Friday, May 31, 2019

Baseball fundraiser to benefit Windham Little League and Windham baseball

By Matt Pascarella

Modern Woodmen of America in Windham will be sponsoring an alumni game and Little League home run derby to help raise money for the Windham High School varsity baseball team and Windham Little League. The goal of this event is to raise funds and support the baseball teams. The games will take place on Sunday, June 9 at Windham High School’s varsity field.

The morning will start with the alumni game at 9 a.m. followed by the Little League home run derby at noon. Modern Woodman will match up to $500 on all money raised that day.

For the alumni game, any current or former varsity players are welcome to join; it’s only $20 to be on the team. All proceed from the game go to Windham varsity baseball.

Organizers from Modern Woodmen; Ethan Petty, Zach Conley and varsity baseball coach Cody Dube all played baseball at Windham and are very passionate about giving back to a program that has given so much to them!

If you would like to donate, you can do so on the day of the event or send a check made out to Windham baseball, directed to athletic director, Rich Drummond and sent to Windham High School, 406 Gray Road, Windham 04062.

If you’re interested or have questions, contact Zach Conley at 207-838-0464.
Hope to see you on the field Sunday, June 9!

Girls’ and boys’ lacrosse teams get big wins in big rain

Carissa O'Connell
By Matt Pascarella

As the rain poured down, barely letting up for either game, the varsity girls’ lacrosse team took on South Portland and the varsity boys’ lacrosse team hit the field against Gorham on Tuesday, May 28; both games at Saint Joseph’s College in Standish.

It was senior night and they were called out to the field where they accepted a special gift from Coach Perkins which they later presented to their parents. The gift was in recognition and dedication for both players and parents over the athlete’s high school sports career.

The Lady Eagles wasted no time in pressuring and being first to the ball. Belle Skvorak, #10, scored almost immediately in the first half. After Skvorak’s goal, the flood gates opened; there was hardly any stopping Windham from jumping to a huge lead early on. The Lady Eagles had exceptional offense and defense. Carissa O’Connell, #23, scored. They were aggressive and kept adding to the scoreboard; one after another after another. Windham prevented South Portland from scoring many goals in the first half.

Half: 10-4, Windham Lady Eagles didn’t slow down or let up. Despite the downpour happening all around them, Windham made it look like it barely phased them. Their intensity never wavered. Skvorak and Riley Beem, #1, scored early on in the second half. Windham truly was unstoppable; letting only three goals in and scoring goal after goal after goal against South Portland. They pressured the entire game and at the buzzer, Windham had their eleventh consecutive win.

Final: 16-7.

Top scorers: Beem, Skvorak and Emma Yale, #24.
“I’m really proud of them,” remarked coach Matt Perkins. “[We’ve got] a lot of talent and a lot of team attitude; they play hard for each other. Playing in this mess, they’re tough and they kept going...showed some true grit.”

The boys didn’t waste any time either with Tyler Woolston, #7, and Tommy Lekouski, #2, scoring back to back in the first quarter. Windham was aggressive with solid offense and defense. The Eagles pressured and got things going early on and kept them going throughout the first half. Woolston scored multiple times, along with Travis Brown, #19, who had several goals throughout the game. While Windham was scoring goal after goal, Gorham wasn’t far behind.

Half: 13-6, Windham

Travis Brown
Gorham was making a comeback slowly climbing closer to catch up with the Eagles. Windham kept a semi comfortable lead until 4:30 was left on the clock – Gorham had tied the game at 15. Brown scored one more goal and the Eagles lead by one with 1:26 remaining. During a crucial play in which Gorham had possession, the lights on the field went out. Boom. Dark. After some time, the clock was reset with 3.2 seconds remaining, Gorham possession. Once the lights finally came back on and the game continued, the Eagles held off Gorham to win 16-15.

Top scorers: Woolston, Brown, Lekouski

“Our guys stay composed. Gorham was doing well. Our guys stay focused and we kind of play with this mantra all season, ‘we’re down by three;’ you got to play smart, you got to play fast, but play calculated and I think our kids did that tonight, especially in the end,” observed coach Pete Small.

Softball Hit-a-Thon helps local teams

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham varsity, junior varsity and middle school softball teams held their annual Hit-A-Thon on Tuesday, May 21st at Windham High. Players raised money to purchase new equipment, team gear, uniforms, team gatherings, etc.

The Hit-A-Thon started a couple years back with former varsity softball coach Travis Demmons. Basically, each player finds pledges or a straight donation. The players then get ten hits while there is a defense on the field. They either get an amount per hit or a straight donation from someone. The goal this year was $6,000 and the teams raised close to $4,900!

Local businesses have also been supporting the teams. “Dairy Queen and The Ice Cream Dugout are great local businesses that sponsor teams and host fundraisers for multiple teams in our community,” explained varsity softball coach Fred Wilcox. “We had a fundraiser at Dairy Queen recently that helped our program tremendously! I can’t thank these two businesses enough for their continued generosity year after year. We couldn’t be as successful as we are without them.”

“It’s important to hold fundraisers because it gives us the opportunity to support local organizations while giving back to the people who have supported us over the past sixteen years we’ve been in business,” remarked Stephanie Roy, owner of the Ice Cream Dugout. “It gives us
a chance to connect with the community and provide a fun (and delicious)
way to raise money for their cause.”
“It gives us great exposure in our community and surrounding areas. We have amazing customer loyalty already, but more often than not, fundraisers draw in new business as well,” Roy adds.
“It was a huge success!” exclaimed Wilcox. “It’s our biggest fundraiser of the year and the ladies knocked it out of the park....literally!”

Congratulations to Raymond Little League for winning the “Take Me Out to the Dugout” fundraising contest

Emily Kaffel from Raymond enjoys
one for the team 
It’s been a friendly competition for the past 10 years as a fundraising event for local softball and baseball teams. “Take Me Out to the Dugout” sponsored by The Ice Cream Dugout raised over $1,600 this year, making a total donation to participating teams of $11,852 over the course of a decade.

This year, the participating teams were: Windham Christian Academy, Windham High School Softball, Raymond Little League, Windham Little League and Standish Little League. The winning team who made the most money was Raymond!

“The idea for ‘Take Me Out to The Dugout’ came from the previous owner, Troy Locke,” stated current Owner, Stephanie Roy. “His vision was to bring the little league teams from the
surrounding areas (Windham, Raymond, Standish, Gray) to The Dugout for a fun and friendly competition. Obviously, it is fitting since we are a baseball themed ice cream shop.”

Roy stated they continued the competition because they realized how much the community looks forward to it every year. “When we took ownership in 2013, we wanted to continue the tradition.”
This year the Dugout will be donating $1,641 amongst the five participating organizations, with $1,035 going to Raymond Little League. 

“This fundraiser is really fun for us to host,” Roy said. “We are thankful to have the support of our community and really enjoy the opportunity to give back. We hope that in the coming years we can get more teams in the surrounding areas to join us.”

Katy Dresnok loves passing her passion for tennis on to her players

Katy Dresnok
By Matt Pascarella

Like many coaches, Katy Dresnok’s love of the game is what drives her to coach tennis. Dresnok, who is the Windham High School girls’ varsity coach, has been playing since she was five years old and enjoys playing competitively.

After she went to graduate school at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, her coaching career began. She coached both boys’ and girls’ varsity and junior varsity tennis in Tennessee. “It was a lot of fun to interact with my students out of class, that gave me a taste of coaching,” Dresnok explained.

When Dresnok, who is originally from Connecticut, first moved to Maine, she taught grades four and five in the Greely School District. She missed teaching at the high school level and took her current job at Windham, teaching French since the early 2000’s.

She was drawn to tennis because of her love and familiarity with it. “I personally play a lot in my spare time with various tennis teams,” Dresnok stated. “Since I enjoy playing competitively, I feel like I can offer the passion and the experience to my players. I really like the team building experience and watching the growth and passion that they get from the sport that I have myself.”

Dresnok stated that she enjoys watching her players improve and seeing the excitement for the season; she finds that very rewarding.

Dresnok has a younger team with 15 of her current 17 players returning next year. This is great for her, because she can see the individual and team growth. She wants her players to have fun, improve over the season and develop a love of the game so that they want to get back on the court.’s favorite thing about being a coach is spreading the love and passion for tennis as well as watching her player’s successes.

One reason Dresnok loves coaching tennis is it’s a disconnect from the digital world. There are no digital distractions or competition with social media on the court. The players can be present.

A Cumberland resident, Dresnok has been teaching twenty years. She has three children; one plays for the Greely High boys’ tennis team and two daughters who are a huge part of her life. She went to American University is Washington, DC and graduated with a degree in French and International Relations. She and her family love to ski and hike. Dresnok also likes to travel and spend time with friends and family.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Learning is just as important as winning for Kregg Jarvais

Kregg Jarvais
By Matt Pascarella

Kregg Jarvais knows baseball. He’s taken his knowledge of baseball and transferred it to softball, where he sees duality. He wants his girls to know the fundamentals of the game. It’s the little things, or cheats as he refers to them, that can really strengthen a player. 
He is currently the head coach for the Bill Diamond Softball Team. He also coaches in the Maine Thunder Organization, a U12 travel softball team.

Jarvais grew up in Skowhegan and played baseball in high school and at the University of Maine in Orono, for the Black Bears. He then went to the Boston Red Sox organization and played three years in the minor leagues (Single A), where he got the opportunity to play up and down the East Coast.
He got interested in coaching when his kids started getting interested in and playing sports. That energized him. From that point on, he was watching his kids and volunteering a lot of time and energy.

“The way I viewed it was, I was going to be there anyway supporting my kids, and it would be a shame if I didn’t provide the catalog of stuff I had in my head to help the progression of children in sports.”

Once he started, it flicked on something inside of him and he realized how much he loved it, more than he thought he would. He assisted under Maria Russell with the Bill Diamond softball team one year. His oldest daughter, Stella, played Majors and he helped her. At that point he really got into coaching and that energy only got stronger. Last year was his first year as a full-time head coach for the Bill Diamond Softball Team.

https://www.sebagocenter.orgA major lesson he wants his girls to know is to not be afraid to fail and don’t be afraid to try something new. “The way to learn is through failure,” added Jarvais. “Especially at this young level. How you handle that failure depends on how you’ll be as a player and that translates in life, too.” He wants to give the girls the skills they need to handle that failure.

“I like to win, but I also like to lose as long as it’s losing the right way and we learn from it. If I don’t fail, I’m not learning,” he stated. “I think the byproduct of doing things the right way is winning.”
“What matters to me is that every kid that shows up, really wants to be there and wants to learn. I expect certain things, but the result of that work and that disciplined approach is fun.”

A Windham resident, Jarvais comes from a sports family. He grew up with three older brothers and an older sister. He has two daughters, Stella and Molly.

He wants to thank the parents who sacrifice the most, it’s real love of community and involvement within the community.

First little league softball v. baseball game about fun and appreciation

By Matt Pascarella

It was the perfect night at the ballpark, minus a black fly or two. The games about to be played were
Ice Cream Dug Out baseball team and Bill Diamond softball team
no ordinary games. It was the first ever Windham Little League baseball versus softball games. Two teams played three innings each and the games were purely for fun. This was an idea that several different people on the Windham Little League Board had come up with; a way for the teams to work together.

“From the softball side we get a chance to come over to Lowell Field for Opening Day and that’s pretty much it; everyone kind of goes on their way. It’s a nice way for our league to come together,” explained Nick Ciazzo, vice president of softball for Windham Little League. “This give the girls an appreciation of how the boys play and, on the flipside, giving those boys an understanding of the whole pitching delivery for the girls and respecting the game that they play as well.”

The saying that you throw like a girl is sometimes used as an insult. Well, some girls throw really, really, really well and this game proved that shouldn’t be an insult anymore.

“In the past there’s always been this stigma about you’re either a softball family or a baseball family, we are Windham Little League and we’re all one little league and one community,” remarked Mike Butterfield, Vice President of the Minors baseball division.

 MPM Sealcoating baseball team & Windham Rental softball team
“We’ve had so many rain outs and this cuts in to our regular season stuff, but there’s a bigger picture here that we’re trying to do. Kudos to Bill Ciccerone for getting this field ready for us to play,” replied Ciazzo.

One of the highlights of the night was Wyatt Washburn coming up to bat for baseball team Ice Cream Dugout and his sister, Willow Washburn from Bill Diamond Softball Team was called into pitch. The crowd was howling as the brother/sister faced off.
“With the turn out and reception we got there’s no reason why we wouldn’t do it again,” observed Butterfield.
In the end, softball team Windham Rental beat baseball team MPM Sealcoating, 9-3. And Bill Diamond Softball team beat Ice Cream Dugout 6-0.

“It’s great for the comradery,” stated Ice Cream Dugout coach Ryan Brown.

“Getting both sides together is fantastic; good win for Windham Little League today,” said Bill Diamond Softball Team coach Kregg Jarvais.

Jordan-Small Middle School baseball puts forth a solid effort

By Matt Pascarella

The Jordan-Small Middle School baseball team played Tripp Middle School in Durham on Tuesday, May 21.

Sam Plummer
Sam Plummer, #11, got things going in the top of the first for Jordan Small with a base hit. A couple walks loaded the bases, but it ended there.
Tripp jumeds to an early 5-0 lead.

Jump to the bottom of the second, where quick feet by catcher Gracien Golebrewski, #10, nabbed a runner as they were headed toward home plate.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, third basemen DJ Vella, #6, made a nice out at third base to prevent Tripp from getting a runner closer to home plate. Jordan Small put in a good effort every inning and that effort was reflected in throws to first which beat the runner, caught pop flies and prevented any Tripp runners from stealing a base.

Fast forward to the top of the fifth, after Jordan Small loaded the bases, Bob Wing, #15, got a base hit and brought in, #1, Lucas Oldershaw, 11-1, Tripp.

Gracien Golebrewski
Jordan Small began to pick up steam in the top of the sixth inning. After Jacob Goslant, #9, walked, Noah Mains, #16, got a base hit. Chase Wescott, #3, walked and Jordan Small had loaded the bases. Another walk brought in Goslant, 11-2. Chase stole home early on in the inning. Several more batters walked, and Jordan Small’s score began to climb, 11-6.

The umpire called the game after six and a half innings.

Final: 11-6, Tripp.

“Combined practices and games this year makes our fourth time on a baseball field - every time we come out to the field feels like a brand-new experience,” observed Coach, Jim Beers. “We can’t get into any rhythm or anything consistent. We just need more repetition, more games and they can play to their potential.”

Injured basketball player, Hannah Talon is stronger than before

Hannah Talon with Physical Therapist,
Ryan Brown
By Matt Pascarella

Junior Hannah Talon is not a typical 16-year-old. Talon was the varsity girls’ basketball team’s  lead scorer and top defender in the fall of 2018 and recently experienced a setback. During a game against Massabesic on New Year’s Eve 2018, she was going in for a layup, went up toward the basket and felt a pop in her knee. The next thing she knew she was on the ground. What initially might have been a couple pulled hamstrings, turned out to be a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL).

Over the last five months, Talon, along with physical therapist Ryan Brown of OrthoAssociates Center for Orthopedics and sports psychologist Dr. Jan Veinot, have been working very hard to come back even stronger than before.

I was very panicked, and I remember Coach Brody Artes and athletic trainer Casey Sinclair trying to tell me to relax,” she stated, recalling the moments after the injury.

Brown saw Talon one day after her operation. “At first it’s getting the quadricep muscles going. The hamstrings are important because it’s the secondary stabilizer to the ACL. Strong hamstrings help that tibia bone from going forward, so that’s going to help stabilize,” explained Brown.

It was only a couple days before she had a basketball back in her hand; when she’d do single leg wall sits, she’d take the basketball and go in between her legs doing 150-200 dribbles. If she was doing a squat, she and Ryan would pass the ball between each other. She kept up with her ball handling and her passing at physical therapy. Talon has been doing single leg squats, hamstring curls on the medicine ball and a lot of therapy band work. She also did a lot to strengthen her upper body; like pushups, sit ups and planks.
“I’ve gotten stronger; upper body strength and with my legs. Part of physical therapy is getting my knee stronger, but also having my legs equally as strong.”

Brown remembered she was barely able to do a push up and now she does cycles of them. Her legs are stronger and mentally she’s stronger.

Another aspect of her recovery, just as important as physical therapy is working with a sports psychologist, Dr. Jan Veinot, who has been instrumental in her recovery. “I was really upset about it,” Talon added, in response to the injury. “Watching and not being able to play was hard. I was not able to play but had to still keep watching basketball.” Dr. Veinot helped her through the grieving process, set new goals and prepared her for returning to play.

Talon was surprised at how many former and current athletes who have been in this situation reached out for support. Coaches from all over the state also offered their support, too.

“[It’s] because of the person she is on and off the court; coaches and players recognize that and respect her for it.” said mom Allison Talon.

“I am not surprised at how hard she has been working,” observed Allison. It is who she is. She has taken an experience no athlete wants to endure and turned it into a positive life experience. She has proven herself as a leader and example of what every student-athlete should emulate. I am inspired by her determination to recover...and leap way outside of her comfort zone.”

It’s nine months from the surgery date until she can be back on the court.

“That’s the hardest thing for Hannah is to get the basketball in her hands as soon as possible,” said Brown. “She was down – she’s a top recruit and I’ve seen, even mentally for her, now that she’s dribbling; she’s a happy kid again, which is good. She puts a goal in her head and works towards it.”
“It feels good, because I’m doing stuff that I wasn’t able to do before my injury. I think I’m a lot stronger now and it’s going to help me a lot in the future. I’m going to be better for it.”

“It’s been rewarding in ways, I’ve learned a lot about myself, outside of basketball. In ways I’ve enjoyed this experience, but I wouldn’t want to do it again,” Hannah stated with a smile.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Windham’s softball slugger, Junior Chloe Wilcox breaks record

Chloe Wilcox (image by Melissa Foss)
By Matt Pascarella

Softball has always been a part of Chloe Wilcox’s life. She started playing when she was four and hasn’t stopped since. Wilcox recently broke Windham High’s record for most home runs hit during a high school softball career. The original record, 13 home runs, was set by Liv Mora (class of 2017). 

Wilcox has hit 16 home runs during her career; nine of which have been this season.

“She’s a hard worker,” stated her dad and coach, Fred Wilcox. “As a catcher, she understands pitchers. She’s educated on what pitches may be coming and she’s a numbers kid. As a lefty, pitchers will work the outside corner of the plate, She’s got really quick hands to work the inside and she’s a smart, smart player; very strong with great hand eye coordination.”

Chloe was surprised when she found out she had broken the career record.“It felt really good” she explained. "It wasn’t something I was expecting or aiming for but getting the phone call that I just broke the record was a surreal moment. I’ve been looking up to these girls [her teammates] my entire life, I never thought I’d be one of the girls.”

Wilcox got to this point through a lot of hard work, training in the winter and the fall and she adds she is in so much debt to the game and that it’s given her so many opportunities on and off the field. She’s made friends up and down the East Coast because of softball. For Wilcox, getting to meet people and coaches and get their perspective on the game is really eye opening.

Chloe stressed she could not be where she is without the support of her coaches and teammates.
Her varsity coach last year, Travis Demmons was Chloe’s little league coach. Demmons knew Chloe as a player and a person. When she would get down on herself, he’d say, ‘hey, you know who you are, you know what you can do’ and that really helped her.

Chloe describes her teammates as beyond amazing and says they truly are like a bunch of sisters. At the end of the day, they all love each other and are there for each other.

“My dad and I - we talk softball all the time,” she said. “We talk strategy and we talk how I need to go up to the plate against certain pitchers, which is great because I get in that mindset and when we get to that game, I know what to do.”

“Her work ethic is amazing; not just in sports, but academically,” stated Fred. “That’s where it starts with her. She’s highly motivated and as a parent, it’s awesome to watch happen, as a coach it’s impressive.”
“I love playing for people,” added Chloe. “I play for myself obviously, because I love the game, but I like the feeling I get when my teammate just relied on me and I know I can rely on them. There is the sisterhood and the friendship I get from this game and it is really amazing; I love it.”

Varsity baseball keeps pressure on against Deering

Ryan Sargent
By Matt Pascarella

The boys’ varsity baseball team played Deering Monday, May 13 at Windham.
The Eagles started strong right away. Bryce Afthim, #22, was on the mound and in the top of the first brought three batters to the plate and sent three batters away, with back-to-back strikeouts and a pop fly to second base.

Windham really stepped it up in the bottom of the first. After Bryce and Brady Afthim, #2, both walk, Ryan Sargent, #20, walked making the bases loaded. Bryce stole home on a wild pitch, 1 to 0. Brady stole third and Sargent stole second. Caleb McCartney, #26, walked and bases were loaded again. After a balk, a pitcher pretending to pitch when he had no intention of so, Brady took home. Sargent advanced to third and McCartney took second. Garrett Peeples, #21, grounded out to second and Sargent scored. McCartney took third. A line drive by Tyler Thornton, #12, brought in McCartney, 4 to 0 - Windham.

Bryce brought three batters up in the second and sent three away. Windham had a lot of chatter and cheering as they worked to add runs to the scoreboard and prevented Deering from doing the same.
Jump to the bottom of the fourth, where after William Brooks, #10, got a base hit and quickly stole second. Bryce popped out to right field and Brooks tagged up to advance to third. After a wild pitch, Brooks took home, making the score 5 to 0 -Windham.

Multiple innings featured three Deering batters coming to the plate and going right back to the dugout.

In the top of the seventh, Deering’s last chance to turn the game around, they were able to get one run before the Eagles ended the game.

Final 5 to 1, Windham

“They just kept the pressure on,” remarked coach Cody Dube. “Bryce had a quick tempo, which was nice, throwing a lot of strikes; just attacking. Nobody let up today. [Windham] kept the pressure on and [Deering] couldn’t do much with it.”

Westbrook no match for Windham tennis

By Matt Pascarella

The boys’ tennis team took on Westbrook on Monday, May 13 at Windham.

The match was broken into singles and doubles. Each individual match is best of three games and the
Gabriel McPhail
entire competition is best of five of all the matches played.

The boys were aggressive right out of the gate. They were playing with determination and were focused. They were playing smart, being watchful of the ball with quick footwork.

The singles matches featured Stephen Sepulveda, Vireak Tray and Ben Smith who took win after win after win against their opponents, with Sepulveda winning 6-0 and 6-0, Tray winning 6-3 and 6-0 and Smith winning 6-1 and 6-1.

For the doubles matches, the team of Andrew Wing and Gabriel McPhail crushed Westbrook 6-0 and 6-0. They remain undefeated with seven consecutive wins.

Hayden Bilodeau and Devon Harnden partnered up and also reigned victorious, with scores of 7-5, Windham; 5-7 Westbrook and 7-5 Windham.

Final: 5 to 0, Windham

“I think we are coming together as a team. It's been hard to get going with all the bad weather this spring,” remarked coach Garry Stone. “The guys are hitting their stride and playing their best tennis of the season. We're 5[wins] 2[losses] right now and hoping to keep it going for our last five matches and into the playoffs.”

Friday, May 10, 2019

Opening day for Windham Little League gives preview of exciting season

Joe Donnelly

By Matt Pascarella

Opening Day for Windham Little League was held at Ciccerone Field at Lowell Field in Windham on Saturday, May 4. Majors teams Ice Cream Dugout and CR Tandberg played first.

CR Tandberg was off to a great start with Philip Traina, #9, getting a double. After Ben Shaw, #4, was hit by the pitch, Josh Tum, #12, got a base hit and Traina scores. A triple by Lukas Hammond, #8, brought in Tum and Shaw. Hammond stole home and the inning ends 4-0.

The bottom of the first for Ice Cream Dugout had Caleb Hayman, #,2 getting a single. Preston Brown, #3, made it all the way around the bases after a passed ball. Brown brought in Hayman.

Camden Gardiner, #9, hit a double. After a pop fly, Gardiner tagged up and scored, 4-3, CR Tandberg.

Jump to the third inning, and Shaw of CR Tandberg and Tum got base hits. Joe Donnelly, #5, got a single too. Shaw stole home. Hammond singles and Tum scored. Ice cream Dugout got it going when Seamus McDougall, #10, hit a ground ball to the third baseman and reached first. Hayman and Gardiner both single. McDougall scored; 6-4, CR Tandberg. Tandberg had a small lead, but Ice Cream Dugout wasn’t done yet. In the top of the sixth, Traina singled, then Shaw walked. Tum doubled and Traina scored. Shaw stole home and it was 13-5, CR Tandberg.

Tum scored after a ground out.

When Ice Cream Dug Out took the plate, Gardiner got a base hit. Grant Coppi, #8, walked, Bradyn Woodward, #4, singled. Bases loaded. Conor Janvrin, #12, doubled to center and stole third; bringing in Gardner, Coppi and Woodward; 14-8, CR. Janvrin scored. Wyatt Washburn, #5, walked, stole second base, then scored. Ice Cream Dugout made an excellent attempt, but CR Tandberg held onto their lead.

Final: 14-10

“Focusing on the baseball is what helped the team win today,” remarked Coach Dave Donnelly. “Also, doing what we’ve done in practice; it’s all the little fundamentals that count.”

Coach Raquel Gerry has made a life out of softball

Raquel Gerry

By Matt Pascarella

Raquel Gerry knows softball and it has been a big part of her life. She is the assistant coach for the Windham High School varsity softball team and has been coaching softball for ten years, beginning when her oldest daughter was playing t-ball. Gerry has coached at all levels from t-ball to recreation to travel and now high school.

Gerry started playing at a very young age and has had many coaches that made a lasting impression on her playing days and her life. When she was playing softball early on, she knew she would eventually coach. “I wanted to coach girls and have an impact on their life and give back to the sport of softball, which gave me so much in my life,” she explained.

She became interested in softball and wanted to coach because of the competitiveness of the sport, wanting to be a positive influence. Gerry stated that to watch and see her girls come together on the field has been and continues to be very rewarding.

She coached travel softball with head varsity coach Fred Wilcox and former varsity coach Travis Demmons. She saw the great things the two of them were doing with the Windham High School softball program. In 2017, there was an opening at the middle school for a softball coach and she applied, knowing she wanted to be involved with the up and coming program and surround herself with great players and coaches. She coached that team for one year. In the spring of 2018, she became the Windham High School junior varsity softball coach. This year she has moved up to the varsity level.

What does Gerry want her players to walk away with after a season? She said the lessons learned from adversity and success on the field are great preparation for future experiences. “When you step between these lines, nothing else matters except being with your teammates and having fun playing the game of softball.” Gerry explained that you must always be a student of the game and never stop learning.

The culture and atmosphere of softball in Windham is changing and I am excited to be a part of that,” she added.

A Casco resident, Gerry is married with two daughters. She is a special education teacher at Dodge House School, a residential day treatment school in Bridgton, where she enjoys working with the children. Softball keeps her family busy. Both her daughters play summer travel softball. However, whenever there is the chance, Gerry and her family like to camp and ride ATVs.

Girls’ lacrosse maintains significant lead over Lake Region

Alanna Joyce

By Matt Pascarella

The girls’ varsity lacrosse team hit the field against Lake Region, on Monday, May 6 at Windham.

The Lady Eagles wasted no time as Riley Beem, #1, scored within the first minute of play. Windham was pressuring, with strong offense and defense. The girls were aggressive, taking advantage of any misstep on Lake Region’s part. The Lady Eagles were communicating well, and the score reflected that. Alanna Joyce, #4, put one in the net. 

Emma Yale, #24, put the ball in three times in the first half. Windham was moving the ball around nicely and were first to the ball. Lake Region had slowly started to make a comeback, but Windham still had a decent lead. Beem scored before the end of the half.

Half: 6-3, Windham’s intensity didn’t diminish in the second half as the Lady Eagles came onto the field ready to get that ‘W.’ While Lake Region was slowly gaining, Windham was making sure they held onto their lead. The Lady Eagles continued solid offense and defense. Multiple players scored in the second half including: Yale and Beem and Belle Skvorak, #10. Lake Region did manage to score a couple goals, but the patience, teamwork and skill of the Lady Eagles allowed them to gain a more than comfortable lead and secure the win. Top scorers: Emma Yale and Riley Beem.

Final: 13-5, Windham

“We have a philosophy, with the speed we have and the athletes we have, we can wear teams down,” explained coach Matt Perkins. “We just got to keep working and keep pressing. It was 6-3 at halftime...and we started cleaning up some of the things we were having issues with. I thought we did a good job of fixing those, I thought we did a good job pressuring...I think we did a great job.”

Girls U9 Windham Youth Soccer skyrocket to win

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham Youth Soccer U9 girls’ team played against the U9 Kennebunk girls at Gambo Field in Windham on Sunday, May 5.

As soon as the whistle blew, Windham was off to a great start and scored within the first few seconds. Then they scored again shortly after that. Windham had strong teamwork and excellent communication. They had powerful defense with the U9 Windham girls keeping the ball away from the Windham half of the field.

There were several nice blocks and stops by Windham’s keeper. Kennebunk did manage to get one through the posts, but Windham didn’t let Kennebunk score many goals during the game. Windham’s U9 girls showed great skill on the field. They were moving the ball around nicely and passing well to each other. Windham kicked it into high gear toward the end of the first half. The U9 Windham girls scored three goals; one after another after another, showing unlimited teamwork.

At the half: 5-1, Windham

Windham’s U9 girls didn’t slow down in the second half; their consistent offense and defense did not waiver. Windham’s keeper kept up the quick hands, blocking several shots and only allowing Kennebunk to score one time for the remainder of the game. Windham had great hustle throughout the entire game and the score reflected that. Windham put two more goals in before the final whistle and with less than two minutes left on the clock, the Windham U9 girls scored a final time.

Final score: 8-2, Windham

“We work a lot on discipline and holding their positions, so they’re aware where they need to be when the ball comes to them. Also, passing and holding positions is allowing us to do a good job,” commented coaches Ken Clark and Jason Bowie.

Friday, May 3, 2019

New little league AAA division helps build skill

By Matt Pascarella

The Minors division of Windham Little League is for ages 7 to 11 who didn’t make the majors division. Until recently, if a player did not make the majors, there was no division between minors and majors where a player could work on  skills and be ready for the majors division the following year. Until now.

This year, Windham Little League along with its Board of Directors, Vice President of the minors division, Mike Butterfield, and the league’s many devoted coaches are introducing a ‘triple A’ (AAA) division to the league. The AAA division could also be referred to as mid-majors, but it’s still the minors division and its goal is to get kids ready for that next step, which is moving up to the majors division.

Part of the reason for the addition of the AAA division is the Little League International organization changed the eligibility age which in turn makes the whole league younger.

“Last year we played baseball with kids ages 7 to 11 on the same team playing under the same rules. What we found out was the skillsets were totally different,” explained Butterfield. He spoke with his coaches as well as coaches from other towns. “We needed to come up with a way to enhance the skillsets of the older kids of that division.”

AA is a developmental league. It’s geared towards kids ages seven to nine who are coming from coach pitch or are in their first or second year of the minors division who aren’t ready for the competitiveness or have the skillset for the AAA division.

All the coaches in the AAA division are returning coaches from Minors baseball. The AAA division will feature five teams: Windham Powersports, Jet Ski Guy, MPM Sealcoating, Top to Bottom and new this year, the league will be adding a Raymond team, Sunset Variety. There will also be some interleague play with the town of Gray.

The AAA division is set up for ages 9 to 11 for kids who didn’t make it into the majors division. The AAA division will get kids ready for majors by teaching them skills such as base stealing, bunting and leading.

In order to understand the new league better and gain a better appreciation of the game, coach Chris McDonald and coach Dustin Bartz of Windham Power Sports took an umpire training, detailing rules and play procedure.

“From a coaching end of the game, it’s really important for us to understand all the rules,” explains McDonald. “For us to go through the umpire training puts us in a much better, clearer understanding of how we need to run our boys and what we need to teach our boys to be ready for majors. Prior to the AAA division it was almost like a light switch; it was black and white. When you were in minors, you were in minors and when you went to majors it was pretty much completely different. Having the AAA division gives us a gray area.”

“Knowledge always give you an advantage,” said Bartz. “Umpire training has made me a better coach, given me more confidence and affected the strategies we use in games.”

The AAA teams will gain the strength and skill needed to compete at the Majors level as well as a full understanding of how to play the game.

Boys’ lacrosse teams victorious over Sanford

Greg Simpson
By Matt Pascarella

Boys’ varsity and JV lacrosse teams hit the field against Sanford, at home, on Monday April 29.

The Eagles wasted no time after taking the field. In the first quarter they scored 13 goals alone. Windham was aggressive and pressured Sanford the entire first half. They had great communication and solid offense and defense. Windham was moving the ball around nicely, too; giving multiple players the opportunity to put one between the posts. The Eagles were scoring one after another after another after another.

Half: 20-0, Windham

The second half was like the first in that there was no lack of intensity and communication between the Eagles. They continued their strong offense and defense, keeping Sanford from getting any goals past the keeper. They really meshed as a team, and the scoreboard reflected that. Top scorers: Tyler Woolston #7, Matty Babb #13, Connor Cummings #17 and Seth Wall #12.

Final: 24-0, Windham

“We played Massabesic on Saturday [April 27]; we were able to control some parts of that game. We knew we had to tighten up some of our systems, both defensively and offensively. Our whole goal was our systems needed to click and we accomplished that,” remarked coach Peter Small.

Windham wasted no time with several players putting the ball in the net early in the game as Windham jumped to quick lead. The Eagles had strong communication as well, moving the ball around and putting the pressure on Sanford. Windham had good offense and defense. The Eagles didn’t let up, with multiple players scoring in the first half.

Half: 12-1, Windham

The second half found Windham not slowing down and continuing to put pressure on Sanford. Despite the Eagles substantial lead, they continued to keep the strength up and prevented Sanford from getting many goals past the Windham keeper. Several Windham players added to the scoreboard. Top scorers: Will Woolston #4, Greg Simpson #24 and Liam Heckman #6.

Final: 17-2, Windham

“We were moving around really well. We started to move off the ball – that I think was key. Our attackmen were seeing the cuts from the mid-field really, really well. Defense was great; won the midfield, which is huge in every game. I think that attributes to how we played today,” stated Coach Seth Fournier.