PWN Python Runner-ups- continued from front page Windham’s Kennie Padin runs through the St. Tomas defense in the championship game
Three Windham fumbles led to St. Thomas quickly building a 28-0 lead early on, but Windham would get on the board with a five-yard touchdown run by running back Scott Priestley, Jr., mid-way through the second quarter. On the ensuing drive, Windham’s Kevin Cooney returned an interception at midfield for a touchdown, cutting the Saints’ lead to 28-14. The Saints answered the Windham scores with another
touchdown, and then Priestley found the end zone again on a seven- yard pass from quarterback Joe Lorenz with 29 seconds remaining in the first half. With the Jaguars very much alive and kicking, St. Thomas held a deceiving 35-21 advantage going into halftime.
November 18, 2011 - 9 Sports Windham cut even further into the St. Thomas lead when Lorenz
dove into the end zone on a one-yard quarterback keeper with just under four minutes to go in the third. Only down by a touchdown, 35-28, the Jaguars were threatening to tie the game, but could not put any more points on the board. St. Thomas, on the other hand, responded with a touchdown before the end of the third and then added another in the fourth to seal the victory. The Jaguars received strong rushing efforts from running backs Cooney (103 yards on 19 carries), Priestley (77 yards on 14 carries), and CJay DiPrima (80 yards on eight carries). Meanwhile, Lorenz completed seven of 16 passes for 150 yards, and Kennie Padin
Kevin Cooney picks off a pass and returns it all the way to the end zone for a Windham touchdown, cutting the St. Tomas lead to 28-14
(three receptions for 78 yards) led Windham’s receivers. Kicker Ben Shipman converted all four of his extra point tries. Despite the loss in the championship game, the Jaguars still had a tremendous season - especially considering where they were a year ago. With a final record of 8-3 this season, the team improved by leaps and bounds and made an exceptional turnaround from a 1-8 record and missing the playoffs last season. “No matter what, getting here is special,” Windham coach Bill
Raycraft said of playing in the championship game. ”To do it in our second year sets the bar high and we had a lot of great leadership to make it happen this year. This team is a very special group.”
Wolverines Take Home Title in Inaugural Season Te sixth grade players, cheerleaders and coaches pose with the Division II State Championship Trophy
submitted by Jon MacLean, Windham Wolverines Football and Cheer In an incredible feat for any sports team competing at any level of play, the Windham Wolverines Football and Cheer Program earned a championship title last weekend in its inaugural season. The sixth grade football team captured the Division II State title and added to the tremendous success of the program after battling the Monadnock Mountaineers 33-18. The fourth and fifth grade team were Division II runner-ups as they lost a hard-fought game against the undefeated fifth grade Laconia Chiefs. Meanwhile, Windham’s second and third grade combined team ended its season in first place with a 6-0-1 record, but no play-off games are played at that level. “I couldn’t be more proud of you,” said sixth
grade head coach and Director of Football Operations, Kyle McInnis to his team during the trophy ceremony. “You worked extremely hard all season long and again today. You started out as a great group of athletes who had to learn the game of football. I think you proved you know how to play.” McInnis added that throughout every level of the Wolverines program, the emphasis has been, and will continue to be, on developing football skills, commitment, and sportsmanship in the young athletes and professionalism among all members of the organization. “I’m at a loss for words when I think of how
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the Wolverines program has progressed this first season,” said Wolverines President Jim Williams. “As other presidents in our league have been saying to me for over a month now, we don’t appear to be a start-up program and it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.” The Wolverines have the enthusiastic support of Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Bill Raycraft. Coach Raycraft, McInnis, and the entire coaching staffs of the Jaguars and Wolverines worked closely all season long and the dividends were highly visible. The Jaguars played for a state title in only their third season the very same weekend the Wolverines played in their own state championships. The two programs are well-positioned to continue building a strong partnership to expand football participation and success in Windham. Most importantly, both Raycraft and
McInnis agreed that the partnership has allowed an opportunity to give these young athletes the resources to learn and enjoy playing football for years to come. Game Highlights The 7-1 sixth grade Wolverines took on the 7-1 Monadnock Mountaineers in their championship game. Jack Swarbrick set up Windham’s first TD of the game when he bolted 34 yards down to the Mountaineers’ 11 yard-line. Cole White, Nolan Cunningham, Cameron Matthews, Nico Nardone and Matt Dodge provided terrific blocking for Joe Dunlap who exploded down the right sideline and in for the TD. Thomas Splagounias, Collin Peterson, Tommy Costa and Brian Murdza helped shut down the Mountaineers’ offensive attack in the first half. Their defensive play gave the Wolverines possession of the ball with 6:02 left in the second quarter. Max Faro showed off his running skills with a 24-yard dash to the Mountaineers six yard-line. Faro would again carry the ball on the next play, this time across the goal line and in for the touchdown. The Mountaineers, however, put together an impressive drive of their own and scored with 34 seconds left in the second quarter. Windham had a 12-6 lead at the half. The Wolverines were on defense to start the third quarter.
Jonathan Saklad and
Zach Cunha came up with big stops to give the ball back to their offense. Dunlap was off to the races again as he picked up a key block from Splagounias and ran 33 yards for Windham’s third score of the game. QB Jake Byers took a big hit from a Mountaineer defender but still managed to hit Swarbrick with the pass in the end zone for the extra point. Jake Aleksa, Max Sweetser, James Williams and Cunha fired up their defense for several big stops throughout the rest of the third quarter. The Mountaineers managed a touchdown early in the fourth making the score 19-12. The Wolverines put on the offensive after-burners with 8:20 left in the game. Faro benefited from a key block by Nardone and ran the ball for six yards to pay- dirt. Byers zipped the ball to Swarbrick for the conversion. Dunlap made his third trip to the end zone with 1:12 left in the contest. Byers threw a bullet and hit Jude Donabedian in stride to convert the extra point. The Mountaineers scored one more TD with time running out. Final score: Windham 33, Mondanock 18. The fourth and fifth grade combined Wolverines team matched up against Laconia’s fifth grade team for a shot at the title. Laconia got off to a quick start scoring on a punt return and a run up the middle. That didn’t deter a feisty Windham defense, led by JP Pallaria, Thomas Hebert, Nick Mueller, Parker Rice, and Luke Schramm. Pallaria played his best game of the season, racking up tackles in the double-digits. Hebert, Mueller, Schramm and Rice all had a stand-out
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6th Grade: Tommy Costa played hard all season and reaps the reward.
sixth Grade Wolverines celebrate at the trophy ceremony.
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game as they piled up several punishing tackles themselves. Jack Potter, Ian Sargent, Tristan Adams and CJ Giardino also put the clamp down and made great defensive plays for the highlight reel. Hunter Delaney and Schramm ran a reverse during a kick-off return to perfection with 4:17 left in the first half. Schramm caught the ball, ran east-west across the field and handed it to Delaney. The star special teams player ran down the left sideline for 47 yards before being tackled at the Chiefs’ 23-yard line. That set up the Wolverines only score of the game. Hebert, Robbie Furman, Rourke Curtin, Zach Kurgan, Troy Pothier and Tim Michalek all exploded off the offensive line and opened up two holes. QB Jonny “Mac” MacLean hit the first hole at the line with blazing speed. He then sliced back through the second hole down field and split two defenders on his way into the end zone. The score at half-time was 14-6. Matty Logue, Stephen Szostak, Bobby DiCicco, Thomas Cortese, Dylan Field and Aaron Goulet led the way with swarming defense for the Wolverines as the second half began. Windham held Laconia to their 8-point lead throughout third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, however, the Chiefs ran the ball up the middle for a TD. Laconia would take two more trips to the end-zone before the end of the game. Final score: Laconia 34, Windham 6. For more information on the
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