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Final fall accolades: 2021 Players of the Season

  • Coe-Brown’s Aidan Cox approaches the finish line to successfully defend his Division II cross country title on Oct. 30 at Manchester’s Derryfield Park. Cox also defended his Meet of Champions title and finished seventh in New England and is the Monitor’s Boys’ Cross Country Athlete of the Season. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Brady’s Katie Palmateer runs towards the finish line to win the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship at Merrimack Valley High School in Penacook on Oct. 21. Palmateer is the Monitor’s Girls’ Cross Country Athlete of the Season. Rich Miyara / NH Sports Photography

  • Bishop Brady midfielder Evan Haas lines up for a shot against Winnisquam on Sept. 15. The senior captain led the No. 10 Giants on a remarkable playoff run to the semifinals and is the Monitor’s Boys’ Soccer Player of the Season. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Hopkinton’s Ashlee Brehio celebrates after scoring a goal in a quarterfinal match against Kearsarge on Oct. 22. Brehio just signed a national letter of intent to play NCAA D-I soccer at Elon University and is the Monitor’s Girls’ Soccer Player of the Season. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff 

  • Concord’s Elizabeth Blinn (right) makes a block with teammate Katie Martel during the Tide’s season-opener against Manchester Memorial on Sept. 1. Blinn recently signed a national letter of intent to play on the women’s volleyball team at Southern Connecticut State and is the Monitor’s Volleyball Player of the Season. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Bishop Brady’s Libbey Hicks (right) defends Hopkinton forward Julia Baer during the Division III field hockey championship game on Nov. 1 at Bedford High School. Hicks was named the D-III Offensive Player of the Year and the Monitor’s Field Hockey Player of the Season. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord running back Kaevryel Madison knocks over the pylon on Sept. 25 against Portsmouth. Madison played a key role in the Crimson Tide’s turnaround this past season and is the Monitor’s Football Player of the Season. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Concord’s Cam McGonigle poses with his medal after finishing fourth in the Division I individual golf championship. McGonigle was a captain for the Tide, helping leading Concord to third place in D-I and is the Monitor’s Golf Player of the Season.  Courtesy photo

Published: 11/21/2021 4:58:28 PM

With the final football championships played this past weekend, the 2021 fall season is finished.

Now, student-athletes will turn their focus to other things, whether that be their winter sport or something else, the highs and lows have settled. At the Monitor, the shift toward the winter season begins at the very conclusion of this article.

In the last look back at the fall, the annual postseason accolades are in order. We’ll revisit some great moments from players across the majority of the season and highlight the success.

The 2021 Fall Players of the Season.

Girls’ soccer player of the season: Senior, Ashlee Brehio, Hopkinton.

When the Hopkinton girls’ soccer team’s perfect season was at risk, head coach Mike Zahn knew who to call on. Brehio – an attacking midfielder – assisted on the Hawks’ first goal and scored the game-winning goal in her squad’s 2-1 victory over St. Thomas in the D-III championship game.

“She’s obviously been the biggest offensive threat for us this year,” said Zahn. Given the plethora of All-State talent in a program that’s won four consecutive championships – that’s saying something.

Brehio in her two seasons on the Hawks’ roster was instrumental. The senior led Hopkinton’s juggernaut offense to its fourth consecutive state championship victory. Brehio, who recently signed her national letter of intent to play soccer at Elon University, scored 46 goals and recorded 24 assists.

Boys’ soccer player of the season: Senior, Evan Haas, Bishop Brady.

Haas was the certified leader for the Giants this past season. They began summer workouts and most of the preseason without a coach so Haas took it upon himself to run captain’s practices. It paid off as the senior midfielder and defender led Brady to a winning record in the regular season that took them into the playoffs. The No. 10 Giants upset No. 2 Hopkinton in overtime to earn a final four appearance, but lost in the semifinals. Statistically, Haas scored 17 goals and accounted for 12 assists.

“He demonstrated such outstanding leadership qualities throughout the entire season, both on and off the field and it sprinkled over to the rest of the boys.,” coach Jordan Misiri said. “It was a pleasure to coach him this year, I know he’ll accomplish even greater things in the future.”

Girls’ cross country: Senior, Katie Palmateer, Bishop Brady.

Palmateer had a breakout season for the Giants, claiming regional bragging rights by winning the 44th Capital Area Cross Country Championship crown (clocked a 19:30 on the 5K course) and claiming runner-up honors at the Division III championship (Derryfield Park personal-best time of 19:50).

She followed up those performances by finishing 10th at the Meet of Champions against the best runners in the state from all three NHIAA divisions and 57th at New Englands, the ninth-fastest Granite State runner to cross the line.

Palmateer helped put Bishop Brady cross country back on the map after running for John Stark for her freshman and sophomore seasons. Her victory at the Capital Area race and runner-up finish at the state championship was the first time a Brady runner had done either since Laura Straub was the back-to-back Capital Area champion in 2002 and 2003 and the Class I (now D-II) runner-up in 2002.

“The Capital Area Invite was the most exciting race I’ve seen from a Brady athlete and I’ve (been coaching for) 20 years,” Bishop Brady coach Bill Heath said. “I’ll watch it again and again when I need to be reminded of what a strong-willed, determined runner can do. ... Katie modeled the ideal teammate and it was contagious. I’m already looking forward to next year. While Katie was well ahead of her teammates in races and workouts, she was real close to them in every other way, everyday. She was truly inspirational.”

Boys’ cross country: Junior, Aidan Cox, Coe-Brown.

Cox is so fast that even when he is not in his best form, he is still the fastest runner in the state.

Despite dealing with nagging injuries for most of the season and not racing for almost a month – Cox still defended his Division II title, his Meet of Champions title, finished seventh in New England (the fastest N.H. runner) and led Coe-Brown to its fourth consecutive team title.

Cox set the state record at the Meet of Champions last year, running a 14:58.8 – the first ever New Hampshire high school runner to break 15 minutes in a 5K – and he nearly matched his own record this year, breaking the tape in 15:01.45.

His path to victory was much more precarious this year and his level of training was touch-and-go, but Cox won the MOC title by 24 seconds and his D-II championship time of 15:54 was 16 seconds faster than the runner-up.

“Aidan’s had a very different season (than last season),” co-head coach Brent Tkaczyk said, who splits the role with Tim Cox, Aidan’s father. “We needed a different game plan. That’s why you never take these things for granted. (The D-II championship) was as happy as I’ve ever been to see a kid come around the corner (at Derryfield Park) feeling good.”

Golf: Senior, Cam McGonigle, Concord.

Several area golfers dotted the top of the individual championships at the end of the golf season, but none of them placed higher than McGonigle.

McGonigle was regular scorer for the Tide this past fall, finishing as Concord’s top player in three matches and earning co-medalist honors in two, and capped off the season by finishing fourth in the Division I individual championship.

McGonigle was one of several weapons that Concord’s lineup boasted and the Tide finished the regular season on top of D-I with a 25-1 record. McGonigle was sixth through the first round of the championships at The Overlook in Hollis (leading Concord to third place behind perennial golf powerhouses Bedford and Exeter), but gained some ground in round two at Beaver Meadow to claim fourth.

“Cam was late comer to the the CHS golf team, having just taken up the game the summer prior to his junior year,” Concord head coach Mark McDonough said. “He scored in every match. … As a captain of the team this season Cam was a great mentor to the new younger players. Always setting a good example with his positive attitude and tremendous work ethic.”

Volleyball: Senior, Elizabeth Blinn, Concord.

Blinn has been a staple for Concord on the court throughout her high school career, perhaps most evident however in her final season. She set the school record for most career blocks with 166 and led the Crimson Tide in hitting percentage, kills and service aces as well.

The two-year captain also was responsible for running varsity practices any time that coach Jonathan Flower was working with the junior varsity team. Blinn also recently signed her national letter of intent to play volleyball at Bentley University.

“She’s a leader on and off the court,” Flower said.

Football: Senior, Kaevryel Madison, Concord.

Madison set the tone for the climb that Concord had to make this season. After a winless campaign in 2020 that brought about a new head coach and a change in some football ideology, Madison embodied the sentiment of toughness.

A two-way star as a defensive back and hybrid running back/wide receiver, Madison would both deliver and take hits throughout the season. He totaled 635 all-purpose yards offensively and had double digit tackle totals. While the Tide (3-6) had chances in a majority of their losses, mental lapses and lack of execution would take place, but Madison made sure he and his teammates never hung their heads.

“We are certainly going to miss him moving forward and it’s going to be very difficult to replace him. He embodies what we want our program to become,” coach Jim Corkum said. “I hope our younger guys have been watching him and taking notes.”

Field hockey: Senior, Libbey Hicks, Bishop Brady.

Our final fall player of the season, Hicks was the centerpiece to the Brady field hockey team this year. Hicks had plenty of highlight reel moments, a key one was scoring six goals in the Giants’ first round playoff game. Voted as a All-State First Team player back in late October and the Division III Offensive Player of the Year, Hicks led the way for Brady to play in the state championship game where they lost 3-2 in overtime to Hopkinton.

Matt Parker bio photo

Matt Parker is a sports reporter at the Monitor and started in August 2021. He is an Ohio native and relishes being from the Buckeye state. A proud graduate of Ohio University located in Athens, Ohio, he served as the sports editor for the student-run newspaper, The Post, from 2019-20. When not at a game or chasing around a coach, you can catch him playing his guitars or looking for the next Peanuts memorabilia piece to add in his growing collection.

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