Next Man Up


Daniel Slater

Blake Bergerson ‘21 reals in a long touchdown pass from quarterback Sander Wimmer ‘20. The Hollis Brookline Cavaliers football team went 1-1 without their star wide receiver Quinten Wimmer ‘20, but the emergence of some promising young talent proved to be a bright spot for the team. “I knew I would have to step it up for us to do well,” said Bergerson.

TJ McKenna, Asst. Sports Editor

If you’ve heard of Hollis Brookline Football, there’s no way you haven’t heard of the Wimmer twins. Over the past two years, Seniors Quinten and Sander Wimmer ‘20 have dominated Division II New Hampshire football and have been the stars of the Hollis Brookline Cavaliers football team. This year, the expectations for the Wimmer boys are even higher as they enter their final season of high school football. 

On Aug. 24, with high hopes for the upcoming season, the Hollis Brookline High School football team pulled up to Nashua North High School to participate in a preseason jamboree against teams such as Nashua North, Manchester Memorial, John Stark, and more. 

The first team played on that hot summer day was Nashua North, but the score at the end of this game would turn out to be the least of Hollis-Brookline’s concerns. Early on in the first quarter, star wide receiver and linebacker Quinten Wimmer ‘20 hobbled off the field after being hit in the knee by an opposing player’s helmet, sending a wave of shock and fear throughout the team and the crowd. “Honestly, the first thing I felt was terror. He’s my favorite receiver out there, the one person I rely the most on and seeing him hurt, especially in his senior season, almost brought me to tears,” said quarterback and other half of the duo, Sander Wimmer ‘20. Soon after he made it to the sideline, it was determined Quinten Wimmer needed further medical attention and was transported via ambulance to the nearest hospital. 

Wimmer was eventually diagnosed with multiple contusions and a minor MCL sprain in his right knee, but no exact time table for his return was set. With their star receiver injured and his availability for the upcoming season a mystery, the football team was faced with a huge challenge going into week one. Having such a pass heavy offense would make this obstacle even harder to overcome, as their play-style would require some of the team’s other receivers to step up in Wimmer’s absence in order to function properly. 

Luckily for HB, their ‘next man up’ mentality would help them overcome this early season obstacle, as various receivers have significantly stepped up in Wimmer’s place through their first two games. Quarterback Sander Wimmer made sure to note how impressed he was with a couple of the team’s inexperienced receivers, specifically Isaiah Velez ‘22 and Zach Redus ‘21. 

“Zach Redus did very well in the Milford game, making some clutch catches, and Isaiah Velez of course scored a touchdown against Hanover and also had some nice receptions. They both really helped out in a big way,” said Wimmer.

Another player in the Cavalier’s deep receiving core who has stepped up big is Senior Shea Philbrook ‘20. Philbrook, a four year high school football player, has carved out a role in the team’s offense during his second year as a varsity player. He scored his first two career varsity touchdowns during Quinten’s absence, one being an electric 62-yard score in the team’s 48-14 blowout win over Hanover. “I felt Sander lost his favorite target out there, so I had to batten down the hatches and get ready for a big game,” said Philbrook. 

Perhaps the most positive outcome of Wimmer’s injury has been the emergence of Junior receiver Blake Bergerson ‘21. Through the first two games of the season, Bergerson has totaled an outrageous 275 receiving yards and four touchdowns, and has turned into quarterback Sander Wimmer’s new favorite target during his brother’s absence. The Wimmer-Bergerson connection has become a thing of beauty to HB fans and a real problem for opposing defenses, who have struggled to guard the break out receiver. “We were on the same page all the time,” said Bergerson. Sander Wimmer praised his receiver, detailing how the only passes he has not caught were due to errant throws. 

With the return of Quinten Wimmer looming and a scary group of receivers stepping up in the meantime, this Cavaliers football team has a lot of potential. Bergerson and the returning Wimmer have the chance to be an extremely dynamic receiving duo, maybe even one of the best Hollis Brookline football has seen in a long time. 

“I think we can be pretty good, we both like to score touchdowns and win games,” said Bergerson. 

As fantastic as their receivers have played with Quinten gone, the team is eager to have their star return from injury to make them even better. “It [Wimmer’s return] means I can relax a bit more. I’ll have ‘ole’ reliable’ back on the field you could say. So yeah I’ll definitely be more comfortable, more relaxed and have more fun,” said Sander Wimmer.

Looking on to the remainder of the season, the team has a clear cut goal to win out, and with this team, these receivers and their constant building of chemistry, the “ceiling is the roof.”