Bryce Blinn catches a 10 yard touchdown pass in his first game back with the Pythons this year against Bow.
Pelham came off their bye week and traveled to Bow last Saturday where they jumped out to a 21 - 6 halftime lead and came away with a 35 - 20 win to put their Division V record at 4 - 0. The Pythons won this game with star running back Bruce Vieira dressed but on the sidelines. Coach Tom Babaian had said earlier in the week that Vieira was a little dinged up and he wanted Vieira fresh and at 100 percent for the remaining games of the season that were going to be real tight games.
Pelham didn’t take long to get on the scoreboard as junior Cam Robidoux caused a Falcon fumble and a few plays later quarterback Joe DeAngelo found sophomore Timmy Schaffer open with a 35-yard touchdown pass. Wayne Parisi connected on the extra point to give the Pythons the early 7 - 0 lead. With five minutes left in the first quarter, Josh Luciano was quarterbacking and he called his own number and rolled 45 yards down the far sidelines for Pelham’s second run of the game. Schaffer scored the two-point conversion to up Pelham’s lead to 15 - 0. Luciano came back to pick off a Bow pass in the end zone to stop a Falcon drive, with 1:45 left in the opening frame, but Bow got on the scoreboard with an 80-yard touchdown pass to end Tom Poitras to cut Pelham’s lead to 15 - 6 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Now the good news that Pelham received earlier in the week was that senior Bryce Blinn was medically cleared to play for the first time this season and he didn’t waste any time getting into the scorebook, as Luciano hit him with a 10-yard touchdown pass in the corner of the end zone with 4:28 left in the first half to stretch the lead to 21 - 6. That score was set up by a beautiful interception by Corey Peterson, who returned the ball to the Falcon 31-yard line. The hard-hitting Pythons would cause seven fumbles by Bow and they’d pick off three passes too. Pelham also got some big sacks from Corey Peterson, Timmy Schaffer and Robidoux, while Bill Helliwell, Conor McColgan, Dave Wesson, Mike Lombard, and Parisi were all making life very tough when they tried to run the ball. Midway through the third period, Schaffer scored on a three-yard run and Peterson ran in the two-point conversion for a 29 - 6 lead, and Babaian was starting to make a lot of substitutions.
Bow got another touchdown pass to Poitras before Luciano scored Pelham’s last touchdown with nine minutes left to make it a 35 - 12 game, before Poitras hauled in his third touchdown pass of the game, to make the final score 35 - 20 Pythons. Babaian was not particularly pleased with his team’s performance and I seriously do not think that the Python kids will see a “country club” atmosphere in their practices this week as they prepare for another big game on the road Friday night at Bishop Brady in Concord.
Derek Defranzo attacks the ball
Pelham boys soccer coach Mattie Regan has seen a vast improvement in the Python booters during the last two weeks, and last week featured the team’s first tie and nearly first victory. Last Friday night the kids had a real tough test as they had the 5 - 3 Oyster River Bobcats in town, and first-year goalie Brian Phinney would collect his first-ever shutout. Pelham received some sound defense from C.J. Ziogas and E. J. Baker as they kept feeding the ball out to their midfielders and only allowing eight shots on goal. Ryan White is another young Python who will be vital for this team in the next three years, as Alec Paradis and Derek DeFranzo had a couple of scoring opportunities, but just couldn’t crack the goal line. Jim Bourk played well for the Pythons as did sophomore Richie Sullivan and Ryan Orsmby was a factor along the front line.
Last Monday night the Pythons took their show on the road to Northwood where they would play the Coe-brown Bears. Coe-Brown came to Pelham three weeks ago and left with a big 5 - 0 win over Pelham, but this team is a lot different from the one that Pelham put on the field three weeks ago. After a scoreless first half, White sent a long ball up the far sidelines for Matt Miller. Miller collected the pass and crossed a perfect pass to Ormsby who one-timed it into the net for a 1 - 0 Pelham lead. That score would remain the same until with 7:30 left in regulation, the Pythons had their first breakdown of the game and the Bears would tie it at 1 - 1. Pelham’s last breakdown came with just over a minute to play in the game and the Bear player whacked it into the Python goal, in which Pelham goalie Brian Phinney, never had a chance to make the save.
This Friday afternoon October 10, the Pythons will hit the road for Dover where they will meet the 7 - 2 - 2 St. Thomas Saints, before heading for Portsmouth next Tuesday.
With four games remaining on its Class I regular season, coach Linda Koehler’s Python field hockey team has been on a four-game unbeaten streak that has seen it go 2 - 0 - 2 with the two ties coming last week. That gives it a 3 - 5 - 2 record that has it sitting on the last playoff seat for Class I. But the Pelham girls are looking to finish strong and hopefully with three of their last four games (and hopefully all four) to move up in the standings.
Last Wednesday the Pythons went to Oyster River to face the 5 - 3 Bobcats, and the Pelham girls pressed deep in the Bobcat end early to pressure the goalie who made three nice saves, but they did a nice job of clearing the ball from out in front of Python goalkeeper Alex Catalano, after she made several big saves early. The Bobcats took a 1 - 0 lead off a rebound in front, but the Pelham girls would tie things up about five minutes later when Molly Smith scored off a rebound in front of the Oyster River goals and flipped it high into the top corner. Emily Koehler, Gina Guimond and Kally Riddinger were all over the field for Pelham, and Smith nearly had the winning goal in the second half when Koehler sent her away on a long pass, but the defender just got a stick on the ball when Smith was unleashing a rocket on net and the ball was deflected wide. Both teams went into overtime with the 7 on 7 requirements and Pelham had a couple of real close-in shots that were saves, but Catalano made a number of gigantic stops to have this big contest end in a 1 - 1 tie. Koehler was happy with the effort, but obviously wanted that win, and the girls came back strong Friday afternoon in Dover against 6 - 2 St. Thomas, fifth in the Class I rankings. Neither team could beat the other’s goalie, as the St. Thomas goalie had 11 saves, and Catalano steered 14 shots away, but after a scoreless first half, the Saints slipped a goal across early in the second half for a 1 - 0 lead. Pelham was getting some inspired play from Devon Lamoureaux, Holly DeCarteret, and Courtney Perry, and Koehler, Guimond, and Riddinger were busy shooting the ball up to their forwards to put the pressure on in the Saints end. Koehler, (who scored the game-winner against Bedford), tied this game up at 1 - 1 with eight minutes left and for the second time in three days, the Pythons would go to a 7 on 7 overtime period. Catalano came up with three more acrobatic saves, and the Pelham girls settled for a 1 - 1 tie with the Saints on their home field.
Pelham will be looking diligently to win its fourth game of the fall this Wednesday when it was scheduled to host the ConVal Cougars, and on Friday, Koehler will take the Pythons to that beautiful Astroturf field in Bedford for a big game with the Bulldogs. The Pelham girls hope to be at the 500 mark when they return to school next week.
The World Martial Arts Federation held its 2008 fall tournament on October 5 at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center in Boston with well over 1,000 participants. Three local students from the Ultimate Shaolin Studio in Pelham along with their instructor, Ray Cover, participated in this event.
Colin Garrett and Cameron Genoter, of Pelham, competed in the 10-11-year old blue belt division for forms and sparring. Justin O’Brien, from Dracut, Massachusetts, competed in the 12-13-year old blue belt division for forms and sparring as well. Although all three are veterans to martial arts, this was their first martial arts tournament. All three did a fantastic job. Garrett achieved a second-place finish in the form competition as well as a second-place finish in the sparring competition.
Nicole Souza and Kathryn Mostone almost shocked Bedford
Pelham volleyball coach Jen Nugent has been switching things around a little with offense and the team responded with three intense games against Hanover that the Pythons dropped by a narrow margin, but the girls were at the top of their game this past Monday when a late rally by the Bedford Bulldogs was enough to edge them. The scores for the match against Bedford were self-explanatory, as the Bulldogs pulled away from a very close first game and won 25 - 17, but the second game saw both teams taking their turns with the lead until Pelham led 24 - 22 and only needed one more point to win the game. Bedford came back with four straight points to eke out the 26 - 24 victory. The Salem girls returned the favor in the third game as they got hot right when they had to and grabbed a 26 - 24 win to push this match to a fourth game. Trailing two games to one, the Pythons battled to the very end and were edged 25 - 23, but it was far and away the best match that the Pythons had played all season.
There were many stars for Pelham as Jacque Moore added some big kills and assists up on the front line, where teammates Jacqui Perry and Rachael Fournier were slamming down and blocking shots to keep their team close. Senior Nicole Souza was doing a fine job on the back row and setting up her teammates up front. Freshman Kathryn Mostone again was everywhere she was supposed to be, as she did everything but take tickets at the door. Sara Jo Fuller and Jordan Fleckenstein entered the game and immediately made their presence known, as the Pythons kept coming back before time ran out. Nugent was excited about the way the girls have played in their past couple of games and is eager to play Souhegan and Milford next week. Coach Rehab Bagegni’s Python JV team won another match as it beat Bedford 2 - 1 and is showing that Nugent is going to have a lot of talent to choose from next fall. Kathryn Dimitri served for eight aces in leading her team to victory and foreign exchange student Martina Prado picked up her first ever kill and block in the JV Pythons win. The Python JVs won 25 - 17 and 25 - 12 while losing the other game 13 - 25.
The first divisional soccer games of the season for Pelham Parks and Recreation were actually scrimmage matches held on the morning of Saturday, September 20. The popular children’s sports program accepted sign-ups during the summer months. This year there are an impressive 385 children (5 and older) playing for divisional soccer. A record total of 155 participants have joined the ranks of tot soccer (3 and 4 year olds). Chilly though it was, the action on the fields at Muldoon Park heated up quickly as teams rushed to keep up with the fast-paced play.
Tot soccer is a blast at the Village Green in Pelham!
11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions
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