or tie Rhode Island, an outcome which would enable Windham to win the tournament on points. Coaches Dakin and Bell took time between matches to ensure the team understood the situation and to plot strategy for the championship matchup. 

In another evenly contested match between two very tough teams, this time with a championship on the line, Windham scored first on a long hard shot from a steep angle by Abbey Thornton. Windham 1-0 at the half. Early in the second half, Elizabeth Talbot added a second goal to extend the lead to 2-0. Shortly afterward, Windham coaches dropped more defenders back to preserve the victory. 

With this win, the Windham U12 girls completed the Triple Crown of the fall season: Falmouth Columbus Day Tournament Champions, State of Maine Champions, and New England Invitational Champions. The team suffered only one defeat all season, back in early September, in a scrimmage; and the team rallied to win from behind in five games this fall. The team players are: Sarah Bell, Ashley Clarke, Monique Dakin, Kylie Garrison, Morgan Hammond, Elizabeth Leveque, Rianna Mattox, Elizabeth Talbot, Ali Tetrault, Abbey Thornton and Emma Tinkham. Coached by Jason Dakin and Matt Bell.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Windham Eagles football ends winning season - By Stephen Signor

It was two years ago that Perkins established a leadership council composed of 12 players, including underclassmen, to discuss issues and concerns among players. The council, Perkins said, allows players to have a voice and police themselves. Apparently this move is beginning to show benefits.
Head coach Matt Perkins led his team into another season on the winning side. While they may have lost 27-14 a week ago in the semi-final of the Class A championships to the Portland Bulldogs and for the second year in a row, he does walk away with a young team that is sure to show promise and improvement next year. And although they took a loss, it was a big improvement compared to the loss suffered earlier in the year when the Eagles fell 42-21 to the same team.

The Eagles ended up 6-4 having scored 213 total points while giving up 163 and rank 21st in the state. Although 163 points sounds like a lot this is not a true testament to the young talent. The good majority of those points were scored earlier in the season and the performance in last two games before the semi-final against Chevrus was a sure indication of what is to come. 

Next season should see the return of 35 players in the current roster of 45 players. The majority of those will be either sophomores or juniors. 

Perkins has been the head coach of the Eagles since 2004 with a won-loss record of 75-53 and it doesn’t appear that his tenure will end any time soon.