Local sports teams are beginning to stretch their legs outdoors and prepare for the upcoming season, with regular season action starting either this week or next.
Laconia's baseball team went 15-1 last season, losing in the semi-finals of the NHIAA Division III tournament. The Sachems lost to eventual state champion Conant 2-0. "We have a good core of returning players from last year," said coach Jon Myers, "Including four players who hit over .300 last year." Shortstop James Salta will lead the charge this season, hoping to continue his dominance at the plate. Salta led last year's team with a .447 batting average. Outfielder Pat Guyer and third baseman Nate Batchelder were also above the .300 mark. Batchelder, Andrew Salta, and Jordan Bladecki will take the mound this season for the Sachems. "We also return two pitchers who have pitched at the varsity level," Myers continued. "We have a tough road ahead of us, but we should be able to compete with anyone."
Gilford also ran into Conant, who ended their playoff run in the second round. The Golden Eagles turned out their first winning season in more than five years under the watchful eye of third year head coach Matt Finch. "I have been telling the kids it took the eventual champs to knock us out last year" The Golden Eagles went 9-7 last season, an improvement from Finch's 3-13 first season. Cam Partridge will lead the way at the plate, coming off of a .448 season last year. Sophomore Zach Toisson is the ace of the pitching staff after posting an earned run average of 2.77 a year ago. "I am very confident this season" added Finch. "Last year I never felt as though we were over matched. I think this year we won't have to worry about the growing pains"
Gilford's boys' tennis team is coming of another state championship, the team's third title in the last four years. Lead by junior Andrew Caulfield, Gilford will try to defend the title with some new faces after losing co-captain seniors Matt Saulnier and Alex Simoneau, who played the second and third singles matches. Gilford will look to some underclassmen to fill those positions.
The Golden Eagles opened the season Wednesday and cruised to a 9-0 win over Inter-Lakes. The Lakers went 6-8 last season missing the postseason.
Laconia will not field a boys' tennis team this year due to lack of interest, according to Athletic Director Craig Kozens. The Sachems will not be adding a sport in its place.
The Sachems girls' tennis team begins the season tonight in Bethlehem to take on Profile regional. Laconia ended last season 4-9 and did not qualify for the tournament.
Gilford hosted Inter-Lakes Wednesday afternoon, the season opener for both programs. The Golden Eagles came away with a 5-3 win. Gilford was 12-4 last year, losing to Bow in the quarter-finals last season. The Lakers struggled to a 1-13 finish last year.
Laconia softball is looking to continue the progress it made last season, winning six games as compared to only two the year prior. The 6-11 Sachems were knocked out of the tournament by Prospect Mountain in the first round last season. The girls will open the season in Bristol on Monday.
Gilford will try to overcome losing six seniors this season, including the battery of Sydney Strout and Paige Lalilberte behind the plate. The Golden Eagles have been eliminated from the tournament in the semi-finals each of the last three seasons. To accomplish the feat, Gilford will look to fourth year players Lisa Osborne, Kelsey Buckley and Mollie Dignan. Last year's eventual state champs, Campbell defeated the Golden Eagles 2-0. "Our goal is to improve steadily throughout the season just like we have in our preseason scrimmages," said head coach of 30 years Joan Forge "I believe we will look completely different at the end of our season."
Laconia boys' lacrosse went 6-9 last season, losing to Plymouth in the first round of the postseason. The team will open the season hosting Plymouth in a rematch of last year's postseason game.
Gilford also fell in the first round last year to Derryfield 14-3. The Golden Eagles have three seniors returning with playoff experience. They will be looking for help from freshmen Seth and Sander Valpey and Logan Essaf to fill the hole on the defense left by a pair of graduated seniors from last season.
Laconia girls' lacrosse was knocked out of the playoffs in the first round, losing to Kingswood. The Sachems finished the regular season 6-8. Laconia will be led by senior captains Danielle Cote and Jordan Lovely.
Last Updated on Thursday, 10 April 2014 08:58
MOULTONBOROUGH — Another week of winter gave the Lakes Region Ice Racing Club a seventh week of racing in the 2014 season and while members of the club are all looking forward to spring (honest), the weather might allow for an eighth event next weekend. A bright sunny day brought a large crowd to Berry Pond on Sunday for the four divisions of racing on the 1/3 miles oval, prepared a day earlier by club volunteers.
It was the Cody Burns show in the Junior division as he drove his Nissan to both feature wins for the overall Junior trophy. Cody, of Center Harbor, found smooth ice and was flying. Garrett Poitras put together second and third place finishes in the dual features for second place with Trevor Greene in third.
In the V8 Stock class, Alley Ripley of Center Ossipee took the overall win. Mike Frank driving Adam Cahoon's car claimed the second place trophy in an attrition-shortened stock field.
Scott Burns, of Center Harbor, had a stellar day in the SBL Nissan taking both 4 Cylinder feature wins and the overall. In the second feature Burns made an impressive charge to the front from his last place starting position in just two laps. Points leader Tim Chase took second place increasing his lead over Matt Taylor in third place.
The sprint cars of Tuftonboro's Jake Williams and Wolfboro Falls' DJ Mills battled for the overall win with Jake coming out on top in both features. A flat tire on Fred Fecteau's car and a broken chain on Mike Horsch's gave second to DJ who recovered from a front axle failure in the first feature. Jack Cook took the third place trophy.
The Lakes Region Ice Racing Club races Sunday's at 12:30 on Berry or Lee Pond in Moultonborough through mid-March. The club is hoping that the upcoming week's weather will allow racing next week. Check the club's website at www.LakesRegionIceRacingClub.com or the Facebook page for the latest race/ice status, information about coming events, and for race photos.
Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 09:07
As the winter sports season wraps up, most Laconia teams should be proud of the accomplishments and improvements achieved this season. The boys' basketball team made the playoffs with an 11-7 record after going 5-13 the previous season. The Sachems fell to Mascoma Valley in the second round last week 59-43.
The Golden Eagles of Gilford were the only Lakes Region boys' team to advance past the second round, falling to Berlin in the quarter-finals last Saturday 59-48. Gilford finished the year with a 14-4 record, good for the sixth seed in the NHIAA Division III tournament.
The Winnisquam Bears were the seventh seed in tournament play and also recorded a 14-4 regular season record. The Bears fell to the tenth seeded Farmington in the second round 58-57.
The Winnisquam girls' team finished the season winning five of the last seven games to register a 9-9 mark and the 14th seed in the postseason. Their winning ways continued in the first round, beating Raymond 60-52. Unfortunately, Winnisquam ran into the steamroller that was the Campbell Cougars. The Bears were defeated 50-32 in the second round by Campbell.
Campbell continued their championship season beating the Golden Eagles in the quarter-finals 55-47. Gilford finished the year 10-8 in the regular season. The young squad will have the majority of the starters returning next season.
The Sachems had a 12-6 record for the second season in a row. This postseason did not fare as well as last year's quarter-final team. This season's team could not advance past Franklin in the second round, losing 44-35.
On the Hockey front, Laconia-Winnisquam put together a 7-11 season and earned a playoff berth. The Wolfpack had trouble keeping up with Souhegan, losing the quarter-final matchup 10-0.
The 15-3 Belmont-Gilford earned the third seed in the playoffs and hosted Kennett last Saturday afternoon. The Bulldogs had not won a home playoff game under coach Jay Londer, until Caleb Drouin scored the game winning goal in overtime to beat the Eagles and avenge last season's playoff loss. The Bulldogs took on Souhegan last night in semi-final play at the Everett Arena last night. The result of the game was too late for this section's deadline.
Last Updated on Thursday, 13 March 2014 09:04
Laconia High School's varsity cheer team earned entry to the state cheerleading competition after placing first in a preliminary event held on Sunday. Laconia earned 91.5 points out of a possible 110. Trinity (86) came in second, followed by Winnisquam (83). Also competing in the event were teams from Campbell, Bow, Stevens, Franklin, Newfound, Farmington, Prospect Mountain and Berlin. Laconia cheerleaders shown above are: front four girls left to right, Taylor Percy, Kaitlyn Sasseville (middle back), Taylor Avery (middle front) and Gillian Gorse. In the back:Cierra Pinkney, Rachel Lowe, Jackie Foden, Isabel Gorse, Danielle Angers and Peyton Hughes. The state competition will be held at Southern New Hampshire University. (Courtesy photo)
Last Updated on Monday, 10 March 2014 09:40
- 21st Francoeur/Babcock Tournament wraps up
- Bulldogs top Kennett in OT thriller
- Lakes Region Youth Hockey goes undefeated through tournament
- Laconia Ice Arena to host junior hockey playoff series this weekend
- Round-up: Bulldogs, Wolfpack both have playoff games this weekend
- GHS JV boys team wraps up perfect season