Trying to get some early high school footing
The local high school seasons in most sports certainly have a jump on the National Football League, with a lot of teams having played multiple games.
But let’s take a quick look at some observations as we hit double digits in September:
— It should be a fantastic Nashua High School North-South football game at the end of the month. It’s so early, but both teams look vastly different from their 2017 predecessors. It’s clear the Titans want the ball in the hands of sophomore back Curtis Harris as much as possible; he is a threat to break one at any time with his speed. And the Panthers, save the rushing of back Jaylan Pacheco, are a little tougher to figure out but if QB Dante Young continues to improve, it will be great Battle of the Bridge on Sept. 28.
— Not much has changed on the girls volleyball landscape. The Hollis Brookline Cavaliers are still the team to beat in Division I. Going into Monday night’s match with Merrimack they had not lost a set and already own a win over the team they beat in the finals a year ago, local rival Bishop Guertin. The Elizabeth Atkinson-Maddie Norris combo is hard to beat. Yes, it’s early, and Nashua North and South were 2-0 to begin the week. North plays the Cavs late (Oct. 17) and South does not play HB at all.
—- Nashua North golfer Bryce Zimmerman, now a sophomore, has picked up where he left off last season. The 2017 Telegraph Golfer of the Year was no fluke, and he’s been a match medalist a couple of times for the Titans this season.
— It looks as if the Bishop Guertin girls soccer team will be much improved this fall. The Cards have already won as many games (two) as a year ago, but will face a tough test on the road Tuesday at Concord, which started the year off 3-0. But if you want a good look at two teams looking to improve over last season, check out the rescheduled Merrimack at BG game on Wednesday. We may learn a lot. One thing so far is it’s been a tough start for both Nashua North and South. In six games, their combined record is 0-5-1. But, as we say, there is a lot of season left.
— Still on girls soccer, the Milford Spartans are off to a flying start, having outscored the opposition 20-3 in four games. Today’s game hosting a vastly improved Hollis Brookline team will tell a lot. And the best new coach success has to go to Campbell coach Kevin Brassard. His Cougars in Division III are off to a 4-0 start and if you want to see a good early season matchup, check out their game in Litchfield vs. Trinity (also currently 4-0) on Thursday. Remember the names Hanah Keane and Karleigh Schultz, two key Cougar strikers.
—- In the preseason, perhaps the thinking was only one playoff team would come out of the West Conference, like last year, and three from the West’s cluster partner, the North Conference. Now, if we had to look into a crystal ball, we’d say it’ll be Bedford and Manchester Central from the North and two of Nashua North, South, and Merrimack from the the West. Not exactly going out on a limb here.
— Perhaps the best Battle of the Bridge contest at the end of the month could be in boys soccer. Both North and South have been competitive to start – heck, Josh Downing’s Titans were looking to go 4-0 Monday night vs. Spaulding. Check North out Thursday at Stellos vs. Londonderry; this team could be the most improved of anyone in the area this fall.
—Hard to tell the cream of the cross country crop because most teams have just had one meet, but Nashua North’s Art Kobs loves his team’s chances, led by Rory Curran. Milford and Bishop Guertin may be tops locally among the girls.
—-Souhegan still looks like the area’s best field hockey team. The Sabers certainly don’t miss Windham, which moved to Division I and was off to a flying 4-0 start, including a 5-0 pasting of the Bishop Guertin this past Friday. But hey, early is early.
Tom King can be reached at 594-1251,firstname.lastname@example.org, or@Telegraph _TomK.