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High school Athlete of the Season for boys’ lacrosse

  • Matt Sanford (center)

    Matt Sanford (center)

  • Matt Sanford (center)

Matt Sanford

SCHOOL: Bow High

HONORS/STATS: The senior, who was a three-time First Team All-State selection, tallied 50 goals and 14 assists for 64 points this season. He was nominated as an All-American his junior and senior years.

THREE FAVORITE THINGS: Dogs, friends, coffee milk

Describe your season in one word. Unfinished

What was the most memorable part of the season? I think the most memorable part of our season would be when Devin Calkins scored the overtime winner against Portsmouth in the quarterfinals. We came into that game knowing that it was going to be a battle against a very talented Portsmouth team. Portsmouth tied it up within the last minute of regulation, taking the game into overtime. As soon as the OT period started, Devin got the ball. After playing with him for what seems like my whole life we learned a thing or two about each other. I knew exactly what his intentions were and I knew that he was going to succeed and he did just that.

What is the proudest moment of your lacrosse-playing career? My sophomore year I received First Team All-State selection, as well as offensive MVP for my team. I was really proud of this because it was very much unexpected. It was a true honor as a sophomore and I owe it to my teammates because without them it would have been impossible.

What is the most important attribute to being a great lacrosse player (speed, endurance, stick stills, etc)? I think all players and coaches would agree that heart is the most important attribute of a great lacrosse player. A team can have all of the talent in the world but if they do not truly want it then they will not be successful. We had a player on our team every year who we could depend on to go out there and give it everything that they have. This year I would have to give that credit to a player named Tyler Herrick.

What is the Bow boys’ lacrosse team’s greatest strength? I think that our greatest strength would have to be our ability to show up when we needed to, although we would sometimes come out flat in games that we thought we could win. In the latter part of our season, including our first-round playoff game against Portsmouth, we were able to rally and really come together as a team.

Who is the unsung hero of the team? The unsung hero of our team would certainly be Alex Reitze. He has been on the squad since he was a sophomore and he has been contributing immensely ever since then. I don’t think our team would have even made it to the playoffs without him and I know our entire team felt the same way, and I feel like he definitely deserves more recognition.

Who is the funniest member of the team? I think that our funniest member would have to be our freshman goalie, Chase Chamberlin. We could always count on him for a good laugh as well as a big save. We called him the wiener eater because he was notorious for having hot dogs for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Best coaching advice you’ve ever received? Growing up I have had the honor of playing for a couple of fantastic coaches. Coach Calkins was there with us all the way from youth league to coming out on the field to say goodbye to us all after our final game against Bedford, as well as Coach Mondello, who stuck with our team for all four years that I was at Bow. We were also given a great opportunity to be coached by Jason Rozembersky, who volunteered his time every day without pay selflessly; he was a huge asset to our success this year. Another instrumental figure in my lacrosse career was my neighbor David Bucchino. He was the first one to convince me to pick up a lacrosse stick and he taught me everything I know on and off the field. Any success that I have had or will have I owe to him as well as all of my other coaches. I think that the biggest piece of advice I pulled from all of these coaches was to have a short-term memory. Lacrosse is a fast-paced game and mistakes happen; the important thing is to keep your head up and make the next play.

What are your favorite conditions to play in? Definitely on a turf field in 75-degree weather under the lights.

If you could change one thing about high school lacrosse in NH what would it be? If I could change one thing about high school lacrosse in N.H. it would be to stop putting such a strong emphasis on safety. By no means am I saying that we should disregard safety entirely, but this game has been played for a very long time and we are starting to stray away from its roots by adding all of these rules. For example, the rules are making it almost impossible to body check, and it is a very important part of the game. Lacrosse is a tough game that is filled with tough players and I would hate to see that aspect removed from it.

Favorite place to go out to eat? Beefside in Concord, without a doubt.

If you were a superhero, what would your super power be? To fly, for sure

Who is your role model? My role model would be my dad. Very cliché, but I admire his work ethic. He played college sports and then ventured into the business world. I hope to have half as much success as he does.

What is your dream vacation? A beach house with all of my closest friends for a week.

If you could be on any reality show, which would you pick? This one is easy, The Bachelor

What are your plans for next year? Do they include lacrosse? Next year I will be going to Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., and I could not be happier. I will also be playing lacrosse there and they have a great program so I am really excited to try and make some noise next year.

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