IT’S NOT the Eastern League, but baseball will be played at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium this week.
The New Hampshire Summer Showcase, a 12-team wooden bat tournament, will begin Thursday with four games at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium — home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats — and two at the Derryfield School. There will also be two games at Gill Stadium on both Saturday and Sunday.
The tournament features eight New Hampshire teams, two from Maine and two from Massachusetts. Each team is made up of players who graduated from high school this year, or are scheduled to graduate in the next three years.
“When everything went haywire (with COVID-19) we called up the Fisher Cats to see if we could partner for some type of event,” said tournament director Matt Bouchard, who also serves as the director of baseball operations for the New Hampshire Prospects. “With so many tournaments being canceled, this gives kids a chance to be seen by college coaches. We have one team entered that has seven Division I commitments.”
Each team will play four nine-inning games — one each day — leading up to Monday’s championship game, which will be played at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (9 a.m.). There is no charge to attend, but spectators who attend games at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium are asked to use the stadium’s back entrance. Masks are recommended, but not required.
8 a.m.: Concord Cannons vs. North East Baseball (NH) (NEDD)
10:30 a.m.: Nashua vs. New Hampshire Prospects 1 (NEDD)
1 p.m.: Mack 98 vs. Southern Maine River Rats 1 (NEDD)
3:30 p.m.: NE Wildcats 1 vs Nor’ Easter RunBirds (NEDD)
8 a.m.: Northeast Wildcats 2 vs. Nokona (Derryfield School)
10:30 a.m.: New Hampshire Prospects 2 vs. Southern Maine River Rats 2
Maine Maritime Academy announced last Friday that it had suspended its football program indefinitely while the school’s administration reviews the financial impact COVID-19 will have on the school and its athletic programs. This is relevant here because Maine Maritime, a Division III program located in Castine, Maine, that competes in the NEWMAC, typically has at least a handful of New Hampshire residents on its roster.
Maine Maritime’s 2019 roster included the following New Hampshire residents: quarterback Nik Moquin (Goffstown), running back Jacob Grassett (Amherst), running back Josh Thrasher (Candia), defensive back Brodie Messer (Sutton), defensive lineman Aidan Plumpton (Northwood), offensive lineman Josh Koellmer (Bedford) and wide receiver Tate Cooper (North Hampton). All seven players were eligible to return to the team this fall.
To play or not to play? That’s the question school boards are wrestling with these days regarding the fall high school sports season.
As the parent of a rising sophomore involved in high school athletics, the feeling here is the benefits of playing sports far outweigh any added risk. Plus, playing a sport is still voluntary. It’s not as if those who don’t feel safe are forced to participate. Why take that option away from those who do want to play?
We want football, not political football.
The Carolina Hurricanes left a playoff roster spot open for former University of New Hampshire defenseman Brett Pesce, who is recovering from shoulder surgery and isn’t expected to be cleared for contact until later this month.
Pesce, 25, collected 18 points (four goals) in 61 games during the regular season. He is one of three former UNH players who plays for Carolina, joining left wing Warren Foegele and defenseman Trevor vanRiemsdyk.
Nashua North running back/quarterback/defensive back Curtis Harris-Lopez picked up an offer from Merrimack College last week. It’s his fifth Division I offer.
Harris, who will be a senior in the fall, also has offers from UNH, Sacred Heart, Central Connecticut and Fordham.
Will there be a Queen City Jamboree this year? Even if the Manchester public high schools are allowed to play football this fall, Manchester Central football coach Ryan Ray said the QCJ is far from a sure thing.
“If we get the green light to play we would love to do something, but we don’t even know if we’ll be allowed to scrimmage other teams,” Ray said. “I wouldn’t say 100 percent no, but it’s unlikely.”
A decision on whether or not Central, West and Memorial will be allowed to have a football season could be made at next Monday night’s school board meeting.