Raiders wrap up track season at New Englands

By Lloyd Jones

FRYEBURG — The track season ended on a fine note for Fryeburg Academy, a mere 242 miles from the campus at the New England Track and Field Championships in New Britain, Conn. on June 18.

Four Raiders qualified for the championships with Anna Lastra, Em Carty, Zoe Maguire and Irina Norkin competing in the 4X800-meter relay. Carty and Lastra also qualified in individual events, with Lastra in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters,and Carty in the 1,600.

The New England's bring together the top 36 athletes (or relay teams) from the six-state region to compete. It's the best against the best, and the hometown Raiders ran with their heads held high.

Coaches Kevin McDonald and Stephanie Miller made the trek to Conn. with their athletes.

"This was a fantastic experience for the athletics as we traveled overnight, raced at the next level and met a bunch of athletes from all over New England," McDonald said.

The 4X800 relay team finished 22nd out of 36 teams, running a time of 10:11.10. Milton High School of Milton, Mass., won the event in 9:11.

Lastra, the lone senior in the group, ran her final race for the Raiders when she competed in the 3,200 meters. She finished 20th in 11:27.74. Jessica Drop of Coginchaug Regional High School in Conn., won the race by seven seconds in 10:17.54.

In the 1,600 meters, Lastra was 20th in 5:16.43, while Carty, just a sophomore, was 26th in 5:34.88. The race was won by Maegan Doody of Oyster River in 4:47.93, marking the second year in a row she has won the tittle. Doody also holds the cross-country course record at state-line neighbor Kennett High School.

"The loss of Anna will be huge," McDonald said, "but the bright side is that Em and Irina are sophomores and Zoe is a freshman."

Coach McDonald was proud of his athletes this spring.

"This brings our season to a close and I would like to thank the booster club for all the support, the parents that helped the team and the athletes for their dedication and commitment to the sport of track and field," he said. "We are always trying to improve our program and with this nucleus of athletes and parents the future is very bright."

 

Kennett High wraps up spring sports

By Lloyd Jones

6-21-khs-spring-sports-awards---julianna-livingston-hugs-bernie-livingstonJulianna Livingston get a big hug from Coach Bernie Livingston, who is also her grandfather, at the annual Kennett High Spring Sports Awards Night on June 14, after receiving the Don Trimble Track and Field Award for the second year in a row. (LLOYD JONES PHOTO)CONWAY — The Kennett High School Athletic Department held its annual Spring Sports Awards last Tuesday before a good-sized crowd in the Loynd Auditorium.

Neal Weaver, athletic director, served as master of ceremonies for the evening and praised, athletes, parents and coaches for their dedication and commitment to Kennett athletics

Athletes and parents were treated to a slide show — created by Mackenzie Murphy, with images supplied by Josh Spaulding — that captured the Eagles in action this spring to music.

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:

The Jack Burns Memorial Baseball Award was presented to Adam Marstinese while the newly created David "Doc" Walker 10th Player Baseball Award went to Nathanael Mathieu.

Kennett finished the season 3-13, matching last year's win total, but played much better baseball according to head coach Josh McAllister. The Eagles gave up 40 fewer runs than last year, but offensively the team batting average was just .225.

"We know we've got to hit better," McAllister said. "We struck out 40-50 times less than last year, but even though we put the ball in play, we hit a lot of soft ground balls. If you don't hit, you don't score many runs, and that was our season. I know we were a better team this season than last year although the records won't show it."

No. 2 Souhegan won the Division II championship by topping No. 1 Portsmouth 2-1 on June 13 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester.

The Eagles lose four seniors to graduation in co-captains Nate Emerson and Martinese along with Axel Olson and Mathieu.

In softball, Carolin Jaeger received the Softball Award.

The Eagles went 4-12 during the regular season and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in 29 years.

Coach Peter Ames admits it was a frustrating season.

"The kids certainly played hard, but it was more a matter of working individually to get better," he said. "All season I offered for the kids to come and take extra hitting or ground balls and I had just three all year, and that was like for once each. That's the first time that's ever happened. We've always had kids who wanted to get better and were willing to put in the time to make themselves better."

No. 6 Milford edged No. 1 Windham 2-1 to win the Division II championship at Southern New Hampshire University on June 11.

The Eagles lose six seniors to graduation in Victoria Burns, Rowan Grieb, Maddie Grzesik, Jess Hodgkins, Caroline Jaeger and Kate McPherson.

6-21-khs-spring-sports-2016--3-sport-4-year-athletesNine seniors (up from four last year) — (back row from left) Nick Brown, Frank Thompson, Kherry Rober and Jack Ricker with Atheltic Diector Neal Weaver; (front row) Victoria Burns, Isabelle Forde, Julianna Livingston and Emma Niiler, — were recognized for being three- sport athletes during their four years at Kennett. It’s an award the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association created seven years ago. Missing from photo: Thomas Welch. (LLOYD JONES PHOTO)The Boys Tennis Award went to Kyle Alber.

The Eagles went 4-10 on the season, but lost four tough 5-4 matches. Had the ball bounced its way and Kennett won those, it would have made the playoffs.

The Eagles, who finished 13th overall (only the top eight teams made the playoffs), won their final match of the season when they topped Manchester West 6-3 on May 18.

"It was a good season," said Joe Murphy, Eagles' head coach. "It's already weird that we are no longer playing. It's hard to believe it's over. The last two weeks were pretty hectic (eight matches in 18 days). At one point we had a three-match winning streak and were at 3-5. I thought we might have gone on a little run, but it didn't happen. We lost a tough 5-4 match against Berlin (on May 9) and then ran into Portsmouth (13-1) and Coe-Brown (11-3), who are really good."

Lebanon, the No. 2 seed, won the Division II championship May 31, topping No. 1 Oyster River 6-3 at Bedford High School.

The Eagles will lose seniors Zach Bradley, Kyler Phillips and John DeVitto to graduation.

Emma Niiler received the Girls Tennis Award.

Kennett finished the season 4-10, matching the win total from 2015. The Eagles were forced to forfeit two matches to the Plymouth because they didn't have players to fill the No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles slots. That advantage was just what Plymouth needed to pull out a hard-fought 5-4 victory .

"Despite going in to the contest with an automatic 2-0 deficit, we made a match out of it," Jacques Couture, Eagles' head coach, said. "As you can imagine we were super excited to do as well as we did. I'm proud of how they all stepped up. The girls seemed really happy with their performance as well. Of course it also shines a glaring light on the fact that with even one more of our 'middle of the lineup' girls, we stood even a better chance of pulling out a win.

No. 2 Hanover topped No. 1 Portsmouth for the second straight season, winning 6-3 to claim the Division II championship on June 1 Bedford High School.

The Eagles lose Emma Niiler, Allie Wanek, Kathryn Lees, Olivia White and Jean Tanjai to graduation.

In Lacrosse, Tristan Andreani received the KHS Lacrosse Award.

The Eagles finished 3-11 for the regular season and 15th place out of 18 schools in their second season in Division II.

The highlight of the season came May 3 and May 9, when Kennett beat rivals Kingswood 8-6, and Plymouth, 7-6, respectfully. Both of those schools went on to make the tournament.

Coach Alec Frankel, in his first year at the helm of the program after having spent the previous year on the junior varsity sidelines, was pleased with the effort of his troops. He believes the team is heading in the right direction.

No. 1 seed Derryfield cruised past No. 2 seed Hollis-Brookline 10-3 on June 11 to win the Division II championship at Bill Ball Stadium in Manchester.

In Track, Cam Labrie and Julianna Livingston received the Track and Field Award.

The Don Trimble Track Award went to Julianna Livingston, Hailee Tilton, Isabelle Forde and Garrett Fortin.

The Eagle lose only a few seniors off this year's squad of roughly 100 athletes. Among them are this year's team captains Livingston and Forde for the girls and Fortin and Labrie for the boys along with the multi-talented Nick Brown and Thomas Welch.

The KHS boys' and track team both won the Wilderness League Championship this spring while the girls were second.

A memorable year ended in style for the Kennett High track team Tuesday when Athletic Director Weaver announced the Eagles had received the sportsmanship award for Division 2.

The track team received a long round of applause for the honor.

"It means a lot," said Bernie Livingston, Eagles' head coach. "You think you have great kids and you're doing it the right way, but to have other schools appreciate what you're doing, this validates it. I'm very proud and humbled by this."

Kennett was chosen first out of 21 other Division 2 schools.

Nine seniors (up from four last year) — Nick Brown, Victoria Burns, Isabelle Forde, Julianna Livingston, Emma Niiler, Jacks Ricker, Kherry Rober, Frank Thompson and Thomas Welch — were recognized for being three sport athletes during their four years at Kennett, it's an award the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association created seven years ago. The Eagles received hooded sweatshirts for their accomplishments

 

McDonald and Scarlett chosen for East-West CHaD game

CONWAY — Kennett High seniors Drew McDonald and Theo Scarlett have been selected to suit up for Team East in the annual CHaD NH East-West High School All-Star Football Game at Saint Anselm College on June 25. The real winners in the game will be Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD), who the event is to raise funds for.
Last year Nate Arnold, Jacob Cameron, Nick Graziano and Nick Sherwood helped Team East win 29-15, shutting out the defending champs in the second half.
Team East also won the fundraising competition, raising just over $270,000 for CHaD Kids.
McDonald and Scarlett were both captains on this year's Kennett team that won the Northern Conference in Division III and helped the Eagles reach the state semifinals.
McDonald, who plans to continue his playing career for Western New England University in Springfield, Mass., led the Eagles in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns for the third consecutive years. He also played in the defensive secondary for KHS.
Scarlett was a four-year starter at defensive end for the Eagles, and this year made the move from tight-end to the offensive line without missing a beat.
Both were chosen First Team All Conference for the second year in a row.
"The CHaD NH East-West High School All-Star Football Game, powered by the Bedford & Nashua Ambulatory Surgical Centers, made its debut on June 23, 2012, and has quickly proven itself a key fundraising event for CHaD," the CHaD website (kintera.org) states. "Each year 80 players, half representing the East and the other half the West, and 30 spirit squad members have put their talents and athleticism to good by playing hard and helping to raise more than $1 million. These funds help sustain critical programs at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, including the Kristen's Gift Endowment Fund for children fighting cancer at CHaD."
All four Eagles saw plenty of action in the big game last year. Cameron had a sack in the game while Arnold broke off several big gains in the rushing department. He finished with 7 carries for 39 yards.
The East held a 397-293 edge in total yards for the night (386-104 rushing) and held a 19-12 edge in first downs.
Arnold was honored at the CHaD banquet as this year's recipient of the Dan Duvall Community Service Award. He received a $1,000 scholarship.
Londonderry's Eric Fairweather, the Gatorade Player of the Year, was named the games' most valuable player. On 17 carries, he gained 108 yards and ran for three touchdowns.
It was the first East victory in the game, which began in 2012. The West won 44-12 in 2012, 13-7 in 2013, and 24-7 in 2014.
 

Track Eagles cap season in style against New England's best

By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — A memorable year ended in style for the Kennett High track team Tuesday night when Athletic Director Neal Weaver announced at the spring sports awards that the Eagles had received the sportsmanship award for Division 2.

The track team received a long round of applause for the honor.

"It means a lot," said Bernie Livingston, Eagles' head coach. "You think you have great kids and you're doing it the right way, but to have other schools appreciate what you're doing, this validates it. I'm very proud and humbled by this."

Kennett was chosen first out of 21 other Division 2 schools.

The Eagles wrapped up their competitive season at the New England Track and Field Championships in New Britain, Conn., last Saturday with a record seven athletes competing against the best high school athletes across the six-state region.

"Everything went great," Livingston said. "It was a long day. We left home at 4 a.m. and didn't get back until after 10 p.m., but it was all worth it. The nice thing was each of our athletes went down the night before with their parents, so they could sleep in a little bit.

"Our athletes ran or jumped what they did at the state meet the week before," he continued. "I think it was the same way for all of the other kids from New Hampshire. I think everyone is getting tired, it's been a long season, but our athletes all did very well. Everyone placed higher than they were seeded. As a coach, that's all you can ask for. You hope everyone ends their season in their final meet with a personal best."

In just his first year out for track, Jack Ricker capped his amazing season by finishing sixth out of 36 in the high jump, clearing 6'3" (the meet was won by Justin Lewis of Lynn Voc/Tech in Lynn, Mass., clearing 6'8").

"Jack had a terrific meet," Livingston said. "He had a couple of good jumps at 6'5", but just missed. Three months ago he'd never high jumped in his life and now he's sixth best in New England. It's a fabulous story."

The week before at the N.H. Meet of Champions, Ricker cleared 6'4" to finish third overall (Nashua South's Daniel Frechette won the event, clearing 6'6") and got his name into the KHS record books. Ricker broke Paddy Bean's 1992 mark of 6'2.75".

Sophomore Selena Gauthier was the lone KHS girl to compete in the championships. She finished 22nd overall in the 100-meter dash, running 13.07. There were just five sophomores or freshmen ahead of her.

"Selena had a great experience," Livingston said. "The stage wasn't too big for her. She has an incredibly bright future ahead."

The boys' 4X400 relay team of Thomas Welch, Nick Brown, Tristan Anderson and Cam Labrie finished 22nd overall in 3:31.86 (won by Natick, Mass., in 3:18.25).

"The guys ran very well," Livingston said. "They were seeded 26th, so they moved up. I know they would have liked to have broken the school record again."

The KHS relay team finished fifth overall (won by Concord in 3:26.31) at the N.H. Meet of Champions, but they broke the school record on June 4 by running 3:31.03.

The boys broke the prior school record of 3:31.7, set in 1982 by John Wholey, Jamie Mersereau, Dan Cornell and Angus Auchterlone.

Brown and Labrie both also qualified individually for the New England championships.

Brown was 15th in the 1,600 meters after being seeded 22nd. The talented senior finished in 4:24.07. The race was won by Eric Vanderels of Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Conn., in 4:12.47.

Labrie, also a senior, placed 13th in the 400 meters after being seeded 18th. He ran 51.51. The event was won by Rodney Agyare-May of Burncoat High School in Worcester, Mass., in 48.23.

"For Nick and Cam to run in two events against this sort of competition is just outstanding," Livingston said.

Senior Garrett Fortin was seeded 20th in the 200-meter dash, but finished 17th overall in 23.08. The event was won by Mark Doyley of Weaver High School in Hartford, Conn., in 21.60."

"Garrett had a terrific race," Livingston said. "All of the performances were awesome. Every one of our athletes competed so well. It can be very humbling against this sort of competition, and they all more than held their own. The whole meet was a really good experience."

 

Raiders fall to Yarmouth; Kroski excited by team growth

By Lloyd Jones

FRYEBURG — It was a building year for the Fryeburg Academy baseball team, and the current cast of Raiders welcomed the task. They took their lumps early, kept their heads up and worked tirelessly to improve. After opening the season 0-9, Fryeburg went 4-3 the rest of the spring and earned its first playoff appearance in recent years.

Coach Chris Kroski's troops ran into a veteran Yarmouth club in the opening round of the Class B South prelims in Yarmouth last Tuesday. The No. 6 seeded Clippers scored seven runs in the first inning on their way to a comfortable 12-0 win in a game called after five innings due to the 12-run mercy rule.

The 11th-ranked Raiders finished their season 4-13.

"I think there were some nerves," Kroski said. "Our boys were a little tentative, almost like they were playing like they had to win, like they were the favorites, when it should have been vice-versa. I told them we were the underdogs and no one was expecting us to win. If anything we should have been the guys who were loose. All the pressure was on Yarmouth."

Although Fryeburg was blanked on the scoreboard, Coach Kroski believes things might have been a little different if the Raiders had scored in the first inning.

"Oscar (Sanders) led off and got a hit," he said. "On the very next pitch, he got picked off first. With one out, Keegan (Jones) ripped a double into the gap. Yarmouth intentionally walked Hunter Day. We could very easily have done some damage early on. Credit to Yarmouth for the job they did."

Able to get out the jam, the Clippers took that momentum and rolled with it in their half of the first inning with seven runs.

"We made lots of mental errors," Kroski said. "Not a lot of physical errors. I'm not saying that Keegan didn't pitch well, but he's pitched better. We gave Yarmouth six outs in the first inning on two errors and two swinging third strikes. You can't do those sorts of things against good teams in the playoffs. This was just another learning opportunity for our team. We'll learn from it and get better.

"No excuses," he added. "We got beat. Yarmouth is a very team."

Fryeburg loses three seniors to graduation in Michael Boucher, Hunter Day and Nick L'Hereux-Carland.

"Overall," Kroski said, "I couldn't be happier with how the season played out. I couldn't have asked for more from the team. I think we all turned the corner, not only in baseball but in life, too. I'm already looking ahead to next year."