2012 EMASS Football Preview

Find a team by

Div 2 Hockomock (Kelley-Rex)

Attleboro

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Speed, quickness in backfield.
  • Concerns: Lack of returning starters.
  • Coach: Kevin Deschenes (11th season, 54-54)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Despite going 1-3 against the league last year, coach Kevin Deschenes fully expects the Bombardiers to be competitive in the Hockomock this year. "This season will be one of growth and maturity that comes with game experience at the starting positions," he said. Although Attleboro has three senior running backs returning, Deschenes said the team is relying on young guys to adapt quickly and give them more flexibility on offense.

Franklin

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Experience - many returning players.
  • Concerns: Overall size.
  • Coach: Brad Sidwell (16th season, 97-76-3)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

It'll be a rebound year for Franklin this season. The Panthers finished at the bottom of the Hockomock last year, going 0-4 against the league. Sidwell realizes that he's in one of the most challenging leagues in the state, but that's no excuse for him. "We certainly expect to be better than a year ago. 4-7 is as bad as we've been in a while," said Sidwell. Franklin is bringing back 15 starters, including the five offensive lineman and quarterback Nick Zucco also.

King Philip

  • Last year's record: 9-2
  • Strength: Secondary.
  • Concerns: Lack of experience at running back.
  • Coach: Brian Lee (8th season, 42-33)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

King Philip fell to Duxbury in last season's playoffs, but the Warriors are looking to make another run this year behind quarterback J.J. Dillon. With All-Scholastic running back Charles Ruffin graduating, King Philip will now have to adapt to a new backfield. However, coach Brian Lee put a lot of emphasis on his wide receivers, saying he expects Sam McDonald and Joey Cochrane to both have a great impact on offense.

Mansfield

  • Last year's record: 9-2
  • Strength: Size on offensive and defensive lines.
  • Concerns: Offensive skill positions.
  • Coach: Mike Redding (25th season, 194-61-2)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

After winning the Division 2 Super Bowl in 2010, the Hornets missed the playoffs last season, despite tying for the top spot in the league, because of a tiebreaker. Redding said that his goal is to avoid allowing for the possibility of that happening again. Mansfield has many new faces this year, and Redding is hopeful that starting the season with four nonleague games will benefit the Hornets. "The first half of the season will get new starters ready to enter and compete in the Hockomock," said Redding.

North Attleborough

  • Last year's record: 10-1
  • Strength: Offensive line.
  • Concerns: Lack of experience at skill positions.
  • Coach: Don Johnson (4th season, 28-5)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 8 lettermen
    • Takudzwa Chikomba, DE, 2013, 6-4, 210
    • Sam Connelly, DT, 2013, 6-2, 205
    • Matt Hardy, DB, 2013, 5-7, 160
    • Dwayne Hunter, RB, 2013, 5-7, 175
    • Ryan Perron, QB/LB, 2013, 5-11, 175
    • Preston Poillucci, LB, 2013, 5-9, 185
    • Paul Powell, TE/FB, 2013, 5-10, 200
    • Tyler Sellner, DB, 2013, 5-9, 140

Coming off another impressive season, one of the Red Rocketeers' obstacles this year is their challenging schedule. North Attleboro opens the year against LaSalle Academy, which coach Don Johnson considers the best team in Rhode Island. In the following weeks they play two more nonleague games against BC High and Bishop Feehan. "According to all reports BC High sounds like they're a college team," said Johnson. "We're looking to get out of those first three weeks healthy." With many returning seniors such as quarterback Ryan Perron and running back Dwayne Hunter, North Attleboro hopes to continue their recent success despite the strenuous competition in Hockomock.

Taunton

  • Last year's record: 1-9
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive lines.
  • Concerns: Defensive secondary, lack of experience.
  • Coach: Chris Greding (1st season)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

For Taunton it's all about new beginnings. Chris Greding takes over the Tigers in his first year, and Taunton will also be seeing different opponents as they leave the Old Colony League for the Hockomock League. "We're stepping into the most competitive football conference in the state. We are going to try to bounce back from a couple bad years," Greding said. But despite the switch in divisions, Greding is confident in his team, especially because of the depth he has in the backfield. He said the team's main goal this season is learning how to win.

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