August 2008 Archives

Will it be Pinkerton again?


Football logo.jpgThe League: Pinkerton Academy (3,331 enrollment), Nashua South (2,287), Salem (2,263), Manchester Memorial (2,165), Manchester Central (2,159), Nashua North (2,054), Concord (1,877), Londonderry (1,827) and Manchester West (1,809).

Defending Champion: Pinkerton Academy. The Astros defeated Nashua South, 14-2, in last year's championship game.

Top Story Line: Can Pinkerton win the Division I title for the fourth consecutive season? Nine starters return from last year's Pinkerton team.

Player to Watch: Nashua South running back David Zocco rushed for 1,155 yards and scored 16 touchdowns as a junior last season.

Game to Watch: Nashua South at Pinkerton (Nov. 25). A rematch of last year's title game. These teams appear to be the class of the division again, and this contest could determine home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

Noteworthy: Jon Rich is entering his first season as Londonderry's head coach. Rich replaced Tom Sawyer, who retired after 28 seasons with the Lancers. ... Peter Colcord, Manchester Memorial's offensive coordinator last season, has replaced Dante Laurendi as Memorial's head coach. Laurendi is now on the staff at Nashua North. ... The Division I season will kick off with two intriguing non-league contests Friday. Pinkerton will face Bishop Guertin, which has won three of the last four Division II titles; and Nashua South will meet Exeter, last year's Division II champion. ... Two other non-league games of note this season: Nashua South at Lowell, Mass. (Sept. 19), and Pinkerton at Brockton, Mass. (Oct. 17). ...This year's semifinals will be held Nov. 15, and the championship game will be played Nov. 22. All games will be played at the home of the higher-seeded team. The championship game will be televised by CN8.

-- Roger Brown

New Hampshire headlines: 8/30/08

NFL: Jets release Ball >> Times Argus

High School: Grid jamboree kicks things off >> Manchester Union Leader

New Hampshire headlines: 8/29/08

College: St. Anselm falls in opener >> St. Anselm athletics

High School: Local gridders joust in jamboree >> Foster's Daily Democrat

College: Can Dartmouth overcome inexperience on offensive line? >> Bleacher Report

Spaulding will hold jamboree tonight

A six-team jamboree will be held at Spaulding High School in Rochester on Thursday night. Epping-Newmarket (Division V), Kingswood (Division IV), Farmington (Division VI), Portsmouth (Division III), Somersworth (Division V) and Spaulding (Division II) are the teams that will participate.

Each team will play two 12-minute quarters. The schedule:

6:30 p.m.: Epping-Newmarket vs. Kingswood

6:50 p.m.: Kingswood vs. Farmington

7:10 p.m.: Epping-Newmarket vs. Farmington

7:30 p.m.: Portsmouth vs. Spaulding

7:50 p.m.: Portsmouth vs. Somersworth

8:10 p.m.: Somersworth vs. Spaulding

New Hampshire headlines: 8/28/08

College: Wildcats feel ready for Army opener >> Manchester Union Leader

College: Clements, UNH defense making strides >> Portsmouth Herald

College: Wildcats tune up for opener >> Foster's Daily Democrat

College: Welch shines in scrimmage >> Lowell Sun

Exeter's Peeke will lead Bates defense

Peeke.jpgThe Bates College football team will have a strong New Hampshire flavor on the defensive side of the ball this season.

Senior Coleman Peeke (pictured), who played at Exeter High School, has been moved from outside linebacker to inside linebacker this season. He'll also serve as a team captain.

Sophomore Ted Durkin (Rye Beach) will join Peeke at inside linebacker, and junior Kyle McAllister, another former Exeter High School standout, will anchor the secondary.

Defensive lineman Tyler Kuehl (Plymouth), defensive back Brett McAllister (Exeter), running back Jason Joseph (Merrimack) and defensive lineman Zach Lynch (Plymouth) are the other New Hampshire residents on the Bates roster.

UNH offense shines in scrimmage

Roger Brown

UNH logo.jpgThe University of New Hampshire offense put up 34 points in just over two quarters of action during Wednesday afternoon's fall Blue/White scrimmage at Cowell Stadium.

UNH used five different quarterbacks in the scrimmage. Sophomore QB R.J. Toman completed 16 of 22 passes for 116 yards and no interceptions. Redshirt freshman QB Kevin Decker completed 9 of 12 passes for 161 yards and connected for two TDs, one for 4 yards to junior receiver Travis Negron and another for 28 yards to sophomore wide receiver J.T. Wright.

Junior Chad Kackert led the rushing attack by gaining 53 yards on three carries. He turned one of his carries into a 30-yard TD run. Junior running back Sean Jellison, who played at Souhegan High School in Amherst, carried the ball eight times for 37 yards and made two catches for 31 yards.

J. T. Wright led all receivers with three catches for 52 yards. Senior Mike Boyle made two catches for 11 yards.
The long reception of the afternoon was made by redshirt freshman Mickey Mangieri, who hauled in a 54-yard touchdown pass from freshman quarterback Matt Welch.
The UNH defense recorded six sacks for a loss of 49 yards. Leading the way with 2.5 sacks was redshirt freshman John Murray.
Freshman linebackers Alan Buzzbee (10) and Matt Evans (eight) led the team in tackles.
The Blue/White scrimmage marked the end of preseason practices and now the Wildcats will turn their attention to the season-opener at Army on Sept. 6. The game can be seen live on ESPN Classic and heard on the Wildcat Sports Network.

Gilford's Dean will transfer

Running back Eric Dean, who helped the Gilford High School football team reach last year's Division V championship game, will transfer to the New Hampton School, according to a story in Wednesday's Laconia Citizen.

Dean, who also plays basketball, became the first Gilford player to rush for more than 1, 000 yards in a season when he gained 1,213 yards last year. Gilford knocked off Bishop Brady in the Division V semifinals before losing to Pelham in the title game. It was Gilford's first playoff appearance in the program's history. 

New Hampshire headlines: 8/26/08

High School: Sachems putting it together >> Laconia Citizen

College: St. Anselm two deep vs. Kutztown (Thursday) >> St. Anselm athletics

College: I-AA enjoys that validated feeling >> Washington Post

College: Dartmouth gearing up for practice >> Dartmouth athletics

Spaulding will hold jamboree Thursday

Roger Brown

A six-team jamboree will be held at Spaulding High School on Thursday night. Spaulding, Epping/Newmarket, Kingswood, Farmington, Portsmouth and Somersworth will each play two 12-minute quarters that will include punts and kickoffs.

The schedule:

6:30-6:50 p.m. > Epping/Newmarket vs. Kingswood

6:50-7:10 p.m. > Kingswood vs. Farmington

7:10-7:30 p.m. > Epping/Newmarket vs. Farmington

7:30-7:50 p.m. > Portsmouth vs. Spaulding

7:50-8:10 p.m. > Portsmouth vs. Somersworth

8:10-8:30 p.m. > Somersworth vs. Spaulding

New Hampshire headlines: 8/24/08

High School: The State of Football: New Hampshire >>

College: After ups and downs, Lapham now a starter >> Nashua Telegraph

UNH's Sicko named All-American

Roger Brown

Sicko.jpgScott Sicko, a tight end in his junior season at the University of New Hampshire, has been selected as a First Team Preseason All-American by The Sports Network.

Sicko (pictured) made 51 catches for 619 yards and six touchdowns during his sophomore season with the Wildcats. He finished second on the team in receptions behind graduated senior wide receiver Keith LeVan, who hauled in 71 passes. Sicko was third on the team in receiving yardage.

Earlier this year Sicko was named to the Colonial Athletic Association's Preseason All-Conference Team.

UNH will open the 2008 season Sept. 6 at Army. The game can be heard on the UNH Sports Radio Network and can be seen live on ESPN Classic.

New Hampshire headlines: 8/22/08

College: Wildcats need to plug offensive holes >> Manchester Union Leader

High School: The new kids on the block >> Laconia Citizen

High School: PHS football team getting back into shape >> Portsmouth Herald

UNH has no scheduling problems

In Thursday's Portsmouth Herald, Mike Zhe writes that the University of New Hampshire has a friendlier schedule this season than it did a year ago. UNH went 1-2 against teams from the Colonial Athletic Association's South Division last season (Delaware, Richmond and James Madison). Villanova, Towson and William & Mary are the South Division teams UNH will face this fall.

Also, for those interested in high school football, USA Today published its preseason Super 25 rankings Thursday. Byrnes High School in Duncan, S.C., tops the list.

Bonny Eagle High School from Standish, Maine, came in at No. 5 in the East Region rankings. Everett, Mass., is the only other New England team ranked in the East Region (No. 8).

CAA site posts UNH preview

Sicko.jpgThe Colonial Athletic Association began posting team previews this week. The University of New Hampshire preview was posted Tuesday.

UNH returned seven starters on each side of the ball and will rely on an offensive line that will likely have four seniors in the starting lineup in addition to junior tight end Scott Sicko. Sicko (pictured) was named an All-American last season, when he made 51 catches for 619 yards and six TDs.

CAA dominates preseason poll

UNH logo.jpgThe University of New Hampshire is one of six Colonial Athletic Association teams in The Sports Network's FCS top 25 preseason poll, which was released Tuesday.

UNH is 16th in the poll. The other CAA teams that are in the top 25 are Richmond (No. 4), Massachusetts (No. 5), Delaware (tied for No. 9), James Madison (tied for No. 9) and Villanova (No. 21). Harvard (No. 24) is the only Ivy League school in the top 25.

Appalachian State is No. 1 in the poll.  

Dartmouth won't lack exposure

Dartmouth logo.jpgDartmouth College finalized an agreement with the New England Sports Network (NESN) on Monday that will allow two Big Green football games to be televised on the station this year. NESN will show Dartmouth's Oct. 11 game against Yale, and its Nov. 1 contest against Harvard. Both games will be played in Hanover and are scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m.

Six of Dartmouth's 10 games will be televised by regional or national networks this season. In addition to the two NESN telecasts, the season opener against Colgate will be shown on Time Warner Sports at 1 p.m.; the home opener against the University of New Hampshire will be televised by WMUR-TV (Ch. 9) at noon; the contest at Penn can be seen on CN8 at noon; and Dartmouth's game at Columbia will be shown on Versus at 4 p.m.

"I'm very excited about the increased television exposure not just for our football program, but for the college itself," Dartmouth athletic director Josie Harper said. "Dartmouth College's ability to offer one of the best undergraduate experiences in the country, coupled with the experience and participation in a first-class football program that has a celebrated history and a very bright future, is a combination that is very hard to beat."

Since the first television coverage of a Dartmouth football game in 1953, Dartmouth has had 62 games televised, but never more than four in a season (1998 and 1999). This is the 15th consecutive year the Big Green has had at least one game on television. Fifteen Dartmouth games have  been on television since the 2000 season, including three last year.

UNH fans can see final tune-up

UNH logo.jpgThe University of New Hampshire football team will play its annual Blue/White scrimmage Aug. 27 at Cowell Stadium. The game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and admission is free.

The scrimmage will be the final chance for UNH fans to see the Wildcats before they open the season at Army on Sept. 6. UNH's first home game will be Sept. 20 against Albany (noon).

New Hampshire headlines: 8/17/08

College: UNH's Droesch has grown into role of standout lineman >> Portsmouth Herald

NFL: Receiver having a Ball with Jets >> Staten Island Advance

Nickel Package: Night vision

nickel package.gifFive topics on the New Hampshire football landscape:

1. Night playoff games

This season the Division III, Division IV and Division V semifinals will be played on Nov. 8. The championship games for those three divisions will be held Nov. 15.

The semifinals in Division I, Division II and Division VI will also be played Nov. 15. The championship games for those three divisions will be played Nov. 22.

With the exception of the Division I championship game, which is scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m., all semifinal and championship games will begin at 1 p.m. According to the NHIAA's policies and procedures manual, however, "games may start at a later time with the mutual consent of both schools."

Here's hoping that at least one of those playoff games is played at night, or at a time that will allow fans to see more than one game on the same day. Playing conditions have to be a consideration, and a field with lights would be required, but there are an awful lot of people who would travel and pay to see a football doubleheader. Night playoff games are held each year in Maine and Massachusetts.

2. The Shrine Game

Perhaps people overreacted to New Hampshire's 42-0 victory in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl earlier this month, but there are those wondering what, if anything, can be done to make the game more competitive. New Hampshire, which has restrictions that Vermont does not regarding roster selection, has a 40-13-2 advantage in the series and Vermont hasn't won the game since 2000.

One change that should be made is reducing each quarter from 15 to 12 minutes. At the very least this would help offset New Hampshire's superior depth and prevent 21-7 games from turning into 35-7 blowouts.

Also, the University of New Hampshire should be considered as the site for next year's game while improvements are made to Dartmouth's Memorial Field. Although Durham isn't an ideal location for Vermont fans, the all-star hockey and basketball games between the two states are both played at the University of Vermont. UNH would be a one-year site that would be preferable to a high school or prep school field. An event like the Shrine Game should be played in the best facility that's available. 

3. Sean Jellison

UNH running back Sean Jellison suffered a shoulder injury during spring practice. Here's what Jellison, who was named New Hampshire's Gatorade Player of the Year following his senior season at Souhegan High School, had to say when asked about his health at the team's media day last week:

"I rehabbed (the shoulder) over the summer and I feel I'm at 100 percent right now. I'm practicing at full speed all the time and I hope it stays that way. I'm just hoping to get on the field. I'm not going to set any expectations for myself. I just want to prove myself in camp."

4. Putting the NH in UNH

The UNH roster includes 12 players who reside in New Hampshire: Jellison (Amherst), defensive back Andre Garron (Bedford/Manchester West H.S.), defensive back Shawn MacNevin (Strafford/Spaulding H.S.), defensive back Rod Walker (Portsmouth/Portsmouth H.S.), defensive back Bryan Mayhew (Plymouth/Plymouth Regional), offensive/defensive lineman Josh Lane (Derry/Pinkerton Academy), offensive lineman Will Moher (Bedford/Manchester West H.S.), offensive lineman Mike Courturier (Dover/Dover H.S.), wide receiver Mike Boyle (Plymouth/Plymouth Regional), defensive tackle Steve Young (Rochester/Spaulding H.S.), defensive end Lance Mailloux (Bedford/Manchester West H.S.) and punter Ryan Glasgow (Bedford/Manchester West H.S.).

5. Football on the radio

WGAM's seventh season of "Friday Night Lights -- New Hampshire High School Football in Action" will begin with a 90-minute preview show on Sept. 5 (6-7:30 p.m.). WGAM will also air a one-hour scoreboard show following the Red Sox game that night.

WGAM (AM-900 Nashua and AM-1250 Manchester) will also have a two-hour show from 8-10 a.m. each Saturday throughout the high school season. Both shows will have interviews with players, coaches and phone calls from high school football fans.

WGAM still has openings for correspondents, who will be asked to provide live updates from high school games. Those interested can can send an email to 


NHIAA football: the numbers game

footballs.jpgThe following is the NHIAA's six-division alignment, which will be used for the first time this season. Schools were placed in a division based on enrollment, and each school's enrollment at the time of classification is listed in parenthesis.

Note: A * indicates that a school petitioned up to a division that has schools with larger enrollments and will play in a division other than where it was originally placed. Schools are not permitted to petition down.

Division I (1,800+)
Nine schools

Pinkerton Academy (3,331), Nashua South (2,287), Salem (2,263), Manchester Memorial (2,165), Manchester Central (2,159), Nashua North (2,054), Concord (1,877), Londonderry (1,827) and Manchester West (1,809).

Division II (1,290-1,799)
Nine schools

Spaulding (1,768), Keene (1,762), Dover (1,671), Exeter (1,654), Merrimack (1,593), Timberlane (1,590), Alvirne (1,518), Winnacunnet (1,324) and Bishop Guertin* (885).

Division III (1,289-950)
Nine schools

Goffstown (1,289), Bedford (1,172), Con-Val (1,087), Portsmouth (1,067), Pembroke Academy (1,045), Souhegan (970), Hollis-Brookline (952), John Stark* (890) and Milford* (872).

Division IV (949-740)
Nine schools

Kingswood (947), Kennett (945), Merrimack Valley (884), Laconia (822), Plymouth (817), Monadnock (787), Lebanon (761), Hanover (746) and Sanborn (743).

Division V (739-660)
Nine schools

Epping-Newmarket (736), St. Thomas (721), Pelham (700), Bow (669), Stevens (667), Kearsarge (665), Somersworth* (605), Trinity* (470) and Bishop Brady* (443).

Division VI (659-1)
Ten schools

Fall Mountain (656), Campbell (575), Gilford (572), Winnisquam (567), Farmington (487), Franklin (477), Mascoma (471), Newfound (465), Newport (461) and Inter-Lakes (441).

Jamboree information needed

Football logo.jpgAnyone who would like to publicize a preseason scrimmage or jamboree that involves at least one New Hampshire high school team can do so by sending the details to Please include the event's date, starting time, location and teams involved.

It's time for UNH to get defensive

UNH football.jpgAlthough the team will be breaking in a new quarterback (R.J. Toman), the biggest questions surrounding the 2008 University of New Hampshire football team are on defense.

As Tim O'Sullivan writes in Friday's Concord Monitor, the Wildcats surrendered 443.4 yards per game and 29.3 points per game last season. UNH's 2007 season ended when Northern Iowa drove 71 yards in a little over a minute to score the go-ahead touchdown in a 38-35 victory.

During media day Tuesday, UNH coach Sean McDonnell said stopping the run is the area where UNH needs the most improvement. UNH allowed 187.7 rushing yards per game last season, which ranked 11th in the 12-team Colonial Athletic Association.

UNH returned eight players from last year's starting defense.

New Hampshire headlines: 8/14/08

High School: N.H. fooball practice begins >> Lawrence Eagle-Tribune

High School: Keene revs up for practice >> Keene Sentinel

High School: Feels like fall >> Foster's Daily Democrat

High School: Football programs begin with new challenges >> Laconia Citizen

High School: Area teams are raring to go >> Valley News

College: Portsmouth's Walker ready for chance with 'Cats >> Portsmouth Herald

New Hampshire headlines: 8/13/08

College: Expectations remain high for UNH football >> Foster's Daily Democrat
College: Life after Ricky: UNH moves forward >> Concord Monitor
College: UNH knows it must strengthen defense >> Nashua Telegraph
College: Spotlight shines on Toman >> Portsmouth Herald

UNH's McDonnell provides the answers

Roger Brown

UNH football.jpgTuesday was media day at the University of New Hampshire, which means it was a day when UNH football coach Sean McDonnell had to answer a lot of questions. The question he answered most often had to do with the team's quarterback position, where sophomore R.J. Toman will take over for all-everything QB Ricky Santos.

Santos holds numerous school records, including career passing yards (12,189), career completions (1,024), most completions in a season (301 in 2005), most passing yards in a season (3,797 in 2005), and career touchdowns passes (116). Santos helped UNH reach the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs in each of his four seasons as a starter.

McDonnell said Toman will be successful as long as he doesn't try to do too much too soon.

"He has to remember who he is and how we want him to do things," McDonnell said. "I've always said the quarterback's gotta be a distributor here at UNH. Get the ball to our skill people. Let people run, let people catch and then statistics and all of that stuff will come your way. Obviously the last guy who was here embraced that pretty well.

"The one thing that R.J. gives us that I like an awful lot is that mobility at quarterback. A little bit more athleticism. The one thing you wonder about is the durability. That's where Kevin Decker has to understand that 20 plays into one year Ricky Santos had to take someone's place. That's why Kevin Decker has to prepare like he's the starter. And then somewhere along the way we have to find a third quarterback out of those other guys."

Toman played in two games last season. He entered the Delaware game after Santos suffered a first-half injury and led the Wildcats to a 35-30 victory. He completed nine passes for 98 yards and two TDs against Delaware.

Toman guided UNH to a 49-21 triumph over Iona the following weekend. He completed 15 of 19 pass attempts for 172 yards and a TD in that contest. He also rushed for 111 yards on 20 carries last season.

"The thing I feel good about is the kid's already been on the field," McDonnell said. "He's already been in the hot water. He went in that Delaware game and he did some very good things, but he's got to understand there are five other guys on that offense that we can get the ball to who can do things with it. Make your reads, distribute the ball, make the play. Let it all come to you instead of trying to make things happen."

Here are some other subjects McDonnell addressed on Tuesday:

Continue reading UNH's McDonnell provides the answers.

Poll position: Dartmouth picked seventh

Roger Brown

Ivy League.jpgDartmouth College coach Buddy Teevens said he wasn't surprised when he learned that his team was picked to finish seventh in this year's Ivy League media poll. That doesn't mean he thinks the poll is accurate, though.

"With the losses to graduation we had, it's not surprising the media picked us that low," Teevens said. "But this is the deepest and most athletic team we've had the past four years, and I know we will be more competitive than what the media gives us credit."

Dartmouth returns 15 starters from a team that finished 3-4 in the Ivy League last season. Quarterback Tom Bennewitz is among the 2007 starters lost to graduation. Alex Jenny will likely be the starting QB when Dartmouth opens its season at Colgate on Sept. 20 (1 p.m.). Jenny threw for 484 yards and five touchdowns last season.

Harvard and Yale shared the top spot in the poll, which was released at Ivy League media day Tuesday. Each team received eight of the 17 first-place votes.

Brown, which is coached by Laconia High School graduate Phil Estes, was selected third in the poll. Estes was a three-year starter at the University of New Hampshire and served as UNH's offensive coordinator from 1991 to 1993. He also coached at Concord High School.

"This is a wide-open conference, passing the ball all over the field," Teevens said. "Harvard and Yale have established themselves as the favorite, but the gap between them and the rest of the league is shrinking. This will be a very competitive season up and down the league."

Dartmouth's first home game will be against UNH on Sept. 27.

(First-place votes in parenthesis)

1. Harvard (8)
2. Yale (8)
3. Brown
4. Penn (1)
5. Princeton
6. Cornell
7. Dartmouth
8. Columbia

Philistin shines in scrimmage

Philistin.jpgSenior linebacker Dave Philistin (pictured) made a team-high seven tackles in the first of three preseason intra-squad scrimmages for the University of Maryland football team Saturday. The scrimmage capped the first week of practice for the Terrapins.

Philistin, who was a three-year starter at Manchester Central, is projected by some scouts as a possible late-round selection in the 2009 NFL draft. Philistin averaged a league-best 11.8 tackles per contest in eight Atlantic Coast Conference games last season.

These games will draw national attention

ESPN logo.jpgNineteen high school football games will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU this season. The 38 teams represent 18 states. The schedule:

Aug. 23: Cathedral (Ind.) vs. Carmel (Ind.) >> ESPN (noon)
Aug. 29:
Mays (Ga.) vs. Carver (Ga.) >> ESPNU (8 p.m.)
Aug. 31:
Rockhurst (Mo.) vs. Blue Springs South (Mo.) >> ESPN (noon)
Sept. 1:
St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) vs. Elder (Ohio) >> ESPN (noon)
Sept. 3:
Mater Dei (Calif.) vs. Carson (Calif.) >> ESPN2 (9 p.m.)
Sept. 5:
Armwood (Fla.) vs. Plant (Fla.) >> ESPNU (8 p.m.)
Sept. 11:
Rider (Texas) vs. Sulphur Springs (Texas) >> ESPN2 (9 p.m.)
Sept. 12:
Bastrop (La.) vs. Dollarway (Ark.) >> ESPNU (8 p.m.)
Sept. 19:
Apopka (Fla.) vs. South Panola (Miss.) >> ESPNU (8 p.m.)
Sept. 26:
Brentwood Academy (Tenn.) vs. Prattville (Ala.) >> ESPNU (8 p.m.)
Sept. 27:
Don Bosco Prep (N.J.) vs. De La Salle (Calif.) >> ESPNU (10:30 p.m.)
Oct. 2:
DeMatha (Md.) vs. Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.) >> ESPN2 (6:30 p.m.)
Oct. 3:
Pahokee (Fla.) vs. Byrnes (S.C.) >> ESPNU (8  p.m.)
Oct. 4:
Cypress Bay (Fla.) vs. Katy (Texas) >> ESPNU (TBD)
Oct. 10:
Lowndes (Ga.) vs. Valdosta (Ga.) >> ESPNU (8 p.m.)
Oct. 16:
Cypress Falls (Texas) vs. Cypress Ridge (Texas) >> ESPNU (8 p.m.)
Oct. 17:
St. Joseph's Prep (Penn.) vs. Cardinal O'Hara (Penn.) >> ESPNU (6 p.m.)
Oct 31:
Godby (Fla.) vs. Madison County (Fla.) >> ESPNU (8 p.m.)
Nov. 7:
Mountain Pointe (Ariz.) vs. Desert Vista (Ariz.) >> ESPNU (10:30 p.m.)

Hall makes it official

official.jpgNew Hampshire Football Report is pleased to announce that Steve Hall's "Officially Speaking" column will return for the 2008 season. "Officially Speaking" is a feature that allows readers to submit questions about high school football rules.

Hall has been a New Hampshire high school official since 1989 and has officiated more the 200 varsity games. He has also officiated nearly 30 playoff games and worked his 11th championship game last year (Pinkerton Academy vs. Nashua South in Division I). Hall, who is a member of the New Hampshire Football Officials' Association Board of Directors, has been the NHFOA rules interpreter for the last eight years.

Anyone who has a question about high school rules, be it a strange play, an unusual formation or a ruling that you didn't understand, can send that question to "Officially Speaking" will run each week throughout the 2008 season, or as often as questions allow. This year's first "Officially Speaking" column is scheduled to appear the week before the NHIAA regular season begins.

Questions are currently being accepted.

Note: An example of Hall's "Officially Speaking" column can be read by clicking here:

NHIAA football has a new look

Football logo.jpgPlymouth won the Division III championship and dropped down a division. Hollis-Brookline, a program that never qualified for the playoffs in Division IV, moved up to Division III. Epping joined forces with Newmarket to form a co-op program. Bedford, Sanborn, Inter-Lakes and Mascoma joined the varsity ranks, and the NHIAA added a sixth division. A lot has happened since five state champions were crowned last November. Here's how the NHIAA's six-division alignment will look this fall:

DIVISION I: Concord, Londonderry, Manchester Central, Manchester Memorial, Manchester West, Nashua North, Nashua South, Pinkerton Academy and Salem.

DIVISION II: Alvirne, Bishop Guertin, Dover, Exeter, Keene, Merrimack, Spaulding, Timberlane and Winnacunnet.

DIVISION III: Bedford, Con-Val, Goffstown, Hollis-Brookline, John Stark, Milford, Pembroke, Portsmouth and Souhegan.

DIVISION IV: Hanover, Kennett, Kingswood, Laconia, Lebanon, Merrimack Valley, Monadnock, Plymouth and Sanborn.

DIVISION V: Bishop Brady, Bow, Epping, Kearsarge, Pelham, Somersworth, St. Thomas, Stevens and Trinity.

DIVISION VI: Campbell, Fall Mountain, Farmington, Franklin, Gilford, Inter-Lakes, Mascoma, Newfound, Newport and Winnisquam.

St. Anselm starts in poor poll position

ne10.gifSt Anselm College was picked to finish at the bottom of the Northeast-10 preseason football poll, which was released Tuesday.

St. Anselm finished 0-10 overall and 0-9 in the Northeast-10 last season.

Northeast-10 Preseason Football Poll
(First-place votes in parenthesis)

1. Southern Connecticut (7)
2. Bentley (1)
3. American International
4. Stonehill
5. Merrimack
6. Assumption
7. Pace
8. St. Anselm

Taking care of business

Football logo.jpgAs you have probably noticed, advertising has been added to New Hampshire Football Report in the last month. I'd like to thank the sponsors that have contributed thus far: Scott Trendell of Edward Jones Investments, Chris Anderson of Anderson-Nigrelli Concrete, Lake Sunapee Bank and the St. Anselm College athletic department. In addition, the University of New Hampshire athletic department committed to an ad earlier this week.

I'd also like to send a special thank you to Kenneth Magoon, whose numerous private donations kept the site up and running during the first year. The money generated by these sponsorships help offset the costs of running the site (travel, phone, server space, web master, etc.) and have not created any profit.

The site will be accepting sponsorships through the end of August. If you know of a business or booster club that would like to help promote football in New Hampshire through an ad on New Hampshire Football Report, please contact me at Business and team logos can be created if necessary. Private donations are also welcome. As always, thank you for your support.


                                                                                                        Roger Brown

Shrine headlines: 8/3/08

New Hampshire: New Hampshire routs Vermont >> Portsmouth Herald
Vermont: NH steamrolls Vermont >> Rutland Herald
New Hampshire: New Hampshire romps in Shrine Bowl >> Laconia Citizen
New Hampshire: Predictable outcome >> Concord Monitor
Vermont: NH rolls to record Shrine win >> Burlington Free Press

Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl: NH wins again

55th Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl
New Hampshire 42, Vermont 0

Scoring Summary

First Quarter

No scoring

Second Quarter

NH: Jamie Moore 1-yard run (Greg Molloy kick), 13:55

Third Quarter

Kyle Brown 40-yard pass from Billy Ferriter (Molloy kick), 13:17
NH: Moore 1-yard run (Molloy kick), 7:42 

Fourth Quarter

NH: Ferriter 9-yard run (Molloy kick), 14:51
NH: Robert Moss 2-yard run (Molloy kick), 6:45
NH: Moss 13-yard run (Molloy kick), 3:07

Team Statistics

First Downs: VT (15), NH (23)
Net Yards Rushing: VT (37-137), NH (55-257)
Net Yards Passing: VT (105), NH (153)
Pass Att-Comp-Int: VT (26-11-3), NH (14-9-1)
Total Offense: VT (63-242), NH (69-410)
Fumbles: VT (0), NH (0)
Punt Returns-Yards: VT (0-0), NH (2-23)
Kickoff Returns-Yards: VT (3-69), NH (0-0)
Interceptions Returns-Yards: VT (1-0), NH (3-23)
Punts Number-Avg: VT (5-26.4), NH (2-38.0)
Penalties-Yards: VT (9-107), NH (6-50)
Possession Time: VT (31.07), NH (28.53)
Third-Down Conversions: VT (9 of 16), NH (8 of 12)
Fourth-Down Conversions: VT (1 of 3), NH (1 of 1)
Red Zone Scores-Chances: VT (0-2), NH (5-6) 

Continue reading Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl: NH wins again.

Can Vermont end streak?

55th Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl
New Hampshire vs. Vermont

When and where: Saturday (2:30 p.m.) at Dartmouth's Memorial Field.
Team records: New Hampshire leads the series 39-13-2.
Head coaches: Laconia's Craig Kozens is the New Hampshire head coach. U-32's Mike Law will be guiding Vermont.
2007 result: New Hampshire won, 23-20.
Last Vermont victory: 2000 game (47-40).
Tickets: Tickets are $10 (general admission) and $20 (reserved seating) and are available at the gate.
Noteworthy: New teams, same storyline: Is this the year Vermont will be able to knock off New Hampshire? On paper this looks like one of the better New Hampshire teams in recent years. New Hampshire is much stronger at the skill positions than it was a year ago. The offensive cast includes Nashua South quarterback Billy Ferriter and Londonderry running back Alex Theodhosi. Ferriter, New Hampshire's Gatorade Player of the Year, will be running a spread offense similar to the one he ran for Nashua South. Theodhosi set a school record by rushing for 2,041 yards last season. He also scored 28 TDs. The offensive line is big, and includes two players headed to play in the Football Championship Subdivision: Portsmouth's Reed Spiller (Yale) and Pinkerton Academy's Josh Lane (University of New Hampshire). ... "Ferriter from Nashua South -- he can do everything," Law said. "(New Hampshire) has some really good speed at running back. If I had those running backs and that line I think I'd run the ball and see what happens. We know if we can't stop the run we're going to get a heavy dose of that. We've told our front seven that." ... The Vermont roster was been depleted by injuries and disciplinary issues. Vermont was hit particularly hard at running back. Law will be without running back Taylor DeVarney (disciplinary reasons) and Trevor Varney (food poisoning). DeVarney and Varney each rushed for more than 2,000 yards during their senior season. ... Shortly after selecting his team Law said he hoped to have a balanced offense, but Kozens said he expects Vermont to put the ball in the air two out of every three plays. Ethan Sylvain, who was Law's quarterback at U-32, is expected to take most of the snaps from center. Sylvain will likely look to take advantage of tight ends Adam Chicoine (Burlington) and Andrew Baker (Rutland). ... Both defenses will play a four-man front. The key matchup may be New Hampshire's secondary against Vermont's receivers. "We're deep and we're athletic back there," Kozens said. "I think we should be able to handle whatever they decide to do." ... New Hampshire will have 55 varsity football programs this fall. Vermont has 34. ... Prediction: New Hampshire 34, Vermont 13.

Shrine camp: Final day

Roger Brown

Shrine logo.jpgNew Hampshire will enter Saturday's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl with 24 plays, 10 of which are pass plays, according to New Hampshire coach Craig Kozens.

Kozens said he has his first two offensive plays scripted, and his third play will be determined by down and distance.

"I used to script plays, but I always went away from the script," Kozens said. "We can run each of those 24 four plays out of four different formations. We also have a hurry-up (offense) and a two-minute drill.

"You'll see both of our offensive set (Spread and I) early, probably within the first two or three series."

Kozens commented on the following areas of his teams offense:

Quarterback: "Billy Ferriter (Nashua South) can run or pass, and he does both equally well. That's what makes him so tough to defend. He makes good decisions."

Running back: "It's a deep group. Alex Theodhosi (Londonderrry) is a very physical runner, who is very elusive for a 200-pound back. In the open field he's very fast. Exeter's Gabe Bourgeois hits the hole quick. He can be tough to catch.'

Split ends/wide receivers: "Matt McLaughlin (St. Thomas) can catch anything thrown near him. Sticky fingers. Bobby Williams (Kearsarge) is probably the top speed guy on the team. He's one of our most dangerous weapons. Sam Auffant (Winnacunnet) and Kyle Brown (Concord) can both take a short pass and turn it into a home run."

Offensive line: "Our guards are quick and can pull, which we like in our system. It's a really good unit and I think they communicate well for having only 10 days of practice. Every play there's a call (by the linemen) at the line of scrimmage."

Saturday's game will be played at Dartmouth's Memorial Field (2:30 p.m.). Tickets are $10 (general admission) and $20 (reserved seating).

"We're ready for a football game," Kozens said.


Kozens made of point of praising Vermont coach Mike Law during his speech at Friday night's Shrine banquet. Kozens said in some years Vermont and New Hampshire treat each other like two enemy camps, but that wasn't the case this year.

"Mike and I have talked a lot since we've been here," Kozens said. "He's really a great human being -- a great person. There's been no animosity between us." 


The following radio stations will broadcast Saturday's game: WCSR (Springfield, Vt.), WNTK (Lebanon), WCNL (Newport), WVNR (Poultney, Vt.), WSYB (Rutland, Vt.) and WKXL (Concord).

Shrine headlines: 8/1/08

New Hampshire: NH offense will be tough to defend >> Portsmouth Herald
New Hampshire: Morin grateful he got the call for Shrine game >> Lawrence (Mass.) Eagle Tribune
New Hampshire: Exeter's McAllister, Bourgeois ready for Shrine Bowl >> Exeter News-Letter
New Hampshire: For New Hampshire players there's a legacy >> Nashua Telegraph
New Hampshire: Lakes Region locals ready for Shrine Bowl >> Laconia Citizen
Vermont: Nerves build as kickoff nears >> Rutland Herald
New Hampshire: Seacoast will be well represented in Shrine Bowl >> Portsmouth Herald
New Hampshire: Winnacunnet's Auffant, Cronan ready for Shrine Game >> Hampton Union
Vermont: Curran gears up for Shrine Bowl >> Bennington Banner
New Hampshire: Players excited for Shrine Bowl >> The Dartmouth
Vermont: Colonels Larabee, Gillard headed to Shrine Bowl >> Brattleboro Reformer
New Hampshire: Seacoast players ready for Shrine Bowl >> Foster's Daily Democrat
Vermont: Vermont inspires for Shrine win >> Burlington Free Press

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