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Random thoughts about this season

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Random thoughts about this season Empty Random thoughts about this season

Post  SofaKing on Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:46 pm

So, now that the season is pretty much in the can...here's some random thoughts / observations / personal opinionts / etc / etc:

1. Are there two better coaches in the state than Ball and O'Reilly? I'm thinking not. And, with the recent (ok...within the last decade) turnover of guys like Camarand, Gati, Raycraft, Schubert, etc...it's never been more obvious.

2. How must the kids at Alvirne HS feel right now? Think about it. You drop down to D3 thinking you can be more competitive, and maybe fight for a 4 seed. Instead, you end up no better than you were in D2, and now you have no coach and you are going to play North, South, BG, Keene, Exeter, Winny and Dover next year. HOLY CRAP. I feel bad for whoever replaces Nimblett.

3. Is the "Trend of the Spread Offense" reversing? You had Bedford getting under center about 50% of the time this weekend. Souhegan will have a new coach. Pinkerton and Exeter both made bold statements in the press about how having an offense dependent to much on the QB is a bad idea. Meanwhile, Nashua South looked anemic against Pinkerton's defense. Pembroke got out of the Spread and into a Power-I and had much more offensive success. What kind of team would Goffstown have been without Connor Benjamin (who, btw is gone next year)? Just something to chew on.

4. What will the Southern NH "coaching vacuum" bring? With vacancies already known at Alvirne, Hollis-Brookline, and Souhegan (and potentially more coming in the area), how will things shake out? It's tough enough these days to find good, qualified coaches who want to do the job. With all this demand at once...it seems like it will be interesting.

5. Is it me, or were D1 and D3 really "down" this past year, and D2 really "up?" In D1, neither South nor Central were particularly good teams, and they were both in the playoffs. Then, teams like Salem, Memorial, North and Londonderry were all kind of "blah." In D3, Bedford was gone and replaced by Alvirne, which REALLY was a blow to the division's strength. Then, you had Hollis-Brookline devastated by injury and graduation, and you had (in my controversial opinion) fairly average Milford and Souhegan teams kind of waltz into the playoffs. And Portsmouth, who was a mere shadow of itself from last season, still goes and wins the ring. Meanwhile, in D2, Bedford goes up, Alvirne goes down which automatically made that division way tougher. Winny was obviously massively improved. And you had strong teams like BG, Dover, and Keene all of whom could have beaten just about anyone else on a good day. Even West was much improved.

6. What's the thought on "Player of the Year" in the state?

-Connor Benjamin: Ridiculous numbers, and clearly a one-man show. But, he was inconsistent, turned the ball over a lot, and didn't really shine in big games (with the exception of the semi-final).
-Manny Lattamore: Kind of the same as Benjamin. His performance in the finals was mediocre as well. But, he was a force to be reckoned with. Anyone who saw the semi-final this year knows it.
-Tyler Ford: Belliveau will (of COURSE) advocate for his QB...but the bottom line is that this kid was not a player of the year candidate. Great athlete? Yes. Best in the state? No way.
-Rick Holt: The best lineman in D3 (sorry Souhegan...but Holt is far better than Kennedy), and he has 2 rings from his upperclassman years to back that story up.
-Ben Franzoso: I think Winnicunnet's RB was pretty darn good, and he wasn't healthy for the whole season (1300 yards and missed a couple of games). I think there's a strong argument here.
-James Caparell: A 4-year starter at QB who really came into his own this season...I think Bedford was a very good team, but would NOT have gone as far as they did without Caparell at the helm.
-Tyler Grant: Exeter's best RB and maybe best overall athlete managed over 1100 yards in an offense that spreads the ball pretty evenly between 3 RBs. Oh, and 2 championship rings aren't too bad either.



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Post  JAF on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:01 pm

I think Coach Loupa may also have a problem with your list although I do think Caparell was better than his son.

I think you can add Lenahan to your list of great coaches... I'm sure Ball and O'Reilly are helped greatly by the youth programs as well as the depth/longevity of their coaching staff.

Didn't Salem switch away from Straight/Wing-T to a spread/hurry-up look this year? Imagine them 2 years ago w/ Cannone running hurry up spread with Federick/Lorenz/Jacques - scary! I think Bedford was looking to show something different just like BG did when they went to Wildcat against Winni. Hoping perhaps to confuse or catch them off guard, but this was Winni's year. I doubt Bedford goes away from spread unless of course they change coaches. Ball/O'Reilly are just going to fit players into their offense just as much as any other coach will try to do with whatever offense they choose. Cote changed BG from spread/option to WIngT - was it successful (jury is still out, right?)... Look at Londonderry - running the single wing for how many years? Spaulding ran what the Hudson/Litchfield Bears youth team runs - a wedge... When Exeter went 0-8 was anyone questioning the offense in Exeter? No... They just didn't have the athletes that year.

An aside on Exeter - during the Saturday AM WGIR HS football show I found it interesting that Beliveau is complimenting Ball for "man"-ing up and going to D1 that year - to me that was revisionist history - they moved up because they got too big for D2... Here's a couple of articles from back then: http://www.nhfootballreport.com/2009/11/exeter_i_bg_ii.html and http://www.nhfootballreport.com/2010/06/nhiaa_puts_teams_in_their_plac.html That year West should have dropped to D3 if only someone from D3 would have "man"-ed up to go to D2 Twisted Evil...



Last edited by JAF on Mon Nov 19, 2012 4:02 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Fix link)

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Post  E.I.R. on Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:19 pm

JAF - I remember hearing the argument that BG needed to move up and thinking "they already do" when teams that consistently dominate their divisions (which they are supposed to be in) would refuse to move up. According to those numbers, BG was 2 students away from being the smallest D3 school, yet they took schlack for not moving up when no one questioned Beliveau for not moving up to D2, or Lenahan for not moving up to D3. Imagine if Johnson had petitioned up to D1 as he was criticized for not doing, and this year's BG team had been in D1 and Exeter had been in D2...D2 would have had 4 teams capable of beating any D1 team this year in their playoffs, and Pinkerton would have been the only legitimately "good" team in D1.

Sofa - I think the list can be pretty much narrowed down to the bottom 3 on your list...the 3 best players on the three championship teams in D1-D3. I think my vote would go for Franzoso, who managed 1,300+ yards despite missing the better part of 4-5 games (not sure exactly how long he was out with the injury). I didn't see much of Kennedy and Holt this year but in last year's Portsmouth-Souhegan game I thought Holt did a good job shutting Kennedy down when Holt was on offense, and defensively I remember him rushing the QB, tipping passes, and causing all kinds of mayhem. Grant is also a good candidate but where he split the workload with 2 other backs his numbers are likely not as high as Franzoso's per game, though I could be completely off the mark on that. I think with the loss to Winnie, Caparell's shot goes down the drain in favor of Franzoso. And Luopa can't even be in the mix in my opinion, because he wasn't even the best QB in his division, much less the best player in the state. Ford has the numbers to be a candidate but also had more opportunities than guys like Grant and Franzoso, and Benjamin was, as you said, a one man show (explains his stats) though inconsistent at times.

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