2011 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 4 Tri-Valley (Small)

Ashland

  • Last year's record: 0-11
  • Strength: First-year coach Andrew MacKay is impressed by the work ethic his team has displayed so far.
  • Concerns: There's not a lot of experience around the Clocker locker room.
  • Coach: Andrew MacKay (1st season, Career record: 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 9 lettermen
    • Nathan Bach, OL/DL, Senior, 5-11, 210
    • Nick Brugger, OL/DL, Senior, 5-10, 220
    • Colin Daly, RB/S, Senior, 5-7, 160
    • Chris Ferriera, Wr/S, Senior, 5-10, 160
    • Alex Furman, WR/CB, Senior, 6-0, 150
    • Bo Prozinski, QB/CB, Senior, 5-9, 170
    • Ryan Robie, RB/LB, Senior, 6-0, 150
    • Max Soberzhanskly, OL/DL, Senior, 6-0, 220
    • Ryan Tolan, OL/DL, Senior, 6-0, 230

Andrew MacKay brings six years of college coaching experience with him to Ashland, most recently as an associate head coach with Framingham State. His task is a tough one. The Clockers have lost 25 straight and have won just one game in the last four years. The process of building up the program will be a slow one, but the team is headed in the right direction. The squad has added about 30 new players to the program, giving them some more depth to build around key players like Colin Daly and Bo Prozinski.

Bellingham

  • Last year's record: 3-8
  • Strength: The Blackhawks have a wealth of speed, especially at the skill positions.
  • Concerns: Bellingham is lacking a bit depth-wise, especially on the lines.
  • Coach: Dan MacLean (2nd season, 25-27)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 9 lettermen
    • Lucas Armstrong, OL/DL, Senior, 6-2, 240
    • Kyle Beyer, OL/DL, Junior, 5-10, 195
    • Brian Cronan, WR/OLB, Junior, 5-7, 160
    • Chris Dagg, WR/DB, Senior, 6-0, 175
    • Mike Kupiec, WR/OLB, Senior, 5-8, 150
    • Matt Kupiec, RB/ILB, Senior, 5-9, 175
    • Kevin McTomney, QB/LB, Junior, 6-2, 225
    • Ryan Pelletier, OL/DL, Senior, 5-9, 235
    • Ryan Wilson, OL/ILB, Junior, 5-10, 195

No matter who wins the starting job, coach Dan MacLean knows he'll be playing a quarterback with limited experience. That will be OK so long as running back Matt Kupiec runs like MacLean thinks he can. The coach holds the senior in high regard, referring to him as a "very coachable, tough, physical kid." On the other side of the ball, Kupiec, Ryan Wilson, Brian Cronan, and Chris Dagg are the key pieces on a physical, aggressive defense. Last year, in games against opponents joining Bellingham in the TVL Small, The Blackhawks allowed just 16.5 points per game.

Dover-Sherborn

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: New coach Joe Schotland is impressed by the level of intelligence shown by his players to date, especially quarterback Matt Heinlein.
  • Concerns: This will be Joe Schotland's first experience as a head coach, and he anticipates a few bumps along the road as he learns his players and the league.
  • Coach: Joe Schotland (1st season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 8 lettermen
    • Dan Carroll, OL/DL, Sophomore, 6-2, 240
    • Chris Chisholm, RB/DB, Senior, 5-10, 165
    • Matt Heinlen, QB, Senior, 5-10, 175
    • Andrew Mamacos, DL, Senior, 5-10, 220
    • Aaron Oberst, OL/DL, Senior, 6-2, 240
    • Chris Ouellet, OL/DL, Senior, 6-1, 205
    • Jackson Schroeder, WR, Senior, 5-10, 170
    • Jake Wirth, CB, Senior, 5-10, 160

The first week of camp was a feeling-out process for Schotland and his staff as they tried to acclimate to their new players. Offensively, Matt Heinlein will quarterback the Raider offense. What that offense will look like is still a work in progress. Schotland has been carefully evaluating his players, and the final product will be built to match the strengths he sees in his inherited players. On the other side of the ball, the injury bug has forced the staff to consider scrapping its initial plans to run a 4-3, cover-2 defense in favor of a 4-4 style.

Millis

  • Last year's record: 3-8
  • Strength: The Mohawks were forced to use a lot of young linemen last year, and in the offseason, those players all showed improvement in the weight room. The end result? An experienced, strong offensive and defensive front.
  • Concerns: Bay Tangney will move from wide receiver to quarterback, a role he's still new to. Coach Dave Olmsted expects Tangney to be successful at the position, but there may be an adjustment period for Millis/Hopedale as he learns the position.
  • Coach: Dave Olmsted (6th season, Career record: 16-38)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • Chris Baker, WR/CB, Junior, 5-11, 180
    • Jon Baker, OL/DL, Sophomore, 6-3, 290
    • Elias Fayad, OL/DL, Junior, 5-10, 235
    • Derek Latosek, WR/CB, Senior, 5-11, 150
    • Tim McKay, OL, Junior, 6-0, 230
    • Mike Meuse, LB, Senior, 5-8, 165
    • Jim Perkins, RB/CB, Senior, 5-7, 160
    • Connor Sayles, TE/DE, Senior, 6-1, 220
    • Ian Strom, WR/DB, Junior, 6-1, 170
    • Bay Tangey, QB/S, Junior, 5-10, 170
    • Adam Tyks, OL/DL, Junior, 6-1, 240

Millis/Hopedale return a pair of league all stars in Ian Strom and Jon Baker. Baker, a 6-foot-3, 290-pound sophomore lineman, shined as a rookie last year and only got stronger in the offseason. As a guard on offense and a nose tackle on defense, he'll make the center of the Mohawk line as well anchored as any in the TVL. Joining Baker on the line will be three juniors who started as sophomores last year. Strom was one of the league's best pass catchers a year ago, while senior captain Jim Perkins returns as the team's leading rusher.

Norton

  • Last year's record: 8-3
  • Strength: The Lancers return a wealth of experience on both sides of the ball, headlined by Steven Hudson, Josh Jenkins, and Pat O'Malley.
  • Concerns: Norton doesn't have much returning at its skill positions, meaning there are some important holes that need to be filled.
  • Coach: Ted Currle (3rd season, Career record: 15-7)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • Matt Butler, FB/LB, Junior, 5-7, 175
    • Joe Colley, RB/LB, Junior, 5-5, 165
    • Marc Daitch, OL/DL, Senior, 5-10, 185
    • Tyler Durocher, SE/FS, Senior, 5-11, 180
    • Stephen Hudson, OL/DL, Junior, 6-0, 255
    • Nick Jenkins, RB/LB, Senior, 5-8, 170
    • Josh Jenkins, OL/DL, Junior, 5-10, 235
    • Pat O'Malley, OL/LB, Senior, 6-1, 177
    • Nick Petersen, OL/DE, Junior, 6-2, 183
    • Gary Portway, QB/LB, Senior, 5-11, 185
    • Stefen Winfield, RB/DB, Senior, 5-9, 170

The offseason brought good news and bad news for Ted Currle's Norton squad. The Lancers lost their starting quarterback (Joey Wilkes, Westfield State), receiver (Phil Rizzo, Bowling Green), and running back (Zach Schweiger, transfer to Attleboro), as well as a handful of other key contributors. On the bright side, a new season brings a split in the TVL, with Norton falling into the new TVL Small. Norton was 4-0 against TVL Small teams a year ago, and of the Small schools, had done the best in reason years against schools now in the TVL Large. As for this year, Norton's linemen will have to carry the Lancers if a postseason berth is in order. Returning multi-year starters Steven Hudson, Josh Jenkins, and Pat O'Malley should play key roles on both sides of the ball.

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