Fall Previews: Gray-New Gloucester

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Cross Country
Coach: Adam Zukowski
Last year’s results: Boys 10th at Regionals, Girls 10th at Regionals
Key athletes lost: Ethan Ray
Key athletes returning: Parker Morse, Ray Wentworth, Erica Schlichting, Abbey Chandler, Alison MacDonald, Ruby Pfeifle, Lily Wilson
Key newcomers: Will Maines, Abby Dulac
Key meets: Regionals
Outlook: “Both our girls and boys teams will be trying to make the State Meet this year,” Zukowski says. “The boys return Morse and Woodworth and add Maines to make a strong top three. They will need two more runners to step up and make a formidable top five to contend for a spot at the State Meet. The girls have a nice core of veterans with Schlichting, Chandler, MacDonald, Pfeifle and Wilson. Combining with newcomer Dulac, the girls will look to have a strong run at Regionals.”

Field Hockey
Coach: Christa Roddy (fourth year)
Last year’s record: 1-12-1
Key players lost: Megan Tripp, Bo Shampine
Key players returning: Maddie Post (sr., A); Alex Shaw (sr., D); Madelyn Cote (jr., M); Jasmine French (jr., A); Trizzie Ha (jr., M); Tiffany Ha (so., M)
Key newcomers: Sydney Garcia (jr., A); Mack Baston (so., G); Sydney Pelletier (fr., D)
Outlook: The Lady Patriots aim to grow in 2018. “With a key returning core and an onslaught of new talent, the team looks forward to trying new strategies across the field,” Roddy says. “This year the team hopes to utilize more of the field and improve passing technique to maintain control of play. Practices so far have centered around decision-making on the field and refining the fundamental skills…Throughout preseason, the team has shown dedication to one another and team success, and will continue to work together to improve throughout the season.”

Boys Soccer
Coach: Andy Higgins (eighth year)
Last year’s record: 4-10-1, fell in postseason prelims at Leavitt
Key players returning: Brannon Gilbert (sr.), Nick McCann (sr.), Jack Kackmeister (sr.), Nick Pelletier (jr.), Jacob MacCallum (jr.), Drew LaCerda (jr.)
Key newcomers: Kyle Martell, Hunter Brown, Josh Michaud, Cam Roberge
Key matchups: Yarmouth, Cape Elizabeth, York, Freeport, Greely, Waynflete, St. Dom’s, Poland, Wells, Fryeburg and Lake Region.
Outlook: “The Patriots are looking to move forward after what could be described as a down season during the 2017 campaign,” Higgins says. “The team is competing and grinding daily to erase the painful memories of the past year. The roster possesses a blend of sound experience and new energy which the Patriots will look to pull from as they attempt to compete in the tire-iron tough Western Maine Conference. Playing in the WMC, it’s difficult to cite specific key matchups. Playing in a conference with such top-to-bottom strength, you need to be ready for a battle on a daily basis. Obviously the matchups with regional powers are very Heal-Points-worthy, but the other teams on the schedule cannot be overlooked.” Gilbert, McCann and Kackmeister will continue to lead the Patriots, while Pelletier, MacCallum and LaCerda have emerged as top talents as well. Martell will help stabilize the team’s defensive core; Brown, Michaud and Roberge will round things out, providing additional firepower.

Girls Soccer
Coach: Kiaran McCormack
Last year’s record: 6-7-1
Key players lost: Emma Woods, Jaley Martin
Key players returning: Chelsea Davis (sr., G); Abby Ross (sr., D); Bri Jordan (sr., M); Alexa Thayer (sr., A)
Key newcomers: Izzy Brindley (jr), West Duffy (fr.)
Key matchups: Freeport, Wells
Outlook: “We return eight starters and four players with extensive varsity experience,” McCormack says. “This season we have a schedule that is competitive and conducive to success. The expectation is to return once more and make a run deep into the playoffs.”

Football coach Brian Jahna and golf coach Jason Ouellette couldn’t be reached.

Adam Birt can be reached at abirt@keepmecurrent.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME

Eliza Hotham unwinds into a kick for G-NG in a bout at Lake Region last fall.

Patriot Trenton Overcash rushes in a bout at Freeport last year.

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