Winter Previews: Fryeburg Academy

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JULIA QUINN, a sophomore point guard, will look to create an uptempo attack for the Raiders this winter. (Rivet Photos)


Head Coach: Sean Watson, second year

Assistant Coach: Billie L’Heureux

JV Coach: Steve Bush

Team record last year: 4-14 (wins over Yarmouth, Cape Elizabeth, Sacopee Valley and Poland)

Returning players: Skye Dole, senior center (Third Team WMC, second leading rebounder in WMC); Sarah Welch, senior forward; Sydney Charles, senior guard; Makayla Frost, senior guard/forward; Kristen Chipman, junior guard; Julia Quinn, sophomore guard; Alexis L’Heureux-Carland, sophomore forward; McKenna Gerchman, sophomore forward.

Top newcomers: Sage Boivin, sophmore forward; Katherine Parker, sophomore forward; McKenzie Buzzell, freshman guard; Nicole Bennett, freshman center.

Team strengths: Young but experienced group with five returning starters and eight players with quality varsity minutes last year.

“We seem to have pretty good team chemistry right now and we all have a bitter taste in our mouths from last year,” Coach Watson said. “While we thought we might take our lumps last year, it is never fun to experience only four wins in two and a half months of play. The players have shown a good deal of intensity in our preseason practices and we had a great and committed turnout to summer basketball.”

Weaknesses: CoachWatson — I hate the term weaknesses because we all know we can improve on every aspect of the game. However, I do know that we must rebound the ball better than we did last year. We need to rebound the ball better if we are to be successful. To be a good rebounder, you need to be relentless in going after the ball and be disciplined enough to get a box out every time on the defense end. We need to improve on both of those aspects of rebounding.”

Coach Watson added, “We need to do a better job of pushing the ball up the floor. We need to all buy in on pushing the pace of play. We struggle offensively at times in our offensive sets, and in some of those situations if we pushed the ball up the floor and showed a bit more urgency we wouldn't need to get into an offensive set.

He said, “We also need to improve on our transition defense. We accept the fact that we will turn the ball over trying to play fast. Reacting quickly and getting quick match ups when we do turn the ball over is important. We can’t allow easy baskets at the other end.”

Team goals: Coach Watson — Be a better team than we were last year; be fighting for a post-season spot at the end of the season; have every player, whether it in practice or a game, doing whatever it takes to make themselves and the team better “right now.” We should be playing in the moment. We need to forget what just happened and not worry about what might happen. We have to be focused on “right now.”

What will be your emphasis this season? Coach Watson — Our emphasis for this season will be playing in the moment. Again, our team slogan, motto, focus, emphasis, whatever you want to call it, is “right now.” We need to practice and play in the moment with all the focus and intensity that we can muster.

For the team to be successful, what must happen? Coach Watson — For our team to be successful we must not have scoring droughts. We were in a lot of close games last year with going five to eight minutes without scoring. We defended well enough to keep us in most games but even the best defensive teams can’t endure lengthy scoring droughts.

We need to push the pace of play. We have many good athletes on our roster, many are three sport athletes. We need to use our athleticism to our advantage. When we have any chance to get an easy bucket we need to capitalize on those opportunities.

We need to play as a team and sacrifice individual achievement and individual accolades for the good of the team. We need to be cognizant that we will all be successful and all achieve something if the team is successful. Good teams which are exciting, fun to watch, and do things the right way generate much more school and community support than individual stars. We want to have that type of success.

Complete the following, “I am looking forward most to see…” Coach Watson — “I am looking forward to see if our experiences from last year and our work this summer and in the preseason pays dividends this season.”

The Schedule

Saturday, Dec. 7, at Lake Region, 4 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 10, Gray-NG, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 13, at Freeport, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 17, Kennebunk, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 21, Poland, 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 27, at Westbrook, TBA

Friday, Jan. 3, Greely, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 7, Lake Region, 5 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 9, at Falmouth, 7 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 11, at Poland, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Gray-NG, 6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 17, Freeport, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Yarmouth, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 24, Wells, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 25, Falmouth, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Greely, 6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 31, at Cape Elizabeth, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 4, York, 6 p.m.

Friday, Feb. 7, at Sacopee Valley, 6:30 p.m.


WALKER MALLORY led Fryeburg Academy in scoring ago. The Raiders return a strong supporting cast and will look to return to the playoffs.

Head Coach: Sedge Saunders, 16th year

JV/Associate Head Coach: Charlie Tryder

Assistant Coach: Anthony Antonucci, a former FA player (“He brings a lot of enthusiasm and passion to the program,” Coach Saunders said.)

Team record last year: 10-9, lost to Greely in the Class B West prelims.

Returning players: Walker Mallory, senior, 6-foot guard, leading scorer from last year; Jaquan Causer, 6-foot-1 senior forward, second leading rebounder; Alex Blake, 6-foot-2 senior forward (hurt second half of last year, should have good senior year); Alex Lazic, 6-foot-3 senior forward; Milos Mitic, 6-foot-3 senior center; Jonathan Burk, 6-foot-3 junior forward; Winston Richards, 6-foot-2 junior forward; Ryan Gullickson, 6-foot sophomore guard; and Nicholis L’Heureux-Carland, 6-foot-3 forward.

Top newcomers: Joey DeRemer, 6-foot senior forward; Ben Southwick, 5-foot-9 junior guard; Henry Santana, 6-foot-1 junior forward; Jeremy Wu, 6-foot junior guard; Ignacio Calleja, 5-foot-11 sophomore guard.

Team strengths: Coach Saunders — We have a lot of depth in the frontcourt and we have some athletic players. We hope to develop them into complete basketball players. We hope to be a good rebounding team and a solid transition team. Our main goals are creating a culture of communication and competition. We’re looking for guys who want to compete — every game, every practice and every possession.

We have new players who are getting adjusted — typical of our teams we are trying to figure out who we are, what our identity is and then we will move in that direction. With such a short preseason, we may not know this until a couple weeks into the season.

Outlook: “We like the kids we have and I think they will represent the school well. We feel like we have enough coming back from last year to be competitive, but we’re hoping a couple more kids will gain some extra confidence and give us a boost in the second half of the season,” Coach Saunders said.

Complete the following, “I am looking forward most to see…” Coach Saunders, “I’m looking forward to seeing how our kids respond to the adversity they will face this season. If it’s like the last two years, they will respond with grit and determination.”

The Schedule

Saturday, Dec. 7, at Lake Region, 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 10, at Gray-NG, 6 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 13, Freeport, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Kennebunk, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 21, Poland, 5:30 p.m.

Dec. 27, GNG Christmas Tourney

Friday, Jan. 3, at Greely, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 7, Lake Region, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Jan. 9, Falmouth, 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 11, at Poland, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 14, Gray-NG, 6 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 17, at Freeport, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 21, Yarmouth, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 24, at Wells, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Jan. 25, at Falmouth, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Jan. 28, Greely, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 31, Cape Elizabeth, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Feb. 4, at York, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, Feb. 6, Sacopee Valley, 6:30 p.m.

Head Coach: Kevin McDonald

Assistant Coach: Bobby Collins

Last year: “We did very well last year putting 25 (athletes) to the state meet. I do not keep track of wins and loses, it’s all about WMC and States,” Coach McDonald said.

Returning athletes: Bailey Friedman, Danae Dostie, Oriagna Inirio, Anna Lastra, Molly Eklund, Elizabeth Grzyb, Erika Dennery, Emily McDermith and Ariel Fogdon.

“Bailey will be a force at States in the shot put, Anna will be a huge factor in the success of the distance group, Oriagna will lead the sprint group and Emily/Erika will be very strong in the 400/200 meters,” Coach McDonald said. “Elizabeth and Molly should play a large role in the team’s success.”

Newcomers include Emma Jo Armington in the high jump and Skye Collins in the sprints and long jump.

“There are a host of underclass athletes that will have a huge effect on the team, however it’s too early to know just how this will play out,” Coach McDonald said. “We look for many of these athletes to be at States come February.”

The boys’ top returnees: Eric Hannes, TJ Rose, Tyler O’Keefe, Njemile Phillip, Jared Schrader, Tristan Harvie and Wayne Smith.

Top newcomers include Forest Stearns, Elijah Thompson and Tyler Wang.

“The boys’ side could be a huge force at States. We are very strong in the sprints, mid-distance and distance as well as shot put and relays. If we can fill in with some points in the jumps and pole vault it will be a fantastic year,” Coach McDonald said. “That being said, everyone has to buy into the program and focus on the job at hand.”

Outlook: Coach McDonald — “Coach Collins and I are very excited with the potential of this group. What occurs in February at the State Meet will be determined by the work that occurs between now and then.”

Weakness: Both the girls and boys are the hurdles, long jump, triple jump and pole vault. “These are tough events to develop and require a tremendous amount of training and focus, not easy to do outside in the winter and tough to work on in the gym without pits,” Coach McDonald said. “However, all teams are in the same boat so we will do our best.”

Team goals: Coach McDonald — Our goals will be for everyone to improve in each of their events. You can always run faster, jump higher or throw further no matter how good you are.

Complete the following, “I am looking forward most to see…” Coach McDonald, “I am looking forward most to see just how much this team can grow. We are raw right now, but in eights weeks we should be a well-oiled machine. I am excited. What lies down the road no one knows, but these kids are a very good group. Hopefully, we can mold them into a force to be reckoned with. Time will tell.”

The Schedule

All league meets are held at the University of Southern Maine field house in Gorham

Saturday, Dec. 28, USM Classic, TBA

Friday, Jan. 3, Cape, Lake Region, Wells, 3:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 10, Yarmouth, 3:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 17, Open date

Friday, Jan. 24, York, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Jan. 31, Falmouth, 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 8, Greely, 3 p.m.

Monday, Feb. 17, States, Bates College, 10 a.m.

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