Prep Profiles 2022-23 Season: Bridgton Academy
Same old story, a whole new group at Bridgton. The former NEPSAC powerhouse, which won the league’s top championship four times in five years from 2005-2009.
While the make-ups of these teams have ultmately changed drastically, we have still seen our fair share of D1 players work their way through the gym, including Washington State alum (and former Bridgton assistant) Carter Skaggs, current Texas A&M forward Fardaws Aimaq, and even current MLB pitcher Amir Garrett, who suited up for St. Johns before pursuing professional baseball opportunities.
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.
3 Things You Need to Know About This Year’s Team
They have a lot of depth on the wing
6’5 stat-stuffer Karl Yonkeu headlines the group including a pair of incoming two year players, 6’5 DJ Reed and Maine’s own Kalvin Catchings. 6’4 Jackson Brennan has impressed so far with his effort and court IQ. A pair of Prodigy Basketball Club wings add their talents to the mix in 6’5 athletic slasher Markus Nordin and 6’5 strong, handyman Lucas Mouthaan. 6’5 Nolan Leary also brings energy and shot-making to this group.
Intriguing guard options are at their disposal
6’3 guard Miles Klapper leads the backcourt with plenty of help from smart combo guard Trevon Rochester-Thomas, Tjark Lademacher, and hard-nosed 6’0 Seattle product James Neuburger. Texan Anthony Solomon, Arizonan Justin Watson, and DTX (CT) grad Lorenzo Almonte round out the guards.
Three prospects give them size in the frontcourt
6’8 Seth Joba from New York brings skill, toughness, and multiple D1 offers to the front-court as an emerging standout. He is anchored by smooth 6’9 Austin Vick from Missouri and 7’0 rim protector Mamadou Kane.
3 Questions Heading into the Season
Will the players buy into Coach Lesure’s philosophy?
With their balanced roster from top to bottom, Coach Lesure shared an important quote. He stated, “we have got to make our depth, roles, and rotations a friend and not our enemy. It is always easier said than done for players to fully be bought into this kind of philosophy when it means they may be getting less minutes or shots. How much the team follows Coach Lesure’s lead could ultimately decide if they reach their ceiling.
Will their overall depth be able to mask their lack of top end Division One talent?
NEPSAC AAA has proven to consistently be one of the best high school leagues in the country with the large number of high major division one prospects who compete. While this squad has a lot of players who can contribute in the league, there is no sure fire top 100 national player. It will be something to monitor but Coach Lesure has made it work in situations like these before.
With this being a heavy frontcourt team, which guard will break out?
It will be helpful if one of the guards could really emerge to help out with the many responsibilities that the frontcourt will have. Miles Klapper is one of the leading candidates. The southpaw can take opponents off the dribble with crossover moves, hit three-pointers when pulling up, along with making good half-court passing reads if a defender collapses on him. Some of the other potential guards mentioned before like Trevon Rochester-Thomas, Tjark Lademacher, and James Neuburger also have potential.