By Roger Brown
In many ways it was a typical game for the Plymouth Regional High School football team. As they so often do, the Bobcats won by a lopsided score.
It was a memorable game for longtime Plymouth coach Chuck Lenahan, though.
Plymouth's 41-7 triumph over Kingswood Regional on Saturday was the 300th victory of Lenahan's coaching career. It improved his record 300-63-1.
"We've had a couple good winning streaks here," Lenahan said. "Next thing you know we're at 300. It's a lot of games.
"You don't really think about something like this. It takes so long to do, and it's such a hard road."
Lenahan, 65, began coaching varsity football at Plymouth in 1971. His first team finished 0-6-1, but the program has experienced tremendous success since then. Lenahan's teams have won 16 state championships and finished as the runner-up 10 times. He's guided 10 teams to an unbeaten season.
"It feels great," Plymouth running back Tim Farina told the Laconia Citizen after Saturday's game. "He deserves everything he's worked so hard for, and I know he's glad this is out of the way."
Lenahan has been at Plymouth for so long that he coached the fathers of nine players on this year's Plymouth roster. Saturday's victory stretched the program's winning streak to 35 games. Plymouth set the state record for consecutive victories when it won 46 in a row form 2000 to 2004.
Although no high school coach has won more games in New Hampshire, Lenahan is No. 2 in terms of career victories among current New Hampshire head coaches. St. Thomas coach Rod Wotton has 325 career wins, but most of those came while he was coaching at Marshwood High School in Eliot, Maine.
No high school coach in New England -- past or present -- has won more games than Wotton.
Plymouth has won nine of the last 11 Division III titles -- including the last three -- but dropped to Division IV in the offseason, when New Hampshire added four new varsity teams and a sixth division. New Hampshire classifies its teams by enrollment, although Plymouth could have petitioned the state and requested to play in a higher division.
Saturday's victory raised Plymouth's record to 2-0. Kingswood, which trailed 34-0 at halftime, fell to 1-1.
Kingswood coach Matt Jozokos played college football at nearby Plymouth State University and began his coaching career with Lenahan.
"I would have wished (300) was against somebody else," Jozokos told the Citizen. "He was a mentor of mine, so to lose to him on his 300th -- that's one of those things where he'll remember me and I'll remember him. But I wish the world for him, and he's taught me lot about how to (prepare) and everything else. You can see the amount of guys he has affected over the last ... I don't even know how many years."
Among active high school football coaches, Lenahan is currently 33rd in the nation in career wins.
"I'll tell ya what's good," said Lenahan, who usually does what he can to shun the spotlight. "To get it the hell over with."