2011 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 2A Bay State (Herget)

Milton

  • Last year's record: 3-8
  • Strength: Receiving and linebacking.
  • Concerns: Inexperience on the lines.
  • Coach: Jim Bowes (3rd season, 5-17 career record)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 7 lettermen
    • Casey Collier, C, Senior, 5-6, 195
    • Jamal Grant, ILB, Senior, 5-9, 190
    • Antonio Houston, RB/S, Senior, 5-7, 165
    • Andrew Hutch, DT/TE, Junior, 6-1, 220
    • Matt Lezama, WR, Senior, 5-10, 190
    • Connor Regan, LB, Junior, 6-0, 220
    • Terrence Walsh, S, Senior, 5-9, 170

All of the starting linemen from last season have moved on, so the Wildcats will hope that a brand new group are capable of stepping in on both sides of the ball. Gone too are leading scorer Kemani Jones and two-year starting quarterback Matt Regan. Needless to say, there will be a slew of new faces guiding the Wildcats this season, including sophomore QB Liam Collins. "We are young, so we're inexperienced, but we're a tough group," said coach Jim Bowes. Antonio Houston will look to fill the void at running back and Matt Lazama will serve as Collins' go-to-receiver. Senior captains Terrence Walsh and Jamal Grant bring leadership to the defense. "It's exciting to have all these new faces," said Bowes. "We're ready to go and looking to surprise some people."

Natick

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Senior leadership on the lines.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at skill positions.
  • Coach: Mark Mortarelli (2nd season, 6-5)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 16 lettermen
    • Brad Apone, LB, Senior, 5-10, 150
    • John Delmonaco, WR/DB, Senior, 6-2, 180
    • Evans Dorime, OL/DL, Senior, 5-10, 305
    • Mike Dunlap, LB, Junior, 5-11, 185
    • Tim Dunn, OL/DL, Senior, 6-1, 235
    • Troy Flutie, QB, Sophomore, 6-0, 165
    • Ryan Gorman, OL/DL, Senior, 5-10, 215
    • Zach Hilger, LB/RB, Junior, 5-11, 185
    • Derek Kane, WR, Senior, 6-1, 160
    • Dimitri Kourtis, WR, Senior, 5-8, 150
    • Jack Lowell, LB/RB, Junior, 5-11, 200
    • Andrew McIntosh, OL/DL, Senior, 6-0, 220
    • Denis Nagle, DL, Senior, 6-0, 205
    • Tim Naser, OL/DL, Senior, 6-0, 250
    • James Nicoli, DB, Senior, 6-0, 170
    • Brian Tingley, LB, Senior, 6-0, 200

Mark Mortarelli did an admirable job in his first season at the helm of the Red & Blue, compiling a 6-5 record despite losing 30 seniors. This year, eight returning players account for 11 starting spots and 17 returning letterman will put Mortarelli in a better position in his second season. A legendary last name returns to the Red and Blue quarterback position as Troy Flutie (son of Darren) takes over full-time field general duties. Flutie, who spent some time playing as a freshman, is already receiving rave reviews from coaches throughout the conference. He will rely on senior receiver Dimitri Kourtis as his main weapon and running back Jack Lowell Jr. will handle the bulk of the rushing duties. The strength of Mortarelli's squad lies on the lines with the senior leadership of Tim Dunn and Evans Dorime leading the way. Natick is looking to return to prominence and they should turn some heads in an always-tough Bay State league.

Norwood

  • Last year's record: 3-8
  • Strength: Skills positions, size and strength.
  • Concerns: Inexperience on the offensive line.
  • Coach: John Sarianides (2nd season, 3-8)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 9 lettermen
    • Andrew Alty, RB/CB, Senior, 5-8, 160
    • Sam Anderson, TE/OLB, Senior, 6-0, 180
    • Brendan Cathcart, WR/FS, Senior, 6-0, 170
    • Joe Ciavattone, FB/LB, Senior, 5-11, 225
    • Jon Ciavattone, OT/DE, Junior, 6-2, 230
    • Ben D'Agostino, TE/DE, Senior, 6-0, 185
    • Peter Kelly, WR/CB, Senior, 5-8, 160
    • Tommy Munro, QB/FS, Senior, 6-4, 200
    • Jason Nassif, TE/OLB, Senior, 6-0, 205

The Mustangs look to buck the trend of 3-8 seasons, which they have suffered over their last two campaigns. With a talented group at the skill positions and some big, physical players up front, that trend should stop here. Senior quarterback Tommy Munro returns to lead the offense after tossing 10 touchdown passes while splitting time in 2010. Receivers Brendan Cathcart and Peter Kelly, as well as tight end Jason Nassif, will provide Munro with solid options across the field. Last year's leading scorer, running back Andrew Alty, returns to the backfield after finding the end zone 13 times a year ago. "We have enough skill to compete in our league," said coach John Sarianides. "We can be a dark horse if we can remain healthy and gel at the skill positions." The offensive line is a bit inexperienced, but size and strength will be the key to giving Munro some time in the pocket. Linebackers Sam Anderson and Joe Ciavattone will key things in the middle as Cathcart and Alty bring solid experience to the defensive backfield.

Walpole

  • Last year's record: 10-2
  • Strength: Big, athletic offensive and defensive lines.
  • Concerns: Special teams experience.
  • Coach: Barry Greener (3rd season, 20-3)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • Shane Blass, OLB/TB, Senior, 6-1, 205
    • Chris Collins, DE/TE, Junior, 6-5, 220
    • Tom Donnellan, QB, Senior, 6-2, 195
    • Craig Hanley, TB/SS, Senior, 6-0, 190
    • Cam Hanley, LB/RB, Junior, 5-10, 200
    • Dan King, OT/DE, Senior, 6-3, 235
    • Charlie Love, C, Senior, 5-11, 215
    • Dave Thibault, DB/WR, Senior, 6-1, 200
    • Steve Thulin, RB/LB, Junior, 5-9, 195
    • Brad Webber, DB, Junior, 6-3, 195
    • Dan Woods, NT, Senior, 5-9, 235

After back-to-back ten win season, the Rebels are cautiously optimistic heading into the 2011 campaign and a new look may be what puts them over the top this time around. "Our blueprint is totally different than it was in my first two seasons," said coach Greener. "Where we used a lightning quick offensive output in the past, we will now be relying on our power and strength, similar to the 2008 team." A lot of that power will come from a crowded backfield which should produce four solid options for Greener. Walpole intends to use multiple offensive sets with different looks at the tight end position as well. "We have the personal for it," said Greener who lauded the tight end play of 6'5" junior Chris Collins. Junior Cam Hanley had 80 tackles as a sophomore and will now serve as one of the leaders of a youthful linebacking group, alongside junior Steve Thulin. Seniors Craig Hanley and Mike Rando will anchor a highly touted defensive backfield. One glaring hole for the Rebels is the loss of last year's punter Tim Crowley, who has moved on to Curry College, placing a big void in the special teams department.

Wellesley

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive lines, attitude.
  • Concerns: Inexperience in the secondary.
  • Coach: Bill Tracey (10th season, 59-53)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 14 lettermen
    • Will Adams, WR/FS, Junior, 5-9, 180
    • Isaac Blake, TE/ILB, Junior, 6-1, 210
    • Cole Bouley, OG/DE, Senior, 6-0, 200
    • Jack Dario, OT/DT, Senior, 6-0, 205
    • Will Dario, RB/OLB, Junior, 5-9, 175
    • Dan Elfman, RB/C, Senior, 5-7, 175
    • Dan Farina, C/ILB, Junior, 6-1, 210
    • Mason Griffin, OT/DT, Senior, 6-1, 240
    • Jared Melanson, G/DE, Junior, 5-10, 195
    • Tucker Morgan, WR/C, Junior, 5-11, 185
    • Matt Pini, QB, Senior, 5-10, 180
    • Callen Raveret, RB/OLB, Senior, 5-10, 185
    • Dan Wilkins, WR/OLB, Senior, 5-10, 170
    • Zack Zeytoonjian, OT/DT, Junior, 6-1, 230

Starting off the preseason on the right foot will put any coach in the right mood. "We had a tremendous off-season and players reported in the best condition we have ever seen," said head coach Bill Tracey, whose Raiders return six starters that account for eleven positions. Three of those starters, Jack Dario, Dan Farina and Cole Bouley, control six of those positions up-and-down the offensive and defensive lines. Quarterback Matt Pini returns to lead the offensive along with running backs Dan Elfman and Callen Raveret. The key for this Raiders team will be finding a way to mask an inexperienced defensive backfield, which returns no starters. Yet Tracey and his staff are confident that things will jell quickly and that their defensive unit is talented enough to make up for any discrepancies. "We are all very excited about our chance and look forward to getting the season underway," said Tracey.

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