DERRY — The Derry Wolverines traveled to Bedford for the Northeast Junior High Football League State Championship after winning their playoff game against the Andover Golden Warriors on Nov. 15. The battle for the championship was a rematch between the Derry Wolverines and the Tewksbury Redmen. The Varsity game was close all four quarters with the teams staying equal until late in the 4th quarter when the Wolverines went up by a touchdown and were able to hold strong on defense to come away with the victory and championship. The JV team played a tough match as well jumping out for the lead and never looking back.
Derry football coach Fred Hamel has been coaching the Wolverines for the past 15 years and told the players that they had made history there in Bedford. Since 1993, when the Wolverines were established, they had never had both the Varsity and JV teams go undefeated and win the Championships together. Coach Hamel went on to thank the other coaches, Offensive Coordinator Tim Kittery (9 years coaching the Wolverines and his first championship,) Tom Smith (3 years coaching the Wolverines) and Harry Hanson (2 years coaching the Wolverines) who put together tough offensive lines. The Defensive Coordinators Peter Mazzola (6 years coaching the Wolverines), Ed Barardi (1st year with the Wolverines) and Derrick Chandler (also 1st year coaching the Wolverines) all enjoyed the excitement of their first state championship with the Wolverines organization. The Wolverines have played in 7 State Playoffs since 1993 winning 6 of those matches. The years of victory for Derry are 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, and 2009. The Wolverines made it to the playoffs in 2007 but lost late in the game to long time rival Andover. Coach Hamel sent out his personal "Thank you" to all of the volunteers and parents that make all of the work happen around the game and added that they wouldn't be able to keep the program without the dedication and help.