Hornet boys undergo massive roster turnover

1817 years ago

ASHLAND, Maine — Falling short of making the Class D North playoffs last season was a disappointment for Hornet boys’ head coach Lucas Belanger.

Ashland featured a senior-laden team, with seven on the roster, but finished 4-14 to land in the 13th position out of 15 teams in the division.

“Being on the outside of the playoff picture looking in at the end was hard for my team last year,” Belanger said, “but we had many underclassmen who stepped up and will give this year’s squad some needed experience.”

Frontcourt starters Baily Clark and Steven Bellanceau were the key veterans lost to graduation, but Belanger has added two juniors who did not play last year, plus several others including underclassmen who he thinks will be a boost. Ashland does not have enough players to field a JV program, but 14 make up this year’s varsity squad.

“We are just about starting over due to the departure of last year’s seniors,” Belanger said. “This group of young men however are a fantastic bunch of players. We had some fun and great experiences during our summer program and we will be looking to build on that.”

The Hornets’ top guards, according to Belanger, are senior Dylan Haley and sophomore Josh Celestre, along with junior Drew Doughty and sophomore Sam Craig.

Haley is one of the key returning players after logging big minutes a year ago. Celestre is a hard worker and speedy defender. Belanger said Doughty is very coachable and Craig will be expected to provide valuable minutes when called upon.

The team’s frontcourt rotation will include senior Jesse Wortman, sophomore Blayne Boutot, sophomore Gabe Page and senior Jack Routhier.

Wortman provides team balance and experience, according to Belanger, while Boutot is a younger player who will need to be a presence in the paint. Page is another inexperienced big man who will see time off the bench and Routhier is a capable shooter from the perimeter.

Belanger said Daniel Wortman is a first-year player as a senior, but has been a quick learner. Others on the roster are junior Sean Montpetit, sophomore Lucien Hammond, freshman Lukas Deabay, senior Tristan Pelletier and sophomore Alden Routhier.

Ty Cyr is the team’s manager.

“We have to achieve some working chemistry as a team early to have a chance of making the postseason,” said Belanger, who begins his fourth season at the helm. “We can envision the playoffs, but it will not come easy this year.”