Pelham~Windham Sports

Pelham Wrestlers Take Two of Three Matches at Newfound

by Tommy Gates

Pelham’s wrestling record for Division 11 dual meets got raised to 3-1 last Saturday when they were able to beat Franklin 60-15, and John Stark Regional 45-33, before they came up short in a 57-21 loss to perennial Class II powerhouse Plymouth at Newfound High in Bristol.  Coach Bob Riddinger’s squad began by frying Franklin 60-15, and beat a tough John Stark team 45-33, before they dropped the match to the Plymouth Bobcats.  Riddinger had two unbeaten wrestlers on the day, as freshman Josh Medieros had a perfect 4-0 afternoon at 103 pounds, and junior crackerjack, Mike Perruccio didn’t have any trouble handling his 125-pound opponents.  Pelham senior co-captains Roger Allen and Justin Isabelle had very good meets too, as both had 3-1 afternoons, and both of their losses came against Plymouth, as Allen wrestled at 119-pounds, and Isabelle at 135-pounds.  The Pythons also got hard-nosed efforts from Ryan Cannizzaro at 112 pounds, sophomore Josh Lynde at 130 pounds, sophomore Richie Sullivan at 140 pounds, senior co-captain Mark Riddinger at 152 pounds, sophomore Warren Greenhalgh at 160 pounds, and Ryan Goss at 189 pounds, as all Python wrestlers finished at 2-2 on the day.  The Pelham Python wrestlers will host the Bow Falcons this Wednesday night beginning at 6 p.m., but they’ll really be pumped and jacked this Saturday January 17th when they entertain 10 schools from around the area in the Second Annual Daniel Gionet Memorial Tournament which will be starting at 9 a.m. at Pelham High’s Gymnasium.

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Pelham Girls Move to 3-3 as Szidat Notches 1,000th Point in 47-33 Win at Monadnock

by Tommy Gates

Pelham High School’s Briana Szidat made her 1,000th point shot on Friday, January 9, at Monadnock.

Six games into her senior year, Pelham’s 6-foot, 3-inch center Briana Szidat became the second Pelham female basketball player to score 1,000 points.  It happened last Friday night in Swanzey, New Hampshire, where coach Tim Powers’ Lady Pythons were busy trying to beat the Monadnock Huskies and pull their Class I record even at 3-3.  Briana Szidat was able to can her 1,000th high school point, but coach Powers got several key performances that carried the Lady Pythons to a big 47-33 win over the Huskies.  Szidat only had 14 points in the game, but Powers got a huge game from junior forward Jacqui Perry and junior guard Nicole Mastacouris who was filling in for an ill Alex Catalano.  Pelham ran out to a 15-8 first quarter lead, but quickly stretched that lead to a 27-14 halftime lead.  Szidat was able to can her historic bucket in the third quarter, and the Pythons stingy defense held the Huskies to just two points in the third quarter as they entered the final frame with a whopping 41-16 lead.  Coach Powers rested Szidat and many of his starters in the fourth period, but they were still able to come away with a 47-33 victory.  Szidat finished with 14 points, but Jacqui Perry came up huge with 11 points and a ton of rebounds.  Alex Catalano missed the game due to an illness, but Nicole Mastacoursi poured in a career-high nine points that helped this team in a very big way, and Sarah DeBaldo chipped in with six clutch points.

Earlier in the week, the Lady Pythons had to entertain powerful Portsmouth, and coach Powers Pelham girls were giving the Clippers fits, especially in the first half.  The Clippers high-powered offense featured a girl named Drummond who was sinking 3-pointers from the street like they were going out of style.  Five minutes into the game, Portsmouth led 16-2 and Pelham only had a Szidat bucket to show.  Briana hit a conventional three-point play and then hit an inside hoop, before Amanda Blake buried a 3-pointer, but Pelham trailed the Clippers 23-10 after one period.  Another Szidat hoop and a Nicole Mastacouris 3-pointer cut the lead to 23-15, but Pelham was playing a swarming defense and only allowed Portsmouth one foul shout in the first four-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter.  Meanwhile, Szidat was busy scoring eight straight points for the Pythons and, with a minute left in the first half, the Pelham girls had miraculously cut the Clippers lead to 24-23.  Portsmouth was able to hit two 3-pointers by Drummond in the final 30 seconds of the first half, to give them a 30-23 cushion.  The Clippers got the lead back up to 11 points by the end of the third quarter, and the Pythons wouldn’t get any closer than eight points, as Portsmouth won this one 57-44.  Szidat finished the evening with 30 points and 22 rebounds.

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Pelham Boys Thump Defending Class I Champ Monadnock 65-42, Now 3-1

by Tommy Gates

Justin Hojlo’s one of 28 points scored during the game against Monadnock

The Pelham kids were celebrating a big 65-42 win over defending Class I champion Monadnock last Friday night, which raised their Class I record to 3-1.  But immediately after the game, Pelham coach Todd Kress looked at me, smiled, and said, “Tommy, if we played a fourth quarter last Tuesday night at Portsmouth like we did tonight against Monadnock, we’d still be undefeated, but that’s okay, we’re getting there.”  Pelham’s defense was in evidence right from the start as they were not only playing the Huskies who were the Class I champs last year, but they still had one of the top forwards in the state in 6-foot, 6-inch Nicco DeMasco.  DeMasco averages 20 points a game, but coach Kress had junior forwards Conor McColgan and Josh Boissonnault taking turns guarding him, and the two Pythons held DeMasco to just seven points in the game.  Monadnock was able to get off to a halfway decent start as they led the Pythons 16-12 after one quarter, but Justin Hojlo was just starting to heat up.  Pelham buckled down on defense and took a 28-24 lead at halftime, but their offense would really start clicking in the second half.  Hojlo only had 10 points in the first half, and Pelham’s super sophomore Stephen Spirou had eight, but Hojlo and company came out on fire after intermission.  Hojlo had 18 second-half points and some uncanny steals, but he also has a knack of causing turnovers from opponents and turning them into lay-ups down the other end.  Mike Lombard played very well and tossed in four points, Sean Sweeney sank six points while in the game, as did Josh Boissonnault.  Pelham opened the lead to 44-33 after three quarters and they had the Pelham gym going nuts the rest of the way.  Coach Kress yanked his starters with about four minutes left, but he put his reserves in, and kids like E.J. Baker, Corey Coilliard, Jesse Vaiknoras, Dave Wesson, and Grant Hebert just kept hitting buckets and playing tough defense until the Pythons had their 65-42 victory.  Hojlo finished the night with 28 points, Stephan Spirou added 13 points, and seven other Pelham players hit the scorebook.

Earlier in the week, the Pythons had a very tough contest at the beach as they visited a big and burley Portsmouth team.  Coach Kress’ Pythons started out with their stingy ball-hawking defense and were able to take a nice 15-7 lead over the Clippers after one period, and they enjoyed a 31-24 lead at intermission, as Hojlo was firing on all eight cylinders and sophomore Mike Lombard was busy scoring underneath off of offensive rebounds.  Sean Sweeney and Grant Hebert were also chipping in with some timely hoops, and the Pythons still enjoyed a 47-43 lead heading into the final frame, but the Clippers Mulvey and Abrams got the hot hand down the stretch and were able to come back to beat the Pythons 66-60.  Justin Hojlo once again led all scorers in this game with 29 points, with Mike Lombard tossing in 10 points.  The Pythons will try and run their Class I record to 5-1 this week when they hit the road for Weare to meet John Stark early in the week, before hosting Bedford this Thursday.

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Karate Students Help Others in Need

On December 17, just days into the power outage, students and their families gathered together at the Golden Crane Traditional Martial Arts School in Windham to help sort and tag toys and gifts, which had been donated by the Dollar Tree stores in New Hampshire, and which were to be given as gifts this Christmas to children whose family members had been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Families, some of whom had no electricity themselves, gathered together to sort through approximately 50 bags of donated items.  These bags were then transported to the National Guard Armory in Manchester for dispersal to children throughout New Hampshire.

The karate students of the Golden Crane learned first hand, through this community service project, the value of helping others, and putting into practice the values that they learn in class, as they study traditional martial arts.  Values known as ‘The Code of Bushido’, which include: sympathy, politeness, respect and courage, a sense of justice and honesty, self-control, sincerity, loyalty.  In traditional martial arts, these values are taught equally to the students, along with ‘Kicking and Punching’!

The Golden Crane actively assists with community service projects, and brings its’ students in touch with helping those in need!  For more information, visit our Website:

Students and parents pause for a moment amidst the sorting to pose for a picture:  Cindy Lebsack, Josh Allen, Stephen Brikiatis, Kristen and Renee Calamari, Jared Heath, Mia Brikiatis, Marisa Marino, Evan and Abigail Lebsack.  In the background is a part of the second rotation, as they take a break with pizza! 

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Gymnasts Take Team Awards at Winter Carnival

submitted by Cathy Robertson-Souter

Paige Butler, Scarlett Souter, Tori Sipes, Alexis Ouellette, Alexandra Masone, Rebecca Heath, Anya Comeau, Gabriella Palermo, Samantha Jezak, Ravyn Vasquez

On January 11, Gym-Ken Gymnastics girls’ gymnasts were honored with a number of individual awards as well as team awards at the Winter Carnival in Stratham, sponsored by Gymnastics at Brentwood Commons.  The level four girls won third place overall and the level five girls took home the prize for first place, competing against 17 other local gyms.

Even with a rough start to the day, with a foot of snow causing car pileups and bad visibility, the girls stepped up to the plate and hit quite a few home runs.  All of the gymnasts more than qualified for the first sectional meet of the season, scoring much higher than the required all-around score of 31.00.

Level 4 Scores: Alexis Ouellette, Salem, 8.8 vault, 8.325 bars, 8.375 beam, 8.9 floor, and all around of 34.40

Tory Sipes, Windham, 8.6 vault, 8.450, sixth, bars; 8.675, sixth, beam; and 8.825, seventh, floor; and seventh in the all around with 34.550

Rebecca Heath, Windham, 8.9, seventh, vault; 8.375, third bars, 8.725, third, beam; 8.875, sixth, floor; and third place in the all around with 34.875

Scarlett Souter, Windham, 9.050 vault, 8.350 bars, 8.350, sixth, beam; 9.175, fifth, floor; sixth place in the all around with 34.925

Paige Butler, Windham, third on beam, sixth on floor and sixth overall

Alexandra Masone, Windham, 9.250, third, vault; 9.075, second, bars; 8.850, fourth, beam; 9.275, second, floor; and second place in the all around with 36.450

Gabriella Palermo, Salem, 9.675, second, vault; 8.9, sixth, bars; 8.925, second, beam; 9.450, third, floor, and second place all around with 36.950

Samantha Jezak, Windham, 9.625, third, vault; 9.4, first, bars; 9.275, first, beam; 9.675, first, floor for first place in the all around with 37.975.  This was the second highest all-around score for Level 4 of the entire meet

Level 5 Scores: Level 5 is the largest group of gymnasts in USA Gymnastics.  There are more girls in the country doing this level than any other.  The Gym-Ken team, comprised of only five girls, scored higher than 17 other teams to win the first place team banner.

Lindsay Maffei, Windham, 9.150, second, vault; 9.0, second, bars; 8.425, third, beam; 9.075, first, floor, and second place in the all around with 35.650

Madison MacPhee, Salem, 9.6, first ,vault; 9.3, first on bars, 9.050, second, beam; 9.025, fourth, floor, and first place all around with a 36.975.  This was the highest all-around Level 5 score of the entire meet

For their first place win, the Level 5 Team also won a signed poster from Olympic silver medalist Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, MA.  This was particularly special since Alicia visited Gym-Ken over the summer prior to the Olympics.

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Gymnastic Team Competes in Winter Carnival

submitted by Sandie Gentile

New England Gymnastics Training Center of Hudson competed in the 2009 Winter Carnival in Stratham over the weekend.  There were over 150 gymnasts from around the state that competed.  The Level 6 team took home second place with an all around team score of 106.55, Level 5 placed ninth with a all around Team score of 103.00 and Level 4 placing seventh with an all around Team score of 109.00   Some of our gymnasts were competing for the first time and a few were competing at a new level for the first time.  This meet let the gymnast qualify for the upcoming sectional if they received a score of 31.000 all around or higher.  NEGTC, coaches, parents and friends are very proud of all the gymnasts.

Level 4, Snowangel: Cloveryln Willis, Pelham, placed eighth with an all around score of 34.725.  She received an 8.9 on vault (eighth place tie), 8.8 on bars (fifth place), 8.7 on beam (sixth place), 8.325 on floor (10th place).

Level 4, Polarbears: Dakota Cummings, Pelham, placed fifth with an all around score of 36.325.  She received a 9.375 on vault (fourth place), 9.0 on bars (third place), 8.9 on beam ( third place tie), 9.050 on floor (fifth place).

Level 6, Snowangels: Cassandra Zaino, Pelham, placed eighth with an all around score of 32.350.  She received an 8.45 on vault (fifth place), 7.25 on bars (seventh place), 8.2 on beam (ninth place), 8.45 on floor (eighth place).

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11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions

Athlete Accolades Wanted!

Attention Parents.  Is your child involved with Recreation or School sports?  If so we would love to hear from you.  We are currently looking for “Media Parents” to submit pictures/articles from home and/or away games in the Windham area.  Please send your stories via E-mail to  Photo should be sent in a jpeg format.  For more information contact Robin or Len at the Area News Group offices at 880-1516.

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