Spring sports 2024 preview: Memorial High School

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MANCHESTER, NH – Student athletes from Memorial High School are already shaking off the snow and embracing spring weather as they take to their respective playing surfaces. While some Crusaders are looking for a season of fun and growth, others are taking aim at postseason success.

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Girls lacrosse (Co-op with West)

Head coach:

  • David Gocklin (4th season)

Top returning athletes:

“I have 5 seniors who came into the program with me and 5 juniors starting their third year. We have girls who have played together as well as in the off season” – David Gocklin

  • Elma Stitkovac
  • Kaleigh Murphy (senior, captain)
  • Lily Hall (senior, captain)
  • Maya Blight.
  • Lyla Colangelo (junior, captain)

Promising newcomers:

“Our JV squad consists of many new Freshmen who have never played lacrosse and a few sophomores who played last year.” – David Gocklin

Expectations:

“I have developed the program to where we have had enough girls in the program to have a JV schedule the past three years. Last year we won two games which was still a developing year. This year the expectation is to make the tournament … We are off to a good start in a win (Monday) against Keene by a score of 15-14.” – David Gocklin


Girls Tennis

Head coach:

  • Natalia Hesse (15 years)

Last season:

  • 2-12

“Since tennis is the sport you need to learn for years, and most of students join the team without any athletic experiences (most of them are top students in the school who are busy maintaining outstanding grades), I’m just happy to teach them basic skills to get going with the game, practicing a lot of coordination and footwork.” – Natalia Hesse

Top returning athletes:

  • Shayla Karo (captain)
  • Ailish Hodkins (co-captain)
  • Dayana Ortiz
  • Aubrey Kostakis

Promising newcomers:

  • Aya Ahmed (freshman)
  • Olivia Fontaine (freshman)
  • Braiana Le (sophomore)
  • Jenni Mugisha (sophomore)

“These 4 ladies are very athletic and hardworking students.” – Natalia Hesse

 Expectations:

  • To maintain safe and fun experiences for the girls
  • Get them to fall in love with tennis as an exceptional sport
  • Teach them to overcome fears of mistakes and the pressure on tennis courts during matches
“I can say it has been a pleasure to be coaching for so many years, building stronger girls and seeing them become tennis players. Some of them have been playing  in USTA matches or in colleges. Also, I have noticed that for many years my Memorial team has been the most diverse team in our division which made my work very interesting with each student bringing some international background.” -Natalia Hesse

Boys Track & field

Head coach:

  • Thomas Lynch (30 years, 14 as head coach)

Last season:

“Last year, we finished in the top 10 at the Divisional meet and we hope to do that again this season.  We also won our 20th consecutive City Meet Championship and we hope to continue that this year.” – Thomas Lynch

Top returning athletes:

  • Allistar “AJ” Sebastien (senior) – defending state champion, 100- and 200-meter dash
  • Owen Davis (senior)
  • Stephen Denio (senior)
  • Rudy  Fricker (senior)
  • Colby Hales (senior)
  • Adam Houde (senior)
  • Chase Burris (junior)

Promising newcomers:

  • Colin Logue (senior)
  • Elias Rosado (sophomore)
  • Ledum Adumene (freshman)
  • Michael Georges (freshman)
  • Andrew Joseph (freshman)
  • Khristian Shea (freshman)

Girls track & field

Head coach:

  • Leanne Guimond (2nd season)

Last season:

  • 4×100 team made it to New Englands and placed 13th.

Top returning athletes:

  • Hannah Rodriguez
  • Ayomide Vivian Sanni (captain)
  • Abibba Bah (captain)
  • Elliot Krantz
  • Jordan Courter
  • Fatumo Nur

Promising newcomers:

  • Avery Jenkins
  • Mia Reyes
  • Dalianna Beaudin
  • Avery Stumpf
  • Precious Adedeji
  • Evelyn Gustason
  • Ryan White.

Expectations:

  • To be scholar athletes
  • For teammates to hold each other accountable on the track and in the classroom
  • To develop more multi event athletes who are ready to do anything to help their team out
  • Win the Queen City Meet on May 16th

 “We are a growing program, 75 athletes joined this season and we are looking to get a little bit better every meet.” – Leanne Guimond


Baseball

Head coach:

  • Pat Landroche (first year)

Last season:

  • 5-15

Top returning athletes:

  • Izaiah Solis
  • Ben Mailloux

Promising newcomers:

  • Frank Tessier (freshman)
  • Alexander Rodriguez (freshman)
  • Will Sloper (freshman)

Expectations:

“We’re just focused on becoming the best team we can be. We expect to get better as the season moves along because we are working to get better every week.” – Pat Landroche

Softball (co-op with Central):

Head coach:

  • Jacob Denoncourt (3rd season)

Last year:

  • 2-16

Top returning athletes:

  • Brooklynn Flinfelt (senior, captain)
  • Jamie Webser (senior, captain)
  • Eeman Barton (junior, captain)

Promising newcomers:

  • Haper Lanfond (sophomore, transfer from Goffstown)
  • Kyleigh Levesque (freshman)
  • Elin Hill (freshman)

Expectations:

“We would like to improve our overall record while also being competitive in every game … For the most part we have a good mixture of veteran players and seven underclassmen. We are hoping the younger girls flow right in and helping the success of this program.” – Jacob Denoncourt


Note: All coaches from Memorial High School were reached out to for this article. The teams of those who responded are featured in this preview.

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About this Author

Ryan O'Connor

As a longtime journalist in Southern New Hampshire, Ryan O'Connor has written for several local online and print publications covering everything from school board meetings and local high school sporting events to major crime stories and New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary (yes, the last two are mutually exclusive). In addition to spending time with his beautiful wife and four amazing children, Ryan enjoys attending and serving at church, golfing as much as possible, home brewing, playing softball and snowboarding when time allows.