And the streak goes on for the women’s basketball team at Regis College in Weston. Under first-year head coach Angela Santa Fe, Regis is 21-4 overall and finished the regular season 18-0 in the New England Collegiate Conference. The Pride has not lost a regular season conference game since joining the NECC in 2011, ripping off 54 consecutive wins. “Hard work, teamwork and commitment to excellence have been the keys to our success so far,’’ said Santa Fe, an assistant the previous two seasons under Julie Plant, now the head coach at Saint Anselm College. Regis, which won the NECC tournament last year and advanced to the NCAA Division 3 tournament for the first time since 1996, will host the conference playoffs Friday and Saturday as the No. 1 seed.
Johnathan Thomas will sign a piece of paper at 8 a.m. Wednesday that officially makes a lifelong dream come true.But for the St. John’s Prep running back, the process leading up to National Signing Day was never that simple.The signature on Thomas’s letter of intent to Penn State comes after an early commitment to Maryland, a decommitment, a commitment to Penn State, a season-ending knee injury, and a coaching change for the Nittany Lions. So Wednesday comes as a relief.“It feels great,” Thomas said Monday night. “My recruiting process has been a long journey. There [were] a lot of obstacles during the process. But I ended up where I wanted to be.”
Arnold and Claire Boardman had hundreds of “adopted” grandchildren, players who suited for the Everett High football program during the past 50 years.
DANVERS — Brian St. Pierre has been on four NFL rosters, worked his way into the record books at Boston College, and quarterbacked the 1997 St. John’s Prep to a Super Bowl victory that capped a perfect 11-0 season.But he would attest that last season, his first as an assistant coach under Jim O’Leary, was as much fun as any of his previous experiences.Now, St. Pierre will have the chance to follow in the footsteps of his former coach, as he was named head coach of St. John’s Prep Friday at the Danvers campus.
Catherine Swinson wasn’t concerned about any personal accomplishments. The possibility of eclipsing the 1,000-point mark wasn’t her priority. That’s why Swinson, 10 points away from the milestone entering Lynn English’s girls’ basketball game with Medford Thursday night, racked up four assists before scoring a point. “The girls kept coming up to me and saying, ‘She just keeps passing the ball,’” said English coach Fred Hogan, whose fifth-ranked Bulldogs beat the Mustangs, 60-27, to improve to 10-0. “She’s so unselfish, she said, ‘We want to win first. [The record] will come to me.’” And it did. Early in the second quarter, Swinson (24 points, eight assists) became the fourth player in English history to cross the 1,000-point plateau.
FRANKLIN — The MIAA football committee’s first meeting since the conclusion of the 2013 season focused on increased revenue after a disappointing 2012 season and fielded suggestions from the committee on how to tweak the new playoff system. The 2013 playoffs — consisting of sectional tournaments, state semifinals, and state championships — had a total attendance of 57,526 and grossed $596,121.37, an increase from last year’s disappointing showing of 49,939 and gross of $490,508. Gillette Stadium drew a combined attendance of 18,082 across all six Super Bowls, with the MIAA grossing $278,504 and Gillette bringing in $54,245.90. In 2012, total attendance was 13,289 — a byproduct of poor weather and lower attendance in Super Bowls involving Western Massachusetts teams — and grossed $179,079 for the MIAA and $39,867 for Gillette.
A number of high school sports teams and individuals from the south suburbs won state championships in 2013.
After capping a 13-0 season with the Division 2 Super Bowl title, Mansfield finished the year as the Globe’s No. 1-ranked football team. The Hornets will receive the Bob Walsh Trophy from the Globe, named for the longtime football historian who died in 1998. The football rankings (including the Boston.com 100) were one of five released Saturday, including boys’ and girls’ soccer, field hockey, and volleyball.For boys soccer, Somerville took the top spot. Newton North was the top girls soccer team. Barnstable and Waltham were first in volleyball and field hockey, respectively.
Peter Cappiello presents his Players of the Week from Saturday’s Super Bowls and his final Top 10 football teams from high school programs south of Boston.
Taylor C. Snow presents his players of the Week from Saturday’s Super Bowl and final Top 10 football teams from high school programs north of Boston.
Phil Perry presents his Players of the Week from the Super Bowls and his final Top 10 football teams from high school programs west of Boston.
FOXBOROUGH — For as much hype as the Bishop Fenwick offense had received coming into Saturday night’s Division 5 Super Bowl, the Crusader defense had been quietly dominating opponents all season.Consider it no longer a secret.Behind a stalwart defensive effort and three touchdowns from Rufus Rushins, Bishop Fenwick shut out Northbridge, 28-0, to win the Division 5 state championship at Gillette Stadium.“The defense played phenomenal,” said Fenwick coach Dave Woods. “[Northbridge] is a good team, and to shut them out is huge.”
FOXBOROUGH — James Sullivan rushed for three touchdowns and returned an interception for a fourth score as Tewksbury pulled away from Plymouth South, 42-14, Saturday to win the Division 3 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.Tewksbury finished the season a perfect 13-0.Leading by 7 with 3:11 left, Sullivan raced in from 10 yards to secure the win.The Redmen took a 21-14 lead late in the third on Sullivan’s best run. The junior took a handoff left, bounced off a tackle, then back darted across the field and dove for the pylon for a 4-yard score.Tewksbury set the pace from the opening kickoff.
FOXBOROUGH – For most of Saturday night, Central Catholic senior Cody Demers showcased his defensive skills, deflecting passes away from Xaverian wide receivers.He delivered a crushing block on offense, too, allowing his quarterback the time to deliver a touchdown pass.But with 2:23 remaining in the game, the Raiders captain and wide receiver showcased his true skill set when he made a juggling catch on a 22-yard touchdown pass as Central Catholic defeated Xaverian, 34-17, to win the Division 1 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.On the wings of Demers’s victory-sealing catch — and 119 yards and three TD from senior running back D’Andre Drummond-Mayrie, Central Catholic captured its first title since winning back-to-back championships in 1997 and 1998.
FOXBOROUGH — Isaac Yiadom just couldn’t stand still.It’s usually a situation his opponents know all too well, with the high-scoring senior playing receiver and defensive back for the Doherty Highlanders.But in the moments before Saturday’s Division 4 Super Bowl against Dennis-Yarmouth, as most of his team stood motionless in the north end zone soaking in the surroundings, Yiadom was racing the width of the field behind them.“I was real revved up,” said Yiadom. “I was waiting too long in the hallway. I needed to get out on the field and play football.”From the opening kickoff, the Boston College-bound Yiadom was a relentless force on both sides of the ball. The 6-foot-1-inch Yiadom rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown, and forced a crucial incompletion late in the contest as the Highlanders held on for a 28-26 victory at Gillette Stadium.
FOXBOROUGH — Littleton unleashed a potent offensive attack early and did not look back, topping Cohasset at Gillette Stadium, 52-35, Saturday for the Division 6 state championship, its first in school history.The Tigers (13-0), who scored 22 straight points to open the game, were led by senior back Travis Bassett, who scored three touchdowns in the first quarter en route to a Super Bowl-record-tying five TDs. For coach Mike Lynn, a Littleton native and alum, the dream of winning a championship for his hometown finally became a reality. “We went to two Super Bowls in the old [playoff] format and unfortunately we lost them both in ’08 and ’09. So it was some pressure on us . . . I feel like the monkey’s off our back at this point,” said Lynn. “This was the most grand stage in the state and a pretty great moment for us.”The Tigers’ offensive barrage was not their first; they had scored 52 points in a game three times already this season. The 87 combined points by the teams is a Super Bowl record.
No surrender: Undefeated Mansfield topples St. John’s (Shrewsbury), 28-14, for Division 2 state title
FOXBOROUGH — Never surrender. That’s the motto Mansfield has lived by all season.And on Saturday, the Hornets made sure they did not stray from it.They overcame five first-half turnovers and scored 21 straight points to defeat St. John’s of Shrewsbury, 28-14, in the Division 2 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.“That was crazy,” said Hornets wide receiver Michael Hershman of the first-half struggles. “That was probably the sloppiest half we’ve played this year. Going into halftime, no one got down. Our motto is ‘never surrender.’ We came out flying in the second half. We executed very well.”The top-ranked Hornets trailed just 14-7 at halftime, despite the turnovers. The fact Mansfield was still within a score made the halftime message easy for coach Mike Redding.
FOXBOROUGH — Junior running back James Sullivan says he can still remember the feeling he had when Tewksbury lost to Duxbury, 35-0, in the MIAA Division 2 Super Bowl in 2011.And for him, and the rest of his team, it was time to finally capture that state title.“Ever since that game against Duxbury, it’s been in the back of all our heads,” Sullivan said. “Then the next season, we came out and lost in the playoffs again. [The losses have] been driving us as a team. It pretty much served as our motivation all year long.”Sullivan led the way with 125 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries in Tewksbury’s resounding, 42-14, victory over Plymouth South Saturday at Gillette Stadium.Sullivan also intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown with less than two minutes to play in the fourth quarter. .
FOXBOROUGH — It’s finally here. Gone are the days of calculating power rankings, navigating through brackets, or debating whether to rest starters on Thanksgiving Day. Super Bowl Saturday is upon us. Massachusetts will crown six state champions at Gillette Stadium, with four matchups featuring clashes between Eastern Mass. and Central Mass. teams as a result of the new playoff format. One such matchup is in the Division 2 Super Bowl, in which Mansfield (12-0) takes on St. John’s (Shrewsbury) (9-3) at 1:30 p.m. in a meeting of programs with plenty of Super Bowl experience.
Following a 2-9 season in 2011, Plymouth South coach Scott Fry talked about hiring Mike Harty, whom Fry had played against in high school and college, to be his offensive and defensive line coach.But first, Fry asked Harty’s son, Brendan, then a sophomore offensive lineman on the team, if he felt comfortable with the idea. Brendan gave the thumbs up.Today, Mike Harty coaches a starting offensive line that features not only Brendan, a senior and his second of three sons, but also his youngest son, Ryan, a junior.
Drew Smiley isn’t just the star quarterback at St. John’s of Shrewsbury. The senior is also a standout in the locker room, in the classroom, and on the lacrosse field.And it is his leadership, academic skills, and lacrosse talents — not his football abilities — that will be on display next year in Annapolis, Md., where Smiley will attend the United States Naval Academy.“His leadership ability is something that is evident every day, both on and off the field,” said Pioneers coach John Andreoli.
Back in 2006, former Littleton running back Reed Harasimowicz suggested to coach Mike Lynn that the team start a new “fun” tradition: lug a sledgehammer to each game and award it to one player that had the defensive play of the game or the biggest hit. Harasimowicz got the idea from his older brother, whose college team would do that. The player got to keep the hammer for a week and carve his name into the wooden handle. “It’s a fun way to break the huddle on a Friday night following the game,” said Lynn. “It’s a tradition that makes kids, you know, want to be ‘that guy.’ ”
Defensive end/tight end Aidan Moulton was a key part of Bishop Fenwick’s success early on this season, but he tore both his ACL and MCL on a freak play Oct. 19 against St. Mary’s. As he tried to get out of the way of a punt, Moulton’s knee gave out on him, and an MRI later confirmed that damage had been done.At Fenwick’s Thanksgiving game, Moulton watched from the bench with crutches. He’ll be on the sideline again for the Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, and he has taken on a more vocal role since he can’t be out there. “I’m just doing whatever I can to try to help them out a little bit,” said Moulton, who called this season “an experience I’ll never forget.”
Doherty will board the buses bound for Foxborough early Saturday morning. The game will be the last for some, but not Isaac Yiadom. He knows he is blessed to play on.The senior defensive back, who has committed to Boston College, has several years of football ahead of him, if only one high school game left.“It really hasn’t hit me that it’s my last high school game,” said Yiadom. “With this being my senior year, it’s a dream that we’re going to states. It’s a great opportunity for us.”
The first time Kuiye Du stepped on a football field in a game situation, it was a scrimmage during his junior year, and the nose guard lined up in a three-point stance next to the safety. It was an indication of how much Du knew about the game, which was very little, after coming to Central Catholic his junior year as an international student from Harbin, China.“Before I came, I had no idea about football,” said Du, who has played in eight games this year. “I didn’t even know you had to bring the ball into the end zone to score. After I came here, I learned a lot about it. My teammates have explained it to me and it’s really clear.”
BRAINTREE — Trailing by 12 with under five minutes to go in the Large Division State Vocational Bowl, Blackstone Valley Tech stalled out on offense, turning the ball over on downs at the Northeast 7-yard line.While it looked as though the Beavers had taken their last breath, they were really just getting started.Led by senior quarterback Nic Wojnar and Bailey Leacy’s onside kick, Blackstone Valley stormed back with 16 points in the final minutes to beat the Knights, 30-26, on Thursday night.Wojnar ran in a 7-yard touchdown and threw a 44-yard TD pass in the final three minutes to lead his team to victory, finishing the night 22-of-33 passing for 279 yards and three touchdowns.