Welcome and Marry Christmas to everyone as High School Football rolls on Christmas Eve as the Winnacunnet (Hampton, NH) varsity football team has a home conference game vs. Spaulding (Rochester, NH) today @ 3pm at Winnacunnet HS Field.
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More than any other, the sport of football, at all levels from youth to professional, has always been considered a brotherhood.
This year’s football team at Winnacunnet High School has taken that to the next level, an unprecedented level that head coach Ryan Francoeur has not seen in his 20 years of coaching.
The Warriors have four sets of brothers on this year’s team, which will play Goffstown on Saturday in a Division I semifinal game.
Of those eight brothers, one is a second-year assistant coach who played defensive back at the University of New Hampshire. The other seven are all starters, with two of them starting on both sides of the ball.
There is Chris Houston, a volunteer assistant on Francoeur’s staff. Houston played cornerback for three seasons (2011-13) at UNH, and has been a New Hampshire State Trooper since 2016. He brought his younger brother, Elynn, to Hampton this summer and enrolled him at Winnacunnet.
There is Tucker and Jack McCann, twin brothers and juniors. Tucker is one of Winnacunnet’s featured running backs, while Jack starts at center and inside linebacker.
There is Zach and Jake Fredericks. Zach is a junior starter at tight end and defensive end, while Jake is a sophomore defensive end who made his varsity debut in Week 4 against Manchester Memorial and has maintained a starting spot.
And there is Kyle and Kevin Tilley. Kyle is a junior quarterback. Kevin is a hard-hitting sophomore safety who, like teammate Jake Fredericks, cracked the starting lineup against Memorial and hasn’t looked back since.
Elynn Houston is playing his first year of football since the sixth grade. One of the highlights for his season was returning a punt 40 yards for a touchdown in Winnacunnet’s 26-8 playoff win over Spaulding.
The McCann and Fredericks families live close to one other. They all would play football at the bus stop starting back in elementary school.
Kyle Tilley got his first quarterback start in last season’s finale, and has guided the Warriors to a 6-1 record going into Saturday’s semifinal. He’s thankful he has been able to share this experience with his younger brother. And he left the team for a few days in the preseason, believing this wasn’t going to be the season for him. He returned to the team after talking to his brother following Winnacunnet’s season-opening win over Exeter.