New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: Jake MacInnis

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.

Pinkerton Academy

How will Pinkerton Academy football fans remember 6-foot, 230-pound linebacker/fullback Jake MacInnis? They’ll likely remember him for his game-changing play in a playoff game against rival Londonderry during his junior season.

With the game tied in the third quarter, MacInnis intercepted a pass on a muddy field at Londonderry High School and returned it 72 yards for a touchdown that, after the PAT, handed Pinkerton a 14-7 lead. The Astros went on to win that game 20-14.

“That’s probably the biggest play he made for us,” Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly said. “It’s never easy when the coach wants you to be the fullback and the middle linebacker. That’s a tough situation. When you have to go both ways all game long that wears on you, but the good ones do it. He did it.”

Despite missing three games with a foot injury, MacInnis recorded 75 tackles and two interceptions as a senior. He also ran for 750 yards (8.5 yards per carry) and eight TDs, and was selected to play in the CHaD New Hampshire East/West All-Star Game.

MacInnis was also a standout in the classroom, and his academic and athletic excellence earned him the Scholar/Athlete Award from the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation at College Hall of Fame.

“He’s a very, very smart kid,” O’Reilly said. “He works hard to get the grades he does. I think it comes from his work ethic, just like it did in football.

“He’s very quiet, but highly intelligent and can carry on a conversation on just about any subject matter you want. He is a hard-nosed football player. He is pretty much what every coach wants in a linebacker: thrives on contact and has really, really good technique. We’re gonna miss him for sure.”

MacInnis, who transferred to Pinkerton from Triton Regional in Byfield, Mass., after his sophomore year, also competed in track and field for the Astros. He was named a Division I South First Team All-Conference selection following each of his two football seasons at Pinkerton, and served as a team captain last fall.

“For a kid to come from the outside, someone who didn’t grow up with the team, and yet after playing one season they deemed him to be a captain — and it was a correct decision — that tells you everything about him as a person,” O’Reilly said. “Top-quality kid. I’m very proud he represents our program. When people meet him and they know that he played at Pinkerton that’s a good thing for us. He’s that kind of person.”

Q and A with Jake MacInnis

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

A: The most memorable moment of my high school football career was when I had my playoff pick six against Londonderry my junior year. When I decided to go to Pinkerton I knew that there would be conflict, especially come game day when I knew I had to face off against the team that my entire family attended (Londonderry). I knew that I was going to play them once, but when we made our way to the playoffs they were yet again in the way. I had studied film for weeks knowing that it was going to take everything I had to beat them. There was a lot of pressure coming into that game and the weather did not help whatsoever, but I knew that it was going to be a slugfest. Previously, when we played Londonderry, I was beat on a play-action pass route because I had bitten on the run. I knew that they were going to come back to that same play so I had studied that game and brought it upon the coaches in practice. It was third quarter and the score was tied and they were driving on us in our own territory. As soon as I saw the their quarterback look towards the flat I instantly sprinted to cut off the pass and I was able to pick it off. As I got closer to the end zone, I looked for my dad in the crowd because I knew he was very proud of me in that moment. I could not comprehend what I had just did because I was in shock and my first priority was to win first and celebrate later. After beating them there was a weight lifted off my shoulders, but I still knew that we had a game the next week. 

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

A: Growing up both of my parents always stressed to me how academics came first over athletics. Playing a sport was a reward of getting good grades because it cost a lot of money and it showed that my hard work in the classroom was paying off. Throughout my childhood I have always been surrounded by football. Everyone on both sides of my family played the game from my dad, uncles, and even my grandfather on my mothers’ side. I learned a lot from each of them and taking aspects of their game that I liked and implementing it into my own. I have been referred to as being an old-fashion football player because of the way I play and respect the game. My No. 1 coach is my dad, as he pushed me to work hard and be a leader on and off the field. 

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

A: My favorite subjects in school are math and history. Math is one of my favorites because I enjoyed the problem-solving part of it and working together as a team to solve a problem. Hearing what others had to say and seeing their ways of how to solve the problem was interesting to me. My other favorite is history because I very much enjoyed learning what life was life back in the day and how far we have come to where we are now. The thing I found most important about history is how we can learn for the past and make sure that we do not make mistakes like others have. 

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football?

A: I credit most of what I have learned in life to football. I have learned the importance of hard work as I push my limits to getting better as I know that the work I put in earlier will pay off in the end. Just like studying in advance for a test. The more you study the higher the grade will be. I have also learned the importance of teamwork, as it not only plays the most important part of football but a very important part in life. Growing up, football gave me a way to take out my aggression and energy in an appropriate manner. For me, this taught me to take my anger out in positive ways, for example working out. The most important thing that I learned from football was how to survive and to never give up. No matter how hard you get hit always find a way to get back up. 

Q: What is your dream job?

A: My dream job is to someday work for the NFL in any way, or any profession where I am surrounded by football. I really hope to teach my future kids and others of what the game has taught me. 


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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