2012 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 4 South Shore

Abington

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Experience.
  • Concerns: Strong division. Bringing their "A" game every day.
  • Coach: James Kelliher (38th season, 209-172-10)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Don't snooze over the Green Wave's 6-5 record and think they're destined to miss the playoffs for the third consecutive year. Abington should be back in contention for the top spot in the South Shore League as they return just about every starter from a year ago. Of their 5 losses, just one was of a double-digit variety. And even that came due to a fourth-quarter turnover that pushed the deficit to two possessions. Look for Babila Fonkem and Matt Kilmain to be the focal points of the offense. Brandon Cawley will play the majority of his snaps under center and will be protected by an experience offensive line. Pat Dwyer is back for his senior season at linebacker, leading the defensive charge.

Carver

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Offensive line.
  • Concerns: Experience, depth.
  • Coach: Michael Fraccalossi (15th season, 63-80-3)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Following a disappointing 2011, the Crusaders made their way to Gillette Stadium to watch the State Championship games. Coach Mike Fraccalossi said that it was "to show that if you work hard, maybe we can get there someday." Although young, the Crusaders still have hope. They have 11 returning starters that features a running attack of Devon King and a pair of senior offensive lineman Rob Eldredge and Joe Tortora.

Cohasset

  • Last year's record: 6-4
  • Strength: Coachability, team speed.
  • Concerns: Depth, experience.
  • Coach: Peter Afanasiw (7th season, 40-20-2)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The success Cohasset will be dependent on how well their role players step up. "We will need to improve from week to week, stay healthy, and have more than one non-expected role player step up and overachieve," said coach Peter Afanasiw. Senior captains Shane Haggerty, Jake Herth, and Craig Davis are going to be looked to for leadership on both sides of the ball.

East Bridgewater

  • Last year's record: 10-1
  • Strength: Defensive front. Leadership.
  • Concerns: Trying to replace more than 100 touchdowns.
  • Coach: Shawn Tarpey (8th season, 38-36-1)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Vikings graduated nine seniors last year, two of them being Casey DeAndrade and Tim O'Brien, who accounted for more than 100 touchdowns in 2011. Tarpey is left to figure out where the offense will come from this season but has a number of seniors ready to take over the responsibility of leading the Vikings in 2012. Players like Kevin Lynch, Brett Palaschak and Andrew Benson will be looked upon to replace the gaps left from the 2011 graduating class.

Hull

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Running game, experience.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Jake McGrath (10th season, 40-54)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Pirates took some positive strides in 2011 and are looking to progress into contenders. Hull is home of a fast-paced, aggressive defense which attacks the ball rather than the ballcarrier. On the other side of the ball, Mack Murphy is the man under center as he leads an offense consisting of a multitude of formations. Murphy accounted for seven touchdowns in 2011 while splitting QB duties.

Mashpee

  • Last year's record: 13-0
  • Strength: Backfield.
  • Concerns: Offensive line depth.
  • Coach: Matt Triveri (8th season, 62-16)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Mashpee looks to repeat after its Super Bowl winning 2011 campaign. The Falcons will be led by running back Jared Taylor, whose 308-yard rushing performance in the Super Bowl catapulted Mashpee to its first ever bowl title. The Falcons have added Cape Cod Tech transfer Malik Lee to the backfield. "Malik is a bruiser, he'll see time at tailback and linebacker," said Triveri. An obstacle in the Falcons' title defense will be their schedule. Six of the first seven games will be on the road and Triveri characterized it as "brutal." Mashpee will rely on senior leadership to hopefully minimize the early schedule challenge.

Norwell

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Team speed.
  • Concerns: Lack of experience on both sides of the ball.
  • Coach: Matt Luccarelli (2nd season, 3-19)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

After a few disappointing seasons the Clippers are on the verge of progressing to a competitive team. Under center for the offense will be junior Pete Riccuti as he leads an offensive attack complemented by its speed. Expect seniors Tom Jensen and Jake Marr to lead this young group through the season and each should see plenty of time, both offensively and defensively.

Rockland

  • Last year's record: 4-6
  • Strength: Running game, athleticism.
  • Concerns: Experience.
  • Coach: Brian Kelliher (1st season)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

There's a new sheriff in Rockland and it's Brian Kelliher who's the successor of 29-year Bulldog coach Ken Owen. One major difference between Kelliher and Owen will be the offensive style of play as the Bulldogs will run the Wing-T as opposed to the Power-I and Wishbone. Sparking the offense will be junior quarterback Matt Nicholson and senior fullback Andrew Ahern. There are many changes to account for, but the Bulldogs are handling them effectively.

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