The Gorham Times, Gorham, Maine's Community Newspaper

Sports Editor

Girls’ Basketball: Coach Laughn Berthiaume is in his 11th year, and brings a 2017 undefeated record and state championship to the court, but lost several key players to graduation (Emily Esposito, Kaylea Lundin, and Kristen Curley). This year, he will be looking to these key returners: Mackenzie Holmes (18 ppg, 9.6 rpg, 4.8 block per game, MAA Co-Player of the Year, All Maine State Team), Michelle Rowe, Courtney Brent, Brittany Desjardin, and Jacqui Hamilton. Berthiaume said, “They [key graduates] were excellent leaders and they have taught the returners on the current roster how to prepare to be successful. The players that we lost all played the guard position so our game is going to shift to the post this year. It is always important to play inside out, but this year the inside game will be our strength.” He added that, with seven returning players, including two starters, “Michelle Rowe, the lone senior, and Mackenzie Holmes will return to the starting lineup again this year. They will be expected to take a more vocal leadership role and provide scoring.” The team faces a differently challenging schedule, as the coach explained: “This year we have picked up crossover games with Oxford Hills, Edward Little, and Lewiston in AA North and Greely and Westbrook in Class A South. This will give us 17 different teams on our schedule, which will be a challenge in itself. We will need to be a more defensive-minded team to be successful and games will be lower scoring then they have been in the recent past. We have added three freshmen to the roster who are all competing to be impact players. The attitude, communication, and energy has been great so far.”

Boys’ Basketball: Coach Mark Karter is in his fifth year at the helm. He named the following key players: Sean Pocock, 6’3” SR forward; Nick Strout, 5’10” SO Guard; Tom Nelson, 6’ JR Forward; Jordan Bretton, 5’10” SO Guard, and Ryan Reno, 6’6” SO Center. Karter named the following key rivalry games: Bonny Eagle, Windham and Westbrook, and said they’re “always intense and draw big crowds.” As for the season’s outlook, he said, “The Gorham Rams Boys’ Basketball Team has no returning starters from a 5-15 team that lost in last years semi-finals. This year’s team is very young at all positions, and will look to gain experience and mature as the season progresses. Gorham will look to play an up-tempo style and create shots through tough defense. The Rams will also look to incorporate the three-point shot much more than they have in the past, with multiple players capable of shooting a high percentage.”

Girls’ Indoor Track and Field: Coach John Caterina is at the helm of a team he described as a “veteran group led by some talented seniors with big-meet experience.” He named the following key athletes by year: Seniors: Anna Slager, distance, captain; Meadow Fortier, mid-distance, captain; Bridget Rossignol, hurdles/jumps, captain; Sarah Johnson, distance. Juniors: Evelyn Kitchen, jumps and throw, captain; Lauren Barden, pole vault; Avery Germond, sprints; Alice Riiska, jumps. Sophomores: Iris Kitchen, distance; Kate Tugman, distance; Peyton Morton, hurdles; Quinn Young, jumps. Freshmen: MacKenna Homa, mid-distance/PV; Nevaeh Moore, sprints. Caterina said, “With several members of the XC Regional Champions competing on the track this winter, Gorham’s strength will be in the mid-distance and distance races. Gorham will also be strong in the jumps and throws. Overall, Gorham should be one of the top teams in the SMAA and be very competitive in the Class A state meet in February.”

Boys’ Indoor Track and Field: Coach Jason Tanguay and his team went 10-8 last winter. Tanguay named the following as key returning athletes: Wes Brinegar, SO, hurdles and jumps; Jason Catoggio, SR, pole vault; Anthony Chase, SR, distance; David Drew, SR, sprints; Ryan Farr, SO, sprints; Luke Gowen, SR, sprints; Wil Rossignol, SR, middle distance; Stefan Street, SR, pole vault. The January 3 meet against Massabesic, Portland and Windham will be a big one to watch. Tanguay said, “I have seen some of our veterans putting in the extra effort necessary in the off-season so I am looking forward to watch them progress this upcoming season.”

Boys’ Hockey: Coach Jon Portwine named the following players to watch: Lucas Roop, SR/F, Jack Richards, SR/D, Ben Eichner, SR/D, Garrett Babineau, SR/G, Tanner Garand, JR/F, Trevor Gray, JR/F-D, Cole Perreault, SO/F-D, and Peter Richards SO/D. He assessed that, “After a disappointing season a year ago and missing the playoffs for the first time in years, this team will be hungry to redeem the program’s winning ways and make a playoff run.” The schedule will be similar to last season with the Class B match-ups, but adds some fan excitement as it will “feature a return to some old Class A rivals.” Portwine has the advantage of many returning players, but did lose the top two goal scorers to graduation. He said, “Offense will need to come from many sources and need to be created by puck movement and team work. Defensively the team should be strong with all defensemen from a year ago returning. How well the team gels over the course of the season will determine how far it can go.”

Cheerleading: Coach Julie Dvilinsky (GHS ’86) has been coaching the Rams since 2009. Abegayle Brown (GHS ’12) joins the team as assistant coach. Dvilinsky named the following key athletes: Nathan Brown, Lauren Nagy, Michaela Desrosier, Olivia Garand and Rachel Jean. She offered that, “This team has the same drive and goal as the 2017 team. However, their stunting will be even more difficult than years’ past.” The team’s goals are to win the SMAA Title for the 4th consecutive year, place top-3 at both Regionals and States, and return to the New England Championships. The seasoned coach explained that, “With a team of mostly veteran members, we are stronger in stunting and tumbling. Our philosophy this year is that Technique Wins. We have to place all our focus on building a technically sound team and routine.”

Look for updates and observations on girls’ hockey, alpine skiing, and swimming in the next issue.