2009 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 1A Northeastern (Large)

Gloucester

  • Last year's record: 11-2
  • Strength: Experience in the skill positions.
  • Concerns: Rebuilding the offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Paul Ingram (7th season, 58-10)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Paul Ingram has one goal: to remain competitive. But making it back to Gillette Stadium for a third year in a row wouldn't be so bad either. "Two years ago we were 13-0 and last year we were 11-2," Ingram said. "We feel we can get back there again this year. If we remain somewhat healthy and we find the right combination of lineman we'll be all set." The Fishermen have a slew of returning juniors in the starting lineup, who hope to prove that a youthful team can make a dent in the competition. Ingram thinks his team has "kids who are big and fast and talented, especially at the running back, tight end, split end, and quarteback position."

Lynn Classical

  • Last year's record: 5-5
  • Strength: Speed and overall team physicality.
  • Concerns: Inexperience and team continuity.
  • Coach: Tim Phelps (2nd season, 5-5)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The offensive duo of Jasper and Nicky Grassa will be working together to put points on the board for the Rams this season. Nicky, a junior, will start at quarterback, a position his older brother held last year. "They have a pretty good relationship," coach Tim Phelps said. "Being brothers and growing up together makes them have a pretty good repore and it works well for us." Phelps is a little worried about the experience his returning starters have. "A lot of those [returning] starters weren't complete season starters," Phelps said. "A lot of them started 1 or 2 games, so there's a little bit of inexperience." He hopes the off-season preparation that the team did will make a difference on the field. "They dedicated themselves with running track or playing hoop and worked hard lifting weights and what not," Phelps said. "Hopefully that can translate onto the field."

Lynn English

  • Last year's record: 7-3
  • Strength: Enough athletic talent to continue last year's success on offense.
  • Concerns: Pressure from move up to Division 1A.
  • Coach: Peter Holey (2nd season, 7-3)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

There was Gloucester and all the rest in 2008. But the best-of-the-rest was clearly Lynn English, which averaged 27 ppg and finished second behind the Fishermen. A new year has new challenges, including a move to Division 1A. Taron Seaforth a player to watch at wide receiver.

Peabody

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Running game. Experienced linebackers, defensive backs and skill positions.
  • Concerns: Depth on offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Scott Wlasuk (2nd season, 4-7)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The 2009 season will serve as another rebuilding year at Peabody High where second year coach Scott Wlasuk is trying out underclassmen in several different positions. Despite the fact that the squad lost over 25 seniors to graduation this year, a combination of fresh faces and a virtually new coaching staff could prove beneficial for the Tanners. Wlasuk has two main goals this season: "One is to bring stability back to the program. My other goal is to be competitive in every game." Wlasuk stepped into the coaching role in 2008 after being a Peabody football player in high school and having a role on the coaching staff for 20 years. Quarterback Mike O'Brien will be responsible for leading an old fashioned single wing offense, which revolves around a strong running game. Wlasuk hopes to get the opportunity to open up the balance of attack with passing. "We're trying to utilize the offense that we have," Wlasuk said, rather than bring in another new system.

Revere

  • Last year's record: 3-8
  • Strength: Overall athleticism.
  • Concerns: Inexperience and loss of starters.
  • Coach: Lou Cicatelli (7th season, 20-44)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 20 lettermen
    • Chris Adreani, WR/LB, Senior, 6-1, 200
    • Jose Amaya
    • Anthony Borzillo
    • Angelo Cucuzza
    • Dom Dicarto, TE/DE, Senior, 6-1, 190
    • Joe Fabiano, TE/DE, Senior, 5-9, 170
    • David Gil
    • Russ Goodwin
    • Jesse Kielpinski, RB/DB, Senior, 5-8, 165
    • Scooby Mageza, RB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Brian Murphy, OL/DT, Senior, 5-9, 210
    • Paul Norton
    • Wayne Ramos
    • Bryan Robichaud, OT/DT, Senior, 6-1, 300
    • Dylan Stuart, WR/DB, Senior, 5-10, 165
    • Devin Tango
    • Chayon Thy, RB/LB, Senior, 5-7, 160
    • Will Weathers, OT/LB, Senior, 6-0, 215
    • Trey Weathers, LB/DB, Junior, 6-1, 210
    • Quentin Wesley

Lou Cicatelli hopes that his seventh season will prove to be lucky for Revere. The Patriots have a slew of returning starters, but not all of them have the experience that Cicatelli hoped for. "We're young," Cicatelli said. "We lost a couple of very good players. I think we'll be okay." Will Weathers, a senior captain on the offensive and defensive line, and Chris Adreani (WR/LB) are two players to watch this season. Both Adreani and Weathers have been playing varsity ball for Revere since their sophomore season. Paul Norton takes over the role of quarterback after playing JV in that position last year.

Salem

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Overall athleticism and team speed.
  • Concerns: Inexperience on the defensive line.
  • Coach: Scott Connolly (6th season, 19-35)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 16 lettermen
    • Chris Bozarjian
    • Brad Daigle
    • Daniel Dobresielski
    • Max Feeley
    • Josh Gillooly, LB, Junior, 6-1, 185
    • Edwin Guzman
    • David Kendrick, RB, Junior, 5-10, 180
    • Joe King, DL, Senior, 5-11, 220
    • Scott Kugel, LB, Senior, 5-11, 185
    • James Labao, LB, Senior, 5-10, 185
    • Tyler Mason, OL, Senior, 6-0, 210
    • Derek McIntyre
    • Antonio Reyas, TE, Junior, 6-1, 205
    • Josh Sanchez, OL, Senior, 6-1, 210
    • Brad Skeffington, QB, Junior, 6-0, 180
    • Nate Staples, DB, Junior, 5-7, 165

Coach Scott Connolly thinks that his team's overall athleticism will help contribute to a winning season this year. With over 90 percent of his starters playing at least one other varsity sport, according to Connolly, the team's speed and agility will make the Witches a formidable opponent. Connolly said although he is confident, there's always a chance that injury or hardship can plague a team. "Week in and week out we have to prepare like its our last," Connolly said. Junior quarterback Brad Skeffington, who started six games last year, sealed the starting spot for 2009 with David Kendrick at his side. Kendrick (5-10, 180), a junior running back, averaged 13.6 yards a carry and rushed for just over 800 yards as a sophomore.

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.