Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Spring Sports Awards

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team beat Epping 6-5 for the NHIAA Division IV championship on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team beat Epping 6-5 for the NHIAA Division IV championship on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • Mascenic senior softball pitcher Madison Labrie was named the 2018-19 Gatorade Player of the Year for New Hampshire. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Conant boys' tennis team hosted Kearsarge on Friday Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The Wilton-Lyndeborough softball team played Profile in the NHIAA Division IV semifinals on Thursday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • ConVal, Conant, Mascenic and Wilton-Lyndeborough competed at the track and field Meet of Champions on Saturday. Staff photo by Ben Conant

Published: 6/18/2019 11:24:54 AM

There’s just something special about the class of 2019. It’s been building for years, and all that potential came to fruition this school year, culminating in an exciting spring season that saw records fall left and right.

All the incredible individual and team performances this spring made it darn near impossible to choose a winner in many of these categories. It was so difficult, in fact, that I had to do something I’ve never done before – call it a tie and award Female Athlete of the Season to two teammates, rather than work out some sort of mathematical algorithm to determine which of the two should edge out the other.

You’ll see here (and in the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript Athletes of the Year section, coming the first week of July) just why the choices were so hard. Read on to see the best athletes, teams and coaches of the spring season.

FEMALE ATHLETE OF THE SPRING

(tie) Clare Veverka and Rachel Hurley, ConVal track and field

Go ahead, you pick just one of these two! The pair of seniors leave ConVal with four school records between them, as Hurley broke the Cougars’ 3,200M mark at the end of the season, and Veverka took down the 800M and 1,600M records on the same day; the pair teamed up for a relay record last year and will go down as two of ConVal’s all-time best.

MALE ATHLETE OF THE SPRING

Samuel Bailey, Wilton-Lyndeborough track and field

There was always someone in Sam Bailey’s way. Despite his throwing prowess over his first three years, divisional titles eluded him. But he kept grinding, and in his senior year, he took first place in Division III in both shot put and discus, making it all the way to the New England championships.

TEAM OF THE SPRING

Wilton-Lyndeborough softball

You could see this coming. After a couple playoff runs with this core of seniors, the Warriors had the experience, the talent and the coaching to go all the way – if they could somehow get by undefeated Epping. It took 12 innings, but WLC knocked off the defending champs and hoisted the hardware.

PITCHER OF THE YEAR

Madison Labrie, Mascenic

747. Need we say more? Madison Labrie struck out nearly everyone she saw this season en route to Division III Player of the Year and Gatorade Player of the Year honors, and – as far as we know – Mascenic’s all-time strikeout record.

HEART OF A CHAMPION

Lexi Balam, Wilton-Lyndeborough softball

Balam, a six-year starter for the Warriors, got it done from her seventh-grade season to her senior year. She capped off her career with back-to-back Division IV Player of the Honors and threw a gutsy 12-inning complete game to win the state title.

MOST IMPROVED

Kenny Kickingbear, Conant boys’ tennis

With last year’s top player unavailable for Conant this season, everyone had to step up, and no one made a bigger leap than Kickingbear, who was recognized by the school – and right here – for his improvements.

ROOKIE OF THE SPRING

Connor Traffie, Mascenic track

Traffie came along nicely over the course of the year and found a home as the anchor for the Vikings’ school-record-breaking 4x800M relay team, passing the DII 800M champ down the stretch in the process.

COACH OF THE SPRING

Denny Claire, WLC softball

Longtime Warriors coach Claire went out in the best way possible, hitting the 500-win milestone and then winning his eighth state title with WLC’s upset of Epping in what Claire said will be his final game in the Warrior dugout.


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