2009 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 4A Catholic Central (Small)

Cathedral

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Team speed and many players who gained experience last fall
  • Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback
  • Coach: Michael Pittman (4th season, 20-24)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Back-to-back 5-6 season show cathedral is competitive but hasn't been able to get over the hump. To know what's possible, the players can look at their athletic director, Larry Merritt, who was a Globe All-Scholastic. Cathedral was strong at home (3-1), but struggled away from Boston (2-5).

Lowell Catholic

  • Last year's record: 6-4
  • Strength: Confidence from a winning record in '08.
  • Concerns: Graduation of four league all-stars including Cornelius Moore, the third leading scorer in Division 4.
  • Coach: Tim Walsh (9th season, 35-52)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

a 3-7 record in 2007 became 6-4 last fall as Lowell Catholic finished tied for second in the Catholic Central Small. The team actually struggled at home, finishing .500 at 3-3 but went 3-1 away from home. The Crusaders wwere the highest scoring team in the CCL Small and the graduation of All-Styar quarterback Nick Loiselle and All-Star Cornelius Moore will make the kind of output tough to repeat.

Marian

  • Last year's record: 7-3
  • Strength: Enthusiasm and veteran coaching staff
  • Concerns: Loss of CCL Small All-Stars D,J. Dorsey, Joe Fleming, and Jermey Donovan.
  • Coach: Phil Marchegiani (22nd season, 139-82-3)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

After a long history of postseason success, Marian hasn't been to a post-season game since 2002. It's no that the team has struggled. The Mustangs had their second straight 7-3 season and finished tied for second in the CCL Small. With health, Marian could challenge for league honors and the chance to play in December again.

Matignon

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: The line, anchored by 310-pound college prospect Jay Kenney.
  • Concerns: Loss of three CCL Small All-Stars, Davidson Peguero, Tom Tracy and Nicco Gobbi.
  • Coach: Neil Valeriani (2nd season, 5-6)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 4 lettermen
    • Sean Donovan, OL/DL, Senior
    • Jay Kenney, OL/DL, Senior, 6-4, 310
    • John McCaffrey, C/DL, Junior
    • Mike Nicholson, RB/DB, Junior

The offense struggled last fall for Matignon, scoring just 10.9 ppg while giving up close to 17. But in atightly-packed CCL Small race, Matignon stayed in it until the end, finishing 5-6 with a 3-3 league mark. A little improvement and matignon could be in the hunt this fall.

Pope John

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Running game and offense.
  • Concerns: Numbers and experience at quarterback.
  • Coach: Chris Buckley (4th season, 30-13)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Tigers went 7-4 last fall but in the Catholic Central Small they were perfect, going 6-0 and earning a Division 4 playoff berth. Much of that success was due to senior running back Justin Nascimento, the fourth leading scorer in the division. This fall Pope John returns a strong nucleus. Tigers must find a replacement for graduated quarterback Sean Nalen.

St. Clement

  • Last year's record: 4-6
  • Strength: Reknewed confidence following four-win season.
  • Concerns: Building on '08 and staying healthy.
  • Coach: Colin Walsh (7th season, 8-55)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Following an 0-10 season in '07, St. Clement rebounded with a 4-6 campain that was the school's best under Colin Walsh. The Anchormen could score, averaging 21 ppg. They also gave up a lot of points and opponents scored a league high 28.3 ppg. With the progress Walsh is making, a winning season isn't out of the question.

Trinity Catholic

  • Last year's record: 1-10
  • Strength: Experience on the line
  • Concerns: Depth and potential injuries.
  • Coach: Steve McGonigle (7th season, 25-41)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Trinity Catholic struggled last fall, especially on the offensive side of the ball. TC scored just 8.9 ppg. Combined with the 28 ppg it gave up on defense and the record becomes understandable. But Trinity Catholic was competitive at home and good health, enthusiasm, a few breaks and there will be more wins in Newton.

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.