2012 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 4 Tri-Valley (Small)

Ashland

  • Last year's record: 3-8
  • Strength: Senior leadership.
  • Concerns: Young team.
  • Coach: Andrew MacKay (2nd season, 3-8)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

After an 0-11 2010 season, the Clockers improved to 3-8, including a 3-4 mark at home. The numbers tell the story, with Ashland having given up more than 35 ppg the last two years on defense. That number needs to come down if Ashland is to improve.

Bellingham

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Improved offensive production.
  • Concerns: A defense that gave up 34 ppg.
  • Coach: Dan MacLean (3rd season, 5-17)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

You win or lose with defense and last fall the Blackhawks gave up more than 34 ppg. The good news is that the offense jumped from 15 ppg in 2010 to 21.5 last year. Continued improvement on both sides of the ball is key to Bellingham's chances in the TVL Small. Bellingham went 0-7 at home in 2011.

Dover-Sherborn

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Quick learners.
  • Concerns: Depth on both sides of the ball.
  • Coach: Joe Schotland (2nd season, 4-7)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Last season the coaching staff, offense and defense, was brand new for the Raiders. The good news is that coach Schotland thinks everything will be easier in his second season at D-S. This fall Schotland hopes to see sound, aggressive football. "If we have sound fundamentals and stay healthy, we'll have a good season." Schotland praised his returning lettermen, saying they are providing excellent leadership to the younger players. D-S must improve on offense, where the Raiders scored a league-low 14.6 ppg last year.

Millis

  • Last year's record: 10-2
  • Strength: Offense and defensive lines.
  • Concerns: How to replace tailback Jimmy Perkins (24 touchdowns last season).
  • Coach: Dale Olmsted (7th season, 26-41)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 7 lettermen
    • Chris Ahl, RB/CB, 2013, 5-6, 150
    • Chris Baker, WR/CB, 2013, 5-11, 190
    • Jon Baker, OL/DL, 2014, 6-3, 300
    • Ilia Knight, OL/DL, 2013, 6-, 210
    • Andrew Santa Fe, FB/LB, 2013, 6-1, 215
    • Ian Strom, WR/DB, 2013, 6-1, 185
    • Zach Zonfrelli, WR/CB, 2013, 5-7, 160

Coming off one of their best seasons (TVL Small champions) Mohawks' coach Dale Olmsted said this season will be a challenge for his team. "It will be interesting how we will handle that success from last year," he said. Outdoing TB Jimmy Perkins and his 24 touchdowns last season will be difficult but Olmsted is hopeful due to the leadership his captains, Bay Tangley, Andrew Santa Fe, Elias Fayad and Jon Baker provide. "We should be able to compete in the much improved TVL Small." Look for Baker to establish himself as one of th best linemen in the state.

Norton

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Athleticism and skill positions.
  • Concerns: Lack of depth.
  • Coach: Ted Currle (4th season, 20-13)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Coach Ted Currle is mostly concerned with how young the Lancers are and their lack of offensive depth. They already have a few banged-up players, a bad sign for a young team with depth concerns. Currle hopes his injured starters are back and able to play within a few weeks. But this team has talent, as shown by last year's second-place finish in the TVL Small.

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