Should Plymouth Regional be among the high school football teams ranked in this week’s Union Leader/WGIR/WMUR Power Poll?
That’s a question that’s likely being debated by NHIAA football fans across the state.
Although Plymouth improved its record to 5-0 by defeating previously unbeaten Windham on Saturday, the Bobcats are one of three teams that received votes but did not crack this week’s top 10. Plymouth has a solid resume, but the fact that they compete in Division IV is one of the factors working against the Bobcats.
“Because of our schedule I don’t get to see the other teams in the top 10, but as far as size and ability I think they would compete in Division II or Division III,” Windham coach Bill Raycraft said. “If I were voting, they would be in the top 10. They’re stronger offensively than defensively, I would say, but they’re very good on both sides of the ball.”
There are five Division I teams, four Division II teams and one Division III team in this week’s top 10.
Plymouth, one of four unbeaten teams in the state, has scored at least 34 points in each of its five victories, and has beaten two heavyweights in its division: Trinity (36-14) and Windham (42-25).
Raycraft, who spent time as an assistant coach at Division I Salem, said Plymouth wouldn’t be overmatched if it played a team in the middle or lower half of Division I.
“With their size, skill level and what their coaches do, they could definitely play with a team like that,” he said. “Their problem might come late in the season because of their numbers (roster size).
“I like Chuck (Plymouth coach Chuck Lenahan) a lot and he chooses to play where their enrollment puts them, but if he ever chose to petition up I think he would surprise a lot of people.”
There are no new teams in this week’s poll. Division II Winnacunnet remained in the top spot after beating Dover, 31-24, in double overtime. The Warriors received each of the seven first-place votes.
Bedford climbed into the fourth spot after its 27-13 victory over Bishop Guertin, which dropped from fourth to seventh.
Manchester Central, Keene and Nashua South also moved up after posting victories last weekend.
In addition to BG, Concord and Souhegan also dropped this week. Concord fell to from No. 7 to No. 9 following a 28-0 loss to Exeter, and Souhegan — the lone Division III team in the poll — slipped from No. 9 to No. 10 despite its 34-6 triumph over ConVal.
There is one game on this weekend’s schedule that features two teams in the poll: Friday night’s matchup between Nashua South and Manchester Central in Manchester.
Like Plymouth, Portsmouth and Milford received votes this week and are knocking on the door to get in the top 10. Both compete in Division III.
Portsmouth hammered Goffstown, 56-22, Saturday, and Milford beat Alvirne, 35-7, Saturday night. Milford has surrendered 19 points in its four Division IV games.