|With Cam McLevedge (above) stepping in as quarterback, hitting receivers like Shawn Whouley (left) and Khary Bailey-Smith, Weymouth High has put up a 7-2 mark. (Photos by Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff)|
Weymouth newly sky-high
McLevedge, teammates take to the air
After fielding the long snap out of the shotgun formation, Cam McLevedge lasered a 27-yard pass to an open Shawn Whouley in the end zone, handing Weymouth a 42-6 cushion over host Brookline at Parsons Field last Saturday.
The toss to Whouley, on the final play of the first half, was McLevedge’s fourth touchdown of the game, and his 34th of the season; he shares the lead in Eastern Massachusetts with Everett High senior quarterback Jonathan DiBiasio.
In his first season as the starting quarterback for the Wildcats, the 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior has shattered the school record for touchdowns while piloting Weymouth (7-2 overall) to a share of first place in the Bay State Conference’s Carey Division with Needham and Framingham. Each is 6-2 in the division.
“There’s a little bit more pressure on me this year,’’ McLevedge said. “I like throwing the football, and I like what we’ve been doing the past couple games we’ve had.’’
McLevedge started playing quarterback for the freshman team at Weymouth High, and by his sophomore season, he earned a spot on the varsity at linebacker. He continued playing QB for the junior varsity the last two years, backing up Mitch Temple.
Knowing that he would step into the starting role as a senior, the 18-year-old McLevedge worked hard over the summer.
“I did the Weymouth conditioning program Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays all summer, where we lifted weights and did a lot of running,’’ said McLevedge.
In addition to conditioning, he and his Weymouth teammates played in a passing league every Wednesday night against other area teams.
“The passing league gave me a good view on what I was working with,’’ he said.
On their own time, McLevedge and receivers Khary Bailey-Smith, Shawn Whouley, Dave Harrison, and Ozzie Colarruso spent time running routes.
“I spent extra time with my receivers working together and going over what we needed to get ready for the season. We would go to the high school and go over plays and make the timing work before the season started.’’
And with the Wildcats shifting their focus to a more pass-oriented attack this season, the extra work has paid off.
“Our talents this year are better suited towards the spread with a lot of passing,’’ said coach Kevin Mackin. “We have capable receivers that are explosive and Cam’s very accurate.’’
Bailey-Smith said he sees a big difference between this year and last.
“Cam’s a threat in the air and on the ground. He can run the ball really well,’’ said the 6-3 receiver, who has 11 touchdown catches. “I’m not saying Mitch didn’t. Cam has great vision, he is just more of an athlete.’’
“It all starts with Cam. He does a good job at spreading the ball and giving everyone their catches. You have to trust every one on your team to do their job. I feel confident with him if he’s under pressure,’’ he said.
McLevedge remains calm under pressure, and can easily find his targets, even running out of the pocket.
McLevedge said having athletic receivers makes his job easier.
“I love that I have the four most athletic receivers, they work hard in the offseason and play multi sports,’’ he said. “I was excited to know I would be working with them, and I knew I could throw the ball anywhere and they’d catch it.’’
He connected with all four receivers for scores against Brookline.
“We worked 90 percent of our practices the week before on defending passes to try and neutralize him and Khary Bailey-Smith,’’ said Brookline coach Kevin Mahoney.
“They’re the best QB-receiver duo in the conference. They pretty much did what ever they wanted in the game. It speaks to the level of talent Cam has at the quarterback position.’’
Mackin said that “when Cam’s on, he’s a hard force to stop.’’
“It’s an honor to compare my numbers to some of the quarterbacks that played before me,’’ said McLevedge. “It makes me feel I’m working as hard as they did, and that’s what I want to keep doing.’’
He attributes his numbers to the dedication of his coaches.
“My coaches call every single play, they scout every single night and watch films,’’ he said. “I work in practice and feed off what they tell me. It makes it easy on me.
“It looks good on me but it’s the team, the receivers and the line help me every single play. They’re a big part’’ of his 34 touchdowns, he said.
Mackin said that players like McLevedge are pretty rare.
“You just don’t get these kids often enough,’’ said the coach. “Cam’s a terrific kid, a super athlete, but just a great person. I couldn’t be happier for him and for the success that he’s having.’’
The focus this week, however, has been on tomorrow night’s Carey Division showdown against visiting Framingham.
“It’s senior night, we’re going to be fired up,’’ said McLevedge.
“We know we have to work extremely hard. We know what’s at stake. We have to work hard to get the title.’’
McLevedge, who has lettered in basketball and baseball, has aspirations of playing football at the Division 1 or 2 level in college, but has not made a decision.
“I want the best competition I can play in, I want to have a good challenge next year and the years forward,’’ he said.
“In football you work together. You create this bond where you want to work as hard as you can because your teammates are working hard, and working to protect you. You feed off each other’s energy. It’s such a team sport.’’
Mansfield scoring, and putting up D
Franklin was no match for Mansfield in their Hockomock League Kelley-Rex Division matchup, managing just 14 yards rushing in a 27-0 loss.
The Panther’s offense hit the Hornet’s defensive wall, which allowed only 14 yards rushing.
“We knew we’d score some points, but the development of the defense has put us back in the running for the playoffs,’’ said Mansfield coach Mike Redding, citing Dan Gilmore’s play (six tackles, two interceptions vs. Franklin) in particular.
“We’ve found a way to win. Our defense has really stepped up. It’s great to have this in November,’’ added Redding.
East Bridgewater stays undefeated
East Bridgewater (9-0) took down Hanover last week in a close 25-22 game to remain unbeaten.
The offensive attack was led by Tim O’Brien and New Hampshire-bound Casey DeAndrade. O’Brien scored three touchdowns while rushing for 134 yards on 15 carries. DeAndrade compiled 171 yards on 21 carries and scored once.
“It was a heck of a game,’’ said coach Shawn Tarpey. The Vikings will go up against undefeated Mashpee tomorrow.