The JHL Bedford Bulldogs are proud to be a member of the Northeast Junior High Football League. The NJFL is the largest league in NH with 16 teams and two divisions. We will field two teams - a Junior Varsity team, and a Varsity team.
Many area towns we will face in high school field teams in this league. The other towns include Andover, Derry, Dover, Exeter, Haverhill MA, Lowell MA, Manchester, Oyster River, Portsmouth, Rochester, Sanborn, Timberlane, Tri-Town (Epping/Norwalk) and Winnacunnet. The goal of this league is to provide a safe high quality football experience by teaching the techniques and fundamentals that will prepare a player for high school football. To increase player knowledge and understanding of the rules, concepts and fundamental strategies of football so that players will be better prepared to participate in practices, scrimmages, games and better prepare them for future participation in football and other sports.
In JHL we develop two teams, the Junior Varsity which is comprised of primarily 7th graders (or 6th if eligible) and developing 8th graders. Here we focus on building a foundation for the development of technique and position strategy. Players will play both sides of the ball and will participate in the majority of the game. There will never be a minimum play requirement that sometimes limits the amount of plays a player gets. Our goal is to get all players in at least half of the game snaps. Winning is extemely important but not at the expense of players not playing in the game. We will win or lose with the entire team on the field.
The Varsity team is comprised primarily of 8th graders or in some rare cases developed 7th graders. The Varsity philosophy holds true to the JV philosphy with additonal emphasis on preparation for high school football. Playing time is determined based on work ethic in practice and games, skill level and determination. Like high school if you put in the effort and play at a high level you will play. That being said we rotate all players in and out of games to give everyone playing time. When it comes time for playoffs, the best will play and we will try to win. On the Varsity team, each week 6-8 JV players will be selected as "swing" players and will dress as a varsity team member. There is a good chance one of those swing players will see playing time based on the game situation. Any JV player that is designated a swing player and plays in the varsity game is still eligible to play in the JV game. Varsity players who play in the varsity game are not eligible to play in the JV game.
The Bedford Bulldog JHL program has been very successful making it to the league/state championship the last 4 or 5 years with a State Championship being won in 2019. The JHL philosphy is a proven model that we hold in high regard and will continue to keep in place. In fact 11 of the last 12 NH Division 1 Football State Champions have been programs that came from JHL.
If you have any questions, please reach out to Elliot Benn at 708-945-3000 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or any JHL Board member.