Happy New Year to all that have made 2016 a huge success since we began in October. Big things to come in 2017!
Former Barnstable High School goaltender Nico Lynch has been called upon to join Boston University’s hockey team for the second half of the 2016-17 season. Lynch was already planning on enrolling at BU in the second semester but now, as a result of an unexpected goalie departure, has a spot on a top ranked team that has a legitimate chance to win the national title. Lynch previously played Tier 1 hockey with the Boston Advantage Hockey Club but joined the Barnstable High School team as a senior and gained team MVP with a 1.88 GAA and and a .917 save percentage. He was the top goalie on the Cape and was named a Boston Globe All Scholastic after his dominant senior season.
BU Head Coach David Quinn in a press release stated:”Fortunately for us there was a quality goaltender already planning on enrolling at BU for the second semester. We’ve welcomed Nico to our team and he has looked sharp and capable in practice thus far.”
BU Team Page:
- Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS – Until Jakigh Dottin and Dimon Carrigan (along with a great supporting cast including Daniel Rymer) are slowed down, this Cambridge team is a runaway train.
- Boston College HS – Guard Travis Evee and forward wing Carl Pierre have looked unstoppable early on as they have been crushing their opponents.
- Everett HS – Newly minted 1000 point scorer Ghared Boyce and big man Theo Zidor have led the Tide to a great start so far this season.
- New Mission HS – The reigning champs are leaving the Bay State to test the competition in Florida over the break.
- Mansfield HS – The Hornets, just like New Mission, are taking a trip south to Florida before returning to play against 2nd ranked BC High.
- Brighton HS – The undefeated Bengals are awaiting a huge game against 4th ranked New Mission when they return from their Florida trip.
- Catholic Memorial HS – After being down big late in the game, the Knights had four shots within the last 20 seconds to beat Newton North but came up empty. The Knights will bounce back behind strong play from do everything star Ulyen Coleman.
- Newton North HS – Ethan Wright came up big in tight spots versus CM as he scored 40 and the Tigers will lean on him the rest of the year. Former CM basketball player Chris Matthews played a big role against his former team scoring 18 points for the Tigers.
- Malden Catholic HS -The Lancers picked up a big win over Franklin HS helping to secure a successful winter break.
- Franklin HS– Conor Peterson and company look to rebound after a close loss to Malden Catholic.
- Brookline HS – The Warriors and Chris Camille are looking like this year’s Cinderella team after several key wins.
- Needham HS – The Rockets face a tough Bay State conference stretch when they return from break.
- Central Catholic HS – As always, the Raiders are proving to be a very good team despite losing key transfers from last year’s squad.
- Marlboro HS – Despite a close loss to Algonquin, big man Chris Doherty will get Marlboro back on the right road.
- Saint John’s Prep HS – Prep suffered an early season loss but Nate Hobbs and the rest of the Eagles will turn things around.
- Braintree HS – Playing in the loaded Bay State conference the Wamps will have plenty of time to redeem themselves from an early loss.
- Weston HS – Starting the year undefeated is very impressive but Weston will face very tough competition in the DCL conference.
- Burke HS – A close loss to Brookline in a game that could have gone either way for the Bulldogs.
- Lowell HS – Lowell is off to a good start after a season opening win versus EJ Perry and Andover.
- Bridgewater Raynahm HS – The Trojans are a team off to a great start with an impressive victory over a strong Xaverian Brothers HS team.
Just this week Bob Diaco ended his three year coaching stint at the University of Connecticut as he went 11-26 during this time including one bowl game that the Huskies lost. UConn has hired, for the second time, Randy Edsall as their new head coach and he is already the winningest head coach in Uconn football history from his previous stay there. Edsall led the Huskies all the way to the FBS BCS Bowl Series with a 2011 Fiesta Bowl berth where UConn lost 48-20 to Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners. Let’s take a look at how this huge change could impact New England in terms of current recruiting, players changing schools and the impact on future prospects. Currently, UConn holds commitments from three of the best 2017 prospects in Massachusetts with Everett QB Jordan McAfee, Lawrence Academy’s TE/LB Jake Byczko and recent Deerfield commit DE Dallas Hobbs. Further, Uconn recently offered Xaverian Brothers HS WR Samuel Laurent and Mass prospect RB/ATH Kevin Mensah is set to take an official visit to Uconn on January 27th – January 29th of 2017. Uconn and Edsall could greatly benefit by locking up their current 2017 recruits while also continuing to reach out to the class of 2018 which will be Edsall’s first class in his new tenure at UConn. Other FBS schools including Umass, Syracuse and Boston College may look to make late pushes for current UConn commits that might help round out their own 2017 class if they feel kids are willing to consider flipping schools this late in the recruiting cycle. A head coaching change at any school can be an earthquake for current players and for the prospects considering joining the team in the future. How Randy Edsall handles the next month in terms of the 2017 recruit class could have a big impact on how quickly he can try and turn things around down at UConn this time around. Edsall had been known to poach kids from Massachusetts with a good eye for talent such as NFL RB Jordan Todman who had been offered by UConn and then saw his recruiting blow up as he received offers from several top programs but ultimately stayed with Edsall and UConn. It will be interesting to see what happens over the coming months and years as Edsall and UConn try and once again climb back to playing in a top college football bowl game like they did six years ago.
Let’s take a look at some of the top hockey goalies currently playing in Massachusetts. Hockey recruiting is very different from football recruiting as you will see some of these prospects have already committed to top college programs while they are only freshmen in high school. You will also notice that some are playing on club teams and not for their high school teams and two were featured earlier in our post about five of the best 2002 birth year players in the state.
Elijah Harris – Boston Jr. Bruins – Brown University – Harris lives in Andover and plays for the Boston Jr. Bruins in the USPHL Premier League where he currently has a 2.1 goals against average and a .930 save percentage. Relatively small at 5’8″ and 150 pounds he will play at Brown University next year.
Justin Ferguson – Islanders Hockey Club – Dartmouth College – Actually from New Hampshire but plays for the Massachusetts based Islanders Hockey Club of the USPHL and last season he had 1.78 goals against average and a .944 save percentage. He will enroll at Dartmouth in the fall of 2018.
Connor Hopkins – Belmont Hill – Yale – Hopkins stands 6’0″ and 200 pounds and has committed to play at Yale starting in the fall of 2019. Last season in 19 games he had a 2.48 goals against average and a .894 save percentage.
Gavin Fitzpatrick – BB&N – Uncommitted – Only a freshman, Fitzpatrick stands 5’11” and 160 pounds and projects to be one of the top class of 2020 goalies in the state along with Drew Commesso. Fitzpatrick will compete for the starting job at BB&N this season after being the backup goalie as an 8th grader last season.
Drew Commesso – St. Sebastian’s – University of New Hampshire – Another freshman in the class of 2020, Commesso stands 6’0″ and 160 pounds and he has challenged senior Alex Zafonte for playing time in net this season. A strong candidate for the US National Development program, Commesso recently committed to play at the University of New Hampshire
Let’s take a look at five more high performing juniors from the Class of 2018. This list is in no specific order as we will add them to our 2018 rankings at a later date.
Jacob Miller – Everett HS – RB – A large running back at 6’1’’ and 215 pounds, Miller was the third running back in a highly talented Everett system this year and he made the most of his carries. Miller is a physical runner but has good speed and quickness to evade defenders. His physical running style while playing with so many other Everett skill position players next year will have Miller poised for a breakout season.
Jack McNeil – Marshfield HS – RB/S – McNeil is a running back/safety and stands 6’0″ and 195 pounds. McNeil was a Catholic Conference all-star at Catholic Memorial last year and was an Atlantic Coast League all-star this year having transferred back to Marshfield. McNeil is someone who does excel as a ‘’football player’’ in every sense as he runs downhill with a low center of gravity and is also a hard hitting safety. McNeil would most likely be a safety at the next level as he has good ball skills but he could also transition to a receiver with good speed and field vision.
Bret Edwards – Central Catholic – QB – Edwards shows great poise and leadership as he has guided Central Catholic to back to back successful seasons including a Division 1 Super Bowl. Edwards is primarily a pocket passer but can run the ball if necessary. Edwards is a patient QB that shows great fluidity while moving in the pocket and reading the defense. Edwards has a good frame at 6’2” and 170 pounds but will have to bulk up to play at the next level.
Conor Peterson – Franklin HS – TE – A 6’5’’ and 195 pounds Peterson is a tight end / basketball player type of prospect that is always in demand. Peterson has very strong hands and often operates out of the slot to catch the ball in tight, short routes. Peterson has lots of room to grow into his frame and also has good footwork making him a very mobile target for someone his size. With his physical tools and good hands Peterson has all the makings of a Division 1 tight end.
Duane Binns, Jr. – Everett HS – LB – Binns is a very fast linebacker who plays very physically against opponents often wreaking havoc on opposing offenses. At 6’0″ and 190 pounds, Binns is fast enough to play in coverage but can also use his speed to stuff run gaps and go after the quarterback. Binns could either be a LB or could transition to more of a safety hybrid type role depending on his physical development.
- Boston College High School – Returning RHP Mike Vasil is a huge piece for the Eagles after having a breakout sophomore year. Vasil is the reigning Catholic Conference MVP and the University of Virginia commit looks to continue his dominance this coming season. University of Rhode Island commit Brendan Mignone was used out of the bullpen last year but could transition to a starting role given losses to graduation. Wheaton commit Gavin Reilly is also a big piece for the Eagles as he could be the second starter in what shapes up to be a very formidable starting rotation.
- Braintree HS – The loss of back-to-back Super 8 MVP Scott Creedon is tough to overcome but Braintree is a team that constantly reloads with kids who play ball at a high level. Led by Justin Files and Alex Kennedy the Wamps have one of the state’s best outfields and should be a very competitive team once again.
- Saint John’s Prep – The Eagles were the second place team last year coming up just short to state champion Braintree. Returning for the Eagles include all star and U Conn commit Mike Yarin. Shortstop Chris Francoeur (a University of Rhode Island golf commit) also returns as a key piece up the middle for SJP and the Eagles are always one of the teams that will be there in June.
- Newton North HS – The Tigers lose all state first baseman Thomas Joyce to graduation and it can be tough remaining competitive having lost a conference MVP. However, the Tigers do return all three starting pitchers in seniors Jimmy Hodgson and Mike Banks along with junior John Grady from a team that was very competitive in the Super 8 last year.
- Xaverian Brothers High School – Losing Blake DeCarr, Zach Sette, Bryan Hart and Troy Shepard are all big losses for the Hawks but they return a solid group of upperclassmen who will try to bring home the Division 1 state title. Dan Chapski pitched well in the Super 8 last year and the Bowdoin commit will look to build on last season’s success. Bates College commit Aidan McLaughlin, Army commit Tim Simoes and Southern Connecticut State University commit Vicente Mendoza round out what looks to be a very competitive roster for the Hawks.
- Lincoln Sudbury – A team that was largely thought to be snubbed from the Super 8 last year and ended up as the Division 1 State runner-up. Led by RHP and Wake Forest commit Ryan Cusick the Warriors will look to make the jump into the Super 8 field this season.
- Austin Prep – Prep has had multiple seasons where they have been right on the bubble and 2017 could finally be the year for the Cougars to make the Super 8. Led by Boston College commit (and previous conference MVP) Peter Burns the Cougars will be a team to watch this season.
- West Springfield HS – The Terriers have one of the best pitchers in the state in University of Hartford commit Nick Dombkowski. As a junior last year Dombkowski led all pitchers in strikeouts on his way to being an all state selection. Western Mass baseball can be somewhat overlooked by the tournament (and Pope Francis lost in consecutive games last year) but with Dombkowski on the mound West Springfield could find its way into the tournament.
- Pope Francis: 4-0-0 – The Cardinals have been arguably the most impressive team so far this season behind 11 points from senior forward Cam Peritz.
- Boston College High: 4-0-0- The Eagles are off to another fast start with sophomore transfer Luke Garrity playing very well between the pipes.
- Malden Catholic: 0-1-2 – The Lancers survived twice in OT as they won their early season tournament and remain undefeated in state play. Brendan Maloney had key scoring plays to help MC secure the OT wins.
- St. Johns Prep: 1-0-1 – The Prep has played one out of state game and then took care of Danvers 6-0 back in state. They now look forward to several challenging games, including BC High, over the Christmas break.
- Austin Prep: 2-0-1- Austin Prep skated to a tie versus highly ranked MC before falling to the Lancers in OT as they proved they can compete with the best teams in the state.
- Marshfield HS: 3-0-0 – With the absence of recent Northeastern commit Neil Shea it has been Aidan Connolly producing on offense as he already leads the Rams in scoring with 9 points.
- Central Catholic: 3-0-0- After losing a lot of last year’s talent it has been Sean Brown leading the Raiders this season and they now play top ranked Pope Francis on December 3oth in a showdown of unbeatens.
- Arlington Catholic: 3-0-0 – The Cougars have won some tightly contested games early on with senior forward Jack Bertolami off to a good start this season.
- Walpole HS: 3-0-0- The Rebels play solid defense and have generated more scoring this year. Goalie standout James Corcoran hasn’t allowed a goal this season.
- Braintree HS: 2-0-0- Led by junior Shawn Leslie the Wamps are off to a good start and will now play in the Duxbury Christmas Tournament.
- Xaverian Brothers HS: 2-1-1- The Hawks are playing well with recent Roger Williams University lacrosse commit Jared Grier leading the way on offense.
- Hanover HS: 5-0-0- The Indians remain undefeated behind Connor Morris and their high scoring offense as they look to repeat as Division 3 state champions.
- Franklin HS: 3-1-0- Brendan O’Reilly is leading the Panthers in scoring with their only blemish so far this season being a 5-0 loss to top ranked Pope Francis.
- St. Mary’s Lynn: 2-2-0 – The Spartans have played a tough early season schedule but now look to hit their stride after a big 4-1 win over a good Hingham team.
- Hingham HS: -1-1-2 – Hingham has proved they can skate with anyone and will be a very tough team going forward having already played a tough out of conference schedule. They play Weymouth today.
- Reading HS: 2-1-0 – James Reilly and Kevin Tobin will look to continue their productivity on offense as the Rockets look to rebound from their recent 5-0 loss to BC High.
- Arlington HS: 2-1-0 – Another victim of an early season 7-3 loss to top ranked Pope Francis. There is still plenty of time for the Spy Ponders to rebound with top forwards Kevin Ouellette and Peter Scheschareg leading the way.
- Catholic Memorial: 1-1-0 – The Knights played a tough game losing 5-1 to St. Sebastian’s of the ISL as we saw a great compete level until Harvard bound RJ Murphy proved to be too much.
- Burlington HS: 2-1-0- A senior laden group with forwards Riley Gilbert and Drew Metzdorf looking to lead the Red Devils to the playoffs.
- Natick HS: 2-0-1 – James Herring has been solid in net for the Red Hawks and has filled in nicely after the loss of transfer Joe Sharib.
- Cambridge Rindge & Latin HS – With Jakigh Dottin leading the charge along with Dimon Carrigan the defending state champions have picked right up where they left off at the end of last season.
- Boston College High School – Carl Pierre and the Eagles have impressed early on by looking dominant in all phases of their game.
- Everett HS– Ghared Boyce can score in bunches and with lots of depth and size up front the Tide are a real threat this year.
- Catholic Memorial HS – No Matt Hanna, no Brandon Twitty but Ulyen Coleman has the Knights playing well and looking like a top team.
- New Mission HS – Playing a tough early schedule will have the Titans cruising going into the thick of their season.
- Mansfield HS – The Hornets are always a tough team no matter when you get them on your schedule.
- Franklin HS – Conor Peterson is one of the best scorers in the MIAA and has the Panthers in good shape.
- Brighton HS – Tyrone Perry recently passed 1000 points scoring in his career and the Bengals are off to a hot start.
- Marlboro HS – With top Division 1 prospect Chris Doherty on the floor Marlboro can compete with any team in the state.
- Newton North HS – Inexpierence may cost the Tigers some early games but Ethan Wright is a true Division 1 prospect and will carry his team into the playoffs.
- Malden Catholic HS – An undefeated start to the season has produced high hopes for the Lancers.
- Braintree HS– Nick Timberlake is a standout guard for the Wamps and is one of the best in the state with his recent play.
- Needham HS – An up and down start but the Rockets will prove to be a second half team.
- Saint John’s Prep – Nate Hobbs has given a tremendous effort for the Eagles to start their season.
- Maynard HS – An undefeated start for Corey Olver and company as Maynard is currently the best team in western Massachusetts.
- Milton HS – The upstart Wildcats could prove to be for real after knocking off Bay State power Newton North.
- O’Bryant HS – Guard Rivaldo Soares has the Tigers in good position after giving Brighton all they could handle and we will hear more from this team in the future.
- Burke HS– A test on December 28th versus a run and gun Brookline team will be an exciting one to watch.
- Brookline HS – They took Braintree down to the wire and proved they can compete in a slower style game. Look for Brookline and Chris Camile to try and push the pace in upcoming games.
- Putnam Tech HS – An early loss to East Longmeadow should be enough to jumpstart top D1 prospect Taelon Martin and the Beavers.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you on this night of unimaginable heartbreak.