Boys Cross Country
Coach: Claton Conrad
Last year’s results: 10th at States
Key runners lost: Josh Lombardo, JD Ndayishimiey, Brandon Whitlock
Key runners returning: Justin Coppeta (sr.), Josh Cavallaro (jr.), Luca Knapton (so.), Son Coa (so.), Patrick Huffman (so.)
Key newcomers: Jack Pecararo
Outlook: “We’re hoping to perform well at the regional meet and qualify for States,” Conrad says simply.
Coaches: Theresa Hendrix, Beth Murphy
Last year’s record: 11-4, fell in tournament quarterfinals
Key players returning: Maddison Lebeau, Avery Tucker, Camryn Lapierre, Kimberly Goddard, Mary Keef
Key newcomers: Morgan Lebeau, Katie Champagne
Key matchups: Cheverus, Massabesic, Falmouth, Scarborough, Kennebunk
Outlook: Hendrix and Co. are excited for the upcoming season, as this version of the Lady Blazes is, in Hendrix’s words, “one of the strongest teams that Westbrook has had.” The outfit’s middies, defenders (including three seniors) and three-year starting goalie, Kim Goddard, should shoulder their responsibilities impressively in a highly competitive league.
Coach: Jeff Guerette
Last year’s record: 6-3, fell in tournament quarterfinals
Key players returning: Nick Batchelder (sr., TE/DE); Joey Laurciella (sr., G/LB); Demante Loureiro (sr., HB/CB); Jay Marean (sr., C/DT); Hayden Phelps (FB/DE); Kyle Champagne (SE/LB/P/K)
Key matchups: Biddeford, Greely, Marshwood
Outlook: Guerette lays out the Blazes basic strategy: “We’ll run to set up the pass on offense,” he says. “And we’ll look to be balanced in terms of spreading out touches with all our offensive skill players. Defensively, we expect to be fast and aggressive up front.” Westbrook will see a lot of new faces this year, as their schedule sports four teams it didn’t in 2016. “We expect to be in the playoffs and hope to be playing our best football late in the season,” Guerette says.
Coach: Vincent Aceto
Last year’s record: 8-7-1
Key players lost: Shammah Gahomera
Key players returning: “They entire senior class,” Aceto says. “99% return as starters.”
Key newcomers: Chris Irakoze, Mohamed Mohamed, Ahmed Qasem, Yahya Altaie, Devin Cyr, Mohame Sharif, Liam Cooledge
Key matchups: Bonny Eagle, Cheverus, Marshwood, Sanford, Portland
Outlook: “These seniors are eager to get past the (tournament) second round after two consecutive losses that prevented that,” says Aceto. “They have laid the groundwork for success for the underclassmen to follow.”
Coach: Andy Lefebvre
Last year’s record: 1-12-1
Key players returning: Delilah Graffam (sr., D); Sammy Gummoe (sr., M); Rylee Troiano (jr., D); Hope Higgins (jr., D); Mikayla Van Zandt (jr., F); KK Russell (jr., G)
Key matchups: MGA, Massabesic, South Portland, Portland, Cheverus
Outlook: Westbrook fans can cross their fingers for a respectable push by the girls’ soccer squad this fall. “If they can stay positive, healthy, and willing to work extremely hard, they could surprise a few people,” Lefebvre says of his lineup. The Lady Blazes return six upperclassmen this season – a decent helping, though only two are seniors; the other four are juniors. Still, Lefebvre expects his elder stateswomen will lead, and do so admirably, helping their greener counterparts to adjust to varsity play. “The team has been meshing well together during preseason,” Lefebvre says, “and we hope to use that to gain momentum and pick up wins throughout the season.”
Girls cross country coach Mike Burleson and golf coach Emily Droge could not be reached.
Adam Birt can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter: @CurrentSportsME.
Maddison LeBeau returns to the field for the Lady Blazes this season, having contributed hugely to their strong 2016 run.
Kyle Champagne carries for Westbrook in a narrow, spectacular bout vs. Biddeford last year. Champagne will play a critical role for the Blazes this autumn as well.