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IMHO: Bless this mess of a desk

  • Greg Fennell. Copyright (c) Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Valley News Sports Editor
Published: 12/7/2019 9:54:31 PM
Modified: 12/7/2019 9:54:28 PM

You don’t want to see my desk. No, really, you don’t.

I don’t file things as much as pile them. I have at least three stacks of old NHIAA and VPA tournament guides rising behind my computer screen. The dust is so thick, it may gain consciousness and ask for a story assignment (which actually would be helpful).

I keep a fake clown nose and a paper hat from Krispy Kreme on top of the mess so as not to lose them in case of an outbreak of silliness. I work in a self-created avalanche zone.

But every so often — when a few free minutes arrive and I can dig out my hard hat for protection — I try to clean things out. Or, at least, I think about doing that.

Now that the fall season is done, it’s so much easier (and safer) to extricate the leftover observations in my head. Such as …

■ It’s neat that USA Futures is bringing field hockey training sessions to Kimball Union Academy soon; I see it as only making a good thing better. After all, all eight of the public high school field hockey teams in our readership area posted a winning record this fall. Two won state championships; a third made the finals. The game’s in good shape around here.

■ Hanover High girls soccer — with Bella Bardales doing most, if not all, of the goalkeeping — allowed just four goals over its 19-match championship run this fall, with an absurd 16 shutouts. For those of you with a microscope handy, that works out to an 0.21 goals-against average.

■ Lebanon’s Wade Rainey and Hartford’s Kobe Peach were the only Upper Valley high school football players to produce points in each of the four ways you can do it offensively: touchdown, field goal, extra point and two-point conversion. In fact, Rainey’s 44 extra-points were only seven less than the combined total of every other kicker in the area.

■ After being blanked in her season opener with D-I South Burlington, Thetford girls soccer forward Casey MacVeagh had at least a point in every one of the Panthers’ remaining matches en route to the program’s third straight VPA D-III championship. She had at least one goal in each of the last 13 games.

■ We don’t do coach of the year awards around here, but if we did, Stevens football coach Paul Silva might get my vote. He’s brought the Cardinals to four straight NHIAA Division III semifinals, starting with 2016’s state championship team, even though he doesn’t always have the depth or talent of his foes. The mark of a good coach is someone who gets the most out of his athletes, and Silva regularly does that.

■ Did you know? The Upper Valley soccer community had a reunion in the NCAA Division I men’s quarterfinals on Saturday afternoon. Hanover High graduate Jamie Clark brought his University of Washington side to play Georgetown in DC. The Hoyas’ coach, Brian Wiese, tended net at Dartmouth in the mid-’90s and later was an assistant coach to Clark’s father, Bobby, at Stanford. Among the players Wiese coached with the Cardinal: Jamie Clark. (The third-ranked Hoyas eliminated the sixth-seeded Huskies, 2-1.)

■ Further evidence of high school field hockey’s strength around here: The region’s eight varsity programs produced a total of nine 20-point scorers. Girls soccer had five and the boys produced seven, despite having between four and six more programs from which to draw.

■ Hanover High boys soccer forward Charlie Adams scored in all but three games this fall en route to United Soccer Coaches All-American honors. One was a 10-0 win over Spaulding where he was presumably not needed. The other two were the Marauders’ only two losses of the season.

■ Similarly, three of the four matches in which Mascoma’s Ben Seiler didn’t net one of his Upper Valley-best 32 goals were defeats for the Royals. He also accounted for exactly half of his squad’s goals during the program’s first-even run to an NHIAA semifinal.

There, that’s enough for now. I think I just saw something on my desk move.

Greg Fennell can be reached, when he’s not suspiciously eyeing the mess on his desktop, at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.




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