Sean Corrigan is the new head coach of the Pelham girls tennis team this spring as he replaced ex-Python Meredith Cate who took a job last fall down in South Carolina. Corrigan has seven of his top eight girls back from last year’s team and they seem ready to go after a trip to the Class I tournament. The Pythons did lose the No. 1 girl, Leslie McCabe, to graduation last June, but they have everybody else returning. Meghan Szmyt had to play No. 2 singles last year, and she also played for the No. 1 doubles team with McCabe, but she’ll move up to the top spot in her senior year. Pelham’s No. 3 player last year was Shannon Krauss and the senior returns this year looking for bigger things. Taylor LaPointe had the best winning percentage of any Python player last spring, and she’s still only a junior who should be very successful this season. Jacky Ta is another junior who just got better as the season went on, and she teamed with LaPointe for doubles too. Dawn Ely is a senior who the coach plugged in anywhere she needed her, and Ely will be looking for some doubles matches this spring also. Nicole Mastacouris is just a junior this year, who improved amazingly for the basketball team, and it appears that she will help solidify a very strong Lady Pythons line-up starting next week. Another girl who showed a world of potential and will be moving into the starting line-up could be junior Erin Mogauro after a very successful soccer season. With seven girls coming back from last year’s team, it’s pretty clear to see that coach Sean Corrigan is ready to take the Lady Pythons girls tennis team back to the Class I tournament.
First year coach Bruce Brown knows that the Python girls lacrosse team finished the 2008 season on an up note when they won three of their final five games and finished up with a 4-10 record. John Fichera was the coach of that team, but he took a teaching job overseas, and Brown wants to finish the job. After watching his girls finish their first week of practice, Bown said “We have a lot of starters coming back, and we have some new J.V.’s on the team, plus we have a couple of super athletes that have decided to try this sport this season. We needed to find a new goalie and I think we’ve found a good one. Brittany Fadden played J.V.’s last year, but we gave her a shot and she stopped about 25 shots in two scrimmages against Tyngsboro and Dracut last week, and I think she’ll do a very nice job for us. We tied Dracut 2-2 and lost to Tyngsboro 3-1, but I was playing everybody against the other team’s varsity. I think we’ll be strong defensively with co-captains Brittany Long and Cassie Costello joining junior Rachel Fournier and senior Gina Giumond. Guimond was a star midfielder on the field hockey team, and Brown is hoping she’ll bring that same spark to her new sport.” Pelham will have three very capable scorers up front in senior co-captains Kellie Chadwick and Devon Lamoureaux, who both starred for the field hockey team, plus junior Christine Morgan, who played varsity last season. Pelham will have three talented players at the midfield, starting off in senior co-captain Christine Downs, junior Sarah DeBaldo, and sophomore Alex Catalano. DeBaldo had a nice basketball season in the winter, but Catalano missed 75 percent of the season due to mono, so she’s 100 percent right now and ready to go. As of right now, the first two girls off of coach Brown’s bench will be junior Keri Foley, who was one of the top scorers on the team last year, and junior Kally Riddinger, who also starred on the Pythons field hockey team.
The Pythons have several other girls on the team who will be battling for playing time. Senior Vanessa Alicea comes off a great gymnastics season as an attacker and junior Brittany DiPrizio will shore up the Python defense. Pelham will also have two very capable attackers in juniors Lindsey Viera and Allie Masson, and also boast two freshmen midfielders in Jen Peet and Broghan Gilligan, who enjoyed a super gymnastics season also. Coach Bruce Brown and the Python girls will open up their Division III season on Monday, April 13 when they host powerful Hollis/Brookline beginning at 4 p.m.
Last year the Pelham boys lacrosse team was one of the top defensive teams in Division III, but they suffered on offense and lost seven of 12 games by three goals or less, and several of those defeats were to top five teams. There’s no reason why a team that went 2-12 last year can’t have a turnaround season this spring, and coach Mattie Regan is counting on that. Regan pointed out, “There is a different kind of feeling around here this spring. These kids played indoor ball through the winter under Mr. O’Brien and they’ve come out hungry in the pre-season. We had three scrimmages last week, and I thought we played well for the first time out, but we’ve got some work to do on scoring more. We beat Nashua South 3-2 and they are a Division 1 school. We played Merrimack Valley to a 3-3 tie and they are one of the top three or four teams in our division, and then we lost a 4-2 game to Winnacunnet. Mike Woonton is off to a nice start, as he scored five of our goals on the day, and he will be one of our leading attackers, as he’s one of our four co-captains and he led this team with 20 goals last spring.”
Another one of the senior co-captains will be senior goalie Andrew Keegan, who returns to his starting spot. Keegan was a big reason why the Python football team won their second straight Division V title and he looks even quicker between the pipes this year. Senior co-captain C. J. Ziogas is perhaps the best all-around Python player, and he’ll be chipping in with a bevy of goals this spring, while senior co-captain Sean Paradis will be leading the charge at the midfield for coach Matt Regan’s Python stickers. Pelham will return two senior starters on defense as R. J. Riddinger and Nick Barrett will be in charge of protecting Keegan in goal, and junior Josh Fisette will be back at the attacker slot. Matt Regan has four other kids returning who saw a lot of action last season too. Junior Justin Mansfield will be at the Python midfield, along with sophomores Richie Sullivan and Brandon Skinner, and sophomore Peter Soonthornprapuet will return on defense. Pelham had several new kids to this team who will only make the Pythons tougher and better. Junior Tom O’Brien is a big kid who will make a big difference at the midfield, as will sophomore Jamie Favreau. This team will also have four freshmen who will be seeing plenty of playing time. Brian Phinney got his first taste of varsity ball on the soccer team, as did teammate freshman midfielder Alex Paradis. Phinney will be a long pole on defense. Nick Morin is also a freshman midfielder with a world of talent, and then there’s freshman attacker Josh Medeiros, who comes in as the Division 11 king of wrestling at 103 pounds.
Matt Regan has Vinnie Canniazzaro as his assistant coach this spring, and they and their players can’t wait until next Wednesday, April 15 when they’ll kick off their season with a game at Pembroke Academy against the Spartans. Regan closed by saying, “I can see the difference in these kids right from the first day of practice. We didn’t have to waste any time with basic stuff. We’re working on ways to be a better scoring team, but we still want to be known as a tough defensive team in front of goalie Andy Keegan. I want to make the playoffs and then go from there.”
On March 15 the strong Level 5 girls gymnastics team from Windham’s Gym-Ken Gymnastics took third place honors at the State Championship meet. Competing against more than 80 girls from 15 gyms from across the state, the local team made a strong showing.
“The girls have worked very hard this year and the coaches have been so proud of them,” said head coach Ruth Licata, of Windham. “We’re really looking forward to our next season with such a strong team.”
In order to compete at the state level, each girl must achieve a score of 33.0 or above on one of two state sectional meets. All five of Gym-Ken’s Level 5 girls made the grade at the first sectional.
In the state championship team competitions, scores are tallied by taking the top three scores from each team for each event - vault, bars, beam, and floor - and coming up with a grand total.
For the team to take third place, in field of 15, with only five teammates to pull scores from is an amazing feat, Licata added. “They should be proud of their efforts and all their successes this year.”
11-12-year-old age group, from a field of 26 competitors:
Madison MacPhee of Salem, first place on vault with a score of 8.85; third place on bars with a score of 9.1; Second place on beam with a score of 9.125; third place on floor with a score of 9.150; and first place in the all-around with a score of 36.225.
Lindsay Maffei of Windham, fourth place on vault with a score of 8.600; bars 8.300, beam 8.675, floor 8.925 and all around 34.500 for a ninth place win.
10-year-old age group, from a field of 30 competitors:
Erica Muse of Salem, vault 8.900 for a third place win, bars 8.950, beam 8.375, floor 8.850 and an all-around score of 35.075 for 16th place.
11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions
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