Friday, January 25, 2019

Pinewood Derby event encourages sportsmanship

Sibling winner - Isobel Sweet

By Tony Sweet

It was a morning of fun competition as the local scouts participated in their Pinewood Derby, a racing event for unpowered, unmanned miniature cars. Registration and pit row opened at 11 am and saw close to 50 racers check in and get their cars inspected.

Pinewood derby has a strict set of rules that govern how long, wide, tall and how much a car can weigh; if it doesn’t pass, it doesn’t race. Some participants built cars for show while others built some for competition and speed.

Liam Wade took first place for the scouts, Isobel Sweet took first for siblings and Anthony Hinse took first for parents.

The Webelos Den sold concessions to help fund the annual crossover camp in the spring. Participants and observers dined on hotdogs, pizza and baked goods.

Pinewood Derby can be a very competitive sport but all the participants showed great sportsmanship.
This track is for rent!!

Windham Wrestling defeats Westbrook

Andrew Martin
By Matt Pascarella

The Windham/Gray/New Gloucester wrestling team hit the mat against Westbrook on Wednesday, January 16 at Windham.

George Butts
DJ Pelletier started off the meet in the 132-weight class. Pelletier went right for his opponent’s leg, throwing Westbrook off balance and getting them to the mat. Neither was able to pin in the first period. After one period, Pelletier was able to get his opponent on the mat and on his back and Pelletier was working to get Westbrook pinned. This didn’t happen in the second period. In the third period, Pelletier had Westbrook in a headlock for a while to force him to the mat. At the end of the third period, neither side had pinned the other, but Pelletier won the match.

In the 152-weight class, George Butts moved away quickly to prevent being forced to the mat when Westbrook lunged at him. Butts grabbed Westbrook’s leg to throw them off balance and get them to the mat. Butts then got Westbrook in a headlock and pinned him, giving Windham the win.
In the 160-weight class, Andrew Martin had a good grip on his opponent, working to force him to the mat. This did not happen in the first period.

Martin was being pressured in the second period, with Westbrook’s arms locked around his waist. Martin was keeping his legs elevated on the mat, to keep from being forced down. After two periods, Martin put up a good fight, but Westbrook got the win. Allen, in the 285-weight class, kept his hands on his opponent’s neck, working to force him down to the mat. Allen was on the mat at one point, but was able to recover, quickly being able to get on his feet. Allen ended the match by forcing his weight on to Westbrook, falling onto his opponent. Allen was able to get the pin.

Final: 46-28, Windham

“I knew would be a close meet. Garrett gave us a little breathing room there. Getting a couple guys back healthy and into the lineup...makes a huge difference. It was an exciting finish,” remarked coach John Nicholas.

Andrew Wing joins WCSH 6’s Varsity Club

By Matt Pascarella

Andrew Wing is just getting started. He has played sports all four years of his high school career – soccer, basketball and tennis. Recently, he was inducted into WCSH Channel 6’s Varsity Club, started by former News Center Sports Director, the late Bruce Glasier. The club was started to honor high school seniors who not only play sports, but who excel outside the classroom as a good student, in an extra-curricular activity or community activity. Wing is Windham’s second inductee in two years.

“It’s just been great,” Wing describes. “It’s been the best four years of my life. I’ve had a ton of great teammates and great coaches. It’s been awesome.”

He stated he likes to lead quietly, meaning he tries to be the hardest worker in practice and aims for his teammates to follow his example.

Wing was nominated by his former coach Jim Beers, who coached him while he was at Jordan Small Middle School in Raymond. Beers has coached him since Wing was playing fourth grade basketball.
Once Wing got into middle school, he was playing basketball, baseball and soccer. “I nominated Andrew because he is the very example I use when talking to players I coach now,” remarked Beers. from being a skilled athlete, Beers described Wing as a ‘throwback athlete’ meaning he was always listening to coaches. “He always did what I asked of him and more; he was the first to practice and the last to leave.” Wing was respectful and always wanted to improve his game through hard work, as well as set an example. Beers goes on to say, “I’m lucky to have coached him. It was an honor to do so. Andrew is a great athlete and an even better person.”

Wing expressed that one of his favorite moments of his entire career was during the playoff run in 2018 when Windham beat number one seeded Portland. “No one expected us to beat Portland, but we did and it was awesome.”

Next year, Wing plans to attend a local college and play sports. His interest is in sports communication, possibly broadcasting, as a major and career choice.

Wind said that he has his parents to thank for helping him to get where he is today. Just seeing how hard they work has been an inspiration for him.

He’ll miss his teammates once he leaves Windham High. “There’s nothing like the camaraderie you build with your teammates.”

Beers added one last thing: “He is well deserving of the Varsity Club nomination, and we are proud to have one of Raymond's own get into the prestigious club.”
Congrats Andrew!

Lacrosse clinic aims to teach and develop skills

By Matt Pascarella

On Sunday, January 13, the Windham Youth Lacrosse Organization (WYLO) held their first of two lacrosse clinics at the Windham Middle School.

These free clinics are a great opportunity for third through eighth graders who either know the game of lacrosse very well, or those who are just starting out to learn the fundamentals of the game. The participant will learn from several coaches who are very knowledgeable with many years of experience in the sport.

Windham Youth Lacrosse Organization was started eight and a half years ago by a group of parents. Liza Libby, president of WYLO said part of the goal of the organization is to bring a love of sports to Windham with a focus on teaching and developing the players.

The organization’s goal is to prepare up and coming athletes in grades three through eight for strong participation in high school sports. The clinics aim to take that interest in lacrosse and develop it into something great that can help them later.

“The clinics offer kids who have never tried the sport to come and try it. We get a group of college and high school kids to come and help teach the younger kids,” explained Libby.
“We love for kids that are first time players to come and try a new sport – we want to help develop kids in the sport and also to be great teammates and have fun.”

The next clinic will be held on Sunday, January 27 at the Windham Middle School. The girls’ clinic will be held from 1 pm to 2:30 pm and the boys’ clinic will be offered from 2:30 pm to 4 pm. Equipment will be provided. Visit to register or for further information.

Alpine Ski slalom improving rapidly

By Emily Atwood and Matt Pascarella

The alpine ski team competed against Kennebec, Cheverus, Gorham, Marshwood and Falmouth high schools in the slalom at Shawnee Peak in Bridgton on Friday, January 18.

The girls’ team has grown this year with nine racers, which makes for an energetic group, healthy in team competition. 

The girls’ team placed third out of six teams.

As one of the strongest racers, freshman Sarah Hare placed fourth overall and is someone to watch out for in the future. 

Team captain and senior Cordelia Inman had great energy at Friday’s competition and continued to keep the team motivated. In her fourth year, she placed 13th.

Senior, Naomi Debrosse, placed 17th. She has been improving over the past two years.
First time racer and Senior, Miranda Lewis placed 22nd. She has been consistently improving and is a strong addition to the team.

Second year racer Madelynn McGary placed 26th.

Senior Avery Rolf placed 28th. She was a first-time racer last season and is consistently in the top thirty.

Senior and first-time racer, Riley Gardner, placed 33rd and Freshman Lauren DeLuca placed 36th.
There is a smaller boys’ team with three racers, so they are unable to place in races. Junior and consistent racer, Benjamin White placed 27th, freshman and first-time racer, Ezra Smith placed 39th, Junior, Owen Flibbert placed 41st.

 “Overall it was a great race, the new racers are becoming more comfortable with gates, so their times have been improving with each meet,” observed coach Emily Atwood.

Windham wrestler comes in first in tournament

By Matt Pascarella

The Skowhegan wrestling tournament was held on Saturday, January 12 at Skowhegan High School. The tournament featured 27 schools in Maine. Windham senior wrestler, Dominic “DJ” Pelletier, took first place in his bracket at this tournament.

DJ Pelletier (left) gets the win!
Pelletier explained that the tournament was structured with several 16 men brackets. Many of the teams that Windham/Gray/New Gloucester went up against were not teams that they would necessarily see on a regular basis or at all throughout the regular season.

Going into the tournament, Pelletier was ready to wrestle, and he was aware there were some good teams that would prove to be a challenge. Pelletier was in fifth place going into the tournament, based upon whom he had previously beaten in wrestling matches.

Pelletier beat the fourth-place wrestler in his bracket and now it was time to go up against the first-place wrestler. Pelletier described himself as always having a little bit of nerves before a match but said getting this win took a lot of mental preparation. “Usually wrestlers underestimate the power of preparing your confidence levels, but it plays into the match quite a bit.”

Once Pelletier took down the first placed wrestler, his confidence levels were boosted. “It felt really good to know that I had bested the first person in the bracket. It boosted my confidence for the next automatically made me the best of that bracket in my mind and it carried into the next match,” adds Pelletier.

He beat the second-place wrestler in his bracket and came in first for his bracket in the tournament.
Pelletier says there are many people who helped him get to where he is today; his parents, coaches and teammates. He explained that beating the number one wrestler in his bracket as a clear display of better skill and better stamina, but mainly it was about the time spent wrestling that included more dedication, determination and discipline throughout his wrestling career. His parents, coaches and teammates helped to form that discipline and he definitely wouldn’t have been able to win that match without all of those people.

Coach, John Nicholas described Pelletier as someone who’s in every match. “He’s going to wrestle hard for six, seven, eight minutes if he has to. He’s not concerned about what place the other kid is. Mentally, he’s focused and he gives 110% at every match. I’m really happy with his progress throughout the season and I think his best is yet to come.”

Pelletier is looking forward to the rest of the season. He’s hoping to make it to the New England Qualifiers and then on to state.  Next year he wants to wrestle in college, at the University of Southern Maine, and is planning to major in physics.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Middle school boys fight hard against Memorial

Bryce Duarte
By Matt Pascarella

The seventh and eighth grade boys’ basketball teams took on South Portland’s Memorial Middle School, at Windham Middle School on Monday, January 14.

Seventh grade
Windham hit the court with high energy, moving the ball around. While Memorial had jumped out to an early lead, Windham was working hard to bridge the gap. In the first quarter, Windham capitalized on several turnover opportunities, adding to their score. In the second quarter the Eagles really stepped it up, being more aggressive about going after the ball. Windham was fighting for the ball and taking more shots on Memorial’s basket. Windham was focused and getting rebound opportunities and the scoreboard reflected it. In the first quarter, Memorial had at least a ten-point lead, and at the half the score was 27-26, Memorial. The Eagles had made up the difference nicely. second half brought Windham keeping up their intensity. They continued taking shots on Memorial’s basket and they had good defense. They also continued to get turnovers and trailed by eight at the end of the third quarter. Windham took advantage of several chances to rebound in the fourth quarter as they worked to catch up to Memorial. The Eagles put forth a solid effort, but at the buzzer, Memorial wins 52-43.

High scorers: Quinton Lindsay #13 and Thomas Davenport #41.

“We fought really hard and everybody contributed to coming back and making it a competitive game. I’m happy with the effort; you can’t ask for more of the kids to come out and play hard,” commented coach Adam Beal.

Eighth grade
Windham came out with intensity, but Memorial also pulled ahead early on. The Eagles had solid teamwork taking shots on basket and increased their offense in the second quarter. Windham got a few turnovers and showed nice hustle on the court. Right before the halftime buzzer, Bryce Duarte #34 sinks an incredible three pointer from half court. Score: 32-24, Memorial.

Windham stepped up their offense and defense in the second half. They were working hard to catch up to Memorial by being aggressive, getting rebounds and moving the ball around taking shots on basket to add to the scoreboard. Memorial took this one 65-37. Top scorers: Jordan Bridge #24 and Bryce Duarte.

“The kids came out and showed heart. They didn’t quit after being down that much so early,” said coach Adam Manzo.


Girls’ varsity basketball fights against Bangor

Riley Beem
By Matt Pascarella

The girls’ varsity basketball team played Bangor, at Windham, on Tuesday, January 15.
Windham had a strong start, blocking a scoring opportunity for Bangor shortly after tip off and then scoring a few seconds later. The Lady Eagles were aggressive in the first quarter with solid defense; keeping Bangor from scoring in the first several minutes. Windham was getting rebounds and turnover opportunities which kept the score close in the first quarter, Windham taking an early lead, but Bangor not far behind. The teams were neck and neck close to the end of the first half. The Lady Eagle’s defense kept Bangor from pulling ahead.

Half: 18-16, Bangor
Windham started the second half with similar intensity to the first. They were taking advantage of Bangor’s mistakes in order to get turnovers and gain possessions. The Lady Eagles defense continued keeping Bangor from pulling away. Windham’s offense had many shots on basket, but the shots weren’t falling. 

Windham was down by six with roughly three minutes left in the game. Fast forward two and half minutes and there are 33 seconds left and Windham still trails by six. Riley Beem #3 sinks a three pointer and now Windham is down by four with 18 seconds left. The Lady Eagles fought hard and did not let up for two halves, but at the buzzer Bangor edges out ahead 41-37.
Top scorers: Alanna Joyce #4 and Molly Hodgkins #14.

“Our effort was fantastic, start to finish. The kids played hard and they left it all out there today,” remarked coach Brody Artes.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Jordan-Small Middle School girls’ basketball team plays well despite loss

Kylugh Hovey
By Matt Pascarella

The Jordan-Small Middle School (JSMS) girls’ basketball team hit the court against North Yarmouth Academy in their first home game of 2019, on Monday January 7.

Marlie Ennis
JSMS started out aggressive, but North Yarmouth Academy jumped to an early lead. JSMS kept up their efforts, with great teamwork, moving the ball around. They had excellent defense, keeping North Yarmouth Academy from making this game a runaway. The second quarter brought more hustle from the girls and more shots on North Yarmouth Academy’s basket, which meant more points on the scoreboard for JSMS. They were playing smart, with more passing and blocking, as well as JSMS fighting for the ball.

Half: 24-10, North Yarmouth Academy

JSMS threw it into high gear in the second half. They were working together to get rebounds and continued fighting for the ball; with quick hands moving to snatch the ball away from their opponent. Raymond capitalized on any mistakes made by North Yarmouth Academy. This resulted in JSMS getting turnover opportunities, taking the ball to the hoop. Marlie Ennis #14 sank a nice shot at the buzzer to end the third quarter. North Yarmouth Academy was still ahead, JSMS was aggressive in closing that points gap in the fourth quarter. Their defense slowed North Yarmouth Academy down a little and JSMS put more points up on the scoreboard in the fourth than any previous quarter. Although North Yarmouth Academy took this one, 38-26, the JSMS girls played a great game. Top scorers: Marlie Ennis #14 and Kylugh Hovey #32.

“I think they played awesome. We started out slow. The last three quarters we brought our energy up and moved the ball really well. We made some good plays on defense, implementing a full court press and there was a strong finish,” said coach Ryan Roderick.

Hard work evident in wrestling team’s matches

Andrew Martin
By Matt Pascarella

The Windham/Gray New Gloucester wrestling team had a match against Marshwood and Cheverus at home on Wednesday, January 2.

Starting out in the 145-weight class, after Windham suffered a couple losses early, Andrew Martin fought hard to pin his opponent. Martin was keeping his head up and was aggressive in going after Marshwood; lunging at them, working to throw them off balance. Although no one was pinned, after three periods Martin gets the win.

Gabe Gendreau
In the 132-weight class, DJ Pelletier was working hard to control his opponent’s arms and get Marshwood flat on the mat. Pelletier did a solid job of trying to get his opponent down, by lunging to get him off balance. Unfortunately, Marshwood took this match.

Final score: 39-16, Marshwood

Peter Petersen began the match in the 138-weight class. Peterson was keeping his weight low and had his arms around his opponent’s waist to try and flip Cheverus on to the mat. Petersen slams Cheverus to the mat and gets the win.

A JV match featured Kyle Walker working to lift up his opponent and slam them to the mat. Walker was able to flip and pin Cheverus, getting the win. JV match had Gabe Gendreau winning after three periods.

In the 220-weight class, Garrett Allen stayed alive for six periods before Cheverus eventually got the win.

In the 152-weight class, George Butts showed immense effort for three periods with his arms locked over his opponent’s chest. Butts had him in a headlock, keeping himself from being forced to the mat. After three periods, Cheverus wins.

Final score: 48-15, Cheverus

“We knew that it was going to be a battle against Marshwood, they’re smaller this year, but the kids they do have are tough – there’s a lot of state finalists and state champs on their team but I thought we battled them hard. [We’ve seen] Cheverus so many times this year...we had a couple of moves that didn’t work out. The kids are working hard and they are improving. We’re going to learn from it and keep building and get to where we need to be,” observed coach John Nicholas.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Varsity boys’ basketball close 2018 with a win

Eric Weisser
By Matt Pascarella

The varsity boys’ basketball team took on Massabesic on Monday, December 31 at home continuing the trend set by the girls’ varsity team, scoring in the first few seconds on gameplay.

Windham was pressuring and capitalizing on rebound opportunities from Massabesic’s missed shots, which lead to the Eagles throwing some serious points up on the scoreboard. Although Windham had pulled out ahead early on, Massabesic wasn’t far behind.

Half: 27-16, Windham

The Eagles came out with intensity in the second half, with Eric Weisser #20 and Ivan Kaffel #15 sinking a few three pointers early in the half. Windham continued widening the points gap, with a 12-point lead at the end of the third quarter. The points gap went back and forth in the fourth and final quarter, with Massabesic down by 9, with roughly four minutes left. widened the gap and the Eagles were up by 12, then Massabesic showed they were not going down without a fight and they were only trailing by 8, with less than a minute left.  
After some foul shots were made by the Eagles, they were up by 10 with a mere 10 seconds left in the game. Top scorers: Dierhow Bol #10, Weisser and Chris Naylor #25.

Final: 50-40, Windham

“We came up...trying to improve, some guys did some good things tonight; we moved the ball a lot better, we got better shots...we did a good job tonight taking a step forward with our play. It was a good night for our guys to see a win and we just have to continue to improve,” remarked coach Chad Pulkkinen.

Varsity girls’ basketball overtake Massabesic in year end game

By Matt Pascarella

Alanna Joyce
The varsity girls’ basketball team played Massabesic on Monday, December 31 at Windham and it was a game not to be missed.

The girls started strong scoring in the first few seconds of the game. The Lady Eagles jumped out to an early lead, with strong defense. Unfortunately, Hannah Talon #11, left the game in the first quarter after a possible pulled hamstring. Windham kept up the intensity ending the first quarter ahead. The girls were working to keep distance on the scoreboard, but Massabesic was catching up fast and the half ended with the score tied at 15.

In the second half, Windham turned up the offense and defense. The Lady Eagles were aggressive, pulling away from Massabesic, in order to secure the win. Massabesic was not going down without a fight, though.

After the game was tied at 26, Meghan Hoffses #2 sunk a three pointer seconds before the end of the third quarter. It was a back and forth game with the score 33-31, Windham, at four and a half minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Sarah Talon
Then, a minute later, the game was tied at 34. This was followed by another back and forth and was scoreless for a short time until Sarah Talon #12 sunk a foul shot giving Windham a one-point lead.

Tara Flanders sunk two baskets after getting fouled by Massabesic. She then got two more foul shots and Windham was up by four. With 19 seconds left, you could here hearts racing as the clock wound down. At the buzzer, the Lady Eagles took the game, 38-34.

“It was tough for the kids to see [Hannah] go through that, but they did a good job of rallying and trying to keep their composure and push through and I thought they did a good job...some kids out there who typically haven’t been out there in those situations really stepped up and did a good job overall,” commented coach Brody Artes.