Lakes Region United sends both girls and boys teams to finals


LACONIA — Lakes Region United sent two teams to the New Hampshire Soccer League playoffs in Pembroke on the weekend of Nov. 11-12.
On Saturday, Nov. 11, LRU’s U15 girls beat the FC Stars 2-1 in the division 2/3 semifinals. They jumped to a 1-0 lead in the first half, with Abby Jarvi playing a through ball for Venessa Genakos, who slotted the ball into the bottom right corner. The FC Stars equalized, but Jarvi struck again in the second half after collecting her own rebound during a breakaway. In Sunday’s final, the team fell 1-0 to Shaker Roads School in a very close game. Assistant Coach Steven Hepburn said, “The girls played well defensively in the final. We had control in the second half but just couldn’t find goal-scoring opportunities.”
Meanwhile, LRU’s U14 boys beat Hampshire United 2-0 in Saturday’s division 1/2 semifinals, with Gilford’s Tanner Keenan setting up Canterbury’s William Riley for both goals. Keenan and Riley combined for another goal in Sunday’s final, but the team fell 4-1 to Kearsarge United.
Coach Chris McDonough said that the Kearsarge team was “really strong, very fast, and they should be commended for a well-played game.”
The tournament in Pembroke marked the end of LRU’s fall season. The club had over 100 athletes playing in New Hampshire Soccer League this fall. LRU’s athletes are currently playing in the first winter session at Fieldhouse Sports in Bow, with weekly practices held at Tilton Sports Center.
LRU is a non-profit organization that keeps costs reasonable by relying on experienced parents and volunteers to coach teams.
The club also benefits from the generosity of sponsor Cantin Chevrolet and local towns, which provide field time for practices and games. Club President John Stow of Gilford said “We’re very fortunate to have so many volunteer coaches and parents who contribute their time to keep youth soccer competitive, fun, and affordable in the Lakes Region.” Players interested in learning more about LRU should visit LRUsoccer.com.

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  • Written by Adam Drapcho
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Sachems won 1956 title in thrilling fashion


LACONIA — The 1956 Laconia High School baseball team, which won the title with a walk-off win, will be inducted into the Laconia High School Athletic Hall of Fame in a ceremony which gets underway Friday at 5 p.m. with a social hour at the Huot Center Culinary Arts Center followed by the formal induction starting at 6 p.m. in the school library.
The 1956 team, coached by legendary LHS baseball coach and athletic director Soc Bobotas, defeated Keene 5-4 in the Class A championship game, giving the Sachems their first state title in the New Hampshire Athletic Association era, which started in 1947.
Roger Landry, who played second base on the team and later was a well-known basketball official and baseball umpire for 35 years, said that he has some really good memories of that team.
“We were a bunch of average players who were led by two super players, Dean Leighton the third baseman and pitcher Jack Bishop. Leighton was the fastest base runner I’d ever seen. I would put him up against major leaguers like Ricky Henderson and Lou Brock. He was that good. And Bishop could really throw the ball. He was one of the best in the state.”
He said that the Sachems had other steady ballplayers like first baseman Jim Dansereau and outfielder Ron Laramie along with catcher Butch White.
The Sachems were confident and had a good chemistry which allowed them to get back into games after they fell behind, Landry recalled.
And that was the case in the title game when Keene jumped out to 4-0 lead. The Sachems battled back to even the score and Landry recalled how Leighton scored the winning run on the bottom of the ninth inning.
“He singled up the middle and the Keene coach came out and talked to his pitcher, warning him that Leighton was a threat to run. Leighton took off for second and when he saw the catcher’s throw go into the outfield kept on running to third. The center fielder overran the ball, so Leighton kept on going and crossed the plate with the winning run,” said Landry.
He still has special praise for Bobotas, who he said never raised his voice when his players made a mistake and was always supportive and encouraging to all of the players.
Ronnie Laramie, who was the centerfielder, agreed with Landry that Leighton was the fastest person he’d ever seen.
He also praised Bobotas, saying that he was like a father to the players and always told them “You have talent and if you play with heart and use your head you can compete with any team in the state.”
The Sachems had lost in the championship game in 1955 to Portsmouth 9-0, lost to Nashua 11-5 in 1960 and Manchester Central 2-1 in 1967. They beat Keene 5-4 in 1972 to capture their last Class L title. The Sachems won back-to-back Class I championships, in 1990 beating Plymouth 3-0, and beating Lebanon 3-2 in 1991. Their last appearance in a title game was in 1999, when they lost 14-4 to Plymouth.
Other Hall of Fame inductees include 1992 graduate Aaron Jones, a three-sport star in football, basketball and baseball; Mike Grover, class of 1984, Jim Dunlap from the class of 1969, another three-sport star; Class of 1976 football, basketball, winter track, and baseball standout Gary Harbour and the Class of 1996 track star Molly DeMark.

 

11 21 LHS baseball scan 1

  • Written by Roger Amsden
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Becca Howe hailed as an ideal teammate at LHS ceremony


LACONIA — At a ceremony Tuesday in the Laconia High School library, senior Rebecca "Becca" Howe signed a letter of intent Tuesday to play Division I college lacrosse at St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, New York. She was offered a significant scholarship to attend the university.
Howe, who becomes is the ninth Laconia High School girls lacrosse player to sign on to play college lacrosse since the program started at LHS about 15 years ago, was praised by Laconia High School Athletic Director Craig Kozens as a player who has “a business like approach and plays a hard aggressive game that gets the job done.”
He said that Howe is a three-sport athlete who also excels in soccer, where she was just named to the Division III all-state team, as well as basketball.
She has played lacrosse since she was in the fourth grade and has played a key role in Laconia winning back-to-back Division III titles in 2015 and 2016.
As a freshman she scored three goals and had four assists when the Sachems beat Derryfield 12-10 to capture their first-ever state title.
In her three years of play she has scored 160 goals and had 40 assists, placing her second in LHS lacrosse history in total points.
She also excels in the classroom where she is an honor student taking AP courses and ranks in the top 10 academically in the senior class.
Kozens said those those who play on the same team as Becca are unanimous in saying that “they couldn’t ask for a better teammate.”
That was borne out by two of her teammates, Evelyn Avery and Devon Mello, both of whom said that Becca’s best quality is that she is a friend to all of those she knows.
Howe thanked her teammates and said that they “have helped me become the player that I am.”
Her father, Bob Howe, is the coach of the LHS lacrosse team, succeeding his wife, Kerri, who now teaches at Plymouth State.
He said that he is very proud of the way Becca plays. “She loves the game and it really shows.”
And both parents say they are proud of their daughter’s academic achievements.
Her mother said that it’s an eight-hour drive to St. Bonaventure, which is located near Buffalo, New York, but that she is looking forward to using her frequent flier miles to travel from Manchester to Buffalo to visit her daughter.
Last year Becca’s older sister, McKenzie, signed a letter of intent to play Division 1 lacrosse with Boston University.

11 14 Rebecca Howe Family

Rebecca Howe awaits the beginning of a signing ceremony on Tuesday, at which she pledged her intention to play lacrosse at the Division I school St. Bonaventure. She is joined at the table by her father, Bob, mother Kerri and brother Devon. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun photo)

 

11 14 Rebecca Howe Group

A large group of students was present on Tuesday afternoon to celebrate Rebecca Howe's signing of intent to play lacrosse at St. Bonaventure University. (Adam Drapcho/Laconia Daily Sun photo)

  • Written by Roger Amsden
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Bobcats top Souhegan, face St. Thomas Saturday

PLYMOUTH — Nolan Farina and Garrett Macomber each rushed for over 100 yards, leading No. 2-seeded Plymouth Regional (9-0) to a 49-21 victory over visiting Souhegan of Amherst in a Division II quarterfinal playoff game on Saturday.
Farina carried seven times for 170 yards and two touchdowns, and Macomber, last season's Gatorade Player of the Year from New Hampshire, rushed 15 times for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Docen grabbed two touchdown passes from quarterback Ben Olmstead.
The Bobcats will host third-ranked St. Thomas, which beat John Stark 28-13, this coming Saturday at 1 p.m.
The other Division III game Saturday will see Hanover (9-0) hosting Bow 7-2, which topped previously undefeated Windham 20-15 Saturday.

Campbell 37, Inter-Lakes Moultonborough 6
In Litchfield, seventh-seeded Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough (4-5) took an early 6-0 lead, but second-seeded Campbell (9-0) dominated after that. Devin Ventura, Cam Barrett, Nick Boucher, Keegan Mills and Danny Castellano scored for the Cougars.

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