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Sports 18 - June 6, 2014 | Pelham - Windham News Pelham~Windham Sports ‘NEXT’ Time is Now for AAU Basketball Team

by Marc Ayotte The AAU basketball team known as “NEXT”-- an acronym standing for North East XTreme, based out of southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts -- was recently crowned New Hampshire state champions. The team, comprised of nine fi fth graders with six of its members coming from Pelham (5) and Windham, dominated tournament action held at The Rim, located in Hampton. Headed up by Pelham High Varsity Coach Matt Regan, NEXT earned the title with a 44-27 win over NH Spartans in the semis followed by a 42-20 slamming of the SNH Saints in the fi nals. By virtue of winning the NH Championship, the team qualifi ed to compete in the AAU Nationals, but decided prior to the beginning of the season that as a fi rst-year team, they would forego the opportunity to compete, should it arise. In addition to its state title, NEXT competed in the Super Regionals this past April; a tournament featuring the “best of the

best” in New England. The team made it to the Elite Eight before losing to the eventual champions. Through the end of May, the team had played in six tournaments and appeared in fi ve fi nals, collecting three championships along the way.

NEXT fi fth graders become state champions. From left are Jake Dumont (Pelham), Jake Herrling (Pelham),

Jordan Robichaud (Hudson), Joey DaSilva (Windham), and Darrel Yepdo (Dracut); Back Row, from left: Josh Surprenant (Pelham),

Nate Godin (Pelham), Andrew Lussier (Dracut), Kalu Olu (Tewksbury), Dylan Santosuosso (Pelham), and Coach Matt Regan (Pelham).

Pythons Lacrosse Playoff Bound

by Marc Ayotte It came down to winning two of their last three games by a combined total of three goals, but in so doing, the PHS girls’ lacrosse team will be joining their male counterparts as participants in the 2014 D-3 state tournament. The boys’ squad, which seemingly makes a perennial run at the crown, overcame a dreadful start to the season with a strong fi nish that propelled them into the top 10. In the crucial contests, Coach Kaite Carmody’s team defeated Gilford 16-15 and then outlasted Pembroke in overtime by the score of 19-17. The win over the Spartans was spearheaded by Sarah Morin’s six-goal effort. Additionally, Brook Paradis scored four goals, with one of her fi rst-half tallies marking the 100th goal of her career. Lilly Shlimon, Shannon Weisensee, Mandy Barton, and Kaylie Apakarian, who also celebrated her Senior Day, each contributed with two goals. The Lady Pythons were scheduled to meet fi fth-seeded Lebanon in the fi rst round.

Harley Kearney records a hat trick in the Python’s 12-2 home win over Monadnock.

submitted by Ryan O’Connor In a meet where virtually all WHS athletes surpassed their seeding ranks, the following athletes placed in the top four and have automatically qualifi ed for the Meet of Champions to be held next Saturday at Londonderry High School: Boys 4x100m relay of Kenny Dastous (12), Mike McDade (12), Sam Kauhl (12), and Brandon Dreyfuss: fi rst place, DII State Champions, and the program’s fi rst ever DII state title (44.75). Kristen Tilley (11): third place 800m run (2:21.86) Brandon Dreyfuss (12): fourth place 100m dash (11.59) Additionally, Brandon Bielinski (11) placed sixth in the 800m run (2:04.42) and will wait to see if he will be an at large entrant for the Meet of Champions. Alex Jonson (10): seventh place in the 110 high hurdles (16.41) and will run at Meet of Champs. The following girls 4x400m relay just placed outside the top-6 scoring positions and will wait to see if they will be at large entrants for the Meet of Champions:

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Windham D-II Meet Recap Girls 4x400m

relay of Mary Aylaian (11), Hannah

Harootian (10), Katie O’Connor (9), and Kristen Tilley (12): seventh place (4:20.45) Coach

O’Connor’s comments and added info: On boys’ 4x100m relay: “This was the program’s fi rst state championship so it was very special. We’ve come as close as one can get quite a few times, but this time things just worked in our favor.”

“What makes this more impressive is

Dreyfuss competes in the 100m at an earlier meet.

that the 4x100 relay is such a technical event, and we’re lucky if we get an hour a week to practice on a track in Londonderry. The kids have to wait until 5:30 p.m. when everyone else has gone home to get to practice.”

On the seniors on the 4x100: “They’re a special group because they were freshmen when we started the program with a seasoned

Hannah Harootian (10) runs in the 4x400 in an earlier meet.

First-year Python boys’ lacrosse coach, Joe Young, fi ne- tuned his “X’s & O’s” as the season progressed and it resulted in the Snakes winning their last fi ve straight. “I think we’re peaking at the right time,” offered Young. Pelham outscored their opponents during that stretch by an astounding 53-10 margin; including a 10-0 blanking of Kearsarge in the season fi nale.

Leading goal scorer Luke Tracy heads-up the talented scoring depth chart consisting of Harley Kearney, Nick Wolfrom, Eric Guinasso, Dustin Lubinger and Kevin Sabine who are each capable of posting a multiple goal game. “We have balanced scoring after Luke (Tracy),” offered Young, adding; “that goes a long way come playoff time.” An integral part in the Python’s post season success will rest upon the continued stellar play of goalie Collin Duff-Marsh. The Snake between the pipes was the mainstay during the team’s late season run, and will be infl uential on how far they advance in the tournament.

and talented group of

sprinters like Derek Gray, CJay DiPrima, and Kennie Padin. It’s nice to see them carry on the strong sprint tradition.” On Brandon Dreyfuss

(fourth in 100): “Brandon leads by example. He has won quite a few state meet medals between indoor and outdoor track and made himself into one of the better sprinters in the area.”

On Kristen

Tilley (third 800): “Kristen is our best runner we’ve ever had. She’s

only a junior and look at what she’s accomplished. She has an All American in front of her from Coe Brown to contend with, but it doesn’t faze her. She’s got the best no-nonsense approach to races. She’s a gamer.” On Brandon Bielinkski (sixth 800): “This was a nice surprise.


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Brandon has always had talent, but he’s learning how to race and we’re happy for him to see the results come forth.” On the overall team performance: “We’re very happy with how our divisional meets went for indoors and outdoors. It’s very tough for us to compete on the team level because we don’t cover a lot of the events, but what we do specialize in usually produces positive results.” Meet of Champs: 4x100,

Tilley (800), Dreyfuss (100), and sophomore Alex Jonson (110) hurdles will compete this weekend at Londonderry for a chance to go to the New Englands. Tilley and graduate Patrick Fitzgerald (LJ) went last year.

Staff photo by Marc Ayotte

Staff photo by Marc Ayotte

Courtesy photos

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