With just a little more than a week remaining in the regular season, it’s time to sit down and take a look at the possible Super 8 participants this season. The following are projections on how things might shake out based on where we are right now, keeping in mind of course, that there are still some big games to be played.
No. 1 – Malden Catholic (13-1-3)
Why they’re in – The defending champs are a lock for the top seed once again. Their offense is obviously talented, especially when their top three lines are running full tilt, which is almost always the case. However the unsung unit here is a slot-clogging defense that continues to hold opponents to under 20 shots a game thanks to the efforts of Casey Fitzgerald and Brendan White,.
Key wins – St John’s Prep (2), BC High, St. Mary’s, Hingham, Catholic Memorial
Remaining schedule – 2/18 at Framingham; 2/22 vs Hamden, Conn. (Springfield Cathedral Tournament); 2/23 vs. No. 10 Springfield Cathedral or No. 9 Needham (Springfield Cathedral Tournament).
No. 2 – St. Mary’s (16-1-2)
Why they’re in – The Spartans are having a monster year and deserve to be in this slot having already nailed down the Catholic Central league. They have a goal differential of 54 and their only loss of the season came in their very first game against No. 1 Malden Catholic, a loss which they nearly avenged in a 3-3 tie at the end of December.
Key wins – Springfield Cathedral, Hingham, Arlington Catholic (2)
Remaining schedule – 2/15 vs. Archbishop Williams; 2/18 at No. 7 Marshfield; 2/22 vs. Weymouth.
No. 3 – St. John’s Prep (11-5-1)
Why they’re in – Do not let the five losses fool you. This is a team that is surging at the right time and they carry with them one of the best first lines around in Sam Kurker, Brian Pinho and Tyler Bird. If goalie David Letarte plays like he did last year in the Super 8, the Prep will be tough to beat.
Key wins – BC High, Central Catholic, Hingham
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Framingham; 2/18 vs. No. 10 Springfield Cathedral; 2/22 vs. Bishop Fenwick.
No. 4 – Hingham (13-4-1)
Why they’re in – Early in the season, head coach Tony Messina talked about the inexperience of his defense. But they turned out to be mighty quick learners and now the 2010 Super 8 champs are in great position after dealing with one of the hardest schedules around.
Key wins – Marshfield, Needham, Catholic Memorial, Reading, Westford
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Coyle & Cassidy; 2/18 vs. No. 6 BC High (Cape Cod Classic); 2/20 vs. TBA (Cape Cod Classic); 2/22 vs. TBA (Cape Cod Classic).
No. 5 – Central Catholic (10-2-4)
Why they’re in – The consistency of the Raiders has put them firmly in the Super 8 discussion. They have gone 10 straight games since their last loss back on Jan. 7 and a strong finish against some tough competition could justify them in the fifth slot.
Key wins – Westford, Arlington Catholic, Tewksbury
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Chelmsford; 2/18 vs. Andover; 2/20 at No. 15 Catholic Memorial; 2/22 vs. #20 Acton-Boxboro.
No. 6 – BC High (9-4-3)
Why they’re in – Although probably deserving of a higher seed, the Eagles have run into a 3-3-3 stretch over their last nine games that has them stumbling. Goalie Peter Cronin made a name for himself in the Super 8 last season and once again has BC High with their eyes on the prize.
Key wins – St. John’s – Shrewsbury (2), St. John’s Prep, Springfield Cathedral
Remaining schedule – 2/16 at No. 12 Reading; 2/18 vs. No. 4 Hingham (Cape Cod Classic); 2/20 vs. TBA (Cape Cod Classic); 2/22 vs. TBA (Cape Cod Classic).
No. 7 – Marshfield (15-2-1)
Why they’re in – Looking for their first Super 8 appearance in program history, the Rams are looking to make a leap with the big boys after grabbing the Division 1 crown last season. A strong senior class led by Connor McLean and Chris Perry could be the key to the Rams reaching their goal. A Wednesday battle against St. Mary’s will be a great chance for the Rams to add a strong win to a fairly light resume.
Key wins – St. John’s Shrewsbury
Remaining schedule – 2/18 vs. No. 2 St. Mary’s Lynn; 2/20 vs. Barnstable (South of Boston Shootout); 2/22 vs. TBA (South of Boston Shootout); 2/23 vs. TBA (South of Boston Shootout).
No. 8 – Burlington (10-1-6)
Why they’re in – Prior to the start of the season, Woburn head coach Jim Duran pointed to the Red Devils as one of the most dangerous teams in the Middlesex League. He was dead on. Now Burlington stands as the cream of the crop from a league that consistently sends a solid team into the Super 8.
Key wins – Woburn (2), Reading
Remaining schedule – 2/15 vs. Watertown; 2/18 vs. Wilmington; 2/21 vs. Medford (Cahoon Tournament); 2/23 vs. TBA (Cahoon Tournament).
No. 9 – Needham (15-3)
Why they’re in – Slight hiccups along the way have the Rockets a bit lower than expected, having come into the season with high expectations. They seem to have righted the ship and a strong showing in the Springfield Cathedral Tournament will solidify their entry. Senior captain Timmy Parlato has been a huge sparkplug for a defense that has only allowed 25 goals this season and Connor Murray has only allowed two goals over his last three games.
Key wins – Catholic Memorial, Braintree
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Newton North; 2/22 at No. 10 Springfield Cathedral (Springfield Cathedral Tournament); 2/23 vs. No. 1 Malden Catholic or Hamden, Conn. (Springfield Cathedral Tournament).
No. 10 – Springfield Cathedral (8-5-5)
Why they’re in – Springfield Cathedral followed up a big win over BC High with a tough loss against St. Mary’s, which has been the story of its season. The Panthers can’t seem to put a string of wins together, having gone 1-2-2 over their last five games. Springfield Cathedral may be relegated to the play-in game for the second straight season, but they still have some big games to go before they can lock themselves into anything.
Key wins – BC High, Catholic Memorial
Remaining schedule – 2/16 vs. East Longmeadow; 2/18 at St. John’s Prep; 2/22 vs. No. 9 Needham (Springfield Cathedral Tournament); 2/23 vs. No. 1 Malden Catholic or Hamden, Conn. (Springfield Cathedral Tournament).
No. 11 – St. John’s Shrewsbury (12-4-3)
Why they’re on the bubble – Although they don’t have a ton of Super 8 resume-ready wins under their belt, they do have some big ties against the likes of St. John’s Prep and Springfield Cathedral. They’ll probably need some help to slip into the fray. But if they do, the firepower of Kevin Emmerling (14 goals, 20 assists) and Vin D’Amato (16 goals, 7 assists) could put a scare into opposing defenses.
Key wins – Arlington Catholic
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Xaverian; 2/18 at Coyle & Cassidy; 2/20 vs. Shrewsbury.
No. 12 – Reading (11-3-4)
Why they’re on the bubble– This spot was a huge toss-up between the Rockets and Westford Academy. Reading takes it, for now, and could make a big jump this week if they can somehow knock off BC High and Woburn. Earlier injury issues have been resolved and while the Rockets were once left for dead, they now cling to hope for a last minute entry into the Super 8 tournament.
Key wins – Woburn, Winchester, Wilmington
Remaining schedule – 2/15 at Arlington; 2/16 vs. No. 6 BC High; 2/18 at No. 13 Woburn; 2/20 at Andover.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
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