New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: Will MacLean

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.

Will MacLean
St. Thomas Aquinas High School

Search the entire state and you may not find a better high school athlete in the Class of 2020 than St. Thomas Aquinas High School’s Will MacLean.

MacLean was a slot receiver and defensive back for the Saints in football, and was good enough to be selected to play for the East in the CHaD New Hampshire East/West All-Star Game.

He led St. Thomas in receiving last season, when he caught 45 passes for 750 yards and seven touchdowns. He also recorded 80 tackles and one interception. For his career, MacLean had 171 tackles, eight interceptions, 2,217 receiving yards and 21 TDs.

“He was a big-play guy for us on offense, and a big-play guy on defense,” said St. Thomas athletic director Ryan Brown, who coached MacLean in his sophomore and junior seasons, and returned as the school’s head coach following the 2019 season after a year away from coaching. “Just made plays. He was competitive in the moment.”

MacLean’s athletic ability extends beyond football, however. He also played hockey and baseball for the Saints, and made the varsity team in all three sports as a freshman.

“He was probably talented enough to play college hockey,” Brown said. “He’s a kid who was a three-sport, all-state athlete. He’s that good.”

MacLean, an Exeter resident, was good academically as well. He is a member of the National Honor Society, and a member of the St. Thomas Aquinas Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He is also one of 39 players selected for the Yukica Scholar/Athlete Award presented by the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

“He comes from a family that values education, so he certainly cares about it,” Brown said.”He’s an intelligent kid, so some things come easier for him than others probably. I think he did a pretty good job of balancing both athletics and his academics.” 

As a defenseman, MacLean helped the St. Thomas hockey program win its first state championship (2018-19). He also helped the Saints advance to this year’s Division II championship game against Keene, but the game was never played because of Covid-19 and the NHIAA declared the teams co-champions.

He played first base and all three outfield positions in baseball. MacLean bats and throws left-handed, and will attend the Winchendon (Mass.) School for the 2020-21 school year. After that he’ll play baseball for the University of Massachusetts.

“Will is a gifted athlete,” Brown said. “He’s the type of kid you want to build around.”

Q and A with Will MacLean

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

A: Any moment from my junior season at St. Thomas Aquinas. I can’t pick just one. That senior class was so dedicated to the game and everyone on that team. There was never a dull moment with those guys. I’m proud to call that class of 2019 my brothers for life. I looked forward to nothing more than practices after school and games on Saturday with them. They made the game fun for me. Recording 1,000-plus receiving yards that season and being named First Team All-State as well makes it hard to not count my 2018 season as my favorite football season ever.

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

A: Easy answer, my father. No one has been there every step of the way with me since the beginning other than my dad. He introduced me to the three sports I play today (football, hockey, and baseball) and coached me for many years in two of them (football and baseball). He has molded me into the man and the athlete I am today. Without his guidance and the confidence he instilled in me, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. Words can’t describe how grateful I am for him.

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

A: My favorite subjects throughout my four years at St. Thomas Aquinas would be the religion courses I took. I took Catholicism, Morality, Scripture, and Ethics. The reason I enjoyed these classes is because they weren’t taught like your normal math or science class. Each day brought new stories and material to learn about life and about the Bible and Jesus. Along with that, the teachers made the class entertaining. There was never a boring day.

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football?

A: I played this sport for just under 10 years and my greatest takeaways from football include loyalty, teamwork, and brotherhood. I learned what brotherhood and teamwork are through hours of blood, sweat, and tears with the same 50 other guys on a daily basis for a full season. Football also brings loyalty. On the field, the guy to the left and right of you are fighting for the same reason as you and won’t let up until the final whistle sounds. No other sport compares to this.

Q: What is your dream job?

A: With the opportunity to play baseball at the Division 1 level at UMass-Amherst, my dream job is to continue to compete in baseball for as long as I can, hopefully reach the professional level. If my dream in baseball doesn’t pan out, I can see myself as an athletic director at a high school working with student athletes and coaching for either a football, hockey, or baseball team at the school.


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