2011 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 1A Greater Boston

Cambridge

  • Last year's record: 2-8
  • Strength: Athleticism.
  • Concerns: Lack of size; line play.
  • Coach: John Shea (1st season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Cambridge's 2-8 record in 2010 may have been nothing to shout about, but it was two more wins than the Falcons had in 2009. If Cambridge is to continue trending upwards, it will have to be under former Middleboro coach John Shea. The quarterback position was up for grabs until injuries thrust senior Nick Oscar into the starting position. As always, the Falcons will be fast and athletic but lack size in the trenches. Expect an added emphasis on defense under Shea, the team's defensive coordinator in 2003 and 2004.

Everett

  • Last year's record: 12-0
  • Strength: Experience; offensive attack; linebackers.
  • Concerns: Depth; replacing wide receivers.
  • Coach: John DiBiaso (30th season, 235-66)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 13 lettermen
    • Kenny Calaj, S/WR, Junior, 5-10, 185
    • Gilly DeSouza, CB/K, 5-11, 170
    • Jonathan DiBiaso, QB, Senior, 6-1, 195
    • Marc Fils-Aime, G, Junior, 6-0, 270
    • Ralph Jonathas, DE, Senior, 6-2, 215
    • Vondell Langston, HB/LB, Senior, 6-0, 215
    • Milton Lopez, DT, Senior, 5-10, 275
    • Paul Markini, DT, 6-3, 220
    • Chris McCarthy, LB, Senior, 5-10, 190
    • John Montelus, T, Senior, 6-4, 290
    • Michael Ottersburg, G, Junior, 6-1, 310
    • Nick Stanfield, OL, Senior, 6-0, 230
    • Jakarrie Washington, WR, Junior, 5-9, 170

The division may have changed for the Crimson Tide, but the standard never does. Dropped down to Division 1A after running the table and securing the Super Bowl, Everett returns a boatload of talent all over the field including Division 1 Player of the Year quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso, a sizable line featuring the coveted John Montelus and a linebacking corps showcasing Vondell Langston and Chris McCarthy. The biggest holes to fill will be on the outside, where Kenny Calaj and Jakarrie Washington step in for Gatorade Player of the Year Matt Costello and current Boston College Eagle Manny Asprilla. Coach John DiBiaso is eager to see the contributions of brothers Michael and Joey White in the backfield. With Langston also returning at tailback, the Crimson Tide are heavy favorites to pull off an illusive repeat performance.

Malden

  • Last year's record: 5-5
  • Strength: Running back; Physicality.
  • Concerns: Starting three sophomores on offensive line.
  • Coach: Joe Pappagallo (3rd season, 10-10)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Malden may not play the season just to tackle Everett for a chance to wrest the Greater Boston League championship away from the Crimson Tide, but there is no denying it is a major driving factor in coach Joe Pappagallo's effort to constantly improve his team. After almost upending Everett in 2009, the Golden Tornadoes failed to meet expectations last year after suffering a rash of injuries before the season even started. Malden has scheduled a nonleague slate full of teams that employ the same spread offense that Everett does. This year, even after losing a lot of bulk and experience on the line, Malden is primed to rebound. Talented, tough running back/linebacker Witchie Exihomme returns and is being recruited by Syracuse, UConn, URI, and UMass. Also coming back is running back Oshane McCreath, who rattled off some statistically huge games last season.

Medford

  • Last year's record: 0-10
  • Strength: Experience along offensive line; Senior leadership.
  • Concerns: ''Not getting ahead of ourselves, playing one game at a time".
  • Coach: Rico Dello Iacono (3rd season, 5-15)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 9 lettermen
    • Christopher Bucknam, LG, Senior, 5-9, 195
    • Steven Center, LT, Senior, 5-11, 285
    • Max Clancy, TE/OLB, Senior, 5-11, 210
    • Jeff Fargo, FS, Junior, 5-10, 165
    • Gene Goncalves, QB, Sophomore, 5-9, 160
    • Cedric Nicholas, TE/LB, Junior, 6-3, 240
    • Nick Olivier, HB, Senior, 6-1, 205
    • Nick Patten, DB, Junior, 5-9, 170
    • Jesus Ramos, T, Junior, 5-10, 245

Medford has experienced highs and lows in its two years under coach Rico Dello Iacono. After a tumultuous, winless 2008, the Mustangs rebounded in 2009 with a .500 season, only to see an inexperienced and overmatched squad finish with zero wins last season. ‘‘I think last year, having all those young kids play, we got a lot of experience that we hope to see transition onto the field,'' said Dello Iacono, a former Everett line coach for close to a decade. He expects to have a running back-by-committee behind a veteran line, part of which is Steven Center, who is the only player remaining who started during the Mustangs last victory.

Somerville

  • Last year's record: 4-6
  • Strength: Athleticism.
  • Concerns: Depth; Inexperience.
  • Coach: Harry Marchetti (7th season, 24-38)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 7 lettermen
    • Ryan Conte, OT/DT, Junior, 6-2, 200
    • Mike Gomes, C/DT, Senior, 5-10, 205
    • Devon Hairston, DB/WR, Senior, 5-8, 150
    • Zach Sciuto, WR/DB, Senior, 5-10, 155
    • Georges Stanley, OT/DL, Senior, 5-9, 260
    • Kris Taylor, OL/LB, Senior, 6-0, 195
    • Jalen West-Roberts, OL/DT, Senior, 5-10, 210

Somerville has been very consistent over coach Harry Marchetti's watch, but they seem unable to poke through the glass ceiling. If this year ends up being no different, it will at least sow the seeds for the eventual breakthrough. The Highlanders will be very young, featuring a backfield entirely made up underclassmen. The keys of the offense will be handed to sophomore quarterback Phoenix Huertas. Huertas will have a load of responsibility, trying to get the ball to Somerville's athletic group of skill players in the spread offense. As Marchetti said, the Highlanders will ‘‘be tested by fire'' during a brutal nonleague schedule so that they ‘‘won't be awestruck when they line up against Everett.''

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