Winni HS girl is headed to Australia for Down Under games

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Gabby Isabelle at the net in a Winnisquam Regional High School volleyball match. (Karen Bobotas/file photo)

Gabrielle Isabelle is three-sport athlete ready to compete in volleyball and track & field


TILTON —  Winnisquam Regional High School sophomore Gabrielle Isabelle has already done something few female athletes have ever done.

A standout in track-and-field, as well as volleyball, she’s also a member of the high school wrestling team and  last year recorded her first-ever “pin” of a male wrestler in a high school meet.

“I’ve pinned female wrestlers before but that was the first time I’d done it to a boy,” said Isabelle, who wrestles in the 132-pound class.

Her next goal is to compete in both track-and-field and volleyball in Australia.

She says wrestling has been good for her development of athletic skills and lower body strength and that mastery of technique is the key to her success.

“I’ve gotten lighter but stronger. I struggled at first until I got to understand the techniques which can help you win,” says Isabelle.

As a freshman, she was presented with the Coaches Award for wrestling, and as a sophomore, she emerged as one of the key players on her school’s volleyball team that finished with an 18-1 record and won the Division III title.

She’s currently recovering from a hand injury she received while wrestling that required surgery. She is looking forward to track-and-field in the spring, where she’s setting her sights on trying to break the girls’ Winnisquam shot put record of 36.2 feet. She’s already topped the 30-foot mark and thinks she can set the new record by the time she graduates.

She’s also working with her parents and friends to help raise money for a 20-day trip to Australia in July, where she will represent New Hampshire in the Down Under Sports Tournament in both track-and-field and volleyball. The tournament will bring together 16 teams of eight players each in the volleyball segment and about 350 track-and-field athletes.

The cost is about $7,500, according to her parents, Jeff and Tara Isabelle.

To meet that expense, the first in a series of fundraisers will take place Thursday, March 5, at the Winni Grill on Route 3 in Tilton. It will feature a comedy night with well-known comedian Bucky Lewis, whose roots are in the Lakes Region. Admission is $20 for the show, which is geared to adults, and doors open at 7 p.m., with the show getting underway at 8 p.m.

She also has a Facebook page where Go Gabby fans can show their support.

Her parents marvel at her resilience in bouncing back from a number of injuries, going back to the eighth grade, when she broke both ankles in a fall from a tree. She’s had trouble with pain in her legs since then and, last March, while playing in a non-school volleyball tournament (she plays the sport year-round), she suffered a concussion when she got tangled with another player while diving for the ball and hit her head on the floor, knocking her out briefly.

She’s recovered nicely, however, and says that her experience with so many injuries and the physical therapies she’s undergone have given her a good idea of what she wants to do in the future.

“I’d like to be a sports trainer. I really liked the people who worked with me and can see myself doing that,” says Isabelle.

Her goal, once she graduates from high school, is to attend Ohio State University, which offers a  wide variety of athletic degree programs and opportunities

for student athletes.

Athletic skills are part of her family’s history. Her father, Jeff, played soccer and was on the track-and-field team at Manchester Memorial High School, while her mother, Tara, played softball and was a cheerleader at Trinity High School in Manchester.

They moved with their family from Candia to the Lakes Region 10 years ago and they own Giguere’s Auto on Route 3.

Her mother is already planning to take the trip to Australia in July and be part of a  large contingent, including Gabby’s niece, aunt and grandmother, who will be cheering for her daughter.

“She’s a hard worker and very determined. It’s going to be lots of fun for all of us to watch her compete in Australia,” says her mother.


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Gabby Isabelle is a member of the Winnisquam Regional High School wrestling team. (Courtesy photo)

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Gabby Isabelle tosses the shot put in a track-and-field meet last season. (Courtesy photo)


Sachems girls down Belmont 56-40

LACONIA — The Laconia High School girls’ basketball team improved its record to 4-3 for the season with a 56-40 win over Belmont on Thursday night.

The Sachems were led by Delia Cormier with 12 points and Sydney Stevens with 11.

Juliana Estermera led Belmont with 24 points, hitting three three-pointers and five of six from the foul line.

Stevens owned the paint and stretched the defense by hitting a three, and scored nine of her 11 points in the first half.

The loss dropped Belmont to 3-6.

Inter-Lakes topped Moultonborough, 33-26, to improve to 8-2 on the season.

Emma Wheeler had 10 points and Tyler Ambrose 11 for the Lakers.

Boys Hockey

Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough topped Somersworth-Coe Brown, 2-1 with the local team scoring two power play goals in the first period to help them earn their win.

Somersworth-Coe Brown scored with 2:59 left in the game to close the margin, and had a five-on-three power play for the final 1:26, but could not score to tie the game.

For the Renegades, Brett Burns had a goal and an assist. Andrew Spicuzza scored their other goal.

Goalie Hunter Sanders had 27 saves.

The Renegades are now 4-3 on the season.


Gilford girls top Franklin for sixth win of season

GILFORD — The Golden Eagles improved their record to 6-2 with a 69-40 win over Franklin Tuesday night.
Brooke Beaudet led Gilford with 16 points and Lauren Dean added 13, while Shelby Cole had a dozen. Hannah Perkins had nine, Olivia Harris eight, and Abby O'Connor seven for Gilford.
Lauren Marsh and Hannah Hicks both had 12 for Franklin’s Golden Tornadoes, who fell to 2-8 on the season.
Gilford jumped out to a 22-10 lead in the first quarter and never trailed the rest of the way.
Newfound Regional improved its record to 9-1 with a 59-28 win over Mascoma.
Newfound got off to a quick start, outscoring Mascoma, 21-2, in the quarter and 34-6 at the half.
Ashlee Dukette had 21 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocked shots for the Bears. Savanna Bony had 21 points and six rebounds, while Jasmine Peterson had 15 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists.

Boys’ Basketball
Gilford beat Franklin, 94-67, to post their fourth straight victory and move to 5-2 on the season.
David Hart led Gilford with 23 points, while Jayden Torres poured in 36 points for the Golden Tornadoes, who are 0-7 on the season.

Campbell 61, Belmont 56
Belmont dropped to 3-3 with a 61-56 loss to Campbell, which is 5-1 on the season.
Aiden Rupp led the Raiders with 18 points and nine rebounds, and Matt Thurber and Griffin Embree both scored 10 points.

Boys’ Hockey
Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough Hockey came back from a two-goal deficit to beat Sanborn, 5-3, in a game played Monday at the Merrill Fay arena in Laconia.
Alek Sorokin had two goals and two assists for the Renegades. Brett Burns had one goal and two assists, Garrett McCarthy one goal and one assist, and Matthew Nichols had one goal.
After a scoreless first period, Sanborn scored two goals in the second period. The Renegades came back with three goals in less than six minutes and struck for two goals in the third period to pull away.
Coach Chuck Yaeger said goalie Hunter Sanders came up with key saves early in the game before the Renegades offense got on track.
Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough is now 3-3-1 on the season.

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Franklin’s Meghan Johnston keeps pressure on Gilford’s Lauren Dean during NHIAA Division III basketball Tuesday evening.  (Karen Bobotas/for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Lakes Region 14U softball players sought for Concord club

CONCORD — The NH Lightning USA Softball Club, based in Concord, currently has opportunities for Lakes Region athletes at the 14U level to play competitive fastpitch softball. The NH Lightning 14U team is looking to add a pitcher and infielder for the 2018 season, which will include winter workouts at the Concord Sports Center and six tournaments.
The NH Lighting organization promotes competitive softball for girls in New Hampshire through the development of skills, discipline, and sportsmanship. Winter workouts are held twice a week and provide our athletes an invaluable opportunity to develop softball skills. During the late spring and summer, NH Lightning Softball teams play at a highly competitive level at various tournaments around New England.
If you are interested in scheduling a tryout or for more information contact Will Johnson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 603-497-0512. Additional information may also be found at