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Alvirne High football coach Tarek Rothe, shown during a recent high school practice, will lead New Hampshire’s team in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, scheduled for Aug. 1 at Castleton (Vt.) University.

TAREK ROTHE likes the look of the New Hampshire Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl team, and he said the defense is what looks the best.

Three players from Rothe’s Alvirne High School team are among those expected to line up on that side of the ball: nose guard Tommy Keegan, cornerback Morgan Williams and safety/kick returner Grady Hudson.

Others penciled in to play defense are Bedford defensive back Jack Jones, Londonderry defensive lineman Cam Babine and Manchester Central defensive lineman Raheen Dukes.

“I think we’re solid on both sides of the line, but I’m particularly happy with what our defense looks like,” Rothe said. “We geared the defense to stop what we expect to be a spread attack — a passing attack. We have a lot of really good corners and safeties.

“We have athletes all over the place on defense who are going to be able to keep up with anybody. I’m excited about the fun the defense is going to have.”

This year’s Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, which benefits Shriners Hospitals for Crippled and Burned Children, is scheduled to be played on Saturday, Aug. 1 at Castleton (Vt.) University. Hopefully that’s far enough in the future that we won’t have to worry about a postponement or cancellation.

New Hampshire ended a three-game losing streak against Vermont by earning a 21-9 victory last summer and leads the all-time series 48-16-2. St. Johnsbury Academy’s Rich Alercio is Vermont’s head coach.

Bishop Guertin’s Hayden Moses and Bishop Brady’s Patrick Brust are the quarterbacks on the New Hampshire roster. Moses started five games as a junior, but missed all of last season after he sustained a knee injury in the Queen City Jamboree.

“I really like the team, but while we have a lot of speed we don’t have a lot of size,” Rothe said. “Vermont definitely has a huge size advantage.”

Rothe said he’s hopeful team workouts can begin in late June.

“Depends on how far this thing (COVID-19) goes,” he said. “I think the CHaD game (scheduled for June 27) is in more trouble than we are.

“I hope this doesn’t get cancelled because it’s a great opportunity for the kids and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Yukica Scholar/Athletes

The Joe Yukica/New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame Scholar/Athletes for 2020 (2019 season):

Keith Albergo (Winnacunnet), Thatcher Allen (Exeter), Cole Ames (Lebanon), Mason Belsky (Windham), Patrick Brust (Bishop Brady), Jaedon Cliche (Exeter), Riley Desmarais (Windham), Bobby DiCicco (Windham), Jared Dyer (Merrimack), Casey Gladu (Portsmouth), Owen Gormley (Salem), Jack Grogan (Bedford), Steven Guerrette (Bow), Evan Haskins (Pelham), Samson Hodges (Milford), Ethan Holt (Bishop Guertin), Jack Jones (Bedford);

Also, Hunter Lassard (St. Thomas), Joseph Lupo (Bishop Guertin), Jake MacInnis (Pinkerton), Will MacLean (St. Thomas), Brayden McDonnell (Nashua South), Hayden Moses (Bishop Guertin), Riley Mulvey (Salem), Kyle O’Connor (Nashua South), Nolan Pafford (Portsmouth), Wade Rainey (Lebanon), Ismael Rivera (Bishop Brady), Oceanne Skoog (Newfound), Caleb Smith (Lebanon), Rolando Sylvain-Stott (Newfound), John Thibault (Trinity);

Also, Zach Twardosky (Merrimack), Gavin Urda (Milford), Carter Vedrani (Campbell), Jacob Wenger (Trinity), Jon Willeman (Lebanon), Charles Williams (Bedford) and Devin Wood (Merrimack).

This year’s scholar/athlete banquet was scheduled for May 5 but was canceled because of the pandemic. Award recipients will be honored in manner yet to be determined, according to the group’s website.

Kaden Muir selected

Manchester’s Kaden Muir was among the 23 players selected to play for the U.S. National Under-17 Team during the 2020-21 season. USA Hockey released the roster on Wednesday, March 25.

Muir, a defenseman, most recently skated for the Toronto Marlboros Minor Midget team. His father, Bryan Muir, spent three seasons with the University of New Hampshire and won a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001.

The Under-17 Team plays in the United States Hockey League, the only Tier I junior hockey league in the country, as well as against select competition in the North American Hockey League and Minnesota Elite League. The Under-17 Team also competes in three international tournaments each season.

It’s been a while

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time there were no MLB, NBA, NFL or NHL games in the month of April was 1883. The NBA, NHL and NFL didn’t exist back then, and opening day for baseball, which was then operating as the National League, took place in May that year.