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Vin Sylvia: Lundholm Award recipient does more than seems possible
Eric Mommsen, Somersworth, 2014 recipient of the Carl Lundholm Memorial Award for service to youth in sports.
Leaders Award recipientsAthletes, coaches, officials and the Carl Lundholm Memorial Award winner for volunteer dedication to youth in athletics will be honored on Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Radisson-Manchester during the New Hampshire Union Leader’s annual sports banquet, The Leaders: A Celebration of New Hampshire Sports Champions. The event begins at noon. Honorees include the following.
Walter Smith Award, for coaches: Al Switzer, Center Sandwich; Carol Gephart of Strafford, Mike Jackson of Hanover, Bob Lord of Erroll, Curt Martin of Contoocook
John R. Clark Award, for officials: Chick Smith of Concord, David Shannon of Barrington, Wayne Scheyd of Allenstown, Danielle Cook of Littleton and Jim Charland of Center Barnstead
Carl Lundholm Award, for dedication to youth in athletics: Eric Mommsen of Somersworth, a third-grade teacher at Maplewood Elementary School
Special Recognition: Cameron Lyle, Plaistow native, University of New Hampshire graduate and Laconia resident, for sacrificing the end of his college track and field career to donate life-saving bone marrow and for continuing to work in registering others as donors
Athletes of the Month: January — Sean Doherty, Conway, biathlon; February — Drew Ledwith, Keene, swimming; March — Kaleb Tarczewski, Claremont, basketball; April — Mariah Crisp, Greenland, softball, and Eric Jensen, Gorham, baseball; May — Carson Cross, Brentwood, baseball; June — Rick Holt, football and baseball, Portsmouth. July — Eva Fabian, swimming, Keene; August — Chelso Barrett, Surrey, golf; September — Jesiah Wade, Manchester, football; October — Emily Cousens, Hopkinton, cross country; November — Robbie Law, Concord, football; December — Nick Fairall, Andover, ski jumping
Then she saw the list.
Two weeks from today, the New Hampshire Union Leader will host its annual sports banquet, The Leaders: A Celebration of New Hampshire Sports Champions. One of the highlights of the event will be the presentation of the Carl Lundholm Memorial Award to a volunteer dedicated to youth in athletics.
She began typing a nomination and asked Mommsen to provide her with a list of his volunteer activities to accompany her letter to the Union Leader's Board of Judges. Mommsen had never compiled such a list, Riotto said, but he's extraordinarily organized, so it wasn't hard for him to go through his records and put together an informal resume.
"I'm the parent of grown children who participated in programs Eric has worked on, but I didn't fully realize how much he'd actually done," Riotto said. "I don't see how there's anyone who could do more than he has. And what's amazing is, after all those years and all he's done, he's still involved."
Mommsen, Riotto wrote in her letter of nomination, "continues his 25-year relationship with Somersworth Little League as the equipment manager. He announces Little League Opening Day ceremonies, Somersworth High School hockey games, starting lineups at Somersworth High School football games (after which he is in charge of filming the game) and more. He is also managing the equipment for the Lions Club Learn to Skate program at the community outdoor rink. Behind the scenes, he fixes or installs new backstops, burned-out bulbs on scoreboards ... things that are often overlooked but matter."
Raised in a military family, he moved to Somersworth as a high school freshman and, except for two years at Springfield College and two more at Plymouth State, he never left. Most of his adult life has been spent giving back to the place that first made him feel at home.
Along with Mommsen, we'll honor Plaistow native and current Laconia resident Cameron Lyle, the former University of New Hampshire track and field standout who sacrificed the end of his collegiate throwing career and the chance at a conference championship so that he could donate bone marrow in an effort to save the life of another young man he'd never met. (That effort, by the way, was successful, and Lyle - who now devotes a good deal of time getting others to register as donors - looks forward to meeting the man this spring.)
Vin Sylvia is a New Hampshire Union Leader deputy managing editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.