Spring sports preview: Lake Region

VARSITY BASEBALL

Head Coach:  Randy Heath, fourth year

Assistant Coach: Rich Hines

JV Coach: Andrew Stacy, first year. “Andrew brings a lot of energy to the program,” Coach Heath said.

Key returning player: Juniors Jordan Williams, Gunner Harriman and Nate Smith.

Top newcomers
: Freshmen True Myers and Andrew Douglass, also junior Paul Angelone, a lefty yet to play high school baseball.

Players to watch:
 Jordan Williams, Nate Smith, Nick Ball and Nick Wandishin.

Team strengths: “It would have to be our attitude. There’s energy focus yet still a carefree, fun mentality. It’s refreshing,” Coach Heath said. “Our age and our youth in the program. It
’s taken a few years to get the pieces put together and I think if we keep the course were on, Lake Region baseball can compete for years to come.
”

Team weaknesses: 
Well, like any other ball club, LR has areas to improve. “Such as our pitching. We were in most of our games last year until around the fifth inning. Then, we would run out of arms. Another is our hitting. Overthinking it. That’s all about confidence. That’s growing every practice.”

Based on what you’ve seen thus far, what are you most encouraged by? Coach Heath is most encouraged about the team as a whole. “They really want more — more hitting, running, fielding, asking questions, wanting to understand how and why. That’s awesome,” the coach said.

What will it take for the team to be successful this season? To stay true to the team, to take control of their responsibilities in the classroom, and to work hard throughout the season no matter the scores, the record or individual numbers.

Three keys to the season: 
Attitude is Number 1
; team unity is Number 2; and being  responsible for their grades. “Grades could make or break a season.

“Everyone needs to understand their role on the team. Not everyone can start, but to a man each and every one of them has something to contribute to the game,” Coach Heath said.

Three goals: 
The first goal is the same one every year: to challenge the guys in the classroom to have 100% passing grades.

“My second would be to change the mindset that it’s more than just a team, it’s a family — to encourage one another, to push each other on and off the field, to set goals for college, to see players move on to be successful young men,” the coach said. “My third goal is the most important to me. I want to build the program with hard work on and off the field, to have the guys in the program accept the challenge in the classroom and have them all thinking of college and maybe playing baseball at the next level, and to do this with the excitement of a little guy riding his bike, glove stuck in the handle bars, bat laid across the grips, pedaling his heart out to get to the field to play baseball with his friends.”

Opening Day: Friday, April 17 at Wells at 4 p.m.

Home Opener: Wednesday, April 29 against Greely at 4 p.m.

ANCHORING THE HOT CORNER for the Lakers will be senior Abby Scott-Mitchell.

ANCHORING THE HOT CORNER for the Lakers will be senior Abby Scott-Mitchell.

VARSITY SOFTBALL

Head Coach: Wayne Rivet, second year

Assistant Coaches: Leanne Boody, Shawn Rock.

Key returning players: Seniors Ashley Clark (pitcher), Allison Morse (catcher), Abby Scott-Mitchell (third base) and Brittany Perreault (centerfield). Clark recorded nine victories (including a 5-4 victory over Wells in the regular season finale — the Warriors would advance to the Class B state championship game) and a 3.44 ERA. She was named the team’s Most Valuable Player, while also earning All-Conference honors. Morse led the Lakers with a .436 average with a team-high 24 hits while striking out just once. She was also an all-conference selection. Scott-Mitchell played a strong third base, helping the Lakers to hold their opponents to 4.4 runs per game average. As the lead-off hitter, she provided both speed and power (two triples). Perreault was an honorable mention all-conference selection, finishing second on the Lakers with a .375 batting average.

Top newcomers: Sophomores Liz Cole (outfield), Jackie Morse (first base), Ali Sawyer (catcher/first base) and Kristen Huntress (second base).

Players to watch: Freshmen Kaylyn Lorrain (shortstop) and Dessi Berry (second base).

On the Roster: Junior Jasmine Irish (outfield); sophomores Melody Millett (first base/outfield), Taylor Bass (outfield) and Kaleigh Tolliver (outfield); freshmen Arianna Libby (outfield), Kelsey Wight (outfield).

Strengths: Experienced pitcher/catcher combination, strong defender at the hot corner and centerfield, good pop at the top of the batting order.

Weaknesses: With the loss of five starting seniors a year ago, the Lakers will rely on talented underclassmen to fill those holes. Big question marks include how well the rookie starters will adjust to the speed of varsity play, and whether they will be able to consistently make contact against top hurlers in the conference.

Based on what you’ve seen thus far, what are you most encouraged by? The team is willing to work hard, accept coaching and making adjustments to their individual skill sets.

What will it take for the team to be successful this season? Being able to stay composed under pressure; to shake off mistakes in the field and struggles at the plate by remaining positive and confident in their abilities; and rally behind those that might be having a tough game or two.

Three keys to the season? 1. For the core group of seniors to bring leadership to the team, make big plays both offensively and defensively, and be willing to take whatever steps to help in the development of the younger players; 2. How quickly newcomers respond to the challenges of the varsity level, especially since the team opens against three playoff teams from a year ago; 3. How committed every player on the team is to working to become the best player and teammate they can be.

Three goals? Continue the positive momentum and atmosphere achieved last year; be competitive in every game; strive to return to the playoffs.

“This Laker team has the potential to succeed. The question is whether each player is willing to make a strong commitment to improve their skills and improve their understanding of the game, which is necessary to compete in the highly-competitive Class B West,” Coach Rivet said. “We will not use youth as an excuse. We’ve told the players they have a unique chance to improve their games, earn a starting role, and be a major part of our drive to be a consistent playoff squad. With 24 kids out for the eighth grade team and about 19 for the seventh grade team, our coaching staff is excited about the direction we are headed in.”

Opening Day: Monday, April 27, at Gray-New Gloucester, 4 p.m.

Home Opener: Wednesday, April 29 against Greely, 4 p.m.

POINTING THE WAY — Track & Field Coach Dana Caron works with Hannah Chadwick on javelin technique. (Rivet Photo)

POINTING THE WAY — Track & Field Coach Dana Caron works with Hannah Chadwick on javelin technique. (Rivet Photo)

VARSITY TRACK & FIELD

GIRLS

Head Coaches: Dana Caron (year 7) and Mark Snow (18);

Assistant Coach: Sasha Kantro

Key returning players: Kate Hall, senior, sprints, long jump; Sarah Hancock, senior, discus and shot put; Audrey Blais, junior, 800m and 1600m.

Top newcomers: Freshmen Danica Chadwick hurdles, jumps; Hannah Chadwick. 400m, jumps; Sam DeSouza, throws; Maraia Nason, throws, high jump; Keyana Prescott, junior, hurdles.

Other team members: Alizah Thayer, senior, middle distance; Sam Young, junior, multi-events; Carlene MacVicar, junior, middle distance; Emma Zink, junior, multi-events; Addie Blais, sophomore, 800m and 1600m; Andrea Johnston, freshman, throws; DJ Moyse, freshman, throws; Autumn Tremblay, freshman, throws.

Players to watch: Kate Hall — the best sprinter and long jumper in Maine history; Audrey Blais and Sarah Hancock — previous state qualifiers; Danica Chadwick and Sam DeSouza — placed well at the indoor conference meet.

Strengths: The Lakers have good mix of throwers. DeSouza and Hancock are established in one or two events. Each plan to expand to all three throwing events this spring. Nason appears to be the best of the remaining young talent.

Addie Blais, Hannah Chadwick, and Alizah Thayer could surprise a few people in the middle distance races. Having them allows Audrey Blais to experiment more in her events.

Prescott and Danica Chadwick should place in the hurdles in most meets.

BOYS

Head Coach: Mark Snow (18) and Dana Caron (year 7)

Assistant Coach: Sasha Kantro

Key returning players: Seniors Kyle DeSouza, throws, and Reed Bridge-Koenigsberg, throws; juniors Marcus DeVoe, jump; Matt Buchanan, sprints, jumps; Nick Scarlett, 800m, jumps; Dakota Stover, sophomore, jumps, sprints.

 

Top newcomers: Douglas Mayo, sophomore, middle distance; Todd Crawford, freshman, multi-events; Hunter McDaniel, freshman, multi-events; Cutter Meeker, freshman, distance; Theo Snow, freshman, hurdles, jumps.

Other team members: Dustin Frizzell, junior, throws; Andrew Bergeron, freshman, sprints, discus; Ben Johnson, freshman, throws; Thomas Noble, freshman, sprints, long jump; Austin Reynolds, freshman, sprints, jumps; Skye Hoeflich, freshman, throws.

Players to watch: Kyle DeSouza — nearly broke indoor school record in shot put.

Marcus DeVoe and Dakota Stover — previous state qualifiers in the jumps.

Theo Snow — placed well at the indoor conference championships

Strengths: DeVoe, Stover, Snow and McDaniel make for a formidable group of jumpers. Most of LR’s points will come in the jumps. The Lakers have quite a few freshmen on the team, and they will help fill in gaps the squad had last season.

Weaknesses (for both teams): “We have no experienced pole-vaulters or race-walkers. We have very little depth to field three solid relays. Our relays will go through a trial process all regular season,” the coaches reported.

Based on what you’ve seen thus far, what are you most encouraged by (both teams)? Camaraderie — the team enjoys working together. They are very supportive of one another. They are very attentive to the details of each drill we ask them to do. They are very coachable.

What will it take for both teams to be successful this season? “Our team measures success with the attainment of personal records. Many personal records will mean a successful season,” the coaches said.

Three keys to the season for both teams? Finding the events that maximize WMC meet points. Continue strength training throughout the season so the training becomes habitual. Making sure every team member has fun, is competitive, and yearns for more each week.

Three goals for the girls? Have a .500 or better record. Attain 100 personal records. Finish in the top five at the league meet.

Three goals for the boys? Beat a team each meet. Attain 100 personal records. Score at least 20 points at the league meet.

Opening Day: Wednesday, April 22 beginning at 10 a.m., the Lakers will compete at the South Portland Red Riot Invitational.

Home Opener: The Lakers host Greely, Old Orchard Beach and Freeport on Friday, May 1 at 3:30 p.m.

VARSITY GIRLS’ TENNIS

Head Coach: Kim Peterson

Key returning players: Seniors — Sarah Carlson, Isabelle Scribner, Megan VanLoan, Sam Bolling, Whitney Harriman, Jade Fecteau, Liza Wildey, Madison Wildey; Juniors — Spencer True, Kaytlyn Terry.

Top newcomers: Many players have been involved in the play, which just ended last weekend so now many players will now begin.

Strengths: “Since beginning two weeks ago, I have seen a lot of growth. With the play ending this past weekend, our team will now double in size!” Coach Peterson said.

Weaknesses: Pre-season in the gym! Hopefully the snow will melt so we can get outside and work on our strokes and develop our challenge ladder, the coach said.

Based on what you’ve seen thus far, what are you most encouraged by? There have been some players that have improved on a daily basis that could compete for a spot on the varsity squad.

What will it take for the team to be successful this season? “We need to develop our lineup and hopefully stick to it so players get used to playing with a certain partner or work on their singles game,” Coach Peterson said.

Three goals: To compete and improve each and every week as a team and as individual players; to keep our JV players active and challenged; to develop a passion for the game of tennis and have fun!

Opening Day: The Lakers travel to Freeport on Thursday, April 30 for a 4 p.m. match.

Home Opener: Monday, May 4 against Waynflete at 4 p.m.

VARSITY BOYS’ LACROSSE

Head Coach: Don White, seventh year

JV Coach: Ryan Chute

Key returning players: Ethan Green, Evan Kellough, Nick Hall, Nick LePage, Mason LaPlante, Taylor Davis, Zeke Tocci and Cam Hill.

Top newcomers: Ron Hall, Josh Perkins, Ben Moen and Dylan Greenlaw.

Players to watch: Ethan Green has moved from middie to goalie. His quick reflexes and eye for the ball are impressive. Taylor Davis, Zeke Tocci and Nick Hall are three starting middies. Taylor is an excellent face-off man, which will help the Lakers gain some extra possessions. Nick is able to get by defenders with his size and speed. Zeke is quick and has a great shot.

Nick Lepage moved from middie to defense and has become a leader on the team. Evan Kellough will be a long stick middie this year, helping to provide a stronger presence on defense. Mason LaPlante is a returning attackman with a great eye for the goal.

Strengths: “Our speed and fitness should help us out this year to finish games on a positive note. Our technical skills both on offense with the ball and defensively with footwork are looking strong and should help us maintain possession throughout the games,” Coach White said.

Weaknesses: Young team with most players changing roles and playing a new position. “If we communicate well and help each other out, we should be able to adjust quickly,” the coach said.

Based on what you’ve seen thus far, what are you most encouraged by? “I’ve been really impressed with the effort and the commitment of the team. They really want to work hard to do well and be competitive,” Coach White said.

What will it take for the team to be successful this season? “We will be successful if everyone works hard to contribute through out the season. Each player has a very important role. If we have a team effort throughout the season, we will be successful,” the coach said.

Three keys to the season? Being able to get more inside shots and working together to create better shooting opportunities; defense working together to force bad shots; working hard on transitions to be able prevent easy clears and being able to clear the ball ourselves when the defense wins the ball.

Three goals: We want to be competitive in all our games; to work together as a team, both offensively and defensively; to continue to improve throughout the season, both individually and as a team.

Opening Day: Friday, April 24 at Greely, 4 p.m.

Home Opener: Tuesday, April 28 against Wells at 4:30 p.m.

READY TO MAKE A PASS is Laker Lauren Williams.

READY TO MAKE A PASS is Laker Lauren Williams.

VARSITY GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Head Coach: David Keenan

Assistant Coach: Carrie Bush

JV Coach: David Keenan/Erik Jacobs

Key returning players: Seniors Emily Secord (defense) and Isabelle Edwards (defense); juniors, Molly Christensen (middie),  Madison Simms (attack), Grace Farrington (attack), Rachel Bell (defense/attack) and sophomore Lauren Williams (middie).

Top newcomers: Freshmen Olivia Deschenes (defense), Lauren Jakobs (middie),  Lindsey Keenan (attack) and Aisley Sturk (middie).

Players to watch and why: Goalie Maddie Nelson has improved significantly since last season and is being asked to play the toughest position on the field as a freshman.

The Lakers will also be counting on the continued improvement of Melissa Bonenfant, Abby Green and Elizabeth Mirante, who will be battling for a spot on the all important second line of middies.

Strengths: “We have a very athletic group of girls that love to compete and hate to lose,” Coach Keenan said.

Weaknesses: Lack of experience.

Based on what you’ve seen thus far, what are you most encouraged by? Attitude. “The girls want to win, but more importantly, they’re helping and encouraging each other,” the coach said.

What will it take for the team to be successful this season as the Lakers enter their first ‘varsity’ season? “The girls must continue to work hard, have fun and not do anything, on or off the field, that would hurt the team,” Coach Keenan said.

Three keys to the season? Must truly care about each other; win at least 60% of groundballs and draws; middies need to be as passionate about defense as they are about scoring.

Three goals for the season: Respect each other and the game; win the Good Sportsmanship Award; and make it to the playoffs.

Opening Day: Tuesday, April 28, at Wells, 5 p.m.

Home Opener: Wednesday, April 29, against Gould Academy at 4 p.m.

 

 

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