Spring Previews: Lake Region

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Baseball
Coaches: Andrew Stacy (head, second year); Mike Shea (assistant); Bill Callahan (assistant)
Last year’s record: 6-10, narrowly missed playoffs
Key players lost: Elijah Grizzard, Luke Neal, Luke Porter
Key players returning: Tristen Chaine (CF), True Meyers (U), Cody Allen (SS), Andrew Douglass (RF), Chase Weese (C), Mark Mayo (1B), Tyler Breton (U), Matt Casey (P), Connor Hunt (U)
Key newcomers: Isaac Holland, Hayden Trembley, Erik Christensen, Dawson Smith
Key matchups: April 12 vs. Cape Elizabeth, April 20 vs. Morse, April 23 @ Fryeburg

Outlook: Last spring, the Lakers finished below .500, but only a fraction of a point away from a postseason berth. “At the end of the year, we just couldn’t pick up that last W to get us in — hopefully, something that will change this year,” Stacy says.

To reach their goal, Lake Region needs to start strong; Stacy, therefore, highlights the team’s first few games as critical. “We have a schedule that can really help us get out of the gates and get some much-needed confidence,” he says. Overall, Stacy takes a tried-but-true stance: “As with any coach, the idea of getting better every year is cliché, but accurate,” he says. “[A coach’s second year] is very important for the program’s success, and this group has the possibility to continue to cement this program’s desire to be amongst the best in the State.”

Boys Lacrosse
Coach: Josh Plowman (third year)
Last year’s record: 1-11
Key players: Peter Vigna (jr., LSM); Brendan Bass (so., D); Nate Bragdon-Clement (jr., A); Cam LePage (so., M); Brandon Sargent (so., M); Ethan McMurray (so., G); Paul Vigna (jr., A); Caleb Emery (jr., A)
Key matchups: April 13 @ NYA; May 2 vs. Fryeburg; June 1 vs. Wells

Outlook: It typically takes a long time to build a program — especially one that, like Lake Region, has traditionally struggled — but Plowman and his boys have been logging the necessary effort for the past couple years, and look to take the next, big step this spring. “The team believes this year is the year they break through and get into the playoffs,” Plowman says.

Confidence is crucial, no doubt, and it’s contagious as well, but the Lakers must also overcome the challenge of their own youth; not a single one of Plowman’s key players is a senior. That bodes well for next season but could work against Lake Region here in 2018. Still, with Plowman at the helm, the squad’s been on a steady upswing, and could very well achieve this year’s goal of finding the bracketing.

Outdoor Track
Coaches: Mark Snow (co-head), Dana Caron (co-head), Sasha Kantro (assistant)
Last year’s results: Boys 2-10, seventh at WMCs; girls 9-4, seventh at WMCs
Key athletes returning: Theo Snow (sr., throws/jumps); Ben Johnson (sr., throws); Thomas Noble (sr., Shot Put); Ethan Chadwick (sr., High Jump); Samantha DeSouza (sr., throws); Hannah Chadwick (sr., jumps); Danica Chadwick (sr., hurdles/jumps); Emily Colson (jr., 200/jumps)
Key matchups: April 27 vs. Freeport, Fryeburg, OOB; May 18 @ Freeport (w/OOB, Yarmouth)

Outlook: “Our senior throwers should place often in meets,” Coach Snow says. “The distance group is small but should also score points; the jumpers should progress nicely as the weather improves; the sprinters are young and talented. If the good attitude shown thus far stays, then we will be fine. The veterans know personal records and goals are the best things to focus on. Imparting that wisdom to the rookies is key for the young group. That said, we have several veteran athletes — DeSouza, the Chadwicks, Theo Snow, Noble, Colson — who have been to States, and a return trip is a must for them. “

Softball
Coach: Wayne Rivet (fifth year)
Last year’s record: 3-13
Key players returning: Dessi Berry (sr., 2B); Maddie Rock (jr., C); Brooke Harriman (jr., SS); Haley Fernald (jr., P); Jordan Weese (so., 3B)
Key newcomers: Mindy Murphy (jr., IF); Delaney Meserve (so., IF/OF); Julia Murch (so., 1B), Ellery Hunt (so., P/OF)

Outlook: “The team has a solid core of sophomores and juniors,” Rivet says, “who have started since their freshman year. Several players who have returned to softball this spring could fill some key holes created by the graduation of five seniors. The coaching staff has seen greater focus, determination and supportive attitudes this spring.”

Rock led the team with a .427 batting average in 2017, while Fernald earned WMC Second Team honors. On a down note, Berri is recuperating from a broken ankle, and her return is questionable. Should she manage to make it back onto the field, her team will be happy to have her, as they’ll face some tough opponents across their schedule. “The WMC is a very balanced and competitive league,” Rivet says, “which was obvious a year ago with no clear favorite at the start of the season. I suspect the same will be true this year with the eventual champion likely to be the club that gets hot at the end. Early favorite: Wells. We lost several close games against playoff teams a year ago and held leads early on but were unable to close out games. If the team can flip this trend, it could fight for a playoff berth, the first one in four years.”

Girls Tennis
Coach: Kim Peterson
Last year’s results: Class B Sportsmanship Award
Key players lost: Melody Millett (second singles)
Key players returning: Leia Hodgdon (sr., first singles, Captain); Alyvia Wilson (jr.); Molly Nichols (jr.); Bekah Knight (so.); Jordan Pilgrim (so.)

Outlook: Peterson is thoroughly enthusiastic about the upcoming season. Hodgdon remains at first singles, but the loss of Millett to graduation means the Lady Lakers have her second-singles slot to fill, in addition to the third-singles slot, which was already up for grabs.

“Our numbers are much better this year compared to last season,” Peterson says. “We have 25 girls on our roster which will be great moving forward! Most of the girls have never played before and with the snow melting we hope to be able to get on the courts to play some challenge matches before the beginning of our season.”

Girls lacrosse coach Dave Keenan couldn’t be reached.

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

Brendan Bass – just a sophomore – will see a good deal of playing time for the Lakers again this spring.

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