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Friday, December 7, 2012

Old hands open new era

Boys Basketball

Age discrimination might be a problem in some fields of endeavor, but experience seemed to count when it came to hiring two area boys basketball coaches.

The new boys coach at Campbell High School is 64-year-old John Langlois, who spent the last two years on the sidelines at Bedford High School. ...

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Age discrimination might be a problem in some fields of endeavor, but experience seemed to count when it came to hiring two area boys basketball coaches.

The new boys coach at Campbell High School is 64-year-old John Langlois, who spent the last two years on the sidelines at Bedford High School.

Ken Garnham, soon to turn 62, has signed on to coach at Wilton-Lyndeborough. If the name sounds familiar, he was the head coach at Milford from 1985 until 1991.

Langlois coaching odyssey began at Newmarket in 1979. He got off to a great start, coaching the Mules to Class M championships in each of his first three years. They added another title in 1986.

He did a 10-year stint at Somersworth from 1998 until 2008, capturing another Class M title in 2005. Before Bedford, Langlois spent time as an assistant coach, with Dave Faucher at Daniel Webster College and Rollie Massimino at Northwood University in West Palm Beach, Fla.

Massimino, still coaching at 78, led Villanova to an upset victory over Georgetown in the 1985 NCAA final.

It was a great experience at both schools, Langlois said. But there was something missing.

“I guess what I enjoy most is being a head coach,’’ Langlois said. “That’s why I got back into it.”

Langlois’ coaching philosophy is pretty simple. It starts at the defensive end.

“Defensively, we pick the team up as soon as it gets off the bus,” Langlois said. “Offensely, we want to be fast and aggressive, to run and break.”

The Cougars aren’t very big, but have plenty of speed on the wings, including returning senior starters Max Gouveia and Jacob Morgan.

But it’s a tough division, including a loaded Conant of Jaffrey team that is looking to get back on top after winning five straight titles between 2006 and 2010.

Garnham encouraged Wilton-Lyndeborough administrators to find a younger guy to take over the program. He was perfectly content coaching at the middle school.

But when the search came up empty Garnham was happy to fill in for as long as they need him.

Like Langlois, Garnham is hoping a commitment at the defensive end will keep the Warriors in games. They went 4-14 last year and lost in the opening round of the Division IV Tournament.

“I like to mix it up and keep the opponent guessing,” Garnham said. “Offensively we’re young, but I think we’ll come around.”

The Warriors do have three senior starters back, forwards Casey Melrose and Cole Letourneau and point guard Ethan Howard, along with talented junior guard Pat Martin.

DIVISION III

Campbell

COACH: John Langlois (1st year)

LAST YEAR: 16-5, lost in quarterfinals.

RETURNING STARTERS: Jacob Morgan, 6-0, Sr., F; Max Gouveia, 5-10, Sr., G.

OTHERS RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Nick Freson, 6-1, Sr., C; Jason Radonis, 6-1, Sr., F; Jackson Musco, 6-0, Sr., F; Jesiah Wade, 5-10, Jr., G.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Trevor Duquette, 6-0, Jr., C; Zach Begeon, 6-2, So., F; Andrew Smarse, 5-10, So., G; Justin DiBenedetto, 5-8, So., G; Christian Kamacho, 6-0, So., F; Connor Sahlin, 6-0, Jr., F.

KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL SEASON: “We need to play the best defense in the state of New Hampshire,’’ Langlois said.

division IV

Wilton-Lyndeborough

COACH: Ken Garnham (1st year)

LAST YEAR: 4-15, lost in preliminary round.

RETURNING STARTERS: Casey Melrose, 6-2, Sr., F; Ethan Howard, 5-10, Sr., G; Cole Latourneau, 5-9, Sr., F.

OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Pat Martin, 5-10, Jr., G.

PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Mike Thibeault, 6-1, jr., F; Duncan Rae, 6-2, Fr., F; Matt Ducharme, 5-8, Fr., G; Connor Melrose, 5-11, So., G; Kyle Pratt, 5-9, Jr., G.