New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: Jaedon Cliche

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.

Exeter High School

Jaedon Cliche was a significant contributor to the Exeter High School varsity football team as a halfback and defensive back during his junior season, but Exeter coach Bill Ball said Cliche really burst onto the scene as a senior. The key word there is burst.

“Very smooth athlete,” Ball said. “Very intuitive, instinctive runner. Knew when to cut at the right time. Deceptively fast, or, as I call it, football fast. He gets a step on you and he doesn’t get caught.” 

As a senior, Cliche rushed for 1,100 yards for an Exeter team that advanced to the Division I championship game. Ball said Cliche’s best game may have been Exeter’s victory over Nashua South in the Division I quarterfinals. In addition to turning in a strong defensive effort that day, Cliche rushed for 156 yards on eight carries. One of his rushing attempts resulted in a 68-yard touchdown during the fourth quarter that helped seal Exeter’s 42-27 victory.

“He had a big game for us and we needed it,” Ball said. “South came ready to play football and he was an integral part of getting us over the hump. He had probably one of the biggest games of his career that day.”

His contributions on the football field were part of a resume that earned Cliche the Scholar/Athlete Award from the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation. He’s one of 39 NHIAA players to receive the award this year. 

“He’s a really bright kid, but he also worked hard (in school),” Ball said. “That’s why we’re talking about him. 

“Really personable. Very unselfish in all phases of his life — I would say that about him, too. Doesn’t yearn for the credit, but the credit tends to find him.”

Cliche is one of two Scholar/Athletes from Exeter, joining offensive and defensive lineman Thatcher Allen. Cliche and Allen were both selected to play for the East in this year’s CHaD New Hampshire East/West All-Star Game.

Cliche, a Stratham resident, also played varsity basketball for Exeter. The Blue Hawks won the Division I title last year and were the No. 1 seed for this year’s tournament, which wasn’t completed because of COVID-19. He’s headed to Plymouth State, where he’ll have the opportunity to extend his football career.

“I’m hoping he’ll continue to play football, and I know Coach Castonia (Plymouth State football coach Paul Castonia) is too,” Ball said. “He had a heck of a season for us. He was determined and didn’t come off the field — special teams, offense, defense. He really took off his senior year.”

Q and A with Jaedon Cliche

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

A: The most memorable moment of my high school career is running out onto the field at UNH for the state championship game.

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

A: My dad is the one who always stressed the importance of making sure I go to every practice and lead and practice my hardest, but he also stressed that school is more important because that is what my future will be about. So he always pushed me to be the best I could on and off the field and set a good example for others around me to follow.

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

A: My favorite subject in school is accounting. I enjoy this class because it comes easy to me and I am very good with numbers.

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football? 

A: I have learned that in order to gain the respect of others you have to respect them. Respect is not just handed out it is earned and I learned that through many years of being teammates with new people and having new coaches.

Q: What is your dream job? 

A: My all-time dream job would be to become the head coach of a professional basketball team. I know I won’t be a player, so being the coach and still being around all of the players would be a dream come true.


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).

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