While neither the Londonderry High School softball nor baseball squads got quite as close to a state championship as either would have liked, both contingents had quite a bit of the talent on their rosters recognized with all-state honors after the season had been completed.
The Lady Lancer softball crew had three players garner all-state honors, and the coach made a great case for the fact that at least one more of his charges probably should have. And the LHS baseball squad had four of his highly-deserving players collect all-state recognition.
All three of the Lady Lancer players who received all-state honors were pre-seniors, a fact that bodes well for what the 2017 LHS contingent might look like and achieve next spring.
Junior infielder and co-captain Elizabeth DeVoss was named a Second-Team All-Stater after leading her team in home runs with three and finishing with a great batting average (.367) and plenty of runs batted in (12).
Sophomore outfielder Lauren Misiaszek – whose dad, Peter, was a multi-sport star and a baseball-bashing stalwart at LHS for four years several decades ago – showed that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree by collecting Second-Team All-State honors herself after batting at a .339 clip with 11 runs batted in.
And Misiaszek’s fellow standout 10th-grader – the versatile Ila Brown – was named an Honorable Mention selection after a stellar 2016 season. She posted a 9-2 pitching record with a 2.27 earned run average over 84 innings. Brown struck out batters 100 times, and when she had a bat in her own hands she led the team in RBI with 19 and hit .373, which was good for second on the team.
But coach Wayne MacDougall felt strongly that another Londonderry High sophomore should have received all-state recognition as well.
“Interestingly enough, my best hitter was Sarah Fawcett, who batted .538 and had an on-base percentage of .607,” he said. “That’s the second highest batting average I’ve ever had in 20 years of varsity coaching. Only Lindsey Bolduc at .543 had a higher average for a single season. I nominated Sarah for all-state at our meeting, but she didn’t get enough votes.”
The Lancer hardball team’s all-state selections included first-teamer Jimmy Zimolka, second-teamer Jonny Meskell, and honorable mention recipients Noah Tavano and Ricky Perry.
Of senior outfielder Zimolka, LHS coach Brent Demas said, “On the field he was one of the most talented players. Very fast, instinctual, and passionate. He had 61 hits in two years, a very impressive feat.”
Regarding the versatile Meskell, Demas stated, “The soul of the team. Jonny excelled at third base even though it is not his natural position. The hope is that he returns to catching after his off-season surgery. At the plate and mentally, Jonny has made major strides. He is a special player and plays the game with fire.”
Speaking of reliable senior left-handed pitcher Tavano, who had two older brothers play in the LHS baseball program before him, Demas said, “Noah made a huge jump from his junior to his senior season. He went from the bullpen to the number one starter and had a great year. He controlled three pitches with great control and was very difficult to hit.”
And regarding his youngest all-stater – sophomore Perry – Demas stated, “Ricky’s work ethic was the kind you wish every kid would emulate. He started 0-21 on the season, and rather than give in to pressure and going off to work with some hitting coach, he asked (assistant) coach (Jimmy) Lauzon to work with him and a tee after practice. The patience paid off and he went 15 for his next 22 to finish the year as one of our better hitters. Defensively, he was solid most of the time, only making a few ‘young’ mistakes that he will play through.”