Winter Previews: Windham

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Alpine Skiing
Coach:
Casey Dubay
Key athletes lost: Burke Cornish
Key returners: Cordelia Inman (sr.), Naomi Debrosse (sr.), Ben White (jr.), Owen Flibbert (jr.)
Key newcomers: Sarah Hare (fr.)
Outlook: “The boys have potential to place well individually this year,” Dubay says simply. With respect to the girls, he adds: “Our key newcomer, Sarah Hare, brings prior race experience to the team. [Combine this] with the strength of our returning female team members and added depth in numbers [and] our female team could place well.”

Boys Basketball
Coach: Chad Pulkkinen
Last year’s results: 15-6, fell to Edward Little in AA North Championship
Key players lost: Nick Curtis, Mike Gilman, Cory Hutchison
Key returners: Andrew Wing (sr., G): Dierhow Bol (sr., C); Chris Naylor (jr., F); Cam Brown (jr., F); Eric Weisser (jr., G); Braden McCrillis (jr,. C); Ivan Kaffel (jr., G)
Key newcomers: Evan Glicos (jr., G); Kaleb Cidre (so., G); Hayden Bilodeau (so., F); Sean Cunniffe (so., G): Nuar Bol (so., F)
Key matchups: Bangor, Edward Little, Deering, Portland
Outlook: Windham faces a bit of a rebuilding year after the loss of standouts like Curtis, Gilman and Hutchison. Still, they retain some experience, and can boast of other strengths as well: “We’ll rely heavily on our two seniors, Andrew Wing and Dierhow Bol,” says Pulkkinen. “They’ve both worked hard in the off-season to prepare themselves for the role they need to have on this team. Our team is blessed with a lot of size and length this year and taking advantage of that on both the offensive and the defensive end will be key. Our bigs will look to open up opportunities for our guards with potential mismatches on any given night. We’re a defensive-minded group and the ability to go deeper into our bench is something that is unique to this year’s team.”

Girls Basketball
Coach: Brody Artes (7th year)
Key returners: Meghan Hoffses (sr., 5-5, G); Alanna Joyce (sr., 5-5, G); Kayla Gorman (sr., 5-8, G); Mikayla Baiguy (sr., 5-10, F); Tara Flanders (sr., 5-10, F); Hannah Talon (jr., 5-9, G)
Key newcomers: Sarah Talon (fr., 5-9, G)
Outlook: Windham has the potential to win a heap of games this winter; fans can expect good things from them. “The Lady Eagles are a veteran team looking to make a deep run in the playoffs,” Artes says. “The backcourt combination of senior Meghan Hoffses and junior Hannah Talon will be fun to watch. The Eagles plan to use speed and athleticism to outrun teams. Rebounding will be a key aspect to the success of the Eagles for the 2018-2019 season.”

Cheering
Coach:
Olivia Latham
Outlook: “We are enthusiastic for this up coming season,” Latham says. “We are making a lot of changes to create a strong, united team to represent Windham with pride. We have a good mix of grade levels on the team, [kids who] are eager to represent themselves, their school and their community in a positive and encouraging way.”

Boys Hockey
Coach: Greg Leclair
Last year’s results: 3-14-1
Key players lost: Logan Heckman, Cam Morrison, Keegan Pock
Key returners: Derek Corbett (sr., F); Sean White (sr., G); Tommy Lekousi (sr., F); Ben Griffith (jr., F); Holden Anderson (so., F); Austin White (so., F); Derek Palow (so., F); Robert Doherty (so., D); Travis Brown (so., D)
Key newcomers: Chandler Chenard (sr., F); Jake Jeffrey (sr., D); Jack Foley (so., D); Colin Casserly (fr., F); Cole Washburn (fr., F); Aiden Hartwell (fr., F)
Key matchups: Dec. 11 and Feb. 6, Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse/Hyde; Dec. 19 and Feb 2, Cony/Monmouth/Hall-Dale; Jan. 12 and Jan 30, South Portland/Freeport/Waynflete
Outlook: Windham/Westbrook remains young, with a dozen freshmen and sophomores peppering the roster. Most of those sophomores are solid talents, though, and saw regular ice-time last winter. Among the upperclassmen, Sean White, who’s forever standing on his head to stop points and turning in impressive performances, will find himself relied upon quite heavily as the team works to develop its wet-behind-the-ears defense. Offensively, Leclair & Co. are hopeful that at least a couple of the team’s up-and-comers will mature this year into goal-scorers, a resource Windham/Westbrook is desperately short on. “We need to see more production from our top two lines,” Leclair says. He adds: “If we can play disciplined hockey in our defensive zone and stay out of the penalty box, we should be competitive most nights.”

Boys Indoor Track
Coaches: Paula Pock (head), Dan Jackson (asst.)
Last year’s results: 10th at SMAAs, 6th at States
Key athletes lost: Alex Wilkins (triple jump champion)
Key returners: Connor Abbotoni (sr., sprints); Mason Rosborough (sr., distance); Anthony Sawyer (sr., distance); Stuart Salom (sr., sprints); Sam Cole (sr., jumps); Ryan Abbotoni (so., sprints); Ethan Wert (so., sprints)
Key newcomers: Braxton Cassidy (throws), Wyatt Flibbert (sprints), Vireak Tray (sprints), Will Stewart (sprints/jumps), Juan Kirkwood (sprints/jumps), Kirill Perederii (distance)
Key matchups: Westbrook, Gorham
Outlook: “We should we have a solid group of distance athletes who’ll be fighting for podium spots,” Pock says, “as well as some sprinters and relay runners who are working hard to be regular scorers. Our team is very close and supportive of each other, which should help them all achieve personal bests.”

Girls Indoor Track
Coaches: Denise Curry (head, second year); Todd Guite (asst.)
Key athletes lost: Lingdong Bol
Key returners: Abby Clinch, Hailey Applebee, Hannah Langstaff, Sierra Guite, Sam Phinney, Morgan Colangelo
Key newcomers: Shayln Bauer, Isabel Dionne
Outlook: “We’re looking to better our 14th-place finish at States last year,” Curry says simply.

Swimming
Coach: 
Peter Small
Last year’s results: 
Boys 5-4, girls 4-5
Key athletes lost: 
Dylan Plummer, Andrei Voinea, Dominic Agneta, Elizabeth Lucas
Key returners: 
Evan Desmond, Michael Ryan, Jamie Louko, Nathan Plummer, Simon Gabaree, Haley Theberge, Chloe Wilcox, Julia Hills, Katharyn Lucas, Hannah Maurais
Key newcomers: 
Ryan Bowden, Bradley Collins, Galina Jordan, Chlode Desmond
Key matchups: 
Cheverus, Greely
Outlook: 
The Gentlemen Eagles “made great strides last year in competing at the State Meet,” as Small says, but remain a young outfit overall. “We expect to see more qualifiers and more flexibility in our lineup this year than last year. The internal drive is great.” The Lady Eagles likewise have little experience to their names, but good potential. “We already see a strong work-ethic and internal motivation within the team,” Small says. “I expect to see more state qualifiers this year and with a very young team, this should be a year to continue the progress made last year.”

Wrestling
Coach: John Nicholas
Key athletes returning: DJ Pelletier (sr.), Kyle Walker (sr.), Katelyn Walker (sr.), Andrew Martin (jr.), George Butts (jr.), Garrett Allen (jr.)
Key matchups: Dec. 22, Greater Portland Cup; Dec. 28, Noble Tournament; Dec. 16 vs. Westbrook; Jan. 19, Cheverus Invitational
Outlook: Windham wrestling sees a big shakeup this year, with the addition of G-NG students to the team, forming a proper co-op. Moreover, John Nicholas has taken over the head coach’s position; Nicholas former helmed a strong Westbrook clan. “I am excited to take over the Windham/G-NG wrestling program,” Nicholas says. “This is the first year as a cooperative team with G-NG, so we’re making history. The team is a balanced mix of veterans and newcomers.  We have wrestlers with postseason experience, and freshmen with youth and middle school experience. I am thrilled to have assistant coach Chris Smith as part of the coaching staff; Chris was recently inducted into the Maine Wrestling Hall of Fame.” The Eagles/Patriots (let’s call them the “Patriot Eagles”) have a long, challenging schedule ahead of them, but one that they’re clearly excited about. “The biggest challenge will be to fill all of the weight classes because we have a bunch of middleweights,” Nicholas says. “We will need to be creative with the lineup to maximize our potential. I look forward to a great season and plan to build a strong program for the future.”

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

Hannah Talon returns this winter for the Eagles.

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