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Final NH D3 Poll: #1 Kennett separated itself from pack on way to State title

New Hampshire D3 Poll

RankTeamPR*WLT
1Kennett41830
2Berlin/Gorham21641
3Belmont/Gilford11541
4Somersworth/Coe-Brown31451
5John Stark/Hopkinton51171
6Moultonborough/Inter-Lakes69100
7Monadnock79100
8Pembroke/Campbell88110
Warrior-Polls

It didn’t take long for the lead pack of four teams to establish itself early in the regular season and that’s the way it stayed. At one point, all four schools had identical records.

By tournament’s end, No. 1 Kennett (18-3-0) clearly stood alone. The Eagles wore down Berlin/Gorham in the State Championship game, 4-0, after breezing past No. 8 Pembroke/Campbell in the quarterfinals and shutting out Somersworth/Coe-Brown, 3-0, in the semifinals.

Only three players will graduate. If everyone returns, coach Mike Lane’s club will be tough to unseat a year from now.

No. 2 Berlin-Gorham (16-4-1), which won the 2016 title, put together a terrific season after graduating 14 players a year ago. Along the way, the Mountaineers knocked off Belmont/Gilford in the semifinals. This year’s graduation losses won’t be nearly so severe, so expect Mike Poulin’s crew to be a prime contender again next season.

No. 3 Belmont/Gilford (15-4-1), another team dominated by underclassmen, enjoyed a terrific first season under coach Dave Saball. The Bulldogs could bring back all but four from this year’s semifinal squad.

No. 4 Somersworth/Coe-Brown (14-5-1) developed quickly under new coach Shane Maurice and pushed Kennett hard in the semifinals. The Bearcats will also return a large group of underclassmen.

No. 5 John Stark/Hopkinton (11-7-1) proved to be the best among the division’s other teams, but struggled against the Big Four all season. Good thing? Twelve freshmen and sophomores were on this year’s roster, boding well for the long term.

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle joined the HNIB team in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. An award-winning veteran editor/writer of 35 years experience in the print and digital mediums, he has conceptualized, edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and their websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple NEPA and NEAP awards during his tenure as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. The Newburyport, MA native resides with his family in Seabrook, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40.
Kevin Doyle
- 13 hours ago