Waynflete skiers in the hunt; Portland Nordic ski club continues to grow

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The Waynflete Nordic ski program has been among the best in the state this decade. This year, the Flyers welcome a new coach and expect to contend again. The new head man is Wyatt Dumas, who spent two years as the Cape Elizabeth coach, coached at Bowdoin College and was a standout at Mt. Blue High School and at Bowdoin. He inherits some promising talent.

The boys return senior Nate Niles, who was runner-up in both the classic and freestyle at last year’s Class C state meet. Juniors Eli Sobel and Max Sobel and sophomore Myoung Kim also return. New junior Matt Butler, sophomore Dan Wiener and freshmen Josh Espy and Dylan Kingsbury provide depth and could be future standouts. This team could be very good by February and has a shot at a top five finish.

The girls return state meet scorers junior Emma Longcope and sophomore Chloe Rowse. Several newcomers also look to make a mark. That group includes sophomores Drew Boulos, Alida Farrell, Lyllie Harvey and Hillary Niles. If the Flyers can show steady growth, they’ll be a force all season. By February, this team could be in its accustomed position of making a run for the top spot.

“I’m excited to have a large number of new skiers,” Dumas said. “I expect us to perform very well at the state meet this year. I expect success because the kids interact very positively with each other in regards to training and motivation and they enjoy being together as a group. Many of the newcomers are strong athletes in their own right.”

Cheverus, Deering and Portland (along with Casco Bay) ski under the Portland Nordic Ski Club umbrella, coached by Craig Whiton. Interest is growing.

“We have more kids than ever this year, 20,” said Whiton, now in his 11th season. “We’ve taken on two Cheverus skiers and we have some kids from Casco Bay High School. It’s a young squad. The girls have enough skiers to score as a team. They could do some damage, bu they’re young. The others will go for individual results. They love what they’re doing and don’t care what team it is.”

Cheverus skiers to watch include seniors Tim Woods and Deirdre Lambert. Deering features senior Logan Roche and junior Mason Norton (a transfer from North Yarmouth Academy). Portland’s top representatives are seniors Melanie Peabody and Tim Weber and promising freshman Abby Popenoe.

Cheverus’ Alpine ski team will have a new coach this winter. No information was available on the Stags at press time.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net

Waynflete’s Eli Sobel is one of the reasons the Flyers expect to have a strong Nordic skiing season in 2009-10.

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