Fri, Apr 25, 2014 ●
BathHarpswellTopshamBrunswickCumberlandNorth YarmouthFalmouthFreeportPortlandCape ElizabethScarboroughSouth PortlandChebeague IslandYarmouth

Waynflete Flyers Fall Sports Previews

Sports

Waynflete Flyers Fall Sports Previews

Waynflete’s fall sports teams expect to be in the hunt for several state titles. Boys’ soccer finally got over the hump last year and won a Class C championship in scintillating fashion. The 2012 version has what it takes to repeat. The girls’ squad hopes to join the boys at the pinnacle and that’s a realistic goal. Field hockey has become a serious contender in recent years and should be in the Western C mix. Both cross country teams could find themselves the very best in Class C. Golf returns to varsity status and hopes to make the most of its opportunities.

BOYS' SOCCER

COACH: Brandon Salway (24th year, 195-93-31 overall record, four state championships)

2011 Record: 14-1-3 (Beat Houlton, 2-1, in double OT, to win first Class C state championship)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Kevin Kanakan (Senior), Peabo Knoth (Senior), Zander Majercik (Senior), Paul Runyambo (Senior), Mohammed Suja (Senior), Elyse Bayizere (Junior), Carter Burrowes (Junior), Henry Cleaves (Junior), Joey Schnier (Junior), Clancy Mitchell (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 13 @ NYA, Sept. 15 (H) FREEPORT, Oct. 5 (H) NYA, Oct. 9 (H) GREELY, Oct. 15 @ Cape Elizabeth

COACH’S COMMENT: “I think we’re really talented. This could be the best team I’ve ever had. My biggest concern is that we graduated some tough kids, so our challenge will be winning 50/50 balls and balls in the air. Everyone will take us seriously now. We don’t talk much about last year.“

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The 2011 Flyers might have been the finest team in the program’s storied history and it’s quite possible by November they’ll be eclipsed by this year’s squad, but Waynflete has a long to way to go, featuring games against a tough schedule populated by teams that will give them their ‘A’ game every time out. The program graduated eight players, led by Fall Male Athlete of the Year Daniel Wiener, captain Mitch Newlin and state game hero Will Cleaves. An abundance of talent returns and there are a few promising additions as well. Knoth was a conference, regional and state all-star, as well as the Class C Player of the Year in 2011 and could be one of the top strikers around this fall. Bayizere, Henry Cleaves, Kanakan, Mitchell, Runyambo and Suja are other scoring threats. Few teams will be able to match Waynflete’s scoring balance. Defensively, the Flyers are in great shape with Burrowes and Schnier holding down the fort in front of reigning all-star goalkeeper Majercik. Junior Peter Miner joins the squad on defense. Senior Jack Cutler is new to the team and can play anywhere. As usual, Waynflete has a daunting schedule, featuring top foes from all four classes, including perennial powerhouses Cape Elizabeth and Greely to close the regular season. By then, this Flyers edition will have developed its personality and should be able to compete with anyone. Waynflete will likely once again boast an impressive record and have a high playoff seed. If this squad can stay hungry and healthy, it can do great things. A first repeat title in a decade is a realistic conclusion.

GIRLS' SOCCER

COACH: Todd Dominski (fourth year, 36-12-1 overall record)

2011 Record: 14-3 (Lost 1-0, in overtime, to St. Dom's in Western C Final)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Isabel Agnew (Senior), Sadie Cole (Senior), Sophie Richards-Connolly (Senior), Katherine Harwood (Senior), Rhiannan Jackson (Senior), Amelia Mitchell (Senior), Walker Foehl (Junior), Julianna Harwood (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Aug. 31 (H) SACOPEE, Sept. 13 (H) NYA, Sept. 15 @ Freeport, Sept. 18 @ Sacopee, Sept. 20 (H) GRAY-NG, Sept. 24 @ OOB, Oct. 5 @ NYA, Oct. 9 @ Greely, Oct. 12 (H) OOB, Oct. 15 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH

COACH’S COMMENT: “The strength of our team will be our defense. We have a lot of experienced seniors who are great leaders. I expect this to help us in close games. Our expectation as a team is to work hard, get better every day and put ourselves in a position to win a state title.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The 2011 Flyers came agonizingly close to the state final, dropping a heartbreaker to St. Dom’s in the regional final. While the graduation of 50-goal scorer and Fall Female Athlete of the Year Becky Smith and loss to cross country of talented Ella Millard will hurt, this year’s group is ready for another deep run. The core of this team played a huge role in the girls’ lacrosse team’s stirring state title run in June. Agnew, Cole (a first-team WMC all-star in 2011) and Foehl (a first-teamer last year) all had their share of magical moments on the very same field back in the spring and now look to pace the offense this season. They’ll get some help from freshman Arianna Giguere. Mitchell could do some scoring as well. The defense features Richards-Connolly, Katherine Harwood (a first-team all-star last season) and Jackson, a three-sport standout, who was also named to the all-star team in 2011. Mix in freshmen Esme Benson and Marijke Rowse and the defense is that much stronger in front of Julianna Harwood, who impressed as a freshman in goal. Like the boys’ team, this squad will play a very difficult schedule, but will be able to contend. Waynflete will take awhile to hit its stride as new faces get comfortable, but if consistent scoring develops, most teams won’t be able to keep up with the Flyers. Look for Waynflete to post yet another impressive record and be a playoff factor. Perhaps this is the year Waynflete finishes the job. Don’t bet against these talented Flyers.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Kelly Hoffman (second year, 6-9 overall record)

2011 Record: 6-9 (Lost, 5-0, to Lisbon in Western C quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Nyanen Deng (Senior), Merilla Michael (Senior),  Jo Moore (Senior), Amelia Neilson (Senior), Alexandra Armstrong (Junior), Lauren Cressey (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Aug. 31 @ Freeport, Sept. 10 @ Sacopee, Sept. 14 (H) NYA, Sept. 21 (H) SACOPEE, Sept. 24 (H) FREEPORT, Oct. 4 @ NYA

COACH’S COMMENT: “We are very excited about this coming season. The team is cohesive. We have picked up from where we left off last year seamlessly. The majority of our team has been playing together for a number of years now. They’re experienced as a unit and that translates well onto the field. We’ll attack the season with more force than last year. We want to do well in the playoffs. We anticipate that this will be a year to remember. We are really enjoying our girls and how well they are doing and how much fun they are having working together.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Waynflete made it successive playoff appearances last year, something which hadn’t happened in a non-open tournament situation since 1977 and 1978. The program is trending upwards and Hoffman, who has a new assistant this year in Amy Power, who played at Hollins University in Virginia, hopes that continues this season, a plausible goal. Moore, a first-team all-star in 2011, will pace the offense, along with Michael, who was named to the all-conference second-team last season. Cressey, Deng, junior Nina Flight, sophomore Madison Pellow and freshman Charlotte Majercik will also be in the scoring mix. New midfielders include senior Elizabeth Berthy and sophomore Dana Peirce. Armstrong and Neilson are  top returning defenders. They’ll be aided by sophomores Gavriella King and Chloe Williams. Sophomore Allison Mills will find a place on the field as well. In goal this year will be senior Katherine Torrey, last seen making key saves during the girls’ lacrosse team’s memorable run to a state championship back in June. The opposition won't have much luck tickling the twine with her standing guard. The Flyers project to be a fun team to watch in the weeks to come. They’ll battle everybody and there doesn’t appear to be a powerhouse like NYA of recent vintage in the region. Waynflete will make a run at a winning record and might not only qualify for the postseason, but stick around for awhile. Keep an eye on this group. Big things could  be in store.

CROSS COUNTRY

COACH: Brian Gillespie (eighth year, three state championships)
2011 Results:
(BOYS) 2nd @ Class C state meet
(GIRLS) 3rd @ Class C state meet

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS:
(BOYS) Abukar Adan (Senior), Josh Espy (Senior)
(GIRLS) Phoebe Suva (Senior), Catherine Veroneau (Senior), Martha Veroneau (Senior)

TOP FOES: Mericoneag, NYA

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have 13 boys running this fall, including the strongest 1-2 in Class C with Josh and Abukar. We have great experience with eight seniors. Our goal is the state championship. We have a very strong 1-2 punch and our 3-7 runners will be 10-15 seconds apart. The kids are very excited for the season. We have 17 girls, including many newcomers with little experience, but great athletic ability. We won state championships in 2007, 2008 and 2009. This team has the potential to be our strongest ever. I'm very excited to be coaching this team. September will be a learning experience. The key here is their potential to be together and stay close to Martha. October can be state championship potential. Time will tell. The three (Veroneau) sisters here running cross-country is the first I know of at a school in the state. We have five athletes capable of doing what Amy Allen did in 2009 (be a quality runner in their first season). It's going to be a lot of fun watching them develop into a strong team.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both Waynflete teams are ready to make a run at the top spot in Class C.
The boys will miss graduated standout Abshir Horor, but Espy (10th at last year’s state meet) and Adan (15th a year ago) are potentially among the top 10 runners in Class C this fall. There’s a strong senior presence on this team as Forest Chap, Dylan Kingsbury, Colin Laurence, Tyler Mercier, Abdi Mohamud and Jon Tao make up a good potion of the squad. Juniors Graham Chance and Max Rowe, sophomore Juilan Ireland and freshmen James Bigbee and Cam Thompson round out the roster. If a solid scoring pack can develop behind Adan and Espy, Waynflete might be able to move up that final spot and win states for the first time since taking Class D in 1995.
On the girls’ side, it will likely be the Veroneau Show. Martha Veroneau is one of the state’s premier athletes (if you haven’t heard, she’s pretty good in basketball and lacrosse as well and was named Female Athlete of the Year after the most recent winter and spring seasons). Last year, Veroneau came in fourth in the region and second at states. She might lap the field this time around. Catherine Veroneau has returned from a second knee injury and is eager to compete. Then there’s freshman Anne Veroneau, who is next in line to continue the family’s Waynflete athletic legacy. There’s plenty more firepower in the form of junior transfers Cat Johnson from Mt. Ararat and Emily Wasserman from Cape Elizabeth, new juniors Ella Millard (a three-sport star athlete) and Emily White (a tennis standout) and sophomore Helen Gray-Bauer (who also plays basketball, lacrosse and most notably, a memorable rendition of the national anthem on her viola). Senior captain Phoebe Suva, classmates Jean Chen and Megan Surges, juniors Lydia Fox, Ellie Marston and Meredith Nelligan, sophomore Gemma Laurence and freshmen Ada Aho and Gail Johnson round out the lineup. This is a potential juggernaut. The Flyers, if they stay healthy, might not be just the best team in their class, but perhaps one of the finest anywhere in the state.

GOLF

COACH: David Neilan (eighth year)

2011 Results: No varsity team

TOP GOLFERS: Andrew Butler (Senior), Asa Heath (Senior), Tom Spagnola (Senior), Ryan Perry (Junior), Simon Shin (Junior), Stephen Epstein (Sophomore), Sam Frederick (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Freeport, NYA

COACH'S COMMENT: “We have about 16 signed up to play, which is the most we have ever had sign up for the sport. I am happy to say we will be returning to more of varsity schedule. We have a lot of newcomers, brand new to the sport, who probably won't be able to contribute to team play this year, but we're building interest towards the future. Tom has the talent to compete with anybody in the state. He’ll be a force. It is great that we will be able to field the requisite number of golfers to compete in an official school match again, and as always, I'm trying to build enthusiasm for the team and the sport, and become competitive as a team.”

THE FORECASTER'S FORECAST: After playing at the sub-varsity level in 2011, varsity golf returns to Waynflete this season. the Flyers will be led by Spagnola, who could make a run at individual glory in October. Seniors Andrew Butler and Asa Heath bring leadership. Juniors Ryan Perry and Simon Shin and sophomores Stephen Epstein and Sam Frederick will also be heard from. Waynflete’s goals are modest this autumn. The Flyers want to be competitive and hope to win a few matches. The program also looks to continue to grow and be more of a factor in years to come.

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

Photo: File photo

Senior Peabo Knoth is coming off an all-state season, which saw him named Player of the Year in Class C. He'll be one of the finest players in the state this year.

Photo: File photo

Junior Henry Cleaves will control play in the midfield for the Flyers this season.

Photo: File photo

Senior Paul Runyambo will be a top scorer for the Flyers this season.

Photo: File photo

Senior Mohammed Suja is another key player for the defending champs.

Photo: File photo

Junior Isabel Agnew is one of several key returning players for the Waynflete girls' soccer team.

Photo: File photo

Senior Sadie Cole is looking to add a soccer championship to the lacrosse title she played a huge part in winning back in June.

Photo: File photo

Senior Amelia Mitchell is a poised leader at the midfield position.

Photo: File photo

Senior Rhiannan Jackson will make life miserable for the opposition with her defensive acumen.

Photo: File photo

Julianna Harwood impressed in goal as a freshman and should be even stronger this autumn.

Photo: File photo

Senior Jo Moore will be one of the best field hockey players in the Western Maine Conference this season.

Photo: File photo

Senior Josh Espy will be one of the fastest cross country runners in Class C.

Photo: File photo

Senior Martha Veroneau, one of the state's special athletes, looks to win an individual and a team state championship in her final cross country season.

Fall Schedules

BOYS' SOCCER

Fri., Aug. 31 @ Wells

Mon., Sept. 10 H WELLS

Tues., Sept. 11 H LAKE REGION

Thurs., Sept. 13 @ NYA

Sat., Sept. 15 H FREEPORT

Tues., Sept. 18 @ Sacopee

Sat., Sept. 22 @ Gray-NG

Thurs., Sept. 27 H TRAIP

Sat., Sept. 29 H SACOPEE

Tues., Oct. 2 @ Traip

Fri., Oct. 5 H NYA

Sat., Oct. 6 @ Richmond

Tues., Oct. 9 H GREELY

Mon., Oct. 15 @ Cape Elizabeth

GIRLS' SOCCER

Fri., Aug. 31 H SACOPEE

Tues., Sept. 11 H POLAND

Thurs., Sept. 13 H NYA

Sat., Sept. 15 @ Freeport

Tues., Sept. 18 @ Sacopee

Thurs., Sept. 20 H GRAY-NG

Mon., Sept. 24 @ OOB

Thurs., Sept. 27 @ Traip

Tues., Oct. 2 H TRAIP

Fri., Oct. 5 @ NYA

Sat., Oct. 6 @ Richmond

Tues., Oct. 9 @ Greely

Fri., Oct. 12 H OOB

Mon., Oct. 15 H CAPE ELIZABETH

FIELD HOCKEY

Wed., Aug. 29 H OOB

Fri., Aug. 31 @ Freeport

Mon., Sept. 10 @ Sacopee

Wed., Sept. 12 H YARMOUTH

Fri., Sept. 14 H NYA

Tues., Sept. 18 @ Gray-NG

Thurs., Sept. 20 @ OOB

Fri., Sept. 21 H SACOPEE

Mon., Sept. 24 H FREEPORT

Tues., Sept. 25 @ Poland

Fri., Sept. 28 @ Traip

Mon., Oct. 1 H TRAIP

Tues., Oct. 2 H POLAND

Thurs., Oct. 4 @ NYA

CROSS COUNTRY

Fri., Aug. 31 @ Poland

Fri., Sept. 14 @ Wells

Fri., Sept. 21 @ Falmouth

Sat., Sept. 29 @ Belfast Inv.

Thurs., Oct. 4 @ Traip

Fri., Oct. 12 WMC Championships

Sat., Oct. 20 Western C Regionals

Sat., Oct. 27 Class C States

GOLF

Wed. Sept. 12 @ Freeport

Thurs., Sept. 13 @ Yarmouth

Tues., Sept. 18 H FRYEBURG

Thurs., Sept. 20 @ NYA

Mon., Sept. 24 H OOB

Tues., Sept. 25 @ Poland

Thurs., Sept. 27 @ OOB