High school notebook: Newport’s Sharron named D-IV’s player of the year

  • Newport's Josh Sharron (25) and his teammates celebrate their NHIAA D-IV state football championship after defeating Somersworth 42-0 on Nov. 14, 2020, in Somersworth, N.H. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Newport head coach John Proper gives a play to run to quarterback Marius Edwards during football practice in Newport, N.H., on Nov. 12, 2020. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Geoff Hansen

  • Newport linebacker Josh Sharron (25) leads the charge in chasing down a Stevens ball carrier during their game in Newport, N.H., on Nov. 24, 2020. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

  • Newport head coach John Proper checks his notes as the sun sets over the football team's practice in Newport, N.H., on Nov. 12, 2020. (Valley News - Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News file photographs — Geoff Hansen

Valley News Sports Editor
Published: 12/8/2020 9:16:21 PM
Modified: 12/8/2020 9:16:15 PM

NEWPORT, N.H. — Newport High football coach John Proper had some easy decisions this season — and at least one very hard one.

The second-year coach admitted this week that he could have picked any of three seniors as his nominee for New Hampshire Division IV’s player of the year. He decided upon senior linebacker Josh Sharron and his fellow coaches agreed, handing the award to Sharron last week.

The senior captained a Newport defense that allowed just 44 points in eight games, seven of them victories, and added three blocked punts to his special teams resume, work that ultimately made the Tigers an NHIAA D-IV state champion for the first time since 2015. Sharron also fronted a senior-laden list of Tigers on the D-IV all-state team.

“He did it all for me,” Proper said on Monday night. “He has a knack for finding the football and reading the play. That’s nothing I taught him. He has such great instincts. He sees the play as it’s being developed. It’s hard to stop him.”

Proper wouldn’t have lost with any of his player-of-year options. Quarterback Marius Edwards amassed an Upper Valley-best 108 points for Newport, and feature running back Jagger Lovely nearly produced a 1,000-yard season despite an abbreviated schedule.

Sharron’s defensive work ultimately won Proper’s vote as well as those from the rest of D-IV. Proper gave Sharron the keys to the defensive machine, allowing him to call plays on the field, and the senior rarely slipped up.

“He was our general out there,” Proper said. “We had such respect for him, and we gave him a lot of leadership out there to make the calls at times. He would make the right decisions, so we let him do things while he was out there instead of us relaying them in.”

All three seniors made the D-IV all-state first team, Edwards and Lovely on offense and Sharron on defense. They were joined by senior wingback Bryce Willey, senior tight end Tanner Proper, senior offensive linemen Josh Orlowski and Adriano Urista, defensive linemen Devyn Heino (a junior) and Chase Hamilton (a senior), sophomore linebacker Karter Pollari, and senior defensive back Ryder Lovely. Linemen Makyi Matheson, Dylon Carpenter and Logan Ash earned honorable mention.

Mascoma had first-teamers in quarterback Mike Evans, offensive lineman Caleb Hobbs, linebacker Roman Farnsworth and defensive back Josh Evans. Two other linemen, Asa Michetti and Owen McKinney, made the honorable mention roster.

■State finalist Stevens put four players on the N.H. Division III all-state first team, also released last week. Senior lineman Eddie Brodeur and senior wideout Clayton Wadsworth made the offensive roster with senior quarterback Owen Taylor. Junior linebacker Pascal Lemieux was the lone defensive honoree for the Cardinals. J.J. Tursky, Braxton LeBlanc, Hunter Christian and Colby Shepard earned honorable mentions.

Lions Cup to Hanover HS: Organizers of the annual Lions Twin State Soccer Cup games hope to host next summer’s matches at Hanover High.

Lions Cup officials made the call last week, a couple of days after the New Hampshire Soccer Coaches Association announced its all-state teams and Lions Cup roster. Camp director Paul Pearsall said in a Monday email that the matches, if confirmed with the school, will be held as a one-day catch-all event, as opposed to the three-day schedule of past years that has allowed coaches time to train their players.

“I think one informed the other,” Hanover boys soccer coach Rob Grabill said. “It’s always been on college campuses because they needed dormitory space. It’s been kind of a gypsy road show the last 20 years, going to places like Rivier and Franklin Pierce and Castleton, which are great for college dorms and nice player fields but not so good for fans. …

“The one-day model was something we voted on for this year. Then we’ll study it, see what we like about it, what the pros and cons are, but as long as we do it on one day, it allows us to consider a central location.”

Hanover’s Doug Kennedy will coach the Granite State girls. Lebanon’s Rob Johnstone will oversee the New Hampshire boys, with Grabill assisting. The contests are tentatively slated for July 17, 2021.

Huntington back to the huddle: The all-time leading scorer in Vermont high school girls basketball, Oxbow High graduate Jade Huntington, will return to the hardwood this winter as coach at St. Johnsbury Academy.

The school announced Huntington’s appointment last week. She takes over for Jack Driscoll, who retired after 26 years and 301 wins with the Hilltoppers’ girls hoop team.

A 1998 Oxbow graduate, Huntington scored a state-best 2,114 points over her high school career, delivering three state crowns to the late Mona Garone and winning 68 straight games at one point. She followed that with a four-year playing career at Vanderbilt, making the NCAA tournament every year. Huntington returned to Vermont to become Thetford Academy’s athletic director in 2010, moving to St. Johnsbury as assistant AD in 2014.

Greg Fennell can be reached at gfennell@vnews.com or 603-727-3226.

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