2023 Upper Valley high school fall sports guide: football

Stevens High senior Aiden Barry listens to head coach Josh Duford during an Aug. 14, 2023, practice at Monadnock Park. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Stevens High senior Aiden Barry listens to head coach Josh Duford during an Aug. 14, 2023, practice at Monadnock Park. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —

Jeni Frechette, one of Hartford High’s certified athletic trainers, is surrounded by hydrating football players during an August 16, 2023, practice in White River Junction, Vt. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Jeni Frechette, one of Hartford High’s certified athletic trainers, is surrounded by hydrating football players during an August 16, 2023, practice in White River Junction, Vt. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hanover High’s David Frechette, left, and Ryan O’Hern battle for the football during their team’s Aug. 21, 2023, practice in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hanover High’s David Frechette, left, and Ryan O’Hern battle for the football during their team’s Aug. 21, 2023, practice in Hanover, N.H. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. —

Oxbow High assistant coach Nick Ditcheos watches as ball carrier Tanner Bernier is tackled during an Aug. 18, 2023, practice in Bradford, Vt. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Oxbow High assistant coach Nick Ditcheos watches as ball carrier Tanner Bernier is tackled during an Aug. 18, 2023, practice in Bradford, Vt. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley News photographs — Tris Wykes

Gianni Blanchard

Gianni Blanchard

Matt Franklin

Matt Franklin

Logan Ash

Logan Ash

Brennan O/Toole

Brennan O/Toole

Published: 09-11-2023 1:11 PM

HANOVER

Coach: Sam Cavallaro (9)

Last year: 6-4, lost in quarterfinals to Bow.

League: NHIAA Division II

Returners: Seniors — Caleb Buskey (TE/LB), Nels Jones (OL/DL), Roger Lucas (QB/DB), Jeffrey Vidou (RB/OLB), Teddy Sumner (WR/DB), Mateo Trimble (WR/OLB). Juniors — Andrew Frechette (QB/LB), David Frechette (RB/DB), Tyler Gammel (OL/DL). Keegan Murphy (OL/LB), Aidan Caulfield (OL/DL), Tanner Longmoore (QB/RB/DB). Sophomores — Roy Lucas (WR/DB), Ryan O’Hern (WR/DB), Jaysen Oriol (TE/DL), Brennan O’Toole (OL/DL), Chris Ryckman (QB/LB), John Taylor (RB/LB), Ben Spencer (OL/DL), Charlie Chambers (RB/LB).

Newcomers: Seniors — Alex McGrath, Tristen Robles. Junior — Lionel Ndong. Sophomore — Keller Greene.

Outlook: After back-to-back early playoff exits, the Bears have a roster chock-full of experience, led by Roger Lucas behind center and Jeffrey Vidou in the offensive backfield. Hanover’s younger players, led by Jaysen Oriol, stepped into key roles as well and showcased the program’s depth.

HARTFORD

Coach: Matt Trombly (10)

Last year: 4-5, lost in quarterfinals to Middlebury.

Article continues after...

Yesterday's Most Read Articles

Kenyon: How much do Upper Valley landlords have to raise rents to stay in business?
Goose Pond drawdown alters landscape
Lebanon halts paving of Miracle Mile due to asphalt mistake
Residents question Hartford’s payout to former superintendent
Editorial: Hartford school officials need to explain superintendent's departure
Microbrewery proposes tasting room for downtown Enfield

League: Vermont Division I

Returners: Seniors — Brayden Trombly (QB/DB/P), Ezra Mock (RB/DB), Brody Tyburski (RB/DE), Andrew Keenan (OL/LB), Evan Lynds (WR/DB/P), Ryan Spaulding (OL/DL), Cole Withington (OL/LB), Matt Franklin (OL/DL). Juniors — Colby Tierney (TE/DE), Nick Daniels (RB/LB), Tyler Piper (RB/DB), Austin St. Peter (RB/LB).

Newcomers: Senior — Ben Shepard (OL/DL). Junior — Aidan Harrington (OL/DL). Sophomores — Graham Thompson (OL/DE/K), Adam Wheatley (RB/LB), Noah Danielli (RB/LB), Owen Mock (QB/DB), Connor Peyton (RB/DB), Richard Rosenbek (OL/DL), Otis Davis (OL/DL), Lucas Schwartz (OL/DL). Freshmen — Rex Banning (RB/DB), Jacob Phelps (OL/LB), Connor Schloop (TE/DE).

Outlook: This is an important year for the Hurricanes with three-year senior starters at several skill positions, including Brayden Trombly, Brody Tyburski and Ezra Mock. Depth could be an issue, though, with a small roster compared to most of Hartford’s Division I peers. Most starters will play both offense and defense.

NEWPORT

Coach: John Proper (5)

Last year: 7-2, lost in finals to Somersworth.

League: NHIAA Division IV

Returners: Seniors — Kyle Ashley (QB/LB), Logan Ash (T/DT), Colton Godwin (G/DE), Andrew Chartier (T/DT), Lucas Devore (RB/LB). Juniors — Christian Forsythe (TE/CB), Gabe Howe (RB/LB), Kamden Pollari (T/DT), Cameryn Simpson (RB/CB), Dylan Stanley (G/LB), Amelio Urista (RB/LB), Aaron Fellows (QB/CB), Connor Clark (TE/CB), Cayden Forand (RB/CB). Sophomores — Aiden Couitt (TE/DE), Cayden DeCato (C/DT), Brady Minckler (C/DT), Adrian Sanchez (TE/DE), Blake Ploss (QB/S), Kobie Curtis (RB/LB).

Newcomers: Senior — Eli Fuller (T/DT). Junior — Tanir Fournier (TE/LB). Freshmen — Tyson DiPaola (QB/LB), Brycen Flewelling (RB/CB), Ayden Hodge (RB/LB), Aiden Horne (TE/DT), Isaiah Nash (T/DE), Cameron Nerenburg (G/LB), Cory Richardson (G/DT), Jordan Sayer (TE/CB), Josh Seymour (RB/S).

Outlook: Long one of the top teams in Division IV, the Tigers have plenty of returning experience as they look to challenge Somersworth and the rest of the field for the title.

“We are looking to get back to the playoffs and another shot at a state championship,” Proper said. “We lost some key parts from last year’s team, but we have a strong foundation to build from with several returning starters from last year.”

OXBOW

Coach: Chad Wescott (5)

Last year: 5-5, missed playoffs

League: Vermont Division III

Returners: Senior — Hunter Fahey (OL/LB). Juniors — Christian Ditcheos (OL/DL), Isaac Russ (OL/DE), Owen Taylor (TE/DE). Sophomores — Jaxon Griffin (RB/CB), Brady Kilduf (RB/DE), Jamal Saibou (QB/CB).

Newcomers: Senior — Otis Brochu (OL/DL). Junior — Gabe Linlaw (WR/S). Sophomores — Dylan Lacasse (WR/S), Griffin Pike (OL/LB), Adrick Schauer (OL/DL). Freshmen — Tanner Bernier (QB/S), Preston Burroughs (RB/LB), Lennox Couitt (OL/DL), Hayden Johnston (OL/DL), Austin Palmer (OL/DL).

Outlook: With just 17 players, the Olympians can ill-afford many injuries this fall. Oxbow enjoyed a solid season last year but has moved on from faces of the program like Chase Lund, Will Ilsley and Xavier Beaudin. This may end up being a rebuilding campaign for the O’s.

STEVENS

Coach: Josh Duford (2)

Last year: 5-4, missed playoffs

League: NHIAA Division III

Returners: Seniors — Tyler Christian (QB/LB), Aiden Barry (RB/LB), Kevin Brand (OL/DL), Braeden Parry Pignatiello (OL/DL), Brayden Rostron (OL/DL). Juniors — Kaine Daniels (WB/DB), Zach Richardson (TE/LB), Austin Simoneau (OL/DL), Hunter Watson (OL/DL), Steven Rheaume (OL/DL). Sophomores — Scott Hagar (WB/DB), Jharin Valcourt-Garrow (WR/DB), Arianna Thompson (TE/LB), Talon Morrison (OL/LB), David Collins (OL/LB), Hazen Clay (OL/DL), Trenton Ring (OL/DL).

Newcomers: Seniors — Kurtis Chaloux, Jonathan Ward (OL/DL). Juniors — Maddox Foster, Barin St. Sauveur (OL/DL). Sophomores — Brady Little (WR/DB), Henry Owens (OL/DL). Freshmen — Karson Thyne (QB/RB/DB), Jacoby Roberts (QB/WR/LB), Karter Thyne (WR/DB), Carter Bastian (RB/DB), Johnny Frisbee (QB/LB), Mark Shehan (WR/DB), Collin Grosskreutz (RB/LB), Damien Rock, Mason Harford (OL/DL), Byron DeCamp (OL/DL), Joshua Rollins (OL/DL), Aiden Moore (OL/DL), Cooper Piemontese (OL/DL), Sean Stickney (OL/DL).

Outlook: The Cardinals are a young team slim on varsity experience, and several underclassmen will see plenty of playing time at key positions. Tyler Christian, at quarterback and middle linebacker, will be a catalyst once again for Stevens, which came up one game short of qualifying for the postseason in 2022.

WINDSOR

Coach: Greg Balch (11)

Last year: 11-0, defeated BFA-Fairfax for state title.

League: Vermont Division III

Returners: Seniors — Avery Bean (OL/LB), Brody Osgood (RB/DB), Olivia MacLeay (K), Anthony Cook (WR/DB), Carter Hodgdon (OL/DL), Corey Lockwood (RB/QB/LB), Dante Roy (OL/DL), Landon Mas (OL/DL), Owen Roberge (WR/DB), Tanner Moody (OL/RB/LB), Ryan Towne (OL/DL), Bradley Adams (WR/DB). Juniors — Gavin Martin (RB/DB), Joey Gaudette (OL/LB), Tanner Crane (WR/DB). Sophomores — Chase Hodgdon (OL/DL), Ethan Wood (OL/DL), Henry Rice (OL/DL), Kolin Labarre (OL/DL), Morgan Johnson (OL/LB), Tristan Merrill (OL/DL).

Newcomers: Seniors — Trevor LaGrow, Brady Olmstead, Brooks Ruderman. Juniors — Nick Laduke, Justin Draper, Daniel Haugaard-Steffensen. Sophomores — Tylor Saragusa, Oden Cramer. Freshmen — Marz Percy, Oliver Berklund, Aiden White, Zachary Young, Aiden Doxter, Hunter Frink, Logan Coutermarsh, Anthony Sheridan.

Outlook: The Yellowjackets are the class of their division, with only BFA-Fairfax able to play Windsor close over the last two years. Key performers like Maison Fortin and Logan Worrall have graduated, but this is still a deep, talented roster that figures to be the favorite to three-peat.

“We are excited for the season to start,” Balch said. “We expect to have around 30-35 players and many of them have been working hard during the offseason. We have a nice blend of youth and experience including several new players. We will continue to set expectations high.”

WOODSTOCK

Coach: Ramsey Worrell (11th season).

Last year: 4-5, lost in quarterfinals to Mill River.

League: VPA Division III.

Returners: Seniors — Josh Hough (HB/DB), Meridian Bremel (OT/DE). Juniors — Caeden Perreault (HB/DB), Chance Palmer (C/DE), Colton Kowalski (OT/DT), Caden Smith (TE/LB). Sophomores — Asher Emery (QB/DB), Riley O’Neal (HB/LB), Brody Allen (WR/DB), Aksel Oakes (QB/DB), Brody McGaffigan (WR/DB), Ian Hewitt (TE/DE), Gianni Blanchard (OT/DT).

Newcomers: Seniors — Jack Kieley (TE/LB), Jonas Wysocki (G/DT), Charlie Rice (G/LB). Juniors — Ben Runstein (RB/DB), Zane Peach (FB/DT), Vince Petrone (HB/DB), Carter Warren (FB/LB), Cora Hewitt (OL/DL), Irie Cully (G/DT), Ryan Woodward (G/DT). Sophomores — Asher Hewitt (G/DE), Dominic Palazzo (C/DE). Freshmen — Jake Blackburn (RB/LB), Ray Petrone (QB/DB), Coby McGaffigan (WR/DB), Camden King (OL/LB), Haaken Oakes (OT/DT), Declan Haugh (WR/DB).

Outlook: The Wasps may have lost leading rusher Willy Underwood to graduation, but Josh Hough returns to lead the way in the backfield. An underclassman-heavy Woodstock group could lay the foundation for deep playoff runs in the coming years.

By Benjamin Rosenberg