action:article | category:SPORTS21 | adString:SPORTS21 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » High School Sports

August 01. 2013 11:27PM

NH set for 60th Shrine game


60th Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl

When: Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
Where: Memorial Field, Dartmouth College
Series: New Hampshire, 44-13-2
Last year: New Hampshire, 62-24
Tickets: www.shrinemaplesugarbowl.com, or by calling 448-1042

What’s New Hampshire’s No. 1 concern entering the 60th Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl?

Perhaps it’s guarding against overconfidence.

In recent years the game’s outcome has been as predictable as a fixed fight. New Hampshire brings a 12-game winning streak into this year’s contest and has outscored Vermont 433-145 during that span. New Hampshire leads the overall series 44-13-2.

“They do know not to take them lightly,” New Hampshire coach Ray Kershaw (Canaan’s Mascoma Valley Regional High) said of his players. “I tell them that every single day. I tell them it’s not going to be handed to them.”

The Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl features high school players from Vermont and New Hampshire who graduated this year, and benefits the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

This year’s game will be played Saturday at Dartmouth’s Memorial Field, with a 5:30 p.m. kickoff. It’s the first time the game will be held at night.

“Different year. Different team. Different set of circumstances,” said Vermont coach Jason Thomas, who coaches Burr & Burton Academy of Manchester, Vt. “I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t have my guys ready to go.”

Goffstown’s Connor Benjamin will lead the New Hampshire offense. Benjamin played running back in the June 29 New Hampshire CHaD East-West All-Star Game, but Saturday he’ll be at quarterback, the position he played during his junior and senior seasons at Goffstown.

Exeter’s Tyler Grant, Concord’s Tolbert Nemo, Trinity of Manchester’s Romeo Masuku and Manchester Memorial’s Jared Ombati are among New Hampshire’s running backs. Grant, who will suit up for Bowdoin College this fall, was the 2012 New Hampshire Union Leader All-State Player of the Year.

“Our backfield has a lot of speed and a lot of depth,” Benjamin said.

Vermont will have to deal with a New Hampshire defense led by Portsmouth defensive lineman Rick Holt, who will play at the University of New Hampshire. Holt was named the MVP in the CHaD Game.

Could this be the year Vermont ends New Hampshire’s winning streak? There are a couple things working in Vermont’s favor:

No. 1: The requirement regarding how New Hampshire must select its roster changed this year. Kershaw’s initial roster had to include six players from each of last season’s six divisions, meaning there are fewer players from the larger schools of Division I and Division II — and more from Division V and Division VI — this year. New Hampshire can have no more than two players from any school.

Vermont, which has three divisions for football, must choose 18 players from Division I, 12 from Division II and six from Division III. Vermont can have as many as four players from one school.

No. 2: Thomas has a quarterback who may be able to help Vermont pull off an upset even if it’s a high-scoring contest.

Jake Stalcup, a three-year starter for Thomas at Burr & Burton, was named Vermont’s Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011, when he tossed 31 touchdown passes as a junior. Stalcup, who will play at Middlebury College, passed for 2,613 yards and 31 TDs last season. He was intercepted nine times.

Stalcup will direct a fast-paced spread offense that Thomas learned from Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly while both were assistant coaches at the University of New Hampshire.

“I think the game will be won or lost up front,” Thomas said. “If we can’t protect the QB, keep him upright so he can get the ball off, the skill kids aren’t going to matter.

“We feel like we have to score points against these guys for sure. New Hampshire is big and athletic. I imagine they’ll be a very difficult team to stop.”

New Hampshire set a record for points scored by one team when it won last year’s game, 62-24.

“Both teams have been working hard, and it’s going to be a tough game,” Benjamin said. “Regardless of who wins, this game is all about fund-raising. It’s for kids who can’t do what we do.”

rbrown@unionleader.com


  • Should Belmont High School teams ditch the 'Red Raiders' moniker and Indian head logo?
  • Yes
  • 16%
  • No
  • 84%
  • Total Votes: 1391
 NH Sports Angle ╗ more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Fuld back in bigs, claimed by Minnesota Twins

Twin State Speedway trying revival with new management

Former All-Star Red Sox shortstop Rico Petrocelli: ôblessedö to have grown up in Brooklyn, now lives in Nashua

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, right, tangles with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey playoff series in this 2013 file photo.

NH-based insurer sues NHL to limit its defense in players concussion lawsuits

A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity

CHIP KELLY

Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   ╗ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   ╗ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!