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High Schools: ConVal golf returns to varsity level at Conant; plus, both ConVal soccer teams remain undefeated

  • Conant hosted ConVal, Monadnock and Bishop Brady for a golf match at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted ConVal, Monadnock and Bishop Brady for a golf match at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted ConVal, Monadnock and Bishop Brady for a golf match at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted ConVal, Monadnock and Bishop Brady for a golf match at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted ConVal, Monadnock and Bishop Brady for a golf match at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant’s Jake DePasquale tees off on the first hole at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Conant hosted ConVal, Monadnock and Bishop Brady for a golf match at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted ConVal, Monadnock and Bishop Brady for a golf match at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted ConVal, Monadnock and Bishop Brady for a golf match at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted ConVal, Monadnock and Bishop Brady for a golf match at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Conant hosted ConVal, Monadnock and Bishop Brady for a golf match at the Shattuck on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Friday, August 31, 2018 5:9PM

Since dropping from the NHIAA schedule three years ago, ConVal golf has been under the radar. But all the while, the Cougars have been plotting their return. Coach Mike Young launched a middle school golf program — something rarely seen in New Hampshire school statewide — and after three years of development at that level, ConVal made their return as a varsity program Thursday at the Shattuck.

The Cougars, who won’t play a match at their home course of Crotched Mountain this season due to a miscommunication with the NHIAA about their schedule, were as close to home as they’ll get in Jaffrey when they faced Bishop Brady, Monadnock and host Conant.

The Shattuck — one of “America’s 50 Toughest Golf Courses,” according to Golf Digest — is no picnic, especially in the first match of the year. But, Shattuck events coordinator Tony Haigh reminded the field during the pre-match instructions, it could be worse.

“At least you’re not in Syria,” Haigh said. “They’re strafing the fairways over there right now.”

The fairways in Jaffrey were relatively safe Thursday, as the teams sent plenty of their own missiles into the marshy woods. But thanks to the NHIAA’s newly adopted Stableford format, a bad hole or two doesn’t put golfers out of the running.

Under the Stableford rules, golfers get one point for a bogey, two for par, three for a birdie, four for an eagle and five for an albatross.

Bishop Brady’s Nick Grimbilas, despite having a rough go of it in the Giants’ first-ever trip to the Shattuck, took full advantage of the format.

“I’m so done with this course,” he declared, before digging his ball out of the woods on Hole 6; but with no penalty for a bad hole, he cruised along to an easy victory with 21 points, propelling Brady to a first-place team finish with 53 overall.

Conant took second with 30 points, led by No. 1 Hayden Ketola (12 points). No. 2 Connor Hart (5), No. 3 Preston Kirby (11) and Jake DePasquale (2) rounded out the Oriole scoring.

The Cougars were led by No. 1 Ben Garfinkle (9 points); No. 2 Maxwell Davie (5), No. 4 Brady Proctor (7), No. 5 Nick Tower (4) and No. 7 Riley Menomee (6), while Max Heck and Logan Burnham grabbed three points each.

The young Monadnock team landed in last place, with scoring from Izzy Avilez (16), Joey Lotito (2), Gabe Hill (6) and Noah Bartlett (2).

Conant hosts another match on Wednesday. ConVal is at Laconia on Thursday.

BOYS’ SOCCER

ConVal 1, Lebanon 0

ConVal’s shutout streak improved to three with a close 1-0 victory at Lebanon on Thursday afternoon. 

“We were under pressure for the first 15 minutes and then slowly found the game and started attacking more,” said head coach Josh Smith. 

Taylor Burgess broke the ice at the 27-minute mark off an assist from Manny Bowman, and that goal would prove to be the difference-maker, as both teams went scoreless the rest of the way. 

“We made a couple of defensive adjustments at halftime and after another half where both teams had many chances, we were able to hold them off and come away with a win,” Smith said. “A complete team effort.”

ConVal sits atop Division II at 3-0, and they’ll have a good test Wednesday at home against 2-0 Plymouth, the team that knocked the Cougars out of the postseason last year. 

Newfound 5, Conant 2

The Orioles fell victim to the classic tale of two halves in Thursday’s season opener, allowing four first-half goals – three on breakaways – to Newfound to fall behind early. Conant made their adjustments and outscored the Bears 2-1 in the second half on two goals by Gavin Motuzas, but it wasn’t enough and the Orioles lost 5-2.

“The breakaways before the adjustments are what killed us,” said head coach Dan Bemis. “We didn't have any preseason games so we started out a bit rusty.”

Conant (0-1) hosts Hillsboro-Deering (0-1) Tuesday at 4 p.m. 

GIRLS’ SOCCER

ConVal 3, Kearsarge 0

After a frustrating 2017 that saw the Cougars win just two games while losing seven games by just one goal, ConVal has already tied that win total in 2018, shutting out Kearsarge Thursday to improve to 2-0.

Delaney Thompson flipped one over the Kearsarge keeper’s head off a steal and assist from Brooke Ellis to give ConVal a 1-0 lead at the half.

Kara Keiper took the second half kickoff forward and sent a cross to the near post, where Ellis toe-tapped it under the keeper’s hands for the second goal of the game.

Late in the game, Keiper would blast an indirect kick off the leg of teammate Julia Donovan, who volleyed it up over the keeper and watched it sail into the net as she and the goalie went down in a heap.

Lindsey Carey was perfect in net once again, saving everything that came her way, including a penalty kick late in the second half.

“Very impressed by [the] battle won by our center midfielders Katie Carey, Cami Hendrixson, and Kara Keiper,” said head coach Curt Martens, “who stopped the midfield of a team that went to the quarterfinals last year and returned ten starters. Kendall Larson, Lorien Tyne, and Rebecca Stacey cleaned up anything that got through the midfield ensuring that Lindsey Carey kept her clean record for the season intact.”

ConVal (2-0) hosts John Stark (2-0) Tuesday at 7 p.m.

FIELD HOCKEY

Bishop Brady 3, Mascenic 0

The Vikings were unable to capitalize on their scoring chances Thursday against Bishop Brady, coming away with their second loss of the young season.

“We need to take advantage of our opportunities and look to sustain our offensive circle better,” said head coach Selena Shaw.

Xaria Talbot made five saves in net in her varsity debut, and Molly Caron and Julianna Tucci made a defensive save apiece from the back position.

Allanah Johnson played well at forward, setting her teammates up with good looks at the net.

“We are not where we want to be yet, but it is early in the season and we are working every day to get ready for October,” Shaw said.