2013 EMASS Football Preview

Find a team by

Commonwealth - Large

Greater Lawrence

  • Last year's record: 8-3
  • Strength: Enthusiastic and hard-working team.
  • Concerns: Team is young, may take a while to mature.
  • Coach: Tony Sarkis (8th season, 58-41)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Reggies are young this season, returning just two starters from last year, but they're taking that in stride and trying to use it to their advantage with an enthusiastic group. Junior wide receivers Angel Martin and Yoel Batist are the two returners for coach Tony Sarkis. The quarterback battle is ongoing, between senior Ellicen Pena and junior Jeremy Torres. Shane Dunn, Albert Villa, and Victor Pena will all be in the mix at running back. Sophomore tackle Dejore Hollins has had a strong camp, and will look to anchor the young lines for Greater Lawrence.

Greater Lowell

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive line.
  • Concerns: Gaps left by graduations, specifically on defense and in the backfield.
  • Coach: Shane Abrams (2nd season, 5-6)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Coming off his first year as head coach of Greater Lowell, Abrams and his team are headed to the Commonwealth Large. Abrams said the season will be a challenge, especially since Greater Lowell hasn't beaten any of the conference's teams in the last seven years. "I think they'll respond well; we've had a lot of kids entered in and worked real hard in the strength and conditioning program and I think they're going to work really hard in practice," Abrams said. Second-year quarterback Nick Rossetti started six games last year. Abrams said the offense will run at a quick pace to let Rossetti show off his speed.

Northeast

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Strong senior leadership and experience returning.
  • Concerns: Depth on the offensive line.
  • Coach: Don Heres (8th season, 48-33)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Led by 10 returning senior starters, the Golden Knights will look to build on last year's 7-4 season. Two of those seniors are co-captains Troy Tartarini and Marvey Mathurin, who coach Don Heres called "great leaders" and "the type of kids we're trying to produce here." Tartarini is the incumbent quarterback and Mathurin returns at linebacker. Northeast brings back depth in the backfield as well, as seniors Izzy Silva and Christian Perez and junior Kevin Rosado will all take carries. Silva and Perez both practiced with the Golden Knight team that won the Division 4A Super Bowl in 2010, and Heres is hoping that experience will pay dividends this fall.

Shawsheen

  • Last year's record: 9-2
  • Strength: Large participation, great attitude and work ethic.
  • Concerns: Lack of experience at offensive skill positions.
  • Coach: Albert Costabile (22nd season, 141-85; 16th at Shawsheen, 101-62)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Rams lost starters at quarterback, wide receiver, and running back from last year's league champions, but they do bring back 10 starters from that squad. Coach Al Costabile is looking for three seniors to take the lead: Chase Rebidue, Nick Hoar, and Joe Steen. Rebidue is a candidate to replace Mike O'Hearn at quarterback along with junior Chris Arkalis. Hoar returns at tight end and linebacker, while Steen will be a commanding 6-foot-2, 275-pound presence anchoring the offensive and defensive line. In a competitive Commonwealth Athletic Conference, Shawsheen will have its work cut out. "The league will be very strong across the board," Costabile said. "It will be a very competitive league schedule with all teams having the capability to win on any given weekend."

Whittier

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Experience and speed.
  • Concerns: Aggressiveness on every play.
  • Coach: Kevin Bradley (13th season, 95-40)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

After a young Whittier squad went 7-4 last season, the Wildcats return a lot of experienced juniors and seniors. Coach Kevin Bradley is looking for those returners to step up and take a leadership role to keep the season on track. Senior Jaylin Deveau is starting at running back again, and the 6-foot-4, 225-pound speedster will be a key part of the offense. Senior Scott Bonneau and junior Jesus Sanchez also return to the starting backfield, giving Whitter strong and fast depth at the position. With a tougher schedule this year, Bradley is hoping for his team not to skip a beat. "We have the opportunity to make some noise if we don't take plays off and if we fill the leadership role," Bradley 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