Strong set of seasonal picks
Sports Editor Tim Goodwin looks back at his spring predictions
I will have to say that I’m quite happy with myself.
I’m usually not one to toot my own horn, but right now I feel that it is only appropriate. After almost giving up on the prediction business last year, I decided to give it one more run through and the results have been quite favorable.
Through the first two seasons, my right and wrong count don’t necessarily reflect how well I have actually done. Out of my 12 picks for the fall and winter, I was right on six and a half of them, including a few that I went way out on a limb for, but have also been so close on many others.
But there is no point in dwelling on what could have been. This is all about what did happen and once again I had a pretty good season. After making a lengthy list of possible predictions, I eventually settled on five for the spring. And this could have been my best season yet.
I nailed four of them and got the final one half right. I actually short changed the Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team — much like the rest of Division IV — but hopefully I have learned my lesson.
So without any further self promotion, I will give you my picks for the spring season and show you how it all went down. And believe me when I say that there are no more thoughts of ending this part of my job.
Conant baseball: Can the Orioles build off last year’s semifinal run?
After falling just short of the Division III title game in 2012, I believed the Orioles would have enough to take the next step and make it all the way to the finals. While I caught a little flack for my prediction, I stood by it. And the Orioles did the rest. Following an improbable comeback at Campbell in the quarterfinals that saw Conant erase a six-run deficit in the sixth inning in a 9-7 win, the Orioles knocked off top seed Laconia in the semifinals and went on to win the school’s first baseball title in 57 years.
Track & Field: How many divisional champions will there be?
My prediction was three and it was actually right, just not with all the same people that I named. I said that Conant senior Katie Tonyai would win two D-III titles, which she did in the 100- and 200-meter sprints. I said that Mascenic sophomore Tim Fafard would win his first-ever D-III crown in either the 1,600 or 3,200 and he cruised to a win in the 3,200. And I also thought ConVal senior Tom Hughes would take home the Division II shot put title, but he had an off day and finished ninth. But the total number of winner was right after Mascenic senior Elizabeth McGurk won the D-III girls 3,200 meters.
Mascenic softball: Can the Vikings get over the hump?
A loss in the 2012 regular season finale prevented the Vikings from making the Division III tournament, but I thought for sure that this group would make it this year and it would not come down to the final day. And even though Mascenic dropped its final four games, they had done enough in the first 14 to earn the 20th and final spot in D-III. And if not for a Bishop Brady comeback in the seventh inning of the first round playoff game, the Vikings would have won a postseason game, too.
ConVal girls tennis: Can the Cougars finally make the postseason?
I thought the Cougars had a legitimate chance of grabbing one of the final two spots in Division II after finishing one place out of the tournament in 2012. Early on it looked like a good pick, but not so much in the middle of the season as ConVal lost six of seven to fall out of the top eight. But three wins to end the regular season put ConVal in a three-way tie for eighth and when the tiebreaker was decided the Cougars had earned the final tournament spot.
WLC softball: What will the Warriors do for an encore to last year’s undefeated championship run?
While the Warriors only lost two players from the 2012 title team, they were the all-state pitcher and catcher duo that led the way. And even though I knew the offense was going to be potent, I was not so sure how far this team would go. I thought WLC would earn a home playoff game and advance to the quarterfinals. But the Warriors far exceeded those expectations, as they earned the No. 1 seed for an 11th straight season and made it all the way to the D-IV finals.