Lake Region winter sports previews

JACK LESURE will see more ballhandling duties this winter with the graduation of Sam Smith and Mark Williams.

JACK LESURE will see more ball-handling duties this winter with the graduation of Sam Smith and Mark Williams.

VARSITY BOYS’ BASKETBALL
Head Coach: J.P. Yorkey, fifth year
Assistant/JV Coach: John Mayo, second year
Last Year: 9-9 regular season, won prelim round game, lost to Morse in double overtime in the Class B West quarterfinals.
Top Returnees: Jack Lesure, junior captain, 6-2 guard/forward; Nate Smith, junior captain, 6-2 guard/forward; Quinn Piland, senior, 6-3 forward; Marcus, DeVoe, junior, 6-2 guard/forward; Nick Hall, senior, 6-3 forward/center; Nick Wandishin, junior, 6-4 forward/center.
Top Newcomers: Cole Eugley, senior, 5-10 guard (transfer from Lincoln Academy); Doug Banks, junior, 6-1 guard; Ryan Hodgdon, junior, 6-4 center; Lexus Rodriguez, junior, 6-0 forward; Damon Knight, junior, 5-8 guard.
Other Varsity Players (who swung JV/Varsity last season): Tyler Walker, sophomore, 5-9 guard; Brandon Palmer, junior, 6-3 forward; Alex Langadas, junior, 6-3, forward/center.
Team Strengths: 1. Overall size and athleticism. “We don’t have a big 6-foot-6 plus stud in the post, but we do have a bunch of 6’1” and 6’4” players, some of which are pretty athletic. We also have couple of quick smaller guards who are also athletic,” Coach Yorkey said.
2. Basketball experience — this group of kids has played a lot of basketball growing up and they play a lot in the off-season including our summer program which offers a week-long in-house team camp, a weekend of team camp at Maine Gold Rush, a 10-game summer season schedule, and a tournament at the end of the summer.
3. Team cohesion. “They like each other and are tight. The guys spend time with each other off the court. This carries over to basketball as they support each other well and they enjoy seeing their teammates have success,” Coach Yorkey said.
Key Concerns: 1. Replacing Mark Williams. “Mark was one of the best point guards in our conference. He was an exceptional ball handler, extremely athletic, and excellent skills overall. He was one of our top three scorers (we had three guys average 11 points per game), led us in assists and steals, and was our second leading rebounder,” Coach Yorkey said. “He put immediate pressure on the defense on every catch. Our scoring output was much higher when he was in the game. We will need to replicate this as a team.”
2. Replacing Sam Smith, who was one of the best shooters in the conference last season, finishing fourth overall in 3-point field goals made. He also scored 11 ppg. “Again, we aim to fill this gap as a team,” Coach Yorkey said.
3. The schedule. “We play in a tough league and have a tough schedule, which is good for the players and the team in terms of improvement. However, it certainly causes sleepless nights for coaches — other coaches say the same thing,” the coach said.
We will be successful if we… play as hard as we can every night.
What I like about this team most is… they are a great group of kids. I’ve known them and worked with them all for seven years and have watched them grow. We can move quickly in practice.
I would call this season a success if… we reach our potential as a team.

SARAH HANCOCK and a young Laker team could surprise some opponents who take them lightly due to graduation losses.

SARAH HANCOCK and a young Laker team could surprise some opponents who take them lightly due to graduation losses.

VARSITY GIRLS’ BASKETBALL
Head Coach: Paul True, 11th year
Assistant Coach: Doug Banks, fourth year
Assistant Coach: Chris Jordan, first year
JV Coach: Racquel Gerry, first year
Last Year: 17-1 regular season, 21-1 overall, Class B State Champion
Top Returnees: Sarah Hancock, senior, 5-4 guard; Meghan VanLoan, senior, 5-7 center; Allison Morse, senior, 5-6 forward; CeCe Hancock, junior, 5-4 guard; Spencer True, junior, 5-5 guard; Kristen Huntress, sophomore, 5-5 guard.
Top Newcomers: Lauren Jakobs, freshman, 5-7 forward; Chandler True, freshman, 5-6 guard.
Other Varsity Players: Melody Millett, sophomore, 5-5 forward; Alizah Thayer, senior, 5-7 forward; Devin Langadas, senior, 5-6 forward; Molly Christensen, junior, 5-4 forward; Kaylyn Jordan, sophomore, 5-6.
Team Strengths: 1. Chemistry. “Of all of the years that I have been here, there is a sense of belonging and an appreciation for one another on and off the court,” Coach True said.
2. Ability to control the tempo. “Due to our strength at the guard position, we will be able to play multiple styles fairly effectively at times,” the coach said.
3. Strong perimeter play. “We have a number of threats out on the perimeter. We will shoot more 3s, but there will be a definite emphasis to attack the basket. We have players that can get to the rim so we won’t rely solely on 3s, but they will be a weapon for us,” Coach True said.
Key Concerns: 1. Health. “It will be very important for our kids to stay healthy and take care of themselves,” the coach said.
2. Depth. “It is imperative that we find kids that really want to compete coming off the bench, not simply wanting to play,” Coach True said.
3. Ability to score. “When we don’t shoot well, we need to find a way to put the ball in the basket,” Coach True added.
We will be successful if we… show up every night believing we can win; we can compete every opportunity we have; and we believe/trust one another, Coach True said.
What I like about this team most is… they are a great group of kids who get along on and off the court.
I would call this season a success if… every day and every night, we leave everything we have on the court. Part 2 would be we are truly and honestly cheering for our teammates’ success than our own personal successes.
Due to graduation, many people likely expect Lake Region to take a step back this year. What are your thoughts on the team’s chances? Coach True — I really don’t give much thought about what people talk about. Like every year, this is a new group and our expectations remain the same. We are focused on seeing each player get better every single day, and we are excited about the challenges that are before us. In high school sports, you do a great disservice to kids talking about whose not here any more. The focus needs to be on the players who are here, what their strengths are and how we can help them become the best players they can be. There are just two scenarios — one, we don’t make the playoffs, or two, we do and we compete for the title. Every single night, we want to compete and find out who can play. There’s no taking nights off.”

 

KATE HALL enters her final high school indoor track season, looking to rewrite some of her own records while also leading a young Laker program. SP w49 lr winter sports schedules VARSITY GIRLS’ BASKETBALL Fri, Dec. 5 at Fryeburg Academy, 5:30 Tues, Dec. 9, at Cape Elizabeth, 7:00 Fri, Dec. 12, York, 7:00 Tues, Dec. 16, Wells, 7:00 Thurs, Dec. 18, at Falmouth, 7:00 Sat, Dec. 20, Gray-NG, 5:30 Sat, Jan. 3, Poland, 5:30 Tues, Jan. 6, Fryeburg Academy, 7:00 Thurs, Jan. 8, Freeport, 7:00 Sat, Jan. 10, at Gray-NG, 5:30 Wed, Jan. 14, at Waynflete, 5:30 Fri, Jan. 16, Falmouth, 7:00 Fri, Jan. 23, at Greely, 7:00 Sat, Jan. 24, Kennebunk, 5:00 Wed, Jan. 28, at Freeport, 7:00 Sat, Jan. 31, Yarmouth, 7:00 Tues, Feb. 3, at Poland, 5:30 Wed, Feb. 4, at York, 7:00 VARSITY BOYS’ BASKETBALL Fri, Dec. 5, at Fryeburg Academy, 7:00 Tues, Dec. 9, Cape Elizabeth, 7:00 Fri, Dec. 12, at York, 7:00 Tues, Dec. 16, at Wells, 7:00 Thurs, Dec. 18, Falmouth, 7:00 Tues, Dec. 23, Gray-NG, 7:00 Sat, Jan. 3, Poland, 7:00 Tues, Jan. 6, Fryeburg Academy, 5:30 Thurs, Jan. 8, at Freeport, 7:00 Sat, Jan. 10, at Gray-NG, 7:00 Tues, Jan. 13, Waynflete, 7:00 Fri, Jan. 16, at Falmouth, 7:00 Fri, Jan. 23, Greely, 7:00 Sat, Jan. 24, at Kennebunk, 5:00 Tues, Jan. 27, Freeport, 7:00 Fri, Jan. 30, at Yarmouth, 7:00 Tues, Feb. 3, at Poland, 7:00 Thurs, Feb. 5, York, 7:00 ICE HOCKEY Tues, Dec. 9, at Marshwood, 6:00 Sat, Dec. 13, at Thornton Academy, 3:30 Tues, Dec. 16, at Brunswick, 7:00 Sat, Dec. 20, Bonny Eagle, 4:00 Fri, Dec. 26, at Kennett Tourney, TBA Sat, Dec. 27, at Kennett Tourney, TBA Sat, Jan 3, at South Portland, 6:00 Sat, Jan. 10, Windham, 4:00 Sat, Jan. 17, Mt. Ararat, 4:00 Mon, Jan. 19, Westbrook, 12:30 Wed, Jan. 21, at Noble, 7:30 Sat, Jan. 24, at Westbrook, 6:30 Fri, Jan. 30, South Portland, 7:20 Sat, Jan. 31, Cheverus, 7:40 Sat, Feb. 7, Poland, 4:00 Wed, Feb. 11, at Windham, 8:30 Fri, Feb. 13, Leavitt, 7:20 Mon, Feb. 16, Noble, 6:10 Wed, Feb. 18, Marshwood, 1:00 • Home games played at Bridgton Ice Arena, located at Bridgton Academy INDOOR TRACK & FIELD Fri, Jan. 2, at USM, 3:30 Fri, Jan. 9, at USM, 3:30 Fri, Jan. 16, at USM, 6:30 Fri, Jan. 23, at USM, 4:30 Fri, Jan. 30, at USM, 7:30 Fri, Feb. 6, WMC Champ, USM, 3:00 Mon, Feb. 16, State Meet, Bates, 10:00 • Regular season meets are held at the University of Southern Maine field house in Gorham ALPINE SKI TEAM Mon, Jan. 5, GS, Yarmouth, Gray, Falmouth Mon, Jan. 12, GS, Gray-NG, Greely, Falmouth Mon, Jan. 19, S, Falmouth, Greely, Gray-NG Mon, Jan. 26, GS, Cape, Kennebunk, Windham Mon, Feb. 2, S, Fryeburg, Yarmouth, Cape Thurs, Feb. 5, WMC Championships Mon, Feb. 9, GS, Yarmouth, Fryeburg, Gorham, Kennebunk • Meets are held at Shawnee Peak; GS, giant slalom; S, slalom

KATE HALL enters her final high school indoor track season, looking to rewrite some of her own records while also leading a young Laker program.
 THE SCHEDULE
VARSITY GIRLS’ BASKETBALL
Fri, Dec. 5 at Fryeburg Academy, 5:30
Tues, Dec. 9, at Cape Elizabeth, 7:00
Fri, Dec. 12, York, 7:00
Tues, Dec. 16, Wells, 7:00
Thurs, Dec. 18, at Falmouth, 7:00
Sat, Dec. 20, Gray-NG, 5:30
Sat, Jan. 3, Poland, 5:30
Tues, Jan. 6, Fryeburg Academy, 7:00
Thurs, Jan. 8, Freeport, 7:00
Sat, Jan. 10, at Gray-NG, 5:30
Wed, Jan. 14, at Waynflete, 5:30
Fri, Jan. 16, Falmouth, 7:00
Fri, Jan. 23, at Greely, 7:00
Sat, Jan. 24, Kennebunk, 5:00
Wed, Jan. 28, at Freeport, 7:00
Sat, Jan. 31, Yarmouth, 7:00
Tues, Feb. 3, at Poland, 5:30
Wed, Feb. 4, at York, 7:00
VARSITY BOYS’ BASKETBALL
Fri, Dec. 5, at Fryeburg Academy, 7:00
Tues, Dec. 9, Cape Elizabeth, 7:00
Fri, Dec. 12, at York, 7:00
Tues, Dec. 16, at Wells, 7:00
Thurs, Dec. 18, Falmouth, 7:00
Tues, Dec. 23, Gray-NG, 7:00
Sat, Jan. 3, Poland, 7:00
Tues, Jan. 6, Fryeburg Academy, 5:30
Thurs, Jan. 8, at Freeport, 7:00
Sat, Jan. 10, at Gray-NG, 7:00
Tues, Jan. 13, Waynflete, 7:00
Fri, Jan. 16, at Falmouth, 7:00
Fri, Jan. 23, Greely, 7:00
Sat, Jan. 24, at Kennebunk, 5:00
Tues, Jan. 27, Freeport, 7:00
Fri, Jan. 30, at Yarmouth, 7:00
Tues, Feb. 3, at Poland, 7:00
Thurs, Feb. 5, York, 7:00
ICE HOCKEY
Tues, Dec. 9, at Marshwood, 6:00
Sat, Dec. 13, at Thornton Academy, 3:30
Tues, Dec. 16, at Brunswick, 7:00
Sat, Dec. 20, Bonny Eagle, 4:00
Fri, Dec. 26, at Kennett Tourney, TBA
Sat, Dec. 27, at Kennett Tourney, TBA
Sat, Jan 3, at South Portland, 6:00
Sat, Jan. 10, Windham, 4:00
Sat, Jan. 17, Mt. Ararat, 4:00
Mon, Jan. 19, Westbrook, 12:30
Wed, Jan. 21, at Noble, 7:30
Sat, Jan. 24, at Westbrook, 6:30
Fri, Jan. 30, South Portland, 7:20
Sat, Jan. 31, Cheverus, 7:40
Sat, Feb. 7, Poland, 4:00
Wed, Feb. 11, at Windham, 8:30
Fri, Feb. 13, Leavitt, 7:20
Mon, Feb. 16, Noble, 6:10
Wed, Feb. 18, Marshwood, 1:00
• Home games played at Bridgton Ice Arena, located at Bridgton Academy
INDOOR TRACK & FIELD
Fri, Jan. 2, at USM, 3:30
Fri, Jan. 9, at USM, 3:30
Fri, Jan. 16, at USM, 6:30
Fri, Jan. 23, at USM, 4:30
Fri, Jan. 30, at USM, 7:30
Fri, Feb. 6, WMC Champ, USM, 3:00
Mon, Feb. 16, State Meet, Bates, 10:00
• Regular season meets are held at the University of Southern Maine field house in Gorham
ALPINE SKI TEAM
Mon, Jan. 5, GS, Yarmouth, Gray, Falmouth
Mon, Jan. 12, GS, Gray-NG, Greely, Falmouth
Mon, Jan. 19, S, Falmouth, Greely, Gray-NG
Mon, Jan. 26, GS, Cape, Kennebunk, Windham
Mon, Feb. 2, S, Fryeburg, Yarmouth, Cape
Thurs, Feb. 5, WMC Championships
Mon, Feb. 9, GS, Yarmouth, Fryeburg, Gorham, Kennebunk
• Meets are held at Shawnee Peak; GS, giant slalom; S, slalom

VARSITY INDOOR TRACK
Head Coach: Mark Snow, fifth year
Assistant: Dana Caron, fifth year
Assistant: Eric Hall, fourth year
Last Year: Girls’ record was 11-21, finished seventh at the WMC championships; boys’ record was 2-28-2, finished 14th at the WMC championships
Girls Top Returnees: Kate Hall, senior, sprints and jumps;
Audrey Blais, junior, distance; Addie Blais, sophomore, distance; Catherine Christiansen, sophomore, sprints and jumps.
Top Newcomers: Hannah Parsons, junior, sprints; Michaela Tripp, junior, shot put; Keyana Prescott, junior, hurdles; Danica Chadwick, freshman, sprints and jumps; Hannah Chadwick, freshman, sprints and jumps; Sam DeSouza, freshman, shot put.
Other Varsity Members: Zoe Snow, junior, shot put; Jackie Morse, sophomore, sprints and jumps; Isabelle Davis-White, freshman, sprints and jumps; Breeanna Elliott, freshman, shot put and jumps; Andrea Johnston, freshman, shot put and jumps; Maraia Nason, freshman, shot put and jumps; Autumn Tremblay, freshman, shot put and jumps.
Boys Top Returnees: Nick Scarlett, junior, 800 meters and jumps; Joey Beaulieu, sophomore, shot put and sprints.
Top Newcomers: Kyle DeSouza, senior, shot put and jumps; Kolin Wyman, senior, sprints and jumps; Adam Butler, senior, sprints and jumps; Matt Stenger, junior, shot put; Thomas Noble, freshman, sprints; Theo Snow, freshman, sprints and jumps.
Team Strengths: 1.) Kate Hall — Wins, sets records, and her work ethic and dedication rubs off on her teammates.
2.) Athleticism and dedication — Over 70% of the team is new to indoor track & field, but their athleticism and thirst for learning the techniques of each event should help the Lakers over the course of the season.
3.) Increased gym time and hallway time — “May seem strange to list this as a strength, but we will improve quicker with the increased gym time and hallway time that the administration has given us,” Coach Snow said.
Key Concerns: 1.) 70% of the team is new to indoor track & field so there needs to be a steep learning curve for immediate success.
2.) There are some events that the Lakers will not be able to enter each week (especially on the boys’ side). This will lead to overall losses. Hopefully, the team understands that individual improvement is more important than team success.
3.) December break — “I always wonder how many athletes are able to stay in the area during break for practices or are able to train themselves wherever they spend the break,” the coach said.
We will be successful if we… give great effort and have positive attitude. “Success comes from great effort and a positive attitude. No matter your abilities, effort and attitude will lead you to personal records. If you have great abilities, then effort and attitude will make you a champion,” Coach Snow said. “If you are a new team member, then effort and attitude will make you a veteran. If you are a veteran, then effort and attitude will make you a leader. If you are a coach or leader, then effort and attitude will help you inspire others.”
What I like about this team most is… teamwork. Every veteran has stepped up to help the new athletes learn technique and event drills, the coach said. Every new athlete has been very receptive to these new drills and technique. There is a great feeling at practice with everyone working together to improve.
I would call this season a success… as long as each team member reports that they had a fun, rewarding season and that they were glad they joined the team. “It will be a great success if the girls match or beat their best WMC result from the past three years (fifth). It will be a great success if the boys beat a couple of teams at the WMC meet,” Coach Snow said.

VARSITY ALPINE SKIING
Head Coach: Charlie O’Brien,  fifth year
Top Returnees: Taylor Davis, junior.
Team Strengths: Experience, dedication and having one returning skier, he has a great amount of ski racing experience, and has shown remarkable dedication to his sport — still wanting to go out and compete even if it is just him.
Key Concerns: Depth is my only concern. Only having one racer this season doesn’t give us enough depth to have a chance to compete for a top team finish at the Western Maine championships or States.
We will be successful if we… go all out every run, leaving no regrets on the hill or at the finish line. Even though depth is a concern I am excited about being able to see what a lot of one-on-one coaching time will produce regarding technique and the mental approach.
The season will a success if… every race I see improvement in ability and having a chance to compete at the highest level of Maine high school ski racing, Coach O’Brien said.
VARSITY ICE CATS HOCKEY
Head Coach: Dave Lepage, ninth year coaching hockey in the Lake Region district, seventh as Ice Cats Head Coach,
JV Coach: Mike Misner
Assistant Coaches: Jeff Lovering, Dave Ray, Nick Marshall
Last Year: 9-9, preliminary round of the playoffs, lost to South Portland 4-3.
Top Returnees: Davis Turner, senior, defense; Noah Smith, senior, defense; Evan Kellough, senior, forward; Peter Misner, senior, forward; Ethan Greene, senior, forward; Nick Lepage, junior, defense; Mason LaPlante, junior, forward.
Top Newcomers: Connor Bickford, sophomore, defense.
Other Varsity Players: Travis Townsend. Junior, forward; Huxley Lovering, sophomore, forward; Cam Hill, sophomore, forward; David Long, sophomore, goalie.
Team Strengths: Coach Lepage said, “This team has played a ton of hockey in their youth. We are skilled and have some speed. Our goaltending and team defense is pretty solid with the bulk of our defensemen returning from a solid varsity season. Our experience coming together as a team last year into the playoffs should give us a shot in the arm in terms of confidence for the season. Most of the underclassmen played prominent roles in our team last year so the experience should provide us with the ability to hang in close games.”
Key Concerns: As is always the case when three schools combine into one team — team chemistry can always be a sticking point. “We really have to develop the ‘scoring mentality’ and push hard at the opposition’s net. Although strong defense is a good start, we need to be able to see if we can put the puck in the net consistently to take us further than where we went last year,” Coach Lepage said. “Although we are skilled, we continue to be young which may lead to inconsistency. We will just have to see what mental toughness we can muster when those inconsistencies appear.”
We will be successful if we... play as a team! “It sounds simple and basic but that is the key to our success. We need to bring each other up when we are down and celebrate together when we succeed. No individuals — only individual effort focused on a team goal,” the coach said.
What I like about this team most is... our ability to be explosive at any moment. “When these kids start believing they can play at higher levels and can lean on each other, the feet start moving and then the puck starts moving. Once those two things happen then there is no limit to what can happen,” Coach Lepage said.
I would call this season a success if... we find our identity and all players can believe in our game plan and the type of hockey that we can play. The playoffs are a goal again and the hope is that the Ice Cats are playing into late February and early March. A winning season would definitely help the Ice Cats accomplish that feat.

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