New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: Caleb Smith

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

It’s unlikely that any NHIAA athlete spent more time in the principal’s office during the 2019-20 school year than Lebanon High School tight end/defensive end Caleb Smith. Smith even spoke with his principal regularly when he was at home.

Those frequent conversations had nothing to do with Smith getting into trouble. They took place because Lebanon’s principal is Smith’s father, Ian.

“I always joked that the only reason he got such good grades is because his teachers didn’t want to deal with the father,” Lebanon coach Chris Childs said. “Caleb’s a quiet kid, but when he speaks it’s always well thought-out first. Very good student. Works hard on and off the field. Volunteers a lot of his time in the community and with youth in the community. He’s a gentle giant with the elementary school students.”

Smith was a giant on the field as well. He and Cole Ames gave Lebanon two big-bodied defensive ends/tight ends. Offensively, both were threats in the passing game. Smith had 20 receptions for 269 yards last season, when he also recorded 58 tackles, intercepted a pass and forced two fumbles.

“Huge hands on him,” Childs said. “When you look at those two players — both 6-2, 6-3 — you don’t replace kids like that. I would say Caleb was a better player for us on offense. He’s a tight end who had a bunch of catches, but he was solid on both sides of the ball.”

Smith is one of four Lebanon players who received this year’s Scholar/Athlete Award from the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. Ames, quarterback/safety Jon Willeman and running back/linebacker Wade Rainey are the others. 

Also a standout in varsity baseball and basketball, Smith was a member of the National Honor Society as a junior and senior. He was also selected to represent New Hampshire when it faces Vermont in this summer’s Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. That game is set for Aug. 1 at Castleton (Vt.) University. Alvirne’s Tarek Rothe will serve as New Hampshire’s head coach this year.

Childs said Smith will attend Colgate after taking a gap year, when he will do volunteer work in Nepal.

“He was a three-year starter,” Childs said. “Big, strong kid. Always been one of our bigger kids. Got it done in the classroom and a solid player all three years for us.”

Q and A with Caleb Smith

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

A: The most memorable moment of my high school career was attending and playing in the New Hampshire Division II football championship game at UNH. Even though our team did not win, playing in that sort of environment with the entire Lebanon community supporting you is pretty special.

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

A: My dad has had a significant influence on my life as a parent, coach, educator, and friend. He has always supported me in whatever I do and has taught me many things along the way.

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

A: My favorite subject in school is history. My dad was a history teacher and I have always had an interest in the subject.

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football? 

A: I have learned a lot of life lessons from football. I have learned what it means to be a part of a family and a team. Cooperation between teammates is instrumental to a team’s success and overall chemistry. The most valuable thing I have learned is to always stay humble and to never give up.

Q: What is your dream job?

A: My dream job is to be a UN Investigator or to work in the international relations/intelligence field.


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