2013 EMASS Football Preview

Find a team by

Northeastern - South

Danvers

  • Last year's record: 5-6
  • Strength: Running game, work ethic.
  • Concerns: Defense.
  • Coach: Sean Rogers (4th season, Sean Rogers (4th season, 10-23))
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

A slow-but-steady team-wide improvement during his tenure at Danvers High will culminate in this final season for Alex Valles, the team's star running back and captain. Senior Anthony Cordoba will assist him in both those departments, while fellow senior captain Mike Favreau will be on the field for just about every play as an offensive and defensive lineman. Coach Sean Rogers has pegged Nick Andreas his starting quarterback, and he fully expects the junior to take some pressure off the backfield. Being in the newly formed NEC South will present the Falcons with a new challenge: facing some teams, including Lynn Classical and Revere, that they haven't seen in several years. "We're a very capable team that can improve this year," Rogers said. "We have to be able to hang with [physically bigger teams] the first half and have our conditioning pay off the second half."

Lynn Classical

  • Last year's record: 7-3
  • Strength: Experienced offense, team chemistry,
  • Concerns: Defensive line.
  • Coach: Tim Phelps (6th season, Tim Phelps (6th season, 31-21))
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Rams made a huge jump last season, finishing 7-3 after a 4-6 campaign in 2011, and will look to keep it up this fall with what coach Tim Phelps described as a group that has gelled well early. "Not to say everything is running exactly how it should be," Phelps said. "But it's a pretty tight-knit group." Their double-winged T offense features four returning all-conference players who will again be key cogs: senior quarterback Jordan Brown, senior running back Brad Scuzzarella, junior running back Devon Crayton, and senior fullback Justin Avery. "It starts up front," Phelps said. "All [four] started as sophomores. We're going to look to them for strength." The offensive and defensive lines return a combined three starters.

Peabody

  • Last year's record: 0-10
  • Strength: Running game, team speed, fundamentals.
  • Concerns: Size up front, defense.
  • Coach: Scott Wlasuk (6th season, Marc Bettencourt (1st season, no prior football head coaching experience))
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Taking over a team that was winless the previous season is never easy, but Marc Bettencourt had a bit of an advantage: He knows some of the Tanners, including quarterback Michael Raymond and running back Ryan Collins, from his role as baseball coach. They have helped convey Bettencourt's coaching philosophy -discipline (no swearing), dedication (show up to practice), and work ethic - to the rest of the team. "When you're taking over a team that had a tough season they had least year, you're always worried about their attitudes," Bettencourt said. "The biggest thing for me so far is their spirits are up and they're committed to learning." The offense will mostly work from the ground, but Raymond, a junior who saw time at QB at the end of last season, can make some noise.

Revere

  • Last year's record: 5-5
  • Strength: Running back, offensive line.
  • Concerns: Quarterback, overall depth.
  • Coach: Lou Cicatelli (12th season, Lou Cicatelli (11th season, 36-71))
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Two-year starting quarterback Joe Ritchie has graduated, so the Patriots have a big hole to fill. Sophomore Danny Murphy and senior Ravi Ryland are the main candidates for the job. "They can both do it," coach Lou Cicatelli said. "Danny is making a lot of strides for a young guy. He's showing a lot of poise." Cicatelli expects to run a wing T offense with senior Tommy Portrait and junior Caleb Silva forming a formidable 1-2 punch no matter who is taking snaps. Those two, plus senior offensive lineman Ed Volcimus, are the team's core leaders. "The problem at Revere is depth," Cicatelli said. "If we can stay healthy - like any other team - we'll be there down the stretch."

Salem

  • Last year's record:
  • Strength:
  • Concerns:
  • Coach: Scott Connolly (10th season)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

Winthrop

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Offensive skill positions, defensive backfield.
  • Concerns: Offensive and defensive line experience.
  • Coach: Sean Driscoll (7th season, Sean Driscoll (7th season, 32-34))
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Vikings - 6-5 each of the last two seasons - are looking to get over the hump, according to coach Sean Driscoll. Jordan Corbett-Frank is leading the charge. "Special player, special kid," Driscoll said. "He's gone through it all. He's one of the ones preaching, 'We're not happy to be 6-5.'" Driscoll said the team's junior class is a strong one, both in talent and numbers, and the offensive game plan is to run the ball. Quarterback Dylan Driscoll, a 5-8, 135-pound junior, will be a big part of that. "That's my son, unfortunately for him," the coach said. "I expect him to come in and be a seasoned veteran, not make sophomore mistakes."

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