Friday, June 28, 2019

Windham All-Stars show Scarborough they have what it takes

Joshua Tom
By Matt Pascarella

The Windham eleven and twelve-year-old boys’ little league baseball all-star team took on Scarborough Monday, June 24th at the Westbrook Little League Field.

Scarborough had first ups and while they did manage to score one run, Windham played smart and left a Scarborough runner stranded on third base at the end of the inning.

In the top of the second, Windham’s strong defense was just starting as these all-stars threw a runner out at second base and snagged a pop fly.

The bottom of the second brought Windham being watchful of pitches, careful to not just swing at anything.

Windham’s defense continued to be solid with shortstop Grant Coppi, #66, nabbing the ball to get the second out of the inning. Scarborough was getting the hits, but Windham was right there preventing several scoring opportunities for the Thunder, throwing runners out all over the infield, with pitcher Connor Gallant’s, #15, quick reflexes grabbing several line drives. bottom of the third brought Windham answering offensively. Conor Janvrin, #9, gets on base after a dropped third strike allows him enough time to get to first. He quickly steals second, third and home, 4-1, Scarborough.

The following inning brought three Scarborough batters to the plate and sent three back to the dugout.
Joshua Tom, #35, ripped a line drive right up the middle of the field, for a base hit. After Coppi and Cameron Davis, #23, walked, the bases were loaded. Windham was ready to capitalize on any mistake Scarborough made; and did so seconds later when a passed ball gave Tom the opportunity to steal home, 4-2 Scarborough.

The fifth inning for Scarborough was another three batters up, three batters down.
The same thing happened to Scarborough in the sixth inning – Windham held them right where they were.

With Windham’s last chance to score, the guys really gave it their all. In the bottom of the sixth, they put the ball in play more than once, but didn’t make it on base.

Final: 4-2, Scarborough

“We didn’t quit at all; we were swinging right towards the end,” commented coach Pat Noonan. “We tried to get on base any way we could. The team looks good; we’re making all the plays. Defensively we weren’t making many could have gone either way.”

Windham working on skills and having fun in preparation for season

Lexi Hirning
By Matt Pascarella

The JV and varsity girls’ basketball teams travelled to Scarborough to take on the Thunder on Tuesday, June 25th.

Windham took an early lead, coming out aggressive, with excellent passing and really putting the pressure on Scarborough. The game was close, with Scarborough just a point behind, but the Lady Eagles were taking multiple shots on basket, resulting in Windham’s lead getting bigger. The Lady Eagles were capitalizing on turnovers and rebounds, working hard to be first to ball.

Half: 16-8, Windham

Windham’s lead only increased in the second half. They continued pressuring, moving the ball around well and getting rebounds. With a little under nine minutes left, The Lady Eagles were up by 20. Their strong offense and defense gave them a substantial win. 40-17, Windham

“They distribute the ball well; they’re more about team than individuals; they’re going to be fun to watch,” remarked coach Mike Flanders.


Windham came out aggressive and was moving the ball around nicely. Scarborough had jumped to a small, but early lead. The Lady Eagles were snagging rebounds and taking multiple shots on basket.

Half: 25-12, Scarborough

The Lady Eagles were working hard to be first to the ball and were succeeding. Their defense slowed Scarborough down in the second half. Windham continued being aggressive and pressuring. The Lady Eagles began to close the points gap and were within 11 points of the lead with a little over four minutes left in the game.

Scarborough managed to hold onto the lead and took this one 37-24.

“Our focus this summer is coming together as a team and playing well together,” explained coach Brody Artes. “I thought we did a really good job defensively. The kids are working hard for the next game and the season in general.”

Windham Middle School softball team makes history

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham Middle School softball team made history this past season by becoming the first team at WMS to go undefeated all season, winning eight consecutive games. The team is made up of mostly eighth graders with the exception of a couple seventh graders.

The weather put a damper on many school sports, with a lot of games being postponed. The girls couldn’t wait to get on the field; they had a commitment to each other and to practices and did what they needed to do to prepare for games. “They were ready to work when I got there,” stated coach Rick West.

There was never any mention of a perfect season, and the team always took it one game at a time. One of the toughest teams they went up against was Scarborough, who had not lost in a number of years. “Preparation was about three weeks of continuous practice; they were ready,” said West. When Windham defeated them, it was a major accomplishment.“This group of girls have been playing together for many years,” observed parent Trisha Clapp. “They have amazing teamwork and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

“This group of young ladies have been playing together as a unit for [a while]. I've seen less-talented teams succeed because of strong team chemistry, and this team combines that chemistry with elite talent,” remarked parent, Matt Shardlow.

“I have been coaching this group of girls for a number of years at basketball and softball. I know their capabilities and determination,” explained West. “To be able to turn a bunch of athletes loose knowing they do all they can do to prepare as well as their drive to win by leaving everything between the lines is all I could ask for. These girls are going places and rest assured this is not the last time anyone will read about them.”

Congratulations to Emile Allen, Anne-Marie Andrews, Haley Atherton, Kailey Chalmers, Isabella Clapp, Casey Downing, Odessa Files, Hannah Heanssler, Savanna Heanssler, Jayden Kimball, Bella Lorenzatti, Chloe Manette, Rielly Russell, Gianna West and Ella Wilcox!

Friday, June 21, 2019

Jim Beers’ passion is paying it forward

Jim Beers coaching his young baseball player
By Matt Pascarella

Jim Beers has sports in his veins. He’s played a variety of sports and was trained by some of the best high school coaches in the state. A lifelong Raymond resident, he went to Jordan-Small Middle School (JSMS) as a student. Currently, he coaches three teams over the course of the school year for JSMS, plus he coaches Raymond little league and recreational basketball in Raymond for fifth and sixth graders.

Beers played sports all four years at Ellsworth High School. Both his soccer coach, Brian Higgins, and his baseball coach, Jack Scott, are in the New England Sports Hall of Fame. Jack Scott is also in the Maine Sports Hall of Fame. “Scott gave me the fire to be able to recognize in myself when I probably believed I wasn’t much of a player,” said Beers.

He likes to do for the players he coaches, what his coaches did for him. “They may not believe in themselves but I’m able to open that door to show them you can be better than you think you actually are,” explained Beers. “And once they see that, that’s exactly why I coach.” began coaching when his son started playing in 2004. Since that time, Beers has coached seventy plus teams. He reiterated how lucky he was to be guided by wonderful coaches when he was younger, and he wants to pass that same experience onto his players. Beers describes being a coach as a deep-rooted passion.

His favorite moments are watching a player who doesn’t expect success on the field or the court – and unexpectedly finds it. “The players who don’t expect to make the team, who don’t expect to get a lot of playing time; when they get out there and their eyes light up because they just did something they didn’t expect to do, that makes it for me,” stated Beers.

He went on to say he was that kid, the underdog. He likes to take that player, who doesn’t think they’ll make it and show them they can.

After a season is over, he wants his players to be passionate about what they’re doing. He stressed the importance of showing up every day and putting in the effort. “What I prepare them for is where they’re going, not where they are,” Beer began. “I want them to see you can be better than what you are right now, because you’re going to go places.” If a player’s plan is to play high school sports, Beers’ plan is to get that player there.

Born and raised in Raymond, Beers has no plans of leaving. He has two children and has been married for 23 years. Beers says he lives for his kids and to coach and play, including his own daughter who he coaches in basketball and softball. Beers describes himself as someone who can answer most Jeopardy questions, and a ‘Maine guy’ through and through. Aside from coaching, he plays in a men’s baseball league. Ultimately, it’s giving back that is what matters to him most.

Windham comes back from behind in back-to-back games

Eric Weisser 

By Matt Pascarella

The boys’ JV and varsity basketball teams travelled to Scarborough on Monday, June 17 for back-to-back summer basketball games.

After being down by more than ten points in the first half, Windham kicked it up several notches and caught up to Scarborough, closing the gap.

Half: 24-14, Scarborough

Windham had rapidly made it within one point of Scarborough’s lead. With nine minutes left, Windham led 28-27. Then, with five minutes left Windham had a three-point lead. With a little more than 90 seconds left, the Eagles led by four.

At the buzzer: 35-29, Windham.

“It all came down to defense and intensity, we had a lot more ball pressure, got out in passing lanes; Scarborough only scored five points in the second half. That was the key to coming back,” remarked coach Geoff Grigsby

A similar beginning for the varsity boys, with Scarborough jumping to an early lead. Windham was quickly closing the gap, making up the difference within one point, with a little less than ten minutes left in the first half.

Half: 27-19, Scarborough

Windham caught up fast in the second half. They were four points away with twelve minutes left in the game. A short time later, Eric Weisser, #22, sank a three pointer and Windham pulled ahead, 35-34. Windham led by three with a minute left; then the game was tied at 47 with 30 seconds left. In the final seconds of the game, Caleb Cidre, #5, sank a basket and the Eagles win 49-47.

“We started out slow, but the game progressed. We began to get comfortable and started realizing what was going to help us win - the guys just went out and played hard,” stated coach Chad Pulkkinen.

Girls’ lacrosse become Northern Class A Runner-Ups

Alanna Joyce
By Matt Pascarella

After beating Portland in the semifinals 10-5 on Saturday, June 8, the varsity girls’ lacrosse team travelled to Falmouth to take on the Yachtsmen for the regional final playoff game on Wednesday, June 12. Both teams had a twelve-win one loss record.

Falmouth managed to get one in shortly after the whistle had blown, but Windham answered right back with Alanna Joyce, #4, whipping one in the goal. The girls were aggressive and evenly matched in the first half, with both teams going back and forth score wise. Joyce scored again and then Emma Yale, #24, scored. The Lady Eagles kept Falmouth from pulling far ahead and Windham held onto a 3-2 lead for a large chunk of the first half. Multiple Windham players were taking shots on goal and intensity was high.

Half: 5-3, Falmouth

The second half brought the Lady Eagles working hard and continuing to take multiple shots on the goal. Belle Skvorak, #10, got one past the goalie early in the half. Falmouth was pulling away, but the Lady Eagles were not done. Yale scored her second goal of the game. Windham was capitalizing on any mistake Falmouth made. There were several nice saves by the goalie, Kaitlyn Gedicks, #44, not only in the second half, but throughout the game. Shortly before the final buzzer, Riley Beem, #1, chucked one in the goal. Falmouth had taken a large lead and the game, 13-6.

“We had some amazing leadership with nine seniors - and the beauty of them – they were all about everybody,” recounted coach Matt Perkins. “They were all in for each other and had such a team-first attitude. Seniors really set the tone on how you do things, how you play the game. I thought they played hard, as they have all year.”

Congratulations to the Lady Eagles on an incredible season and becoming Northern Class A runner-ups!

Windham All-Star team starts summer season strong

Jaydn Kimball
By Matt Pascarella

The Windham All-Star District six, eleven and twelve-year-old all-star team hit the field against Gray for the first game of the tournament on Saturday, June 15 at the Gray-New Gloucester field in Gray.
Windham started strong, with Kennedy Kimball, #34, on the mound. They ended the top of the first leaving a Gray runner stranded on second base.

To say Windham crushed it in the bottom of the first inning is an understatement. After Chloe Edwards, #14, gets on base, she is followed by Oakley McLeod, #2. Kimball gets a base hit and takes it all the way home, Windham up 3-0 early on. After this it was a literal slug fest. Many hits and a lot of stolen bases, as Windham threw run after run on the scoreboard. Jaydn Kimball, #28, got a triple, Hannah Lee, #10, crushed the ball to the outfield and doubled, then scored shortly after. Windham is up 6-0. All-Stars were far from finished. They cycled through their entire lineup and the runs kept coming. Kimball got another base hit and drove in two runs. Everyone on the team scored a run in the bottom of the first, some more than once. It was 20-0 once the inning was finished.

Windham kept up the intensity and ended the top of the second inning after two strikeouts and a runner thrown out while trying to steal third base.

Windham scored one more run in the bottom of the second. Kimball quickly ended the game by striking out the first three players to step up to the plate.

Final, 21-0 Windham

“We really asked them to focus hard and work on little details; and they brought it up today,” stated coach Kregg Jarvais. “Paying attention to details, hustling around really showed. We’re going to play with a purpose.”

Friday, June 14, 2019

Another successful year for Windham and Special Olympics

Mary Greslick, AJ Mains, Kayla Fillinger, Dani Iaconeta,
 Eric Loftin, Austin Rice, James Tucker, Cam Malone 
By Matt Pascarella

Eight excited Special Olympics athletes made their way through the crowd of celebrating students, faculty and staff on Friday morning, June 7 to the vans that would take them to the University of Maine at Orono for the 50th year of the Special Olympics Maine State Summer Games.

The weekend began with a huge parade and opening ceremonies on Friday night. Saturday was filled with great competitions. Many awards and personal bests were achieved. Saturday ended with a 1969-themed dance.

In the first event, the relay, the team came out on top and brought home the gold. The event started strong for Windham with Austin Rice and continued strong legs by AJ Mains and Cam Malone, putting Windham in the lead. James Tucker extended and held that lead all the way to the end.

Eighth grader Dani Iaconeta exclaimed this was the “best weekend ever.”

“All the athletes participated in three individual events and all did a fabulous job with some personal bests,” stated Coach, Anne Blake. “Thanks to all the support from RSU14 athletic boosters, administration, our volunteer assistant coaches, Margie Dionne, Nikki Rogers, Olivia Latham and Mitch Hodge, the parents and athletes.”

Congratulations to all the athletes: Mary Greslick, AJ Mains, Kayla Fillinger, Dani Iaconeta, Eric Loftin, Austin Rice, James Tucker and Cam Malone.

Windham lacrosse represented in SMAA All Conference photo shoot

SMAA All Conference team

On Monday, June 10 the Southern Maine Activities Association (SMAA) brought together all players on the SMAA All Conference Team for a photo. Representing Windham were seniors Tommy Lekousi and Tyler Woolston. Windham lacrosse finished their season ranked #1 in the conference, only losing one game in regular season play.

“The season was an overall success,” said Lekousi who is going to the University of Maine at Orono for Civil and Environmental Engineering.

“The season was a big confidence booster, to show that Windham has a good lacrosse program,” remarked Woolston, who is going to play at the University of Vermont next year.

Best of luck to Lekousi and Woolston next year and congrats to Windham varsity lacrosse on a great season.

Varsity softball left nothing on the field in playoff game

2019 Lady Eagles softball team
By Matt Pascarella

Coming off their June 4th 7-1 win against Marshwood in the prelims, the varsity softball team traveled to Thornton Academy for the quarterfinal playoff game on Friday, June 7.

After the first and second inning went scoreless for both teams, Chloe Wilcox, #22, stepped up to the plate in the top of the third. Three pitches and Wilcox sent that ball flying to right field and it was GONE! 1-0, Windham.

Next up was Erin Elder, #24. Elder swung and that ball was soaring to center field...going, going, GONE! Back-to-back home runs for the Lady Eagles and Windham stepped out with a 2-0 lead.
After three innings, Thornton Academy was up 5-2 and Windham’s defense would keep the score from moving until the end of the game. The Lady Eagles had no lack of effort or team spirit. 

Windham did well, getting several base hits and making several great plays, picking runners off at first and nabbing a runner headed home where a throw in time was able to stop a run from being scored. More than once the Lady Eagles left Thornton runners stranded on base., Thornton Academy was able to secure the lead and keep it into the seventh inning.
Final: 8-2

“I’m proud of the girls and how they battled today,” observed coach Fred Wilcox. “I told them before the game, ‘bring everything, leave nothing’ and they did. The energy was really good. Some of our captains led really well; they hit the ball well, they pitched the ball well. From the beginning of the season until now, I thought that they brought a lot more energy and I think that’s key to having a successful team.”

Friday, June 7, 2019

Varsity Baseball comes up short against Portland in prelim game

By Andrew Wing

On Tuesday June 4, the boys’ varsity baseball team hosted the Portland Bulldogs in the preliminary round of the Maine Class A South baseball tournament. Windham came in as the fifth seed after finishing the regular season with a 10-6 record.

Windham ace #22, Bryce Afthim started off red hot striking out four of the first six batters he faced. After a scoreless first two innings, the Windham bats came to life in their bottom half of the third inning when #20, Ryan Sargent roped a line drive into right field with the bases loaded that scored two runs for the Eagles. That wasn’t it though, #2, Brady Afthim hit a sacrifice fly to deep center field that scored #26 Caleb McCartney to put the fifth seeded Eagles up 3-0 going into the 4th inning.

Portland was able to get within one run of Windham in their half of the 6th before pitcher Afthim recorded his 9th strikeout of the evening to keep the Portland bats at bay heading into the bottom of the 6th. Score going into the 6th: Windham 3 - Portland 2

After some impressive defensive plays in the field from Portland, they came alive in the top of the 7th inning and took a 5-3 lead over Windham.

Windham needed two runs to keep their season alive, but unfortunately fell just short despite giving it their all. Final score: Portland 5 - Windham 3

Windham’s varsity baseball season sadly came to an end, but it was without a doubt another successful season for the Eagles, going 10-7 on the year and making the playoffs once again.

WHS sports awards and senior cording ceremony

On Monday, June 3rd Windham High School held their spring awards and senior cording ceremony. Seniors received graduation cords based on the number of years they played a sport(s) during their high school career. Coach Matt Perkins won the first ever Coach of the Year award. Recent pictures of student athletes at games were shown. Athletic awards were distributed.
Congrats to all athletes and the class of 2019!

We’ve enjoyed watching you play over the years!
Tara Flanders and mother, Kelly

Ian McCuster and mother, Kim
Alanna Joyce and mother, Cindy

Congratulations to former Windham Middle School student

Friends of Anneliese Warnberg may be excited to discover that she has been named the varsity softball Rookie of the Year.

Warnberg, who was a student at RSU14 but moved with her family to Florida last year, now attends Allen D. Nease High School in St. Augustine. She not only made the varsity team, but she was part of the starting lineup as catcher, her favorite position. In a press release, Warnberg stated that the season shaped her into, “not only a better player, but a better person as well.”

Warnberg’s grandparents, Russell and Elaine Warnberg still live in the Windham and Raymond community.

Raymond baseball and softball play great games

Micah Knights 
By Matt Pascarella

The Raymond majors baseball team, Raymond Mosquito Ice Cream Shop, took on MPM Sealcoating of Windham at Mills Road Field in Raymond. The girls’ softball team, the Raymond Raptors went up against Yarmouth also at Mills Road Field in Raymond. Both games were on Saturday, June 1.

In the bottom of the first inning, after a double and a line drive, Harrison Behnke #40, scored the first run for the Mosquitos.

Windham jumped to a 6-3 lead after two full innings, The Mosquitos answered with some excellent base stealing, and several solid hits. In the bottom of the third, Anthony Troiano, #34, and Griffin Richmond, #36, both walked. Then, they each stole home. Micah Knights, #33, stole home after he walked; the game tied at 6. Lachlan Warren, #39, and Jacob Buckley, #37, got base hits. Bryce Porter, #38, singled. A short time later Warren took home and gave the Mosquitos the lead of 7-6. the fourth, Carter Engleman, #32, stole home after he walked. Behnke singled and then Troiano singled on a bunt. Behnke and Troiano both scored.

In the fifth, Knights scored after a walk and Warren took home after being hit by the pitch.
Final: 12-8, Raymond Mosquitos

“They’ve learned a lot and are applying what they’ve learned, and it’s good to see,” commented coach Eric Richmond. “Like anything, we have our rough spots, but they did a pretty good job.”


Yarmouth jumped to a 5-0 lead early in the game, but Raymond answered right back tying the game at 5 after one inning.

Keley Hovey
Jump to the third inning, Kiley Hovey, #65, and MacKenzie Gervais, #56, both got base hits and then took home plate. After Diana Austin, #62, singled, Rilee Remington, #64, scored. At this point, Yarmouth had a small lead, but Raymond was not far behind, 13-8.

In the fourth, Raymond continued putting in a solid effort, with exceptional teamwork, battling it out, staying alive in the batter’s box by swinging the bat and continuing to get a piece of the ball. 

Yarmouth had taken a bit of a lead, but Raymond wasn’t done and stayed in the game. Raymond was making strong throws to first and second and nabbed a couple outs at third base, too.

In the fifth inning, Remington and Gervais singled and later scored.

Final: 28-10, Yarmouth

“They came together as a team for our last game of the season,” said coach Anthony Hovey. “We had a great team. They had their hearts in it from the very beginning. I think our season ended great...they improved throughout the year, only thing a coach can ask for is improvement and that’s what I got.”