2011 EMASS Football Preview

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ISL

BB&N

  • Last year's record: 8-1
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive lines; linebackers.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: John Papas (9th season, Career record: 55-15)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 4 lettermen
    • Adam Bakopoulos, WR, Senior, 6-0, 180
    • Chris Coady, QB/LB, Senior, 6-3, 225
    • Brendan O'Neil, TE/DE, Junior, 6-5, 228
    • Willie Peoples, WR/CB, Junior, 6-0, 185

Coming off a season that produced the teams third NEPSAC Super Bowl in five years, expectations are high in Cambridge. Chris Coady set the school rushing record last season as a running back, but he makes the switch to quarterback this season, giving the Knights a dual-threat. Eric Olson and Dan Connaughton will be called upon to anchor both lines. Senior Nick DiChiara returns as a fullback and linebacker but has played seven different positions in his time at BB&N.

Belmont Hill

  • Last year's record: 6-2
  • Strength: Leadership and a strong defense.
  • Concerns: Depth and size on the line.
  • Coach: Kevin Fleming (23rd season, Career record: 132-44-2)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 3 lettermen
    • Matt Gustafson, FB, Junior, 6-0, 200
    • George McLaughlin, Senior, 6-0, 175
    • Connor Murphy, QB, Senior, 6-2, 170

Belmont Hill hopes to continue the success it found last year with a strong team led by captains Brian Bowser, Mike Minahan, Parker Mundt, and Robert Perdoni. Quarterback Connor Murphy returns after missing half of last season due to injury and has strong receivers in Eric Oberg and Mike Leary. Belmont Hill will attempt to shut down opponents with a speedy defense.

Governor's Academy

  • Last year's record: 4-4
  • Strength: Offensive line.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Jim O'Leary (1st season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 3 lettermen
    • Tate Jozokis, QB, Junior, 6-1, 190
    • Colin Smith, TE, Junior, 6-4, 215
    • Austin Smith, RB, Senior, 6-1, 190

Governor's Academy has a talented senior class led by captains Kirk Ryder, Todd Moores, and Sammy Davis. An experienced offensive line will protect quarterback Tate Jozokis, who returns under center after taking over for the final four games of last season. Eli Morrissey will do the bulk of the ball carrying, and Frank Barba and Colin Smith are great targets with their height at wide receiver and tight end respectively.

Lawrence Academy

  • Last year's record: 8-1
  • Strength: Leadership.
  • Concerns: Inexperience.
  • Coach: Paul Zukauskas (1st season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 3 lettermen
    • Joe Lace, OL/DL, Junior, 6-4, 220
    • Darien Myers, WR/DB, Junior, 5-10, 170
    • Jalen Myrie, WR/DB, Junior, 6-2, 180

The Spartans enter the season young and inexperienced at every position. They have no returning starters, but the returning players they do have will be tested by new schemes on both sides of the ball under new coach Paul Zukauskas, a former All-Scholastic at BC High. Darien Myers could have a breakout season at wide receiver and Joe Lace will lead the team up front. The Spartans open the season against Milton Academy.

Milton Academy

  • Last year's record: 3-5
  • Strength: Five returning starters on the line.
  • Concerns: Very young, very inexperienced.
  • Coach: Kevin MacDonald (16th season, 79-31-3 at Milton Academy; 178-73-5 overall)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Junior Nick Bland returns under center to lead an offense that 24.5 ppg. The problem last fall was on defense with Milton giving up better than 30 ppg. An experienced line should give Bland time to throw, especially to returning starter and senior Otis Handy as well as junior Ryan Rizzo.

Nobles

  • Last year's record: 3-5
  • Strength: 10 returning starters and a strong senior class.
  • Concerns: production from running game that has talent but no returning starters. Inexperienced secondary.
  • Coach: Bob Moore (8th season, 35-22-1.)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The outlook is good for Nobles, with five of six starters back on the line to protect three-year starter Brad Rigoli. With seven returning starters on offense, and six on defense, the Dedham school has high hopes entering the 2011 season. Nobles also has a strong kicking game.

St. Sebastian's

  • Last year's record: 3-5
  • Strength: Experience with nine starters on offense.
  • Concerns: Depth and a tough early-season schedule.
  • Coach: Bob Souza (34th season, Career record: 139-102-9)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 14 lettermen
    • Chris Barletta, WR/DB, Senior, 5-11, 170
    • Brendan Daly, RB/LB, Junior, 5-11, 180
    • Matt Fetchelkotter, WR/DB, Senior, 6-2, 175
    • Pat Healy, QB/LB, Junior, 6-2, 195
    • Conor Hilton, RB/DB, Junior, 5-11, 170
    • Sam Hodgson, FB/LB, Senior, 6-0, 190
    • Henry Kennedy, RB/LB, Junior, 5-11, 195
    • Scott Kingsley, TE/DE, Junior, 6-5, 235
    • Matt Maguire, RB/LB, Junior, 5-8, 180
    • Brian O'Malley, WR/DB, Junior, 6-3, 190
    • Tyler Sweeney, WR/DB, Senior, 6-0, 170
    • Jalen Thornton, WR/DB, Senior, 6-2, 190
    • Thayer Wade, TE/DE, Junior, 6-5, 210
    • Sam Washburne, WR/DB, Senior, 5-10, 180

The Arrows return a solid group of starters from last season. Jack Connolly, Kendall Darty-Jones, Brendan Daly, Tyler Sweeney, and Patrick Healy return to anchor an offense that returns nine starters, while the defense has eight starters returning. The Arrows will be tested early with games against Nobles, BB&N, Milton Academy, and Belmont Hill.

Thayer

  • Last year's record: 3-5
  • Strength: Experience, especially at skill positions.
  • Concerns: Depth and concerns about staying healthy.
  • Coach: Jeff Toussaint (8th season, Career record: 28-28-1)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 7 lettermen
    • Jared Bacon, FB/DL, Junior, 5-11, 200
    • Jack Becker, QB/DB, Sophomore, 5-10, 170
    • Aaron Gilmer, WR/DB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Archi Jerome, RB/DB, Junior, 5-10, 175
    • Ikena Nwokeji, TE/DL, Junior, 6-5, 220
    • Bryan Vieira, WR/DB, Junior, 6-2, 185
    • Mitch Welsh, RB/LB, Junior, 5-11, 180

The Tigers return several talented playmakers. Bryan Vieira - who led the team in receiving last year as a sophomore - and Aaron Gilmer will be the main targets of quarterback Jack Becker. Archi Jerome and Mitch Welsh both return to the backfield. The offense will also benefit from the return of linemen Shane Donovan and Quentin Hall. Captains Brendan Lawler, Joe Argus and Jamie Becker anchor a solid defense.

Brooks

  • Last year's record: 0-8
  • Strength: Young but athletic offensive line.
  • Concerns: Inexperience.
  • Coach: Alex Konovalchik (4th season, Career record: 10-15)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 3 lettermen
    • Robert Brea, WR/DB, Junior, 5-8, 165
    • Geoff Fulgione, RB/LB, Sophomore, 5-10, 190
    • Will Stockwell, WR/DB, Senior, 6-2, 200

After a winless season last fall, there is no place for Brooks to go but up. The Bishops return a number of experienced veterans and a talented crop of newcomers hope to give them what they need to be competitive. Tucker White is emerging as both a pass and run threat at quarterback. Running backs Geoff Fulgione, Eric Gisness, Jack Vailas, and Andrew Konovalchik will carry the load on offense.

Groton

  • Last year's record: 2-6
  • Strength: Offense with nine starters returning.
  • Concerns: Pressure from increased expectations this fall.
  • Coach: John Lyons (13th season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 3 lettermen
    • David Caldwell, HB/DB, Junior, 6-0, 185
    • Pat Florence, QB/LB, Senior, 5-11, 180
    • Walter Hunnewell, FB/LB, Senior, 5-10, 185

Last year a young and inexperienced Groton team finished 2-6. The team lost four games by a touchdown or less including back-to-back, narrow losses to ISL co-champions Rivers and BB&N. They return almost the entire team, having lost only two players to graduation. David Caldwell, Adam Hardej, Adam Lamont, and Joe McDonald hold down the skill positions on an offense led by quarterback Pat Florence. Groton graduated just two players from last year's team.

Middlesex

  • Last year's record: 4-3-1
  • Strength: Experienced senior class.
  • Concerns: Plugging holes with younger players.
  • Coach: Joe Lang (16th season, Career record: 159-147-6; at Middlesex: 70-47-2)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 5 lettermen
    • Dan Chung, FB/LB, Senior, 5-9, 200
    • Hasani Figueroa, RB/DB, Sophomore, 5-9, 161
    • Will Kreitler, WR/DB, Junior, 5-11, 175
    • Andrew Matos, RB/DB, Junior, 5-7, 150
    • Nick Widen, WR/DB, Junior, 6-6, 197

Middlesex will be led by its captains - Devin Chapman, Nathan Canniff, Bryson Gilbert-Bono, and John Simmons - and a host of seniors who have varsity experience. Nick Andonian will be under center again for the third straight year. Middlesex returns seven starters on both sides of the ball and has a good crop of young players to fill open positions.

Rivers

  • Last year's record: 8-1
  • Strength: Experience.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Dan Keohane (1st season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • George Crowley, TE/LB, Senior, 6-1, 205
    • Brendan Gates, WR/LB, Sophomore, 5-10, 160
    • Carlin Haymon, WR/DB, Sophomore, 5-8, 165
    • Brendan King, QB/LB, Senior, 6-0, 200
    • Nolan Kislaukis, FB/LB, Sophomore, 5-9, 175
    • Nicholas Lund, DE/TE, Senior, 6-7, 225
    • Robert McLarnon, Senior, 6-3, 250
    • Michael Paczkowski, RB/DB, Junior, 5-10, 190
    • Ash'Shaquor Sandiford, QB/LB, Senior, 6-3, 215
    • Tyler Swartz, WR/DB, Junior, 5-10, 165
    • Montrez Williams, RB/DB, Sophomore, 5-8, 160

Rivers returns an outstanding group of seniors for Keohane, the former head coach at Waltham High. The offense will be led by senior quarterback Ash'Shaquor Sandifor and with a talented and experienced offensive line led by Billy Oldach, Ed Sullivan and Sam Birger, expect Rivers to move the ball through the air. Sandifor will have his pick of targets in tight ends George Crowley and Nick Lund and sophomore wideout Carlin Haymon. Defensively, the Red Wings return five starters.

Roxbury Latin

  • Last year's record: 3-5
  • Strength: Experience on offensive and defensive lines.
  • Concerns: Depth and improving on a 1-3 home record.
  • Coach: Patrick Ross (3rd season, Career record: 9-7)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 10 lettermen
    • Johnny Bogle, WR/DB, 5-10, 175
    • Brandon Bowman, RB/DB, 6-0, 185
    • Jeremiah Dalton, WR/CB, 6-3, 170
    • Cavan Finigan, G/DE, Senior, 6-3, 215
    • Guy Green, TE/LB, 6-2, 200
    • Jarred Jones, RB/DB, 5-11, 185
    • Davey Kussel, WR/DB, 5-10, 190
    • Mackay Lowrie, QB/CB, Junior, 6-3, 185
    • Sean Myers, WR/CB, 6-3, 175
    • Andrew Steele, WR/DB, 5-10, 190

The Foxes have offensive and defensive lines that are senior laden and experienced. The linebacking corps led by Kevin Godin and Matt Doyle should be solid. QB Mac Lowrie is had a good camp and is developing as a leader of the offense. The wild card for Roxbury Latin is what contributions it will get from young players such as sophomores Kevin Cohee and Tevin Barros and freshman Sean Lowrie. Last season the Foxes lost three games by a combined six points, so precise execution will be key this season.

St. George's

  • Last year's record: 3-3-1
  • Strength: Experience, with eight returning starters.
  • Concerns: Depth with a number of players going both ways; kicking game.
  • Coach: John Mackay (28th season, Career record: 83-129-7.)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 5 lettermen
    • Ryan Conlogue, WR/DB, Junior, 5-10, 155
    • Sage Hill, WR/DB, Sophomore, 6-2, 170
    • Andrew Issa, WR/DB, Junior, 6-2, 190
    • Jack Lathrop, WR/DB, Junior, 6-1, 175
    • Jorge Melendez, RB/DB, Sophomore, 5-9, 155

After last season's turnaround, the 2011 Dragons are hungry to further the programs' success. The starting quarterback, whether it's Riley McCabe or Ian Dickey, will be protected by a solid offensive line, and the Dragons have plenty of talent in the skill positions, including All-ISL running back Alex Enron and receiver Jaleel Wheeler. All of the top four linebackers return for the defense, and they will also count on big contributions from Andrew Issa, Jack Lathrop, Jorge Melendez, and Sage Hill.

St. Mark's

  • Last year's record: 0-8
  • Strength: Overall size and explosive talent in Jaymie Spears.
  • Concerns: Depth and a number of two-way players.
  • Coach: John Campanale (4th season, 5-19)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Despite a winless 2010, coach John Campanele believes that his team competed strongly and is optimistic that his team can turn things around this season. Senior wide receiver Jaymie Spears and junior running back Zack Twitchell lead the offense. The offensive line is very experienced and the skill positions are provided with speed from some of the younger players.

St. Paul's

  • Last year's record: 6-2
  • Strength: Experience with 7 starters on both sides of the ball.
  • Concerns: More production from offense.
  • Coach: Craig Vandersea (4th season, Career record: 8-16)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • Dan Beliveau, TE/LB, Senior, 6-1, 210
    • Richard Bradley, RB/DB, Junior, 5-11, 175
    • Jonathan Eustache, OL/DL, Junior, 6-0, 250
    • Liam Garrity-Rokous, RB/LB, Senior, 5-11, 200
    • Josh Herrea, WR/DB, Senior, 5-10
    • Vincent Lafetiere, WR/DB, Senior, 5-11, 190
    • Harry Nicholas, OL/DL, Senior, 5-10, 225
    • Mike Nkereuwem, WR/DB, Senior, 5-11, 180
    • Conor O'Brien, WR/DB, Senior, 5-10, 180
    • Zach Radford, QB/LB, Senior, 6-1, 195
    • Aaron Weiss, RB/LB, Senior, 5-11, 185

The Big Red will return seven starters on each side of the ball from last year's team. Richard Bradley and Aaron Weiss return in the backfield along with quarterback Zach Radford. Wide receiever Connor O'Brien and tight end Dan Beliveau will be the main targets for Radford this year. Beliveau is also expected to be a leader on defense as a linebacker with the line being held down by captains Harry Nicholas and Aaron Weiss. In the secondary, Mike Nkereuwem and Josh Herrea will hold down the corner positions with O'Brien at Bradley at the safety positions. St. Paul's was the seventh-leading scorer in ISL last fall and to take the next step that number must improve.

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