TRINITY High of Manchester this week lost a baseball coach but gained a girls’ basketball coach.
After just one year at the helm, Paul Lemire announced he’s stepping down from his baseball post.
Meanwhile, Trinity athletics director Chip Polak confirmed that Kevin Gibbs will take over the school’s girls’ basketball program after spending the past three seasons as women’s basketball head coach at NHTI-Concord’s Community College.
Before working at NHTI, Gibbs was girls’ basketball head coach at Bishop Guertin High of Nashua.
Lemire said his full-time job didn’t leave him much time to coach baseball.
“I just don’t have enough time needed to fully commit to the program,” he said. “I’m in the construction business, and if I don’t devote my time to it, I’m going to be out of work.”
Polak said he understood Lemire’s predicament.
“Paul just didn’t realize how much time you need to put into today’s student-athletes,” the AD said. “He works a lot of hours in his main job, and he told me he just couldn’t commit more time to coaching baseball.”
Trinity posted a 5-13 record under Lemire, failing to qualify for the 16-team NHIAA Division I Tournament. While it had Boston College-bound senior lefthander Carmen Giampetruzzi leading its pitching staff, Trinity struggled to score runs, especially in the second half of the season.
In 13 of their 18 games, the Pioneers failed to score more than three runs, losing 11 of those games. Trinity lost seven games by two or fewer runs and was 3-5 in one-run encounters. It averaged just 2.5 runs for the season and totaled just seven runs in its last seven games, going 2-5 in that stretch.
“The team lost many tough, close games this season,” said Polak. “Paul’s a pro, and he has a great demeanor. If he was frustrated, he never showed it in front of the kids. He never complained and always came to coach with a happy face.”
Lemire previously coached the Pioneers for three seasons before relinquishing his post to Eddie Poisson in 1988. Lemire returned as coach last year after Poisson stepped down after 27 seasons with the Pioneers.
Polak said he’ll probably name Lemire’s replacement in early fall.
“No rush on this one,” he said. “We’ll take our time in selecting our next coach.”
Polak said Gibbs brings more to the table than just knowing how to coach the game.
“He’s also a parent who coached his daughter,” the AD said. “So we hired a man who knows and understands how to deal with high school athletics as both a parent and coach. All of that is invaluable, and he’s really a good fit to our institution here at Trinity.”
A native of Cumberland, R.I., Gibbs, 57, is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire. He started his coaching career in 2004 as a boys’ basketball assistant at Bishop Guertin. After four seasons in that role, he became head coach of the girls’ varsity in 2008. In his first season, the Cardinals were 3-15. The next two seasons, they produced consecutive 10-8 records, reaching the quarterfinals each year.
At NHTI, Gibbs had his best season in 2011-12, when he led the Lynx to a 20-11 season and a runner-up finish in the Yankee Small College Conference Tournament.
A resident of Bedford, Gibbs just completed a 30-year career working for various telephone companies.
“One of the things which appealed to me about Trinity is the school has a strong commitment and feeling towards community and family,” Gibbs said.
Gibbs won’t have the benefit of standout guard Amanda Torres, who is transferring to Proctor Academy in Andover, but he doesn’t believe Trinity’s cupboard is bare.
“It’s not even close to the situation I was in when I first took over the program at Bishop Guertin and won just three games,” he said. “I believe we have a good, strong group of young players coming back, and we should be competitive. I also want everyone to know it’s going to be nice for once to have the advantage of playing home games at Trinity. As an opposing coach, I can tell you Trinity was one of the most difficult places to play.”
AFTER preseason worries that it again wouldn’t have enough players to field a Senior Division team, Jutras Post of Manchester opened the American Legion baseball season this week with a roster of 16.
“Many of them can play different positions, and we have some players who can hit the ball,” said Peter Bissonnette, the team’s head coach. “We lack pitching depth, and that will come to the surface when we play three or four consecutive games without a day off.”
The roster breakdown includes nine players from Manchester High West, three from Memorial, two from Central one each from the Derryfield School and Trinity. The starting rotation features righthanders Jordan Bussiere, Sam Kasten, Aaron Welch and Tim Spaulding. Welch played Legion ball for Bedford last season, when Jutras didn’t have enough players to field a team.
The two Central players are Nick Tyler, who spent the spring with the Little Green’s junior varsity, and Riley Cote, a 2013 graduate. Kasten is a Trinity graduate who played for Post 79 last year.
Dylan Bissonnette of West, who was named to the Division II All-State third team this past season, is the team’s starting catcher. Nate Knoetig, Ray Voisine and Nick Cenatiempo Sr. are the team’s assistant coaches.
Jutras will play a district game tonight at Gill Stadium against Milford beginning at 7. At noon today, the Sweeney Post Junior Division team will host Salem at Gill.
DOMINIQUE Pascoal’s final throw as a Manchester Central athlete landed far enough to earn her second place second in the javelin at the New England Interscholastic Outdoor Track and Field Championships last weekend, but she fouled on the throw and wound up placing sixth.
“You can’t step over the front or side line,” Pascoal said. “When I landed after the throw, my toe brushed the sideline, and (officials) disqualified my throw. I knew right when it happened, and it stinks. But I’m not going to dwell on it because I feel I had a great season and ended my career at Central on a high note.”
Pascoal, who received her diploma during Central’s graduation ceremonies after the regional meet at Bridgewater (Mass.) State University, earlier placed second in the javelin at the NHIAA Division I meet and earned a state title with a throw of 124 feet 2 inches during the NHIAA Meet of Champions.
Giving it her all on her final throw at the New Englands, she hurled the javelin 131 feet, but the violation caused her to settle for a distance of 122-3.
She plans to continue her track and field career at Keene State College, where she also hopes to play basketball. In the meantime, she has one 2014 competition among high-school-age athletes: the 38th New Hampshire State Pentathlon, which takes place along with the boys’ 58th State Decathlon today and tomorrow at Nashua High South.
“I’ll do fine in the throwing events,” she said. “The 100(-meter) hurdles and 800-meter run will be tough because I just haven’t done many running events. But it’ll be fun just to do it.”
The Fisher Cats and Citizens Bank announced this week that Manchester South Little League has been chosen as the inaugural winner in the “Take the Show on the Road” promotion.
Today at 9 a.m., the Fisher Cats will bring their inflatable games, mascot, public address announcer, promo team, and turf manager from Northeast Delta Dental Stadium to the Manchester South Little League Farm League All-Star Game at Precourt Park, located off South Willow Street. The first 200 fans to attend today’s game will receive a Fisher Cats hat.
“City Sports” is published Saturdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter John Habib at email@example.com.