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Spring Awards

The best of the season

  • The ConVal baseball team beat John Stark 7-0 in the first round of the NHIAA DII playoffs on Thursday.
  • Conant softball defeated Hillsboro Deering 12-0 on April 28.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The WLC softball team beat Portsmouth Christian at Dover 10-9 on a walkoff hit to win the NHIAA DIV championship on June 14, 2014.
  • The ConVal varsity lacrosse program is making strides during the 2014 season.
  • The Conant girls softball team defeated Farmington in the first round of the DIII playoffs on May 5.
  • The WLC softball team swept Mascenic in a Memorial Day weekend doubleheader.

This year featured a seriously incredible spring for sports. We saw two teams from Conant — softball and girls tennis — have their best seasons ever, with the tennis team making it to their first-ever championship and the softball team running roughshod over their competition on the way to an undefeated regular season. We also saw a revitalization of the ConVal boys lacrosse program, school record-breaking performances by ConVal’s Courtney Fisher, Corey Barrett and Haley Zanga and Mascenic’s Tim Fafard. And we got to see ConVal’s Ivon Clough put on a show as he mowed down all competition and showed why he’s headed for DI college baseball.

This year, my first real taste of the emotional highs and lows of sports reporting came as I followed the WLC soccer team through the playoffs; my heart leapt as they won on a header in double overtime against Lisbon, soared even higher as they took a late lead against bitter rival Sunapee and then fell through the floor as their title shot was ripped away from them. So, it was only fitting that my high school sports year ended with another Warriors playoff run. Fortunately for me, the playoffs coincided with my finally being able to cover games again, and so I got to see most of WLC’s magical run firsthand. They finally got their revenge on Sunapee before winning the title in an absolute thriller.

What a way to go out! Now, it’s on to the summer; we’ll be looking for off-the-beaten-path sports stories, but before we know it, August will roll around and it will be back to another fall season. Before we look too far ahead, though, let’s take a look back at what happened this spring.

Male athlete

Ivon Clough

Senior, ConVal baseball

Ivon Clough was already one of the most dominant pitchers in the state coming into this season. This year, he silenced any last remaining doubters, as he finished the year 7-0 with a miniscule .42 ERA and 76 strikeouts. He’ll be plying his trade for the University of Maine next season, the next stop on the path to big things for the flamethrowing righty out of Dublin.

Female Athlete

Ivy Chalke Junior, Conant softball

Ivy Chalke is unstoppable. That’s all there is to it! You can’t pitch to her, you can’t hit off her — what can you do? Chalke led the Orioles to an undefeated season, throwing two no-hitters in the process. She was 16-0 on the mound with 136 strikeouts and batted a ridiculous .600 with four homers. The Orioles came up a game short of the title, but Chalke will be back next year.

Best Team

WLC softball

DIV state champions

This award could have easily gone to Conant and their undefeated regular season, but in the end, you can’t argue with the ring. The best thing about this team was how much fun they have on the field, even in the most tense situations. And there is not one among us who wouldn’t benefit from some time under the tutelage of “Coach Grampy” Dennis Claire and his assistants Bill Draper and Sarah Draper.

Heart Of A Champion

Sami Bosquet

WLC softball

Sami Bosquet could have won this award for any of the three sports seasons this year, but she really stood out during WLC’s awesome title run. The senior put the team on her back during the championship game, coming up with five huge RBI as she battled through a leg injury. Don’t expect to see another player as determined and courageous as Sami Bosquet anytime soon.

Best Duo

Isaiah Taylor and Bob Taylor ConVal boys lacrosse

It was a family affair for ConVal lacrosse this season, as first-year head coach Bob took over the program and junior Isaiah dazzled offensively, finishing with 134 points on 82 goals and 32 assists. With a year of head coaching experience under Bob’s belt and Isaiah heading into his final season, 2015 should be quite a year.

Most Improved Player

Katie Chadbourne

Conant softball

No one worked harder in the offseason than Katie Chadbourne; ask her teammates and coaches and they’ll tell you the same. The hard work paid off this season, as Chadbourne hit .541 and earned a First Team All-State selection. The best part? She’s still got her senior year to go.

Coach of the Spring

Emily Gannon

Mascenic softball

The coach of the season doesn’t often go to someone in their first year whose team finished out of the playoffs. But Emily Gannon set the cornerstones for a promising future, as she imparted lessons about pride in one’s self and one’s team, playing together and working hard. With Gannon at the helm again next year, the Vikings will only get better and better.

Top 3 Storylines

1. Which, if any, track and field stars would win a state title?

Mascenic’s Tim Fafard, ConVal’s Corey Barrett and Haley Zanga and Conant’s Justin Haase all had legit shots at top spots; ultimately, it was Tim Fafard who’d head to the New England Championships.

2. How would ConVal boys lacrosse do under new head coach Bob Taylor?

The Cougars had a resurgence this season, going 11-3 and making it to the semifinals. They lost some key seniors to graduation, but they should be poised for another great season next year.

3. Could the Conant baseball team repeat as DIII champions?

After winning their first championship in half a century, hopes were high for the Orioles, but even though they had a shot down to the last week of the season, they finished just out of the playoffs. They were a young team, though, and will only get better with age and experience.

Top 3 Feats

1. Tim Fafard breaks the school record at the New England Championships

It’s no secret that Tim Fafard is one of the best track athletes in New England. He cemented his status as an all-time Mascenic great when he broke the school record in the 3200M dash.

2. Jenna Bragdon’s robbed home run against PCA Dover, May 5

The centerfield fence will never be quite the same after Jenna Bragdon smashed clean through it on her way to catch what was a sure home run in a tight game.

3. Courtney Fisher and Ivy Chalke throw no-hitters on the same day, April 28

It was a great year for pitchers, and perhaps there was no bigger day than when ConVal and Conant’s aces both threw no-nos.

Top 3 Replays

1. WLC softball vs. PCA Dover, June 14

This was a title game for the ages. Every time WLC took the lead, PCA answered back, and when the wheels started to fall off as the Warriors blew a four run late lead, nerves were wracked. But the Warriors won it on a walkoff and put smiles on everyone’s faces.

2. Conant softball vs. Campbell, June 11

DIII Coach of the Year Tom Lambert kept stressing how difficult it is to beat a team three times. After going undefeated in the regular season, Conant found out the hard way as Campbell handed the Orioles their only loss in their third meeting of the season. If they could play that one one more time, we think the Orioles would get it done.

3. Mascenic vs. Conant baseball, May 20

Ryan Carey and Shane Rautiola silenced the Viking and Oriole bats on this afternoon, setting the stage for Chase Holombo to win it on a walkoff. A pitchers’ duel like that is welcome any day of the week.

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