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Hudson~Litchfield News

Hudson~Litchfield News Volume 21 Number 33 March 11, 2011 20 Pages

Lady Cougars Earn State Championship Title with Victories over White Mountain and Defending Champ Conant

by Marc Ayotte The site was the field house on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University this past Saturday, March 5. The event was the Division III girls’ basketball state championship game between number-one seeded Campbell, with a 19-1 record, and number-two seeded Conant at 18-2. With a staggering first-quarter offensive explosion combined with tremendous defensive intensity, CHS went on to defeat archrival Conant by a score of 42-33, thus capturing the Lady Cougar basketball program’s first-ever state title. The victory also completed the very-difficult-to-achieve, three-game season sweep of the Orioles. But to even have a chance of

avenging last year’s finals loss to the vaunted black and orange, Campbell had to get through the semifinals. On Wednesday, the Cougars went up against the Spartans of White Mountains High School. In a very sloppy contest, the big-stage playoff jitters were apparent for both teams. Despite uncharacteristic missed lay- ups, ’air-balls’ from the perimeter, and turnovers, CHS was able to forge a ’winning ugly,’ 25-11 halftime lead. A third quarter ’tres’ by junior Liz

Pettis pushed the Cougar lead to 30-11 with 5:55 left. The lid remained on the White Mountain rim, as the number- four seed did not score their first points of the second half until 2:18 showed on the clock. Another Pettis triple

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Te Cougar team of players, coaches, and managers celebrate their championship win over Conant

pushed the lead to 24 and a quarter- ending hoop by Rebecca Arnone gave Campbell a 41-15, warm-up-the bus lead after three quarters. Despite the commanding lead,

Liz Pettis (#10) and Kristen Hrubowchak (#15) proudly raise the girls’ Division III championship plaque

Cougars Rebecca Arnone (#23) and Liz Pettis celebrate their 42-33 win over Conant for the state title

Coach Shawn Flynn continued, with justification, to leave his starters in until very late in the game. He pointed out the need to maintain his team’s chemistry and intensity for a full 32 minutes: “These girls really worked hard. Our team chemistry is at an all-time high … This is their first game on a big floor, they have to stay in [the game]. Our players, coaches, and trainer have worked too many

hours to lay an egg.” With 1:15 left in the game, the Cougars’ ticket to the finals was unofficially punched by the hundreds of CHS faithful, whose victorious chant resonated in the SNHU field house: “It’s All Over.” Officially, Campbell’s 52-28 win now set up the long-anticipated battle with Conant, who defeated Fall Mountain 38-35 in the other semifinal match-up held earlier in the evening. The Cougar rout was led by Arnone with 16 points and nine boards, followed by Kristen Hrubowchak with 14 points along with nine helpers. Pettis finished with 11 points and

five steals in a fine defensive effort. “The coaching staff dedicated a full year to this, starting a minute after last year’s loss to Conant,” reflected Coach Flynn on losing to Conant in the finals last year. Senior standout Hrubowchak shared her views on what was now confirmed to be the fourth consecutive final four match-up with the team from Jaffrey: “We want to play Conant. Conant and Campbell are the two top teams. It’s gonna be such a good game. To be the best, you have to beat the best.”

continued to page 7- Lady Cougars

It Was All for Zach:A Day of Remembrance

by Doug Robinson All eyes, most masked with dark sunglasses, strained as they focused on the 16 doves circling above their heads. The cloudless, Crayola-blue sky was dotted with 16 pure-as-the- snow, white doves. Now forming their traditional patterns, the doves continued to fly at incredible speed, change their course of direction in an instant, and circle above the big, red barn at Countrybrook Farms.

Necole and dad Mike. As each parent opened their hands, outstretching and lifting, the doves dipped and then darted as they flew off and up. Then, Zach’s brothers Christopher and Nicholas twisted the silver lock, opening the two gated white cages, and the remaining 14 doves followed suit.

During the release of the white

Parents Necole and Mike Tompkins take a minute and pray before they release the doves into the skies above

The first two doves were released

by the hands that nurtured, nested, and loved Zach the most: his mother

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doves, on the other side of town, voters of Hudson were deciding whether or not to support Zach’s dream to build a football stadium as they cast their vote for Article 15, “Shall the Town of Hudson ratify an agreement between the Board of Selectmen and the Hudson-Litchfield Youth Football and Cheer [and] agree to build the ‘Zachary Tompkins Memorial Field’” football fields. Business billboards and voting signs have dotted the Hudson landscape in remembrance and memory of Zach. In addition, Presentation of Mary Academy held a Memorial Service and luncheon on this, Zach’s first anniversary of his passing. For the past year, the community of Hudson has rallied around the Tompkins family offering support and comfort to not only the family, but also to one another. Hudson has come together and grown as a stronger family, continuing to “never give up.” As the Tompkins family has grieved, so

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Tompkins, Zach’s view of the world was quite special. Zach believed that it was better to give than to receive. Zach learned this important lesson not only from his very caring parents, but also from the Hudson community, or “village” that actively participated in “raising” him.

While the empty crate serves as a reminder of the just-released doves, Necole and Mike hold each other close as they search the skies following the flight of the doves circling above

has the Hudson community. The community continues to “never forget” and is determined to fulfill this child’s dream.

As seen through the young and innocent eyes of 11-year-old Zachary

At only 11 years old, Zach passed away from a condition referred to as Long QT syndrome Type 2 (LQT2). LQT2 is purely a cardiac electrophysiological disorder, characterized by a heartbeat that does not act normally. Those who suffer with this genetic mutation may be faced with sudden, fast, erratic, and chaotic heartbeat. These rapid heartbeats may trigger a sudden fainting spell. These fainting spells are typically precipitous and without any warning. In some cases, the heart may beat erratically for so long that it can cause sudden death. Rarely, LQT2 may occur during sleep or arousal from sleep. “Zach never gave up on

anything in life. Zach lived his life as a positive reflection of his classmates, his community,

his church, his sports buddies, his brothers, and of his parents.” Remembering the advice once given to her by Zach, fifth-grade PMA student, friend, and classmate Ashley Eppolito writes, “Be happy, you never know

Taylor Morin sings her original song, “Never Give Up,” while Zach’s brother Chris plays the guitar during the releasing of doves at Countrybrook Farms

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what tomorrow might bring. There’s no such thing as a bad day, because you never know a bad day until it meets you.”

All who knew Zach comment as to

how much of a happy child Zach was. He always had a smile on his face. He would let his brothers win at

Spring Ahead! March 13th

staff photos by Marc Ayotte

staff photos by Doug Robinson

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