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Same players, different team for Laconia boys' soccer

LACONIA – Although many of the faces on the Laconia High School boys' varsity soccer team are the same that made up last year's team, the players have taken it upon themselves to ensure that their 2013 season won't look like their 2012 outing, which ended with a first-round playoff exit.

The loss against Hopkington for during the tournament last year stung for the Sachems on the 2012 team. The sting lingered through the winter and spring, then morphed into motivation.

Starting over the summer, the boys took practicing into their own hands. Spending many afternoons at Leavitt Park, the players individually and collectively practiced and sharpened the skills that would be needed during the months to come. The prospect of a winning soccer team was the driving force that got many of the boys out of bed early in the morning to do personal conditioning on their own time.

Watching the boys take the field, one can see that their efforts have paid off. The team this year is made of up almost all familiar players, many of whom are seniors. Fans of the team have watched these seniors evolve and grow over the years, into talented athletes. Seniors on the team this year include Jake Sykes, Patrick Guyer, Edis Dizdarevic, Brady Caldwell, Eric Cheney and Jake Sullivan, as well as captains Aidan Dean and Kolby Fornier.

"I have enjoyed working with each of these guys during my time on the both the middle school soccer team and high school varsity soccer team," says senior, Dizdarevic. "Over the years we have not only become better athletes, but also a stronger more supportive team that is working hard to get the senior championship. I'm proud of our accomplishments and will miss them when this season comes to a close."

The fast and intense games of this year have proven exciting for coaches to coach and spectators to watch. In last week's game Dean was working hard on the field, passing and receiving the ball with apparent ease and confidence, even during moments of pressure from the opposing team.

Brayden Harriman, a junior, has also developed into a strong asset to the team, a player who will take charge of an oncoming ball in any way possible, often heading as many as he kicks. Fornier also has had many shining moments on the field, winning possession of the ball forcing scoring opportunities on multiple occasions.

Although it ended with a loss, a recent game against the perennially-powerful Gilford team illustrated the Sachems' new attitude. The match was intense, and as the second half was drawing to a close Laconia was looking at a 3-0 deficit. With two seconds to go, Dean scored, making the final score 3-1. Gilford might have earned the win, but the Sachems denied their opponents the satisfaction of a shut-out.

As a junior, goalie Panthavy Pradachith, has also claimed a spot as captain of the team. Pradachith has had two shut out games already and is convinced that the Sachems will be a team to reckon with this season.

"This year we're going to show that we are a different team," says Pradachith. "We are going to prove we have gotten strong and better. I have a feeling that this year will be a team to remember for our soccer team. But no matter what the outcome is, at the end of the season I will be happy I got to play soccer with my friends, my teammates, my brothers."

Currently, the team has a record of 3-2, significantly better than where the players found themselves this time last year. Redeeming themselves from a loss against Gilford, Laconia had a 6-0 win against Newfound last Friday. The team is scheduled to play Plymouth away this afternoon and will host Newfound again on September 23.

Last Updated on Monday, 16 September 2013 08:50

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Inter-Lakes' Jordan Donohue Records 500th Kill

MEREDITH — It was a good week for the Inter-Lakes Varsity Volleyball team as it upended the defending Division III state champions Winnisquam Bears Wednesday, just two days after Senior middle hitter Jordan Donohue became the first player in Inter-Lakes program history to achieve the 500 kill milestone.
The win over Winnisquam came in an excruciatingly long match in Meredith on a hot and humid Wednesday night by set scores of 29-27, 25-22, 20-25, 27-25.
Donohue recorded 16 kills, 11 service points, five aces, and senior Lydia Swedberg registered 18 service point and ten digs. Senior Middle hitter Jessica Schofield had a career night with six kills, five blocks and two block kills. Also contributing were Sarah Sundius (seven kills, six digs), Jenn Pelczar (10 points, six digs), Hayley Roth (28 assists) and Victoria Burns (seven points, seven digs). Inter-Lakes improves to 3-1 on the season and heads to Mascoma on Friday.
Inter-Lakes defeated John Stark in straight sets on Monday night in Meredith, 25-7, 25-14, 25-12. Donohue led the way with four aces, three blocks and nine kills, including her 500th career kill. Also contributing were Lydia Swedberg (10 service points, six digs), Hayley Roth (15 points, 14 assists), Kaila Martin (six points, four kills) and Jenn Pelczar (11 points, five aces).
A varsity starter since her freshman year, Donohue earned accolades from coach Randy Mattson for her achieving the 500 kill mark.
''Jordan is a player that stands out among most of the players I have coached at Inter-Lakes over the past 20 years. She is dedicated, driven and passionate about the sport. She is one of only a few players in my coaching career to have had the skill and maturity to be a varsity starter as a freshman. She is one of those players who is ready to go on the court every minute of every day.'' said Mattson.
She said that Donohue is not only a very competitive athlete, but also one who has assumed a leadership role on the team.
''When one season ends, she is eager for the next to begin. Jordan has become one of the top players in New Hampshire because she has been a serious student of the game....she simply lives and breathes the game every minute of the day. An incredibly intense player during competition, Jordan motivates her teammates at Inter-Lakes by pushing them to achieve greatness. I have enjoyed watching her growth as a student athlete as she has matured into a strong leadership role in our program.'' says Mattson.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 September 2013 08:29

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Chiefs drop heartbreaker in Derry

The Laconia Chiefs U5 team traveled south to square off against the defending state champion, Derry Demons this past Sunday. The two teams gave the fans a playoff-type game as they battled back and forth.
The Demons struck first as they were able to find a seam on the opening kickoff and raced 65 yards for the day's first score. Laconia snuffed the extra point and Derry had a very quick 6-0 lead. The Chiefs marched down the field in their first possession. Led by tailback Jackson Reulke, the young Laconia squad moved methodically until Reulke followed the lead blocks of TE Brandon Marceau and Tackle Aaron Williams for a 35 yard TD run. Laconia's extra point attempt was also stopped and the game was knotted at 6. That is the way it remained as both defenses kept the pressure on. Laconia's defense was especially stifling as the Demons had a first and goal from inside the 10. Led by linebackers Garret Mango and Dakota McCoy, the Chiefs kept stuffing their opponents until it was 4th and goal from the 15. Derry tried to get to the edge on a sweep, but safety Logan Dee made a touchdown-saving tackle at the 1 to keep the score knotted.
As the 4th quarter started, the Demons were driving down the field when their bruising tailback found the edge and raced 40 yards for Derry's second touchdown. Once again Laconia stopped the extra point but Derry had a 12-6 lead with the clock running down. The Chiefs got the ball inside their opponent's territory but facing a 4th and 6 their halfback toss was intercepted and the game ended with a victory for Derry 12-6.
Coach James Roy said after the game, "I am very proud of the way we played today. We had a rough week of practice and weren't sure how the kids would respond. They played their hearts out today against a very, very good team."
This Sunday the Laconia teams will be facing Plymouth in their home opener on Fitzgerald Field. Games start at 9 a.m.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 September 2013 07:55

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Gilford Hills tennis champs crowned

On Thursday, September , Gilford Hills Tennis and Fitness Club held its catered seasonal sports banquet, recognizing the champions for the 2013 Summer Tennis Leagues. Six leagues were played at the outdoor courts in the sunshine, and the following champions were recognized; Monday Night's "A" Doubles was won by Scott Everett and Tim James, the Monday Night Men's "B" Doubles was won by John Dickey and Stan Wallerstein, Women's "B" Singles Flex Time was won by Jacinta Cullen, Tuesday and Thursday "A1" Singles was won by Andrew Caulfield, the Tuesday and Thursday "A2" Singles was won by Jeff Cloutier and the Wednesday Night Women's Doubles champs are Molly Joyce and Betsy Chapin.
The Fall Tennis leagues start this week and there will be ten weeks of regular season play. There will be one week of play offs and one week for finals. Also, there is Friday Mixed Coed Doubles that is open to the public on the first and third Friday of every month. GHC is always welcoming anyone that would like to play tennis or take advantage of the fitness center and classes. For any information please call 603-293-7546.

Last Updated on Thursday, 12 September 2013 07:52

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