2012 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 3A CAL/NEC (Division 3)

Amesbury

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Senior leadership, skill positions, defensive experience.
  • Concerns: Offensive line, depth.
  • Coach: Thomas Connors (10th season, 48-61)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Getting off to a good start will be important for the Indians, who return an experienced roster from 2011. "If we can get a few wins early and continue to progress I think we can be very competitive when we get to league play in October," said Coach Thomas Connors. Amesbury has implemented a new offense this year and hopes it will bring them greater success within the league; last year the Indians finished 1-4 in conference play. "The guys are really excited about it but it all comes down to execution," Connors said. "We look to improve each week."

Newburyport

  • Last year's record: 9-3
  • Strength: Senior class, experienced lettermen.
  • Concerns: Execution early in the season, young secondary.
  • Coach: Ed Gaudiano (25th season, 153-104)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 21 lettermen
    • Jake Baribeault, OT/DT, 2013, 6-2, 225
    • Drew Beaupre, OG/DT, 2014, 6-0, 220
    • Drew Bourdeau, QB/DB, 2014, 6-1
    • Trevor Bradbury, RB/DB, 2014, 5-8, 165
    • Alex Buckley, C/DE, 2013, 5-10, 190
    • Tyler Cusack, RB/LB, 2013, 5-7, 185
    • Brian Fiascone, WO/DB, 2013, 5-7, 160
    • Colton Fontaine, WO/DB, 2013, 6-1, 180
    • Sam Francis, TE/LB, 2013, 6-1, 210
    • Dillon Guthro, OT/DE, 2014, 6-2, 210
    • Evan Habib, TE/DE, 2013, 5-10, 185
    • Justin Johnson, OT/DT, 2013, 5-10, 205
    • Kevin MacDougall, TE/DE, 2014, 6-2, 185
    • Ian Michaels, WO/DB, 2013, 5-11, 170
    • Kyle Monahan, OT/DT, 2013, 6-0, 220
    • Eathan Northey, WO/DB, 2014, 5-8, 170
    • Brandon O'Brien, OG/DT, 2013, 6-0, 200
    • T.J. Soulther, OT/DT, 2013, 6-2, 270
    • Jake Timony, RB/LB, 2014, 6-1, 185
    • Brandon Trego, K/DB, 2014, 5-10, 160
    • Connor Wile, QB/DB, 2013, 5-11, 185

Newburyport finished atop the CAL/NEC Division 3 with a conference record of 5-0. With 21 returning lettermen, the Clippers have the experience to make another run at the title. According to veteran coach Gaudiano, the key is for his team is a good start. All-League quarterback, Connor Wile, will not be ready for play until the end of September so junior Drew Bourdeau, who has performed well in preseason, will start the season under center. Captain Sam Francis and junior Dillon Guthro lead an experienced defense, while on offense, Tyler Cusak filled the gap at running back. Coltin Fontaine returns as a go-to receiver and tackle TJ Souther leads an experienced offensive line.

Pentucket

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Leadership of the seniors.
  • Concerns: Lack of depth.
  • Coach: Steve Hayden (31st season, 196-136)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Sachems took a big hit with the graduation of Nolan Dragon who ended the 2011 season with 17 touchdowns. Coach Hayden, ringing in his 31st year at the helm, said this year he will run the same offense. However, without a star scorer, the team will operate more by committee. "We're looking to have a good experience for the kids and as usual we're trying to get better every week and stay healthy," said Hayden.

Saugus

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Experience
  • Concerns: Depth
  • Coach: Mike Broderick (8th season, 26-46)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

After a disappointing 2-9 finish in 2011, Saugus hopes experience will help them to be more competitive this year. The Sachems return six defensive starters, anchored by All-star linebacker Tom Trainor. Leading the offense at quarterback again this year is C.J. Randolph. Coach Mike Broderick expects that with a year under his belt, Randolph's experience will help his team bring home and winning record.

Triton

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Numbers, competition for positions.
  • Concerns: Inexperience (replacing all 11 offensive starters and 10 defensive starters) and youth (only five seniors).
  • Coach: Pat Sheehan (3rd season, 6-16)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 5 lettermen
    • Connor Barry, WR/DB, 2013, 6-1, 175
    • Travis Kneeland, OL/DL, 2013, 6-3, 185
    • David Manning, OL/DL, 2013, 6-4, 215
    • Ellsworth Rogers, OL/DL, 2015, 6-2, 230
    • Joe Ruocco, RB/LB, 2013, 5-10, 170

The Vikings finished 6-5 last year, after an 0-11 2010 season, including big wins over Masconomet and Winthrop and a tough 30-28 loss to Pentucket on Thanksgiving. "The 2012 season will be an exciting yet challenging year as we are replacing nearly every starter with the exception of our middle linebacker, senior captain Joe Ruocco," said Sheehan, in his third season. Ruocco led Triton in tackles last season and was named an All-League player. The rest of the team, a majority of whom are sophomores and juniors, will need to quickly adjust to the varsity level if Triton is going to be a 2012 playoff contender.

Winthrop

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive lines.
  • Concerns: Quarterback and special teams.
  • Coach: Sean Driscoll (6th season, 26-29)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

To build upon their 6-5 season, the Vikings will continue to focus on ball control and try to command the tempo of the game on offense. Their biggest question mark is at quarterback. Dylan Driscoll, a sophomore, is stepping up for his first start under center in Winthrop's opener against Danvers. The Vikings struggled defensively in the preseason, giving up too many big plays, according to Coach Driscoll. But he said, "Overall we are excited for the season as we our every year in Winthrop."

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