Preview: Lake Region winter sports

Senior Tyler Walker leads the Laker boys' basketball team.

Senior Tyler Walker leads the Laker boys' basketball team.

INDOOR TRACK

Years as head coach: Mark Snow, seventh year

Assistant Coach: Dana Caron, seventh year, throws and strength training

Volunteer coach: Dan Dors, hurdles and mentor

Girls’ report

Key returning athletes: Catherine Christiansen, senior, sprints; Meghan Boos, senior, hurdles and jumps; Sam DeSouza, junior, shot put; Danica Chadwick, junior, hurdles and jumps; Hannah Chadwick, junior, jumps; Maraia Nason, junior, shot put; Emily Colson, sophomore, triple jump.

Promising newcomers: To be determined.

Other roster members: seniors Addie Blais and Ina Guzja; juniors Caitlin Bardsley, Isabelle Davis-White, Lindsey Keenan, Maggie Luce, Hannah Record, Corban Ridlon, Autumn Tremblay; sophomores Kennedy Brake, Emma Brown, Olivia Toole, Alyvia Wilson; freshmen Michelle Burnell, Emerson Dinsmore, Ellery Hunt, Alexis Jines, Imani Matin, Julia Murch, Bayleigh Patenaude, Jordan Pilgrim, Kaitlyn Plummer, Grace Ross, Stella Shimko.

Boys’ report

Key returning athletes: Dakota Stover, senior, sprints and jumps; Thomas Noble, junior, shot put; Theo Snow, junior, hurdles and jumps.

Promising newcomers: To be determined.

Other roster members: seniors Josh Perkins, Daisuke Suwa; sophomores Bill Austin, Nate Bragdon-Clements, Travis Corson, Chris DelVecchio, Cody Doucette, Shea Durgin, Caleb Emery, Devyn Hatch, Jared Maher, Han Mei, Cameron Meserve, Tim Moore, Isaac Purinton, Brandon Ross, Lucas Suitter, Keegan Wilcox; freshmen Erik Christiansen, Ethan Colson, Riley Snow.

Biggest challenges your squad is facing? The annual challenge (like all teams) of improving each week within the constraints placed by gym use, hallway running and strength training availability.

Team’s top strengths? Both teams have their returning key players at the center of team strengths. The teams will do as well as those athletes do at meets. Both teams have more athletes than last year so the goal is to better last year’s results.

Based on preseason work, what have you seen that you really like? “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,” Coach Snow said.

What will the team need to do to be successful? “The teams will be most successful if all athletes expand their roles to include new events. We already have more team members. Next is to be sure that all team members help us cover all the events,” Coach Snow added.

Opening day: Regular season meets are held at the University of Southern Maine at the Gorham field house. The Lakers’ first meet is Friday, Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

Head Coach: John Mayo, second year

Assistant Coach/First Team: Bill Callahan

JV Coach: Andrew Stacey

Key returning players: Tyler Walker, senior, guard.

Promising newcomers: Douglas Mayo, senior, forward; Tristen Chaine, junior, guard; True Meyers, junior, forward; Mark Mayo, sophomore, forward/center.

Other roster members: seniors Elijah Brown (guard), Luke Porter (forward), Luke Neal (forward); juniors Paul Walker (guard/forward), Andrew Douglass (forward), Tyler Breton (forward), Ethan Chadwick (forward/center).

Biggest challenges your squad is facing? Coming off a state championship and graduating 11 players with only one returning player that played significant minutes last year in Tyler Walker, the Lakers are learning to play together, trust each other and find their roles.

Team’s top strengths? “We have four players that were part of last year’s state championship run and know what it takes to be successful,” Coach Mayo pointed out. “With the addition of eight others players that want to make an impact, they all are working very hard each day and are willing to take direction. They all play hard on the defensive end, which will hopefully turn into easy offense.”

Based on preseason work, what have you seen that you really like? Players are starting to learn their roles and how to play at a varsity level. “We are learning how to trust each other and what each other’s strengths are,” Coach Mayo said.

What will the team need to do to be successful? “They need to play great defense every night and share the ball on offense to get the best open shot,” the coach said.

Opening night: The Lakers travel to Wells Friday night for a 7 p.m. game.

Upcoming games: The Lakers host Yarmouth Tuesday, 12/13 at 7 p.m. and Lincoln Academy on Thursday, 12/15 at 7 p.m.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Head Coach: Paul True, 12th year

Assistant Coach: Doug Banks

Assistant/JV Coach: Chris Jordan

Key returning players: seniors Kristen Huntress (guard), Melody Millett (forward); juniors Chandler True (guard), Lauren Jakobs (forward); sophomore Brooke Harriman (forward).

Promising newcomers: juniors Aisley Sturk (guard), Rachel Shanks (guard), Melissa Bonefant (guard); freshmen Nevaeh Stewart (guard), Jordan Weese (guard).

Other roster members: Kristen Betts-Greenlaw (forward), Emily Lake (forward), Makaila Knight (forward), Eleina Sturk (guard).

Biggest challenge your squad is facing? “We are solely focusing on getting healthy,” Coach Paul True said. “We have yet to have a full squad practice because a couple of girls are still coming back from injuries suffered in the fall, and we have a player who was hurt during a scrimmage.”

Top team strengths? The Lakers sport potent perimeter play lead by three-point specialist Huntress. Coach True also lists team chemistry and overall athleticism as team strengths.

Based on preseason work, what have you seen that you really like? “Our attitude, we have great kids,” the coach said. “We are making progress in terms of bringing our younger and new players up to speed. I’ve seen a significant amount of improvement over the last week.”

What will the team need to do to be successful? “Our players need to trust each other and we need to find an emotional leader. We have a number of quiet, good kids, but when we are faced with key situations or if things aren’t going our way, we need someone to step up and encourage teammates that they can succeed. Right now, we don’t have that,” Coach True said. “We really need to take care and execute all the little things that matter in a game — like blocking out, closing out with high hands, keeping the ball out of the middle of the floor and getting offensive rebound, which has been a huge point of emphasis — to put us in position to win.”

With the Lakers reaching double digits in victories last year and pushing South champion Gray-New Gloucester to the limit in the playoffs, Coach True likes the fact that his club has high expectations entering the season. He is also realistic that his team faces some very tough competition right out of the gate.

“Our first three games (Wells, Yarmouth and Lincoln Academy) are against teams that I believe are in the Top 5 in Class B South,” he said. “We’ll compete if we’re at 100%. We really don’t have a lot of options (depth) at this time.”

Opening night: The Lakers open the season this Friday, 12/9 at home against Wells at 6:30 p.m. JV at 5 p.m.

Upcoming games: The Lakers host Yarmouth Tuesday, 12/13 at 5:30 and travel to Lincoln Academy on Thursday, 12/15 for a 7 p.m. game.

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