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Roger Brown's State of Sports: NH 'all-state' teams too watered down

New Hampshire Union Leader

December 11. 2017 12:38AM

NOT SURE if it’s still there, but there used to be a poster hanging in the Portsmouth High School athletic building that featured the 1984 NHIAA Division I football all-state team. It was produced by the Union Leader and featured 11 players on offense, 11 players on defense and a Coach of the Year.

Somewhere between then and today, we’ve lost our way with these postseason awards. Nowadays it’s not unusual to see a First Team, a Second Team and then an endless supply of Honorable Mention selections when a sport releases its postseason accolades. There are also sports that select a Third Team. That may be OK for a sport like basketball, where only five players are on each postseason team, but in other sports these awards have become more watered down than a beer at Fenway.

Back in those awful days when NHIAA football had six divisions, one of the divisions that had 10 teams had six — SIX! — all-state quarterbacks. We’re not talking about adding up all of the First Team, Second Team and Honorable Mention QBs either. More than half of the starting quarterbacks in the division MADE THE FIRST TEAM. We can do better.

Now that NHIAA football has been sliced into conferences (four in Division I) it seems one all-state offense and one all-state defense should suffice. We’re getting close to the point where players who don’t make an all-state team are being ostracized.

Fewer awards would mean more angry parents, but it would also make the awards more meaningful. Things were better in the old days.

• What can we expect from next year’s UNH football team? A lot. Of the 22 UNH players who started Saturday’s FCS playoff game against South Dakota State, 18 are eligible to return next season. That doesn’t include defensive end Kyle Reisert or running back Trevon Bryant, neither of whom played in Saturday’s game because of injuries but will likely be starters next season.

• More on UNH: Among the players who have committed to play in Durham next season is Dylan Laube, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound running back from Westhampton Beach (N.Y.) who scored 120 touchdowns during his high school career. As a senior, Laube rushed for a school-record 2,680 yards on 249 carries and set a Long Island record by scoring 47 TDs. He rushed for 227 yards and scored six TDs when Westhampton Beach beat Lawrence in the Long Island Division III championship game.

Don Menswar is no longer working as Manchester’s athletics director.

• Former Trinity of Manchester tight end Andrew Lauderdale is back with the San Francisco 49ers as a practice squad player. Lauderdale, a Concord resident, played offensive tackle at UNH. He was undrafted and cut by the 49ers in the preseason.

• Saturday’s Army-Navy game was the 9,455th FBS game played since 2005, but the only one in which neither team attempted a pass in the first quarter. Army won three games this season without completing a pass.

• A good-guy award goes to New York Mets relief pitcher Kevin McGowan, a Nashua North and Franklin Pierce graduate who grew his hair long last season. McGowan recently visited the barber shop and donated more than a foot of his hair to Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths, a program that provides free real-hair wigs for women’s cancer.

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