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.