Coach: Brad Smith
Last year’s record: 8-10
Key players: Evan Plummer (sr., OF); Zack Mann (jr., P/SS/2B); John Villanueva (jr., P/SS/2B)
Key games: Poland, Fryeburg, Lake Region, Freeport
Outlook: Graduation 2015 tagged out several Patriots vets, including critical players at catcher, pitcher, short and center. “One key will be how quickly and how well we can fill those holes defensively,” says Smith. “Secondly, as a team, we need to build confidence in ourselves in all three phases, to beat the teams we’re capable of beating, and not beat ourselves.”
Coaches: Todd Mercer (boys head), Mike Griffin (girls head), Adam Zukowksi (asst.), Scott Espling (asst.)
Key athletes: Ben Garcia (sr.); Garret Moran (sr.); Zack Haskell (sr.); Emily Dawkins; (sr., Shot Put); Tram Ho (sr., Shot Put); Clara Phillips (sr., Shot Put); Scout Ray (sr., Pole Vault/High Jump); Bri Fortin (sr., Pole Vaule/High Jump); Gabrielle Martineau (sr., 55/200); Olivia Giles (sr., distance/relays); Sam Shampine (sr., distance/relays); Andrew Peterson (so.); Jaley Martin (so., sprints); Emma MacCallum (so., Shot Put); Maddie Post (fr., Discus/sprints); Erica Schlicting (fr., distance/relays)
Key meets: May 20 (Poland, Freeport, NYA); WMCs
Outlook: “We have some great talent on the team,” Mercer says of his boys outfit. “I expect we’ll be very competitive in our regular season schedule.” Haskell has one State Championship to his name already, and would no doubt love another. Garcia has a WMC title in the Mile, and a third-place finish at States; he’s “been training hard and should be ready for his last round of championship meets,” Mercer says. Moran is “stronger and faster than he’s ever been. I think he has the potential to surprise a few people. He’s our dark horse.” Peterson placed at Indoor States, and will be looking to better that performance at the next opportunity. Mercer picks the May 20 meet as a favorite because the Patriots like their Route 26 rivalry with Poland – and because that meet is the team’s last opportunity to hone their skills before WMCs. Over on the girls’ side, the Patriots logged a successful indoor season, and are ready to tackle its great-outdoors follow-up. “The G-NG girls return an accomplished, veteran crew in all areas – throws, jumps, sprints and distance,” says Griffin. Dawkins, Ho, Phillips and MacCallum comprise a standout squad of throwers; all placed at Indoor States. Martin, despite being just a freshman, placed twice at Indoor States herself. Ray and Fortin both have “the skill and potential to place at WMCs and States,” and, as elder statesmen, bring important leadership to the G-NG table.
Coach: Amanda Harmon
Last year’s record: 12-6
Key players: Kaelyn Woods (C), Allie Martell (P)
Key games: Greely, Poland
Outlook: “Losing four players last season leaves a few key positions open for underclassmen to step up and fill in the gaps,” says Harmon. “Returning players, including Woods, Martel and Haley True, will give us strength on the field and at bat.” The Patriots look to build throughout the season, both on offense and defense, and plan to play aggressive ball.
Allie Martell lines up on third for a dash home in the Lady Patriots’ playoff matchup with Fryeburg last spring. Martell returns to the field for G-NG this season.
G-NG’s John Villanueva takes a cut at the ball in a game last year versus Lake Region. Villanueva will play a key role for the Patriots this spring.