Time to go hippity-hoppity down the sports notes trail

With Easter Weekend here, it’s time to hippity-hoppity down the Tids and Bits Trail to add to those Easter Basket goodies:

— Congrats to longtime Wilton-Lyndebrough High School softball coach Denny Claire, as the Warriors’ win the other day is believed to make him the winningest high school softball coach in New Hampshire at 493. His overall numbers are 493-129 in a 31-year career. Amazing. “Quite an accomplishment,” said his friend and current Souhegan assistant Bill Draper, who did the research and confirmed the numbers, “based on his dedication to the sport and his success.”

There’s no doubt with the Warriors team that he has now (currently 5-0) that Claire will reach career win No. 500. He’s just a superb coach.

——- Wonder what’s happened to Jill Gearin, who broadcast Nashua Silver Knights games on WSMN 1590 radio last summer? She is now said to be the first female broadcaster in the high Class A California League history as she is now calling games for the Vasilia Rawhide, an Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate. Like most broadcasters at that level, she also doubles as the Rawhide’s media relations director. Gearin, who was also an intern for Red Sox broadcasts last season, reportedly used her connections well, according to a story on gvwire.com. She went to school at Emerson with Rawhide baseball operations director Julian Rifkind, who referred her to the team’s general manager, Jennifer Reynolds. Reynolds, until she met Gearin, was ready to pull the plug on radio broadcasts and go with internet play-by-play software instead, according to the report. Gearin changed that thought. “I could tell,” Reynolds said in the story, “that (Gearin) was meant to be in Visalia.”

—– It’s now school vacation week and classes aren’t the only things beging shut down for the week. While there’s still a lot of high school games – including Nashua North-South baseball at Holman Stadium at 1 p.m. Wednesday – the sport of tennis is basically off for the week except for makeups. But, a couple of schools have shut down the schedule for all sports entirely, including Milford. Why? Simple – a lot of teams would be shorthanded.

“Too often, we find out after the spring season begins , that we have difficulty fielding JV and occasionally varsity teams,” Milford AD Marc Maurais said in an email. “Family vacation, school trips, college visits, just to name a few, come up during vacation week. Not only is our school affected, but so do our opponents when these scheduled games

have to be re-scheduled.”

Makes sense. Coaches don’t seem to be concerned either way. “I would rather play a game or two over break getting the season total to 18,” Milford softball coach Jim Rines said. “But a week off to prepare after the first two weeks is not a bad thing. I could go either way.”

— The NFL schedule is out, and am still surprised it’s the Steelers opening at Gillette and not the Chiefs. But let’s not analyze who has the toughest or weakest slates, because good/bad teams are hard to predict. But someone in the National Football League scheduling office is wearing Easter egg on his or her face. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a home game vs. the New York Giants on Sept. 22, and don’t return to Tampa to play a game until Nov. 10. The Oakland Raiders have a game vs. the Chiefs in Oakland on Sept. 15, and don’t play another game at the Coliseum until Nov. 3. Hello? What happened? Well, both teams do have “home” games during that stretch – they’re in London. And teams who play in London usually have a bye week the next week. Imagine if that happened to the Patriots?

—–More on the Silver Knights. This past Wednesday they held a nice meet and greet gathering for sponsors,city officials (Mayor James Donchess was there) and season ticket holders – a nice intor for new owner John Creedon, Jr. and his new front office staff (GM Dave Pahucki and operations manager Cam Cook). It’s clear the late start will cost the franchise in some way, be it group tickets sales, etc., but Creedon said he’s expecting that as even the new lease is going through the city board process (finance committee last week, Board of Aldermen next)

“I’m going to be measuring our success by how many folks are exiting Holman Stadium at the end of each game,” Creedon said to the gathering. “My promise to you is no one in baseball in this country is going to work harder than this organization…” Donchess adressed the crowd and said as he turned to Creedon, “It’s obvious you’re going to be a great owner and we’re going to have a great experience here.”

Creedon, in a nice touch, also made the annuncement that free lunches will be provided to each youth in attendance for the June 4 annual Education Day 11 a.m.game.

— So what were you doing last Sunday between 9:30 a.m.and 2:30 p.m.? How many of you were glued to the TV watching the Masters? Love him or hate him, Tiger Woods is the most polarizing figure golf has ever seen, and the back nine drama at Augusta last Sunday will be hard to repeat. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if Bruce Koepka had made that birdie putt on 18, which would have forced Woods to make par on 18. Don’t forget, golf fans, the PGA Championship has been moved from August to May 16-19 (supposedly to get away from football, really?). That, and not the U.S. Open, is now the next major on the golf docket.

—-In our mind, it’s imperative that Alvirne athletic director Karen Bonney and her Milford counterpart, Maurais, not wait until the fall to land a successor to Matt Simpson as the new co-op Admirals hockey coach. With the looser reins on off-season contact, there’s a lot of dry land training plus summer league organizing that can be done. Even on its own, Alvirne hockey has needed a long-term coaching solution ever since Brian Gould stepped down a few years ago. Time to reach out to the Godfather of Alvirne Hockey, Rich Nolan, for him to offer some hints at a possible solution. This cannot be an October hire.

—– Still on hockey: Bruins fans must be salivating at the prospects if their team can get past the Leafs that the only impediments to a Stanley Cup Finals berth could potentially be the Hurricanes, along with the already first round victorious Blue Jackets, and Islanders. Stanley Cup hockey is incredibly unpredictable, but in that scenario the B’s would be the favorites to be playing in June, by far.

Happy Easter/Passover to all.

Tom King may be reached at 594-1251, or@Telegraph_TomK.tking@nashuatelegraph.com