Tag: Dover

Team Romps: Avery and her dad work to make her better

By Mike Whaley

Unlike most athletes, Avery Romps has a built-in trainer and coach in her dad, Mike. Pretty sweet deal if you can get it.

Avery attends Portsmouth High School where the 5-foot-11 junior stars on the Clipper girls basketball team, which is 6-1 in Division I. 

While Avery is helping Portsmouth to experience another strong season in D-I and work her way to college at the NCAA Division I or II level, her dad is helping her to be the best that she can be.

Mike is a Grade 2/kindergarten teacher in Dover, a life coach and personal trainer, and a former varsity boys basketball coach at Dover High School.

He played basketball in high school at Manchester Central and then at Plymouth State University. He got into coaching after college as an assistant at now defunct Daniel Webster College, followed by stops at Keene State, Central Missouri State (where he met his wife, Jackie) and the University New Hampshire. Mike was the head coach for one year at Tilton School, before he took the Dover job. Basketball has been a big part of his life, as it has for Avery.

When Mike was the head coach at Dover High for 15 years (2001 to 2016), his two daughters spent many hours in Dover’s old Ollie Adams Gymnasium. 

He recalls, at the time, having three job offers at Dover, Portsmouth and Berwick Academy. “I felt it was important to live, teach and coach in the same community,” he said. “The only place we could afford to live was Dover.”

Mike remembers a lot happening in 2001. It was his first year teaching and coaching in Dover, Jackie got pregnant with their older daughter, Samantha, and they got married. 

Samantha was born in 2002. “From then on, the girls were in the gym,” said Mike, who has taught in Dover for 23 years, the last 21 years at Garrison School. “People were babysitting them left and right. They were at all the games.”

Avery was born in 2006. She smiles about her early basketball memories with her dad. “We would always be in the gym running around,” she said. “I don’t remember the games, but it was fun being on the sidelines all the time. I was so young. It was a bunch of these tall guys. It was really nerve-wracking. It definitely made me interested in basketball a lot more; the game in general. How to play.”

Mike recalls Avery in her bouncy seat with her basketball with her name on it. “I can remember her running up and down the bleachers,” he said. “Listening in timeouts; getting snacks and candy during the games. From the jump, I don’t think there was a day when there wasn’t something like basketball in our lives.”

With Samantha, Romps said he was a little more “cautious and cerebral” because she was the eldest, the first child. He stayed at arm’s length as far as coaching her. Samantha went through the Dover school system, playing basketball as well. She graduated from Dover HS in 2019.

Mike felt Avery had more of an edge on her, and he felt she really liked the sport. There was also a very good group of similar aged Dover athletes – Tory Vitko, Payton Denning, Julia Rowley, Lanie Mourgenos.

By the time Avery was in second grade, she was not only playing Little Shots with the Dover Recreation Department, but also traveling to tournaments. Mike coached those teams, which did very well. “I would like to think they’re all reaping the rewards now,” he said.

Avery recalls the four-team rec league being fun. The travel ball allowed the girls to play against better competition. “That helped us improve at an early age,” she said.

If you know Mike Romps, he is an intense person. When he coaches, he has a lot of fire and energy. Avery is lower key. Early on she was not as receptive to his criticism as she is now. 

“When I was younger I was a little more sensitive,” Avery said. “He would critique me too much and I just couldn’t (take it).”

But then Avery got to the point where she could see that her dad’s suggestions were helpful. “Now I take them and try to improve my game and it obviously works,” she said.

Although he’s not so sure now, at the time he coached Avery and the girls hard. “We were very clear with the parents,” he said. “The Sue Vitkos of the world and people like her, they were just as into it as I was.”

Mike always kept in mind that they were young kids and he couldn’t treat him like high school players. But he felt strongly about accountability, defense and rebounding. “There was a lot of the time I would pull someone out of the game, “ he said. “I think that’s the hard part of being a parent-coach, that your first inclination is to be hardest on your kid because you know all the parents are watching and keeping track.”

Fortunately, there were few issues. Mike had this group of girls from Grade 2 until Grade 8, and they did very well. “It was just a situation where they were used to being coached like that,” he said. “Everyone was kind on the same page, which made it a special time for all of us.”

Avery laughs at some of those memories, which weren’t always rosy. “At times, it was not fun,” she said. “I improved a lot mentally. If a coach is going to yell at me, I’m that much mentally stronger now.”

The silver lining was that the team did very well and Avery got better as a player. “Two years we were undefeated,” she said. “It just made the game so much more fun to play, especially with these girls because we were all good friends.”

Things changed just before Avery went to high school. The family decided to move to Greenland. Several factors played a role in that move. Mike’s parents were now living with them. He was also looking to enhance his business as a life coach and personal trainer. The Greenland property provided space for a full basketball court and land to run camps.

The move meant a new start at a new school for Avery. Mike understood that. He just wanted to make sure she was surrounded by good people, like she had been in Dover. It also meant he needed to step away from his daughter as a coach.

As it turned out, Mike had coached some of the Portsmouth girls in a summer league in Danvers, Mass. “We were lucky to know most of the parents,” he said. “We had conversations and asked if they were open (to Avery coming to Portsmouth). They were welcoming and warm from the jump.”

It still wasn’t easy. Due to the pandemic, Avery did not attend classes in person until January of 2021. Basketball, which started in January due to the pandemic, made things easier.

“I remember going to the first couple of open gyms and I was so nervous,” she said. “I knew these girls from playing against them when I was younger. We always played against each other and it was competitive, but now we’re going to be on the same team. It was definitely different. But after a couple of open gyms, I got super close with a lot of them. It became so much more fun.”

Portsmouth’s Avery Romps, left, maneuvers against a Dover defender during her sophomore year. [Mike Whaley photo]

Plus the team had success. Avery was one of four freshmen who played significant minutes along with Maddie MacCannell, Margaret Montplaisir and Mackenzie Lombardi. The Clippers made a run to the D-I semis, which included an upset of a veteran Exeter club in the quarterfinals.

Last year as sophomores, they had another strong year, again making it as far as the semis. Avery was named to the D-I All-State Second team. “With that, there’s a target on their back this year,” Mike said.

Mike also appreciates how the Portsmouth program is handled. “Coach (Tim) Hopley runs the program the right way,” Mike said. “I respect the way he runs it. He is a defensive-minded coach. It’s made the transition much easier for everybody.”

For Hopley, the Romps situation had always been a good one. “There has never been a time when (Mike) overstepped his boundaries,” Hopley said. “He works with a lot of our players in the offseason. … He’s done a lot to certainly help Avery’s game, but also to help all of the players in our program or at least give them the opportunity to help them improve.

“It’s a situation for me where I know they’re being taught great fundamental skills when they’re with him,” Hopley said. “He’s respectful of what we try to do in our program. I never get the sense with Avery that she’s in conflict. It’s a great situation. There’s no other way to put it.”

Now that she’s a junior, Avery is starting to consider colleges. She has one offer from Saint Anselm College, a D-II school in Manchester. “I’m still waiting,” she said.

In the meantime, she plans to work on her game and do her best to help the Clippers advance as far as they can in the D-I tournament.

“The big thing I have worked on this year is my aggression,” Avery said. “Last year, I was a shooter and just attacked when I was open. This year I’m really trying to initiate the contact. I have way more intensity. I’ve improved in that way.”

Portsmouth’s Avery Romps (24) launches a shot from the corner during a game vs. Spaulding when she was a freshman. [Mike Whaley photo]

Mike said that improvement is clear in the numbers. Avery’s grandad keeps her statistics. Last year she took 50 free throws. Through five games this year she has already taken 39. “That’s a barometer that you are attacking the rim,” Mike said.

Similar to that point, Hopley weighs in on Avery’s need to be more physical. “She is starting to play the game in a more physical manner, which is what is required not only to play at a high level in high school but to play at the college level,” he said. “I think that’s one of those things she’s continuing to work on. She’s made huge strides in that part of her game.”

Hopley pointed to a game last week with Pinkerton (71-62 win) in which Avery took over in the second half. “She was willing to be physical, attacking the paint,” he said. “I think she drew two ‘and-ones’. Those are things she might not have done her first two years in our program.”

There have been some interesting Romps car rides where the conversation comes around to being more aggressive. “What we’re saying is there have been times throughout her career that she wasn’t,” Mike said. “I come back to her: ‘You’re putting in the time. Go out there and show people what you can do.’ There were times when it got intense and I was told by my wife to shut up, to leave it alone.”

Avery also feels she has improved defensively. “I have this non-stop motor on the court,” she said. “I’m always playing intensely, supporting my teammates. I’m not getting down on myself when I miss shots.”

Mike says the schools that have been looking at Avery have been clear about what they want to see. In their training sessions together, Avery has been very receptive to what Mike puts out there. She also uses the weight room in the family basement to improve her strength. “She’s learned that there are certain things outside of practice she has to do,’ Mike said. “Whether that’s getting up shots, lifting weights or going for runs.”

Portsmouth, in Mike’s opinion, is letting Avery create more, to be a facilitator on the court. “There are a lot of pieces to Avery’s game that the average Joe might not see,” Mike said. “But whether it’s covering the best player or bringing the ball up the court or making that extra pass or rebounding, I’m just proud of the basketball player that she is. She is definitely a coach’s kid in that regard.”

Mike Romps speaks to a youth group at the Farmington 500 back in 2019.

Mike believes the only thing holding her back is she needs to be a little more selfish. As an example, Mike points out that Avery is big on making that extra pass. It’s something she’s always done. “Sometimes, hey, you’re the one who just took 500 shots, you shoot it,” he said. “There’s that balance of selfishness and team play and being a coach. I’ve always taught her to make the right play. Now I’m turning around and telling her to shoot that shot. It can be confusing at times. We’re still working on it.”

Avery does see the wisdom in what her dad is saying. “Especially since I put in so much time,” she said. “I wasn’t showing anyone that. I was just being an average player. Just doing what was open. Now it’s clicked in the past couple months. I have all this skill. I can finally show people since I put all this work in.”

Mike regrets not putting enough time into his own game. That makes him more than ever want to help his daughter maximize her potential. “I’m going to do everything I can as long as Avery is open to it,” he said. “To make her as good a player as she can be.”

He pauses, adding: “When push comes to shove, I’m just the person rebounding and making suggestions. She’s the one that has to do the work.”

Have a story idea for Jam Session – email whaleym25@gmail.com.

Green Wave rolls over Crimson Tide

The Dover girls jumped out to a quick 22-13 lead after one quarter and never looked back as the host Green Wave defeated Concord, 56-34, on Tuesday night.

Lilly Nossiff led all scorers with a game-high 23 points for Dover, while Lanie Mourgenous (12) and Abigail Kozlowski (11) also netted double-figures for the Green Wave. The Crimson Tide was paced by Delaney Duford’s 15 points on five threes.

Check out the full gallery of the action by Heidi Green of Heidi Green Photography…

1K point scorers in the 603

We love to honor those local legends from the past and thanks to our local legend himself, Mike Whaley, we have started a list of all-time NHIAA 1,000-point scorers list.

Check out our progress below. If you don’t see your school listed, send us your 1,000-point scorer’s list (boys and girls), and we will be sure to add your school. Simply take a photo of the 1,000 point banner in your gym or send us a list. We’re hoping to get the total points scored (if known) and the year of graduation.

Send your lists to us at kj@ball603.com.

Here’s what we’ve got so far..

ALVIRNE
Pat Manor
Mike Konovelchick
Caleb Donnelly
Max Bonney-Liles
Karen Biagini
Lauren Moore
Patty Skelton
Kelly Nadeau

BEDFORD
Cam Meservey (1,122 • 2014)
Isabella King (1,115 • 2021)

BELMONT
Verne Bryant (1951)
Ronald Smock (1974)
Cliff Greenwood (1983)
Chris Lockwood (1994)
Nathan Roach (1999)
Michael Messier (1999)
Sean Newman (2010)
Trevor Hunt (2017)
Mary Fogg (1984)
Diane DiRoma (1992)
Martha Bolduc (1993)
Courtney Jacques (1996)
Missy Smock (1997)
Beth Roberts (2000)
Bridgette Hooker (2005)
Julianna Estremera (2019)

BERLIN
Maxwell Agrodnia (1,151 • 1930)
Dave Agrodnia (1,012 • 1958)
Gary Boire (1,039 • 1959)
Reggie Marquis (1,433 • 1970)
Steven Buckovitch (1,034 • 1974)
Wayne Lurvey (1,166 • 2000)
Derek Leclerc (1,157 • 2002)
Curtis Arsenault (1,545 • 2012)
Evan Arsenault (1,143 • 2018)
Seth Balderrama (1,136 • 2019)

BISHOP BRADY
Thomas Hardiman (1947)
Andy Ansaldo (1961)
Frank Alosa (1965)
Bobby Paveglio (1969)
Maureen Robinson (1982)
Jim Clement (1986)
Jim Collins (1996)
Billy Collins (1998)
Marshall Crane (1998)
Spencer Wood-Friend (2001)
Cecilia Ortega (2005)
Tyler Penney (2010)
Jourdain Bell (2015)
Brendan Johnson (2015)
Sarah Thomas (2015)
Joseph Bell (2016)
Riley Bennett (2017)
Bryce Johnson (2018)
Samantha Will (2018)
Ami Rivera (2020)

BISHOP GUERTIN
No known list

BOW
Erica Kensey (2000)
Heather LaBranche (2000)
Jen Haubrich (2002)
Eric Riggs (2002)
Mike Chergey (2006)
Katelyn Nerbonne (2006)
Paul Chergey (2006)
Brian Chergey (2008)
Lindsey Nerbonne (2013)

CAMPBELL
No list submitted (submit now)

COE-BROWN
Andy Noyes (1975)
Joe Sims (1978)
Wade Sauls (1984)
Ginger Sanford (1989)
Kelly Hall (1993)
Todd Peterson (1993)
Jen Robinson (1996)
Emily Liskow (1998)
Kyle Purinton (1999)
Brandon Boggs (2002)
Ashley Cooper (2004)
Stacey Kent (2005)

COLEBROOK
Kevin Trask (1,645 • 2001)
Sage Smith (1,601 • 2021)
Samantha Howe (1,558 • 2021)
Michaella Biron (1,487 • 2017)
Dan Fournier (1,419 • 1992)
Katie Edwards (1,243 • 2005)
Josee Brunault (1,226 • 2013)
Gary Pinckney (1,152 • 1973)
Mackenzie Brooks (1,144 • 2009)
Brett McKinnon (1,113 • 1995)
Lindsie Lemieux (1,095 • 2005)
Sedrick Mckinnon (1,091 • 2016)
Tyler Griffin (1,055 • 2011)
Kristen Call (1,050 • 2011)
Lance Boire (1,026 • 1997)
Carson Rancourt (1,022 • 2021)
Richard Hebert (1968)

CONANT
Keith Johnson (1979)
Darin Hood (1980)
Paul Asel (1982)
Dave Springfield (1985)
Scott Baldwin (1986)
Mindy Stenberg (1988)
Kari Hunt (1995)
Karen Belletete (1996)
Craig Griffin (1998)
Andy Jones (2001)
Betsy Oswalt (2001)
Justen Nagle (2002)
Kathleen Neyens (2005)
Kyle Todd (2008)
Jimmy Peard (2010)
Brooke Springfield (2011)
Devin Springfield (2013)
Madison Springfield (2015)
Peyton Springfield (2019)
Elizabeth Gonyea (2020)

CONCORD
Hap Simpson (1,030 • 1948)
Joe Drinon (1,016 • 1962)
Jen Shadlick (1,050 • 1996)
Bill Haubrich (1,066 • 1971)
Jane Haubrich (1,047 • 1981)
Champ Simpson (1,155 • 1975)
Glenn Mathews (1,082 • 1984)
Matt Chotkowski (1,009 • 1995)
Matt Bonner (2,459 • 1999)
Becky Bonner (1,550 • 2000)
Kalen Marquis (1,036 • 2013)
Matt Giroux (1,170 • 2017)

CONCORD CHRISTIAN
None

CONVAL
Phillip Abbott (1,064 • 1978)
Todd Burgess (1,390 • 1984)
Hunter Burgess (1,048 • 1989)
Jon Tirone (1,124 • 1989)
Jon Horne (1,106 • 1991)
Christine Jutras (1,389 • 1994)
Jaime Leflem (1,856 • 1995)
Veronica Jutras (1,111 • 1996)
Brett Leflem (1,374 • 1997)
Danielle Statuto (1,341 • 2000)
Lindsey Carey (1,206 • 2019)

DERRYFIELD
Maya Mangawang (1,529 • 1991)
Becky Gallagher (1,457 • 1989)
Bethany Kalliel (1,293 • 2012)
Kendra Decelle (1,094 • 2005)
Carl Perron (1,018 • 1981)
David Larrivee (1,145 • 1984)
Adam Gillan (1,341 • 1989)
Jared Silverstein (1,408 • 1996)
Max Anderson
Sam Anderson
Max Byron

DOVER
Stu LaFramboise (1968)
Karen Vitko (1979 • 1,179)
Lynne Richard (1979 • 1,075)
Scott Leighton (1981)
Kevin Crowell (1987)
Jeff Pierce (1991)
Jill Downer (1998 • 1,192)
Jessica Clark (2001 • 1,137)
Seana Boyle (2002 • 1,090)
Shavar Bernier (2004)
Curran Leighton (2009 • 1,212)
Katrina Krenzer (1,074 • 2019)
Ty Vitko (1,159 • 2019)

EPPING
Lionel Levesque (1965)
Butch Langdon (1966)
Maureen Denyou (1983)
Kerry Bascom (1985)
Ryan Gatchell (1990)
Julie Freeman (1990)
Denny Wood (1991)
Matt Price (1998)
Samantha Newton (2002)
Shauna Mullenix (2002)
Ryan Newman (2003)
Chris Crowley (2008)
Meghan Fiore (2008)
Frank Stanley (2013)
Jimmy Stanley (2014)
Colby Wilson (2016)
Jackson Rivers (2017)
Hunter Bullock (2019)
Owen Finkelstein (2022)

EXETER
No list submitted (submit now)

FALL MOUNTAIN
Patrick Aumand (1,495 • 1973)
Karolyn Domini (1,240 • 1984)
Jason Waysville (2005 • 1994)
Morgan Ferland (1,016 • 2015)
Ryan Murdoch (1,030 • 2015)
Avery Stewart (1,108 • 2021)

FARMINGTON
Len Auclair (1960)
Danny Reynolds (1970 • 1,217)
Paul Moulton (1970)
Gary Boulay (1979 • 1,169)
Casey Howard (1984 • 1,138)
Steve Mosher (1986 • 1,385)
Julie Gagne (1990 • 1,432)
Kristy Woodill (1996 • 1,848)
Tim Lee (1998 • 2,146)
Nick Doyle (2001 • 1,052)
Jayson Whitehouse (2004 • 1,579)
Tabby Whitehouse (2010 • 1,015)
Katie Martineau (2017 • 1,779)

FRANKLIN
Larry Dustin (1965)
Bryan Baker (1974)
Dan Sylvester (1983)
Michelle Brusseau (1987)
Shelley Winters (1993)
Karen Malsbenden (1994)
Bryan Aube (1997)
Nate Bickford (1999)
Nicole Parenteau (2001)
Mason Roberge (2007)
Dana Bean (2016)
Kenny Torres (2016)
Jayden Torres (2018)

GILFORD
Sandy Thrall (1,263 • 1985)
Jason Van Bennekum (1,314 • 1992)
Bryan O’Leary (1,427 • 2006)
Eric Dean (1,023 • 2008)
Kirk Crecco (1,230 • 2008)
Lindsey Carr (1,934 • 2009)

GOFFSTOWN
David Wildman (1,396 • 1965)
Richard Fields (1,044 • 1966)
Gregory Pappas (1,091 • 1971)
Walter Foote (1,145 • 1974)
John Stone (1,140 • 1978)
Kelly Walsh (1,780 • 2021)

GORHAM
Don Dimick (1954)
Christopher Martel (1968)
Frank Bruni Jr. (1979)
Doug Lavigne (1992)
Sarah Normand (1995
Ben Raymond (2007)
Eric Jensen (2009)
Hillary Oleson (2010)
Bryson Raymond (2017)

GROVETON
Dennis Langley (1961)
Bill “BJ” Johnson (1977)
Rick Barlow (1978)
Richard Penney (1978)
Doreen “Dodie” Johnson (1980)
Terri Gilbert (1981)
Jeff Merriam (1988)
Nanette “Nan” Gilbert (1990)
Michelle Frett (2000)
Jason Kenison (2000)
Dagan Cloutier (2002)
Mike Kenison (2004)
Nick Perras (2005)
Emily Pelletier (2010 • 1,213)
Kelley Jo Collins (2011 • 1,290)
Nathan Smith (2012)
Makenna Burke (2013 • 1,100)
Corey Gadwah (2017)
Abbey Pelletier (2016 • 1,266)
Austin Lesperance (2018)
Josh Wheelock (2020)

HANOVER
Brendan Carney (1997)
Charlie Adams (2020)
No girls list submitted (submit now)

HILLSBORO-DEERING
Harold Rowell (1966)
Keith Murdough (1978)
Diane Bean (1981)
David Ager (1981)
Brian Bean (1983)
Tom Garafoli (1986)
Tara Blake (1990)
James McGuire (1991)
Emily Kordas (2002)
Libby Dutton (2009)
Skyler Makkinje (2010)

HINSDALE
Mike Kerylow (1957)
Del Blanchette (1957)
Sleepy Brooks (1958)
Gary Beaman (1963)
Joe Sarsfield (1972)
Larry Scott (1975)
Jason Dillon (1994)
Julie Messenger (2000)
Steve Deschenes (2001)
Allison Scott (2014)
Skylar Bonnette (2014)
Matthew Boggio (2016)
Skyler LeClair (2017)
Angelina Nardolillo (2019)

HOLLIS-BROOKLINE
Jon Spence (1965)
Donald Marvell (1970)
David Orde (1973)
Scott Varney (1985)
Tina Griffiths (1990)
Elisabeth Stapelfeld (2022)

HOPKINTON
Bruce Johnson (1970)
Royal Ford (1992)
Evan Johnson (1992)
Jeff Adams (1994)
Beth Beckett (1995)
Amy West (2001)
Sarah Wofsy (2002)
Katie Barthelmes (2004)
Ryan Callahan (2004)
Kelly Flynn (2007)
Hannah Richard (2010)
Kevin Newton-Delgad0 (2020)

INTER-LAKES
Tom Parissi (1148 • 1967)
Patricia White (1014 • 1973)
Joan Pettengill (1329 • 1980)
Bruce Sanderson (1047 • 1983)
Andrew Swift (1069 • 1994)
Michael Roy (1335 • 1996)
Jeff Carpenter (1174 • 2004)
Dillon Dow (1026 • 2015)
Zach Swanson (1335 • 2017)
Eli Swanson (1181 • 2019)

JOHN STARK
Mark Watman (1989)
Beth Chartier (1993)
Gerry Healy (1994)
James Johansen (2000)
Justine Nims (2004)
Katie Cullerot (2011)
Chelsea Woodsum (2020)
Christian Barr (2020)

KEARSARGE
Tom Brayshaw (2,117 • 1989)
Steve Lavolpicelo (2,372 • 1999)
Bob Allen (1978)
David Bartlett (1989)
Stephanie Manus (1990)
Peter Lavolpicelo (1995)
Debbie Taylor (1995)
Tracy Fuller (1998)
Christine Gassman (1999)
Kristen Lucek (2002)
Andrew Ferreira (2006)
Marilyn Ferreira (2007)
Tommy Johnson (2018)
Tayler Mattos (2018)

KEENE
Jeff Holmes (1,275 • 1983)
Jim McGilvery (1,044 • 1992)
Tomy Depalo (1,235 • 1999)
Pat Luptowski (1,299 • 2007)
Camryn Warner (1,000 • 2010)
Ashley Clough (1,271 • 2012)
Logan Galanes (1,112 • 2017)

KENNETT
Rogdger Blanchard (1970)
Larry Day (1982)
Jeff Perry (1990)
Abe Wrobleski (1995)
Trevor MacDonald (1998)
Debbie Russell (1989)
Erin Russell (1994)
Alison MacDonald (1994)
Kristen Umlah (1999)
Alison Wagner (2011)
Melissa Frase (2011)
Isabel Wrobleski (2019)

KINGSWOOD
Greg Dollarhide (1,057 • 1981)
Craig Vezina (1,750 • 1992)
Nicole LaBelle (1,443 • 1993)
Josh Tetreault (1,578 • 2000)
Adrian Gross (1,218 • 2006)
Kohl Meyers (2012)
Ethan Arnold (2022)

LACONIA
No list submitted (submit now)

LEBANON
Jim Vanier (1970)
Chuck Hulse (1972)
Rich Parker (1977)
Les Doncaster (1981)
Jayne Daigle (1982)
Keely Boivin (1988)
Mike Joslin (1988)
Keith Blake (1991)
Joe Faucher (1996)
Emily King (1996)
Lorin Tedeschi (2001)
Meghan Daigle (2006)
Moriah Morton (2013)
David Hampton (2013)
KJ Matte (2016)
Rebecca Wright (2019)

LIN-WOOD
Stanley Dovholuk (1976)
Natalie Haynes (1986)
Jamie Bourassa (1987)
Ryan Jones (1996)
Jeremy Nelson (1996)
Ross Macauley (2002)
Sarah LeClerc (2004)
Randi Mackay (2007)
Brandon Harrington (2018)
Cam Clermont (2022)
Jake Avery (2022)

LISBON
Tom White (1973)
Russ Hubbard (1978)
Mike Hill (1979)
Linda Clough (1981)
Nikke Knighton (1988)
Steve Santy (1995)
Erica Elliott (1998)
Jeff Perham (1998)
Ed Natti (2003)
Tom White (2004)
Mike White (2007)
Jennifer White (2009)
Josh Woods (2018)

LITTLETON
No list submitted (submit now)

LONDONDERRY
No list submitted (submit now)

MANCHESTER CENTRAL
No list submitted (submit now)

MANCHESTER MEMORIAL
Mike O’Neil (1970)
Mike Flanagan (1971)
Ron Beaurivage (1971)
Mike Applegate (1972)
John Astarita (1989)
Haleigh Shea (2018)
Lyric Grumblatt (2020)
Shawndra Applegate (1993)
Kindyll Dorsey (2002)
Rebekah Grissom
Amra Lezovic

MANCHESTER WEST
No list submitted (submit now)

MASCENIC
Barbara Gerry (1981)
Kevin Rines (1989)
Heather Shaw (1990)
Brycen Blaine (1991)
Shannon Cunningham (1995)
Jason Starr (1999)
Chris Alix (2000)
Jared Stauffeneker (2014)
Daimon Gibson (2017)
Sam Stauffeneker (2019)
Shelby Babin (2020)

MASCOMA
Roger Cattabriga (1970)
James Martin (1980)
Jennifer Carter (1989)
Lynne Sullivan (1990)
Shannon Farrell (1990)
Aimee Beliveau (1991)
Joshua Chapman (1995)
Silas Ayres (2001)
Kati Lary (2002)
Katie Arey (2004)
Joy Depalo (2004)
Megan Evans (2004)
Tonya Young (2,012 • 2006)
Matt Pollard (2007)
Josh Poland (2009)
Alex Schwarz (2017)
Ben Seiler (2021)

MERRIMACK
No list submitted (submit now)

MERRIMACK VALLEY
Laurie Moran (1,349 • 1985)
David Huckins Jr (1,479 • 1989)
Scott Drapeau (2,260 • 1991)
Brian Huckins (1,174 • 1994)
Brad Huckins (1,257 • 1999)
Greg Carbone (1,125 • 2001)
Ethan Lavoie (1,172 • 2002)
Amanda Wells (1,070 • 2005)
Alicia Jensen (1,031 • 2005)
Megan Hardiman (1,049 • 2011)
Justin Abbott (1,010 • 2012)
Abby Grandmaison (1,034 • 2018)
Carly Huckins (1,085 • 2019)

MILFORD
Alan Shethar
Lesli Laychak
Doug Newbert
Kris Collins
Andrea Bowman
Jaci Stimson
Ryan Emerson
Shawn Bachelder
Jeremy Stinson
Nick Shepard
Kristen Calvetti
Jasmin Handanovic
Mike O’Loughlin
Jamie Holder
Dina Pitsas

MONADNOCK
No list submitted (submit now)

MOULTONBOROUGH
Matthew Swedberg (1,722 • 1987)
Lanette Burrows (1,078 • 1994)
Todd Engle (1,047 • 1994)
Marinda Cahoon (1,302 • 1996)
Ben Hallgren (1,132 • 1996)
Dan Ringelstein (1,181 • 1996)
Phil Cowels (1,084 • 2006)
Kevin Eisenberg (1,231 • 2009)
Drew Forsbert (1,077 • 2009)
Marcus Swedberg (1,090 • 2012)
Reese Swedberg (1,164 • 2018)

MOUNT ROYAL
No list submitted (submit now)

NASHUA NORTH
No list submitted (submit now)

NASHUA SOUTH
No list submitted (submit now)

NEWFOUND
Maurice Day (1972)
Scott Chamberlain (1984)
Kammi Reynolds (1987)
Karri Reynolds (1987)
Jackie Lyon (1989)
Sherry Vestal (1993)
Jen Evans (1994)
Dan Plourde (1994)
Eric Pescinski (1995)
Ethan Holmes (1995)
Patrick Hill (2000)
Cliff Cutter (2001)
Jill Walker (2001)
Caitlin O’Connor (2007)
Maggie Seaver (2008
Jordan Phinney (2011)
Amber Plummer (2014
Karissa Bony (2015)

NEWMARKET
Jeff Monroe (1976)
Tom Nelson (1979)
Ralph Longa (1980)
Randy Edgerly (1986)
Kristine Gorski (1992)
Matt Gordon (1995)
Allyson Benvenuti (2001)
Chad Mastin (2002)
Duncan Szeliga (2005)
Curtis Williams (2009)
Christian Hawkins (2013)
Anthony Senesombath (2018)

NEWPORT
No list submitted (submit now)

NUTE
Jim Damon
Bruce Regan
Steve Burrows
Al Chiasson
Scott Burrows
Julie Donlon (2,502)
David Burrows (2,845)
Stacy Dube
Matt Cloutier
Stephen Lacasse
Shannon St. Lawrence
Conner Bradway

OYSTER RIVER
Steve Bamford (1960)
Randy Kinzly (1977)
Pat Galvin (1981)
Julie Sasner (1984 • 1,143)
Johanna Michel (1986)
John Freiermuth (1988)
Pat Casey (1989)
Jennifer Friel (1993)
Keith Friel (2,148 • 1996)
Greg Friel (1997)
Mike Casey (1999)
Jeremy Friel (2001)
Brittney Cross (2003 • 1,008)
Rick Laughton (2006)
Jilliane Friel (2009 • 1,136)
Danielle Walczak (2011 • 1,191)
Joe Morrell (2020)

PELHAM
Kyle McInnis
Bob Backman
Pete Ostergaard
Brad Martineau
James Roman
Justin Hojlo
Stephen Spirou
Jake Vaiknoras
Keith Brown
Derek Crowley
Karen Sutcliffe
Briana Szidat
Lilly Shlimon
Danielle Sirois
Olivia Gagnon

PEMBROKE
Rick Morrill (1,290 • 1965)
Craig Keeler (1,255 • 1972)
Mark Yeaton (1,596 • 1973)
Steve Bodi (1,380 • 1976)
Alicia Young (1,016 • 1981)
Jim Sherman (1,021 • 1983)
Mike Drouin (1,198 • 1985)
Matt Alosa (2,575 • 1991)
Leslie Menard (1,048 • 1994)
Chris Barker (1,333 • 2002)
Kelly Thomas (1,202 • 2006)
Alex Hall (1,617 • 2009)
Matt Persons (1,080 • 2013)
Pat Welch (1,907 • 2014)
Noah Cummings (1,122 • 2019)
Sean Menard (1,087 • 2019)

PINKERTON
Zach Mathieu (1.075 • 2010)
Carl Hepworth (1,050 • 1971)
Mark Dunham (1,025 • 1999)

PITTSBURG-CANAAN
No list submitted (submit now)

PITTSFIELD
Kevin Riel (1970)
Jeff Jones (1972)
Tom Boyd (1976)
Krista Hast (1980)
Fred Hast (1981)
Mike Mitchell (1981)
Josh Lank (1990)
Wylie Mousseau (1994)
Michelle Meader (1996)
Tony Martinez (1997)
Dan Chapman (2000)
Nikki Hill (2006)
Sean Kryander (2006)
Chad Fennessey (2010)
Ben Hill (2011)
Donovan Emerson (2012)
Xenthios Cyr (2017)
Cam Darrah (2018)

PLYMOUTH
No list submitted (submit now)

PORTSMOUTH
James Best (1,161 points • 1984)
Strider Sulley (1,091 • 1989)
Aaron DeGraffe (1,129 • 2002)
John Mulvey (1,299 • 2009)
Amy Kinner (1,061 • 1995)
Andrea Herold (1,166 • 2001)
Libby Underwood (1,253 • 2017)
Joey Glynn (1,068 • 2017)
Cody Graham (1,440 • 2018)
Alex Tavares (1,030 • 2019)

PORTSMOUTH CHRISTIAN ACADEMY
Cassaundra Thorpe (2004)
Alicia Long (2006)
Lauren Andrews (2008)
Bryson Lund (2020)
Madison Trainer (2021 • 1,020)

PROFILE
Kelley Grautski (1,262 • 1983)
Kim Derrington (1,335 • 1987)
Brian Mcguigan (1,188 • 1989)
Gregg Dixon (1,242 • 1990)
Kris Hultgren (1,136 • 1995)
Justin Stroup (1,109 • 2002)
Kate Ramsey (1,104 • 2003)
Julia Houghtaling (1,391 • 2004)
Josh Robie

PROSPECT MOUNTAIN (formerly Alton)
Frank Messier
Mike Lee
Jim Murray
Diane DeJager
Amy Birdsey
Pam Blackadar
Chris Irvin
Keri Pelletier
Heather Swabowicz
Kelly Lord
Eric O’Brien
Matt Pelletier
Ben Locke
Zach Christy
Terese Hopper

RAYMOND
No list submitted (submit now)

SANBORN
Bob Macurdy (1968)
Neal Dwelley (1977)
Seth Carr (1986)
Jeff Fisher (1991)
Anna Cavallaro (1997)
John Morano (2001)
Jackson Morton (2014)
Dylan Khalil (2021)

ST. THOMAS
Fran McNally (1964)
Terry Casey (1967)
Katie O’Keefe (1999)
Matt McLaughlin (2008)
Lindsay Towle (2018)
Andrew Cavanaugh (2019)

SOMERSWORTH
Chuck Favolise (1976)
Marc Roy (1979)
Jim Perron (1982)
Kyle Hodsdon (1984)
Diane Soule (1991)
John Coggeshall (1994)
Larry Francoeur Jr. (1997)
Melissa Heon (2000)
Katelyn Rideout (2002)
Rachel Hill (2013)
Bryton Early (2018)

SOUHEGAN
Rushmie Kalke (1995)
Courtney Banghart (1996)
Jesse Lynch (1996)
Jackie Lippe (1997)
Julie McLaurin (2003)
Jane White (2012)
Brandon Len (2013)
Mia Len (2018)

SPAULDING
Brad Therrien (1,700 • 1970)
Luke Croteau (1,595 • 2008)
Greg Lacasse (1,434 • 2001)
Tammy Fowler (1,299 • 2003)
Denny Hodgdon (1,236 • 1964)
Tiffany Bryant (1,194 • 1991)
Jacin Demers (1,107 • 1997)
Kelly Donohue (1,052 • 1997)
Deb LaValley (1,044 • 2009)
Dominic Paradis (1.098 • 2013)
Arie Breakfield (1,317 • 2019)

STRATFORD
Josh Stone (1993)
Troy Burns (1993)
Eric Hurlbert (1,780 • 1994)

SUNAPEE
David Muzzey (1986)
Beth Field (1988)
Trisha Shepard (1991)
Jennifer Colby (1995)
David Colby (1996)
Heather Wilkie (1997)
Meghan Wilkie (2001)
Jillian Hurd (2006)
Shawn Carpenter (2007)
Stephanie Larpenter (2009)
Liza Bourdon (2012)
Erika Waterman (2014)
Isaiah Chappell (2015)
Katie Frederick (2015)
Matt Tenney (2016)
Lexie Hamilton (2016)
Faith Larpenter (2017)
Sydney Clark (2017)

WILTON-LYNDEBOROUGH
Tom Conrad (1,058 • 1974)
Judy Harrison (1,258 • 1980)
Dean Larpenter (1,569 • 1982)
Steve Claire (1,212 • 1987)
Shauna Carter (1,297 • 1990)
Mike McMurray (1,780 • 1991)
Chris Jacob (1,034 • 1993)
DJ Garnham (1,040 • 1998)
Dave Sherman (1,472 • 2005)
Stephen Chin (1,037 • 2008)
Jordan Litts (1,116 • 2015)
Trey Carrier (1,242 • 2017)
Jack Schwab (1,241 • 2020)

WHITE MOUNTAINS
David Hartshorn (1972)
Tom Kenison (1972)
John Ouellett (1983)
Jeremy Kilby (1989)
Niki Gingue (1995)
Jillian Kelly (1996)
Jennifer Martin (1999)
Jackson Curtis (2020)

WINDHAM
Clairee Putnam (2014)
Kaleigh Walsh (2018)
Sarah Dempsey (2021)

WINNISQUAM
Reeve Tracy (1955)
Bill Atherton (1965)
Tom Walsh (1967)
Mark Lavigne (1977)
Tim Nash (1,448 • 1984)
Raegan Jenkins (1,110 • 1991)
Matt McPhearson (1,155 • 2004)
Heidi Miller (1,164 • 2007)
Christian Serrano (1,585 • 2016)
Kyle Mann (1,022 • 2019)
Philip Nichols (1,051 • 2021)

WOODSVILLE
Ken Kinder (1,060 • 1986)
Jamie Walker (1,126 • 1988)
Chad Paronto (1,133 • 1993)
Ryan Ackerman (1,198 • 1999)
Jarrett Bemis (1,111 • 2016)
Cam Tenney-Burt (2022)

 

603 in the NCAA

Let’s celebrate the best of the best from the NHIAA that have continued their careers into the NCAA. Below is a list of NHIAA ballers that are currently playing at the collegiate level.

Help us grow this list. If you have additions, please email kj@ball603.com. Thanks for the assist!

NAMEHIGH SCHOOLCOLLEGEYEAR / NOTE
Max Bonney-LilesAlvirneKeene St.Senior
Cam JonesAlvirneLamar St.Sophomore
Brett McKinleyAlvirnePlymouth St.Junior
Mia RoyBedfordSNHUSenior
Emily VanSteensburgBishop BradyPlymouth St.Senior
Tommy FraserBishop BradySaint AnselmJunior
Lily RiveraBishop Brady ’17Gordon ’21Assistant Coach
Ami RiveraBishop Brady ’21GordonSophomore
Isabella RiveraBishop Brady ’21GordonSophomore
Anna StawaszBishop GuertinRivierSophomore
Brianna WilcoxBishop GuertinRivierFreshman
Hannah MuchemoreBishop GuertinRivierJunior
Cam HomseyCentral CatholicEndicottJunior
Natalie HarrisCoe-BrownPlymouth St.Junior
Sage SmithColebrookNorthern VermontSophomore
Mariah ChamberlainConantEndicottSenior
Sera HodgsonConantMaineSophomore
Eva HodgsonConantNorth CarolinaSenior
Silas BernierConantNorwichJunior
Tyler BrunsConcordBardSenior
Scott LampronConcordColby-SawyerSenior
Rylan CanabanoConcordPlymouth St.Junior
Al-Rashid KokoConcord ’22GordonFreshman
Isaac JarvisConcord Christian ’22GordonFreshman
Ty VitkoDoverEndicottSenior
Lia RaynowskaExeterColby-SawyerSenior
Mike LeonardExeterNorwichJunior
Kevin HenryExeterPlymouth St.Junior
Emily RaynowskaExeterWPISenior
Brady ElliottFall MountainRegisFreshman
Riley MarshGilford ’22Plymouth St.Freshman
Rob BaguidyGoffstown ’22RivierFreshman
Nodia DavenportGrovetonRivierSophomore
Maxwell GalbraithHanoverPlymouth St.Freshman
Halie HurdHillsboro-DeeringPlymouth St.Senior
Delaney WilcoxHinsdaleNew England CollegeSophomore
Angelina NardolilloHinsdaleRhode Island CollegeSophomore
Adam RazzaboniHollis-BrooklineRivierSophomore
Elijah SwansonInter-LakesPlymouth St.Sophomore
Autumn NelsonJohn StarkPlymouth St.Senior
Christian BarrJohn StarkPlymouth St.Junior
Anna StengerJohn StarkRivierJunior
Tori AndrewskiKearsargeDeanSophomore
Abby HamelinKeeneColby-SawyerSenior
Eliza MitchellKeeneColby-SawyerFreshman
Liam JohnstonKeeneKeene St.Freshman
Brogan ShannonKingswoodSaint AnselmFreshman
Sophie GeorgeLaconiaPlymouth St.Freshman
Jon WillemanLebanon ’20New HampshireJunior
Catherine ColeLebanon ’22ConnecticutFreshman
Kaylee ManzellaLittletonColby-SawyerFreshman
Dawson DicksonManchester CentralSNHUAssistant Coach
Ty ThomasManchester MemorialPlymouth St.Senior
Jessica CarrierManchester MemorialRivierSophomore
Lyric GrumblattManchester MemorialRivierJunior
Tamrah GouldManchester MemorialSouthern MaineJunior
Melanie PresseauManchester MemorialWPISenior
Liberti LacasseMascoma ValleyColby-SawyerFreshman
Ben SeilerMascoma ValleySt. Joseph’s (ME)Freshman
Ryan BanuskevichMilfordPlymouth St.Junior
Henry PikusMilton AcademyUC Santa CruzFreshman
Alexis MatteMount RoyalNorwichSenior
Spencer LabrecqueNashua NorthWheatonSophomore
Sam McElliottNashua NorthU. of New EnglandSophomore
Brandon ChoateNashua NorthSNHUSophomore
Joe MorrellOyster RiverFisherJunior
Ryan HerrionOyster RiverNew HampshireAssistant Coach
Megan MolettieriPelhamColby-SawyerSophomore
Drew BrownPelhamEndicottJunior
Sean MenardPembrokePlymouth St.Senior
Josh MorissettePhillips ExeterWoffordFreshman
Brooke KanePinkertonNew HampshireSenior
Gwen MerrifieldPlymouthManhattanvilleSophomore
Leia BruntPlymouthWilliam SmithFreshman
Kevin CummingsPortsmouthColby-SawyerSophomore
Abbe LaurencePortsmouthMaineSenior
Brittany GrahamPortsmouthNorwichSenior
Zack CaraballoSalemColby-SawyerSenior
Caitlin CooperSouheganDeanFreshman
Matt McCoolSouheganMaristFreshman
Johnny McBrideSouhegan ’22MessiahFreshman
Cal ConnellySpauldingAssumptionSenior
Jacob GibbonsTiltonAssumptionFreshman
Andrew PolitiTrinityFranklin PierceFreshman
Ethan HutchinsonTrinityRivierJunior
Royce WilliamsTrinitySNHUFreshman
Avery HazeltonWhite MountainsPlymouth St.Freshman
Joey DaSilvaWindhamEndicottSophomore
Sarah DempseyWindhamEndicottSophomore
Steph DavisWindhamLongwoodJunior
Brett MarelliWinnacunnetWPIFreshman

Championship Snapshots: Past hoop memories galore

By Mike Whaley

This week’s Jam Session hears from fans, coaches and former players and coaches as they recall special moments from past championship games.

There are quite a few varied takes. You have a celebratory bus ride past adoring townspeople; injuries overcome and deficits, too; a player standing on a rim after the game; a basket scored for the other team; a lucky nickel; trampoline dunking in practice the day before the final; and how about one win at a time all the way to 25-0 and a few other perfect thoughts. Let the memories begin!

Bill Douglas • 1971 Austin-Cate Academy

Bill Douglas, player, Austin-Cate Academy, 1971 Class S boys champs – With the Class S title in hand against Epping in the waning minutes at the University of New Hampshire, old Austin-Cate Academy of Center Strafford cleared the bench, recalled Douglas, the team’s star guard. Freshman Eddie Maccarelli made a steal and blazed down the floor in the final seconds, laying the ball in just before the buzzer – but in the other team’s basket. Final score: ACA 66, Epping 55. Douglas said he later found out that if Macarelli, who he dubbed “Wrong Way,” had scored for Austin-Cate the Wildcats would have tied the Class S record for most points by a winning team in a championship game with 68. Maccarelli is the only Austin-Cate player to have played on the school’s two state championship hoop teams. He was also on the 1974 title team as a senior. ACA made four trips to the Class S championship during a five-year span in the early 1970s. The school closed in 1980.

Frank Weeks, coach, Alton, 1975 Class A girls champs – Weeks recalls in the ‘75 final vs. Hillsboro-Deering, Alton led by just 20-14 at the half. However, they had a huge 18-0 surge in the third quarter that propelled them to a convincing 49-24 championship win – the first of three championships in four years. Alton, which became part of Prospect Mountain HS with Barnstead in 2004, won again in 1976, lost in the 1977 final and won in 1978, along the way building a 64-game winning streak. Two of its players – Amy Birdsey and Diane DeJager – scored over 1,000 points, and a third, Pam Smith, had over 970. A fourth, Arlene Dejager, a force on the boards, recorded over 1,000 career rebounds. Weeks also recalls at practice the day before the championship, he felt they were well prepared and there was nothing else to be done to get ready for the game. So he let the girls pull out the trampoline and the team spent the rest of the practice working on their dunks. “It was a very good group of young ladies,” Weeks said. “They were physically talented and committed. They enjoyed playing basketball.”

1976-77 Oyster River senior captains Jody Mooradian and Laurie Herbst admiring the championship plaque with coach Cathy Coakley.

Jody Mooradian, player, Oyster River, 1977 Class A girls champs – Mooradian had this memory from game day in 1977, which she recounted in 2019 to Seacoastonline after coach Cathy Coakley’s death: On the day of the state championship game, the bus was 30 minutes late. Coakley, always cool and calm, handled it perfectly. “Instead of getting nervous, she said, ‘OK, everybody let’s start dressing now in the bus.’ We all started putting on our shorts and our sneakers, then when we got off the bus we were ready to go.” Mooradian added, “Some people, even in college, when things start happening, coaches will let the situation take over. I just remember that — ‘just start getting dressed.’ That’s a thing that kind of sticks with you. How do you react? She was very professional. She made it happen. That helped us win, that little adventure.” Indeed, the Bobcats beat perennial power Alton, the two-time defending champs, in the final, 49-46, at Saint Anselm’s College for the school’s first girls’ hoop title. It snapped the Apaches’ 64-game winning streak to cap a perfect 20-0 season for Oyster River.

Mike Whaley, fan, 1976 Class L boys championship game – One of Whaley’s favorite championship memories (when he was a high school teen growing up in the Durham area) took place in the waning seconds of the 1976 Class L final, played at UNH between Trinity and Portsmouth. With the score tied at 58-all and time running out, a Portsmouth player called a timeout the Clippers didn’t have. A technical foul resulted. “Back then, the technical was a one-shot award,” recalled Whaley, not the two shots it is today. “With only a second or two remaining,Trinity sent gritty guard Dan Duval to the line at the end of Lundholm Gymnasium where the crowd enters. Above the basket was an open area where, at the time, fans were allowed to gather to watch the game. Since it was a technical foul shot,  Duval was all by himself at the foul line. As he prepared to take the shot, a small group of hecklers taunted him from above. It didn’t bother Duval, who calmly drilled the shot for the championship win.” That allowed Trinity, coached by Don Beleski, to defend its title, while, for Portsmouth, it was one of four painful Class L championship losses over a six-year span under legendary coach Dan Parr – the state’s winningest coach with 704 coaching victories.

Marge Fisk, coach, Dover, 1977 Class AA girls champs – Fisk guided the Green Wave during the infancy of NHIAA girls basketball from 1970 to 1982. The 1977 championship was unexpected as the previous year’s team, laden with seniors, went undefeated, but was upset in the quarterfinals. However, the ‘77 Dover girls, led by gritty guard Patty Foster, plus the addition of talented sophomores Karen Vitko and Lynne Richard Chavez, went undefeated to win the program’s first title over Manchester Central. “That was one of the finest groups I ever coached,” said Fisk in 2021. “They were just a family. There were a lot of superstars, but we always played as a team, and it made a big difference.” There was no big celebration after the championship win.  On the bus ride back, the players did ask coach Fisk if they could do “something wild.” Mary Brady Legere said the coach let the girls get out of the bus at the Lee Traffic Circle to do a Chinese fire drill around the bus and then get back in. 

Paul Boulay, player, Somersworth, 1984 Class I boys champs – It was the third quarter of the 1984 final at UNH and Somersworth trailed Pembroke by 10 points (45-45) with under two minutes to play. The Hilltoppers were 20-0 and playing in their third straight final, having lost the previous two. “They’re shooting a free throw and I’m lined up looking into the stands trying not to start crying,” said Boulay, who recalls he and teammate, Kyle Hodsdon, talked about winning the championship as pre-teens back in the day at a family Christmas party. “I went coast to coast for an old-school three and then assisted on a layup to end the third quarter (to cut the lead to 45-40). We outscored them 15-6 in the fourth to win 55-51. Up 53-51 with five seconds left, I got fouled and went to the line for a 1-and-1 (before the 3-point shot). I remember hitting the first one (to make it a two-possession game) and erupting with a jumping fist pump and a quick run in front of our fans. Don’t remember thinking about doing it, but the release of emotions and relief was just overwhelming because I’m not sure what I’d have done if we’d lost three straight.”

Tim Mucher, Farmington • 1984 Class M State Champions

Mike Lee, coach, Farmington, Class M boys champs (1984, 1988) – Lee, who coached the Tigers, from 1977 to 1998, recalls at the end of the 1984 championship game, a 76-54 win over Conant, being approached by a furious Peter Cofran, the tournament administrator. Cofran was yelling at Lee, “Get him down!” Lee had no idea what Cofran was referring to, until he saw Farmington guard Tim Mucher standing atop one of the rims. “I don’t know how he got up there,” said Lee, although he had his suspicions. “I’m sure it was something he had seen on television.” Not long after, Lee recalls going to the NHIAA offices in Concord and seeing a picture of Mucher on the rim. He laughs. “That resonates now.” He also recalls in the final 90 seconds of  the 1988 championship game, a 78-70 win over Mascoma, seeing a nickel, heads up, in front of the Farmington bench. As he bent down to pick it up, a voice yelled, “Don’t pick it up. It’s been there the whole game.” That voice belonged to Tony Carone, a member of the ‘84 championship team. Lee left the nickel there because, you know, a heads-up nickel signifies good luck – and it did that day for the Tigers.

Nute Rams • 1990 Class S State Champions

David Burrows, player, Nute, 1990 Class S boys champs – Burrows led the Rams to their last hoop title in 1990, scoring a tournament record 149 points in four games (still the most in the state regardless of division or gender). Nute beat Wilton-Lyndeborough in the final, 56-45, behind 34 points from Burrows. He had this recollection: “Something that stands out in my memory was after our championship game (in 1990). The team bus and several spectator buses were parked at the exit outside the locker rooms at Plymouth State College.  I think the entire community of Milton was waiting for us to come out to celebrate. What I saw next was hair tingling. Wilton’s team came out of that exit and our fans gave Wilton a standing ovation. I was very proud to be part of a community that shows that level of respect and sportsmanship.  Something you rarely see these days.”

Kelly Hall Barsky, center, is now the interim athletic director at UC Santa Barbara where she is a former basketball coach. In 1992-93 she helped lead Coe-Brown to an undefeated season and the Class M girls hoop championship. [Courtesy photo]

Kelly Hall Barsky, player, Coe-Brown, 1993 Class M girls champs – The Bears capped a perfect season with a 54-52 win over Franklin in the final to win the school’s first girls’ basketball championship. Barsky, now the interim athletic director at UC Santa Barbara, fondly remembers the championship and the celebration afterwards. “We rode back in the bus,” she said. “As we pulled into Epsom (Traffic) Circle and then all the way to Northwood, there were families that came out of their houses, along the route, and turned their lights on. We had a fire truck that led the bus. They came out and waved and we were waving and cheering.” It culminated with the team going back to the Coe-Brown gym where the Bears practiced every day. “Families and community members showed up,” said Barsky, who played for her dad, Tom Hall. “It brings me to tears now because it was just a moment of unity.”

 

The 1992-93 Stratford Lions went 21-0 to win the Class S state boys hoop championship, beating Orford in the final, 40-39. [Courtesy photo]

Eric Hurlbert, player, Stratford, 1993 Class S boys champs – Hurlbert was a junior on that undefeated team and one of three players – seniors Troy Burns and Josh Stone were the other two – to break 1,000 points that season (two did it in the same game). The Lions beat Orford for the title, 40-39, scoring the winning basket at the buzzer on a Billy Burns feed to his brother Troy. It was Stratford’s first championship since 1942. The school closed in 2012.

Keith Friel, player, Oyster River, 1995 Class I boys champs – It was a special moment for Friel when the Bobcats won the first of back-to-back Class I titles in the mid 1990s – a 55-52 win over Lebanon. “Our first championship, winning it at Lundholm (Gymnasium) with that core of kids we grew up playing together from (grades) 3, 4, 5, all the way up,” Friel said. “That was special. Hugging my brother (Greg). It was a culmination of all those hours of camp, all those hours in the gym growing up in Lundholm (where the Friel boys dad was the UNH men’s coach from 1969 to 1989). It was kind of surreal. I have all those memories of seeing (my dad) coaching there. When he ran out on the floor and hugged me, it was really special.”

Dave Smith coached Coe-Brown Northwood Academy to the 1997 Class M boys basketball championship. He is pictured here in 2021 being honored for his 600th coaching win. [Courtesy photo]

Dave Smith, coach, Coe-Brown, 1997 Class M boys champs – The dean of active N.H. coaches, Smith has coached basketball in the state for 55 years (45 in high school). The beginning of his one championship win in ‘97 still resonates. “We started out 6-0 – behind,” recalls Smith. “I was very close to (calling) a timeout. They had the ball. I was saying, ‘Oh crap, this isn’t a good way to start.’ We were pressing at Plymouth State. … Dakota Smith was playing up front on the press and he came all the way back on the rotation, which was a good rotation. He made a steal. We went down and scored. From then on it was back and forth. That kind of set the tone for us defensively. We had a great defensive game.” Coe-Brown won the championship, 57-43.

Dave Nichols, coach, Oyster River, 2003 Class I girls champs – This is one of Nichols’ favorite stories about the 2003 champs. He coached the Bobcats to four titles, and was the first in N.H. to coach both a boys and a girls team to a championship (OR boys in 1988, and three girls teams – 2003, 2006, 2009). “After our first game I commented that it was clear that this team was going to be very good and that all could see that they loved playing together,” Nichols recalled. “I told them that they would have 25 opportunities to do that, 18 regular-season games, three in the holiday tournament (Manchester, playing three Class L schools) and then four in the Class I tournament if we could get all the way to the finals; 25 games, maybe. Then I said, ‘one down’ and they shouted ‘24 to go.’ That countdown continued after every game. That was quite prophetic, too, and later people asked if I had been brazen enough to tell the team that we could go 25-0. No, the 25 games were how many they ‘could’ play, not a challenge to win them all. But we did.”

Dan O’Rourke, coach, Hanover, 2005 Class I girls champs – O’Rourke, the Marauders’ coach since 2001, recalls a key moment early on in the 2005 Class I championship against Oyster River, coached by Dave Nichols. Hanover had three girls with fevers and Oyster River got out to an eight-point lead. Hanover had a player named Emily Huff, who O’Rourke described as a terrier. She was on the bench going, ‘Let me in. Let me in.’ O’Rourke said let’s see what happens, knowing that when he put her in she would get after it. “Finally the game was starting to get away,” he said. “We put her in. Within a 3- or 4-minute span she completely changed the complexion of the game. Came in. Stole the ball two or three times. Hit a shot, and suddenly it was back to a tie game.” Hanover went on to win, 49-38, to defend their 2004 title. The Marauders have won five titles under O’Rourke.

Stephanie Larpenter, player, Sunapee, 2006 sand 2007 Class S girls champs – “One memory that stands out from our championships from 2006 to 2007 is that in the championship game in 2006 there was four minutes left in the game and I tore my ACL,” said Larpenter, who is now Sunapee’s coach. “Fast forward to 2007 after surgery and physical therapy for eight months. We beat Groveton, and just the feeling of accomplishment personally and with the team coming back from a major injury like that is something I’ll never forget. The satisfaction of all the hard work paid off. I think that is one core memory that really stands out to me.”

John Mulvey, player, Portsmouth, 2009 Class I boys champs – “I grew up playing basketball with the same group that won the 2009 championship,” wrote Mulvey who played for his dad, Jim Mulvey and is now the Clipper coach. “Growing up, we would play all day every day. Playing high school basketball with this same group was a dream. We had a lot of success, but going into our senior year we were missing something. That was a state championship. Late in the game, we got two full-court layups from long passes after Pelham scored. After those layups, we realized the game was out of reach and we were going to win the championship. I will never forget the feeling and moment of jumping around with my best friends celebrating a state championship.” Final score: Portsmouth 61, Pelham 48. On a personal note, Mulvey scored a game-high 26 points and buried five 3-pointers, a tournament record he still shares with two other players. The game, however, did not start well for the lefty sharpshooter. He missed his first seven shots. “The first couple almost broke the backboard,” he said in 2020. “I had to settle down.” Which he obviously did.

Aliza Simpson McKenna, player, Londonderry, 2014 Division I girls champs – “We had one loss on the season to Bedford and we were squaring up again for the state title. This was legendary Coach John Fagula’s last high school game after an incredible career and we were hoping to send him off as a champion. I’ll never forget, we were down by two and we probably had 10 seconds left to play. Bedford was a powerhouse and had great defenders. The time was running down and Brittany Roche was left wide open in the corner. A pass came flying at her from a baseline drive and without any fear she threw up a 3-pointer. Nothing but net. We had clinched the title, 57-56, ended Bedford’s undefeated season and allowed John Fagula to sail off into the sunset as a champion.”

Rick Forge, coach, Gilford, 2016 Division III girls champs – “The perfect season,” said Forge, who also coached Gilford to the 2009 title and Somersworth to a crown in 1986 in Class I. “Back then Lakes Region basketball fostered some great rivalries amongst the area’s seven Division 3 schools.  It was only fitting that Gilford and Laconia would be the two teams left standing for the finals. The schools, separated by a couple of miles – or a few long 3-pointers – would be meeting for the fourth time that season (holiday tournament included).  Each previous matchup was an instant classic, including a triple OT game that is still talked about. The community atmosphere in the local coffee shops and businesses was electric.  On championship Saturday it was a full SNHU gym of red and blue and the fans, well let’s just  say they were into it.The actual game was wire to wire filled with huge moments: long 3s from Brooke Beaudet, a clutch Maddie Harris steal in the final minute, Cassidy Bartlett assisting on a Jordan Dean game-winning backdoor cut, and Stevie Orton’s game-sealing free throws in the final seconds. When the final horn sounded we had managed to squeeze out a (42-38) win and complete the undefeated journey. It was a perfect ending to a perfect season for a perfect group of young ladies.”  

Cassidy Bartlett, player, Gilford, 2016 Division III girls champs – “I can still feel the overwhelming sense of emotion that came with the final buzzer,” said via email.  “Years of memories, practice, competition and passion culminating into a picture-perfect ending. There is nothing like celebrating a championship.  It’s not just for the team or Gilford High School – it’s for an entire community.  It hangs as a banner; a piece of history that serves as a symbol of legacy for those who come next.  At the core of our accomplishment was the culture of the team.  We grew up learning the game together, and we inspired each other to be the best versions of ourselves.  Most importantly, we were devoted to the same mission: ‘Take care of the little things and the big thing will take care of itself.’’’

Trevor Howard, player/coach, Littleton, Class M/Division IV boys champs 1990, 2016, 2020 – Howard is part of a small N.H. fraternity to have played for and coached for a high school state champion. Here are a couple quick thoughts from the current Crusaders’ coach: “The last four boys’ state championships 1971, 1990, 2016, 2020 were all undefeated. Littleton hasn’t won a state championship in 50 years with a loss on their record. So I guess it’s either undefeated or nothing.  I’ve been lucky and blessed to be involved in nine state championship games, one as a player, one as an assistant coach, and seven as a head coach.” A huge moment for Howard was Ethan Ellingwood’s game-winning shot with 10 seconds to play in the 2016 championship game against Portsmouth Christian that broke a 36-all tie and won it for the Crusaders. “Best memory and biggest shot in LHS basketball history,” said Howard, who captured his first title as a coach.

Jay Darrah, coach, Pittsfield, 2018 Division IV boys champs – Two indelible memories for coach Darrah as Pittsfield won its first hoop state title, beating Newmarket, 43-40. The first: “As a coach, having some of the members of the 1981 and 1990 (runner-up) teams handing over their runner-up medals post game and thanking us for finishing the job that they wanted so badly. Thanking us for bringing a state championship to Pittsfield for the first time.” Secondly: “As a father who had the pleasure of coaching my son and his closest friends through this memorable season, I will never forget the post-game medal ceremony. Placing medals around the boys’ necks in front of our community will be one of my favorite moments.  The 2018 season was my 17th season coaching the Panthers.  We had a handful of semifinal appearances, but never managed to make it to the finals.  But that didn’t stop my son Cam and I from attending every championship game as he grew older.  He always promised me that someday he would get me that championship medal. Well the last player to be presented a medal that day was my son Cameron.  After I placed the medal around his neck, Cam immediately took the medal from his neck and placed it around mine and gave me a hug and said, ‘Here is the medal I have been promising you.’”

Jeff Holmes, coach, Exeter, 2019 D-I boys champs – A few things jump out for Holmes who won his first coaching championship with a 53-30 win over Salem, completing an undefeated season. “We jumped out 7-0, hitting our first three shots,” he said. “That was huge.” To begin the fourth quarter, Salem got a technical with the game still close in the 7-8-9 range. That started a run to allow the Blue Hawks to pull away. As Exeter pulled away, Holmes got to soak in the championship moment in the final minutes. “It was going our way, so I’ve got to take it in, winning the title, which was pretty cool,” he said.

Epping • 2019 Division IV State Champions

Nick Fiset, coach, Epping, 2019 D-IV boys champs – “I remember thinking all week during practice the championship game would fly by, but (remember) during the game feeling like the clock never moved and it was taking forever,” Fiset recalled. “ I called a timeout after Hunter Bullock scored an incredible basket and said to him while he was walking over ‘Keep it going, only a little bit left.’  He replied like he always did, ‘Coach, I can do this all night.’  All I could think to myself was, ‘He sure can.’”

John Fisher, coach, Bishop Guertin, 2021 Division I boys champs – “While I have many fond memories of our championship game – 42-35 win over Winnacunnet – one that stands out was the elation on the faces of the senior players on that team after the final buzzer when they ran onto the floor,” Fisher wrote via email. “A close second was listening to the speeches each senior player gave at the basketball banquet that occurred the next week. Each player’s speech was filled with fond memories of times spent with members of the team. It was an inspiring moment and reminded everyone in the room that having fun with your friends is ultimately what the game is about.”

Rick Acquilano, coach, Gilford, 2021 Division III boys champs – Gilford trailed in the final by as many as 13 points in the second half, but rallied to tie it at 39-all with 22 seconds to play. Hopkinton had the ball. “We needed a defensive stop,” the coach recalled. Gilford’s Riley Marsh stole the ball at mid-court and took it in for a layup to take the lead.  “The game ended with Jalen Reese blocking a shot attempt under the basket as time expired to hold on for a 41-40 victory,” Acquilano said. “Two great defensive plays to preserve the victory.”

Dave Nichols, now an assistant with the Hanover girls, has been coaching since the early 1970s when he was a volunteer assistant at his alma mater of Milford HS. He weaves a good story, and it is this one that we will leave you with, about Oyster River’s 1988 boys’ hoop championship, complete with a superb background story.

During the summer of 1987 he  coached an AAU team along with the late Jack Ford of Winnacunnet and Mike Lee of Farmington. “We had two of my Oyster River players on the team, John Freiermuth and Pat Casey,” Nichols recalled. “Mike Joslin of Lebanon was also on the team. Those three kids, the only ones from Class I, along with Mike Mucher of Farmington, who was the only Class M player, would hang out together a lot. AAU was different back then and we were allowed to pick kind of an all-star team from N.H. so the rest of the team was Class L kids. On one trip I had those four kids in the car with me and the subject of the coming high school season came up. Mike Joslin claimed that they, Lebanon, were loaded and going ‘all the way’. Slowly I responded to the delight of the other three in the car.  ‘Actually, this is what’s going to happen, Mike. You guys will have a great season, probably go undefeated because you have an easy schedule. The three other top teams will be Goffstown, Merrimack Valley (Scott Drapeau was an incredible freshman) and Oyster River. Those three teams will play each other twice and will probably split the wins.” The other three players were now chiming in and giving Joslin, who we all liked a lot, a hard time about their ‘soft’ schedule. I went on. ‘The four of us will get to the semifinals and you’ll have to beat two of us to win it all. That won’t happen. You might beat one of us in the semis but whoever is left will shock you in the finals because you will have faced zone teams all year and you’re not quick enough to play man against any of us. Hopefully it will be us in the finals, right guys?” nodding to Pat and John. “And if it is, you won’t be able to bring the ball up alone against our man press all night.

If it’s us, playing on our ‘second home court’ where we practice all the time (admittedly a huge exaggeration) you’ll have had your third long drive down in a week while we have a five-minute bus ride, we’ll wear down your tired butts and send you back for a long, lonely ride home.’ The other three all joined in with a chorus of agreement while I smiled.

Pretty much the best prediction I have ever made. It was a long hard season for us but somehow we were ranked No. 2 with MV third and Goffstown fourth. Lebanon did get by Goffstown while we pulled out a close, hard-fought win over Merrimack Valley. 

In the locker room at UNH someone came by to wish us luck and said there were a bunch of limousines in front of UNH to drive the players and coaches back to Lebanon. We never knew if that was true or not, but certainly used it as motivation. Lang Metcalf was a great coach and a lot of insiders thought this was going to be his crowning achievement to a storied career. Lang admitted to me later that he knew they were in for a battle. Joslin played well, but we did wear him down and Freiermuth was deservedly the player of the year. We led the whole way and the game was not really as close as expected, 65-51. Oyster River’s first-ever Class I championship.

If you have championship memories of your own that you’d like to share, please email those to kj@ball603.com by March 15 and we’ll post those as well.

Smooth Moves of the Week: Feb. 13, 2022

It’s time again for the Tropical Smoothie Cafe “Smooth Moves of the Week.” Tropical Smoothie Cafe was born on a beach where people know how to live. We like things fun and playful, sunny and bright. Shake your shoes off and turn the music up. It’s time to unwind… with the Tropical Smoothie Cafe “Smooth Moves of the Week”.

With locations in Rochester, Portsmouth, Portland and Biddeford, you’re on Tropic Time now.

This week’s Smooth Moves features plays from Dover, Farmington, Pinkerton and Souhegan.

TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE LOCATIONS

Tropical Smoothie Cafe
127 Marketplace Blvd
Rochester, NH 03867

Tropical Smoothie Cafe
1600 Woodbury Avenue
Portsmouth, NH 03801

Tropical Smoothie Cafe
45 Western Ave
South Portland, ME 04106

Tropical Smoothie Cafe
426 Alfred Street
Biddeford, ME 04005