The prevailing opinion is that Bedford High School wins at everything, right?
Not really. Despite having some outstanding individual talent — Bobby Heald comes to mind — the Bedford wrestling team has lagged behind most of the school’s athletic programs when it comes to team success. That may change soon.
Bedford hired a new wrestling coach this season, and he has an impressive resume. Ryan Scheiding spent five seasons as Plymouth State University’s wrestling coach before a job change forced him to resign from that position after the 2017-18 season.
He began his coaching career as an assistant at Plymouth State under Tommy Prairie in 2008-09, and then spent two years as an assistant coach at Manchester Memorial and two as Memorial’s head coach before he landed the head-coaching job at Plymouth State.
“I just recently moved back here (Manchester),” Scheiding said. “The Bedford job opened up and I always wanted to coach here. I would have never left (Memorial) if the college job hadn’t opened up.
“I like it here a lot. I like the support I get. The kids are buying in. They listen to everything I say. They’re in the weight room every single day. I’m not chasing them around. They want to be good. There’s a winning culture in Bedford overall, so the kids here see winning happening around them all the time.”
A Memorial graduate, Scheiding was a four-year wrestler and two-year co-captain for Plymouth State from 2004 to 2008, when he posted a 62-47 overall record. Schieding, 35, was 17-13 in the 157-pound weight class as a junior, and went 23-10 at 174 pounds as a senior, earning All-New England honors with a fifth-place performance at the New England Championships.
Although Bedford will be without A.J. Pagliarulo — the program’s top wrestler — this season because he’s recovering from shoulder surgery, participation in the program is up. Scheiding said the Bulldogs finished last season with six wrestlers in the program, but had 18 when the team opened the Division I season against Londonderry on Wednesday night.
“These kids on this team want to be successful so they’ll listen to whatever I tell them, so when I say, ‘Hey, we’re lifting before practice for an hour Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday,’ they’re in the weight room four days a week then they’re going to a two-hour practice,” Scheiding said. “They buy in to the program and believe what we’re teaching. That’s going to go a long way.”
With 19-year-old Vladimir Guerrero Jr. likely to play in Toronto this season, here’s a bit of Blue Jays trivia: Who is the youngest Toronto Blue Jays player to homer in a major league game? (Answer below).
Bedford running back/linebacker Ryan Toscano was named New Hampshire’s Gatorade Player of the Year last week, but he still has a ways to go to match his grandfather in terms of football accomplishments. As a quarterback at Wyoming, Paul Toscano led the nation in total offense during the 1967 season. He guided the Cowboys to a 10-1 record, the WAC title and a berth in the 1968 Sugar Bowl. He was named the WAC Player of the Year and finished 12th in balloting for the Heisman Trophy, which was won that year by UCLA QB Gary Beban.
North Kingstown defensive end/offensive tackle Dylan Poirier, Rhode Island’s Gatorade Player of the Year, has committed to UNH. Poirier led North Kingstown to an 11-1 record and the Division I championship.
The schedule for the first day of this year’s Queen City Invitational Basketball Tournament, which will be played Dec. 26-28 at Memorial High School:
Bedford vs. Lebanon (3 p.m.)
Exeter vs. Salem (4:30 pm.)
Trinity vs. Central (6 p.m.)
West vs. Memorial (7:30 p.m.)
Memorial defeated Exeter in last year’s championship game.
Trivia answer: Danny Ainge is the youngest player to hit a home run for the Blue Jays. Ainge was 20 years and 77 days old when he homered on June 2, 1979. Guerrero would have to homer by June 1 of next year to break the record.
The Buffalo Bills signed former UNH offensive tackle (and Trinity High School graduate) Andrew Lauderdale to the practice squad Wednesday. The Saints signed Lauderdale as an undrafted free agent following the 2017 NFL Draft. He was on the 49ers practice squad until the team released him in September.
You know it’s just a matter of time before UCLA faces Ohio State in the Rose Bowl.