Boston High School: Ray Kershaw

Shrine Bowl: NH shuts out Vermont for 13th straight

August, 3, 2013
8/03/13
11:12
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HANOVER, N.H. -– Vermont may have run a prettier offense Saturday night, but New Hampshire's Double-Wing was much more effective.
New Hampshire outgained Vermont 460-162 and rolled to a 43-0 triumph in the 60th Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl at Dartmouth's Memorial Field.

It was the 13th consecutive victory for New Hampshire, which has a 45-13-2 lead in the series.

Trinity running back Romeo Masuku ran for a game-high 113 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Goffstown quarterback Connor Benjamin tossed a 55-yard TD pass to Laconia tight end Graham Nyhan –- New Hampshire's only pass completion in the game –- and also ran for a 36-yard TD.

New Hampshire operated out of a Wildcat formation for much of the second half, when it scored 28 of its 43 points.

“We wanted to save that for the second half so they couldn't prepare for it at halftime,” New Hampshire coach Ray Kershaw said. “The Double-Wing is designed to wear teams down in the second half, and that's what happened. That's what my offensive linemen were telling me.”

New Hampshire also received a 9-yard TD run from Concord's Tolbert Nemo, a 1-yard TD run from Exeter's Tyler Grant and a 42-yard field goal from Souhegan's Tyler Ford. Ford also made four point-after kicks.

Vermont's no-huddle spread offense was limited to 40 yards rushing on 22 carries, and 13 completions in 34 pass attempts. Vermont committed six turnovers, five of which were interceptions.

“We just make too many mistakes,” Vermont coach Jason Thomas said. “We had our chances – I really believe that – I just don't think we executed very well.”

New Hampshire led 6-0 after one quarter, 15-0 at halftime and 29-0 entering the fourth.

Vermont has lost 23 of the last 25 games.

LINE DANCING
New Hampshire's defensive line, which featured University of New Hampshire-bound tackle Ricky Holt, recorded four sacks.
“We had one of the most dominant defensive lines you could have put together in our state,” Holt said. “We did a really good job of getting after the quarterback.”

New Hampshire's defensive line included Exeter defensive end Zach Bosen, Pembroke Academy defensive tackle Chris Ford and Stevens defensive end C.J. Gosselin.

“We knew they'd be really good up front, and when they're really good up front it makes it challenging,” Thomas said. “Their defensive line was outstanding putting pressure on our quarterbacks all day. Made it difficult for them to throw it to the open guy.”

It was the first time Vermont was shut out since 2008, when New Hampshire posted a 42-0 victory.

“They did throw us off our game a little bit,” Vermont quarterback Jake Stalcup (Burr & Burton) said. “It's tough to make a full-field read when there are guys coming at you.”

EXTRA POINTS
Ford's 42-yard field goal came as time expired at the end of the first half, and is the longest field goal in the game's history. Spaulding's Scott Sanborn held the previous record. Sanborn made a 41-yard field goal in 1982. ... New Hampshire attempted six passes. ... Woodstock's Ed Doton was Vermont's leading rusher with 38 yards on six carries. ... Vermont's Chris Redding (Burr and Burton) caught five passes for 53 yards. ... Logan Batchelder (Stevens) had two of New Hampshire's five interceptions. ... It was the first time the game has been played at night.

NH going for baker's dozen in Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl

August, 2, 2013
8/02/13
4:35
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It's a different year with different players and different coaches, but the storyline leading up to Saturday's 60th Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl hasn't changed: Can Vermont find a way to upset New Hampshire, or at least make it a competitive game?

New Hampshire will bring a 12-game winning streak into Saturday's contest, and has outscored Vermont 433-145 in those 12 games. New Hampshire leads the overall series 44-13-2.

New Hampshire head coach Ray Kershaw (Mascoma Regional) said he has warned his team about the danger of being overconfident.

“They do know not to take them lightly,” Kershaw said. “I tell them that every single day. I tell them it's not going to be handed to them.”

Saturday's game will be played at Dartmouth's Memorial Field. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and all proceeds benefit the Shriners' Hospitals for Children.

“Different set of circumstances,” Vermont coach Jason Thomas (Burr & Burton) said. “I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't have my guys ready to go and believing they could win.”

Goffstown's Connor Benjamin will lead the New Hampshire offense. Benjamin played running back in the New Hampshire CHaD All-Star Game, but will be New Hampshire's starting quarterback Saturday. He was a quarterback during his junior and senior seasons at Goffstown.

Exeter's Tyler Grant, Concord's Tolbert Nemo, Trinity of Manchester's Romeo Masuku and Manchester Memorial's Jared Ombati are among New Hampshire's running backs.

“Our backfield has a lot of speed and a lot of depth,” Benjamin said.

Vermont will have to deal with a New Hampshire defense led by Portsmouth defensive lineman Ricky Holt, who will play at the University of New Hampshire.

Vermont fans are hoping quarterback Jake Stalcup can guide their team to victory.

Stalcup, a three-year starter for Thomas at Burr and Burton, was named Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011, when he tossed 31 touchdown passes as a junior. Stalcup passed for 2,613 yards and 31 TDs last fall. He will play for Middlebury College this season.

Stalcup will direct a fast-paced spread offense that Thomas learned from Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly while both were assistant coaches at UNH.

“I think the game will be won or lost up front,” Thomas said. “If we can't protect the QB, keep him upright so he can get the ball off, the skill kids aren't going to matter.

“We feel like we have to score points against these guys for sure. New Hampshire is big and athletic. I imagine they'll be a very difficult team to stop.”

New Hampshire set a record for points scored by one team when it won last year's game 62-24.

“Both teams have been working hard and it's going to be a tough game,” Benjamin said. “Regardless of who wins, this game is all about fund-raising. It's for kids who can't do what we do.”

New England Roundup: Vermont

March, 29, 2013
3/29/13
5:10
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March was a pretty good month for Missisquoi Valley Union's Matt St. Amour.

VermontAfter being selected as Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year for boys basketball, St. Amour finalized his college plans by choosing to continue his basketball career at Division III Middlebury College. St. Amour's other options included walking on at the University of Vermont.

"I've always been a Vermont kid and I felt I always wanted to continue to play in front of my Vermont fans," St. Amour told the Burlington Free Press. "UVM would have been a great opportunity, always been one of my dreams to play for them, but I feel Middlebury was a better fit."

St. Amour, a 6-foot-3 guard, was also named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior. He averaged 30.7 points, 11.9 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.4 steals per game as a senior, when he helped the Thunderbirds (13-9) reach the Division I quarterfinals. He completed his high school career as the No. 3 scorer in state history (2,064 points).

Middlebury has qualified for the NCAA Division III tournament in each of the last six years. The Panthers reached the quarterfinals this season, and finished with a 25-4 record.

"Middlebury told me I was their No. 1 option all along,” St. Amour said. “I know I can be an important role on their team. I felt they were interested in wanting me to play there," St. Amour said. "Middlebury doesn't like to lose that much and that's something that I enjoy.

"I plan on having a successful career and win a national championship -- that's definitely a goal."

TWIN-STATE GAMES MAY RETURN
After the Vermont boys and girls played New Hampshire in the 2010 Twin State All-Star Senior Basketball Classic, many thought the event was dead and buried.

The games lacked interest – primarily on the New Hampshire side – and sponsors became hard to find. Vermont recently received a commitment from the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches' Association, however, and the event may return as soon as this summer. Representatives from each state are scheduled to meet in April in an attempt to bring the games back to life.

The Twin State Classic has always been a doubleheader with the top girls basketball players from each state facing one another before the boys game. The games were last held at the University of Vermont's Patrick Gymnasium.

The New Hampshire boys and girls teams each hold an 18-12 edge in the series.

SHRINE ROSTER RELEASED
There are still three spots to fill on the Vermont Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team, but a preliminary roster was released in mid-March. Vermont will play New Hampshire on Aug. 3 (5:30 p.m.) at Dartmouth College's Memorial Field. It will be the first night game in the event's history.

Jason Thomas of Burr & Burton Academy is Vermont's head coach. Mascoma Regional's Ray Kershaw is coaching New Hampshire's.

New Hampshire won last summer's game 62-24 to extend its winning streak to 12 games. New Hampshire leads the series 44-13-2.

Vermont roster: Zachary Rawling (Bellows Falls), Zachary Tarvit (Bellows Falls), Darren Callan (BFA-St. Albans), Dylan Callan (BFA-St. Albans), Lucas Kelsey (BFA-St. Albans), Doug Saffo (BFA-St. Albans), Ryan Wimble (BFA-Fairfax), Tyler Higley (Brattleboro), Billy Katon (Burlington), Chris Redding (Burr & Burton), Jake Stalcup (Burr & Burton), Alec Distler (Champlain Valley), Harvey Ottinger (Champlain Valley), Bobby Brigante (Colchester), Noah MacGillivary (Essex), James Olsen (Essex), Joey Picard (Essex), Joseph Ramada (Essex), Cody Bradish (Fair Haven), Dakota Euber (Fair Haven), Josh Claflin (Hartford), Nolan Frechette (Hartford), Taylor Potter (Hartford), Walter Odell (Middlebury), Wade Steele (Mount Abraham), Carter Glenn (Mount Mansfield), Dan Warnecke (Poultney), Billy O'Brien (Rice), Matthew Hock (Rutland), Jon Kilian (Spaulding), Ed Doton (Woodstock), Travis Gault (Woodstock), Jalen Peterson (Woodstock).

WINTER RECAP
Scores from the championship games in basketball and hockey:

Boys' basketball
Division I: Rice 48, St. Johnsbury
Division II: Vergennes 62, Burr & Burton 49
Division III: Williamstown 63, Thetford 39
Division IV: Rochester 68, West Rutland 43

Girls' basketball
Division I: Champlain Valley 47, Rice 42
Division II: Mount Abraham 44, BFA-Fairfax 28
Division III: Winooski 52, Williamstown 48
Division IV: Proctor 55, Arlington 38

Boys' hockey
Division I: South Burlington 4, Champlain Valley 2
Division II: U-32 5, Burr & Burton 2

Girls' hockey
Division I: BFA-St. Albans 3, Essex 0
Division II: Harwood 1, North Country 0

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: Vermont

January, 9, 2013
1/09/13
2:20
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When Jason Thomas became Burr and Burton Academy's head football coach in 2008, the Bulldogs had suffered through nine consecutive losing seasons. Four years later he guided Burr and Burton to the Division II championship game.

VermontThomas will face a similar challenge this summer, when he coaches Vermont's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team.

New Hampshire has won the last 12 meetings with Vermont, and has outscored Vermont 433-145 in those 12 games. New Hampshire set a record for points in a game last summer, when its posted a 62-24 victory and increased its lead in the series to 44-13-2.

“I'm a Vermonter, and I have a lot of pride in our state,” Thomas said. “We're small, but we have some really good football players here.

“When you look at the size difference we don't have the linemen to line up and pound it at New Hampshire. I want to play at a tempo New Hampshire is not used to.”

Thomas, who played football at the University of Massachusetts, said he learned the basics of his fast-paced offense while he was an assistant coach at the University of New Hampshire, and current Oregon head coach Chip Kelly was UNH's offensive coordinator..

“Chip really laid the foundation for me in terms of offense and what I wanted to do,” Thomas said.

Mascoma Regional's Ray Kershaw will be New Hampshire's head coach. Mascoma, which began playing varsity football in 2008, had never posted a winning record until last season, when the Royals lost to Franklin in the Division VI championship game. Kershaw became Mascoma's head coach in 2010.

“Being named New Hampshire's Shrine coach was very exciting for me,” Kershaw said. “It's a great honor because of what the game is all about [raising money for the Shriners' hospitals].”

This year's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl will be played Aug. 3 at Dartmouth's Memorial Field. The Vermont and New Hampshire rosters will be released later this month.

One of the first players Thomas selects will likely be quarterback Jake Stalcup, a three-year starter at Burr and Burton. Stalcup was named Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011, following his junior season.

Stalcup passed for 2,613 yards and 31 touchdowns (nine interceptions) last season. He also threw 31 touchdown passes as a junior.

“He's as steady as they come,” Thomas said. “He doesn't really get rattled. He's 6-2, 200 pounds and has a live arm. He has 'it' as a quarterback.”

Practice for this year's game has been shortened from nine days to seven. There have also been added restrictions placed on how New Hampshire must select its roster. New Hampshire's initial roster before any injuries) must feature six players from each of the state's six divisions. In past year's New Hampshire was allowed to take more players from its larger schools.

New Hampshire has 57 schools with varsity football. Vermont has 34.

“To be honest I don't care about their selection process,” Thomas said. “I want their best against our best. This seems like it gives them an excuse if we do beat them.”

ROBERE NETS 1,000TH POINT
Brianna Robare became the second Winooski girls basketball player to score 1,000 career points when she tossed in 20 during a 53-42 loss to BFA-Fairfax on Saturday.

Robare reached the milestone when she made a 3-pointer with 2:06 left in the first quarter. Robare's sister Bobbi also scored 1,000 points for Winooski.

Chace Carpenter (17 points), Kayla Baczewski (15) and Meghan Bochanski (11) scored in double figures for BFA-Fairfaix, which improved to 6-0. The Bullets trailed by two points entering the fourth quarter, but outscored Winooski 17-4 over the final eight minutes.

The loss dropped the Spartans to 5-2.

TOOF REACHES CENTURY MARK
Mount Mansfield-South Burlington girls hockey coach Mickey Toof earned his 100th career coaching victory when MMU-SB defeated Colchester last week.

Toof is in his ninth season as a head coach. He was Burlington's head coach for four years, and is now in his fifth season with South Burlington.

Toof has an overall record of 100-64-15 in nine seasons.

VERGENNES BOYS OFF TO STRONG START
The Vergennes boys basketball team made 26 of 29 two-point field goal attempts during an 87-59 triumph over U-32 during the first round of the Fran Pinard tournament on Dec. 28.

Vergennes, which lost to Mount St. Joseph in last year's Division II championship game, is off to a 10-0 start this season. The Commodores picked up victory No. 10 by beating Montpelier 53-43 Saturday.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader, and has been covering high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

New England Roundup: New Hampshire

January, 4, 2013
1/04/13
2:52
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Shelby Herrington won her battle with the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association.

New HampshireHerrington, a junior, has played for the Bishop Brady (Concord) boys hockey team for the past two seasons, but the NHIAA ruled that Herrington could no longer skate for the boys team when Bishop Brady formed a cooperative girls team with Trinity High School of Manchester this year.

NHIAA bylaws state: “Interscholastic athletics involving mixed [boys and girls] competition is prohibited except in those instances where the member school does not offer equivalent activities for girls.”

Herrington has been centering Bishop Brady's second line.

Herrington's parents filed a suit against the NHIAA, and on Dec. 19 Merrimack County Superior Court judge Richard McNamara ruled that Herrington could continue to play for the boys team.

At issue is whether or not boys and girls hockey are considered “equivalent activities.” The Bishop Brady girls team doesn't practice as often as the boys team, and the girls team also has many players from Trinity, a school located 20 miles away. The boys teams has no players who do not attend Bishop Brady.

McNamara wrote: “This finding, though, does not lend any support to the [NHIAA's Council Appeal] Board's conclusion that the two teams provide 'equivalent activities' for each gender but, rather, lends support to the opposite conclusion.”

NHIAA executive director Pat Corbin expressed concern with the judge's decision, and the effect it night have on other NHIAA sports. He said the ruling could allow a boy cut from his team to play for a girls team.

“A concern is if this becomes a precedent for all other sports,” Corbin told the New Hampshire Union Leader. “All those things come to light.”

MERRIMACK'S BATTISTA RESIGNS
Joe Battista's five-year tenure as Merrimack High School's head coach ended Dec. 17, when he submitted his letter of resignation. The Tomahawks have a 15-40 record over the last five seasons.

“I feel I gave Merrimack everything I had,” Battista said. “A lot of kids gave me a lot. I just couldn't turn the program into a consistent winner.

“I started thinking about it [resigning] toward the end of the season. I thought it would be best to see what else is out there for me. I'm energized and motivated. I'm really looking forward to seeing what's next. I will be coaching somewhere next year.”

The highlight of Battista's five years with the program came in 2010, when the Tomahawks finished 7-4 and were one victory shy of making the Division II playoffs. Merrimack will compete in Division I next season, when NHIAA football will shrink from six divisions to three.

Merrrimack was 0-11 last season, a season that ended with a 41-14 loss to Souhegan on Thanksgiving. Battista, 42, wasn't on the Merrimack sideline on Thanksgiving for reasons that are still unclear.

“No comment on that,” Battista said. “I left Merrimack on good terms. There are no bitter feelings.”

KERSHAW AMED SHRINE COACH
There was talk that the Mascenic Regional (New Ipswich) football program might fold because of low participation numbers when Ray Kershaw became the team's head coach. Three years later Kershaw had the Vikings in the Division VI championship game.

Kershaw, a 46-year-old Springfield resident, was rewarded for his team's 2012 season by being named New Hampshire's head coach for this summer's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. New Hampshire will face Vermont on Aug. 3 at Dartmouth College.

“It was very exciting for me when I found out I'd be New Hampshire's coach,” Kershaw said. “It's a great honor because of what the game is all about.”

Proceeds from the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl benefit Shriners' Hospitals for Crippled and Burned Children.

Both teams will being practicing for this year's game on Aug. 27.

MASCENIC ENDS LOSING STREAK
When the 2012-13 girls basketball season began no player on the Mascenic Regional girls basketball team had won a varsity game.

That changed when Mascenic beat Hillsboro-Deering 41-34 on Dec. 14. The victory ended the program's 94-game losing streak that began in the 2006-07 season. Mascenic has had five head coaches in the last six years.

Sarah Sharp scored a team-high 11 points in the win.

SHERBURNE SELECTS NIAGARA
Jamie Sherburne, a junior on the Bishop Guertin girls' basketball team, recently committed to play college basketball at Niagara University, a Division I program that competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

She is the second BG player who has committed to a Division I school. Meghan Green announced last July that she will continue her career at Boston University.

Sherburne and Green helped BG win the program's first state championship last March.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader, and publishes the New Hampshire Football Report: www.nhfootballreport.com.

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