Laconia High School Athletic Hall of Fame adds coach, two athletes and field hockey championship team to its roster of greats

LACONIA – The Laconia High School Athletic department has inducted four new Hall of Fame members. This class consists of two standout athletes, a coach and a team.

The induction ceremony was held Friday, Nov.27, at the high school  auditorium following a social hour at the Huot Center on the LHS campus at the Meredith Village Savings Bank Culinary Arts Center.

The legendary "Voice of the Sachems," David Rea, was the master of  ceremonies.

First honored was former coach Erwin Smith, who served the Laconia School district as a teacher and coach from 1945-1975, where he was dubbed "The Dean of NH Track coaches" by his peers. The beautiful track at Opechee Park is named in his honor. Smith was not only a top-notch coach, but loved by his athletes for his passion for the sport and dedication he showed to them.
Next was a three-sport standout from the class of 1978, and current coach for over 30 years, Tim Steuer. He was a Division I Cross-State First Team All-Star in Football, Class I First Team All-Tourney and team Co-MVP in basketball, and First Team All-State and Co-MVP in baseball. Steuer captained both the basketball and baseball teams in his senior season.

After his storied career, Tim went on to be a three-sport coach and teacher at Laconia High School. Steuer led the Sachems to two baseball championships, including a title in 1991. As an assistant football coach, he was part of 17 state title games where the Sachems took four of them. He also coached girls and boys basketball during his tenure.

Three-sport star Beth Gilbert from the class of 1998 excelled in field hockey, where she was all-state softball, a two-year MVP and all-state player; and legendary on the basketball court where she was all-state, MVP and the first female player to eclipse 1,000 points. Gilbert captained all of her teams and went on to participate in post-season all-star games.

Gilbert represented Laconia High School in California on the Northern Lights Team as well as the Twin State Classic. In basketball, she participated in the Alhambra game vs. Vermont. She was Lakes Region Player of the Year in basketball. Her coaches enjoyed having the best athlete on the field, but what they loved most is that she played the game hard with a positive smile on her face.

The 1991 State Championship Field Hockey team was also inducted. The team entered the Class I playoffs as the No. 4 seeded team, with a 10-2-1 record. They dominated the regular season beating their opponents by a combined score of 38-8. They made their way to the championship and defeated the second-seeded powerhouse Kingswood Knights in triple overtime at Plymouth State College. Their passion to play together, through tough times and good times, made them special. This all-for-one-and-one-for-all attitude led to their perseverance along the way, said Athletic Director Craig Kozens. They epitomized the meaning of word team. The girls were coached by Mary Garside.

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Correction: Armand Bolduc elected 17 times

An article about the appointment of Arthur Kirk to the Laconia Parks and Recreation Commission that appeared in The Daily Sun on Nov. 27 contained an error regarding the history of election contests between Ward 6 Councilor Armand Bolduc and Tony Felch. Felch has unsuccessfully challenged Bolduc in the last three city elections, dating back to 2011. In total, Bolduc has been elected the the council, from either Ward 3 or Ward 6, 17 times.

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Laconia Athletic and Swim Club could open soon as help is offered

LACONIA — While the doors to the Laconia Athletic and Swim Club have been closed since Thanksgiving Day, owner Tom Oakley is not only feeling relief over getting the weight of his financial issues out in the open, he is grateful for the community's response and hopeful the club will open again soon.

"It's been overwhelming," he said Monday of the outpouring of support since the news broke."We have a few leads, a few possibilities (of help), but it's going to take a few days."

In an email to members, Oakley said no one will be charged for membership, physical therapy or swim services until they can reopen. He asks for patience as they sort things out, but also notes that there is a $50,000 bond with the state of New Hampshire that will cover refunds if they need to be issued.

"What's exciting is that people are coming forward with contacts and ideas," said Oakley. "We're trying to look at the blessings."

Anyone who has questions or would like to help may contact Oakley at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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