Freeport Falcons Winter Sports Preview

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

Junior Ethan Sclar is a point guard and key returner for an ascendant Freeport boys’ basketball team.

File photos.

More photos below.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Coach: Bill Ridge (second year)

2015-16 record: 3-15 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Connor Dostie (Senior), Matt Nielsen (Senior), Ethan Sclar (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 13 @ Waynflete, Jan. 3 GRAY-NG, Jan. 11 @ Lake Region, Jan. 14 YARMOUTH, Jan. 16 OOB, Jan. 24 CAPE ELIZABETH, Feb. 3 WELLS, Feb. 7 @ Gray-NG, Feb. 9 LAKE REGION

Coach’s comment: “Our scrimmages have been close. We’re right there, we just have to get over the hump. We’re young and very inexperienced, but we should be quick and we’ll match up defensively. We improved our wins last year and there’s a different attitude and energy in Freeport now. We hope to jump on that. We want to improve on last year’s win total and making the playoffs is our goal.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The last time we saw Freeport coach Bill Ridge, he was leading the school’s baseball team to the Class B Final last June in one of the most memorable stories in recent years. Ridge is hoping to inspire his basketball charges to a similar resurgence and while the Falcons are largely inexperienced, don’t be surprised if they turn some heads. After improving from zero to three wins last season, Freeport won’t be content just triumphing this time around, it wants to play more than 18 games for the first time since 2008.

The Falcons need to replace all-star and top scorer Jack Davenport and will turn to Sclar to pace the offense from his point guard position. Sclar averaged 4 assists a game in 2015-16, which tied him for third best in the conference. Dostie is a key returner who can play guard and forward. Nielsen will camp out down low. Freeport’s front line will be bolstered by juniors Nate Thomas and Colby Wagner and sophomore Toby Holt, who will all play key roles this winter.

The Falcons will look to their defense to keep them in games and hope that the offense develops over the course of the season. This is a program that is still learning how to win, but it’s close to turning the corner and becoming a contender. Whether it happens this season or next, Freeport’s boys’ basketball team will soon follow baseball’s script and steal its share of headlines.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Coach: Mike Hart (third year, 11-26 overall record)

2015-16 record: 9-10 (Lost, 56-30, to Gray-New Gloucester in Class B South quarterfinal)

Top returning players: Ireland Hall (Senior), Regan Lynch (Senior), Johanna Bogue Marlowe (Junior), Megan Cormier (Junior), Taylor Dostie (Junior), Jessie Driscoll (Junior), Taylor Rinaldi (Junior)

Pivotal games: Dec. 13 WAYNFLETE, Jan. 3 @ Gray-NG, Jan. 12 LAKE REGION, Jan. 14 @ Yarmouth, Feb. 7 GRAY-NG, Feb. 9 @ Lake Region

Coach’s comment: “We return two seniors, five juniors and reload with seven freshmen. This group will be fun to watch, pushing tempo while looking to create offense from fullcourt pressure. We look to play unselfish basketball with a focus on a balanced attack from multiple players. Our strength is our ability to share the ball and put the team before ourselves. An ongoing focus is securing rebounds to finish our defensive sequences. If you look at our roster, you’d think with seven freshmen we’re young, but there is a lot of varsity experience on the team. I expect the newcomers to keep learning every day and contribute as the season progresses.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport made great strides a year ago, making the playoffs, but the Falcons had no answers for eventual regional champion Gray-New Gloucester in the quarterfinals. While the roster has undergone many changes, Freeport expects to contend again and hopes to get back to the tournament.

Driscoll was fourth in the league in steals a year ago (3.4 per game). She’s a key returner, who will be joined by Bogue Marlowe, Cormier, Dostie, Hall, Lynch and Rinaldi as players who have been battle tested. The Falcons will rely on several freshman as well. Abby Brier, Catriona Gould, Maggie Riendeau, Lindsey Routhier, Caroline Smith, Hannah Spaulding and Annika Thomas are part of the future and hope to contribute immediately.

Freeport will go through some growing pains, but in a Class B South region that appears wide open, the Falcons have a chance to be very competitive and to win their share of games. If this group develops as hoped, it will be formidable by February and if Freeport makes the tournament, it could be the team that no one will want to face.

INDOOR TRACK

Coach: Brian Berkemeyer (ninth year)

2015-16 results:

(Boys) Tie-10th @ Class B state meet

(Girls) 10th @ Class B state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Max Heathco (Senior), Henry Jaques (Senior), Chandler Wyman (Senior), Joe Ashby (Junior), Jacob Tomm (Junior), Nick Mitch (Sophomore)

(Girls) Mikaela Fleenor (Senior), Emily Latulippe (Senior), Laura Pierce (Senior), Sophie Hight (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We have one of our largest teams ever. We’ll have a few solid state qualifiers in some of our seniors. It’ll be interesting to watch the kids develop and see who will rise to the occasion.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport’s indoor track team will be able to compete in the conference and will have some athletes heard from at the championship meets.

The boys return Jaques, who was second in the two-mile a year ago. He’ll also be a force in the 800 and the mile. Ashby, Wyman and sophomore Dawson Pillow will compete in the middle distance. Mitch and Tomm are top sprinters. They’re joined by senior Cody Vachon and sophomore Ben Monhan-Morang. On the field side, look for Heathco to make some noise in the shot put. The Falcons will only get better in the weeks to come.

On the girls’ side, Hight and Pierce return from a runner-up 4×800 relay team. They’ll be competitive in the longer races again. In the sprints, look for Fleenor and Latulippe to contend. Freeport should have a shot at matching or bettering last year’s results.

ALPINE SKIING

Coach: Jay Thomas (fourth year)

2015-16 results:

(Boys) 8th @ Class A state meet

(Girls) No score @ Class A state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Griffin Agnese (Junior), Eero Pandora (Junior), Paul Biberstein (Sophomore), Liam Grogan (Sophomore), Aaron Rusiecki (Sophomore)

(Girls) Kaia Williams (Junior)

Coach’s comment: “We’ve reversed our recent trend of a shrinking team with an influx of seven new boys and two new girls. Our returning skiers showed a lot of growth last year and we’re hoping to continue this trend. They’ll be the core of our team.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport is poised for another strong Alpine ski season.

The boys’ squad, which earned the Sportsmanship Award last winter, returns four state meet scorers: Grogan (18th in the giant slalom and 43rd in the slalom), Rusiecki (32nd in the GS and 33rd in the slalom), Biberstein (57th in the GS) and Pandora (64th in the slalom). Agnese also has experience. Look for this group to be solid in the conference and postseason.

On the girls’ side, Williams was 37th in the slalom last season. She’ll lead the way this winter. A pair of newcomers hope to step right in and help Freeport score as a team this time around.

NORDIC SKIING

Coach: Joel Hinshaw (15th year)

2015-16 results:

(Boys) Class B state champions

(Girls) 3rd @ Class B state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Kyle Dorsey (Senior), Bennett Hight (Senior), Yacob Olins (Senior)

(Girls) Chloe Davidson (Junior), Maya Egan (Junior), Allison Greuel (Sophomore), Lily Horne (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “Bennett, Yacob and Kyle are back and ready to motivate and challenge the rest of the boys to pull together a top team. The seniors have been together since freshman year, improving their skills and fitness each year. I’m excited to see this talented team challenge the rest of the teams in the conference. The girls’ team is coming into the season with impressive fitness. It’s still a building year, but I expect the girls will motivate each other to improve their skills and go after their goals.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Freeport is chasing Nordic glory again this season.

The boys are aiming for another Class B title and you have to like their chances. The Falcons return state meet scorers Olins (third in the classical, fourth in the skate), Hight (third in the skate, fourth in the classical) and Dorsey (fifth in the classical and sixth in the skate). That’s a solid nucleus. Look for more excellence from this group.

On the girls’ side, the loss of Lily Johnston (who was runner-up in both races at states last year) will be felt, but Greuel (17th in the classical and 24th in the skate last year), Horne (19th in the classical and 25th in the skate) and Davidson (22nd in the skate and 27th in the classical) all return. They’re joined by Egan and will make a run at the top teams in the conference before gunning for the top spot at the Class B meet.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Morgan Cormier is back as a top post presence for Freeport’s girls’ basketball team, which is seeking a return trip to the tournament.

Junior Jessie Driscoll also brings size and experience to the floor.

Senior Regan Lynch is a seasoned veteran.

Henry Jaques will be one of the conference’s top distance runners again this winter.

Freeport’s boys’ Nordic ski team took home a state championship last winter. The Falcons aim to repeat this season.

0
Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at theforecaster.net. I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.