After a three-year absence, the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl will return to Dartmouth College's Memorial Field next summer.
The all-star football game between high school players from Vermont and New Hampshire has been held at Dartmouth 48 times, but was played at Windsor High School in each of the last three years because of construction to the stadium surrounding Memorial Field. The 2012 game will be played on Aug. 4.
"I'm very excited about the revival of Dartmouth's half-century tradition of hosting the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl Game," Dartmouth president Jim Yong Kim said. "We're proud to make our facilities available to Vermont and New Hampshire high school athletes in recognition of their dedication to such an excellent cause as the Shriners Hospitals for Children."
Of the 30 Shrine football games played across the country every year, the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl ranks third in terms of money raised for the Shriners Hospitals. The event is sponsored by the three Shrine Centers of New Hampshire and Vermont -- Bektash (Concord, N.H.), Cairo (Rutland) and Mt. Sinai (Montpelier) – and has raised more than four million dollars since it was first played in Nashua, N.H., in 1954.
"The Board of Governors of the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl Football Game is sincerely grateful to Dartmouth College for agreeing to host the 2012 game at their beautiful stadium at minimal cost to us," said Jerry Mason, president of the Board of Governors of the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. "This will certainly help to increase our contribution to Shriners Hospitals for Children."
New Hampshire won last year's game 45-21 and stretched its winning streak to 11 games. New Hampshire leads the all-time series 43-13-2.
Coaches for next year's game will be announced later this year. The teams from each state will be announced in February.
New Hampshire has 57 high schools that play varsity football. Vermont has 34.
The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl was first played at Dartmouth in 1958. The game has also been held in Burlington, and four other New Hampshire locations: Holman Stadium (Nashua), Athletic Stadium (Manchester), Plymouth State University (Plymouth) and Cowell Stadium (Durham).
"We are pleased and proud to host the Shrine Bowl again, as we understand the importance of the event to the entire Twin States region," Dartmouth athletic director Harry Sheehy said. "We are grateful for President Kim's leadership in making it financially feasible for the game to return to Memorial Field and generate as much support as possible for Shriners Hospitals.”
OUT OF ORDER
The eight teams that will qualify for the Division I football playoffs have been determined, although seeding for the playoffs won't be finalized until after this weekend.
Hartford, BFA-St. Albans, Middlebury, South Burlington, Champlain Valley, Rutland, Colchester and St. Johnsbury have secured playoff berths.
Hartford (7-0), last year's Division I champion, will earn the No. 1 seed if it can wrap up the regular season by beating Rutland (4-3) at home this weekend. BFA-St. Albans (6-1) will be the No. 2 seed if it can beat South Burlington (0-7) at home.
The Division I playoff field expanded from four to eight teams this season after the league grew to 14 schools. Four teams will qualify for the playoffs in Division II and Division III. There are two weeks remaining in the regular season in each of those two divisions.
The South Burlington field hockey team completed the regular season with a 12-2 record by beating Mt. Abraham 4-1 Wednesday. Morgan Bresnahan scored twice for South Burlington, which stretched its winning streak to six games.
Nine of South Burlington's 12 victories came by shutout.
South Burlington will be the No. 1 seed for this year's Division I tournament. The Rebels completed a 17-0 season by beating Hartford 3-0 in last year's championship game.
•Division II Woodstock (11-0) entered the week as the only unbeaten field hockey team in the state.
•Jamie Horton scored with 3:12 to play Wednesday to hand Burlington a 1-0 victory over Champlain Valley – Burlington's first victory since the 2009 season. The Seahorses (1-10-3) finished 0-15-0 last season.
CVU SOCCER REMAINS UNBEATEN
The Champlain Valley Union girls' soccer team improved its record to 12-0-1 and secured the No. 1 seed for next week's Division I tournament by beating South Burlington 4-0 Wednesday.
Audrey Morehouse collected two goals and two assists for CVU.
U-32 midfielder Jack Shea will continue his soccer career at the University of Vermont.
Shea had 12 goals through 13 games for the Raiders this season. He selected the Catamounts over America East rival New Hampshire.
Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers college football recruiting in the Northeast for ESPN.