Soccer Duo Wheeler and West Collect All-State Honors

The Londonderry High School varsity boys’ soccer squad’s 2016 season was quite a roller-coaster ride for the Lancers. But after making an early exit from the Division I tournament, the local booters ended up with several reasons for celebration during the post-season period.

LHS senior goalie Cam Wheeler and senior midfielder Jayden West both received Division I All-State Honorable Mention recognition from that league’s coaches for their noteworthy and important contributions to their 8-8-1 contingent’s up-and-down campaign.

The Londonderry High crew had posted a 2-2 record through its first five matches, but it was a very solid 5-2-1 through eight contests.

However, the LHS squad then dropped four consecutive decisions to Salem, Timberlane of Plaistow, Bedford, and Manchester Central in falling below the .500 mark to 5-6-1. Timberlane, Bedford, and Central all ended up being top-five finishers in Division I.

Londonderry then bounced back to the .500 mark with a defeat of the Dover High Green Wave, but a tough 1-0 loss to the Keene High Blackbirds dropped the Lancers to 6-7-1 with their fifth loss in six matches.

But future all-staters Wheeler and West and their teammates defeated Manchester Memorial and Nashua North in their last two regular season matches to finish up at 8-7-1.

That record got the Londonderry High legion the number eight seed in the Division I tournament, but the Lancers weren’t involved in the tourney for long as they lost a 3-1 opening-round decision to a ninth-seeded Memorial Crusaders – who Londonderry had bested days earlier – which wound up looking like the Cinderella team of 2016.

The Memorial Crusaders went on to upset both number one Bedford and the fourth-ranked Concord High Crimson Tide by 1-0 scores in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively before getting hammered by sixth-ranked Exeter by a 5-0 score in the state finals.

Despite the early end to the challenging 2016 campaign, the honors received by standouts Wheeler and West following the season gave the LHS Lancers reasons to be proud.

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