NH’s best HS boys soccer player is a Ringer

  • Volunteer coach Daniel Hazlett, left, talks with Hanover midfielder Eric Ringer, right, during half time of the Marauders’ game with Lebanon in Hanover, N.H., Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. Hazlett is a 2014 Hanover alum. (Valley News - James M. Patterson) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Valley news file photograph — James M. Patterson

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 6/28/2022 9:14:20 PM
Modified: 6/28/2022 9:14:18 PM

Every summer, the Hanover High boys soccer team spends a few days at the Windridge Sports Camp in Roxbury, Vt., for bonding activities and scrimmages against other kids there. One evening last year, the team sat around a campfire, and each player announced his individual goals for the upcoming fall season.

Senior Eric Ringer aimed high — he said he wanted to win the Gatorade New Hampshire Boys Soccer Player of the Year award.

On June 16, he got his wish. After a season in which he recorded a team-best 17 points and led Hanover to an appearance in the NHIAA Division I championship game, Ringer won the award he’d long coveted, becoming the fourth Hanover player so honored in the last nine years.

“I’m so thankful that it turned out this way,” Ringer said. “I know I put a lot of work into it, but this was my goal for the season. It was a nice moment for me.”

Born in Paris, Ringer and his family moved to Seattle when he was 5 due to his father’s job at Microsoft, and it was in Seattle where Ringer first played soccer. After his dad retired, the family moved to Nantucket, then relocated to Hanover just before Eric started high school.

Ringer spent his freshman year on the junior varsity team, then improved during each of his three seasons on the varsity squad. For the 2019 state champions, Ringer scored four goals and added six assists, then tallied five goals in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He put it all together as a senior, providing highlight after highlight along the way.

On Oct. 9, Hanover made a long Saturday morning trip to Dover and found itself trailing by three at halftime before battling back and winning, 4-3, on Ringer’s free kick in stoppage time.

“He just kept doing that stuff all season long,” Hanover head coach Rob Grabill said. “Just an amazing, jump-on-my-back guy, always the hardest worker in training, always reaching out to the younger kids on the team.”

Hanover had not suffered a first-round playoff exit since 1997 but was in danger of being upset by Alvirne in the opening round on Oct. 26, down a goal in the final minute before Ringer played a ball to sophomore Carter Guerin, who found junior Jack Gardner for the equalizer with 15 seconds left in regulation. Ringer then set up senior Jacob Kubik-Pauw for the game-winner in extra time.

In the championship game on Nov. 5 against top-seeded Nashua South — a “neutral site” game at Nashua’s Stellos Stadium — Hanover was again down a goal in the second half when Ringer had a chance to even the score on a penalty kick. The Panthers’ goalkeeper saved his shot, but Hanover got another crack at it because the keeper had left his line early.

Instead of taking the second shot himself, however, Ringer handed the ball to Kubik-Pauw, who buried the penalty that ultimately sent the game to extra time. Hanover eventually fell in a lengthy shootout.

“(He had) just a hell of a career,” Grabill said. “Played all over the field, wherever we asked him. This last year, we played him at right midfield. He didn’t even play attacking center midfield for us because we had so much rising talent. He kept hitting free kicks and corner kicks, and he was quintessentially unselfish.”

Even with all his accolades, Ringer passed up the chance to play college soccer and instead will attend the University of Colorado to study business and engineering.

In Colorado, he’ll have plenty of opportunities to continue ski jumping, which he competed in at Hanover as a senior.

“I did consider playing soccer in college, but I’ve had a really great run playing high school soccer, and so I wanted to move on into college with a new mindset and try new things,” Ringer said. “Going out west, I’m hoping for a completely different experience. I didn’t really want to get held down by playing a sport that I love in college. I viewed college as a bigger opportunity for me than just playing soccer.”

Benjamin Rosenberg can be reached at brosenberg@vnews.com or 603-727-3302.

Sign up for our free email updates
Valley News Daily Headlines
Valley News Contests and Promotions
Valley News Extra Time
Valley News Breaking News

Valley News

24 Interchange Drive
West Lebanon, NH 03784


© 2021 Valley News
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy