Spring Previews: Gorham

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Baseball
Coach: Chuck Nadeau
Last year’s results: 15-5, A South Champions and State Runners-Up
Key players lost: Ben Nelson, Kyle King, Brogan McDonald, Nolan Brown, Lucas Roop, David Drew, Will Prescott, Ryan Norris
Key players returning: Trevor Loubier (sr., 3B); Trevor Gray (sr., 1B); Joey Curesky (sr., SS/P); Jacob Sladen (sr., P/IF)
Key newcomers: Aaron Goschke (sr., P/OF); Sean Boylen (fr., C); Kyle Skolfield (fr., P/OF); Bode Meader (so., P/IF)
Key matchups: Portland, South Portland, Deering, Scarborough, Marshwood, Cheverus, Thornton
Outlook: “It will be another competitive spring in Southern Maine Class A Baseball,” Nadeau says. “This could be a year where we see pitchers dominate the SMAA. I think every team has one or two guys who they really believe can give them a great chance to win on a given day.” Nadeau’s key matchups are those programs he sees as potential top tier teams – but he discounts nobody: “Just about everyone [has] the capability to break into that group,” he says. The Rams lost 10 seniors after last year’s superb run, meaning they’ve got a lot to learn about themselves, this go-round. They do have the pieces to assemble another strong spring, though: Sladen and Curesky are veteran pitchers, as is Goschke, who returns to Gorham this year after spending three in Texas. “We like the chemistry of this group and we are anxious to see how the younger and less experienced kids acclimate to SMAA varsity-level competition,” Nadeau says.

Boys Lacrosse
Coach: Clayton Jones
Last year’s record: 6-8; defeated Massabesic in the first round of the playoffs, but fell to Cape Elizabeth in the second
Key players returning: Jake Dupuis (sr., A, Captain); Ben Nault (sr., M, Captain); Connor Dougherty (sr., A); Dom Lorello (sr., A); Guiseppe Brown (sr., G); Joe Hepler (sr., G); Cooper Lyons (sr., M); Cole Perreault (jr., D)
Key matchups: Windham, South Portland, Scarborough, Thornton, Falmouth
Outlook: “Last year was clearly a transition year for Gorham, and this group of Rams seems poised to forge a path deeper into the postseason,” Jones says. In 2018, Gorham earned impressive wins over longtime rivals Scarborough, as well as Kennebunk; they perhaps surprised themselves, however, by dropping bouts vs. Windham and Massabesic. The Rams’ chief strength lies in their attack, where Dupuis, Dougherty and Lorello all stand out. Brown and Hepler, who split time in the cage last year, are both excellent keepers who’ll anchor the defense – important, since Perreault is otherwise the only returning starter on that end of the field. Fans have plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this squad’s chances.

Girls Lacrosse
Coach: Mary Guimond
Last year’s record: 4-9; entered the playoffs ranked fifth, fell 8-4 in quarterfinals to No. 4 South Portland
Key players returning: Hallie Shiers, (sr., M, Captain); Sarah Walker (sr., D/M, Captain); Hailey Morrill (sr., M, Captain); Carson Battaglia (jr., M, Captain); Paige Hume (jr., G); Kacie Walton (jr., M); Peyton Morton (jr., M); Faith Dillon (jr., A); Jillian Nichols (jr., A); Haley Lowell (jr. 11)
Key matchups: Marshwood, Massabesic, TA
Outlook: “We’re focusing on tightening up our defense first,” Guimond says, “but really hope to find some offensive sparks and find ways to finish on attack.” The Lady Rams lost nine seniors to graduation last June, but return a sizeable group of quality upperclassmen this spring, not to mention a motivated group of underclassmen. “[Hume, Walker and Walton] will be our rocks as we work to fill the holes left by our graduating low defenders,” Guimond says. “And we’ll look to attackers like [Morrill, Dillon, Nichols and Lowell] to run a balanced offense.” It’s hard to say where this spring will take the Lady Rams, but they do have potential.

Boys Outdoor Track
Coach: Jason Tanguay
Last year’s results: Eighth at Southwesterns
Key athletes returning: Simon Roussel (sr., jumps); Dylan Lamont (sr., racewalk); Ryan Farr (jr., sprints); Andrew Tinkham (jr., distance); Ryan Gendron (so., jumps); Reed Henderson (so., distance)
Key newcomers: Andrew Farr (fr., sprints); Calvin Cummings (fr., distance)
Key meets: Home in mid-May
Outlook: “Gorham will be working hard to be competitive during the regular season,” Tanguay says. “We graduated some quality competitors, but have some underclassmen who could help us out in big meets. I am looking forward to watching the new faces make progress this season.”

Girls Outdoor Track
Coach: John Caterina
Key athletes returning: Lauren Barden (sr., hurdles/pole vault); Avery Germond (sr., sprints); Kasey Jiang (sr., hurdles); Evelyn Kitchen (sr., throws/jumps); Iris Kitchen (jr., middle distance); Stefanie Meacham (jr., racewalk); Abby O’Brien (jr., jumps/throws); Kate Tugman (jr., distance); Lydia Valentine (jr., racewalk); Olivia Michaud (so., sprints); Nevaeh Moore (so., sprints)
Key newcomers: Alyvia Caruso (fr., jumps/hurdles); Sydney Connolly (fr., sprints); Emma Green (fr., high jump); Maddie Michaud (fr., sprints)
Key meets: Southwesterns
Outlook: Caterina is confident in his girls abilities and drive this year: “Gorham will be among the top teams in the SMAA and Class A again this spring,” he says. “A strong freshmen class will help offset the graduation of several key scorers from last year’s team. Evelyn and Iris Kitchen, Kate Tugman, Lauren Barden and Stef Meacham return as big meet scorers, while Alyvia Caruso, Sydney Connolly, Emma Green and Maddie Michaud all proved to be capable scorers after a successful indoor season.”

Softball
Coach: Renee Whipkey
Last year’s record: 13-5; entered the playoffs ranked fifth, defeated Marshwood in prelims but lost to Massabesic (2-1) in the quarters
Key players lost: Grace McGouldrick (2018 Gatorade Player of the Year), Shay Harris, Emily Murray, Kali Perry, Michelle Rowe
Key players returning: Emma Shields (sr.); Kianna Tracey (jr., .356 in 2018, 5 HR); Tatyanna Biamby (so., P, .355); Morgan Roast (so.); Molly Murray (so.)
Key newcomers: Ambrosia Moore (fr., P); Riley Grant (fr., P)
Key matchups: Scarborough, Massabesic, Noble
Outlook: “We lost a lot of leadership last year,” Whipkey says, noting that her five departed seniors were all starters, “and are definitely a young team, but I believe we can be competitive. Offensively, we do have some big returning bats. That, paired with some of our speed, will hopefully lead to runs on the board.” Biamby and Tracey both posted big batting averages for the Rams last spring, despite being underclassmen at the time, and can be counted on to do the same this time around. “Defensively,” Whipkey says, “girls are still looking to establish their roles. I think once we can put it all together, we can find ourselves having a lot of success this season.” Three of the Rams’ first four games come against some of the SMAA’s toughest outfits – the Storm, the Mustangs and the Knights – so the early part of the season will mark a crucial test for Gorham.

Girls Tennis
Coach: Nicole Bergeron
Last year’s record: 11-2
Key players lost: Saoirse Herlihy, Sarah McKnight
Key players returning: Jocelyn Bolt, Hannah Dimick, Maddie Firmin
Key matchups: Scarborough, TA
Outlook: “We’re all very excited to start a new season with both familiar and new faces,” Bergeron says. “Many of the girls will get a chance to grow into their new positions on the ladder. We’re looking forward to a solid and successful season.” The Lady Rams are particularly strong at No. 1 singles, where Bolt lost just two matchups last year, and at doubles, where Haley Burns and Izzy Kolb are…hoping at least to repeat last year’s record of only one loss.” The team is experienced almost everywhere, and can be expected to turn in another fantastic run.

Boys tennis coach Aaron Landry couldn’t be reached.

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

Hailey Morrill returns for the Lady Rams this spring.

Connor Dougherty returns to the Rams for his senior season.

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