Fryeburg Academy winter sports previews

RYAN GULLIKSON will again trigger the Raiders at both ends of the floor.

RYAN GULLIKSON will again trigger the Raiders at both ends of the floor.

VARSITY BOYS’ BASKETBALL
Head Coach: Sedge Saunders, 17th season
Assistant Coach: Charlie Tryder
JV Coach: Ryan Wallace
Freshmen: Anthony Antonucci
Anthony Antonucci and Ryan Wallace are former players. Saunders is happy to have Anthony back for his second year and Ryan joins the Raiders after coaching at Kennett for a few years.
Last Year: 8-11, lost in Class B West prelim game.
Top returnees: Jonathan Burk, a four-year varsity player. Jon had some nagging injuries last year, but if healthy this year, Coach Saunders expects him to have a great senior season. “Jon’s a player who can do a little of everything with his primary strength being his skilled low post play,” the coach said.
Ryan Gullikson is back for his junior season. Ryan led the team in scoring at 15 plus points per game and is a big time playmaker. He has the ability to carry a team, at times.
Henry Santana is back for his senior year after giving FA some great minutes last year. He’s a workhorse on the boards and provides physical defense in the paint, Coach Saunders said.
Winston Richards is a senior, who has improved his low post play and should be a “monster on the boards...with a more consistent effort Winston certainly can be an impact player,” the coach said.
Brandon Ludwig is new to the varsity. The 6-foot senior swingman is coming off an excellent football season and coaches hope he will provide toughness you expect out of a football player.
Ben Southwick is a returning varsity player who gave FA valuable minutes last year and is expected to bring even more this year — “a dangerous open court player and tenacious on-the-ball defender, Ben is ready to have a fine senior season,” Coach Saunders said.
Nicholis L’Heureux-Carland is another returning varsity player, who should take on more of a leadership role after a solid football season. He is a player who can play inside or out.
Ben Darling made the jump last year halfway through his junior season, and will be counted on for some timely perimeter shooting. He has the ability to get hot quick and is one of FA’s better deep threats.
Top newcomers: The Raiders have two freshmen on the team who are more than ready for the demands of varsity play. Cody Gullikson is following in his brother’s footsteps as a freshman, ready to contribute.
“Cody is a physical guard who is getting more comfortable with the cerebral part of the game, and as his mechanics improve, should be a major threat,” Coach Saunders said.
Joey LeBrun is a freshman forward with a big time motor, which allows him to make plays that most freshmen would not. Joey’s effort, along with an improved skill set, allows him to compete at a high level.
Team strengths: “Our strengths have yet to be determined...we are still evaluating and searching for our identity, but we certainly are ahead of the learning curve compared to previous years and thus, team play and execution could be major strengths for us,” Coach Saunders said.
Key concerns: Weakness could be inexperience and depth, but once again, this is yet to be determined, only time will tell.
We will be successful if we… learn to compete every game, practice, and possession...if we stay together in good times and bad and if we are a much better team at the end of the year compared to the beginning, Coach Saunders said.

 

NICOLE BENNETT AND LEXI L'HEUREUX-CARLAND will give the Raiders size inside the lane.

NICOLE BENNETT AND LEXI L'HEUREUX-CARLAND will give the Raiders size inside the lane.

VARSITY GIRLS’ BASKETBALL
Head Coach: Sean Watson, third year
Assistant Coach: Coreen Hennessy
Junior Varsity Coach: Steve Bush
Last Year: 12-8, won a Class B West prelim game against Poland, lost in quarterfinals to Spruce Mountain
Top Returning Players: Julia Quinn (junior, guard), Alexis L’Heureux-Carland (junior, forward), McKenna Gerchman (junior, guard) Mackenzie Buzzell (sophomore, guard), Nicole Bennett (sophomore, forward). All started in at least one game last year.
Returning Varsity Players: Sage Boivin (junior, forward), Katherine Parker (junior, forward).
Top Newcomers: Ali Fraize (sophomore, guard), Kaylin Delaney (sophomore, guard), Makayla Cooper (sophomore, forward), Bridget Bailey (junior, forward), Rhianna Willard (junior, forward).
Team Strengths: 1. Depth. “We look to be deep at all positions. Most everyone is in competition for quality minutes,” Coach Watson said. 2. Experience. “This seems like an odd thing to list as a strength with no seniors on the roster. However, all of our returning players played in the playoffs last year. Five of our returning players started in at least one game last year. Lexi and Julia started as freshmen. Nicole and Mckenzie also started games as freshmen,” the coach said. 3. The willingness to buy into what we are trying to do. “Everyone seems to have bought into the system. Being committed to the system will be very important going forward,” Coach Watson said.
Three Key Concerns: 1. Injuries/health. “We want to get up and down the court and play at a fast pace. We’ll need everyone healthy to play at a pace that suits us best,” the coach said. 2. Rebounding. “We will give up a lot of size on most nights. It will be imperative to box out well on every shot. We cannot afford to give up second shots,” he said. 3. Foul trouble. “We have been foul happy in the preseason and that has to end. We cannot afford to put teams in the bonus. We need to be more disciplined,” Coach Watson said.
We will be successful if we… can utilize our team quickness and depth. We need to create problems for teams with our speed and athleticism.
What I like about this team most is… their willingness to learn. They are a joy to work with every day.
I would call this season a success if… the players and the coaches finish the season truly feeling that they gave their teammates and players their best effort in an attempt to better the team, Coach Watson added.
VARSITY INDOOR TRACK
Head Coaches: Kevin McDonanld and Bobby Collins, fifth year. There was no varsity team program before that. “We do not keep win and loss records. Our focus is on improvement by individuals and the team. Our goal is to be a well-oiled machine by the fourth week of our season,” Coach McDonald said.
Top Returnees: Skye Collins, Oriagna Inirio, sprints/jumps; Anna Lastra and Emily McDermith, distance/mid-distance; TJ Rose, distance; Elijah Thompson, sprints/jumps; Tyler Wang, throws; and Liuke Yang, hurdles/ jumps. Coaches also look for Jeremiah Schrader, Spencer Thomas, Esme Hernandaz and Molly Eklund to step up and fill key roles.
Top Newcomers: Donavon Brown, Baha Buhudir, Jake Maidment, Victor Yang and Grace Condon. “All these student athletes will contribute, we are just not sure in what events they will find their strengths,” Coach McDonald said.
Team Strengths: Jumps will perform well, distance on both boys’ and girls’ side will podium at States, as will the sprints. “Our greatest strength will be the team in general. We have a fantastic group of student athletes. Coach Collins and I are very happy with what we have seen so far,” Coach McDonald said.
Key Concerns: Relays, coaches will have to see how these develop. “We will not be able to cover all events as we lost a lot to graduation and the tech events take time to develop,” the coach said.
We will be successful if… everyone improves and that includes coaches. “We are constantly trying to make the program better,” Coach McDonald said.
What I like most about this team is… the potential. “We could explode and send a large group to States. I see huge talent and if the athletes buy into the program, the sky is the limit,” the coach predicted.
This year will be a success if… we become a team. “Right now, we are getting to know one another. In the near future, it is my hope that we will become a well-oiled machine that can perform at a high level in the controlled chaos that is a track and field meet.”
VARSITY NORDIC SKIING
Head Coach: JohnWeston
Outlook: This year’s Fryeburg Academy Nordic team is very much in a rebuilding mode after graduation and several years with low enrollment have taken its toll. With only four returning members, the off-season focus was on recruiting the next generation ski team.
“With only two days of practice before the Thanksgiving break, the good news is that 10 new kids have joined the team and additionally there looks to be renewed interest in the youth programs, as well,” Coach Weston said.
Top Returnees:  Patrick Carty, Christian Bedell, Reed Wales and Ali Down. Patrick is coming off an All-State season last year and a great running season this fall. “The four veterans will shoulder the load for the younger kids as developing this new group will be a focus for the season,” Coach Weston said. “We are hosting the Class A Nordic State Meet in Fryeburg, so having home course advantage for States is exciting.
VARSITY CHEERLEADING
Head Coach: Jillian Tetreault, fifth year.
Top Returnees: Brianna Perreault, captain, senior; Kaylee Barboza, captain, junior; Allison Fahey, junior; Shelby Day, sophomore; Alicia Gerrish, sophomore; Jessica L’Hommedieu, sophomore.
Top Newcomers: Hailey Kenerson, freshman; Alex Walker, sophomore; Amanda Allen, freshman; Caitlyn Allain, sophomore.
Outlook: Coach Tetreault, “We have a small, but very strong team this year. We recently learned our routine from an NCA cheerleader and we are excited to get to work on it. Because we have a small team (numbers), we have a lot of work to do to compete against the teams with 20. It will be hard work with long practices, but I think our team this year can do it.”
We will be successful if… everyone puts their all into every practice and puts their best foot forward, Coach Tetreault said.
What I like most about this team is… the sense of friendship. One thing that can get us far on those mats is feeling like true friends and doing what you need to for the rest of the team, the coach said.
I would call this season a success if… we perform our absolute best at Regionals. Our hope is to make it to states for the very first time, and if everyone does their job, I truly believe we can! Coach Tetreault said.

Editor's Note: Reports were not filed by wrestling and alpine ski coaches.

THE SCHEDULE
VARSITY GIRLS’ BASKETBALL
Fri, Dec. 5, Lake Region, 5:30
Tues, Dec. 9, at Gray-NG, 6:00
Fri, Dec. 12, Freeport, 6:30
Mon, Dec. 15, at Kennebunk, 6:00
Thurs, Dec. 18, Yarmouth, 6:00
Sat, Dec. 20, at Poland, 7:00
Fri, Jan. 2, at Greely, 6:30
Tues, Jan. 6, at Lake Region, 7:00
Thurs, Jan. 8, Falmouth, 6:30
Sat, Jan. 10, Poland, 5:30
Tues, Jan. 13, Gray-NG, 6:30
Fri, Jan. 16, at Freeport, 6:30
Mon, Jan. 19, at Falmouth, 2:30
Fri, Jan. 23, at Wells, 6:00
Tues, Jan. 27, Greely, 6:30
Fri, Jan. 30, Cape Elizabeth, 6:30
Tues, Feb. 3, at York, 6:30
Thurs, Feb. 5, Sacopee, 6:30
VARSITY BOYS’ BASKETBALL
Fri, Dec. 5, Lake Region, 7:00
Tues, Dec. 9, Gray-NG, 6:30
Fri, Dec. 12, at Freeport, 6:30
Mon, Dec. 15, Kennebunk, 6:00
Thurs, Dec. 18, at Yarmouth, 6:00
Sat., Dec. 20, at Poland, 5:30
Fri, Jan. 2, Greely, 6:30
Tues, Jan. 6, at Lake Region, 5:30
Thurs, Jan. 8, at Falmouth, 7:00
Sat, Jan. 10, Poland, 7:00
Tues, Jan. 13, at Gray-NG, 6:30
Fri, Jan. 16, Freeport, 6:30
Mon, Jan. 19, Falmouth, 3:00
Fri, Jan. 23, Wells, 6:30
Tues, Jan. 27, at Greely, 6:30
Fri, Jan. 30, at Cape Elizabeth, 7:00
Tues, Feb. 3, York, 6:30
Thurs, Feb. 5, at Sacopee, 6:30
INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
• All races at the University of Southern Maine field house in Gorham
Fri, Jan. 2, Fal, Tr, York, Free, CE, GR, 6:30
Fri, Jan. 9, CE, Gr, Free, LR, NYA, Wells, 3:30
Fri, Jan. 16, Wells, Pol, Tr, Fal, NYA, SV, 3:30
Fri, Jan. 23, Yar, Wells, NYA, Gr, Pol, SV, 7:30
Fri, Jan. 30, Wells, LR, Pol, Tr, NYA, CE, SD, 7:30
Fri, Feb. 6, WMC Championships, 3:00
Mon, Feb. 16, States, Bates College, 10:00
ALPINE SKI TEAM
• All races held at Shawnee Peak unless otherwise noted. GS — giant slalom, S — slalom
Mon, Jan. 5, Greely, CE, Free, GS, 4:45
Mon, Jan. 12, CE, Free, Yar, S, 4:45
Mon, Jan. 19, Free, Yar, CE, GS, 2:00
Mon, Jan. 26, Yar, Marsh, Gor, S, 5:00
Mon, Feb. 2, LR, CE, Yar, S, 4:45
Thurs, Feb. 5, WMC Championships S/GS, 10:00
Tues, Feb. 17, States at Mt. Abram
Wed, Feb. 18, States at Mt. Abrams
NORDIC SKI TEAM
• SK — Skate; CL — Classical
Wed, Jan. 7, Sc, Yar, Fal, Merr, at Pineland, 3:30 SK
Wed, Jan. 14, Gr, GNG, CE, Port, Wayn, at Starks, 3:30 CL
Mon, Jan. 19, All schools, at Starks, 10:30 SK
Wed, Jan. 28, All schools, at Libby Hill, 3:30 SK
Wed, Feb. 4, WMC Championships, at Libby Hill, 3:00 CL
Sat, Feb. 7, WMC Championships, at Starks, 10:00 SK
Tues, Feb. 17, States at Starks, girls AM, boys PM
Wed, Feb. 18, States at Starks, girls AM, boys PM
WRESTLING
Sat, Dec. 6, Fryeburg Invitational, 9:00
Wed, Dec. 10, Wells, Mtn. Valley, Dirigo, 5:00
Sat, Dec. 13, at Mountain Valley, 9:30
Wed, Dec. 17, at Bonny Eagle, Windham, 6:00
Sat, Dec. 20, at Wells, Atlantics, 9:00
Mon, Dec. 29, at Noble Invitational, 9:30
Tues, Dec. 30, at Noble Invitational, 9:30
Fri, Jan. 2, at Sanford Invitational, 1:30
Sat, Jan. 3, at Sanford Invitational, 8:30
Wed, Jan. 7, at York, 6:00
Sat, Jan. 10, at Skowhegan Tourney, 9:00
Wed, Jan. 14, at Dirigo, Boothbay, Wiscasset, 5:00
Sat, Jan. 17, at Noble, SMAA Classic, 9:00
Mon, Jan. 19, at Gardiner Tiger Classic, 9:00
Wed, Jan. 21, at Windham, 6:00
Sat, Jan. 24, Kennbunk, York, Oak Hill, 10:00
Sat, Jan. 31, at Mtn. Valley, Mid States, 9:00
Sat, Feb. 7, at Wells, B Regionals, TBA
Sat, Feb. 14, Fryeburg, States, TBA
Thurs, Feb. 20, at Sanford, NE Qualifier
CHEERLEADING
Sat, Jan. 10, at Freeport, WMC Championships
Sat, Jan. 24, at Augusta, Western Maine Championships
Sat, Feb. 7, at Augusta, State Finals

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