It’s a shame Eagles have to briefly leave Nashua nest

Here are some warm weather tids and bits just as we have the first official Saturday of summer:

The dilemma the Eagles of the International Soccer Club of Nashua found themselves in was fairly predictable but there are a couple of underlying themes:

First, it is a reminder of the limitations by city law for Stellos Stadium, which is restricted to youth events only. That’s a holdover from all the bitterness of youth groups angry when minor league baseball (Pirates, Pride, etc.) came into Holman Stadium as primary tenants.

City officials simply didn’t want the same thing to happen at Stellos.

However, it’s a shame that the Eagles can’t have their home game at Stellos a week from today. It’s the perfect spot for them as a fallback while Rivier’s glorious new outdoor facility is under construction. Also, the ISC of Nashua is a very youth-oriented organization and you can bet youth soccer groups would be part of the show in their home opener.

The city is probably losing out on a lot of rental dollars for its policy. How about this: Youth groups have priority, so that if a non-youth organization wants to book an event there, it can only if a youth oriented group doesn’t want the same date,regardless of who reserves it first? There’s all sorts of ways to prioritize youth. But such is life.

Meanwhile, the Eagles had a connection at Manchester Memorial, but it’s a shame they didn’t try first for Saber Stadium at Souhegan High School. That would have kept them in the Nashua area for the season.

Meanwhile, why all the uncertainty? All you have to do is drive even close to the Muldoon Center at Rivier and the entire area looks like a meteor landed there, there’s so much construction. The Eagles are definitely better off playing elsewhere for the summer, and reaping the benefits of a beautiful new facility next season.

But it’s a shame they can’t use Stellos this summer.

—– Just a few miles north in Manchester, Gill Stadium has been undergoing some field renovations. New field turf is being installed to replace the orginal artificial surface put in when the New Hampshire Fisher Cats played there for a year in 2003. But baseball purists will like the fact that the artificial mound, always put in and taken out, is now going to reportedly a thing of the past, replaced by a permanent natural dirt mound that will be fenced off during rectangular sporting events. To also preserve the mound, the football/soccer field is being moved 30 feet north. And, ne LED lights are said to be set for installation.

Remember, they can take their time for a lot of the work in Manchester as the state Senior Legion Baseball Tournament is at Holman later next month, which is great for Nashua.

—– We still say the Futures Collegiate League should limit the high school graduates/incoming college freshman to just two or three per roster. Right now the limit is five, which is way too many, but college coaches love the fact they can give their freshmen an early look at the game at this level for the summer before they report.

But how do the experienced collegiate players interact and treat the younger ones? One of the best to answer that is former Silver Knight Cam Cook, now the team’s Operations Director.

“It’s on a person-to-person basis,” Cook, who starred in Nashua in 2016-17. “I think on a whole the juniors and seniors like to take those guys under their wing.

“I always looked at it as there’s going to be hiccicups from high school baseball t college baseball, as talented as they are. So it’s going to be letting them know, ‘Hey, I’ve been there, you’re going to work it out, that’s what this league is for.'”

And, Cook said, there’s the flip side: Don’t get to comfortable.

“If they’re having success, just make sure they’re staying even-keel, not getting too far on their high horse, but also make them feel like their part of the team rather than not motivate them.”

What do these younger players not know about the college game?

“It’s not velocity or anything like that that’s going to be the issue,” Cooke said. “It’s the movement on pitches, the breaking balls break harder, faster, and the game just speeds up on you. Guys get down the line faster, so you might panic (as in infielder) on a ground ball, or a guy tagging up. It’s just a faster paced game than they’re used to playing.”

— Boston Bruins general manager Don Sweeney got kudos for winning the GM of the Year award in the National Hockey League. Now remember, those selections are made prior to the playoffs, but it was clear Sweeney hit the jackpot with the trade deadline acquisitions of Marcus Johansson and Charlie Coyle.

But now Sweeney faces a much more dificult task: How to surround an aging core – if he wants to keep it together – with enough talent to get one more crack at the Cup. It won’t be easy, and that work began last night and continues today with the NHL draft, not in terms of prospects, but potential deals.

—Congrats to longtime Elks official Al Savage, who has been huge in this city organizing youth activities, including the Elks Hoop and Soccer Shoots. He and his wife Marion were honored by the Nashua area track community and Decathlon/Heptathlon chairman Jason Pailing at the dinner for the New Hampshire Decathlon/Heptathlon last weekend for, as the proclamation read, their “63 years of unwavering support to the NH State Decathlon/Heptathlon. We are grateful for your generosity and devotion to this event and its success will continue through your legacy.”

Good stuff. Savage is a Nashua gem.

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