After being arch-rivals for four memorable years, recently-graduated Londonderry High Lancer and Pinkerton Academy Astro football standouts worked together successfully for a common cause Saturday, June 28, in helping to collect the East team’s first victory in the annual CHaD East/West New Hampshire High School All-Star Football Game series.
The 2015 game – which was the fourth match-up in the East/West series – was played at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, and recently-graduated LHS quarterback Eric Fairweather stepped back from his signal-calling spot to tailback for much of the contest and scored three touchdowns in helping his side to the 29-15 comeback victory.
Fairweather – who will attend and play football at Saint A’s in the fall – sprinted for scores of 14 yards, 32 yards, and one yard and also passed for a two-point conversion as the East crew bagged a victory after trailing by more than two touchdowns at the half. He was subsequently named the game’s Most Valuable Player as well.
Former LHS multi-sport star Fairweather finished his productive evening with 108 rushing yards and the three big scores on 17 carries.
Fairweather was one of four recent Londonderry High grads – along with Casey Brackett, Matt Freda, and Mike Ryan – to be selected to play for the East team. LHS was also represented on the spirit squad by veteran cheerleader Gemma Caruso.
Mike Ryan contributed a 16-yard sprint to the winning side’s effort.
The 2014 Division I champion Pinkerton Academy contingent was represented on the East team by players Peter Cyr, Jason Hansen, Bryson Pacocha, Justin Poitras, and Noah Robison, along with spirit squad members Elisabeth Cox, Emily Delisola, and Nicole Saitta.
The Lancer and Astro gridders helped their East contingent overcome six turnovers and a 15-point halftime deficit in bagging the 2015 win.
The West squad built up a 15-0 lead in the first quarter, and that was where the score sat at the half.
But Fairweather and the East side scored the next 29 points during the second half and powered their way to the victory.
The annual game features two teams of 40 players selected from nominations taken from head coaches during the fall. 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 each school may not 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. Routes 3 and I-93 serve as the dividing line.
Funds raised by the contests go to the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) in Hanover, and the 2015 contest raised more than $200,000.