New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: Jon Willeman

NOTE: The 2020 Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation Scholar/Athlete banquet was cancelled this year because of COVID-19. Each Scholar/Athlete will be recognized with a commemorative program, a plaque and a personal profile that will appear in the program, on the New Hampshire Football Report, the Joe Yukica/New Hampshire Chapter web site ( and the Joe Yukica/New Hampshire Chapter Facebook page. This is one in a series of 39 profiles. Once published, each profile can be accessed by clicking on the athlete’s name at the bottom of the page.

Lebanon High School

Perhaps Jon Willeman should have received a coaching stipend following Lebanon High School’s 2019 football season. That’s a thought that may enter your mind after you hear Lebanon coach Chris Childs describe Willeman, a three-year starter at quarterback for the Raiders.

“I told some of my other coaches that I’m going to miss him next year because that means I’m gonna have to do a little more coaching,” Childs said. “He’d handle a lot of things that normally a coach would do. He’d correct things before I had a chance to.”

Willeman, who also started at safety, led Lebanon to the No. 1 seed and a berth in the Division III championship game last season. As a senior, he completed 71 of 113 passes for 1,165 yards and 20 touchdowns (three interceptions), and carried the ball 49 times for 369 yards. Willeman also made 75 tackles and intercepted five passes.

His accomplishments on the field and in the classroom helped him earn the Scholar/Athlete Award from the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

“He was our leader,” Childs said. “The kids all looked up to him. We went where he took us, basically. Jon’s a hard-working kid (academically). I don’t think it comes easy for him, but he works extremely hard at it, spends a lot of time at it.”

Willeman, a West Lebanon resident, is a three-sport athlete who was also a starter for the Lebanon baseball and basketball teams. Childs said Willeman will likely play basketball in college, but Willeman’s football career still isn’t complete. He was selected to the West roster for this year’s CHaD New Hampshire East/West All-Star Game, which was moved to Aug. 1.

Willeman stuck with football despite suffering a neck fracture during his first season as Lebanon’s starting QB.

“We kept it real simple during his sophomore year,” Childs explained. “Then, his junior year, we really started to spread the ball out and used his strengths a lot more where we were throwing the ball and letting him run a little bit. 

“As a senior he kind of ran the practice. He corrected the kids if they weren’t running the right pattern. He controlled things because he was so in-tune with what we were doing. He was like having another coach on the field. He did it all.”

Q and A with Jon Willeman

Q: Please describe the most memorable moment of your high school football career.

A: My best football memory was winning our Division III semifinal game with a lot of my teammates that I have had since second grade. Great feeling.

Q: Tell us about someone who has had a significant influence on your life.

A: Someone who has influenced me is my dad, because he has taught me the importance of working hard and being a leader in life. 

Q: What is your favorite subject in school and why?

A: I would say math because calculus and statistics really interest me and I see a lot of relevance in the real world with those two subjects.

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football?

A: Lessons that I have learned from football are how to lead a team, work hard,  deal with pressure, and work with others to accomplish something.  

Q: What is your dream job?

A: My dream job would probably be being high up in the management of a company. 


2020 Scholar/Athletes: Keith Albergo (Winnacunnet), Thatcher Allen (Exeter), Cole Ames (Lebanon), Mason Belsky (Windham), Patrick Brust (Bishop Brady), Jaedon Cliche (Exeter), Riley Desmarais (Windham), Bobby DiCicco (Windham), Jared Dyer (Merrimack), Casey Gladu (Portsmouth), Owen Gormley (Salem), Jack Grogan (Bedford), Steven Guerette (Bow), Evan Haskins (Pelham), Samson Hodges (Milford), Ethan Holt (Bishop Guertin), Jack Jones (Bedford), Charlie Kneissl-Williams (Bedford), Hunter Lassard (St. Thomas), Joseph Lupo (Bishop Guertin), Jake MacInnis (Pinkerton), Braden McDonnell (Nashua South), Will MacLean (St. Thomas), Hayden Moses (Bishop Guertin), Riley Mulvey (Salem), Kyle O’Connor (Nashua South), Nolan Pafford (Portsmouth), Wade Rainey (Lebanon), Ismael Rivera (Bishop Brady), Oceanne Skoog (Newfound), Caleb Smith (Lebanon), Rolando Sylvain-Stott (Newfound), John Thibault (Trinity), Zach Twardosky (Merrimack), Gavin Urda (Milford), Carter Vedrani (Campbell), Jacob Wenger (Trinity), Jon Willeman (Lebanon) and Devin Wood (Merrimack).


You must be logged in to post a comment Login