Boston High School: Emily Eickhoff

New England Roundup: New Hampshire

March, 25, 2011
3/25/11
5:02
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Gatorade's Granite State Player of the Year can sum up his team's season in 10 words.

New Hampshire“Despite our lack of size, we were the bigger opponent,” said 6-foot 5-inch senior Connor Green, a season-long stat sheet stuffer for Nashua's Bishop Guertin High.

Case in point: the Division I boys' basketball final March 19 at UNH's Lundholm Gym. Top-seeded BG overcame a significant height disadvantage to top Manchester's Trinity High, the No. 2 seed, 54-46.

Green, who transferred from Division II Bedford High after his sophomore season, didn't disappoint in the final. He shook off a cold first half from the field to finish with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The double-double was his 21st of the season. BG closed its campaign 20-2.

Senior-laden and pegged as the preseason favorite, the Cardinals erased a two-point halftime deficit. They also erased the memory of last year's semifinal setback, in the process clinching the school's first hoop crown since 1983.

The championship pairing marked the first all-Catholic school final in the tournament's 89-year history.

BG opened the playoffs with a 63-50 win over No. 16 seed Concord High. Guertin punched its ticket to UNH with a tough 62-59 quarterfinals decision against No. 8 seed Spaulding High of Rochester.

The team treated its return trip to the college campus with a businesslike mentality.

“We had to be totally ready to play. We knew we had to play smarter,” fourth-year BG coach Jim Migneault said of the lesson learned from the previous Final Four appearance. “Both games up at Durham this year, we were very smart. I thought we played within ourselves the whole time.”

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New England Roundup: New Hampshire

February, 9, 2011
2/09/11
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Mike Kelly's dream of playing Division I college football turned nightmarish before the high school campaign built any momentum.

New Hampshire“When it happened (last September), I got down. Like anyone else would,” Kelly said of the Week 2 foot injury that ended his senior season for Nashua's Bishop Guertin High, the eventual Division II three-peat champion. “It just didn't seem possible.”

Nor did this: Verbally accepting a partial scholarship offer on Jan. 27 to play football for the University of New Hampshire, which competes in the Football Championship Subdivision's super-competitive Colonial Athletic Association.

“Knowing most colleges go off senior tape, I didn't think it would be enough for colleges to assess me,” said the 5-foot 9-inch, 176-pound talent, a projected slot receiver, kick- and punt-returner, and possible cornerback for the Wildcats. “I was nervous about that. In one game, to seemingly have (my dream) taken away, it was a hard thing to come to grips with.”

Good thing Kelly, a Merrimack resident, enjoyed a career contest in the season-opener. Guertin routed defending Division I champ Salem, the heavy preseason favorite to repeat, 48-21.

Kelly was impossible to contain.

The top weapon in BG's spread-option attack totaled 310 yards of offense and five touchdowns. His 17 carries generated 193 rushing yards and four touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 117 yards, including a 65-yard catch-and-run TD on the season's first play from scrimmage.

Running a crossing pattern toward the left sideline, Kelly snared in stride Steve Cuipa's 20-yard toss and hit high gear. He burned past Salem's secondary for the final 45 yards.

It was vintage Kelly, who a year earlier scored three touchdowns in Guertin's Division II title-game clincher.

“He's gifted. He's got tremendous speed. And on the football field, speed is everything,” BG athletics director and head football coach Tony Johnson said, noting Kelly ran the 40-yard dash in 4.55 seconds before injuring his foot. “(UNH coaches) looked at his ability to change directions, excel quickly, sustain speed for a long period of time. They were interested in him in spring of his junior year.”

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New England Roundup: New Hampshire

December, 16, 2010
12/16/10
1:30
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Concord High caught a few teams by surprise during its postseason run to the Division I boys' hockey championship a year ago.

New Hampshire"We certainly got hot in the tournament," said Concord coach Duncan Walsh, recalling his team's run to the title as the No. 4 seed. "I don't think anyone thought Concord was going to win it."

The Crimson Tide's rink rivals won't be fooled this time around. The Tide is the preseason team to beat.

"You've got to start with Concord. They've got a lot of guys back," said Pinkerton Academy of Derry coach Casey Kesselring, whose Astros, as defending champs last season, were ousted in a wide open semifinal round that also featured Nashua's Bishop Guertin and Exeter. "They lost a key piece in (Division I Player of the Year) Kevin Marceau. But they have the Lacasse brothers back."

Pat Lacasse is Concord's top returning playmaker. Nick Lacasse leads a veteran defensive group. The twin brothers are among 16 of 20 returning players from the program's first title team since 1999.

"Goals are going to come harder than last year," Walsh said. "Last year, we had a dominant first line. There weren’t many games they didn’t get two or three goals. I don’t think we’ll get four or five goals (per game), but we might get two or three."

Concord's first line projects to be Pat Lacasse, the lone returning first-liner from last season, and Chris Acres and Pat Cannon. It's on the other end of the ice where the Tide has fewer question marks.

Nick Lacasse, Taylor Lebell and Dustin Walsh earned the bulk of ice time along the blue line during the 2009-10 campaign. Goaltender Brendan Garrett is also back from the surprise squad that ousted top-seeded BG, 4-3, in the semifinals and blanked No. 3 seed Exeter, 1-0, in the final.

"In my opinion, it's Concord, Hanover, Pinkerton and Bishop Guertin. Those are the usual suspects," Exeter coach Jim Tufts said. "But Concord is the defending champ. Their starting goalie is back, and those twins are really good."

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