I’m just going to come right out and say it…………..the girls might be better at the post-game interviews than the boys.
Our coverage of girls basketball took a huge leap forward in 2019 as we tracked scoring leaders for all four divisions, covered 11 games on video and three of the four championships.
The person who has driven this initiative is ‘The Franchise’ Jennifer Chick-Ruth, who has taken on double duty to get the girls the coverage we provide the boys. All while working a full-time job and raising a particularly cute baby with her wife Jill.
Our first-year broadcaster and the man who will take over for Justin McIsaac when I eventually fire him (note to self, delete that before posting article) Lance Legere also was instrumental in adding stats and calling many of the games with Jen.
Coaches like Larry Meader of Kennett, Greg Cotreau of Manchester Memorial, Dawn Weeks of Farmington, Derek Tremblay of Mount Royal and Dan O’Rourke of Hanover supported our work as Gold Level coaches/programs and their faith in our efforts is greatly appreciated.
We need more coaches to support the efforts but I anticipate that will happen. All seven of us work full-time jobs in addition to our coverage & work for NHsportspage so support from parents & coaches is what keeps us afloat.
What became clear is the girls absolutely bring it when it comes to the post-game interviews, and this isn’t meant as a shot across the bow of the boys we have been covering for years, but we had a blast interviewing the girls this year and look forward to doubling or even tripling our girls’ coverage next season.
The Hanover girls were awesome, the Farmington girls loosened up once they realized we weren’t ‘Dateline NBC’ about to ask them where they were on the night of 15th and if they had an alibi and teams like Littleton, Monadnock (shout out to our girl Gwen Simpson) and especially….the Exeter girls, who were all-time interviews in a Fred Lynn level rookie performance, made our girls coverage one of the highlights of the season.
I’m looking for someone to lead the coverage of girls’ basketball next season, preferably someone who grew up in New Hampshire and played the game. We hope to add a fourth videographer to our team and we need a girl’s basketball writer/broadcaster to write weekly columns and pre-season previews.
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Parents Part II:
Last year’s column about the behavior of some parents became the most read article in our 11-year history of NHsportspage (‘it’s time we had a talk.. .’) and was shared by college coaches at school’s in Iowa, Arizona, and at Syracuse.
Although there are still far too many embarrassing incidents out there my interaction with parents at games or even just out & about is one of my favorite aspects of what we do. I love talking to parents about their team’s season, their son or daughter, other teams & players they’ve faced, and their opinions on the division as a whole.
These kids deserve this level of coverage and I want to personally thank the parents who support that coverage. We love hearing from you and I hope we keep providing this kind of coverage for the kids for years to come.
As for the parents who cannot control themselves we are going to continue to call you on it. Whether it is on Twitter, my column or McIsaac’s Top 10.
These Coaches work too hard and are too good of people to be abused because your kid is two spots down in the rotation from where Mom & Dad think they should be.
This and that plus Adam Sandler & Will Farrell…
The four champions and where I had them in the pre-season; Exeter (#2), Pembroke Academy (#2), Conant (#3) and Epping (#3)…………Exeter, by the way, played Pembroke in the Coaches for a Cause Jamboree back in December so there was your Division I vs. Division II match-up……….Keene & Con Val have already been invited to next year’s Jamboree…………early favorites for 2019-20. Division I: Nashua North (three members of the underclassman select team in Curtis Harris, Brendan Choate & Nate Kane), Londonderry (Jackson Cox, Cole Keegan & Will Reyes lead a young group), Keene (don’t sleep on them), Manchester Central (tons of good underclassman), Portsmouth (everyone back except Alex Tavares but that’s a big loss) and Dover (they’ll be better than you think…it’s your show Kingsley Breen..) ………Division II: Lebanon (your pre-season #1..and Kieth Matte is back too), Merrimack Valley (Kyle Dube returns and so does Griffin Wheeler), Bishop Brady (Wil Spencer leads the way), Con Val (Leo will have them playing every team south of Peterborough this summer), Hollis-Brookline (Grant Snyder needs to take it to the next level this summer), Oyster River (I own a ton of Joe Morrell stock) and John Stark (your sleeper with Christian Barr back) …..Division III: Hopkinton (the team to beat..but only if Kevin Newton-Delgado returns), Mascenic Regional (Sammy Stauffeneker and Trey Shaw return), Campbell (they won’t be as deep but 3 starters are back), Conant (Peyton Springfield likely is off to prep school but they still have Anthony Gauthier & Connor Hart), Monadnock (this is the year they play well wire to wire and not just close well), Mascoma (they might have the best offense in the division next year), Somersworth (the pieces are still there…Jacob Hamilton makes the leap), Winnisquam & Gilford (your two sleepers…Adrian Siravo & Phil Nichols go big time next year)…..Division IV: Littleton (the CLEAR favorite with Briggs, Paradice & Kubkowski back), Sunapee (Chappell & Grzanna return), Newmarket (they might have to win with defense), Pittsfield (they have an important summer coming up), Farmington (is this the year they get back in the title conversation?), Colebrook (I’m not convinced but I’m listening..) and Woodsville (tell me what their schedule is and who had a growth spurt over the summer….but Top 4 for certain)…....The John Zavala All-Glue Guy Team (named after the legendary Colebrook warrior…not the Mohawk on the wall): Cole Keegan of Londonderry, David Erunski of Keene, TJ Dutton of Goffstown, Brian Holroyd of Hollis-Brookline, Doug McGown of Oyster River, Jared Sylvester of Merrimack Valley, Malik McKinnon of Colebrook, Jake Lehoullier of Pembroke, Owen Brickley of Plymouth, Khaled Nazeer of Souhegan, Josh Finkle of Littleton, Gavin Motuzas of Conant, Michael Moore of Berlin (team captain), Gabe Turner & TJ Hiott of Mascenic Regional, Luke Monesmith of Somersworth, Connor Bosse of White Mountains and Will Chase of Newmarket (captain in waiting)……….If you call a charge and the player on defense can look up through the net as he is lying on the floor,,,, can we please stop calling that a charge?.....Coach K ruins everything………..speaking of that I thought the officiating was excellent for the most part, we have some very good game officials in this state, we just need new blood, more guys like Keith Friel & Brad Zapenas, former Davison I athletes who know the game and when to make calls…….last shot of the game and one person to take it in the state…I’ll go with Josh Morissette of Exeter but I wouldn’t mind seeing Ty Vitko of Dover, Noah Tremblay of Kearsarge or Sean Menard of Pembroke taking it either…if it’s a 15-foot baseline jumper its Kevin Henry of Exeter all day long……I’ve been all over the state covering teams but the drive from Hanover to Inter-Lakes this week, working for Adrenaline Fundraising, felt like I was in a time machine. I didn’t have cell service for 40 straight minutes and my GPS was the only thing keeping me from ending up in Season 4 of ‘True Detective’...did you know there is a town called Orange? Orange, NH…how did I miss that….The Players Locker Room member videos the kids did answering their 8 questions were Gold. I love the fact that I asked the players to name what actor would play them in a ‘Remember the Titans’ type movie about their team and the two most common answers were Adam Sandler (age 52) and Will Farrell (age 51). Just to remind you this was 17 & 18-year-olds kids being asked who would be the actor to play them in a movie about 17 & 18-year-old kids…….The Campbell kids were great in those videos and this year we got to know and really like that group after some unfortunate decisions last post-season that was out of the player's control…Jonah Crema might have a future in directing……….If you’re a Gary Ford (of Concord) level die-hard fan here are the games you need to see at least once in person; Exeter vs. Winnacunnet, Groveton vs. Colebrook on a Saturday afternoon (we’ll be there), any big game at Woodsville where the gym is packed and the stage is full, a game at Spaulding when both bleachers are out, a big game at Stevens and a game on the stage at Pittsfield when it’s packed...
Coming next week: The Top 15 teams in the state and a preview of NHsportspage vs. BABC on March 30th at NHTI.