Boston High School: Anna Menke

New England Roundup: New Hampshire

June, 27, 2012
Fundraising totals between the teams competing in the inaugural New Hampshire East-West High School Football All-Star Game couldn't have been much closer.

New HampshireThe game itself? That's a different story.

West's all-stars – widely considered underdogs for the June 23 contest at the University of New Hampshire – proved too tough. The combination of overpowering offense and dominant defense led to a 33-point halftime lead and 44-12 final score.

Thaddeus “Junior” Brown was toughest to cover. Manchester Central High's 6-foot 3-inch, 180-pound receiver made all four of his catches for 87 yards in the first half. Three receptions went for touchdowns, including a 50-yard down-the-right-seam dagger that helped Team West build a 37-6 halftime lead.

“This means a lot. I worked hard for it,” Brown, the game's first Bo Dickson MVP, said of the trophy he was handed for his efforts. “The coaches helped me out a lot. I just busted my butt for 10 days. The outcome was this MVP.”

Off the field, the outcome of Brown's efforts, as well as the 73 other all-stars, was even more impressive.

Teams East and West combined to raise $51,301.21 for Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) in Lebanon.

Team East was designated the home team. It earned use of UNH football's locker room for winning the head-to-head fundraising contest. Coach Bill Raycraft's players raised $25,751.21 – a mere $201.21 more than West's standouts.

In total, $301,000 was raised for CHaD.

HS All Star Game
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“These kids came together and did a heck of a job for a great cause,” said Team West coach Keith Jones, whose 6-year-old son, Harris, a CHaD patient, participated in the pre-game coin toss.

Harris was involved in a freak snowmobile accident three years ago. His father has said many times if not for CHaD, right-leg amputation would have been required.

On gameday, the soon-to-be first-grader made an appearance in Team West's locker room prior to warm-ups. It gave the players an additional boost, which carried over to kickoff.

Several playmakers fueled Team West's 37-point first half.

Brown caught a pair of 9-yard TD passes from Manchester West High's Aaron Martin, who also used his speed to sneak inside the left pylon for a 2-yard rushing score.

Merrimack High's Jackson King returned an interception 19-yards for a TD.

Nashua South's Johnny Bieren was crucial to posting a second-quarter safety. He also forced and recovered a fumble on one of his three quarterback sacks.

Central's Stephen Grzywacz – who raised a players-best $5,965 for CHaD – converted five extra points (6-for-6 overall).

East's all-stars committed five of the game's eight turnovers. The favored squad fell behind, 30-0, before Salem High's Jerickson Fedrick returned a kickoff 96 yards to paydirt.

Fedrick, and Pinkerton Academy of Derry stars Kevin Davies and Emmitt Smith, were all neutralized. Combining to rush for 4,649 yards and 57 TDs last fall, the trio managed 99 yards – 28 through two quarters.

Conor Donovan of Division VI cooperative team Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough scored East's second TD early in the third. Derek Paradis of Nashua South answered with an up-the-gut run.

“The first series, I thought we did pretty well. We stopped them (but) right away turned the ball over,” Raycraft said. “That's not the way you want to start an all-star game. From there, we pressed a little bit more than we probably should have and, because of that, created more turnovers.

“But, like I told the kids, I had a blast these last (10) days,” he added. “I couldn't have asked for a better group of kids. It's going to be fun watching where they go from here. The score will fade, but they set the tone for fundraising.”

Division I: Dillon Emerson's extra-inning hit snapped two droughts, including a lengthy one for Concord High.

The senior's single down the right-field line scored Pat Cannon and gave the top-seeded Crimson Tide a 5-4 walk-off win over No. 3 seed Merrimack High in the state final June 16 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, home of Double-A baseball's New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Emerson's hit snapped an 0-for-4 skid in the title game and earned Concord (18-4) its first crown since 1980. The Tide lost the state final in 2011.

“I was in the dugout upset over all the missed opportunities I had when coach [Scott Owen] came up to me and said, 'Stick with it. You'll get your at-bat and you'll come through.' He was right,” Emerson told the New Hampshire Sunday News.

(Read full post)

New Hampton's Menke commits to Princeton lax

December, 19, 2011
New Hampton School (N.H.) announced this morning that senior Anna Menke, an attack on the Huskies' girls lacrosse team, will continue her career next fall at Princeton University.

Courtesy of Director of Communications Will McCulloch:

NEW HAMPTON, NH. -– New Hampton School senior Anna Menke ’12 made her college destination official this week. Menke was accepted early decision to Princeton University where she will enroll next year and play lacrosse for longtime Princeton coach Chris Sailer.

Menke was recruited by numerous Division-I schools, but made a verbal commitment to Princeton in February of her junior year. Ivy League student-athletes do not sign letters of intent because there are no athletic scholarships, but Menke signed her enrollment agreement, joining eight other New Hampton School athletes that have made their college destinations official.

“I visited a lot of schools throughout the recruitment process, but Princeton was definitely the one that best fit the three things I was looking for,” said Menke, who at 5-foot-11 is a rangy athlete with exceptional stick skills. “I was looking for a school with a strong athletic culture and academics, and a good lacrosse team. Also, I really liked the coach and all the girls on the team.”

One of the top women’s players in New England, Menke scored 68 goals and dished out 30 assists to lead the Huskies to an 11-1 record and a Lakes Region Championship during her sophomore season. Her junior season was cut short by an injury to her knee — her second torn anterior cruciate ligament in less than a year — but Menke finished with 36 goals in seven games, including two nine-goal games. She has been an All-New England selection and was the recipient of the Skip Howard Scholar-Athlete award her sophomore year at New Hampton.

The road to a college lacrosse career has not been easy given two major knee injuries that have sidelined Menke for consecutive seasons of soccer, her other sport of choice.

“There have been a lot of highs and lows,” said Menke, who also played for the Granite State Elite club lacrosse program. “I opened my email on September 1, of my junior year and there were a lot of recruitment letters and emails, asking me to come for a visit. But at the same time I had just torn my ACL and I was going to miss soccer season. That was really frustrating for me.”

New Hampton second-year head coach Jenna McCabe, who was a standout player at Boston College, believes Menke has all the attributes to have a successful college career.

“Anna is an extremely passionate and hard working athlete. She is incredibly coachable and works great with her teammates,” said McCabe. “I expect Anna to have a successful college career. Her work ethic will set her up to strive for success and be the best she can be.”