Laurie Costa maneuvers through ConVal defenders.
The Pythons field hockey team has been on a tear the last three weeks, as it started with a 1 - 5 record, but is sitting in the middle of the Class I playoff picture with a 5 - 5 - 2 record. Coach Linda Koehler has seen the hustling team steadily find ways to score off rebounds and finish deep in the opposing team’s end as it did twice more last week.
Last Wednesday the Pythons welcomed the ConVal Cougars to Pelham High and the Pythons dominated about 25 minutes of the first 30-minute half, but only had a goal by Laurie Costa to show for it. Pelham’s sophomore goalie, Alex Catalano, only had to make one save in the opening half, but it would be the last shot on net that she would see all day. Emily Koehler, Gina Guimond, and Kally Riddinger kept pushing the ball up to their attackers, and Costa, Molly Smith, Kelsi Lynde, Keri Foley, and Cassie Costello would put a lot of pressure on the ConVal net, but its goalie swept away several great shots on net. The Pelham girls came out blazing in the second half as Emily Koehler made it a 2 - 0 game (and scored another beautiful goal that the referee disallowed because it went in too high into the net off a deflection), but less than two minutes later, junior Smith scored again to make it a 3 - 0 game. Costello added an insurance goal late in the game for the 4 - 0 final.
Pelham then boarded a bus for Bedford last Friday and was looking forward to playing on the Bulldogs artificial turf field. The Pythons scored the only goal of the first half when Kellie Chadwick rifled a shot past the Bedford goalie off a great feed and assist from Molly Smith. Catalano was called upon to turn aside six shots in this game and she didn’t have any trouble doing that. Pelham’s defense of Holly DeCarteret, Courtney Perry, and Devon Lamoureaux was also outstanding for the third game in a row, but sophomore Kelsi Lynde put the frosting on the cake in the second half when she sizzled home the Python’s second goal, with the assist going to midfielder Stephanie Winn.
The girls now own a 5 - 5 - 2 record and their last two regular season games will be at Monadnock earlier in the week, and home against St. Thomas this Friday at 4 p.m. These Python girls have now gone 4 - 0 - 2 in their last six games and would dearly love to enter the playoffs with a 7 - 5 - 2 record and an eight-game unbeaten streak. Let’s hope this hard-working crew continues to bust its butts this week as the playoffs draw near.
Cheerleaders trying to stay warm at halftime.
Coach Tommy Babaian and his undefeated Pelham Python football team had some familiar company up at Memorial Field in Concord when they played the Bishop Brady Green Giants, as Jo-Ann Wood had her 15 Python cheerleaders on the sidelines cheering on the team for the Pelham faithful.
This team has three senior tri-captains this fall, as Leah Frasca, Caity Doherty, and Alyssa Santangelo leading this group on the sidelines and up at the big competitions. This team of 15 girls has seven seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and three freshmen that have been working through long hours of practice to get the Python cheerleaders back near the top of Class I standings where they haven’t been for the last couple of years.
The other four seniors are Shannon Gallant, Sarah Levi, Shannon O’Brien and Paige Pinksten. The four junior cheerleaders are Briana Bianchi, Kerry Cabral, Morgan Mosson, and Tiana Perrone. Candice Witkowski is the only sophomore on this team to go along with the three terrific freshmen, Ashley Chartier, Nicole Paquette, and Kayla Watson.
Coach Wood has been a cheerleading coach for the past six years and she likes what she’s seen from her Python girls in practice. The Pythons will be competing in the Capitol City Competition in Concord on November 2, and will be at Southern New Hampshire University the following week for the big Class I competition. Wood said, “I can see our seven seniors taking over the reigns here, and I told them all that they have to put everything they’ve got into it, for us to be really successful. We have had a few injuries lately so we’re only going to have 12 girls competing. If they can improve over what they have already shown me in our many practices, I can’t see why we are not in the top four or five in Class I. I told them it’s all how bad they want it, so I guess we’ll just have to see.”
Wayne Parisi gets his foot into the punt.
Pelham coach Tommy Babaian was hoping that his star back, Bruce Vieira would be back at 100% last Friday night when his Pythons visited Memorial Field in Concord to meet the Bishop Brady Green Giants. Vieira did play a lot of offense and scored two touchdowns, but his teammates all came to life in the all-important second half.
The Pythons spotted Bishop Brady an 8-0 lead with 8:57 left in the opening half, (just like they did back in the second week of the season to Trinity), but Vieira would get Pelham on the scoreboard four minutes later. Vieira took a handoff and darted 10 yards for his tenth score of the season, but the two-point conversion pass failed, leaving Pelham staring at an 8-6 deficit with 5:03 remaining before halftime.
One guy who seemed possessed from the opening kickoff, was Pelham’s Wayne Parisi who made seven tackles in the first eight plays run by the Green Giants. With the clock winding down in the first half, Pelham was faced with a fourth and five situation from the Giants 12-yard line. Coach Babaian didn’t have any time outs left so he summoned his field goal team onto the field and Joey DeAngelo spotted the ball at the Giants 19-yard line. Following a perfect snap, Wayne Parisi kicked a perfect 29-yard field goal that must have landed somewhere out on Route 93! It was a perfect bomb that gave Pelham a scant 9-8 halftime lead. Not sure what coach Babaian had to say to his Pelham players during halftime, but it must have been good, because the Pythons came out for the second half, on fire!
After failing to move the ball on their first possession of the third quarter, Wayne Parisi got off a nice punt that left Bishop Brady starting off at their own 36-yard line. On a second down and six, the Brady quarterback tried to dump off a little screen pass to the left, but Pelham junior Cam Robidoux saw it coming and picked off the pass. Cam started down the right sidelines, but ran into trouble and cut it back to the middle of the field, racing 45 yards for the touchdown. With 8:35 still left in the third quarter, Wayne Parisi booted the extra point to give Pelham a 16-8 lead, but the Pythons were just getting started.
The Pelham defense, led by Parisi, Billy Helliwell, Davey Wesson, Corey Peterson, Mike Lombard, Bruce Vieira, and Conor McColgan were laying some serious hits on the Brady backs and the Pelham offense took over on their own 47-yard line. Vieira carried three times for 18 yards, Timmy Schaffer ripped off a 13-yard run, Josh Luciano called his own number for 10 more yards, and Vieira would pick up his second touchdown of the game on a two-yard run, with Parisi nailing the extra point for a 23-8 Pelham lead with 1:32 left in the third quarter.
Backed up deep in their own end, Brady had a big sack by Davey Wesson push them further back, and on fourth down Wesson blocked his second punt of the night, and took off to the Brady 16-yard line, where a host of Giant tacklers were finally able to bring Wesson down. On the first play from scrimmage, Joey DeAngelo went right to the end zone where he found a wide open Wayne Parisi upping the score to 30-8 after Parisi kicked the extra point that ended the third quarter.
These hungry Python were still not finished as Brady took the kickoff to start the fourth quarter, but on second down, Bill Helliwell and Conor McColgan popped their ball carrier and he fumbled the ball. The ever-alert Sean Sweeney raced over and scooped it up racing 42 yards for another Pelham score, making it a 36-8 Python blowout. Sweeney also had his greatest game at wide receiver as he pulled in three passes for 31 yards. The three that he caught he managed to still hold onto the ball even though he was hammered by two defenders. His last catch which was an eight-yard beauty from freshman quarterback, Johnny Bourk.
This team, doesn’t have any time for celebrations though as they are facing a very tough Kearsarge Cougar team this Friday night in Pelham starting at 7 p.m. and they need this one on order to remain undefeated at 6-0 along with St. Thomas who they will meet the following week up in Dover.
Alex Kyzer, backup goalie, is in position to make the save.
Coach Amy Alfaro’s Python girls soccer team gave Coe-Brown everything it could handle last week before coming up short in a very tough 4 - 2 game. Perennial Class I powerhouse St. Thomas came to Pelham and for the first half it was a battle as Brianna Diaz’ first-half goal had the teams at 1 - 1 until just before halftime.
Coe-Brown took a 1 - 0 lead early in the game, but Pelham junior Alex McKinney would tie it at 1 - 1. Coe-Brown took a 2 - 1 lead into the second half and stretched it to 3 - 1, but Diaz had another super pass to McKinney and Alex one-timed it into the net to close the gap to 3 - 2. The Bears scored in the final minute when Pelham was forced to put nine girls up on the front line in to tie it up, but the Bears won this 4 - 2 battle. Alex Kyzer and Brianna Trainor both played well in goal for the Pythons. Alfaro also got four-star defensive efforts from Janelle Gordon and Emily Long, as they kept the Coe-Brown attackers at bay for the most part.
Friday the 9 - 4 St. Thomas Saints came to town and Kyzer was incredible in the Python goal. The Saints grabbed a quick 1 - 0 lead early in the game, but Kyzer had four stops in the next five minutes that were “Out of this World,” including a breakaway goal that she stopped with her chest. After watching Kyzer stand on her head in making these saves, she got rewarded when Diaz stole a pass and went down the right sidelines and around a defender and kicked the ball up in the air to herself, and then bounced a shot over the St. Thomas goalie to knot the score at 1 - 1. The Saints grabbed two more goals in the opening half, but not before Kyzer had made several other eye-opening stops. Erika Mogauro and Page Mahoney had great games at the midfield for Pelham, and Sophia Hur, April Blinn and Kim Cordiero all that played for the Pelham girls in this game.
Campbell’s Scottish Highlands was buzzing last Thursday as the Campbell Family hosted the Class L golf tournament among the 18 schools in that division.Coach Ben Adams’ young Blue Devil team finished with an 18 - 6 record, good for fifth place, but his young kids were all excited about playing in this big tournament and they showed it.Bishop Guertin was the defending Class L champ, and Pinkerton, Timberlane, Keene and Dover were expected to make a run at the title, but Adams was coyly smiling when the scores started rolling in about 1:30 p.m.Salem co-captains Corey Keenan and John Pettoruto came in with of 78 and 81 respectively for the 18 holes and senior Devin Redmond had a round of 84.Now the scores of the Blue Devils younger kids were coming in and all Blue Devils fans started to get fidgety as freshman Nick Fairweather shot a phenomenal 74, junior Ed Haroian finished with a nifty 79, and sophomore Ryan Butler also came in with 79.With two Salem scores remaining, sophomore Ryan Greenleaf had a sheepish grin as his score of 74 was announced, and last of all was Salem’s No. 1 golfer, junior Jeff Cohen, who finished the tournament with 70, beaten only by Nashua South’s James Pleat’s 68.
NHIAA Tournament Director Ricky Dichard added the totals and announced the top three schools.Pinkerton took third with 391.Dover got up for the runner-up spot with 390, and the winner for the first time ever, was the Salem Blue Devils who compiled an incredibly low score of 375, capturing their first ever Class L golf title by an amazing 15 strokes!All the Blue Devils were lined up at the back of the outdoor patio and they all took turns walking over to Campbell’s Scottish Highlands owner, Marilyn Campbell, and congratulated her and thanked her for all she had done for the team.After getting interviewed by the only two daily newspapers that were on hand for this big event, Adams said, “I knew when I saw our third score that we were going to win it.Then I had to get on the phone and call Billy Hagen (Salem High principal) and Dave Rozumek (Salem High athletic director) and tell them to come on over after school got out and they were over here in a heartbeat.This is my 11th year coaching Salem golf and Marilyn and the entire Campbell Family and staff have been just tremendous to us and I’m really glad that we could get her this title.This is one of the quietest teams that I’ve ever coached.They just seem to know what to do and what to stay away from, and most of them are all coming back next year.”
The cutoff to see who would go on to Saturday’s second individual round was 79, so that meant that Cohen, Fairweather, Greenleaf, Keenan, Haroian and Butler would be going to the second round, which was an amazing thing in itself to have six kids from one school moving on to the second round.On Saturday’s final round, James Pleat of Nashua South won it when he shot a 145 for the 36 holes, Pinkerton’s Dan Kish was second with 149, Exeter’s Kyle Scammen was third with 149.Salem freshman Fairweather took the fourth spot as he tied at 151 with Dover’s Justin Stafford and teammate Cohen, but finished ahead of them in a tiebreaker.
From left: Scott Razzetti - Pelham, Joe Zollo - Windham, Andrew Duragano - Londonderry, Eric Guinasso - Pelham, Steven Jackson - Pelham, Jimmy Tokanel - Windham, Joey Porazinski - Londonderry, Michael Marino - Londonderry, Drew Johnson – Londonderry; Coaches - Brian Johnson, Dave Duragano and Steve Jackson.
Every fall the NFL sponsors 12 regional tournaments with the winner of each advancing to the National Championship played in Florida at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex. The 9-11 year old NHFFL Red Storm traveled to Buffalo, New York, to compete in the Bills NFL Regional on October 11.
Eleven teams from five states and two countries were placed in three pools with each of the pool winners advancing to a playoff. The football gods smiled on Red Storm by placing them in the odd pool with three teams. This meant Red Storm had to win two games opposed to three to advance. The kids beat Orchard Park, New York, 28 - 0 and then the Hamilton, Ontario, Jaguars 30 - 0 to advance in an amazing display of team execution. In the third tie-breaker, Red Storm was named the No. 1 seed, getting the bye to the championship game and the ability to watch the future opponent in the semi-final game.
It was the NHFFL Red Storm vs. the Hamilton Ontario Steelers for the title and a trip to Disney for a shot at a national title. Red Storm scored late in the first half with a laser beam from Drew Johnson between two defenders to Steven Jackson who made a nice catch jumping in front of the defenders. The conversion failed and the half-time score was 6 - 0. In the second half, Ontario drove the ball to the Red Storm 10-yard line but was turned away by an Eric Guinasso interception in the end zone. Ontario would get one more chance and on the last play of the game they hooked up on a touchdown pass to tie the game and force overtime.
In regional tournament play, each team gets one possession and tries to score. If unable to score, a mark is made on the field where the drive ended and the opposing team must advance the ball past that mark to win. Ontario went first and drove the ball to about the Red Storm 15-yard line before it was stopped. It was Red Storm’s turn next and with the first two plays gaining minimal yardage it faced a third and about 15. Drew Johnson rolled out and checked down and dumped it off to Andrew Duragano who scooted around the corner and picked up the first down by about a yard. Red Storm now had three plays to pick up about 10 yards. Drew Johnson swung it out again to Andrew Duragano who took the corner and advanced the ball past the mark for the overtime win and a trip to Disney.
It was an amazing experience as well as an emotional roller coaster and it was a team working together as one unit that got it done.
Red Storm leaves for Disney on November 20 and although the NFL is picking up the cost for the nine players and coach, it still leaves families looking at about $3,000 per family to make the trip. Red Storm is looking to raise some funds to help defer some of the cost. If interested in sponsoring the team or making a donation, contact Brian Johnson at email@example.com
The Junior Pee Wee 1 (Green) team played the Derry Demons during week seven and came up on top 24 - 0 to improve their record to 7 - 0. The Green wasted little time getting going with a nice run up the middle for a score on the opening drive by Kutis Joliceaur. Ryan Cloutier scored next on a 25-yard reception from Brendan McInnis, who also scored in the first half on a nice run. Jack Harrington offered more offensive power when he punched one into the endzone. The defense continued to be a force with an interception from Griffin Lippold and several tackles by Trevor Longo.
The Razorbacks remain on the winning streak with a dominating 32 - 0 win over the Keene Knights at Alumni Field in Keene. Scoring came easy and often as Dean Joyce threw touchdown strikes to Joey Perrone and Dominic Dumas. The offensive line created some huge holes for the backs for the entire contest. Rushing touchdowns for the Pink Offense were achieved by Zach Breton, Steven Bemister, Thomas Anderson, and James Beaulieu. Also rushing the ball well were Frankie Santangelo and Chris Filippone. Dean Joyce successfully converted on an old time 2-point drop kick conversion. The Defense also created some scoring as Dominic Dumas and Zach Rainha returned interceptions for touchdowns. Playing well for the Razorbacks were Josh Levell, Michael Croatti, Ryan Saraiva and Andrew Koch. The 6 - 0 Razorbacks will host the 6 - 0 Seacoast Titans next Sunday, which is shaping up to be a great game!
The Pelham Lady Bulldogs U12 Travel Soccer team took second place during the Columbus Day weekend at the Kristine Lilly Capitol Cup Tournament in Concord. Pelham had a strong start winning its first two games over Nashua Soccer Club (5 - 0) and Londonderry United (4 - 1). The undefeated Lady Bulldogs met their match with a tough loss to the only other undefeated team, Express Soccer Club (1 - 0). Both teams would meet later Sunday afternoon for the championship game. Again the fans were treated to a hard-fought game, which ended in favor of the Express Soccer Club (2 - 1) with an exceptional last minute goal.
Pelham spread its scoring attack out with seven Bulldogs finding the back of the twine. Colleen Frey launched her own attack netting two crushing shots against Londonderry.
The Lady Bulldogs have a bye weekend and will get back to league play on October 24 against the Timberwolves Soccer Club at Muldoon Park at 2:30 p.m.
For more information about Pelham Travel Soccer contact Kim Walsh at 635-1679.
11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions
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