CHIP POLAK hasn’t always been a New Hampshire guy, but it sure seems that way. Polak, who is originally from New York, has been involved in New Hampshire athletics since 1976. He held multiple roles — including the director of athletics position — at New Hampshire College/Southern New Hampshire University before moving to Trinity High School as the school’s AD in 2013.
His time in New Hampshire athletics is winding down, however. Polak, who will be 69 in August, will retire at the end of the school year. He said he’ll keep busy doing something on a part-time basis, although at this time he’s unsure what that will be.
“It’s just time,” Polak said when asked about his decision to retire. “I always said I couldn’t work a nine-to-five job, but I could work from 7:30 in the morning until the games ended at night. The games were great. That gave me my competitive fix.”
When asked what he’ll remember most about his time at Trinity, Polak mentioned the Division III boys’ lacrosse championship the school won in 2015, and the return of varsity football last season after a one-year hiatus because of a lack of experienced players in the program.
“The lacrosse championship was a tremendous accomplishment,” he said. “And I thought the return of football was very important.”
Polak grew up in Queens and got his Catholic education at Fordham Prep. He said the education Trinity provides and the size of the school (about 300 students) were among the things that made the Trinity AD job attractive to him when he left SNHU.
Mike Connell, Trinity’s ice hockey coach, will replace Polak as the school’s AD. Connell, who is a Trinity graduate, will continue to coach the hockey team as well.
“Like all great coaches, he really cares for the kids,” Polak said. “He’s gonna do a great job.”
The challenges ahead? They include decisions about what division to join in various sports — decisions that will have to be made this fall. Trinity currently competes in Division III in all sports except hockey, basketball and baseball, which are all in Division I.
Trinity will undoubtedly get a boost from the turf fields that are going in at Derryfield Park, which is home to Trinity’s soccer, lacrosse and softball teams. The Trinity football team could be playing its home games there as early as this fall as well.
“We feel (turf) fields will attract athletes,” he said. “Managing those fields will represent a challenge in a good sense.
“Then there’s the challenge of building up some of the teams. In basketball you only need one good player you can build around. Basketball is a city sport and we’re a city school. It’s a little tougher in other sports. Decisions will have to be made.”
July 31 is technically Polak’s last day on the job, but most of his work will be done once the school year ends.
“I just hope I added a touch of professionalism,” he said. “That’s what I do. I’m an AD.”
Here’s one change we’d like to see next spring: Move the NHIAA baseball and softball schedules from Monday/Wednesday/Friday to Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. At the very least make Saturday games a regular part of the schedule, which would allow parents and other fans to attend more games. It’s not easy for a working parent to see a 4 p.m. game during a weekday — especially when their son or daughter is playing on the road.
Brandon Dufault (Windham), Cody Morissette (Exeter) and Wes Tobin (Portsmouth) are among the New Hampshire residents who will be playing in the Cape Cod League this summer. Dufault will play for the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox, and Morissette will join Tobin on the Bourne Braves.
Dufault, a right-handed pitcher who played at Windham High School, appeared in 22 games (eight starts) for Northeastern this season. He had a 1-2 record with three saves and a 5.40 ERA in 55 innings. He struck out 47 and did not allow a home run.
Morissette, a freshman second baseman for Boston College, helped Exeter High School win the Division I championship in 2017 and 2018. He hit .320 for BC and led the Eagles with 20 doubles and 41 RBIs. He was an All-ACC Second Team selection.
Tobin, a starting pitcher for Southern New Hampshire University, went 8-3 with two complete games and a 2.67 ERA during his junior season. He recorded 99 strikeouts (21 walks) in 84 1/3 innings.
ICYMI: Bow’s Evan Vulgamore went 2 for 3 with a home run and a triple to help the Quinnipiac baseball team defeat No. 10 East Carolina 5-4 in the NCAA Division I tournament Saturday. Not only was it Quinnipiac’s first NCAA tournament victory, it also set a program record for victories in a season (30).
Vulgamore, a third baseman who played at Bow High School, had a team-high 53 RBIs after Saturday’s game.
A reminder that the CHaD New Hampshire East-West All-Star Game will be played June 29 at the University of New Hampshire. The game will feature many of the top high school football players in the state who graduate this year.