Pelham’s Cheerleading Coach, Jo-Ann Dodge, was still excited four hours after her Pelham Python cheerleading team went to the Capital City Cheerleading Competition at Concord High School and took the third place trophy of the Class I Division for the day.
The Bedford Bulldogs won the Class I Division with a top score of 140.5, with the Con-Val Cougars taking second place with 135.5 points, meaning that the Pelham girls were edged out of a second place trophy by two measly points. Coach Dodge had 12 of her Python girls practicing diligently over the past month in order to get ready for this competition, and the Class I Competition that will be held this Sunday November 9th at Southern New Hampshire University.
Just last week Coach Dodge learned that she would have to switch things around with her teams’ routine because one of her girls left the team, causing everybody to scramble to make their routine as perfect as they could. Coach Dodge said, “We had junior Briana Bianchi learning a new dance routine in just a day and a half, and all the other girls got together and did what they had to do to pull this off. I am truly amazed that they were able to come through with a wonderful routine up there. We are going to keep plugging away this week in practice and see if we can even do better this Sunday up at Southern New Hampshire University.”
The 11 girls who came through in the clutch for the Pythons were: seniors Leah Frasca, Shannon Gallant, Sarah Levi, Shannon O’Brien, and Alyssa Santangelo; juniors Briana Bianchi, Kerry Cabral, Morgan Mosson, and Tiana Perrone; sophomore Candice Witkowski, and freshman Nicole Paquette. The Pythons were also backed by injured cheerleaders Caity Doherty, Page Pinksten, and Ashley Chartier and they are all fired up to go out and do it even better this Sunday at the Class I competition.
Coach Jo-Ann Dodge concluded by saying, “I am so proud of these girls for performing the way they did. I was hoping for the best, and then we had that little curveball thrown at us last Friday, just two days before the competition, but my girls answered the call and came up big. With a super week of practice this week, I can see them coming out even better this Sunday.”
The Pelham Girls U-12 Travel Soccer Team ended their quest for a league championship November 1 falling short in an exciting double overtime loss to the Lightning Soccer Club’s undefeated U-12 Girls Team. Pelham’s Baylee Duarte struck midway through the first half as she wedged her way through a crowded and confused 18-yard box depositing her shot into the far corner. The Bulldogs protected their lead and dominated much of the play until the Lightning tied the score with just over one minute left to play in regulation.
Pelham looked to be in control as they came out firing in the first overtime period only to be met with an impenetrable goalkeeper. The Bulldogs found themselves again facing one minute remaining in the second overtime and it looked like the battle was going to be decided with penalty kicks. The Lightning, who continued to pressure hard, was able to take advantage as Pelham broke down defensively. The Lightning’s last minute goal closed the book on Pelham’s season with little time left on the clock to counterattack.
For more information on Pelham Soccer Club, contact Kim Walsh at 635-1679.
It was quite a second half of the season for coach Linda Koehler’s Pelham girls field hockey team. This team started off the fall season by beating Monadnock 4 - 1 and then dropped five straight games to earn a 1 - 5 record in mid September. Back then coach Koehler told this writer, “All that we need is a big win to show the girls we can beat these teams. We out shot and outplayed Bow the other day and they get three shots on net and we lose 2 - 0. When these girls learn to win and we do a better job of finishing, we are going to be alright.”
From that point on the Pelham girls ran off a 5 - 0 - 2 record before losing a tough 1 - 0 decision to number four seed St, Thomas 1 - 0, while still having the better of the scoring opportunities. Pelham then made the Class I tournament for the first time in many years and the Pythons finished with the number 12 seed which had them playing number five Portsmouth, who had beaten them 3 - 0 at the start of the year. The Clippers just got passed the Pythons 1 - 0 in that playoff game and there’s still nobody out there that could tell if that ball hit a Clipper players foot on the way in. Following that game Linda Koehler said, ”I’m really proud of the way my girls played right to the bitter end. That’s one of the powerhouses of Class I and they beat us 3 - 0 early in the year, but we had our scoring chances against them the third time and just came up short. I was proud of our midfielders like Emily Koehler, Gina Guimond, Chelsea I’Anson, Stephanie Winn and Kally Riddinger for the way they played, because they were terrific. I was extremely pleased with the way our defense toughened up as the season went on and girls like Courtney Perry, Holly DeCarteret, and Devon Lamoureux really buckled down and kept the ball out of our own end. I thought our offense really stepped up as Laurie Costa, Kelsi Lynde, Molly Smith, Cassie Costello, and Kellie Chadwick did a much better job of finishing as the season grew longer.”
Coach Koehler also sees that nine of her top 15 girls will be graduating come June, but she thinks the team has laid the ground work for the girls returning next fall. Koehler said, “We’re certainly going to miss Emily Koehler, Gina Guimond, and Chelsea I’Anson as three top midfielders and our two co-captains this year. These three girls played their hearts out. We are going to miss three of our top scoring forwards who will be graduating, Kellie Chadwick, Cassie Costello, and Laurie Costa, as they all came up big when we needed to make a run at the playoffs. Our last three seniors leaving this team were all part of our defensive improvement as Courtney Perry, Holly DeCarteret, and Devon Lamoureux just shut other teams down right after they got over midfield. I know we’re going to be in good shape with goaltending next season, because our starter, Alex Catalano is just a sophomore and she improved immensely as the season went on, and junior Monique Fournier saw her action and I wouldn’t hesitate a second to use her. We’ll have scorers back like Molly Smith. Shannon Oriole, Cortney Parece, Keri Foley and Kelsi Lynde and I think they’ll only get better. We’ll probably have to worry a little about our defense because we’ll have girls like Stephanie Winn, and Kally Riddinger, but we have some girls that were much improved on Mary Ellen Costa’s JV team so I don’t think we’ll be in too bad a shape.”
11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions
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