Raider spring sports previews

VARSITY SOFTBALL

Head Coach: Steve Woodcock, first year

Assistants: Courtney Turchan, Sue Hill

Junior Varsity: Jen Pelkie

Last year: The Raiders again won the regular season conference title, but were upset in the Class B West semifinals by Greely.

Top returnees: Seniors Sarah Harriman (pitcher), Kylie Locke (infield) and Sydney Charles (infield); Junior Kristen Chipman (infield).

Top newcomer: Mackenzie Buzzell (utility), freshman.

Q. Strengths: The Raiders return all-conference pitcher Sarah Harriman, who averaged 12-plus strikeouts per contest while posting an ERA under 1.00. She also hit over .300, giving the Raiders a deep threat.

Q. Question marks: Graduation carried a heavy toll on the Raiders as new coach Steve Woodcock will need to fill a variety of holes including catcher, vacated by all-conference selection Carla Tripp, along with all three outfield positions.

Q. What do you like about this team? Coach Woodcock responded, “Their tradition of success and hard work in pre-season.”

Q. What would you like to see more of? Coach Woodcock replied, “Game experience. We’re very young — several first year varsity players. Outfield is all new and we need to find the right places for each players’ strengths.”

Q. Three goals this season? Improving as a team daily; staying healthy; and finding the breakout hidden gem.

Q. Three keys to the season? Team unity; staying healthy; and improving the teams on-base percentage via base hits.

Q. We would have a successful season if? If individual players improve daily and the team continues the FA tradition of success, and great softball while having fun.

Q. Outlook? “This season, the staff is brand new and there are only three returning starters...so the staff has to acquaint themselves with the skills of each players and the complexity of the league,” Coach Woodcock said.

The Schedule

Wednesday, April 23, Greely, 4:00

Friday, April 25, at Traip, 4:00

Monday, April 28, Poland, 4:00

Wednesday, April 30, at Wells, 4:00

Friday, May 2, at Yarmouth, 4:00

Saturday, May 3, at Cape E., 4:00

Monday, May 5, at Falmouth, 4:00

Wednesday, May 7, York, 4:00

Monday, May 12, Freeport, 4:00

Wednesday, May 14, Sacopee, 4:00

Friday, May 16, at Gray-NG, 4:00

Monday, May 19, at Greely, 4:00

Thursday, May 22, Kennebunk, 4:00

Monday, May 26, Lake Region, 4:00

Tuesday, May 27, Sacopee, 4:00

Wednesday, May 28, at Poland, 4:00

VARSITY BASEBALL

Head Coach: Gregg Corbin, first year

Assistant: Stew Frost

Last year: The Raiders made the playoffs.

Top returnees: The Raiders return one starter — senior captain Billy Rascoe (pitcher/shortstop) — from last year’s team while all other returning players move up from the 2013 junior varsity team.

Top newcomers: Conor Smith, junior/catcher; Willy MacFawn, junior captain, pitcher/infielder; Nick L’Heureux-Carland, sophomore, first base/pitcher/centerfield; Brandon Ludwig, junior, third base/shortstop/pitcher; Keegan Jones, freshman, outfield/pitcher; Nick Kiesman, senior, outfield; Henry Santana, first basse/DH; Ryan Buzzell, senior, outfield; Ben Southwick, junior, infield; Trevor Henschel, junior, second base; David McLaughlin, senior, first/third base.

Strengths: Enthusiastic and eager to compete.

Question marks? Inexperience, not too many players with a baseball background. “Seven players have left the area for Spring vacation, missing the first three games leaving the varsity team with very little depth. I question the commitment of those players and their parents — not fair to the kids who have been here from day one giving it all they have,” Coach Corbin said.

What do you like about this team? Hardworking and competitive kids. “Those that have decided to be here for spring break,” the coach said.

What would you like to see more of from this group? Development, progression and team cohesiveness. It would have been beneficial for our complete team to be here together for the first game, but that won’t happen.

Three goals? To improve inning by inning; that each player shows positive progression and development which will enable each player to gain confidence; for every player to have fun and have a chance to compete.

Three keys to the season? For each player to buy into the team concept and some together as one unit. “As I told the team, if we don’t look like a totally different team from Game 1 to Game 16 then we failed in our goal,” Coach Corbin said. Have the entire team present at one game. That has yet to happen for any of the practices; and encourage and never hang our heads.

“We should have a successful season if…” If we pay attention to detail and that each player's awareness level improves. I want each player to continue to strive and gain confidence through development and progression — Coach Corbin.

The Schedule

Wednesday, April 23, Greely, 4:00

Friday, April 25, at Wells, 1:00

Monday, April 28, Poland, 4:00

Friday, May 2, at Yarmouth, 4:00

Monday, May 5, at Falmouth, 4:00

Wednesday, May 7, York, 4:00

Friday, May 9, at Cape E., 5:00

Monday, May 12, Freeport, 4:00

Wednesday, May 14, Sacopee, 4:00

Friday, May 16, at Gray-NG, 4:00

Monday, May 19, at Greely, 4:00

Thursday, May 22, Kennebunk, 4:00

Monday, May 26, Lake Region, 4:00

Wednesday, May 28, at Poland, 4:00

Friday, May 30, Gray-NG, 4:00

Friday, June 2, at Lake Region, 4:00

VARSITY TRACK & FIELD

Coaches: Kevin McDonald, Joe McMurdo-Minnich, Stephanie Miller, Bobby Collins

Top returnees: middle distance/distance sophomore Patrick Carty; senior Eric Hannes; senior Tyler O’Keefe; juniors TJ Rose and Liuke Yang; sprints, senior Njemile Phillip, senior Forrest Stearns, junior Elijah Thompson; throws, seniors Andrew Lyman and Edward Price; jumps, senior Dacota Griffen and senior Colt Whitten.

Top newcomers: senior Jaquan Causer, freshman Spencer Thomas, freshman Christian Bedell, senior Colt Whitten and sophomore Tyler Wang.

Srengths: “We are strong in the throws, middle distance, distance,” Coach McDonald said.

Question marks? Relays and jumps.

Outlook: “We have a fantastic group of young men. I’d like to see more focus,” Coach McDonald said.

Goals: Perform our best at States, everyone improve and remain injury-free.

Keys to the season: Keep the seniors focused.

We would have a successful season if everyone improves.

Girls’ report

Top returnees: junior Elizabeth Grzyb, senior Bailey Freidman, senior Juliet Fink, sophomore Oriagna Inirio, senior Sarah Welch, and sophomore Anna Lastra.

Top newcomers: senior Courtney Batchelor, junior Stephanie Grabenwarter, freshman Skye Collins, freshman Alexandrea Walker.

Strengths: Sprints, throws, distance and jumps.

Question marks: Relays, injuries and youth development.

What I like about this team? Huge potential.

What would you like to see more from this team? Be consistent.

Goals for the season? Have this team find their identity. They could be a force, remain injury-free and have some fun.

Keys to the season: Remain flexible with the seniors, get the relays going and have the seniors lead the way.

We would have a successful season if… everyone reaches their potential.

The Schedule

Saturday, April 26, at Kennett, 10:00

Tuesday, April 29, at Kennett, 4:00

Friday, May 2, at Gray (CE, OOB), 3:30

Friday, May 9, at Greely (York, Poland), 3:30

Friday, May 16, at Traip (Fre, Kenn, York), 3:30

Friday, May 23, home (LR, Wayn, SV), 3:30

Saturday, May 31, WMC Championships, at Lake Region

Saturday, June 7, States

VARSITY GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Christopher Chaffee

Outlook: Coach Chaffee — The Fryeburg Academy varsity girls’ 2014 tennis team’s objective this year is going to be built around a positive attitude and setting goals. The goals have to be challenging, hard, but reachable. It has to be something they have a certain control over. Goals are important because they keep us motivated, they give us something to work toward. When we can accomplish little goals, it gives us a vision and belief to more long-term goals. That is something I want every player on the team this year to have. I would like them to have small goals each practice and one season goal. So I know every day they are trying to improve and are trying to progress, because that is the most important thing. If they don’t achieve their main goal each practice, they can pick themselves up and try again. There is always going to be something positive and they can learn from each practice and match. With a positive attitude, they will learn a lot about themselves in trying to achieve their goals.

Key losses: First doubles team, Sasha Azel and Alicia Mcdonald, graduating. “They were not only a sensational doubles team, but they were the heart of the team. I feel their absence already this year and I miss not seeing them and motivating the other players on the team,” Coach Chaffee said.

Key returnees: Chelsea Abraham is returning to play as number one singles spot. “She has some good power, but her strongest asset is her athleticism. She has worked hard off the court to improve on her fitness and I think that will help her out if some of her matches start going to three sets,” Coach Chaffee said. “She can outlast and wear down her opponents. I also think she has a great work ethic and attitude. Being a senior and the captain this year, that is good for the others to look up to.”

Morgan Bullard Hodge is going to be returning and playing number two singles. “She was the most improved player last year and she is tactically very smart on the court. Her strength is she can outsmart her opponents and use her variety to win matches,” Coach Chaffee said. “She has a quiet, competitive spirit, which shows in competition on the court. She shows great mental toughness of never getting angry or upset on the court. You can never tell she is losing a match because she has great composure.”

Catherine Ashley was FA’s rookie of the year last year playing doubles. She will probably be one doubles or third singles this year. “Catherine’s strengths is she is very aware of what is going on in the match and is alert of what every given moment in a match calls for,” Coach Chaffee said. “She has great tennis IQ. She hardly makes a bad percentage shot. She is always trying to do the smart and right shot. She has great volleys and can also hit some good power with topspin on her ground strokes. Being her second year on the team, she can only improve and I look for her to be a key asset for us this year.”

Question marks? One weakness this year is lack of experience. “We have a young team in terms of years playing tennis. Many of them have not really played too many competitive tennis matches. So for us, this year it is about goal setting, improving, and learning. I think the girls will walk away this year having passion for this amazing sport of tennis,” Coach Chaffee said.

Top newcomers: Some newcomers to look out for are freshman Emma Allocco and senior Izzy Hodgman-Burns. “They have improved a lot within a week. They are green on experience, but I have been impressed with their athletic ability and how quick they have improved each and every practice. They want to get better and want to improve. It is great to see them trying each day to get better. That is not only a great asset to have in sports, but in life. They give 100% everyday. That makes me happy,” the coach said.

The Schedule

Tuesday, April 29, at NYA, 4:00

Wednesday, April 30, Greely, 4:00

Friday, May 2, at Yarmouth, 4:00

Monday, May 5, at Cape E., 4:00

Thursday, May 8, at Freeport, 4:00

Monday, May 12, Waynflete, 4:00

Tuesday, May 13, at Kennebunk, 4:00

Thursday, May 15, Freeport, 4:00

Friday, May 16, Falmouth, 4:00

Monday, May 19, Kennebunk, 4:00

Tuesday, May 20, at Lake Region (Camp Skylemar in Naples), 3:30

Thursday, May 22, York, 4:00

VARSITY BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Justin Chaffee

Top returnees: Singles players Pavle Bulatovic (senior), Aleksandar Lazic (senior), doubles duo Milos Mitic (senior), Jon Burke (junior),  Kiho No (junior) and Harry He (senior).

Top newcomers: Nacho Calleja (freshman) and Nikola Vuleta (freshman) are FA’s top newcomers.

Strengths: Camaraderie, and be competitive in all three singles positions and two doubles positions.

Question mark: Can FA players stay healthy, and FA lost its number one singles player from last year so the three singles players this year will have to step up. “I believe they can rise to the challenge,” Coach Chaffee said.

What do you like about this team? “I like the camaraderie this team has. Everyone is eager to learn and play. That makes everything pretty simple when the team members are passionate about the sport and get along,” Coach Chaffee said.

What would you like to see more of from this group? “I would just like to see the guys go out and give 100%, and not leave anything on the court. If they can do that, then regardless of the result, that’s a win,” Coach Chaffee said.

Three goals to the season: Coach Chaffee would like for each player to learn what they need to develop one of their strokes as well as continue to gain match experience. Overall, he would like for FA to win one match because then they can win two, then three.

We would have a successful season if…we compete, give it our all and have fun.

The Schedule

Tuesday, April 29, NYA, 4:00

Wednesday, April 30, at Greely, 4:00

Friday, May 2, Yarmouth, 4:00

Monday, May 5, Cape E., 4:00

Wednesday, May 7, at Falmouth, 3:00

Thursday, May 8, Freeport, 4:00

Monday, May 12, at Waynflete, 4:00

Tuesday, May 13, Kennebunk, 4:00

Thursday, May 15, at Freeport, 4:00

Friday, May 16, at NYA, 4:00

Monday, May 19, at Kennebunk, 4:00

Thursday, May 22, at York, 4:00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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