Our mission is to build upon the fundamentals of intellectual and physical skills, while strengthening the integrity of good sportsmanship, discipline, confidence and health.
In 2014 the school districts of Hopkinton and Hillsborough-Deering were sanctioned by the NHIAA (New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletics Association) with JV cooperative status. Twenty-five young players, from both towns, came together to form this cooperative team and started a 2 year Junior Varsity program that has gained Varsity status for 2016. The results were remarkable. Playing Division I and II JV programs, the Division III Redhawks went 14-1 in two seasons and stunned the fans at gridirons across the state.
The foundation of the Redhawks program began in 2008 when Brenda and Dave White were looking for opportunities for their son, Jay, to continue playing football after graduating from the Warner Wildcat Pop Warner program. Unable to get Hopkinton to commit to a program on their own, the Whites built a club program with Hopkinton and Hillsborough-Deering that played other club teams throughout the state. The success of this club team raised the awareness in both communities and has led to the sanctioning of the high school cooperative team.
As with many communities in the state, Hopkinton and Hillsborough-Deering are always looking for ways to save money for the taxpayers. So, while they were allowed to form the program, it came with a caveat… raise your own money.
Head Coach Jay Wood has been tireless in his efforts for the team. If you stop by the field you may wonder why the New England Patriots are playing in our town. The fact is, Coach Wood has been able to secure practice uniforms and new cleats from the Super Bowl Champs. Perhaps some of the essence of those champions has been left in the uniforms and rubbed off on our players.
High school athletic programs are expensive to run. Annually, equipment needs refurbishing, uniforms repaired or replaced, buses paid for as well as fees for referees. While members of the communities have donated what they can, it has not been enough to ensure all these expenses are paid as well as providing a stipend for our coaching staff. More importantly, without a scholarship program, some of the young players would not be able to play since covering the playing fee can be out of reach for some of the families.
Many of the players have never stepped foot on a football field. In fact, without football, many would not be in any after school activity. Football is a unique sport. In no other sport does every player have a distinct and measurable role every play. The reliance on your teammate to do their job, so you can do yours, builds a level of trust and camaraderie not seen in many other sports. It is a sport that, when well coached, can create deeply committed, passionate young players.
Your help in keeping the momentum rolling for this young team is crucial right now. Building on the last two year’s out of the gate success is critical. This summer, players will be getting ready for the fall by forming workout groups and attending specialty camps. The coaching staff has traveled for their own training. And recruitment has been fruitful at both schools. Nothing builds excitement more than a winning team. But this is a team of winners even without their impressive record. It’s a team of young players that came together from different schools and backgrounds and found common ground on a dew soaked field during grass drills. They came together in those first bus trips to bigger schools in silent concern followed by raucous backslapping on the ride home. They learned that the only way to win was to trust and play as one team, by trusting that the other player had your back because you had to worry about the back of the player next to you.
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