Games for good causes

  • The Conant boys after last years’ Hoops for Hope, and Gus Dreher with the ConVal Cougar at Hope for Gus 2017. Courtesy photos

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/30/2019 3:34:17 PM

It’s the heart of hoops season, the perfect time for local teams to show some heart of their own on and off the court. This year, both Conant and ConVal will host games to raise money and awareness for the causes of their choice.

The first event is the tenth annual Hoops for Hope, Conant’s big cancer fundraiser which takes the form of a tripleheader at the Pratt on Saturday.

After a stretch paired up for these games with ConVal, Conant has partnered with Monadnock this year to bring another local community into the mix.

Ken Ervin, a former Franklin Pierce standout who coached the Monadnock boys’ basketball team to a championship in 2008, will be the guest speaker. Ervin’s wife, Elizabeth, who played hoops at FPU as well, died of breast cancer this past September, so the issue couldn’t be closer to home.

“Basketball is pretty small,” said Nancy Springfield, who’s helped organize the event again this year. “Life is so much bigger than that.”

Proceeds from the day’s events and fundraising go to the Hoops for Hope Foundation, which donates money to local families who are battling cancer.

“Just knowing how many people we’ve helped in the past makes it pretty special,” Springfield said.

The pink wave has been a familiar sight at Hoops for Hope in previous years, with attendees donning the color signifying breast cancer. This year, each team has selected their own personal cancer color: orchid for testicular cancer, lime green for lymphoma, and so on.

“It will be more like a rainbow this year,” Springfield said.

Conant’s unified team, now 1-1 under first-year coaching duo Ben and Ann Wheeler, will take on Keene at 1 p.m. The Conant girls play one of the biggest games of the season at 2:30 when they host 11-1 Monadnock, one of two teams to beat the Orioles this season. The Husky and Oriole boys tip at 4 in what could be a special game for junior Peyton Springfield, who goes into Thursday’s action on the verge of 1,000 career points and is likely to reach the mark this week.

If you are unable to attend the games but would like to donate, mail a donation to Hoops for Hope, PO Box 314 Peterborough, NH 03458.

Hope for Gus

ConVal will host its own special games on Tuesday, when they host Souhegan for the fourth annual Hope for Gus night.

The Sabers and Cougars will clash on the hardwood in the name of Gus Dreher, the South Meadow School student who’s bravely and publicly battling a rare case of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Dreher’s father teaches at Souhegan and his mother in the ConVal district, so pairing the two teams is a natural fit.

“One of the special things about Hope for Gus is that it brings two communities together,” said ConVal Student Athletic Leadership Team co-president Alyssa Janoch, who helped organize the event. “There’s the competition aspect but there’s also the unity and the coming together for one central idea. It’s not only convenient but also special for both teams. It’s just a fun night overall –  the event gets pretty hyped up.”

These games, too, promise to be fun to watch. The ConVal girls beat Souhegan with ease early in the season and could see a repeat of that result, and the boys? Well, longtime rival Souhegan is 7-2 and one of the toughest teams left on ConVal’s schedule as the Cougars look to keep their historic season rolling. Girls tip at 5 p.m. Friday, boys at 6:30.

Hope for Gus t-shirts are being sold at ConVal High School. If you would like to purchase one, contact Janoch at or 933-2380.


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