- Andover High School versus #17 Methuen High School – Kevin Fernandez and the Rangers take on rival Andover High School with big man Max Beati and the Warriors in a very good Merrimack Valley Conference game. Both teams are jockeying for playoff positions and trying to chase down Central Catholic who is leading the conference.
- #2 Boston College High School versus #12 Catholic Memorial High School – The Eagles and Knights square off in a tough Catholic Conference match-up with the Eagles and Carl Pierre looking to keep their undefeated season alive while the Knights and Ulyen Coleman look to capture a signature win and put a stop to their recent skid.
- #11 Saint John’s Shrewsbury High School vs Doherty Memorial High School – The Pioneers look to continue to keep winning basketball games while a tough Doherty team will try to play the spoiler vs SJS.
- #10 Saint John’s Preparatory School vs Xaverian Brothers High School – The Hawks previously knocked off the Eagles on their home court but now the Eagles come to Westwood looking for revenge.
- #6 Newton North High School versus Brockton High School – The suddenly resurgent Boxers face Newton North and a team looking for an identity after losing star Ethan Wright. Guard play will be key in this match-up as both teams look to get a win to improve their Division 1 playoff resumes.
- Belmont High School at #6 Arlington High School – The Spy Ponders have been one of the hottest hockey teams of late but Kevin Dacey and the Marauders look to have a good showing against one of the elite public school teams in the state.
- #13 Braintree High School at Needham High School – The Rockets are a scrappy hockey team who compete well and should give a very good Braintree team a tough test. Braintree looks to single themselves out as the best team in the Bay State Conference.
- Barnstable High School at Falmouth High School – The Raiders and Clippers face off in a marquee match-up as these two rivals battle to see which is the top basketball team on the Cape.
- #22 Weymouth High School at #9 Marshfield High School – A very good match-up versus two of the top public schools in the state. Weymouth looks to knock off a good skating Marshfield team while the Rams will look to improve their Super 8 resume.
- #6 Arlington High School at #9 Boston College High School – The Eagles are fresh off a very good win over #1 Pope Francis and now face off versus the Spy Ponders who also recently took down the Cardinals. Both of these teams will be jockeying for position in the Super 8 Hockey Tournament and a win for either team will have a big impact.
Assumption College had a successful 9-3 season in 2016 and they just picked up a number of high flying Massachusetts 2017 commits to help them compete in the North East Conference. Top defensive back Carlins Platel highlights a very good class as he comes from Everett High School which won the Massachusetts Division 1 State Championship this year. Platel also held an offer from Division 1 University of Rhode Island. Also on the defensive side of the ball the Greyhounds secured strong safety AJ Laramee from Shrewsbury High School, free safety Izon Swain-Price out of Stoughton High School and defensive end Andrew Rubenskas from Bridgewater-Raynham. On offense Assumption picked up tight end Jack Gohr out of Reading High school along with play making receivers Kyle Sonnie from Catholic Memorial, Freddy Okito of Milton Academy and athlete Antoine Williams from Springfield who played his high school football at Salisbury. They will join class of 2016 Massachusetts recruits including DB Mason Spence from Episcopal, QB Ryan Graham from East Bridgewater, DB Ivan Mertilus from St. Clements, RB Doug Santos from Peabody, DB Raheem Barzey from Durfee, DB Mac Nkongchu from St. John’s Shrewsbury, LB Christopher Finn from Lynnfield, SS Nick Zottoli from Wachusett Regional, SS Jared Vargus from East Bridgewater, DB Egan Bachtell from Nashoba Regional, DL Nicholas Poillucci from Hopkinton, C Will Phaneuf from Nashoba Regional, OL Thomas Schaper from Wachusett Regional, OL Mitchell Kinney from Whitman-Hanson Regional, WR Tighe Beck from Wakefield, WR Justin Assad from Pingree, DB Tariq Massenburg from Doherty and RB Mark Wright, Jr. from Auburn High School. Overall Head Coach Bob Chesney and the Greyhounds gained a lot of talent in the defensive backfield and on the outside edge on offense and have some tremendously talented players who should help keep Assumption at the top of their division next season.
Saint Anselm College went 2-9 in 2016 but picked up a very solid group of Massachusetts players led by St. Mary’s lineman Liam Reddy who could contribute on either side of the ball. Also on the offensive line Matthew Dimitrov out of Chelmsford and Connor Walker from Marlborough high school. On the offensive side of the ball the Hawks add running back John Merullo out of North Reading, wide receiver Josh Callinan from Uxbridge and Jackson Latimer of the Pingree School is a versatile player who can play either receiver or defensive back. Finally, Xaverian Brothers quarterback Matt Cronin will bring a tough style of play and a good work ethic to the St. Anselm’s campus next fall. They will join the 2016 class from Massachusetts including RB Giani Mitchell from Xaverian Brothers, QB Jake Cassidy from Lawrence Academy, DB Daniel Murphy from Revere, DB Shawn Donovan from Abington, RB Michael Riggs from King Phillip, WR Nicholas Fiorillo from Westford Academy, DB Nicholas Diamond from Westford Academy, DB Farid Mawanda from Watertown, OL Jerome Seglah from Lowell Catholic, WR Robert Green from Malden, WR Timothy Gardner from Cushing Academy and LB Nicholas St. Germain from St. Peter-Marian. Overall a solid group of 2017 Massachusetts recruits added to a roster full of Massachusetts players who will be counted on to bring success for coach Joe Adam and the Hawks up in Manchester.
Head Coach Dan Curran and the Merrimack College football team went 3-8 in 2016 but they just landed a high quality 2017 recruiting class that will bring improvements on both sides of the ball in North Andover. Sam Lesavage is a physical defensive end from Xaverian Brothers and he will be joined with linebacker Mike Mulvena of Shrewsbury High School as two solid pieces who should contribute to the Warriors defense in the near future. Merrimack is also adding linebacker PJ Iannuzzi from Wakefield Memorial High School who will be another addition to a very good defensive class. On the offensive side of the ball Nick Pallotta of Saint John’s Shrewsbury is a very good possession receiver along with offensive lineman Jake Olson out of Shrewsbury high school. These players will join last year’s class of recruits from Massachusetts including QB Jack Masterson of Marshfield, DB Daekwon Shepherd of LynnEnglish, DB Michael Mercuri of Central Catholic, DB Jovan Grant of Concord-Carlisle, RB Ronnie Martin of Foxboro, RB Omar Deschamps of Central Catholic, LB Jack Lambert of St. John’s Prep, LB Jake Ragusa of Canton, OL Steven Liakos of Arlington, OL Devin McCarthy of Scituate, WR Matthew Reagan of Bridgewater-Raynham and DL Hunter Walsh of Marblehead. The Merrimack Warriors football roster is filled with lots of players from Massachusetts and they will add five very good prospects in their 2017 recruiting class.
Doing our 2017 final prospect research we came across the fact that top lineman prospect Bobby Denaro (DT/T) is also a defenseman on the Nashoba Regional hockey team. That probably makes him the biggest hockey player in the state as he stands 6’5″ and 285 pounds. That’s a big hockey player. Denaro announced yesterday that he will play Division 1 football at Iowa State next fall. Doing our write-ups we have come across other football prospects that play hockey but it is very tough to do as most hockey players are now focusing on only that sport all year round. To step off the football field and put on skates is VERY difficult to do and it is not very often where you see kids who are able to play both of these sports in high school. We know Billerica’s Scott Murphy (a West Point football commit) is a goalie as well as King Philip’s Shane Frommer who is a terrific athlete and is also a good goalie. From the quarterback position there are Belmont’s Cal Christofori who played hockey for the Marauders as a goalie last year, Newton North’s John Grady who was a defenseman for the Tigers last season, Lexington’s Sal Frelick is a forward for the Minutemen and Haverhill’s Broghean McGovern (a Bryant football commit) is a defenseman for the Hillies. Three of these quarterbacks (Christofori, Grady and Frelick) are also top baseball players with Christofori committed to Yale as a catcher, Frelick is a shortstop committed to Boston College and Grady is one of the top pitchers in the state so these three playing three sports takes things to a whole different level in terms of pure athleticism. You hear colleges say it all the time that they want to recruit “athletes” and Denaro sure fits that mold as a huge D1 football lineman who also plays hockey and lacrosse. Now that’s an athlete.
Samuel Laurent is a top high school football prospect who has had a great couple of months having been part of a very good Xaverian Brothers team and since then he has had multiple college coaches take notice of his talents. Laurent was first offered by Holy Cross on the 23rd of November and has subsequently received offers from Colgate, UConn, Columbia, Dartmouth, Sacred Heart and Princeton. Laurent has just announced his commitment to play for Dartmouth as a wide receiver. Laurent has an athletic frame at 6’3’’ and 175 pounds along with a 33’’ vertical jump and a mid 4 forty time. The meteoric rise could continue as Laurent has all the skills to be a very productive wide receiver at the college level.
Milton Academy had another successful football season and they will be sending eight seniors on to play college football at some of the top schools in the country. From their offensive line they have Allan Rappleyea heading down to play in the ACC at Wake Forest and lineman and long-snapper Kevin Crabtree committed to play at Villanova. The Mustangs top running back Michael Silva is committed to play football at Harvard while WR/CB Freddy Okito recently committed to Assumption. From the defensive side of the ball linebacker Danny Cox has committed to play at Union next fall. Also Wes Hudson and Tristan Manuel have both committed to play at Bowdoin. Finally Min Park is committed to kick at Williams. Sending eight seniors on to play at top schools including FBS and Ivy League programs makes Milton Academy one of the top high school programs in the state this year.
The Division 1 State Champion Everett High School is coming off a terrific football season and they will see a number of their senior class players move on to play football in college. Leading the group is quarterback Jordan McAfee who will be heading down to UConn to continue his football career. Also on offense wide receiver / tight end Theo Zidor is committed to Central Connecticut State University and running back Marvens Fedna has an offer from the University of Rhode Island. On the defensive side of the ball physical lineman Duval Paul is committed to Georgetown and defensive back Carlins Platel just committed to play at Assumption. We also wouldn’t be surprised to see defensive end Gerell Boyce pick up an offer and play football in college. Everett is loaded with talent in their younger classes so the next few years should not be very different as they continue to send lots of players on to play college football at the next level.
Lawrence Academy is our third school in terms of the number of quality players that they will be sending on to play college football. At the top of the list is Boston College commit AJ Dillon who was committed to Michigan initially but later in the process committed to BC. Dillon played both running back and linebacker at LA and is the top prospect in the state this year. From the defensive side of the ball they will send linebacker Jake Byczko to UMass and also defensive back Sherron Dailey-Harris to the University of New Hampshire. On the offensive line they have Austin Pyne committed to Lafayette along with Stephen Olive who is committed to Bryant. Running back Glenn Smith looked very good when he had a chance to play and should find a place to play in college and three year starter Tom Zaleski is committed to Kenyon College. Lawrence Academy also has a number of underclassmen who will be top college prospects in future classes but not a bad year when you send seven seniors on to play in college including at FBS football programs.
The Buckingham Browne & Nichols football team is coming off a championship season and they are now sending seven players on to play college football at some of the best schools in the entire country. Top athlete and playmaker Graeme Davis has committed to play at Brown University while tight end Adam Buchanan is committed to play at Princeton next fall. Also, RB/FS Owen Gideon-Murphy and guard Justin Winschel are both committed to Bowdoin while offensive guard Jacob Ayyub will play at Amherst next fall. On the defensive side of the ball lineman Tucker Impemba is committed to play at Cornell and defensive end Kingsley Umemba is committed to play at Georgetown. Versatile quarterback Jeff Costello has opted to play baseball in college and is committed to Northeastern. BB&N is another high school with many underclassmen (many already profiled by ITHMA) who will also go on to play college football but for this year they are sending seven top prospects on to some of the top colleges in the country.