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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Nashua’s Rancourt finds his niche

College Journal

Earlier this season, when Worcester Polytechnic Institute junior receiver Trevor Rancourt was sidelined with a back injury, he wondered if his long awaited opportunity had passed.

Rancourt, who played football and basketball at Nashua North and was a two-way starter on the first North team to reach the finals, spent most of his first two years at WPI standing on the sidelines. Then, a starter at long last, Rancourt was sidelined and watched younger players vying to take his spot. ...

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Earlier this season, when Worcester Polytechnic Institute junior receiver Trevor Rancourt was sidelined with a back injury, he wondered if his long awaited opportunity had passed.

Rancourt, who played football and basketball at Nashua North and was a two-way starter on the first North team to reach the finals, spent most of his first two years at WPI standing on the sidelines. Then, a starter at long last, Rancourt was sidelined and watched younger players vying to take his spot.

“It was frustrating,’’ Rancourt admits. “I wasn’t sure if I’d get another chance.’’

He has, and he’s taking advantage of it. While his wide receiver spot was taken when he returned, there was an opening for a slot receiver, a position Rancourt always felt better fit his skill set.

“I’m not real fast,’’ Rancourt said. “But I think I’m quick and I have good hands. I’m pretty good at gaining yards after the catch.’’

He’s proved it, especially over the last two weeks. In a 36-17 victory over St. Lawrence he caught six passes for 130 yards, both career highs. He followed it up six catches for 83 yards last week in a loss to Rochester.

His 12 catches over the last two weeks represent more than half of his career total of 20 catches, all coming this season. He’s started his last four games.

“When I was a freshman I wondered whether it was worth it,’’ Rancourt said. “I wasn’t playing and school work was so demanding.

“But it’s the kind of school where not everyone is an athlete. It was a chance to make friends with students with common interests.’’

Rancourt, a mechanical engineering major, has no regrets, even after sitting out most of his sophomore year because of a hip injury.

“School work definitely comes first here,’’ Rancourt said. “If there’s a conflict between class and practice, you go to class.’’

The Engineers play their season finale at home on Saturday against Springfield College.

JOHN LEON GOSSELIN

United States Merchant Marine Academy senior running back John Leon Gosselin suffered a career ending knee injury three weeks ago in a loss to Springfield College.

Gosselin finished his final season with 531 yards, an average of 75.9 per game. He had rushed for over 90 yards in his previous two games and a season-high 146 earlier in the season against Coast Guard.

Gosselin rushed for 874 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore and followed it up with 1,023 yards last fall.

ANDY VAILAS

University of New Hampshire sophomore quarterback Andy Vailas continues to play a big role for the 10th ranked Wildcats.

In a 28-25 win over William and Mary last week Vailas carried the ball 11 times for 53 yards.

Sharing the quarterback position with freshman Sean Goldrich, the former Bishop Guertin standout has thrown for 1,473 yards and 17 touchdowns. He’s rushed for 339 yards, which is fourth best on the team.

KYLA GUSTAVSON

Saint Anselm junior Kyla Gustavson has a team high eight kills on Saturday in a 3-0 loss to LeMoyne.

On the season, the Nashua North graduate is second on her team in kills with 129 and third in digs with 125.

JOEY JOURDAIN

University of New Hampshire junior Joey Jourdain of Hudson helped the Wildcats finish second in the America East Championships.

Jourdain, a former Bishop Guertin standout, finished fourth for his team and 18th overall in 26 minutes, 10.66 seconds over the eight kilometer course.

Senior teammate David Gervais, a Nashua South graduate, was 34th overall in 26:43.31.

MATT COMSTOCK

Matt Comstock of Amherst is a junior starter at defensive end for Bates College.

On the season, the Souhegan graduate has 10 solo tackles and 12 tackles overall.

FRANCIS HERNANDEZ

Auburn sophomore Francis Hernandez of Windham finished fourth for his team and 65th overall at the Southeast Conference Cross Country Championships, host by Vanderbilt, on Saturday in Nashville.

Hernandez covered the eight kilometer course 25:52.15. Auburn tied for eighth in the conference with Mississippi State.