2011 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 3A CAL/NEC (Division 3)

Amesbury

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Large senior and junior classes.
  • Concerns: Replacing offensive production.
  • Coach: Thomas Connors (9th season, 44-54 career record.)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 13 lettermen
    • Zach Arguin, G/NG, Senior
    • Mena Boya, T/T, Senior
    • Adam Brown, C/DE, Senior
    • Delante Castle, RB/CB, Senior
    • C.J. Collin, FB/DE, Senior
    • Stephen Deas, RB, Senior
    • Tyler Forni, T/NG, Senior
    • Sam Kelcourse, T/DE, Senior
    • Jesse Lannon, RB/OLB, Senior
    • Matt Lazur, G/DE, Senior
    • Connor MaClean, TE/LB, Senior
    • Aaron Venezia, RB/OLB, Senior
    • Pat Wilson, QB/CB, Senior

After a 5-5 record in 2009 Amesbury took a step back last season with a 4-7 mark, but coach Thomas Connors has a big junior and senior class to work with this season. The Indians must find a way to replace the scoring of four graduated seniors - Nick Croce, Ian McLaughlin, Matt Enaire, Tyler Lay - who were key contributors in 2010. McLaughlin and Enaire each found the end zone five times on the ground, while Lay scored three times on the ground and tossed four touchdown passes. Croce, meanwhile, had three scores on the ground, two receiving touchdowns, and handled kicking duties on field goals and extra points. Senior Stephen Deas should carry the scoring load this season on the ground, and he will be aided by fellow seniors Delante Castle, C.J. Collin and Aaron Venezia.

Newburyport

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Multiple pass-catching options, linebackers.
  • Concerns: Inexperienced offensive line.
  • Coach: Ed Gaudiano (24th season, 144-101 record through 23 seasons)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 15 lettermen
    • Jared Bradbury, WR/DB, Senior, 6-2, 180
    • Alex Buckley, OL/DL, Junior, 5-10, 205
    • Jim Conway, TE/DE, Senior, 6-0, 205
    • Tyler Cusack, LB/RB, Junior, 5-8, 170
    • Brett Fontaine, WR/DB, Senior, 6-2, 185
    • Coltin Fontaine, DB/WR, Junior, 6-1, 180
    • Sam Francis, FB/LB, Junior, 6-2, 195
    • Evan Habib, TE/MLB, Junior, 6-0, 190
    • James Hundertmark, FB/LB, Senior, 5-10, 185
    • Tyler Martin, RB/LB, Senior, 5-8, 185
    • Ian Michaels, WR/DB, Junior, 6-0, 170
    • Brandon O'Brien, OL/DL, Junior, 6-0, 210
    • Trevor Pituck, OL/DL, Senior, 5-9, 180
    • T.J. Soulther, OL/DL, Junior, 6-2, 270
    • Connor Wile, QB/DB, Junior, 5-11, 180

A mid-season three-game losing streak put a damper on what was an otherwise strong year for Newburyport in 2010. This season Gaudiano will adjust his offense from an I-formation offense into more single-back looks in order to get his talented crop of receivers more chances. Junior Connor Wile will have plenty of options to throw to when he drops back to throw, including senior receiver Brett Fontaine and junior Ian Michaels. Senior captain Jim Conway will test the secondary when he runs routes from the tight end position. The Clippers defense will employ multiple looks to try and confuse the opposing offense and will feature senior James Hundertmark and juniors Sam Francis and Evan Habib at linebacker.

Pentucket

  • Last year's record: 8-3
  • Strength: Strong leadership from captains and seniors.
  • Concerns: Depth on the offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Steve Hayden (30th season, 190-131)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 10 lettermen
    • Sean Brennan, RB/DB, Senior, 5-9, 155
    • Chris Croteau, LB/RB, Sophomore, 5-7, 150
    • Jake Donlon, OT/DT, Senior, 6-2, 250
    • Nolan Dragon, FB/LB, Senior, 6-1, 210
    • Tim Freiermoth, TE/LB, Junior, 5-11, 195
    • Stephen Girard, OT/DT, Senior, 5-9, 205
    • Connor McGuirk, RB/DL, Junior, 6-0, 175
    • Jon Simard, DB, Senior, 6-1, 175
    • Dan Sullivan, OT/DT, Senior, 5-11, 240
    • Calvin Wiles, QB/DB, Junior, 6-1, 185

Now entering his 30th season as head coach of the Sachems, Steve Hayden says he is working on getting his players to improve in each game they play. Pentucket showed improvement last season, jumping from five wins in 2009 to eight in 2010. This season Pentucket will have plenty of choices to carry the ball in the team's Delaware-style wing T offense, including senior captain running backs Sean Brennan and Nolan Dragon. Others expected to get touches include junior back Connor McGuirk and sophomore back Chris Croteau. Defensively, seniors Jake Donlon, Dan Sullivan and Stephen Girard provide toughness up front to an otherwise thin line. Pentucket hopes to have better luck on the road this season after dropping three of five away from home last season.

Saugus

  • Last year's record: 4-6
  • Strength: Speed at skill positions.
  • Concerns: Lack of size.
  • Coach: Mike Broderick (7th season, 24-37 career record through six seasons)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 4 lettermen
    • Justin Barrasso, QB, Junior
    • Nick Benoit, QB, Junior
    • A.J. Guthro, RB/OLB, Senior
    • Tom Trainor, OL/MLB, Junior

After an optimistic 4-1 start last season, Saugus faltered down the stretch to finish at 4-6, and coach Mike Broderick is hoping to change that. "We made some crucial mistakes in big games last season, and it cost us," he said. "We have to be a better disciplined team and cut down on our miscues." Senior back A.J. Guthro will carry the load offensively while junior back Nick Benoit will also get some chances to tote the rock. Both will run behind junior lineman Tom Trainor, who also led the defense in tackles last season at the middle linebacker position. Junior Justin Barrasso returns to quarterback after missing time last year due to injury. Broderick says his players will have to utilize their speed more this season to make up for issues in size matching up with other teams.

Triton

  • Last year's record: 0-11
  • Strength: Veteran team made up of seniors who played last season.
  • Concerns: Lack of size, depth at every position.
  • Coach: Pat Sheehan (2nd season, 0-11)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 14 lettermen
    • Derek Ciccone, OL, Senior, 5-10, 150
    • Ryan Clark, WR/DB, Senior, 5-11, 170
    • Ryan Clay, OL, Junior, 6-0, 210
    • Luke Eldridge, OL, Senior, 5-8, 180
    • Matt Hill, WR, Senior, 5-8, 150
    • Jedd Hutchins, DB, Senior, 5-9, 160
    • Mat Macey, OL, Senior, 5-8, 160
    • Alex Mandragouras, LB, Senior, 6-2, 195
    • Jimmy Mical, OL, Senior, 5-7, 205
    • Billy Murphy, LB, Senior, 5-10, 190
    • Derek Paquette, RB, Senior, 6-1, 210
    • Dominic Rovetto, WR, Senior, 6-0, 160
    • Joe Ruocco, LB, Junior, 5-7, 160
    • Blaise Whitman, QB, Senior, 6-2, 185

Despite going 0-11 in his head coaching debut last fall, Triton coach Pat Sheehan is optimistic his team is on the cusp of success this year. "If you look at our losses, seven of them were by a combined 30 points," Said Sheehan. "That shows we have the talent to play, we just need to fix some fourth quarter woes." The Mustangs will again employ a no huddle, speed option offense, led by senior quarterback Blaise Whitman and senior back Derek Paquette. Senior receiver Matt Hill will provide a downfield threat, while junior Ryan Clay will anchor the offensive and defensive lines. One challenge for Sheehan and company will be withstanding injuries, as the team is thin and undersized at numerous positions.

Winthrop

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Returning offensive and defensive linemen.
  • Concerns: Very young team with only four seniors.
  • Coach: Sean Driscoll (5th season, 20-24 record through four seasons)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 28 lettermen
    • Andrew Almedia, OL/DL, Sophomore, 6-1, 255
    • James Barker, QB/LB, Senior, 5-11, 185
    • James Baxter, OL/DL, Sophomore, 5-7, 185
    • Mark Baxter, TE/DB, Senior, 5-8, 165
    • Scott Bocchio, TE/DL, Junior, 5-11, 185
    • David Capone, TE/DB, Junior, 5-9, 165
    • Justin Casilla, RB/DB, Sophomore, 5-7, 160
    • Eric Castro, OL/DL, Junior, 6-1, 185
    • Jordan Corbett-Frank, RB/LB, Sophomore, 5-8, 165
    • Zachary Deeb, TE/DB, Freshman, 5-8, 130
    • Robert Diaz, RB/DB, Junior, 5-10, 170
    • Dylan Driscoll, QB/DB, Freshman, 5-8, 135
    • Daniel Feely, OL/DL, Junior, 6-2, 220
    • Mike Ferrino, RB/DB, Junior, 5-9, 150
    • David Gallo, OL/DL, Sophomore, 5-8, 185
    • Sean Gillis, RB/LB, Freshman, 5-6, 140
    • Luke Hodgkins, OL/DL, Junior, 6-0, 180
    • Phil Locigno, RB/DL, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Curtis Lockett, TE/DB, Sophomore, 5-11, 160
    • Thomas Lund, OL/DL, Junior, 5-10, 210
    • Tim McCone, OL/DL, Sophomore, 5-8, 170
    • Jake McKinnon, TE/LB, Junior, 5-9, 160
    • Chris Paolini, OL/DL, Sophomore, 5-9, 165
    • Mitchell Paulson, RB/LB, Senior, 5-9, 165
    • Ruben Powell, DB/RB, Junior, 5-7, 140
    • Vincent Sparacino, RB/DB, Sophomore, 5-7, 160
    • Ben Spinnazola, OL/DL, Sophomore, 5-10, 215
    • Matt Staiso, OL/LB, Senior, 5-10, 185

With nearly as many eighth graders (three) as seniors (four), the challenge for Winthrop this fall is overcoming inexperience, and coach Sean Driscoll is excited to take on this challenge. "These are exciting times for us," said the Vikings' head man. "We had a great camp with great enthusiasm and I think the players are anxious to rebuild what was lost last year." Junior guard Daniel Feely will be the team's anchor up front as a returning left tackle, matched at the right tackle by classmate Thomas Lund. Senior Matt Staiso and sophomore David Gallo shore up the right guard and left guard positions, respectively. Senior James Barker, the team's all-around best player according to his coach, will run the wing T offense from the quarterback position, as well as contribute on defense at middle linebacker. Two other backfield mates include seniors Mitchell Paulson and Phil Locigno.

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