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White Mountain Milers purchase uniforms for Kennett Eagles track team

 

CONWAY — The White Mountain Milers Running Club has once again teamed up with the Kennett Eagles High School Track and Field Team to purchase 60 new uniforms for the team. The Milers have worked with Kennett High School and Middle School for the past 10 years with an annual donation of $1,000 to purchase uniforms and equipment for the runners. The White Mountain Milers club also has donated more than $80,000 in scholarships to local athletes over the past 14 years.  
 
The White Mountain Milers is a non-profit club, founded May 18, 1985, dedicated to running, walking, general fitness and community service. The club promotes fitness education, running and walking events in the greater Mount Washington Valley. The Milers are a friendly social group and welcomes both beginners and veterans to any and all club activities.
 
This year’s Kennett High School Track Team is fielding 94 athletes and 70 at the Middle School. Home meets at the Kennett Track are scheduled to take place on Saturday April 26, Tuesday April 29, and Thursday May 8.  Spectators and volunteers are always appreciated.
 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 05:46

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FA girls track looks to build depth

By Charlie Tryder

FRYEBURG — Like the Raider boys, the Fryeburg Academy girls track team has proven talent. At this point, however, the Raider girls might not have the depth to challenge for a state championship. Regardless, Coach Kevin McDonald says they share the same fundamental goal as the boys.

"The goal for the girls and boys is always the same," he said. "We want everyone to improve throughout the year, to send as many individuals on to the states as possible, and to perform to our potential at the State Meet."

The core leading the Raiders is set. Junior Elizabeth Grzyb returns as the defending state champion in the javelin. Senior Bailey Friedman took second place at the state meet in the shot put., and sophomore Anna Lastra will cover the distance events for the Raiders.

According to McDonald, the trio are a pleasure to coach and together they bring strong leadership to the team, "They are driven and exceptional athletes. You never have to worry. They will be doing their work."

Sophomore Oriagna Inirio, who placed at the indoor track state meet, will carry the Raiders in the sprint events. Emily McDermoth will pick up in the 200 and 400 mid-distance events.

Sarah Welch, a senior, could podium in the high jump, and she will accumulate points in the long jump and triple jump as well.

Raider newcomers who may progress enough this year to be a factor at the state meet include ninth grader Skye Collins in the sprints, who appears poised to embark on a successful career in the sprint events.

Fellow ninth grader Courtney Batchelor looks ready to contribute in the throwing events.

Yet another ninth grader Alexandrea Walker could excel in the throwing events as well.

Junior international student Stephanie Gabinwater will pole vault, sprint and possibly run hurdles. It is early, but McDonald sees tremendous potential in Gabinwater.

As stated, McDonald will get the Raider girls to focus on advancing as many athletes as they can to the State Meet where anything can happen. At this time, the Raiders do not appear deep enough to be a major player at states, but some talented new blood along with some surprise veteran performances could result in the Raiders surpassing preseason predictions.

The Raiders are slated to open the regular season on Friday, May 2 when they play hosts to Gray-New Gloucester and Cape Elizabeth.

Fryeburg has five regular season meets scheduled with the regular season slated to end May 31 at home in a meet against Lake Region at 9 a.m. Regional, Conference and the State Championships will follow.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 02:33

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F.A. boys track open for business

By Charlie Tryder

FRYEBURG — Coach Kevin McDonald believes the 2014 Fryeburg Academy boys track team could be a factor in the state championship meet. Check that. He expects them to threaten for a state championship; and he doesn't expect that the Raiders will need to rely on an emotionally-charged performance.

According to McDonald, "We need to approach the state meet this year in a more business-like manner. Everybody just needs to do their job and we will be in the running."

The Raiders have a number of seasoned veterans who experienced success at the State Meet last year and are coming off stellar indoor track seasons. Senior Forrest Stearns reach the podium in the 400 meters last spring, and he qualified for the New England's this winter.

Junior TJ Rose can run any distance event starting with the 800. Rose, along with sophomore Patrick Carty and seniors Eric Hannes and Tyler O'Keefe, formed a New England qualifying 4 x 800 squad in indoor track. This group of middle and long-distance runners will lead the way and could stand atop the podium at the State Meet this June collectively and individually.

Dacota Griffin will provide tremendous depth at the 400 while also scoring points in the pole vault.

Elijah Thompson will garner points for the Raiders in the sprints, and he also could place at the State Meet. Others who could score for the Raiders at states are Will Price in the discus and senior Andrew Lyman in the shot put. McDonald says of Lyman: "Of course you never know what will happen at a one day event, but I would not be surprised at all to make a phone call back to Sue Thurston to tell her that Andrew Lyman won the state shot put title."

A key newcomer could also provide some valuable points at the state meet. Athletic senior Jayquan Causer, an outstanding post player this basketball season, is out for track for this first time. He is working with the throwers and McDonald says he has good footwork. If he continues to progress under the tutelage of field event coach Joe Minnich, Causer could be a factor at the State Meet.

A couple of other first-year team members could contribute as well. Ninth grader Spencer Thomas is coming off a good indoor season and he could contribute in the 200 and 400 meter events. Colt Whitten, who moved to Fryeburg from Pennsylvania this year, should contribute in the triple and long jump.

McDonald acknowledges that Waterville is the favorite at the State Meet in most peoples' opinion, but if the Raiders stay healthy and they all do their jobs, they could surprise a few people. Raider fans already know what this exciting and athletic group with established resumes is capable of accomplishing.

The Raiders are slated to open the regular season on Friday, May 2 when they play hosts to Gray-New Gloucester and Cape Elizabeth.

Fryeburg has five regular season meets scheduled with the regular season slated to end May 31 at home in a meet against Lake Region at 9 a.m. Regional, Conference and the State Championships will follow.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 02:29

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Raider baseball looking to overcome inexperience

By Charlie Tryder

FRYEBURG — The 2014 Fryeburg Academy Raider baseball team returns one starter. Making the season even more challenging, a large portion of the team will be away over the April break when the season gets started. Despite this, if the Raiders can weather the early season storm and if first-year varsity players produce, first-year coach Greg Corbin believes that the Raiders could finish the season as a very competitive team.

Corbin is not terribly concerned with wins and losses at this point, and his focus entering the season will be upon simply playing the best baseball the Raiders can play. "We will look to play inning by inning, pitch by pitch."

Senior captain Billy Rascoe is the lone returning starter. According to Corbin, Rascoe is the team's most advanced hitter and he will bat in the middle of the order. The Raiders will count on him to get on base as well as drive in runs. Rascoe is also Fryeburg's No. 1 starting pitcher.

Corbin admits he expects a lot from Rascoe. "We will count on Billy to lead our team," he said. "Luckily for us, he has an excellent work ethic."

Senior Connor Smith, who played second base last year, will be Rascoe's battery mate. Smith didn't hesitate to jump in behind the plate when the Raiders learned they would be without returning catcher Hunter Day. Corbin believes Smith has the make-up of a catcher. "He is a tough kid. He took a ball off his chin that cut him pretty good, and I like the way he handled himself."

Senior Liam Leconey will be the Raiders No. 2 pitcher. Leconey is a southpaw who has improved dramatically since last year. Corbin likes that he is always around the plate. When not on the mound, Leconey will play in the outfield.

Senior David McGlaughlin can play either corner infield position, and if he gets more disciplined around the strike zone, he should provide the Raiders a solid bat.

Fellow seniors Ryan Buzzell and Gabe Perry did not start last year, but Corbin likes their athleticism. Perry can play outfield, but will likely see most of his time at second base. Buzzell is an outfielder. Both have the wheels to create havoc on the base paths.

A group of juniors will form the bulk of the Raider team. Willie McFawn will play a number of positions. He will be a backup catcher, an outfielder and a third baseman. Corbin feels he will also contribute to the team in other ways. "Will works hard. He is also a vocal leader, and he will do anything you ask him."

Brandon Ludwig provides the Raiders tremendous versatility. According to Corbin, Ludwig can play any infield position, but he will likely find himself at third-base or shortstop depending upon who is pitching.

Kyle Bennett and Ben Southwick will play primarily in the outfield, but Southwick can also play third base and shortstop. Southwick's speed will be an asset on the bases.

Trevor Henschel brings a solid bat to the Raider offense, and he can play some outfield and second base. If he does not earn a position in the field, he may fill the DH slot.

Sophomore Nick L'Heureux–Carlton will round out the Raider starting pitching staff. He will also play outfield and corner infield. Corbin likes L'Heureux–Carlton's commitment to the game.

Two ninth graders have caught Corbin's attention. Keegan Jones, a pitcher and an outfielder, has been impressive in the batting cage as well as on the mound. He may need some work at the JV level first, but he could contribute at the varsity level before the year is through. William Zeliff appears to be a slick fielding infielder, but he needs improvement at the plate. Like Jones, Zeliff will likely need seasoning first but could step into varsity position later in the year if needed

Corbin will be entering his first year at Fryeburg Academy without much knowledge of the Western Maine Conference or even some of his own players. He is thankful he has longtime FA assistant Stew Frost to work with him. Frost has provided him with background information on teams and the players he has helped develop.

Although Corbin is unsure how this season will unfold, he is having a great time to this point. "We are having a good time and working hard. We may take some lumps early, but it will all come together with time."

Corbin has been impressed with the makeup of the players on his team. He is new, but he feels a connection growing with his players.

"This is a great group of kids," he said. "They shake my hand after every practice. I did not expect this, but it has made me feel welcome. It has made me want to do as much as I can without them have a great season."

Fryeburg was scheduled to open the season at home against Greely on Wednesday. Results were not known as of pres time. The Raiders are slated to close out the week on the road at Wells on Friday for a 1 p.m. contest.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 02:26

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Tennis Eagles should once again be competitive

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — The late arrival of spring means the Kennett High boys tennis team is going to face a hectic schedule once its finally able to get out on to a court.

"After vacation week," Chris Bailey, Eagles' head coach, said, "we're looking at seven matches in 10 school days. The following week we'll play three matches and then two the week after. The season is basically going to come down to just four weeks. We'll have maybe six practices on our own courts and maybe 10 all year."

While teams in the southern part of the state have been out on their courts for over three weeks, the Eagles went into vacation week still yet to set foot on their courts. They actually held their first practice on an outdoor court Friday afternoon at Davis Park in Conway Village.

"Our nets should go up this week," Bailey said Friday. "With the cold temperatures and the frost still in the ground we haven't been able to put the posts up yet. We've been in the gym predominantly and had one Sunday (indoors) at Cranmore (Resort). It's been a tough first four weeks."

Kennett has already played two matches this spring despite not being able to practice on a court. The Eagles lost 8-1 at Portsmouth on April 9 and 7-2 at Plymouth on April 14.

"The Portsmouth match was a tough one," Bailey explained. "One glaring thing that became apparent from only practicing indoors was our reaction time was way off. In the gym we use foam balls and the ball travels much slower and that threw our timing off."

The Eagles were minus No. 1 singles player Danny Macdonald at Plymouth due to a planned college visit, and were also without Kiefer Bradley, who plays No. 4 singles, but was sidelined with sickness.

"We were missing two of our top six and still almost pulled it out," Bailey said. "We lost three matches 9-7 and had been up 7-5 in two of them. It was definitely much closer than the score indicated."

Last year the sixth seeded Eagles fell 9-0 to third ranked Lebanon on the indoor courts at Dartmouth College in the Division II quarterfinals. The match was a lot closer than the final score would indicate and Coach Bailey's troops would welcome the opportunity to play the Red Raiders again.

"I think we'd be up for playing them again," Bailey said. "I know our guys would like another shot."

Kennett went 11-3 during the regular season with loses to Portsmouth, the No. 1 seeds, and Oyster River, the fifth ranked playoff team in Division II.

In singles: No.1 Max Reed (L) def Danny Macdonald 8-5; No. 2 Nabeel Khan (L) def Kyle Blakely 8-2 No. 3 Will Sanborn (L) def Nicky Sullivan 8-4; No. 4 Jeff Purdy (L) def Greg Miller 8-0; No. 5 Wyatt Goodwin (L) def Luke Tinkham 8-0; and No. 6 Jacob Ryder (L) def Curt Niller 8-3.

In doubles: No. 1 Reed/Khan (L) def Macdonald/Blakely 8-5; No. 2 Sanborn/Purdy (L) def Sullivan/Miller 8-3; and No. 3 Ryder / Goodwin (L) def Tinkham/Kieffer Bradley 8-3.

The Eagles lost four seniors to graduation last June in Sullivan, Miller, Niiler and Robert Schrader.

The Eagles are coming off a 11-3 season and top eight finish in Division II last year. For some strange reason only eight out of 21 schools make the Division II playoffs while 12 out of 20 teams make tournament in Division III boys lacrosse.

Macdonald, a senior, will play No. 1 singles for the second straight year for Kennett. Junior Kyle Blakely is also back in the No. 2 spot. Macdonald/Blakely, who played in the state doubles tournament last year, will once again the Eagles' No. 1 tandem.

Senior Luke Tinkham is playing No. 3 singles followed by Bradley, No. 4; Fritz Carr, who Bailey describes as "athletic, quick and a competitor," is at No. 5; and senior Tim Avery at No. 6 at the moment.

"From No. 4 on down that could change as the season goes on, we have a ton of kids who are at a similar level," Bailey said.

Three freshmen who could see net action include Logan Hagerty, Darren Piotrow and Will Synnott; sophomores include Mark Kelsey and Bryce Harrison; and juniors Will Streeter, Sam Sires, Tanat Ghanjai, Nikos Tsoules and Bo Yalenezian.

There are about 20 boys out for the team and Bailey hopes to line up a few junior varsity matches.

Bailey is "cautiously optimistic," about the Eagles and believes they should be in the playoff mix.

"Obviously we're disappointed about the Plymouth loss, but when we have everybody I think we'll be competitive," he said.

The Eagles are scheduled to host their first home match Tuesday when Oyster River (1-2) visits the Jon C. Judge Tennis Park at 4 p.m.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 02:16

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