2011 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 3A CAL/NEC (Division 4)

Georgetown

  • Last year's record: 2-8
  • Strength: Size on offensive and defensive lines.
  • Concerns: Lack of depth and seniors.
  • Coach: Paul Sobolewski (1st season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 6 lettermen
    • Michael Bjork, OC/DE, Senior, 6-4, 205
    • Jared Casper, OG/DT, Senior, 5-11, 260
    • Tim Dillon, Junior
    • Davin Moriarty, RB/LB, Junior, 5-11, 185
    • Tyler Wade, QB/FS, Senior, 6-1, 165
    • Thomas Zargaj, WR/SS, Junior, 5-11, 145

The Royals have a new coach as Paul Sobolewski will replace Matt Bouchard this season. Sobolewski has previously coach at Pope John for three years and at Winchester for five years. "I want to instill discipline and team philosophy and I hope that we can come together as a team," said Sobolewski. The Royals' strengths lie in their offensive and defensive line. Mike Bjork, senior 6-4, 260-pound captain and offensive and defensive linemen will serve as a leader for both lines. He has been starter for three years and will be a force throughout the league. Senior captain and quarterback, Tyler Wade, will serve as the offense's facilitator. Standing at 6-0, 170, Wade is a three-year starter. "He is fast and has a strong arm," said Sobolewski. "Everything that we do on offense will run through him." Sobolewski hopes to establish a spread offense in order to create an equal balance of passing and running. "We want to have poise and be able to face off against the defense," said Sobolewski. "Our main goal is to not appear predictable." With eight new starters on both sides of the ball the Royals are going to rely on their veteran leadership and their new coach to lead them in the right direction.

Hamilton-Wenham

  • Last year's record: 8-2
  • Strength: Offensive line and running game.
  • Concerns: Depth at wide receiver and at defensive back.
  • Coach: Andrew Morency (6th season, 28-22)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 3 lettermen
    • Peter Duval, RB/LB, Sophomore, 5-9, 175
    • Paul Kim, DT/OT, Senior, 5-10, 225
    • Dakota Stevens, RB/DB, Senior, 5-8, 160

Entering the season as underdogs one year ago, hamilton-Wenham won the Cape Ann Small title. as now defending champions, the Generals begin this season with a target on their backs. "We want to keep it going and it's going to be a challenge. We realize we snuck up on people," said Andrew Morency. "The kids have a lot of grit and determination and I think they are up for it, and they want to taste that again." The Generals have most of their offense intact this season particularly their offensive line that has three returning letterman that include Elliot Burr and seniors guards and captains Kevin Anthony and Shane Jenkins. Without star wide receiver Jimmy Love, who caught seven touchdowns last season, the Generals are concerned with their depth at wide receiver. The Generals also lost key starters on defense that include defensive end James Brao and linebacker Jake Prince who currently play for Tufts and Bowdoin respectively. They made big plays and came up with fumbles and those key stripped balls," said Morency. "Some one has to fill those shoes." Jenkins, who will also play linebacker, and 6-0, 205-pounds linebacker Ryan Foringer give the Generals a large presence and strength on defense and have asserted leadership during the preseason. "Last year our defense was tough at the red zone and we want to continue play that way," said Morency. "We want to take away a lot of those drives. We want to take it to the next level." The Generals have balanced schedule with a rematch against Bishop-Fenwick, one of their two losses last season. "Bishop Fenwick is going to be good," said Morency. "The kids have that on the back of their mind."

Ipswich

  • Last year's record: 4-6
  • Strength: Experience, leadership attitude, effort, and tradition.
  • Concerns: Lack of size and depth.
  • Coach: Ted Flaherty (7th season, 32-65)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 3 lettermen
    • Patrick Curran, E/DB, Senior, 5-11, 160
    • Chris McCormack, E/DB, Junior, 5-10, 168
    • Tucker Reedy, RB/DB, Junior, 5-8, 164

The Ipswich Tigers have revamped their offensive attack and their team philosophy in order to rebound from a 4-6 season. The Tigers are starting freshman quarterback Nick Andreas behind center. The 6-0, 170-pound freshman has preformed well during the preseason and has taken command of the offense from three-year starter Brendan Gallagher who graduated last season. "He really has worked hard in camp the last few weeks and his footwork and arm strength is very good," said Ipswich coach Ted Flaherty. "He throws the deep ball very well and his leadership skills are great and his team is really accepting him." Andreas, a drop-back passer, enables the Tigers to develop a potentially potent passing offense. "We are going to spread our formations much more than we have done in the past and our running game will be running out of passing formation, said Flaherty. "In the past we have done mainly play action passes because we were so heavy on the run." Returning all-league center and team captain Chris Desmond and returning all-league guard Peyton Primack and senior offensive tackle Mike Dillion will also provide consistent protection to Andreas. Junior tailbacks Peter Moutevelis and Derek Chamberlain also add a strong running game to the spread offense. On defense the Tigers hope to control the line of scrimmage and take advantage or their size. "We are a strong physical team and we are going to try to make teams drive the ball on us in small chunks," said Flaherty. "We are going to try to not give up big plays and be conservative and controlling."

Lynnfield

  • Last year's record: 9-2
  • Strength: Depth att running back, offensive line, and defensive line.
  • Concerns: Inexperience and a difficult schedule.
  • Coach: Neil Weidman (4th season, 22-4)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 18 lettermen
    • Dan Ashwell, RB/LB, Senior, 5-8
    • Michael Bonafine, OL/DL, Junior, 5-6, 150
    • Frank Coburn, RB/LB, Senior, 5-9, 170
    • Michael Conafine, Senior
    • DJ DeGeorge, OL/DL, Junior, 6-3, 200
    • John Gaff, OL/DL, Senior, 5-11, 195
    • Mike Karavetsos, QB/DB, Junior, 5-10, 155
    • Connor Lordan, OL/DL, Junior, 5-8, 195
    • Anthony Mancini, WR/DB, Junior, 5-7, 160
    • Kyle McGah, RB/LB, Sophomore, 5-7, 155
    • Joseph Mehr, RB/DB, Senior, 5-7, 140
    • Zack Panzini, OL/DL, Junior, 5-10, 180
    • Alex Pascucci, WR/DB, Junior, 5-7, 140
    • Corey Ragusa, OL/DL, Junior, 5-10, 175
    • Alex Roper, Junior, 5-9, 150
    • Mike Thomas, RB, Senior
    • Cameron Weeks, OL/DL, Senior, 5-10, 170
    • Steven Yobaccio, WR/DB, Senior, 5-11, 150

The Pioneers are looking for a repeat performance this season from their offense, after averaging an explosive 30 points per game and finishing 9-2 last season. The Pioneers have a new quarterback with junior Mike Karavetsos replacing CAL all-league quarterback Gino Cohee, who graduated after almost three years as a starter. "Mike played at the JV level and he is going to have to get used to the speed at the varsity level," said coach Neal Weidman. Despite the quarterback changes many of the returning offensive talents are returning. Senior offensive tackle and captain John Gaff and offensive lineman John Roberto present a strong line up front. Senior captain and running back Mike Thomas will also bring veteran leadership to a running back corp that stretches three to four players deep. "We tweaked some things here and there but it's pretty much the same thing," said Neal Weidman. "We have some inexperienced guys but they are going to improve because they want to get better." The Pioneers have a tough schedule with games against Newburyport, Amesbury, Bishop Fenwick, and St. Mary's. "Our expectations are to improve each week and we want to be prepared," said Weidman. "We don't want to be become one dimensional and we expect everyone to step up and contribute."

Manchester Essex

  • Last year's record: 3-8
  • Strength: Offensive/Defensive line play.
  • Concerns: Depth in the backfield and consistency.
  • Coach: Michael Athanas (8th season, 43-37)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 12 lettermen
    • Corey Burnham, QB/DB, Junior
    • Mike Cassie, Junior
    • Mike Davis, G/MLB, Sophomore
    • Jake Fitzgerald, TB/DB, Junior
    • Henry Gedney, TE/OLB, Junior
    • Brian Gibson, TB/DB, Junior
    • Mike Iwata, FB/LB, Senior
    • Mike Loebelenz, TB/OLB, Sophomore
    • Sal Lupo, TE/DE, Senior
    • Brian McAuliff, WR/DB, Junior
    • Loyd Waites, G/DT, Junior
    • Chris Wright, G/DT, Junior

Manchester Essex is looking to make a splash in the Cape Ann League Small after moving up a division and switching leagues. The Hornets faced off against a few of the teams in their new league that include Ipswich, Georgetown, and Hamilton-Wenham. "We've had some good games with some of them in the past," said coach Michael Athanas. "All three of them beat us last year but we have worked hard in the off-season." The Hornets are also introducing new faces to their offense that include first-year starting quarterback Corey Burnham. The junior will be targeting returning wideouts junior John Beardsley and senior captain Joe Burgess. Their offensive line corp features six returning starters including senior offensive tackles and defensive tackles Paul Pennoyer and David Wright. "Burnham has been a leader," said Athanas. "He has been practicing well on 7-on-7." Additionally, the Hornets have 10 returning seniors as opposed to only four last seasons. We were somewhat younger last year and we didn't play consistently," said Athanas. "We have a lot more experience than we did last year we want to go out and play every week and and keep improving."

North Reading

  • Last year's record: 1-9
  • Strength: Work ethic, back field, and quarterback.
  • Concerns: Lack of experience and depth on the offensive line.
  • Coach: Jeff Wall (9th season, 31-50)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Hornets this year will be starting mainly sophomores and juniors, many of whom will play a large role on both offense and defense in hopes of rebounding from a 1-9 season last year. Junior starting quarterback Jackson Kellog hopes to make an immediate impact in his first year under center. The 5-11, 160-pound transfer student has had to quickly learn the Hornet's wing type offense this preseason. "Kellog brings a tremendous amount of intensity to practice," said coach Jeff Wall. "He is a tremendous blocker and very strong and he can also roll out and throw." Junior returning running back Carl Lipani looks to put up some big numbers in his second season with the Hornets. The 5-10, 170-pound running back's vision and strength has made him a consistent back that the Hornets can rely on. "I don't think I have ever coached a kid who is as disciplined as Carl," said Wall. "He has an unbelievable work ethic and it carries over to the other guys. The Hornets have depth concerns at offensive line, which is an issue considering the type of power offense that they want to run. Defense also features a slew of sophomores and juniors and only three returning seniors. On the line the Hornets have 6-2, 275-pound tackle junior John Fortes. He is a big and athletic tackle that opposing teams are going to have a hard time trying to keep out of their backfield. Also, 6-1, 230-pound senior tackle Jason Vella and 5-9 180-pound junior middle line backer Mike Moscaritolo are going to be big playmakers on defense. "Our overall defense is a little more athletic than last year," said Wall. Ultimately, the Hornets hope that their skill positions and work ethic outshine their opponents.

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