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The River Valley Community College Division IV Football Preview

By Spencer Coronis, 09/03/21, 8:15AM EDT


The Newport Tigers try to repeat as champions for the first time since 1990

 We want to welcome our newest regional partners, River Valley Community College!

 RVCC will be sponsoring the coverage of Keene, Lebanon, Hanover, Stevens, Newport, Mascoma and schools in & around the Upper Valley!

  When making decisions about your future, whether it is earning a 2-year degree or earning credits towards a 4-year degree, Choose Community, Choose River Valley Community College! 

 River Valley Community College's main campus is in Claremont, NH with two academic centers in Keene and Lebanon.

 RVCC offers over 35 degree and certificate programs with a low 5 to 1 student-to-faculty ratio. We offer online, in-person and a mix of the two in a hybrid format for full-time and part-time students.

 We could not be happier to have them as a part of our team!


 Division IV Predicted Order

  1. Newport
  2. Somersworth
  3. Franklin
  4. Fall Mountain
  5. Bishop Brady
  6. Epping-Newmarket
  7. Raymond
  8. Mascoma
  9. Newfound

 The defending champion Newport Tigers were the best team in Division IV last season….and it wasn't close.

 John Proper's team not only went undefeated but easily beat the second-best team in Division III, Monadnock; in a game, we covered (Highlights and post-game interview from Newport/Monadnock)

 With the departures of Jagger Lovely, Marius Edwards, Josh Sharron, and 11 other seniors it will be a lot of new faces in new places for the Tigers as they try and repeat as champions for the first time since the Mike Skarin led 1990 team.

 Leading the Tigers offense will be sophomore quarterback Kyle Ashley, who Proper has had high praise for.

 Senior Devyn Heino, junior Karter Pollari, and junior Tyler Gobin will lead a new-look backfield for the Tigers. All three newcomers bring something a little bit different to the table, and Proper will use that to his advantage.

 The Tigers will look to two vital wide receivers as senior Jayden Conroy, and junior Garion Lacasse step into more prominent roles. Ashley has shown the ability to throw the ball downfield in the pre-season, and any kind of passing game only opens up the vaunted Newport rushing attack.

 Returning in the trenches are Dylan Carpenter and sophomore Logan Ash who each started last season during an undefeated season.

 Proper feels like the defense is ahead of the offense at this point and likes what he has in a front four led by Senior Liam Holmstrom. The linebackers could be the unit's strength as newcomers gain experience through a schedule that begins with a championship game rematch against Somersworth.

 The secondary needs work (teams rarely throw in Division IV, so pass defense is something that you can be patient with, but freshman Kamden Pollari is making an early impression on Proper.

 The Tigers are the defending champs and, come into 2021, largely unproven but still the team to beat. If the Tigers develop as they did at the end of the 2019 season, a repeat is within their grasp.

 No one needs to explain how odd the 2020 season was to the Somersworth Hilltoppers.

 Somersworth played one regular-season game and then drew the top seed anyway before being beaten soundly in the Division IV final to Newport.

 Somersworth graduated 17 seniors, but head coach Jeremy Lambert is still high on this upcoming season as he returns a good core of kids.

 Lambert has been impressed with the Hilltoppers work in the offseason and how much time these kids have put in the weight room along with the early chemistry of the group.

 As they prepare for their week one matchup against Newport, they will look to Junior quarterback Jeff Dekorne, who the coach has praised as being a good leader in and out of the huddle. They will be looking to run their power t offense through Calvin Lambert, who has put on some muscle in the offseason and will be the workhorse on the offensive end.

 Lambert has some high praise on his offensive line as senior Jacob Gibson will be the anchor of the line, and Thomas Hastey in the hope they create a lot of gaps for the running backs and give Dekorne time to throw in the pocket. If the offensive line can hold their own, expect to see Dekorne to throw the ball to his safety blanket in tight end Dante Guillory.

 Expect to see Somersworth's defensive line to be a handful as they will try and rotate players in and out to keep them fresh throughout the full game. Owen Clark will lead this defensive line with a very young linebacking core.

 Coach Lambert has eyes on some young guys to step up and produce as the season goes along. He hopes the group of sophomores can grow and develop by the postseason.  He has said that the goal is to get back to the championship game and finish the job and knows it will not be easy.

 The task ahead of Coach Orion Binney and Fall Mountain will be adding depth to a good veteran group to replace seventeen graduated seniors.

 The lack of numbers for the freshman class has Binney concerned about how thin his depth chart will look.

 The Wildcats will be looking to senior quarterback Lucas Gay to run the offense.

 Some inexperience will surround Gay in the backfield as they will turn to sophomore Josh Devore as their primary running back.

 Binney said that his running game is a little behind what he would like it to be right now but has been very pleased by the passing game. He would like the offense to be 50/50 between run & pass. Binney knows it will take more time to get the run game down.

 The Wildcats will have a few weapons on the outside that Gay can look for in wide-out Brady Elliot and a transfer tight end in Ethan Rilling. Quinn Healy will be counted on to anchor the offensive line along with Max Vogel.

 Coach Binney is still trying to find the strengths/weaknesses, but he expects the front 7 to show up and create opposing teams' offense problems.

Jessie Fisk and Sean Tracy will lead the Wildcats defense upfront and hopefully create havoc for opposing offenses. A strength for the Wilcats should be an experienced secondary.

 Binney is very excited to see what the defense will bring to the table week to week as last year was hard to gauge playing the regional schedule.

 The hope is that the defense comes along and is clicking on all cylinders by the time November comes around, and playoffs start to creep up.

 Binney has been very pleased by this group and the effort they have given. The kids are motivated to show what they have this year and that they will be a tough team to beat week in and week out.

 First-year head coach Tim Snow is very excited for this upcoming year. Before taking over the Franklin job, he has been an assistant coach with rival Winnisquam, so he knows the Division IV landscape.

 Snow has said that this group has been upbeat after last year being up and down, along with starting from scratch. Three-fourths of the team returns for Franklin, along with what he feels like is a good young core as well.

 Snow has challenged his quarterbacks as he wants them to see the plays and understand why they are running those plays. They will use a 2 combined system with Ezekiel McCoy and Zach Douville both taking the snaps and using them in a week-to-week competition.

 Joining the two quarterbacks will be three powerful, speedy and diverse running backs. Elijah Daniel, Damien Eldridge, and Corbin Proulx.

 Snow and his staff want to develop depth so that he doesn't run all of his players into the ground and wants to get back to the old ways of Franklin football. He has set a winning mentality; if you win a lot of snaps, you can win many games.

 The Tornadoes will be led on the defensive side of the ball by Gavin Bellows (who Snow believes he will create a lot of problems for opposing team's offense).

 Steven Supry Jr and Dominick Woods will join him as Snow is confident in the front 7 in practices and hopes it translates into the games.

 The secondary, which brings back All-State junior Dustin Johnson (no, not the golfer), should be a strength as well. Snow expects the secondary to defend the pass well and be able to make open-field tackles.

 Franklin's goal is to advance to one of the four playoff spots in what should be a wide-open division.

 When you lose 17 seniors, how do you fill those spots??




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