First and 10: Old No. 1 begins as new No. 1
The 2013 season was a memorable one for the Concord High School football team, which capped an unbeaten year by beating Pinkerton Academy of Derry in the Division I championship game last November.
Concord will begin the current season right where it left off in 2013: as the No. 1 team in the Union Leader/WGIR/WMUR Preseason Power Poll. The Crimson Tide received all six first-place votes in the poll, which was released today.
Concord, which went 12-0 last season, will enter this season with the state’s longest winning streak (14 games).
Pinkerton is second in the poll. The top five also includes No. 3 Nashua South, No. 4 Bedford and No. 5 Exeter..
“Concord, Pinkerton, Bedford and Exeter will always be there,” Nashua South coach Scott Knight said when he was asked to identify the top teams in Division I this year. “I’d have to say those four just because of their tradition and their numbers.
“We have a lot of kids back. We have nine kids on offense who saw considerable time or were starters last year, and about the same on defense.”
Quarterback Robbie Law is among Concord’s returning players this season. Law directed an offense that set a program record for points scored in a season last year (509). He also set the school record for passing yards in a season (1,623) and pass completions in a game (21).
Bishop Guertin of Nashua is No. 6 in the poll, followed by No. 7 Plymouth Regional and No. 8 Windham. Plymouth and Windham both compete in Division II and are the only non-Division I teams in the poll.
Keene came in at No. 9, Manchester Central and Portsmouth are tied at No. 10. Portsmouth moved from Division II to Division I following the 2013 season.
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THE Concord/Pinkerton matchup will highlight tonight’s Queen City Jamboree at Manchester’s Gill Stadium. The teams will meet in the final game, which is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m.
Tonight’s other matchups in the Queen City Jamboree: Souhegan of Amherst vs. Merrimack (3:30 p.m.), Salem vs. Trinity of Manchester (4:30 p.m.); Manchester West vs. Manchester Memorial (5:30 p.m.); Timberlane of Plaistow vs. Goffstown (6:30 p.m.); and Bishop Guertiin vs. Manchester Central (7:30 p.m.).
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CONCORD became the fifth team to finish the season at the top of the Power Poll since the poll began in 2008.
Nashua South was No. 1 in 2008, Bishop Guertin was No. 1 in 2009, Pinkerton finished No. 1 in 2010 and Exeter topped the poll in both 2011 and 2012.
Roger Brown covers high school football for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. Follow him on Twitter: @603sportsmedia.