2009 EMASS Football Preview

Find a team by

Div 3 Patriot (Fisher)

Hanover

  • Last year's record: 8-4
  • Strength: Team speed.
  • Concerns: Offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Brian King (2nd season, 8-4)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 8 lettermen
    • Fran Armstrong, OG/DE, Senior, 5-10, 180
    • Travis Brown, DT/OT, Senior, 5-9, 210
    • Ian Concannon, DB/WR, Senior, 5-10, 160
    • Gregg Devine, LB/WR, Senior, 6-2, 180
    • Matt Johnson, QB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Joey Shisler, DB/WR, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Nate Weiss, DT/OT, Senior, 6-0, 210
    • Brett Wheeler, DB/RB, Senior, 5-10, 175

Last year, in his first year as head coach, Brian King steered his squad to the Fisher Division title. Returning for year two, King has every intention of reclaiming that title. With quarterback Matt Johnson returning as quarterback, King said it is "very comforting" in terms of stability. King will also be looking for big play and leadership out of captains Greg Devine and Fran Armstrong. The loss of Nick Hocking at wide receiver is definitely a big one, King said. Hocking led 2A last season in touchdown receptions and until he finds someone who can replace him, King said he will be looking to his captains to lead the team. Abington is one game King is looking forward to as Hanover suffered a 14-6 loss to them last season. "They're an extremely difficult opponent on the road," King said. "If you can compete with them, you have a pretty good football team."

Middleboro

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Team's positive attitude
  • Concerns: Lack of experience on both sides of the ball
  • Coach: John Shea (2nd season)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 6 lettermen
    • Zack Botelho, OL/DL, Junior, 6-1, 225
    • Cody Carvalho, FB/LB, Senior, 5-9, 200
    • Tony Dellarocco, OL/LB, Junior, 5-11, 220
    • Carlton Dyer, S/WR, Junior, 6-1, 180
    • Dylan Gabriel, OL/DL, Senior, 6-2, 290
    • Brian Wiksten, QB, Junior, 6-2, 175

John Shea is aware he has a younger team this year but said they are very enthusisastic and practices have been "some of the best practices" he's been a part of as coach. The Sachems graduated 15 seniors last year but that doesn't discourage Shea. "I'm aware that there's no substitute for experience even if they're good athletes and good people," he said. "But having said that I know they're going to give me everything they have." Junior Brian Wiksten returns as quarterback this year and junior lineman Zack Bopelho is more of a "player coach" according to Shea. Tony Dellarocco, Dylan Gabriel, and Cody Carvalho, are all players Shea said he will be looking to carry the team and demonstrate a strong work ethic and attitude.

Pembroke

  • Last year's record: 3-8
  • Strength: Experience in the backfield.
  • Concerns: Overall idea of trying to figure out our identity.
  • Coach: Robert Bancroft (27th season, 185-82-6)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 14 lettermen
    • Matt Allen, SE, Junior, 6-2, 181
    • Andy Chapman, RB, Senior, 5-9, 170
    • Pat Claflin, RB/LB, Senior, 5-8, 175
    • Bob Gratzer, OL/DL, Senior, 6-2, 251
    • Ben Healy, RB, Senior, 5-4, 150
    • Anthony Juliano, QB, Senior, 5-10, 165
    • Luke Leavitt, QB, Junior, 6-1, 162
    • Dan McCourt, TE/DE, Sophomore, 6-4, 228
    • Joe Memmo, SE/S, Senior
    • Ty Morse, RB, Senior, 5-6, 154
    • John Owen, OL/DL, Senior, 6-0, 247
    • Mark Petre, TE, Junior, 5-11, 166
    • Rubinder Randhawa, DB, Senior, 6-0, 165
    • Sean Richards, OT/DT, Junior, 6-2, 256

Bob Bancroft returns to the coaching field after a seven year break. Formerly a coach at Whitman-Hanson for 26 years, Bancroft said he had forgotten what he missed about coaching. "Just the day to day fun stuff I got away from," Bancroft said. "Our biggest job as coaches is trying to build confidence and create a winning attitude." Bancroft admits that entering an already established system is difficult for all parties involved and everyone is adjusting but he believes it's working. "We’re trying to get ourselves up to a position where we can compete against our schedule," he said. Learning names and histories of his players is part of the challenge, Bancroft said, but some players have stood out and he expects them to lead the team. Bancroft called senior running back Pat Claflin (5-8, 175)a "very experienced, serious, hard working kid." "I'm anxious to get [to league games] with these kids," said Bancroft.

Quincy

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Quarterback and defensive backfield.
  • Concerns: Staying healthy.
  • Coach: Bill Reardon (2nd season, 5-6)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 5 lettermen
    • Ngozi Aguguo, WR/DB, Senior, 6-4, 185
    • Rick Friedman, OL/DL, Senior, 5-11, 280
    • Akeem Heywood, OL/DB, Senior, 6-2, 220
    • James Nguyen, RB/LB, Senior, 5-8, 170
    • Ken Nguyen, RB/DB, Senior, 5-7, 150

Reardon is back for his second season as the Quincy skipper. With only 38 players on his varsity roster, 11 of which are seniors, he knows that the main concern is staying healthy. "I'm definitely looking for my captains to be leaders," he said. "They're going to have to play well for us if we're going to be successful and competitive." Quarterback Lance Peterson returns for his senior year and should a productive player. Reardon is also looking for solid play from his defense due to a schedule that includes offensive powers Hanover and Duxbury. "I can tell my kids 'make sure you work hard'," Reardon said. "If each individual gets a little better each day then we all get better as a group."

Randolph

  • Last year's record: 2-8
  • Strength: The Offense
  • Concerns: Depth; number of players on the team.
  • Coach: Joseph Cotton (2nd season, 2-8)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 8 lettermen
    • Yemi Ajao, LB, Senior, 6-4, 220
    • David Frye, OC, Sophomore, 6-2, 245
    • Joe Hubacheck, LB, Junior, 5-8, 195
    • Christian Lopez, QB, Senior, 5-9, 162
    • Mike Miranda, WR, Senior, 5-11, 147
    • Chris Samuel, DT, Senior, 6-0, 270
    • Jordan Smith, S, Junior, 5-11, 155
    • Zack Tempone, OT, Sophomore, 6-1, 220

Joe Cotton enters his second year as the Blue Devils' leader and believes his squad can have successful season if they all continue to work well together. "The offensive is going to be our strong suit," Cotton said. "[In scrimmages] they looked like they had played together for a while. It looks like the offense was suited for this group of kids." In the preseason Cotton has nearly 20 less players than he did last season but he anticipates more joining and is looking for a few specific players to lead the team in yards on the field and in attitude. Senior quarterback Christian Lopez returns and "is going to be key" this season, along with senior running back Loi Huynh. Cotton says his defense is very solid right now but the offense is playing better together as a unit.

Rockland

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Overall team quickness and speed.
  • Concerns: Depth on the line; overall size on the line.
  • Coach: Ken Owen (27th season, 173-92-5)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • Shaun Ball, TE, Senior, 6-1, 205
    • Adam Bois, LB, Senior, 5-9, 155
    • Joe Carlier, E, Senior, 5-10, 185
    • Steven Gardner, DT, Junior, 5-8, 240
    • Tim Gibson, RB, Junior, 6-0, 165
    • Nick Happnie, RB, Junior, 5-9, 160
    • Brian Harrington, OG/LB, Junior, 6-1, 190
    • Shay Morton, OG/LB, Junior, 5-8, 180
    • James Mulready, DT, Senior, 6-0, 230
    • David Roy, LB, Junior, 5-9, 170
    • Bryan Whitt, S, Senior, 6-0, 175

Veteran coach Ken Owen knows he has a younger team but he's hoping his underclassmen and juniors will have matured by midseason. "League play doesn't start until game five and I'm hoping by that time to change that and rectify the situation," he said of having only seven seniors on his team. Owen added that he loved his Bulldogs' work ethic and everyone entered camp in good shape. Recent transfer Mike Driscoll, junior offensive guard Brian Harrington and junior James Gonsalves are a few players Owen is looking for leadership along with all of his seniors.

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.