Pelham~Windham Sports

Pelham Girls Gymnasts Hold Their Own Against NH Heavies, Chelsea I’Anson Excels vs the Best

by Tommy Gates

Within 26 hours last Thursday and Friday, Pelham gymnastic coach Amanda Iwanicki watched her girls (led by senior Chelsea I’Anson) go up against the best teams in the state, then watched I’Anson take on (and sometimes defeat) some of the best female gymnasts in the state.  It didn’t get any better than I’Anson and her Python teammates going up against two-time state champion Salem last Friday night.  It also meant that Chelsea would have some great duals with Salem All-Stater Leeann Vadala.  Chelsea finished the All-Around with 33.55 points, which was her top performance of the year, but it pushed Vadala to ring up a season high 35.05 score to win the All-Around competition.  I’Anson started off her night by taking the top spot in the Vault when her 8.55 score was just enough to edge Vadala’s 8.5 score.  The Pythons were able to score 30.65 in this event as sophomore Ximorah Ramos was able to ring up a nifty 7.6 score, sophomore Brogham Gilligan had a nice routine that drew a 7.5 mark, and Alanna Flannagan scored a 7.0 grade from the judges.

Salem’s Vadala won the Uneven Bars with a 9.0 score, but Chelsea got second place with a 7.9 score.  Pelham’s Ramos had a 5.0 score here, as did Python newcomer Amber Faucher.  Chelsea I’Anson topped the ticket in the Balance Beam when she came up with a huge 8.7 effort to beat Vadala’s 8.4 score, and coach Iwanicki also got great improvements from Vanessa Alicea and Nicole Prud’homme in that event.  Salem took the top three spots in Floor Exercise with Vadala winning it with a super 9.15 effort, but I’Anson had an 8.4 score and three Pythons scored over 6.0 as Ramos, Gilligan, Alicea, and Mikayla Cullerton beat the mark, and Jess Morin also performed very well.

Earlier in the week, coach Iwanicki took her girls to Londonderry where they would meet Leah Jackson and the Lancers, Ainsley Smith and the Manchester Central girls, plus Desiree’ Freeman and the Dover Green Wave.  Performing against three of the top six girls in the state, the Pelham girls rolled up 112 team points, and I’Anson was able to finish third in the All-Around behind Smith and Freeman with 33.25 points.  I’Anson took first place in the Vault with an 8.2 score, and she ran away with the Balance Beam competition with her super 8.85 score.  Chelsea also finished second on the Uneven Bars when her 8.2 score was only topped by Central’s Ainsley Smith.

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Pelham Girls Can’t Catch ConVal or Oyster River, Sees Record Drop to 3-8

by Tommy Gates

Jacqui Perry

The Pelham girls basketball team dropped a pair of games last week to 6-5 Con-Val and 10-1 Oyster River, and that presently has their Class I record at 3-8 just a little more than halfway through the season.  Monday night the number two Oyster River Bobcats came to Pelham High and the Pythons kept it close early on.  Brianna Szidat hit an early three-pointer, but picked up two early fouls and had to go to the bench midway through the first period.  Jacqui Perry had a big bucket, and Nicole Mastacouris hit a jumper, but the Bobcats took a 12-7 lead into the second quarter.  Perry’s three-point play cut the lead to 12-10 in the first minute of action, but Oyster River had three girls named Walczak, Friel, and Mistetta, who just shot the lights out for the rest of the evening, and with Szidat on the bench for the rest of the first half, the Pythons didn’t put up much resistance.  Perry hit another hoop midway through the second quarter, and Mastacouris did too, to go along with two Sarah DeBaldo free throws, but the Bobcats led 32-16 at halftime.  Szidat started the third quarter much the way she started the game, by hitting a three-point play, but she was on the bench a few minutes later and stayed there for the rest of the game.  Oyster River upped their lead to 46-26 after three quarters, and went on to win their 10th game of the season 58-35.  Jacqui Perry led Pelham scorers with nine points, Nicole Mastacouris had seven points, Brianna Szidat and Sarah DeBaldo had six apiece, Katie Halpin had three, and Kayla Bailey and Casey Szymt had a bucket each.

Friday night in Peterborough, the Pythons ran into a red-hot ConVal Cougar team and dropped a 59-30 decision.  Brianna Szidat poured in 18 of her teams points, and Jacqui Perry, Katie Halpin, and Sarah DeBaldo all had four points apiece.

This Friday night, January 30, the Lady Pythons will see another tough test when they travel to Northwood to take on a very good 8-3 Coe-Brown Bears team that is currently the number five seeded team in Class I.

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Pelham Boys Hoops Get Rolling at 8-1 as February Approaches

by Tommy Gates

Michael Lombard

The Pelham Pythons boys basketball team all got plenty of playing time again last Friday night as they raised their Class I record to 7-1 with a resounding 67-25 win over the ConVal Cougars at Pelham High School.  It was just like the Class I playoffs had started Monday night when the Pythons held a slight 45-43 lead over 7-1 Oyster River on the road before they exploded in the fourth period with a 22-9 run that propelled them to a 67-52 win that puts their record at 8-1, while Oyster River dropped to 7-2.

Oyster River looked like they were onto something in the first half of their games last Monday against the Pythons in Durham.  They had found a way to hold 28 point a game, guard Justin Hojlo to just nine first half points, but they forgot about Stephan Spirou, Mike Lombard, and Grant Hebert, so Hojlo took turns feeding his teammates and watching the Pythons take a 19-12 first quarter lead that they would stretch to 33-24 by intermission.  The Bobcats looked like they would make a serious run at the lead in the third period when they actually took the lead, but by this time Justin Hojlo was just starting to cook.  Hojlo would fire in 22 points in the second half and the Pythons did a nice job of hitting 22 foul shots, with Hojlo canning a dozen of them himself.  Hojlo finished up with 31 points, Spirou came up huge with 15 points, Mike Lombard was a bear on the boards with nine points, and senior Grant Hebert chipped in with eight crucial points.  The 8-1 Pythons plat at Souhegan this Thursday, but will be back at Pelham High Tuesday night, February 3, beginning at 6:30 p.m. when they’ll host the 7-2 Portsmouth Clippers who are the only Class I team to beat our Pythons this season.  Get there early because the Pelham High gym should be packed to the hilt for this one.

In the Friday night game against Con-Val, coach Kress put his starters out there for the opening tap-off and they blow this one wide open from the get-go, as they took a 23-9 first quarter lead and then buckled down on defense even tighter to enjoy a comfortable 44-13 cushion by halftime.  Even senior captain Justin Hojlo, who leads the area in scoring with 28 points a game, would only see about half a game’s action as 12 different Pythons hit the scorebook.  Coach Kress has said before that he likes to reward his reserves if they practice hard during the week, with extended playing time in games like this.  The Pythons stretched the lead to 59-16 by the end of the third quarter, and by then Pelham had most of their JV kids playing the fourth period.  Pelham took this one 67-25 with Hojlo leading the scoring charge with 21 points, Mike Lombard with eight points, Stephan Spirou added seven, and Grant Hebert and Corey Couilliard tossed in six points apiece.

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Pelham High School Indoor Track

submitted by Jen Jaquith

The Pelham High School Indoor Track team traveled to the University of New Hampshire for a meet on January 25.  The meet was the first of two “Open Meets” that precursor the State Championships.  All athletes that compete in these meets had to have previously qualified to do so.  Those athletes who competed in this meet as individuals were:  Mike Bogochow - 55m Hurdles, Todd Paquin - 300m and Long Jump, Cameron Robidoux - 55m Dash and 300m, Kelsi Lynde - 55m Hurdles and 300m, and Emily Spognardi - 3,000m, and Melody Long - 1,000m.  Members of both the girls’ and boys’ 4 x 160 relay teams also competed in the meet including Jen Peet, Erika Campbell, and Mike Salois.

Athletes who placed in this meet were: 

  • Todd Paquin, fourth in the 300m (39.3 seconds) and first in Long Jump (20-feet-5.5-inches)
  • Cameron Robidoux, fifth in 300m (39.5 seconds)
  • Melody Long, sixth in 1,000m (3:26.6)
  • Kelsi Lynde, third in 55m Hurdles (9.1 seconds - personal best).

The team traveled to Milford January 21 for a small meet at the NH Dome.  Due to snow, the team has not competed since January 3.  Several athletes were close to meeting the qualifying standards for the Open Meet January 25 but missed their opportunity to do so with the cancellation of the January 11 meet.  The Open Meet is one of two that pre-cursor the state championships.  Only those athletes who have met difficult standards may compete in the meet.

The meet at Milford was an excellent opportunity to allow those athletes who had fallen shy of doing so another chance to qualify to compete this weekend.  The team found tremendous success at this meet with every single distance runner running a personal best and many students who were able to meet the standards to continue on with their season:

Emily Spognardi qualified for the Open Meet in the 1000m run with a time of 3:27.1.  This makes the third event that Emily has qualified for.  Kelsi Lynde lowered her hurdle time to a personal best of 9.2 seconds and her 300m time to a personal best of 46.7 seconds, which qualifies her in for the Open Meet.  Emily Long lowered her time to a 47.5 seconds, just .5 seconds of the qualifying standard for the Open Meet in the 300m.  Todd Paquin lowered his hurdle time to a personal best of 8.3 seconds and his 55m dash time to a personal best of 6.7 seconds which qualifies him for the State Meet in this event.   Mike Bogochow lowered his hurdle time .4 seconds to a personal best of 8.6 seconds.  This automatically qualifies him for the State Meet in this event.  He also lowered his 300m time to a personal best of 40.9, just .9 seconds shy of the qualifying standard for the Open Meet in that event.  Cameron Robidoux lowered his 55m dash time to a personal best of 6.5 seconds which automatically qualifies him for the State Meet in that event.  He also ran the 300m dash for the first time with a time of 37.7 seconds, which automatically qualifies him for the State Meet in that event also. 

Those team members who have qualified to do so will be running in the Open Meet Sunday, January 25.  This will include members of both the girls’ and boy’s 4 x 160m relay teams (Jen Peet, Emily Long, Erika Campbell, Kelsi Lynde, Mike Bogochow, Todd Paquin, Mike Salois, Cameron Robidoux). 

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All Girls, All Sports Day Event

On Saturday, February 21, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) Sport Management Club is sponsoring an “All Girls, All Sports Day” event on campus for girls grades three through eight.  Join us for sport clinics, games and activities in the SNHU Fieldhouse on the Manchester Campus, which will be run by members of the SNHU Sport Management Club and SNHU Student-Athletes. 

Following the camp there will be lunch and a visit from Max, the Manchester Monarchs’ mascot with the chance to take pictures and get autographs.  Following the sport clinic and lunch, participants and their families are encouraged to cheer on the SNHU Lady Penmen at a Women’s Basketball Game.  Tickets will be provided to participants and their families and event participants will receive special recognition during the game. 

The event is open to individuals, groups and teams.  Participants should wear sneakers and athletic type clothing for this event.  For ticket information or to register for this event contact Corri Wilson at or Kimberly Bogle at or call 668-2211, ext. 3348.  Space is limited so do not delay.

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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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