2011 EMASS Football Preview

Find a team by

Div 2A Atlantic Coast

Dennis-Yarmouth

  • Last year's record: 10-2
  • Strength: Team speed.
  • Concerns: Defense.
  • Coach: Paul Funk (10th season, 58-39-1)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 9 lettermen
    • Barry Dempsey, OL/DL, Senior, 6-2, 240
    • Joe Furness, RB/LB, Senior, 5-10, 220
    • Cooper Greenspan-Sullivan, RB/LB, Senior, 6-1, 170
    • Rufus Hamilton, RB/DB, Senior, 5-8, 165
    • Dylan Hodson, RB/LB, Senior, 6-0, 175
    • Damion Johnson, WR/S, Senior, 6-2, 190
    • Liam Matheson, RB/LB, Sophomore, 5-10, 165
    • Spencer McCaffrey, WR/DB, Junior, 5-10, 165
    • Matt Montalto, QB, Senior, 5-10, 175

The Dolphins' ability to compete in the Atlantic Coast League this season will hinge on how quickly they develop new talent on defense, particularly at linebacker. Coach Paul Funk will rely on Quinn Campbell, Cooper Greenspan-Sullivan, Joe Furness and Dylan Hodson to ease the transition. Hodson (the team's leading scorer last season) and Furness were starters last year, and will also contribute heavily on an offense led by standout quarterback Matt Montalto.

Falmouth

  • Last year's record: 5-5
  • Strength: Overall size.
  • Concerns: Inexperience.
  • Coach: Steve Femino (2nd season, 5-5)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 6 lettermen
    • Sam Burt, OL, Junior
    • Matt Dineen, DB, Senior, 5-10
    • AJ Fernandes, LB, Senior, 5-8
    • Sean Rubino, OL, Junior
    • Devan Soares, WR/DB, Senior, 5-6
    • Matt Tavares, OL, Senior

Falmouth did not fair well in league play last season, going 1-4. Playing the likes of Dennis-Yarmouth and Marshfield can give any team trouble. But the Clippers' finish was also a reflection on the defense, which gave up an average of more than 20 points per game under first year coach Steve Femino. The Clippers' defense is still young, but opening the season with three non-league games gives them a good opportunity to develop, albeit hastily. Femino has two solid options under center in senior A.J. Fernandes and junior James Burke. Whoever wins the starting job will be protected by an offensive line that returns three of their five starters from last season.

Marshfield

  • Last year's record: 5-5
  • Strength: Team speed; experience.
  • Concerns: Depth on both sides of the ball.
  • Coach: Lou Silva (31st season, 193-118-7)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Marshfield followed up a 2009 championship campaign with a mediocre 2010 season. But despite a .500 record, the Rams played well against Atlantic Coast opponents, going 4-1 in league play. The Rams graduated some talent, including the versatile John Frasier, fullback Tom Pomella and tight end Charlie LaPaglia, but plenty of players return. "We have a ton of kids who played last year," said Silva. "We're not really big, but I feel we have really good team speed." Look for big seasons from quarterback Mark Pomella and fullback/inside linebacker Mike Williams.

Nauset

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Size up front.
  • Concerns: Unknowns going into league play.
  • Coach: Keith Kenyon (2nd season, 6-5)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 6 lettermen
    • Brendan Battles-Santos, RB/DE, Senior, 6-3, 240
    • EJ Dziedzina, RB/LB, Senior, 5-10, 180
    • Ben Ering, OL/DL, Senior, 6-0, 310
    • Nathan Holmes, RB/DB, Senior, 6-1, 195
    • Derrick Holmes, RB/LB, Senior, 6-1, 195
    • Lichota Seidewand, RB/DB, Senior, 6-0, 155

Nauset returns to the Atlantic Coast League after playing an independent schedule last season in an effort to regroup and become competitive once again (Nauset won a total of five games from 2005-09). Under second-year coach Keith Kenyon, the Warriors hope to use their single-wing offense to keep defenses guessing and stay relevant in the ACL. The loss of wingback Peter Hennigan and top passer Topher Lynch is not ideal, but it can be overcome. Senior co-captains Brendan Battles-Santos, who has verbally committed to the University of Connecticut, and Ben Ering return to anchor the defensive line. Nauset also welcomes the return of the Holmes twins, Nathan (a tailback and last season's leading rusher) and Derrick (a linebacker and last season's leading tackler). Last season Nauset defeated one ACL team, Sandwich, while falling to rival Dennis-Yarmouth.

Plymouth North

  • Last year's record: 8-3
  • Strength: Quarterback.
  • Concerns: Inexperience.
  • Coach: Dwayne Follette (2nd season, 8-3)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 2 lettermen
    • Jake Holmes, CB/RB
    • Bobby Savoia, RB/LB, Senior

Plymouth North replaces a senior-heavy team from last season with an inexperienced senior-heavy team this season. Of the 16 seniors coach Dwayne Follette has on his roster only two of them--Jake Holmes (RB/LB), and captain Bobby Savoia (DB/RB)--were starters last year. The defense is especially inexperienced with only three players--Holmes, Savoia, and lineman Matt Josephine--returning who played regularly. On offense, Follette hopes to control the ball with a good corps of running backs that includes sophomores Eddie Ramos and Frank Gomes.

Plymouth South

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Off-season preparation.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Scott Fry (8th season, 30-43-1)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Plymouth South must revamp an offense that scored an average of only 8.6 points per game last season if they want to contend with the likes of Dennis-Yarmouth and crosstown rival Plymouth North in a high scoring Atlantic Coast League.

Sandwich

  • Last year's record: 2-8
  • Strength: Senior leadership; team unity.
  • Concerns: Depth; inexperience.
  • Coach: Bill Luette (6th season, 28-36)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 7 lettermen
    • Phil Boudrow, OL
    • Kyle Hein, RB/LB
    • Ty McGrath, OL/DL
    • Joe Millham, DB/DB
    • Brian Millham, DB
    • Lucas Mullin, LB/WR
    • Nick Tierney, OL

Sandwich was winless in league play last season. In order to change that, the Blue Knights will have to improve their league-worst defense that gave up nearly 30 points per game last season. The return of Joe and Brian Millham in the secondary should help. The Knights only return seven starters from last season, and the overall ability to stay healthy will be key to the team's success after an injury-plagued 2010 campaign.

3 games to watch

Sept
24

The Crimson Tide visit the Eagles in Week 3 for a rematch of last season’s Division 1 Super Bowl.

Oct
14

Marshfeld handed the Atlantic Coast League champs their only loss last season and this one could decide the league title again.

Nov
11
North Attleborough at Mansfield

Coaches Don Johnson and Mike Redding — former teammates at North Attleboro and Holy Cross — face off after each led their teams to impressive 10-1 seasons last fall.

Preseason Top 20

Rank Team Last year
1 Everett 12-0
2 Duxbury 13-0
3 BC High 6-4
4 Catholic Memorial 5-5
5 Brockton 8-3
6 Xaverian 8-3
7 Mansfield 12-1
8 St. John's Prep 8-5
9 Bridgewater-Raynham 10-3
10 Andover 8-4
11 Dracut 8-4
12 Weymouth 11-1
13 Concord-Carlisle 10-3
14 Dennis-Yarmouth 10-2
15 Lincoln-Sudbury 8-4
16 Reading 12-1
17 Gloucester 13-0
18 North Andover 10-2
19 Billerica 5-6
20 Chelmsford 7-4