BASEBALL (collaboration with Waynflete)
coach bus: Paul Grazia (seventh year)
2021 record: 12-6 (lost, 4-3, to Lisbon in the Class C South Quarterfinals)
highest return players: Daniel Nunn (Senior), Liam Slocum (Senior), Payton Smith (Senior), Cole Lambert (Junior), Conor Wolverton (Junior)
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 from a strong 2021 season, we are excited for the upcoming season and believe 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 opportunities for players to take on new roles and keep developing. All the players have worked hard and we have a lot of depth This will help us throughout a long season. It will be exciting to continue to see how the team develops throughout the year as the players take on new roles and compete and challenge themselves every day. Consistency in attack and defense will be key to us, and we look forward to improving last year’s record and making another playoff Our schedule is tough and all the teams in our conference are competitive, but I think we have the depth and ability to compete for a place in the playoffs this spring.”
forecast forecast: The Waynflete/North Yarmouth Academy co-op had a great season a year ago, and it was the best program of the century. This year’s team has some key players to replace, but look for the team to stay competitive in the Southern C-Class.
The Wolverton match will be difficult for the opponent. Slocumb (who hit .302 with 11 points and 10 stolen bases in 2021) is a veteran captain, while Noone and Smith lead the shooter. Juniors Cal Ness, Nolan Pekora and sophomore Cole Lambert will watch time on the hill. Juniors project Jack Burns, Oliver Eames and Lincoln Smith to play bigger roles. Sophomores Ethan Brochu, Cooper St Helier and Daxton St Helier are the main newcomers who will strengthen the roster.
Waynflete/NYA will be tested as the season progresses, but this team flipped last year and could very much be involved in research again in June.
coach bus: Peter Gerrity (year 6, total record 29-41)
2021 record: 9-6 (lost, 11-4, to eventual champion Winfleet in the Class C state semifinals)
The best returning players: Henry Bergeron (Senior), Elliot Oni (Senior), Chas Rudy (Senior), James Turini (Senior), Caleb Waterman (Senior), Jack Curtis (Jr), Jonah Donnelly (Junior), Seamus Rhode (Jr), White Thomas (Junior), Brayden Warda (Junior), Alex Winall (Junior)
pivotal games: APRIL 14 WAYNFLETE APRIL 30 GARDINER May 7 YORK May 14 @ Greely May 21 @ Oak Hill June 1 @ Yarmouth
Coach’s Comment: “We’re off to a good start. We have a lot of comebacks. It’s great to have such highly skilled veterans in every position. So many players were frustrated with the way it turned out last year and worked so hard. Our goal is to win Class C.”
forecast forecast: The NYA title reign ended last June with a shock decisive loss to Ultimate Champion Infinity in the semi-finals. The Panthers have been worried about that setback ever since and now have a chance to do something about it, starting Thursday, when they opened the regular season against those same pilots.
All four league stars return this spring to NYA. Bergeron is one of them. He’s using his size and sportsmanship in defense to help lock in some of the opposing top scorers. He’s joined by Seamus Rhode (whom Geriti calls “the Medium and the Fast”), sophomore Caleb King and Wignal, the long-distance broker, to make life miserable for opponents. Curtis returns in goal. He saw some time in some big games last season and will be ready for the challenge. The attack begins in the midfield, where Donnelly, Thomas and Torini will face confrontations. Another midfielder to watch is Unni Waterman (last season’s All-Star star). Above, look for Chas Rohde and Warde, both superstars in 2021, to do their share of goals. Freshman Zach Leinward is a major newcomer who will also be on the offensive.
While Thursday’s contest will be important for bragging rights, what happens in June is what matters most, and NYA is obligated and determined to be at its best when the postseason season begins. This squad is ready to return to the top and it would not be wise to bet against the Panthers.
lacrosse for girls
coach bus: Molly Moss Stokes (first year)
2021 record: 7-6 (lost, 11-10, to Lake District in Class C state quarterfinals)
The best returning players: Maggie Holt (Large), Laila Jackson (Large), Emma Sharp (Large), Elif Yilmaz (Large), Fe Tran (Junior),
pivotal games: April 14 Wainfleet, April 21 Freeport, April 27 @ Greeley, May 4 York, May 11 @ Lake Region, May 19 Cape Elizabeth, May 21 @ Freeport
Coach’s Comment: “We have a huge team this year. Lots of raw sports talent from other sports. We are trying to create a new team culture of competitiveness and winning. I am excited for this season.”
forecast forecast: NYA returns to the future this spring, as Moss-Stokes takes charge of its alma mater. When Molly Moss, the 2005 class, was one of the state’s top players and went on to play at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts. After serving as Julia Sterling’s assistant last season, Moss-Stokes took charge of the team that could run top in Class C before it was all said and done.
Return of the Panthers Holt, who was the first All-Star team last season. You will score a lot of goals at the top. Holt was joined in the attack by Sharp Wilmaz. Tran will tie and cement the midfield alongside Jackson. NYA is pretty young in defense, but it has some great athletes with household names to turn to. Senior Jazzy Huntsman and juniors Charlotte Harper-Cunningham, Josie Harper Cunningham and Angel Huntsman (already named School Athlete of the Year this fall and winter) will look to protect the target against either Senior Hakim Moulton or Junior Jess Merrill.
NYA will be chasing last year’s state finalists, Winfleet and Freeport, the two Panthers teams that just opened. NYA will have some growing pains along the way, but this team should be pretty good by the time the playoffs come. Don’t be surprised if the Panthers put it all together and made it to the final match of the season.
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coach bus: Charlie Hudson (year 43, two state championships)
2021 record: 6-7 (lost, 5-0, to eventual state champion Wainfleet in the Class C Southern semifinals)
The best returning players: Bryce Boleyn (Senior), Noah Cylander (Senior), Finlay Geepvert (Junior), Nate Unni (Junior)
Coach’s Comment: “We’re bringing the whole team back, except for one doubles player. As always, Waynflete is the team to beat in Category C. We’re also looking to have competitive games with Freeport and Greeley. We lost 3-2 close matches to them last year.”
forecast forecast: NYA is off its best season since 2014, and the Panthers feature several talent returning this spring, suggesting they will be the best-equipped team to possibly derail Waynflete’s quest for a 14th consecutive Class C title.
Pauline (All-Star 1st Team in 2021) and Sealander (WMC 2nd Team) are back in the singles. They’ve been in these roles since their new season. Gepfert played the third single a year ago and also came back. Oni (who made the World Aquatics Championships double the All-Star Team last spring) might be in competition for that spot, too. The doubles team will be a mix of senior Aidan Lacombe, rookies Aidan Farion, Colin Roderick and Ethan Schutz, and freshman Jack Hebert.
NYA is preparing to do big things in the coming weeks.
coach bus: Lorena Coffin (year 12, five state championship)
2021 record: 0-11 (no postseason)
The best returning players: Emma Rothrock (Senior), Maddy Procopius (Student), Sasha Schutz (Student)
Coach’s Comment: “Our goal is to have a cohesive team that is competitive with players who enjoy tennis, achieve their personal goals and stay healthy throughout the season. We are still working on challenging matches to define the tennis ladder, but with a lot of new, strong athletes and returning players who have worked their matches during the season. Winter, the team should have a competitive lineup.”
forecast forecast: NYA is looking to return to the feud this spring and there are promising signs.
Procopius and Captain Rothrock and Schutz are veterans. Students Lauren Casey, Haley Hegarty and Charlotte McClatchy, along with freshmen Anna Ilizarkov, Athena Gee and Emily Robbins, add depth and promise for the future.
These Panthers will show steady improvement in the coming weeks, win some matches and reclaim the program as a competitor.