Weekend wrap-up (10/31/16)…

In a weekend that saw the historically dominant teams flex their muscles, the Division 1 playoffs were dominated by the Catholic Conference teams and the traditional public powerhouse teams. Andover beat Lexington in a thriller but other than that the margin of victory in the other seven games was as follows: Xaverian beat Franklin 42-0, BC High beat Braintree 34-14, Brockton beat Newton North 38-9, Catholic Memorial beat Needham 25-6, St. John’s Prep beat Acton-Boxboro 45-0, Central Catholic beat Methuen 47-22 and Everett beat Haverhill 35-6. In D1A Bridgewater-Raynham stood out by going on the road and beating Natick 35-6 and BR now goes to Wellesley to face a very solid Raider defense on Saturday. In Division 2 South Duxbury was led by senior QB Bobby Maimaron’s four touchdown passes as they cruised past Pembroke 56-7 and look forward to a showdown with the winner of undefeated Dartmouth and surging North Attleboro in the D2 South final. In Division 3 Holliston was led by sophomore WR Spencer Aronson’s three touchdowns as they beat Midleboro 46-20. Division 3A North saw two upsets with Stoneham beating second seeded Shawsheen Tech 31-7 and Ipswich beating Greater Lawrence 21-14. These two will now face each other with the winner likely facing undefeated St. Mary’s in the D3A North final. In D3A South East Bridgewater remains the favorite as they defeated Fairhaven 30-0 and now play Wareham in the second round. Undefeated Brighton took care of business beating Lynn Tech 32-8 and now face Lowell Catholic and should face the winner of Cathedral versus Mystic Valley in the Division 4 North final. In the Division 4 South bracket Nantucket survived against Cohasset 20-7 and will play Seekonk High School who are coming off an overtime victory against the Joseph Case School. In Division 4A St. John Paul II rolled over second seeded Upper Cape 34-8. Let’s take a look at some of the players who had outstanding performances this week.

BC bound QB EJ Perry and junior WR Cedric Gillette of Andover teamed up in a wild, high scoring 54-48 overtime victory against Lexington. Perry threw for five touchdowns, ran for three touchdowns and broke up the final pass play in overtime.  Gillette had ten catches with three of them resulting in touchdowns.

Senior FB Grant Chryssicas of Wellesley ran for three touchdowns and over a hundred yards rushing while also leading the Raider defense in their 43-22 win over Hingham. Chryssicas will play lacrosse at Amherst next year but will first face a very good Bridgewater-Raynham team this coming Saturday.

Senior FB/MLB TJ Rothman of BC High rushed for two touchdowns and helped keep the Braintree rushing game in check as the Eagles move on to face Brockton on Friday night.

Milton senior RB Koby Osazee ran for three touchdowns as the Wildcats beat Medfield 28-7. Milton travels to undefeated Falmouth Friday night in the next round of the D2 playoffs.

Former North Andover and current Brooks School quarterback Seamus Lambert threw for two touchdowns as they beat ISL power Governor’s Academy.

Undefeated Grafton rolled over Auburn 34-0 as they were led by sophomore RB Jackson Sonnett who rushed for two touchdowns and the Indian defense pitched a shutout behind Syracuse bound defensive back Ifeatu Melifonwu.

 

D1 South Playoffs…..

The Catholic Conference scored well tonight with the Xaverian, BC High and Catholic Memorial teams all holding firm on home field and Newton North facing off vs. Brockton tomorrow to complete the semi-finals. Best of luck to Franklin, Needham and Braintree in the consolation round after hard fought games in the first round. Not sure if these local private “all star” teams should be playing against local town teams but watch out for Newton North to make a run if they can get past Brockton at home on Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday’s Five to Watch

  1. Which conference will prove to be the best over the course of the first round of the divisional playoffs? The Catholic Conference has a big weekend and with wins by Xaverian and Saint John’s Prep they could be on their way to play each other in the D1 title game. The CC may be the best conference at the top but the Bay State also has a very big weekend with many teams that will look to advance to the second round.
  2. Which player will become a household name after this weekend of playoffs? My bet is that Drew Caruso will have a big game for the Wamps of Braintree. Caruso has played well this year with several big performances and could see a big jump in name recognition if he has a game to remember versus BC High.
  3. The rain versus Andover’s EJ Perry and his arm. Perry has had to put up points… lots of them and the contest against a high scoring Lexington team will be no different. If the weather clears Perry may be able to will his team and his high school career to another game but if the dreary weather continues it favors Sal Frelick and the Minutemen at home.
  4. Last year Everett upset Saint John’s Prep (although the writing for that one may have been on the wall) in a 1 versus 8 matchup. This year who will be the low seed to knock off a higher seed? The trendy pick has been Andover over Lexington but the Braintree Wamps also look to upset BC High on their own field. Braintree is one of the biggest feeder areas to BC High and the Wamps may take this as a ‘’super bowl’’ of sorts and try to beat kids who have left their hometown to go to  BC High. This will be a fun game with both offenses having big play ability on the ground.
  5. It will be interesting to see if the new division alignments cause more close games or games that are blowouts. With several teams making the playoffs with losing records, look for there to be more blowouts in the lower divisions while D1 and D1A will have some very competitive match-ups.

Playoff Locks of the Week (10/28/16)…

Here at ITHMA we went 7-2 last week to bring our record up to 14-4. The regular season is complete as we now move into the first round of elimination playoff games in the North and South Divisions.

D1 North – Undefeated 2nd seeded Lexington vs. 7th seeded Andover in a great match-up between QBs Sal Frelick and EJ Perry. The Lexington defense does allow points to Andover but look for Lexington to hang on at home for the win.

D1 North – 4th seeded Haverhill vs. 5th seeded Everett. Another very tough game to call. Everett’s defense is too much and they get the win on the road.

D1 South – 3rd seeded BC High vs. 6th seeded Braintree – Two very good offenses that can run the ball but Braintree seems to be playing at a very high level right now so they go on the road and upset BC High.

D1 South – 4th seeded Catholic Memorial vs. 5th seeded Needham. Two very similar type teams that like to run and play tough defense. CM hangs on at home in a tough, physical game.

D1A South – 3rd seeded Natick vs. 6th seeded Bridgewater-Raynham. On paper this looks to be another competitive game. BR has played a brutal schedule and knocked off Xaverian so look for them to pull the upset at Natick.

D1A South – 2nd seeded Wellesley vs. 7th seeded Hingham. Look for Wellesley to stay unbeaten with a win at home on their brand new field turf and set up a showdown with the winner from Natick vs. BR.

D2 North – 3rd seeded Masconomet vs. 6th seeded Waltham. Waltham is capable of a strong defensive effort so they go on the road and beat Masconomet.

D2 South – 2nd seeded Dartmouth vs. 7th seeded Walpole. Look for Dartmouth to take care of business as they aim for a shot at Duxbury in the D2 South championship game which would feature two unbeaten teams.

D4 South – 1st seeded Nantucket vs. 8th seeded Cohasset. Look for the Whalers to remain unbeaten with a tougher than expected win over a good Cohasset team.

 

Top 2018 Recruit Rankings / Database – Part 2…

The next five top prospects from the class of 2018. Listings not necessarily in order as ITHMA will rank the top 50 prospects for 2018 once we have completed our list.

1) Jay Symonds – TE / DE – BB&N – This 6’4″ and 245 pound tight end is a big body and plays physically on both sides of the ball. A highly productive player in the ISL he displays good athleticism in the passing game and has received interest from BC, U Conn, Rutgers, UCF, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, U Penn and Holy Cross. Look for offers to roll in over the next few months.

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/3204331/jay-symonds

2) Mike Yarin – QB / S – St. John’s Prep – Yarin stands 6’1″ and 180 pounds and has already committed to U Conn to play baseball. A terrific all around athlete he played on both offense and defense last season and was utilized all over the field. Despite his commitment to U Conn, Yarin has indicated that he is open to being recruited for football and with his play this season he will likely attract interest from schools.

http://www.hudl.com/video/3/5434658/580382883bd81479c8d73fa1

3) John Grady – QB / OLB – Newton North High School – Grady is another terrific athlete playing football, hockey and baseball all at the varsity level. Standing 6’1″ and 215 pounds he has arguably the strongest arm in the 2018 quarterback class. Grady has received interest from Boston College and will likely hear from more schools in coming months.

http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6224161/57fa67b63bd81463c47641ef

4) Jake Bobo – WR / FS – Belmont Hill – A big target at 6’4″ and 185 pounds Bobo routinely out jumps defensive backs to make plays and has excellent hands. Another terrific athlete Bobo also plays basketball and lacrosse. Bobo has received offers from BC, Wake Forest, Dartmouth, URI, Elon and is receiving interest from Duke, Stanford, U Conn, UNC. Look for his next offers to come from U Conn or Duke.

http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4458131/58082412842eb282b85adb3b

5) Isaiah Likely – WR / LB – Malden High School – Another big WR target Likely is 6’2″ and 180 pounds and runs a reported 4.6 forty yard dash. A physical athlete Likely plays well on both offense and defense and if he adds size to his frame he could project as a defensive prospect. After a productive junior season look for Likely to pick up interest from local schools.

http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6759075/57f117523bd814378458ee12

ITHMA Power Rankings (10/27/16)….

  1. Xaverian (6-1) – We went to see the Hawks finish off BC High on Saturday and their offensive and defensive lines dominated the game. Duxbury had another convincing win but we just don’t think they could put up points against this Xaverian defense. Short of turnovers that did them in against Bridgewater-Raynham, Xaverian is the top team in the state. Next up: Home vs. Franklin Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  2. Duxbury (7-0) – Dragons beat Hingham and get Pembroke in the first round of the playoffs. Next up: Home vs. Pembroke Friiday night at 7:00 PM.
  3. St. John’s Prep (5-2) – Playing some of the best football in the state, SJP went on the road to Bridgewater-Raynham and came out with the 17-7 win. Next up: Home vs. Acton-Boxborough Saturday at 1:30 PM.
  4. Dartmouth (7-0) – Beat Barnstable 23-7 and now get a 3-4 Walpole team in the first round of the playoffs. Next up: Home vs. Walpole Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  5. King Phillip (7-0) – Tough defense helped them beat Taunton so they now face an Attleboro team they beat on the road 36-13 just two weeks back. Next up: Home vs. Attleboro Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  6. Central Catholic (6-1) – Held Andover to 21 points in a 37-21 win. Next up: Home vs. Methuen Saturday at 1:30 PM.
  7. Haverhill (6-1) – Took care of business against Lawrence but now get a playoff visit from always tough Everett in one of the best first round games. Next up: Home vs. Everett Friday night at 6:00 PM.
  8. Lexington (7-0) – Beat Belmont and now host Andover in what could be one of the most entertaining games of the season with two exciting quarterbacks fighting to advance. Don’t be surprised if Andover outscores Lexington in a first round upset. Next up: Home vs. Andover Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  9. Falmouth (7-0) – Clippers stay perfect and now get Norwood at home in the playoffs. Next up: Home vs. Norwood Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  10. Billerica (6-1) – Indians high scoring offense was shut down by Tewksbury in a 20-7 loss. Next up: Home vs. Concord-Carlisle Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  11. Everett (5-2) – Eliminated Malden from the playoffs but now go on the road to face Haverhill in the playoffs. Next up: At Haverhill Friday night at 6:00 PM.
  12. BC High (4-2) – Played a very good Xaverian team in lousy conditions and lost 17-0. They now host a dangerous Braintree team in the first round. Next up: Home vs. Braintree Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  13. Bridgewater-Raynham (4-3) – Playing out a tough schedule BR lost to SJP and now travel to Natick in another terrific first round playoff game. Next up: At Natick Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  14. Tewksbury (7-0) – A huge home win against Billerica moves them up the rankings. Next up: Home vs. Medford Saturday at 1:30 PM.
  15. Hanover (6-0) – Did not play. Next up: Home vs. Norton Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  16. Marblehead (7-0) – Remain perfect on the season and host Wayland Friday night. Next up: Home vs. Wayland Friday night.
  17. Newton North (6-1) – Tigers secured the second spot in D1 South and now host Brockton on Saturday. Next up: Home vs. Brockton Saturday at 1:00 PM.
  18. Holliston (6-1) – The Panthers beat Medway and now get a competitive Middleborough team at home. Next up: Home vs. Middleborough Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  19. Wellesley – (7-0) – Went on the road and slugged out a victory over Milton. They play Hingham and look forward to a tough second round game against the winner of Natick vs. BR. Next up: Home vs. Hingham Saturday at 1:00 PM.
  20. North Attleboro (6-1) – Shut out Foxborough and now face Whitman-Hanson in first round playoff action. Next up: Home vs. Whitman-Hanson Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  21. Natick (6-1) – Beat Norwood and now face a tough and tested BR team. Next up: Home vs. Bridgewater-Raynham Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  22. Catholic Memorial (4-3) – Finished out a tough regular season schedule by beating Malden Catholic. They now face a very good Needham team in the first round. Next up: Home vs. Needham Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  23. St. John’s Shrewsbury (5-2) – Rolled over Leominster 35-0 and now face Algonquin coming off a big victory over Wachusett. Next up: Home vs. Algonquin Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  24. Marshfield (6-1) – High scoring team with a single OT loss at Falmouth. Next up: At Mansfield Friday night at 7:00 PM.
  25. Brockton (4-3) – Boxers have found some offense recently with two high scoring wins against Durfee and New Bedford. Next up: At Newton North Saturday at 1:00 PM.

Mass Prep Stars 2018 Football Pre Rankings….

If you haven’t seen it yet Ryan Killian and Mass Prep Stars (Twitter @masspreps ) did a tremendous job covering many of the top high school football players in Massachusetts for the class of 2018. Here at ITHMA we released our first five names on our 2018 list yesterday and we were glad to see Mass Prep Stars included all five covering Pat Freiermuth, Finn Dirstine, Domenic DePaoli, Danny Abraham and Jerrod Clark. We will be releasing our next five names in the next day or two and all five of our next student athletes are also covered on the Mass Prep Stars 2018 list. Please DM any 2018 candidates to us on Twitter @IThuddleMA as we want to be as fair and as comprehensive as possible. We have already received many worthy candidates from our thousands of readers and we truly appreciate it as it helps get the word out on the many talented student athletes playing high school football in Massachusetts. ITHMA Power Rankings will be out tomorrow and then we have a terrific weekend of playoff football coming this Friday and Saturday. Best of luck to all of the players and teams as they enter the postseason!

Top 2018 Massachusetts Recruit Rankings / Database…

Let’s get this list going by identifying five of the top recruits in the current junior class of 2018 (not necessarily in order):

1.) Pat Freiermuth – TE / DE – Pentucket HS, Brooks School – This 6’6″ and 240 pound TE / DE is a verbal commit to Penn State after receiving offers from Boston College, Duke, Rutgers and many others. At Pentucket HS Freiermuth displayed his athletic skills by playing quarterback before moving over to the TE position. A skilled pass catcher with size he could have a major impact at a Big Ten program like Penn State.                                 

 

 

 

http://www.hudl.com/video/3/6035099/57fa633a7bddf81ce02b5e6a

2.) Finn Dirstine – T / G – Acton-Boxborough HS, Lawrence Academy – Dirstine is a 6’5″  and 320 pound offensive lineman who runs a 4.8 forty yard dash. Already offered by Miami, Boston College, Illinois and U Mass. He also recently visited Notre Dame and Alabama. As an offensive lineman at Lawrence Academy he has played an important part in Michigan bound RB AJ Dillon racking up thousands of rushing yards.

  http://www.hudl.com/video/3/4524227/580a51d45caa592534e8fb77

3.) Domenic DePaoli – LT – Xaverian Brothers HS – Following in the footsteps of other physical XBHS linemen, DePaoli stands large at 6’3″ and 270 pounds. Playing on the line with Dartmouth bound OL Jake Guidone and Brown bound TE/DE Cal Flanders, DePaoli consistently opens running holes for Bentley bound RB Devon Piccinin. With so many of his current teammates receiving college offers it is very likely DePaoli will draw significant interest as well.

http://www.hudl.com/athlete/5037880/domenic-depaoli

4.) Danny Abraham – RB – Boston College High School – Abraham is a 5’11” and 185 pound running back who runs a 4.5 forty yard dash. Playing against top competition in Massachusetts all season long, Abraham has shown he can produce at the highest level. He currently holds an offer from Boston College with interest from Stanford, Virginia, Harvard and others. With a good run in the divisional playoffs the level of interest from other schools could increase dramatically.

 http://www.hudl.com/athlete/6340522/highlights

5.) Jerrod Clark – TE / DE – Brighton High School – A bit of a sleeper, Clark stands 6’5″ and 230 pounds while playing on both sides of the ball. Also a highly skilled basketball player, Clark has received interest from schools for both sports. Clark camped at Boston College this past summer and is a top local target for schools such as BC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OfNV6JpAgIQ

 

 

Weekend Wrap-up (10/24/16)…

With rain, thunder and lightning it was a mess of a weekend for the final regular season high school football games. Let’s take a look at some of the key games, the key performers and some of the divisional playoff scenarios.

It took two days but Xaverian beat BC High 17-0 with a dominating performance on both sides of the line and help from Mekhi Henderson contributing on both offense and defense. The Hawk defense is rolling heading into the D1 South playoffs where they face eighth seeded Franklin who slid into the eight seed with a 41-27 upset win over Attleboro. BC High could not get a consistent running game going and their defense wore down under relentless pressure from the Xaverian running game and RB Devon Piccinin. Xaverian and St. John’s Prep appear to be the two hottest teams in Division 1 heading into the playoffs. BC High gets sixth seeded Braintree and the Wamps are playing excellent football as they just put up over fifty points against Weymouth.

St. John’s Prep came back to beat Bridgewater-Raynham 17-7 with a 34 yard touchdown pass to WR Wes Rockett being the game changing play.  The Eagles offense continues to impress down the stretch and they have a favorable path to the D1 North championship game where they would likely face Everett or Central Catholic…. both teams they have already lost to this season.

Milton managed to score 28 points against Wellesley but that wasn’t enough as the Raiders prevailed by a score of 36-28 and claimed the title in the Bay State Hegert Division. Wellesley now faces seventh seeded Hingham and with a win would get a rematch against Natick or a very tough Bridgewater-Raynham squad.

Tewksbury remained perfect and opened some eyes with a 20-7 win at home against higher ranked and undefeated Billerica to claim the MVC title. Shifty WR Aaron Whitehouse of Tewksbury had a punt return for a 55 yard touchdown and a 48 yard touchdown catch. Junior Blake Hiltz was key in forcing a special teams turnover late in the game which helped to seal the victory. Huge playoff games loom for the Redmen with a potential rematch against Billerica and possibly a D2 Super Bowl date with Duxbury.

Dartmouth remained undefeated at 7-0 with a 23-7 win against Barnstable and sit in the two seed spot behind Duxbury in D2 South. The Indians are led by two seniors in FB Liam Caulfield and QB Cole Jacobsen as they hope to meet up with undefeated Duxbury in the divisional championship.

Players of the week: Franklin RB Jake Wolowacki ran for over 250 yards and four touchdowns as Franklin secured the eighth and final seed in the D1 South playoffs.

QB Jack Tishman ran for two touchdowns and passed for two touchdowns as Wellesley beat Milton to earn the Bay state Hegert title.

Xaverian OL Dom DePaoli dominated the BC High defensive line and led the Hawks to a 17-0 victory and the top seed in D1 South.

Junior RB Ben Quint of Lexington scored two touchdowns on 111 yards rushing and also registered two receiving touchdowns as he led the Minutemen to a 41-27 win over Belmont.

Catholic Memorial’s Jack McGowan, playing on both offense and defense, had over 130 yards receiving and two touchdowns while helping the CM defense shut out Malden Catholic 34-0.

North Attleboro’s QB Chad Peterson completed four touchdowns in adverse weather as they clinched the Hockomock Davenport title.

 

 

Five First Round Playoff Games We Would Like To See…

7th seeded Andover travels to 2nd seeded Lexington on Friday night at 7:00 PM. This features two of the ITHMA local Heisman high school quarterbacks with BC bound QB EJ Perry for Andover throwing the ball and BC bound (for baseball) QB Sal Frelick running the ball. Having two dynamic playmakers going toe to toe this should be a very high scoring and exciting game.

5th seeded Everett at 4th seeded Haverhill on Saturday night at 6:00 PM. University of Connecticut bound and ITHMA Heisman high school QB Jordan McAfee and senior RB Marvens Fedna lead a tough Everett squad against a very good Haverhill team led by senior RB JC Laguerre and senior WR Jukka Morales. This one should be a physical and tough football game.

5th seeded Needham at 4th seeded Catholic Memorial on Friday night at 7:00 PM. Needham brings a tough ground game led by senior RB Jared Sklar up against a CM defense led by Harvard bound MLB Jack McGowan. Senior CM RB Peter Scibilia faces a similar task going up against Needham’s MLB Kevin Bruce. Two similar type teams this should be a good one.

6th seeded Bridgewater-Raynham at 3rd seeded Natick Friday night at 7:00 PM. The winner likely gets Wellesley who already beat Natick earlier this season. The fact that BR gave Xaverian their only loss of the season makes them a very dangerous team capable of slowing down Natick junior RB Amir Mells. BR senior RB Shawn Noel, Jr. will run against a very solid Natick run defense led by senior OLB Gus Ramstrom.

6th seeded Braintree at 3rd seeded BC High on Friday night at 7:00 PM. Braintree could pull the upset behind a dynamic running game led by senior QB Mitchell Nevins and senior RB Drew Caruso. BC High tries to bounce back from a tough loss at Xaverian as the Hawks’ defense kept BC High senior QB Connor Cady and junior RB Danny Abraham in check for most of the game.

Hopefully, people will let us know which game they will be attending (you can DM us @IThuddleMA ) and will Tweet out updates from the games. This is going to be fun.