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Low on healthy athletes, Lebanon football forced to forfeit upcoming game

  • Lebanon High athletic director Mike Stone addresses a group of soccer players and parents on Aug. 17, 2022, in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Lebanon High football coach Herb Hatch leads his team in exercises at the conclusion of a Sept. 7, 2022, practice in Lebanon, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —Tris Wykes

  • Lebanon High quarterback Morgan Melendy, seated, watches the final minute of his football team's NHIAA Division II game at Manchester West on Sept. 9, 2022, in Manchester, N.H. Raiders head coach Herb Hatch stands in the background. Manchester West won, 62-0. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —Tris Wykes

  • Lebanon High School athletic director Mike Stone. Valley News — Tris Wykes

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/4/2022 9:18:49 PM
Modified: 10/4/2022 9:14:32 PM

LEBANON — Lebanon High has forfeited Friday’s football game at Pelham because of a lack of healthy players, athletic director Mike Stone said Tuesday.

Stone said the Raiders (0-5) were battered during Friday’s varsity game with Hanover and Monday’s JV contest with the Bears. Lebanon has consistently ended varsity games this season with one or two healthy substitutes but was down to nine players overall Tuesday, Stone said.

“We’re not canceling the season,” said Stone, whose team is scheduled to play at Hillsboro-Deering/Hopkinton (1-4) next week. “We’re hoping we can get some kids back and play again in the upcoming weeks.

“We told the team today we’re not giving up on them.”

Stone said a decision on next week’s varsity game will be made at least two days in advance. The JV team is scheduled to play Proctor Academy next week.

“As the reports came in from the athletic trainer the last few days, we asked, ‘How can we do this?’ ” Stone said. “Everyone likes to compete, but then it became apparent we couldn’t. It becomes a safety issue.”

Pelham is 5-0 and has outscored it opponents, 215-27.

Lebanon, which has been outscored by a combined 270-6 this season, reached the Division II semifinals last fall but graduated 13 seniors, including seven two-way starters, earlier this year. Previous head coach Chris Childs resigned in February after 15 years on the job, and his entire staff followed him out the door.

The Raiders returned only two starters and lost one for the season during their first game.

Stone said first-year coach Herb Hatch “has not officially told me that he’s not coming back next year.” Hatch, who wasn’t hired until late May, has referred to himself as a “stopgap” atop the program and said before the campaign began that he didn’t expect to hold the job for more than two or three years.

Tris Wykes can be reached at twykes@vnews.com.


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