New Hampshire Football Report

Division III has new look

Division III
2016 Preview

North Conference: Fall Mountain, Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough, Kearsarge, Mascoma, Monadnock, Newfound, Newport and Stevens.

South Conference: Bishop Brady, Campbell, Epping-Newmarket, Farmington-Nute, Franklin, Raymond, Somersworth and Winnisquam.

2015 Division III champion: Newport. The Tigers defeated Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough, 48-14, in last year’s championship game.

Top storyline: Will either Kearsarge or Monadnock (or both) dominate Division III competition. Both programs dropped to Division III after qualifying for the Division II playoffs last season.

Player to Watch: Levi Bassingthwaite. The Monadnock offense will rely heavily on Bassingthwaite this season. He was the team’s second leading rusher in 2015.

Key game: Stevens at Monadnock (Oct. 28). This is the final game of the season for both teams. Something will be at stake, perhaps even the No. 1 seed for the playoffs.

Noteworthy: Kearsarge and Monadnock filled the voids left by Bow and Belmont-Gilford, programs that moved up to Division II. … Division III North appears to be the tougher of the two conferences. In addition to Kearsarge and Monadnock, that conference includes the two teams that reached last year’s championship game (Newport and I-L/M) and Stevens, which is expected to be strong this season. … Monadnock returned nine offensive starters and seven starters on defense. … Richard Bell has been moved back to running back at Stevens. Bell played quarterback last season after Henri Bourque suffered a broken wrist during the second game of the season. Bell rushed for 592 yards and 12 TDs from the QB position. Stevens also returns running back Zach O’Brien (365 yards and five TDs on 72 carries; 28 receptions for 349 yards and two TDs) and wide receiver Parker Smith (51 receptions for 701 yards). … Newport has 12 seniors, 11 of whom have significant varsity experience. Quarterback Dylan McNamara is among the returnees. McNamara completed 28 of 47 passes for 418 yards and six touchdowns last season. … I-L/M returns First Team All-State tight end Zach Swanson and two Second Team All-State selections in offensive lineman Justin Tinker and linebacker Tom Robinson. … Four teams from each conference will qualify for postseason play. … Newport (Rich Boone), Newfound (Ray Kershaw), Epping-Newmarket (Chuck Fitzmaurice) and Farmington-Nute (Andy Gray) each has a first-year head coach. Kershaw guided Mascoma to the 2012 Division VI championship game, and coached the New Hampshire team in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl the following summer.



You must be logged in to post a comment Login