Plenty Of Promise For Inexperienced Concord

Bruce Hefflinger
PBR New England Senior Writer

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Plenty Of Promise For Inexperienced Concord

CONCORD, N.H. - Hopes are high at Concord High School coming off back-to-back seasons of losing in the state semifinals.

“Last year we were looking forward to getting the group up to speed with varsity and be ready to go this year,” explained head coach Scott Owen. 

However, with no 2020 season there is also no experience back from the 2019 team that went 16-3 in the regular season before losing in the state semis to eventual state champion Londonderry.

“I started in 2002 and never in my career have I had zero kids with varsity experience,” pointed out Owen.

There are eight seniors, five juniors and two sophomores that make up this year’s Concord team.

“Myself and the assistant coach must make sure to be patient and take our time with these guys, it’s a marathon not a sprint,” Owen said. “We have 15 very good kids that are hard workers. They’re soaking up everything we throw at them.”

There is promise as well in the eyes of Owen, who has a 206-182 overall record including a state championship in 2012 and a runner-up finish a year prior.

“We have talent on the mound and I think we’ll be good defensively,” related Owen. “Hitting is our number one concern.”

Jonah Wachter is the staff ace, a 6-2 185-pounder ranked ninth among 2021 right-handed pitchers in New England.

“He’s a hard worker that knows how to pitch,” Owen said of the Hartford commit who has topped out at 90 on the radar.

Tyler Wright and Jarrad Willette are two others that could help on the mound. Wright, a senior committed to Plymouth State, also plays outfield while Willette, is a 2021 catcher penciled in as the number three hurler.

“He’ll catch on Monday and Wednesday and pitch on Friday,” Owen said of the 6-0 161-pounder. “We still have to figure out the backend of the bullpen. We have four or five we’re looking at there.”

Ryan Philbrick, the New Hampshire Hockey Player of the Year as a junior, will provide help at catcher while also looking to see playing time in the middle infield along with senior Charlie Levine, juniors Cam McGonigle and Dylan Miles and sophomore Brooks Craigue, the 34th-ranked 2023 shortstop in New England.

Seniors Kevin McDonough and Jack Reynolds are third base candidates as well as junior AJ Fennelly and Craigue, with senior Ryan Kastle, Fennelly and sophomore Nathaniel Wachter (Jonah’s brother) outfield hopefuls along with Wright and whoever doesn’t fit in from the infield possibilities.

Seniors Dom Mangone and Donald Cote are potential first baseman with Jonah Wachter and Philbrick also in the mix.

“How quickly we can adjust at the plate to varsity pitching will be the key,” Owen concluded. “There are a lot of talented kids in New Hampshire Division I, the key to our team is can we adjust, and how quickly, to the Division I pitchers.”

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