Friday, January 24, 2020

Wrestling team shows strength at Cheverus Invitational

Assistant Coach Chris Smith, Jason Hart, Gabe Rosado, Andrew Martin, Owen McDuffie, Scott Ingalls, Garrett Allen, Head Coach John Nicholas. Submitted photo
By Matt Pascarella

Windham/Gray New Gloucester (GNG) travelled to Cheverus High School for the second annual Cheverus Invitational which took place on Saturday, January 18th. The meet had ten other competing schools/teams: Biddeford/Thornton Academy, Cheverus, Deering, Fryeburg Academy, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Monmouth, Mountain Valley, Oceanside and York.

Scott Ingalls wrestled first in the 138-weight class against Kennebunk. Ingalls quickly escaped his opponent’s grip and after a short time pinned Kennebunk. Rosado wrestled Kennebunk in the 126-weight class. Rosado fought hard and locked his hands to keep his opponent in position. Rosado flipped his opponent and pinned him.

Owen McDuffie wrestled Gardiner in the 152-weight class. He was aggressive and slammed his opponent to the mat. McDuffie was quick and escaped the hold of his opponent. He pinned Gardiner for the ‘W.’

Jason Hart wrestled Cheverus in the 182-weight class. He got a take down and pinned for the win.
Garrett Allen took on Mount Valley in the 285-weight class.  He pinned his opponent less than 30 seconds into the first period.

In the 160-weight class, Dante Felix wrestled Biddeford/Thornton Academy. He pressured by lunging after his opponent. Felix took Biddeford/Thornton Academy right to the mat and held them there. Neither team was able to pin the other, but Felix got the win.

Andrew Martin wrestled in the 170-weight class against Deering. Martin’s intensity got a take down and held his opponent to the mat, until pinned.

Ingalls, Rosado, McDuffie, Hart, Allen and Martin all made it to the finals. After several good matches; Martin was the champion; McDuffie and Allen came in second; Ingalls third; Rosado and Hart fourth.

“It felt good to just feel dominant,” said senior Andrew Martin. “Coming out and winning a tournament for a school that’s coming up and making people [see] that we’re on the rise.”

“Any time you can bring home six medals with nine kids, is a pretty good day,” remarked coach John Nicholas. “I was happy with the day overall. The kids are working hard and we’re doing really well. The ultimate goal is to push as many kids through to states, so we still got a couple weeks to work it out.”

WMS basketball dominate against St. Brigid

Sarah John
By Matt Pascarella

The girls seventh and eighth grade basketball teams played St. Brigid School, at home, on Tuesday, January 21st. And, as the cheerleaders chanted, the Eagles ‘rocked the house’ both games.

Seventh grade
Windham had a slow start, but once they found their momentum, they could not be caught. The Lady Eagles grabbed rebounds and turnovers, with strong defense. Windham took a commanding lead as player after player added to the score. Hannah Lee, #15, and Stella Jarvais, #22, stole the ball from St. Brigid and took it all the way to the basket to score.

Half: 25-4, Windham

The Lady Eagles did not let up in the second half. Their score continued to rise as Windham snagged turnovers and took shots on basket. Their defense was stellar, keeping their opponents score low.
Top scorers: Madison Ladd, #3, Afomiya Timerga, #11, Sarah John, #21, and Jarvais,#22.

Final: 45-9, Windham

“Today we really focused on play as a whole team, get everybody to’s nice to see things coming together towards the end of the season,” observed coach Deb Lebel.

Eighth Grade
The Lady Eagles took an early 15-point lead as they got rebounds and moved the ball well. They blocked several shots. Hannah Peterson, #32 and Shawna Edwards, #30 sunk three pointers.

Half: 28-2, Windham

Windham worked well as a team as they sunk basket after basket, pulling away from St. Brigid. Alyssa Conley, #13, sunk a three pointer. Windham grabbed turnovers and kept up the strong defense.

High scorers: Mallory Muse, #14 and Edwards, #30.

Final: 41-11, Windham

“Everything we were doing on the floor was supposed to be could we play to get ready for that next team,” stated coach Lisa Anderson. “This group has just always stayed positive and they want to have a good time.”

Windham swim team goes hard against Greely/NYA

Chloe Desmond
By Matt Pascarella

The swim team travelled to Greely High School in Cumberland to compete against Greely/North Yarmouth Academy (NYA) in a meet on Friday, January 17th.

Windham hit the water ready to compete and had high energy throughout the entire meet. There was a roar of enthusiasm from fans, athletes and coaches as Windham put everything they had into their events, swimming with strength and speed. Several athletes qualifying and re-qualifying for the state meet.

Sebastian Anghel finished second in the 500-yard freestyle and qualified for states with a final time of 5:55.49. Lyden Fogg finished third with a time of 1:10.55 in the 100-yard backstroke, qualified for states and dropped four seconds off his previous time.

Jamie Louko finished second in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 58.69 and second in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:10.77. Ryan Bowden finished second in the 200-yard IM (individual medley) with a time of 3:18.61.
Haley Theberge finished second in the 100-yard backstroke, with a time of 1:14.32, qualifying for states. Theberge also finished second in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 29.49 seconds.
Chloe Wilcox qualified for states in two events: the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 2:22.16 and the 400-yard freestyle relay.

Katharyn Lucas finished first in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 6:24.85; she also finished second in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:39.62. Chloe Desmond finished third in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:49.36. She also finished fourth in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:28.66.

Final scores
Women: Greely 68, Windham 25
Men: Greely 55, Windham 36

“I couldn’t be more happy for how we swam today,” exclaimed coach Pete Small. “During the course of the season, we were trying to do different things and today was race...without question. We had a lot of swimmers drop a lot of time today, we always do. These kids have been working so hard, a lot of it is just clicking at just the right time.”

Thursday, January 16, 2020

JSMS basketball put a good effort against Lake Region

Ethan Fletcher

By Matt Pascarella

The Jordan-Small Middle School B basketball team travelled to Lake Region Middle School to take on the Lakers on Thursday, January 9th.

Raymond wasted no time, as they put points on the scoreboard shortly into the first half. Lake Region took the lead, but JSMS wasn’t far behind. Raymond took several shots on basket, passed the ball well and got rebounds and a turnover. Noah Campbell, #51, put the ball up twice for two flawless layups.

Half: 30-8, Lake Region

JSMS worked hard to put points on the scoreboard. They continued to move the ball well and got a few rebounds. Ethan Fletcher, #33, sunk a couple foul shots. Lucas Wood, #24, grabbed a nice turnover; Logan Inman, #25, put the ball up for two more points. Harrison Behnke, #31, did the same as he added more points to the scoreboard. Although Raymond turned up the offense in the second half, Lake Region got this ‘W.’

Final: 53-18

“We did a really good job with our passing, finding each other and moving without the ball,” observed coach Ryan Roderick. “What hurt us was our defense. We definitely can bring more intensity to our next game.”

Indoor track performs well as they head towards post season

Wyatt Flibbert
By Matt Pascarella

The Indoor Track teams competed against Biddeford, Kennebunk, Scarborough, Westbrook and South Portland at the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus on Saturday, January 11th.

The Eagles gave it everything they had; pushing themselves to the limit as they worked to perform their very best.

Hailey Applebee finished first in the 800-meter, senior division, with a time of 2:42.38. Applebee also won the girls one-mile, open division, with a time of 5:59.25.

Molly Skvorak finished first in the pole vault, open division, with a height of seven feet six inches. Isabel Dionne finished fourth with a height of six feet.

Scarlette Sawyer finished first in the girls high jump, junior division, with a height of four feet eight inches.
Wyatt Flibbert finished first in the boys triple jump, junior division, with a distance of 35 feet and 10.25 inches. Coming in second was Connor Langstaff with a distance of 35 feet 9.75 inches.
Langstaff finished first in the high jump junior division with a distance of five feet, six inches.

In the 200-meter dash, senior division, Ethan Wert came in first with a time of 24.28 seconds. Wert also finished first in the 400-meter dash, senior division, with a time of 56.62.

Overall, the girls finished third with a score of 143. Overall, the boys finished third with a score of 119.

“We did really good; we had a lot of PRs (personal records),” observed coach Denise Curry. “We had a lot of qualifications for our regional meet. Scarlette Sawyer won the junior high jump for a PR; Hailey Applebee won the 800...that was really good. And Isabelle Dionne won the two mile which was...real big.”

Overall, the boys had solid performances, including multiple athletes qualifying for states,” remarked coach Paula Pock. “Top performers of the day: Connor Langstaff, who received athlete of the meet for the junior division, Ethan Wert, winning both 200 and 400 and Caleb Young with a tough double in the 600 yd/2 mile.”

School records were earned on January 12th at the Dartmouth Track & Field Relays by Hannah Langstaff & Katelyn Smith.

Hannah broke a 20 year old 400m record to place 3rd overall, with a school record of 1:01.63 and she won the 800 meter in 2:25.10; another school record!

Katelyn Smith again broke her own triple jump school record and placed second overall in the event, with a jump of 36 feet 8 inches.

The girls that competed at Dartmouth Relays came in 5th overall as a team.

Well Done Eagles!

Trail Blazers get the win in overtime

Hunter Jellison
By Matt Pascarella

The Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle varsity hockey team, the Trail Blazers, hit the ice against the Marshwood/Noble/Traip/Sanford Knighthawks at the Dover Ice Arena in Dover, New Hampshire on Monday, January 13th.

The Trail Blazers began strong, as they moved the puck nicely and pressured the Knighthawks right away. The Trail Blazers had strong defense and fought hard going after the puck. Halfway into the period, Hunter Jellison, #9, put the puck in the back of the net.

After one period: 1-0, Trail Blazers

Almost immediately into the second period, Knighthawks tied the game. The Trail Blazers continued to go hard after the puck and took multiple shots on goal.

After two periods: 1-1

Knighthawks took the lead at the start of period three. The Trail Blazers pressured and took many shots on goal. The Trail Blazers remained in control in the third period as they worked to tie the game and kept the Knighthawks from pulling away. A short time before the buzzer, Jordan Cantz, #27, slipped the puck around the post and past the goalie.

After three periods: 2-2 a pile of both Trail Blazers and Knighthawks found themselves in front of the Knighthawks’ goalie, less than 1:30 into overtime, it was Austin White, #34, who pushed the puck in and ended the game.

Final: 3-2, Trail Blazers

“Our discipline was fantastic,” said Coach Greg Leclair. “[Knighthawks] played a very physical game. They took some liberties at times and we’ve been fighting our discipline and not retaliating and tonight we had zero penalty minutes. That is a big step compared to our first game of the year. Our kids stayed composed and we stayed out of the box – and we got the result we needed.”

Friday, January 10, 2020

Basketball a big part of first team coach’s life

Doug Elder
By Matt Pascarella

Doug Elder is in his second year as high school first team basketball coach; comprised primarily of freshman with a few sophomores. He comes from a basketball family with older brother Darren being the first inductee to Windham High’s 1000 Point Club.

A graduate from Windham High, Doug says he was born into playing the sport, and as the years went on, he found his niche and he got to play with great players like Greg Merrill and Dan Giguere, taking Windham to the Class A tournament in 1996. Elder is also a seventh-grade math and social studies teacher at Windham Middle School.

Graduating in 1996, Elder never got to play alongside his brother, Darren. When Doug Elder went to the University of Maine at Farmington, he and Darren got to play beside each other. After college, Elder was ready to let the basketball piece of his life go, surmising it would find him again. Once he began working at the Middle School, it felt like it was the right time to get involved and back into it.
Elder’s interest in coaching and basketball came from being surrounded by the sport. he started teaching at the Middle School in 2016, he offered to do open gym to help the kids get more practice. Although he wasn’t on the coaching staff, he offered to do what he could and did some shooting clinics, alongside Pat Moody. After that, one thing led to another and the first team coaching position opened up and Elder threw his hat in the ring.

Elder got his degree in Elementary Education with a focus in American Studies from the University of Maine at Farmington. He described social studies as his ‘sweet spot.’ Elder and his family are the eighth generation to settle in Windham and go back to the 1720s/1730s. He really likes to focus on Maine and local history as well as Native American history. “Windham chose me...I just love talking about Windham’s history,” Elder stated.

Comradery and teamwork are two of his favorite things about being a coach. “There’s life lessons involved,” explained Elder. “Operating under pressure; some kids need to find out at some time in their life that they really operate well under pressure. And some kids don’t. If we insulate them from
pressure, they’ll never have the opportunity to realize that that’s where they thrive. I love the roleplaying piece: that we have to learn that we need each other – one person can’t do it all.”

Comradery from basketball has really stuck with Elder post-high school.

“When I see somebody that I’ve played with and haven’t seen in a long time, I feel like there’s still something there that we worked so hard together in order to reach certain goals. That’s where I’m coming from building that comradery and family atmosphere. That’s of the utmost importance to me.”

Elder wants his players to leave after a season being able to think under pressure and being somebody that can be counted on. “Depending on each other is big. I think that can take them a long way as they develop through the program.”

He feels blessed to have his wife, daughter and son supporting him every step of the way. Elder enjoys songwriting and playing music. He also enjoys deer hunting, campfire cooking and spending time with friends and family in remote Maine locations.

Girls basketball beat Gorham

By Matt Pascarella

The girls basketball team played Gorham, at home, on Monday, January 6th.

Carly Morey
Windham scored first after they came onto the court with intensity. The Lady Eagles jumped to an early lead. They nabbed rebounds which made it very hard for Gorham to catch up in the first half. Sarah Talon, #12, had an exceptional block. Windham’s strong defense kept Gorham’s score low. Kayla Flanders, #22, scored right before the first buzzer.

Half: 30-14, Windham

Windham’s aggressiveness never lessened. Destiny Potter, #45, had a stellar block to keep Gorham from putting much of anything on the scoreboard. Windham was up by 15 with 3:38 left in the game. Gorham wasn’t able to recover and lost to the Lady Eagles for the first time in several years.

Final: 47-30

High scorers: Sarah Talon, #12, Carly Morey, #14, Hannah Talon, #33

“We needed to play 32 minutes of intense basketball and they showed that they can do that right from the start to the finish,” remarked coach Brody Artes. “They had a look in their eye today; they were very focused on going out and getting a win against a team we haven’t had a ton of success against in the past couple years. I thought our leadership was great, I thought they played great team basketball. The girls did a great job.”

Seventh and Eighth grade boys basketball pressure Gorham

Luke Cunniffe
By Matt Pascarella

The seventh and eighth grade boys basketball teams took on Gorham, at home, on Monday, January 6th.

Seventh grade:
Windham started as they worked hard to be first to the ball. They got a few turnovers and rebounds. Windham played aggressively; right before the end of the first quarter, Connor Janvrin, #9, sunk a three pointer.

Half: 28-21, Gorham

Gorham had the lead, but the Eagles battled and worked to turn the score around. Shortly into the half, Creighty Dickson, #30, hit a three pointer to put Windham closer to catching up. The Eagles made basket after basket, as they pulled away from Gorham. The Eagles hustled and were up by 10, then 12, then 14. With 2:16 left in the game, Windham led by 10. A short time later, 50 seconds remained and Windham led by four. The Eagles did not let up until the final buzzer; Gorham was never able to catch them.
Final: 52-46

High scorers: Luke Cunniffe, #12, Dickson, #30, and Braycen Freese, #21.

“They always seem to come out in the first half not as intense and in the second half they come out with a lot more intensity, you could see it in the game. They are a second half team,” remarked coach Craig Dickson.

Eighth grade:
Windham grabbed an early lead and pressured, as they got rebounds. The Eagles kept their lead in the first quarter. Soon, Gorham took the lead and the teams were neck and neck.

Half: 18-16, Windham

Jacob Earle, #30, sunk a three pointer at the top of the second half. Windham was very assertive. The game was tied at 21. Gorham took the lead in the fourth quarter. The Eagles had worked hard and with 2:35 remaining, Windham led by three. With 55.7 seconds remaining, one point separated the teams. The Eagles led by two with 13 seconds left, but Gorham sunk a three pointer to take the lead and the game, 31-30.

High scorers: Quinton Lindsay, #23, and Blake McPherson, #21

“We played them in the holiday tournament and lost by 21,” explained coach Adam Manzo. “Having known what to expect, we focused and practiced on defense and I thought the kids came out and played really hard.”

Ski team shows a strong start to upcoming season

Emma Debrosse
By Matt Pascarella

On Friday, January 3rd the Alpine ski team hit the slopes at Shawnee Peak in Bridgton for their season opener, competing in the Giant Slalom against Gorham, Marshwood, Kennebunk, Falmouth and Cheverus. Each athlete took two runs and their total time was those two runs added together.

Windham gave it all they had as they rounded the gates with focus and determination; passing through the finish line at high speeds.

The top finishers were:

Sarah Hare finished first among the team (and first overall among the girls) with a time of 1:11.46 minutes. Paiement with a time of 1:25.61
Annie Jackson with a time of 1:26.79
Emma Debrosse with a time of 1:28.84
Mya Bolk with a time of 1:40.63
Julia Thompson with a time of 1:54.95
And team captain Madelynn McGary with a time of 2:03.30

The girls placed third overall with a total of 63 points.

The top finishers were:

Nolan Dries with a time of 1:17.08
Benjamin White with a time of 1:17.63
Logan Marden with a time of 1:19.35
Cody Taylor with a time of 1:23.11
Owen Flibbert with a time of 1:29.92
And Samuel Plummer with a time of 2:03.02

The boys placed fourth overall with a total of 68 points.

“[We have] a lot of new freshman, and they were extremely surprising in their skill,” observed coach Emily Atwood. “The freshman we have are great...positive; a lot we can work with this season. The returning skiers were incredibly helpful and supportive to the new racers on our team. It was a great first race and with this amount of talent, I think we will have a very strong and competitive season.”

Friday, January 3, 2020

Windham played well against the Blue Devils in Lewiston

Chris Naylor
By Matt Pascarella

The boys basketball teams travelled to Lewiston High School to take on the Blue Devils Saturday, December 28th.

First Team
Windham started strong and got a turnover right away. The Eagles moved the ball well and got several rebounds in the first quarter. Windham blocked multiple shots early on. Lewiston took the lead, but the Eagles took shots on basket that just weren’t falling.

The second half was different. Windham was aggressive and continued to get rebounds, they worked hard to be first to the ball. The Eagles took more shots on basket, with greater success. Sonny Elder, #12, and Jordan Bridge, #14, sunk three-pointers. While Windham stepped it up several notches, Lewiston took this game 69-41.
High scorers: Chase Wescott, #13, Connor Moreau, #32 and Bridge, #14.“When we focus on one nuance of the game, sometimes the other ones fall off the radar,” observed coach Doug Elder. “Little baby steps in the right direction, but the second half was a lot more competitive.”

Windham nabbed rebounds and scored first. The Eagles jumped to an early lead. They pressured and got turnovers. They were aggressive and blocked several shots.

Half: 25-21, Windham

The Eagles continued to get rebounds and hustled as they made several layups which let them hold onto the lead. After three quarters, Windham led by four. As the clock wound down, Lewiston was close. With 35 seconds left, Windham was up by two. Ten seconds...five seconds...three seconds...Lewiston had one chance and they went for the didn’t land.
Final: 48-46, Windham
High scorers: Nick Garrison, #11 and Dylan Gorman, #1
“I thought we did a good job of putting pressure on the rim and playing with no fear,” commented coach Geoff Grigsby. “We learned how to get a defensive stop late in the game and I thought that was a valuable thing to learn,”.
The Eagles were first to score and pressured throughout the half. They went hard after the ball. They dominated the court offensively and defensively in the first half. At one moment, Windham was up by 10, and a short time later they were up by 20. They did not let up until the final seconds when Will Mannette, #24 sunk a three pointer before the end of the half.

Half: 38-11, Windham

Windham kept it up in the second half. They got rebounds and turnovers and continued to pull away from Lewiston. There was no stopping these Eagles. Lewiston tried to catch up, but it was too late. Windham’s intensity remained until the final buzzer.
Final: 68-42, Windham
High scorers: Mannette, #24, Chris Naylor #44 and Hayden Bilodeau #14

“I think our guys are getting better every single game, every single practice,” said coach Chad Pulkkinen. “Our group unity inside that locker room is very strong. I think the group is ready to go to battle for each other, and that’s all I can ask for. It’s good to see these guys start to see the fruits of their hard work.”

JV Trail Blazers out hustle opponents

Cole Washinton
By Matt Pascarella

The JV Windham/Westbrook/Bonny Eagle Trail Blazers hockey team hit the ice against Maranacook/Winthrop/Madison/Spruce Mountain/Lawrence at the Casco Bay Ice Arena in Falmouth on Friday, December 27th.

Within 40 seconds of the puck hitting the ice, Aiden Hartwell, #15, scored. The Trail Blazers went hard after the puck and pressured right out of the gate. Shortly after their opponent tied the game, Keegan Watts, #20, fired the puck passed the goalie. The Trail Blazers rushed to be first to the puck, and in the first period kept the puck away from their goal. Hartwell scored again before the end of the period.

After one period: 3-1, Trail Blazers remained high for the following period as the Trail Blazers continued to take shots at their opponent’s goal. Trail Blazers had strong offense and defense and pressured throughout the period. Jack Foley, #5, shot one in the net; seconds later, Hartwell found the back of the net again.

After two periods: 5-2, Trail Blazers

Nothing was going to get in the way of the Trail Blazers getting this win. They continued to pressure from the start of the period and kept up solid defense and offense. The Trail Blazers continued taking multiple shots on goal. Watts fired another one between the posts. A short time later, Cole Washburn, #6, got around the goalie and flipped the puck into the net. The Trail Blazer defense kept their opponent from any last minute opportunities to score.

Final: 7-2, Trail Blazers

“I always tell [the team] to make positive hockey plays, outskate them, outwork them, outhustle them and don’t get caught up in the big hits,” stated coach Bobby Fothergill. “While we’re at the JV level, our execution needs to be better; we’re all here to learn and grow. They were making the right plays, the right decisions and they outhustled them.”