Sports

Coachable Caribou boys should improve throughout season

CARIBOU, Maine — The Vikings have done nothing but stockpile championships during Kyle Corrigan’s first three years as the team’s head coach.

Caribou won Class B state championships in 2019 and 2020 and last year, having to compete in the Aroostook League’s large school division, claimed another title.

This year presents a difficult challenge as a whopping 10 seniors graduated from last year’s squad and only three players return — none of whom accumulated a lot of game experience.

“Getting acclimated to the pace, physicality and adapting to new roles will be a little bit of an adjustment for us this year,” Corrigan said.

The coach said the last three seasons, the Vikings used the same starting lineup throughout the year. This doesn’t look to be the case for the 2021-22 campaign.

The three players back from last year are senior Ari Plante and juniors Avery Thibodeau and Liam Dee. 

Plante is a very athletic guard with great leaping ability and he can hit 3-pointers at a high percentage when shooting with confidence. Thibodeau is one of the team’s best perimeter shooters who has worked hard getting stronger during the off-season, while Dee also worked hard on his game and at 6-3 is a strong rebounder who finishes well near the basket.

Another senior who is back in the area after spending several years in North Carolina is Braeden Sargent. Corrigan said the 6-2 Sargent is a tenacious defender who can score in a variety of ways.

Four other juniors on the Vikings’ roster are Reece Cavagnaro, Wesley LaPointe, Logan Griffeth and Jameson Leahy. Cavagnaro is an athletic guard who can hit from 3-point range and also attack the basket with no fear. LaPointe, at 6-4, is another 3-point ace who can rebound well. Griffeth is one of the team’s hardest workers and has 3-point shooting ability, while Leahy, a 6-2 transfer from Colorado, has a “high motor” at both ends of the floor, according to Corrigan, and doesn’t mind diving for loose balls.

Sophomore guard Dylan Bouchard is a strong defender who can pitch in as a shooter from the perimeter, while freshman Kaymen Sargent is a talented guard who is intelligent and can make plays on both sides of the basketball. Tristan Robbins, at 6-2, is another freshman who is a savvy player who reads the game extremely well, can knock down shots and Corrigan said he’s “willing to do the little things to help his team in any way.”

Corrigan likes what he sees so far from this inexperienced group of players.

“Workouts have been going great,” he said. “The one thing I like about this group is they are extremely coachable. They listen well, ask great questions, make eye contact when you speak to them, and invite feedback,” Corrigan said. “They’ve been extremely receptive to [the coaching staff] correcting them, so I think they are going to be a blast to coach and I can’t wait to see what we can do by the end of the year.”

Brayden Brescia, Cameron Belanger and Jacob Walton are the managers. Ben Rosser and Alex Bouchard are assistant coaches along with Jonah Hudson, who also serves as the junior varsity coach.

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