Windham baseball team hopes to make state tourney
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Willimantic - posted Wed., May. 18, 2011
Windham High School’s Whippets baseball team found itself in a similar situation last year - approaching the end of the season without yet having secured a spot in the state tourney. In 2010, the Whips pulled out the wins to get to the post-season, and then were knocked out by number-two seed Haddam-Killingworth.
This year, as of May 16, the Whips had a 4-15 record and needed to win four out of the remaining five games to qualify to compete at the state level. The May 16 game, against East Lyme, was rained out, so the team spent the afternoon practicing in the gym. According to head coach Ken Valliere, the team had a good chance of getting the needed wins. Second-baseman Will Pompa agreed, adding that Stonington and East Lyme would present the biggest challenges of the five games remaining. "If pitching and fielding go well, I think we have a good chance," said Pompa. "We've improved a lot in our hitting over the season."
Regarding the team's record thus far, "We're not giving our pitchers support defensively," said assistant coach Bill Pompa. "We're not getting it together offensively. Put those two together, we're not putting together the runs that we need. It's frustrating, especially for the seniors."
"We've got five sophomores starting, one freshman. We've only got four seniors," said Valliere. "In that sense, it's a young team."
The Whippets’ final home game is scheduled for Monday, May 23, against Ledyard High School, beginning at 4 p.m.
This is Ken Valliere's 16th year coaching the Windham varsity baseball team. Valliere also coaches girls’ basketball, and this year led the team to the Division M state championship. According to his team, Valliere is passionate, dedicated and loves to compete. "He hates to lose," said senior Nick Faba.
"Coach is really dedicated," added senior Will Pompa. "He's fun to be around. He has a lot of knowledge to share with the team."
Senior Nick Faba has stepped up to be the Whippets’ strongest pitcher, after his transfer from Windham Tech this year. Faba has been playing baseball all his life. He also plays basketball. Faba plans to attend college in the fall, but hasn't yet committed to a school. He'd like to play baseball, "if I'm able to," he said.
Senior Shawn Toussaint (outfielder) has also been playing baseball all his life, and plays on the basketball team with Faba and Dupont. Toussaint plans to attend Eastern Connecticut State University next year, and would like to try out for the JV baseball program there.
Senior Joe Dupont plays basketball as well as baseball. He is currently serving as the team's catcher. Dupont plans to attend UConn next year, and would like to try out for the baseball team.
Senior Will Pompa currently plays second base for the Whippets. He also plays football. Pompa plans to attend James Madison University in the fall, where he plans to try out for the JV team.