2009 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 2A Atlantic Coast

Dennis-Yarmouth

  • Last year's record: 6-4
  • Strength: Team speed.
  • Concerns: Size. D-Y is undersized, especially on the offensive line.
  • Coach: Paul Funk (8th season, 42-32-1)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 10 lettermen
    • Victor Andrade, G/LB, Junior, 5-10, 190
    • Mike Belmore, LB, Senior, 6-0, 205
    • Bryan Burch, QB, Senior, 6-0, 185
    • Nathan Crary, OT/DT, Junior, 6-4, 280
    • Stephan Davis, FB, Senior, 5-9, 165
    • Matt Dawson, SE/S, Senior, 6-2, 185
    • David Dempsey, HB/LB, Junior, 5-11, 170
    • Quantez Franklin, SE, Senior, 6-3, 170
    • Adam Lucier, OL/LB, Senior, 5-10, 205
    • Trevor Maler, LB, Senior, 5-11, 200

Small and mighty is going to be the mindset of Dennis-Yarmouth this season. Coach Paul Funk has a small offensive line and his team is "going to have to rely on being quick rather than being big." The team may be undersized, he said, but they will make up for it with their speed. The senior captain quartet of Bryan Burch, Stephan Davis, Matt Dawson, and Mike Belmore will need to take control on both ends of the ball to lead the Dolphins to a title. Funk said he is looking to those four to provide leadership for everyone. "Our goals are the same all the time; just to execute our offense and defense," Funk said. "And to not worry about any external factors."

Falmouth

  • Last year's record: 6-4
  • Strength: The returning backfield.
  • Concerns: Young linemen on both sides of the ball.
  • Coach: Dana Almeida (7th season, 34-27)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 10 lettermen
    • Trevor Andrews, TE, Senior, 6-3, 215
    • Nelson Babtiste, HB, Junior, 6-0, 170
    • Jordan Ervin, LB, Senior, 5-9, 215
    • John Lavine, DE, Junior, 6-5, 216
    • Lucio Liccaiardi, C, Senior, 6-2, 205
    • Dylan Mansfield, QB, Junior, 6-0, 165
    • Cody Murray, LB, Junior, 6-1, 225
    • Myles Shepard, OL/DL, Senior, 5-10, 190
    • Mike Thimes, QB, Senior, 5-9, 170
    • Bob Whelan, FB, Junior, 5-10, 190

Falmouth is looking to stay competitive within the ACL and improve upon last year's record. Coach Almeida is expecting his experienced halfbacks and linebackers to start the season strong and carry the team throughout. "They're experienced and they played well last year," he said. "We expect them to play even better for us this year." The Clippers play four non-league games in a row to start the season: Rockland, Somerville, Dartmouth, and BC High. Those starting four are Almeida's main concern but he doesn't plan to prepare any differently. "Just trying to get the kids in shape and play offense and defense. The skill positions are going to carry us."

Marshfield

  • Last year's record: 10-3
  • Strength: Overall team speed and senior leadership.
  • Concerns: Need quality backups with the senior laden team.
  • Coach: Lou Silva (29th season, 173-103-7)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 13 lettermen
    • Connor Admirand, LB, Senior, 5-11, 200
    • Kenny Anzalone, LB, Senior, 5-10, 190
    • Bob Driscoll, G, Senior, 6-2, 225
    • Jon Frasier, DB, Junior, 5-9, 160
    • Sam Isleb, DB, Senior, 5-6, 140
    • Charlie LePaglia, LB, Junior, 5-11, 215
    • Mike Maher, DL, Senior, 6-1, 200
    • Brendan Meehan, RB, Senior, 5-8, 160
    • Tom Pearl, T, Senior, 6-1, 250
    • Tom Pomella, LB, Junior, 5-10, 190
    • Sean Rullis, OL, Senior, 6-3, 250
    • Pete Scanlon, OL, Senior, 6-5, 220
    • Jeff Wallace, C, Junior, 5-6, 200

Marshfield worked its way to the Super Bowl last season only to suffer a 27-0 loss to Dracut. The Rams want another shot at the title and hope to do so with the plethora of seniors leading the way. However, veteran coach Lou Silva knows that that strength could also be a weakness. "We are senior laden," he said. "We've got to develop some younger kids to step in. We like to play a lot of kids so we’re looking for some of the younger kids to step up and start challenging." Some of the returning seniors include running backs Bobby MacNeil and Matt DiGrigoli. MacNeil has been in Marshfield's backfield for three and a half years and Silva calls DiGrigoli a breakaway threat. Quarterback Steve Sousa also adds to the backfield strength. "Any one of them could break a game open," Silva said. "If they all have good games at the same time."

Nauset

  • Last year's record: 2-8
  • Strength: Skill positions, QB, receivers.
  • Concerns: Inexperience.
  • Coach: Ed MacDonald (2nd season, 2-8)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 9 lettermen
    • Austin Cahill, WR/LB, Senior
    • Nicholas Chad, OL/DL, Senior
    • Peter Hennigan, RB/LB, Junior
    • Micheal Kennedy, RB/LB, Senior
    • Tyler Marston, OL/DL, Senior
    • Michael Martin, OL/DL, Junior
    • Murphy Rutledge, WR/LB, Senior
    • Cameron Seymour, QB/DB, Senior
    • Morgan Simms, WR/DB, Senior

MacDonald returns for his second year with Nauset and will need to remold a young team recovering from the loss of starting seniors. With three or four sophomores starting, MacDonald acknowledges that the Warriors are young but he's staying positive with his team's "great spirit and great attitude." Senior Cameron Seymour takes over as quarterback this season. "He's a hard worker, plays hard. Good vision and a strong arm," MacDonald said. Morgan Simms, Peter Hennigan, Mike Kennedy, and Tyler Marston all return to stir up trouble against opposing defenses this season. On the defensive side look for Murphy Rutledge. "They know that we’re not the biggest, strongest, or most talented," MacDonald said of his team. "But they know that if we play together as a team and do what they’re asked to do, they’ll experience some success."

Plymouth North

  • Last year's record: 7-3
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive line
  • Concerns: Experience.
  • Coach: William Burkhead (9th season, 65-21)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 15 lettermen
    • Jason Bergeron, OL/DL, Junior, 5-10, 195
    • Liam Cosgrove, QB, Junior, 6-3, 190
    • Adam Cuomo, LB/TE, Junior, 6-3, 190
    • John Dee, DL, Junior, 5-10, 210
    • Bob Hill, OL/DL, Senior, 6-1, 240
    • James Krebs, OL/DL, Senior, 6-2, 300
    • Doug Maccaferri, K, Junior, 6-1, 180
    • Justin Maskell, OL/DL, Junior, 5-11, 235
    • Cody Merritt, RB/DB, Junior, 5-11, 185
    • Hieu Nguyen, FB, Senior, 5-8, 150
    • Ben Paronich, OL/DL, Senior, 6-2, 200
    • Christian Small, RB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 180
    • Zach Strickland, OL/DL, Senior, 6-2, 200
    • Jeff Synan, OL/DL, Junior, 6-3, 215
    • Matt Walsh, FB/LB, Junior, 5-11, 205

Senior captains Jamie Wood, Zach Strickland, James Krebs and Matt Walsh will need to take control early on to lead the young Eagles this season. It's another tough schedule for the Eagles as they meet Duxbury and Medfield early in the season. Coach Bill Burkhead remains optimistic and has no qualms about aiming big for overall season goals as he says the Eagles plan on winning the ACL and continuing on to a Super Bowl championship.

Plymouth South

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Depth on the offensive and defensive lines.
  • Concerns: Depth in skills positions.
  • Coach: Scott Fry (6th season, 20-32-1)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • Anthony Bennett, OL, Senior, 6-2, 275
    • Hal Blegen, OL, Senior, 6-0, 215
    • John Bochman, OL, Senior, 6-1, 225
    • John Carroll, QB, Senior, 5-11, 170
    • Joe Danner, OL, Junior, 5-11, 230
    • Stefan Gustafson, RB, Senior, 6-0, 180
    • Paul Killory, WR, Senior, 6-2, 170
    • Torey McGilvray, OL, Senior, 5-11, 220
    • Ryan Mulvey, OL, Senior, 6-4, 260
    • Jared Roark, OL, Junior, 6-2, 230
    • John Turner, OL, Senior, 6-2, 275

The Panthers are looking to bounce back from a sub-par 2-9 season. Fry says his team is going to play solid defense and try to open things up on the offense. "We had three winning seasons in a row," he said. "Last year we lost six games by under a touchdown. So we have to win the close games and score in the red zone." Specifically, Fry is looking for senior quarterback John Carroll and running back Stefan Gustafson to lead the offense. Fry credits the duo with producing 80-90 percent of the offense. "I think they both lead by example and have good work ethics," he said. The bottom line is, Fry expects his Panthers to compete with the top teams in the league.

Sandwich

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Team unity and cohesiveness.
  • Concerns: Depth and lack of experience.
  • Coach: Bill Luette (4th season, 21-22)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Sandwich coach Bill Luette says his team is really gonna miss Joe Perry, Nick Recker and Tyler Bradshaw this season. To fill those empty cleats he's been shuffling players around to get a lot of looks at different people in different positions. "They're all good athletes, we're just trying to find the right spots for them," Luette said. Sandwich captains Mike Myers (OT/DT), Pat Conrad (QB) and Dave Perry are leaders on and off the field and lead by example according to their coach. Luette is especially excited for every game on the Cape this year. "First we want to be the best on the Cape and hopefully be the best in the ACL. It's a tough league. Every game we won [last season] was in the 4th quarter. Every game we're in is an exciting game."

10 games to watch

Sep
11

BC High has won both times they met in the past year, including last season's nail-biting Super Bowl.

Sep
11

Walpole hopes to put a tumultuous off-season in the rearview mirror as they start their 2009 campaign.

Sep
17

In an interesting non-league match-up, Hurd Stadium in Beverly will host its first-ever night football game.