New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: Samson Hodges

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.

Milford High School

Keith Jones will tell you that the WPI football program made a good decision when it extended an invitation to Milford High School’s Samson Hodges, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound two-way lineman.

Jones, Milford High School’s head coach, called Hodges a diamond in the rough.

“If WPI plays its cards right and they get him on a weight program and keep working with him he’s going to be a 6-foot-5, 6-foot-6 senior, probably 275 (pounds) — somewhere in that league,” Jones said. “He’s already cerebral in the game. He’s very smart, and his footwork is awesome.

“He wants to be an engineer and he had his heart set on going to WPI. They (the football coaches) were smart enough right off the bat to say, ‘Hey, we’ll take you.’” 

Hodges, a three-year starter in varsity lacrosse, was an Honor Roll student in each of his four years of high school. He was selected to represent New Hampshire against Vermont in the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, received the Milford Coach’s Award and was one of 39 NHIAA football players chosen for the Scholar/Athlete Award presented by the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

“We give that (the Coach’s Award) to a kid who did everything we asked,” Jones said “Someone who put the team before himself … that type of kid.

“One of the nicest kids you’ll ever come across,” Jones continued. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard him use a curse word. He is so well-mannered and military-like, and he’s an amazing student (4.2 GPA). He has an amazing work ethic in everything he does. For him there’s only one way to do it and it’s go 100 percent.”

Although Hodges was a standout performer on both sides of the ball, Jones praised the defensive effort Hodges turned in during his senior season. 

“He was a force defensively for us,” Jones said. “He was so technical. He wasn’t the big playmaker because he did his job. He wouldn’t bust through and get sacks because we play a gap-control defense and you’re supposed to own your gap and other people are supposed to be getting the sacks. Samson was like the anchor of the defense.

“Samson is the lead-by-example kid. Highly intelligent, never came off the field. Tremendous defensive player.”

Q and A with Samson Hodges

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 our trip to play Kennett High School my senior year. This was the longest trip our team had ever been on, with Kennett being three hours away in Conway. Despite the distance, I had a great time with my teammates as this ended up being the perfect trip. We traveled in Coach buses and watched movies all the way up and back to the game. We stopped for a BBQ dinner before the game, and to top it all off, we crushed Kennett for a well-deserved win to make the trip worth it. While winning is nice, nothing will replace hanging out with my teammates and sitting down with my brothers to have dinner while knowing full well that we have each other’s back both on and off the field. It is these memories I have made with my teammates on this grueling trip that have made this my most memorable football moment.

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

A: If I had to pick someone who had a significant influence on my life it would have to be my mom. My mom always had my back in academics, because she always made sure I put academics ahead of sports, even when I really wanted to put off a major project so that I could go to practice. I made sure that sports did take over my life, and I was able to find time to complete tests and fulfill other club commitments without taking too much time away from football. I found the perfect balance between football and school. This was all a result of my mom’s influence, which in turn helped me graduate Milford High School as a Magna Cum Laude student, and also attend Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) and continue my football career in college.

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

A: My favorite subject in school is science because I love to solve problems. I like to use science to help solve problems in our lives and also make our lives easier to live. Because of this passion, I have chosen to become an engineer at WPI, as this is what they do. They use science to create new things and devices to solve problems that were once thought to be impossible.

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football? 

A: One life lesson I have learned from football is that attitude plays a huge role in a team’s success or failure, and that strong leadership is essential to overcome obstacles. Attitude can destroy or create great teams. I lived on both ends of the spectrum. Sophomore year, our team was divided between the varsity and JV. The varsity team picked on the JVs for being terrible all year and as a result, the JV players hated the varsity team. We ended up going 2-6 that year, which is our worst record to date. My senior year, everyone was inclusive on the varsity, and we all loved each other no matter what. We were all just a group of brothers playing our favorite game together who trusted and loved one another. There was no division between the varsity and JV. We were one large team. As a result we went 8-1 in the regular season and earned a playoff berth, which is the best record we have had in years. It just goes to show how something as small as a team’s attitude can affect how well a team does in and out of the season. 

Q: What is your dream job? 

A: My dream job is to be a military engineer. I would love to be with a group of people designing the next new world changing thing to help protect our country, whether it be the next generation fighter drones or even developing laser weapons like we see in Star Wars. Either way, I want to be a part of it because I know I will be doing a service to all Americans by developing something revolutionary to help keep us safe from new threats. 


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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