Natick's football team has lost its star wide receiver and defensive back Brian Dunlap for the year before he got a chance to play a meaningful snap.
Dunlap suffered a season-ending foot injury in a scrimmage against Holliston Aug. 24 while at safety.
In the scrimmage, Dunlap went up for an interception and seemed fine when he came down, said Natick coach Mark Mortarelli.
"It was an innocent-looking play," Mortarelli said. "We didn't think it was that bad."
The team thought it was a sprain. But as time went on, Dunlap sought a specialist who confirmed the injury was much more serious, requiring surgery.
He is expected to make a full recovery, but there is no timeframe for when he will be healthy, Mortarelli said.
"The good thing is, he'll recover 100 percent," he said.
Dunlap was a Globe All-Scholastic last season as a sophomore, catching 86 passes for 1,550 yards and 23 touchdowns. In two seasons for the Redhawks, he tallied 155 receptions and 35 total touchdowns. Going into the 2013 season, he was widely viewed as the top receiver in the state.
"It would be impossible to replace his production because his numbers were off the chart," Mortarelli said. "We're going to play some seniors in his place."
Mortarelli noted that captains Mike Abbrruzzese and Alex Hilger would fill the gap along with senior Scott Warnock.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com 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
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.