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Roger Brown's State of Sports: Field may be wide open this week in Portsmouth

By ROGER BROWN
August 12. 2018 10:17PM



THE NEW Hampshire Women’s Golf Association may get something this week it has lacked in most years: a nail-biting finish in the NHWGA Amateur Championship being held at Portsmouth Country Club.

For the longest time, Rye’s Dana Harrity owned this 54-hole event. Harrity, a member at Abenaqui Country Club, has won the tournament a record 16 times and claimed the championship 10 times in a 16-year span from 1989 to 2004.

Merrimack’s Chelsea Sedlar has been the tournament’s dominant player in the last two years. Sedlar, a Nashua Country Club member who will be a senior on the Sacred Heart golf team in the fall, won the NHWGA Amateur Championship by 11 strokes in 2016 and by five strokes last year.

This year’s tournament, which begins this morning, figures to be a bit more competitive, however. In addition to the usual suspects like Harrity — she last won this event in 2014 — and Sedlar, the field includes Nashua Country Club’s Tracy Martin and Portsmouth Country Club’s Shivani Vora.

Martin, who played competitive golf at the University of Richmond, won this event in 2013, but shifted her focus away from competitive golf shortly thereafter. Vora, 13, made headlines when she won this year’s NHWGA Junior Championship by 12 strokes at Intervale Country Club. She’ll have the advantage of playing on her home course.

“In my head I’d say there’s about five people who have me on high alert, and there’s another 10 who can pull low rounds,” Sedlar said. “If they can put those low rounds together …

“I see (Martin) on the range and we’re friendly, but I’ve never played a round with her. Portsmouth is (Vora’s) home course. She probably plays there every day, so she has insight the rest of us don’t.”

This year’s field also includes Derryfield Country Club’s Tara Watt, who won the NHWGA Amateur Championship in 2011 at the Golf Club of New England in Stratham. Sedlar could become the first player to win this tournament in three consecutive years since Harrity prevailed in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

“If I’m leading by 10 after the first round I wouldn’t be too upset, but I definitely agree that having more competitive women in the tournament is good for the game,” Sedlar said. “The way I look at it is if I’m playing with the best, I’m making myself better.

“Hopefully it’ll come down to the final day and we’ll see what happens.”

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New Hampshire lost one of its most decorated athletes last month with the passing of Laconia’s George “Jeep” Munsey at age 88. Munsey, a 1948 Laconia High School graduate, was inducted into the school’s initial hall of fame, and his athletic resume is a lengthy one:

He lettered in four sports in high school (football, basketball, baseball and track) and served as the captain for each team. He was an All-State selection in football and baseball.

After a stint in the Navy, Munsey attended Hebron (Maine) Academy, where he was the captain of the football and basketball teams.

Munsey was also a multi-sport athlete at the University of New Hampshire, where he was a co-captain of an undefeated freshman football team. He was also a three-year varsity football player (running back, defensive back, punter) and was a co-captain on the UNH team that earned a share of the Yankee Conference title in his senior year. He also played varsity basketball and freshman baseball at UNH.

Munsey took up golf later in life, and finished as the runner-up in the 1961 Laconia Country Club club championship.

Jim Munsey, one of Jeep’s five children, is a Durham resident who works as a baseball agent and represented former Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

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Merrimack’s Mickey Gasper entered Sunday’s game against the Burlington Royals ranked second in home runs on the Appalachian League’s Pulaski (Va.) Yankees. Gasper, who has been playing first base, had seven homers — one behind the team leader — in 98 at-bats.

The New York Yankees selected Gasper in the 20th round of this year’s draft. He was primarily a catcher at Merrimack High School and at Bryant University. Pulaski is an Advanced Rookie League team.

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A reminder that the Queen City Jamboree will be held a week from Friday, on Aug. 24, at Gill Stadium. This year’s matchups:

3:30 p.m.: Trinity vs. Manchester West

4:30: Timberlane vs. Goffstown

5:30: Milford vs. Concord

6:30: Souhegan vs. Manchester Central

7:30: Salem vs. Bedford

8:30: Bishop Guertin vs. Manchester Memorial

There will also be a freshman jamboree at Gill Stadium on Aug. 23. Merrimack, Salem, Nashua North, Winnacunnet, Pinkerton, Bedford, Nashua South, Central, Concord, Memorial, Exeter and Goffstown will participate in that event.

The jamboree season will kick off in Hanover on Aug. 21 with the Upper Valley Jamboree at Hanover High School. In addition to Hanover, Lebanon, Newport, Plymouth and Monadnock, the Upper Valley Jamboree will include two Vermont teams: Hartford (White River Junction) and Burr and Burton (Manchester).

Proceeds from the Upper Valley Jamboree will be donated to the Special Olympics and the New Hampshire Football Officials’ Association Scholarship Fund.

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Three members of the St. Anselm College baseball team helped the Jamestown Jammers win the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League title by beating the Amsterdam Mohawks on Wednesday in the third game of a best-of-three series.

Pitchers Preston Yerrington and J.J. Dunn, and catcher Max Silverman are the St. Anselm players who were on the roster. Yerrington is from Manchester, Dunn grew up in Nashua and now lives in Amherst, and Silverman resides in Westford, Mass.

Yerrington and Dunn were juniors with St. Anselm last season. Silverman was a freshman.

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Former John Stark Regional quarterback Parker McQuarrie received a scholarship offer from the University of Pittsburgh on Saturday. McQuarrie, who will attend St. Paul’s School in Concord this fall, also has offers from Boston College, Rutgers, Michigan and Rhode Island. Drew McQuarrie, Parker’s brother, is a defensive lineman at Boston College.

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If you’re a certain age, it was probably hard to read this week’s news about UNH breaking ground on a soccer/lacrosse facility without recalling when that space was occupied by the school’s varsity baseball team. UNH eliminated baseball, men’s lacrosse and its men’s and women’s golf programs in 1996.

rbrown@unionleader.com


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