Some solid memories for Crusaders in 2013

Nick Walsh deals in the championship game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester. File Photo. (click for larger version)
December 26, 2013
LITTLETON — 2013 was a fantastic year for Littleton Crusader athletics. With the baseball team making it to the championship game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester to the girls' soccer team fighting to defend its championship title, Littleton High School continued its long and storied tradition of winning.

In the Spring sports season, the baseball team had a banner year. From the dominant pitching of Nick Walsh and the superb team defense, to the all-around first team all-state team play of Freddie Vazquez, the Crusaders proved to be one of the best teams in Division IV. Even when up against the toughest competition, head coach A.J. Bray kept his team in control and on the road to success.

It was not until the championship game that the Crusaders finally had a rough outing. Facing a great lefty pitcher and momentum falling out of their hands early in the game, the Crusaders could not come back as they finished the season as the runner-up in Division Four.

Softball on the other hand had more difficulties. With star pitcher Chynna Lowe still recovering from a recent shoulder injury, the Crusaders had trouble filling the hole on the mound. The Crusader offense was a different story. The team was able to put up big numbers in many different ways. Whether it is small ball and stealing, or hitting the long ball, the Crusaders kept in contention while seasoning its younger players.

In the fall, the boys' soccer team had a rough go in 2013. The first difficulty the team faced was the young group of players that were on the team. Second, and what seemed to be the largest hurdle, was the long list of injured. Battling both those ailments made it difficult to get wins. But one thing remained, the club has one of the best goalies in the state, Ethan Ellingwood, who will undoubtedly anchor the team for his final two years at the school.

Girls' soccer had a strong year in 2013. After winning the state championship in 2012, one would think it would be hard to replace those that had graduated. However, head coach Kory Pinard had other ideas, bringing together the younger group of athletes on the team this season to compete with even the top teams in the state. The Lady Crusaders battled all season long but fell short in their title defense.

Finally was the success of the Littleton field hockey team. The Crusaders had a talented offense that rivaled the best in the state. However, getting the defense running efficiently became the biggest difficulty for the team and head coach Jeff Soule. But when all was said and done, the team made it to the second round of the playoffs, losing against the eventual champs, the Berlin Mountaineers, as the Mountaineers defeated the Crusaders for the third time in 2013.

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