Waynflete Flyers Fall Sports Preview

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Waynflete has another exciting autumn in store. The girls’ soccer team won a second straight Class C championship a year ago and despite some graduation losses, has what it takes to go all the way once more. Boys’ soccer will likely advance deep into the playoffs if all goes well. Field hockey is poised to improve. Cross country features some strong runners and will make noise at the regional and state levels. Golf could have one of its best seasons as well.

BOYS’ SOCCER

COACH: Brandon Salway (26th year, 217-100-34 overall record, four state championships)

2013 record: 9-5-2 (Lost, 2-1, in OT, to NYA in Western C quarterfinals)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Harry Baker-Connick (Senior), Clancy Mitchell (Senior) Abel Alemayo (Junior), Milo Belleau (Junior), Willy Burdick (Junior), Aaron Lee (Junior), Ahmed Mohamed (Junior), Jack Weston (Junior)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 16 FALMOUTH, Sept. 23 NYA, Sept. 27 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 30 POLAND, Oct. 6 GRAY-NG, Oct. 11 @ NYA, Oct. 18 @ Gray-NG, Oct. 21 @ Freeport

COACH’S COMMENT: “We have to make up for a some big losses, Henry Cleaves and Joey Schnier in particular. We have a good strong nucleus. We’ll create problems and get offensive chances. We need to build a strong defense. Our schedule is a bear. I don’t know what our record will be, but I know we’ll be tested. I think the league is wide open.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Waynflete continued its tradition as a top contender a year ago, nearly upsetting unbeaten rival NYA in the playoffs. As always, the program took some graduation hits, but as always, the Flyers have the necessary ingredients to fill the holes.

The top returner is Baker-Connick, who was named to the Western Maine Conference all-star team, as well as the Western C regional all-star team a year ago. He was Waynflete’s leading scorer and as a captain, will pace the offense again. Mitchell, another captain, Alemayo and Mohamed (who is recovered from an ACL injury which sidelined him most of last season) are other potential scorers. Weston and freshman Ilyas Abdi will also be heard from. On defense, Burdick and Lee hold down the fort in front of Belleau, who returns in goal. Freshmen Christian Brooks and Ford Malter will also see key minutes during the course of the season.

Salway is correct, the Flyers’ schedule is daunting, but this team will compete every day. Waynflete won’t end up with a glowing record and probably won’t have a top seed, but entering the postseason, the Flyers will be the squad that no one wants to face. After a couple years ended in playoff disappointment, Waynflete should post a winning record for the sixth season in a row, make a deep postseason run and if it gets a few breaks, could reach the regional final round for the fourth time in five seasons.

GIRLS’ SOCCER

COACH: Todd Dominski (sixth year, 63-16-7 overall record, two state championships)

2013 record: 15-2-2 (Beat Orono, 3-2, in 2OT, to repeat as Class C state champions)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Helen Gray-Bauer (Senior), Julianna Harwood (Senior), Esme Benson (Junior), Arianna Giguere (Junior), Christian Rowe (Junior), Marijke Rowse (Junior), Meddy Smith (Junior), Isabel Canning (Sophomore), Beata Vest (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 16 @ Falmouth, Sept. 23 @ NYA, Sept. 26 @ OOB, Oct. 2 OOB, Oct. 8 SACOPEE, Oct. 11 NYA, Oct. 14 @ Sacopee, Oct. 20 FREEPORT

COACH’S COMMENT: “We’re a little younger this year. We lost some key players who were around for four years. We have a small senior class and an experienced junior class. The kids are working hard. We have to put ourselves in a position to get back to the championship game. That’s always our goal.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: For two seasons, Waynflete has successfully walked the high-wire and won a state title in memorable fashion. Last fall, the Flyers dug a two-goal hole against Orono, but never gave up, then won it on Benson’s unconventional goal in the second overtime. The program did have to say goodbye to six special seniors, including reigning Fall Female Athlete of the Year Leigh Fernandez, but plenty of firepower returns all over the field.

For starters, not many programs can boast a four-year goalkeeper and few goalies anywhere are as talented or have quite the flair for the dramatic save as does Harwood, who made the All-Conference team in 2013. Her presence automatically makes Waynflete a serious title threat. Defensively, Canning (an all-star last season as a freshman), Rowe and Rowse are all solid. Rowse is also dangerous on free kicks (just ask Orono). Smith and freshman Amelia Bertaska could see time on defense. On offense, scoring threats are myriad. Benson and Giguere (who made the All-Conference team last season) have scored many clutch goals as underclassmen. Gray-Bauer is one of the special three-sport athletes the school has produced and will be in on the scoring fun. Vest will emerge as a bigger threat and freshmen Ava Farrar and Lydia Giguere will also see time on offense. Senior Annarosa Whitman, sophomore Ali Pope and new junior Nina Moore, a transfer from Freeport, give Dominski even more options.

Only two experienced seniors return, but Gray-Bauer and Harwood know how to win and how to lead. The rest of the roster is an abundance of riches. Waynflete will wear the bulls-eye once more with pride and will be tested throughout the regular season and playoffs. To be the best, you have to beat the best, however, and the Flyers know how to get the job done with the season on the line. More high drama and possibly another shiny Gold Ball await (the only other time the program won three consecutive titles came in Class D between 1995-97). As always, Waynflete’s quest for glory will be a lot of fun to watch.

FIELD HOCKEY

COACH: Kelly Hoffman (fourth year, 14-26-3 overall record)

2013 record: 0-12-1 (no postseason)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Gavriella King (Senior), Allison Mills (Senior), Dana Peirce (Senior), Madison Pellow (Senior), Lucy Weaver (Senior), Chloe Williams (Senior), Kiera MacWhinnie (Sophomore)

PIVOTAL GAMES: Sept. 8 @ Yarmouth, Sept. 15 NYA, Sept. 17 WELLS, Sept. 23 GREELY, Sept. 29 YARMOUTH, Oct. 7 NYA, Oct. 14 @ Wells

COACH’S COMMENT: “Last year was tough and this year we can only improve.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Flyers went from three straight playoff appearances to a winless season in 2013, but this year’s squad is poised to bounce back. There are a lot of good athletes on the roster and Waynflete also boasts plenty of senior leadership.

This year’s offense figures to come from the likes of Mills, Peirce, Pellow and Weaver. Sophomore Thalia Muyderman could also get in on the fun. Defensively, King and Williams are veterans. They’ll be joined by freshman Stella Lynch in front of MacWhinnie in goal. MacWhinnie turned heads as a freshman. Sophomores Rahwa Michael, Amina Nur and Randall Seder saw playing time a year ago and will play key roles in 2014. Senior Haley Johnson, sophomore Semhar Yehdego and freshmen Eliza Cox and Kaya Linen will work their way into the rotation.

The Flyers hope to quickly put last year behind them and some early confidence could lead to several victories and perhaps a return to the playoffs. The group is capable of turning heads.

CROSS COUNTRY

COACH: Brian “Ziggy” Gillespie (10th year, three state championships)

2013 results:
(BOYS) DNQ for Class C state meet (8th @ Western C regional meet)
(GIRLS) 3rd @ Class C state meet(regional champions)

TOP RETURNING RUNNERS:
(BOYS) Julian Ireland (Senior), Peterson Silk (Sophomore)
(GIRLS) Phoebe Colvin-Oehmig (Senior), Gail Johnson (Junior), Ellie Chidsey (Sophomore), Sophia Mayone (Sophomore)

TOP FOES: Merriconeag, NYA

COACH’S COMMENT: “I’m very excited about the boys’ team this fall. We’re certainly in a much stronger position than a year ago. The key is staying healthy and motivated, with a focus on October. We might have our top five within 30 seconds of each other. We want to qualify for states. This might be the strongest girls’ team in Waynflete history. A lot of things have to happen for this to become a reality. We have a front-runner in Phoebe. She can be a top five runner in the state. The key to our success is our great depth and ability of our 2-3-4 runners and the development of our 5-6-7 runners, which I think might be a surprise strength. We have eight freshman. I can’t help but think that one or two of them will develop into top seven runners. We want to win the region for the second year in a row.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: Both Waynflete cross country teams will once again be among the finest in Class C.

The boys fell short of qualifying for the state meet a year ago, but that was an aberration. This fall, the Flyers will be heard from. Top returners include Ireland, a co-captain who was 39th at last year’s regional meet, and Silk, who placed 41st. Some key additions make the team even stronger. Freshman Zander Martin will make an immediate impact. Junior Peter Michalakes has enjoyed a strong summer of competition and a transfer student, junior Sam Harbison, adds depth. Waynflete has high hopes and should be among the top squads in the region and could enjoy a top five finish at states as well.

On the girls’ side, after nine successive seasons of first, second or third-place showings, the Flyers expect more of the same in 2014, with a championship a realistic goal. Waynflete returns four runners who placed in the top 20 at last year’s state meet. Leading the way will be Colvin-Oehmig, who was eighth for scoring purposes. Running with her will be Mayone (11th), Johnson (15th) and Chidsey (20th). Senior Gemma Laurence and sophomore Lexi Epstein will help round out the pack and one or more of the freshmen could contribute as well. Waynflete has placed third three straight years at states. This time around, the goal is the pinnacle, a place the Flyers haven’t reached since 2009. While Waynflete doesn’t have a superstar like Martha Veroneau or Sofia Canning leading the way, this team’s depth could be enough to bring home the hardware.

GOLF

COACH: David Neilan (10th year)

2013 Record: 0-5 (DNQ for states)

TOP RETURNING PLAYERS: Stephen Epstein (Senior), Alex Lambert (Senior), Scott Ralston (Senior), Will Lewis (Junior)

TOP FOES: NYA, OOB

COACH’S COMMENT: “As usual, we have a couple of golfers who sort of know their way around the course and others who are just becoming ready to join us as part of the team. My outlook and aspiration, as it has always been, is to create enthusiasm for the game, expose the kids to the culture and tradition of the game and get them excited to play and improve. I see our team being competitive in several matches, but certainly not one of the top teams in the league.”

THE FORECASTER’S FORECAST: The Waynflete program enters the season in good shape, as several veterans return. A year ago, at the Western Maine Conference qualifier, Lewis shot a 90 and he should be in the hunt to qualify for states this time around. Epstein, Ralston and Lambert are also experienced. Senior Sam Frederick and junior Chris Bergeron will also vie for playing time. Look for the Flyers to be very competitive in the regular season and for several players to have a chance to make some noise once qualifying time rolls around.

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

Senior captain Harry Baker-Connick led Waynflete’s boys’ soccer team in goals last fall. He’ll be a leader and standout again this season.

Junior Milo Belleau returns for his second season as Waynflete’s goalkeeper.

Junior Aaron Lee will be a fixture on Waynflete’s defense this fall.

Big things are expected from senior captain Clancy Mitchell this season.

Junior Esme Benson scored arguably the biggest goal in program history last fall to give Waynflete’s its second straight Class C girls’ soccer title. She’ll be heard from again this season.

Senior Julianna Harwood is back for her fourth season as one of the state’s premier goalkeepers.

Junior Arianna Giguere has a penchant for scoring clutch goals.

Senior Helen Gray-Bauer is an unstoppable, three-sport ball of energy for the Flyers.

Isabel Canning turned heads with her play as a freshman and will help keep opposing attacks at bay in the weeks to come.

Junior Christian Rowe will help anchor Waynflete’s defense.

Junior Marijke Rowse is a top defender and is also quite deadly on free kicks, something she proved quite emphatically in last year’s state game.

Goalie Kiera MacWhinnie faced trial by fire as a freshman and will look to stand tall again as a sophomore for a Waynflete field hockey team looking to bounce back.

Senior Allison Mills will look to score her share of goals this fall.

Forward Madison Pellow is back for her senior season.

Senior Chloe Williams returns to help anchor Waynflete’s defense and midfield.

Senior Julian Ireland is the top scoring returner for the Waynflete boys’ cross country squad.

Peterson Silk had a strong freshman campaign on the trails. He’ll look to move up this season.

Phoebe Colvin-Oehmig was eighth at last year’s Class C state cross country meet as a junior. This fall, as a senior, she hopes to lead the Flyers, who were third as a team a year ago, to a state title.

Sophomore Sophia Mayone had a high finish at last year’s big meets.

Junior Gail Johnson is another key returner for Waynflete’s girls’ cross country team.

Sidebar Elements


Last fall, for the second year in a row, the Waynflete girls’ soccer team celebrated winning a dramatic Class C championship. The Flyers have the pieces in place to three-peat this autumn.

File photos.

More photos below.

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