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Waynflete Flyers Spring Sports Previews

Sports

Waynflete Flyers Spring Sports Previews

Waynflete won three state titles a year ago and has a great shot at winning multiple championships again this spring. Baseball has established itself as a consistent contender and could be a top Western C squad. Boys' lacrosse welcomes a new coach and begins a new era. One which should be triumphant. Speaking of triumph, the girls' program continues to set itself apart after winning last year's championship in epic fashion. The Flyers like their chances to repeat. Talking about repeating, both tennis teams hope to reign over Class C once more. Track will compete as well, thanks to some strong athletic talent.

BASEBALL

Coach: Steve Kautz (seventh year, 31-49 overall record)

2012 Record: 10-6 (Lost 10-3, to Old Orchard Beach in Western Class C preliminary round)

Top returning players: Andrew Butler (Senior), Ryan Carr (Senior), Luke Jeton (Senior), Matt Jarrell (Junior), Nik Morrill (Junior), Joey Schnier (Junior), Joey Sczurko (Junior), Isaac Sher (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 22 @ OOB, May 3 (H) OOB, May 8 @ OOB, May 10 (H) GRAY-NG, May 13 @ Traip, May 17 @ Greely, May 20 (H) TRAIP, May 22 @ Fryeburg, May 29 (H) TRAIP

Coach's comments: “Overall, we had a terrific season last year. We have a chance to have another strong season and our expectations are to make the playoffs and do some damage when we get there. We know it's a tough road and we'll have to be better in every aspect of the game in order to reach our expectations. For us, it starts with pitchers throwing strikes and letting our defense do its job. Our offense lost some punch through graduation and we're ready to see if the younger players can step up and fill the void. The team is dedicated to each other and to improvement and in the first two weeks of practice, I've seen as much focus as I can remember over the past several years.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Waynflete has made the playoffs three years running (something which last happened from 2001-03). The Flyers are no longer content just being in the running for a postseason berth. They want to be a factor once June arrives. This roster features experience and accomplished athletes, so optimism is high as a new season commences. Schnier will be the staff ace. He boasted a 7-2 record with a 3.45 ERA last spring when he was named a Western Maine Conference first-team all-star. Depth will come from Morrill (28 strikeouts in 25 innings last season), Butler (a first-team all-star and the WMC Class C Player of the Year), Jeton (another first-team all-star), junior Will Manny and freshman Tom Silk. On offense, Butler (.395 average, 22 runs in 2012), Jeton (21 RBI) and Sher (.468 on-base percentage), a second-team all-star last year, lead the way. Carr, Jarrell and Sczurko bring experience and freshman Ben Freedman will look to make an impact. Waynflete has gone from a program which struggled to field a varsity team to one which can now hold its own against virtually every foe on the schedule. If some steady pitching can develop behind Morrill and Schnier, the bats produce and the defense is reliable, the Flyers will have a great shot at posting a third straight winning record. This time, they could make someone's life miserable in the postseason.

BOYS' LACROSSE

Coach: Dan Thomsen (first year)

2012 Record: 5-7 (no postseason)

Top returning players: Forest Chap (Senior), Zander Majercik (Senior), Henry Cleaves (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 24 @ Greely, April 27 (H) CHEVERUS, May 1 Cape Elizabeth, May 11 @ Thornton Academy, May 18 (H) SOUTH PORTLAND, May 21 @ NYA, May 24 (H) GREELY

Coach's comment: “We lost some key players, but we have good numbers. I'm hoping a lot of younger guys step up. We always have a challenge playing the bigger schools. We want to get better every day and work hard. We talk about keeping our schedule open until mid-June.”

The Forecaster's forecast: It's a new era for the Waynflete boys' program this spring as Bob Johnson has retired after a long tenure. He's been replaced by Thomsen, who assisted Johnson for six seasons. Thomsen played in Massachusetts and at Middlebury College in Vermont. He also teaches Spanish at Waynflete. He takes over a program which missed the playoffs last year for the first time since 2004, but even after graduating All-American and 2012 Spring Male Athlete of the Year Chris Burke and league all-star Will Cleaves, it should be back in the hunt this spring. The Flyers offense will be led this season by Henry Cleaves and Majercik. Junior Graham Chance will handle faceoff duty. Chap anchors the defense. Sophomore Graham Ratner moves from midfield to goalie. With the new blood, this team will be a work in progress, but will compete. Waynflete is in the state's most challenging region, but will win its share of games and should be able to get back to the postseason.

GIRLS' LACROSSE

Coach: Cathie Connors (21st year, 236-43-1 overall record, 11 state championships)

2012 Results: 14-1 (Beat Freeport, 16-5, to win Class B state title)

Top returning players: Isabel Agnew (Senior), Sadie Cole (Senior), Rhiannan Jackson (Senior), Jo Moore (Senior), Katherine Torrey (Senior), Martha Veroneau (Senior), Leigh Fernandez (Junior), Walker Foehl (Junior), Ella Millard (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 23 @ Yarmouth, April 27 (H) KENNEBUNK, May 3 @ Falmouth, May 13 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, May 21 (H) FALMOUTH, May 22 (H) YARMOUTH, May 28 @ Cheverus

Coach's comment: “I love this group of girls. It's nice coming into a season having everyone but two returners and having one jump in who's very skilled. Last year, I had to reinvent our zone. This year, we can jump in and play. I'm excited to see how it all unfolds. I'm cautiously optimistic.”

The Forecaster's forecast: The gold standard of Maine high school girls' lacrosse penned one of its most scintillating and memorable chapters a year ago, edging rivals Falmouth (on Cole's late goal) and Cape Elizabeth (on Foehl's sudden victory overtime tally) in epic regional tournament games before running roughshod over Freeport for its ninth title in the Maine Principals' Association-sanctioned era. With almost the whole team coming back and a key new addition on the roster, the Flyers have to be viewed as the favorite to do it again. For starters, Waynflete features the premier coach in the state, one of the best in state annals in any sport, whose encouragement and tactical knowledge are simply unquantifiable. Then, there's the talent and what talent it is. Veroneau was a first-team conference all-star, an All-American honorable mention and the school's Spring Female Athlete of the Year after a sensational season last year. She's superb on the draw, tenacious on ground balls, a daunting defender and an almost unstoppable goal scorer. In case you've been living under a rock, she's a pretty amazing athlete out of lacrosse season too, as her Miss Maine Basketball award would attest. Cole, another first-teamer, is a scorer extraordinaire and has a flair for the dramatic, witnessed by her performance last June. Cole's size makes her difficult to defend. Her knowledge of the game and finishing ability leave the opposition feeling helpless. That's only the beginning. Foehl, a second-team all-star, has quickly made a name for herself. Her athleticism, speed and shot make her the perfect complement to Cole and Veroneau. Millard is another second-teamer and scorer to watch. She's going to rack up her share of goals as the season progresses. Fernandez, one of the most unheralded athletes around, along with Agnew, junior Sofia Canning and sophomores Helen Gray-Bauer (sidelined for the first part of the season with injury) and Hannah Thompson-Greaves will also be involved on offense. While Waynflete will score with abandon, its zone defense has been its calling card for over two decades. Jackson and Moore are the top returners on that unit. Both have enjoyed great success in other sports and make life miserable for opposing attackers. They're joined by junior Kat Johnson, a transfer from Mt. Ararat, who projects to make a big and immediate impact, senior Catherine Veroneau, who missed her sophomore and junior seasons with knee injuries, and juniors Amelia Deady and Ellen Silk. The embarrassment of riches continues in goal where Torrey, who has come up big time and again in pivotal spots, returns for her fourth and final season. The Flyers will be pushed in their region by extremely talented Cape Elizabeth and Falmouth and games versus the likes of longtime rivals Kennebunk, North Yarmouth Academy and Yarmouth, along with Cheverus, will also prove daunting, Going through the season unblemished might be difficult, but this program measures itself by June triumph. With Connors at the helm and a determined group of players (do you think for a minute Martha Veroneau's going to bow out with anything short of another championship trophy?), the sky is the limit. Another coronation for this juggernaut could be in the offing.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Coach: Ziggy Gillespie (sixth year)

2012 Results:

(Boys) No score @ Class C state meet (7th @ WMC meet)

(Girls) No score @ Class C state meet (8th @ WMC meet)

Top returning athletes:

(Boys) Abukar Adan (Senior), Abdi Mohamed (Senior)

(Girls) Rowan Price (Senior)

Coach's comment: “We have a very young team with only two seniors. The boys have the ability to score points. Abukar should score in the 800 and mile. Abdi should score at the state meet in the high jump. The girls have five cross country runners on the roster with strong potential in the 400, 800 and 4x800 relay.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Waynflete has a young and small outdoor track team this spring, but don't be surprised if a few Flyers turn some heads.

The boys' team features Adan, now in his fourth year, who projects to be one of the conference's best distance runners. Mohamud is a threat to score in the jumps (he won the WMC title a year ago). Mohamud, along with juniors Peter Miner and Max Rowe and sophomore Julian Ireland, provide middle distance depth. Freshman Christian Kapongo will compete in the sprints and jumps. Look for Waynflete to hold its own in league meets and to produce some points at states.

On the girls' side, Price leads the way in the middle distance and the high jump. She's joined by juniors Lydia Fox, Ellie Marston and Emily Wasserman and sophomore Gemma Laurence. Junior Sally Ruigi could be a factor in the jumps as well. Like the boys' team, the girls just hope to get better as the season moves along. Price (fourth in the WMC high jump last year) hopes to score at the postseason meets. The best news is that there are no seniors on the roster, meaning everyone is back next season.

BOYS' TENNIS

Coach: Jeff Madore (seventh year, 77-17 overall record, five state championships)

2012 Record: 13-3 (Defeated George Stevens Academy, 5-0, to win fifth straight Class C state championship)

Top returning players: Patrick Ordway (Senior), Ben Shapiro (Senior), Jon Tao (Senior), Isaac Salas (Sophomore)

Pivotal matches: April 22 (H) NYA, April 23 @ Falmouth, April 24 @ Yarmouth, May 1 (H) CAPE ELIZABETH, May 13 @ NYA, May 20 (H) FALMOUTH

Coach's comment: “The four seniors hope to have a memorable final season. My hope is they will be remembered for their good sportsmanship as well as their skilled play.”

The Forecaster's forecast: The Waynflete boys' tennis program has become one of the state's most impressive dynasties in any sport, winning five straight Class C titles and seven in eight seasons. Based on what's returning, there's no end in sight to the Flyers' dominance. Leading the way once again is Ordway, the 2011 state singles champion, who got to the singles semifinals during an all-star season a year ago. He'll be in the top singles spot and hopes to cap his high school career with singles and team titles. Salas (another first-team all-star) and Shapiro are also back at singles. Both won state championship matches a year ago and had singles tournament runs of their own. Waynflete does have some holes to fill at doubles as Owen Deady, Sam Martin and Addison St. Onge-May all departed. Tao was a second doubles team player last year. He'll be joined by some combination of senior James Liu, junior Misha Linnahan and sophomores Stephen Epstein and Clancy Mitchell. Junior Simon Shin, sophomore Jake Soley and freshman Peter Michalakes are new to the team. While Waynflete will get some good tests in the regular season from the likes of Class B champion Falmouth and perennial powerhouse Cape Elizabeth, it is clearly once again the team to beat when the postseason dawns. This could be another championship season for the Flyers, not just as a team, but if Ordway has his way, in a sweep. The beat simply goes on for this juggernaut.

GIRLS' TENNIS

Coach: Linda Cohen (sixth year, 58-17 overall record, two state championships)

2012 Record: 11-5 (Beat George Stevens Academy, 3-2, to win second consecutive Class C state championship)

Top returning players: Abby Cough (Senior), Phoebe Suva (Senior), Sophie Raffel (Junior), Emily White (Junior)

Pivotal matches: April 22 @ NYA, April 23 (H) FALMOUTH, April 24 (H) YARMOUTH, May 1 @ Cape Elizabeth, May 13 (H) NYA, May 20 @ Falmouth

Coach's comment: “It's a good group of girls. We're off to a good start. It's going to be a competitive season. I'm hoping we have fun and compete well. If we do, I think the wins will come. The girls are excited and energetic. We're hoping to build on the success of the last two years.”

The Forecaster's forecast: Waynflete has ruled Class C the past two seasons, saving its best for last a year ago. The Flyers graduated Hanae Miyake, Hilary Niles and Emily Trafton, but return four seasoned players and add a few talented newcomers. White was a second-team all-star a year ago and returns to play first singles. Suva moves from doubles to play second singles. Junior Allie Armstrong will be in the third singles spot. Cough and Raffel were standouts at second doubles last season and will be in the first doubles spot this year. Junior Nina Flight and sophomore Annika Morrill will play second doubles. While Waynflete will be tested by a very difficult regular season slate, it will once again be in position to make a title run when the playoffs begin. The Flyers have never posted a losing record or missed out on the postseason. Those streaks should continue and there's a good chance Waynflete could be celebrating a “three-peat” come June.

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

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Junior Henry Cleaves is a top returner for the Waynflete boys' lacrosse team.

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Senior Zander Majercik will be a top offensive threat for the Flyers.

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Forest Chap will help anchor the Flyers' defense.

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Senior Martha Veroneau is about to embark on her final high school season. The standout athlete and Miss Maine Basketball will be tough to stop.

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Standout senior Sadie Cole figures to score a ton of goals this season.

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Junior Walker Foehl has scored her share of huge goals, including this one to beat Cape Elizabeth in last year's regional final. She'll be a big part of the Flyers' offense again.

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Junior Ella Millard is yet another unstoppable offensive force for Waynflete.

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Unheralded, yet dangerous, junior Leigh Fernandez simply wins, regardless of the sport, and her scoring touch will help the Flyers triumph this spring.

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Senior Rhiannan Jackson's athleticism and tenacity will play big dividends for the always staunch Waynflete defense.

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Senior Jo Moore will play an imposing role in the Flyers' zone.

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Senior Abukar Adan is one of the top distance runners in the WMC.

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Senior Rowan Price will be a top runner and jumper for the girls' track team.

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Junior Lydia Fox looks to be a top scorer on the track this season.

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Patrick Ordway returns to the Flyers for his senior season. One of the state's elite players, Ordway hopes to lead his team to another championship.

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Senior Ben Shapiro is a returning singles standout for the Flyers.

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Sophomore Isaac Salas looks to build on his strong freshman season.

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Junior Emily White returns to play first singles for the two-time defending Class C champion Waynflete girls' tennis team.

Waynflete Spring Schedules

BASEBALL

Mon., April 22 @ OOB

Wed., April 24 H SACOPEE

Mon., April 29 H GPCS

Wed., May 1 H GPCS

Fri., May 3 H OOB

Wed., May 8 @ OOB

Fri., May 10 H GNG

Mon., May 13 @ Traip

Wed., May 15 H SACOPEE

Fri., May 17 @ Greely

Mon., May 20 H TRAIP

Wed., May 22 @ Fryeburg

Fri., May 24 @ Sacopee

Wed., May 29 H TRAIP

BOYS' LACROSSE

Mon., April 22 H YORK

Wed., April 24 @ Greely

Sat., April 27 H CHEVERUS

Wed., May 1 @ Cape Elizabeth

Sat., May 4 @ Freeport

Tues., May 7 H FRYEBURG

Sat., May 11 @ Thornton Academy

Thurs., May 16 @ York

Sat. May 18 H SP

Tues., May 21 @ NYA

Fri., May 24 H GREELY

Wed., May 29 H FREEPORT

GIRLS' LACROSSE

Mon., April 22 H WELLS

Tues., April 23 @ Yarmouth

Sat., April 27 H KENNEBUNK

Tues., April 30 @ Fryeburg

Fri., May 3 @ Falmouth

Tues., May 7 H FREEPORT

Thurs., May 9 @ Greely

Mon., May 13 H CAPE ELIZAETH

Tues. May 21 H FALMOUTH

Wed., May 22 H YARMOUTH

Tues., May 28 @ Cheverus

BOYS' TENNIS

Mon., April 22 H NYA

Tues., April 23 @ Falmouth

Wed., April 24 @ Yarmouth

Fri., April 26 @ Fryeburg

Mon., April 29 H LAKE REGION

Wed., May 1 H CAPE ELIZABETH

Wed., May 8 @ Greely

Fri., May 10 H YORK

Mon., May 13 @ NYA

Tues., May 14 H GREELY

Thurs., May 16 H FREEPORT

Mon., May 20 H FALMOUTH

GIRLS' TENNIS

Mon., April 22 @ NYA

Tues., April 23 H FALMOUTH

Wed., April 24 H YARMOUTH

Fri., April 26 H FRYEBURG

Mon., April 29 @ Lake Region

Wed., May 1 @ Cape Elizabeth

Fri., May 3 H OOB

Wed., May 8 H GREELY

Fri., May 10 @ York

Mon., May 13 H NYA

Thurs., May 16 @ Freeport

Mon., May 20 @ Falmouth