Prep Profile - Bridgton Academy
The story has been told many times over in the last five plus years.
Bridgton Academy was once on top of the prep school basketball universe, as the banners that still hang over top of their bench can attest to.
Recent years have been different though, as they have at so many other prep schools, where fiscal survival supersedes athletic success. So now, with financial aid hard to come by, Bridgton Academy fights to stay competitive on an annual basis in the most competitive prep school basketball league in the country.
What hasn’t changed, and is worth repeating once again, is the approach of the coach, Whit Lesure. Ten years ago his gym was full only of mid to high-major talent who were ripe to win championships. Now, that same gym is full of guys fighting for better financial packages or maybe some scholarship looks. He walks into that gym with no less enthusiasm though, no less passion to teach the game of basketball and that same one-of-a-kind dose of reality, mixed with both intensity and a sense of humor.
But Whit isn’t the only Lesure at Bridgton Academy this year as his son, Jack Lesure, has come on board for a post-graduate season after previously starring at nearby Lake Region High School, where he led the team to a state championship in his senior season.
Lesure is just what you would expect from a coach’s son, especially this coach’s son. He’s as tough as he is smart, mature beyond his years and a true competitor who will do whatever is necessary to help the team.
Bobby Planutis, a 6-foot-7 forward from Pennsylvania, is perhaps the most talented prospect on this year’s roster. Having arrived with division I offers already in hand, he’s continuing to expand his game on a consistent basis and will likely reap the rewards in his recruitment before too long.
This year’s team also has a bit of size up front with Sidy Sissoko, a 6-foot-9 big man who is originally from Mali but most recently played his high school basketball in California. A good athlete with a strong body, Sissoko will give the Wolverines the type of physical presence they’ve lacked in recent years as he’ll be capable of physically holding his own against some of AAA’s best.
Marc Silas will headline the perimeter. The southpaw guard comes to Maine from Las Vegas and brings with him some big time burst, both in terms of his first step and ability to elevate. Tommy Kelly, a scrappy and skilled guard from upstate New York, will also contribute big minutes on the perimeter.
Joe Siegler is a bigger guard who played with the ball in his hands in Illinois high school basketball, but may be most effective sliding off the ball and basing his game on his shot-making at this level.
Connecticut native Mike Servetas and New York native Tim Gersec are both multi-positional types of utility players who have impressed so far this well and figure to play important minutes this season.
Ian O’Brien, Jack Porter and Dimitri Ivey could fill out the rest of the rotation.
Ultimately, the season won’t be about chasing a championship, it hasn’t been for quite a few years now. But if these kids come together to become more than the sum of their individual parts and prove they can hold collectively their own in Class AAA of the NEPSAC, they’ll all see the individual benefit with regard to their recruitment and college placement. And for Whit Lesure, banner or not, that chapter in his storied coaching career will be no less impressive.