There are 4 newsworthy items to report that involve Souhegan athletics. The girls basketball team has a new coach, one of their boys basketball players is moving to Chicago, on athlete who plays football and basketball is going prep and one incoming freshman who plays football and basketball is going to a different school. Keep reading for all of the details.
Faulkner Hired as New Girls Hoops Coach
On paper Souhegan will be on the short list of contenders for the Division II girls basketball title next year. And yet up until just the other day the team was without a coach. That all changed yesterday, as Souhegan hired Jeremy Faulkner as its new girls basketball head coach.
For 2 of the Sabers top returning players, playing for Coach Faulkner is nothing new. Incoming juniors Jane White and Ceara McNamara are playing for him right now as members of the NE Shooting Stars 15U National Team.
Faulkner has spent the past several years as a coach for the Shooting Stars program. He coached there alongside Dennis Reed for the last several years. Reed coached the girls programs at Lndonderry, Trinity, Timberlane and Calvary Christian from 1995 - 2006. Through Reed, Faulkner has become very well connected with girls hoops in the southern New Hampshire area.
Faulkner steps into a very good situation. Souhegan and Alvirne were the two most coveted girls jobs in the state this offseason. Kennett won the Class I championship last year and has their 2 star guards both coming back (Allie Wagner & Melissa Frase), but I expect the Sabers to give them a run for their money. In addition to White and McNamara, Souhegan will have seniors Christan Wojtas, Lauren Cordts and Taylor Cordts (who will be returning from the torn ACL injury she suffered last season).
In addition to Kennett and Souhegan, I also expect Oyster River, Portsmouth and Lebanon to contend for the D-II girls basketball title next spring.
Nelson Moving to Chicago
Jack Nelson, a starting guard for Souhegan's boys basketball team, is moving to Chicago. Nelson will be a junior this year and would have bee key member of a Sabers that I had previously projected as a top 3 team in Division II come March.
The 5'10" Nelson can play either the 1 or the 2 position. He's at his best when he gets out on the break ahead of the basketball and gets it on the wing. He's then a serious threat to score either by hitting the outside shot or taking it to the rim. Nelson has good quickness and fit in well with the other Souhegan players. Him, Devin Gilligan, Seth Cordts and Ryan Redmond have been playing together for a long time and have good chemistry out on the court.
With Nelson gone The Sabers should still be a top 5 or 6 team in the division. Players who will now have to step up in his absence include Nick Hession, Zach Simmonds, Brandon Len and Nick Calvetti.
Crowell Transfers to Worcester Academy
Wes Crowell, who played football and basketball during his first 3 years at Souhegan, is transferring to Worcester Academy. Crowell will reclassify and join the Class of 2012.
Crowell is a potential scholarship football player and is expected to play football at Worcester. He is about 6'6", maybe 6'7" and is well over 250 lbs. The kid is a beast offensive line, and might also play on the d-line as well at the prep level.
He will be missed next season by both the football and basketball teams at Souhegan. I had the Sabers ranked #7 in my preliminary power rankings. Crowell was one of their top returning players though, so this will definitely hurt them. I still expect them to win the NH Division III title, but don't be surprised if they lose 1 or 2 games along the way.
On the basketball side, I doubt he will play at Worcester Academy, instead focusing on football and academics. If he stayed at Souhegan though, he likely would have gotten some decent minutes off the bench. On the court his game is raw, but he brings good size, physical play and rebounding. With Crowell out, I expect sophomores Jake Kennedy and Sean McGrath to see more minutes inside for the Sabers.
Knight Headed to South
Despite the fact that he's an Amherst resident, incoming freshman Trevor night will be attending Nashua South instead of Souhegan. Knight is a very talented quarterback and a pretty good basketball player as well. He is considered one of the top players in his class at both sports.
Knight's father Scott is the head football coach at South. Trevor Knight will have the opportunity to play quarterback for his father for 3 years. Keith Farkas will be the Purple Panthers starting QB next season, as he is a potential Division I college prospect. In the fall of 2011 though, the job could be Knight's. This is a good situation for him, as Trevor will be able to play JV as a freshman and then likely take over the QB job for the next 3 years.
With this move, it's Souhegan's loss but Nashua South's gain.