Winter sports preview: Derryfield School

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MANCHESTER, NH – It’s a week after Thanksgiving, but student athletes at Derryfield School are still hungry, not for turkey and gravy, but for competition this winter season.

Several teams, in fact, are ready to begin feasting on opponents in the next week, including the boys basketball team which looks to stuff a few shoots beginning tonight when they travel to Wilton-Lyndeborough for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Here’s a glimpse at the season ahead for the Cougars:


Boys Basketball

Now a senior, captain John McDevitt looks to lead the Cougars deep into the D-IV tournement this season.

Head Coach:

Ed Meade (4th season)

Top Returning Athletes:

  • John McDevitt, Senior (Captain)
  • Ethan Flanagan, Senior (Captain)
  • Jack Krasnof
  • Alex Comire
  • Zach Martin
  • Nick Ferrari

Promising Newcomer:

  • Alex Drake

Last Season:

Expectations for this Season:

“We should be a very competitive team this season,” said Meade. “We have some good athletes who have some experience.”

Biggest Challenge:

We don’t have a lot of size, so we may struggle against bigger teams,” said Meade.

Next 3 Games:

  • Tonight, 7 p.m. – Away at Wilton-Lyndeborough
  • Monday, Dec. 5, 6:30 p.m. – Home vs. Epping
  • Thursday Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m. – Home vs. Portsmouth Christian

Girls Basketball

Sarah Naje
Senior Sarah Naje, shown competing against Newmarket late last season, captains the Derryfield girls basketball team this campaign.

Head Coach:

Courtney Cheetham (3rd season)

Top Returning Athletes:

  • Ava Plage, Senior (Captain)
  • Sarah Naje, Senior (Captain)
  • Jackie Connors, Junior

Promising Newcomers:

  • Ashley Hardner, Junior
  • Christine Nadeau, Junior
  • Elyse Ngenda, Freshman
  • Tia Ferdinando, Freshman
  • Katie McCormick, Freshman

Last Season:

  • 19-3 record (including playoffs)
  • Finished runner-up in Division IV to Concord Christian Academy

Expectations for this Season:

“Remain competitive in every game, while also continuing to get better every game,” said Cheetham.

Biggest Challenge:

“We are making the jump from D-IV to D-II, in which the competition every night will be well balanced, so we have to make sure we are prepared and ready for each game,” said Cheetham.

Next 3 Games:

  • Friday, Dec. 9, 6:30 p.m. – Away at Hollis Brookline
  • Tuesday, Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m. – Home vs. Manchester West
  • Friday, Dec. 16, 6:30 p.m. – Home vs. Kennett

Nordic Skiing

Head Coach:

Peter Breu (14 years)

Promising Newcomers:

“This year we have seven middle schoolers coming out and that is always exciting,” said Breu.

Last Season:

“We raced 10 races including the D-II state finals,” said Breu. “No wins, but lots of happy skiers!”

Expectations for this Season:

“This is a building season,” said Breu. “After graduating half of the team two years ago, we are still building, but that is often exciting with frequent PRs.”

Biggest Challenge:

“Local, natural snow,” said Breu. “The climate change has made it often difficult to get the team on snow at or near home.”

Swimming

Head Coach:

Joseph Conti (5th year)

Returning Standouts/Captains:

  • Ava Young  (Bentley College Commit)
  • Skyler Wagner

Promising Newcomers:

  • Lindsay Collins (Freshman)
  • Liesel Gregor (Freshman)
  • Isabella Mailloux (Freshman)

Last Season:

  • Finished 7th in the state.

Expectations for this Season:

“I fully expect to podium as a team at the state level for the girls and I want our boys to place top six,” said Conti.

Biggest Challenge:

“The biggest challenge in Manchester is simply lack of pool space,” said Conti. “We have two lanes of practice for 17 swimmers.”

About this Author

ryanoconnor

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.