Monitor Sports recognizes Spring 2024 Players of the Season

Hopkinton captain Cam Bassett was named the Division III Defensive Player of the Year.

Hopkinton captain Cam Bassett was named the Division III Defensive Player of the Year. Chip Griffin / Photos By Chip

Kearsarge’s Graham West (front) and Liam Miller (back) had an 11-3 doubles record this season, reaching the final four of the state doubles tournament and leading the Cougars to their fourth consecutive D-III finals appearance.

Kearsarge’s Graham West (front) and Liam Miller (back) had an 11-3 doubles record this season, reaching the final four of the state doubles tournament and leading the Cougars to their fourth consecutive D-III finals appearance. JOSHUA SPAULDING / Salmon Press

Bishop Brady’s Josh Gentchos won Division III titles in the 100 meters, 200 and 4x100 relay, setting a state record in the 100 and a D-III record in the 4x100, while finished runner-up in the 100 and 200 at New Englands.

Bishop Brady’s Josh Gentchos won Division III titles in the 100 meters, 200 and 4x100 relay, setting a state record in the 100 and a D-III record in the 4x100, while finished runner-up in the 100 and 200 at New Englands. JAY SMITH / NHXCTF

Hopkinton’s Maddy Lane won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, and ran on the winning 4x800 relay to lead the Hawks to the Division III title.

Hopkinton’s Maddy Lane won the 1,600 and 3,200 meters, and ran on the winning 4x800 relay to lead the Hawks to the Division III title. JAY SMITH / NHXCTF

Concord pitcher Maddy Wachter posted an ERA of just 0.73 for the Tide during the 2024 season.

Concord pitcher Maddy Wachter posted an ERA of just 0.73 for the Tide during the 2024 season. Chip Griffin / Photos By Chip

Anthony Paolicelli helped guide the Generals to a 17-2 season, both on the mound and at the plate.

Anthony Paolicelli helped guide the Generals to a 17-2 season, both on the mound and at the plate. Chip Griffin / Photos By Chip

Senior Olivia Selleck capped off her final season at Bow scoring 96 goals across the Falcons’ 19 games.

Senior Olivia Selleck capped off her final season at Bow scoring 96 goals across the Falcons’ 19 games. Chip Griffin / Photos By Chip

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL and DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 06-14-2024 9:07 AM

From top-tier pitching and hitting to prolific scoring, stout defense and incredible athleticism, the Spring 2024 season saw numerous standout student-athletes in the Concord area.

Here are the Monitor’s Players of the Season:

Baseball

Anthony Paolicelli – John Stark Generals

The Franklin Pierce baseball commit was a central piece to John Stark’s 17-2 season. On the mound, the lefty posted a 9-0 record, a 1.16 ERA and allowed just 18 hits while striking out 116 hitters in 54 ⅓ innings pitched. At the plate, he also filled up the stat sheet, hitting .469 with four home runs, 27 RBIs, 18 runs and 13 stolen bases. He also had six doubles, three triples, an on-base percentage of .526 and a slugging percentage of .813.

“Anthony is a unique blend of confidence and humbleness, whose main goal in everything he does is for his team to win,” said John Stark head coach Dennis Pelletier. “When your best player is also the hardest worker on and off the field, it sets an incredible example for the rest of the team. That has been a huge part of our team’s success this season. Our group is a big family, and he’s been a great leader for us. Pitching, hitting, base-running, fielding and the support he has for his teammates. It’s just been amazing to witness and be a part of.”

Softball

Maddy Wachter – Concord Crimson Tide

Relying almost exclusively on Wachter’s right arm this season, the senior delivered every time she stepped foot in the circle.

She posted an 11-4 record, threw 11 complete games and 95 ⅔ innings pitched, while posting a 0.73 ERA and striking out 188 but only allowing 49 hits and 12 walks. She also pitched an eight-inning no-hitter on her Senior Night against Spaulding.

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“Maddy got better every year because pitching is her passion, so she worked hard every offseason,” Concord head coach Duke Sawyer said. “She always competed and pitched with a lot of confidence. Nothing seemed to bother her, and (she) always took responsibility when mistakes were made. Never publicly or privately did she point the finger at her teammates.”

Wachter was named the Division I Pitcher of the Year and the New Hampshire Gatorade Player of the Year. She will continue her softball career next season at Bryant University.

“Maddy was just a great role model for our program – she works with a lot of younger pitchers in the area, and I know they want to be ‘just like Maddy,’” Sawyer said. “She showed them that with a lot of hard work and just being a good person who gives back (you) can be named the best softball player in New Hampshire.”

Girls’ lacrosse

Olivia Selleck – Bow Falcons

Filling the void Alex Larrabee left behind after graduating last season was never going to be easy, but Selleck filled that void and then some.

She scored 96 goals on 130 shots, while totaling 48 assists and winning 147 draw controls. Her career totals of 261 goals, 135 assists, 369 draw controls and 396 total points all broke Larrabee’s program records—though Larrabee lost her freshman season due to COVID-19.

The senior midfielder helped lead the way for a Bow team that finished the season 16-3 and reached at least the Division III semifinals in each of the last three years.

Selleck’s lacrosse career will continue next year at Bucknell University.

Boys’ lacrosse

Cameron Bassett – Hopkinton Hawks

The D-III Defensive Player of the Year, Bassett was the fifth Hawk in the last seven seasons to win that award. During a season that saw Hopkinton reach at least the D-III semifinals for the ninth consecutive year under head coach Deacon Blue, Bassett anchored the back line.

He totaled one goal, one assist, 55 ground balls and 53 caused turnovers.

“Cam is a phenomenal lacrosse player, and has for four years been the leader of one of the toughest defenses in our division,” Blue said.” He is consistently able to land hard, surgical stick checks, causing several turnovers per game. He is dominant in transition, plucking up groundballs with ease while under pressure, creating fast break opportunities and leading our team through loud and clear communication. He has even made himself a threat on offense, often pushing the ball and getting goals, assists or second assists. He is a dedicated team player and well-rounded athlete.

“Cam’s achievements extend beyond the lacrosse field. Academics are paramount in his life, and he excels in his coursework at one of the top public schools in the state. He spends much of his time working at his family’s apple orchard and volunteers to get food onto the plates of those in need through two local food pantries. He was a senior captain of the varsity soccer team, and was honored with the sportsmanship award in the same season. He also earned the sportsmanship award on both the Nordic and Alpine ski teams, and placed third in the running for Skimeister. Cam has had an incredibly positive impact on our team and school.”

Boys’ tennis

Graham West and Liam Miller – Kearsarge Cougars

There was no better duo on the court in the Capital Area than Miller and West this season. After leading the No. 2 Cougars (15-2) to their fourth straight Division III finals appearance (Kearsarge lost to Plymouth, 6-3, in the final), Miller and West made another deep tournament run in the state doubles tournament, winning three matches and advancing all the way to the final four. Miller and West, both juniors, not only advanced the furthest out of regional players, they were the only D-III pair to make it to the quarterfinals.

Thanks to a strong service game and their ability to strategize well together, Miller and West compiled an 11-3 doubles record, while also playing in the No. 1 and No. 2 singles spots. West went 8-4 in the No. 1 spot, while Miller, who was sidelined for the first few matches due to an offseason injury, went 7-0 at No. 2.

“They have good chemistry on the court, they both have good serves,” said Kearsarge head coach Lynn Miller (no relation to Liam). “I saw Graham and Liam play the best doubles of their high school career in the state (doubles) tournament in the first three matches, and probably the best doubles I’ve seen in my nine years coaching the Kearsarge boys and there’s still room for improvement.”

Girls’ tennis

Tori Montagna – Kearsarge Cougars

It was a rebuilding year for the Cougars, but Kearsarge could always count on its lone senior and No. 1 player.

Montagna went 12-2 in singles play in the regular season and won a narrow 9-8 (7-2) victory against Bishop Brady’s Laura Yap in the opening round of the state singles tournament. Montagna and Yap were the only two players from the Capital Area selected for the state tournament, and Montagna was just one of two Division III players to make it to the round of 16.

Montagna, who went 6-6 in doubles play this season, played a key role in helping Kearsarge win the 2022 D-III title. The Cougars may have gone 3-11 this season, but thanks to Montagna’s leadership as captain, expect the Kearsarge girls to back in the mix in the not too distant future.

“She was a player who led her teammates by example with a tremendous work ethic,” her head coach Bubba Williams said. “Her attitude during matches was one that would wear down her opponents with many of her matches lasting at least an hour or longer. Despite our team struggling at times Tori’s constant positive support of her teammates kept them all feeling good about themselves and the team no matter the outcome of the matches. Her leadership proved to be invaluable and her abilities speak for itself.”

Boys’ track & field

Josh Gentchos – Bishop Brady Green Giants

Gentchos defended his D-III titles in the 100-meter dash, 200 meters and 4x100-meter relay, won the 100 and 200 titles at the Meet of Champions, and capped his season by breaking the state record in the 100 (10.68 seconds) at New Englands where he finished second in both sprinting events.

At the D-III championship, Gentchos anchored the Giants 4x100 relay in a record-breaking performance of 43.25 seconds. He also broke the 100 D-III record and state record in a blistering time of 10.65 seconds, although there was too much of a tail wind for the record to stand.

Gentchos capped his day with a victory in the 200 (22.23 seconds) helping Brady secure sixth place with 38 points. Gentchos was responsible for 22.5 of them.

At New Englands, Gentchos’ 100 time of 10.68 (run with a legal wind) officially gave him the state record, narrowly finishing second to Marshwood, Maine’s Andre Clark (10.59). He also finished second in the 200 (21.96 seconds) and ran the anchor leg on the 16th-place 4x100 with teammates Joshua-Stephen Bissah, Alan Yap and Seamus McIntyre.

Gentchos graduated from Brady with four outdoor track program records (100, 200, 4x100, 4x200) and six indoor track program records (60, 300, 4x160, 4x200, 4x400 and long jump), and will continue sprinting at the NCAA Division I level at College of the Holy Cross.

Brady sprint coach Megan Mumper cited Gentchos’ dedication and flexibility as his greatest strengths. “He looks up videos on form in his spare time, practices independently on vacation and requests workouts when there is no practice,” Mumper said. “He is willing to try new things. He started his freshman year with a very different running form than his senior year, but he trusted us and (was willing to change it).”

Girls’ track & field

Maddy Lane – Hopkinton Hawks

The Hawks had a chance to win the championship, but in order for that to happen, Lane, a freshman, needed to perform well in multiple events. She delivered.

Lane won the 1,600 meters (5:17), 3,200 (11:39) and ran a leg on the winning 4x800 relay with teammates Reese Bove, Sofia Upton and Shaylee Murdough to lead Hopkinton to the Division III title. Those three division championships accounted for 30 of the Hawks’ 55 points.

“We had a strategy going on where we were putting a lot on (Maddy),” Hopkinton head coach Rob Rothe said. “We weren’t really sure if we were going to be able to hold back at all (to conserve energy for future events). The 1,600 was very competitive. She did a phenomenal job. She was super strong overall.”

Lane helped the Hawks outperform their No. 3 seed to win the 4x800 in the first race of the day and won the 1,600 by just 2.11 seconds, before capping her meet with a more comfortable 20-second victory in the 3,200.

Lane went on to finish fifth in the 1,600 and sixth in the 3,200 at the Meet of Champions to qualify for New Englands, where she finished  15th (1,600) and 20th (3,200).