A dislocated elbow early in the season could not keep Williston Northampton’s quarterback from leading the charge this fall.
Instead, his arm fortified with a brace, John “Johnny” Aylward (Tewksbury, MA) led the Wildcats to a 7-1 record, with a team total of 1,700 yards thrown and 21 touchdown passes.
On February 4, as he signed a National Letter of Intent with Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he hopes to major in economics, Mr. Aylward said he had had a great experience at Williston.
“Another year of academics definitely paid off,” he said. “I’ll miss the guys on the team, the coaches, and staff. Everyone was so outgoing and friendly.”
Mr. Aylward, who received Second Team All-League honors at the end of the season, said he had been interested in Saint Anselm’s DII program since his senior year at Tewksbury Memorial High School. He said he loved the family-like atmosphere and small school feel of Saint Anselm. The fifth-seeded Hawks went 6-5 in their last season, matching the all-time program wins.
“We’re both very proud of John and all that he’s accomplished in his career,” said his mother, Mary Aylward. She added that with a beautiful campus, strong academic program, and welcoming coaching staff, Saint Anselm was a great fit for her son.
“Doing a PG year is a really tough decision,” she said. “But in all respects it was a really great decision for him.”
His father, Brian Aylward, who coached his son for four years through his high school career, agreed that Williston had been a good experience.
“It was a good opportunity for him to develop further before making the commitment,” he said. “I think he’s more prepared academically and athletically than he would have been a year ago.”
Mr. Aylward will also be joining former Tewksbury Memorial teammate Eddie Matovu, who is currently a freshman and Hawks linebacker. Yesterday, fellow Tewksbury senior James Sullivan also signed with the Hawks.
“It’s definitely a program on the rise,” Mr. Aylward said. “It’s a great time to join.”