Spring Previews: Lake Region

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Peter Vigna returns to the field this spring for the Lakers, still in the early stages of building their program.

Baseball
Coaches: Andrew Stacy (head), Mike Shea (asst.)
Last year’s record: 2-14
Key players lost: “The senior class last year was filled with a lot of players who’ll be tough to replace,” says Stacy.
Key returners: Tristen Chaine, Chase Weese, Mark Mayo
Key newcomers: Elijah Grizzard, Luke Neal, Cody Allen, Andrew Douglas, True Meyers
Key matchups: “Every game will be important to establishing this program,” says Stacy.
Outlook: Lake Region has struggled on the diamond in recent years, but a big personnel turnover and a new approach this time around could spark a fresh chemistry. “I’m very excited to get my first season underway,” says Stacy, new to the Lakers this spring. “The team has really worked hard in the first couple of weeks of preseason, and those holes left by a great senior class have been filled in with some news guys from the program and some guys who’ve moved in. We will look to compete, execute and make some noise in Class B this year. But we won’t look past game one; right now that’s our focus, be ready for opening day.”

Boys Lacrosse
Coach: Josh Plowman (second year)
Last year’s record: 0-12
Key returners: Zeke Tocci (sr., M); Cam Hill (sr., D); Hunter Russo (jr., M); Peter Vigna (so., LSM)
Key newcomers: Derek Mondville (jr., D); Brandon Sargent (fr., M); Cam Lepage (fr., A); Brenna Bass (fr., M); Ethan McMurray (fr., G)
Key matchups: Fryeburg, St. Dominic, Wells, North Yarmouth Academy
Outlook: It’s Plowman’s second year coaching the Lakers, but it’s not his second year coaching, period. Plowman arrived at LRHS last spring after leading an outstanding Westbrook squad for multiple seasons, so he has both experience and savvy under his belt – advantages he’s trying now to bestow on a new group. The Lakers have long lingered at or near the bottom of the league, but last season, under Plowman’s tutelage, they began laying a foundation on which to build. “Our guys are young but eager to learn and work,” Plowman says. “Last season we had a pretty big drop off from our starters to our subs; this season we have some depth.” LRHS fans can cross their fingers: Their team has a decent chance of picking up one or more wins this spring.

Girls Lacrosse
Coaches: Dave Keenan (head), Carrie Bush (asst.)
Last year’s record: 8-5, fell in the postseason quarterfinals
Key players lost: Molly Christensen, Rachael Bell, Grace Farrington, Katie Throgmorton
Key returners: Lauren Williams (sr., A); Rachel Shanks (jr., A); Melissa Bonenfant (jr., A); Lindsey Keenan (jr., A); Aisley Sturk (jr., M); Lauren Jakobs (jr., M); Olivia Deschenes (jr., D); Hailey Parsons (jr., D); Maddie Nelson (jr., G); Paige Davis (so., M)
Key newcomers: Kendyl Ridlon (fr., D); Eleina Sturk (fr., M)
Key matchups: Waynflete, Kennebunk, Falmouth, Yarmouth, York
Outlook: The Lady Lakers enter their third season in a varsity program looking strong. Last year, they finished well on the plus side of .500, having made the playoffs. They were young then, and they remain young now – the team features just one senior – but their underclassmen worked well together in 2016 and should work even better together this time around. “The entire offense is returning from last season and should be able to build on last year’s success,” says Keenan. “This is a very competitive group and should be a lot of fun to watch play as they enter their third season and hopefully move even deeper into the playoffs.”

Outdoor Track
Coaches: Dana Caron (co-head), Mark Snow (co-head), Sasha Kantro (asst.), Dan Dors (asst.), Eric Hall (asst.)
Last year’s record: Boys 4-10, girls 8-6
Key athletes lost: Marcus Devoe, Johnna Scott, Keyanna Prescott
Key returners: Dakota Stover (jumps/sprints), Thomas Noble (throws), Danica Chadwick (hurdles/jumps), Sam Desouza (throws), Catherine Christiansen (sprints), Meghan Boos (hurdles/jumps), Maraia Nelson (throws), Emily Colson (triple jump)
Key matchups: Tri-County Clash at Sacopee Valley on May 18, Western Maine Conference Championship at home on May 27.
Outlook: Snow and Caron’s boys should be roughly as competitive as they were last year. Their girls, as Snow says, “have the potential to match last year’s success. It will depend on how many girls compete in three or four events.”

Softball
Coach: Wayne Rivet
Last year’s record: 2-14
Key players lost: None
Key returners: Jacqueline Morse (sr., 1B); Melody Millett (sr., 2B/3B); Liz Cole (sr., LF); Ali Sawyer (sr., CF); Kaylyn Lorrain (sr., P/3B); Dessi Berry (jr., 2B/OF); Haley Fernald (so., P/3B); Madison Rock (so., C); Brooke Harriman (so., SS)
Key newcomers: Kylie Blenk (sr., IF/OF)
Key matchups: Fryeburg, Gray-New Gloucester, Poland
Outlook: The Lakers are poised this year to achieve a new maturity, a development that could deliver dividends in the standings. “A year ago, six of our nine starters were either sophomores or freshmen,” says Rivet. “With youth came mistakes, which proved costly, especially against the top-tier clubs. The team showed flashes that they could compete against the league’s elite, but errors at critical points were too much for us to overcome.” The Lakers averaged four errors per game in 2016. With another year under their collective belt, however, Lake Region should look better across the field. “This team is capable,” says Rivet, “but will every player rise to the challenge presented by talented teams in Class B South and turn things around? We can’t rely on one or two or three players. To be successful, we will need all 10 players, and possibly some underclassmen, to contribute.” At the plate, Morse, Cole and Harriman are all powerful hitters, with Morse (at the top of the order) batting better than .400 last year and Cole (a skilled bunter) batting better than .300. On the defensive side of things, Rock and Harriman both possess especially strong arms, good for halting runners. The always-dangerous Fryeburg will be an important benchmark test for the Lakers, while G-NG and Poland are two rivals the team battled admirably against last year, but ultimately fell to. “If we are to think about returning to the .500 mark or better and qualifying for the playoffs, these are two clubs we need to beat,” Rivet says.

Girls tennis coach Kim Peterson could not be reached.

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

Peter Vigna returns to the field this spring for the Lakers, still in the early stages of building their program.

Tristen Chaine, seen her reeling in a flyball last season, should prove a fixture on the diamond for the Lakers this year.

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