Here’s some multi-sport thoughts heading into October
We haven’t done this in a while, but as we say good-bye to September and hello to October – the only month during which the NFL,NBA, NHL and MLB all play meaningful games at the same time – it’s time for some early fall tids and bits:
—- First, if you weren’t at the Nashua North-Exeter high school football game at Stellos Stadium Friday night, hopefully you can catch any Nashua ETV rebroadcasts or on YouTube. It was a classic, a game between two very, very good teams that certainly look playoff bound, trading blows back and forth. But it helped re-enforce the theory that at this level, the team with the best player on the field should win, and clearly the best player was North’s Curtis Harris.
“That was an exciting football game,” North coach Dante Laurendi said. “I’m glad we hit (the field goal at the end), because I don’t know if I could have taken overtime.”
Can’t wait for the Harris-Jason Compoh battle this Friday night (North vs. South).
— While we’re glad to see Compoh back on the field, at the same time you have to feel bad for North back Xavier Provost, who suffered what certainly looks like a season-ending knee injury in the Exeter game. By all accounts he’s a great kid who unfortunately has suffered a second major injury in two years (broken collarbone last year).
—– Believe it or not, the Boston Bruins and the National Hockey League begin the 2019-2020 season this week, with the Bruins opening up at Dallas on Wednesday. Don’t expect Boston or St. Louis to make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals; it’s just too difficult a gauntlet to go through and the B’s can’t expect teams to fall by the wayside the way they did a year ago. So here goes the season’s predictions:
Eastern Conference – Tampa (division winner), Boston, Toronto, Montreal (wild card), New Jersey (division winner), Washington, Pittsburgh, New York Rangers (wild card).
Western Conference – Winnipeg (division winner), Nashville, Minnesota, Dallas (wild card), St. Louis (wild card), San Jose (division winner), Vegas, Calgary.
Stanley Cup Finals: San Jose over New Jersey.
As always, clip, save and laugh.
—-It’s a true shame that Courtney Cheetham has stepped down from coaching the Merrimack High School girls basketball team. She’s an excellent coach but at this stage in her career is attracted right now to mentoring younger players – younger than high school. She had a remark that raised eyebrows about fellow high school coaches putting themselves ahead of their players but wants to set the record straight – she was not talking about any of her former Divsion I bretheren.
“Me leaving isn’t about other coaches,” Cheetham said. “I want to make a bigger impact than what high school coaching allows.”
Here’s the deal: If you’re a parent of a girls basketball player at any age, you want her to learn about the game from Courtney Cheetham. We urge you to make that happen any way you can.
—- In case you missed it, the Nashua Silver Knights hired former Daniel Webster pitcher and coach Ariel Ramos as new manager Kyle Jackson’s right hand man. He was an assistant this past summer for the North Shore Navigators.
But the interesting thing about Ramos, some may remember, is that he was deployed for eight years with the U.S. Military in Afghanistan.
New Knights general manager Cam Cook said Ramos relates well to players, which will be a big help for new manager Kyle Jackson. “The biggest thing is in a league where guys come and go, you may like them to stay for two or three summers, and Ariel will help that,” Cook said. “He likes the numbers, the sabermetrics that will give Kyle more tools. He’s a great guy and he wants to help build a culture with Nashua.”
—–A couple more Silver Knights notes: Believe it or not, at last look the open spots on the roster were down to just a few, as Cook and Jackson made the roster their first off-season priority.
“It was first and foremost, let’s get the team out of the way,” Cook said, which now allows him to dive into the business end.
Second: The Futures League annual fall meeting is this week, and certainly the outlook for 2020 will be discussed as far as to whether an eight team can be added, team’s scheduling needs, etc. Hopefully things will be ironed out much sooner than last year.
— Amherst’s and former Nashua South/UNH standout Trevor Knight certainly looked at home in a photo on his twitter account of him tossing a pass during the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers practice. You often get breaks with connections, and there was the Nashua connection between Blue Bombers offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice, former Nashua football standout, and Knight. Knight’s break really came a few years ago when LaPolice, after a few years of being a CFL media star/commentator went back into coaching. Unfortunately, the Bombers lost Friday night 33-13 at the hands of the Hamilton Tiger Cats.
—-Don’t look for any FCBL return to Old Orchard Beach, where it was a few years ago. Why? Our old friends in the independent professional Can-Am League are looking at going in there. So many franchises have come and gone in that spot. Why do they keep coming? A former Triple A stadium that seats 6,000 and is reportedly still in decent shape, that’s why.
—– The Nashua North-South Battle of the Bridge gets into full gear this week, beginning with Monday’s 5:30 p.m. field hockey contest at Stellos Stadium. The game is usually part of the big Saturday tripleheader, but SAT exams are this Saturday so it was moved to Monday. It’s the season for these two teams, because it’s been tough against others as they’re a combined 1-16 having been outscored 70-5.
— And finally, if we see one more story about those foolish, self-serving social media posts by Antonio Brown, you’ll hear a loud scream. Why can’t we in the media take the approach that seemed to work with LaVar Ball: If you ignore him, he will go away.
Tom King may be reached at 594-1251,firstname.lastname@example.org, or@Telegraph _TomK.