MOULTONBOROUGH – After a slow decline over the past two years, the players on the Laconia High School golf team have turned things around this year, earning themselves a place in the NHIAA Division III golf tournament, held on Thursday at Ridgewood Country Club in Moultonborough.
The roster of the 2013 team was identical to that of last year's group, with the exception of three incoming freshmen and a new coach, Jason Baldini, an assistant pro at Laconia Country Club. Baldini brought a new level of professionalism to the team, both in skill and attitude. This new outlook translated on the course through the players' respect and dedication to the team.
Assessing the team's raw skills, Baldini worked on perfecting the players' form of swinging, helping them with drives and putting, all showed throughout the season, as they boys racked up eight more wins than they did the season before.
The season of work came to a head on October 3, when Laconia found itself at a critical match at their home Laconia Country Club. This was the last match of the season, and the team's placement in the state tournament would be determined by the performance of the players on that day. The team was up against Pelham, ranked second in the division, Belmont, and Prospect Mountain, which was the team they had to beat in order to qualify for the tournament. At the end of the day Laconia came out on top, beating all three teams and claiming a spot in states on October 10.
The state tournament was a challenge for the Sachems, as they were playing on an 18 hole course instead of their usual 9 hole course. The players worked hard during the state match, finishing with a score of 367 and a seventh place finish. The tournament was won by Bow, which shot 301. Pelham claimed second with 337, followed by Mascenic (338), Gilford (339), Campbell (344) and Kearsarge (357).
Although the team would have liked to have placed better, Baldini said his players were proud of making it to states and of their progress during the season. He said, "I have never coached anything before, but having a background in the field professionally really helped me direct the boys out on the course. The amount of respect that came from the team this year was unbelievable. I felt that they were not only playing for themselves, but also wanted to play well for me, to make me proud."
The team's potential showed over the course of the season and figures to continue to develop next year. Captain Colin Horton, a junior, took the best scores throughout the season and was named the team's MVP for the year. Sophomore, Trevor Weeks was said to be "most improved" by Baldini. The two additional captains and only seniors on the team were Matt Missert and Scott Compton.
Reflecting on the season, Compton said," I'm proud of the team this year. Not just for making it to states but for our record and progress made. I knew that our record would be higher than last year's, but I couldn't have imagined it to be as good as it was. The team came back this season ready to kill it, but a lot of drive and inspiration came from our coach. Baldini helped the team get to where we are now."
Last Updated on Monday, 14 October 2013 06:28
The Laconia Chiefs U5 team hosted the Keene Knights on Sunday as they were looking to keep their 2 game win streak alive. The Chiefs won the toss but Keene was able to recover the onside kick. With the youngsters from Laconia on the ropes, the Knights marched down the field and punched in the day's first score. The extra point attempt made it a quick 7-0 lead for the visitors. Laconia wouldn't stay down for long, as the Chiefs put together a nice drive of their own, culminating when QB Ryan Dee found wingback Kaleb Daignault in the corner of the endzone for a 15 yard scoring strike. The Chiefs weren't able to convert the extra point but had pulled the game to within one, 7-6. Keene added another score, without the extra point, and had a 13-7 lead as the half was quickly coming to a close. Laconia had a big run by its tailback Phil Nichols, which led to fullback Nolen Perrino punching one in from the 3 yard line. The Knights defense again stuffed the extra point attempt, but the Chiefs went into the half only down by 1, 13-12.
The defense made some key adjustments in the second half and came out fired up. Defensive tackle Garret Mango and linebackers Aaron Williams and Perrino started attacking the Keene run game and managed to shut them down. The offense was propelled by tailback Phil Nichols, who scored two touchdowns in the half on some great runs of 45 and 65 yards respectively.
He finished the day with an impressive 136 yards on 18 carries and 2 touchdowns. Dee and Daignault were both able to record an extra point to give the home team a 26-13 lead. Keene tried to get something going with their next offensive possession, but Dee, playing safety, stepped in front of a Knight pass for his first interception of the season and put an end to any chance the Knights had of staging a comeback.
The win improves the Chiefs record to 4-2 with their last home game coming this weekend against Hudson. The tam will wrap up its season on the road at Goffstown. If they are able to keep the win streak alive, there is a very real possibility that they could make the playoffs. Game time this weekend is 2 p.m.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:31
With nine players getting assists, the Gilford High School Golden Eagles field hockey team defeated Profile 6 - 0 on Tuesday. Four players had goals as Gilford raised its record to 10 - 0 - 1. The defense continued its season-long work to support goalie Ashlyn Miller. Mariah Nelson and Shannon Anderson were two of the Eagles involved in the positive passing.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:27
The Inter-Lakes High School varsity volleyball team improved to 9-3 on the season with a gritty win on the road at Winnisquam on Monday night, 3-2 (25-20, 29-31, 25-19, 20-25, 15-6). Senior middle hitter Jordan Donohue had another career night, setting two new school records for match kills (28) and match blocks (13). Donohue also notched eight service points and 10 digs in an impressive all-around performance. Senior setter Hayley Roth recorded 30 assists, 10 digs and 11 points. Jessica Schofield had six kills and seven blocks. Junior outside hitter Kaila Martin had six straight points, including three aces, and a key kill in the deciding fifth set. Also contributing were Lydia Swedberg (11 points, eight digs), Victoria Burns (10 digs, six points), Jenny Pelczar (10 points, five digs) and Sarah Sundius (three kills, three digs).
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 October 2013 09:26
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