2013 EMASS Football Preview

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Catholic Central - Large

Archbishop Williams

  • Last year's record: 5-4
  • Strength: Running game and good wide receivers.
  • Concerns: Depth at each position.
  • Coach: Bill Kinsherf (18th season, 88-86-1.)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Senior running back Kylan Philbert-Richardson returns after rushing for 1,746 yards last season, and coach Bill Kinsherf is looking for more of the same. "We're expecting him to keep up with [last season]," Kinsherf said. Philbert-Richardson will also be the Bishops' leader on defense at safety. Junior linebackers Ryan Earle and Adam Burnes should be key players on defense as well. "They're back and really look good so far," Kinsherf said. At wide receiver, Kinsherf is expecting Earle, Ken Lofstrom, and Ryan McMahon to have big years. Who will be throwing them the ball is still up in the air, as a starting quarterback has yet to be named.

Arlington Catholic

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Speed and experience coming back at WR and RB.
  • Concerns: Inexperience at other key positions
  • Coach: Serge Clivio (23rd season, 116-127)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Cougars are 4-18 over the last two seasons, and things won't get any easier this year with a competitive league and a young team. "We're going to be learning a little bit on the go," coach Serge Clivio said. Clivio does have good talent returning at wide receiver and running back, and he is hoping those players can carry the load while others adjust on the fly. Senior Kyle Bairos returns at wide receiver after an all-star season in 2012. He's joined by 6-foot wideout Matt Richardson, and they'll be catching passes from new quarterback Christian Rosati. The sophomore won the starting job in camp and has looked very good in preseason, Clivio said. Running backs Billy Barrett and Greg Whelan will help out on offense after strong showings in 2012. Arlington Catholic will be without junior tight end Jake Ryan, who will miss five weeks after he suffered a hairline fracture in his tibia during camp. Defensively, senior linebacker Sean McElhinney will be a strong force.

Austin Prep

  • Last year's record: 4-7
  • Strength: Work ethic
  • Concerns: Inexperience
  • Coach: Bill Maradei (35th season overall, 242-115-4; 21st at Austin Prep, 142-52)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Connor Duffy returns at quarterback for the Cougars, and coach Bill Maradei is expecting big things from the junior. Duffy has a strong arm and can use his feet as a threat as well. "He's maturing nicely," Maradei said. Seniors Nick Mulcahy and Jonathan Saurman will make up a solid running back duo for the Cougars. On defense, Dan Catalano is an experienced defensive end. Joining Catalano are linebackers Damian Dell'Anno and Mulcahy, and Maradei says the three seniors are tough players who will take the lead.

Bishop Fenwick

  • Last year's record: 8-3
  • Strength: Experience with many seniors and juniors who have been starting since their freshman year.
  • Concerns: Staying healthy.
  • Coach: Dave Woods (16th season, 105-63)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

In a league which coach Dave Woods says is the toughest that it has been in years, Bishop Fenwick brings back a veteran-laden squad, with eight returning starters on offense and nine on defense. Senior Nick Bona will be a key force on both sides of the ball. At quarterback, Bona "has looked absolutely phenomenal in camp." Bona is also a starting linebacker for the Crusaders, and the "heart and soul of our defense," Woods said. Vona broke the single-season tackles record at Fenwick last year, racking up 170. Joining him as an offensive threat is junior running back Rufus Rushins, who has amassed over 2,400 yards in his first two years. Defensively, David Hurley will start at middle linebacker, where the junior has looked strong in camp.

Cardinal Spellman

  • Last year's record: 6-4
  • Strength: Experience and attitude.
  • Concerns: Quality of depth.
  • Coach: Ron St. George (6th season, 34th season overall, 228-110-4; 6th at Cardinal Spellman, 36-22)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

After the Cardinals went 24-2 between 2010 and 2011, last season saw many first-time starters. Now, those starters are returning as juniors and seniors, giving coach Ron St. George lots of experience to work with. The crew is led by senior captain Rory Donovan, who has received offers to play at UMass, New Hampshire, and James Madison. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound tight end will be a big target for fellow senior captain and quarterback Austin Joseph. "(Donovan) is a go-to guy to make our offense click," St. George said. Joseph was a starting defensive back last year and will be under center this year. "We're looking for him to have an outstanding year for us," St. George said. He'll have returning help in the backfield with junior Matt Anastasi, who ran for 1,400 yards last season. Defensively, Cardinal Spellman remains largely intact from last year, with the defensive backs and linebackers core all returning, in addition to three linemen. Senior captains Chris Toomey and Bryan Barry are two of the key linebackers returning. "We're expecting big things from our kids on the defensive side of the ball," St. George said.

St. Mary's

  • Last year's record: 11-2
  • Strength: Work ethic.
  • Concerns: Depth and the loss of Jordan Collier to New Hampton.
  • Coach: Matt Durgin (6th season, 17th season, 119-56 overall; 6th season at St. Mary's, 42-15)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Spartans made it all the way to the Division 4 Super Bowl last year only to lose when a final drive stalled in the red zone, but head coach Matt Durgin says his team has a chance to do some damage again this fall. "If we can stay healthy and hungry, I think we'll be in the mix," he said. They'll have to do it without running back Jordan Collier, who ran for over 1,400 yards last season but left to play at New Hampton Prep. St. Mary's will still return two strong running backs in senior Jordan Manthorne and junior Connor Sakowich. Manthorne ran for over 1,000 yards last season. The battle for the starting quarterback job is still ongoing. On defense, Durgin is looking for strong seasons from linebacker John Gaeta, defensive end Luc Zikianda, and defensive back Austin Harvey. "The kids are motivated," Durgin said.

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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