High School Athletic Director Honored Yesterday

Yesterday morning, September 19, 2011, Londonderry High School Principal Jason Parent, along with high school Athletic Director Howard Sobolov, attended the 65th annual New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association Conference. Attended by principals and athletic directors of all 89 member high schools, the conference hosted presentations and an awards ceremony.

Governor John Lynch was in attendance as the guest speaker for the event. Following his remarks, high schools and individuals across state were awarded with various honors. Among those awards was one for Londonderry.

Howard Sobolov was recognized as the New Hampshire Division I Athletic Director of the Year. Jason Parent was pleased to announce this award. “Please join me in congratulating him on this achievement and for his outstanding leadership on behalf of Londonderry Athletics,” said Parent.

The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA) was formed in 1947 to establish the state athletic programs as in integral part of the entire school curriculum. Since it’s conception, the organization has made progress in organizing, supervising, and coordinating a state wide athletic program. Regulations have been adopted over the years to ensure that the competition is equalized. To learn more, click here.

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  1. +7 Vote -1 Vote +1Jackie

    I am shocked to see this. Wow. I have been extremely disappointed with Howard Sobolov.

    1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robin

      Jackie , I agree 100% and have to say our previous AD was much better. This is just a popularity contest put on by the High School Administration that sent in letters to get him this award. Where are all the academic awards the school district use to get many many years ago? We don’t see those any more but we spend more money each year.

  2. +4 Vote -1 Vote +1David

    Shocking, to say the least, this is a travesty. This guy is nothing but vapor and a puppet, the Londonderry sports programs are a mess, he does not push for anything athletically minded and will not make a move on any of his inept coaches, complacency at its best. Maybe Howard was the only AD left in the state that had not received the award? Be sure to thank him for a great football season this year, and last year, and the year before that, when you see him, if you can find him.

  3. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1SPORTSMOM

    I do not know this man so I will not judge him, but it does seem for a town our size we should be ruling all sports fields. Lot’s of talent in this town, and seems to be the trend now, even in this economy is to pull your athletic kids and take them somewhere better suited to the academic athelete, so they can thrive and have better opportunity…….what’s going on here?!

  4. Vote -1 Vote +1Old-time fan

    Congratulations to one of the most highly respected Athletic Directors in the state. Howard has had an impressive run of seven state titles in his short time at LHS, demonstrating his ability to find good people to run the athletic programs. You are defineitely not going to make everyone happy, but for a school that has the second lowest student population in division 1 LHS has done extremely well. Londonderry is lucky to have him and he deserves this tip of the cap.

  5. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1john

    heres a job in londonderry that could be cut… seeing that he doesnt do anything anyway…

  6. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1john

    Howard made $75,000.12 last year….

  7. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1Old-time fan

    *I’d like to correct my earlier post, under Howard LHS has brought home 8 state titles, not 7.
    Over the time period he has been at LHS there is no other division 1 school with as many titles.*

  8. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Bill

    Can we all agree that whom ever the athletic director is, has absolutely no bearing on the success of the athletic teams. If you don’t have the athletes you’re not going to win. This position is strictly an administrative post with no influence of success or failure on the fields.

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jim Loiselle

      I was not going to comment. But Bill you are correct it is an administrative position. But that also means other items than just operational concerns.

      I have been a board member of LYFS – Football for 13 years and a coach of youth lacrosse for over 10 years.

      I can speak to the entire athletic department and schools and how they support the hundreds and hundreds of kids in these programs. Our football leadership meets regularly with both the AD and Football Coaches at LHS. They provide us with practice and game facilities…….and a lot of little things on a regular basis. The whole program at LHS from the top down has been 100%+ supportive of us and our kids. I dont speak officially for the board of LYFS – but they are there for not only the young adults at LHS – but for our kids and families in the recreation program. Thank you Howard, Jon Rich, and all the other staff at LHS and the district for all you do.

      I can say the same thing as a coach for lacrosse. I have never had an issue as a coach with getting access to fields, support and coaches at LHS when needed. Bob Slater the girls varsity coach was once a youth LAX coach in Londonderry.

      Success is not measured in wins or losses alone. Yes we keep score to find out who wins – but at the end of the day its more than just winning. If you are only measuring success with wins and losses then you have no clue about youth and high school sports and what there supposed to be about.

      1. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1David

        So Jim, you are saying Howard contacted you and your group to better align the youth programs with the school programs in this town, and is an active member/participant of your organization? I must be amiss, the way I heard it was just the opposite, and your organization reached out to the school coaches and forged the relationship. I must also have it wrong; as my understanding is practice and game facilities are provided by the Recreation Commission in town.
        The point is this, I have yet to hear a compelling argument for the award, nor have I heard any concrete examples of leadership and direction at the school level for the school sports programs, if this is not Howard’s job than what is his job, and whose job is it?

        1. Vote -1 Vote +1James

          David, Who are you to even deserve an argument? How can you make your argument about Mr. Sobolov being the head of athletics and not deserving any credit on one hand then turn around and use Andy Soucy and the band on the other. It is contradictory and says a lot about your bias. They are both administrators and both deserve the credit when their respective groups succeed in their fields.

          The bottom line is that the State Athletic Directors Association decided that Mr. Sobolov deserves this award.
          Mr. Sobolov congratulations and don’t listen to the negative people in this town. You will never please them because they know better no matter what. Keep up the good work you do.

        2. Vote -1 Vote +1jim Loiselle

          You obviously have a grudge

          First YES the WildCats reached out directly to the AD and he to us when he first started. And YES the WildCats were approached directly by Jon when he first started too. Our relationship is two way !

          And you point about fields is 100% wrong. We use for both football and cheer school facilities – nothing provided to us by the RecComm. The RecComm may indicate the WildCats to use school facilities – as they work with the schools to assign fields. It’s just the town has no facilities for us to use. Again LYFS has a 100% excellent working relationship with the schools and we all greatly appreciate that.

  9. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1David

    Unfortunately, we are talking about an administrator and not a coach. It clearly is great we have had our share of state titles. Perhaps in spite of our poor programs we excel, perhaps it is due to the hundreds and thousands of dollars parents pump into their kids for sports so they can be competitive. One could clearly argue it is not coming from within. Please help me understand what Howard has done to improve the sports programs in the Londonderry school system since he has been here. Have we seen any true leadership? Have we seen an uptick in the levels of the coaching staff? Have we seen kids coming out in droves for sports to the point cuts to make the team have to be made? Have there been any major changes?
    Where was Howard when there was talk of loosing programs this year in the schools?
    All you have to do is look at the band as a comparison, Andy is a rock star and it shows, his program is second to none, do you not think we should have a rock star for an A.D.? I for one do.

  10. -3 Vote -1 Vote +1David

    I find it interesting that not being worthy of an argument and having a grudge is where both James and Jim have gone. I have an opinion and a view and I choose to exercise it. James you are right Howard and Andy should not be used as a compairitor, as Andy has a track record a mile long and accolades to prove it. I am still waiting for someone to provide proof that HowRd is worthy of the award he has received. In my opinion he does not deserve it and I have stated my case. There is no ax grinding just simple logic.

    Now Jim you proved my case as to who contacted who. Again I may be wrong but I believe a representative from your organization, which is a rec youth program, goes infront of the rec commission to obtain fields and space. This is consistent will all youth programs in town.

  11. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1Robin

    Howard your doing such a great job your football coach can’t coach his team into any wins this year. You think it is time to get a new coach? Coach Rich couldn’t even coach our kids to a win over a division three team what does that tell you. The school board hired the good old boy instead of advertising and getting a qualified experienced coach. You have some great kids at LHS with the ability but they don’t want to play for a loosing coach they have no respect for. Perhaps Jason Parent should step up and ask for a replacement but he won’t he doesn’t want to upset anybody.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1James

      Robin: Bill Belicheck couldn’t coach this team to a win. To coach you have to have some real talent (which LHS doesn’t have much of this year). If you have seen any of the games the one thing that will stand out to you is the HUGE size difference between Londonderry and all the other teams (Londonderry is tiny compared to most teams). Now, in football you need size in D1 to be at least competitive.
      I guess you and David are in the “if the team does well it is the kids, if the team doesn’t do well it is the coach” camp? Sorry, reality doesn’t work that way. In the end the coaches are not on the field playing the game, it falls on the athletes. Thank God people like Howard and Jay Parent don’t listen to the fools in this forum.

      1. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robin

        James so are you saying the Londonderry should not be a D1 school because “Londonderry is tiny compared to most teams”
        and that “football you need size to be at least competitive” are we are not competitive because we don’t have size? What an insult to our foot ball players when you state ” to coach you have to have talent (which LHS doesn’t have much of this year)”
        Well according to you all the hard work these kids have been putting in is a waste of time and they should just stay home because according to you they have little talent and they don’t have size.

        Well James your wrong there is lots of talent and even more talent that would go out if the coach was better and respected. You would also get some size that would go out for the team as well.

  12. -1 Vote -1 Vote +1James

    Robin- I wonder which athlete you have on the team. I say this because this is a typical “blinder-parent” sort of reply you have posted. As an objective observer my earlier judgments are accurate. NO- LHS does not have size- again, go to the games and (if you take the blinders off) your own eyes will tell you this. YES you need size to compete in Division 1- physical size in football matters. You can have all the “heart/desire” you want but if you are a 150 lb. running back you are going to get beat every time by the opposing 215 lb. linebacker (which most teams have in D1 outside of Londonderry) with the same “heart/desire”.
    God bless all the hard work these kids are putting in, but so are all the other D1 teams- with more talent. The 2011 LHS varsity team isn’t losing because of the coaches- they are losing because they simply are not good… I’m sorry to tell you that to be competitive you need a strong work ethic (which some of LHS athletes possess), natural talent (which some LHS athletes possess) and physical comparison. You have no point based in logic/reality. Please don’t make any more foolish statements. I have reality on my side.

    1. +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Robin

      James I don’t have an athlete on the team. The only reality you have on your side is blinders. Since we lost Sawyer this new coach has done nothing for the football team but destroy it. He is way over his head and the school district should have open up the position to others outside the district to apply. Your all wet with your reasoning why LHS football doesn’t win games. Listen to others that have posted I am not the only one that sees a problem here.

  13. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1john

    james- you are right in a way.. it is very true that the team does not have any size this year. in the early 2000′s the offensive line averaged over 230 pounds. today, i wonder if they have a player over 200 pounds. but to say that none of it is the coaches fault is crzy. when sawyer was coaching we had wing T, and it did great. now we have this spread wing offense wich was based of theo when he was an athlete for londonderry, and it work, kind of. guess what theo is gone, the spread wing should be gone as well. Dont fix something that aint broke… isnt that the way it goes? we should have never gotten rid of the wing T… I hate to say this, but look at pinkerton. they have been running the Wing T for quite some time now, and they are doing a pretty good job this season… oh wait the do every season. Because they have a good offense and a great coach.

  14. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1sportsmom

    John you hit the nail on the head, and James if you know so much about the athletes in town, you’d know we do have plenty of talent but it’s either not playing because of the system or because they’ve left town for better opportunities……look at Exeter and the sports program they run in the article the Union Leader ran a few weeks back. It stinks for the kids that would like to play but won’t because of the program in place now.

  15. +5 Vote -1 Vote +1David

    Well now that James has dragged me into the discussion on Coach Rich I will be glad to provide comment. I am not sure what games James has been watching but instead of blaming the players I suggest looking at this issue a little differently. Sure the kids do not have great size that does not mean they do not have talent, perhaps Mr. Welker or Mr. Woodhead can make a comment on that. Sure there are down years with teams, those are known as build years, LHS baseball might be an example of that. But the problem with football seems a little more systemic. The next game you go to pay attention to the following attributes exhibited by the team and coaches.
    1. Do they appear predictable, play calling, players in positions… etc?
    2. Do the coaches make adjustments to the play of the game?
    3. Do the players know their positions?
    4. Do the players look conditioned?
    5. Do they keep doing the same thing and hope for a different outcome?
    6. Do the players look like they know the fundamentals, blocking, tackling…. etc?
    7. Is there good game/time management?
    8. Do the players want to play to win?
    9. Are the players making mental mistakes at critical times?
    10. Is there good sideline discipline?

    These questions can be applied to the opposing team as a comparison.
    I think you will find why we have issues. By the way, pick the game/team as well, not just Varsity, but JV, Soph, and Frosh. You may be surprised at what you find.

    Based on these 10 questions, the term “Peter Principle” may come to mind.

  16. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1John

    I cant agree more David. I think the biggest problem with this years team revolves around one plyaer.. i will not mention names, but if you are a fan/ parent of someone on the team you will know exactly who i am about to talk about. If anyone else on the team had been involved with drugs/ got in as much trouble as this player has been in, they would be off the team in a heartbeat.. but ich sees him as the only hope he has. so the kid walks right back onto the field and begins to start. thats wrong… if rich explored his team more and really tested each play, he would realize he has more talent than he thinks… but he doesnt. he says oh just give you know who the ball everytime. this shows the kind of coach he really is… that kid would have never walked back onto the field if anyone else was head coach.

    one thing you forgot on your ten questions is discipline on the field during play. people walk to and from the huddle, take there time getting to the ball… its rediculous, and unheard of in my high school days… you would think rich would know that seeing he was coached by sawyer…

    1. -4 Vote -1 Vote +1Glenn Douglas

      Does anyone else think these posts are getting out of control?

      If these issues exist they should be brought to the school administration, Superintendent, or School Board.

  17. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1LCN

    Glenn,

    Go away!

    1. +2 Vote -1 Vote +1David

      Well put.

  18. +3 Vote -1 Vote +1John

    well seeing as though the Athletic Director knows about these issues Glenn, you would think he would do something about it… OH WAIT Sobolov doesnt do a thing..

  19. Vote -1 Vote +1David

    YearCoachRecNatNatStStDivDivRnkChgRnkChgRnk Chg11-12Rich 0-711186-487149-26 9 -110-11Rich3-76315-103423-68-309-10Rich5-45281-88817-55-108-09Rich6-44393-210112-5407-08Sawyer7-4229217427606-07Sawyer7-440343018131505-06Sawyer4-67052305428404-05Sawyer3-61010632
    * source MaxPreps.com

  20. -2 Vote -1 Vote +1Jackie

    Wow, I missed some comments on here. When I was speaking about being disappointed in Sobolov, it was completely unrelated to the teams. Londonderry is a great sports town with many successful teams…but that does not stem from this athletic director. He lacks respect and support for many teams other than the football and boy’s basketball teams and coaches. There was a great bond between athletes and the athletic directors in the past. Unfortunately now decisions are made to satisfy parents (especially those involved with the school board) and their complaints as opposed to dealing directly with issues…which is unfortunately true for a lot of things in Londonderry these days.

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