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Hanover coaches earn N.H. recognition

  • Doug Kennedy, Hanover High girls soccer coach

  • Hanover High boys soccer coach Rob Grabill, right, watches a June 16, 2019, scrimmage alongside Lebanon counterpart Rob Johnstone at Huntley Meadows. Johnstone, who's returning to the bench after a season away, served as a sounding board for Grabill during Marauders' practices and games last fall. (Valley News — Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to Purchase a reprint »

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/27/2019 9:00:22 PM
Modified: 11/27/2019 9:00:17 PM

The accolades keep rolling in for Hanover High soccer after a historic season.

After leading their teams to state titles, Doug Kennedy and Rob Grabill were named coach of the year by the New Hampshire Soccer Coaches Association on Tuesday afternoon in their respective divisions.

The two headline a cast of all-state members from the Upper Valley in New Hampshire and Vermont.

Kennedy’s girls squad outlasted Bow in penalty kicks in the Division II championship game to finish the season undefeated while a day earlier Grabill’s boys beat Bedford in Division I to deliver the Marauders their first crown since 2013. It is the first time since 2008 both programs won state titles in the same season.

“I’m not particularly focused on things like that, but it’s certainly nice to know that the other coaches think I’m deserving of that particular honor this year is nice. We share a lot of common experience, to get their respect this year is great,” Kennedy said Tuesday afternoon.

Grabill was named co-coach of the year along with Bedford’s Stuart Pepper. It’s the first time since Hanover moved to Division I eight years ago that Grabill’s won the award.

“This is the first time I’ve ever won coach of the year in Division I. It’s been a motivator for me. I’ve been challenged to put together a strong body of work,” Grabill said.


Marauders Charlie Adams and Kyle Doucette were both named first team all-state for the second consecutive season.

Adams, who is a Brown commit, finished the season with 41 points, including 23 goals. The midfielder is Hanover’s all-time leader in goals, assists and points. Doucette led a defense that only allowed 22 goals on the season.

Blake Palmer earned honorable mention as a midfielder and Eli Stack was a second team striker. All four Marauders are seniors.

In Division II, Lebanon’s Logan Falzarano and Cooper Bourne both earned the first-team nod. Falzarano, a Johns Hopkins commit, netted 19 goals en route to Lebanon’s 16-3 campaign which ended with a 1-0 heartbreaker in the Division II championship game.

Sweeper Ben Tichner and striker Tyler St. Martin were both named to the honorable mention list to round out the Raiders all-state sections. Stevens goalie Cooper Moote also landed on the honorable mention list.

Mascoma reached the Division III semifinals this season, the farthest the Royals have ever gone in NHIAA postseason play. A lot of that had to do with Ben Seiler’s record-setting season, which was good enough to earn a first team nod. The sophomore striker finished with 32 goals, the most in a single season ever from a Royal.

Senior midfielder Ben Schwarz also made the cut for first team and defenseman Liam Hemmerling was a member of the honorable mention list.

“So proud of my boys, the Bens come through again,” Mascoma coach Keli Green said over the phone Tuesday. “It’s been a long time since Mascoma’s had a presence on an all-state list so it’s nice to see.”

Grabill will be a coach for the Twin State Lions Cup team featuring Adams, Bourne, Doucette, Falzarano and Schwarz.

Girls Soccer

Hanover led all teams in Division II with six players on the all-state list.

Defender Eva Schiffman, midfielder Pepper Joseph, and strikers Riley Craft and Charlotte Johnson all made first team. Midfielder Casey McGuire and goalkeeper Bella Bardales were second-teamers.

The Marauders finished 19-0-0 and outscored opponents 81-4.

Lebanon’s Sally Rainey, a UNH commit, was named D-II’s top goalkeeper for the second-consecutive season. Raider Megan Gradijan was a second-team midfielder, too.

In Division III, Stevens striker Sydney Miller earned a place on first team thanks to her 17 goals and five assists this fall. Midfielder Tanner Brown (second team) and sweeper Zahna Rice (honorable mention) also represented Stevens.

Vermont Boys Soccer

Despite losing starting junior captain Tommy Bissaillon in September, Woodstock finished the season with a trip to the Division II quarterfinals.

A lot of the Wasps’ success in the second half of the season was due to strong play from goalkeeper Stephen Bianchi and midfielder Taylor Plourde, who both were both named to the Vermont Soccer Coaches Association all-state team.

“We had our share of adversity, and we knew we weren’t going anywhere without a tough goalie,” Woodstock coach Tom Avellino said over the phone Tuesday afternoon. “All season long we said Stephen was the best goalie in the state. And Taylor has such a high soccer IQ, he did whatever we needed.”

Archrival Hartford landed three players on the all-state team: forward Nemo Arnold, midfielder Kaj Boeri and forward Nick Jones.

Windsor’s Elijah Milligan was the lone Division III representative. Milligan, a senior goalie, helped the Yellowjackets record four shutouts.

In Division IV, Rivendell was represented by three players: midfielder A.J. Debois, forward Zach Gould and defenseman Ryan Woodbeck. The Raptors, who fell in the semifinals at Twin Valley, were led by the offensive duo of Debois and Gould who scored 34 of Rivendell’s 63 goals.

Sharon’s Olly Skeet-Browning, who tallied 21 goals and nine assist this season, and Erik Younce were also recognized.

Girls Soccer

Thetford coach Dave Williams says that his coach of the year award says more about his players than him.

Well, the all-state list proves so. Along with Williams’ honor, the Panthers landed six on the Division III all-state team. Arwen Clayton, Grace Davis, Casey MacVeagh, Lily MacVeagh, Ellen Veracka and Sophie Williams all represented Thetford.

“It’s nice, I appreciate it. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just another award for the girls,” said Williams, who guided Thetford to its third-straight championship. “They’re the ones who step on the field and get it done. My job as a coach is to be a little bit of a pain in the butt, but the field is a really happy place for me to be.”

Joining Thetford in D-III was White River Valley’s Toni Turner, and Windsor’s Evelyn Page and Elliot Rupp.

In Division IV, Rivendell placed two players on the all-state roster after an 11-7 season and finishing as state runners-up: defender Moria Haehnel and striker Mikayla Stever (11 goals).

Sharon’s Sophia DiGuiseppe earned a nod after leading the Phoenix to a quarterfinals appearance and scoring seven of the team’s 16 goals.

Hartford’s Abigail Koff and Woodstock’s Sophie Leggett were all-staters at the Division I level. Koff, a senior midfielder, paced the Canes with nine goals and nine assists.

Pete Nakos can be reached at (603) 727-3306 or

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