2012 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 4 Commonwealth (Large)

Greater Lawrence

  • Last year's record: 9-3
  • Strength: Running back and passing game.
  • Concerns: Defensive line experience.
  • Coach: Tony Sarkis (7th season, 50-38.)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Reggies are coming off a regular season co-championship in which they went 5-0 at home. Their defensive line will have almost an entirely new look after graduating four of five starters. Coach Sarkis said the new kids have "a lot to prove." With a strong showing by the offensive line, the passing game could prove to be a game changer. "If we do it, I think it will make us much more versatile," he said.

Lynn Tech

  • Last year's record: 8-4
  • Strength: Linemen.
  • Concerns: Depth, staying healthy.
  • Coach: James Runner (3rd season, 9-13)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Runner thinks one of his toughest decisions will be how to spread out who gets the ball because his seniors can score from anywhere. Strong linemen on both offense and defense will propel the team through conference play as long as they avoid injuries. But with the return of captain Kenny Golmes and junior quarterback Billy Colon, he said, "It's going to be a great year."

Northeast

  • Last year's record: 8-3
  • Strength: Senior leadership, skill positions.
  • Concerns: Inexperience on both lines.
  • Coach: Don Heres (7th season, 41-29 career)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 7 lettermen
    • Justin Baker, 2013, 6-2, 245
    • Conor Cregan, 2015, 6-3, 225
    • Ricky Freddura, 2013, 5-6, 160
    • Nick Giangregorio, 2014, 6-3, 235
    • Mike Hall, 2014, 5-11, 235
    • Christian Martinez, 2013, 6-1, 225
    • Kevin Rosado, 2015, 5-8, 155

The returning seniors have already shown the leadership skills that will guide the Knights through the season. Coach Heres is worried about the inexperience on both lines, but said the skill level at quarterback and running back will be a help. As for the conference, "it's a tough league," he said. "We just want to be competitive and hopefully our work ethic will bring us some wins."

Shawsheen

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Overall enthusiasm and skill positions.
  • Concerns: Inexperienced offensive line, lack of linebacking depth.
  • Coach: Albert Costabile (21st season, 132-83 career)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 6 lettermen
    • Steve Anderson, OL/DL, 2013, 6-1, 255
    • Nick Hoar, FB/LB, 2014, 5-10, 195
    • Peter Knoops, WR/DB, 2013, 6-3, 180
    • Matt Milano, LB, 2013, 5-11, 225
    • Corey Poirier, OL, 2013, 5-8, 170
    • Dustin Thibeault, OL/DL, 2013, 6-2, 195

The Rams may have a young offensive line, but that isn't keeping Costabile from believing his team can defend the league championship they shared with Greater Lawrence. Shawsheen has strength in its skill positions, which should boost an offense that was the lowest scoring in the Commonwealth Large last fall. Four of the five starters from last year's line graduated and the fifth, Joe Steen, is out after knee surgery but should return mid-season. Costabile likes the way the league is shaping up. "I think the league is going to be very balanced and very, very competitive this year," he said.

Whittier

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Experienced linemen.
  • Concerns: Inexperienced at skill positions.
  • Coach: Kevin Bradley (12th season, 88-36.)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 2 lettermen
    • Dave Sachs, OL/DL, 2014, 6-1, 210
    • Austin Sciacca, OL/DL, 2014, 5-10, 200

A really young team - Bradley could theoretically be starting 17 underclassmen each game - doesn't have the Wildcats without big hopes for the season. They've never had a losing season and are hoping this year won't be any different under the supervision of a strong senior class. "It you have leadership, that carries an awful lot of weight and puts your team in the right direction," Bradley said.

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