2009 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 3 Northeastern (Small)

Beverly

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Quarterback, attitude
  • Concerns: Depth
  • Coach: Dan Bauer (7th season, 35-29)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 14 lettermen
    • Steve Dubois, TE/LB, Senior, 5-11, 185
    • Mark Hannable, QB/DB, Senior, 5-11, 155
    • Randy Jones, RB/DB, Senior, 5-8, 155
    • George Kallas, OL/DL, Junior, 6-1, 285
    • Nick Kozlowski, OL/LB, Senior, 5-11, 185
    • George Louis, RB/K, Junior, 5-8, 160
    • Chris Manuel, WR/DB, Senior, 5-11, 155
    • Justin Marrs, WR/DB, Senior, 6-0, 170
    • Chris Mitchell, WR/DB, Junior, 5-8, 155
    • Theritch Roc, OL/LB, Senior, 5-10, 185
    • Dylan Terry, RB/DB, Senior, 5-7, 160
    • Mark Theriault, RB/LB, Senior, 5-10, 185
    • Stephen Williams, TE/DE, Senior, 5-9, 180
    • Joe Wioncek, QB/LB, Junior, 5-8, 170

Beverly posted a strong season last year, going 7-4 and challenging for the NEC Small title. The Panthers lost several key skill position players from that team over the offseason, however, in wide receivers Rashad Sims and Joe Santamaria, among others. For the Panthers, quarterback will figure in as a key, as Mark Hannable returns after a solid 2008 in which he ran for six touchdowns and threw another nine.

Danvers

  • Last year's record: 1-10
  • Strength: Conditioning, senior leadership
  • Concerns: Offensive line
  • Coach: John Sullivan (10th season, 41-51)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 10 lettermen
    • Eric Burgos, RB/DB, Senior, 5-11, 203
    • Kevin Davis, RB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 145
    • Kell Falite, OT/DE, Senior, 6-4, 198
    • Steven Hennessey, TE/DB, Senior, 6-3, 185
    • Greg Ladd, QB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 170
    • Nicholas Longo, G/DT, Senior, 6-0, 215
    • Clinton Lutz, RB/DB, Senior, 6-1, 186
    • Dan Skinner, WR/LB, Senior, 6-4, 200
    • Dan Stanton, G/LB, Senior, 6-0, 188
    • Jeff Turner, OT/DT, Senior, 6-4, 204

Danvers struggled through the 2008 season, winning just one game in week three against Revere. The upside is that both the Falcons' top running back, Eric Burgos, and top quarterback, Greg Ladd, return with more experience this year. Sullivan said he was pleased with his team's offseason conditioning workouts, and with 11 returning starters, including five linemen and two defensive backs, Danvers could be in a position to improve strongly on its disappointing showing from a season ago.

Marblehead

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Senior leadership, unity, attitude.
  • Concerns: Depth, lack of experience at skill positions.
  • Coach: Jim Rudloff (1st season)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 8 lettermen
    • Evan Comeau, LB, Senior, 6-0, 175
    • Matt Evans, LB, Senior, 6-0, 180
    • Alex Haigis, WR/SS, Senior, 6-0, 170
    • Marcel Hardmon, RB/LB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Flynn McCormack, WR/FS, Senior, 6-1, 170
    • Matt O'Neil, LB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Hayes Richardson, QB, Senior, 5-11, 170
    • Ryan Stanojev, WR/CB, Junior

Jim Rudloff will man the Magicians' ship this year after coming over from Beverly, where he spent four years as an assistant under Panthers coach Dan Bauer. Marblehead will have to find a way to win despite returning only three starters on defense and few on offense. Quarterback Hayes Richardson will bring stability under center behind a mostly-intact offensive line. Matt Evans, Evan Comeau, and Matt O'Neil are three two-way starters Rudloff identified as being key to the Magicians' hopes. Marblehead unexpectedly came within a Thanksgiving Day upset of winning the NEC Small last year, and Rudloff said he felt his team is capable of proving doubters wrong again. "We're not going to win every game, but we can do what we do to the best of our abilities. We know we can surprise people."

Saugus

  • Last year's record: 7-3
  • Strength: Skill positions.
  • Concerns: Depth, inexperience.
  • Coach: Mike Broderick (5th season, 18-23)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Saugus had an up-and-down season last year, starting 4-0 before dropping its next three and then ending on a three-game winning streak. John Moore will line up at QB, and, according to Broderick, should be comfortable running the Sachem offense. Saugus had one of the NEC Small's most prolific offenses last year, and it'll be up to captain Andrew White, an offensive guard and defensive tackle, to hold together a line to protect Moore. Saugus lost some of the conference's most productive players from a year ago, though, so a lack of experience and depth could wind up hindering the Sachems.

Swampscott

  • Last year's record: 9-3
  • Strength: Attitude and leadership
  • Concerns: Unproven depth at most positions
  • Coach: Steve Dembowski (11th season, 77-38)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Big Blue lose some important pieces, like Trevor Wheeler, Steve Moran, and Chris Cameron, but can never be counted out in the NEC Small. Returning players who are expected to make an impact include Matt Barbuzzi, who will man the quarterback spot after spending some time at the position last year, and Kyle Shonio, a solid running back who ran for five touchdowns last season. Chris Fagone and Buddy Nestor will anchor the offensive line in front of Barbuzzi and Shonio for a team that returns seven starters. The Big Blue's Saturday opener against Gloucester should provide early insight into what kind of team Swampscott really has this year.

Winthrop

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Skill positions, quarterback.
  • Concerns: Depth, lack of numbers.
  • Coach: Sean Driscoll (3rd season, 13-9)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Winthrop was expected to compete for the NEC Small title last season, but close losses to Swampscott and Marblehead derailed those hopes. Now the Vikings have to replace Chris Beranger's 23-touchdown production. Figuring foremost in that effort will be Will Milano, a third-year starting quarterback who threw 16 touchdown passes last year. Despite being handicapped as the smallest school in the conference, Driscoll is optimistic Winthrop can continue finding success. "I'm excited about my team and their work ethic. I think we can be competitive in our league this year as long as we can stay healthy." With what Driscoll called "a lack of numbers," all of Winthrop's important players will have to stay on the field as much as possible.

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.