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Successful winter season celebrated at Kennett

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by Joshua Spaulding
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Sports Editor - Salmon Press Newspapers

THE MAJOR AWARD winners at Kennett's winter sports awards included (front row, l to r), Kim Bowles (track), Ashton Coleman (alpine), Paige Hill (alpine), Natalie Perry (alpine), Kelsey Bush (basketball) and Riley Steward (Nordic). Back row (l to r), Dylan West (alpine), Sean Maloney (jumping), Mackenzie Murphy (hockey), Brett Miller (basketball), Eric Bormann (Nordic), Alex Klementovich (track) and Colby Livingston (basketball). Missing from the photo is Leah Jones (unified). Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
March 22, 2018
NORTH CONWAY — A very successful winter sports season came to a close at Kennett High School on Wednesday, March 14, and there was plenty of hardware on display.

With five state championship plaques, a runner-up plaque and a trophy for the top Nordic team in the state on display at the front of the Loynd Auditorium, Athletics Director Neal Weaver opened the winter sports awards looking back at last year and noting the improvement after what he had viewed then as a great season.

"It was truly a spectacular season for Kennett High School," Weaver stated. "Last year was a pretty good year, but this year they did even better."

The Kennett Nordic girls took top honors in the New Hampshire Coaches Series, which includes all teams from all schools and programs that race in New Hampshire, both public and private. In addition, the Kennett Nordic boys and girls continued their dominance with Division II titles, the alpine girls continued their run of excellence with a Division II title, the alpine boys returned to the top of the Division II pile, the ski jumping team won the state (and national) championship and the hockey team finished second in Division III. Additionally, both the boys' and girls' basketball teams made the Division II playoffs.

"It's going to be tough to better those accomplishments next year," Weaver said.

Boys' hoop coach Jack Loynd was up first for the major awards and congratulated all the teams on their success.

"I don't remember a year where so many teams have been this successful," Loynd said before thanking the pep band, drum line and Kennett fans for creating a great atmosphere at his team's games.

The first award he presented was the Seidenstucker Award, named after legendary coach Karl Seidenstucker and presented to someone who has athletic ability, pride, self respect and dedication, as well as leadership and loyalty. Loynd presented the award to senior Brett Miller.

The new award this year is the Sut Marshall Award. Loynd noted Marshall had contributed a lot to Kennett sports and sports throughout the Mount Washington Valley, but also noted he was a member of a Kennett championship hoop team in the 1960s. The award is given to someone who embodies Marshall's characteristics, including dedication to Kennett basketball and a dedication to the youth of the valley. Loynd presented the award to junior Colby Livingston.

With head coach Larry Meader out of town, girls' basketball assistant coach Steve Cote made the presentation for his team and also congratulated all of the winter teams on their accomplishments. He noted that while the season didn't end the way his team would've liked, the girls finished 14-4 and advanced to the Division II quarterfinals.

"We had a great season and we appreciate all of your support," Cote said. "We have unfinished business next year."

He also noted that Izzy Wrobleski earned Division II All-State Second Team before moving on to the Russ Award, which is given in honor of longtime Kennett coach Bob Russell. It goes to an athlete who shows pride, determination, leadership, behavior and enthusiasm in the sport of basketball. He presented the award to senior Kelsey Bush.

Unified basketball coach Emilie French was unable to attend the evening but Weaver read her thoughts and presented the award. The award is given to an athlete who showed outstanding teamwork, commitment and effort and Weaver noted that it the winner was the team's biggest cheerleader and the team's leading scorer. Leah Jones was named the winner of the Unified Basketball Award.

Hockey coach Mike Lane took the podium next and also congratulated everyone on a successful season and thanked the fans for their support of his team, which went 11-0-1 on their home ice at Ham Arena. He also thanked the administration for their support of his team.

Before presenting the Jim Terry Award, named after the longtime Kennett coach, Lane noted that of the 18 Division III All-State hockey players, five were from Kennett, the first time since 2003 that the Eagles had that many on the list. Johnny Biggio, Mackenzie Murphy and Connor Doucet earned First Team, Caleb McPherson earned Second Team and Conner Furtado earned Honorable Mention.

The Jim Terry Award is given to someone who demonstrates determination, discipline, leadership and sportsmanship and Lane presented the award to senior captain Mackenzie Murphy.

Indoor track coach Bernie Livingston was up next and he presented the Indoor Track Award to a pair of athletes. The award is given to someone who demonstrates loyalty to Kennett, citizenship and sportsmanship in the school and on the track, as both a follower and a leader. He presented the award to Alex Klementovich and Kim Bowles.

Alpine coach Laurel Zengilowski was up next and thanked everyone who made the season possible and noted it was one of the best years she's seen in her 11 years as coach. The Eagles sent 10 kids to the Meet of Champions and Ashton Coleman went on to Easterns, where she finished as the top NH skier in the giant slalom. She also thanked Cranmore for allowing the team to train and race on the hill as often as they do, the Mount Washington Valley Ski Team for their help and the parents for their support.

The first award was the Damon O'Neal Award, which is named after one of the strongest ski racers in Kennett history, who passed away in the 1950s. It is given to the team's strongest racers and Zengilowski and assistant coach Eddie Bradley presented the award to Coleman and Dylan West.

The EKB3 Spirit of Skiing Award, named in honor of Bradley for his years of dedication to the team, is given to athletes who show a commitment to the sport and the love of skiing that Bradley exhibits day in and day out. The award was presented to Natalie Perry and Paige Hill.

Ski jumping coach Chip Henry noted his season was a bit nerve-wracking at times thanks to Mother Nature's unique sense of humor, but praised his kids for keeping a great attitude and outstanding improvement throughout the season.

He then presented the Ski Jumping Award to Sean Maloney, who has been dedicated to the sport, traveling to train on plastic and also recently jumped on a K120 hill.

Nordic coaches Steve Vosburgh and Scott Lajoie were next to the podium and Lajoie noted that it was clearly a successful winter sports season at Kennett and the Nordic team was happy to be a part of it. Eight Nordic athletes were heading to Easterns that weekend after successful showings in the regular season.

The Broomhall Nordic Award was given to someone who has a positive attitude, is a winner and continues to ask questions and uses the answers to continually get better. Lajoie noted she was also a great leader and presented the award to senior Riley Steward.

The Most Improved Player Award was presented to a team member who was on the team for four years but took his skiing to another level this year and for his effort earned medals in the NH Coaches Series. They presented the award to Eric Bormann.

Martin Lord Osman
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