2012 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 2A Middlesex (Small)

Burlington

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Skill positions, team speed.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Shawn Maguire (20th season, 118-82-5)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Red Devils return many of their skill position players, including quarterback, wide receivers, and nationally-recruited running back Marcus Odiah. He has broken all of the school's running records and will look to continue his efforts as he enters his senior year. Maguire noted that this season "will be a promising year" for the team as they have grown greatly over the last 12 months. The offense will most likely continue to put up huge numbers as it has in the past.

Melrose

  • Last year's record: 8-3
  • Strength: Experience at skill positions.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Tim Morris (19th season, 94-79-4)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

With 14 returning seniors and 18 returning lettermen, the Red Raiders look to use their experience to their advantage. "We need to grow up fast to be able to compete in the Middlesex League," said coach Morris. Limiting opponents' offenses was one of the keys to the team's success last year. Defensive tackle captain Jamie Ferriera is the only returning starter on the defensive line. Third-year starting quarterback and captain Bryan Reale will continue to lead the offense along with wide receiver/free safety captain Nick Campbell.

Stoneham

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Speed and overall experience at skill positions.
  • Concerns: Depth at offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Bob Almeida (2nd season, 2-9)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

In his second year, Almeida is focused on correcting the Spartans' mindset. He believes that they need to work hard to achieve their goals, and he has developed new offensive and defensive schemes in hopes of filling in the gaps. According to Almeida, it is all about "learning how to win." The 10 returning starters are going to be looked at as leaders to inspire the rest of the team. Stoneham will look for any measure of success in the league after an 0-5 record against Middlesex Small opponents.

Wakefield

  • Last year's record: 10-3
  • Strength: Experience at defensive skill positions.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback and running back.
  • Coach: Mike Boyages (16th season, 112-46-3)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

After making it to the Division 2A Super Bowl last season, the Warriors are ready to continue their success. Boyages hopes to have as "good a season as last", but understands that it will be difficult to repeat. He is excited for the returning core of players and has faith in their ability. It is all about taking things to the next level, and the defense will most definitely be key in securing another run to the playoffs. With multiple returning starters on that side of the ball, Wakefield will have to take advantage of these strengths to make up for their inexperience at the major offensive positions.

Watertown

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Returning linemen and skill players
  • Concerns: Overall depth
  • Coach: John Cacace (6th season, 24-31)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Raiders are using past experience to their advantage as they hope to keep moving in the right direction. Coach John Cacace has his most basic goal set at "looking to continue our string of consecutive winning seasons," which is currently at three. The team knows they have to put in their best effort to compete against their league opponents, after having a 1-4 record against them last year. Offense will be very important this season with the return of many crucial position players, including three linemen, quarterback Joey Farrar, running back Logan Riley and wide receivers TJ Hairston and Matt Donnell. Success on this side of the ball will hopefully take off pressure on the defense, allowing them to perform better than last season where they gave up the second most points per game in their league.

Wilmington

  • Last year's record: 6-4
  • Strength: Offensive line and wide receivers.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at overall skill positions.
  • Coach: Mike Barry (5th season, 31-12)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Wildcats are trying to improve last season's second-place finish in the Middlesex Small. Coach Mike Barry believes that "the seniors have shown great leadership and the players have great attitudes." Eliminating penalties and having fewer turnovers are some of the goals that he has stressed. Look to an improved offense this time around.

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