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CHaD football coaches announced

New Hampshire Union Leader

November 06. 2013 10:49PM

The 2014 CHaD New Hampshire high school football all-star game will be held at a new location, but will have a familiar face on each sideline.

Paul Lavigne and Tony Johnson will be the game’s two head coaches. Lavigne, who has coached at five New Hampshire high schools, will guide the West. Johnson, who was the head coach at Bishop Guertin of Nashua from 1994 to 2010, will be the East’s head coach.

The first two CHaD all-star football games were played at the University of New Hampshire, but the contest will move to St. Anselm College next year. The game, which benefits the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock (CHaD) and the Kristen’s Gift Endowment Fund, will be played June 28. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

“We are thrilled to bring this annual game to the Queen City,” said Nick Vailas, founder of the CHaD New Hampshire all-star game. “Manchester is a great central location for our athletes and our fans, and St. Anselm College is a beautiful backdrop for this statewide charitable event.”

Lavigne, who was an assistant coach for the West last summer, has been the head coach at Stevens of Claremont, Milford, Manchester Memorial, Manchester West and Inter-Lakes of Meredith. He steered Milford to four consecutive Division II state championships from 1976 to 1979.

Lavigne has also served as an assistant coach at Plymouth State University and St. Anselm.

“The most exciting part of this game for players and coaches is that no one loses,” Lavigne said. “Everyone is a winner. Personally, I am honored to be able to keep coaching this great sport, and thrilled to be given an opportunity to continue doing something I love, even if it’s only for two weeks a year.”

Johnson, who is in his second season as the head coach at Worcester (Mass.) Academy, guided Bishop Guertin to six Division II state championships. He was also an assistant coach at Plymouth State (1989-92), UNH (1993-94) and St. Anselm (2011).

“I’m deeply honored to be part of the game and CHaD,” Johnson said. “It’s a great opportunity to educate and give back to one of the top health organizations in the country. I look forward to working with the kids, the staff and CHaD.”

Player nominations for next year’s game must be made by Dec. 16.