2012 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 4A Boston South

Boston English

  • Last year's record: 2-8
  • Strength: Entering its third season under Boswell, the team is starting to develop consistency both in the classroom and on the football field. The staff has also taken a new approach to focusing on the basics and measuring success in terms of little victories on t
  • Concerns: Now that New Mission has its own football program, four New Mission students who contributed significantly to English's team last year will be playing for their own school. And because the team's only victories in the last two years came due to forfeits,
  • Coach: Chris Boswell (3rd season, 2-18)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 4 lettermen
    • Jordan Carter, C/DL, 2013, 5-10, 195
    • Francis Okoyo, WR/FS, 2013, 6-1, 175
    • Dhe'Jour Releford, QB, 2014
    • Colin Thomson, DT/OL, 2013, 5-10, 260

With two years under his belt and a new academic culture for athletes at English High, the Blue & Blue could finally turn the corner after two tough seasons. The team has also moved down a division, to Boston South, which should help. "We're improving, it didn't show up on the scoreboard but I think we are going to improve more," Boswell said. "The kids understand commitment and they know that showing up to practice is part of that. We have a good core of upperclassmen. It's their time to shine and I think we can do better."

Burke

  • Last year's record: 0-9
  • Strength: Team unity and work ethic.
  • Concerns: Finishing the season with only 26 players last year, depth is a concern for the Bulldogs.
  • Coach: Byron Beaman (2nd season, 0-9)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Burke struggled to stay on the same page of the playbook last year despite the fact that Beaman ran an I-formation to simplify the offense for his players. That straight-forward approach, however, didn't necessarily suit Beaman's personnel so this year he is taking the bold step of implementing an option offense. "I'm making an adjustment from the old regime to this one and it is going slow," Beaman said. "The buy-in collectively is still something we're looking for." While Beaman said he will measure success by the number of players that stay committed to the program from the first day of training camp all the way through to next August's training camp, he did say the option offense could stun a few teams. "Of course getting the monkey off the back with a win would definitely be a plus for us but that's not something that says where you are," Beaman said.

Dorchester

  • Last year's record: 4-5
  • Strength: Team unity. Work ethic. Defensive speed.
  • Concerns: Depth. Experience. Team size.
  • Coach: Richard Moran (7th season, 28-37)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 12 lettermen
    • Jose Amaro, CB, 2013, 5-7, 175
    • Dale Cooper, RB/OLB, 2014, 5-9, 160
    • Devon Dookhran, DB, 2013, 5-10, 145
    • Hakim Harris, DB, 2014, 5-8, 155
    • Ki Harris, LB, 2016, 5-8, 170
    • Arthur Kallon, K/LB, 2014, 5-11, 163
    • Tre-Vaughn McCoy, RB/DB, 2014, 5-11, 170
    • Darrius Patterson, 2013, 6-0, 210
    • Steven Poilluci, CB/RB, 2013, 5-9, 155
    • Jeffrey Rhodes-Burton, CB, 2013, 5-9, 170
    • Axel Rivera, OT/DT, 2013, 5-10, 210
    • Javaughn White, C, 2015, 5-10, 190

Moran is happy with the makeover the school's football program got last season courtesy of ESPN. New uniforms, new lockers, new weightrooms are all nice, but Moran wasn't so happy about the effect the attention had on the work ethic, and competitiveness of his team and players. According to Moran, the showcase made the players "full of themselves" and that translated to not so good football both in practice and on game days. Without national media attention this season, Moran thinks the Bears can make a better run in the city.

Latin Academy

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: LA returns all of its skill players from a team that went to the Super Bowl for the first time in 19 years, including junior quarterback Kyle Dance and senior running back Ernest Kellough.
  • Concerns: Inexperience on both lines.
  • Coach: Rocco Zizza (5th season, 22-20)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 9 lettermen
    • Ralph Cesar, DB/RB, 2013, 5-10, 160
    • Kyle Dance, QB, 2014, 5-11, 180
    • Nick Davis, TE/DE, 2015
    • Alex Guerrer, WR/DB, 2013, 5-9, 160
    • Brendan Harriette Harriette, DE/TE, 2013
    • Chenedu Ighokue, CB/RB, 2014
    • Ernest Kellough, RB, 2013, 5-8, 180
    • Brian McCarthy, FB/LB, 2015, 5-10, 200
    • DeVaughn Riley, WR/DB, 2014

The Dragons return plenty of talent with a little improvement in the early going, LA will be one of the more competitive teams in the city league. Last year the Dragons went to the Super Bowl for the first time in 19 years and lost to Nantucket. "Every year is a new year. I think the kids have a positive attitude," Zizza said. "They know they have to work hard. They have enough talent to do well if they work hard." Another challenge this season is a completely new offensive line. "The lineman coming up are at least as talented as last year," Zizza said. "The difference between a good line and a great line is work ethic so that's a key issue."

O'Bryant

  • Last year's record: 7-3
  • Strength: Work ethic (in class and on the field). Returning starters.
  • Concerns: Youth in the backfield, offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Kevin Gadson (5th season, 31-10)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 8 lettermen
    • Ajani Alfred-McFall, QB/DB, 2014, 5-6, 160
    • Cobi Fahemi, OL/DE, 2014, 5-11, 210
    • Aaron Goldsmith, WR/RB, 2014, 5-10, 170
    • Sam Martin, DB/FB, 2013, 5-7, 140
    • Michael McLean, DE/OL, 2014, 5-11, 175
    • Joseph Parrell, WR/DB, 2013
    • Christian Ransom, WR/DB, 2013, 5-8, 145
    • Mehki Williams, RB/LB, 2013, 5-8, 155

If returning starters can develop into leaders and its new players can gel quickly, the Tigers should be fine this season. The leader of the pack should be senior wide receiver and defensive back Christian Ransom. Ransom will split the quarterback duties with junior Ajani Alfred-McFall. "We definitely have a good work ethic with the kids," said Gadson. "The coaching staff will get them ready and we have some really good kids who are sound academically and we're going to try and get them to be aggressive. They are probably not too experienced playing the game. A lot of new kids are from different nationalities and we have to just get them together as a team."

3 games to watch

Sept
7
Everett at Leominster

The Crimson Tide take a 25-game winning streak into this game against the reigning CMass Division 1 Super Bowl champs.

Oct
12

With Troy Flutie and company on one side and Ozzy Colarusso on the other side, all signs point to a great, high-scoring game.

Nov
10
Cathedral at Pope John

A rematch of the game that decided the Central Catholic Small winner in 2011. Cathedral won, 16-12, and went on to the Super Bowl.

Preseason Top 20

Rank Team Last year
1 Everett 13-0
2 BC High 10-3
3 Xaverian 6-5
4 St. John's Prep 4-6
5 Barnstable 7-5
6 Bridgewater-Raynham 9-2
7 Duxbury 13-0
8 King Philip 9-2
9 Natick 9-2
10 Walpole 9-3
11 Weymouth 9-2
12 Brockton 5-6
13 Mashpee 13-0
14 Reading 8-4
15 Andover 7-4
16 Needham 9-4
17 Mansfield 9-2
18 Central Catholic 6-5
19 Westford 6-5
20 Beverly 7-4