Good, bad and ugly of local sports

All around us are stories waiting to be told – good ones, bad ones and, unfortunately, others that are more on the ugly side of life.

Over the last couple of weeks Greater Nashua has witnessed a few of the first two, and one prime example of the latter.

As is customary when asked to choose, let’s go with the good news first, namely Nashua’s Kevin McGowan, before tackling the sour issues – such as Merrimack’s poor shooting in a 38-point boys basketball loss at Bedford on Jan. 3, and a Nashua parent hosting parties for high schoolers that included alcohol.

The good

The story of Kevin McGowan is most definitely a good one.

The Nashua High School North and Franklin Pierce University graduate was selected in the 13th round of the 2013 MLB Amateur Draft and has paced himself perfectly thus far.

He’s done anything asked of him at every level by New York Mets management. It’s paying off beautifully.

He is one of 13 Mets minor league players to be invited to major league camp during spring training. Already down in Florida working out with some younger Mets prospects, he’ll officially report to the big league camp Feb. 12 at a very familiar location – Tradition Field in St. Lucie, Fla.

The 25-year-old Nashuan split his 2016 season between Class A St. Lucie (Fla.) and Class AA Binghamton (N.Y.). He posted a 0.82 ERA in 15 games (two starts) in St. Lucie, and a 3.26 ERA in 26 games (two starts) in Binghamton.

McGowan, who is hitting mid-90s on the radar and has added a consistent breaking ball to his arsenal, was adamant following the 2016 season that he’s ready for a shot at the highest level.

That chance is now his to capitalize on.

The bad

Picking up the paper on Jan. 4 and going directly to the third sports page to get my fix of high school results from the previous night’s action, I was frustrated. I thought we had a typo. And a bad one at that: "Bedford 51, Merrimack 13."

Nope, it was legit. According to the write-up, and obviously the final result, "The Tomahawks had a tough shooting night and were plagued by turnovers." Ian Cummings led the offense with five points.

It was Merrimack’s first loss of the season, and the Tomahawks (8-1 overall, 5-1 Division I) have rebounded from the embarrassing road loss with three straight wins over Trinity, Bishop Guertin and Concord. Heading into Wednesday’s game at Nashua North (1-4), the Tomahawks are third in the D-I standings behind undefeated Portsmouth (7-0) and Bedford (5-1).

That bad performance – in which Merrimack trailed 24-7 at halftime – seems to be in the rear-view mirror. Certainly longtime Tomahawks coach Tim Goodridge hopes so.

The ugly

According to multiple sources, a Nashua parent, who is known to have hosted past parties that include alcohol and high school students, was present and drinking alcohol with student-athletes at a holiday party just before Christmas.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, photos and videos recorded and posted on social media were turned over to Nashua Athletic Director Lisa Gingras.

The evidence, according to those sources, led to at least 10 female student-athletes being suspended from extra-curricular activities at Nashua High School South.

We don’t live in a fantasy world.

Kids will be kids. You can tell them not to do certain things and they will test the limits of what they can get away with. We’ve all been there. We aren’t that naive, are we?

So while those high schoolers are being reprimanded for their bad choices, the parent should be the one facing the most serious of punishments.

Knowing that underage drinking is going on in your house is bad in itself. But an adult not only promoting the behavior by allowing such activity under their roof, to then also join in the drinking festivities with these children is just plain ugly.

These are definitely three stories worth keeping an eye on – the good, bad and ugly of Greater Nashua. Here’s hoping for more of the good in 2017.

George Scione can be reached at 594-1254, or @Telegraph_BigG.