July 30, 2014

Shrine Camp: Day 5

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

Shrine logo.jpg
Special teams were among the things the New Hampshire Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team worked on during Wednesday's two practice sessions. 

Shawn Cavallaro (Hanover) and Jason Martinez (Salem) returned kicks, Kyle Reisert was the primary punter, and Hayden Middleton (St. Thomas) handled the placekicking.

The number of active players on the New Hampshire roster was reduced by one when Bishop Brady's Matt Tetu suffered a concussion during Tuesday's workouts. Tetu was being used primarily in the defensive backfield.

"He was right there at cornerback," New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson said. "It was unfortunate that it happened. He's staying here (Castleton State College) for the week. He wanted to be around as much as he can."

Jackson said he still hasn't determined all of his starters for Saturday's game, which will be played at Dartmouth's Memorial Field (5:30 p.m.). Vermont will be trying to beat New Hampshire for the first time since 2000.

"In terms of starters, there's still some stuff up in the air," Jackson said.

James Shufelt (Lyndon Institute) and Mark Goyette (Mill River) have been sharing the snaps behind center for Vermont, which is expected the run the option out of the flexbone formation (fullback, two slotbacks and two split ends). Both quarterback have experience running the option. Shufelt is Lyndon Institute's all-time rushing leader.

"We've got real great competitions going on," Vermont coach Mike Williams said. "To us right now it is a matter of practicing tempo as we expect New Hampshire to push the pace and test us."

Jackson said New Hampshire will hold two practices Thursday.
 
*****
Tickets to Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling (603) 448-1042. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on game day. Donations can be made by clicking here. ... New Hampshire has a 45-13-2 edge in the series. ... Former Mount St. Joseph quarterback Michael Keenan holds the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl record for touchdowns passes (six), pass completions (30), pass attempts (49) and passing yards (352). Keenan set those records during Vermont's 47-40 triumph in 2000.

For more news about the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl and football in New Hampshire, follow Roger Brown on Twitter: @603SportsMedia.

July 29, 2014

Shrine Camp: Day 4

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

Shrine logo.jpg
Although Vermont's last victory in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl came in the 2000 game (47-40), New Hampshire players insist they won't take Vermont lightly when the teams meet Saturday at Dartmouth's Memorial Field (5:30 p.m.).

Quarterback Trevor Knight (Nashua South): "We're not focusing on the past. We're just trying to get ready for battle."

Linebacker Alex Parenteau (Keene): "I think we have enough experienced starters to know we can't take anyone lightly. You can't overlook anyone."

Running back Jason Martinez (Salem): "We won't be looking past them. They're not just a bunch of guys that were just thrown together. They're an all-star team."

Knight said New Hampshire's spread offense is similar to the one he ran at Nashua South. New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson was on the South staff for five years.

"It's pretty much the same stuff, we just call it different things," he said. "It was pretty easy to pick up."

Jackson said you can expect to see Knight run the ball often Saturday. "I think the biggest benefit of the spread is you can get any kid in space," Jackson said. "He'll be a dual threat. We'd be crazy not to let him run the ball."

*****
Tickets to Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling (603) 448-1042. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on game day. Donations can be made by clicking here. ... New Hampshire will wear red shirts and white pants Saturday. Vermont will be in white on white with green numbers. ... Six Hampshire players have scored three touchdowns in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl: Steve Schubert (Central/1968), Les Wolfgram (West/1970), Brian Holmes (Newport/1997), Michael Boyle (Plymouth/2004), Max Jacques (Salem/2011) and Jerickson Fedrick. (Salem/2012). No player from either state has scored more than three TDs in the game.

Media Blitz: UNH looking to prove pollsters correct

College: Preseason poll puts target on UNH >> Baltimore Sun

July 28, 2014

Shrine Camp: Day 3

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

Shrine logo.jpg
The New Hampshire Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team held three practices Monday, but the morning practice had to be moved inside because of rain/wet field conditions. New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson said the defense is ahead of the offense at this point.

"We're behind a little offensively because of the weather," he said. "Defensively we're fine. We've been spoiled by how quickly they've picked up what we're doing defensively. We can't really run our (spread) offense in the gym.

"We have a couple more things to install, then we'll start paring it down to the things that are cleanest."

New Hampshire will be trying to extend its 13-game winning streak in this year's game, which will be played Saturday (5:30 p.m.) at Dartmouth's Memorial Field. New Hampshire has a 45-13-2 advantage in the series.

"It's fun playing with some of the guys you competed against," Keene's Alex Parenteau said. "You end up getting along with guys you didn't think you'd like. And seeing what you can do for these kids -- that's the point of this game."

Jackson said two Division III players -- defensive back Matt Tetu (Bishop Brady) and slot receiver/cornerback Donald Pellerin (Stevens) -- were among those who stood out in practice Monday. Jackson has also had plenty of good things to say about Salem running back Jason Martinez, who rushed for 1,348 yards and 16 TDs last season.

"He's been very impressive," Jackson said. "High energy, good character -- he's the kind of kid we need."

Jackson said his team is 100 percent healthy.

*****
Tickets to Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling (603) 448-1042. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 on game day. Donations can be made by clicking here. ... Souhegan's Tyler Ford holds the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl record for longest field goal. Ford made a 42-yard kick in last year's game. ... Vermont's initial roster had to include 18 players from Division I, 12 from Division II and six from Division III. New Hampshire had to pick 12 players from each of its three divisions. ... The first Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl game was played at Nashua's Holman Stadium in 1954.

Niyuomugabo lands UNH offer

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

MerrimackValleylogo.jpg
Merrimack Valley quarterback Ivan Niyomugabo received a scholarship offer from the University of New Hampshire on Monday night.

Niyomugabo, who will be a senior this season, has been Merrimack Valley's starting quarterback since midway through his freshman season. Niyumugabo spent last Thursday on the UNH campus, where he participated in passing drills in front of the UNH coaches.

"It was probably the best I've thrown all summer," Niyomugabo said. "UNH has always been my No. 1 (school)."

Niyomugabo received an offer from Division II St. Anselm College  last month. He said Albany and Central Connecticut State are also in the picture, but at the moment he doesn't have a scholarship offer from either school.    

Niyomugabo is 6-1 and weighs 185 pounds. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.69 and 4.72 seconds at Central Connecticut last week. He passed for 1,654 yards and 15 touchdowns last season, when he also ran for 783 yards and 11 TDs.

"I'd like to verbally commit before the summer is over," Niyomugabo said. "My original plan was to make my decision before school starts so I can focus on my senior season. I don't think it will be too long."

July 27, 2014

Shrine Camp: Day 2

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

Shrine logo.jpg
Lightning at Castleton State College prevented New Hampshire from getting in an on-field workout Sunday before the team left for the Shriners Hospital in Springfield, Mass. 

"We had extended meetings and showed some film," New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson said. "We took a tour of the hospital. I don't think many of our kids understood that there's zero out-of-pocket expense for that kind of extensive treatment."

Hanover's Shawn Cavallaro and Portsmouth's Pat Glynn each reported Sunday. Each player was excused from Saturday's practice for family reasons.Jackson said Cavallaro appears to be at 100 percent health after suffering a hamstring injury during practice for the CHaD East-West All-Star game.

Vermont will be trying to end a 13-year drought in this year's game, which will be played Saturday (5:30 p.m.) at Dartmouth's Memorial Field. New Hampshire has a 45-13-2 lead in the series.

Jackson said there's a logjam at defensive end that will force him to move some of those players to the offensive side of the ball. He added that he hopes to play everyone on both sides of the ball Saturday.

"We've told all the kids that we don't care where you're from, it's what you can do at this point," he said.

New Hampshire is scheduled to practice three times Monday: 8:45 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Monday will be the team's first practice in pads, and Jackson said it will likely be the only time the team has a full-contact practice this week.

Bedford's Trent Fortune will be New Hampshire's starting center. Jackson said New Hampshire will operate almost exclusively out of the shotgun.

"The only time will be under center is to take a knee or kill the clock," he said.

*****
Tickets to Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling (603) 448-1042. Tickets are $10 for Shriners, $12 if purchased in advance and $15 on game day. ... Despite the recent proliferation of the spread offense, Lebanon's David Faulker set the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl record for receptions (8) and yards receiving (171) in 1967. ... If you include Pelham running back Chris Medeiros, who is injured, the New Hampshire roster has 11 players from Division I schools, 13 players from Division II schools and 12 players from Division III schools. ... Twenty-five schools are represented on the New Hampshire roster. Ten schools have two players participating: Campbell, Gilford, Bedford, St. Thomas. Merrimack Valley, Stevens, Plymouth, Exeter, Epping/Newmarket, and Trinity. ... Vermont has five players on its roster from Middlebury, which defeated South Burlington in last year's Division I state championship game. ... Monday is media day at Castleton State.

For more news about the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl and football in New Hampshire, follow Roger Brown on Twitter: @603SportsMedia.

July 26, 2014

Shrine Camp: Day 1

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

Shrine logo.jpg
The New Hampshire Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team held two practices Saturday, when New Hampshire and Vermont both reported for training camp at Castleton (Vt.) State College. New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson called it a good first day.

"We introduced the offense and defense, and the drills we'll be running this week," Jackson said. "We had meetings before each practice and if the kids keep taking in the information the way they did today it's tempting to put more in.

"I think it was a really positive first day. It's good to finally be doing football stuff. The kids all bonded pretty well."

This year's game will be played Saturday (5:30 p.m.) at Dartmouth's Memorial Field. New Hampshire extended its winning streak to 13 games by winning 43-0 last year, and leads the series 45-13-2.

Jackson said New Hampshire will have two practices on most days, but will likely have three practice sessions Monday. New Hampshire practiced on the Castleton State game field Saturday, and is also scheduled to practice on the game field Sunday morning before each teams leaves for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield, Mass.

New Hampshire will run a spread offense and a 3-4 base defense. Jackson said he was particularly impressed with the athleticism of New Hampshire's tight ends, a group that includes Plymouth's Kyle Reisert, Keene's Alex Parenteau, Trinity's Tristan Theroux and Merrimack Valley's Ryan Head.

There is no limit on the number of offensive formations each team can use in this year's game.

"The only real rule is you can't blitz from the second level after the snap," Jackson said. "You have to show it before the snap."

South Burlington running back Tanner Contois practiced with Vermont on Saturday. Contois, Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year last season, suffered a torn ACL during South Burlington's 26-6 loss to Middlebury in the Division I championship game.

Earlier this month Vermont coach Mike Williams said he was uncertain if Contois would play in this year's game.

*****
There was a late change to New Hampshire's coaching staff. Zach Harris has replaced Shawn Aubut, who had a family commitment. Both are varsity coaches at Merrimack High School. Harris was a senior quarterback on Merrimack's 2010 team. ... Former Salem running back Max Jacques holds the Shrine Maple Bowl record for yards rushing in a game. Jacques ran for 248 yards in the 2011 contest. ... Tickets to Saturday's game can be purchased online at www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling (603) 448-1042.

For more news about the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl and football in New Hampshire, follow Roger Brown on Twitter: @603SportsMedia.

July 25, 2014

Media Blitz: Holderman leaving Kennett for North Carolina job

High School: Holderman named coach at East Chapel Hill >> newsobserver.com

High School: Kennett coach leaving >> Conway Daily Sun

July 24, 2014

Media Blitz: UNH has top poll position

College: UNH players embrace preseason ranking >> Union Leader

July 23, 2014

Shrine stars are ready to shine

Roger Brown
nhfootballreport.com

Shrine logo.jpg
Practice for next month's Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl begins Saturday at Castleton (Vt.) State College.

This year's game will be played Aug. 2 at Dartmouth's Memorial Field (5:30 p.m.). New Hampshire won last year's matchup with Vermont 43-0 and leads the series 45-13-2.

Here's what New Hampshire coach Dave Jackson had to say about his roster:

"Our skill kids are off the chart," Jackson said. "I can't remember UNH being interested in this many New Hampshire kids (at least four NH players will play for UNH). It's not like they waste roster space and lockers on kids just because they're local. We're gonna be all set at the skill positions. 

"I'd say the secondary could be the strength of our defense, just because of our athleticism. We don't want to play kids both ways, so we tried to split our superheros, our eye-popping film guys, on both sides of the ball. I think the physicality of some of the kids who played in the CHaD Game like Kyle Reisert and Marc Gaudet is another strong area.
We have a rare combination of character and characters."

Follow Roger Brown on Twitter: @603SportsMedia.

SHRINE MAPLE SUGAR BOWL
New Hampshire Roster
Dwight AlfordOL/LBBow
Cody AlwardWR/DBCampbell
Jack AthanasQB/DBGilford
Alec BoucherWR/DBWinnacunnet
Shawn CavallaroSlot/DBHanover
David CrichtonOL/DLWindham
Dean DustinOL/OLBPembroke
Trent FortuneOL/DLBedford
Marc GaudetRB/OLBConcord
Jake GeppertWR/DBSt. Thomas
Patrick GlynnOL/DLPortsmouth
Ryan HeadTE/DLMerrimack Valley
Colin HealeyOL/DL Merrimack
Kai KleyensteuberOL/DLStevens
Trevor KnightQB/DBNashua South
Jared KuehlRB/LBPlymouth
Peter LalimeOL/DLExeter
Cole MartinWR/KR/DBMerrimack Valley
Jason MartinezRB/DBSalem
Christian McKennaQB/DBCampbell
Hayden MiddletonPK/PSt. Thomas
Alex ParenteauTE/DE/LBKeene
Drake ParkerOL/DLGilford
Donald PellerinWR/DBStevens
Drew PrescottRB/DBSouhegan
Kyle ReisertTE/DE Plymouth
Brad RhoadesRB/DBTrinity
Colin RichardsonOL/DLExeter
Matt TetuWR/DBBishop Brady
Tristan TherouxTE/DLTrinity
Nick VailasWR/DBBedford
Jacob ValinskiLB/DLEpping/Newmarket
Dakota VanTasselOLWinnisquam
Eric WaddingtonRB/LBDover
Ryan PinardOL/LBGoffstown
Joseph LeclercWR/DBEpping/Newmarket