Bulldogs will play for the New England Elite Baseball League title Saturday

 By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — Players on the U14 Home Run Bulldogs are one win away from accomplishing their goal of winning a New England Elite Baseball League championship and also reaching the 30-win milestone for the season.

The Bulldogs, made up of a collection of players from the Conway, Berlin, Wolfeboro and Fryeburg, Maine area, will play the Mizuno USA Navy team in a nine inning game for the EBL title on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Marshfield, Mass.

Home Run, the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, had sought to host the title game, but it will essentially be in No. 2 ranked Mizuno’s backyard.

“It’s just the way it is,” Greg Allain, coach of the Bulldogs, said on Wednesday. “At least we were able to push it back to the afternoon so we won’t be on the road as early. (Laughing) We’re the home team, we just have to travel four hours to be it. I’m sure we’ll be ready to go.”

The Bulldogs, who went 26-9 during the regular season and 8-0 in the American East Division to claim the No. 1 seed in the double-elimination tournament, were a perfect 3-0 over the July 8-9 weekend in Saugus, Mass., cruising through their bracket to reach the finals.

Home Run beat the Mass Hurricanes from Mansfield, Mass., 7-0; the Vikings National, based out of Melrose, Mass., 10-0 in five innings due to the 10-run mercy rule; and the Saugus Wings Red 16-6.

"The boys played great," Allain said. "We got great pitching and we hit. There wasn't a hole in our lineup all weekend."

The other bracket of four teams did not finish play on July 9 due to inclement weather. They finished the bracket on Saturday. Mizuno USA Navy (18-2 during the season) topped the Vikings Northmen (21-4-1), 13-11, in the bracket final after the Northmen had forced an additional game with a 1-0 victory.

Members of the Home Run team are Harrison Keeler, Noah Barrows, Brady King, Cole Bradley, Austin Eastman, Tyler Sprince, Chase Spencer, Dominick Paradis, Parker Coleman, Bryce Micklon, Dylan Bisson and Colby Hall.

Allain announced Wednesday that Bisson will start on the mound for his club. The Berlin resident tossed a two-hitter in the win over the Vikings.

“Dillon is one of our big guns,” Allain said prior to practice.


Locals do their part for Run to Home Base


By Lloyd Jones

CONWAY — Mission accomplished.

Robert S. Graustein II never met his grandfather, Lieutenant Commander (LCDR) Robert S. Graustein, who was killed in Vietnam on Dec. 21, 1972, but on Saturday the 14-year-old from North Conway never felt closer to him. Bobby, running in memory of his grandfather,  was among more than 2,000 people to participate in the eighth annual Run to Home Base, presented by New Balance at Fenway in support of Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program.

Also participating in the Run to Home Base was Jessica Dolan, 36, of Kearsarge. Sunday marked her seventh time running in the event. She ran in the 5K race, crossing the finish line in 425th (61st out of 125 runners in the 30-39 age group), in 39:56.

There were 865 finishers in the 5K.

Bobby, aged 14, was the 516th finisher overall and seventh out of 13 runners in his age group (ages 1-19), covering the 9K in 52:56. It was his first time running in the event.

There were 1,231 finishers in the 9K race.

He far exceeded his fundraising goal of $1,500, collecting $2,640 in pledges as of Monday. People can still donate at http://tinyurl.com/y99th8da.

Jessica set out with a goal of raising $2,000 and more than doubled that mark, reaching $4,525 as of Monday.

“Lucky #7! Yes, this will be the seventh time I will participate in the Run to Home Base at Fenway Park,” Jessica wrote on her donations page. “Each year this event brings more meaning to myself and my family who are there supporting it. It is about so much more than a day at Fenway Park, playing games for some and running in the heat for others. The Home Base program is doing really good work — they are supporting our troops when it matters most, providing treatment and cutting edge research to help these young men and women return to the lives they once knew. Traumatic brain injuries and PTSD are now commonly known at the invisible wounds of war thanks to Home Base. I am honored to be a part of an event that supports such a wonderful cause. I am grateful for all the support I get from my friends, co-workers and family to continue to raise money for this program and support me at this event.”

The 9K run and 5K run/walk began outside Fenway Park and ended with participants crossing home plate, raising necessary funds for the clinical care and support provided by Home Base and their mission, “to heal the invisible wounds for Post-9/11 Veterans, Service Members and their Families. Invisible wounds include post-traumatic stress, traumatic brain injury and other issues associated with the deployment cycle.”

“Bobby saw (Run to Home Base) while watching a game, that's what started the process then they asked #whodoyourunfor, this is what changed the outlook for him,” Bethanne said of her son’s desire to run.

Bobby’s participation in the 9K run was timely; this year, the opening ceremonies for the run included a special recognition ceremony for Vietnam Veterans in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. More than 1,000 Vietnam Veterans traveled from around the country joined Home Base and the Boston Red Sox for a day of commemoration at Fenway Park that culminated with a pre-game on field ceremony prior to the game between the hometown Red Sox and their fame rival, the Nee York Yankees.

Bobby not only ran in memory of his grandfather but also honored family friends and relatives by placing their names, “Scott Graustein — Navy; Roy Andrews — Army; Paul Weld — Army; John Graustein — Army; David Terry — Navy; Ls1 Catherine Terry — Navy Active; Jason Turner — Navy; VT 1st Class Jacob Turner — Army Active; and Ray Gilmore Jr. — Army,” on the back of his shirt.

The late LCDR Graustein graduated from the Naval Academy in 1961 as an Operations officer of the VA-75. He was subsequently stationed at the naval air station Oceana on the USS Saratoga, at which point he deployed to Vietnam as part of the Sunday Punchers squadron. His A-6 plane was struck down while he was on a bomb strike on Kien Ann Airfield.

“I run for (my grandfather) because I was never given the chance to meet him,” said Bobby, when asked about his grandfather and why he chose to participate in the Run to Home Base. “I am named after him.”

Jessica Kelley, 27, of Center Ossipee, who finished in 50:02 in the 9K, also took part in the event.


Registration begins for the Stateline Youth Football League


CONWAY — Are you ready for some youth tackle football?

The Stateline Youth Football League, a program designed to introduce youngsters who are entering grades 4-6 how fun and exciting it is to play tackle football, is gearing up for another exciting season.  

Players who join the league will be given equipment, including helmets, shoulder pads and jerseys for the duration of the program.

Participants from North Conway Community Center, Fryeburg and Berlin will play games on Saturday mornings and Wednesday nights throughout the season in North Conway and Fryeburg.  

Practices will be held during the week at the coaches’ availability.   

Tryouts will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 9 and Thursday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. at Schouler Park in North Conway.  Practices will begin the following week.  

The registration fee is $90. The North Conway Community Center does provide scholarships for anyone who is unable to pay the full fee.

If you are interested in coaching please sign up at registration time.  You will be contacted by officials from the community center and required to attend the coaches meeting for tackle football.  If you have any question please call Director Ryan Sommer at the North Conway Community Center at (603) 356-2096.

Registration begins today.  The season is coming quickly.  You must register by Aug. 9 at 5 p.m.


Conway Rec announces Cabbage Island trip for Sept. 1


CONWAY — The Conway Parks and Recreation Department will be offering its annual trip to Cabbage Island in Boothbay Harbor Maine on Friday, Sept. 1.
Participants will depart the Conway Parks and Recreation Department at 7:30 a.m. and travel aboard the Conway Rec. bus to Boothbay Harbor, arriving at approximately 10:30 a.m.
The group will have approximately one hour to walk around Boothbay Harbor before boarding a boat for an hour-long cruise of the harbor.
Following the tour, the group will go to Cabbage Island for an authentic clam bake to include chowder, clams, lobster, corn, blueberry buckle cake and more.
The group will return to the Conway Parks and Recreation Department at approximately 7:30 p.m.
The cost of the trip is $63. Reservations must be made in person at the Conway Parks and Recreation Department office in Center Conway.
“It’s a great day,” Michael Lane, assistant recreation director, said. “This is always our most popular trip. It always sells out.”
Please contact Michael Lane with any questions at (603) 447-5680 or by e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.