2012 EMASS Football Preview

Find a team by

Div 2 Patriot (Keenan)

Duxbury

  • Last year's record: 13-0
  • Strength: Offensive line, running back.
  • Concerns: Putting kids in the right positions.
  • Coach: Dave Maimaron (8th season, 76-10)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Duxbury is coming off back-to-back Super Bowl titles and has a state-best 26-game win streak. Despite heavy graduation losses, including quarterback Matt O'Keefe, Maimaron believes they have what it takes to get back to the postseason. "Hopefully we improve every day," Maimaron said. "It's a different team and different kids but we have to try and get back to the Super Bowl this year." Maimaron pointed to senior running back and defensive back Jon Hurvitz as his player to watch this season. Maimaron expects other top players to emerge once the season begins. "Over the first couple of weeks, players will identify themselves as the one's who will step up."

Hingham

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Senior leadership; depth.
  • Concerns: Size, injuries, quarterback.
  • Coach: Paul Killinger (16th season, 65-42)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 3 lettermen
    • Hunter Brown, T, 2013, 6-3, 205
    • John O'Connell, RB/DB, 2013, 5-9, 160
    • Ricky Sullivan, FB/RB, 2013, 5-9, 180

The biggest hurdle for the Harbormen is leaping over two-time defending Super Bowl champion, Duxbury. "We have to get by Duxbury," said coach Paul Killinger. "We haven't beaten them enough. Kids have to step up, but we should be okay." Killinger is looking at his 12 returning seniors to lead the way, including captains John O'Connell, Matt Doyle, and Ricky Sullivan. "Our captains are outstanding. They are dedicated and it makes it nice to coach kids who come ready to go." Killinger, though, does have some concerns as the season approaches. "Size is a big concern, you can't have enough size," he said. "We're very small on the lines but we'll be a little faster." Kiillinger also said he is looking forward to the play of some of his juniors, like starting safety Caleb Brady, who is also in a competition to win the quarterback job.

North Quincy

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Large group of returning starters.
  • Concerns: Roster depth.
  • Coach: Jim Connor (7th season, 27-39)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • Antoine Allen, RB/DB, 2014, 5-9, 160
    • Essien Benjamin, WR/SS, 2013, 5-10, 185
    • Shane Ceurzals, 2013, 6-0, 250
    • Matt Deagle, C, 2013, 5-10, 285
    • Zack McLaren, ILB, 2013, 5-10, 175
    • Andrew Minton, QB, 2013, 5-9, 160
    • Kevin Pappadopulos, NT, 2013, 5-6, 165
    • Mekhi Pearson, OG, 2013, 5-10, 235
    • Don Sharp, OT/DT, 2014, 5-11, 255
    • Shawn Thomas, DE/TE, 2013, 6-1, 185
    • Vinny Tran, OG/DE, 2014, 5-10, 185

Only 33 student athletes made up the roster of the 2011 Red Raiders, and the inexperience and lack of depth led North Quincy to a 4-7 record and a fourth-place finish in the Patriot League Keenan division. A year later, the Red Raiders find themselves in Patriot Fisher, having swapped with cross-town rival Quincy. While North Quincy loses Marquis Chase, who had over a dozen touchdowns last fall, they return most of their offense, including senior quarterback Andrew Minton and junior halfback Antoine Allen, who head coach Jim Connor hopes can take his game to the next level. According to Connor, junior Eddie Guinto worked hard in the off season, and will replace Patriot All-Star Walter Hannon at both fullback and linebacker. The Red Raiders will have an advantage in Fisher league play with opponents being unfamiliar with their schemes, but that lack of familiarity will work against them as well. The experience, however, should make up for it. "We seem to be a little ahead of the game, ahead of where we usually are mentally," said Connor. "We need refreshing obviously, but entering our first week, we're starting to ask and answer questions that we were dealing with Week 8 and Week 9 of last year."

Silver Lake

  • Last year's record: 1-10
  • Strength: Speed, strength, new culture.
  • Concerns: Finding young guys to step up.
  • Coach: Mike Aveni (2nd season, 1-10)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Lakers come into the season having won just one game in 2011, but that hasn't stopped Aveni from having "big expectations". Aveni took over in July of 2011 and missed out on having a full offseason to prepare with his new team. "Last year was challenging," Aveni said. "I was throwing things together. This year I had a full offseason. I had a big chance to work with the kids to turn the program around." The second-year coach says he has a mix of both young players and veterans (9 seniors) to depend on in 2012. Junior Dan Finn will take over the quarterback position and sophomore Adam Gay takes over at running back. Also, senior captain and linebacker Nate White returns after missing the season with a broken leg that he suffered in the the first game.

Whitman-Hanson

  • Last year's record: 8-3
  • Strength: Linebackers, secondary, receivers.
  • Concerns: Inexperienced offensive line, quarterback.
  • Coach: Mike Driscoll (2nd season, 8-3)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Panthers are coming off of a third-place finish in the Patriot (Keenan) League, and second-year coach Mike Driscoll has a "good outlook" on the 2012 campaign. With 16 returning seniors, Driscoll expects to have good leadership, singling out WR Dondre James, DL Matt Hughes, and LB Jerry Thompson as prime examples. Driscoll also pointed to senior Tom Sapienza, who is replacing John Caliri as the starting quarterback, as a player to watch for.

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