After spending years trying to find ways to defeat one another on football fields, three recently-graduated former Pinkerton Academy gridders and two ex-Londonderry High football players and recent grads teamed up on one of the two Granite State squads in the 2018
Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) New Hampshire East-West High School All-Star Football Game played at the University of New Hampshire on Saturday, June 30.
Recent Pinkerton grads Kayden Baillargeon, Ty Hicks, and Josh Ladipo worked with recent LHS graduates Connor Dubois and Pat Zepf on the East contingent, which wound up just getting edged by the West gridders by a 24-20 tally in that hard-fought contest.
Additionally, Londonderry High varsity football coach Jimmy Lauzon served as an assistant coach under East head coach Craig Kozens from Laconia.
The 2018 game – which was played in Wildcat Stadium on the afternoon of the 30th – featured some 80 of the Granite State’s finest, recently-graduated high school gridders meeting up for one final high school football battle to raise funds for CHaD. Seven games have now been played in the annual series, with the first six contests having raised over $1.5 million for the worthy cause.
The locals and their East contingent grasped a 20-17 lead at the conclusion of three quarters in the 2018 game. But West player and former Bedford High star Andrew Duval – who will play his college ball there at UNH – ran the football into the end zone from seven yards out with 4:28 to go in regulation time to push his side to the slim success.
Through the first seven East-West battles, the West gridders now grasp a fine 5-2 overall record having won the 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018 games. The East team won consecutive battles in 2015 and 2016.
Where fundraising was concerned, Pinkerton grad Baillargeon was tops among the locals with an impressive tally of $2,037, but ex-Lancers Zepf ($1,100) and Dubois ($1,030) both went over the $1,000 mark as well.
The game features two teams of 40-plus players selected from nominations made by high school head coaches during the fall of the previous year. To be eligible for nomination, an athlete must compete for a New Hampshire high school football program recognized by the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association (NHIAA). Each NHIAA division is represented by at least one athlete, and no school can have more than five athletes selected as all-stars. The teams are divided based on geographic location into an East squad and a West squad, with Route 3 and I-93 being the dividing line.
The next game will, again, no doubt be something to see.