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Bigger Nipmuc/BVT Group Could Boost Post 343 Roster

After putting together, a strong
showing despite a low turnout this season, Northbridge legion manager Dave Meech
is hopeful a better turnout from area programs can help his team add more depth next summer. He is looking particularly at Nipmuc and Blackstone Valley Tech, a pair of perennial playoff teams that combined to field just one legion player for the Post 343 roster this summer.
"Talking to and recruiting some of those players is already in the works," Meech said
22
just days after the 2018 season had come
to a close. "There are some players, one
in particular, we couldn't put on our team because they were blocked by Milford. But I am going to go after a few of those players and try to get more on the roster next year."
Nipmuc and BVT each had players on the Milford roster this summer, though typically the two legion programs both benefit from the Mendon and Upton schools.
Just a few days before the scheduled start of the 2018 season, the fate of the Northbridge program was uncertain.
Longtime manager John Damagian, who stepped away from leading the team on the field this season, was not sure whether the turnout would be enough to field a team. Meech was able to confirm Post 343 would be putting a product on the field a few days before the first game of the season.
Despite the challenges that came with having five or six fewer players than the other teams, Northbridge was able to earn the eighth and final seed in the Zone 4 tournament.
"The fact that we made the playoffs with the guys we had this year, you can only
build off of that," Meech said. "My second year will be easier in terms of recruiting." Northbridge has long been one of the
most successful legion programs in the area and is a past state champion. With stronger recruiting and potentially a larger continent from Nipmuc and BVT next summer, Meech feels that his team can regain some of the success it has enjoyed in years past. "I wouldn't be surprised if we are top-
four team in the zone next year," he said, "if not better."




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