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Waynflete Flyers 2010 Fall Sports Preview

Sports

Waynflete Flyers 2010 Fall Sports Preview

Waynflete has long stolen the headlines in fall and 2010 promises to be more of the same. The boys' soccer team is still stinging from last year's playoff ouster. This autumn, it should be a first-rate contender. The girls' squad looks to get back to the top. Field hockey hopes to improve enough to make the playoffs after getting close last year. The girls' cross country program defends its state championship and looks to make history. The boys' team should be much stronger than in recent years. Golf won its first varsity matches last year and hopes to build on that momentum.

BOYS' SOCCER

COACH: Brandon Salway (21st year)

2009 Record: 12-2-1 (Lost 1-0 to Georges Valley in Western Class C quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Omar Abdille (Senior), Tucker Geoffroy (Senior), Tom Ryan (Senior), Will Cleaves (Junior), Daniel Wiener (Junior), Peabo Knoth (Sophomore), Paul Runyambo (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 16 (H) NYA, Sept. 24 @ Traip, Sept. 30 @ Richmond, Oct. 2 @ NYA, Oct. 8 (H) FREEPORT, Oct. 12 (H) TRAIP, Oct. 14 (H) GREELY, Oct. 19 (H) FALMOUTH

COACH’S COMMENT: “Graduation hit us hard. We only have one kid with defensive experience. We have a lot of new faces in new places. We should be good on offense. Hopefully, the defense comes along. We have a fairly difficult schedule. The late games will be a good tuneup for the playoffs, I would hope. Our goal is to get into the top 50 percent and to make noise at the end. I think this group will get better as the season goes on.“

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Waynflete has run the gamut of emotions the past two seasons. In 2008, the Flyers barely got into the playoffs, then enjoyed an inspired run to the Class C Final. Last year, they looked like the favorites entering the postseason, but were shocked in the quarterfinals. This year's team is led by its tri-captains, Abdille, Geoffroy and Ryan. Abdille and Geoffroy (a first-team Western Maine Conference and regional all-star a year ago) pace the offense and Ryan plays sweeper. Other offensive weapons include Cleaves, Knoth and Wiener. The Flyers have a lot of players who can score. If they can tickle the twine consistently, they'll compete with everyone, even the newly-added-to-the-schedule Class A and B powers Greely and Falmouth. Runyambo, junior Mitch Newlin and sophomore Charlie Laprade join Ryan on defense. Replacing last year's Fall Male Athlete of the Year Chris Gillespie in goal will be a challenge. Sophomore Zander Majercik will get the opportunity. This year's team likely won't boast as gaudy a record as the 2009 squad, but by the time the postseason rolls around, they could be primed for a 2008-type run.

GIRLS' SOCCER

COACH: Todd Dominski (second year)

2009 Record: 15-2 (Lost 2-1 to Georges Valley in Western C Final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Izzer Berrang (Senior), Emily Bessette (Senior), Elena Britos (Senior), Liv Chap (Senior), Lydia Stegemann (Senior), Becky Smith (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 8 (H) YORK, Sept. 16 (H) NYA, Oct. 2 @ NYA, Oct. 14 @ Greely, Oct. 19 @ Falmouth

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have a much different team this year, but we're looking good. Our goals are still the same. We want to win a state championship. We hope to spread Morgan and Sasha's goals out this year. More people will contribute. We return our core group of defenders. Emma looks good in goal.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Waynflete's repeat title hopes and the storied careers of standouts Sasha Timpson and Morgan Woodhouse came to an end with the loss to Georges Valley last year. The 2010 Flyers have a different look, but have to be considered one of the teams to beat yet again. The opposition will soon discover that they're very balanced and while they might lack star power, there is plenty of talent and hunger to go around. This year, the offense will be led by Bessette, Smith and Stegemann, along with freshmen Walker Foehl and Ella Millard. Defensively, reigning second-team all-stars Berrang and Britos make up a formidable unit, along with Chap. The loss of Julia Pope in goal will also be a challenge to ovecome, but senior Emma Longcope (who was away in 2009) is primed to step in and get the job done. Waynflete plays a much more challenging schedule this fall. Not only do the Flyers meet rival North Yarmouth Academy twice, but they also battle Class A contender Greely, defending Class B champion York and perennial Class B power Falmouth. Waynflete needs to take care of business against the teams it should beat. If the Flyers can spring an upset against a top team, that would help with their quest for homefield advantage for the playoffs. When all is said and done, Waynflete figures to be in the mix until the very end. If everyone develops as hoped, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising if the Flyers hoist a Gold Ball the first Saturday in November.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Noelle Surette (third year)

2009 Record: 4-8-2 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Lindsey Sinicki (Senior), Annie Vogt (Senior), Liz Berthy (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 7 @ Freeport, Sept. 15 (H) SACOPEE, Sept. 17 (H) YARMOUTH, Sept. 21 @ NYA, Sept. 25 @ Sacopee, Sept. 29 (H) FREEPORT, Oct. 7 @ NYA

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have a very young team this year with a large core being freshman

and sophomores, but we return a strong group from the previous season, including a forward line that has developed and plays very well together. We will rely on the returning players to lead a young team to a strong and competitive season.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Waynflete just missed out on a playoff berth in 2009 and would love to make the jump this time around. The Flyers return Sinicki, who was a first-team all-star last fall. She was also the team's leading scorer. Berthy and Vogt bring experience and will look to rattle the cage. Sophomore Jo Moore is also in the mix. Offense could be a strength for this team. If the goal scoring increases, the wins should come. This year's goalie is sophomore Kailina Mills. She and the defensive unit will need to come of age quickly. Waynflete has a favorable start to its schedule and if it can get a few early wins, will be in the hunt throughout. The program's come a long way in a short time. A little more improvement could mean a trip to the playoffs for the first time (in a non-open tournament year) since 1978..

CROSS COUNTRY

COACH: Brian Gillespie (sixth year)

2009 Results:

(BOYS) DNQ for state meet (8th @ regional meet)

(GIRLS) Class C state champions

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS:

(BOYS) Eli Sobel (Senior), Max Sobel (Senior), Abukar Adan (Sophomore), Josh Espy (Sophomore), Abdi Mohamud (Sophomore)

(GIRLS) Maddie High (Senior), Mica Thompson (Senior), Emily Trafton (Junior), Phoebe Suva (Sophomore), Martha Veroneau (Sophomore)

TOP FOE: NYA

COACH’S COMMENT: “The boys return four of the top seven from last year. We're capable of having three in the top 15 at states, the key is the development of our 4-5-6 runners. We're going to surprise a lot of teams this fall. The team goal is to qualify for states. In terms of depth and potential, this could be our strongest girls' team ever. Four of the top seven from last year return. What's exciting about this team is its potential. We have several girls who are new to running with strong athletic ability. That may be a huge factor in our success. Team goals include winning the conference small school championship, a fourth straight state title and be the first Waynflete team in school history to win four straight championships.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Waynflete's cross country program has lofty goals in 2010. For good reason.

The boys are hoping to make it to states for the first time since 2007. Last year, several individuals impressed and those who return should only get better. Leading the way are Adan (10th at the regional meet, 12th at states), Espy (23rd at regionals, 36th at states) and Mohamud (53rd at the regional meet). Eli Sobel and Max Sobel, along with seniors Kieran Hanrahan and Joe Veroneau all have experience. A runner to watch is junior Abshir Horor, who is running cross country for the first time after excelling in track. He could leave everyone in his wake. Junior Peter Stein and sophomores Dylan Kingsbury and Jon Tao round out the roster. With the addition of Horor, Waynflete has the ability to leapfrog right into the top couple spots at regionals. The Flyers should make it to states this fall and will be a factor there as well.

On the girls' side, Waynflete has won three straight Class C state championships. The Flyers have a great shot at a fourth. Losing 2009 Fall Female Athlete of the Year Amy Allen to graduation will hurt, but there is plenty of talent in reserve. Veroneau was the individual Class C champion and a league all-star a year ago. Trafton came in ninth at states, Suva placed 11th and Thompson (a co-captain) was 18th. High (another co-captain), along with Anina Heald, Emma Longcope and Hannah Rindlaub round out a strong senior class. Junior Chloe Rowse and sophomores Jean Chen, Amelia Mitchell, Gabriella Schnier, Megan Surges, Kaitlyn Thompson and Catherine Veroneau provide depth. If the Flyers stay healthy, they have to be viewed as the team to beat. Again.

GOLF:

COACH: David Neilan (sixth year)

2009 Record: 2-6 (DNQ for state match)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Adam Cutler (Senior), Bobby Schleicher (Senior), Luke Wendland (Senior), Tom Spagnola (Junior), Asa Heath (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Freeport, NYA

COACH'S COMMENT: “I just want us to be competitive and to scratch out a win here and there. We graduated a bunch of guys. I'm keeping my fingers crossed about our newcomers. We want to build on last year and build interest in the program. Tim's really into it. I expect good things from him.”

FORECASTER'S FORECAST: Waynflete made some great strides in 2009, winning a pair of matches for the first time. Unfortunately, that team graduated several players, but the 2010 edition is eager to compete. Spagnola qualified for states as an individual a year ago (shooting a 79 to come in eighth). He'll be one of the better players around and will serve as the team's bedrock. Cutler, Schleicher and Wendland have experience. Heath is up-and-coming. This program is still at the point where its goals are modest. There are winnable matches on the slate. Look for the Flyers to improve dramatically from start to finish. Spagnola's capable of turning heads well into October.

Photo: File photo

Senior Elena Britos' defense should carry the Waynflete girls' soccer team far this autumn.

Photo: File photo

Senior Lydia Stegemann hopes to pack some scoring punch for the Flyers.

Photo: File photo

Sophomore Abukar Adan was 10th at last year's Western C regional meet. This fall, he and his teammates hope to make noise at states.

Photo: File photo

Martha Veroneau won the Class C individual cross country title as a freshman, helping the Flyers capture their third straight team championship. Veroneau and her teammates hope history will repeat in 2010.