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Pope plays for NH all-stars

Francestown’s Jonathan Pope spent much of the last week in Florida.

The eighth-grade running back/safety for the Monadnock Mountaineers was playing for the New Hampshire All-Star football team at the American Youth Football National Championships. Team New Hampshire was one of six squads to compete in the Conference All-Stars Pool A and Pope was one of 32 players from the state to make the eighth grade all-star roster.

In the first game of the national tournament on Dec. 2, Pope ran for a 12-yard touchdown with eight minutes left as NH came away with a 21-0 victory over Pennsylvania Elite.

In the semifinals on Dec. 4, New Hampshire came up just short of making the championship game, falling to Central Florida 22-14. The team finished off its trip to Florida last Thursday with a 18-6 loss to the Phoenix All-Stars.

During the regular season, Pope, who was a team captain, led the Mountaineers with 234 rushing yards on 64 carries for an average of 3.7 yards per carry, while scoring three touchdowns. He was the best blocking back on the team and earned the team’s Running Back of the Year Award. Pope also took home the Mountaineers’ Sportsmanship Award. On defense, Pope had 24 tackles, including 18 solo stops, and four defended passes.

Because of his regular season play, Pope was voted by the Mountaineers coaching staff to play in the NH North/South All-Star Game on Nov. 11. He then survived two rounds of tryouts to make the NH team that traveled to Florida.

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