Thursday, September 24, 2015

My $.02

Is 3 divisions a good idea for NH football? Yes. A couple years ago there was 6 divisions. So essentially what they did was combine Divisions I and II, Divisions III and IV, and combined Divisions V and VI. And why not? Most years D-II was just as good top to bottom as D-I (if not better). How about a few years ago when BG (while competing in D-II) had hands down the best team in the state, regardless of division? How about right after that when Exeter (a former D-II program) won back-to-back titles in D-I?

How about last season, with the 3 division format? The D-III title game was Campbell vs. Newport. Back when we had 6 divisions, they were both in D-IV - not D-V. The D-II title game was Windham vs. St. Thomas, both of which were in D-V just a few years ago. And the D-I final was Bedford vs. Pinkerton. Bedford was in D-III just a few years ago!

Pinkerton was the only 1 of the 6 teams playing at UNH on Championship Saturday who was a former D-I, III or V team. There goes the case for 6 divisions right out the window!

Pinkerton was hands down the best team in the state last year. They went undefeated, blowing out Bedford in the title game. The only team that gave them a game all year was Salem, and Pinkerton's star RB TJ Urbanik was out with an injury for nearly that entire game. So some people out there complain about how much bigger of a school Pinkerton is than everyone else in D-I. Well guess what people, if that was the case, Pinkerton would dominate in every sport. Instead, it's just football where they dominate. I've been doing this since 2007, and during that time they have won just 1 boys basketball titles and 0 in girls hoops. So get over it, people. Pinkerton is supposed to be only for kids from Derry, Chester and Auburn. However as we all know, over the past few years there have been kids from Kingston (the St. Onge twins), Bedford (Jack Hanaway), Goffstown (TJ Urbanik), etc. leading the football team to titles. Could the NHIAA do more to make sure that kids from outside towns aren't going to Pinkerton for athletic reasons only? Sure. But that's still no excuse. It's not like Pinkerton dominates in every sport, it's just football. Sure, competitiveness in NH high school football depends on enrollment. But coaching, feeder system and culture are much larger factors. Yes, Pinkerton has been dominant in football, but they have still lost 3 of the last 4 title games. Also, their dominance in football, has less to do with enrollment, and more to do with the fact that they have one of the top coaches in the state (Brian O'Reilly), and O'Reilly has had the same staff in place there for about 30 years. Lastly, if it's all about enrollment, then why the heck is Goffstown (the smallest school in D-I besides Portsmouth) the #1 ranked team in the state right now according to the NH Notebook? It's because despite their enrollment, they have a coach (Justin Huft) who has built the program up, has built a great staff and a culture around the team where the kids all work hard and believe in themselves. That's what it's all about!

*drops mic*

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