2013 EMASS Football Preview

Find a team by

Commonwealth - Small

Chelsea

  • Last year's record: 2-8
  • Strength: Team attitude, work ethic.
  • Concerns: Depth.
  • Coach: Michael Stellato (15th season, 88-78)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Chelsea gets an unexpected boost with the news Pope John was suspending its own program and forming a co-op with its neighbor, fomerly of the Catholic Central Small. That should help coach Stellato's team improve from last season. "Giving opportunities to these kids to continue playing football, I think it's a great thing," Stellato said. "We're all as one and I think it's a good thing for everyone involved." The coach added that the game experience of his returning starters will help create a base of improvement going throughout the season.

Lynn Tech

  • Last year's record: 3-7
  • Strength: Experience on the line
  • Concerns: Depth
  • Coach: James Runner (4th season, 12-20)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

After a disappointing year in 2012, the Tigers return 12 seniors and are looking to get back to their winning ways. They've moved to the Small Division of the Commonwealth Athletic Conference and head coach James Runner believes it will help in the long run. "The competition will be right where it needs to be for us," Runner said. Senior defensive ends Roberto Brown and Billy Ferrar will anchor the defensive line, as Runner called them his "twin towers." Playing together since freshman year, "they've gone through it all," Runner said. In their final year, they have the chance to put Lynn Tech back on track. "We're moving forward as far as the program goes," Runner said.

Minuteman

  • Last year's record: 5-5
  • Strength: Attitude, experience, and senior leadership.
  • Concerns: Returning to the Commonwealth Athletic Conference.
  • Coach: Brian Tildsley (6th season, 24-26)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Minuteman Mustangs will make their return to the Commonwealth Small this year, after going 12-8 over the past two seasons playing as an Independent. Last year the Mustangs earned their first post-season berth in the program's history as a finalist in the Vocational Super Bowl. The team will be lead by running back Zahir Ramsey who comes in with 162 points over the last three seasons. Seniors Matt Ball and Braeden Kerins will also be "go to" guys for what should be a very fast-paced offensive attack. Defensively the Mustangs will be anchored by John Kelly and Devante Thorton, both tipping the scales at 300-plus. "The players and coaches are chomping at the bit to get going this year. We know about our potential this year with the new format and are excited about returning to the [Commonwealth Small)," said Coach Tildsley.

Mystic Valley

  • Last year's record: 1-9
  • Strength: Depth on offensive and defensive lines and returning wide receivers.
  • Concerns: Youth and inexperience.
  • Coach: Craig Turner (1st season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

After a disappointing season last year, Mystic Valley is on the cusp of a fresh start with first-year coach Craig Turner. Turner said he can already see positive changes occurring after switching from the Wing-T to the spread offense. He believes the switch will have a direct effect on their record. "It's generated a lot of excitement from the kids. They seem excited and rejuvenated by it," Turner said. As far as the new playoff format, Turner said playing against more small schools can only benefit his team.

North Shore

  • Last year's record: 8-4
  • Strength: Hard off-season training, great work ethic and a strong backfield.
  • Concerns: Lack of varsity depth.
  • Coach: Paul Worth (18th season, 96-83)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

This season will be former defensive back Ian Lefazour's first under center, however that does not worry coach Paul Worth. That could be due to his stud tailback Ross Murphy returning to North Shore's backfield. "Murphy's a horse. Having Murphy back is nice," Worth said. "He's going to be carrying the ball a lot." Murphy's 953 yards on 155 carries was enough to get North Shore to the playoffs last year until a loss to Cathedral. As long as the entire team competes, Worth believes his squad will have a chance for the league title.

Find a team by

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