New Hampshire Football Report

Crowded at the top

Division II 
2017 Preview

North Conference: Bow, Gilford-Belmont, Hanover, John Stark, Kennett, Kingswood, Laconia, Lebanon, Merrimack Valley, Pembroke and Plymouth.

South Conference: ConVal, Hillsboro-Deering/Hopkinton, Hollis/Brookline, Manchester West, Milford, Pelham, Sanborn, Souhegan, St. Thomas and Windham.

2016 Division II champion: Plymouth. The Bobcats scored a touchdown with 16 seconds to play to defeat Bow 27-24 in the Division II championship game.

Top storyline: Can Plymouth win back-to-back titles? The Bobcats have many of their key players back from a team that celebrated at UNH last November.

Player to Watch: Plymouth running back/defensive lineman Garrett Macomber, who was named New Hampshire’s Gatorade Player of the Year after he rushed for a school-record 2,373 yards and 26 touchdowns in 2016. He also recorded 55 tackles and eight sacks on defense.

Key game: Bow at Plymouth (Sept. 23). Both teams are expected to be strong again this season, and the rematch of last year’s championship game will undoubtedly have much to say about where teams finish in the upper half of the Division II playoff seedings.

Noteworthy: Typically a 22-team division, Division II is down to 21 teams this season following Trinity’s decision to not play a varsity schedule because of low participation in the program. Trinity has stated a desire to play at the Division III level next season. Each of the 21 teams had to drop a regular-season game after Trinity announced that it would not field a varsity team. “The (Division II) ADs voted and we wanted to make it an even number of games,” Windham coach/AD Bill Raycraft said. “The big thing that held things up was keeping rivalry and homecoming games in tact. We also wanted to keep the number of home and away games even (four and four). That was the other piece of it. The bulk of the games stayed the same.” … Three Division II programs have a first-year head coach: West (Tom Bozoian), Souhegan (Robin Bowkett) and St. Thomas (Ryan Brown). Bozoian was the head coach at Raymond last season; Bowkett played at Souhegan; and Brown, the AD at St. Thomas, inherits a team that returns quarterback Shawn DeKorne and playmaker Tim Bouchard (22 receptions for 344 yards last season) … There’s no shortage of contenders this season. That group includes Bow, Plymouth and Windham. John Stark and Milford could challenge for the No. 1 seed as well. . … Running back/linebacker Jack Corriveau is among the returnees at Bow. Corriveau scored each of Bow’s three touchdowns (two receiving, one rushing) in last year’s championship game. … Parker McQuarrie, a 6-foot-7 junior, will replace his brother Parker as John Stark’s QB. The Generals made their first playoff appearance in the program’s history last season. … ConVal has one of the top quarterbacks in the state in senior Dan Spezzaferri, who set single-game school records for yards passing (462) and TD passes (five) in last year’s loss to Lebanon. Spezzaferri finished the season with 2,268 yards passing. … Hanover, Kennett, Laconia, Lebanon, Hollis/Brookline, Sanborn, Souhegan and St. Thomas are among the other teams that could be in the Division II playoff hunt.


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