2011 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 1A CAL/NEC (Division 1)

Lynn Classical

  • Last year's record: 8-3
  • Strength: Linebackers
  • Concerns: Inexperience and depth, especially on offense
  • Coach: Tim Phelps (4th season, 20-12)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 3 lettermen
    • Jalen Brown, OLB, Junior, 6-1, 195
    • Calvin Ebieshuwa, LB, Senior, 5-10, 190
    • Malcolm Lee-King, CB, Senior, 5-10, 180

With just three returning lettermen from 2010, Phelps said that there could be as many as seven sophomores starting. Leading the offense is senior quarterback John Finnegan, who is a two-dimensional player with a strong arm and good speed. Phelps said this will help run the option, which will take some of the pressure off the slew of running backs that will all contribute. Junior Brandon Pinnock and sophomore Brad Scuzzarella are both under 5 feet 7 inches, but Phelps said their good skill and speed makes the duo effective. Senior Calvin Ebieshuwa (MLB) and junior Jalen Brown (OLB) provide a strong foundation for the defense, and senior Malcolm Leng-King brings a strong veteran presence to the secondary.

Lynn English

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Depth on the offensive line; team athleticism
  • Concerns: Defense
  • Coach: Peter Holey (4th season, 22-10)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 8 lettermen
    • Malcolm Brown-Simpson, WR, Senior
    • Javon Brown-Simpson, RB, Senior
    • P.J Dorsey, LB/RB, Senior
    • Jemerson Flores, OT, Senior
    • Eric Holey, WR, Senior
    • Brendan Holey, TE, Senior
    • Jermaine Kelley, QB, Senior, 6-3, 180
    • Jeremy Lessard, LB, Senior

There is no question English will have its work cut out after graduating all but four starters. However, the Bulldogs welcome three new transfers in Jermaine Kelley (QB, Swampscott), Malcolm Brown-Simpson (WR, Pope John) and Javon Brown-Simpson (RB, Pope John) which should help spark the offense. Twins Eric and Brendan Holey, who play wide receiver and tight end, respectively, stand at 6 feet 6 inches and are big targets for Kelley. All-conference linebacker and running back P.J. Dorsey will anchor the defense, along with senior Jeremey Lessard. The secondary will also be strong with juniors Josh Bautista and Josh Michelle.

Masconomet

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Team speed; linebackers and defensive backs.
  • Concerns: Inexperience on offensive and defensive line.
  • Coach: James Pugh (23rd season, 146-98)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 18 lettermen
    • Eric Anastasio, LB/K, Senior, 5-10, 185
    • Sean Antonuccio, OL/DL, Junior
    • Julian Bandereck, LB, Senior, 6-1, 190
    • Connor Brown, WR/DB, Senior
    • Adam Brown, OL/DL, Senior
    • John Fitzsimmons, OL, Senior, 6-0, 200
    • Jake Gillespie, TE, Senior, 6-2, 200
    • Kurt Hunziker, TE/LB, Senior, 6-3, 230
    • Steve Jones, WR/DB, Senior
    • Curtis Kowalski, WR/LB, Senior, 6-2, 195
    • Dylan Mann, DB/RB, Junior, 5-9, 185
    • Ben Panunzio, QB/SS, Senior, 6-3, 195
    • Nathan Silveira, WR/DB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Justin Swarts, OL, Senior
    • Andrew Swimm, WR/LB, Junior
    • Casey Tines, RB/DB, Junior
    • Tim Towler, WR/DB, Senior, 6-2, 180
    • Dan Ursino, OL/DL, Senior

Seniors Kurt Hunziker and Tim Towler give Masconomet a dangerous linebacking corps that aims to help the team improve on last year's 2-9 record. Towler, an All-American lacrosse midfielder, led the team with 160 tackles. "He's the heart and soul of our defense," Pugh said. "Everybody knows they need to block him." Senior quarterback Ben Panunzio will call the shots on offense, while junior Dylan Mann looks to repeat as the team's leading rusher. Towler will also punt, and senior kicker Eric Anastasio helps form a special teams duo that Pugh said will be an advantage. However, a question mark will be how the offensive and defensive lines come together.

North Andover

  • Last year's record: 10-2
  • Strength: Offensive line; quarterback; linebackers; safety.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at skill positions.
  • Coach: John Rafferty (11th season, 70-40)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 9 lettermen
    • Nate Hitchcock, LG/DE, Junior, 6-1, 210
    • Daniel Laorenza, WR/DB, Senior, 5-11, 190
    • Peter Markowsky, LT, Senior, 6-1, 215
    • Jon Miller, RT/DE, Senior, 6-3, 215
    • Isaiah Nelson, TE, Junior, 6-6, 225
    • Stephen O'Grady, OL/LB, Senior, 6-2, 225
    • Greg Ryan, DT, Senior, 6-0, 205
    • Bobby Trickett, OL/LB, Senior, 6-1, 200
    • Brandon Walsh, QB/S, Senior, 6-2, 195

North Andover will have an abundance of new running backs and wide receivers, but one sure fact is that senior quarterback Brandon Walsh will start for his fourth straight season. His experience and strong arm bodes well as he aims to improve on his 23 touchdown passes from 2010. Seniors Brandon Lash and Tom Moody will get a chance to breakout at wide receiver, but no clear contender has emerged at running back. On defense, Walsh will play strong safety, while senior linebackers Steve O'Grady and Bobby Trickett and nose guard Greg Ryan will be strong sealing up the middle.

Peabody

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Team speed and experience in the backfield
  • Concerns: Team depth and rebuilding the offensive line
  • Coach: Scott Wlasuk (4th season, 12-21)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 10 lettermen
    • Tony Catalano, OG/DT, Senior
    • Brady Doyle, RB/CB, Senior, 5-9, 165
    • Nat Gaye, OLB/RB, Senior, 5-8, 175
    • Rob Habeeb, C, Senior
    • D.J. Henrick, FB/MLB, Senior, 5-11, 230
    • Nick Hill, OT/DT, Senior, 6-1, 245
    • Jason Hiou, QB/FS, Senior, 5-11, 170
    • Nick Ingham, OLB/TE, Senior, 6-1, 175
    • Braudys Nunez, OT/DT, Senior
    • Sean Wlasuk, K, Senior, 5-9, 160

Senior running back Nat Gaye returns to the Tanners after rushing for over 1,000 yards last season. Along with senior running back Brady Doyle, Peabody's running game should be very strong. Senior Jayson Hiou will start at quarterback for the third year in a row and he has a firm grasp on the offense. With new defensive coordinator Rob McIntosh, who coached for St. Clement's last year and Catholic Memorial for four years, Wlasuk said the team will have a lot of different coverage looks and use their speed to pressure opponents.

Revere

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive skill positions; offensive line
  • Concerns: Depth; new quarterback
  • Coach: Lou Cicatelli (10th season, 26-60)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 12 lettermen
    • Edson Cordeiro, FB/DL, Senior, 6-0, 215
    • Oscar DesJaridens, OG/DT, Senior, 5-8, 195
    • Jim Domenici, FB/DL, Senior, 5-7, 175
    • Andrew Estrada, TE/DE, Senior, 5-10, 160
    • Jason Hittenger, TE/DE, Senior, 6-3, 195
    • Armin Katzdic, OT/DT, Junior, 5-10, 225
    • Drew Lauria, RB/DB, Senior, 6-0, 160
    • Frank Melito, OT/DE, Senior, 5-9, 195
    • Tommy Portrait, WR/DB, Sophomore, 5-9, 165
    • Marvin Rious, OG/LB, Junior, 5-8, 165
    • Nick Russo, C/DT, Senior, 6-1, 225
    • Robert Sasso, OG/LB, Senior, 6-1, 205

The Patriots will use a new look on offense this year, after losing running back Trae Weathers (31 TDs in 2010) and the addition of offensive coordinator Jose Escobar. Cicatelli said the team will use a pistol formation, led by senior running back Drew Lauria. Junior Joe Ritchie will replace quarterback Paul Norton, and sophomore running back Tommy Portrait looks to improve on his strong freshman season. Eight starters return to the defense, which is led by senior linebacker Robert Sasso who was out for the season after averaging 10 tackles per game over the first three games in 2010.

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