2009 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 3A Catholic Central (Large)

Archbishop Williams

  • Last year's record: 1-9
  • Strength: Backfield
  • Concerns: Inexperience on the line
  • Coach: Bill Kinsherf (14th season, 76-59-1)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Kinsherf is most excited about his two returning backs, Sean Provenzano and Alex Furtado. Furtado notched eight touchdowns and about 900 yards last season while Provenzano added four scores and roughly 700 yards. With a new quarterback, junior Thomas Fitzpatrick, the running game will need to be effective for the Bishops to improve on their 1-9 record from a season ago. Senior captain Anthony Glynn, a 6-foot-2, 270-pound two-way tackle, will anchor both the offensive and defensive lines.

Arlington Catholic

  • Last year's record: 10-3
  • Strength: Backs, skill positions
  • Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback
  • Coach: Serge Clivio (20th season, 94-106)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 1 lettermen
    • Charlie Bates, RB, Senior

Arlington Catholic had a dream season in 2008, as the Cougars took the Catholic Central Large crown in the final game of their conference schedule in a close contest with Austin Prep before moving on and winning the Division 3 Super Bowl. Now they must replace Corey Spencer, an All-Scholastic quarterback, Steve Pagliocca, their top defensive player, and two receivers who posted good numbers in Jibreel Henderson and Joe Wesoloski last season. Charlie Bates had flashes of brilliance last year, and will have a chance to establish himself as the primary back in Clivio's system as a senior this season after scoring eight touchdowns last year. With some of the other teams in the conference returning more starters, AC will have to see a number of players step up to defend its title.

Austin Prep

  • Last year's record: 9-2
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive backfield.
  • Concerns: Offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Bill Maradei (31st season, 219-93-4)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • Ray Acciavatti, Senior, 5-10, 160
    • Tony Baccini, RB, Senior
    • Brendan Burke, Senior, 6-2, 200
    • Lou Caraglia, RB, Senior
    • Nick Dell, Senior
    • Zack Deluca, Senior
    • Ron Ditullio, Senior
    • Ryan Havey, Junior, 5-11, 165
    • Matt Mulcahy, Senior, 5-11, 185
    • Jon Richard, Senior, 5-9, 145
    • Jesse Vardaro, Senior

The Cougars see the return of their second-leading scorer from last season, running back Ray Acciavatti. Nick Dell'Anno will give Austin Prep a second option out of the backfield for Maradei's run-happy offense, as well. Prep's calling-card, however, is its defense, and after allowing just six points per game last year (tops in EMass), the Cougars will have the benefit of returning key defensive pieces in Brendan Burke, who doubles as a tight end, and Matt Mulcahy, a third-year starting linebacker. JR Richard is expected to lead the secondary. The defensive line will need to step up to continue the Cougars' defensive dominance, as Prep has to replace a few key contributors from that area for this year.

Bishop Fenwick

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Skill positions, depth.
  • Concerns: Depth on lines.
  • Coach: Dave Woods (11th season, 87-37)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 9 lettermen
    • Joe Bona, TE/LB, Senior
    • Nick Corbett, RB/LB, Senior
    • Colby Dobrusin, WR/DB, Senior
    • Ryan Lipka, WR/DB, Junior
    • Pat Lyons, TE/DE, Senior
    • Zach Nardone, OL/DL, Junior, 6-0, 210
    • Kevin Pierce, OG/LB, Senior, 5-10, 185
    • Chris Renzulli, QB/DB, Senior
    • Tyler Thomann, DB/RB, Junior

Do-it-all QB/RB/DB Chris Renzulli will enter his senior year after a productive junior season in which he accounted for 10 touchdowns through the air and ground while leading the team in interceptions. "He's definitely the leader of our team and everything's going to go through him," Woods said. Renzulli is expected by Woods to lead a Fenwick team that will run the Wing-T and boasts a strong, deep linebacking core and secondary. Joe Bona and Kevin Pierce will be counted on to anchor the D for the Crusaders, who came on strong last season after a 2-4 start.

Cardinal Spellman

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Experience.
  • Concerns: Lack of depth.
  • Coach: Ron St. George (2nd season, 2-9, 27th overall, 194-96-5)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 6 lettermen
    • Blaise Brance, TB/LB, Junior, 5-9, 170
    • Zac Cooley, QB, Junior, 5-10, 180
    • Jared Lordi, FB/LB, Junior, 5-9, 170
    • Mike Marshall, DB/SE, Senior, 5-11, 180
    • Bob Nadell, RB, Senior, 5-7, 165
    • Tom Pistorino, OT/DT, Senior, 6-2, 265

With his second full season about to begin at the helm of Cardinal Spellman, St. George will look to continue to try to turn around a program that has won 10 games in its last five seasons. With seven returning starters on offense, St. George is confident in his team's familiarity with the system. He also praised his team's work ethic, saying there was a "cautious optimism, much higher level of confidence" with his squad this year. The Cardinals will look to run first, but junior quarterback Zac Cooley gives them a passing option as well. Captain Tom Pistorino will lead the lines.

St. Mary's

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Depth at running back.
  • Concerns: Depth at offensive line.
  • Coach: Matt Durgin (13th season, 2nd season at St. Mary\'s: 5-6, 82-47 overall.)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 5 lettermen
    • Ryan Barrows, RB/DB, Junior, 5-5, 145
    • Todd Collier, S/RB, 5-7, 155
    • Nick Day, RB/DB, Sophomore, 5-10, 185
    • David Hicks, DB, Senior, 5-9, 165
    • Matt McDermott, DB, Senior, 5-9, 160

Durgin was brought in last year to turn around a floundering St. Mary's program that went 1-10 in 2007-08. The initial results were promising, as the Spartans managed to go 5-6 despite dropping their opening two contests, displaying a solid offense and capable defense. This year, Ryan Barrows, a junior, and Nick Day, a sophomore, should lead a quality running attack for St. Mary's. Day ran for 10 touchdowns and caught 6 as a freshman, while Barrows added five of his own on the ground. The short-term goal for this developing program is a winning season, something that, after last year's gains, seems eminently possible. The Spartans will also have five seniors returning as starters on defense.

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.