Winter Previews: Bonny Eagle

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Alpine Skiing
Coach: Sean Munkacsi
Key athletes: Jacob Polchies, Sam Cousins, Nolan McCullough, Sarah Baxter, Maggie Munkacsi, Estelle Ballard, Clair Munkacski
Outlook: Munkacsi is eager to hit the slopes; no doubt his kids are too. Happily, they’ll soon get their chance: “The early snow and cold temps will allow us to get a substantial head-start training on snow at Shawnee Peak,” he says. “That in conjunction with intensive dryland training will help racers come into the start of the season strong, flexible and focused.” On the boys’ side of things, Polchies and Cousins return as top scorers, while Nolan hopes to carry over the momentum into this season that he generated with a surge at the end of last season. “With several other younger athletes continuing to improve, the boys side has the potential to turn into a very competitive group.” Over on the girls’ side, Baxter and Maggie Munkacsi, two seniors, will lead, while Ballard and Claire Munkacsi will provide much of the outfit’s firepower. Worth noting: Bonny Eagle and Massabesic both send kids to compete alongside the Rams, something Munkacsi and crew are thankful for. Finally: Munkacsi nods as well at yet another key figure in the program: “Our ever-faithful and always reliable bus driver/assistant coach, Kenny Ficket.”

Boys Basketball
Coach: John Trull
Last year’s record: 5-14
Key players lost: Connor Sirois
Key returners: Zach Maturo, Will Hendrix
Key newcomers: Cam Gardner, Jacob Humphrey
Outlook: “The Scots will look to build off last year’s first-round playoff win with a deeper run this year,” Trull says simply. Trull is new to the head coach’s post, but not new to the program, meaning the team’s transition to his leadership style ought to be smooth. Maturo, meanwhile, is the team’s lead attackman; expect fiery performances from him throughout the winter.

Girls Basketball
Coach: Scott Regan
Last year’s record: 14-6
Key players lost: Mia Ferrante, Deirdre Sanborn
Key returners: Mackenzie Emery (sr.), Sam Averill (sr.), Taylor Johnson (sr.), Emma Abbott (sr.), Avianna Rath (jr.), Allexius Theberge (jr.), Emily Bartash (so.)
Key matchups: Dec. 7 vs. South Portland, Dec. 11 @ Massabesic, Dec. 14 vs. Scarborough
Outlook: The Scots had a breakout year in ’17-18, but they may not be quite the same team this time around – they said goodbye to some critical figures last winter – and it remains to be seen how readily they’ll find a new groove. “The first few weeks of the season will be very telling,” Regan says. “We graduated a good chunk of our inside presence last year, and we will need to find somebody to get those rebounds and inside points lost. South Portland’s height and inside presence will be a solid test for our newer posts, and a challenge for our guards. The next two games are against teams that we have established a pretty good rivalry with, and we should see how we can handle the emotions in a game like that. Our goal is to be playing at our peak level as we roll into February, surviving a little bit of some possible growing pains at the beginning parts of the season.” Even while unanswered questions about their post play linger, though, the Scots retain a lot of talent and determination in central contributors like Emery and Averill, so it’s a good bet they’ll rise to the level of the challenges they face and ultimately turn in a satisfying run.

Cheering
Coach: Whitney Wyman
Last year’s results: 15th at Regionals
Key returners: Julia Swett (sr.), Yvette Chervin (jr.), Isebelle Ylonen (so.), Kylie Menard (so.)
Key meets: SMAA, Regionals, States
Outlook: “We have a pretty young team,” Wyman says; “only one senior and three juniors. Tumbling is stronger than years past. We are feeling ready to go!”

Boys Hockey
Coach: Loren Blair
Last year’s record: 4-14
Key returners: Brady Cormier, Chris Westgate, Kurtis Morin, Dylan Tozier
Key newcomers: Gavin Sperlich, Joe Atwater
Outlook: “Not many seniors, but the team has a lot of heart,” Blair says simply. “We hope to be over .500 with the schedule we have this season.”

Girls Hockey
Coach: Nat Germond
Last year’s results: 0-18
Key returners: Isis Adams (sr., D); Anna Rathbun (sr., F); CC Cochran (sr., D); Anna Nault (jr., D); Izzy Wareham (jr., G); Molly Rathbun (so., F)
Key newcomers: Brooke Guimond (fr., F)
Key matchups: Mt. Ararat, Biddeford, Yarmouth, Brunswick
Outlook: The Gorham/Bonny Eagle co-op program hopes to return to the playoffs this season, and they might just have a respectable shot at doing so. The team features a heaping group of veterans with two or three years of experience apiece; moreover, Adams returns after missing the 2017-18 stretch with a torn ACL. Cochran and Nault are strong defenders and Wareham brings three years as a starter to the post of goalie. The team began their winter at 1-1 – a decent start they intend to improve on.

Boys Indoor Track
Coach: Mike Burleson
Last year’s results: 10-5, 8th at SMAAs, 13th at States
Key returners: Zack Allocca, Aiden Willey, Andrew Pendleton, Hunter Goodale, Ian Reilly, Justin Tomison, Nolan Davis
Outlook: The Scots said goodbye to a big group of seniors last year, but return their two top scorers in Allocca, a senior sprinter/jumper, and Willey, a junior distance maestro. Allocca set new personal high-water marks at the 2018 outdoor State Meet, taking third in the Long Jump (21-01.00) and second in the Triple Jump (43-07.25). He also anchored the first-place 4×400 quartet. Willey, meanwhile, took fourth and fifth at that same meet in the Mile and Two Mile races, respectively. In fact, he ran sub-4:30 in the Mile in his last three races. Recently, he turned in yet another strong season of cross country. Pendleton, Goodale, Reilly, Tomison and Davis are critical figures as well; all should pull down points for the Scots as they aim to improve on both their regular-season and post-season results from last winter.

Wrestling
Coach: 
Josh Lund
Last year’s results: 7th at Class A States
Key athletes lost: Brian Dupuis, Caleb Frost, Tyler Fitz, Alex Smith
Key returners: Garrett Gonyea, Andrew Thomas, Andrew Thomas
Key newcomers: Caden Frost, Cam Frost
Key matchups: Marshwood, Noble, Sanford, Massabesic
Outlook: “We are a young team with a lot of potential,” Lund says. “Despite only having one junior and one senior this year, I think the season is looking like it will be a good one. I’m excited for the start of the season and to see how we progress throughout the year.” 

Swimming coach Amanda Branch and girls indoor track coach Khabir Edwards and couldn’t be reached.

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

Surrounded by those close to her, Mackenzie Emery, center, signs her NLI to play at Regis College beginning next year.

Photo courtesy of Eric Curtis.

Will Hendrix returns for the Gentlemen Scots this winter.

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