Boston High School: Souhegan (N.H.)

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.

N.H. All-Star Football: West 13, East 7

June, 30, 2013
6/30/13
10:28
AM ET
DURHAM, N.H. -– Very little separated the teams in Saturday's CHaD New Hampshire East-West All-Star Football Game at the University of New Hampshire's Cowell Stadium.

The West prevailed 13-7 when Goffstown tailback Connor Benjamin scored on an 8-yard run in overtime.

“I wanted to get in and score more than anything,” Benjamin said. “I ran my hardest and it paid off. We worked hard all week for this.”

The West had an opportunity to win the game in regulation, but Portsmouth's Rick Holt blocked Zach Ziemba's 41-yard field goal attempt as time expired. The East fumbled on the 1-yard line on its overtime possession.

“I feel bad for the kid who fumbled, but what are you going to do –- that's part of the game,” West coach Jim Schubert said. “I thought our kids played real hard, and that's all I cared about.”

The game raises money for Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. The West won the inaugural game 44-12 last summer.

“Real good football game,” East coach Bob Camirand said. “Obviously we were disappointed losing, but I can live with this. It was a great effort on both sides. Two quality teams and I thought two well-coached teams.”

The East trailed by seven until St. Thomas Aquinas running back Ryan Monette scored on a 1-yard run with 10:48 to play. Monette rushed for a game-high 102 yards on 25 carries. He also caught a 15-yard pass and gained 22 yards on two punt returns.

The only scoring in the first half came on a 1-yard pass from quarterback James Caparell to former Bedford teammate Brian Collins with 3:42 left in the first quarter. The scoring drive covered 60 yards in six plays. The big play was a 47-yard pass from Caparell to Collins, who had three catches for 53 yards in the victory.

Benjamin, who was a quarterback during his junior and senior seasons at Goffstown, led the West's running game with 57 yards on 14 carries.

DEFENSE DOMINATES
Holt, a defensive tackle who will play at the University of New Hampshire, was named the game's Most Valuable Player. In addition to blocking what could have been a game-winning field goal, Holt had 8-1/2 tackles, including a sack.

“I knew (UNH coach) Sean McDonnell was here and I wanted to leave it out on the field to the best of my ability, and I think I did that,” Holt said. “Thankfully he let me play in this.”

The West averaged 3.6 yards per play. The East averaged 3.5.

Nashua North linebacker/defensive end Deric Wagner recorded a game-high 10 tackles. The West received 9-1/2 tackles from Bedford linebacker David Cannone and 7-1/2 from Stevens linebacker C.J. Gosselin.

“We were a little undersized, but the kids really stuck in there on defense,” Schubert said. “No. 71 (Holt) was by far the best player on the field. We couldn't handle him. He disrupted our three-step drop and our five-step drop so we had to start sprinting out in the third quarter.

“When you only have 10 days (to prepare) defense is always going to dominate. If you can look at film of a defense then that's different.”

MONEY MATTERS
According to CHaD officials, the game raised $301,500, which included $48,000 in in-kind donations (uniforms, food, etc.)....Souhegan's Tyler Ford had a 74-yard punt....Caparell, who is New Hampshire's leader in career passing yardage (5,389), completed 8 of 12 pass attempts for 97 yards. He will play for the University of Rhode Island....Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, a former assistant coach at UNH, was among those in attendance.

Souhegan (N.H.) OL Kennedy commits to UNH

September, 18, 2012
9/18/12
10:28
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New Hampshire Union-Leader staff writer and ESPN Boston contributor Marc Thaler is reporting this morning on his "New Hampshire GameDay" blog that Souhegan (N.H.) offensive lineman Jake Kennedy has verbally committed to the University of New Hampshire for the 2013 season.

Kennedy chose the Wildcats over six other scholarships among programs in Division 1 FBS (UMass) and FCS (Rhode Island, Maine, Fordham, Colgate, Holy Cross). He is widely considered the top line prospect in the Granite State, and told Thaler he felt a "comfort level" with the coaching staff at the Durham, N.H. campus.

"That's not to say I wasn't comfortable with the other schools. But UNH felt right," Kennedy told Thaler. "I'm very happy and glad I made my decision."

For the full article, CLICK HERE.

N.H. extends Shrine Bowl win streak to 12

August, 5, 2012
8/05/12
12:17
AM ET
HANOVER, N.H. -– If you were rooting for Vermont, the Dartmouth College scoreboard wasn't a pretty sight following Saturday's 59th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl.

New Hampshire scored eight touchdowns -– five on offense, two on defense and one on special teams –- and kicked two field goals en route to a 62-24 victory.

New Hampshire set a Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl record for points scored in a game. The 2000 Vermont team held the previous record (47).

“People will look at the score, but this was a football game for three quarters,” New Hampshire coach Mike Beliveau (Souhegan) said. “We played everybody a lot, and maybe that wore them down.”

New Hampshire's Chris Chininis (Souhegan) got New Hampshire on the scoreboard when he returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown one minute into the game. Mike Leonard (Trinity) helped double New Hampshire's lead when he returned a fumble 28 yards for a TD on Vermont's next possession.

“They fought back and made it game toward the end, but we had 14 points before the offense even stepped on the field and I think that was a huge part of the game,” Chininis said. “It wasn't just the offense. We won all three phases of the game.”

New Hampshire led 17-7 after one quarter, 34-21 at halftime and 41-24 entering the fourth.

“We were in a hole 14-0,” Vermont coach Mike Norman said. “The kids could have definitely rolled over and given up. They didn't. We made some plays and had some of the emotion. They had two or three kids who made some big-time plays.”

The victory stretched New Hampshire winning streak to 12 games. Vermont has been outscored 433-145 during that streak.
New Hampshire leads the series 44-13-2.

“Everybody will look a the score and say, 'They defense must have lousy on defense,'” Norman said. “No. The defense was on the field too much.”

NUMBERS GAME
Salem running back Jerickson Fedrick led the New Hampshire offense by rushing for a game-high 140 yards on 18 carries. Fedrick, who moved from Chelsea, Mass., to Salem when he was in middle school, also ran for three touchdowns.

Fedrick ran for 1,801 yards and 27 touchdowns last season, and rushed for 4,568 yards during his high school career.

New Hampshire also received two TD catches from Manchester Central's Junior Brown.

Timberlane's Evan Bidgood was the most effective of New Hampshire's three quarterbacks. He completed 16 of 21 pass attempts for 186 yards and a TD.

Vermont quarterback Robert Coloutti (Fair Haven) completed 18 of 41 passes for 289 yards and three TDs. Levi Ellis (Fair Haven), Marshall Hastings (Middlebury) and Kyle Kelly (Rutland) each caught a TD pass.

Kelly led Vermont in receptions (seven) and Ellis led Vermont in receiving yardage (126).

LIGHTNING STRIKES
When halftime arrived, a lightning storm came with it. As a precaution, the stands were cleared of spectators. The third quarter began after a 90-minute delay.

The delay didn't seem to bother Vermont, which forced turnovers on two of New Hampshire's first three second-half possessions. It was a 10-point game (34-24) after Jakob Oliver (Burr and Burton) kicked a 22-yard field goal with 11:06 left in the third quarter.

New Hampshire scored the game's final four TDs, one of which came when Codey Dalton (Manchester Memorial) returned an interceptions 37 yards.

“We were down 10 points, we needed to convert on a third down and we didn't,” Vermont coach Mike Norman said. “We punted, they scored and then we had to start throwing it around. They beat us, but we didn't help ourselves.”

KICKING THINGS AROUND
New Hampshire received two field goals (38 and 22 yards) from Conor Donovan (Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough). Donovan also averaged 45.5 yards on four punts.

New Hampshire's Dan Gorman made each of his eight point-after kicks.

LET'S MAKE A DEAL
David Orr, the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl media director, said this was the first year of a three-year contract with Dartmouth, which means the 2013 and 2014 games will also be played in Hanover, N.H.

NEW HAMPSHIRE 62, VERMONT 24
New Hampshire 17 17 7 21 — 62
Vermont 7 14 3 0 — 24


First Quarter
NH—Chris Chininis 61-yard punt return (Dan Gorman kick), 14:00.
NH—Mike Leonard 28-yard fumble return (Gorman kick), 12:14.
NH—FG Conor Donovan 38, 5:31.
VT—Levi Ellis 79 pass from Robert Coloutti (Jakob Oliver kick), 4:58.

Second Quarter
NH—Jerickson Fedrick 1 run (Gorman kick), 12:15.
NH—Junior Brown 3 pass from Evan Bidgood (Gorman kick), 4:25.
VT—Marshall Hastings 32 pass from Coloutti (Oliver kick), 2:18.
VT—Coloutti 3 pass to Kyle Kelly (Oliver kick), :36.
NH—FG Donovan 22, 0:00.

Third Quarter
VT—FG Oliver 22, 11:06.
NH—Fedrick 37 run (Gorman kick), 4:47.

Fourth Quarter
NH—Brown 10-yard pass from Codey Dalton (Gorman kick), 14:10.
NH—Dalton 37 interception return (Gorman kick), 13:22.
NH—Fedrick 8 run (Gorman kick), 3:12.

UMass making splash in NE recruiting

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
2:57
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Shortly after University of Massachusetts football coach Charley Molnar secured his first recruiting class in February, he talked about how he wanted New England players to form the foundation of his program. Apparently that was more than just talk.

UMass has clearly made New England –- and Massachusetts in particular –- the focus of much of its recruiting efforts.

BC High offensive lineman Jack McDonald, Everett offensive lineman John Montelus, Xaverian defensive lineman Maurice Hurst Jr., Tabor Academy defensive lineman Tevin Montgomery, BB&N tight end Brendan O'Neil and Catholic Memorial defensive end Peter Ngobidi have each received a scholarship offer from UMass, which held two junior days last month.

In addition, Todd Stafford, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback from the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Conn., committed to UMass on Thursday. He became UMass' first commitment from the class of 2013.

“I went to the first junior day and [Molnar] said with the move to the MAC they want to start with the local kids,” McDonald said. “He talked about how good the talent is around here, and they want to bring in as many local kids as they can.”

UMass has been competing at the FCS level in the Colonial Athletic Association, but will move up to the FBS level when it begins play in the MAC next season. The Minutemen won't play on campus, but will use Gillette Stadium as their home field.

“It's a little bit of a drive from the campus, but I got to play at Gillette in last year's Super Bowl and it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” McDonald said. “They'll have their own locker room there. I think the positives will outweigh the negatives.”

McDonald also has offers from Boston College and Maryland, and has received significant interest from Duke and Temple.

“Right now I'm considering everything,” he said.

Montelus and Hurst each have at least 10 Division 1 scholarship offers. Hurst received his offer from UMass while at one of the junior days last month.

“I'll definitely consider UMass,” Hurst said. “I really like the coaching staff and a lot of Mass. kids seem to be going there.”

There were six players from New England in Molnar's first recruiting class: wide receiver Khary Bailey Smith (Weymouth), tight end Nevin Cyr (Pelham, N.H.), quarterback A.J. Doyle (Lakeville), linebacker Vondell Langston (Everett), linebacker John Robinson (Springfield) and linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox (Middletown, Conn.).

Wide receiver Derek Beck, a New Jersey native who played at Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton, Maine, signed with UMass as well.

Jake Kennedy, who is perhaps the best offensive lineman from New Hampshire in the Class of 2013, also has a UMass offer. Kennedy plays for Souhegan High School in Amherst.

Kennedy received his offer from UMass defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo earlier this week. He's also receiving interest from Boston College, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Brown and Harvard.

Kennedy said UMass is a school he'll strongly consider.

“Most definitely,” he said. “I could see myself there.”

New England Roundup: New Hampshire

October, 3, 2011
10/03/11
1:34
PM ET
Seventy games have been played at Plymouth Regional's Zoulias Field since the start of the 2000 season. Just two of those contests were won by the visiting team.

Manchester's Trinity High was the second squad in that span to record the road win. The Pioneers, in most improbable fashion, pulled off the season's No. 1 stunner to date.

In their first-ever trip to Plymouth's home turf, the Pioneers struck for two long touchdown passes in the final minutes of their Division IV tilt to complete a 12-7 comeback win Sept. 24.

Trinity (4-0) terminated Plymouth's 40-game home win streak, which started nearly seven years earlier with a regular-season finale victory over Peterborough's ConVal Regional on Oct. 30, 2004.

"I brought it up (the night before the game) at a team meeting. That was the only time that we really brought it up," Trinity head coach Gary Leonard said of Plymouth's 40-game run at home. "It didn't seem to motivate them. But we can say we did it. That's what counts."

Exactly what motivated the Pioneers is difficult to determine. But it's clear what –- make that “who” -– sparked their comeback. He is sophomore quarterback Carmen Giampetruzzi.

A first-year starter under center, Giampetruzzi hit running back Josh Hughes for an 80-yard touchdown with 4:01 to play. Hughes caught the 10-yard pass outside the left hash mark, turned, and raced 70 yards down the left sideline. The throw was threaded perfectly between two Plymouth defenders.

The play was just the second pass attempt for Trinity, whose double-wing offense rarely moves the ball through the air. But the Bobcats completely neutralized Trinity's rushing attack, which left Leonard with no choice but to rely on his quarterback's left arm.

Moments after Hughes hit paydirt, the Pioneers, as they routinely do, lined up for the two-point conversion. Plymouth stuffed it.

Trailing by a point, the Pioneers needed a defensive stop. They got it with a turnover-on-downs at their 26-yard line.

The scenario: Trinity was 74 yards from the end zone – without a time out. Just 1 minute, 24 seconds remained in regulation.

Giampetruzzi went to work from the shotgun. He completed passes to Hughes (5 yards), Andrew Lauderdale (16 yards) and Adam Chambers (10 yards), moving the ball to Plymouth's 43. A false start moved the ball back to Plymouth's 48.

On third-and-15, with 26.5 seconds to play, Giampetruzzi handled the snap, dropped back, and rifled a spiral down the right seam. Lauderdale, a 6-foot 6-inch tight end, gained a step on his defender, caught the pass in stride and bolted for the goal line.

He crossed it with 17.8 seconds to play.

"So far, for Trinity, for football, this is probably one of the best wins we've had," said Giampetruzzi, whose ensuing two-point pass was incomplete, forcing the defense to make one final stand.

Lauderdale locked up the win, batting down a pass from Plymouth's 43 on the final play.

The Pioneers celebrated. The Bobcats huddled up to hear head coach Chuck Lenahan, the state's all-time wins leader, address them.

"Stick together," said a stunned Lenahan (328-68-1) when asked what he told his team after the final horn sounded. "That's all you can do. Regroup."

BIG WINNERS
Hampton's Winnacunnet High and Northwood's Coe-Brown Academy were the big winners at the 37th annual Manchester Cross Country Invitational Sept. 24.

Without a single runner recording a top 10 finish at Derryfield Park, Winnacunnet won the boys' team title in the large-school race. Coe-Brown won the girls' crown in the small-school event.

Winnacunnet edged Burlington, Vt., 157-161. Justin Trott was Winnacunnet's first runner (12th overall) to complete the 3.1-mile course.

Coe-Brown won comfortably (67-99) over second-place Hopkinton High. Jessie Carney (20:22) and Carissa Hodgdon (20:40) were top 10 finishers, placing fourth and sixth, respectively.

The Bears also celebrated a boys' individual title as Jeremy Brassard won the small-school race. He clocked a time of 16:27.

In the boys' elite race, Pinkerton Academy of Derry delivered a solid showing. The Astros placed second in the team competition behind Rhode Island's Bishop Hendricken (42-89). Anthony Anzivino finished second overall (16:06).

Sami Hicks of Laconia High won the girls' small-school individual title (19:22).

CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW?
Division I field hockey powers Salem High and Pinkerton clashed Sept. 24 in a fight for first place. Very little separated the squads in Salem's 2-1 home win.

Abbey Raymond snapped a 1-all tie inside the final 4 minutes of regulation. The dagger ended Pinkerton's bid for perfection. Danielle Ferraro set up Raymond's game-winning strike.

Jordyn Hamilton's goal late in the first half pulled Pinkerton even at 1-1. Her tally answered an early marker by Erika Smith.

Pinkerton finished the month with back-to-back wins, improving its record to 9-1. Salem also closed the month 9-1.

GRANITE STATE GREATS
Sept. 15: Josh Hofer scored in double overtime to lift Manchester Memorial High to a 2-1 win over Salem in Division I boys' soccer. Hofer buried a rebound in the 95th minute.

Sept. 15: Cassidy John scored in the final minute of regulation to give Penacook's Merrimack Valley Regional a 1-0 win over Concord's Bishop Brady High in Division II girls' soccer. The win was the Pride's fifth straight and, at the time, kept the team unbeaten in league play at 6-0-1.

Sept. 17: Chris Camire made an acrobatic 32-yard catch in the final minute to set up a game-winning 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Connor Benjamin. Division III Goffstown High for the first time in the football program's history defeated Amherst's Souhegan High, 21-14.

Sept. 19: Jenna Freitas connected for five goals in Memorial's 7-0 Division I field hockey win at Nashua North. She scored the game's first three goals and added two more in the second half.

Sept. 24: Playing quarterback and running back during Merrimack Valley's rain-soaked football contest in Week 4, Cody Thurston had a hand in six touchdowns. He tossed four TDs and notched two rushing scores as the Pride topped Wolfeboro's Kingswood Regional, 64-45, in Division IV action.

Marc Thaler is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader & Sunday News. He can be reached at marc.thaler@gmail.com. Read his "New Hampshire GameDay" blog and follow him on Twitter: @marc_thaler.

Portsmouth (N.H.) nearing national record

April, 27, 2011
4/27/11
12:43
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PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- If you attend a Portsmouth High varsity baseball game this spring, you’ll see a team with superior pitching, a team that plays sound defense and a team with no easy outs in its batting order. There’s plenty of talent on the bench too.

It’s the same makeup Portsmouth teams have had since 2008, when the Clippers won the first of their three consecutive state championships. Portsmouth is 4-0 entering Wednesday’s game against Windham, and is considered by many to be the team to beat in Division II again this season.

The Clippers are also threatening to break the national record for consecutive victories. They’ve won 67 games in a row, which puts them eight victories away from a share of the record. Homer (Mich.) had a 75-game winning streak end in 2005.

“The winning streak is something I hear about a lot, but it’s not something we speak about,” Portsmouth coach Tim Hopley said. “We try to focus on what’s right in front of us and the kids have done a good job taking it one game at a time. It has been a great ride.”

Pitcher Keegan Taylor and outfielder Aidan O’Leary are among the leaders on this year’s team. Both have committed to play Division I baseball next season, Taylor at Northeastern and O’Leary at Manhattan College.

Taylor has been contributing to the program’s winning streak since he was a sophomore, when he won six games on the mound. He’s 16-0 as a varsity pitcher, and is 2-0 this year with 26 strikeouts in 11 2/3 innings.

“Throughout the school the winning streak is talked about, but as players coach drills us on one game at a time,” Taylor said.

Taylor is the latest in a long line of exceptional pitchers than have worn the Portsmouth uniform. That group includes Chris Anderson, Ben Hart, Tim Welch and Nate Jones.

The Minnesota Twins drafted Anderson, who was on the mound when Portsmouth ended a lengthy postseason drought by beating Timberlane (Plaistow) in the 2004 Class L tournament.

Hart and Welch led Portsmouth to its first Class I championship in 2008. Welch, who is now playing at Bowdoin, posted a 9-0 record and didn’t allow a run – earned or unearned – that season. Hart continued his career at the University of Vermont, and transferred to the University of Massachusetts when Vermont eliminated its baseball program.

Jones was the ace on last year’s staff. He was 20-0 with a 1.89 ERA during his varsity career and is now pitching for Wake Forest.

Infielder Mike Fransoso (Maine) and outfielder Mike Montville (Maryland) are some of the other Portsmouth players who have gone on to play in college.

“Work ethic has a lot to do with what we’ve been able to accomplish,” Hopley said. “When you have guys who are willing to listen, work hard and implement stuff they’re taught it makes it a lot easier.

“We had some pretty good players set the example by showing a good work ethic years ago and the younger players have followed that.”

Portsmouth hasn’t always been the program by which all others are measured. The Clippers won the Class L championship in 1988 and qualified for the Class L tournament in 1989, but didn’t make its next postseason appearance until 2001. The program ended a 30-game losing streak in 1996, when Hopley took over as head coach.

“There wasn’t a ton of good players back then,” Hopley said. “The talent just wasn’t there.”

Portsmouth didn’t win a tournament game under Hopley until 2004. The Clippers also won one tournament game in 2005 and 2006. Then, in 2007, the program dropped from Class L (the division with New Hampshire schools that have the largest enrollments) to Class I.

“We would not be on this run if we had remained in Class L,” Portsmouth assistant coach Matt Gladu said. “Class L is much deeper, particularly the pitching.

“I think we might have been able to win one or two state championships, but three in a row? Probably not.”

Kingswood (Wolfeboro, N.H.) coach Chip Skelly said it will come as no surprise to him if Portsmouth wins another state championship this spring.

“I attribute [the winning streak] to the program he has developed, and obviously the program stems from your coach,” Skelly said. “Coach Hopley has done a nice job getting his program to a point where the expectations are the exact same year in and year out. They just change kids. It’s an attitude. You can learn to win. You can also learn to lose.”

It seems that Portsmouth has forgotten how to lose, though. The program’s last loss came against Hollis-Brookline in the 2007 Class I semifinals. Bedford, which is 5-0 and the only other unbeaten team in Class I, and Souhegan are the teams that appear most capable of beating Portsmouth this season.

Portsmouth is scheduled to play Souhegan on Friday, and will meet Bedford on May 9. Both games will be on the road. Bedford is the team Portsmouth beat in last year’s Class I title game.

“We’re not 2009, we’re not 2010 we’re the 2011 team,” Portsmouth third baseman Matt Feeney said. “We make our own destiny. We do what we do, and nothing else matters except for this season.”

New England Roundup: New Hampshire

February, 23, 2011
2/23/11
5:53
PM ET


MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Manchester High School West's Valentine's Day victory made basketball coach Nick Moutsioulis wish his wallet could support a team trip to the Magic Kingdom.

"If I could pay for every one of the girls to go, I'd do it in a heartbeat," said Moutsioulis, his reference to Disney World and the visit made by the Super Bowl MVP after winning the biggest of games.

New HampshireYou see, West entered its Feb. 14 girls' hoop contest lugging a 77-game losing streak that dated to the 2007-08 season opener. But after three consecutive winless campaigns, and another 14 straight losses this winter, the Blue Knights stopped the frustration-filled skid with a 38-33 Division II road win at Pelham High.

"I'm still processing it. I don't even know how to react to a win," said 5-foot 8-inch forward Emily Colon, one of three seniors on West's varsity team that features just eight active players.

West's low participation in athletics isn't limited to girls' hoop. The loss of Bedford student-athletes to the opening of Bedford High in 2007 has affected most sports programs at the school.

The exodus that eventually shrunk West's population from 2,000-plus students to roughly 1,100, took place over several years. But West's ability to compete in most sports quickly declined.

Colon and classmate Brooke Brown were freshman call-ups to the varsity in 2007-08, West's first winless campaign. Routinely losing was a foreign feeling to these stars of the streak-snapping win; as ninth-graders they led their freshman team to a 12-4 record.

"We tried not to think about the negative," said Brown, a 5-foot-11 center, noting the team became the punchline to jokes that spread throughout the school.

Over time, however, staying positive proved tough. One winless season grew into two, which reached three last winter.

But worse than the lopsided losses -- and jokes generated by them -- was the sinking feeling caused by looking into the stands during home games.

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Basketball, New Hampshire, New England Roundup, Plymouth Regional (N.H.), Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, Hanover (N.H.), Salem (N.H.), Nashua North, Bedford (N.H.), Jeff LaCoste, Trinity (N.H.), Concord (N.H.), Steve Cuipa, Bishop Guertin (N.H.), Max Jacques, Eric Muite, Steve Cronan, Pinkerton (N.H.), Cody Patch, Ryan Moran, Luke Somers, Mike Mazzola, Chris Childs, Doug Gregory, Newport (N.H.), David Madol, Barry Chooljian, Zach Bridson, Matt Morris, Nate Lawrence, Ben Tammany, St. Thomas Aquinas (N.H.), David Owens, Mike Kelly, Milford (N.H.), Dimitri Floras, Matt Sullivan, Manchester West (N.H.), Nick Moutsioulis, Pelham (N.H.), Emily Colon, Brooke Brown, Sarah Soucy, Lebanon (N.H.), Windsor (Vt.), Kimball Union (N.H.), Taylor Russell, Keene (N.H.), Zach Hunnewell, Joel Pacheco, Joe DiPalma, C.J. Woods, Matt Ammann, Tyler Baulier, Merrimack (N.H.), Nick Corbett, Dover (N.H.), Winnacunnet (N.H.), Kyle Wilson, John Forte, Max Goudreau, Nick Hession, Souhegan (N.H.), Brian Liamos, Hollis/Brookline (N.H.), Sam McClain, Brendan McKenna, Kyle Behan, Laconia (N.H.), Sam Carney, Jeff Gratiano, John Doran Logsdon, Jonathan Roth, Thomas Baxter, Kearsarge (N.H.), Zachary Knight, Stevens (N.H.), Robert Ramirez, Brendan Demo, Gilford (N.H.), Jacob Ford, Franklin (N.H.), Josh Stout, David Boisvert, Todd Bircher, Al Miclovic, Brandon Lahaye, David Pfeifer, Oyster River (N.H.), Alex Jones, Ellie Thompson, Jahmar Gathright, Andre Williams, Molly McCabe, Monadnock Regional (N.H.), Gubby Naronha, Cathly Leibowitz, Timberlane Regional (N.H.), Jake Kappler, Andrew Tanner, Shane Tremblay, Londonderry (N.H.), Tanner Burke, Dominic Farrar, Tyler Elworth, Manchester Memorial (N.H.), Dave Garcia, Goffstown (N.H.), Zach Schofield, Mike Sarette, Peter Shea, Caleb Cejka, Zach MacPherson, Casey Quinn, Ryan Cohen, Mike Ponchak, Mike Sullivan, Jeremy Nault, Randy Cleary, Tyler Dustin, Dakota Simula, John Stark Regional (N.H.), Josh Medeiros, Warren Greenhalgh, Carleton Kleinschrodt, White Mountains Regional (N.H.), Windham (N.H.), Tyler Siverhus, Gage Fenton, Bow (N.H.), Pete LaRiviere, John Lefebvre, Ryan Manasian, Jonathan Scheidegger, Sanborn Regional (N.H.), Eddie O'Malley, Newfound Regional (N.H.), Campbell (N.H.), Olivia Bogaczyk, Courtney Thompson, Alex Halle, Abby Clark, Spaulding (N.H.), Colton Castonguay, Madison Goldstein, Josh Paige, Chris Moquin, James Montgomery, Josh Morgan, Mascenic Regional (N.H.), Pittsburg (N.H.), Colebrook (N.H.)

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