2009 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 1A Dual County (Large)

Acton-Boxborough

  • Last year's record: 10-2
  • Strength: Team speed. Defensive ability.
  • Concerns: Loss of projected quarterback Mike Morris, who tore his ACL in a basketball game this spring.
  • Coach: Bill Maver (24th season, 189-56-1)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 7 lettermen
    • P.J. Belanger, LB, Senior, 6-0, 205
    • Jarrett Ober, DL, Senior, 5-8, 207
    • Wes Schroll, LB, Junior, 6-3, 190
    • Steve Sherman, OT/DT, Senior, 6-0, 225
    • Jeremy Sides, OT/DT, Senior, 6-2, 215
    • Jack Souza, RB, Senior, 5-11, 193
    • Max Tejeda, DB, Senior, 5-10, 170

The defending DCL Large champs have a tough season ahead of them with the loss of quarterback Alex Kastrinelis and running backs Akeem Mercury and Trevor Jeanson. The 2008 squad was 10-2 and coach Bill Maver thinks it's going to take a combination of things this season to get back to that finishing point. "We're trying to get back," Maver said. "We have three very difficult games to start the year with, we have to get healthy and get into our league. That's the thing that counts." A-B opens against Woburn, followed by Chelmsford and defending Div. 1 Super Bowl champs, BC High, before they break into the league games.

Boston Latin

  • Last year's record: 1-10
  • Strength: Experience on the line.
  • Concerns: Inexperience in the skill positions.
  • Coach: John McDonough (9th season, 22-63)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The 2008 Wolfpack had a tough year, losing every league game, but coach John McDonough is ready to see his 2009 team reach at least a .500 record. McDonough believes the defining factor for Boston Latin to take it up a notch this year will be the practice style. His athletes were used to practicing on dirt patches with glass and other hazards constantly in the way of performing to their full potential. Roberto Clemente field in the Fens underwent a brand new renovation and with the new turf came a new outlook for the team. "What's different for us this year is the practice," McDonough said.

Lincoln-Sudbury

  • Last year's record: 9-2
  • Strength: Oustanding sophomore class. Veteran offensive and defensive line.
  • Concerns: Inexperienced skill positions, namely quarterback and running back.
  • Coach: Tom Lopez (32nd season, 222-91-5)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 6 lettermen
    • Michael Baranowsky, TE/LB, Senior, 6-0, 190
    • Dan Connoughton, TE/DE, Senior, 6-3, 225
    • Patrick Crosby, OL/DL, Senior, 6-4, 285
    • Owen Pagano, OL/DL, Senior, 5-10, 225
    • David Quinn, RB/LB, Senior, 6-0, 220
    • Zach Smerlis, OL/DL, Junior, 6-0, 255

The Warriors had 34 sophomores go out for the team this season which is promising news for the next few years. Coach Tom Lopez believes the youth of the team will aid in another winning season. Three athletes are vying for the quarterback position, including senior Derek Abel, junior Mark Pace, and sophomore Matt Cahill. Abel has experience as the JV quarterback last season. Besides replacing the quarterback, Lopez is worried about the task of replacing several of his running and fullbacks. "We're going to be all rookies back there other than [David] Quinn," Lopez said.

Newton South

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Experienced offensive line and running backs.
  • Concerns: General depth and inexperience at quarterback.
  • Coach: Ted Dalicandro (4th season, 9-24)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 13 lettermen
    • Willie Allen, WR/DB, Senior, 6-2, 185
    • Joey Anderson, OT/DE, Senior, 5-10, 205
    • Jonathan Aponte, DE, Senior, 5-10, 200
    • Jarrett Atkinson, FB/LB, Junior, 5-10, 195
    • Jelani Blandin, OT, Senior, 6-3, 275
    • Kwame Francis-John, RB/LB, Senior, 5-8, 185
    • Isaac Freedman, OL/LB, Senior, 5-11, 205
    • Jason Greene, S, Senior, 6-2, 190
    • Chris Lewis, WR/DB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Arthur Mescon, DB, Senior, 5-9, 175
    • Michael Richarde, FB/LB, Senior, 5-9, 190
    • Luke Shanahan, OT/DE, Junior, 6-0, 190
    • Lucas Walker, OL/LB, Senior, 5-9, 210

Newton South is ready to get the season underway after facing some offensive bumps in the road. Junior Justin Klumpp has some big shoes to fill as he is slated to take over the starting quarterback spot, replacing Yale-bound Boston Globe All Scholastic Derek Russell. Russell finished the season with over 20 touchdown passes and eight rushing touchdowns. Kwame Francis-Johne is back in the running back spot, and Willie Allen and Chris Lewis are ready to catch from Klumpp as wide receivers. Klumpp (6-2, 180) is a lacrosse player with a "good arm" according to Dalicandro. The Lions are ready to compete. "We lost a lot of close games last year and we hope to turn that around to win those games this year," Dalicandro said.

Waltham

  • Last year's record: 3-8
  • Strength: Experience in the skill positions.
  • Concerns: Inexperience in the line.
  • Coach: Paul Mayberry (7th season, 34-27)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 10 lettermen
    • Dylan Carnes
    • Ivan Colon, QB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 160
    • Jonas Duffrene, RB/LB, Senior, 5-11, 200
    • Brad Keirstad, RB/DB, Junior, 5-10, 165
    • Dan Lombardi, LB/OL, Senior, 5-10, 205
    • Daniel Maynes, TE/DE, Senior, 6-4, 250
    • Ryan McCogan
    • Michael Nutile, RB/DB, Senior, 6-0, 185
    • Connor Rink, OL/DT, Junior, 5-10, 240
    • Ian Stanton, OL/LB, Senior, 5-10, 190

The Hawks hope to soar past their record last year of 3-8 and take on new role in the frontrunners of the DCL Large. Coach Paul Mayberry is worried that inexperience may hinder the team's performance, but is optimistic about his skill positions making a deep impact. Three of Waltham's eight returning starters are slotted at running back, including seniors Michael Nutile and Jonas Duffrene and junior Brad Kierstad. Mayberry hopes that this year won't be a repeat of last year. "This year we're just trying to stay away from injuries," he said. "We had too many injuries last year." Senior Dan Lombardi will start on the line, after playing only four games last year due to injury.

Westford

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Running game. Tough offensive line.
  • Concerns: Athletes having to adjust to a new coaching system.
  • Coach: Rich McKenna (1st season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Westford Academy welcomes a new coach this season, Rich McKenna, who comes to the school from Merrimack College where he was an assistant coach. McKenna has worked closely with former coach and Westford Academy Dean of Students, Mike Parent, to help ease the transition for his athletes. McKenna is confident in junior Patrick Dugan, who played a little bit with the team last year and also started as the JV quarterback. A player to keep an eye on is Chris Hartery, however, he will miss the first two games of the season due to injury. McKenna also praised his teams commitment to football. "[Westford's football team] is a very hardworking group and we're really impressed with their work ethic," McKenna said.

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.