COACH: Travis Bush (first year)
2011-12 Record: No varsity team
COACH’S COMMENT: “I think we’ll have a year of real growth. Already this season in practice, I get the sense that the team is coming together. We’ll get much better as the year goes on and as we develop as a team.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Greater Portland Christian School returns to varsity play this winter under new coach Travis Bush, who played at Liberty University and previously assisted at the University of Southern Maine. He has some talent to work with this winter.
The offense figures to come from junior forward Sam Purinton, sophomore forward David Frye, freshman center James Perkins and eighth grader Ethan Spaulding. Eighth grader Jeremiah Hammond will run the offense at point guard. Freshman guard David Davol is another player to watch. Sophomores Chris Purinton, Ben Roach, Tyler Steinwachs and Ryan Waugh, freshman Teddy Lane and Kaelyn Jaques round out the roster.
The Lions (who fell in their opener, 55-13, at Seacoast Christian) hope to win some games and make a run at a playoff berth.
COACH: Keith Dawson (fourth year)
2011-12 Record: 9-10 (Lost to Rangeley in Western Class D quarterfinals)
TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Elaine Beech, Ashlee Dawson, Kimberlee Dawson, Mariah Foss, Clarissa Jones
COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re looking to finish in the upper half of playoff teams. We have good depth with nine players who will contribute. We have a good balance of veteran leadership and youth. We play a tough schedule with five Class C games.”
THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: GPCS is used to being competitive and should be a factor again this winter. The Lions got off to a strong start with a 41-25 victory at Seacoast Christian in the opener. In that one, Beech (15 rebounds) and Foss both had 14 points, while Ashlee Dawson added 10. Jones controlled the boards to the tune of 11 rebounds. Those names will be constants as the season progresses. Beech averaged 12 points per game last year and could be even more prolific this season. Foss will be tough to contend with inside. Kimberlee Dawson can play bombs-away from the perimeter (she led GPCS in 3-pointers made a year ago). Ashlee Dawson (the point guard) and Jones both played as eighth graders and will only get better. Sophomore Rachel Ruel is a newcomer to watch. The Lions will be tested by their schedule, which includes Western C powerhouse Waynflete, but should improve steadily as the season progresses. Look for GPCS to make a run at a winning record and to make the trip to Augusta once again.