It’s a good bet that very few folks will remember the 2015 Londonderry High School football season fondly, and with good reason.
And because that’s the case, Lancers’ head coach Jimmy Lauzon enters his third year of running the program with a good amount of veteran talent and the explicit messages that smart play and minimizing mistakes will be vital for the LHS gridders as they aim to climb back into the intense Division I fray after finishing at 3-6 last autumn. “Our keys to a successful season are to use our experience to our advantage and not make the same mistakes we made last season,” said Lauzon. “We have to play better in all three phases of the game. The schedule will be tough, so we will have to stay healthy and be consistent all year” Lauzon was dead-on in mentioning that his Lancers' 2016 schedule will be tough, and it couldn’t start a whole lot tougher than with a road contest against the defending Division I champion Goffstown High Grizzlies on that opponent’s home field this Saturday, Sept. 3. Battle-tested, returning veterans with starting experience on this fall’s LHS squad include quarterbacks Jake Stevens (a senior) and Ben Johnson (junior), and Stevens’ fellow seniors Cam MacDonald (wide receiver), Pete Navarro (wide receiver and safety), Zac Garside (guard and linebacker), Nick Scarfo (guard/LB), Chris Komst (lineman), Eric Doran (LB), Brandon Radford (WR/defensive end), and Seth Cormier (defensive tackle). Also back in the fold and boasting starting experience is junior lineman Jake Mullin. Other returnees – who all gained some key varsity experience during the tough 2015 campaign – are seniors Ed Upton (DT), Mark Bickford (guard), and Ian Harris (tackle). Lauzon’s list of promising newcomers for the 2016 season is packed with skilled seniors and juniors, including 12th graders Xavier Cora (LB) and John Michael Hughes (WR/DE) and 11th graders Connor Dubois (WR/cornerback), Adam Wilkinson (WR/safety), Mike McAlister (QB/DB/WR), Shane MacEachern (WR/ DB), Jake Dionne (running back/LB), Pat Zepf (tight end/DE), and Jack Connors (WR/DE). When asked to cite which Division I teams concern him most coming into the new campaign, Lauzon responded. “Merrimack seems to be the team everyone is talking about, but there are a lot of factors that go into a season of success, so it’s tough to predict.” The way the 2016 schedule breaks down for Lauzon and his Lancers, they will play their South Division adversaries Pinkerton at LHS on Sept. 23, Merrimack on the road on Oct. 7, Salem on the road on Oct. 14, and then Timberlane of Plaistow in Londonderry on Oct. 28 in the locals’ regular season finale.