Tuesday, September 21, 2010

NH Notebook Football Power Poll - Week 4

This week I will be covering South vs. Memorial for WGAM on Friday night, and broadcasting St. Thomas vs. Somersworth for WTSN on Saturday afternoon. The two biggest games this week though with regards to the Power Poll would definitely be North vs. Central on Friday night and Salem vs. Pinkerton on Saturday. Other big games on Friday night include Plymouth @ Trinity and BG @ Merrimack.

Here's how I see the top 10 looking as of right now.

Like I said last week I base my Power Poll rankings on how the teams are playing RIGHT NOW. So if you took any two teams and they played each other on a neutral field and the game happened RIGHT NOW the team ranked higher in the poll would be the favorite.

1) Nashua North
Yes, I know that Winnacunnet is 3-0 and they beat North week 1. But that was then, this is now. Winnacunnet barely beat Dover on Friday night and they fumbled the ball 10 times. North meanwhile was very impressive on Saturday in their 33-7 win over a good Pinkerton team. Winnacunnet might have won the game week 1, but if they played again this weekend North would be the favorite.

2) Winnacunnet
See Nashua North.

3) Salem
Salem gets the nod here over a Pinkerton team who has one of their better players injured (Luke Somers) and and a BG team that also has injury woes. The Blue Devils got hammered on their home field opening week, but since then have looked very good in blowout wins over Central and Memorial. The defense is starting to play better, and their all-state backfield is now starting to live up the hype as well.

4) Pinkerton
Late in the third quarter Pinkerton was only down by 1 TD to the team now ranked #1...and that was without one of their top players in Somers. So even though they ended up losing 33-7 they don't deserve to drop too far. Don't forget they had a nice win over South in week 2. They got solid play on Saturday from QB Chris St. Onge, backs Emmitt Smith and Kevin Davies, as well as linebacker Mike Mazzola.

5) Bishop Guertin
It remains to be seen just how much Guertin is going to miss having star back Mike Kelly in the lineup. The game he got injured the Cardinals only beat Timberlane by 13 and it was only a 1 possession game pretty late in the contest. Kelly is out for the year, and QB Steve Cuipa and FB/LB Kyle Remillard are also banged up. That would explain why I have BG ranked a little lower than some. Make no mistake though, this is a very deep team and a football school. When guys get injured other guys just come in and fill their spot. They are still a top 5 team right now.

6) Souhegan
I give Souhegan the slight edge over Central here. Both squads had good multi-TD wins this past Friday night over decent teams. In the past 2 weeks though, I've see both teams play and Souhegan is playing slightly better football right now. Coach Beliveau's team was impressive on Friday night, blowing out a solid Goffstown team despite having 3 TD's called back from penalties. These guys have a lot of weapons on offense, good size and muscle on both sides of the football

7) Manchester Central
Souhegan might be able to, but Central can NOT afford to look past this weekend to their date with the Sabers. The Little Green have a good test against North on Friday night that will tell us whether they are contenders or pretenders.

8) Nashua South
Lost pretty good last weekend to Lowell High (MA), which makes it two losses in a row for Coach Knight's squad and their only win was over Portsmouth. I've heard mixed reviews on Lowell, though. Some say they're not that good so it was a really bad loss. Some have told me they are awesome in which case it isn't that bad of a loss. Only time will tell, we'll just have to see how the Purple Panthers fair over the next couple of weeks and then judge. They definitely have plenty of talent though.

9) Keene
Keene is definitely one of the state's surprise team so far this season. I really wasn't expecting much from them going into the year. I knew they had a couple of pretty good players but I figured they would just be a middle of the pack team at best in D-II. We'll see if they can keep it going, but they're playing some pretty good football right. now. After blowing out my preseason #10 team Alvirne on the road 42-18 they then went on the road and smashed Brattleboro High (VT) 48-13. The Blackbirds are being led by sophomore QB Lucas Luopa, receiver Jimmy Boulay, tailback Chris LaCroix and lineman Taylor Russell. They could easily be 5-0 a couple weeks from now, as their next two games are against West and Spaulding. They do however, end the season with Winnacunnet and BG the last 2 weeks.

10) Trinity
Trinity gets the nod over Bedford, because they have two quality wins in the last 2 weeks over Hanover and Laconia. Their other game was a 48-0 blowout over Merrimack Valley. Big game this Friday vs. Plymouth. They can solidy their spot in my top 10 with a win over the Bobcats.

126 comments:

  1. Merrimack has 2 divisional wins Keene has 1, How can you rank Keene higher

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  2. 10:00 Its like he said, Its who he thinks, if the two teams played head to head right now at a neutral field, would win the game. It has nothing to do with Division wins.

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  3. Jeremy, good post with strong arguments. I think you have captured the class of the state as it exists today.

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  4. timberlane will bein the playoffs,they are a tough team that hits hard.

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  5. merrimack struggled to beat division 3 hollis brookline and you wonder why they aren't ranked.This isn't the union leader poll where the the judges are either biased,an asst coach of a team{merrimack],or clueless.This guy tells you the parameters of his poll,does his homework,and offers you his opinion.

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  6. yep,good stuff.The only one I disagree with is winnie.Ten fumbles and only winning by 5 over a team that won't make the dance.I am not sold on winnie.

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  7. Ah a new week to debate! How easy do you think it was for North to get up for the PA game? Dover for the Winni game? What about Timberlane for the BG game? What about BG for the Salem game? What about Winni for the North game? I think its far easier for a coach of the underdog to show the poll to his players and say you're playing the #1/#2 team this week than it is for the #1/#2 team to tell his players not to think about the poll. I'm still not sure Winni should be this high. They make a lot of mistakes, but so far have gotten away with it. Even the PA coach wondered if North got disinterested in the second half. I was there and saw a North team that didn't play the same in the second half. Winni made the most of North mistakes scoring after an interception at the end of the first half and taking advantage of a roughing the punter penalty in the second half to continue the drive to tie the game. Tough call too because the punter had to track down an errant snap and then kick on the run - the North player understandably could have felt he was running for it. It was an exciting game, but it was also game 1 and it looked it.

    Second, let's consider that injuries are part of the game - they certainly test a team's depth. If you have time to prepare for that loss, then it's easier than trying to adjust your game plan on the fly. PA loses a go to guy for a top level game and lose 33-7. BG loses their go to guy in a tough game, but still win 20-7 scoring twice without him. Timberlane loses their QB at the tail end of the BG game (hurt on PAT), but they like BG have a weaker opponent the following week, so are able to make do with their depth (the box score on NH Sports Page shows he didn't play vs. West).

    This week will tell a lot about team's depth, PA/Salem, BG/Merri, & Timb/Alvirne. Lots of good games on tap this weekend - some probably helping determine playoff seeding (barring future injuries).

    In D1, if PA is without their guy, expect a lot of what they saw against North, but they have a week to prepare. I would bet O'Reilly has the BG/Salem tape and Salem could see a similar defense vs. Jacques/Federick. North/Central is huge for North especially in the points game for playoff seeding. The loser of the South/Concord probably has no shot at making the playoffs.

    In D2, Merri always plays BG tough - I remember a 2-0 halftime game a few years ago... Alvirne is fighting for their playoff life. Keene has West and Spaulding the next 2 weeks - they just need to avoid injuries! Winni v. Exeter is another rivalry game - if you've never seen one of those games, then take the trip on Sat to Winni.

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  8. So, In order to have a new number one for the record 5th week in a row, we need North and Winny to both lose and Salem win real big.

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  9. Will Cuipa and Remilard be playing in the game. Are they banged up bad. I think BG needs them.

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  10. merrimack has played weak teams,friday they will be exposed BIG TIME.

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  11. cuipa and remillard both at 100%,I want to see battari or karaska back playing this friday.

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  12. What position is Battari. Didn't Karaska have surgery?

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  13. defensive end,and fullback.his nose looked like it got hit with a baseball bat after the timberlane game,very tough kid.Karaska did have surgery,but I heard any day now he will be back,another animal.

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  14. salem-pinky on sat,goota love d1 always a GREAT game.

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  15. If pinky can't defend the run and they fall behind it will be over for them.

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  16. i dont see how you can put a team that lost (handily) to another on top of the team they lost to. other players would have stepped in if the offensive focal point wasnt kelly, and the defense shut down the "star" for the other team. salems backfield isnt living up to potential, they just are playing very different competition. its been said before i will say it again Fredrick is a phenominal athlete who is afraid to hit and BG most certainly is not, that is what it came down to. jacques though is a player with plenty of heart i will acknowledge that, he surprised me

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  17. Timberlane has always been tough. the problem is as always they are obscenely unathletic.

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  18. Timberlane has always been tough. the problem is as always athleticism.

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  19. Timberlane was by far the hardest hitting team bg has played so far.I don't know if their athletic,but they are not afraid of bone jarring hits.

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  20. bg is not afraid to hit either.merrimack is going to find there is a BIG difference between guertin and hollis-brookline.

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  21. This Salem team (or the week 10 Salem team for that matter) will NEVER play this BG team (or the week 10 BG team) so we will NEVER know who would win. All that we know is that the week 1 BG team was better than the week 1 Salem team. And BG can claim all that they want that they would replace Kelly in a rematch... that may be true afainst D2 talent, but against Salem, NO ONE but Kelly could have done what he did. When I say NO ONE I mean NO ONE in the entire state. There is no one on BGs team or any other team that comes even close to the ability that he had before the injury. Discussing which team would win a matchup now is pointless. Salem needs to take care of business in D1 and BG needs to take care of business in D2. D2 is now up for grabs and D1 alway has been. In my opinion the defending champs are the favorites in both divisions.

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  22. is karaska playing this week for bg?

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  23. THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN,THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN,THEIR BACK.Last year in the sold out hoops game,the merrimack student section stood up and cheered "we don't want you"to cuips.I think Steve Cuipa is going to light up that scoreboard like a pinball machine.He is going to show the merrimack faithful "watch out what you wish for".Guertin fans if your going, get there early,if you want a seat.

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  24. 5:37 Lebanon needs to worry about playing at Laconia on Homecoming weekend. If they win that game, then maybe some people will talk about them.

    I hear you that they beat Kennett (in their first game with a new head coach), but until they beat a proven team like Laconia, they're not quite up to Power Ranking discussions.

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  25. while i agree that no one equals kelly i disagree that no one could rip salem up like him. and i especially disagree that BG wouldnt be able to handle salem without him. as much as he did, the score was STILL convincing enough that one player does not completely change the outcome. BG's d basically shut down salem once they got into the flow of the game, remember almost all the BG kids were taking their first, first team reps and will get significantly better as the year goes on. and kelly wasnt the only one who moved the ball, cuipa threw and ran well, and the other backs have plenty of ability to take advantage of the weak salem defense. so far the teams salem played looked weaker than those that bg played so i wouldnt pull out the d1 card that is garbage anyway, remember last year d2 was significantly better than d1

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  26. im not sure where i saw this on the nh notebook but typical souhegan kid ranting about how good they were saying how they had a bunch of kids playing college ball and some that just decided not to... that just struck me because i remember earlier in the year when it was stated that many bg players that definately could play college ball were deciding not to people jumped on that and said how rediculous it is... i dont get it am i the only one seeing the contradiction here?

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  27. 2:31 Totally disagree, Salem took BG too light and was not ready to play. These are High School kids and they spent too much time believing the preseason press clippings BG gave them a wake up call. Salem is much different team three weeks later and for you to say that Timberlane is better than Central is nuts

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  28. i thought goffstown would have given salem a wake up call.how many wakeup calls does salem need?

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  29. RE: 3:49

    I think I also a saw a place in this blog that the Salem kids just didn't take the game all that seriously because it meant nothing.

    In any case, my opinion is because those games didn't count, who cares what happened and who won or lost. If we're going to have crossover games, let them count. Better yet, let's see a reduction in the number of divisions and do some realignment where the top teams in D2 and D3 come to D1. For example, BG, Winnie, and Souhegan should come to D1 period. In that vein, Concord should move down. I think they'll match up better with the other teams in D2.

    This year in D1 we see 5 teams with a legitimate shot at the title: Salem, North, Pinkerton, Central, and South. In D2 it's only Winnie and BG. Merrimack is making a push, but this is the 1st year in awhile. In D3, Souhegan has been unchallenged for at least 3 years, and after seeing Portsmouth get demolished by South, Souhgean should cruise to another state title.

    Until this happens, all we'll see are D1 posters talking about the greatness of D1 and BG and Souhegan supporters doing their best Rodney Dangerfield imitations.

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  30. Since Salem the only teams BG has played are a bad Timberlane and a really bad Spaulding team. They can't be weaker than the teams Salem has played, come on now.Timberlane and Spaulding won't even make the playoffs.

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  31. Salem didn't care at all about BG. They didn't even bring the Band or the Cheerleaders or the Fans to a HOME GAME. Meaningless game, meaningless outcome. Same approach for every non D1 team.

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  32. I saw the quote too 2:48. He said three kids chose not to. BG people claimed the entire senior class chose not to pretty much. That's ludicrous. The kids that decided not to play from BG were low D3 caliber recruits anyway so I don't really know what your point is. Lower D3 schools will take anybody that shows interest. No offense to anybody but it's true.

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  33. I think Pinkerton beats Salem this weekend!

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  34. Ummm .. Not quite sure why the hoops game was referenced in this Football post (Merrimack vs. BG) maybe sour grapes.. but whatever. Hoping for a great football game between two great rivals (3-0 rivals) and I am also hoping that it is a very quiet ride home on the pickle bus..

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  35. North is just the best team in the state, no one can contest to them, winni got lucky and if they were to have a re-match North would have crushed them so bad that they would have thier jv squad in by the start of the fourth quarter. North will easily overcome Salem and BG now ecspeacially since they lost kelly. North has an all-star line up that is always ready for a challenge. Central will be lucky if they dont lose by more than three touch downs this week.

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  36. 10:40

    Whoa there big fella, North has a good number of playmakers, but so does Central. I can guarantee you that North is not going into that game seeing it as a one sided romp. Even though Winnie didn't count, we saw what happened when north gave up the fight. Don't forget that Central almost beat North in the playoffs.

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  37. Isn't it sad that Trinity is a top ten program in the state and they have chosen to play in d4. I know the history but to beat up on small public schools so you can rebuild your self esteem is pathetic.

    They have all the resources to be in d2 if not d1, they are moving way too slow and it's not fair to the d5 runnerup last year the teams they have creamed over the last 3 years (which has been almos all of them)and to the teams in d4 this year. AD's need to step up

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  38. Read the article in the telegraph today about Cuipa.Confirms everything I have been writing,biggest game of his life,and he has had some big ones.Tojo gets it,the kid's last game in front of his hometown who have come to see him fail.College scouts will be there tonight,it would not surprise me if he Johnson allows him to set some kind of record. Cuipa is 15-0 as a starter,in my opinion not only the best qb in Merrimack, but the best in the state.

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  39. merrimack will be getting a fired up guertin team that has never lost with their qb under center.i say guertin in a lopsided victory.the pickle bus will be rockin and rollin all the way back to nashua.

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  40. timberlane by 4 td's over alvirne,book it dano.

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  41. 8:57 - Salem didn't care at all about BG...
    Not what your players say when you talk to them......

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  42. I saw the Pinkerton - North game last week.
    NORTH is probably going to WIN OUT if they keep playing like they did in that game.

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  43. Prediction: SALEM Beats PINKERTON by at least 2 TDs.

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  44. Careful 10:40 this is the same post the North supporters were putting up after the win Over Central last year. Just substitute 'salem' for 'winni' and it is eerily similar to North posts right before the championship game. And as we all know, "salem got lucky twice".

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  45. Who says that the Merrimack Hometown people have come to watch him fail. It is always nice to have a hometown kid do well.

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  46. 7:29
    One of those players (starters) lives in my house (about 5 if you include friends) and they seriously did not care. Now, this weekend, it is the biggest game of the year for Salem. They are always talking about it. BG was truly a non event... I'm sure it was a little different for BG. Don't believe me, look at our facebooks, you know the names. No buzz at all regarding BG before or after the game... Pinkerton on the other hand....

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  47. Trinity actually Petitioned up to D-3 last year, but were placed in D-4. They chose D-3. As far as their rebuilding progress, it's been quick. 2006-D1, 0 Wins. 2007 -Independent schedule; 2008 -D5 Lost in Semi-Finals to St Thomas Aquinas; 2009 - Won D5; 2010 Petitioned to play in D3, placed in D4. Either D4 or D3 are appropriate as the school only has about 420 kids grades 9-12. Most of the good players have to play both ways, and that is why you will never see them in D1 or 2 again. Not enough depth to compete. When they were in D1, they would usually compete for a half at best.

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  48. Merrimack hometown crowd coming out to see Cuipa fail? C'mon... This statement comes from a yo-yo and more than likely a large hypocrite.. Anyway, a couple of very good proven QB's going at it tonight. Both have worked hard and have taken their lumps along the way (dis-gruntled parents - not excluded) but these boy's are very deserving and have very strong teams supporting each of them. Good day and I am sure it will be a good night for Football and a fine Rivalry...

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  49. 10:49
    Maybe that's the difference between a good program with great athletes and a great program with good athletes. Hindsight is 20/20. You can say now Pink, North, Central, etc are more important than BG and creating more buzz at the house and via facebook, but to say they did not care doesn't translate to how both teams played that day. You know excuses are like, right? I saw a Salem team play hard. They got beat by not just 1 player as some believe, but a better program which reminds its players each week to go out and play hard for the whole game. I would think that Salem players were a bit overconfident coming into the game, but to say they did not care - wow. That's the stinkiest excuse of them all.

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  50. 5:14, contrary to popular believe, college coaches don't waste their time coming to games in person unless the college or university is within like 10-15 minutes. Why do that when they can just ask for film and spend their Friday night instead preparing for Saturday or being with the family?

    And 10:49, come on now. Really?!?! What is it going to take for the Salem faithful to just admit that they got beat by a better team? All offseason it was "circle your calenders, september 3rd BG's gonna meet a real team." Blah blah blah, get over it. Salem has been irrelevant in D-I for years and is finally good the past two and the entire town goes crazy on blogs. Just admit it: BG was, and is... BETTER.

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  51. How can it be the biggest game of his life when he QB'd an undefeated championship team last year. I understand how the Merrimack people feel, but really, this isn't for a playoff spot, it isn't a championship game, it even isn't against CM which has more importance for BG because of the regional Catholic thing, BG has had he tougher schedule to date and is used to big games, BG by 2 touchdowns if they play poorly, if they are hitting on all cylinders they win by 35

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  52. 420 kids at a Catholic Parochial is not like 420 kids at a public school. That argument is sesnseless. ALL the resources are there to be in a higher division. The proof is right in front of you in how easy the wins have come.

    I have heard that let's be in d3 this year before and it simply is not true. That is the official stance, it is not true. They petitioned d4 and d4 alone. Ask people on the committee

    AD's need to do a better job of not allowing teams with huge advantages enter divisions where they will clearly dominate. Manchester West petitioning down in some sports makes sense due to the socioeconomic and the effect of Bedford leaving. Trinity is another example, "Hey let's go play teams that have no chance of beating us so we can feel good about ourselves" pathetic

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  53. I also love how Trinity is now in D-IV with two of the weakest Laconia and Plymouth teams EVER. They should of came into D-IV in 08 and got rocked

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  54. 1:43, last year's Trinity team was arguably better than this year's squad. Connor Lyons anyone?

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  55. Let me just say that I am a "FAN" and not a parent of a child on any team....
    BG "Parent" Mr R, I think you should give credit where credit is due.
    Merrimack has a diamond in the rough with QB Zack. He certainly is underrated! BG parents will be in for a great game. All this hype about the QB for BG.......He's good BUT not the best in the state.
    Let these teams just play! Enough of the throat slashing comments.

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  56. Trinity is a perfect example of a program that should have moved down from D1 sooner. They needed to drop to D5 in order to draw back athletes. They got fortunate with the Lyons' boys - good athletes to build around. The year they left and played independent did open open dates on other D1 schedules though which was good for BG which got a chance to play and demolish a pretty good Central team at the end of a season. Using hindsight - perhaps that's why the NHIAA decided it'd be good going forward to have crossover games...

    Of course the detractors will continue to say parents choose to have their children go to a private catholic just to play some sport, while those that go and pay know the reason they left the public school system. Strange that no one questions how one can tuition into PA or how players can change school in the Manchester school district giving a variety of reasons... Didn't the QB from Central a couple years ago belong at West since he lived in Bedford? How about Memorial's basketball coach's son? Last year, there was a good class M hoop player from ?Raymond? that moved into the Exeter school district after playing summer ball with other Exeter players. What about the kid from Trinity, who went to some private school, and now is reportedly at Memorial even though it's said that the family lives in the West district. I'm sure there's other examples out there...

    So 1:21, how does that change your argument? Can it, has it, and will it happen that a family chooses one school over another regardless of whether it's public or private? I disagree it's as large of an advantage as you seem to think. I don't see anything wrong with trying to "better" yourself or get some advantage if you have the resources. Is it fair, not always, but that's life, right? I cannot believe you have this much spite over high school sports.

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  57. jeremy, I said 08 bro, both Plymouth and Laconia were bad in 09 and would of got smoked

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  58. Yes, so if Trinity really wanted to move up at the perfect time to dominate wouldn't have been last year?

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  59. 11:35
    They were extremely over confident going into the BG game and expected to win my 4TDs. That has nothing to do with wheter or not they cared. They simply did not. I am not saying that they didn't take the field ready to play a game. Just like with Manchester Central last year (and that game cost them an undefeated season) after the game, they simply did not care and went back to work. Just as with the BG game, before the game they did not care as they expected to win by 4 TDs. Both games were pretty much identical in importance to the team. Now, you are correct in one thing... that definitely is the difference between a great football school with good atheletes and a good school with great ones. Salem NH is not a great football school and has never professed to be. BG is a great football school. Salem gets by on 1 or 2 superior atheletes and even with that, last year was the first time they were able to win anything in D1. Football schools like BG are motivitated for each and every game, Schools like Salem... well, lets just say that 1/2 the team just enjoys playing. There are a few die hards but for the most part its no big deal. Pinkerton is a Football School also, as evidenced by the record against Salem (and that is a game that Salem truly wants to win each and every year)so when ever Salem manages to beat them, it is because of a few elite kids, not the 'program'. (for me 'the program' includes lots of things, including support from many areas)

    It is an attitude set forth by the towns. BG gets support, Pinkerton gets support... Salem, if is isn't a championship game, no one sees it. Its a very small football (sports in general) circle in Salem.

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  60. 12:52
    No one said that BG was not better that day. They were better, just look at the score. And also, FYI, Central was "better" than them last year when they played, even better than BG, Central won 45-7. Also, last year, Timberlane was "just as good' as them, they lost in OT. But none of this, either this year or last year, matters when it comes to winning a championship.

    Go Blue Devils - Beat Pinky again!!!

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  61. I am confused about your point 2:39? is it that Parents should have the right to better their child and send them anywhere they want? I agree

    Is it that everyone does it? I agree

    Is it fair for Trinity to play Fall Mountain one of the public schools that those parents have fled from to feel good about themselves? I disagree make me an argument how that is fair.

    Rich people who can pay for an education are not entitled to be put in a division where they are going to kill everybody. Make an argument how that hasn't happened, and how it would be fair.

    Spiteful, no. Looking out for the little guys when a sense of entitlement overwhelms those more fortunate, YES.

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  62. im sorry but apparently i have to re-state this apparently it isnt clear enough yet. BG does not even blink at Merrimack. there is no rivalry. Merrimack has always had a chip on their shoulder that they are the "bad" kids that are too cool for sports etc so they of course feel at odds with BG. I went to BG and the culture is that EVERYONE is an athlete and everyone is very good at one varsity sport at least. the other kids basically arent given the time of day. sorry to say it but its true, and merrimack is the other kids in this case.

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  63. 1:21. Senseless? Trinity at 420 students would be slotted in D-6. I imagine they must be the smallest in D-4. They would agree to be in D-3. I think D-3 is about as far as you can reasonably go (in football) and remain competitive @ a 420 enrollment.
    Also, Trinity does not "feel good" about beating teams up and running up the score. Many games last year the starters were out BEFORE the half.
    When it comes to "reasonableness" Trinity is not 3,200 or even 1,200 students. I believe it is "reasonable" to conclude any "private school advantage" would be eliminated at the D-3 or D-4 levels. At D-2 or D-1 it is just plain unhealthy to try and be competitive as the starters would need to play both ways and special teams, Not once, but EVERY week. If they do that again, noone would go out for the team.
    D-3 or D-4 seems reasonable and appropriate to me.

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  64. All this 'school yard' fighting about who should be in what division is senseless.

    Exactly who is going to be the arbiter to decide how strong any team is going to be in any year? Should we hold a vote on a blog ?

    There is a process in place now. If you change it, I guarantee that 50% of you will not like the new one either.

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  65. Trinity 39, Plymouth 6. Maybe next time the NHIAA won't place them in the lower division, with Pelham getting killed every week.

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  66. BG 38 Merrimack 3 Merrimack looked unbeatable the first 2 plays of the game and would tear BG up. Merrimack looked like the had 50+ lbs over BG per player on the line on both sides of the Ball and it was going to be a long long night.

    Not to be....

    BG surprisngly played power football the entire second half and drove the ball down Merrimack's throat over and over.

    Really surprising outcome here, From the hype and "Mojo" that Merrimack's coach was touting i really expected a dogfight here. wasnt even close, could have been 50 points to 3 if BG Coach wanted.

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  67. BG plays the way they need to win, don't you people get that, in the 4th quarter BG just lined up in a power set and drove the ball down Merrimack's throat to make a statement that no matter what you do you can't beat us and if you want to play smash mouth football we can do that and do it better than you. BG stayed poised the whole night as the hyped up Merrimack took early control but BG never lost their poise and out hit, out played and out everything'd Merrimack and defeated them handily 28-3, it could have been more but why show CM and other division rivals anything. The Merrimack kids on the BG team were sky high for the game and the rest of the BG kids to their credit backed up their Merrimack teammates. This is a one sided rivalry as the BG kids have rivals every week, we will hear the same from Alvirne when the time comes to play them. Classy move by Coach J making Remillard a captain.

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  68. 420 students at a private school in the middle of a city with 100,000 people is not the same as 420 kids in Langdon that go to Fall Mt. Comparing them makes you sound silly.

    Where does Trinity belong? obviously not where they have been placed the last 3 years. I am sure there is a certain sense of that even with Trinity people.

    The question is if you run a good program at a Parochial school it can be built into a power (you can recruit and kids can choose to come)unlike a public school where you have to play who lives in the district. If you don't run a good program they will be terrible because there is no feeder system.

    Trinity Football is clearly a good program they wouldn't go 0-9 in D1 they might be better than 6 teams in D2. They don't belong in D4 or 5 and should be a little embarrassed for being there.

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  69. 1:01
    Either Friday Night Lights was incorrect or you make a lot of stuff up.
    "Bishop Guertin scores 2 TD in last 1:57 in half,21-3 over Merrimack Steve Cuipa 1 yrd run and 25 yrd TD pass to Peter Fucci as time expires "

    If this is true, BG did 1/2 of thier scoring during those two minutes in a 28-3 game.

    Does not sound quite as dominant as you say. They managed 7 points in the second half?

    If FNL is correct, BG only "defeated them handily" over the course of 1:57. For the remaining 46:03 it was 14-3.

    You are exagerrating your play, your superstar is sorely missed.

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  70. look up top I said timberlane by 4 td's over alvirne,final score 35-7.this week's game with merrimack will be the one that determines the 4th seed.book it dano

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  71. I'm not a BG supporter, but you have to credit the coaching staff for getting the kids ready for every game. For all the talk about Winnie, there's no way they'll beat BG. Look for BG to win another state title.

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  72. I know people get on me cuz I think cuipa is the best in nh,if you get a chance go listen to his interview on wgam.kid is a class act, on and off the field.

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  73. merrimack- timberlane will be a dogfight.I would give the ball to smitty more,it didn't seem like he had many carries last night.What a crowd last night,never seened the place that packed.The kid's will never play in an atmoshere like that again.Simply electric.

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  74. 7:06. Whoever said 1:57 is the one that is exaggerating. They scored at the 1:57 after a long drive that took over six minutes. Apparently, he saw that as zero seconds. (Keep in mind that a Merrimack assistant coach is a sportscaster there) A kick-off, then 3 and out. In the last 45 seconds they were able to score again. You know when you're passing and calling time-outs, 45 seconds can be a few plays. The second half was all BG. Three time consuming drives. They did turn it over on downs once (by inches and hurt by a penalty). The other 2 were a TD and 2 knees at the Merrimack end to finished the game. BG does sorely miss their "home run hitter". They do, however, lead the 2 top divisions in points allowed. After the first quarter, the defense hasn't given up a point. And that includes Salem. They have to work this year, but this is much more interesting than last year.

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  75. 10:51
    Where can I hear the Cuipa interview?

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  76. Don't letthe score in the 2nd half of the BG/Merrimack game fool you, Merrimack ran 11 plays, BG dominated the clock, in a power set without wideouts in the game. The score can be deceiving, it was a total physical domination from the 2nd period on. Also, who recruits for NH football, be serious, then as them to pay 10K for tuition.......

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  77. Lived in Merrimack all my life,never have I seen a bigger crowd.The kids will remember that for the rests of their lives.The place was packed.

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  78. Here's an interesting tidbit.Guertin has given up a score on the 1st drive of every game.In d2 contests, td to timberlane then scoreless the rest of the game,same with spaulding,merrimack it was a fg then scoreless the rest of the game.Their defense has given up 17 point in 3 division 2 games,all on 1st drives.When they played Salem guessed when they scored?Yep,1st drive,but Salem scored again,however they didn't score in the 2nd half.

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  79. number 1 overrated team in nh,winnie.sloppy win over dover,followed by sloppy win in overtime over a struggling exeter squad.Their defense is porous,not disciplined,will hurt them when they start playing good teams.

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  80. 6:56 - You're wrong about recruiting, but nothing I can say will change your closed mind. Public schools "could" recruit - they could get a good player to "move into" their district - it's not rocket science.

    7:06 - Right 21 points 1st half - 14 in last 2 minutes of half. But second half was ALL BG - only 7 points, but they held the ball for probably 70% of the time running right up the gut. Merry had 11 *plays* in the 2nd half.

    Sorry to see Salem lose again... Next week with North is a must game again.

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  81. pinkerton over salem, can't wait to hear the salem excuses.let me guess,they weren't up for the game.

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  82. Pinkerton pulls out a stunning victory, 38 - 31 over Salem. This was an incredible high school football game. Pinkerton had a 31 - 23 lead late in the 3rd quarter (perhaps early in the 4th). Salem tied the game on a perfect pass from Cannone to Fedrick who took off down the Pinkerton sideline. Salem then went for 2 points and tied the game at 31 - 31.

    This 2 point conversion was costly as Salem expended their 2nd timeout of the half.

    Pinkerton got an excellent kick return from Emmitt Smith and proceeded to score on a QB keep from 30 yards out.

    Salem took over the ball with about 5 minutes left and got down to the 2 yard line. Salem was forced to use their 3rd timeout on a 3rd down and short. They converted a first down but with no timeouts and little time left, they were on borrowed time. On a 3rd and goal with 11 seconds left, the Pinkerton defense stuffed Max Jacques (who had another stunning performance). Time expired and Pinkerton fended off the Blue Devils for a terrific win.

    Congrats to Pinkerton to bouncing back from a tough loss the week before and pulling out a win against Salem, the defending champs and best team in D1.

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  83. 5:50

    Don't be puerile. I don't know of any kid that wouldn't be up for a division game, especially when playoff seedings are nowhere near being determined.

    Salem played hard and physical. They were simply outplayed at the end of the game. Pinkerton wore down Salem's defense in the 2nd half with their classic physical smash mouth run game.

    Salem made it very close and simply ran out of time. It was a great football game and anyone's to win.

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  84. time to get off that salem bandwagon,it takes more then talent to make a team.

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  85. I went to see Salem vs. Pinkerton today. Salem's o-line dominated. Imagine what they could do to teams if they had a back of Mike Kelly's calliber.

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  86. I think it is amazing how no matter what Trinity does, people complain. They tried to go to Div III but the NHIAA put them in Div IV and Pelham in Div III. How is that Trinity's fault? They went through the process and are playing where they were put. They only have one option now and that is to play the schedule they were given. As a parent, we were disappointed that they were not put into Div III, but we don't have any power over NHIAA. Also for the record we are not rich people and we struggle to have our son go to Trinity, because we did not want our son to go to public school not because of the football program at Trinity.

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  87. Salem is a .500 team at best. BG beat no one but hype that day.

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  88. o yeah 5:43 the economy is low,housing prices have plunged but I am going to sell my house so my son can play basketball in another Nh town. Makes sense.

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  89. I think the Merrimack offense is one dimensional. Had they broken up the plays, and not been so predictable then the game would have been a battle to the end. The play calls just didn't cut it and they certainly didn't lean towards the great strengths of Smith, King and Williams. Merrimack controlled the first quarter, but it was quickly BG's game after BG caught on to the same ole Merrimack offensive strategy. Merrimack does seem to need more strength in the defensive back area, although Jim Bigwood played a hell of a game and has serious heart and strenght. Merrimack needs much more defensive help in the secondary.
    Merrimack still has a great chance of making the playoffs, with the talent that they have and with continued refinement of their offensive strategy. Defensively, they need to work on their corners and put more pressure on the opposing QB.

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  90. 1:01 Don't count Merrimack out just yet. There are lots of games left to play. AND since you think Merrimack is so weak, then you best look out for the rest of the competition.
    You are one bitter Merrimack resident. It's a good thing you found BG. Is it nice to pay $10,000 to play football there when your son could play in Merrimack for "FREE"? I sure hope there were scouts at Merrimack last night.

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  91. 10:56 -bitter is a great word to describe how I feel,and many other kid's and parents {the president of the Merrimack Youth Associations football program sends his kid to BG} who have had "the merrimack sport's expierence".It's not a good thing we found BG it's a GREAT thing.The coaches over there actually play the good players {what a concept}.BG costs $14,000 a year not $10,000 but with financial aid, inhouse academic and athletic scholarships,etc..etc.. you would be surprised how little the monthly payment is {best investment I ever made}.It's funny you brought up the scouts,if you listen to wgam interview with Steve Cuipa yesterday,he was at ST Anselm's yesterday{ because their scouts went to the game friday night}.As far as not counting Merrimack out I hope they run the table.{I really do}They have some great kids like G,Smitty{got to give him the rock more},Biggie{who played great friday},Ty,Sam,Jackson,Brody,Cody,Chase{need to get him more involved in the offense},and Zach who deserve a winning season.However,you might want to change your offense a little.Guertin KNEW evey play as soon as the ball was snapped,the 1st long run by Brody was due to a missed tackle on the line.If BG could figure out what was happening by watching the tapes,so will timberlane,keene,and winnie.Good luck the rest of the way,I mean that.How cool would it be to have a rematch in the playoffs{bg will have 2 way starters battari and karaska back,they are bigwood clones}.I don't know how much stellos holds,but it would be packed to the rafters.Bitter Merrimack resident yes,Happy BG parent definitely.

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  92. FYI 1:01 is an alum,not a parent,and everything he said was true.

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  93. 5:47
    Nice. You are the first BG parent that admitted BG recruits AND foots the bill for the athletes.

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  94. 9:01 Trinity did not petition to be in d3. They would not have been denied had they done so. It is a popular statement about their football that they petitioned up. It is simply not true, petition ups are not denied. So I am not saying you are lieing you are being lied to, and perpetuating that lie.

    I feel bad for you guys you play teams with no chance of being able to compete with you. The size of your school is non issue as Parochial schools are just the cream of the crop of public school kids.

    Your AD needs to be taken to task on this issue because it's not fair to Mascoma, Fall Mt Stevens Kingswood, JStark, MV etc who have been annihilated by you guys or the Pelhams and Plymouth who run great programs and get beat.

    What happens when the Trinity kids get in against Kingswoods "2's" and a 260 pound kid breaks the arm of a 120 pound kid? I am sure something like this has already happened.

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  95. 5:47 For one the tuition for those of us that pay the freight is $12000. The aid you get, all of it, whether you choose to believe it or not, is FINANCIAL AID, because "scholarship" money is biased, based on NEED; it says it right in the book. Your child isn't there with "athletic" money. The more you keep shooting your mouth off, the worse you make yourself, as a "Happy BG parent", and the school, look and sound horrible. I'm sure that isn't your intent, right? Get off your soap box and let the boys play.

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  96. 6:58 where did you see recruits?Those kids left because of what happens in Merrimack,that has been beaten to death.Financial aid is based on as needed.We are definitely in that catagory.Different scholarships are given from alums and family of alums,sports,arts,music, and scholastic aptitude.One has to apply for these scholarships,write an essay,have the proper grades.All above board,nice try though.Recruits for NH divsion 2 football,your funny.

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  97. Merrimack is so last week.Highly ranked Catholic Memorial is this week.They are still smarting from the game from last year.Game in Roxbury,another week,another sold out stadium,another rivalry.BG better be ready or that win streak is coming to an end.Go to espn boston, under high schools to read about CM.They are dangerous.

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  98. My son goes to BG.They gave him a car,bought us a house,jewelry for my wife,five grand a week,he doesn't have to go to class they give him all A's.6:58 IT'S NH ATHLETICS GET A CLUE.At BG your child gets a first rate education,and if your boy/girl wants to be challenged athletically,and you don't mind spending a few dollars,not a bad place to go.

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  99. So you do go to BG to play sports. The president of the Merrimack Football program must not be doing a very good job if the players they are turnung out aren't any good. If Cuipa is that good he would have done just as well at any highschool.

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  100. Went to the Pinkerton- Salem game yesterday and it was a classic High School football game. The game had everything big play after big play with some of the best players in NH making them. Right now it looks like the road to the D1 Championship will go thru Nashua North. I am really looking forward to Friday night Salem- North game. Salem lost that game yesterday because there special teams (kick off especially) was awful. If they don't fix that I predict that will be the difference Friday night. The Salem backfield and QB are good as advertised and so is the Pinkerton RB's... Good for NH football.

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  101. 5:47 I know that this is a football post but I feel the need to comment. Referring to your comment about BG coaches actually playing the good players...based on what we've seen, heard and read about BG baseball(as an example) it doesn't seem like BG coaching practices stick to that mindset. Or is it true that the BG baseball coach DID play all their best players?
    If you've ever coached, you know it's not an easy task. I would have to believe that EVERY coach uses his best judgement. I'm sure that their choices are based on what's best for the program, strategically building for the future and getting to the big "W".

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  102. Right, the secret is finally revealed. Get over it, kids take tests to go to Guertin and then pay the tuition. Of course there are tuition concessions based on household income, number of students attending, etc. So you know, the students and their parents do both work study and fund-raising to earn these breaks. Athletic ability plays not part in these decisions. Fact.

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  103. Watched the Salem-Pinkerton game Saturday. Great game! Salem offensive blocking dominated early; Their defense seemed to tire down the stretch. I'm not associated with either team. As advertised, both teams had several good players, but I'd have to say the the Pinkerton QB was the best player on the field.

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  104. I know this may not be the spot to post this but someone should start to talk about John Forte from Milford. To date he has games of 120+ vs Memorial,150+ vs Tyngsboro,170+ against Pembroke and 189 vs Conval.
    That is an average of almost 160 yds a game.

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  105. RE: 10:09

    You should post your note in the Players Rankings column, based on year of graduation.

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  106. Jeremy, you should as your byline the hardest working reporter in NH High School Sports!

    With that buttering up, do you have an estimate of when we'll see you're week 5 power poll? Your analysis is always good, and this point the best of any column, any where.

    Thanks.

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  107. 7:37. You are wrong. I know that Trinity petitioned up. The Pelham AD made a statement about it because he was not sure what would happen since Pelham and Trinity both petitioned to go up to DIII. The reason NHIAA gave for putting Pelham there and not Trinity was due to Pelhams last 5 year record. Trinity did not have the history of doing well and they felt it would be better to move Pelham to DIII and Trinity to DIV.

    You should know your facts before making statements.

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  108. 8:40 Know the facts

    Go to NHIAA.org d3 has 8 and d4 has 9 YES 9. You have been lied to and are now perpetuating a lie. One less in d4 and one more in d3 would not be an issue to the committee

    They did not lose a game last year and will not this year. I feel bad for the kids hwo must feel a little silly lining up against all these teams who have not shot. 420 in a catholic parochial does not equate to 420 in a public school (Look at Trinity basketball)

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  109. Actually D III has 9 and D IV has 10 teams.

    And while I get that Trinity blew out Plymouth and MV they didn't really blow out Hanover and barely beat Laconia...so the story isn't really over on this season is it.

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  110. 12:29 - All I can say is that you can believe what you want.

    Do you really think that putting together a good Football Team is as easy as putting together a good Basketball team? I know you think that Trinity only brings in good athletes (which is really not the case), but getting 10-15 kids to play basketball vs 48 to play football out of 200 boys in a school is a difficult task.

    I am not sure why you are so angry with Trinity, but I think you need to sit back and read what you are writing. You make no real sense. Trinity is playing well, why can't you just move on. Divisions can't be changed until the 2012 season, so there is nothing that can be done.

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  111. Week 5 Power Poll will probably posted sometime on Tuesday.

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  112. Just looked at the Week 5 Power Poll. The parity across the top teams is incredible. Great football every where. Some teams may be deeper than others, but we've seen exciting games this year. We're not even half way through!

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  113. 4:36, I agree some excellent football played to date and much more to come. There was a great turnout for the Pinkerton Salem game on Saturday and the teams did not disappoint. North has an edge right now but they are not as far apart as the Pinkerton score indicated a couple of weeks ago, there were some key injuries that week. I am very curious to see how the North Salem game turns out this week. I think North will just edge out Salem in a 21-17 type of game. Right now in D1 I would say tightly in the top three.
    North, PA, Salem, Central, South, Concord, Londonderry, Exeter, Memorial

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  114. Not angry with Trinity, I applaud the kids they are obviously committed athletes.

    Disgusted with their AD/Coaches decision to play down at least 2 divisions and then be less than forthright about the petitioning process. Feel bad for teams like Monadonck who will have to play them next week and have NO CHANCE at winning

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  115. 6:13
    Did you feel bad for Trinity football players 3-4 years ago when they were regularly being thrashed by D1 opponents? How long have you really been paying attention? Is WINNING that important? When will you get off this high moral ground you've put yourself onto?

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  116. Trinity has had a nice turn-around. Plymouth is having a down year (so far). The Division is still up for grabs..then the playoffs occur. A lot can happen between now and then. Also, Trinity has been fortunate to have a few special players, that without, they would be right in the middle of the pile. Trinity is good, but not deep. D-4 is a good Division and Trinity is probably where they belong.
    Let's all enjoy their success like we all did when Plymouth & Laconia were on rolls. A few key players make all of the difference and they turn-over each year. And that's why you can count on Plymouth and Laconia being back in the mix soon. Hey, maybe as early as playoff time this year. We'll see. Kennett & Lebanon will still make some noise. The season is not over by a long shot. Looks like an exciting division to me. Thanks to the NHIAA for adding the Manchester crew. Good times.

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  117. I don't think Lebanon is quite what people are saying. They beat a severely injured Laconia team. I think the Laconia team Trinity played would have smoked them.

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  118. 12:53 couldn't have said it any better

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  119. someone who seems to know a whole lot about Merrimack and its players pretending to be a BG parent... seriously. they do no recruit,scout, give out money or anything. i graduated there last year was tight with all my teammates NO ONE. got any money for athletics. none. the school doesnt have teh budget to support it its rediculous. and you really think johnson and his coaches have nothing better to do with weekends than go to YOUTH FOOTBALL games and scout? thats rediculous. let me know if this scenario sounds rediculous but i dont think it is. kid sees BG winning non stop in just about everything while the rest of the state whines. ask mom and dad to go there. mom and dad check it out and see the 98% college acceptance rate. talk to admissions and find out they can get money off because of whatever factors, siblings, financial issues, whatever. they then decide it is a worthy investment especially since they can always transfer if necessary. is there something wrong with that? like who can argue with that logic if you can afford to go why wouldnt you? cant say i'm a fan of the administration there at all but im a grad and have to say it really did prepare me for college very well and get me into a school where i am beyond happy. i dont see any problems with that

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  120. "anonymous said...
    Any other team in the poll along with PA, South, and Londonderry would wreck Trinity. Now find some real competition next year and watch the losses build up against Plymouth, Laconia, and Kennett.

    Monday, November 16, 2009 10:16:00 PM EST"

    Saw this while looking at the week 12 power poll from last year. Giggled solidly.

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  121. 9:37, Obviously whoever posted that had no idea that each of those teams are on a rebuilding stage(maybe not Kennett).

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  122. 8:40; Well said. Same thing goes for all of the privates. The issue most people (that complain) is that while it appears to be recuiting it is not. It actually what is called "Success Breeds Success". Once the ball is rolling at a school with excellent instruction and results, the students flow in. As long as it is rolling, the snowball continues and gets bigger. Wealthy folks, middle class and even less fortunate will find a way to pay for their qualified child/student, whether through bake sales, loans, extra jobs, inheritance...whatever it takes.
    Some good examples of Boston privates on the upswing...BC High-Catholic Memorial. A great example of the downslide is Matignon. Matignon used to be a giant. Now they are hanging on by a thread. So, remember, the school is only as good as the current Admin. and teachers it has. When it wanes, the future students will find another top school.
    8:40 is fortunate and appreciates it. Good for him.
    BG is an excellent school.

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  123. 8:40
    Its not that this is happening that irks people... it's the DENIAL of the BG circles. When a BG parent finally starts saying that he is compensated and recruited, he get jumped all over and is all of a sudden "not a BG parent". I personally find BG people in denial very humorous and entertaining. (and who knows, I may even be BG and hate the denials too)

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  124. 8:40
    Track, DII Football and one year of Lacrosse is hardly winning in "just about everything".

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