Giving summer a fond farewell and fall sports a big hello

Summer’s over.

Sad, isn’t t? But yes, it’s officially farewell to the Summer of 2019 according to the mind and the local sports calendar, as Labor Day has come and gone.

It began unofficially with the Boston Bruins playing in Game 1 of their ill-fated Stanley Cup Finals series on Memorial Day, while the Nashua Silver Knights players reported to Holman Stadium earlier that day, and ended with a few high school soccer and golf teams opening up their seasons while football teams continued preseason practices and scrimmages leading up to Friday’s season openers.

In between? A lot of activity, mostly on the baseball diamond.

Of course, the Nashua Silver Knights dominated the local landscape, finishing .500 while losing in the first round of the FCBL playoffs.

But as usual, the Knights made news off the field. Right before their 27-27 regular season ended, longtime Silver Knights manager and VP of Player Personnel B.J. Neverett said this summer would be his last with the organization. He’s the only individual still left from Day One back in December of 2010. He left a legacy of three FCBL titles and put together four championship teams.

But who would replace him, not just on the field but off? Well, the Knights made some news right up to the end of summer, as general manager Dave Pahucki parted ways with the organization and former player turned operations manager Cam Cook was promoted to succeed him. It’s an interesting move that will likely mean that as the front office under recent new owner John Creedon, Jr. gets moving on 2020, VP Dave Peterson will spend a little time in Nashua.

Cook will work on getting some players for 2020, but a lot of that will fall on a guy who deservedly got the manager’s job, former Knights pitching coach Kyle Jackson. He has worked hard for this, has the right temperment, and now there are still two very smart and capable people in charge of the Knights. They shouldn’t miss a beat. All that was wrapped up in the last week of August, so the Silver Knights in these eyes ended the summer of 2019 on a high note.

Also on the diamond, Nashua enjoyed some great success with the Babe Ruth 14U All-Stars winning the state and regional crowns as well as a game in the 14U World Series in the sweltering heat in Demopolis, Ala. Coach Todd Holbrook had a group that will no doubt help out both Nashua North and Nashua South down the road. The Nashuans lost three games, but made things interesting with a win over the Alabama state champion Phenix City in their second game, but losses to Florida and Oregon did them in. Still, the experience of a lifetime.

Speaking of experience, that’s what the Nashua American Legion Post 124 counted on to provide us with a summer memory. A veteran team managed by Tim Lunn topped Exeter in extra innings to win the state Senior Legion crown at Holman Stadium toward the end of July, and began August with two games in the Northeast Regionals held at Fitton Field in Worcester. The 1-0 defeat at the hands of Lawrence, Mass.was memorable because it was a hard-fought, ; the 11-1 pasting at the hands of Stamford, Conn.less than 24 hours the next day was forgettable. But still, no Nashua team had advanced this far in over 20 years. It truly made it a memorable summer.

Even golf saw some local success as

the one big title was one by a player from a local course, Passaconaway’s John DeVito, as he captured the men’s State Am title in mid-July, topping Jake Hollander in the finals. In the women’s tourney, University of Louiville sophomore Lauren Thibodeau rolled to a nine shot win over second place finisher local Chelsea Sedlar of Passaconaway

And local high school athletes still made news with a couple of Division I baseball committements as Campbell’s Keegan Mills announced he’ll play at Austin Peay and Gatorade Player of the Year Brett Anderson of Bishop Guertin, who was a key to the Legion team’s success, will play in a year at the University of Hartford.

Those are just a few of your summer highlights.

Stellos Stadium hosts Merrimack-BG and Nashua North-Manchester Memorial boys soccer today, and the high school schedule is into full gear.

So long Summer, hello Fall.

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