Friday, June 30, 2023

Windham field hockey player Emma Casale commits to Saint Joseph’s College

By Matt Pascarella

When Windham senior Emma Casale first picked up a field hockey stick in sixth grade, she was hesitant, but stepped outside her comfort zone. Years later she became a star player on Windham’s varsity field hockey team and on Tuesday, June 6 at Windham High School, Casale signed a letter of intent to attend Saint Joseph’s College where she will play field hockey and major in medical biology with a pre-physician assistant track.

Windham senior Emma Casale joins her parents, Karen and
Dan Casale, after signing a letter of intent to attend Saint
Joseph's College and major in medical biology with a 
pre-physician assistant track while playing field hockey
for the Monks. The signing ceremony was held at Windham
High School on June 6. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA 
“I met Emma when she was a sixth grader,” said Windham varsity field hockey coach Cory DiDonato. “When I had her in class, she was so quiet and so shy I was lucky if she said three words to me. I challenged her and said come try field hockey and she did.”

DiDonato said the growth she’s seen from Casale is the more than DiDonato has seen in over 19 years of coaching.

“She worked extremely hard,” said DiDonato. “She worked day-in-day-out, wanted feedback. Her quiet leadership spoke volumes, because when younger kids see someone like Emma who quietly goes about her business, nose to the grindstone, never gives up, they say ‘that’s who I want to be like.’ That’s Emma.”

Once Casale picked up a field hockey stick, it instantly became a really good opportunity for her and where she has met some of her closest friends.

“The people really did it for me,” said Casale. “My friends are on the team and the coaches are great. I really developed the love for the sport because of them and I really like pushing myself and being the best person that I can be.”

WHS Athletic Director Rich Drummond pointed out that during the summertime, he would drive by the field hockey field on his way to work and day after day he would see Casale on the field working on getting better. Her dedication has made her a better player.

“She’s very understanding of everyone around her and she’s good with teamwork,” said teammate and
Windham senior Emma Theriault. “She was one of my defense people when I was the goalie; she’s easy to work with and very easy to understand. She’s a force to be reckoned with on defense.”

Casale is a hard worker off the field. She’s a member of the National Honor Society, French Honor Society, Key Club and Mental Health Club. She likes giving back to the community and has wrapped presents for children in need and made wreaths for veteran’s gravestones.

She picked Saint Joseph’s College because it’s great for her major, it’s close to home and Casale had worked with Saint Joseph’s College field hockey coach Rupert Lewis before, and she really liked his coaching style and said he’s very supportive.

It felt really good for her to sign this letter of intent. It’s taken a lot of mornings out, practice and playing on travel teams to get to this point.

Her advice to underclassmen is to put yourself out there; go for things even if you’re scared or nervous.
Casale said she wouldn’t be the person she is today without field hockey. She’s grown so much confidence and it’s a great thing to try a new sport.

Casale would like to be a quiet leader on the Saint Joseph’s College field hockey team. She said she will be a good defense player and hopefully a big part of the team.

She would like to thank Mr. Drummond for setting up her letter of intent signing, Coach DiDonato for all she’s done for her along with seeing things in her Casale never saw in herself. Casale would also like to thank her parents for supporting and helping her and all her friends and teachers who pushed her. <


Windham Little League’s 11-12 Softball All-Stars season ends

By Matt Pascarella

In a double elimination tournament, the Windham Little League 11-12 softball All-Stars had a very successful run at the Westbrook Little League Complex. After a 15-0 win over Portland and a 4-1 loss to Westbrook, Windham eliminated Gorham 5-4 on Thursday, June 22 and Cumberland North Yarmouth 10-6 on Monday, June 26. Windham fought hard, but on Tuesday, June 27, Scarborough came away with a 6-3 win, ending the season for Windham.

Windham Little League Softball All-Star sixth grader
Lydia York hits the ball to the outfield during a 
tournament game against Scarborough at the Westbrook
Little League Complex on June 27.
Windham Little League softball All-Star coach Gina Kostopoulos said not one of the girls is the same athlete they came in as; they’ve all grown a lot in a short period of time, and that player retention is really high. Windham players became so close, they relied on and trusted each other and that’s what it’s all about.


Windham steadily added runs in most innings, but Gorham was not far behind and often tied the game. Windham took a one-run lead in the sixth inning and held off Gorham.

Coach Kostopoulos said there was a lot of talk in practice about digging deep. They had to want it every single inning. It was their heart; they dug deep and earned the Gorham win.

Cumberland North Yarmouth

Despite fog, rain and slick conditions in the Cumberland North Yarmouth game, Windham added runs most innings and had a nice lead over Cumberland North Yarmouth.

Windham sixth grader Lydia York said it felt great to get the Cumberland North Yarmouth win. The

weather made the ball much slipperier, and harder to grip and throw. She said base running, sliding and outfielders all did well.

Going into the third inning, the game was tied 2-2. Windham sixth graders Audrey Libby and Courtney Cotter singled. Libby scored on a passed ball. Seventh grader Yani Kostopoulos singled and drove in Cotter. Kostopoulos scored on a passed ball. Sixth grader Madisen Valliere walked and scored on an error.

Windham defense made it hard for Cumberland North Yarmouth to catch up. Pitcher Libby struck out seven batters.

Libby said Windham had high energy in the dugout. Although there was a little bit of struggle during this game, Windham kept their heads up and it felt good to win.


Windham started the Scarborough game with a high level of intensity. Cotter walked and Yani Kostopoulos singled. Cotter scored off an error. Windham seventh grader Evelyn Robinson reached first base through an error. Sixth grader Layla Pinto walked; then Yani Kostopoulos and Robinson scored on

passed balls.

Scarborough answered, but Windham did not allow them to tie the game after the first inning.

Yani Kostopoulos said they could have done a couple things differently, like laying down bunts and not missing signs but they had some good plays. It was hard to keep their heads up after Scarborough took the lead. It was a fun season for her to talk up these girls and be able to play with them.

Windham defense prevented the game from becoming a runaway. Robinson stopped a runner headed home in the bottom of the third inning. Scarborough was unable to score in the fifth inning.

“I hit the ball really well,” said Robinson and I got to catch a lot this year. Over the season we had fun, we got to play a lot.”

Robinson said the team really wanted to win the Scarborough game. She said Windham put the effort in swinging the bat and did not go down looking.

“It was a good run,” said Coach Kostopoulos. “Top six is not bad, we have a very young ... determined team and they came out of the gate wanting to win and it just didn’t end up in our favor.”

Coach Kostopoulos said Windham had played great defensively, yet they didn’t get the bats going as much as she would have liked, but overall, she is very proud of the team. <


Friday, June 23, 2023

Windham skier Sam Plummer commits to Saint Joseph’s College

By Matt Pascarella

Many Windham athletes are leaders on and off the field and senior Sam Plummer is no exception. He was captain of the varsity alpine ski team, helped the Jordan-Small Middle School in Raymond get a soccer rebound wall as part of his Eagle Scout project and is described by his teammates as a hard worker who really cares about the sport and his team. And on Wednesday, May 31 Plummer signed a letter of intent at Windham High School to attend Saint Joseph’s College where he will major in marine science and be a part of the Saint Joseph’s College ski team.

Kim Plummer (left) and Scott Plummer watch as their son,
Sam Plummer, signs a letter of intent on Wednesday, May 31
to attend Saint Joseph's College where he will major in marine
science and compete on the men's alpine ski team.
Windham High Alpine Ski Coach Mark Politano said that when Plummer first joined Windham’s team, it was during the Covid-19 masking period and he was having a hard time getting everyone’s names down. However, Plummer was one of the ones who stuck out. Politano said Plummer was someone always trying to gain a competitive edge.

Plummer was given the role of captain for the WHS ski team and Politano said that was a big help to him because Plummer is like a mini-coach.

“You took that role and ran with it, and I can’t thank you enough for making my life easier this year,” said Politano. “I’m really excited you’re skiing at Saint Joseph’s College.”

Plummer has been skiing since before he was 2 years old. He doesn’t even remember learning how to ski, skiing was just always a part of his life.

While Plummer is so successful on the slopes, he also understands the importance of giving back and being successful off the mountain.

As part of Eagle Scout Troop 800 he planned, fundraised, organized and did everything it took to build the Jordan-Small Middle School a soccer rebound wall which stands on their soccer/softball field. Plummer got his troop and community to take part in the preparation and construction of the wall and it’s a full structure anyone in the community can use.

“It meant a lot,” said Plummer. “Because the school was really looking for one to be built; I grew up playing on the field and it was really nice to give back and [it was an] awesome experience to be able to do.”

When Plummer was in the sixth grade, he began skiing competitively for Lake Region Middle School. He continued to progress his skills and joined Windham Middle School’s ski team in eighth grade. He improved more once he got to Windham High School.

It’s taken a lot of hard work for Plummer to reach this point and he wouldn’t change a single thing about it. While he excels on the slopes, off the slopes he knew if he made school a top priority, everything else would fall into place. He’s done a lot to get to this point and to sign his letter of intent was really, really awesome.

“He was a very good leader and led us in a great way,” said senior teammate Annie Jackson. “He reached out to our other teammates and was there for our coach and everyone on the team.

Along with his strong work ethic, Jackson said Plummer will bring energy and kindness to the team next year.

It was Plummer’s passion for the sport that made him stick with it. He loves the feeling of going fast and putting his skis on the edge to the point where they almost give out. It’s a natural, amazing high.

He’s hoping to bring a competitive edge to Saint Joseph’s College. He’s really excited for this opportunity to grow his skillset. It’s a whole new playing field for Plummer, but he’s ready to work hard for another four years.

Plummer would like to thank his parents who were a huge inspiration and support system for him. Also, he’s grateful to Windham High School’s alpine ski coaches Lucas Hare and Mark Politano for without them, he wouldn’t have been able to get to this point. He says that he’d also like to thank his friends and family who supported him by showing up at meets and cheering for him. <

Windham Little League AAA championship game features strong teams playing to best of abilities

By Matt Pascarella

A season of learning and improvements came down to one winner-take-all championship game for Windham Little League’s AAA Division teams when Superior Plus Propane and Just for Kids Dentistry met at Ciccarone Field at Lowell Farm in Windham on Monday, June 19. Superior Plus Propane claimed the title by winning, 15-7.

Just For Dentistry's Alex McGonagle keeps his focus on the 
ball before hitting it into the outfield during the Windham
Little League AAA Division championship game against
Superior Plus Propane at Ciccarone Field at Lowell Farm
in Windham on Monday, June 19.
“Good momentum, but more importantly, probably the most respectful group of kids I’ve ever coached,” said Superior Plus Propane coach Dave Moore. “I feel we already won before we took the field. It was a culmination of the whole season – three or four kids on the team had never played baseball, fast forward to the end and they are putting the ball in play and having fun and that’s the reward for coaching.”

Moore said everyone grasping that they are part of a team, even though there is only one batter at the plate was a positive during the game and the team was loud in the dugout. He said they are a well-behaved group of kids with a lot of respect for each other and the coaches. And they had some older kids who helped out the younger kids which was awesome to see.

In the first inning, Superior Plus Propane fourth grader Blake Hanson hit a triple. Third grader Quincy Stubbert walked, then Hanson stole home. Third grader Tanner Pulkkinen singled on a pop fly and Stubbert scored. Pulkkinen scored later.

When it was Just for Kids Dentistry’s time at the plate, fourth grader Dustin Lachtara singled, then fourth grader Preston McLean walked. Third grader Alex McGonagle singled and Lachtara and McLean scored.

In the second inning, third grader Jacoby Penney of Superior Plus Propane walked, stole his way around the bases and scored. Third grader Asher Turner and second grader Sammy Stubbert both walked. Hanson was hit by a pitch loading the bases. Quincy Stubbert walked, and Turner scored.

Third grader and Just For Kids Dentistry player Caleb Underhill walked in the second inning. Third grader Landon Franzoni singled and Underhill scored. Second grader Callen Call singled, and fourth grader Hunter Lewis walked.

Superior Plus Propane led 5-3 after two innings.

In the fourth inning, Superior Plus Propane put several more runs on the scoreboard. Fourth grader Liam Wood was hit by a pitch, Turner and Sammy Stubbert each walked, loading the bases. Hanson walked and Wood scored. Turner stole home. Third grader Charlie Sanicola singled and Sammy Stubbert scored. Then, Hanson stole home. After a walk, third grader Byron Dansereau doubled, and more runs came in.

Defense on both teams was strong as Just for Kids Dentistry ended innings with their opponent’s baserunners still on base and Superior Plus Propane stopped runners before they reached their base.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Lachtara walked and so did Just for Kids Dentistry first grader Benson Duffy. Lachtara scored and McLean doubled, then McLean stole home.

“I just wanted my kids to come out here and have fun today,” said Just for Kids Dentistry coach Patrick McGonagle. “They worked hard all season long developing and getting better every single day and I am proud beyond belief for them.”

Coach McGonagle said the team got a lot of infield plays correctly – something they’d been working on during practices. Communication and motivation was another thing that he saw the team do really well with during the game.

Afterward each team picked the Most Valuable Players for the other team. Charlie Sanicola and Alex McGonagle were chosen and received medals.

Sanicola said it felt great to get the win, but he couldn’t do it without his teammates. He said pitching was great and hitting the ball was smooth and it felt great to be chosen as MVP and he was happy to be selected. He’s proud of his team.

“I’m not going to lie, those were some tough hitters,” said Alex McGonagle. “You just have to push through it and have confidence in each other and try to hit as best we can.”

McGonagle was surprised and excited to be chosen as MVP. He said said hitting and defense went well; he gave thanks and props to his teammates. McGonagle was pleased with how his team played during this game and throughout the playoffs.

Both teams have come a long way in a short amount of time. <

Friday, June 16, 2023

Windham boys’ lacrosse fights to last minute in quarterfinal playoff, comes up short

By Matt Pascarella

After No. 6 Windham trounced No. 11 Deering 16-8 in the preliminary playoff round, Windham took on No. 3 South Portland at South Portland in the quarterfinal playoff round on Saturday, June 10. South Portland took a big lead early on and won the game 19-8, and while the score tells one story, the flip side is how hard this team has worked all season for each other and how hard they played during this game.

Windham junior Blake McPherson doesn't let a South
Portland defender stop him during a boys' varsity lacrosse
quarterfinals playoff game at South Portland High on
“With this group of guys, we ... play until the final whistle,” said senior Alex Yeaton. “That’s something I’m really proud of ... is how far we’ve come as a team and individually. I couldn’t be prouder of how hard we worked; we faced some struggles, some losses, and we came right back and played better. I’m proud of my guys.”

After a tough first quarter, Yeaton said the team had no thoughts of giving up. He said offense and defense played well and senior goalie Reed Wescott did a great job. A lot of Windham’s struggles came through transition and once South Portland got momentum they just kept going.

Less than five minutes into the game, Windham junior Tobias Perkins scored. South Portland answered and tied the game 1-1. Windham was aggressive, moved the ball and communicated.

Unfortunately, South Portland found the back of the net several times in the first quarter. Perkins scored again before the end of the first quarter.

Perkins said this season in particular Windham has put in a lot of work, so they weren’t going down without a fight. They laid it all out there on the field. He said they may have started a little slow, but even with a big difference on the scoreboard, every Windham player tried their hearts out.

Perkins said when they had the ball, offense went smoothly. A lot of the team’s success this season stemmed from younger guys who had prepared all winter – and were ready – who stepped up on the field.

Windham junior Blake McPherson scored from way outside the crease. Then Yeaton got one between the pipes. At the half South Portland led 12-4.

The pressure and intensity remained in the second half; Windham fought hard. McPherson scored again, then Yeaton scored. In fourth quarter, Windham had more offensive possessions; Yeaton scored again, so did McPherson.

“When we got the ball to offense, working it around, finding the open shots, that worked pretty good; clearing wasn’t bad, transitions were good,” said McPherson.

McPherson said it was hard to keep their heads up after that first quarter, but you need to work through adversity, make it through tough situations and always play with your head up. He was happy with their effort but said they could have done a little more.

Windham senior goalie Phillip ‘Reed’ Wescott did a phenomenal job with 12 saves during the game.

Wescott said they all wanted to win, but as he stood there, win or lose, he was going to put everything he had onto the field. Once Windham started clicking, offense started to go and once defense settled, Windham played offense and defended really well.

“We believed it would be a possession game,” said Windham varsity boys’ lacrosse coach Peter Small. “We thought the game would be won or lost at the midfield and we had to possess the ball, so we had to slow down and set our tempo. We felt defensively we’d be relatively ok if [the ball] wasn’t in transition, and offensively we’d be ok. That’s what it came down to – they beat us in the midfield game, and they beat us in transition.”

Small said when Windham had the ball offensively, they moved it really well. Flip it around, get to the backside get some shots off; shot selection was great.

This whole week the kids held each other accountable – in a positive way – and for Small, that’s what it’s all about. <

Windham senior Reed Wescott commits to Saint Joseph's College to play lacrosse

By Matt Pascarella

Windham senior Reed Wescott is a well-rounded individual. His high grades in Latin have made him a member of the Latin Honor Society; he’s done fundraisers through the Latin Honor Society, is a member of the Windham Chamber Singers and the Drama Club, plus he’s a star goalie on the WHS varsity boys’ lacrosse team. On Wednesday, May 31 at Windham High School, Wescott signed a letter of intent to attend St. Joseph’s College where he will play lacrosse and major in political science and history and enter pre-law during his junior year.

Windham senior Reed Wescott signs a letter of intent to
play college lacrosse for Saint Joseph's College as his
parents watch during a ceremony on May 31 at Windham
“We’ve been fortunate to have him as a starting goalie his entire high school career and we’ve been better for it,” said Windham varsity boys’ lacrosse coach Peter Small. “And not just because of who he is in the crease, but who he is on the sidelines, who he is in the school and who he is in the community. As a result, the ceiling doesn’t exist [for him].”

Wescott was looking for a smaller school that had a record of exceptional academics and a strong lacrosse program. Once he met with St. Joseph’s men’s lacrosse coach Bill Cosentino, he instantly wanted to work with him for the next four years because he’s such a great guy.

“Reed’s a stand-up guy on and off the field,” said Windham senior Owen Gaulrapp. “As a program we talk about the 21 ways to be a great teammate and I think Reed is the best guy to go to if you have anything needed. He has a lot of really awesome game IQ. I’ve grown up with Reed and we’ve played together for a while and some of the stuff he notices on the field is unbelievable.”

Gaulrapp said it will be great for St. Joseph’s College to have such an outstanding underclassman that has such a good attitude; Wescott will be able to play a role really early and Gaulrapp is excited to see how that plays out.

When Wescott was in the fourth grade, his father introduced him to lacrosse. In Wescott’s very first game they needed a goalie, so he jumped right in and did not flinch. After trying out other positions, Wescott found his way back to goal and wanted to stick with it and get better.

“I always enjoyed lacrosse,” said Wescott. “The teammates and the coaches all kept helping me and I had fun. There was never a practice or game, even a really bad loss that I felt ‘I hate this sport, I don’t want to do this anymore.’”

Wescott said a positive attitude is important when trying to get to where you want to go. He said keeping a positive attitude toward anything you do is necessary because without it, you’re not going to be able to see where you need to go or how you’re going to get there.

It felt great for Wescott to sign his letter of intent. He’s glad he’s going to play for St. Joseph’s College. It’s taken a lot of hard work and lot of practice along with summer clinics, club programs and hours outside of practice to get better.

“I can bring good positive energy, some motivation,” said Wescott. “I’d love to just motivate them. Help them get better on stuff they might not see, so in turn I can get better.”

Reed would like to thank all his coaches, Coach Small, Coach Seth Fournier and goalie coach Bob Ferro, all Wescott’s travel coaches and especially his parents, who have been so supportive all along to reach this point in his career. <

Raymond softball ends season with all-around effort

By Matt Pascarella

On an overcast afternoon that ended with the game being called part-way through the fifth inning because of a downpour, Raymond’s softball team played their final game of the season at Jordan-Small Middle School in Raymond on Thursday, June 8 against Old Orchard Beach. Although the final score of 17-10 favored Old Orchard Beach, Raymond’s efforts had been steadily improving in a short amount of time.

Raymond sixth grader Anita Sargent makes a throw to
first base during a middle school softball game against
Old Orchard Beach at Jordan-Small Middle School on
“The amount of confidence that all of them came forward with today was major,” said Raymond softball coach Miranda Eisenhart. “Their spirit is what’s so memorable about this team. Half of our team had never played before; their resilience and they just had fun.”

With only five games total this season, Raymond’s softball team exhibited their increased confidence during this final game of the season. Everyone on the team was supportive, positive, and excited to play.

Eisenhart said they had players playing new positions during this game, they knew where to throw the ball and were aggressive at the plate – even turning up the intensity when it came to base stealing.

In the first inning, seventh grader Brooke Tuttle walked. She quickly stole her way to third base and scored on a passed ball. Sixth grader Julianna Vassoler also walked and did exactly the same thing; as did sixth grader Anita Sargent. Seventh grader Kylie Gervais walked and after waiting for the right moment, stole and slid into home on a passed ball. Seventh grader Cassidy Sawyer walked and scored on a passed ball, too. The game was tied 5-5.

In the third inning, Raymond defense was on it when shortstop Sargent made an excellent catch to get an out.

Raymond’s offense tied the game again after three innings. Gervais got a base hit, then scored on a passed ball. Sixth grader Silvia Roma walked, stole her way around the infield and scored on a passed ball. Sawyer also walked and later scored on a passed ball. Seventh grader Ava-Noel Chevarie walked, seventh grader Alexus Williams was hit by the pitch, eighth grader Karla Rodriguez walked, and the bases are loaded. Chevarie and Williams each scored. Now the game is tied 10-10.

“I think [the game] went very well,” said Rodriguez. “We’ve gotten better with batting, passing and backing up.”

Gervais’ quick glove caught a line drive in the top of the fourth inning. She also made a throw to first baseman Roma to get an out at the top of the fifth inning.

According to Gervais, things were a little rough and rocky in the circle, but overall went well. Gervais said the comeback Raymond had made before the end of the game was impressive.

Roma said working together helped the team develop from earlier in the season to today. Starting out, a lot of the girls on the Raymond team didn’t know one another and didn’t work together as a team early on. Roma has seen several girls who never played before and became good players this season. <

Friday, June 9, 2023

Windham JV softball ends season with outstanding win over Biddeford

By Matt Pascarella

Windham’s junior varsity softball team played their final game of the season at home against Biddeford on Wednesday, May 31 and the Lady Eagles went out on top by defeating the Tigers, keeping the hits and runs coming and posting an impressive 15-6 win.

Windham sophomore Maddy Young delivers a base hit during
a JV softball game against Biddeford on Wednesday, May 31
at Windham High School.  PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA 
With the victory, Windham closed the season with an 11-2 record.

“I really think it was a team win because the team was chipping away at the plate,” said Windham sophomore Sierra Sparrow. “We couldn’t have gotten ahead without everyone top to bottom of the order getting on base and making things happen.”

Biddeford had built a 2-0 lead halfway through the third inning. But in the bottom of the third inning, Sparrow singled, and freshman Jezabelle Pinto walked. Sparrow stole her way around the bases and scored on a passed ball. After Pinto stole third base, Biddeford’s catcher made an error and Pinto scored. The game was tied, 2-2.

The Tigers added two runs in the fourth inning, but Windham answered and really got the bats going and exhibited smart base-running.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Windham sophomore Willow Washburn walked, and freshman Ashley Cloutier was hit by a pitch. Sophomore Maddy Young singled and Washburn scored.

Young said she felt there was more cheering in the dugout than usual, and Windham’s supportive nature helped a lot. Young said the team’s infield played well and the team was smart at the plate.

Cloutier scored on a passed ball. Sparrow tripled and Young scored. Pinto walked and Sparrow scored on a passed ball. Pinto stole her way around the diamond and scored on an error and Windham led by three runs.

Although Biddeford knocked in two more runs in the top of the fifth inning, Windham defense allowed no more runs.

Freshman Lacie Higgins pitched for seven innings and struck out 14 Biddeford batters.

“I definitely felt the pressure,” said Higgins. “I know I have a good defense behind me; if I can throw it in there, they can make plays. I think it’s easy for me to get in the zone and throw strikes. I take a lot of time in between pitches so I can reset myself and think about every pitch one at a time.”

From the fifth inning on, Windham could not and would not be stopped as they continued to round the bases.

Sophomore Charlotte Nappi walked. Higgins doubled and Nappi scored. Higgins stole home after sophomore Dakota Small walked. Two more walks and Young singled; Small scored. Sparrow lined out, but Washburn tagged up and scored. Cloutier scored on a passed ball. Pinto walked. Young scored on an error.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Windham did not let up any; sophomore Alexis Redmon singled, Nappi tripled and Redmon scored. Higgins singled and Nappi scored.

In the top of the seventh inning, Windham only allowed four batters to the plate before they ended the game.

“The girls did a really great job, they held their composure,” said Windham JV softball coach Darcie Finn. “In the first two at-bats they were a little hesitant at the plate and [then] they just settled in.”

Finn said communication, being smart at the plate, seeing the ball and reading it and being smart on the base path were all things that went well.

She said this is a great group of girls who always have each other’s backs and are an awesome team. <

Windham’s Unified bocce team wraps up season on high note

By Matt Pascarella

Windham’s Unified bocce team played their final game of the season at home against Scarborough on Thursday, June 1. It was senior night, so seniors Lauren Broadbent, Kayla Fillinger, Dani Iaconeta and Austin Rice were all presented with a small gift as a thank you for their dedication to Windham Athletics throughout their high school careers.

Windham High junior TJ McAllister keeps his eyes on the
target as he gets ready to throw in the final Unified bocce
match of the season against Scarborough on Thursday,
June 1 at Windham High School.
Windham Unified bocce coach Connor McNeill said the biggest goal of Unified sports is to provide an opportunity for students with and without disabilities to participate in a varsity sport together.

Unified bocce just completed its first season at Windham and this match against Scarborough was structured to have three 20-minute games with two courts playing per game.

One team throws a small white ball called the pallino, and the goal is to throw larger balls, called bocce, to get as close to the pallino as possible. Only the team closest to the pallino scores points. While a score is kept, the Unified games are more about having fun and celebrating the season. There was high energy and lots of positive encouragement and cheering from both teams.

In the first group of games, Scarborough won 9-5 and 5-3. In the second games Windham won 7-4 and Scarborough won 6-2. In the third games, Scarborough won 7-4 and Windham won 4-3.

For bocce specifically, Windham’s team goals were intended to learn the game, compete against other high schools and have fun. It was evident to McNeill watching the growth from the first practice to the last game that as a team they met and exceeded all these goals.

“I think we worked together as a team very well,” said senior Lauren Broadbent. “We were taking turns and I think everyone scored some points.”

Broadbent said she had fun during the Scarborough game and throughout the season. Windham has won some and lost some and she said that she liked playing multiple games so everyone has a chance to win.

Windham sophomore Colby Schmid said this team’s chemistry was outstanding. They communicated together, and Schmid said the season has been great. Bocce is a calming sport for Schmid and helps him relax while reducing stress.

“The season was great,” said Windham unified bocce coach Connor McNeill. “It’s been very successful. The opportunity for different groups of students to get together and the comradery between schools is great.”

McNeill said the Windham community is very supportive of Unified sports and they are thankful that they got a grant from the Special Olympics to make the season a reality.

Congrats to Windham team members Broadbent, Sophia Gugliuzza, Jacob Smith, Iaconeta, Jack Shirley, Zach O’Brion, Mary Jean, TJ McAllister, Schmid, Fillinger and Rice on a great season. <

Friday, June 2, 2023

Windham senior Jackson commits to Husson University to play field hockey

By Matt Pascarella

Windham senior Annie Jackson signed her letter of intent at Windham High School on Tuesday, May 30 to attend Husson University where she will major in occupational therapy and play field hockey.

Windham senior Annie Jackson, left, signs a letter of intent
as her mom, Stephanie Smart, looks on at Windham High
School on May 30. Jackson will attend Husson University
in Bangor while playing field hockey and majoring in
occupational therapy. PHOTO BY MATT PASCARELLA
Jackson would like to become an occupational therapist and will be part of a dual degree program which combines undergraduate and graduate classes into five years; this will help her get into her major quicker and allow Jackson to start her career sooner.

She first began playing field hockey in a sixth-grade summer clinic hosted by varsity field hockey coach Cory DiDonato. Afterward Jackson found a community with the other girls through field hockey.

“She works so hard and leads by example – her teammates can look to her,” said DiDonato. “She was a tremendous leader for us, my go-to; she didn’t crack under any pressure and there was quite a bit of pressure this season. She shines the brightest when she’s challenged.”

In the off season, Jackson spends a lot of time working on improving. For Jackson, practicing on her own and playing travel field hockey has helped her elevate her skills.

She’s wanted to play at the college level since seventh grade and it felt great for Jackson to sign her letter of intent.

Jackson said it’s taken a lot of hard work to get to this point. She’s built up a lot of her strength and confidence in her abilities and in her academics over the years.

“Annie’s a great teammate,” said Windham senior Emma Casale. “She’s always supportive and a really good friend of mine off the field. She’s really hard working and always brings a smile to my face and makes everybody laugh.”

Since Jackson is such a supportive player, Casale said she’ll succeed at Husson University, as an athlete and as a student.

According to Jackson, she stuck with field hockey because she likes the fast-paced nature of the game coupled with the team dynamics. She really enjoys spending time with and playing for her teammates.

“I have put so much time and energy into improving my field hockey skills which made me feel more confident with the sport,” said Jackson. “I also believe that the atmosphere of the team and working together drew me closer to the sport. I believe that having a team to depend on and bond with will help me next year as I start my first year of college.”

Her advice to underclassmen who would like to achieve what she achieved through the signing of her letter of intent is to focus on academics first because they are the most important. She also said putting your mental health first is key. There’s a community and friendships that can be built that will help a student athlete through everything else.

DiDonato said Jackson will bring stability, confidence and consistency to the program at Husson University. DiDonato said Jackson is a work horse and people will look to her for how to consistently perform. When it comes to Jackson, there are no better words to describe her than hard-working, consistent and super driven.

Jackson would like to thank her varsity coach, DiDonato and assistant coaches, Tiff Theriault and Lyndsay Stretch, for all their hard work and for being an inspiration to her. Jackson would like to thank her mother for all she’s done for her. Jackson would also like to thank her teachers and friends who have helped her get to this point. <

Windham outdoor track and field team reaches great heights during Southwesterns meet

By Matt Pascarella

As both Windham High School’s outdoor track and field teams prepare for the state championship meet tomorrow at Mt. Ararat High School, Windham had an extraordinary showing at the Southwesterns championship meet on Friday, May 26 at Gorham High School.

The Windham girls came in third place with a score of 61 and the boys came in 13th finishing with a score of 14.

Windham sophomore Tayla Pelletier leaps over the hurdle
and out past the competition during the Southwesterns
championship meet at Gorham High School on May 26.

“The team united, brought their synergy, ... and worked to meet our goal of reducing self-inflicted pressure [and] just have competitive fun performing in an earned championship meet,” said Windham girls’ outdoor track and field coach Jeff Riddle.

Riddle said strategies evolve over weeks prior to championship meets and during meets coaches offer feedback to players; the responsibility of the opportunity turns to the players. So, if they get elevated at this high level, things like a third-place finish manifest.

Sophomore Tayla Pelletier crushed it as she came in first in the triple jump, achieving her best distance ever of 37-02.00 feet and setting a new school record. She finished first in the 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.67 seconds; first in the high jump with a 5-02.00 height, and third in the 300 hurdles with a time of 46.50, which also set a new school record.

“Having the teammates there just hyped me up,” said Pelletier. “My goal was to not focus on what anyone around me was doing, but to focus on me and getting my best.”

Pelletier said the competition was tough, but it’s nice having competition that pushes you to be your best. She said everyone on the team was giving their all.

In the long jump junior Khalysa Hammith finished third with a distance of 16-00.25. Sophomore Ava Gerrity finished seventh with a 15-00.75 distance.

Gerrity finished second in the triple jump with a 33-08.75 distance.

Sophomore Addison Profenno finished third in the 1600 race walk with a time of 9:51.44 minutes.

In the discus, sophomore Marina Schwarz finished 12th with a throw of 77-05.

“There was a strong sense of team and unity throughout the entire meet,” said senior captain Elise Schultz.

Senior captain Adriyanna Edge said everyone there had the same emotions and anxieties which made it easy to come together. Many were competing to further the team to get to the state championship.


Windham finished third in the 4x100 relay with a 44.98 time.

Senior Derrick Stephens finished seventh in the 110 hurdles with a time of 16.16 and sixth in the 300 hurdles with a time of 43.03; his season’s best for both events.

Also in the 300 hurdles, sophomore Aiden Hanson finished ninth with a 43.92 time, a personal record.

Sophomore Carter Engelman finished sixth in the pole vault with a height of 11-00.00 – an improvement of 18 inches. He got a personal record in the 300 hurdles with a 44.81 time.

“I had a really good day today,” said Engelman. “I wanted to [achieve a] personal record today and I did, I was really happy with that performance.”

Engelman said it was cool to see opponents who have been competing longer than him and to see what their technique and form is. Windham has been really strong this year.

Senior Connor Langstaff finished eighth in the long jump with a distance of 19-04.75 and seventh in the triple jump with a 38-05.00 distance.

Langstaff wanted to compete better than he had been in the past. He said he achieved that and is proud. He said competition was intense, and Windham competed very well.

Junior Ezra Foster threw 134-00 in the javelin and finished eighth; a season’s best for him.

Senior Scott Ingalls finished eighth in discus with a 116-06 throw.

Senior Max Arbour finished sixth in the shot put with a distance of 40-09.25.

“Our goal going into Southwesterns was to get more individual qualifiers for [the] state meet and for all the athletes to step up their performances for the big meets,” said Windham boys’ outdoor track and field coach Paula Pock. “We had a lot of athletes who are new to track and field and they ... had some incredible performances. The team did great at cheering each other on and helping each other perform to the best of their abilities.”<