Gilford wins volleyball, soccer titles to continue school's tradition (543)

GILFORD — It was a good day for Gilford High School sports Saturday as the Golden Eagles won a pair of state titles, with the boys soccer team edging Hillsboro-Deering 1-0 in double overtime and the girls volleyball team capping an undefeated season with a five-set win over Somersworth.

For the soccer team, it was the first Division III state title since 2010 and the 15th for head coach Dave Pinkham, whose teams have been in 24 state championship games since he started coaching at Gilford in 1977.
For the volleyball team, which finished with a 20-0 mark, it was the 15th Division II state title in the last 21 years under coach Joan Forge, who, like Pinkham, is a 1977 graduate of Plymouth State University and a member of PSU's Athletic Hall of Fame. She has been coaching at Gilford since 1984.
Forge said it was the first time that Gilford has ever had to go five sets to win a championship game and credited a core group of seniors, including Captain Jordan Dean, Maddie Harris and Brooke Beaudet with providing the focus and determination Gilford needed to win.
''We came really close last year and the team put in a lot of offseason training to prepare for this season,'' said Forge.

She said it was good battle against Somersworth and the team proved its true mettle after the Hilltoppers tied the match at two sets apiece.
''We had to play a lot of defense, but we were perfect in serving, going 115 for 115 in five games,'' said Forge, whose team won the fifth set 15-8 as Maddie Currier served up six straight points.
Gilford volleyball won nine straight state championships from 1999 to 2007.
Pinkham, whose team finished with a 15-4-1 record, said that this year's team was young with at least five sophomores starting in every game.
''If you had told me at the start of the season that we would be playing in the championship game, it would have been hard to believe,'' said Pinkham, who said that the turning point for his team came in a late-season game with Newfound Regional High School.
''We were tied at the half and hadn't played that well. But, at the half, we had a heart-to-heart talk and played really strong from that point on through the rest of the season. For the last seven-and-a-half games we played, including four in the playoffs, we allowed only one goal the rest of the way.''
The winning goal Saturday came 96 minutes into the game when Sander Volpey hit from three yards out to beat Hillsboro-Deering goalie Thomas Ferguson.
Goalie Ethan Warren made six stops for the Golden Eagles, who held Hillsboro-Deering to just two shots on goal in the second half and none during overtime.
''I've always felt you win it with your defense,'' said Pinkham, who said that watching the younger players mature and gain confidence over the course of the season made this one of the most satisfying state championships he has ever experienced.
In the 1990s, the Golden Eagles went nine years without losing a game and set many national records including most consecutive championships, 10, most consecutive games without a loss, 133, and fewest goals allowed in a season, two.

Have your say on Laconia Motorcycle Week plans Nov. 11.

LACONIA – Those who want to make suggestions for next year's Laconia Motorcycle Week will want to attend a public forum on Wednesday, Nov. 11, a the Belknap Mill in Laconia. The forum will allow participants to ask questions of the association's board members and to learn more about plans for the 2016 rally, set for June 11 to 19.

The forum, moderated by Binnie Media’s Pat Kelly, will be a discussion about plans, concerns and suggestions for the 2016 Laconia Motorcycle Week.  Association Executive Director Charlie St. Clair, Director Jennifer Anderson, board President Cynthia Makris of the Naswa Resort and Laconia Mayor Ed Engler will participate in the discussion and a question-and-answer session. Laconia Police Chief Christopher Adams, Laconia Fire Chief Ken Erickson and officials from the New Hampshire State Police will be available to answer questions relating to law enforcement and public safety.

Laconia Motorcycle Week Association board members Richard Ray from the Laconia Roadhouse and Faro Italian Grille and Kurt Muhlfelder of South End Media will also be in attendance.

The forum runs from 5 to 7 p.m., and light refreshments will be served. The Belknap Mill is located at 25 Beacon St. East, next to Laconia City Hall, in downtown Laconia.

Ocean State Job Lot opens in Meredith’s Olde Province Common

MEREDITH — Ocean State Job Lot, the discount retail chain founded and headquartered in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, expanded its presence in New Hampshire to a baker's dozen yesterday with the opening its store at Olde Province Common on Route 104.
Last spring, Ocean State Job Lot purchased the shopping center, which filed for bankruptcy in 2014, for $2,050,000, began renovating some 30,000 square feet of space in July, and spent the last month stocking the shelves with inventory.
The company is a "closeout" retailer, offering discontinued and overstocked goods, including sporting goods and housewares at discounted prices, along with new items that are regularly restocked, as well as assorted foodstuffs.
Founded in 1977, Ocean State Job Lot owns and operates 109 stores in the six New England states as well as a dozen in New York and New Jersey. Apart from the Meredith store, there are stores in Concord, Derry, Hooksett, Milford, Nashua, Newport, Northumberland, Ossipee, Peterborough, Portsmouth, Walpole and Woodsville.
The company often acquires or leases space opened by the failure of supermarkets and discount stores. In Meredith, Ocean State Job Lot occupies the space left by the closure of Jackson's Star Market, which served as the anchor of the shopping center from when it was built in 1989 until 2009. Likewise, the company enlarged its footprint in New England by acquiring locations vacated by Ames when it went bankrupt in 2002.
The opening of Ocean State Job Lot has breathed new life into the shopping center. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission, which is building a new store in New Hampton, recently reversed its decision to close the Meredith store and will continue to lease 8,000 square feet, alongside Louie's Famous Pizza, Carter Mountain Flooring and Design, Garden Island Dry Cleaners and Unique Ambiance Hair Studio. A branch of Meredith Village Savings Bank is housed in a free-standing building at the center.