Fall Previews: Windham

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Cross Country
Coaches: Jeff Riddle (head), Cianne Plummer (asst.)
Key athletes returning: Mason Rosborough (sr.), Connor Abbotoni (sr.), Sam Cole (sr.), Rohullah Habibzai (sr.), Gabe Ransom (sr.), Jordan Piechowski (jr.), Tristan Candelmo (so.), Octavian Anghel (so.), Morgan Colangelo (sr.), Abigail Clinch (sr.), Carly Witherow (sr.), Becca Turner (sr.), Hailey Applebee (jr.), Hannah Langstaff (jr.), Molly Cochrane (so.)
Key newcomers: Aiden Day (jr.); Mark Mills (fr.); Kirill Predii; Katherine Lewis (sr., manager); Camille Culpovich (fr.); Isobelle Dionne (fr.)
Key matchups: Cheverus, Gorham, Scarborough, Falmouth
Outlook: The Eagles – both the Gentlemen Eagles and their Lady counterparts – spent their summer pursuing a range of training tactics, including in the weight room, in the water, on bicycles and (of course) running. They are, therefore, eager to turn in some impressive team results and shatter some individual bests. Of his boys, Riddle says: “Each week will be a test for this group of guys who are already working to unite and pack run. They are comprised of many young runners, so they will be learning a lot during their weekly races, all to become race-savvy and able to race strategically and more effectively.” Happily, Windham’s preseason work shows great promise: Riddle’s boys took second at the Coach Dors Invitational at Lake Region. (Dan Dors was a longtime, beloved member of the LRHS running community.) Riddle’s girls, meanwhile, took first at that competition, with Applebee winning outright and setting a record for the new course; expect her to consistently rank high this season.

Field Hockey
Coach: Cory DiDonato
Last year’s record: 1-2-10
Key players lost: Grace Sawyer
Key players returning: Carlee Richmond (sr.), Chloe Wilcox (jr.), Whitney Wilson (jr.), Shyler Fielding (so.)
Key newcomers: Danielle Libby (so.), Carissa O’Connell (so.), Sarah Hare (fr.)
Key matchups: Gorham, Westbrook, Massabesic
Outlook: “I’m excited about the upcoming season,” DiDonato says. “We have worked hard and look stronger than in years past. We’re hungry and know what we have to do to be successful.”

Football
Coach: Matt Perkins
Last year’s record: 7-5, fell to Scarborough in State Final
Key players lost: Tanner Bernier, Nate Watson, Marcus Canty, Anthony Kilgallon
Key players returning: Braxton Cassidy, Stuart Salom, Garrett Peeples
Key newcomers: Tyler Meade, Logan Douglass
Key matchups: Portland, Cheverus
Outlook: The Eagles are quite young this year, but Perkins is optimistic and – as anyone who knows him is well aware – quite capable of whipping a lineup into shape. “We have nine new starters on each side of the ball,” he says. “However, we have a great group of high-character kids who are coachable. We feel we’ll be a different team from week one to year’s end. We’re very excited with the quality of student athletes we have!”

Golf
Coach: Adam Manzo
Last year’s record: 4-6 (missed Team States by just five strokes)
Key players lost: Evan Millett, Ryan Walker
Key players returning: Bryce Afthim (sr.), Evan Glicos (jr.), Ryan Sargent (jr.), Nolan Kent (jr.), Zach Loftis (jr.)
Key newcomers: Brady Bowen (jr.), Drew Mathieu (so.)
Key matchups: Gorham, Greely, TA
Outlook: “We’re returning a strong core of players,” says Manzo, “but must also adjust to our new come course, Riverside.” The Eagles will sorely miss Walker, who was a transfer from Lake Region and has transferred back there this year for his senior season. On the upside, the boys who return are veterans by now, and strong in their own right. “The team gained valuable experience last season, competing at a high level with a majority of the team being underclassmen,” Manzo says. “Glicos, Sargent, Kent and Loftis all return to the mix for their junior year, looking to improve on a solid sophomore campaign. The team will also look to Mathieu, Bowen and Ryan Silva, a sophomore, for contributions throughout the season.”

Boys Soccer
Coach: Wally LeBlanc
Last year’s record: 4-10
Key players lost: Nick Rose, Andrew Sawyer, Alex Wilkins
Key players returning: Tyler Woolston (sr., A); Tyler Thornton (sr., D); Liam McCusker (sr., D)
Key matchups: Westbrook, Bonny Eagle, Kennebunk, Sanford
Outlook: “This is a very enjoyable group of athletes who bond well with each other,” LeBlanc says. “We are beginning the season under a little adversity, but after several key players return, we will seek to be more consistent and look to make a late-season push for the playoffs.” LeBlanc’s key matchups are almost must-wins if the Eagles hope to return to the tournament this year.

Girls Soccer
Coach: Deb Lebel
Last year’s record: 8-6-2; fell in playoff quarterfinals 2-1 to Scarborough
Key players returning: Belle Skvorak (sr., D); Miranda Lewis (sr., D); Alanna Joyce (sr., M); Riley Silvia (jr., G)
Key matchups: Gorham, Scarborough, Cheverus, Falmouth
Outlook: Windham – always a powerhouse – returns seven starters from last year’s playoffs squad, and so should earn a postseason berth as a real contender again this year. “We have strong senior leadership with a balance of talented underclassmen,” Lebel says. “Four returning sophomores – Riley Beem, Julia McKenna, Rylee Pepin and Emma Yale – add a great deal of strength in a variety of positions. This team has a great deal of speed offensively.”

Volleyball
Coach: Chris Cloutier
Last year’s record: 4-10
Key players returning: Megan Fleck (jr.), Morgan Proulx (jr.), Alexis Budroe (so.), Lydia Budroe (so.)
Key matchups: Scarborough, Gorham, Cape Elizabeth, Yarmouth
Outlook: “Windham is a young team with tons of talent,” Cloutier says. “The energy and attitude of the players this pre-season has been addictive. Players are excited and eager to perform well and turn this season into a successful one. A difficult schedule will prepare them to push deep into the postseason.”

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

Megan Fleck gets beneath a ball for the Eagles.

Eagle Andrew Wing takes a touch in a battle last autumn.

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