Awards & Recognitions
Fred Legere Sportsmanship Award
The late Fred Legere, officiated basketball, football and baseball games throughout the northeast for nearly 30 years. Working at both the high school and collegiate level, it was how he worked – rather that how long – that made Legere a welcome sight to both coaches and players whenever he walked in a gym or stepped on a field.
He was a strong believer that the players, rather than the officials, should be the focus of the game, and the affable Legere used his wit far more than his whistle to keep control of games and defuse situations where emotions ran high. A past president of N.H. IAABO Basketball Officials Association, he was the veteran of many championship games in New Hampshire and Vermont, and in 1993 was awarded the John Clark Officials Award from the Union Leader of Manchester.
Jim Wechsler Unsung Hero Award
The late Jim Wechsler was a highly-respected, much-revered coaching fixture on the Upper Valley athletic scene for more than 40 years – most notably at the former Sacred Heart School in Lebanon during the 50s and 60s, and at Lebanon High School through the 80s and 90s. His influence was such that you will almost certainly find one or more of Jim’s former players coaching in our tournament, using some of the lessons Jim passed along: work hard, play fair and, yes, the score matters – but the kids matter more.
Once called “the patron saint of the underdog,” Jim was much more than a coach and his unabashed, intense commitment to youth took many forms. In addition to his coaching duties he served as executive director of the Twin State Lions Cup Soccer program, was assistant state commissioner for Babe Ruth Baseball, organized and ran the Lebanon Lions Club’s annual bicycle rodeo, served three terms on the Lebanon School Board and sat on the board of trustees of the Carter community Building for more than 25 years. He also found time to be a foster father to three teenage sons. In 2001 the Union Leader of Manchester honored Jim’s commitment by naming him the recipient of the prestigious Carl Lundholm Award for selfless dedication to the youth of New Hampshire.
Margaret Karp Team Player Award
7/8 Grade Girl’s A Division
“Supportive, Dedicated, Enthusiastic”
The Margaret Karp Team Player Award honors the qualities of compassion and loyalty embodied by Mrs. Karp during her lifetime. Her family was her life, but her kindness and thoughtfulness also touched many young lives outside that circle No matter what the need or request, she could be counted on to help. Her legendary dinners for the hard-working tournament staff are sorely missed, but most of all we miss her loving, caring spirit, which is entrusted to the recipient of this award to carry on in her memory.
Lang Metcalf Coach’s Award
7/8 Grade Boy’s A Division
Mr. Lang Metcalf was a New Hampshire Class I coach for over 36 years. He won several state titles and made playoff appearances in 34 of his 36 years of coaching. Mr. Metcalf has the second most wins in Class I history, behind only Ed Cloe.
Mr. Metcalf was a mentor to many coaches throughout the state and New England. Many of his players are involved with the youth of their communities. This is a reflection of how great an influence he was to them. Mr. Metcalf left a legacy for family and friends that will carry on for many generations.
The love for his family and the youth in the Lebanon community was unprecedented. Mr. Metcalf had a passion for life and family and instilled that passion in his players.
He gave his all on the court and in life.
Mike Johnson Coach’s Award
Men’s League A Division
Mike Johnson was a familiar player in the Karp’s Klassic for many years, joining his equally athletic brothers on a regular team in the Men’s Division. Their attendance was always a family affair, with wives and children helping to cheer them on. Mike played his college basketball career at Norwich University. While in the line of duty as a Vermont Stat Trooper, he was tragically killed in 2003 while apprehending a suspect. He leaves behind his wife Kerrie, and three children Grady, McKendrick and Reilly who live in Bradford, Vermont, where he had been slated to coach basketball in the upcoming season.
He is fondly remembered as an extremely caring person, and his presence will be missed at the tournament.
Kevin Crotty MVP Award
Men’s League A Division
Kevin Crotty played in the first three years of the Klassic, which at that time was held at Hanover High School. He also played in the local Men’s League from 1979 to 1981 together with Marc Gauthier, Calvin Johnson, and other Dartmouth graduates. After earning his degree at Dartmouth, he left the area to take a job in New York City, where, tragically, he was among the many people who lost their lives in the disaster of 9/11.
He was a father of three, a great basketball player, and a good friend.