2013 EMASS Football Preview

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Cape Ann - Small

Amesbury

  • Last year's record: 9-3
  • Strength: Experienced in the trenches. Kicking game.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Thomas Connors (11th season, (57-64 overall record))
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

With the whole complexion of the league changing do to the new playoff system and the loss of many nonleague games on the front end of the season, it is imperative for teams to get off to a good start. This year, Amesbury will begin the season with two huge rival games with Triton and Pentucket before starting their league games. They must prepare for these two rival games as it could set the tone on the season in the CAL Large and Small as well as create points in the power ranking playoff system. Complexity or not, coach Connors and the Indians are "excited to start".

Georgetown

  • Last year's record: 1-9
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive line.
  • Concerns: Depth, avoiding injuries.
  • Coach: Paul Sobolewski (10th season, 51-55 overall.)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Not too long ago, the Royals were a powerhouse in the Commonwealth Small conference. But the team has struggled the past two seasons (2-19). After starting last season with an encouraging 42-6 win in Week 1, the team not only lost the reminder of its games, three players had suffered ACL tears by Week 3. Coach Paul Sobolewski was quick to say after last year's freak injuries that the players are focused first on "just getting their identity back." With talented running back Matt Prescott returning from an ACL tear and a crop of lineman returning for their third consecutive year as starters, look for the Royals to do just that.

Hamilton-Wenham

  • Last year's record: 6-4
  • Strength: Potent running attack and offensive line. Veteran leadership at wide receiver.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at quarterback and center position.
  • Coach: Andrew Morency (8th season, 45-27 overall)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Enthusiasm and a strong senior class excited for a playoff run should bode well for coach Andrew Morency and the Generals in 2013. Having the largest player turnout since Morency took over eight years ago doesn't hurt either. The worry at quarterback should be lessened by the presence of sophomore runner Cam Macri, who is an "overall dynamic back" who can hurt a team with his ability to run and catch.

Ipswich

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Enthusiasm from a new coach
  • Concerns: Loss of four seniors on offensive line
  • Coach: Greg Brotherton (1st season, firt year)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Tigers will start with new faces on the offensive line, just one of many challenges for new coach Greg Brotherton. But Brotherton isn't all that new. He's an Ipswich graduate and former assistant coach so it's familiar turf. The Tigers must recharge an offense that scored just 14.5 ppg last fall.

Lynnfield

  • Last year's record: 9-3
  • Strength: Depth at wide receiver and team speed.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at varsity level (graduated 17 seniors).
  • Coach: Neil Weidman (6th season, 36-13)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Consistency, that's what coach Weidman thinks it'll take for Lynnfield to make the leap to Super Bowl champions instead of runner-up in 2013. The Pioneers rode their defense into the postseason (9.4 pg/a) before losing, 21-7, to Bishop Feehan in the D3A finale. It was the team's inability to score when they needed it most that hindered the team. "We just need to be more consistent on both sides of the football," said coach Neil Weidman. Team speed and a strong crop of runners and receivers should help the Pioneers offensive attack improve enough to compliment their defense and give them another shot at a title.

Manchester Essex

  • Last year's record: 3-8
  • Strength: Superior offensive line, strong core of experienced linebackers.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Michael Athanas (10th season, 51-51 overall.)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Coach Athanas believes the Hornets have a "good mixture" of young and old on the team this season, which he thinks will turn into a winning recipe. His football philosophy on winning revolves around defense, and with a strong core of linebackers returning, Athanas is optomistic it will be team strength this fall.

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3 games to watch

Sept
6

Duxbury comes in with a 42-game regular-season winning streak, while Abington went 13-0 and won a Div. 4 Super Bowl last year.

Sept
20

This is Dorchester's first home game ever on the newly renovated Roberts Field. LA brings All-Scholastic QB Kyle Dance.

Oct
25
Natick at Walpole

These two preseason Top 10 teams tied for first in the Bay State Herget last year. This game could well decide the title again.

Preseason Top 20

Rank Team Last year
1 St. John's Prep 11-1
2 Everett 11-1
3 Natick 11-2
4 Reading 13-0
5 Brockton 9-4
6 Lowell 9-2
7 Barnstable 11-1
8 Duxbury 11-1
9 Walpole 10-1
10 Mansfield 8-5
11 Bridgewater-Raynham 5-6
12 Central Catholic 9-2
13 Xaverian 4-7
14 Needham 8-3
15 Plymouth South 8-4
16 King Philip 10-1
17 BC High 4-6
18 Bishop Feehan 10-2
19 Weymouth 8-4
20 Andover 10-2