Waynflete Flyers Winter Sports Preview

  • Mail this page!
  • Delicious
  • 0

Waynflete’s boys’ basketball team celebrated its second regional title in three years last winter. The Flyers will be in the hunt for another this season.

File photos.

More photos below.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Coach: Rich Henry (13th year, 150-78 overall record)

2015-16 record: 19-3 (Lost, 59-46, to George Stevens Academy in Class C state final)

Top returning players: Yai Deng (Senior), Abdul Mohamed (Senior), Christian Brooks (Junior), Abdi Mohamed (Junior), John Veroneau (Junior), Burr Rhoads (Sophomore), Alex Saade (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Dec. 15 @ Yarmouth, Dec. 17 LAKE REGION, Dec. 20 @ NYA, Jan. 3 @ Wells, Jan. 4 TRAIP, Jan. 7 @ OOB, Jan. 12 @ St. Dom’s, Jan. 17 NYA, Jan. 20 @ Falmouth, Jan. 24 ST. DOM’S, Jan. 31 OOB, Feb. 3 GRAY-NG, Feb. 7 @ Traip

Coach’s comment: “We’ll get tested with our schedule. Our team has some strength in terms of our returning starters and with the addition of Jack Meahl, who suffered a season-ending injury before he was able to play in any regular season games last year. I’m also looking for strong contributions from a number of underclassmen and we have what I consider a very strong group of freshmen. We’re trying to fill the shoes of four outstanding seniors who graduated, players that really understood their roles, and in many ways served as the engine for our team. We’re looking for this year’s group of leaders to take that torch that is being passed to them and help to drive this team and our coaching staff is really enjoying the process. We want to be playing as long as we can and aspire to be playing in the last game of the year. Now it’s a matter of understanding what that takes and trying to execute.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete produced another stellar season in 2015-16, riding the heroics of Winter Male Athlete of the Year Milo Belleau and his superb supporting cast to the Flyers’ second Class C Final appearance in three years. Unfortunately, Waynflete fell short against powerhouse George Stevens Academy, but the program has established itself as a consistent upper echelon contender and while graduation took its toll, the 2016-17 Flyers appear primed for more greatness.

Waynflete will feature a nice balance of size and perimeter play this season. Deng, a first-team league all-star last year, stands 6-foot-5, and will be a matchup problem down low. He’s joined at the forward spot by the 6-2 Brooks, 6-2 Rhoads and the 6-foot Veroneau. The Flyers are loaded with promising guards as well. Abdi Mohamed, Abdul Mohamed and Saade all return and are joined by senior Jack Meahl, who missed last season with injury, as well as freshmen Diraige Dahia and Askar Houssein (who has already made an impact on the pitch this school year). Waynflete will have plenty of depth and no shortage of players who can put the ball in the basket.

The key to the Flyers’ success this winter will be defensive intensity and coming of age as the season progresses. Replacing the departing standouts won’t be easy, but can be done in time. Over the past several years, Henry (who earned his 150th victory with the program in last February’s Class C South Final) has gotten the most out of his charges and has gotten them to buy into the team concept. A very challenging schedule and a deeper than usual Class C portion of the Western Maine Conference will ensure that nothing comes easily, but even if Waynflete isn’t able to match last year’s record, a long stay in Augusta could become a reality if the pieces fall into place like they usually do.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Coach: Mike Jefferds (second year)

2015-16 record: 7-12 (Lost, 39-38, to Madison in Class C South preliminary round)

Top returning players: Annika Brooks (Senior), Ali Pope (Senior), Izzy Burdick (Junior), Lydia Giguere (Junior), LZ Olney (Junior), Emi Boedeker (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: Dec. 15 YARMOUTH, Dec. 17 @ Lake Region, Dec. 20 @ NYA, Jan. 4 @ Traip, Jan. 7 @ OOB, Jan. 17 NYA, Jan. 20 FALMOUTH, Jan. 31 OOB, Feb. 3 @ Gray-NG, Feb. 7 TRAIP

Coach’s comment: “We’re looking to have a good season with a year under our belts with a new coach and system. We hope to make the playoffs and have a good run in Augusta.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete saved its best for last in 2015-16, almost upsetting Madison in the preliminary round. With a lot of talent back, the Flyers expect to get to Augusta for the first time in three seasons and make some noise when they get there. They will be a work in progress, however.

Brooks and Giguere both made the all-conference first-team a year ago. Brooks was ninth in the conference in scoring (11.2 points per game) while Giguere finished 14th (10.1). Brooks is a force on the glass as well (she was second last season with 8.9 per contest). Giguere is strong on the defensive end (3.1 steals per game, good for ninth in the conference last winter). Burdick will run the offense as point guard. Waynflete boasts several players who can get the job done as guards or forwards. That list includes Giguere, Olney, Pope and promising freshman Anna Wildes. Brooks will be joined down low by Boedeker.

The Flyers should be one of the better defensive teams in the league. If they can score consistently, they’ll navigate their very challenging schedule and wind up where they want to be. In Augusta in February. Waynflete has made a lot of playoff memories over the years. This squad appears primed to write another chapter.

SWIMMING

Coach: Steve Withers (third year)

2015-16 results:

(Boys) 12th @ Class B state meet

(Girls) 15th @ Class B state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Caleb Lavine (Senior), PD Silk (Senior), Colin LeBihan (Junior)

(Girls) Kiera MacWhinnie (Senior), Molly McNutt (Junior), Lily Fanburg (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We return with a bigger, more experienced team. The boys’ team grew from seven swimmers to nine this year. Caleb and PD, our captains, look to continue their one-two punch as leaders. We’ll be competitive in more meets this season. The girls’ team grew from eight swimmers last year to 18 this year. Growth occurred across all ages and numerous swimmers look to contribute. The depth the newcomers bring to the team is substantive and will make a dramatic impact.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Both Waynflete swim teams are primed to move up the standings this winter.

The boys return Levine, who came in fourth in the 100 butterfly at last year’s Class B state meet. He’ll also compete in the individual medley. LeBihan and Silk both scored in the medley relay last winter. LeBihan’s specialty is the freestyle and Silk competes in the backstroke, breaststroke and IM. Senior Tim Clifford, who took last year off, and juniors Andrew Clark and Alan Wen join the team and add depth. The Flyers last finished in the top 10 at states in 2013. There’s a good chance this year’s squad will get there.

On the girls’ side, MacWhinnie has been a key component of Waynflete’s success since her freshman year and looks to move up from last year’s showing (fourth in the 100 freestyle, fifth in the 200 free). Fanburg (breaststroke) and McNutt (backstroke and freestyle) also have experience and senior Chloe Daikh (who joins MacWhinnie and McNutt as captains) helps provide leadership. The Flyers will be bolstered by the addition of new seniors Kelley Frumer, Elisabeth Lualdi and Sophia Mayone and junior Abby Pipkin. That group will help Waynflete move up the ladder and be competitive throughout.

NORDIC SKIING

Coach: Ben Hamilton (first year)

2015-16 results:

(BOYS) 9th @ Class C state meet

(GIRLS) 7th @ Class C state meet

Top returners:

(Boys) Willson Moore (Senior)

(Girls) Ellie Chidsey (Senior)

Coach’s comment: “We have a small squad this year, lean and mean, with 10 skiers total. It will be a rebuilding year with a smaller group and a number of underclassmen on the team. We hope both teams will have strong performances at the state meet. We know that a number of our skiers will look for strong individual performances. Willson, in particular, will lead the way as one of the strongest skiers in the state.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete’s Nordic team has a lot of quality, if not much in the way of quantity this winter.

The boys are led by Moore, who was runner-up in both the classical and freestyle at last year’s Class C state meet. He hopes to finish in the top spot this time around. Freshman Nicholas Werner is a newcomer to watch. The squad only has three skiers, so it won’t score, but the individuals, especially Moore, will turn heads.

On the girls’ side, Chidsey is a top returner and freshman Clara Sandberg shows promise. Others will look to help the Flyers be competitive against a tough schedule and make some noise at the postseason meets.

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

Junior Christian Brooks will start for the Flyers this season.

Senior Yai Deng returns as an imposing post presence.

Junior Lydia Giguere will make her presence felt all over the court this winter for the Waynflete girls, who seek to return to the playoffs.

Senior Annika Brooks will be a clutch contributor for the Flyers.

Junior Izzy Burdick will see key minutes this winter.

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