August 1, 2014

Vermont will have plenty of options

Shrine 2.JPGPhoto credit: Marilou Childs

61st Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl

New Hampshire vs. Vermont

When and where: Saturday (5:30 p.m.) at Dartmouth's Memorial Field.
Team records: New Hampshire leads the series 45-13-2.

Head coaches: Former Merrimack Valley coach Dave Jackson is New Hampshire's head coach. BFA-Fairfax coach Mike Williams is guiding Vermont.
2013 result: New Hampshire won, 43-0.
Last Vermont victory: 2000 game (47-40).
Tickets: Tickets are $15 and will be available at the gate.
Noteworthy: From a competitive standpoint, the numbers are ugly. New Hampshire will carry a 13-game winning streak into Saturday's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl and has outscored Vermont 476-145 during that span. New Hampshire has won 23 of the last 25 contests. ...  New Hampshire usually pulls away in the second half. New Hampshire led 21-14 at halftime in 2011 (45-21 final), 34-24 in the third quarter in 2012 (62-24) and 15-0 at halftime last summer (43-0). ... After years of trying to beat New Hampshire through the air, Vermont will attempt to keep the clock moving with an option offense out of a flexbone formation (fullback, two slotbacks and two split ends). New Hampshire will run a spread offense led by UNH-bound QB Trevor Knight (Nashua South). 
As a senior (10 games), Knight passed for 1,791 yards and 19 touchdowns (two interceptions), and rushed for 1,536 yards and 19 TDs. ... Knight and Salem's Jason Martinez will likely lead New Hampshire's ground game. Martinez, who will walk-on at UNH, gained 1,348 yards and scored 16 touchdowns last season. ... Vermont will likely need a big game from South Burlington running back Tanner Contois, who was named Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year last year. Contois, who scored 29 touchdowns during his senior season, suffered a torn ACL in the Division I championship game against Middlebury but is reportedly at or near 100 percent. ... Vermont has failed to score more than seven points in seven of the last 13 contests. ... New Hampshire has 57 varsity programs. Vermont has 33. ... Next year's game will not be played in Hanover because of scheduled renovations to Dartmouth's Memorial Field. A location for the 2015 game has not been selected.

Prediction: New Hampshire 34, Vermont 14.

Media Blitz: Vermont will attempt to run past New Hampshire

High School: Vermont will try new approach >> Union Leader

High School: Hanover grad looks ahead to UNH >> Valley News

High School:
New Hampshire looks to extend streak >> Seacoastonline.com

July 31, 2014

Shrine Camp: Day 6

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

The New Hampshire Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team named its captains Thursday: Outside linebacker Marc Gaudet (Concord), outside linebacker Alex Parenteau (Keene), middle linebacker Eric Waddington (Dover) and running back Jason Martinez (Salem).

"I'm glad we gave it to the kids to take care of," New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson said. "A lot of kids got votes."

Jackson on each of his captains:

Gaudet: "The thing that stands out about him is his intensity. He never has a bad practice. He's the ringleader of our energy. He's silly at times, but when it's time to work he works his behind off." 

Martinez: "He gives us a spark every time we need it. He's got crazy, crazy balance. He's not the fastest kids out there, but he is fast. He has good hands, he's a good blocker. He can do a little bit of everything."

Waddington: "Off the field he's hilarious. He is a hitter. We ran some stuff at him today and he's not easy to fool."

Parenteau: "He's real physical. He has the ability to get off blocks easy. For a kid his size he gets moving in a hurry."

Waddington said he each player was asked to vote for two captains.

"It seems like our whole team is captains," Waddington said. "Trevor (quarterback Trevor Knight) didn't get selected, but he provides leadership for the whole team. Everyone here is pulling their own weight. It doesn't matter if you're a Division III kid, or from Division I."

Waddington said the team used chairs to barricade Knight and Martinez in their room at Castleton State College on Thursday night.

"We did it around 3 a.m.," Waddington said. "All you heard in the morning was, 'Hey, can I get a little help here.'"

Jackson also named his starters for Saturday's game, which will be played at Dartmouth College's Memorial Field. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

OFFENSE

QB: Trevor Knight (Nashua South)
RB: Jason Martinez (Salem)
Slot: Jake Geppert (St. Thomas)
Slot: Shawn Cavalarro (Hanover)
WR: Alec Boucher (Winnacunnet)
WR: Nick Vailas (Bedford)
C: Trent Fortune (Bedford)
G: Colin Healy (Merrimack)
G: Peter Lalime (Exeter)
T: Pat Glynn (Portsmouth)
T: Kai Kleyensteuber (Stevens)

DEFENSE

OLB: Alex Parenteau (Keene)
OLB: Marc Gaudet (Concord)
DE: Kyle Reisert (Plymouth)
DE: Ryan Head (Merrimack Valley)
NG: Colin Richardson (Exeter)
MLB: Eric Waddington (Dover)
MLB: Ryan Pinard (Goffstown)
DB: Drew Prescott (Souhegan)
DB: Jared Kuehl (Plymouth)
DB: Cody Alward (Campbell)
DB: Donald Pellerin (Stevens)

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK: Hayden Middleton (St, Thomas)
Punter: Reisert

*****
Tickets to Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling (603) 448-1042. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on game day. Donations can be made by clicking here. ... New Hampshire has won the last 13 games, and has a 45-13-2 edge in the series. ... Vermont's captains are James Shufelt (Lyndon Institute), Oliver Kaija (Woodstock), Josh Stearns (Middlebury) and Sam Smith (Middlebury).

For more news about the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl and football in New Hampshire, follow Roger Brown on Twitter: @603SportsMedia.

Media Blitz: Stevens player carries unified message

High School: Kleyensteuber offers something special >> Valley News

High School: Contois determined to play in Shrine Game >> Burlington Free Press

July 30, 2014

Shrine Camp: Day 5

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

Shrine logo.jpg
Special teams were among the things the New Hampshire Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team worked on during Wednesday's two practice sessions. 

Shawn Cavallaro (Hanover) and Jason Martinez (Salem) returned kicks, Kyle Reisert was the primary punter, and Hayden Middleton (St. Thomas) handled the placekicking.

The number of active players on the New Hampshire roster was reduced by one when Bishop Brady's Matt Tetu suffered a concussion during Tuesday's workouts. Tetu was being used primarily in the defensive backfield.

"He was right there at cornerback," New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson said. "It was unfortunate that it happened. He's staying here (Castleton State College) for the week. He wanted to be around as much as he can."

Jackson said he still hasn't determined all of his starters for Saturday's game, which will be played at Dartmouth's Memorial Field (5:30 p.m.). Vermont will be trying to beat New Hampshire for the first time since 2000.

"In terms of starters, there's still some stuff up in the air," Jackson said.

James Shufelt (Lyndon Institute) and Mark Goyette (Mill River) have been sharing the snaps behind center for Vermont, which is expected the run the option out of the flexbone formation (fullback, two slotbacks and two split ends). Both quarterback have experience running the option. Shufelt is Lyndon Institute's all-time rushing leader.

"We've got real great competitions going on," Vermont coach Mike Williams said. "To us right now it is a matter of practicing tempo as we expect New Hampshire to push the pace and test us."

Jackson said New Hampshire will hold two practices Thursday.
 
*****
Tickets to Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling (603) 448-1042. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on game day. Donations can be made by clicking here. ... New Hampshire has a 45-13-2 edge in the series. ... Former Mount St. Joseph quarterback Michael Keenan holds the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl record for touchdowns passes (six), pass completions (30), pass attempts (49) and passing yards (352). Keenan set those records during Vermont's 47-40 triumph in 2000.

For more news about the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl and football in New Hampshire, follow Roger Brown on Twitter: @603SportsMedia.

July 29, 2014

Shrine Camp: Day 4

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

Shrine logo.jpg
Although Vermont's last victory in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl came in the 2000 game (47-40), New Hampshire players insist they won't take Vermont lightly when the teams meet Saturday at Dartmouth's Memorial Field (5:30 p.m.).

Quarterback Trevor Knight (Nashua South): "We're not focusing on the past. We're just trying to get ready for battle."

Linebacker Alex Parenteau (Keene): "I think we have enough experienced starters to know we can't take anyone lightly. You can't overlook anyone."

Running back Jason Martinez (Salem): "We won't be looking past them. They're not just a bunch of guys that were just thrown together. They're an all-star team."

Knight said New Hampshire's spread offense is similar to the one he ran at Nashua South. New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson was on the South staff for five years.

"It's pretty much the same stuff, we just call it different things," he said. "It was pretty easy to pick up."

Jackson said you can expect to see Knight run the ball often Saturday. "I think the biggest benefit of the spread is you can get any kid in space," Jackson said. "He'll be a dual threat. We'd be crazy not to let him run the ball."

*****
Tickets to Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling (603) 448-1042. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on game day. Donations can be made by clicking here. ... New Hampshire will wear red shirts and white pants Saturday. Vermont will be in white on white with green numbers. ... Six Hampshire players have scored three touchdowns in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl: Steve Schubert (Central/1968), Les Wolfgram (West/1970), Brian Holmes (Newport/1997), Michael Boyle (Plymouth/2004), Max Jacques (Salem/2011) and Jerickson Fedrick. (Salem/2012). No player from either state has scored more than three TDs in the game.

Media Blitz: UNH looking to prove pollsters correct

College: Preseason poll puts target on UNH >> Baltimore Sun

July 28, 2014

Shrine Camp: Day 3

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

Shrine logo.jpg
The New Hampshire Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team held three practices Monday, but the morning practice had to be moved inside because of rain/wet field conditions. New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson said the defense is ahead of the offense at this point.

"We're behind a little offensively because of the weather," he said. "Defensively we're fine. We've been spoiled by how quickly they've picked up what we're doing defensively. We can't really run our (spread) offense in the gym.

"We have a couple more things to install, then we'll start paring it down to the things that are cleanest."

New Hampshire will be trying to extend its 13-game winning streak in this year's game, which will be played Saturday (5:30 p.m.) at Dartmouth's Memorial Field. New Hampshire has a 45-13-2 advantage in the series.

"It's fun playing with some of the guys you competed against," Keene's Alex Parenteau said. "You end up getting along with guys you didn't think you'd like. And seeing what you can do for these kids -- that's the point of this game."

Jackson said two Division III players -- defensive back Matt Tetu (Bishop Brady) and slot receiver/cornerback Donald Pellerin (Stevens) -- were among those who stood out in practice Monday. Jackson has also had plenty of good things to say about Salem running back Jason Martinez, who rushed for 1,348 yards and 16 TDs last season.

"He's been very impressive," Jackson said. "High energy, good character -- he's the kind of kid we need."

Jackson said his team is 100 percent healthy.

*****
Tickets to Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling (603) 448-1042. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on game day. Donations can be made by clicking here. ... Souhegan's Tyler Ford holds the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl record for longest field goal. Ford made a 42-yard kick in last year's game. ... Vermont's initial roster had to include 18 players from Division I, 12 from Division II and six from Division III. New Hampshire had to pick 12 players from each of its three divisions. ... The first Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl game was played at Nashua's Holman Stadium in 1954.

Niyuomugabo lands UNH offer

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

MerrimackValleylogo.jpg
Merrimack Valley quarterback Ivan Niyomugabo received a scholarship offer from the University of New Hampshire on Monday night.

Niyomugabo, who will be a senior this season, has been Merrimack Valley's starting quarterback since midway through his freshman season. Niyumugabo spent last Thursday on the UNH campus, where he participated in passing drills in front of the UNH coaches.

"It was probably the best I've thrown all summer," Niyomugabo said. "UNH has always been my No. 1 (school)."

Niyomugabo received an offer from Division II St. Anselm College  last month. He said Albany and Central Connecticut State are also in the picture, but at the moment he doesn't have a scholarship offer from either school.    

Niyomugabo is 6-1 and weighs 185 pounds. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.69 and 4.72 seconds at Central Connecticut last week. He passed for 1,654 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, when he also ran for 783 yards and 11 TDs.

"I'd like to verbally commit before the summer is over," Niyomugabo said. "My original plan was to make my decision before school starts so I can focus on my senior season. I don't think it will be too long."

July 27, 2014

Shrine Camp: Day 2

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

Shrine logo.jpg
Lightning at Castleton State College prevented New Hampshire from getting in an on-field workout Sunday before the team left for the Shriners Hospital in Springfield, Mass. 

"We had extended meetings and showed some film," New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson said. "We took a tour of the hospital. I don't think many of our kids understood that there's zero out-of-pocket expense for that kind of extensive treatment."

Hanover's Shawn Cavallaro and Portsmouth's Pat Glynn each reported Sunday. Each player was excused from Saturday's practice for family reasons.Jackson said Cavallaro appears to be at 100 percent health after suffering a hamstring injury during practice for the CHaD East-West All-Star game.

Vermont will be trying to end a 13-year drought in this year's game, which will be played Saturday (5:30 p.m.) at Dartmouth's Memorial Field. New Hampshire has a 45-13-2 lead in the series.

Jackson said there's a logjam at defensive end that will force him to move some of those players to the offensive side of the ball. He added that he hopes to play everyone on both sides of the ball Saturday.

"We've told all the kids that we don't care where you're from, it's what you can do at this point," he said.

New Hampshire is scheduled to practice three times Monday: 8:45 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Monday will be the team's first practice in pads, and Jackson said it will likely be the only time the team has a full-contact practice this week.

Bedford's Trent Fortune will be New Hampshire's starting center. Jackson said New Hampshire will operate almost exclusively out of the shotgun.

"The only time will be under center is to take a knee or kill the clock," he said.

*****
Tickets to Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling (603) 448-1042. Tickets are $10 for Shriners, $12 if purchased in advance and $15 on game day. ... Despite the recent proliferation of the spread offense, Lebanon's David Faulker set the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl record for receptions (8) and yards receiving (171) in 1967. ... If you include Pelham running back Chris Medeiros, who is injured, the New Hampshire roster has 11 players from Division I schools, 13 players from Division II schools and 12 players from Division III schools. ... Twenty-five schools are represented on the New Hampshire roster. Ten schools have two players participating: Campbell, Gilford, Bedford, St. Thomas. Merrimack Valley, Stevens, Plymouth, Exeter, Epping/Newmarket, and Trinity. ... Vermont has five players on its roster from Middlebury, which defeated South Burlington in last year's Division I state championship game. ... Monday is media day at Castleton State.

For more news about the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl and football in New Hampshire, follow Roger Brown on Twitter: @603SportsMedia.