New Hampshire Football Report

Remembering Jake Naar

Jake Naar photo courtesy of Christine O'Loughlin

From a Londonderry High School standpoint, the 2020 NHIAA football season began in the best way possible: The Lancers beat arch-rival Pinkerton Academy, 23-14.

Londonderry’s Jake Naar, a tight end/defensive end, played well that night, especially on defense.

“He was essentially part of our offense most of the game, meaning every time I turned around he was in our offensive backfield taking somebody down,” Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly said. “We were not capable of controlling him in our first game. He had as much to do as anybody on that team with us losing that game. He had an exceptional game against us.”

Naar, a senior at Londonderry, died in a car crash on March 12. He was 17. The Londonderry community and others celebrated Naar’s life during a well-attended event held on the Londonderry football field last Sunday.

Naar, who also played lacrosse for Londonderry, was one of the football team’s captains during his senior season.

“He improved in each of his four years,” Londonderry coach Jimmy Lauzon said. “We weren’t sure where to play him as a freshman. He was kind of a project. He was athletic, but we didn’t know where he fit. Then four years later he’s a captain and one of your best players. That’s kind of why you coach.

“As a senior he was a one-man wrecking crew at times. He caused a lot of problems in the backfield. Take the helmet off and he was the nicest, kindness kid — a perfect kid. Put the helmet on him and he just became a beast and played with a reckless-abandon type of attitude. Very physical. Played very, very fast. He supplied our energy and our swagger.”

Naar was selected to play in this summer’s CHaD New Hampshire East-West All-Star Game, which will be held July 17 at Saint Anselm College. Game officials announced last week that Naar will remain on the Team East roster and fundraising for the game will take place on his behalf.

Lauzon called Naar, who wore No. 2, a tremendous leader who was well-liked and respected by his teammates.

“One of our kids said in the paper that he had no enemies,” Lauzon said. “That kind of shows you what type of person he was. He had a really positive energy. I coach the defensive ends and I’d be showing him how to do something then he’d go to the back of the line and show the sophomores what I was explaining. ‘He wants you to do it like this.’ The kids loved him for it.”

Londonderry has created a scholarship fund in Naar’s name. Lauzon said the plan is to award three scholarships each year, one from the football program, one from the lacrosse program and one from the school.

“I never spoke to Jacob, I just watched him as an opposing coach, but the people who I know that have interacted with him at Londonderry, going even beyond Jimmy, speak volumes about his quality as a person,” O’Reilly said. 

“From everything I read I know he made an impression on many kids at Londonderry, both athletes and non-athletes alike. That’s all you can really ask for at the end of your life is, ‘What impact have you had on other people?’ He certainly had a tremendous impact on people.”

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Those who would like to contribute to Naar’s scholarship fund can do so here: Jacob Naar Scholarship Fund

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