It’s never hard to find news of former Londonderry High School student/athletes who have moved on to do impressive things in collegiate athletics and in college in general. And that’s true of the 2013-14 school year.
Former LHS ice hockey stalwart Ryan Callahan gained notice this winter in his recently-completed freshman season among the Plymouth State University icemen, who went 14-11-2 overall for coach and PSU graduate Craig Russell.
Callahan, who played high school hockey in an LHS uniform before moving on to the Middlesex (Mass.) Islanders’ junior team, played in 23 of the PSU Panthers’ contests this past winter, tallying a modest seven points with two goals and five assists.
The freshman forward and his Plymouth State teammates headed into the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference (MASCAC) championship game with a sizzling nine-game undefeated streak rolling (7-0-2). But they were felled by the Salem State Vikings in the title contest by a 5-1 count, with Callahan potting the lone PSU goal.
Callahan and the Panthers posted an excellent 11-5-2 record in the MASCAC but didn’t manage to collect the much-desired crown by sliding past Salem State in the championship battle.
And speaking of former LHS athletes who went on to make sports news at Plymouth State, ex-Londonderry High hoop stalwart Kenny Stewart was part of the university’s 2003-04 basketball team that was honored by the PSU athletic community recently on the 10th anniversary of its notching the most wins in the men’s program’s history.
Stewart was an assistant coach under head guy John Scheinman on that Panthers’ team, which posted a 24-6 overall record and a fine 11-3 mark in the Little East Conference. Scheinman and Stewart saw their charges win their first seven games and 14 of their first 15 en route to the record-setting campaign.
Stewart, who also wound up serving as an assistant coach at Londonderry High for a handful of years under head coaches Jim Zorbas and Jeff Gustavson, had a stellar senior year for the LHS Lancers (456 points, 161 assists) and eventually had a great on-court senior campaign for Plymouth State, helping to lead his Panthers to the Little East championship game against Western Connecticut State.
Stewart applied for the LHS head boys’ basketball coaching job prior to the 2013-14 campaign, but that job went to Salem High graduate Nate Stanton, who took the Lancers as far as the Division I tournament quarterfinals and ended up being named the D-I Coach of the Year.
And in Colchester, Vt., at Saint Michael’s College, former LHS standout athlete and academic star Courtney Bedell finished off a superb four-year field hockey career in the fall. But just recently the Londonderry High grad learned that her tremendous prowess in the classrooms at Saint Mike’s have earned her a noteworthy honor.
Bedell – whose younger sister Alexa has been a soccer and lacrosse standout at LHS for the last four years and is leaning toward moving on to Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester following graduation this spring – was one of 18 members of the Saint Michael’s field hockey team who qualified for the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Collegiate Division II National Academic Squad. And she and her fellow Lady Purple Knights earned an NFHCA Collegiate National Academic Team Award as a group for a stunning 10th consecutive year.
Seniors Bedell and Kelly Celata of Dedham, Mass., were among 29 players to land on the National Academic Squad for the fourth time in their careers. The National Academic Squad recognizes student-athletes who have achieved a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.30 through the first semester of the 2013-14 academic year, while the team award recognizes programs that achieved a minimum 3.0 GPA during the first semester.
The LHS graduate – who is an economics major – was a captain during her senior season on the Saint Michael’s field hockey team, starting all 18 games and showing her versatility by playing at back and midfield as needed.