LACONIA — After winning their Division III state championship last spring, the Laconia High School girls lacrosse team yesterday gathered to celebrate as Mackenzie Howe signed her national letter of intent to accept a scholarship and play lacrosse at Boston University,
Howe, one of four Sachems named to the Division III all-state team, scored 60 goals, including three in the 12 to 10 victory over Derryfield School to claim the championship, assisted on another 27 goals and controlled the ball on 55 face-offs during a season in which her team won 16 games and lost just once by a single goal.
Kerri Howe, her mother and coach, said she could not be prouder that her daughter earned the opportunity to play in college, especially because "I watched the work it took for her to get to play at the next level."
Her father, Bob, who also coaches the team, said that Kenzie, who was courted by Boston University as a sophomore at Holderness School, has looked forward to this day for the past two years.
Kenzie thanked her teachers for "preparing me for the academic challenges ahead as well as her teammates and friends, without whom she would not have had this opportunity. She also expressed her gratitude to Tony Pederzani, who introduced lacrosse to Laconia High School more than a decade ago and, after watching Kenzie play soccer as third-grader, suggested she try lacrosse.
Kenzie said she started in third grade, and a year later began playing club lacrosse. Along with playing for her school, she has joined other outstanding players from across the state on teams traveling as far as Florida to face top-flight competition. Being coached by her parents, was sometimes "frustrating," Kenzie said, but she quickly added "You deal with it, and it made me a better player."
This spring, when Kenzie returns for her senior season at Laconia High School, she will be surrounded by all but one of the teammates who won the championship, including Helen Tautkus, Gabrielle Smith, and Natalie Compton who also won all-state honors, as well as as Lyndsey Paronto and Rebecca Howe, Kenzie's sister, who were named to the second all-state team.
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