2009 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 2 Bay State (Herget)

Dedham

  • Last year's record: 1-10
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive line.
  • Concerns: Lack of varsity experience.
  • Coach: Keith Comeau (2nd season, 1-10)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 18 lettermen
    • Cody Abbott, OL/DL, Junior
    • Nick Boudreau, OL/LB, Senior
    • Brian Carilli, OL/DL, Junior, 5-10, 230
    • Brian Conkley, WR/DB, Junior
    • Dante DeBenedictis, WR/DB, Senior
    • Carmen Dello Iacono, TE/LB, Junior
    • Jake Francis, RB/LB, Junior
    • Brendan Gassler, WR/DB, Junior
    • Bernie Girard, RB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Shane Lowe, RB/DB, Sophomore, 5-9, 180
    • Frank Mahoney, FB/LB, Junior, 5-8, 195
    • Kevin O'Brien, WR/DB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Dan O'Connor, QB/DB, Junior
    • Steven Paton, OL/DL, Senior, 6-3, 235
    • Rob Salter, FB/LB, Junior
    • David Sheehan, WR/DE, Senior, 6-3, 185
    • Nick Walch, WR/DB, Senior, 6-2, 180
    • Steven Walsh, OL/DL, Junior, 6-0, 240

Dedham might be in for another long season. After struggling last year to a 1-10 record, the Marauders return only one player who scored a point on the varsity squad. Despite the lack of experienced scorers, Keith Comeau is optimistic that his team will continue to improve. Offensively, Dedham will look to Bernie Girard and Shane Lowe drive the team. Both are running backs who possess good speed and power. The two backs will run behind a line that rotates eight lineman who are ready to play varsity football. Overall, Comeau hopes that the experience gained by some of the young players at the end of last year will translate into better play this year.

Milton

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Line play, especially defensive front.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback and defensive back.
  • Coach: Jim Bowes (1st season)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 7 lettermen
    • Kyle Cushing, FB/LB, Senior, 5-7, 185
    • Rodney Denis, LB/FB, Senior, 5-8, 190
    • Brendan Gallahue, RB/LB, Senior, 5-9, 170
    • Maduka Nwanekezi, LB/OL, Senior, 6-2, 230
    • Tom Phelan, OL/LB, Senior, 5-9, 190
    • Daejon Simpson, LB/OL, Senior, 5-11, 210
    • Tomas Zayaz, SE/DB, Senior, 5-9, 160

In his first season as head coach at Milton, Jim Bowes hopes his offensive and defensive line play turns into victories. On offense, Bowes has to replace Paul Connor, who was one of the best backs in the state last season. Bowes has a couple players in mind who could take on the challenging task. Senior Cullen Cockrell and junior Kemani Jones are explosive backs who will run behind a solid offensive line. Bowes has also been pleased with his defense's play in preseason. "The defense has played very well in practice and in scrimmages," said Bowes. "The players still have to improve, however, specifically in the hitting department.'' Bowes will have to address Milton's inexperience at quarterback and defensive back before the Wildcats can compete for a league title.

Natick

  • Last year's record: 9-2
  • Strength: Skill players, secondary and quarterback.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at linebacker and running back.
  • Coach: Tom Lamb (23rd season, 236-64-2)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 20 lettermen
    • Rajeev Chorghade, LB, Senior, 6-2, 190
    • CJ Dawson, TE, Senior, 6-2, 225
    • Mike DelMonaco, DL, Senior, 6-0, 205
    • Glen Duffy, LB, Junior, 5-10, 170
    • Kevin Duffy, LB, Senior, 5-11, 190
    • Brett Farrell, FB/LB, Senior, 6-0, 200
    • Chris Funnell, RB, Senior, 5-9, 170
    • Patrick Grady, DB, Senior, 6-0, 170
    • Bennett Griesmer, LB, Junior, 5-10, 180
    • Robbie Jackson, DB, Senior, 6-2, 170
    • Joe Kreinsen, OL, Senior, 6-2, 230
    • Brian Lewis, DB, Senior, 6-3, 205
    • Robert Mahoney, OL, Senior, 6-0, 255
    • Scott McCummings, QB, Senior, 6-3, 220
    • Mark Parker, CB, Senior, 5-9, 145
    • Liam Porter, OL, Junior, 6-5, 260
    • Andrew Siden, TE, Junior, 6-3, 200
    • Eric Swanson, LB, Junior, 5-10, 165
    • Andrew Wester, OL, Senior, 5-11, 195
    • Nathan Ziegler, OL, Junior, 5-10, 205

After sprinting out of the box to a 9-0 record to begin last season, Natick stumbled down the stretch, losing its final two games. This season, hope is renewed for the Red and Blue to take the top spot in the Bay State Herget. Natick returns a plethora of skill highlighted by UConn-bound quarterback Scott McCummings. "Scott is a great kid," said Natick coach Tom Lamb. "He is a super runner and passer. Every day he is getting better at passing." Also returning is McCummings' favorite target, wide receiver Brett Flutie. Defensively, the Red and Blue should be just as dangerous as they are offensively. Three members from last year's secondary return in Brian Lewis, Robbie Jackson and Patrick Grady. Natick should also have a stellar pass rush. Rajeev Chorghade and Kevin Duffy will anchor an aggressive and fast linebacking corps.

Norwood

  • Last year's record: 9-2
  • Strength: Depth at the skill positions, especially at wide receiver.
  • Concerns: Lack of experience on the offensive and defensive line.
  • Coach: Joe Curran (6th season, 32-23)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 18 lettermen
    • Fady Beshay, FB/LB, Senior, 6-0, 210
    • Anthony Colantuoni, OL/DL, Senior, 6-0, 240
    • Brian Davenport, OL/DE, Senior, 6-0, 175
    • Colby Davis, WR/DB, Senior, 6-0, 185
    • Mike Goodwin, QB/DB, Senior, 6-4, 170
    • Bobby Kane, OL/LB, Senior, 6-1, 215
    • Mike Kearns, OL/DL, Junior, 5-11, 195
    • John McGowan, WR/DB, Senior, 5-11, 150
    • Al Morteo, OL/DL, Senior, 5-11, 235
    • Aquie Moxam, OL/DL, Junior, 5-8, 271
    • Matt Murphy, WR/DE, Senior, 6-4, 210
    • Mark Nardelli, FB/DB, Senior, 5-7, 170
    • Chris O'Brien, TE/DE, Senior, 6-0, 180
    • Kevin O'Sullivan, QB/DB, Senior, 5-9, 160
    • Kyle Polin, FB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 200
    • Silquan Russell, WR/DB, Senior, 5-11, 155
    • Vinny Serino, RB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • DJ Shilo, OL/DL, Junior, 6-0, 260

After a successful 9-2 campaign last season, Norwood has some question marks entering this season. The Mustangs graduated a lot of talent, especially on the offensive and defensive lines. While the lines may be inexperienced, Coach Curran is excited about the potential of his skill players. One player in particular who is expected to be a playmaker for the Mustang's is wide receiver, Silquan Russell. "He is very explosive and we have to find a way to get the ball in his hands," said Curran. Matt Murphy is another threat at receiver. Murphy has the size (6'4") to be a safety valve and cause match-up problems for opposing defenses. Another area of intrigue is the running back slot. Vinny Serino has taken a lot of snaps at running back but Curran expects to employ a handful of other backs including Eric Pham and "promising" sophomore Kenny Hill-Stokes. Norwood will play its home games at Westwood High due to construction.

Walpole

  • Last year's record: 13-0
  • Strength: Running game/Ryan Izzo
  • Concerns: Inexperience at a lot of key positions
  • Coach: Barry Greener (1st season, Career Record: 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 8 lettermen
    • Peter Bowes, QB/DB, Senior, 6-2, 185
    • Dave Conroy, LB, Junior
    • Ryan Izzo, RB/DB, Senior, 5-9, 170
    • Matt Nee, FB/DB, Senior, 5-9, 195
    • David Parkinson, DL, Senior
    • Troy Salvatore, WR/DB, Senior
    • Steve Shevory, WR, Senior
    • Chris Tetreault, DL, Senior

Walpole looks to get back to the gridiron after a tumultuous off-season. The Rebels will introduce Barry Greener as their new coach this season. While Greener is left with reigning Division 2 Player of the year, Ryan Izzo, a lot of pieces are gone from last year's Super Bowl winning team. Quarterback Sonny Mastromatteo transfered to a prep school and the entire offensive line graduated. Greener has already tabbed Peter Bowes to take the snaps while the offensive line is still a work in progress. "Peter has worked his tail off," said Greener. "We took him out of his comfort zone and he has put the team first by switching to quarterback." Bowes won't be asked to do too much with Izzo returning for his senior season. Izzo needs 177 points to attain the state scoring record and is within reach of the career record for rushing yards in Massachusetts. However, Izzo injured his shoulder at a lacrosse camp this summer and his status for the opener against Framingham is in jeopardy. With the injury to Izzo, Kenny Woods and Troy Salvatore will have to make plays on offense. One thing working against Walpole is their inexperience. "We have a lot of green talent," said Greener. "How well they overcome and how fast they grow will determine the success of our team."

Wellesley

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Skill players, especially at running back and wide receiver; Quarterback.
  • Concerns: Depth
  • Coach: Bill Tracey (8th season, 43-47)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 12 lettermen
    • Brendan Brooks, QB, Senior, 5-10, 190
    • Marcel Cooper, OL/DL, Senior, 6-0, 230
    • Adam Farina, LB/WR, Junior, 6-3, 210
    • Jeff Fine, DB/WR, Senior, 5-9, 175
    • Duncan Johnson, OL/LB, Junior, 6-0, 200
    • Sam Lawrence, DB/WR, Junior, 6-2, 180
    • Manny Lubin, RB/LB, Senior, 5-11, 205
    • Brett Mongeau, DB/WR, Junior, 5-9, 170
    • Dean Petzing, OL/LB, Senior, 5-9, 185
    • Dan Schwarz, OL/DE, Senior, 6-0, 205
    • Liam Sullivan, DL/OL, Senior, 6-0, 215
    • Casey Tanner, WR/DB, Senior, 6-1, 190

Wellesley stumbled to a 2-9 record last season but have the pieces in place to improve on that record this year. "Our team goal is to improve on last year's season," said coach Bill Tracy. "We play in a fantastic league and we'll have to take the season game by game." Tracy expects quarterback Brendan Brooks to be a leader both on the field and off. Brooks is in his third season at the helm of the Raiders. "Brendan is a good veteran presence," said Tracey. Also returning is Casey Tanner, Brooks' top target and a safety on defense. "Casey is strong and fast," said Tracey. "He understands his position, especially on defense. He is a field general in the defensive backfield." While the offense is on track, the defense is still a work in progress. "Defensively, we are battling consistency," said Tracey. If Tracey can coach up his defense, Wellesley has a chance to scare some teams in the Bay State League.

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.