For some, CHaD Game is a last hurrah
Game day has arrived, and for a few former Nashua High School South players, today’s eighth annual CHaD East-West All-Star Fotball at the University of New Hampshire’s Wildcat Stadium will be their final one.
While former Panthers quarterback Sean Holland and lineman Derek Chiavelli will continue their careers in college, this is the end of the line for West team wideout Derek Downing, back Alex Amigo and linebacker Jarret Bieren.
“I was really excited to be part of this group,” Bieren, who is headed to UMass-Amherst to study computer science, said. “It’s gong to be pretty sad, honestly. Ibut I feel it’s time to move on. I’ve enjoyed playing football throughout my life.
“It gets to a point where I had to think of my future more, to focus on academics rather than any sports. To be honest, I’m not going to the NFL, I won’t make a career out of it. So focus on academics and get a gret job after college.”
Bieren was a running back, a tight end, and an inside-outside linebacker. Outside linebacker was his favorite spot.
“It’ll mean a lot to have my last game as an All-Star game,” Bieren said.
Amigo and Downing will room together, ironically, when they begin school at UNH.
“It’ll feel good, but at the same time it will be said,” Downing said. “But to hear you played in an All-Star game, that’s the way to finish.”
Remember, Downing began the season with the tough story of his grandfather having a heart attack in the stands at Pinkerton Academy early in a game. He’s hoping his grandfather will be able to attend today. “He doesn’t go around a lot but he’s in good condition,” Downing said.
Amigo was a three-sport athlete at South, and now this will likely be his last organized athletic event.
“It’s going to be really different,” Amigo said. “Even the past two weeks (before CHaD practices began), not having to worry about practices and games during the summer, it’s just been a lot different.”
Merrimack two-way player Joe Eichman (running back, defensive back) will get his first taste of playing at what will be his new home field in the fall at UNH.
“I haven’t thought that much about it, but it will be a good introductory,” Eichman said. “Come August 1, I’ll be there every day for the next five years. I can see for other kids point of view, playing at the big stadium. For me, it’s the first stepping stone of hopefully a good future and a lot of hard work.”
Holland and Milford lineman Michael Bouchare are two of the West captains for today’s game, along with Bedford’s Connor Robert, Goffstown’s Andrew Duval (UNH-bound and this past season’s NH Gatorade Player of the Year), Hanover’s Moises Celaya….
The East, by the way, is coached again by Laconia’s Craig Kozens. Kozens coached last year’s East team as well…
The West will be looking to take its fifth win in the seven years of the game. The East has some beef up front with Winnacunnet’s Ryan Hanson (6-2, 305) and Pelham’s Jacob Kirane (6-2, 300), and the talented QB Cody Graham of Portsmouth.