Lake Region winter sports previews

Jackson Lesure

Jackson Lesure

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Head coach: John Mayo, first year

Assistant Coaches: JV Coach Andrew Stacey, Assistant Matt Langadas

Top returning athletes: Three returning starters — seniors Jack Lesure, Nate Smith Senior and Marcus DeVoe. Senior Brandon Palmer, junior Tyler Walker, senior Nick Wandishin and senior Alex Langadas all saw minutes last year and will make an impact this year

Top newcomers: Seniors Damon Knight, Ryan Hodgon and Doug Banks played most of their minutes at the JV level last year, but they are expected to contribute this year at the varsity level.

Remaining roster members: Seniors Lexus Rodrigues and Trenton Hartford; junior Douglas Mayo; and sophomores Tristen Chaine and True Meyers.

Team strengths: Depth at all positions.

Areas needing improvement: Free throw shooting and rebounding (the Lakers lost its strongest rebounders from last year’s team, which reached the Class B West finals).

Three keys to a successful season: Play together as a team; play team defense; and stay mentally tough for four quarters.

Brandon Palmer

Brandon Palmer

Players to watch: Jack Lesure and Nate Smith for their leadership talent and poise on the floor; and Marcus DeVoe for speed, quickness and ability to change a game.

What lesson do you hope the athletes learned a year ago that will help them this year: “We have to play our game for the whole game and not get caught up in what the other team is doing,” Coach Mayo said.

What do you like about this group: Coach Mayo — “They listen, work hard everyday and are willing to get better everyday.”

What story line will you be most interested in watching develop? Lake Region’s success is truly a team effort and every game has many players contributing, the coach said.

The Schedule

Saturday, Dec. 5, Wells, 6:00

Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Yarmouth, 7:00

Friday, Dec. 11, at Lincoln Academy, 6:30

Thursday, Dec. 17, at Traip Academy, 6:30

Marcus DeVoe

Marcus DeVoe

Saturday, Dec. 19, Old Orchard Beach, 7:00

Tuesday, Dec. 22, Maranacook, 6:30

Tuesday, Jan. 5, at Falmouth, 7:00

Thursday, Jan. 7, Freeport, 7:00

Saturday, Jan. 9, Cape Elizabeth, 7:00

Tuesday, Jan. 12, at Gray-NG, 7:00

Friday, Jan. 15, at Wells, 7:00

Monday, Jan. 18, Poland, 7:00

Thursday, Jan. 21, Waynflete, 7:00

Saturday, Jan. 23, at Sacopee Valley, 6:00

Tuesday, Jan. 26, at Kennebunk, 6:30

Saturday, Jan. 30, Fryeburg Academy, 6:00

Tuesday, Feb. 2, Yarmouth, 7:00

Thursday, Feb. 4, at Freeport, 7:00

Spencer True

Spencer True

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Head Coach: Paul True, 11th year

Assistant Coaches: Chris Jordan, Meghan Craffey

JV Coach: Raquel Gerry

Top returning athletes: Senior Spencer True; juniors Kristen Huntress, Melody Millett, Kaylyn Jordan; sophomores Chandler True and Lauren Jakobs.

Top newcomers: Senior Kaitlyn Terry; sophomores Melissa Bonefant, Rachel Shanks and Aisley Sturk; freshman Brooke Harriman.

Team strengths: Ability to stretch the defense; solid half-court offense; overall team speed.

Areas needing improvement: Physicality; finishing at the rim; making good decisions. “We shy away from contact, therefore, blocking out, at both ends of the court, can be an issue,” Coach True said. “When you are not physical, you don’t protect gaps as well or sacrifice your body to take a charge.”

Three keys to a successful season: Develop a competitive mindset; playing together; staying healthy.

Players to watch: Kristen Huntress, “She has shown the ability to be a major offensive threat, as well as a top defender,” Coach True said.

Melody Millett, “She has been a physical presence in the preseason. She brings toughness that our team needs.”

Spencer True, “Her leadership will help bring along our younger players.”

Kristen Huntress

Kristen Huntress

Lauren Jakobs and Chandler True, “Offensively, each of them have the ability to put up big offensive nights.”

What lesson do you hope the athletes learned a year ago that will help them this year: Coach True — “I hope they learned that we need to win in the locker room before we can win out on the floor. If team chemistry is an issue, kids don’t enjoy playing with each other. I believe it all starts in the locker room, which will determine if we can reach our potential as a team. You can’t play to your potential if you lack 100% trust in your teammates.”

What do you like about this group: “They are outstanding human beings. We had a situation in practice that a player got knocked down by accident and the team completely stopped playing out of concern for their teammate instead of finishing the play and checking the player after. They are really nice, caring kids,” Coach True said. “With a group like this, it is really enjoyable to coach because you know they are going to do the right thing.”

What story line will you be most interested in watching develop: “The biggest story line will be how well they play together and how they develop during the year with such a young crew,” Coach True said. “In what way will their competitive natures surface?”

Another story line will be how Lake Region fares in a reshaped Class B. With the addition of Class AA, some teams such as Cape, York, Falmouth and Fryeburg Academy moved to Class A, while teams such as Lincoln Academy and Maranacook slide onto the Laker schedule, as does Traip Academy and Old Orchard Beach.

“I’ll miss the rivalry we had with York because for about a decade, we played against each other in some very big (playoff) games,” Coach True said.

The Schedule

Friday, Dec. 4, at Wells, 7:00

Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Yarmouth, 5:30

Friday, Dec. 11, Lincoln Academy, 6:30

Thursday, Dec. 17, Traip Academy, 6:30

Saturday, Dec. 19, at Old Orchard Beach, 2:30

Monday, Dec. 21, at Maranacook, 6:30

Tuesday, Jan. 5, Falmouth, 7:00

Thursday, Jan. 7, Freeport, 5:30

Saturday, Jan. 9, at Cape Elizabeth, 4:00

Tuesday, Jan. 12, Gray-NG, 6:30

Thursday, Jan. 14, Wells, 6:30

Monday, Jan. 18, at Poland, 3:30

Thursday, Jan. 21, Waynflete, 4:00

Saturday, Jan. 23, Sacopee Valley, 1:30

Tuesday, Jan. 26, Kennebunk, 6:30

Friday, Jan. 29, at Fryeburg Academy, 6:30

Tuesday, Feb. 2, Yarmouth, 5:30

Thursday, Feb. 4, at Freeport, 5:30

ALPINE SKIING

Head Coach: Charles O’Brien, fifth year

Top returning athletes: Taylor Davis

Top newcomers: Paige Davis, Johnathan Grant, Molly Nichols and Karly Nichols.

Team strengths: All skiers share a common love of winter and the sport of skiing.

Areas of improvement: Depth, figuring out how to get more kids that love skiing and winter to join the team. “They are doing awesome so far during dry land (training) and if they continue to work hard like they are, they should be able to improve their skiing,” Coach O’Brien said.

Three keys to success: Consistency, hard work and focus.

What lesson do you hope the athletes learned a year ago that will help them this year: “I hope that being more focused and staying in the moment will help the team this year,” the coach said.

What do you like about this group: “There are a lot of young skiers this year. I like that. We have a good base to build on for the future of our team,” Coach O’Brien said.

What story line will you be most interested in watching develop: “There are two story lines to follow this year. The first being the Davis siblings. Both Taylor and Paige have extensive backgrounds in the sport of ski racing, having been racing since they were very young children. Being able to watch them both potentially compete for Western Maine Conference titles and maybe State titles this year will be fun to watch,” Coach O’Brien said. “The other is the development of the new, younger racers. My team consists of four freshman and one senior. Watching the improvement week to week will be a lot of fun for me.”

Audrey Blais

Audrey Blais

INDOOR TRACK

Head Coach: Mark Snow, sixth year

Assistant Coach: Dana Caron, sixth year — throws and strength training

Volunteer coach: Dan Dors — hurdles and mentor

Top returning athletes (girls):

Audrey Blais SR 800m

Keyana Prescott SR pole vault

Catherine Christiansen JR sprints

Jacqueline Morse JR sprints & jumps

Meghan Boos JR hurdles

Sam DeSouza SOPH shot put

Danica Chadwick SOPH hurdles & jumps

Hannah Chadwick SOPH jumps

Maraia Nason SOPH shot put & high jump

Top newcomers:

Emily Colson FR middle distance

Olivia Toole FR middle distance

Remaining roster:

Zoe Snow SR shot put

Hannah Parsons SR sprints

Addie Blais JR distance

Aaryana Aliyaha SOPH sprints

Isabelle Davis-White SOPH hurdles, jumps

Andrea Johnston SOPH multi-events

Lindsey Keenan SOPH sprints

Maggie Luce SOPH sprints

Dorothy Moyse SOPH sprints

Autumn Tremblay SOPH shot put & jumps

Kennedy Brake FR distance

Emma Brown FR sprints

Top returning athletes (boys):

Nick Scarlett SR 800m & jumps

Matt Stenger SR shot put

Theo Snow SOPH hurdles

Thomas Noble SOPH sprints & jumps

Top newcomers:

Dakota Stover JR sprints & jumps

Josh Perkins JR multi-events

Tim Holbrook FR jumps

Aaron Black FR sprints

Cameron Meserve FR middle distance

Remaining roster:

Camden Keller SOPH shot put

Patrick Connelly FR hurdles & sprints

Alex Creaser FR distance

Shea Durgin FR sprints

Caleb Emery FR distance

Andrew Gianattasio FR distance

Brandon Ross FR middle distance

Team strengths (girls): The Lakers will gain their most points in the junior events (for freshmen and sophomores). Sam, Danica, Hannah and Maraia scored often in meets last year. Now, the Lakers have Emily, Olivia and other new team members who should contribute in that division. The Lakers will also garner a few points in some open events with Keyana pole vaulting, Audrey in the 800m and mile, and Danica, Hannah, and Jackie in the long and triple jumps.  

Team strengths (boys): Most of LR’s points this year should come from the jumping events. Dakota, Nick and Theo have all scored in meets previously. Tim should do well in some junior events.

Areas needing improvement (both teams): “Needing improvement is not a concern. There is more than two months from now until our last meet. We have plenty of time to help each athlete move to his or her next level of competitiveness,” Coach Snow said. “We have a wide range of abilities on the team and each athlete, in their own way, will improve as the season goes on.”

As far as filling events better in areas where the Lakers are lacking — the girls could use a few more distance runners and athletes in the senior division. The boys’ team has doubled in size, however, the Lakers could use a few more athletes in most events and in each division.

Three keys to a successful season (both teams): 1. Willingness of team members to take on a new or additional event to help the team reach season and Western Maine Conference goals; 2. Coaches make practices and workouts challenging, fun and often individualized throughout the season; 3. Great effort and positive attitude from each athlete and coach throughout the season.

Players to watch (girls): Sam DeSouza — won the JR division shot put at WMCs and finished 8th at the State Meet. How much will she improve this year?

Audrey Blais — finished 2nd in the 800m at WMCs and narrowly missed the school record. How much will she improve this year?

Danica Chadwick — Had great improvements in the hurdles, long jump and triple jump during outdoor track & field. Will this translate to being a more consistent scorer this indoor season?

Hannah Chadwick — Competed at the outdoor State Meet in the high jump and 400m last year. Focusing on all the jumps this indoor season. Which jump will be her best?

Keyana Prescott — Will she match the pole vault school record without being able to practice the event?

Catherine Christiansen — Placed 3rd in the JR division 55m at WMCs last year. Will she have a successful year in the SR division this year?

Meghan Boos — Should place often in the hurdles. May also contribute in the jumps.

Players to watch (boys): Dakota Stover — outdoor state qualifier in jumping events competing indoors for the first time.

Theo Snow — placed at WMCs in the JR hurdles; now in the SR hurdles.

Nick Scarlett — won the triple jump at meet #1 last year; team leader.

Thomas Noble — set the most personal records on last year’s team.

What lessons do you hope the athletes learned a year ago that will help them this year (both teams)? “Strength training and core work go a long way toward being successful in most events. Do the best you can and take pride in your results and accomplishments,” Coach Snow said. “Also, athletes can be intense, competitive and be good sports all at the same time. The girls receiving the Good Sportsmanship Award last year should help them realize that.”

What do you like about this group (both teams): Coach Snow — “There is a wide range of abilities, but everyone tries their best. They listen intently and take advice well. They enjoy being around each other. They help and support each other.”

What story line will you be most interested in watching develop (both teams)? “I am always most interested in seeing how the pieces fit. What sacrifices will some athletes make to improve the team? What events will be the best opportunity for points? Who should we get to do event A or B or C? How surprised will other coaches be at our success this year?” Coach Snow said.

The Schedule

Friday, Dec. 18, 6:30 at USM Field House, Gorham

Saturday, Dec. 26, at USM Relays, noon

Friday, Jan. 8, at USM Field House, Gorham, 6:30

Friday, Jan. 15, at USM Field House, Gorham, 3:30

Friday, Jan. 22, at USM Field House, Gorham, 7:30

Friday, Jan. 29, at USM Field House, Gorham, 4:30

Feb. 5, League championships, at USM Field House, Gorham, 4:00

Feb. 13, State Meet, Bates College, Lewiston, noon

Feb. 28, New England Championships

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