(Updated) Manchester teams ready to make waves this spring

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Spring is a season of new birth, growth and hope. And those happen to be the best three words to describe the sports teams for Manchester Memorial, West and Central this spring.

There are newly formed teams, anticipation of players’ growth and development and hope that it will translate into improved win-loss totals.

Below is a look at some of the local teams that will be representing Manchester’s public schools this spring.

(Note: All of the spring coaches at the three schools were contacted for these previews but not all responded.)

 

Megan Haddad, Central co-captain

Manchester Central Girls Tennis

Head Coach:

  • Karen Leclerc (2nd season)

Last Season:

  • 12-2 (Only losses to eventual State Champion Bedford High)

Top Returning Athletes:

  • Emily Leclerc
  • Megan Haddad (Captain)
  • Lauren Bouthot (Captain)

    “We have a lot of good athletes on the team. Soccer players make great tennis players and we have several of them,” said Leclerc. 

Promising Newcomer:

None named

Expectations for this Season:

“Our goal would be to go as far as possible in the team competition. I have a great group of hard working girls who are great athletes, which is a must on the tennis court!” said Leclerc

Biggest Challenge:

“Our biggest challenge right now is probably the weather and getting enough time on the court,” said Leclerc.

Early Season Results

  • Win over Bishop Guertin (8-1)
  • Win over Salem (8-1)
  • Win over Nashua South (8-0)

Manchester West Girls Tennis

Head Coach:

  • Corri Wilson (2nd season)

Last Season:

  • 1-7 (abbreviated “bubble” season)

Top Returning Athletes:

  • Helena Jackson
  • Kailia Thomas
  • Ella Hanson
  • Kyleigh Pierce
  • Nevaeh Spears

Promising Newcomers:

  •  Alex Mejia Vega

Expectations for this Season:

“Individual and team growth in both tennis and life skills,” said Wilson.

Biggest Challenge:

“Developing raw talent,” said Wilson.

 

Manchester Memorial Girls Tennis

Head Coach:

  • Natalia Hesse (14th season)

Top Returning Athletes:

  • Hallee Norton (Captain)
  • Kira Sapmpinato (Captain)

Promising Newcomer:

  •  Stephanie Heys

Expectations for this Season:

“I would like my team to enjoy play tennis, to learn as many skills as they can. And, of course to finish every meet with as many wins as possible,” said Hesse.

Biggest Challenge:

“The biggest challenge  for my team is to stay mentally strong and keep confidence through out a game without feelings of stressed, which is kind of normal but this qualities gained through the experience of longer playing tennis. I’m sure the more they will be in this sport the more confidence they gain,” said Hesse

Early Season Results

  • Win over Keene (7-2)
  • Win over Spaulding (5-4)
  • Next match vs. Nashua North, April 15

 

Manchester Memorial/Central Boys Lacrosse

Head Coach:

  • Jordan D’Onofrio (2nd season)

Last Season

  • 3-6 record (lost to Derryfield in the first round of the playoffs)

Top Returning Athletes:

  • Senior Braden Hafeman-A (Memorial) Captain
  • Senior Gavin Lins-OM (Central) Captain
  • Senior August Connors-LSM (Memorial) Captain
  • Junior Carter Beland – D
  • Senior Reagan Fort-LSM
  • Senior Parker Burgess – DM
  • Junior Liam Murphy – OM
  • Sophomore Joey Velez – Attack
  • Senior Demetri Alexander – D
  • Junior Mene Adumene – G

Promising Newcomers:

  • Junior Owen Kelley – D
  • Sophomore Talen Perron – A
  • Freshman Trevor Wong – OM
  • Senior Brennan Beland – OM
  • Junior Colin Fields – OM
  • Sophomore Mack Tripp – D

Expectations for this Season:

“We expect to be a competitive team and push to make a playoff spot. We have a lot of great athletes that we hope continue to improve their lacrosse specific skills as the season progresses. We will be a tough and physical opponent,” said D’Onofrio.

Biggest Challenge:

“Our biggest challenge is experience, we have a very young team in terms of lacrosse experience. However, our guys have done a tremendous job all offseason and training camp learning as much of the game as they possibly can,” said D’Onofrio.

Early Season Schedule

  • vs. Hanover, April 11
  • vs. Salem, April 13
  • vs. Timberlane, April 15

 

Kiera Gilman pitching
Kiera Gilman, West-Trinity pitcher

Manchester West Softball (co-op with Trinity High School)

By Ryan O’Connor

Head Coach:

  • Hope Willard (First season as head coach following two years as an assistant)

Last Season:

  • Reached playoffs, lost in first round

Top Returning Athletes:

  • Emma Service (Captain)
  • Emily Deleault (Captain)
  • Kiera Gilman (Captain)
  • Riley McNamara (Captain)

Promising Newcomer:

“At this time, Trinity-West is a young team, and I am currently still assessing the many talents of the team,” said Willard.”

Expectations for this Season:

“As the head coach, my expectation for the season is to increase the commitment to the team and co-op,” said Willard, “as well as each player being able to improve on her skills for the sport.”

Biggest Challenge:

“Trinity-West’s biggest challenge revolves around the integration of the two previous-opposing schools,” said Willard.

Early Season Schedule

  • Manchester Central-Memorial, April 11
  • at Timberlane, April 13
  • at Nashua South, April 18

About this Author

billgilman

Bill Gilman

Bill Gilman is a veteran journalist with 33 years of experience covering community news and sports in New England. He and his wife have two grown sons and two perfect granddaughters.

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