Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Thomas Named New Bedford Girls Basketball Coach

For the past couple months, the most coveted available coaching position in NH high school basketball has been the Bedford girls job. The other big opening on the girls side this summer was the Bishop Guertin job, which was filled by NH Rivals coach Scott Hazelton a couple months ago. Since that time, all eyes have been on the Bedford job, which has been available ever since former coach Scott Sarsfield stepped down earlier in the summer.

Well now the speculation has ended, as Sue Thomas has officially been hired as the new girls basketball head coach at Bedford High School.

"Sue was our girls varsity assistant coach for the past 3 years" said Bedford High Athletic Director Bill Whitmore. She has experience coaching at the college level at Niagara and Detroit in addition to coaching at the high school level."

The reason why this position was so attractive is because of the pipeline of young talent that Bedford has coming up. The Lady Bulldogs went 11-7 last year and nearly beat Oyster River in the first round of the Division II playoffs. They did that despite the fact that they had 5 freshmen playing key minutes. Those freshmen (McKenzie Brown, Ali Glennon, Rachel Collins, Bailey Marshall and Haley Driscoll) are now sophomores, and they are the most talented group of sophomores in the state (just ahead of Londonderry). Bedford also has some strong players coming up in the 7th, 8th and 9th grade classes as well, which should make them a perennial contender in D-II. That's if they stay in D-II though, as there has been some whispering around the state that Bedford may be looking to move up to Division I in basketball when the next 2 year cycle begins. They are already one of the biggest schools enrollment-wise in D-II.

As for this season Bedford not only has their 5 sophomores coming back, but they also have upperclassmen like guards Katie Prothro and Maggie McGown to help lead the team. There's no question they will be among the top teams in D-II this season. This means Coach Thomas has a chance to continue the recent trend of first year head coaches having big success. Last year you had Alvirne coach Steve Tracy lead the Broncos to the D-I semi-finals, Joe Mason led a Windham team in its first year as a varsity program to the D-II quarterfinals before barely losing to eventual champion Souhegan and Jeremy Faulkner led the Souhegan girls to an undefeated 22-0 season and the D-II title. All three coaches were in their first year at the helm. This year Coach Thomas at Bedford and Coach Hazelton at BG both take over teams that are loaded with talent, and will look to continue the success of recent first year head coaches. Then you also have Dave Hartnett at Coe-Brown who also has a chance to surprise some people, as his Bears squad returns all but 1 player off last year's team.

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