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Plug pulled on this year’s CHaD East-West Football Game

By Tom King - Staff Writer | Jun 26, 2020

Telegraph file photo by TOM KING Merrimack's Jared Dyer is one of several local players who are impacted by Thursday's cancellation of the annual CHaD East-West All-Star Game that had been set for Aug. 1.

The annual CHaD New Hampshire East-West All-Star Football Game, which had been rescheduled to Aug. 1 from this weekend, has been cancelled.

CHaD officials made the announcement in an email release Thursday evening.

“Dartmouth-Hitchcock’s leadership team has made the difficult decision to cancel, postpone, or make virtual all fundraising events due to the pandemic through the end of the year,” Dartmouth-Hitchcock officials said. “This decision will impact several major fundraisers for CHaD.”

Also included in the cancellation list for sports was the CHaD Battle of the Badges Baseball Classic for July 31.

The football game was set to be played at Saint Anselm College’s Grappone Stadium, and was to include as many as 20 Telegraph area graduated high school senior football players and a handful of local coaches.

When rescheduling the game from Saturday to Aug. 1 back in late April, CHaD officials said that if safety levels hadn’t been improved to eliminate COVID-19 risk by mid-summer, the game may have to be cancelled.

“This decision was not made lightly,” officials said in the release. “As the state’s largest healthcare provider, Dartmouth-Hitchcock needs to do everything possible to help reduce transmission of the disease, especially as the state relaxes restrictions.

“This includes avoiding activities that make social distancing difficult, or that potentially bring asymptomatic carriers with others.”

The game has raised over $2 million over the last eight years for the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth. According to the CHaD website, some $91,031 had been raised this year.

Merrimack had led the way with five players on the West roster: quarterback James Dowling, linebacker-tight end Jared Dyer, lineman Eric Griffin, running back Zach Twardosky, and receiver-corner Devin Wood.

Nashua South, Hollis Brookline and Milford also had good contingents on the team, three players apiece. On the roster for the Panthers were tight end-linebacker Kyle O’Connor, safety-receiver Jake McDevitt and center-defensive end Braden McDonnell.

Hollis Brookline, which captured the Division II title last fall, had the Wimmer brothers, receiver Quinten Wimmer and quarterback Sander Wimmer, plus tackle Austin Etchells.

The Spartans had QB-DB Gavin Urda, who will be at the University of New Hampshire in the fall; linebacker Emmanuel Ughu, and tackle Colton Burrows.

From Bishop Guertin, tight end Kyle Baker and linebacker-running back Ethan Holt were chosen. Souhegan’s Ryan Hauser was also chosen

Bishop Guertin quarterback Hayden Moses, who missed all but one snap of his senior season with a knee injury, was an honorary West squad member as a fundraiser. Ironically, Moses was selected to the New Hampshire roster for the annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, which as of now is still scheduled for Aug.1

But the locals who were slated to compete in the CHaD game didn’t stop with the West squad. There were three locals on the East team, which is being coached by state champion Londonderry coach Jimmy Lauzon.

Alvirne split end Kyle Boucher was selected, along with two top multi-sport athletes from Campbell: back Keegan Mills and lineman-defensive back Carter Vedrani.

There’s certainly a lot of familiarity with the coaching staffs, especially the West. Souhegan head coach Robin Bowkett was to be the West head coach. Two other local head coaches were going to be on his staff – Merrimack’s Kip Jackson and Milford’s Keith Jones. Milford assistant Rick Urda, Saber assistants J.T. Anderson and Brandon O’Connell, and Merrimack assistant Branden Lilley were also on the West coaching staff.

Campbell head coach Glen Costello was on the East staff.

Sponsors, ticket purchasers and donors who may want refunds can call 603-629-1238 or the respective event email. For the sports events, that would be ChaDBaseball@hitchcock.org or ChaD.AllStarFootball@hitchcock.org.

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