A sad note among your weekend tids and bits
Here’s a few tids and bits for your holiday weekend, starting with, unfortunately, a sad note:
The local baseball world is in mourning with the passing earlier this week of longtime coach/hitting guru Bobby Caswell, who fought a hard battle vs. cancer for the better part of the last four years.
Caswell is best known for his work in the Souhegan Valley, with a field dedicated in his name at Wilton-Lyndeborough High School – fields he maintained for several years – and he helped out players at Souhegan, Milford, and other spots. He coached in AAU, coached as an assistant at Merrimack Collge, also worked with players at Saint Anselm and Southern New Hampshire University, and for a couple of years was the hitting coach for the Nashua Pride. He also was said to be in the mix a couple of times for Nashua High School, unified as well as North and South coaching openings. He was a superb coach and an even better person, and there isn’t a ballplayer in the area he worked with that didn’t appreciate him to the fullest.
“Bobby spent much of his life to the devotion of making kids of all ages better baseball players,” Wilton-Lyndeborough coach Dave Finch said. “He made the WLC fields beautiful. I’ve never met anyone who loved the game of baseball more than Bobby.”
He was a fighter. You couldn’t tell Caswell you couldn’t do something, because he never believed that – as evidenced by his four-plus year battle with the disease. Even when he was ill, he would be at games to support the players he coached and worked with.
“I love this game,” Caswell told yours truly three years ago. “My mind can still do it, my body is breaking down.”
“Bobby fought hard,” Souhegan coach Bill Dod said. “Great person.”
Bob Caswell will be sorely missed, but the lessons many have learned from him about baseball and life will keep his memory alive for years.
—- If you enjoy high school sports, then there were two great moments within a quarter mile of each other earlier this week. The No. 1 singles match between Bishop Guertin’s Claire Reynolds and Nashua South’s Kaitlin Fitzgibbons, an 8-6 Reynolds win, was a great exhibit for high school tennis. It was the last singles match left in the quarterfinal matchup between the two, and fans of both players were cheering every point.
“It was great, players, coaches, and parents all here,” Guertin coach Barry Ndinya. “That was good to see.”
It could be a rivalry that is more even in the next couple of years as both teams have young players.
While that was going on, just down the road the current top boys lacrosse teams in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, Bishop Guertin and Duxbury, were going at it at Stellos Stadium in front of a great crowd with a lot of enthusiasm from fans and players alike. For lacrosse, this was a big deal, and Guertin prevailed 13-7.
“When I started this program back in 2004, I would have never envisioned having the No. 1 team in Massachusetts coming to Stellos,” Cardinals coach Chris Cameron said. “I used to have to beg big teams to play us, never mind coming up here. So I give coach (Chris) Sweet for coming up here. … Our ultimate goal is to win a state championship. But other than that, this was as big as it gets.”
— It’s kind of faded into the background with the run the Boston Celtics are on, but don’t forget the Stanley Cup Finals begin on Monday with newly ordained America’s Team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights, hosting the Washington Capitals. The Caps are Eastern Conference’s version of the San Jose Sharks a couple of years ago, a team that couldn’t seem to get there finally has. And who knows what to make of the Knights, who have stunned the hockey world as a first-year expansion team.
Vegas, Baby. Knights in seven.
Tom King can be reached at 594-1251, firstname.lastname@example.org., or @Telegraph_TomK.