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20 - March 18, 2011

Pelham~Windham Sports Pelham~Windham Sports

Wolf Pack Falls to Somersworth in Hockey Semis Sophomore goalie Brendan O’Connell makes a nice third-period save in semifinal action

by Marc Ayotte The Everett Arena in Concord was the host site for this year’s Division III boys’ hockey semifinal action. Coming off an impressive 4-2 quarterfinals road victory over Belmont-Gilford, the 13-5 Wolf Pack went up against number- one seed powerhouse Somersworth. In catching a very young and inexperienced team in the limelight, the undefeated Hilltoppers, with an overwhelming display of speed, discipline, and confidence, carved their way to the championship game by beating up on the Pack by a final score of 10-3. Somersworth with the win joined 2010 state champ Kennett High School as the two schools that will battle for this year’s state crown. The Somersworth scoring assault was

led by senior forward Jaret Canney, who lit the lamp three times for the hat trick. It was far from a one-man show, however, as six other players registered goals for the experienced Hilltoppers. Scoring early and often, Canney started things for his team when he scored

4:52 after the opening puck drop. Just over two minutes later, Somersworth’s Matti Doxter’s shot through a screen slid past Wolf Pack netminder Caitlin Re and bounced in off the far post to increase the lead to 2-0. It soon was apparent that the bigger, faster, and very opportunistic Hilltoppers were simply skating at another level, taking a 4-0 lead into the first intermission. A disappointed but very gracious and proud Wolf Pack Head Coach Doug Watson commented on his first year varsity team’s semifinal appearance: “To make it this far this year was phenomenal. By far, we are the youngest team in the league. Somersworth has a great team; [during the season] we were the only team to score four goals on them. They play very good defensive hockey, very sound hockey.” Watson continued with his season-long optimistic approach: “There are 14 other teams that would have loved to be in our locker room—there is no need to hang our heads. They were an absolute

PHS Seniors Receive Scholar-Athlete Award

machine – we gave them a run, but came up short – [you] can’t take that away from Somersworth.” Post-game adulation aside, the Hilltoppers came out in the second period and continued their dominance. Offensively, they took advantage of every little Pelham-Windham mistake, and when that wasn’t happening they forced turnovers and created their own scoring opportunities. A very tight and disciplined defensive unit shut down any offense the Pack attempted to mount, including shutting down Nick ‘Scorin’ Morin, the leading scorer for the combined schools of Pelham and Windham. To start the middle period, the young and feisty Pack gave their fans some hope when one of their two fab frosh scorers, Porter Carelli at :55, notched his second playoff goal in as many games to cut the Somersworth lead to 4-1. Unfortunately, one minute and six seconds later saw the first of two quick Somersworth goals, virtually putting the game out of reach. Trailing 7-1 with about three minutes remaining in the period, the Pack made a goalie change by sending in sophomore Brendan O’Connell for the besieged senior Re. The Hilltoppers were certainly looking ahead to stretching their undefeated streak to 21 games in the championship contest, as they led by six goals after two periods of play. In an unforgiving, ‘Energizer Bunny- like’ relentless display, Somersworth scored two early third-period goals, pushing the lead to a merciless 9-1. But in typical, never-say-die Wolf Pack character, which was displayed all season by this group of young skaters, the Pack made a statement. Tri-captain Morin was shut down no longer as he beat Somersworth goalie Peter Robertson for the Pack’s second goal of the evening and his second of the playoffs—Morin and the other fab frosh scorer Dustin Lubinger led the Pack in playoff goals with two

apiece. Moments later, sophomore Zach Malone got his name in the post- season scoring column when he scored the final goal of a very successful Pelham-Windham high school hockey season.

Nick ‘Scorin’ Morin beats Robertson stick side with his last goal of a brilliant scoring season You know, it’s not often that a

Assistant Coach Neil O’Connell summed up the Pack’s first varsity season: “This has been a phenomenal year. I could not have any higher respect for the players on this team. They have worked hard all year, and have done everything we have asked of them. They can truly be proud of what they have accomplished. The year cannot be construed as anything but a huge success. This team certainly made its mark this year; we heard it from opposing coaches all year long. A first-year varsity team going to the semifinals is big. The great thing about this team is its youth. We are losing only one player to graduation; the rest of the team will be returning. We plan on making an even stronger showing next year.

chance comes along to be involved with building a high school program. I think that how this team has come together can stand as an example of how to do it. Both schools have shown great support from the students, to both the ADs, to the booster clubs and parents. And we could not have had a greater bunch of players. I am grateful to have been a part of it.” Coach Watson also offered his reflections: “We had a great year. I’m looking forward to next year; we’ll be bigger, stronger, faster, and have even a better year when compared with what happened to us with the injuries.” The leader of the Pack was referring to two prominent scorers in Colin Begin and Alec Paradis, who sustained season- ending injuries about halfway through the campaign. “They both have wonderful hockey skills; both are core players,” added Watson.

WHS Women’s Swimmers Crowned Champs at New England High School Meet

Scholar-Athlete Award honorees, front row: Peter Soonthornprapuet, Ethan Ely, Mikayla Culleton, Meagan Walker, Katie O’Hearn, Alex Catalano, Kelsi Lynde, Ben Bradbury-Koster, Tyler Racca. Back row: Cam Costello, Warren Greenhalgh, Shawn Robidoux, Cortney Parece, Brianna Trainor, Emily Long, Nate Krawczyk, Joe Perrone, and Richard Sullivan

by Marc Ayotte Eighteen Pelham High School seniors were honored this past Monday, March 14, for their excellence in the classroom and sports arena. In a ceremony held at the Capitol Center for the Performing Arts in Concord, the Python student-athletes were among some 300 Division III students recognized at the NHIAA/NHADA co-sponsored event. The two organizations are separate; however, they work closely together for the benefit of student athletes. New Hampshire Governor John Lynch was present at the ceremony, where he addressed the young honorees. The assistant director of the NHIAA, Hank Basil, discussed the criteria for receiving the award: “The requirements are play two varsity sports, maintain an academic average of B+ or better, and be active in community service, as well as being a positive role model in their school. The athletic director and principal nominate candidates.” Specifically, the Pelham High contingent at the

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awards was comprised of 10 boys and eight girls who, combined, represented pretty much every varsity sport that the school offers. In continuing to describe the NHIAA involvement with the award, Basil also added a personal slant: “This is the event that we take the most pride in running; it honors those who demonstrate the values of student leadership and sportsmanship that the NHIAA promotes. Most of these senior candidates are going on to colleges to further their education. As a former Pelham teacher and coach, I took great pride in handing out certificates to all the athletes, but in particular the Pelham contingency.”

As a member of the New Hampshire Athletic Directors Association (NHADA), Pelham’s Athletic Director Todd Kress accompanied the recipients to Concord. To complete the day, Kress took the honorees out to a nice lunch at a local restaurant before returning to the high school.

New Englands Girls’ Team Second Place, 200 Medley Relay

submitted by Rhonda Bleeker The Windham High School (WHS) varsity

women swimmers had several strong performances at the New England High School Swimming Championship on March 3 at the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Swazey Pool. The states of Maine, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire were represented at this meet and the top six swims in each event received medals. The WHS team started and ended on high notes, with top-six finishes in both of their relays. They started out the meet with Meghan O’Connor swimming backstroke, Julia Bushell

submitted by Rhonda Bleeker A group of swimmers from the Rockingham

Area Youth Swim team participated at Regionals in Salem, MA, on February 11-13. Participation at this meet required swimming with a time within a specified range for each event. Some of the top teams in New England participated at this Regional meet. Many of the RAYS swimmers that attended this meet got personal bests (PBs) in their events and several placed among the top swimmers in their age/gender group for individual swims. Of particular note were the consistently strong performances of a very young swimmer, Bradley Valo of Windham, who placed among the top six for his age/gender group in all but one of the numerous events that he competed in at Regionals. Placing in the top 16 in individual events were the following swimmers from Windham, Salem, and Pelham by age and gender: 9-10 Girls: • Sasha McNeal (Salem): 5th in 50 Free and sixth in 100 Free.

• 11-12 Girls: • Ashley Domogala (Windham): 14th in 200 Breast.

8 & Under Boys: • Bradley Valo (Windham): second in 25 Back, third in 25 Fly, 50 Fly, 50 Breast, and 50 Back, fourth in 50 Free and 100 Free, and sixth in 25

swimming breaststroke, Angela Bleeker swimming butterfly, and Emily Matsco swimming freestyle to finish second in the 200-yard Medley Relay. O’Connor followed this with a personal best and second-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:04.25. Bleeker persevered in her 500- yard freestyle swim to swim a sixth-place finish. O’Connor followed this with a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. Bushell was unable to swim events past the 200 medley relay due to an injury, so Lauren Clemons stepped up to swim a personal-best time in her leg of the 400-yard freestyle relay. She and teammates O’Connor, Bleeker, and Matsco finished the meet on another high note with a sixth-place finish in this event. Congratulations to these ladies on their fine representation of the state of New Hampshire at this meet.

RAYS Swim at Regionals

Breast and 25 Free. In addition, several local swimmers joined with

RAYS teammates to place among the top eight in their age/gender group relays. These included: • Girls 8 & Under 100 Freestyle Relay: sixth place – Abbie Patchen (Pelham), Ella Dyjak, Hannah Gagnon, and Meagan Anstey.

• 9-10 Boys’ 200 Medley Relay: seventh place – Christian Nelson, Hunter Hazard, Garrett Hitchens (Windham), and Cobe Lassor.

• 9-10 Girls’ 200 Freestyle Relay: sixth place – Sasha McNeal (Salem), Gillian Connors, Madison Martin, and Ally Gillespie. Many swimmers did not place in the top 16 in

their events, but received personal bests in their swims at this meet. These included: Hannah Pickett (Windham) –100 Back and 100 IM; Garrett Hitchens (Windham) – 50 Free, 50 Back, and 100 Free; Amy Prendergast (Windham) – 50 Breast and 50 Free; Ally Gillespie (Windham) – 50 Free and 100 IM; Laura Pomeroy (Windham) – 200 Free, 100 Free, 50 Back, and 100 Back; Abbie Patchen (Pelham) – 50 Free; Erin Prendergast (Windham) – 25 Free; Ashley Domogala (Windham) – 100 Breast; Melina Fedele (Windham) – 25 Free; Kate Swan (Pelham) – 25 Back; and Maddie Moynihan (Windham) – 25 Back. Congratulations to all these young swimmers.


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photos by Marc Ayotte

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