BASEBALL (co-op with North Yarmouth Academy)

Coach: Paul Grazia (seventh year)

2021 record: 12-6 (Lost, 4-3, to Lisbon in Class C South quarterfinals)

Top returning players: Daniel Noone (Senior), Liam Slocomb (Senior), Payton Smith (Senior), Cole Lambert (Sophomore), Connor Wolverton (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: May 2 @ Traip Academy, May 9 OLD ORCHARD BEACH, May 13 @ Sacopee Valley, May 16 TRAIP ACADEMY, May 23 @ Old Orchard Beach, May 31 SACOPEE VALLEY

Coach’s comments: “Coming off of a strong 2021 season, we are excited for the upcoming season and believe that we can continue to build, grow and compete this year. The loss of a strong senior class from last year has created a lot of opportunity for players to take on new roles and continue to develop. All of the players have been working hard and we have a lot of depth and that will help us throughout a long season. It will be exciting to continue to see how the team develops throughout the year as players take on new roles, compete and challenge themselves every day. Consistency on offense and defense will be key for us and as we look to make improve on last year’s record and make another playoff run. Our schedule is tough and all the teams in our conference are competitive, but I believe that we have depth and ability to compete for a playoff spot this spring.”

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The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete (which includes players from North Yarmouth Academy) had a terrific season a year ago, the program’s best this century. This year’s squad has some key players to replace, but look for the Flyers to remain in contention in Class C South.

Wolverton will be a tough matchup for the opposition. Slocomb (who hit .302 with 11 runs scored and 10 stolen bases in 2021) is a veteran leader, while Noone and Smith lead the pitching contingent. Juniors Cal Nice and Nolan Pecora and sophomore Cole Lambert will also see time on the hill. Juniors Jack Byrnes, Oliver Eames and Lincoln Smith project to play bigger roles. Sophomores Ethan Brochu, Cooper St. Hilaire and Daxton St. Hilaire and are key newcomers who will bolster the roster.

The Flyers will be tested as the season progresses, but this squad turned the corner last year and could be very much in the hunt again come June.

BOYS’ LACROSSE

Waynflete’s boys’ lacrosse team got to celebrate often last spring when it rolled to the Class C state title. The Flyers hope to repeat in 2022. File photos

Coach: Andrew Leach (second year)

2021 record: 14-1 (Beat Oak Hill, 17-5, to win Class C state championship)

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Top returning players: Liam Anderson (Junior), Seth Cloutier (Junior), Jasper Curtis (Junior), Roan Hopkins (Junior), Cole Isherwood (Junior), Nils Burton-Johanson (Sophomore), Nico Kirby (Sophomore), Fletcher Polsky (Sophomore), Jacob Woodman (Sophomore)

Pivotal games: April 14 @ NYA, April 21 @ Greely, April 27 @ York, May 7 @ South Portland, May 23 YARMOUTH

Coach’s comment: “We have a big crop of talented juniors and sophomores. We’re putting a lot on the youngsters, but I love this group of guys. Last year’s impact sophomores are even better as juniors and last year’s freshmen have made a huge jump. We’ll have to spread out the offense. Our defense will be our biggest strength. I love our schedule. It gets us ready to go. We hope to put it all together by the end of the season.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete certainly put it all together last spring, peaking when it mattered most, then downing reigning champion North Yarmouth Academy in the semifinals before handling Oak Hill to win its second Class C championship. That squad was paced by senior scoring machines Harry Milspaugh and Sam Whipple. While their production will be missed, the Flyers believe there is enough talent left in reserve to make another deep run.

Curtis was a first-team league all-star last season and will be part of a potentially staunch defense, which also includes Anderson, Polsky and junior Matt Adey, a star soccer and basketball player. Junior Avi Israel will be in goal. On offense, Ishwerwood takes faceoffs is part of a midfield which also features Hopkins, Kirby and Woodman. Burton-Johanson, who had a great freshman season, and Cloutier lead the way on attack.

This year’s squad won’t be as prolific, but it will be tenacious, determined and hungry. Waynflete gets tested right out of the gate when it battles NYA, a team the Flyers will likely have to go through come June. Waynflete will stumble at times, but when it matters most, don’t be surprised if this squad has become championship-caliber yet again.

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GIRLS’ LACROSSE

Waynflete’s girls’ lacrosse team celebrated its first state title in eight seasons last spring and the Flyers have a great chance to do it again.

Coach: Cathie Connors (29th year, 306-84-1 overall record, 13 state championships)

2021 record: 10-5 (Beat Freeport, 9-8, to win Class C state championship)

Top returning players: Jesse Connors (Senior), Emily Girard (Senior), Cece Marshall (Senior), Lolie Millspaugh (Senior), Vera Shattuck (Senior)

Pivotal games: April 14 @ NYA, May 7 PORTLAND, May 11 @ Greely, May 13 FREEPORT, May 21 YARMOUTH, June 1 @ York

Coach’s comment: “We’re putting it all together, hoping to do something good. We’re really jelling. It’s a cohesive group and the girls really care about each other. We’re looking forward to a competitive, fun season. We hope to come together as the season goes along. I’m cautiously optimistic.”

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The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete enjoyed a fairy tale, milestone season in 2021, not only winning a state title for the first time in eight years, but giving Cathie Connors her 300th victory along the way, with her daughter, Jesse Connors, often playing the hero. This spring, the Flyers are a veteran squad, but this time around, they’ll be the hunted. It shouldn’t matter, however, as the pieces are in place for Waynflete to again make a run at glory.

Jesse Connors had a superb junior season, leading Waynflete to the state title. She’ll be one of the top players in the state this spring.

Whenever a big goal was needed last season, it seemed like Jesse Connors weaved her way through the defense to score it. Connors was a first-team league all-star scoring 44 goals, adding 24 assists and tallying five goals in the state final en route to being named Waynflete’s Spring Athlete of the Year. Connors will play a huge role again this season, taking draws, playing defense, setting up teammates and scoring her share of goals, before going to play at Dominican University in northern California next year. Milspaugh is another top returner. She’ll use her height to win draws and will help control play in the midfield. On attack, look for junior Keegan Dolan and sophomore Tilsley Kelly to help put the ball in the net. Kelly scored some timely goals last season. On defense, Marshall and Shattuck return and will be aided by junior Yen Wilson. Girard, who made some huge saves last season, returns in goal. Sophomore Morgan Earls, who suffered a knee injury in the fall, is almost back to full strength and will soon arrive to help the cause as well.

The Flyers are playing a more Class C-centric schedule this season, but still will get to square off with the likes of Greely, Portland and Yarmouth. Waynflete learned from its toughest games a year ago and this year’s squad will also have the opportunity to overcome challenges. Everyone will be gunning for the Flyers and there are some other very talented teams in Class C, but if you think for a minute that Waynflete will give up its title without a tussle, guess again. The program’s first repeat in nearly a decade is a distinct possibility.

BOYS’ TENNIS

Coach: Jeff Madore (15th year, 14 state championships)

2021 record: 14-1 (Beat George Stevens Academy, 5-0, to win 13th consecutive Class C state title)

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Top returning players: Ed Cox (Senior), Henry Hart (Senior), Matt Adey (Junior), Henry Kerr (Junior), Max Shurman (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We hope to stay healthy, improve our skills and have fun.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: The surest thing in sports added another triumphant chapter, the 13th straight championship chapter, a year ago. And Waynflete’s juggernaut boys’ tennis program isn’t done yet, as the Flyers, despite some new faces in new places, are well positioned for yet another title run this spring.

Kerr was a second-team all-star last season and will be heard from again, likely in a top singles role. Adey and Hart made the all-conference team as doubles players last season and are poised to move into singles roles this year. Cox and Shurman also have experience and will play in key positions. As always, Waynflete has the cavalry on the way to provide depth, as junior Charlie DiNapoli, sophomores Basil DiBenedetto and Andrew Rogers and freshmen Jeff Adey and Theo Demetriou all hope to join in the fun.

It all adds up to potentially another terrific team, one that will only get better as April gives way to May and eventually to June, when the Flyers always do their best work.

GIRLS’ TENNIS

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Coach: Linda Cohen (15th year, five state championships)

2021 record: 8-7 (Lost, 3-2, to Hall-Dale in Class C South Final)

Top returning players: Lucy Hart (Sophomore), Vivian Rallis (Sophomore)

Coach’s comment: “We graduated nine seniors last year, so with all underclassman making up this year’s team we will certainly give it our best shot at success. It’s great to be back on the courts having fun after the last two seasons of COVID chaos. My goal is for the girls to enjoy this season no matter the record.”

The Forecaster’s forecast: Waynflete has gotten to the regional final in each of the past two full seasons and this spring, the Flyers hope to take the next step.

Hart was a second-team all-star as a freshman and looks to cap a triumphant school year with strong play in a singles spot. Rallis will also be in the singles mix. Sophomores Jane Livingston and Maeve Mechtenberg hope to play bigger roles this year, while freshmen Vivienne Cook, Anna Farmer, Sara Levenson and Jenny Morrill all have potential and provide depth.

Waynflete will be tested as the season progresses, but should be very strong by the time the postseason rolls around and if all goes well, a deep run could be the end result.

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

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