There's been quite a few articles now where I've mentioned the ultra-talented junior class that the Bedford High football team has and how good they will be next year with all those kids coming back. Well unfortunately, one of those star juniors is leaving.
Mike Gardiner is one of those star junior players for the Bulldogs, and he was a BIG reason they were able to advance to the D-III title game this season. Gardiner, who played running back, wide receiver, corner back and also returned kicks and punts for the Bulldogs, is moving out of Bedford with his family over the holiday break.
"Michael Gardiner is moving to Texas due to his father being relocated with his work" said Bedford head football coach Kurt Hines. "Michael is an amazing athlete, and an even better young man. He has pushed himself both on and off the field (in the weight room, and at camps), and is with out a doubt, one of the better athletes I've coach in 12+ years of coaching high school football."
According to his father Jim, Gardiner will be attending Southlake Carroll High School - a public school located in Southlake, Texas. He will play for the South Lake Carroll Dragons, who are a football powerhouse in a state where high school football is a HUGE deal. In the last 20 years, under head coach Bob Ledbetter, the Dragons have a combined record of 244-39-1, they have won 7 state titles in the last 8 years and they were named national champions in 2004, 2005 and 2006.
"I feel Michael will do very well in Texas, as long as he plays the type of football he knows how to play" said Coach Hines, who is a former assistant coach at Souhegan under Mike Beliveau. "My hope is that he will show what he can do during their spring ball, and make a name for himself there, just as he has here in NH."
Bedford football will definitely miss the speed and play making ability of Gardiner, but they should still be a good team next year. They still have a very talented 2013 class, including players like QB James Caparell, RB/WR/DB/KR Dylan York, DE Joe Thibeault, WR/LB Brian Collins, FB/LB David Cannone, OL/DL Will Mcinerny and LB Jack Terzian. The Bulldogs have been competing in Division III, but rumor has it they will be moving up to D-II starting in 2012.
"Michael will be greatly missed" Hines concluded. "But BHS football will go on, and we will continue to be a force!"