New Hampshire Football Report

NHIAA Preview: Division IV

2023 Preview

Teams in the Division: Bishop Brady, Franklin, Mascoma, Newfound, Newport, Raymond, Somersworth and Winnisquam.

2022 champion: Somersworth. The Hilltoppers capped a 9-0 season by beating Newport 14-6 in the Division IV championship game.

Top storyline: Will there be more competitive games in 2023? Only two Division IV games in 2022 (playoffs included) were decided by fewer than seven points, but 20 games were decided by more than 21 points.

Players to Watch: Logan Ash (DL) Newport; Kyle Ashley (QB/DL) Newport;  Blayne Belanger (LB) Somersworth; Kaden Bickford (DB) Somersworth; Trey Donahue (QB) Raymond; Cam Dubois (OL) Somersworth; Aaron Fellows (DB) Newport; Ethan Lewis (TE) Mascoma Valley; Damien Nestle (LB) Mascoma Valley; Caleb Perkins (DL) Raymond; Taylon Perkins (DB) Bishop Brady; Hayden Robinson (OL) Raymond; Tayshawn Sheppard (RB) Somersworth; Seth Worell (LB) Somersworth.

Key game: Somersworth at Newport (Sept. 30). These teams met in the Division IV championship game in 2020 and 2022, and appear to be the most talented teams in the division again this season.

Noteworthy: Four teams will make the playoffs in this division. Although the teams will play a balanced seven-game schedule, the football point-rating system will be used to select the four playoff teams. The head-to-head result will be the tiebreaker for a two-team tie. It should be noted that a tie occurs when teams have the same rating, NOT the same record. Two teams that are each 5-2 are not “tied” in the eyes of the NHIAA if their rating is different. … The Division IV championship game will be played Nov. 11 at a site to be determined. …  Former ConVal coach Rob Clauss is now the head coach at Bishop Brady. He replaces Brendan Johnson, who is now the offensive coordinator at Merrimack Valley. Clauss inherits a team that returns 13 starters (seven on defense) from last season, when the Green Giants qualified for the Division IV playoffs. … Newfound’s Luis Adorno is the only other first-year head coach in Division IV. . …  Somersworth returns six defensive starters and five on offense. The returnees include running back Tayshawn Sheppard and linemen Cameron Dubois and Jack Welch. … If Somersworth in the preseason favorite in Division IV, then Newport is close behind. Newport’s Kyle Ashley is one of the top QBs in the division. … If there’s a wildcard team in Division IV it looks like Raymond, which should have a high-scoring offense run by quarterback Trey Donahue. … While the three other NHIAA divisions will begin play this week, the Division IV regular season won’t start until Sept. 9.


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