2013 EMASS Football Preview

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Catholic Central - Small

Cathedral

  • Last year's record: 11-2
  • Strength: Team Speed, skill and a strong freshman class.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Duane Sigsbury (3rd season, 23-3)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Division 4A champs have been to the past two Super Bowls, and since coach Sigsbury took over have a combined record of 23-3. That's not by chance, this team is legit. It always starts with coaching, but the Panthers have the talent to execute any of Sigsbury's master plans. And with starting quarterback Kejonte Hickman and starting rusher Jermal Brevard-Jackson returning, the Panthers offense looks to be every bit as lethal as they've been the past two seasons.

Lowell Catholic

  • Last year's record: 10-1
  • Strength: Teem speed
  • Concerns: Loss of graduated starters
  • Coach: Rick Sampson (3rd season, 14-7)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Coach Rick Sampson will be challenged to have back-to-back great seasons in his third year as coach while dealing with the loss of a number of starters to graduation. The hope is for the team captains to lead the way and continue their success of last year. "The captains are all outstanding young men and three year starters," coach Sampson said. Connor Sullivan, an outstanding slot back, Chris Tamukedde, a running back, and Kevin Paige, a strong defensive player, are all key figures in 2013. "We have to stay healthy," said Sampson. "We have a lot of numbers but not a lot of depth at the varsity level, so its important to stay healthy."

Marian

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Returning starters.
  • Concerns: The secondary.
  • Coach: Gene Robinson (4th season, 5-28)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Coach Gene Robinson has the luxury of having his entire starting offense return this year. The familiarity should bode well for the Mustangs who hope to have a stronger season and be more competitive. "We have a lot of kids that have all played football before," coach Robinson said. To go along with their returning offense, the Mustangs also see 75 percent of their starting defense returning. Robinson expects quarterback Andrew Sharkey, two-time all-star and senior captain to have a big season. Senior Brandon Walsh, an all purpose player and two-year captain, will also lead the squad. "Both of these players are excellent role models, leaders in the school and very good student-athletes," said coach Robinson. "They do everything that's asked of them on and off the field."

Matignon

  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Offensive line.
  • Concerns: Lack of depth.
  • Coach: Anthony Nalen (1st season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Coach Anthony Nalen enters his first season as head coach of the Matignon Warriors. He is not the only new face in the program this season, as the Warriors expect to start seven sophomores and two freshman. Nalen expects his team leaders to become role models for the younger players. "If we got off to a rocky start, I would expect our senior-led group to just put our nose to the ground and keep battling week in and week out," he said. Running back Akeem Anderson, one of only three seniors returning, has been a three-year starter and a player the team is really counting on. Rounding out the senior group are defensive lineman Dennis Biddy and middle linebacker Ryan Bono.

Pope John

  • Last year's record:
  • Strength:
  • Concerns:
  • Coach: Brian Vaughn (5th season)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Pope John Paul II

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Senior leadership
  • Concerns: Depth and potential injuries.
  • Coach: John Muldoon (3rd season, 15-7)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Coach John Muldoon's Lions have 12 seniors that are returning. "They all do a very good job in terms of getting the job done on and off the field, something I'm proud of," Muldoon said. While the Lions have plenty of leadership, the team also has an abundance of youth. "Depth is always our biggest concern," said Muldoon. "Twenty of our kids are freshman, depth is every football coaches biggest concern, and that's where we are." Senior captain Steve Grogan leads the team on both sides of the ball and is a hard worker. Another leader the Lions will look to is defensive lineman and four-year starter Shane Lawler. The core group of this year's squad has been with coach Muldoon since his first year with the program prior to becoming a varsity team. "If we stay healthy, we can do some things," said Muldoon.

St. Clement

  • Last year's record: 6-4
  • Strength: Returning starters.
  • Concerns: Low numbers, depth.
  • Coach: Colin Walsh (11th season, 30-73 overall)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

With a strong veteran squad, St. Clement looks to continue the trend of being over .500 and take the next step. Coach Colin Walsh is banking on the return of many key starters who understand the double wing system that he employs to be successful. Senior QB Michael Sullivan will lead the offense this year and senior Casey Baptiste will lead the defense. One of the smaller schools in terms of numbers in the division, coach Walsh will be leaning on his seniors to make a strong push against the larger schools.

St. Joseph's Prep

  • Last year's record: 0-9
  • Strength: Enthusiasm that comes with a new coach
  • Concerns: Depth on both sides of the ball
  • Coach: Clarzell Pearl (1st season, First year)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Former Boston English quarterback Clarzell Pearl takes over in year two of St. Joseph's Prep (a combination of Trinity Catholic and Mt. St. Joseph). The 0-9 2012 record wasn't without highlights but Pearl and his roster will have to stay healthy and patient.

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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