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Joyce Endee

I-L/MA football banner unveiled

by Jeff Lajoie
Sports Reporter

I-L/MAs Hayden Jurius (facing) and fellow captains unveil the 2011 State Championship banner in the Inter-Lakes gymnasium on Jan. 10. Jeff Lajoie. (click for larger version)
January 16, 2012
MEREDITH The banner was officially raised on Jan. 10, as the Inter-Lakes/Moultonboro Academy football team was honored at Inter-Lakes High School with the 2011 Division VI State Championship banner displayed on the walls of the gymnasium in a ceremony conducted by I-L athletic director Jeff Cloos.

In addition to the state championship banner, I-L/MA was also awarded the Sportsmanship Award banner by the New Hampshire Football Officials Association (NHFOA), one of just three schools in the state to receive the award. At the end of every game, officials throughout the state rate each team based on sportsmanship from their perspective. At the end of the year, the ratings are added up to determine which schools were most deserving.

"The image of the school is very important," explained Cloos. "Being able to win a state championship, and also do it in a way where people respected us off the field as well, that's important for the community. It's not as celebrated as the state championship might be, but the (sportsmanship) banner is on the wall right below it and it means a lot to the school."

The ceremony to unveil the banners was held between the JV and varsity boys' basketball games pitting I-L and MA, a game the Panthers would eventually win before a packed house. Cloos introduced and recognized the entire coaching staff, including recently retired head coach Paul Lavigne, and roster of players, most wearing their state championship t-shirts, from the football title season, and talked about some of the highlights that came with the unbeaten season. That included over 1,000 fans in attendance for the championship win over Epping/Newmarket.

"I think it went well," said Cloos of the ceremony. "The timing worked out perfectly. We moved the JV game up 15 minutes to keep everything on schedule. Once we decided to have this event, we looked at the schedule and saw when Moultonboro would be on the schedule because it's only natural that we do this while they were here."

After his remarks, Cloos turned it over to I-L/MA football captains Conor Donovan, Hayden Jurius and Conor Langille, and the trio grabbed the strings and ripped off the sheet covering the banners to unveil the new additions to the I-L gymnasium.

"I've got to thank the custodial staff for helping me do that," Cloos explained. "I brought the idea to them and in a few hours, they were sitting in my office discussing how to do it."

Members of both the I-L and MA basketball teams played on the football squad, and the influx in fans also helped out the basketball program's Hoops for Hunger campaign, as over $100 was raised on the night, the most so far this season.

"Overall it was a great way to celebrate the championship, I think a lot of the parents appreciated it," said Cloos. "We got some good response from it."

Cloos also noted how the rivalry has taken on a bit of a different nature on the hardwood.

"I noticed they were getting really physical on the court, but no one was getting upset about it," the AD said. "Both teams did well to keep their composure and I think that has a lot to do with the schools playing together in football and other sports."

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