BASEBALL

Coach: Paul Grazia (seventh year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 2-11 (no playoffs)

Top returning players: Cal Davies (Senior), Will Jackson (Senior), Anders Jonsson (Senior), Luke Josephson (Senior), Liam Slocumb (Junior), Payton Smith (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 24 OOB, April 26 @ OOB, April 28 @ Gray-New Gloucester, May 26 @ Fryeburg

Coach’s comments: “We are very excited to pair with North Yarmouth Academy again this spring and are looking forward to the season. The athletes have been working hard and are challenging themselves every day. This year, our team is led by a wonderful group of seniors and we look to be competitive in every game. After losing last season, it is wonderful to be back with the team and on the field. Our first goal is to complete our season safely and healthy. We hope to build off of our growth from two years ago and make a push in the playoffs. I know all the athletes and coaches are looking forward to competing this spring.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete (which includes players from North Yarmouth Academy) is optimistic it can contend this season.

Josephson was a first-team all-star two years ago. He’ll pitch and play in the infield. Davies (pitcher/infield) and Jonsson (pitcher/infield) were second-teamers in 2019 and should be top contributors as well. Jackson (pitcher, first base) is the other returning senior. The junior class features Slocumb behind the plate and Smith on the mound and in the outfield. Seniors Gabe Garcia (pitcher, outfield) and Derek Wolverton (pitcher/infield) are new and should immediately have an impact.

The Flyers play a lot of games against Class C competition, which should get them ready for the postseason. Waynflete is poised to win some games and turn some heads with its play.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Senior Sam Whipple will be in the middle of the action for Waynflete’s talented boys’ lacrosse team this spring. File photo.

Coach: Andrew Leach (first year)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 10-4 (Lost, 9-7, to eventual champion North Yarmouth Academy in Class C state semifinals)

Top returning players: Ilo Holdridge (Senior), Harry Millspaugh (Senior), Alex Vest (Senior), Sam Whipple (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 26 @ Lake Region, May 4 FREEPORT, May 8 @ Yarmouth, May 15 YORK, May 18 PORTLAND, May 25 BERWICK, May 27 @ Greely, May 29 NYA

Coach’s comment: “We’re really fortunate to be back out there every day. I have a really good senior class. A lot of guys who have won in both soccer and lacrosse. We want to do right by our seniors this year. We want to win the Sportsmanship award and be in the state championship game. It will be tough, but the guys are ticked off they lost to NYA (in the 2019 playoffs), missed last year and didn’t have soccer playoffs in the fall. We’re ready.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete won the 2018 Class C championship and appeared poised to repeat in 2019 before being upset by NYA. The Flyers hoped to avenge that loss last spring, but never got the chance. Now, Waynflete and NYA appear to be on a collision course again and the Flyers believe they have the pieces in place to do great things. Leach, who coaches Waynflete’s girls’ basketball team and previously coached lacrosse at Cheverus and as assistant for the Flyers on their title team, likes his roster. For good reason.

Millspaugh was an honorable mention all-star as a sophomore and he figures to score a lot of goals this spring, playing both attack and in the midfield. Whipple is another scorer to watch. He can also play multiple positions. Sophomore Roan Hopkins will step right in and make an impact on the offense as well. Holdridge is the faceoff specialist and will be a top midfielder. Defensively, look for senior Ben Adey, who wins championships with stunning regularity regardless of the sport, to help hold the fort in front of Vest, who is playing goalie this season for the first time since middle school.

This group of athletes knows what it takes to win and the hunger is palpable. Waynflete will benefit from playing a very challenging schedule and regardless of its regular season win-loss record, the Flyers will be primed to make a championship run in June. You have to think they have a great chance to make their title dreams a reality.

GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Coach: Cathie Connors (28th year, 296-79-1 overall record, 12 state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 6-8 (Lost, 13-2, to eventual state champion Cape Elizabeth in Class B state quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Kaitlin Bliss (Senior), Claire Dinapoli (Senior), Laney Friedland (Senior), Kilee Sherry (Senior), Jesse Connors (Junior), Lolie Millspaugh (Junior)

Pivotal games: April 21 YORK, April 28 ST. DOM’S, May 3 YARMOUTH, May 5 CHEVERUS, May 7 @ Gorham, May 19 @ Freeport, May 26 @ Lake Region, May 28 NYA, June 3 @ Cape Elizabeth

Coach’s comment: “It’s so amazing to be back out there. We have some experienced talent and some new kids. It’s a learning process, but it’s fun figuring it out. My goal is for everyone to improve and reach their individual goals. There’s a lot of work to do, but every day I see us getting better. I see a lot of potential in this team and can’t wait to see what comes from the girls’ hard work.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete is in Class C this season after spending the past 14 years in Class B (and winning four titles at that level). The Flyers have quickly shown that they should be on the short list of championship contenders in Class C. Waynflete opened Thursday with an impressive 14-0 home win over Fryeburg Academy and is very glad to be back on the field.

This year’s offense will be led at attack by Bliss, Dinapoli and freshmen Cece Bliss (who scored twice in the opener) and Morgan Earls (four assists in the first game). Jesse Connors, who takes draws, and is a top midfielder, will be a leading scorer as well. She scored twice against Fryeburg. Connors is joined by the talented Millspaugh and Sherry, who will create matchup nightmares. On defense, Friedland (she also had two goals in the opener) and seniors A.J. McGrath and Pippi Simpson lead the way. Junior Emily Girard will be in goal, replacing Avis Akers, the three-year starter, who has graduated.

The Flyers missed out on the 2020 season, which was especially devastating for Cathie Connors, who is currently three wins shy of 300 for her career and who missed an opportunity to coach her daughter for a year. Everything is coming up roses again at Waynflete, however, as evidenced by the fast start. The Flyers will be tested by a very challenging schedule, featuring foes from all three classes, but they’ll improve steadily. There’s no program in the state that has Waynflete’s pedigree. Don’t be surprised if by season’s end, the Flyers are primed to add another triumphant chapter to their legacy.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Another Waynflete boys’ tennis state title celebration come June wouldn’t shock anyone. File photo.

Coach: Jeff Madore (14th year, 12 state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 13-3 (Beat Orono, 4-1, to win 12th consecutive Class C state title)

Top returning players: Ben Adey (Senior), Connor Feeney (Senior), Aidan Kieffer (Senior), John Moon-Black (Senior)

Coach’s comment: “There is a lot of enthusiasm among players and parents about being back in action after a year off. Zoom tennis did not turn out to be that much fun. Our goal is to have fun and enjoy every day we play, whether at practice or a match. Obviously, we would like to make the team tournament event and go as far as possible. In addition, we plan to follow all state and school pandemic protocols to keep ourselves and opponents healthy. We take nothing for granted anymore.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: It turned out that the only thing capable of pausing the Waynflete dynasty was a pandemic. The Flyers have won 12 consecutive Class C titles and the stage is set for a 13th straight championship run. Even though graduation has hit the program hard the past two years, another crop of standout players stands ready to perpetuate Waynflete’s dominance.

Adey (a second-team league all-star as a sophomore) and Kieffer will be captains and will both play singles. Feeney and sophomore Henry Kerr were also vying for singles spots at press time. Moon-Black, along with senior Fritz Van Winkle and juniors Henry Florman, Henry Hart, Henry Moore and Jackson Shurman, are all in the hunt to play doubles and should all see time at some juncture of the season. New junior Ed Cox, sophomore Matt Adey and freshman Max Shurman are looking to make their mark as well.

It all adds up to a team worthy of the Waynflete name on the uniform. The Flyers will benefit from playing a tough regular season schedule and when the playoffs begin, even with the bullseye firmly affixed, look for this group to be at its best again. It might be time to make more room in the trophy case.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Coach: Linda Cohen (14th year, five state championships)

2019 record (no 2020 season): 9-6 (Lost, 3-2, to Carrabec in Class C South Final)

Top returning player: Morgan Warner (Senior)

Coach’s comment: “It’s good to be back on the courts with the girls. It has been a challenging year physically, emotionally and intellectually, so my goal this season is to keep that three-legged stool balanced. I have eight returning players from the 2019 season, three of whom played in starting positions, and six new players to round out the roster. We’re currently in the process of figuring out where the rest of the pieces fit. Staying vigilant with COVID precautions is important and will be necessary to get through the season. Enjoying being together, being physically active and regrouping as a team are my goals. The pandemic puts a new definition on winning.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete just missed out on a chance to play in the state final two years ago and should be one of the last teams standing this spring.

Warner is a top returner and figures to play singles. The Flyers have some holes to fill and questions to answer beyond that, but there is a strong group of players just waiting for their chance to shine.

Waynflete will battle all season and hopes to be at its best come playoff time. These Flyers could finish what the 2019 team started.

OUTDOOR TRACK

Waynflete’s outdoor track athletes are competing with Cheverus this spring. That group includes seniors Levi Lilienthal and Semma Twining, sophomore Bryan Stark-Chessa and freshman Anna Siegel.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

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