PLAYOFFS: Eight teams from each division will qualify.
It is a year of change in New Hampshire High school football, with division realignment, conference play and the number of state champions reduced from six to three.
But don’t be surprised if Division 1 is deja vu all over again — and again.
For the third straight season, it appears New Hampshire’s top division could very well come down to perennial powerhouse Pinkerton and two-time defending Division 1 state champion Exeter. The Blue Hawks beat the Astros in the title game each of the last two years.
Pinkerton, of course, returns the state’s most dynamic player in Eagle-Tribune All-Star running back Manny Latimore. Also a dynamo on kick and punt returns and a contributor at defensive back, Latimore scored 29 touchdowns last season. But he is far from a one-man team.
The Astros also sport one of New Hampshire’s top defensive players in returning Eagle-Tribune All-Star linebacker Matt Madden, who made 82 tackles last year despite missing two games with a torn ACL. Nick Liporto is also an ace at getting after the quarterback and 321-pound Phil Harper is a force inside.
Another challenger in Division 1 is Nashua South. The Panthers sport star QB Trevor Knight, who has committed to play his college football at UNH and also received an offer from UMass. Knight rushed for 1,180 yards and 18 touchdowns and threw for 1,780 yards and 13 scores last season.
Windham continues to move up in divisions, playing in Division 2 this season after going from Division 5 finalist in 2011 to Division 4 semifinalist last season.
The Jaguars were hit hard by injury, losing three Eagle-Tribune All-Stars, but have looked very sharp in the preseason, led by new starting quarterback Brendan McInnis.
2012 record: 3-7, didn’t make playoffs
Offense: Single wing; Defense: 50
Returning starters (11): Pat Garrity, Sr., OL/LB, 5-10, 220; Aaron Gaudet, Sr., QB/LB, 6-0, 170; Dan Kirby, Sr., OL/DL, 6-1, 260; Joe Milliard, Sr., OL/DE, 6-2, 200; Jon Young, Sr., RB/LB, 5-9, 150; Dennis Bishop, Jr., RB/DB, 5-10, 180; Chris Bedell, Jr., RB/LB, 5-6, 190; Eric Fairweather, Jr., CB, 5-10, 160; Matt Freda, Jr., OL/DL, 6-3, 250; Anvar Bieler, Jr., RB/LB, 5-10, 160; Mike Ryan, Jr., RB/S, 5-10, 170
Returning lettermen: Tim Jennings, Sr., RB/LB, 5-11, 170; Sam Hastings, Sr., OL/LB, 6-0, 210; Harrison Giza, Sr., TE/DE, 6-0, 220; Rob Preston, Sr., C, 6-0, 180; Casey Brackett, Jr., OL/DL, 6-1, 230; Nick Barbera, Jr., OL/DL, 6-3, 190; Kyle Byrd, Jr., RB/LB, 6-7, 170
Promising newcomers: Nick Lafond, Sr., WR/DB, 6-0, 160; Alex Augusto, Sr., OL/DL, 6-1, 240
Returning leaders: Jon Young 127 carries, 672 yards, 9 TDs; Mike Ryan 5 TDs, 60 carries, 383 yards, 27 catches, 317 yards; Dennis Bishop 81 carries, 384 yards, 4 TDs
Returning honorees: Jon Young, second-team All-Division 1
Assistants: Howard Sobolov, running backs; Peter Guertin, defensive line; Dave Gilmore, defensive coordinator; Jim Marron, linebackers; Ryan Barry, freshmen; Dan Grant, freshmen; John Trisciani, sophomores; Kevin Handy, linemen; Kyle Graham, freshman volunteer; Nick Tocco, freshman volunteer
Odds and ends: AD Howard Sobolov joins the coaching staff. He began his coaching career as an assistant at Londonderry in the mid-1980s, and went on to be the head football coach at Alvirne and Goffstown, starting both programs. ... Nick Lafond, who has not played football since his freshman season, is expected to play a key role on both sides of the ball and Alex Augusto, who did not play last season, should be an anchor on the offensive line.
Coach Jon Rich (6th year, 19-30): “Jon (Young) won the running back spot last year and he was very productive. But Dennis (Bishop) also had success and we do not take a step back when he comes in. Aaron Gaudet will be the quarterback and he’s more of a runner than we have had in the last few years. Joe Millard and Alex Augusto area really leading out offensive line. On defense we have very good defensive backs including Eric Fairweather and Mike Ryan.”
2012 record: 10-2, Division 1 runner-up
Offense: Wing-T; Defense: 50
Returning starters (8): Manny Latimore, Sr., RB/DB, 5-10, 192; Matt Madden, Sr., RB/LB, 6-0, 217; James Toohey, Sr., SE/DB, 6-1, 210; Nick Liporto, Sr., RB/DE, 6-0, 168; Shawn Murray, Sr., G/LB, 5-8, 176; Austin Maylor, Sr., G/LB, 5-8, 172; Phil Harper, Sr., T/DL, 6-0, 321; Kyle Cantalupo, Soph., K/P, 5-8, 155
Returning lettermen: Justin Poitras, Jr., G/LB, 6-0, 190; Jason Hansen, Jr., RB/LB, 6-0, 187
Promising newcomers: Erik Anderson, Sr., K, 6-1, 150; David Dupont, Sr., HB/DB, 5-10, 162; Richard Charity, Sr., G/DE, 6-0, 210; Brandon Barlow, Sr., C/DL, 6-0, 223; Damian Garrity, Sr., TE/DE, 6-4, 205; J.R. Sciuto, Sr., SE/DE, 6-1, 193; Kevin Ell, Sr., TE/DE, 6-1, 206; Conner Holland, Jr., QB/DE, 6-3, 211; Peter Cyr, Jr., HB/DB, 5-11, 170; Jack Hanaway, Jr., QB/DB, 6-2, 183; Ryan Day, Jr., HB/DB, 5-9, 188; Riley Cahill, Jr., HB/DB, 5-10, 173; Jake Froehlich, Jr., QB/DE, 6-0, 210; Isaiah Backels, Jr., SE/DB, 6-0, 153; Lloyd Williams, Jr., TE/DE, 6-1, 196; Markaveus Barnes, Jr., C/DL, 6-0, 236; Zain Demers, Jr., G/LB, 5-9, 185; Brandon Parent, Jr., G/DE, 5-10, 165; Mike Hull, Jr., C/DL, 5-9, 200;
Noah Robison, Jr., T/DL, 6-5, 265; Ryan Quack, Jr., T/DL, 6-3, 250; Bryson Pacocha, Jr., T/DL, 6-2, 250; Alex Pendenza, Jr., T/DL, 6-2, 288; Michael Martinoli, Jr., TE/DE, 6-2, 210; Cam Richard, Soph., SE/DB, 5-11, 166; T.J. Urbanik, Soph., HB/DB, 6-0, 168; Joey Guarracino, Soph., HB/DB, 5-8, 163; Brett Dattilo, Soph., HB/DB, 5-10, 142; Matt Allard, Soph., FB/LB, 5-9, 196; Mike Curley, Soph., FB/LB, 5-9, 182; Joey Lydick, Soph., G/LB, 5-10, 191; Dylan Barreiro, Soph., G/DL, 5-6, 180; Peter Sweeney, Soph., C/DL, 5-10, 211; Darius St. Germain, Soph., G/LB, 5-10, 230; Kevin Broadbent, Soph., C/DL, 5-10, 224; Hayden Sturdevant, Soph., T/DL, 6-3, 285; David Pariseau, Soph., T/DL, 6-2, 318; Trystan Brown, Soph., TE/DE, 6-1, 205
Returning leaders: Manny Latimore 29 overall TDs; 1,504 rushing yards, 5 catches, 218 yards, 4 TD catches; Jason Hansen 14 carries, 70 yards; James Toohey 3 catches, 122 yards, 1 TD; Matt Madden 82 tackles
Captains: Matt Madden, Manny Latimore
Returning honorees: Manny Latimore and Matt Madden, Eagle-Tribune All-Stars; Phil Harper, All-Division 1
Assistants: Bryon Murphy, Michael Gooden, Dave Bernaiche, Steve Tewksbury, Todd Urbanik, Kevin Morrison, Kevin Davies, Wes Davies, Roy Teresky
Odds and ends: Both Astro losses were to Exeter, the second coming in the title game. ... Matt Madden missed the title game due to a torn ACL. ... Madden and Manny Latimore were the only underclassmen on the 28-player Eagle-Tribune All-Star team. ... Former Eagle-Tribune All-Star fullback Kevin Davies (class of 2012) is helping out as a coach. ... Brett Dattilo was a second-team All-Division 1 midfielder in lacrosse last season as a freshman. ... Jake Froehlich is a transfer from Tilton, where he threw for 1,412 yards and 13 TDs last fall.
Coach Brian O’Reilly (36th year, 260-102): “We have looked good so far. We expect a lot out of Manny (Latimore), but no more than he expects out of himself. He will be our guy. And I believe that Matt Madden is as good as any defensive player in the state.”
2012 record: 0-11, didn’t make playoffs
Offense: Wing-T; Defense: 4-4
Returning starters (9): Jarred Lozowski, Sr., OL/DL, 5-9, 230; Jason Martinez, Sr., RB/LB, 5-10, 185; Zack Liupakka, Sr., RB/LB, 5-9, 180; Jacob Poore, Sr., WR/DB, 6-2, 190; Colin Parnell, Sr., OL/DL, 5-10, 260; Mike Johnston, Sr., OL/DL, 5-7, 190; Austin Homsey, Jr., TE/LB, 6-2, 200; Pat Hughes, Jr., OL/DL, 5-9, 200; Connor Mullins, Jr., OL/DL, 6-5, 280
Returning lettermen: Ethan Glynn, Sr., RB/LB, 5-9, 180; Chris Stanton, Sr., QB/DB, 5-10, 175; Juan Pena, Sr., WR/DB, 5-9, 160; Anthony DiPetrillo, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 230
Promising newcomers: Trevor Couture, Sr., TE/DE, 5-11, 190; Kenny Calabrese, Jr., RB/DB, 5-9, 170; John Cerretanni, Jr., QB/DB, 5-10, 180; Josh Rodriguez, Jr., RB/LB, 5-8, 165; Anthony Loiacono, Jr., OL/DL, 6-3, 240; Matt Loffredo, Jr., RB/DB, 5-8. 170; Nick Melo, Jr., TE/DE, 6-0, 190; John Bartose, Soph., OL/DL, 6-2, 220; Sean Nartiff, Soph., TE/DL, 6-2, 230; Doug Maroun, Soph., RB/LB, 5-8, 185; Brian Ayotte, Soph., WR/DB, 6-0, 170; Jeff Gore, Soph., OL/LB, 5-8, 180; Nick Shumski, Soph., QB/DB, 5-9, 170; Matt Farah, Soph., OL/DL, 5-9, 200
Returning leaders: Jason Martinez 148 carries, 534 yards, 7 rush TDs, 3 catches, 120 yards, 1 TD catch; Josh Rodriguez 10 carries, 74 yards, 1 TD; Jacob Poore 25 catches, 450 yards, 5 TDs
Captains: Jarred Lozowski, Jason Martinez, Zack Liupaka
Returning honorees: Jason Martinez, second-team All-Division 1
Assistants: Dan Keleher, quarterbacks; Ben Scovotti, linemen; John Valaskatgis, running backs; Steve Abraham, freshmen; Chris Valaskatgis, freshmen
Odds and ends: Rob Pike, Salem’s third coach in three years, was hired in the spring at age 32. He was promoted from defensive coordinator. The Haverhill High history teacher played for his father, Bob Pike, at Haverhill. Former coach Adam Gagne, who was hired at age 31, got the head job at Westford Academy, where he teaches. ... Jason Martinez was a junior captain last fall. ... Eagle-Tribune records go back through 1982 and last year was Salem’s first winless season in that span. ... Salem abandoned the spread offense Gagne installed last season for the Wing-T that long-time coach Jack Gati ran. ... Jacob Poore is the brother of BC pitcher Nick Poore. ... Jacob Lakos, who threw for 696 yards and 4 TDs last season as a sophomore, transferred to Andover High.
Coach Rob Pike (1st year): “Jason (Martinez) is a phenomenal back with a terrific work ethic. Very strong, great feet. He’s the total package. Jake Poore is also a very good receiver that we will rely on. The quarterback spot is still open between a few guys (Chris Stanton, John Cerretanni, Nick Shumski). Jarred Lozowski, and Colin Parnell lead the line. Zack Liupaka and Austin Homsey, are excellent linebackers and Poore and Stanton both saw significant time as defensive backs. ”
2012 record: 4-6, didn’t make playoffs
Offense: Multiple I; Defense: 50
Returning starters (5): Erik Nelson, Sr., QB, 5-10, 165; Zach Downey, Sr., WR/DB, 6-0, 164; Shawn Grenier, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 216; Kenny Malcolm, Sr., LB, 5-6, 156; Kyle DiBurro, Jr., DE, 6-0, 182
Returning lettermen: Andrew Augusta, Sr., RB, 5-9, 153; Donovan Olson, Sr., TE/DE, 6-1, 167; Zach Stewart, Sr., OL/DL, 5-10, 233; Chris Leondires, Jr., DB, 5-10, 159; Jake Haseltine, Jr., OL/DL, 6-4, 278; Caleb Sharp, Jr., TE/DE, 5-9, 189; Tyler Furey, Soph., RB, 5-10, 197
Promising newcomers: Jon Burke, Sr., DT, 6-3, 268; Andrew Fearon, Sr., OL/DL, 5-9, 207; Noah Gaudreau, Sr., DT, 5-8, 191; Aiden Newell, Sr., WR, 6-1, 167; Jake Perkins, Sr., TE/DE, 5-10, 190; Jimmy Perry, Sr., DB, 5-8, 157; Patrick Radford, Sr., DT, 5-10, 231; Tristan Young, Sr., OL/DL, 6-3, 251; Blake Rooney, Jr., WR/DB, 5-6, 144; Josh Beauregard, Jr., TE, 6-0, 195; Sean Belanger, Jr., WR, 5-11, 140; Nick Butterfield, Jr., DB, 5-11, 155; Jake Durkin, Jr., QB/DB, 5-8, 158; Nick Fawcett, Jr., DT, 5-7, 269; Cassius Ferguson, Jr., DB, 5-7, 143; Sam Kappler, Jr., DB, 5-8, 132;
Jason Hughes, Soph., QB/DB, 5-8, 154; Connor Burke, Soph., DL, 5-8, 188; Adam Chase, Soph., DB, 5-7, 120; Jonathan Chiachio, Soph., LB, 5-8, 134; Kyle Faucher, Soph., RB, 6-0, 190; Austin Hill, Soph., RB, 5-4, 155; Travis Hill, Soph., DE, 5-7, 158; Alex Licata, Soph., DB, 5-8, 153; Jason Maguire, Soph., OL, 6-1, 198; Zach Makepeace, Soph., OL/DL, 5-9, 245; Chris Marcotte, Soph., DE, 6-0, 176; John McGrath, Soph., OL, 5-9, 195; Nick Michaud, Soph, OL/DL, 5-9, 192; Corey Mills, Soph., WR/DB, 5-11, 198; Greg Moore, Soph., DT, 6-2, 210
Returning leaders: Erik Nelson 88-for-156 passing, 1,137 yards, 10 TDs, 5 interceptions; Tyler Furey 45 carries, 266 yards, 3 TDs; Zach Downey 6 interceptions, 6 carries, 79 yards, 32 catches, 324 yards, 3 TD catches; Shawn Grenier 41.5 tackles
Returning honorees: Zach Downey and Shawn Grenier, second-team All-Division 2
Assistants: Mark Pasquini, defensive coordinator; Jason Bretton, defensive line; Tim Brown, defensive ends; Jamie Fish, running backs; Zach Champion, offensive line; Tyler Powell, defensive backs; Mike Woodworth, receivers
Odds and ends: Jake Damphousse, the 240-pounder who began as a lineman before moving to quarterback out of need, is not playing to focus on baseball. ... Another member of that pitching staff is receiver Aiden Newell. ... Add to the All-Name team a very un-football moniker, sophomore lineman Zach Makepeace.
Coach Kevin Fitzgerald (6th year, 25-27): “The Furey family has been great to us over the years and we are expecting Tyler Furey to step in and really carry the load for us at running back. ... Erik Nelson is a very experienced quarterback and looks good, but Jason Hughes is a very talented sophomore. Shawn Grenier is a three-year starter who we are really counting on for stability on both sides of the line. Kyle DiBurro has had some great reps at defensive end and Zach Downey is coming off a great year in the secondary.”
2012 record: 3-6, didn’t make playoffs
Offense: Double wing; Defense: 52
Returning starters (10): Chris Benjamin, Sr., RB/DB, 5-10, 170; Zach Conway, Sr., OL/DL, 5-11, 180; Tom Gleason, Sr., OL/DL, 5-9, 170; Tyler Kosik, Sr., OL/LB, 5-9, 175; Chris Medeiros, Sr., RB/DB, 5-9, 175; Joe Slattery, Sr., QB/DB, 5-9, 155; Cristian Will, Sr., OL/DL, 6-2, 150; Nick Johnson, Jr., RB/LB, 5-10, 170; Zach Masiello, Jr., RB/DL, 5-9, 158; Bradford Kamal, Soph., RB/LB, 5-10, 175
Returning lettermen: Mahmoud Bagegni, Sr., OL/DL, 5-9, 190; Michael Coupal, Sr., OL/DL, 5-10, 210; Craig Harden, Sr., OL/DL, 6-1, 252; T.J. Kenney, Sr., OL/DL, 6-1, 170; Bryce Brown, Jr., QB/DB, 6-0, 175; Ryan Craig, Jr., RB/DB, 5-5, 130; Nick DeCarolis, Jr., RB/DB, 5-11, 175; Dylan Ragonese, Jr., RB/DB, 5-6, 135; Jason Gleason, Soph., RB/DB, 5-5, 150; Joe Halpin, Soph., RB/DB, 5-7, 135; Michael Calistro, Soph., OL/DL, 5-8, 143
Promising newcomers: James LaPolice, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 190; Nolan Duffy, Jr., OL/DL, 5-11, 225; Trevor Gagnon, Soph., QB/DB, 5-8, 130; Domenic Branco, Soph., OL/DL, 5-11, 230; Collin Loring, Soph., OL/DL, 5-7, 135; Kyle Champagne, Frosh., RB/DB, 5-7, 170; Jacob Brown, Frosh., OL/DL, 5-7, 250
Captains: Chris Medeiros, Tom Gleason, Chris Benjamin, Joe Slattery, Nick Johnson
Returning honorees: Joe Slattery, second-team All-Division 5; Chris Medeiros, honorable-mention All-Division 5
Assistants: Dave Clark Sr., Bob Crawford, Tim Guanci
Odds and ends: In Week 2 last fall, Pelham snapped a 20-game losing streak which dated back to the 2009 season. ... That’s no typo, 150-pound Cristian Will really is an offensive and defensive lineman and 158-pound Zach Masiello also plays the defensive line. ... But they both take a back seat to Collin Loring, who is playing the line at 135 pounds. He is the brother of former Python Chadd Loring, who played at 270 pounds.
Coach Ryan Clark (2nd year, 3-6): “Chris Medeiros had a heck of a year last year, leading us in rushing yards, touchdowns and interceptions. Joe Slattery is a very good quarterback who we are relying on. Tom Gleason is our only starting lineman back and we need a lot from him. On defense, Slattery is an all-state defensive back and Tyler Kosik did a great job at linebacker for us last year.”
2012 record: 4-5
Offense: Wing-T; Defense: 50
Returning starters (10): John Bush, Sr., OL, 5-9, 195; Matt Furtado, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 240; Nick Pettis, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 220; Connor Rose, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 190; Dan Wydola, Sr., G/LB, 5-9, 170; Jackson Morton, Sr., SE/DB, 6-0, 170; Mike Rich, Sr., RB/DB, 5-9, 165; Zack Tessier, Sr., HB/LB, 5-10, 170; Matt Stemska, Sr., DL, 5-7, 230; Zach Matthews, Jr., FB/LB, 6-1, 185
Returning lettermen: Brandon McShaw, Sr., TE/DE, 5-9, 200; Tyler Mackey, Sr., DE, 6-1, 205; John Morris, Sr., QB, 6-1, 190; Ty Austin, Jr., TE/DL, 6-2, 180
Promising newcomers: Kyle Olsen, Sr., RB/LB, 5-7, 155; Andrew Layman, Sr., FB/LB, 6-0, 235; Barry Serbin, Sr., OL/DL, 6-2, 250; Ben Ouellette, Sr., OL/DL, 6-2, 250; Cam McNeil, Jr., CB, 5-8, 160; Sean Kane, Jr., FB/LB, 6-0, 240
Returning leaders: Mike Rich, 89 carries, 482 yards, 2 TDs; Jackson Morton 1-for-1 passing, 35 yards, 1 catch, 15 yards; Dan Wydola 84 carries, 326 yards, 1 TD
Captains: John Morris, Jackson Morton, Dan Wydola
Returning honorees: Michael Rich and Nick Pettis, second-team All-Division 5; Dan Wydola, honorable-mention All-Division 5
Assistants: Matt Stemska, running backs; Tony King, quarterbacks; Colin McQueen, defensive backs; Ross McClellan, linemen; Jason Kaye, linemen
Odds and ends: Dan Wydola, who rushed for 326 yards last season as a fullback, has moved to guard to bolster the offensive line. Sanborn has also abandoned the spread offense and fully committed to the Wing-T again. ... Coach John Welch has taken on play-calling duties.
Coach John Welch (2nd year, 4-5): “(Quarterback) John Morris has been executing great in practice. He’s extremely smart and a great leader. He has Jackson Morton to throw to, and he has great hands. Fullback Zach Matthews, and (halfbacks) Mike Rich and Kyle Olsen will all be counted on to carry the ball for us. On defense Nick Pettis and Matt Stemska are returners we rely on and Matthews and Dan Wydola need to step up and lead the way.”
2012 record: 7-3, lost in Division 4 semifinals
Offense: Double wing; Defense: 4-4
Returning starters (4): David Crichton, Sr., OT/DT, 6-0, 235; Joe Frake, Jr., TE/DB, 6-1, 160; Davis Potter, Jr., G/DE, 5-11, 195; Kellin Bail, Jr., RB/DB, 5-10, 175
Returning lettermen: Gui Gauthier, Sr., RB/LB, 5-10, 185; Kody Folsom, Sr., C/DT, 6-0, 240; Anthony Gallo, Jr., TE/DB/K, 5-11, 185; Brendan McInnis, Jr., QB/DB, 6-1, 185
Promising newcomers: Nate Atkinson, Sr., TE/DE, 6-4, 230; Brandon Smith, Sr., OT/DT, 6-2, 190; Kurtis Jolicoeur, Jr., FB/LB, 5-10, 190; Chase Bauchman, Jr., OG, 5-10, 185; Troy Peters, Jr., RB/DB, 5-10, 165; Mike Bedient, Jr., OG/LB, 5-10, 180; Kevin Anderson, Soph., OG/LB, 5-10, 185; Shane Lafond, Soph., RB/CB, 5-10, 175; Matt Shea, Soph., RB/CB, 5-9, 165; Ben Emrick, Soph., RB/LB, 5-8, 165; Victor Pizzotti, Frosh., FB/LB, 5-11, 185
Returning leaders: Brendan McInnis 1-for-1 passing, 14 yards; Kellin Bail 12 carries, 77 yards, 3 TDs; Joe Frake 16 catches, 303 yards, 6 TDs
Captains: David Crichton, Joe Frake, TBA
Returning honorees: Joe Frake, honorable mention All-Division 4
Assistants: Jack Byrne, defensive coordinator; Bob Burke, quarterbacks; Dave Babonis, offensive line; Matt Blair, defensive backs; Larry McQuaid, defensive line; Pat Robertson, JV; Bryan Fenn, offensive line; Joe Raycraft, scouting; Mike Crosby, linebackers
Odds and ends: The Jaguars graduated Eagle-Tribune All-Stars Kevin Cooney, Corey Alberico and Joe Lorenz and two-way standout Danny Cannone. ... Anthony Gallo scored 78 goals and was an Eagle-Tribune All-Star in lacrosse.
Coach Bill Raycraft (4th year, 16-14): “Brendan McInnis is going to be a great quarterback. He can do it with his arm and his legs. We are excited about him. Kellin Bail has great field visit as a running back and should lead the running game. Anthony Gallo and Joe Frake both have great hands and are also excellent defensive backs. Kody Folsom should be a force in the middle at linebacker along with Brandon Smith on the line.”