Gilford Youth Football has started to hold optional conditioning sessions. Official team activities starting within the coming weeks, depending on grade level. Prospective players can sign up for a team by visiting one of the conditioning sessions, held every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Gilford Meadows fields.
Gilford Youth Football is open to any student entering grades 1-8 in the fall. The organization offers a flag program for grades 1-3, with tackle football for grades 4-8. Teams are set up by grade, with 4-5-6 graders taking part in the Snowbelt League, and 7-8 graders compete in the Granite State League. All teams place a strong emphasis on sportsmanship and participation. Gilford looks to defend its first ever Granite State Championship this year and continue to build a winning tradition.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 August 2013 09:04
The Laconia Middle School football team will begin practicing on Monday August 12 at 5:30 p.m. at Pleasant Street School. Any LMS student interested in playing football must attend the player/parent meeting on Wednesday August 8 at 6 p.m. at Laconia Middle School. Equipment will be handed out at this time.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 August 2013 08:59
LACONIA — The Laconia Leafs have changed their name to the New Hampshire Lakers Junior Hockey Club and starting in September will be playing in the Eastern Hockey League.
Tim Martin, communications director for the Lakers, says that the name change ''is designed to show the organization's commitment to the Lakes Region by adopting the same name as the local youth hockey organization.''
He said that the two-team, not-for-profit, organization will continue to call the Laconia Ice Arena home and will feature a new look and a new logo.
They will also be looking for a new head coach to replace Joe Cardarelli and expect to be naming the new coach within a few weeks.
Currently, Brad Wheeler, who is in his second year with the Lakers, is serving as general manager and interim head coach.
The Lakers recently hired Rocky Romanella as an assistant coach. Coach Romanella will assist in all facets of the New Hampshire Lakers program, including serving as the club's recruiting coordinator.
The Lakers are members of the Atlantic and Metropolitan Junior Hockey Leagues. Junior hockey is a competitive level of hockey with players who are 20 years or younger. The principle purpose of the program is to prepare, promote, and develop the athletes for future endeavors into a college or professional program.
The Leafs/Lakers have placed over 120 players into college and professional rinks over the last ten years. Over the 2012-13 season, players representing 17 different states and three European countries have worn the Laconia Leafs jersey. The athletes live with local families around the Lakes Region.
The Eastern Hockey League will kick off its inaugural season with three divisions in 2013-14. Each EHL team will play four games against its fellow divisional foes for 20 games; each EHL team will play 12 league Showcase games against teams in other divisions; each EHL team will play 12 more games against teams in other divisions for a total of 44 regular season games.
The EHL divisions are listed below:
North Division: New Hampshire Lakers, Boston Bandits, Boston Jr. Rangers, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, Northern Cyclones and Valley Jr. Warriors
Central Division: Connecticut Oilers, Connecticut Wolfpack, New York Applecore, New York Bobcats,
Walpole Express and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Knights.
South Division: New Jersey Rockets, New Jersey Titans, Philadelphia Little Flyers, Philadelphia Jr. Flyers, Philadelphia Revolution, Washington Jr. Nationals.
Former NHLer and U.S. Olympian Mark Kumpel, who spent the past five years coaching and managing a successful Junior hockey team, will serve as the EHL's Director of Hockey Operations. "This group of coaches and owners are the best in Junior hockey," said Kumpel. "The coaching staff of the EHL rivals that of any junior league in the country." Current EHL head coaches include former college and professional players (see team web sites for individual bios).
For players and parents looking for clarity and solid information about the Junior hockey experience, these 18 East Coast organizations are excited to form the EHL with the intention of producing college-bound hockey players and providing high standards of operation to assure a quality player environment. Simply put – a better league with higher standards and a player-focused environment.
The EHL has implemented league-wide standards including player contracts that mandate numerous player experience criteria at no extra cost above the player tuition. Additionally, EHL member organizations have created a league-wide education service that will help players and parents find ways to continue their education, as well as helping them navigate their way through the process of becoming a NCAA varsity student-athlete.
The 18 EHL organizations combined for more than 120 NCAA commitments during the 2012-13 season and have a proven track record of preparing young hockey players for college hockey and beyond.
Last Updated on Thursday, 22 August 2013 09:02
GILFORD — For the third straight year the Gilford 10U All-Stars won the District 6 Cal Ripken tournament.
After going 5-0 in pool play the Gilford All-Stars faced off against Lakes Region in a three-game series, losing 6-3 in the first game but scoring 13-2 and 7-0 wins over the next two days in the tournament, which was played in Franklin and ended on July 3.
''Pitching and defense were the keys for us,'' said Coach Rick Muthersbaugh, who is in his second year as coach of the All-Stars and was assistant coach when Gilford won their first district championship in Franklin in 2011.
He said that his coaches, Jeff McKinney and Joe Rizzitano, helped develop the fielding skills of his young team, which included three eight-year-olds, one in the infield and two in the outfield, as well as prepare them mentally for the challenges of tournament play.
''Playing good defense helps keep you in the game and prevents big innings which can cost you the game,'' says Muthersbaugh, who added that it is important for the young players to realize that making an error isn't the end of the world.
''We tell them that errors are part of the game and the best thing they can do is put it behind them,'' said Muthersbaugh.
He said that Connor Sullivan was the ace pitcher for the Gilford All-Stars while his nine-year-old son, Ben, who first started at that position as seven-year-old, did a good job as catcher.
Following the District 6 tournament the Gilford All-Stars went on to the state Cal Ripken tournament in Exeter, where they won a game for the first time and played competitive baseball in all three games.
''We lost 2-1 to Exeter, the defending state champions, in the first game. The way we played earned us the respect of other teams and that what as a good feeling,'' said Muthersbaugh.
Gilford beat Great North Woods 14-4 in its second tournament game before bowing out with a 3-0 loss to Youngsville.
''It's been a big improvement over the last three years. In our first state tournament we only played eight innings in two games because we were behind by 10 runs in both of them. Last year we lost 3-2 and 5-4 in seven innings. But this year we were really competitive against teams which draw from a much bigger base than we have.'' said Muthersbaugh.
He said there were only 100 players in Gilford, Cal Ripken this year while some of the other tournament teams have a pool of 500 or more and have All-Star teams at each age level, which helps them prepare for future tournaments.
''It's quite an accomplishment for a small town like ours to be competitive with much larger programs.'' said Muthersbaugh.
Front row: Alex Berube and Sebastian Moceri (lying on ground on either side of trophy); second row: Tyler Rizzitano, Riley Marsh, DJ Roberts, Anthony Aguiar, Harry Meehan, third row: Tyler Talbot, Billy McKinney, Jack McLean, Connor Sullivan, Ben Muthersbaugh; back row: Coach Jeff McKinney, Coach Rick Muthersbaugh, Coach Joe Rizzitano (Courtesy photo)
Last Updated on Friday, 26 July 2013 03:37
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