New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: John Thibault

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.

Trinity High School

Trinity High School’s John Thibault couldn’t have asked for much more from his senior season of high school football.

Not only did the Pioneers win the Division III championship, Thibault, a 5-foot-11, 185-pound running back/linebacker, was named the Division III Player of the Year and selected to play in the CHaD New Hampshire East/West All-Star Game.

“He’s the most outstanding football player I’ve ever coached, but you can have an outstanding football player and not win a state championship,” Trinity coach Rob Cathcart said. “We all know that can happen, and there are various reasons why. The thing that really sticks out with John is he is such a great person. That almost supersedes what he is as a football player. If there’s something good that some other player is doing he’ll embrace it and champion it. 

“John had so much success this year it would be easy to be envious of him or let it disintegrate the team environment because you have a superstar. I’ve been on teams where I’ve witnessed that happen before — where the kids around that player almost want to fail so that kid won’t win. With John there was none of that. Every kid on our team, bar none, just embraced his success as if it were their own because he does the same thing to them.”

Thibault had plenty of success academically as well, and that success earned him the Scholar/Athlete Award from the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. He is a member of the National Honor Society and, at the time of his nomination for the Scholar/Athlete Award, was ranked ninth academically in a class of 92.  

Although he was a standout outside linebacker, Thibault may have been at his best when he had the ball in his hands. He completed his senior season with 2,447 yards rushing and 33 touchdowns.

“We had a pretty good team defense and he was our best defensive player, but he was our offense,” Cathcart said. “If I had to pick one side or the other where he had to play I easily would have picked the offensive side to move the football and score some touchdowns. I could have plugged someone else in on defense and we wouldn’t have been as good, but we would have still had a strong defense.

“He’s fast and elusive, but he’s also strong. He has some strength to break tackles. I don’t know if there was a kid faster than John who we went up against this year. I guess all-around terrific is the easy way to put it. He can run between the tackles and get you 4 yards, or he can run outside and take it to the house.”

Thibault, who began his high school career at Newport High School before he transferred to Trinity, ran for at least 117 yards and two touchdowns in each of his team’s three playoff victories. Trinity (12-1) capped its season with a 35-14 victory over St. Thomas in the inaugural Bishop’s Bowl on Thanksgiving Eve.

Thibault also ran track for the Pioneers.

“John just does phenomenal at everything,” Cathcart said. “Whatever he needs to do he does a phenomenal job at it.” 

Q and A with John Thibault

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 winning the state championship my senior year.

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

A: My older brother and I began playing football at the same time in grammar school and I was eventually able to play with him in high school. Over the years, he has been a role model for me and helped me develop not only on the football field, but as a person and as a leader. 

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

A: My favorite subject in school is biology because I love unveiling the depth behind the natural process we witness every day in ourselves and the world around us. 

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football? 

A: One life lesson I have learned from football is that there are many different paths one can take to reach some goal. However, after choosing a path you must be disciplined in every aspect of it and never let anyone or anything lead you astray. Those who are able to remain on their path through the joys and struggles will achieve their goal. 

Q: What is your dream job? 

A: My dream job is to become a doctor.


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