Pelham - Windham News 8 - May 27, 2011
Pelham Tennis Wraps Up Season,
Boys’ Team Qualifies for Post-Season Tournament
by Marc Ayotte The good news was that
the Pelham boys’ tennis team edged out Kennett by .21 points in the ratings—good for eighth place in the Division II state standings, thus qualifying them for post-season play. The bad news is the dubious distinction that came along with that achievement—a tournament first-round match- up against number-one seed and undefeated powerhouse Bedford. The Python boys, after losing their season-opener, put a string of seven consecutive wins together and were near the top of the Division II standings. However, a less-than-stellar close to the season, where they lost four of their last six team matches, dropped them down in the rankings to the ill-fated eight slot. On Tuesday, May 24, the Pythons in the first round fell to the Bedford Bulldogs by a score of 6-0. The doubles action was canceled due to rain; however, Bedford was awarded the victory on the basis of already achieving the necessary five points to capture a team match. Despite the early exit, the Python boys can be proud of their accomplishments this season, especially from the excellent play of their top three seeds—Matt Smith, Jared Taylor, and Ethan Ely. The Lady Pythons labored during their 2011 season. Finishing the year with a 3-11 record, they did not qualify for post-season play, but they did have a couple of nice highlights during the 14-match schedule. Two individuals who were playing well towards the end of the season were Kammi Mickle and Marissa Daigle, according to head coach Ryan Clark and assistant coach Dan Murphy. After the late-season, 6-3 team victory over Goffstown, Mickle had won three of her last four singles matches, while Daigle evened her individual season record at five wins against five losses.
Lady Python Kammi Mickle sends a shot up the lane in regular season action
Pelham Baseball Opens its 42nd Season
Players representing each division throw out the first pitch, with Player Agent Ed Gleason and League President Doug Viger looking on
submitted by Bob Diack With the ceremonial first pitch and league president
Doug Viger officially kicking off the day with a resounding “Play Ball!” Pelham Baseball opened its 42nd season on Saturday at a refurbished Muldoon Park.
Although most of the afternoon games were washed
out by a menacing front of thunderstorms and some serious hail, a large crowd of enthusiastic fans turned out to support Pelham little league’s big day. To many, opening day is a state of mind, and an opportunity to forget about what was and focus on what could be. League President Viger summed up the good mood.
“I haven’t grown up, I have just learned how to act in public. It’s a great day for me. I enjoy this day more than any day of the year.” He continued, “It’s the
kids; no matter what’s going on with school work or whatever is going on at home, there is always baseball, and they all enjoy it and we can all escape.” Town Selectman, Player Agent, and long time Pelham little league booster Ed Gleason shared his feelings on the big day: “It’s a breath of fresh air; [it’s] great to see the kids come out invigorated and eager to play ball and have fun; it’s very gratifying working with the kids and seeing the opportunities they have to participate.” Chris Rozzi, fifth grader and shortstop for the
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D’Backs, said he was a “little” excited about the first game of the season. “I was wondering what was going to happen, because I hadn’t played baseball in a while,” he said. The pageantry of opening day was held under a bright, spring sun and included the introduction of players and coaches, plus a memorable rendition of the National Anthem sung by Pelham students April Reidy and Erin Williams. Erin’s dad David Williams is the Vice President of the league’s Challenger Division, which is a segment within little league baseball for children with special needs. This is the sixth year that Pelham Baseball has fielded teams in the Challenger Division, which consists of four teams of 5-7 players with varying ages and abilities. Each player has an assigned buddy, who helps out with making sure the kids are safe and pumped up about being a part of league action. Since David and his team have spread the word to surrounding little league organizations that may not offer challenger divisions, he has been able to recruit players from Dracut, Lawrence, and Methuen, MA, and Hudson. Commenting on his daughter Erin’s singing to
a crowd of over 500 people, a proud Williams said the National Anthem is her favorite song and that she practices by watching “rock stars” sing the anthem on the Internet. “It’s been something that she really wanted to do, and we were able to make it happen today,” he said. Since last year, the league, which has a 2011 roster of over 370 players, has made some changes to its structure. Board of Directors Member and VP of the majors division, Chris Mader, related that the league has expanded its major division to emulate other little league communities in an effort to promote fairness. “We like to see competitive and fair teams at
each level; we have a true majors level with four teams, plus four teams in the AAA majors level, and five teams in AA, which is called the minors level.”
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Mader added, “Everything we do on this board is for the kids, so we truly feel that we have a great majors and minors competitive division, and we think it’s going to be a lot of fun and it’s going to be very fair, and at the end of the day, that’s what it is all about.” The league is serious about supporting the philosophies of the Positive Coaching Alliance, a U.S.-based, non- profit organization that boasts two goals—the first being winning and the second to teach life lessons without sacrificing those life lessons to win. The idea here is so that the kids thrive in a environment of positive reinforcement to play ball and learn the game with the goal of becoming good citizens, plus the ability to bestow those ideals on future generations. Back at Muldoon Park, the
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players in the majors division were treated to a refurbished field with new sod and dirt in the infield. In addition, electronic scoreboards are on order for both the majors and minor league fields. Diggy Lawson, who plays first base for the Cardinals in the Majors Division, was impressed with the updated field. “I liked it; there are no bad hops, and it was all good, he said, adding that he was nervous going into opening day, but that he thought that both the Cardinals and their opponent the Rockies played well in their first game of the season. The Rockies won 8-3. “I think our team did good; the other team was really good, too—it was just a good day overall,” Lawson said.
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