Winter Sports in Review: Windham High School

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Windham senior Chris Brown ascends toward the hoop in a mid-season matchup.

WINDHAM — The Eagles have capped another solid winter season, and with spring sports still several weeks out, now is a perfect time to review the school’s recent accomplishments.

Alpine Skiing
A quartet each of Casey Dubay’s downhiller boys and downhiller girls repped for the Eagles at States, held at Mt. Abram on Feb. 21. Gentlemen Eagles Burke Cornish, Ben White, Ian Trafford and Owen Flibbert hit the slopes on the school’s behalf, as did Lady Eagles Julianna-Ally Davis, Naomi Debrosse, Isabella Rosborough and Cordelia Inman. 

Boys Basketball
The Gentlemen Eagles, Chad Pulkkinen’s boys, excelled on the court. A strong crop of seniors led a talented group of juniors and sophomores – including Nick Curtis, Mike Gilman, Hunter Coffin and Dierhow Bol – to a 12-6 record. Weirdly, in a tough AA North field, that impressive tally only earned Windham the last playoffs slot, the six-seed, come tourney time. 

The team began its run through the winter with pair of losses (to Deering and Cheverus) before picking up a win over Lewiston, then dropping a one-point heartbreaker to Oxford Hills. After that, however, they hashed nine Ws right in a row, a streak they capped with 60-58 upset of second-ranked Edward Little.

Their first test in the bracketing was a doozie: No. 3 Deering. As mentioned, the Eagles had already succumbed once to the Rams. But the second go-round belonged to Windham, as they pulled off a beautiful upset, 51-47. When they moved on to re-match with Edward Little, however, they hit a wall. The Eddies emerged the victors from that battle, 55-44, sending the Eagles to the sidelines till next year.

Six seniors hang up their squeaky sneakers: Austin McGowan, Connor Pittman, Orion Beers, Chris Brown, Zach Petcher and manager Louis Geller.

Girls Basketball 
Brody Artes’ outfit finished outside the bracketing at 5-13. The Lady Eagles started out tough, felling first Sanford and then Noble before stumbling into a six-game slide. It’s worth noting, though, that in one of those six losses – the home loss to Bangor – Windham recouped a deep early deficit to seize a slight late lead; ultimately, yes, they lost, but just barely.

The team picked up its next W over Massabesic, mid-season. They also triumphed over Bonny Eagle — rather a strong squad this year — and Portland

Windham, relatively young this winter, should continue to improve in coming seasons. A mere four seniors close the books on their high school careers this year, and two of those are managers. Lyndsey Arsenault and Mya Mannette leave the court behind, while Talia Lorenzatti and Blanca Sturm relinquish their managerial duties.

Boys Hockey
Greg Leclair’s crew, a co-op with Westbrook, also struggled this season. They began the season on a three-game skid, before finally getting their first taste of victory with pair of 3-2 triumphs – the second in OT – over Lawrence/Skowhegan. In the end, they tallied six Ws total, also Mt. Ararat/Lisbon/Morse, Noble/Wells (twice) and Marshwood/Traip/Sanford. Unfortunately, they dropped their other 12 bouts, a result that left them in eighth come tourney time. Since only the top six squads move on, the team hung up their skates.

“I think we finished about where we expected,” Leclair said. “We knew, coming into the season, that there were very big holes to fill throughout the lineup – and we were able to do that, to an extent. We knew our margin of error for making the playoffs was thin, and in the end, there were a couple of close losses that kept us out.”

“I was pleased to see that we got scoring from almost everyone on the roster,” Leclair said. “Only three players failed to register a goal during the season. We got some big goals out of our third line over the course of the season that really helped turn a couple games in our favor.

“Sean White did a nice job in his first year of varsity action between the pipes. Most nights, he gave us a chance to win, and that’s exactly what you need out of your goaltender.”

Seven seniors depart the team: Captain Anthony Morrison, Assistant Captains Chris Lekousi and Matt Kelley, and Dylan Francoeur, Jack Gresh, David Redmond and Manager Savannah Rice.

“Looking forward to next season,” Leclair said, “we graduate three defensemen and three forwards off of this year’s team, and with them, a ton of experience. But we return some decent pieces and a couple of players that we will be able to lean on for leadership and scoring while a large contingent of incoming freshmen is brought up to speed.”

Indoor Track
Paula Pock and Mary Green’s tracksters posted a couple noteworthy results at States in late February. Namely, Alex Wilkins took fourth in the Triple Jump and Lingdong Bol took second in the High Jump. Bol went on to capture 13th in the same event at New Englands, held at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Boston on March 4. Bol leapt 5-01.00 in the competition, a few inches off her mark at States, 5-04.00.

The Eagles say goodbye to a substantial handful of seniors this year: Jeremy Bennett, Evan Coughlin, Zach DeFosse, Jacob Frost, Louis Geller, Odin Henricksen, Felix Lang, Marcus Pongratz, Cole Sheets, Robert Verdini, Allison Labonte, Cassidy Mullins, Clara Pieretti, Emily Skvorak and Amanda Turner.

Swimming
Pete Small’s Gentlemen Eagles– after finishing seventh at South Southwesterns in early February – sent a healthy contingent to States. Francis Watson, Ben Breton, James Mannette, Evan Desmond, Dylan Palmer, Mike Ryan and Zack Bailey all swam at the competition, held at Bowdoin on Monday the 20th. In the end, Mannette scored in the 200 Free, and the quartet of Mannette, Ryan, Breton and Desmond scored in the 400 Free Relay; as a team, the boys tied for 20th. 

On the girls’ side of the action, Sophie Simonson, Camilla Moltoni, Olivia Verrill, Hannah Maurais, Elizabeth Lucas, Katharyn Lucas and Chloe Wilcox all repped for the school. Katharyn Lucas hashed the team’s only points, however, scoring in the 200 Individual Medley.

Baily, Breton, Mannette, Watson, Roman Habibzai, Caleb MacDonald, Dalton McClure, Moltoni, Hannah Allen, Mary Greslick and Ellie Joseph are all seniors this year.

Wrestling
Jason Dryburgh’s wrestlers are in a bit of a building stretch; last year, the team suffered from very low numbers. This year, thankfully, their head-count is higher. Of the names on the roster, one, Colby Valliere, placed at North Regionals on Feb. 11. Valliere, who wrestles at 220, defeated John Gilson of Westbrook/Gorham in his first match that day, but fell to Dylan Schenk – the eventual champion – in his second. That result shuffled Valliere to the consolation bracket, where he defeated John Tucker of Skowhegan before succumbing to Nelson Bradley of Cony. Valliere thus netted fourth place overall, good enough to earn him a berth at States the following weekend.

At States, Valliere fell short of the podium, losing both his bouts, the first to Matt Carroll of Massabesic and the second to Aren Dickman of Scarborough.

Valliere, Sean Butterworth, Brandon Foley, Alex Jordan and manager Taylor Smith comprised this year’s senior leadership. The Eagles featured no juniors, but are flush with sophomores and, especially, freshmen.

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

Windham senior Chris Brown ascends toward the hoop in a mid-season matchup.

Mya Mannette, one of two senior Eagles competitors this winter, battles for two.

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