By Roger Brown
Next year’s Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl will be a homecoming game for New Hampshire head coach Greg Husband.
Husband, who guided Franklin to the Division VI state championship last month, played at Windsor (Vt.) High School, which is the site for this year’s game. Husband was named New Hampshire’s head coach last week. He’ll be coaching an all-star team that will battle Vermont all-stars on Aug. 1.
“It’s an honor to coach in this game,” Husband said. “The fact that it’s being played in my hometown makes it unique. Even though I grew up in Vermont, my mom told me my job is to win the game.”
Franklin finished 11-1 this season and beat Campbell, 8-0, in the Division VI championship game. Franklin’s only loss came in a non-league game against Division V Bishop Brady.
Husband, 44, graduated from Windsor High School in 1982. He became Franklin’s varsity head coach in 2004, after spending one season as the head coach at Franklin Middle School.
Husband said his first task will be to assemble a coaching staff. The 36-player rosters for each state will be announced in January.
“There are 55 teams and a lot of talent in the state,” Husband said. “Unfortunately you can’t take them all. One of the things I want to do is meet with some of the coaches who have coached in this game before.
“I think it’s going to be a good year for New Hampshire. It should be a pretty strong team.”
Springfield’s Mike Hatt will coach Vermont in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. Hatt directed Springfield to an 11-0 record and the Division III championship this season.
New Hampshire won the 2008 game, 42-0, and has a 40-13-2 advantage in the all-time series.
Football: Zocco Named State’s Top Player
David Zocco, a running back/defensive back who recently completed his senior season at Nashua South High School, has been named New Hampshire’s Gatorade Player of the Year for the 2008 season.
Zocco rushed for more than 1,400 yards during his senior season and scored all five touchdowns in his team’s 33-32 overtime victory against Pinkerton Academy in the Division I championship game. Zocco was a Division I All-State selection and is one of five finalists for New Hampshire’s Mr. Football Award, which will be presented this week.
Zocco is also a finalist for the Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award. That award will be announced later this month.
Soccer: NHSCA Honors Magnusson
Al Magnusson, who has spent the last 28 years as Sanborn Regional’s boys soccer coach, was inducted into the New Hampshire Soccer Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame on Sunday during a ceremony at Gilford High School.
Magnusson guided Sanborn to back-to-back state championships in 2003 and 2004. Sanborn finished as the Class M runner-up in 1990 and again last season.
“It’s a great honor to have this recognition from the (NHSCA),” Magnusson said. “It’s been over 30 years with this enthusiasm for soccer and it’s not waning one bit.
“I look forward to each season and the kids that want to play for me. It is really a year-round devotion.”
Roger Brown publishes the New Hampshire Football Report. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.