2009 EMASS Football Preview

Find a team by

Div 4A Commonwealth (Small)

Chelsea

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Senior leadership, team attitude.
  • Concerns: Depth on the offensive line.
  • Coach: Michael Stellato (3rd season, 59-57 overall)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 10 lettermen
    • Brayan Blanco, C, Junior, 5-9, 230
    • David Cortez, FB/LB, Senior, 6-0, 185
    • Troy Crossley, WR/DB, Junior, 5-9, 160
    • Roberto Flores, LB, Senior, 5-6, 180
    • Juan Martinez, DB, Junior, 5-7, 160
    • Daniel Martinez, TB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 195
    • Nelson Molina, QB/LB, Senior, 5-7, 190
    • Justin Saez, RB/LB, Senior, 5-6, 210
    • Paco Silva, DB, Senior, 5-6, 155
    • Felix Torres, TE/DE, Senior, 6-1, 215

Coach Stellato is convinced his team will produce this season due to its returning nucleus of starters, and the motivation of a disappointing '08 season. Although Chelsea finished with a losing record, Stellato believes it was a vital prerequisite to the team's success going into this season, mostly for his younger players who needed the experience. Chelsea also has assets that may prove to be dangerous weapons on both sides of the ball in seniors, quarterback/defensive back Nelson Molina, and tailback/linebacker Daniel Martinez. Both were named CAC Small All-Stars last season, and going into their final season should be a force for the Red Devils.

Manchester Essex

  • Last year's record: 13-0
  • Strength: Returning starters, much experience.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Michael Athanas (6th season, 32-27)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 12 lettermen
    • Jack Bishop, FB, Senior
    • Jake Brown, DB, Senior
    • Alex Carr, QB, Junior
    • Brian Ciccone, LB/RB, Senior
    • Pat Hoffman, SF, Senior
    • Max Houle, FS, Senior
    • Ben Kekeisen, RB, Senior
    • Doug Kennerson, SE, Senior
    • Colin Line, CB, Senior
    • Chris Sullivan, DB
    • Garrin Sweet, DE, Senior
    • Seth Young, CB, Senior

Manchester Essex went undefeated last year, winning the Division 4 Super Bowl title, and barring any injuries coach Athanas believes they should be in a position to repeat. With a lockerroom full of returning starters the reality of a repeat may be in the cards for coach Athanas and his players in '09.

Minuteman

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Attitude and experience.
  • Concerns: Depth and schedule strength.
  • Coach: Brian Tildsley (2nd season, 5-6)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 5 lettermen
    • Tony Altamirano, LB, Junior, 5-9, 175
    • Pete Filoramo, S, Senior, 4-10, 170
    • Jimmy Mascioli, QB, Senior, 6-0, 185
    • Troy Newton, WR, Sophomore, 5-10, 170
    • Garrett Rustin, CB, Senior, 5-8, 155

Tildsley enters his second season with the Mustangs after a very solid five-win campaign in his first year. Losing All-Stars Greg Young (14 TDs) & Junior Orne (9 TDs) will slow down the offensive attack but Minuteman will look to its core group of experienced linemen to pick up the slack. “The mood of these guys in camp has been very hardnosed and business like. I think we will be in a lot of games this season on attitude alone. Our depth scares me a bit with most guys going both ways and playing specials but we’ll have them in shape. The conference is filled with tough teams top to bottom but North Shore looks like a cut above at this point,” said Tildsley, who also coaches the Mustang wrestling and lacrosse teams.

Mystic Valley

  • Last year's record: 1-10
  • Strength: The coaching staff and returning veterans.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Rollie Hinckley (3rd season, 67-97-1 overall)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 9 lettermen
    • Klysman Afonso, SE/DL, Sophomore
    • Alex Arredondo, RB/DE, Junior
    • Bob Brown, OL/LB, Senior
    • Ryan Cerrato, RB/DB, Sophomore
    • John Dion, OL/DL, Junior
    • Brendan Hogan, RB/DB, Junior
    • Eric Natale, RB/DB, Junior
    • Mike Pascal, QB/DB, Junior
    • Aaron Payne, OL/DL, Junior

With just four wins the past two seasons, and finishing last in the league at 0-5, Mystic Valley has a lot of ground to make up to catch its Commonwealth rivals. Coach Hinckley had two goals for his team this preseason: "To be much more competitve, and second to enhance individual capabilities of the team such as blocking and tackling." Mystic Valley may have had a pair of losing seasons in recent history, but with the program having a huge turnout this year in the offseason conditioning program, the tables might be turning for Mystic.

North Shore

  • Last year's record: 9-3
  • Strength: Experience at the quarterback position.
  • Concerns: Team Depth.
  • Coach: Paul Worth (1st season, First year at North Shore; 75-65 overall)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 7 lettermen
    • Chris Baker, S, Senior
    • Paul Cerino, LB, Senior
    • Chris Jones, DE, Senior
    • Bruce Laclair, DT, Senior
    • David St.Pierre, QB, Senior
    • Jesse Wilkins, RB, Junior
    • Pat Wood, WR, Junior

After going winless in 2007 North Shore came back to win 9 games in 2008 and finished second in the division behind undefeated Manchester Essex. With the momentum on their side North shore is looking to win big this upcoming season with the emergence of senior quarterback David St.Pierre, who threw for 18 touchdowns in 2008 and now has 35 as a starter. Coach Worth praised his team leader for his ability to score points, and reiterated that if his offensive line can supply the time St. Pierre should do wonders. "He has experience, vision, an arm, and an uncanny sense for football," said Worth.

Northeast

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Offensive and Defensive lines.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at the skill positions.
  • Coach: Don Heres (4th season, 15-18)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • Joe Curto, LB, Junior
    • Raul Galdamez, DB, Senior
    • Joey Ginetra, FB/TE, Senior
    • Jerel Hickerson, LB, Sophomore
    • Dan Khun, RB, Senior
    • A.J. Ortiz, DB, Junior
    • Christian O'Leary, LB/RB, Senior
    • Kladji Pelivan, FB, Senior
    • Shane Perry, RB, Senior
    • Dan Roan, LB, Senior
    • Brandon Sullivan, RB, Junior

After going 5-6 last season, coach Heres is hoping to stay away from the injury bug and rebound with a winning season. Losing starting quarterback Mike Cain last season was a blow for Northeast, but it opened up a door for Christian O'Leary, whose original position is running back, to showcase his talent. O'Leary playing out of position scored over a hundred points at the helm for Northeast,and is returning to his natural position as wing back this upcoming season. If Northeast can stay healthy, its potent offensive line and a major weapon at running back could make an impact in the race for the Commonwealth Small League title.

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.