New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: Hunter Lassard

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.

St. Thomas Aquinas High School

If you’re talking about the best two-way football players in Division II last season, you would be remiss to leave St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker/running back Hunter Lassard off the list

Lassard, a Raymond resident, rushed for a team-high 928 yards and six touchdowns on 150 carries during his senior year, and was also the Saints’ leading tackler with 95 stops. In addition, he also had three forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and one sack.

“If I had one player to build my team around it would be Hunter,” said former St. Thomas coach Dave Bryant, who resigned following the 2019 season.

As good as Lassard was on the field, he may have performed even better academically. He is a member of the National Honor Society and the Spanish Honor Society, and ranked among the top 11 in a class of 92.

His excellence in athletics and academics will allow him to play football at Worcester Polytechnic Institute next season. It also made him one of 39 NHIAA players in the Class of 2020 to receive the Scholar/Athlete Award presented by the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

“If we were going to draw up a kid for this award this is the one,” said St. Thomas athletic director Ryan Brown, who was the school’s varsity football coach in 2018 and returned to that position following Bryant’s resignation. “He’s certainly gifted as far as school goes, but he also works hard at it. 

“He’s a really smart kid — a really likeable kid. Respectful. Hard-working. Driven. Great teammate. A talented player and a kid you dream about as a coach.” 

Lassard became a starter at linebacker during his sophomore season, and was a two-year starter at running back. He was a Division II South All-Conference Second Team selection at linebacker as a junior, and made the Division II South All-Conference First Team at running back last season. He also served as a team captain in 2019.

“His senior year he became the guy,” Brown said. “He turned himself into a good power running back. The thing we always worked on with him is getting more downhill, and I think it all came together this year.” 

Brown said Lassard, who was also a varsity baseball player at St. Thomas, will likely play running back at WPI. Before that he’ll have an opportunity to showcase his two-way skills for the East in the CHaD New Hampshire East/West All-Star Game on Aug. 1.

“Hunter really personifies what a coach wants in a student/athlete,” Brown said. “He’s not someone you ever had to worry about. All-around, he’s one of the best kids I’ve ever coached.”

Q and A with Hunter Lassard

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

A: My most memorable moment in my high school football career is my third varsity starting game during my sophomore year against Souhegan. In the fourth quarter our team made a huge comeback. On Soughegan’s final offensive drive with seconds left, I made a tackle on the 1-yard line and our defense held strong to secure the comeback into a victory.

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

A: My dad definitely had one of the most significant impacts on my life in the scope of football and academics. He coached me throughout youth football, always had me push myself, told me stories about his high school and college football days, and taught me to love the game. I always looked up to him not only as my coach but my dad too, and I remember when I was little I would wear his old championship ring and think it was the coolest thing ever. Even with all the great things he taught me about football, he would always tell me that putting them together with your brain and your academics is what is going to really make you successful in life, and that is something that has always stuck with me. 

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

A: My favorite subjects in school were my philosophy and ethics courses because they really made me tap into my beliefs that drive my motivation in football, school, and every other aspect of my life. The courses truly allowed me to take a step back and realize all of the things that I truly value in my life. 

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football? 

A: During my time playing football I’ve learned how to define my own work ethic. It is easy to try hard in sprints or conditioning drills just so your coach doesn’t make you do more. It’s easy to give it your all on game day in front of your school and beside your teammates. But the real heart of football comes from your own self-discipline, preparation, and work when nobody is looking, in the offseason, the gym, and your pregame. Football has taught me to do every little thing the right way so I am not left disappointed in myself or with any doubt that I could have done a better job. 

Q: What is your dream job? 

A: I am going to Worcester Polytechnic Institute next year to study environmental engineering, and with the skills I learn there my dream job will definitely entail using my skills to innovate or build something to better the world. 


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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