Eagles honored at 2015 Fall Sports Awards

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — The Kennett High School Athletic Department held is annual Fall Sports Awards on Nov. 23 with a large flock of Eagles and their parents turning out for the award presentations which began in the Loynd Auditorium.

Athletic director Neal Weaver served as the master of ceremonies for the evening and did a fine job of keeping the program flowing while honoring this year's major award recipients.

Weaver wrote the following the back cover of the eight-page program, which listed participants and years of service to each of the sports:

"Thank you for all being here this evening. Athletics is a vital part of the educational framework of our youth. Many lessons of life are learned on and off the field of play. Most importantly, sportsmanship and a positive attitude are attributes that we all strive to instill in our athletes We will continue to stress good sportsmanship in the coming months and years. Win or lose, we are behind the youth if Kennett High School and are continually proud of their efforts and accomplishments.

"Finally, the athletic department would like to thank all of you who support not only our athletes but our total academic programs," he continued. "We can never lose sight that our main function us ti educate our young people. The lessons, skills and attributes learned during this athletic season help in crease the overall pride we have of Kennett High School and our students. Thank you for all that you do!"

Athletes were to be highlighted a slide show prepared by sophomore Mackenzie Murphy.

The presentation of the major awards were given by the coaches and a presentation of sports letters for each team followed the awards ceremony in separate rooms.

This year's athletic award winners were:

In Cheerleading, Coach Jennifer McGinley presented the Cheerleading Award to Emily Soucy.

In Cross-County Running, Coach Bernie Livingston presented the Cross Country Award to Nick Brown for the boys and Izzy Forde and Julianna Livingston.

The cross-country award "is presented each year to the member of each team who both on the field and in the school best demonstrates the qualities of: loyalty to Kennett High School, citizenship and sportsmanship — both as a follower and as a leader."

In Field Hockey, Coach Cassandra Johansen presented the John Marsden Award to Emma Niiler and the Deryl Fleming Award to Kate McPherson. Unfortunately Niiler was unable to receive her plaque.

The Marsden Award "is presented to a senior, a player that demonstrates good sportsmanship and a positive attitude. This athlete is also very coachable, works hard, and is a committed member of the team."

The Deryl Fleming Award "is presented to the field hockey player that demonstrates true commitment, dedication, and love for the game of field hockey."

In Football, Coach Vaughn Beckwith presented the Sam Fuller Award to Drew McDonald.

The Sam Fuller Award is "Given annually to a senior member of the football team, someone with great character and has displayed strong leadership skills, someone who has placed the needs of others and the team in front of their own, a truly unselfish player."

In Golf, subbing for Coach Julie Rivers, Weaver announced Chris Burton as the recipient of the Golf Award. Unfortunately Burton was not on hand to receive his plaque.

The golf award "is presented to that player who demonstrates those intangibles that are part of the game; honesty, integrity, and character. Also, that player who demonstrates that team comes before the individual in a sport where you usually play for yourself."

In Mountain Biking, Coach Chris Darling presented the Golden Spoke Award to Nick Brustin.

The mountain bike award "goes to a deserving student athlete that has participated three or more seasons, has excellent character and attitude toward the sport and volunteer efforts to support the team in local events."

In Boys Soccer, Coach Dave Hart presented the Soccer Award to Lee Dennis.

The Kennett Boys Soccer Award "is given to a player who from the first day of training to the last game has shown a consistent and always improving level of commitment to the team. He has proven to be a leader during training and during games."

In Girls Soccer, Coach Michael Skelton presented the Suzy Engler Award to Sydney Perk and Caroline Jaeger.

The Suzy Engler Award for girls' soccer "is given to a player who is dedicated to the team, shows a love of the game, enthusiasm for the sport, good sportsmanship both on and off the field and hold herself as a good leader."

In Volleyball, Coach Diana Germain presented Talia Hutchings and Allie Wanek with the Volleyball Award.

The volleyball award "goes to an individual who shows great improvement and skill throughout the season. Has positive spirit and ability to motivate her teammates and is an asset on and off the court."


Kennett Alumni Hockey Game is Saturday

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — The 13th annual Kennett High Alumni Hockey Game takes center ice at Ham Arena this Saturday at 6 p.m. and once again, it'll be Alumni versus Alumni.

With the preseason moved back a week per NHIAA regulations, Coach Michael Lane's Eagles will not be able to take to the ice to participate in the annual classic. However, current Eagles will be on hand for the contest and hockey fans will be able to purchase tickets for the upcoming season.

"We'll still be involved in some fashion," Coach Lane said. "Our players will be there. The Thanksgiving Weekend has always worked out so well in the past because that's when a lot of alumni are home."

Lane said 30-35 alums have already committed to play in Saturday's contest which promises to offer spectators plenty of end-to-end action.

"We're hoping for a good turnout and it looks like we'll get it," Lane said. "We've got alumni dating as far back as 1984 (Steve "The Old Glove" LaRusso) on up to players who just graduated last year."

Last year it was Alumni versus Alumni with the white jerseys prevailing 6-2.

Defenseman Part Murphy, of the Class of 1984, was named the Comeback Player of the Year. He will not be there this year as he will be watching his son, Kevin, play for Assumption College.

"We won't have Pat, but I can announce Justin Clements is returning after a long absence," Lane said, "George Weigold is also going to be able to play this year. All three graduates from last year's team — Robby Moody, Josh Kondrat and Bobby Davis — plan on being here to play, too. It should be a lot of fun. This will kick-off the season for Kennett hockey."

Lane will pick the teams.

"I'll try to make them as even as I can," he said.

With the preseason moved back Lane can now play in the game.

"I'm not sure which team I'll play for," he said, joking.

KHS starts preseason on Monday, Nov. 30 and then five days later heads to Dover for the annual Dover Jamboree with three mini games scheduled beginning at 4:05 p.m. against St. Thomas, Spaulding and Winnacunnet.

The Eagles are scheduled to travel to Amesbury, Mass., for a scrimmage on Dec 9 (5:50 p.m.), and will wrap up preseason exhibition play on Saturday, Dec. 12 when they host their annual jamboree. Seven schools along with KHS will each play three mini games. Scheduled to attend are current Division III champs Belmont-Gilford, runner-ups Berlin, Moultonborough-Inter-Lakes, Pembroke-Campbell, Kearsarge-Plymouth, Somersworth and Kingswood.

Kennett is scheduled to play Somersworth at 3 p.m.; Pembroke-Campbell at 6 p.m.; and Kingswood at 8:25 p.m.

The Eagles open their 2015-16 season on the road Dec. 19 at Sanborn at 8 p.m. The Eagles will play their first home game of the season Wednesday, Dec. 23 when they welcome ConVal to Ham Ice Arena for a 6 p.m. tilt.


Raiders put a wrap on incredible fall

By John Skelton

FRYEBURG — Last week at Wadsworth Gymnasium was a banner night of celebration for Fryeburg Academy fall sports athletes. As is Raider tradition, principle speakers and the focus of the awards ceremony were the athletes, 181 of whom competed in eight sports. Six of seven teams eligible for post-season play accomplished that feat in what may have been the most successful fall season during the tenure of the evening's emcee, Athletic Director Sue Thurston.

Opening speaker McKenna Gerchman, a three-sport athlete and soccer team member set the tone for the event, noting that, "being part of a team is like creating a family; you learn to watch over each other and to pick each other up through losses and hard times, but also to celebrate with the people you love when you win and accomplish goals as a team."

Multiple accomplishments there were, as each sport was then highlighted by team captains before coaches presented their awards.

Speaking for the golf team, Captain Jordan Lowe recounted how the entire team qualified through placement at Regionals to move on to the Team State Championships. Aside from team success, Tyler Worcester, Kaylin Delaney and Lowe all competed in the State Individual Championships and earned All Conference honors. Head Coach Chris Dutton named Lowe as the team MVP and presented the golf Coach's Award to Aaron Hennessy. Hennessy paired with Damien Eldridge alternating shots to earn a silver medal for second place in Division C of the Unified golf event. The following week Worcester accompanied Hennessy to the unified golf individual championships, where he placed fourth in Division II.

Cheerleading co-captains Hannah Perry and Kaylee Barboza received Coach's Awards for a squad which "pulled off a Homecoming with the theme of Wizard of Oz that was one of the smoothest Homecomings in recent years," according to Thurston. This was achieved despite the small squad size of only five athletes.

Mountain Biking senior captain Jake Maidment recalled how the Raiders bikers improved throughout the season and developed remarkable comraderie out on the trails. The team placed sixth of 22 teams in the overall series within the Northern New England High School Mountain Biking. As the team's top rider in the A Division, Maidment received the first mountain biking Raider Award from coaches Jon and Stephanie Wetzel. A second Raider Award went to Isaiah Voter.

Patrick Carty, senior captain of the boys cross-country, recalled the most poignant moment of his season: following a hard workout in preparation for their own team's post-season race, the cross-country athletes lined up and shook the hands of every Raider football player before that team went to its first tournament game in years. Coach Bill Reilly presented Alfie Walker with the boys cross-country Up and Coming Award. Carty received the Iron Will Award, capping a season in which he was named to the All Conference team, finished 12th overall in the State Meet and just missed qualifying for New Englands.

The girls cross-country team placed fourth overall in the state led by senior co-captains Anna Lastra and Emily Carty. Both runners finished in the top 10 in Class B and among the top 20 overall from all three classes and qualified for the New England Championships. As Reilly noted, "I never knew which girl would finish ahead of the other each week." For the first time ever, Reilly named two athletes, Lastra and Carty, to share the Iron Will Award. The Girls Up and Coming Award went to Zoe Maguire. Aside for running excellence, Raiders girls cross country team won the Class B South Sportsmanship Award

Boys soccer team captain Jordan Kruguer told of the smooth transition to a new coach which led to another state tournament appearance and first round victory for the underdog Raiders who finished their season at 7-7-2. Coach Tim Atwood named Kruguer as team MVP before Leadership Award winner Sean Chase received resounding applause for his selection. Kruguer was named to the All-Conference team and Evan Wadsworth was selected as Honorable Mention.

Girls soccer captain Anna Mahanor spoke for her team: "We are not playing for the sake of winning. We play for all the moments we have spent together, from the blazing heat of August to the chills of October. We play for the chatter on the bus and the laughter on the field; from roasting Mr. Atwood to crying at our senior game. . . we stayed together through it all. Our record of (8-6-1) are just numbers. . . Success is measured by putting everything we have on the field, by playing our best and I can assure you we did." Coach John Atwood gave two Awards for Outstanding Teammates to Tori Mailman and Katherine Parker. Center back Alexandria Fraize and midfielder Esme Hernandez were selected to the All Conference Team and forward Oriagna Inirio earned Honorable Mention.

The Raiders field hockey team which was seeded third in the Western Maine Conference tournament following an 11-3-0 regular season before losing a heartbreaker in the quarterfinals was represented by Nicole Thurston. She reminisced about the various highs of the season journey and wished the upperclassmen well in coming years. Coach Dede Frost reflected on the many years since Thurston first started playing with her youth camps at age five, before presenting Thurston and Mariah Davis with the two field hockey Raider Awards. Additionally, Thurston, the all-time scoring leader at Fryeburg with 41 career goals, was awarded the prestigious Linda B. Whitney MVP Award, voted by the coaches in the WMC and given to the top field hockey player in the conference. First Teamers Thurston and Davis were joined by Honorable Mention selection Bridget Tweedie on the All-Conference team.

Football co-captain Matt Boucher delivered the most humorous lines of the evening, poking fun at teammates and Coach David Turner alike during his fond recollections of the team which progressed to the conference semi-finals and hosted and won the first playoff victory. The football team presented Head of School Erin Mayo with the Pleasant Mountain Trophy which is symbolic of the regular season-ending win over Lakes Region. The Raiders were well represented on the All Conference team by First Team selection Ryan Gullickson and Honorable Mention teammates Boucher, Baha Demir, Cody Gullickson, Nicholas L'Heureux-Carland and Isaac Wakefield. Chosen by Coach Turner to receive the football Raider Awards were Caleb Eklund and Boucher.

Twenty-seven Raider seniors were named to the All Academic team for lettering in their fall varsity sport while achieving a GPA of 3.2 or above. Honorees included girls soccer players Sage Boivin, McKenna Gerchman, Esme Hernandez, Oriagna Irinio, Alexis L'Heureux-Carland, Anna Mahanor, Tori Mailman, Emery O'Connell, Katherine Parker and Julia Quinn; from boys soccer, Jordan Kruguer, Nick Landano, Ben LeConey and Markus Schneider; cross country runners Patrick Carty, Anna Lastra, Emily McDermith and Reed Wales; football players Matt Boucher, Mustafa Demir and Ryan Gullickson; golfers Garrett Cummings, Aaron Hennessy and Jordan Lowe; field hockey athletes Renae Fournier, Fransecsa Napolitan and Nicole Thurston.

Finally, the last awards went to 21 athletes who earned their "3 Star Status." Jackets were presented to each athlete who earned their third varsity letter at Fryeburg Academy. This could be three letters in one sport, or a combination of different sports. Jacket winners included: Bridget Bailey, Owen Burk, Ben Caffrey, Kallan Charest, Jared Chisari, Will Davis, Caleb Eklund, Renee Fournier, Greg Fowler, Cody Gullickson, Emily Grzyb, Ryan Hewes, Jordan Lowe, Dominic Malia, Fransecsa Napolitan, Emery O'Connell, Dominic Orlando, Costanza Santarelli, Addison Schwarz, Kevin Ventura and Tyler Worcester.

Thurston's final remarks included praise for the Super Fan Club who rallied support for all the Raiders teams, before she laughingly remarked that it all starts again soon with the opening of winter team practices.


Kennett girls alumni basketball game is Friday

CONWAY — The Kennett High girls basketball team opened its preseason on Monday and has just four days to get ready for its first test — the alumni.

The Eagles will play their first scrimmage of the winter Friday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. when they welcome back former players to The Nest for what promises to be an evening of action-packed fun and a trip down memory lane for Kennett fans.

"It's a good community thing," Larry Meader, Eagles' head coach, said. "I think people will enjoy getting a glimpse of this year's team when we play the alumni.

"We've put out the call for all alumni girls to come and play," he said. " My hope once again is to try to convince Peter (Ames, longtime former girls varsity coach) to coach the alumni. I think he'd have a lot of fun with it. ... All KHS girl's basketball alumni are invited, as well as the community to help kick off this years season."

Friday will also feature a doubleheader. Not only will the alumni square off against the current flock, but prior to that contest, the Conway Rec girls will play Madison Rec on the hardwood at 5 p.m.

Admission is free and the Kennett Basketball Boosters will have the concession stand open for the evening.

"It'll be nice to get everyone together to kick off another basketball season," Meader said.


Fall Sports Awards are Tuesday

CONWAY — The Kennett High School Athletic Department will hold is annual Fall Sports Awards on Tuesday, at 5:30 p.m. The award presentations will be held in the Loynd Auditorium.

A presentation of the major awards will be given by the coaches of all of the fall teams. Family and friends of the athletes are invited to join in congratulating the award winners from each team.

A presentation of sports letters for each team will follow the awards ceremony in separate rooms.

Come join the teams and their coaches to acknowledge the hard work and accomplishments of all of the Kennett winter athletes.

Spring sports practices officially start Monday.