New Hampshire D1 Poll
In the final analysis, the chasm was wide, perhaps wider than anyone had anticipated. No. 1 Bedford (19-1-1) left absolutely no doubt with its 7-0 whitewash of Concord that secured the Bulldogs’ second straight D1 State title. They started fast and never let up, driven by a core group of seven seniors.
A three-peat certainly isn’t out of the question, though coach Marty Myers and his staff will need to replace a significant chunk of offense.
By nearly every metric, No. 2 Concord (17-4-0) enjoyed an outstanding season even though it began and ended with losses to Bedford (3-2 and 7-0). In between, the Crimson Tide rattled off a 14-game in-season winning streak and reached the 20th State title game in program history. Coach Dunc Walsh loses seven to graduation.
No. 3 Salem (14-4-2) rolled into the post-season on a prolonged winning streak and stretched that to 10 games before bowing out against Concord in the semifinals. It was the Blue Devils’ first semifinal appearance in nine years and resulted from a good blend of seniors and talented underclassmen.
Veteran coach Gary Bishop likely squeezed about all he could have out of No. 4 Bishop Guertin (12-6-2), which fell to Bedford in the semis. Two of those losses came to Concord and two others were to Massachusetts Division 1A semifinalist Malden Catholic and finalist Central Catholic. It was a young team; only four graduate.
No. 5 Hanover (13-6-0) rode the experience of nine seniors to a quarterfinal appearance. The Marauders closed the regular season by winning 11 of 13.
The tournament played completely to form – the top four seeds prevailed in the quarterfinals; the top two teams won in the semifinals; and the No. 1 seed claimed the crown.