2012 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 1A Dual County (Large)

Acton-Boxborough

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive lines.
  • Concerns: Depth, preseason injuries, team speed on defense.
  • Coach: Bill Maver (27th season, 215-78-5)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Bill Maver has never seen bad luck like this, not in 26 years of coaching. Before the first game even kicks off, Maver has lost a handful of impact players to season-threatening injuries, including big two-way tackle Joey Peduto, a senior who has started since his sophomore year (though he could return in November). "All those years we were really good, we never had anybody injured," Maver said. "You have to be good, but you have to be lucky too." The uplifting news for the Colonials is junior quarterback Hunter Arnold, who took over midway last season and has a good understanding of the offense. Senior running back Billy Jackman is a home run hitter. He's just 5 foot 8 inches and 160 pounds, but he has game-changing speed and great instincts with the ball. "Get him in the open," Maver said, "and he can be dangerous." Maver isn't sure what he's going to get from this squad, but there's plenty of potential.

Lincoln-Sudbury

  • Last year's record: 11-2
  • Strength: Skilled athletes on both sides of the ball.
  • Concerns: Filling holes on the offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Tom Lopez (35th season, 246-103-4)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 4 lettermen
    • Brian Carroll, RB/DB, 2013
    • Chris Giorgio, RB/LB, 2013
    • Henry Guild, QB/DB, 2013
    • Paul Sorbo, 2013, 6-1, 185

The Warriors lost 27 seniors off a squad that advanced to the Division 1A title game last fall but couldn't seem to deny a pair of hungry DiBiasos as Everett cruised to the crown. But there's a large group of upperclassmen that didn't see much of the field last year, leaving coach Tom Lopez with some untapped potential. "We're just experimenting right now," he said. "We're trying out people at every position." Senior Henry Guild is coming off a stellar spring on the lacrosse field and will make the switch from cornerback to quarterback. He may not have the arm strength of graduated slinger Matt Cahill, but his agility will make him a threat whenever he finds open field. There are only three other returning starters, all seniors, but they should be impact players. Brian Carroll, playing running back, defensive back, and special teams, might be one of the better players in the Dual County League. Chris Giorgio is a tackling machine at linebacker and Paul Sorbo will anchor the front lines.

Newton South

  • Last year's record: 0-11
  • Strength: Athleticism.
  • Concerns: Offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Ted Dalicandro (7th season, 13-53)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 19 lettermen
    • Jake Alexander, RB/SS, 2014
    • Eric Allegro, OG/DT, 2013
    • Jack Bltachford, OT, 2013
    • Justin Brooks, CB/K, 2013
    • Paul Budge, OG/DE, 2015
    • Lucian Cascino, OT/DT, 2013
    • Kevin Dober, OG/LB, 2014
    • Pat Fabrizio, OT/DE, 2013, 6-2, 215
    • Matt Fagundo, OG/DT, 2014
    • JaJa Foster, WR/CB, 2013
    • Sam Houston-Read, OG/LB, 2013
    • Andrew Jonash, FS/RB, 2014
    • Drew Levine, WR/FS, 2014
    • Eric Manditch, QB/CB, 2014
    • Ethan Myer, RB/CB, 2014
    • Matt Roberts, WR/FS, 2013, 6-3, 180
    • Brian Spink, RB/OLB, 2013
    • Michael Sugrue, C/DT, 2013
    • Tyrone Thornton, FS/RB, 2014

The silver lining in a winless 2011 season: The Lions were incredibly young. They still are. "There's nowhere to go but up from here," said coach Ted Dalicandro. With just one win in the last two seasons, Newton South players haven't had it easy. "It's hard to keep the spirits up when you don't have much success week in and week out," Dalicandro said. But the Lions return most of their squad which should be much better at the skill positions. The spread offense will be run by Nick Harris, who Dalicandro calls "a pretty special quarterback. Only a sophomore, Harris is still learning the playbook, but he profiles as an incredible runner who should work well with juniors Tyrone Thornton and Ethan Myer in the backfield. The Lions may have a hard time in the trenches, but Dalicandro said he will try to get creative with his defense and keep his team competitive. "We can play a lot of man-to-man," he said. "We'll have to move guys around, do some blitzing. It's the great part of coaching. High school football is a challenge and I couldn't ask for a better job."

Waltham

  • Last year's record: 4-6
  • Strength: Experience on defense, offensive line.
  • Concerns: Confidence in the huddle.
  • Coach: John Bourque (2nd season, 4-6)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 10 lettermen
    • Bobby Cappadona, OL/DL, 2013
    • Junior Chery, RB/DB, 2013
    • Jacob Duffrane, RB/LB, 2013
    • Erik Gougen, RB/LB, 2014
    • Dylan Lombardi, RB/LB, 2014
    • Kens Morantus, RB/LB, 2014
    • Nick Neshe, 2014
    • Sean Reynolds, OL/DL, 2014
    • Lunique Jr. Sainvil, WR/DB, 2013
    • Derek Saulnier, OL/DL, 2013

With a full year of experience under new head coach John Bourque, the Hawks should make the transition to the spread offense look much more seamless this fall. And the offense could benefit from big holes opening up thanks to an experienced line that includes seniors Bobby Cappadona (6-2, 260) and Derek Saulnier (6-1, 250). The Hawks also return the majority of their defensive unit, including the speedy Junior Chery (DB/WR). "We're certainly ahead of the curve now compared to where we were last year," Bourque said. "I think they're coming together well."

Westford

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Offensive line, speed, and depth at QB.
  • Concerns: Size, ability to tackle.
  • Coach: Rich McKenna (4th season, 21-13)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

There's no shortage of skill at Westford Academy this fall, and with two quarterbacks with tremendous ability, Rich McKenna could have his team ready for a breakout season. Justin Mount spent half of last season at quarterback, taking over for the injured Troy Faretra, and still piled up more than 1,2000 yards rushing. Mount, a 6-foot-2-inch, 205-pound senior, is "one of the best football players I've ever had the opportunity to coach," said McKenna. Faretra is set to return in Week 3, which will push Mount to wide receiver. Feratra, at 6-2, 215 pounds, is also a threat to pile up yards on the ground, but he has a strong arm and will be looking to find Mount in open space. "I have yet to see someone cover him one-on-one in the three years he's played," McKenna said. "We want to get that ball in his hands as much as possible." If the Grey Ghosts can tighten up their tackling on defense, the offense should be strong enough to keep them in every game.

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