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For Some, Season Never Ends

So you thought high school sports teams and athletes took the summer off to relax and recuperate? Oh, silly reader, you have so much to learn:

■ Newport’s Stephanie Carl is back to doing what she does in the warmest months of the year: Winning ASA softball tournaments.

Carl, a member of the Newport High softball program, throws her talents to the New Hampshire Comets, whose U16 Blue squad has gone 14-2-1 this summer, most recently winning the NSA Firecracker Blast Tournament in Dracut, Mass. The Comets swept pool play on June 29, then rolled to three more wins the following day to take the tourney.

The Comets earned the top seed in knockout play with pool wins over the Mass Drifters, Danvers Academy and the New Hampshire Lady Cannons. They routed the Dracut Dominators in the quarterfinals, 12-2, and Danvers in the semis, 12-1, with Carl going 3-for-3 in the latter. The Comets’ 8-1 championship defeat of the NE Storm included a key Carl RBI base hit in the fifth inning.

In addition to Carl, the Comets’ roster includes four players from Concord High and Bishop Brady, two from Prospect Mountain and one each from Raymond, Gilford, Concord Christian and Spaulding. And Carl isn’t the only Newporter filling a roster spot — the Comets’ programs include seven other Newport-area athletes (Melinda Carl, Emma Carroll, Danny Lewis, Samantha McNeel, Sophie Willis, Kendall Hamilton, Lacy McNeel) playing at the U18, U16 or U12 levels this summer.

■ Thetford Academy’s girls basketball program sent three of its teams to last weekend’s Swish Summer Shootout camp at the University of Southern Maine, with two of the squads reaching the finals in their respective divisions.

The TA varsity went a perfect 5-0 playing in the Big East pool. The Panthers ousted Gardiner (Maine) in the semifinals, but had their title hopes derailed by Mount Abraham in the finals.

Thetford’s ninth-grade team enjoyed similar results, sweeping to five wins in five pool games. The Panthers, playing in the Little East bracket, beat Mount Abe in overtime to reach the finals, where Union-32 got the measure of them.

TA’s junior varsity, also competing in the Little East, went 3-2. Eric Ward is head coach of the Thetford program.

■ Lebanon High’s Nevin Kapuscinski prepared for what should be an increased offensive workload on the football field this fall by participating in the Blue Grey Super Combine in Canton, Ohio, last month.

A 5-foot-10, 145-pound senior-to-be, Kapuscinski participated in a number of drills applicable to skills required on the football field. He measured in the upper half of his group of 21 running back prospects with a 40-yard dash time of 4.62 seconds. Kapuscinski also clocked a 4.11 in the shuttle run, third-best in his group.

Kapuscinski’s run through the Blue Grey system began with a June 9 combine at the New England Patriots’ practice facility before receiving the invitation to the Canton combine. He’s now eligible to be selected for the Blue Grey National All-Star Classic, an invitation-only event scheduled for Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., in January.

With Shrine Bowl selection Dylan Drew having graduated from LHS, Kapuscinski is expected to be a key cog in the Raiders’ run game when the NHIAA’s reconfigured three-division league begins play in August. Lebanon will play in Division II North with Kennett, Plymouth, Laconia and Hanover.

Notes: Hartford High’s tennis program put one player each on the Marble Valley League’s first-team and honorable mention squads for both boys and girls during this past spring season. Zach Kent (first team) and Evan Brown (honorable mention) represented the Hurricane boys, while Ossia Dwyer (first team) and Allyse Mullen (honorable mention) drew notice for the Hurricane girls. … Hanover High golfer Nathan Roth shot rounds of 79-78—157 to finish 13th in a 59-player field at the U.S. Challenge Cup’s Francis Ouimet Junior Stroke Play Championship at Maplegate Country Club in Bellingham, Mass., on Tuesday. Playing in the 16-18 age division, Roth — who is in the field at this week’s New Hampshire Amateur — finished 16 strokes behind the winner, Alex Rainville, of St. Johnsbury, Vt. Hanover teammate Chris Lehmann made the cut and finished at 82-91—173, while the Marauders’ Mattson Rosenbaum missed the cut after a first-round 95. Hanover’s Phin Choukas competed in the 13-and-under division and took fifth place at 84-78—162. … Hanover High boys hockey coach Dick Dodds is laying plans for an 80th anniversary celebration of the program. The two-day affair will include a silent auction, food and drinks at the X-Club in Norwich (the former railroad station on the Vermont side of the Ledyard Bridge) on Oct. 5, followed by the program’s annual fundraising golf at Hanover Country Club the following afternoon. More information on the events can be found at www.hhsalumnihockey.com.

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.