BELMONT – After suffering their first loss of the season on Wednesday, the members of the Belmont High School varsity volleyball team redeemed themselves with a win against Pittsfield High School during the Red Raiders' homecoming game Saturday evening. The final score was 3-1 Belmont.
Belmont struggled on the court during the first set, and their lack of coordination and communication resulted in an uphill climb for the rest of the match. With a score of 18-16 Pittsfield, the Belmont girls worked to close the two point lead but were unsuccessful. Pittsfield continued to outplay Belmont, winning the first set with a score of 25-21.
Feeling the sting of the loss, Belmont coach Melissa Miner shared her disappointment in the team and encouraged them to show Pittsfield how they really play. Heeding this advice, the girls stepped up their game during the second set. The Red Raiders hit their stride early in the set as they advanced 12-6. Belmont's significant lead began to be chipped away by Pittsfield however, as they closed the lead to 13-11. The attempt to take over the lead fell short for the Pittsfield girls, as Belmont again widened their lead and finishes up set two with a score of 25-16.
Entering the third set the Belmont girls started off strong, winning the first nine volleys. Pittsfield began to advance as the set continued, winning nine of the next thirteen volleys. Although the girls on each side of the court were working hard to put points on the board, Pittsfield's attempt to come back fell short again as Belmont racked up a 10 point lead, winning the third set with a score of 25-15.
Belmont entered the fourth set poised to claim the overall win. After various carefully executed digs and a long volley won, the Belmont girls had a lead of six points with a score of 8-2. Following the trend set during earlier sets in the game, Pittsfield started to pull close, shorting Belmont's lead to one point on two different occasions. Eager to regain their lead Belmont girls worked as a team to put the final points on the board, winning the fourth set with a score of 25-16.
Commenting on the win, Melissa Miner said, "We've had a really good year, with a 9-1 record. Recently our setter Megan Bailey got her 1,000th assist and our libero Jessie Bergeron got her 500th dig." Miner credits much of the team's success this year to the strong defense, which has helped them greatly during games throughout the season. The team's 90 percent serving accuracy has also been an important asset while on the court. Although the offense isn't as strong as Miner would like, she said her players are working on their skills every day.
For the Red Raiders, Bailey recorded 8 aces, 5 digs and 36 assists. Bergeron added 3 aces, 3 kills and 23 digs. Jackelyn Robarge had 4 aces and 3 digs, Bridget Annis had five kills and a pair of blocks, and Alyssa Woods had 14 kills.
Said Miner, "The team is working well overall this year, but must be ready for the tough games coming up. After defeating Inter-Lakes and Moultonborough they will be coming back wanting revenge, and after our recent loss to Winnisquam the girls are already anticipating another challenging game when we play them again."
The Belmont girls will be taking on Franklin on Wednesday, October 9 at home.
Last Updated on Monday, 07 October 2013 08:01
Former LHS Quarterback Negotiating on Behalf of Red Sox Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (904 w.cut slugged Salty)
LACONIA — Coming off a career year in which broke the Red Sox record for doubles by a catcher and even managed to steal home, Jarrod Saltalamacchia is in the cat bird seat as he ponders a new contract and possible free agency in the 2013 post season.
And representing him in those negotiations will be Jim Munsey, a former Laconia High School quarterback and owner of Munsey Sports Management of Durham and West Palm Beach, Florida.
Munsey, who graduated from Laconia High School in 1976, has been representing baseball players in negotiations for over 15 years and has been Saltalamacchia's agent for 11 years.
He says that Saltalamacchia, who will be playing in the first post-season game of his career when he steps in behind the plate at Fenway Park this afternoon, is easily rated as the top free agent catcher, along with Brian McCann of the Atlanta Braves, and should command a hefty increase over the $4.5 million that he made this year.
Not only did the Sox catcher hit 40 doubles, breaking the previous record of 39 held by Carlton Fisk and Jason Varitek, but he batted .273, his highest average ever, hit 14 homers and raised his on-base percentage to .338 and his slugging percentage to .466, better than even last year when he hit 25 homers.
He also got high marks from the Red Sox pitching staff for his ability to call a game and stay one pitch ahead of hitters, and also for throwing out baser stealers at the best rate in his career.
Munsey said that it's been a real treat watching Saltalamacchia develop into one of baseball's top catchers and that, just as in the case of other players he represents, he's come to be close friends with him and his family.
''We get to do some backyard barbecues together and I know all three of his kids,'' said Munsey, who says that his method of negotiating is a lot different than that of agents like Scott Boras, who represents, among other high-profile free agents Red Sox centerfielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
''I like to think of it like being sort of anonymous, like an umpire. If nobody knows your name, that means you're probably doing a good job,'' says Munsey, who likes to maintain a low profile when it comes to negotiations.
He says that once the World Series ends, or if the Red Sox season ends before that, the Red Sox will
have five days in which to talk money with Saltalamacchia, who can talk with other teams but not about money during that period. He will then have the option of taking the Red Sox offer or entering the free market.
''He'd love to stay with Boston, especially if he ends up with a World Series ring. It's been an exciting year with a lot of guys who are really close and have great chemistry as a team. And it's a franchise with a great history,'' says Munsey.
But there are lots of other teams interested in the Red Sox catcher, including the Chicago Cubs, where former Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein has said that he is interested. And there are always the New York Yankees, who will looking to fill lots of holes on their aging roster and for who baseball writers say are interested in a catcher, including the White Sox, Toronto and the Florida Marlins.
Munsey, who played on the same Laconia High School football team as Phil Estes, an All-State lineman who is now head football coach at Brown University, attended Stetson University in Florida, where he met his bride-to-be, as well as the University of New Hampshire, where he suited up for one football game. After graduating from UNH he went to law school at the University of Vermont.
He splits his time now between West Palm Beach, Florida, and Durham, and is a mediator in West Palm Beach in addition to his sports business.
He and his wife have for children, a daughter, Meagan, 34, sons Tanner, 31, a carpenter in Exeter, and Tanner, 28, who is in pharmaceutical sales, and a 13-year-old daughter, Anna Kate.
Both of his sons were baseball players with Tanner, a catcher, drafted by the Minnesota Twins and played in their minor league system for a year. Travis was captain of the University of Massachusetts baseball team and graduated from Umass in 2007.
Munsey's dad ''Jeep'', was a 1949 graduate of Laconia High School and a star running back for the Sachems. He went on to UNH where he was co-captain of the 1953 team which posted a 6-2 record and was the Yankee Conference champion with a 3-1 mark. Munsey later served on the Laconia School Board and was rated the top UNH community leader-athlete by the late Bill Stearns, known as The Squire, in his New Hampshire sports column in the late 1960s.
Other clients of Munsey include Sam Fuld, Tampa Bay Rays outfielder who grew up in Durham; shortstop Mike Fransoso, former Portsmouth High standout who was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates this year after having been named Big East Player of the Year at the University of Maine, and Devon Travis of Wellington, Florida, a second baseman who hit .350 for two Class A Detroit Tiger farm clubs.
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 October 2013 08:15
The Laconia Chiefs U5 team traveled to Milford for a very early 8 a.m. kickoff. The unusually early start didn't seem to slow the Laconia squad down as they were able to take the opening drive and march it down the field before fullback Nolen Perrino punched the ball in from 4 yards out. Wing Kaleb Daignault tacked on the extra point and the Chiefs had an early 7- 0 lead. The Laconia defense took the field and showed the crowd that the day was going to be theirs. Laconia continuously stymied the Milford ground attack, dropping them for losses on almost every carry. DE Michael Frakes was able to recover a fumble (his first of two on the day) and give the ball back to his offense, which was quick to capitalize as tailback Jackson Reulke found a seam behind guard Cooper French and tackle Aaron Williams and raced 38 yards for the touchdown. The extra point attempt was no good but the lead was now 13-0.
With their ground game at a standstill, the Mustangs took to the air. Linebackers Phil Nichols and Dakota McCoy were relentless in their pursuit of the QB and both recorded a couple of big sacks. The Chiefs gained possession once again and moved the ball down the field. This time Reulke found Daignault in the back of the endzone on a nifty halfback toss pass. QB Logan Dee added the extra point and Laconia had a 20-0 halftime lead.
The second half was much like the first. DT's Garrett Mango and "Big" Jon Cote stuffed the run game, while CB's Rashaun Magdich and Reulke shut down the Milford receivers. The offense wasn't done either. Dee was able to bootleg around the left side and followed his big tackle Brandon Marceau 35 yards to paydirt. Tailback Colton Roy, making a nice cut back move, put an exclamation point on the day with the extra point and the Chiefs had a solid 27-0 victory. The Chiefs' record now climbs to 3-2 as they will play host to Keene this weekend.
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 October 2013 07:37
After an 8-0 start of the season, the Belmont volleyball team suffered its first loss on Wednesday against the Bears of Winnisquam.
Winnisquam took the win in three games: 25-17, 25-19 and 25-19.
A highlight for Belmont came in the second match, when Jessie Bergeron dug her 500th ball. Bergeron, said coach Melissa Miner, "is a four-year varsity player who has been the anchor for the Red Raiders." Also contributing for Belmont were Megan Bailey, with one kill, three blocks, three digs and 15 assists; Shannon Conway had three kills and one dig; Louisa Bergeron had six kills and one block; and Shea Callahan had two kills.
About the loss, Miner said, "The Red Raiders played well against the Bears, we haven't been hit at this hard all season. We stayed tough against them, we dug them up and blocked a few. However our offense was not killing the ball and that hurt us. We do not play them again until the last match of the season, so we have a lot of time to work on our weaknesses."
Last Updated on Thursday, 03 October 2013 07:35