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John Habib's City Sports: Football social planned for Turkey Bowl eve

New Hampshire Union Leader

November 22. 2013 6:24PM

Ex-rivals of all ages and other high school football fans are invited to join former Manchester High Central players on Wednesday when the Little Green Gridiron Club hosts its first alumni social at the Derryfield Restaurant from 6-9 p.m.

"It's open to the general public, and I want to stress that former players from Memorial, West and Trinity are welcome to attend," said organizer Geno Brown, a 2003 Central grad who went on to play at UMass. "This is a social where players from all eras can reunite and share stories about the glory days. I'm even going to throw up over a decade of highlight films playing in the background on a projector screen."

The social is timed, of course, for the eve of the annual Manchester Turkey Bowl, which concludes the fall high school sports season and determines the city football champion.

"We thought that holding it the night before the Turkey Bowl would be a great time," Brown said.

Brown is one of the younger Central football alumni looking to carry on the work long performed by such former Central standouts as Ron Lavigne and the Schubert brothers, Jim and Steve. For years, their work as members of the Gridiron Club has raised money to pay for uniforms, equipment and other team needs, and to help fund college scholarships for recent former players.

"The torch has been passed to us," said Brown. "(Younger) former players like myself, my brother, Tyler, Peter Hammond, Dan Cronin, Travis Pelletier, Scott Schubert and Alex Vailas really appreciated what the club did for us when we played for Central. Now we feel it's time for us to contribute something back for today's players."

Admission to the social is $25, with some of the proceeds going toward scholarships to graduating players.

"For the past 10 years, we've given $1,000 to a graduating senior in honor of Danny Mueller and Richard Zielinski," said Brown. "Both scholarships are named after former Central players who passed away."

Proceeds also will help pay for the upkeep of the weight room the Gridiron Club had built 10 years ago.

"The weight room is used by many sports teams, not just football," Brown noted.

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BEFORE it actually began to feel like November around here this week, Derryfield Country Club's Mike Ryan said golfers had been taking advantage of the unseasonably good weather on the city course.

"Last Saturday, we had 116 rounds of golf played on our course, and on Monday, when temperatures hit 60 degrees, we had 82 rounds," said Ryan, the head professional at Derryfield for 18 years. "During the month of November, we usually average 30 rounds a day, so the good weather of late has been good for us."

Ryan said playing golf into November is not unusual for his course.

"On average, we usually stay open until December first," he said. "We've had one or two years where we've played a week or two into December. The latest we've ever stayed open was Dec. 24. We've never opened the course in January."

Ryan noted he's seeing some new faces on his course this month.

"Some northern golf courses in the state have closed, and their club members are now playing on our course," Ryan said. "This time of year, golfers will travel anywhere south to play a round of golf. Again, we're benefitting from it on the course, in the pro shop and even in the restaurant."

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Manchester High School West is looking for a new varsity wrestling head coach. Prospective candidates are asked to mail a resume with three letters of reference to: Manchester School District, Human Resources, 195 McGregor St., Suite 201, Manchester, NH 03102.

"City Sports" is published Saturdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter John Habib at

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