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Lions Cup soccer matches canceled

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/8/2020 10:13:10 AM
Modified: 4/8/2020 10:23:58 AM

WEST LEBANON — The first of this summer’s all-star high school sports showdowns has fallen victim to the coronavirus pandemic.

Organizers of the Lions Twin State Soccer Cup matches have canceled what would have been their 46th get-together of graduated seniors from New Hampshire and Vermont.

The Lions Cup was set for July 18 at Rivier University’s Joanne Merrill Field in Nashua, N.H.

Lions Twin State Soccer Association president Toni Olden, of Meredith, N.H., said the event’s directors didn’t take the decision lightly.

“It’s hard to put into words; we’re very, very sorry,” Olden said. “I don’t think any of us want this outcome. We still plan to send them all letters and some sort of recognition, definitely. ... If we could find a way to have them play, we would have them play. We all feel that way.”

The Upper Valley had a healthy supply of top-drawer soccer players selected for the New Hampshire Lions Cup roster. Hanover’s Charlie Adams and Kyle Doucette, Lebanon’s Logan Falzarano and Cooper Bourne, Mascoma’s Ben Schwarz, and Sunapee’s Michael Mullen were all scheduled to suit up in the boys match. Sunapee back Silvia Dalton was set for the girls contest.

Falzarano received an email about the cancellation on Monday night.

“It’s obviously disappointing,” he said in a phone interview. “I’ve been on the (Lebanon) team for four years, and every year I sort of see a couple of my good friends go and play the game. It’s a special thing to cap off your high school career playing with a bunch of other talented players. It’s definitely disappointing.”

The Vermont Lions Cup rosters have yet to be released publicly.

The Lions Twin State Soccer Association is a joint venture of both states’ Lions clubs, which have donated proceeds from the Lions Cup every year since the first match was played between Vermont and New Hampshire boys in 1975.

The Vermont Lions send their share to operate the Green Mountain Lions Camp for deaf and hard-of-hearing children. New Hampshire’s money goes to the Lions Sight and Hearing Foundation in support of vision and hearing projects around the Granite State.

Olden said the matches net about $5,000 for each charity every summer.

The all-time boys series is tied at 18-18-9 following Vermont’s 2-0 win at Castleton University last July.

New Hampshire holds a 19-13-5 advantage in the girls matches — which began in 1983 — after a 3-1 victory last summer.

As of now, the Twin States’ other summer all-star encounters remain unchanged.

The CHaD East-West football game and the Twin State Field Hockey Classic are slated to begin the schedule in late June, and the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl football game is still set for Aug. 1 at Castleton’s David Wolk Stadium, according to the game’s website.

Brent Demas, of Londonderry, N.H., one of the organizers of the annual Twin State Baseball Game with Vermont, indicated in a Tuesday email that playing this summer’s contest will depend on whether both states can hold any sort of spring high school sports season.

Star Johnson, director of the Hanover Lions Byrne Cup All-Star Lacrosse Games, also noted   the status of those planned June 20 conte sts at Hanover High School would also depend on what happens with both states' spring seasons.

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




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