Monday, April 29, 2019

Quote of the week

New varsity baseball coach brings knowledge of the game to Windham

By Matt Pascarella

Cody Dube will be taking the place of coach Brody Artes as the boys’ varsity baseball coach. Dube, a Windham High graduate and former player was coached by Coach Artes during summer baseball. Dube also played in the minor league (Single A) and got to pitch against greats like Pablo Sandoval.

“I think it’s awesome being able to coach at the high school you played” stated Dube. He has kept in
Cody Dube
touch with athletic director Rich Drummond and knows many of the teachers at the high school. Dube says the relationships make it easier and there are a lot of great people in the Windham system.

“I’m excited for the season and I think we have a really good staff,” Dube said. Kevin Wilson, who helped with a lot of Dube’s strength training when Dube was playing baseball will help with the strength and conditioning, with catchers and hitters, and in game decisions.

Jack Herzig who also graduated from Windham, will help with catchers and hitters as well as giving input on game decisions. 

“We have a young coaching staff but I’m really excited about the guys that we have, I think the team is excited about it too,” says Dube.

Dube wants his players to develop a good work ethic and a lot of discipline both during and after the season. He also wants his players to have a lot of fun. He adds that there are those times when you are going to have to work hard and do some things that may not be your favorite, but he thinks there are ways you can incorporate fun into the game and make it less repetitive; such as a different goal or focus each day.

Dube and the assistant coaches try to mix up their conditioning program, changing from movement work to injury prevention to core work to running routes while catching baseballs. This can help take the repetitiveness away. 

Dube reiterates that fun brings out the best in his team and stated that the team is looking good and sees no lack of effort in his players.

 “I really have no idea what this is going to be like, I’ve always been on the other side of the game, this is a great opportunity.”

A graduate from Keene State College in New Hampshire with a degree in Safety and Occupational Health, Dube works at Langford and Low Construction in Portland. He loves winter sports, like snowmobiling and skiing and has started playing softball in the summer.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Girls' lacrosse is unstoppable with back-to-back wins

Emma Yale

By Matt Pascarella

The JV and varsity girls’ lacrosse teams travelled to Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, to take on Portland, for their first games of the season on Monday, April 22.

The Lady Eagles had tough defense right from the start blocking Portland’s shots on goal. Windham was pressuring with high intensity; working to be first to the ball and succeeding. Natalie Lynch, #34 ,scored shortly into the first half. As the rain started to come down harder and harder, Windham’s offense was just getting started. The Lady Eagles had great teamwork, moving the ball around nicely with strong communication.

Half: 5-1 Windham

Early in the second half, Amelia Mortero, #39, gets one by the goalie. Then Isabelle Babb, #30, puts the ball in the net twice. Sidney McCusker, #20, scores next. After that, to say Windham was aggressive is an understatement. One Lady Eagle after another was putting the ball between the posts. Windham was literally unstoppable as they were first to the ball and Portland only scored once more during the game. Windham didn’t let the slick conditions slow them down.

Final: 15-2, Windham
“Everybody spreading the ball around...communicating with each other and being unselfish [contributed to this win],” observed coach Rusty Babb.

Windham was aggressive from the start; pressuring with solid offense and defense. They weren’t slowing down, being first to the ball. Emma Baker, #12, scored. Then Emma Yale, #24, scored three times in the first half, followed by Riley Beem, #1, who scored back-to-back.

Half: 6-2, Windham

Within the first five minutes of the second half, Carissa O’Connell, #23, puts one in. Yale then scores three more times, giving Windham a commanding lead. The Lady Eagles didn’t let up their intensity as a steady rain started up again. Belle Skvorak ,#10, gets one by the goalie. Portland was slowly gaining and had scored several times towards the end of the game. Windham was able to keep Portland at Bay and took this game 11-6.

“Our patience was key,” began Coach Matt Perkins. “We’ll just keep getting better. Our work ethic is great, and these kids are wicked coachable and really got each other’s back.”

Friday, April 19, 2019

Sophomore lacrosse athletes to compete in national tournament

Emma Yale
By Matt Pascarella

Sophomores Emma Yale and Riley Beem have been teammates since third grade. They have not only played travel soccer together but have also played lacrosse through the Windham Youth Lacrosse Organization since they were eight. Yale and Beem were recently selected to participate in the U.S. Lacrosse Women’s National Tournament in Baltimore, Maryland on May 25 and 26.

When Yale and Beem were in eighth grade, they realized they really wanted to focus on lacrosse and they did; playing year-round with club teams, and premier lacrosse teams like Maineiaxs, a Portland based club for grades 2 through 12. Maineiaxs aims to improve skills and help grow an individual’s game. Matt Perkins, realizing their potential, recommended Yale and Beem tryout for the tournament. “Emma and Riley are returning starters who continued to work on not only their game but also their strength and athletic abilities,” explained Perkins. “Along with great work ethics and never being satisfied with where they are, they are extremely coachable. The other thing that’s impressive about both of them is that they put the team first.”

During the tryouts, held at Falmouth High school, there were over forty girls from all over the state vying to make it to this tournament. The girls were broken into teams and did drills and scrimmages to test their abilities. Only eighteen girls and a couple goalies were chosen out of the group.
“It’s really exciting and cool to be selected,” both athletes agreed.

While they’ve also played in tournaments before, this tournament is a higher competition level and they’re playing against very skilled players.

Yale and Beem have been working very hard to prepare for this tournament. They’ve both been working on controlling the lacrosse stick and getting better at shooting the ball, getting more comfortable overall in training for not only the tournament but for regular season games too.

“I think it’ll be a really exciting experience. We know most of our teammates, because they play club with us.” remarked Beem. “There’s a lot of good chemistry and it’s going to be fun.”

Reilly Beem
“I think it’s really cool that now we get to work towards competing and see how much better we can get...and look broader and really stand out,” noted Yale.

They both have the goal to play lacrosse in college and are obviously working very hard to do so. There is no lack of talent or effort for either of these athletes.

Good luck in Maryland!

Varsity softball has strong start before regular season

Whitney Wilson
By Matt Pascarella

The girls’ varsity softball team played a preseason game against Lake Region High School on Tuesday, April 16 at the Gorham Sports Center.

The Lady Eagles were off to a strong start, with Whitney Wilson, #7, pitching in the top of the first inning. Three Lake Region batters came up to plate and three Lake Region batters were turned away, with a ground out, a strike out and a line out.

Windham got things going in the bottom of the first with Wilson getting a single early on. After a couple walks, Windham loads the bases and a base hit by Ellie Wilson, #2, brings in Wilson. Windham leads 1-0.

townmanager@fryeislandtown.orgThe top of the second had Windham bring three Lake Region players up and send three Lake Region players away.

The Lady Eagles kept it going in the second after Amanda Foss, #5, and Shyler Fielding, #4, walk while Wilson brings Fielding to third base. Chloe Wilcox, #22, creams a double to center field bringing in Fielding and Wilson. 3-0, Eagles.

In the top of the third inning, Lakes Region scores; 3-1, Windham.

Fast forward to the bottom of the fourth where Windham lit up the scoreboard. It was 6-1 after Callie Fielding #14 walks and a single by Wilson. C. Fielding is thrown out at third base. Shortly after, Wilson advances to third base and makes it home off a hit from Ellen Files, #8, who is thrown out at first; 7-1, Windham. Ellie Miller #3 walks and a base hit from Kayla Gorman, #15, drives Miller in; 8-1. Three more walks and Gorman scores; 9-1. Two more walks and Whitney Wilson and Wilcox score; 11-1.

Chloe Wilcox
Windham prevented Lake Region from scoring the rest of the game and took the game 11-1 after six innings.

“I think pitching is pretty consistent right now as early as we are in the season. They threw really well; bats are coming alive. We still have some work to do with base running, but they’re aggressive, so I think that helps,” commented coach Fred Wilcox. 

Two WHS seniors honored at SMAA Citizenship Awards Banquet

By Matt Pascarella

The 8th annual Southern Maine Activities Association (SMAA) Citizenship Banquet was held on Tuesday, April 9 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.  The purpose of the banquet is to recognize two seniors who represent the qualities of citizenship, leadership and academic effort. 

Seniors, Bryce Afthim and Tara Flanders, were chosen from Windham High School. Other schools and their recipients from the league were present to receive this honor as well.
Athletic director Rich Drummond, Bryce Afthim, Tara Flanders, Principal Ryan Caron
submitted photo
“They both are well respected and looked up to by many,” responded Windham High School Athletic Director Rich Drummond. “They both have done what coaches have asked and represented the school with the utmost class and dignity. They demonstrated they were deserving of this award through positive participation on and off the playing surfaces.”

Friday, April 12, 2019

Girls’ lacrosse off to a good start in the pre-season

Riley Beem

By Matt Pascarella

The girls’ lacrosse team played a preseason game against Thornton Academy on Wednesday, April 3rd at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish.

The very windy conditions did not slow the Lady Eagles down. Windham was aggressive right from the start, pressuring Thornton Academy. Emma Yale #24 scored shortly into the game. From that point on, Windham could not be stopped as their strong offense and defense only let Thornton score one goal. The Lady Eagles just kept going. Riley Beem, #1 got one by the goalie. Then Emma Baker, #12 scored. Windham worked hard, beating Thornton Academy to the ball and the score reflected it. 

Belle Skvorak ,#10 put two in the net. Baker got another one by the goalie. Windham did not let up. Morgan Colangelo, #25 put one in, Skvorak scored two more times and then Yale got one between the posts.

Final 10-1, Windham

“We had a really big improvement [from a previous game] and we really worked on the things that
we felt we weren’t good at,” observed coach Matt Perkins. “I’m really pleased about how we worked those practice and we already see the change today. They’re focused...and their coachability is what we’re looking for.”

Velocity Premier Soccer Club displays on field talent

Chloe Lariviere #7 rushes toward the ball
By Matt Pascarella

The Velocity U15 girls’ Premier soccer club played Dutch Soccer Academy (DSA) United, based out of Warren, Maine on Sunday, April 7 at Waterhouse Field in Biddeford.

Velocity Premier Soccer Club has the motto of “it’s not just all about soccer,” so we encourage the kids to play multiple sports, we encourage kids to be the best players, but more importantly the best girls they can become,” explained coach Matthew Bell. “This team is truly a family and I think that separates them from most premier clubs.”

The team is made up of Windham and Bonney Eagle players with a few players from Saco and
Biddeford. They came out aggressive and focused. They were pressuring DSA United right from the start. Velocity U15 girls had excellent teamwork and was working hard to be first to the ball and succeeding. U15 had strong defense and offense. The girls were giving it everything they had. Although DSA United scored in the first half, Velocity U15 answered with Chloe Lariviere #7 rocketing the ball past DSA’s goalie to tie the game at 1 at the half.

Velocity U15 showed no signs of slowing down in the second half. They were pressuring and kept up the defense, blocking several scoring opportunities from DSA United. Even when DSA United put one through the posts, to jump to a 2-1 lead, Velocity U15 didn’t waiver. They didn’t get discouraged
and continued working hard for the goal. They didn’t stop pressuring and going hard after the ball. 

Velocity U15 had several substantial attempts to put the ball in. Unfortunately, DSA United scored toward the end of the half to keep the lead and win the game.

Final: 3-1, DSA United

“Our positional play offensively went well; our wings stayed wide; we used the space out in the wings. I also thought we played with a lot of heart,” remarked coach Bell.

Bell goes on to say that this group of girls have been playing together for two years and have come together very well. “They are a family, they all care about each other, they talk to each other all the time, and that’s pretty cool.”

Bell enjoys coaching the team and says he thinks he has more fun than they do. “This group of girls and the girls that Windham Youth Soccer puts together are just great kids with great parents. I’ve been blessed in that I’ve always had talented teams, it makes it easy to coach. I also lucked out and have coach Jason Dakin with me for both youth soccer and here. He brings a ton of knowledge and a ton of fun to the game; he always has something to contribute and it’s always positive.”