Ryan Fyfe and Coach Lisa Terwilliger talk about mechanics
Last season I first met Pythons boys tennis coach Lisa Terwilliger on the second day of practice, and I asked her who her main players were and then whom she had lined up in reserve. Terwilliger looked at me and said, “I’ve got my starting six right here, and that’s all you’ve got to know, unless one or two of them get injured, and I have two reserves already to go if that happens.” I laughed and asked her if she was sure, and she said yes, and the Python boys went on to go 11-3 in the Class I regular season. They finished with the number four seed, and they won their first playoff match, but lost to undefeated Hanover 7-2 in the semi-finals. This year’s team has two returning starters in junior Ryan Fyfe and senior Brad Shapiro, but the two fill-ins last year turned out to be lifesavers down the stretch – Junior Marr Mercier came in and went 7-2 in the second half of the year and sophomore Ethan Ely did a great job too, and both of those kids will be starting this spring. Coach Terwilliger pulled out her roster from last year and we saw that number one player Scott Connatser, number four player Dave Perreira, number five John Wallace, and number six Brady Tryon had all graduated. That meant that coach Terwilliger had two more positions to fill in her starting line-up, and as of now she is quite content to think that the last two positions will be filled by freshmen Jared Taylor and Matt Smith.
Terwilliger offered, “Ryan Fyfe and Brad Shapiro are going to be two of my big guns this spring. Matt Mercier showed me what he was all about last spring when I inserted him in the line-up and all he did was win down the stretch. Ethan Ely is another one, who is just a sophomore, but he delivered for me last spring, and these kids played during the off-season, so they should be that much better. I’m very impressed with my two freshmen Jared Taylor and Matt Smith. We haven’t had any challenge matches yet, because we’ve only been outside for three days of practice, but it wouldn’t surprise me if these kids didn’t hold their own in these matches.” The Python boys tennis team will be getting ready to make a run at the Class I banner this spring, beginning on Monday, April 13, when they’ll travel to Hollis-Brookline for a battle with the Cavaliers.
The Pelham softball team is out in full force these days over at Pelham High School as coach Todd Lozeau is very excited about this year’s team. The Pythons currently have 15 girls who will be battling for starting positions, but coach Lozeau has a pretty good idea of the top 10-12 girls who he’ll be putting out on the diamond for every game. The Pythons were scheduled to scrimmage Tyngsborough, MA earlier this week, and he’ll have junior Amanda Levesque starting off on the mound as Amanda pitched about two-thirds of the Python games last spring. Pelham should be starting off with a sophomore catcher, as Amanda Blake has looked very good and has been hitting the ball pretty well also. Coach Lozeau is probably going to be trying senior Holly DeCarteret at third base, as she played there last year on the JV squad. Junior Jacqui Perry will be playing either first base or the outfield, and one mainstay will certainly be senior Kayla Bailey in left field because she a sure-handed fielder who will be one of the top hitters on this team. Senior April Blinn will probably be starting at shortstop or center field, as she’s another gung-ho athlete who is always on base and is also a threat to steal a base any time she is on. A junior who may be at second base or at short is Stephanie Winn, and she’s a hitter who will probably be somewhere near the top of the batting order. Sophomore Kayle Aubrey played a lot of right field last spring and she just may be the starter there this spring. Senior Tina Baird and juniors Shelby Jutras, Katie Halpin, and Emma Notini will also be battling for innings in the Python outfield. Two new girls that we may be seeing a lot of are freshmen Roxanne Lapierre and Kathryn Mostone. Lapierre could see some pitching duty, where Mostone appears to have a pretty potent bat and could be looking for action at first base and at third base. Coach Lozeau will also have a talented sophomore to use in Bri Trainer, but she’s currently injured and should be back in the next two weeks. Lozeau is hoping to use Trainer as a catcher or in the Python outfield. Todd Lozeau is also hoping that the weather cooperates later this week so that the Pythons can host Class L Bishop Guertin on Thursday at Pelham High School.
Pelham’s tremendous Class I basketball season, came up a few inches short of the Pythons winning another division title, but coach Todd Kress doesn’t make any excuses for his injured star guard, Justin Hojlo, or his young Python squad. Hojlo was run into with 3:53 left in the third quarter of the semi-final with Laconia, and the Pythons had a nine point lead, before Hojlo would make one of two foul shots and then with his injured thumb heavily wrapped), wouldn’t score again in the Pythons 56-54 win over the Sachems. Hojlo, who was the leading scorer in the state with 28 points a game, wrapped his thumb again with the help of Pelham athletic trainer, Joe Cacciatore, and went out and played mostly left handed in the Class I loss to Portsmouth, but Hojlo still tallied 11 points and played superb defensively. As we wrapped up the 2008-2009 season last week Kress talked about what it took for the entire team to pull together and do anything they could to win. Kress said, “ We built our offense around Justin this year, but he also had the ability to dump if off to Stephan Spirou, Grant Hebert, or Mike Lombard down low after drawing the coverage to him. Another big plus that we had this year were seniors like Grant Hebert, Dave Wesson, and guard E. J. Baker. Grant had plenty of big games where he’d hit two or three treys and make the other team come out on him and free-up Justin and that was big for us. Wesson came back to basketball after a year layoff and boy were we glad he did. Whether it was making four foul shots in the last two minutes to clinch a game, or coming up with big blocks or rebounds at the end of a game, or just handling the ball late in games without turning it over, Dave Wesson did it all. E. J. Baker came up clutch any time I called his name and he was always 100 percent in practice every day. E. J. knew his role on this team and that’s why all the younger kids looked up to him. That’s what made Justin so special and the kids that played with him. We’ve had a great run the last six or seven years in Class I basketball, and despite not having a Hojlo around for the first time in six years, I think we are going to be back up near the top going for another banner next March.”
Pelham will be led by sophomore Stephen Spirou, junior playmaker Sean Sweeney, and junior forwards Josh Boissonneault and Conor McColgan, and sophomore Forward, Mike Lombard. Coach Kress was also very quick to point out, “Hey look! Don’t you think I would have loved to use Joey DeAngelo this year and countless occasions, but Joe was injured, but was still with us all year long. A healthy DeAngelo is going to benefit us in a huge way next season. I think we’re going to be getting some terrific play from Jessie Vaiknoras too, as he’s a great defensive player and always did a nice job when I put him in this season. I think our inside game next year will be one of if not our strong point, as Mike Lombard, Stephen Spirou, Josh Boissonneault, and Conor McColgan should be holding court each game. Other players that Kress talked a lot about next year were guards Corey Coilliard, Brett Bailey, and Dino Joyce, and he said he wouldn’t be the least bit surprised for one or all of them to have break-out seasons.
11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions
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