Mass High School Football – Week 3 Poll and Notes (9/21/17)…

This will be a huge weekend of high school football in Massachusetts as we get the third week of MIAA games and the first week of ISL games. Let’s take a quick look at how things stand with the MIAA poll.

  1. Everett High School (2-0) – Another impressive win over Leominster and they now have to go on the road to play at St. John’s Prep this weekend. Everett is making the toughest part of their schedule look easy.
  2. BC High (2-0) – The Eagles have taken a page from the old Xaverian Brothers playbook as they come at you with a dominant running game and a stifling defense. BC High will now travel to New Jersey to play against Hudson Catholic High School on Saturday.
  3. St. John’s Shrewsbury (2-0) – To beat the Pioneers you are going to have to score a lot of points as they have a ton of talented players on offense and they average almost fifty points per game.
  4. Central Catholic High School (2-0) – An impressive 21-0 victory over St. John’s Prep makes Central Catholic the biggest threat to Everett come playoff time.
  5. Xaverian Brothers (1-1) – The Hawks are a young team and they bounced back from their loss to Everett with a good win over a banged up Bridgewater-Raynham team. Travel out of state to play Archbishop Stepinac High Scool in New York this Saturday.
  6. Marshfield High School (1-1) – The fact that Marshfield has the caliber of players to give BC High a good game shows that they will very likely be playing for a state championship this year. Falmouth visits Marshfield on Friday night.
  7. St. John’s Prep (1-1) – A tough shutout loss to Central Catholic and then you get a visit from top ranked Everett. Yikes.
  8. Lexington High School (2-0) – The Minutemen offense continues to generate a lot of points but their defense gave up quite a few to Concord-Carlisle this past week as well.
  9. Bridgewater-Raynham High School (1-1) – A couple of key injuries left B-R shorthanded going into their game at Xaverian Brothers.
  10. Mashpee High School (2-0) – Another highly ranked team with a dominant running attack that will be very tough to stop given their line play and talent at running back.
  11. Tewksbury High School (2-0) – Getting a little bit nervous about Tewksbury being this highly ranked after surviving two very close games and undefeated North Andover next up.
  12. King Philip High School (2-0) – Held on to beat Foxboro and they will now face Attleboro and then a showdown with a very good Mansfield team.
  13. Falmouth High School (2-0) – One of the best games this weekend will feature Falmouth traveling to take on Marshfield tomorrow night. The Clippers offense against the Rams defense should make for a terrific football game.
  14. Brockton High School (1-1) – Bounced back with a win over Weymouth and the Boxers will now host a struggling Catholic Memorial team.
  15. Marblehead High School (2-0) – The Magicians have looked good so far this season and they will travel to play at Peabody tomorrow night.
  16. Mansfield High School (2-0) – The Hornets play at Franklin this week and then they get a shot at King Philip next week.
  17. Duxbury High School (1-1) – Bounced back from their loss to B-R with a big win over Barnstable on the road.
  18. North Attleboro High School (1-1) – Another team that bounced back from a tough loss to King Philip with a big win over Bishop Feehan on the road.
  19. Natick High School (2-0) – Two games in and the Natick defense has not allowed a single point but they will face a solid Milton team tomorrow night.
  20. Reading High School (2-0) – A good start to the season but now they have to travel to play at eighth ranked Lexington this week in another huge game.
  21. Andover High School (1-1) – Bounced back from their loss to BC High with a good win over Billerica.
  22. Stoughton High School (2-0) – A great road win over Catholic Memorial will be followed up by another tough road game at Foxboro.
  23. Lincoln-Sudbury High School (2-0) – A resounding win over Holliston and they now travel to play at Waltham tomorrow night.
  24. Milton High School (2-0) – Two very good defenses will be on display when Milton travels to play at Natick tomorrow night.
  25. North Andover High School (2-0) – A huge game for North Andover coming up this Saturday as they travel to take on eleventh ranked Tewksbury.

September Football News and Developments (9/19/17)…

It was pretty clear that Everett was the best high school football team in the state coming into the 2017 season and they have not disappointed in their first two games with big wins over Xaverian Brothers and Leominster. This week will be interesting as Everett goes on the road to play at St. John’s Prep and we will see how the Eagles bounce back from their 21-0 loss to Central Catholic.

Central Catholic’s performance against St. John’s Prep was impressive and they have the linemen and skill position players that make you think they might be able to compete against Everett should they meet again in the Division 1 North playoffs later this year. Last November they met in the playoffs with Everett winning that game by a big margin.

Speaking of the Division 1 North playoffs one can only imagine how good those games will be given they will feature Everett, Central Catholic, St. John’s Prep, Lexington and Andover. Division 1 South will likely come down to BC High and Xaverian Brothers.

ISL football starts this weekend with a number of very good games featuring a number of Division 1 recruits. The ISL season is only eight games long so every single week is extremely important if you want to qualify for one of the postseason bowl games.

Congratulations to St. Sebastian’s star linebacker Bryce Gallagher who recently committed to Northwestern where he will join his brother Blake Gallagher for the 2019 football season.

UMass football moved to 0-4 with their loss to Temple and they are now a 27 point underdog on the road against Tennessee. UMass Head Coach Mark Whipple has moved up to # 3 on the coaches hot seat ranking. Any coaching change at UMass would obviously have a big impact on high school recruiting in Massachusetts.

Boston College lost to Notre Dame to move to 1-2 on the season and they are now a 34 point underdog on the road against Clemson. BC Head Coach Steve Addazio has moved up to # 14 on the coaches hot seat ranking and local talk radio was pretty heated yesterday about his clock management at the end of the first half against the Irish. With two timeouts and the ball on the Notre Dame side of the field, Addazio chose to kill the clock rather than try for a late field goal or a shot at the end zone. BC fans were not happy with this move.

Kurt Russell was terrific in his role as Coach Herb Brooks in “Miracle” but he was also pretty good as Coach Hand in the football movie “Touchback”. Check it out and see if you dive for the touchdown or take the full ride to Ohio State.

Framingham High School and their first year Head Coach Ed Mantie moved to 2-0 for the first time in a decade with their 20-14 victory over Belmont. Sophomore quarterback Jack Beverly played as a freshman last year and that has paid dividends so far this season.

Coach Mantie came to Framingham from Westwood High School and that program will play Holliston this weekend. Keep an eye on Westwood’s senior punter / kicker Nick McQuarry who moved to Westwood from Florida and looks to be one of the best all-around kickers in the state.

ISL Football Kickoff Weekend – Five Key Games To Watch (9/18/17)…

MIAA football teams just wrapped up their second week of play and now we add in the Independent School League (ISL) teams playing their first games this weekend. The ISL is far smaller in terms of the number of teams playing but this league is home to many of the best players in the state and nearly all of the top ISL teams have Division 1 football players on their rosters. So let’s take a look at five of the best games taking place on the opening weekend of ISL play and we will note some of the Division 1 offers / commits on each team.

(1) Lawrence Academy vs. (8) BB&N – Saturday 9/23/17 at 1:30 PM at Lawrence Academy – The preseason top ranked team against last year’s ISL champion. Both teams lost their best player from last year as RB/LB AJ Dillon graduated from Lawrence Academy and is playing football at Boston College while QB Jeff Costello graduated from BB&N and will be playing baseball at Northeastern this year. Lawrence Academy features a number of Division 1 commits with Ryan Betro, Finn Dirstine and Joey Luchetti all committed to Boston College along with Thomas Greaney committed to URI. Quarterback Brady Martin holds an offer from URI and a number of other players on this team will also receive college scholarship offers. BB&N is also loaded with college prospects including Pittsburgh commit Jay Symonds, Jr. and this team returns a lot of talent on both sides of the ball. This should be a very interesting game to see if BB&N can reload their high powered offense and if Lawrence Academy can find success in a post AJ Dillon world.

(2) Brooks School vs. (7) Governor’s Academy – Saturday 9/23/17 at 2:00 PM at Brooks School – Brooks is another team loaded with college prospects including Penn State bound tight end Patrick Freiermuth who is very fun to watch play on both sides of the ball. The Brooks offense will face a very aggressive Governor’s Academy pass rush led by defensive end Cam Gagnon who holds an offer from Bryant. It will be very interesting to see if Governor’s can keep up with what should be a very well rounded and athletic Brooks team.

(3) Belmont Hill vs. Roxbury Latin – Saturday 9/23/17 at 2:00 PM at Belmont Hill – The high powered Belmont Hill offense features two top wide receivers in Duke bound Jake Bobo and Johns Hopkins lacrosse commit Blake Brookes.

(4) Milton Academy vs. (6) St. Sebastian’s – Saturday 9/23/17 at 1:00 PM at St. Sebastian’s – Milton Academy quarterback Alec Beesmer is committed to play at Lehigh and running back / linebacker Kalel Mullings has become a national recruit with multiple college offers including Boston College, Michigan and UCLA. St. Sebastian’s linebacker Bryce Gallagher just committed to play at Northwestern and lineman Jonathan Pace has committed to play at UConn along with wide receiver Alex Cherry who holds an offer from Army. This should be a very entertaining game with both teams capable of scoring points.

(5) Noble and Greenough vs. Rivers School – Saturday 9/23/17 at 7:00 PM at Noble and Greenough – Noble and Greenough has a number of their linemen being recruited including Brown commit Dan Monaghan and Mike Sullivan who holds offers from URI and Kent State. Linebacker Uche Ndukwe holds college offers from Army and Yale.

MIAA Football – Week 2 Poll and Notes (9/14/17)…

ITHMA Week 2 Poll and Notes:

  1. Everett High School (1-0) – Had a feeling that this Everett team was going to be pretty good. Would love to see them play against the eventual ISL champion at the end of the year to see how the two leagues stack up against one another.
  2. St. John’s Prep (1-0) – Huge game this week at Central Catholic followed by a home game against top ranked Everett. The Division 1 North playoffs should be terrific this year.
  3. BC High (1-0) – Great seeing UNC lacrosse commit Will Bowen take over at quarterback for BC High. Exactly the type of athlete that colleges should be recruiting to build a winning football program.
  4. St. John’s Shrewsbury (1-0) – Dominated Catholic Memorial and they now play one of the best teams from the western part of the state in Springfield Central.
  5. Marshfield High School (1-0) – Another team that just has a lot of athletes and they have a legitimate shot at taking down BC High this weekend if they can slow down the Eagles running game.
  6. Central Catholic High School (1-0) – A very solid high school football team with a veteran quarterback and very good linemen that gives them a very good shot against teams like St. John’s Prep this weekend (and eventually maybe Everett in the D1 North playoffs).
  7. Xaverian Brothers High School (0-1) – A very young team with a first year head coach but they should be able to compete better against the other teams on their schedule starting with Bridgewater-Raynham this weekend.
  8. Bridgewater-Raynham High School (1-0) – Two very good defenses will go head to head over on Clapboardtree Street this coming weekend.
  9. Lexington High School (1-0) – Whoever is the head coach at Boston College next year needs to place a phone call to Sal Frelick to see if he is still interested in playing football.
  10. Mashpee High School (1-0) – Loaded with talent and one of the best running games in the state behind Devaun Ford.
  11. Tewksbury High School (1-0) – Brandon Winn and the Redmen survived in their opening game against Malden Catholic.
  12. King Philip High School (1-0) – The defending Super Bowl champions held on to win their opening game against North Attleboro.
  13. Catholic Memorial High School (0-1) – CM will have to regroup after their opening loss to St. John’s Shrewsbury as they play a very tough overall schedule starting with Stoughton this weekend.
  14. Falmouth High School (1-0) – The Clippers triple option running attack is just very tough to play against for your average high school defense.
  15. Brockton High School (0-1) – The Boxers fought to the end against a very talented Lexington team.
  16. Holliston High School (1-0) – The Holliston offense looked very good in their opening win over Millis.
  17. Marblehead High School (1-0) – A lot of talent returns for Marblehead this season as they hope to get back to another Super Bowl.
  18. Mansfield High School (1-0) – Should be a very entertaining game when Mansfield hosts Braintree this weekend.
  19. Duxbury High School (0-1) – Considering how much talent they lost on offense it was impressive to see them hang with Bridgewater-Raynham in their opening game.
  20. North Attleboro High School (0-1) – Another close loss to King Philip in the very competitive Hockomock League.
  21. Natick High School (1-0) – Looked very good on defense in their shutout win over Needham.
  22. Braintree High School (1-0) – The very athletic Zach Harris  started at quarterback and looked terrific against Quincy.
  23. Wellesley High School (1-0) – Keep an eye out for true freshman Shiloh White who not only made the Wellesley varsity team but also scored a touchdown in the Raiders opening win over Concord-Carlisle.
  24. Reading High School (1-0) – Reading looks to be a pretty solid team and they earn their way into this week’s top 25.
  25. Andover High School (0-1) – Another tough game against BC High and they now have to face an always tough Billerica team that is coming off a dominating win over Burlington.

Division 1 FBS College Football in Massachusetts (9/11/17)…

Only a couple of weeks into the 2017 college football season and for the two Division 1 FBS programs here in Massachusetts it is looking like it could be another tough year. Head Coach Mark Whipple and the University of Massachusetts are off to an 0-3 start with a recent 17-7 home loss to Old Dominion and they are now facing two upcoming road games at Temple and Tennessee. Currently in his fourth season at UMass, Coach Whipple is coming off a 2016 season in which the Minutemen went 2-10 so another poor record in 2017 will definitely have fans questioning the direction the UMass program is headed in. Looking at the recent UMass recruiting strategy it appears that they try and recruit nationally and many times are offering prospects who ultimately choose to attend elite college football programs. UMass would be much better served focusing in on recruiting Massachusetts and the Northeast where there is a far greater chance of recruiting success for them. The only Massachusetts commit in the UMass 2018 class is offensive lineman Patrick Walsh of Wachusett Regional High School yet the UMass coaches are out offering four star national recruits who end up choosing to play at USC and Penn State. This makes no sense and takes away from them recruiting in their “backyard” where they do have a chance to compete for the best local talent. Over at Boston College Head Coach Steve Addazio is in his fifth year and has a record of 1-1 with a bad 34-10 home loss to Wake Forest this past weekend. BC now has a home game against Notre Dame this Saturday and then they have to go on the road to play down at Clemson. If BC comes out of these first four games at 1-3 with bad losses to Wake Forest, Notre Dame and Clemson there will be increased pressure on new BC Athletic Director Martin Jarmond to outline what he sees as a successful season for the football program. For the 2018 recruiting class BC has done a better job identifying local talent and has commitments from three players at Lawrence Academy (Finn Dirstine, Ryan Betro and Joey Luchetti), one from Everett High School (Jason Maitre) as well as one commitment from Rhode Island (Jehlani Galloway). So it will be very interesting to see how these two football programs do during the rest of the month of September as they will both face very strong competition and these games could go a long way in determining who leads these football programs in the future.

Ten Key MIAA Football Games To Watch – Week 1 (9/7/17)…

Barnstable at Dennis-Yarmouth 9/8/17 at 6:00 PM – Look for D-Y to control the line of scrimmage with a number of their best linemen returning including 6’5″ and 310 pound Jacob Dolan.

(3) BC High at (19) Andover 9/8/17 at 7:00 PM – It was the Danny Abraham show in last year’s lopsided 61-39 game and BC High has a ton of talent back on both offense and defense.

(9) Bridgewater-Raynham at (17) Duxbury 9/8/17 at 7:00 PM – The Duxbury line will be very good but they lost almost all of their key skill players from last year’s Super Bowl championship team.

(8) Central Catholic at Dartmouth 9/8/17 at 7:00 PM – It will be interesting to see if Dartmouth can slow down the Central Catholic offense led by quarterback Bret Edwards and running back Max Faro.

(18) Holliston at (25) Millis 9/8/17 at 7:00 PM – This game features two of the best linemen in the state with Holliston’s Scott Elliott and Millis’ Kevin Pyne.

Needham at (22) Natick 9/8/17 at 7:00 PM – Two teams that are always very competitive and this should be another very entertaining Friday night game.

(16) North Attleboro at (14) King Philip 9/8/17 at 7:00 PM – Defending Super Bowl champion King Philip lost a number of key players so this should be a very close game this year as these two teams look to get an early edge in the always competitive Hockomock League.

(5) St. John’s Shrewsbury at (6) Catholic Memorial 9/8/17 at 7:00 PM – A big test for St. John’s Shrewsbury as they play a Catholic Conference powerhouse in Catholic Memorial which is a team that should have a very good defense. Last year the Pioneers held on for a 30-28 home victory.

(10) Brockton at (11) Lexington 9/9/17 at 2:00 PM – The high powered Lexington offense led by quarterback Sal Frelick and running back Ben Quint will be on display against an always solid Brockton defense.

(4) Xaverian Brothers at (1) Everett 9/9/17 at 2:30 PM – What a way to start the season. A re-match of last year’s Super Bowl game which Everett won 21-7. Xaverian Brothers graduated a ton of players so it will be interesting to see how this year’s team matches up against the top ranked team in the state.

 

Michael Mammone – Plymouth North High School – OT/DT Class of 2018 – ITHMA

ITHMA Player Profile – Michael Mammone

Contact Information: 

Twitter

High School: Plymouth North High School

Grade: Senior – Class of 2018

GPA – SAT: 4.0 GPA / 1150 SAT

Position(s) Played: OT / DT

Height – Weight: 6’4″ and 250 pounds

Hudl

Speed: 5.4 Forty

Gym Stats: Bench – 275 pounds

Other Sports Played: Basketball

Notes: Varsity Team Captain and Starter, National Honor Society, AP Courses, Honor Roll, High Honors  

College Interest: Bentley, Stonehill, St. Anselm, Central Connecticut, Tufts

College Offers:

Links:

Conor Kennelly – Watertown High School – (K/P Class of 2018) – ITHMA…

ITHMA Player Profile – Conor Kennelly

Contact Information: conorkennelly2018@gmail.com

Twitter

High School: Watertown High School

Grade: Senior – Class of 2018

GPA – SAT: 3.55 GPA / 29 ACT

Position(s) Played: Kicker / Punter

Height – Weight: 6’3″ and 190 pounds

Hudl

Speed:

Gym Stats:

Other Sports Played: Lacrosse

Notes: Game long field goal of 48 yards. New England Elite Punting Champion. Middlesex League All-Star.

College Interest: Tufts, Bryant, UMass, Bentley, Holy Cross, Hamilton, Amherst, Trinity, RPI, WPI, Bowdoin

College Offers: Wesleyan

Links:

2017 Team Profile – Milton Academy (8/3/17)…

 

Last Season: Head Coach Kevin MacDonald and the Milton Academy football team had a very good 2016 season in which they beat some of the top teams in the ISL including a home win against Brooks and road wins against BB&N and Governor’s Academy. The Mustangs lost a close game against Belmont Hill and they also had a road loss against Lawrence Academy. In 2017 Milton Academy will face six ITHMA Top Ten ranked teams including key early season games at St. Sebastian’s and at Governor’s Academy.

Last Season Record: 6-2

ITHMA 2017 ISL Preseason Ranking: # 4

2017 Schedule – Key Games: @ (6) St. Sebastian’s (9/23/17) – An early season test for the Mustangs against a good St. Sebastian’s defense led by Bryce Gallagher. @ (7) Governor’s Academy (9/29/17) – MA beat Governor’s 42-18 last year but look for a closer game this year as the Governor’s defense should be much improved. (3) Belmont Hill (10/14/17) – Belmont Hill won 31-28 last season and they bring back most of their key offensive players this season. @ (1) Lawrence Academy (11/4/17) – Milton Academy lost to Lawrence Academy 42-21 last year as A.J. Dillon dominated the game for LA. (5) Noble & Greenough (11/11/17) – The Nobles defense had no answer for Kalel Mullings last season as the Mustangs ended their season with a 56-6 victory.

2017 – Full Schedule – @ (6) St. Sebastian’s (9/23/17), @ (7) Governor’s Academy (9/29/17), Roxbury Latin (10/6/17), (3) Belmont Hill (10/14/17), @ (8) BB&N (10/21/17), Tabor Academy (10/28/17), @ (1) Lawrence Academy (11/4/17), (5) Noble & Greenough (11/11/17)

Key Returning PlayersOffense: Kalel Mullings (RB), Kyle Santiago (RB), Jailen Branch (WR), Greg Livingston (WR), Eddie Duggan (WR), Alec Beesmer (QB), Anthony Gallagher (OL), Jason Bussgang (OL)

Key Returning Players – DefenseKalel Mullings (LB), Jailen Branch (CB), Kyle Santiago (DB), Tom Urquhart (SS), Greg Livingston (FS), Jack Czarniak (LB), Eddie Duggan (LB), Jason Bussgang (DT)

Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Kalel Mullings (KR)

Breakout Player To Watch – Look for senior lineman Jason Bussgang to have a very good year playing as a guard on the offensive line and as a tackle on the defensive line. Bussgang stands 6’1″ and 275 pounds and he will set the tone for the Milton Academy rushing attack as they lose a number of their best linemen to graduation.

Biggest Team Strength – The sophomore running back tandem of Kalel Mullings and Kyle Santiago will look to dominate games and control the time of possession in the Mustangs favor. In the passing game senior quarterback Alec Beesmer will look for transfer wide receiver Eddie Duggan to stretch the field as he is a big and athletic target at 6’3″ and 215 pounds.

Biggest Team Weakness – Milton Academy lost a number of key players to graduation as running back Michael Silva has moved on to play at Harvard while linemen Allan Rappleyea will play in the ACC at Wake Forest and Kevin Crabtree will play at Villanova. The Mustangs also lose wide receiver Freddy Okito and kicker Min Kyu Park.

Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: If Milton Academy can replace some key starters on their offensive line they should have one of the best running games in the ISL this season. National recruit Kalel Mullings will lead the way on offense and defense against what looks to be a very difficult schedule that includes games against top ranked Lawrence Academy and third ranked Belmont Hill.

2017 Team Profile – Belmont Hill (8/2/17)…

Last Season: Head Coach Chris Butler and the Belmont Hill football team turned things around in a big way and posted a 7-2 season record after having gone just 1-7 in 2015. Their championship 2016 season ended with a 41-23 playoff win over Wilbraham & Monson in the Kevin Fleming Bowl and the Hillies also had some impressive regular season ISL wins over St. Sebastian’s, Milton Academy and Governor’s Academy. Belmont Hill will look to try and stay on top again in 2017 but they will face a very difficult schedule this fall including six games against ITHMA Top Ten ISL teams.

Last Season Record: 7-2

ITHMA 2017 ISL Preseason Ranking: # 3

2017 Schedule – Key Games: (8) BB&N (9/29/17) – Belmont Hill lost a close 27-25 game last year but return more firepower on offense this year than BB&N does. @ (4) Milton Academy (10/14/17) – The Hillies beat MA 31-28 last season and look for another high scoring game between these two teams this year. (5) Noble & Greenough (10/21/17) –  The Hillies offensive firepower will look to show up again in the middle of a tough three game stretch. (1) Lawrence Academy (10/28/17) – The Hillies lost to LA 33-16 late last season and this will be another tough game against a top ranked team.

2017 – Full Schedule – Roxbury Latin (9/23/17), (8) BB&N (9/29/17, @ Tabor Academy (10/7/17), @ (4) Milton Academy (10/14/17), (5) Noble & Greenough (10/21/17), @ (1) Lawrence Academy (10/28/17), (6) St. Sebastian’s (11/3/17), (7) Governor’s Academy (11/11/17)

Key Returning PlayersOffense: Jake Bobo (WR), Blake Brookes (WR), Justin O’Neil-Riley (WR), Mike Piazza (QB), Jaylen Bailey (RB)

Key Returning Players – DefenseJaylen Bailey (LB), Jake Bobo (FS), Blake Brookes (LB), Ugonna Anuonyemere (LB/DE), Justin O’Neil-Riley (CB), Shane Rockett (LB)

Key Returning Players – Special TeamsPatrick Walsh (K)

Breakout Player To Watch – Look for sophomore Blake Brookes to have a huge season as both a wide receiver and as a linebacker. The Johns Hopkins lacrosse commit stands 6’4″ and 200 pounds while running a reported 4.7 forty yard dash and is one of the top overall players in the Massachusetts class of 2020.

Biggest Team Strength – This year’s Belmont Hill team will feature a passing attack with three of the best receivers in the ISL as quarterback Mike Piazza will throw to 6’4″ Duke commit Jake Bobo, 6’4″ Blake Brookes and 5’10” Justin O’Neil-Riley. Add in Jaylen Bailey at running back and this offense will be one of the best in the ISL.

Biggest Team Weakness – Belmont Hill had a big senior class last season so losses to graduation will have a huge impact. On the offensive and defensive lines the Hillies lost a number of key players including UPenn bound Nathaniel Miller, James Feinberg and Matthew O’Leary.

Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: The Belmont Hill schedule this fall is very difficult with the Hillies playing six of the teams ranked in the ITHMA Top Ten preseason poll. Their offense will generate points so the success of this season will largely come down to how well the Belmont Hill defense plays in the toughest games on their schedule. They will also need to replace a number of starters from last season with many of those spots being on the offensive and defensive lines.