Boston High School: Blake Boudreau

New England Roundup: New Hampshire

June, 27, 2012
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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
BASCTBD by editorial
“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.”

BASEBALL CHAMPS
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.

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New England Roundup: New Hampshire

June, 8, 2012
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Bishop Guertin High's wealth of talent, particularly on defense, is best illustrated by this fact related to the 2012 NHIAA Division I final:

New HampshireMinus one of their best close defenders the Nashua powerhouse in boys' lacrosse still clinched a championship three-peat.

Kyle Karaska, a University of Massachusetts recruit, broke his hand in the state semifinals. But given the depth at the position, BG still broke the spirits of Hanover High's Marauders with a 10-5 title-clinching win June 6.

The final score doesn't do BG justice, either. This contest, played at Bedford High, was never in question.

“I thought we outplayed them better than 4-0. But that's been the story of our season,” said BG coach Chris Cameron, referencing the halftime score and his club's ability to dominate play despite what the scoreboard suggested. “We were just so good defensively.”

UMass commit Bob Fahey, the coaches' association pick as defensive player of the year, spearheaded yet another dominant defensive performance. The state's No. 1-ranked club finished 14-1 in-state, and 18-3 overall.

The out-of-state setbacks were by a combined two goals. Guertin lost to La Salle Academy (R.I.), 7-6, and nationally ranked Duxbury (Mass.) High, 6-5.

The Cards also avenged their only in-state loss. After thumping Hanover, 15-3, in the season-opener, Cameron's boys were stunned 10 days later by the same team, 14-9.

“After our (April 20) performance up in Hanover, I thought, 'Maybe they're just better than us,'” Cameron said. “But I could tell right away (in the final) that our kids were ready to play.”

Fahey said he and his teammates “loved our matchups” for the title game. New Hampshire's top close defender took away attackman Christian Johansen.

Long-stick midfielder Brody Smith stayed glued to the other half of Hanover's top scoring tandem, midfielder and Michigan recruit Christian Wolter.

Johansen and Wolter, the sparks to Hanover's up-tempo game, did not score in the season-opening loss. They struck for seven goals and an assist in the win.

“We wanted to slow them in transition,” said Fahey, well aware Hanover's snipers combined for one goal in the rubber match.

R.I.T.-bound Jay Krzyston and Karaska's replacement, Endicott commit Sean Fenn, completed BG's dominant defensive unit. They helped take away the middle and force shooters to fire from the perimeter.

Goaltender and Harvard recruit Colin Delea (eight saves) took a shutout deep into the third quarter, which ended with BG boasting a 10-2 lead.

That's because Blake Boudreau owned the faceoff X after halftime.

BG's junior midfielder won 8 of 9 third-quarter faceoffs. It translated to lengthy possessions and a back-breaking 6-2 frame.

The fourth quarter? It was merely a formality.

Appearing in its eighth straight Division I final, BG became the first program since Pinkerton Academy of Derry (1999-2002) to celebrate a three-peat.

The Cards clinched their fifth crown since emerging on the scene as a surprise winner in 2005.

“They like to push in transition. But, 6-on-6, that's not their game,” Cameron said of the Marauders. “That took them out of their game – and (forced them) to play from behind.”

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Recap: Bishop Guertin (N.H.) 14, No. 4 Needham 8

April, 18, 2012
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NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Last season against Bishop Guertin, Needham’s offense rallied during the final quarter to beat the Cardinals by three goals, and claim their first victory against the New Hampshire powerhouse since 2008.

On Tuesday, BG erased Needham’s memories of 2011 by tallying six goals in the first quarter, and five in the third, which helped the Cardinals beat the Rockets, 14-8.

“We came out and jumped on them, [6-1] and the key to that was our face-offs,” Bishop Guertin head coach Chris Cameron said. “Our faceoff guy was outstanding, and today he just gave us possession after possession.”

BG’s junior Blake Boudreau, who won all the faceoffs in the first quarter, began the game by winning the opening draw, and then racing down field to net his team’s first goal in a span of eight seconds.

“Basically that’s pretty much what I work on in practice, and to tell you the truth, I just try to do my thing,” Boudreau said of his faceoff victories. “I was a freshman on the team, and I learned from the seniors and I just worked my way up, and it’s finally paying off.”

“[My goal] definitely started [our team’s] momentum,” added Boudreau. “We just got off to a [quick] pace, and I try to get [my team] as much possession as we can, and the more possessions we get, the more time we get the ball and the more goals we score, so that’s what I try to do.”

Boudreau’s faceoff prowess sparked the Cardinals offense to construct a 5-0 cushion, as seniors Paul Spinney, (five goals, one assist) and Brody Smith, junior Tommy Vailas, and freshman Colin Swanson all whipped the ball past Needham’s senior netminder Lucas Davis before junior Ned Connolly registered the Rockets first score at 5:27.

BG (4-0) answered two minutes later when senior Luke Roever connected with Spinney, but Needham (2-2) responded with two quick tallies prior to the conclusion of the opening quarter, as juniors Nico Panepinto (3 G) and Robbie Pisano (2 G) each rifled the ball past senior goaltender Colin Delea.

The Rockets rallied to tie BG midway through the second frame by rattling off three consecutive goals by senior Jamie McGill, Pisano, and Panepinto before the Cardinals pulled ahead with Spinney’s third strikes of the evening.

“It’s all about runs,” exclaimed Needham head coach Dave Wainwright. “They were able to capitalize on [various] opportunities and we weren’t.”

McGill evened the score with less than three minutes remaining in the first half, but sophomore Dom St. Laurent helped the Cardinals regain the lead for good by skipping in the go-ahead goal at 1:48, which gave the Cardinals an 8-7 lead at the break.

“We were focusing on good shots, and that was key for us [in the first half],” Cameron said. “Once there was a swing – we were shooting the ball well tonight, which was good, but we knew that we needed possessions because they can score.”

Entering the second half, BG’s offense obliged to their coaches halftime orders by possessing the ball and registering five tallies in seven minutes. Spinney and sophomore Connor Donahue each notched two goals, while sophomore John Miller recorded his only score of the contest during the third period.

“After seeing [the score at halftime], so I knew I had to step up for my team, and do what I had to, and make sure that everyone knew their objectives they had to get done,” said Spinney. “I just did mine as best I could, and that’s all I can really say [because] we didn’t quit. We kept our sticks good, and kept our legs good.”

Needham’s offense, which was shutout for the entire third quarter, managed to locate the back of Delea’s cage midway through the fourth quarter when senior J.P. McHale set up Panepinto for the Rockets' eighth goal.

BG tallied their final goal during the closing seconds when Roever rushed from behind Davis’ net for the score.

“I think that anytime you can come to Needham, and beat Needham, I think they’re one of the top three or four teams in Massachusetts ... it was a great win for us."

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