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December 04. 2013 11:39PM

Last Huddle for Lenahan today

Head coaches and their staffs from the three divisional state championship football teams will be honored today at the annual Jeff Francoeur Football Huddle. The event, sponsored by the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Association will be held at Manchester's Sweeney Post beginning at 5:30 p.m.It marks the last huddle for Plymouth Regional head coach Chuck Lenahan, who has announced he is stepping down after 43 seasons. Lenahan's team rewarded him with his state-record 20th NHIAA championship, a 21-14 overtime victory against visiting Portsmouth in the Division II title game.

Lenahan was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame in June and is a two-time National Coach of the Year. He has the most wins (356-70-1 overall record) in New England high school football history.

Joining Lenahan today in the victorious coaches' circle will be Eric Brown of Concord High and Paul Cohen of Bow.

The Crimson Tide completed an undefeated season with a 42-14 win over Pinkerton Academy of Derry in the Division I championship game. The win cemented Concord's No. 1 hold in the final Union Leader/WGIR/WMUR Power Poll.

Bow completed a 10-1 Division III championship season with a 20-6 decision over Stevens of Claremont.

The Francoeur Football Huddle will also honor third-year head coach Dave Jackson of Merrimack Valley of Penacook with its Most Improved Team Award.

In his first year as coach in 2011, MV was 1-9 and dipped to 0-9 in 2012. This year, Merrimack Valley rebounded with a 7-3 record, resulting in the school's first-ever playoff appearance.

One official will also be recognized today. Paul Page, the current president of the New Hampshire Football Officials Association, will be honored for his 23 years of service as a high school football official.

jhabib@unionleader.com


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