Londonderry High School’s spring 2015 graduation dealt first-year coach Jimmy Lauzon’s Lancer football team the kind of whipping no other opponent was able to manage last fall.
And now, with 26 seniors, including stalwarts like Eric Fairweather, Dennis Bishop, and Mike Ryan having left LHS with diplomas in hand, Lauzon enters his second season with a whole lot less experience at key positions but hopes of getting a considerable amount done on the gridiron.
Lauzon and his legion of Lancers – who went 8-2 last fall, with their two defeats coming at the hands of the undefeated Division I champion Pinkerton Academy Astros – will take to the road in officially starting their 2015 campaign on Sept. 4 at Dover High School.
“Experience is a weakness of ours,” admitted the coach. “We scheduled five scrimmages this pre-season to try and gain some experience before we head into the season, but only time will tell if it worked.”
Londonderry has a key group of five returning starters back in uniform this fall, and that includes seniors Nehemyah Dion (lineman), Dave Wiedenfeld (running back/ defensive back), Gary Richard (linebacker/running back), and Sean Psaledas (lineman), and highly-touted junior end Cam Reddy.
Other varsity returnees include versatile senior Nick Donnelly (kicker/wide receiver/defensive back) and his fellow 12th grader Jimmy Nee (WR/DB).
The Lancers’ list of promising newcomers includes juniors Brandon Radford (WR/LB), Cam MacDonald (WR/DB), Eric Doran (RB/LB), Zac Garside (offensive lineman/ LB), and Nick Scarfo (LB), and sophomore Jake Mullin (lineman).
“Like every other team in the state, we need to stay healthy,” said Lauzon. “We also have to play great defense. We learned last year that you can’t win when you give up 41 and 34 points to Pinkerton. We have to be more stout and consistent on defense. We have changed some things around on defense that we hope will help us be successful.”
The coach added, “We hope to be as successful on special teams this season as we were last year. We want to change games in a positive way on special teams. Offensively, it’s very simple. ‘EAT’ is our motto. We must have Effort, Attitude, and Tempo.”
When looking at the competition and which squads he expects to be among the toughest this fall, the coach said, “Salem, Pinkerton, Timberlane, Merrimack, Exeter, Portsmouth, pretty much our entire schedule.”
The key question regarding who will step into the shoes of graduated star quarterback Eric Fairweather for the Lancers this fall moved a step closer to being answered last weekend, but in a manner that left Lauzon and his crew saddened.
Senior quarterback candidate Bobby McEachern suffered a broken leg in his team’s scrimmage with Manchester Central and was lost for the season. That leaves junior Jake Stevens and sophomore Ben Johnson battling for the signal-calling post.
The Lancers’ first home game will be against Exeter High School Blue Hawks on Sept. 18.