Fryeburg Academy weekly recaps

Christian Bedell

Christian Bedell

TRACK & FIELD

Going up against Greeley, York, Poland and Mountain Valley this small but tough Raider team had to fight for every point during their home meet last Friday. The girls came away with 46 points for fourth place and the boys managed 45 points for third place.

Small on numbers but BIG on talent, one Raider stood head and shoulders above his teammates. Xiaoyu “Victor” Yang won the triple jump with a leap of 42-feet and came back with a 6-foot-8 effort to win the high jump — shattering the school record, a record that had stood since 1994, by 4-inches.

“This talented young athlete had the crowd clapping giving him all the energy they could as he cleared 6-feet 8-inches. Unable to clear 6-feet-9 on his final attempt, the crowd rushed on to the high jump apron to congratulate Xiaoyu on his performance,” FA Coach Kevin McDonald said. “A truly remarkable day on the FA Track. Having competed in two events already makes this performance even more impressive. The height was not the enemy on this day, it was fatigue. At 6-feet-9, Victor was just tired.”

Coach McDonald says Xiaoyu is a kind and gentile person.

“A student of the sport and an ambassador for the sport, he is gracious to all and focused when he competes. He is something to watch,” the coach added.

Other Raiders rounding into form include TJ Rose running 4:41.59 in the mile and headed under 4:40 soon. TJ is starting to show form at just the right time. Christian Bedell and Ryan Hewes are about to break the 5 minute barrier in the mile. Very impressive for a sophomore and freshman.

Liuke Yang continues to score in meets. Liuke broke into the 19-foot club in the long jump and just missed the State Standard in the 300 hurdles.

On the girls’ side, Irina Norkin tossed 74-feet 10-inches in the discus. Very impressive for a freshman. Irina also placed fourth in the javelin with a toss of 63-feet 9-inches. Coach Cummings has a very young group in the throws and these events are difficult to get comfortable with.

“However, I am very pleased with the progress being made with this entire group,” Coach McDonald said. “Our throws athletes will only get stronger and better.”

Anna Lastra ran an impressive mile/800m combo, taking first and second with a 5:26.79 in the mile and 2:29.35 in the 800m. Anna is closing in on her goals as the season heats up and the competitive phase of training starts to kick in. Also showing fine form was Emily Carty. As a freshman, she ran 5:38.41 in the mile and 2:36.57 for the 800m. The mile time meets the State Standard and the 800m time is just off the standard.

“Emily’s future will be very bright if she can avoid injuries. A freshman going to States is impressive to say the least,” the coach said.

Skye Collins continues to lower her times in the 100m and 200m. There is no telling just where she will be by the end of the season.

“I have a feeling there might be a podium in her future if she stays focused and concentrates on the task at hand,” Coach McDonald said. Coach Collins has his Relays rounding into form at just the right time. There is always work to be done but things are getting faster.

“I must say as a head coach I am blessed to have such fine coaches on this team. Coaches Cummings, Collins and Miller all make my job so much better. For this I say ‘thank you all.’ This season has had its ups and downs, but these three help me focus on the positives and the fact that all our athletes are improving is a credit to us all,” the coach added.

Next: The Raiders travel to Sacopee Valley for the Tri County Clash this Friday, May 22 to end the regular season.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Freeport 10, Raiders 9: In a game played in Fryeburg, the Freeport Falcons beat the Fryeburg Academy Raiders 10-9.

Two weeks ago, these same two teams battled to an 11-10 triple overtime win by Freeport. So going into the game everyone was expecting an exciting game. The two teams didn’t disappoint the crowd.

The Falcons got on the scoreboard first at 11:06 when Evan Donald found Connor Dostie on the left side pipe for a quick stick to give Freeport the lead 1-0. Brady LaFrance put Freeport up 2-0 at 8:28. Fryeburg Academy answered this goal at 6:53 when Jeremiah Schrader fired a crossing pass to Corey Thibodeau for the one timer to close the gap to 2-1. Ramsey Dodge answered the Raiders goal at 5:18 for a 3-1 lead. Fryeburg Academy cut the lead to 3-2 with 41 seconds to go in the first on a goal by Ryan Caracciolo.

At 10:38 of the second quarter, Corey Thibodeau knotted the game at 3 on a pass from Joe Schrader. However, the Falcons scored the next 4 goals in a span of 7 minutes to take a 7-3. Ramsey Dodge scored 2 goals and had an assist on another to break the game open. The Raiders stopped the bleeding at 3:45 when Joe Schrader beat Zac Wogan in the lower right corner of the net to cut the lead to 4-7. Eli Fox for Freeport scored a shorthanded goal to bring the lead back up to 4 with 2:13 on the clock. The Raiders tallied two power play goals to end the half trailing 8-6. The first goal came at 1:19 when Joe Schrader snagged a pass from Jeremiah Schrader. With 10 seconds to go in the half, Huxley Lovering ripped a nice shot top shelf on a pass from Ryan Caracciolo.

In the third quarter, things slowed down a little with each team scoring a goal. Sam Wogan scored at 8:54 to give Freeport a 9-6 lead. Fryeburg matched that goal at 6:23 on a goal from Corey Thibodeau, his third of the game on a pass from Ryan Caracciolo.

In the fourth quarter, the Raiders struck first at 9:47 to cut the Freeport lead to one when Joe Schrader netted his third goal of the game on a nice give and go pass from Ryan Caracciolo making the score 9-8. Sam Wogan answered this goal to bring the lead back up to two with 7 minutes to play in the game. The Raiders were not done yet. With 3:01 showing on the clock Huxley Lovering received a long pass from Malik Mobley for his second goal of the game giving Fryeburg hope of a come back. The Raiders would have a number of opportunities to score in the final minutes however, Freeport goalie Zac Wogan had other plans stopping a number of shots as the clock ran out on Fryeburg.

“Great game by two evenly matched teams. I was very pleased with our overall effort in the game. A few breaks here and there and we could’ve come out on top,” FA Coach Rick White said. “The blue collar mentality of this team really showed through today. They never gave up and kept fighting until the final tick came off the clock. I’m very proud of these young men.”

Goalie Malik Mobley made 15 saves. The Raiders held a 30-9 shot advantage over the Falcons (4-3).

Raiders 14, Wells 5: In a game played in Fryeburg Tuesday, the Raiders scored 20 seconds into the game and never looked back in an impressive 14-5 victory over the Wells Warriors. With the win the Fryeburg improves to 3-5 and Wells drops to 2-5 on the season.

Jake Maidment scored his first goal of the game at 11:40 on a pass from Huxley Lovering to start the scoring off for Fryeburg Academy. Maidment finished with 4 goals on the afternoon. The Raiders scored the next 5 goals before Wells had an answer when Cortland Austin found Evan Whitten for the one timer to make the score 6-1. Fryeburg Academy wasn’t done scoring in the first quarter. They tacked on two man-up goals to finish the first quarter up 8-1. AJ Worcester scored the first man-up goal on a feed from Joe Schrader at 1:49 and that was followed up with Corey Thibodeau scoring on a feed from Ryan Caracciolo.

The scoring slowed in the second quarter with Wells scoring first when Chad Fitzpatrick found a wide-open Evan Whitten for the goal at 8:58, making the lead 8-2. The Raiders answered that goal at 7:25 when Ryan Caracciolo picked up a loose ball and fired it by Wells goalie Tyler Whitten to make the score 9-2. Huxley Lovering ended the first half scoring on a pass from Ryan Caracciolo with 55 seconds left to give the Raiders a 10-2 halftime lead.

Coming out in the third quarter, Fryeburg Academy scored the first two goals for a 12-2 lead. Ryan Caracciolo received a pass from AJ Worcester at 10:49 to get it started. Maidment scored his third of the game on a feed from Huxley Lovering at 7:50.

The Warriors fought back with the next two goals of the third quarter. With 5:10 to go in the quarter, Wells would go on the man-up situation after a slash call. Ryan Marsh passed to Chad Fitzpatrick on the left wing and he beat Malik Mobley (11 saves) top shelf to cut the lead to 12-3. The Warriors continued to battle back when Ethan Marsh would score at the 4:33 mark on a pass from Ryan Marsh again. The lead was cut to 12-4 at this point.

In the fourth quarter, Fryeburg Academy again netted a quick goal when Corey Thibodeau found Maidment open again for his fourth goal of the game at 11:39 to give the Raiders a 13-4 lead. Corey Thibodeau scored the last goal of the game for Fryeburg Academy at 9:43 on an assist from Huxley Lovering for the 14-4 lead. Wells would score one more time at 7:21 when Noah Pease fed Ethan Marsh to make the final score 14-5.

FA enjoyed a 30-16 shot advantage over the Warriors.

“I was very impressed with how our kids came out in this game. We have been starting very slowly in games, which has really hurt us. So to see us get out on top early and often, it took a lot of pressure off the players,” FA Coach White said. “It was also nice to see different players leading the scoring as well. Jake played well scoring four goals. He was equally as effective picking up ground balls. Ryan Caracciolo and Corey Thibodeau continue to play well together. AJ Worcester played his best game of the year scoring a goal and assisting on three others.”

Coach White feels FA’s defense is really starting to play well together.

“They are communicating well together and making life easier for Malik Mobley in the cage. Malik is one of the top goalies in the conference and when we can keep people off the crease and he can see the ball well he usually makes the save,” he said. “The first four games prepared us really well for the stretch run. The hard work will pay off in the end. Great effort by the whole team.”

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Over the past week, the Lady Raiders lacrosse team held its own and its place in the playoff picture. Tuesday saw a loss to perennial power Yarmouth, last year’s champion, and Saturday, fans in Fryeburg witnessed a win over Class A Noble, leaving the team at 3-4.

In part, the change was due to the unsung heroes of the team, Coach Bob Cobb said. In the attack zone, players such as Joelle Buzzell, Carolyn Gray, Lexi Charles and Taylor Kruger gave the team valuable minutes that allowed starters to catch their breath. The same was true in the midfield with Janelle Wiesemann and Kallan Charest.

“Though they spend a great deal of time with coach, defensive players Ali Kruger, Franki Napolitan and Anna Hodgman-Burns can always be counted on when needed,” Coach Cobb said. “Though these players may not log massive stats or minutes in the scorebook, a great deal of the team improvement can be attributed to the work of these unsung heroes during practice. They challenge their teammates in drills and scrimmages, thereby raising everyone’s game.”

Next: The Raiders will be home Friday at 4 in a match against Cape Elizabeth.

“The next run of games will test the heart of the team, but the girls are looking forward to finishing strong, and the unsung heroes will make sure no one lets down,” Coach Cobb said.

Junior captain Ben Darling with a mid-air catch. (Photo by Joe Kelly)

Junior captain Ben Darling with a mid-air catch. (Photo by Joe Kelly)

ULTIMATE

The Fryeburg Academy varsity ultimate teams attended the Pioneer Valley Invitational in Northampton, Mass. from May 15-17.  The Raiders made the long journey to Massachusetts to play teams from around the region and gain more experience as they head down the final stretch of the season.

Both teams had a great time and learned a lot over the course of the weekend. The boys went 6-1 and finished first in the Open B division and the girls went 3-3 and finished fourth in the girls’ division.

The boys’ weekend started with pool play against Northampton’s freshmen team. Fryeburg started out slowly and points were back and forth with many turnovers before one team scored. Fryeburg had a total of 29 throwaways and drops during the first half alone and seeing those stats gave the team some much needed motivation during halftime.

The game was cleaned up a bit during the second half and FA came away with a 12-5 win. The biggest takeaway from this game was better teamwork on defense, which continued to improve throughout the weekend.

After a bye, the boys played their second pool play game against Columbia JV from Columbia, N.J., where ultimate was invented.  The FA defense couldn’t contain their handler line for the first part of the game, but they weren’t able to move the disc down the field easily.  This kept the score low, but FA found itself down 8-4 at halftime.

Something clicked with the Raider offense and FA proceeded to score the next four points, tying the game 8-8 when time elapsed. This meant there would be a sudden death point — often called universe point in ultimate.  Unfortunately, FA was unable to capitalize on several scoring attempts and Columbia won the game on a long throw that was simultaneously caught by one of their players and FA’s Ben Darling.  Ties go to the offense, so that was the game winning goal.

“It was great spirit on Ben’s part to admit that the catch had occurred at the same time,” Coaches Chris and Emily Strahler said. “His level of sportsmanship is excellent.”

The loss in pool play meant that the boys would remain in the B division, but the new goal for the weekend would be to win the next five games and win the Open B division at the end of the day on Sunday.  Two more games on Saturday against Hopkinton and Concord-Carlisle B were decisive victories for Fryeburg.  These two wins put the boys in the top eight bracket for the Open B division.

On Sunday, Fryeburg’s first opponent was Northampton JV, who had previously beaten Columbia JV.

“This worried us a bit, but we knew that if we started the game as we had ended our game against Columbia, the game would be close, but we could come out on top,” the coache said. “Our offense and defense clicked right away and played even better than before.”

Senior Rodrigo Araujo and junior Ben Darling took control of the the game offensively and defensively, respectively.  Any deep attempt by the other team was stopped by Ben as he used his height, field position, and timing to sky his opponents repeatedly.  FA quickly took the lead and the margin kept spreading.  The final score was 12-6.

The semi-final match-up was against fellow Maine team, Cumberland. They had just come off a hard fought game against Four Rivers and had won the game 12-11.  Their offensive handlers moved the disc quickly against Four Rivers, but when matched up against the Fryeburg zone defense they were stifled.  The game was close to start, with teams trading points back and forth, but then Fryeburg pulled away.  The Raiders were very patient with the disc near the end-zone and effectively used end-zone plays that they have been working on.  Sophomore handler William Davis was excellent at setting up and running these plays for scores.  Late in the game Cumberland staged a comeback bid, but Fryeburg had resolve and closed the game out 15-8.

The semi-final victory put FA in a game against Longmeadow JV.  They had a very athletic line, but it was not particularly deep.  Fryeburg started the game by earning a turnover and scoring for a break point.  Points traded back and forth until it was 3-3, but then the starting line resolved to pull away.  They did, and the deep Fryeburg squad was able to pull away to a 15-5 victory for the Open B division title.

The standout players for the weekend on the handler line were Rodrigo Aruajo and William Davis.

“Rodrigo kept the team calm with his patient play and Will regularly bailed out the other handlers with dump cuts to reset the stall count or up-field cuts to gain much needed yardage,” the coaches said. “Ben Darling was stellar on both offense and defense. He stopped most deep throw attempts in our zone defense and his long forehand throw earned him numerous assists. Many of Ben’s throws were only possible due to the well-timed deep cuts of Ben LeConey and Brian Zuniga who used their incredible speed to run the discs down in the end zone.”

The Raiders came a long way from their 0-3 start to the season and now stands with a record of 6-4.

The girls started their weekend with victories in pool play, beating Needham High School 15-2 and Beacon High School 14-1.  During these easier games, the girls focused on maintaining a high level of play, honing their various defensive sets and valuing each disc possession.  FA also worked all players into the game, improving team communication and flow.  As a light wind picked up from the mountains, the girls adjusted their throws and catches to continue their dominance.

Two victories in pool play resulted in a more difficult match up against Four Rivers Charter School.

“Though we got off to a good start, physical weariness began to set in during the third game and energy flagged,” the coaches reported.

With the opponent moving the disc more quickly and catching even poor throws, Fryeburg struggled to remain even.  Though the teams mostly traded points throughout the game, Four Rivers proved to have greater stamina and eked out an 11-9 victory over Fryeburg.

The temperature was already in the 70s by the time the first disc was pulled at 8:30 on Sunday morning, and the mercury only climbed throughout the day.  Fryeburg came out with a solid victory over Somerville High School, winning 11-6 in the quarterfinals.  The opponent proved unable to work the disc through the Fryeburg defensive sets and FA was able to capitalize on their frustration.  On the offensive side, the improvements from Saturday’s play was evident as the girls moved the disc easily and quickly up the field.

Fryeburg matched up against Northampton High School in the semifinals.  Although they scored an easy first point with a long throw to the end zone, they proved unable to keep pace with the talent and depth displayed by Northampton who went on to win the tournament.  Eventually losing 14-2, Fryeburg was unable to find a defensive strategy to stop the quick disc movement by the other team.  Fatigue also played a role as the girls were unable to make effective cuts and move the disc when on offense.

Fryeburg played their final game against the Ottawa youth national team. Though the game was friendly and spirited, the Fryeburg girls lost 11-2, putting them in fourth place for the weekend.

Bridget Bailey continued to be the linchpin player for Raiders with long throws that were admired by players and spectators alike. Sydney Andreoli also handled well and continued to impress with her smart and intense defensive play. Erin Friberg and Thu Pham led the team with strong cuts, getting open inside and moving the disc down the field. Emery O’Connell also got open, often punching the disc down the sideline to gain significant yardage.

Abby Davis and Ariel Fogden returned from injuries sustained at the Amherst tournament, both handling and cutting effectively. Ali Upton, joined by Ella Forbes, played the difficult chase position on defense, keeping up speed and focus through all six games. Kaylee Barboza’s ability to anticipate disc movement often had her in the right place to make big plays on offense and defense.  Emmajo Armington was consistently open to catch Bailey’s long throws to the end zone, often joined by Katherine Parker who was sidelined by a hamstring injury in day two.  Zinnia Hansler made her tournament debut with no dropped or thrown away discs in the first two games.

The Fryeburg girls traveled to PVI with an eye on preparation for the Maine State tournament in two weeks.  They achieved their primary goals of improving team communication and flow, increasing defensive effectiveness and working more players into the game.  Holding seed and earning three wins against competitive teams from the Pioneer Valley and beyond was a hard-earned bonus.

“The team’s patient, athletic and collaborative play will serve them well as they finish out this first season of varsity play,” the coaches said.

Recap reports filed by team coaches.

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