2013 EMASS Football Preview

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Hockomock - Davenport

Canton

  • Last year's record: 3-6
  • Strength: Work ethic.
  • Concerns: Inexperience.
  • Coach: Dave Bohane (20th season, Dave Bohane (20th season, Bohane coached at Canton from 1994 to 1998 and returned in 2011. This will be his eighth season at Canton. Overall record 24-47-1.))
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Canton only brings back five returning starters from last year's team that finished fourth in the Hockomock (Davenport). Coach Dave Bohane called the 2013 Bulldogs "the youngest team we've ever had," with only two senior returning starters. With all the new faces, Bohane admitted that Canton isn't very deep into its playbook thus far. "We're about as basic a team as we've ever been," he said. Despite that, Bohane is encouraged by the amount of work put in during the offseason in the weight room to improve.

Foxborough

  • Last year's record: 8-3
  • Strength: Running back and receivers.
  • Concerns: Brand new secondary.
  • Coach: Jack Martinelli (32nd season, Jack Martinelli (32nd season, 236-92-5.))
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Foxboro faces the challenge of replacing the void left by the graduation of 2012 Hockomock League MVP Kiivone Howard, who rushed for 1,750 yards and a Division 3-leading 25 touchdowns. But this year, the Warriors turn the backfield over to senior Luc Valenza, a three-year starter at linebacker. Coach Jack Martinelli likes what he's seen out of his skill players and said this year's team will feature roughly half seniors and half underclassmen. Martinelli also feels a slew of tough exhibition opponents in Catholic Memorial and Brockton will serve the team well when the games start to count and believes his team is starting to jell. "We've been pretty strong against the run defensively, and if the passing game comes along, which it should, that'll be a strength as well," he said.

Oliver Ames

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Offensive and defensive lines.
  • Concerns: Coming together as a team.
  • Coach: James Artz (8th season, 29-44)
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

It was a tough go for Oliver Ames in the Hockomock Davenport last year, as it finished last with a 1-3 mark. This year, coach James Artz is banking on some good line play, particularly from senior defensive end and offensive guard Colin Lozzi and junior linebacker Joe Tepper. Artz also likes the depth at the skill positions, with seniors Matt Berksza (running back) and Nick Cidado (quarterback) running the show for the Tigers. But Artz knows it's going to take more than just the senior class to make a dent in the Hockomock. "It's going to take contributors from all three grade levels," he said.

Sharon

  • Last year's record: 10-3
  • Strength: Experience at quarterback and athleticism.
  • Concerns: Replacing five starters on offensive line.
  • Coach: Dave Morse (3rd season, Dave Morse (3rd season, 14-9.))
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Sharon made a remarkable leap last year, jumping from a 4-7 2011 campaign in Dave Morse's first year at the helm to a 10-3 mark in 2012 and a Division 3 Super Bowl victory over Wayland. But the Eagles have their work cut out as they try and replace the entire offensive line, linebacker All-Scholastic Brad Schiff (154 tackles), and running back Sean Asnes. But Sharon has a familiar face at quarterback in senior Sean O'Neill, and senior running backs Evantz Elisma and Frank Sullivan will try to replace the production of Asnes. "We need to make the jump as an inexperienced team," Morse said. "We need to get better every day."

Stoughton

  • Last year's record: 9-2
  • Strength: Experienced offensive line.
  • Concerns: Lack of experience at quarterback.
  • Coach: Greg Burke (21st season, Greg Burke (21st season, 121-89-4.))
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

There's no doubting Stoughton's strength this season: the offensive line. The Black Knights return four of five starters up front (Joe Wilder, Ray Raeke, Tim Porter, and Dom Evangelista), three of which are captains. "They've all gotten bigger and stronger," coach Greg Burke said of the offensive line. "They'll be very, very competitive with everyone we're facing." The experience up front, along with a strong backfield, should help make up for the lack of experience at quarterback as the Black Knights try and take the next step to the playoffs. "If we stay healthy, I think we'll be OK," Burke 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