Former I-L star Conor Donovan had a successful season as the starting punter for Dean College this fall. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
November 12, 2012REGION – It was quite a start to the collegiate careers for several local student-athletes, as last year's senior class became freshmen this fall with new schools and teams to represent. While the level of competition is undoubtedly different after moving on from Inter-Lakes High School and Moultonborough Academy, here are what a few of last year's seniors did in their first season as college athletes.
Conor Donovan, Dean College football
After leading the Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough football team to a Division VI state championship last year as a senior, Conor Donovan moved on to Dean College in Franklin, Mass. The school is a junior college member of the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association).
The Bulldogs finished their season 7-3 this fall, with Donovan handling the starting duties as the team's punter and kickoff specialist. He finished the season with a 34.1 yard per punt average on 37 punts, with his long of the year totaling 49 yards. That number includes 11 punts inside the opponents' 20 yard line.
As far as kickoffs go, Donovan averaged 51.8 yards per attempt, with nine touchbacks on 57 attempts.
While the bruising back, who led the Lakers in rushing yards last year, didn't get any carries on offense, he made three tackles on the year as the Bulldogs knocked off a pair of nationally-ranked teams during the season in Georgia Military College and Louisburg College (N.C.).
Hanna Roberge, University of New England volleyball
The former Inter-Lakes standout setter moved on to Division III UNE in Biddeford, Maine this fall, where she was a member of the Nor'Easter volleyball program.
Roberge, who set the single-match school record for assists last year at I-L and was a captain and all state performer, appeared in six matches for UNE this fall, as the squad finished 16-10 overall before falling to Western New England University in the first round of the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) tournament.
Roberge totaled six digs, one block and one assist off the bench for the Nor'Easters during her rookie campaign. She is majoring in medical biology at the school.
Brianna McKinley, St. Michael's College cross country
One of the best athletes at Moultonborough Academy last year, McKinley was a member of the cross country team at St. Michael's College in Colchester, Vt. this fall.
A four-year soccer player at MA and the leading goal scorer during her senior season, McKinley joined the XC team at Division II St. Mike's, and she made an immediate impact during her first season. McKinley finished seventh on the Purple Knight women's team at the Northeast-10 Conference championship meet in Jamesville, N.Y., finishing in 100th place overall with a time of 22:08.
McKinley also competed for the Knights at the NCAA Division II Regional meet held in Nashua, where they finished in 10th place as a team out of 28 squads in attendance. McKinley finished in 140th place on the 6K course with a time of 26:17, putting her sixth on the team and just one spot out of the scoring.
Kira Goodheart, Plymouth State volleyball
The other half of a dynamic duo with Roberge last year at Inter-Lakes, Goodheart played her freshman season of volleyball at Plymouth State, where the Panthers finished the season 15-18 overall and 3-4 in the Little East Conference.
Goodheart played in 10 matches as a freshman outside hitter, totaling 13 kills and seven service aces for Plymouth. Goodheart played in 15 sets of action, recording two digs defensively and two block assists.
Goodheart, who is majoring in Criminal Justice, saw her team's season come to a close in the first round of the Little East Tournament, as the Panthers were swept by Keene State on Oct. 31.