New Hampshire Football Report

Yukica Profile: Zach Twardosky

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.

Merrimack High School

Merrimack High School football coach Kip Jackson uses the word “leader” a lot when he’s talking about Zach Twardosky, a three-year starter at running back/slot receiver/defensive back. So it should come as no surprise that Twardosky won Merrimack’s Alec Bronchuk Leadership Award following the 2019 season.

When asked about any unique traits Twardosky has, Jackson relayed the following story: “During the school year there was a student who had a paraprofessional, but the para wasn’t there at the end of class for some reason so Zach brought the student to his next class,” Jackson said. “He took it upon himself to handle that situation. Sometimes you want to hug and shake him at the same time, but Zach’s a sweet kid.”

Sweet probably isn’t the first adjective Merrimack opponents would use to describe Twardosky, a team captain who put up the following statistics as a senior: 1,387 all-purpose yards, 10 touchdowns, 51 tackles and one interception. He was a First Team Division I West All-Conference selection, and was chosen to play in the CHaD New Hampshire East/West All-Star Game.

“Very fast,” Jackson said. “Just a tough, tough kid who enjoys playing physical football. He had good numbers for us this year offensively and was really a difference-maker on defense.

“Zach has the biggest personality in the room, pretty much no matter what room he’s in. That’s just the way he carries himself. He’s a leader in the way he treats his teammates. He’s one of the kids that’s the last to leave the locker room, the last to leave the weight room. He tries to make sure everyone on the team has a ride home and he’ll make an extra effort to get to know the younger teammates.

“Zach’s work ethic and his personality are the things that stand out. He knows how to give it and he knows how to take it, but when it’s time to be serious and time to work you won’t find anyone who works any harder than him.” 

Twardosky also played lacrosse at Merrimack, and was part of the school’s 4×400 relay team that set a school record in that event. In addition, Twardosky was a standout in the classroom, where he earned a 3.98 GPA on a 4.0 scale and is a member of the National Honor Society and the Math Honor Society. His athletic and academic prowess earned Twardosky the Scholar/Athlete Award from the Joe Yukica New Hampshire Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

“In spite of his goofy nature, Zach is extremely intelligent,” Jackson said. “He’ll stay up all night working on projects. He’ll do whatever he can to maintain the highest quality or highest level that he can get.”

Twardosky has also been generous with his time when it comes to community service. He’s served at the Nashua Soup Kitchen, and has also volunteered with the Merrimack Mentors Program, the Manchester VA Center and the Penny Pickers, a fundraising effort where spare change is collected to help families in need.

Twardosky will continue his football career at Endicott College, a Division III program in Beverly, Mass.

“He’s an incredible amount of positive energy and that’s something we’re definitely going to miss,” Jackson said. “He comes to work every day. There’s no pause button or off button with him.

“I think he understood early on that the way to go through life is to try to get the most out of each day to be the best Zach he can be, and he definitely does that on and off the field.”

Q and A with Zach Twardosky

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

A: The most memorable moment of my high school career was the 2018 semi-final game against Nashua North. It was raining and windy the entire game. We battled and overcame a lot of adversity in that game and it was a true test of our mental toughness.

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

A: Someone who has significantly influenced my life is Coach Jackson. He’s the type of person who is always there for his family, friends, and players no matter what. Coach Jackson always strives to be the best version of himself in everything he does and encourages us to do the same. He is someone I will always look up to and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without him.

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

A: My favorite subject in school is math because I like solving problems and it comes naturally to me.

Q: What life lessons have you learned from football?

A: Throughout my football career I’ve learned countless life lessons including discipline, leadership, teamwork, perseverance, and selflessness.

Q: What is your dream job?

A: My dream job is to own my own gym and train athletes like myself and help them get to the next level.


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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