League History

UpdatedSunday April 3, 2016 byDerry Wolverines.

NH Senior Football History

The New Hampshire Senior Football League was founded in Dover in 1969 as the Dover Senior Football League. Its purpose was to form a league of four teams for boys who were too big to play Peewee Football and yet not old enough to play freshman football. The idea soon caught on with other area towns. Dover organized into one team and other teams were formed in the nearby cities of Rochester, Portsmouth, and Somersworth. In 1971, South Berwick, Maine and Kittery, Maine entered teams along with one from Pease AFB. A few years later,communities from Maine entered teams. By 1976, there were seven teams from New Hampshire and seven teams from Maine. Also by then the league had renamed itself the Seacoast Senior Football League.

In 1991, the seven Maine teams decided to go their own way. That left the league with seven New Hampshire teams, which at this point consisted of: Rochester, Dover, Portsmouth, Somersworth, Exeter, Winnacunnet and Timberlane. The latter 3 teams joined a few years before and Pease AFB having dropped out before they came aboard. The league felt it needed another team to balance out the schedule and help fill the void left by the Maine teams. After advertising in the Manchester and Concord papers, a group from Manchester, led by Rick Serodio, answered the call. After meeting with the league and organizational meetings, the Manchester Bears were born and admitted into the league as the eighth member.

The league was again expanded in 1992 by the addition of two former Pop Warner League teams, Concord and Laconia. Both organizations cited the stability of the league and the simplicity of its organizational rules as factors that led them to consider joining the league. Added to those considerations was the fact that the league has a Varsity and Junior Varisty game each week on the same field, allowing every team member a chance to play, and there are no minimum and maximum weight conditions to worry about.

In the middle of the season, the Somersworth organization decided it’s team could not compete with the teams from the larger cities that were now in the league and dropped out, again creating a void in the league. Fortunately, Jim Harris and John Burke from Derry were already entertaining an idea about entering a team from that area into the league. That year the Wolverines from the Derry-Londonderry-Salem area joined the league. The League knew what kind of football was played in this area and expected the Wolverines to be very competitive in a very short time.

As the league expanded away from the seacoast and in to Massachusetts a more appropriate name was suggested. There was then a vote to change the League name to the present Northeast Junior High Football League.

Now there are two conferences.  The American Conference is made up of teams from Derry, Souhegan, Andover (Mass) , Merrimack, Manchester and Londonderry. The National Conference is made up of teams from Nashua North, Nashua South, Lowell (Mass), Goffstown, Tewksbury (Mass) and Billerica (Mass).