2017 Football Team Profile – St. John’s Prep (6/29/17)…

Last Season: Head Coach Brian St. Pierre and the St. John’s Prep Eagles had a solid season last year with some very impressive wins over Catholic Memorial, BC High and Bridgewater-Raynham High School. They also had losses against some of the best teams in the state in Central Catholic, Everett High School and Xaverian Brothers as well as a close loss to Andover High School in the Division 1 North playoffs.

Last Season Record: 7-4

ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 2

2017 Schedule – Key Games:  @ (8) Central Catholic High School (9/15/17) SJP QB Mike Yarin goes up against Central Catholic QB Bret Edwards in a battle of two high powered offenses. (1) Everett High School (9/23/17) SJP and Everett are loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and both teams have multiple playmakers that will make this one of the best games of the year. @ (6) Catholic Memorial (10/7/17) A huge Catholic Conference match-up for both teams to start off October. @ (3) BC High (10/13/17)  Another huge Catholic Conference match-up in a tough stretch of games for the Eagles. (9) Bridgewater-Raynham High School (10/20/17)  A tough B-R defense will look to contain the SJP offense. (4) Xaverian Brothers High School (11/23/17) A rivalry game that usually decides the Catholic Conference title.

2017 – Full Schedule – 9/9 @ Haverhill High School, 9/15 @ Central Catholic High School, 9/23 Everett High School, 9/30 Malden Catholic High School, 10/7 @ Catholic Memorial High School, 10/13 @ BC High, 10/20 Bridgewater-Raynham High School, 11/23 Xaverian Brothers

Key Returning Players – OffenseMike Yarin (QB), Aise Pream (RB/ATH), Trent Tully (RB/ATH), Wes Rockett (WR/ATH), Michael Slattery (TE), Patrick Sweetnam (TE), Cooper Smith (OL), Zak Zinter (OL)

Key Returning Players – Defense: Wes Rockett (FS), Cooper Smith (DL), Zak Zinter (DL), Michael Slattery (DE)

Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Wes Rockett

Breakout Players To Watch Two-way linemen Cooper Smith and Zak Zinter are two very talented sophomores who will be critical on both the offensive and defensive lines this season. Junior wide receiver and safety Wes Rockett is a star in the making on both sides of the ball and he is a player to keep an eye on as Division 1 colleges will come calling for him.

Biggest Team Strength – A very strong senior class led by QB Mike Yarin will look to turn some of last year’s very close losses into victories this season. They will need this senior leadership to win out in a very difficult Division 1 North bracket.

Biggest Team Weakness – Their schedule is brutal. Probably the toughest schedule in the state with games against Central Catholic, Everett, CM, BC High, Bridgewater-Raynham and Xaverian Brothers. This schedule will test this SJP team at the highest levels.

Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: This St. John’s Prep team is very talented on both sides of the ball and they will need to be ready each week as their schedule features a number of top ten ranked opponents. We should know early on if they can compete for a Division 1 State Championship as the Eagles play at Central Catholic on September 15th and they will then host top ranked Everett on September 23rd. Look for players like Yarin and Rockett to make this Eagles team extremely competitive this coming season and a team that will be very fun to watch.

2017 Football Team Profile – Everett High School (6/28/17)…


Last Season: The defending Massachusetts Division 1 Super Bowl Champions. Lost close games to Xaverian Brothers and Billerica High School early in their 2016 season before they went on an undefeated run all the way to the D1 Super Bowl victory over Xaverian Brothers.

Last year’s record: 10-2

ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 1

2017 Schedule – Key Games: (4) Xaverian Brothers (9/9/17) – Xaverian Brothers has a highly skilled defensive secondary that could shut down the Everett passing game and force them to run the ball. @ (2) St. John’s Prep (9/23/17) – St. John’s Prep is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball and has multiple playmakers that will make this one of the best games of the year.

2017 – Full Schedule – 9/9 Xaverian Brothers, 9/15 @ Leominster High School, 9/23 @ St. John’s Prep, 10/6 @ Lowell High School, 10/13 Medford High School, 10/20 @ Malden High School.

Key Returning Players – Offense: Jake Wilcox (QB), Jacob Miller (RB), Kevin Brown (RB), Mike Sainristil (RB/WR), Jason Maitre (WR), Anthony Norcia (WR), Isaiah Likely (WR), Fritz Durosca (TE), David Zorilla (WR)

Key Returning Players – Defense: Duane Binns (OLB), Isaiah Likely (LB/DE), Josh Miller (OLB), Fritz Durosca (DE), Lewis Cine (S), Jordan Riggs (S), Jason Maitre (DB), Mike Sainristil (DB)

Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Mike Sainristil, Jason Maitre

Breakout Players To Watch Jordan Riggs and Fritz Durosca. Riggs will contribute at a high level on defense while Durosca is a force on both sides of the ball and is a very underrated prospect.

Biggest Team Strength – Overall running back depth with seniors Jacob Miller, Kevin Brown and Yirah Irung. Also have a number of extremely talented skill players.

Biggest Team Weakness – None. Just kidding… The loss of Gabe DeSouza hurts in the kicking game which will be a question mark heading into the 2017 season. Everett also graduated a number of top players including Super Bowl MVP Duval Paul.

Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: This Everett team is just loaded with elite talent on both sides of the ball including numerous players already holding Division 1 college football scholarship offers. A top national team in the United States who can play with anyone but they will face some of the best teams in the state with fourth ranked Xaverian Brothers and second ranked St. John’s Prep both on the Everett schedule. Wilcox takes over at quarterback but will have a number of highly skilled players to distribute the ball to. A very fun team to watch and it will be great to see them battle Xaverian Brothers in the opening weekend of play.

The College Football Scholarship Offer Process – Massachusetts Recruits (6/27/17)…

As we watch the high school classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 college football recruiting process unfold, it is very interesting which schools offer scholarships to top local high school football prospects and the order in which they do it. Very often you will see Power 5 out of state colleges aggressively offer Massachusetts players ahead of even local Division 1 schools. Class of 2020 running back / linebacker Kalel Mullings from Milton Academy was offered first by the University of Michigan before receiving a local offer from Boston College three days later. Class of 2018 tight end Jay Symonds, Jr. from BB&N received FBS offers from the University of Pittsburgh and Temple prior to receiving an offer from Boston College. The State of Massachusetts produces a significant amount of Division 1 football talent but rarely do the top Mass college teams get in on the local prospects first and keep them from leaving the state. Clemson defensive lineman Christian Wilkins (Framingham High School) and Michigan defensive lineman Maurice Hurst, Jr. (Xaverian Brothers High School) are projected to be two first round NFL draft picks in 2018 and both left Massachusetts to play their college football in South Carolina and Michigan. Top national class of 2017 tight end recruit Alex Marshall from Andover is a Florida State commit who received a BC offer just minutes after he received an offer from the University of Alabama. To be a top college football program you have to be in the lead for the best high school prospects in your own state. Very often it appears that BC only offers a Mass football recruit following the player being offered by an out-of-state Power 5 program as if they have been validated as a Division 1 level recruit. This was the case with Everett’s Lewis Cine receiving an offer from the University of Florida followed by an offer from BC fourteen hours later. St. Sebastian’s class of 2019 linebacker Bryce Gallagher similarly was offered by Northwestern University followed by a BC offer days later. Arlington High School / Suffield Academy class of 2020 wide receiver Jaden Dottin received an offer from UConn before receiving an offer from BC a few weeks later. It appears that the BC strategy is to offer local prospects after they are validated by other power 5 offers. Colleges need to be informed and evaluate local talent so you can offer players like Mullings, Cine and Symonds, Jr. before any other school does to enhance your chances of getting them to commit to your school. Nineteen of the top twenty college football programs last year had rosters full of players from their home states. BC has recovered recently by getting running back AJ Dillon (Lawrence Academy) in  their 2017 recruiting class along with Finn Dirstine (Lawrence Academy), Jason Maitre (Everett) and Ryan Betro (Lawrence Academy) committed in their 2018 class. It would be great to see all of the elite Massachusetts football talent stay home at an in-state program such as BC or UMass where they could form the core of a very competitive national college football program.

Mass HS Football Class of 2019 – Playing the Safety Position (6/26/17)…

We have already seen Everett High School class of 2019 safety Lewis Cine  develop into a national recruit with offers already in hand from top schools including Louisville and the University of Florida. In the era of Hudl videos Lewis Cine is right up there with one of the most impressive videos we have watched and we have also gone to games to watch him play in person which further validates his scholarship offers from top college football programs. While Cine has received a lot of the attention of safeties being recruited from Massachusetts, let’s take a quick look at some of the other top class of 2019 prospects who will draw college interest playing this difficult position at such a high level. Let’s start with Xaverian Brothers class of 2019 standout athlete and safety Cooper Deveau who started on the top defense in the state as a sophomore last season. Deveau stands 5’10” and 165 pounds and he contributes in all aspects of the game for the Hawks on defense, as a receiver on offense and as one of the best kickoff and punt returners in the state. Look for Cooper Deveau to also blow up as a top class of 2019 recruit given his athleticism and his ability to contribute at such a high level all over the field. A similar type player to Deveau is St. John’s Prep safety Wes Rockett who is a dynamic two way player and is all over the field for one of the best teams in the state. Let’s continue with Worcester Academy’s Zukudo Igwenagu  who stands 6’4″ and 205 pounds and recently received his first offer from Bryant University as he is a physical defensive back with top speed. Another top prospect at this position is Reading Memorial High School class of 2019 safety Patrick Conroy who has the unique ability to play both run and pass defense at a very high level. At 6’2″ and 190 pounds Conroy has a great motor and excellent speed and diagnoses plays quickly allowing him to help out on defense as needed. Another interesting class of 2019 prospect is Preston Santos of the Brooks School who is  a top wide receiver standing 6’5″ and 180 pounds but is also athletic enough to play safety in the defensive backfield as he runs well and has excellent hands. Doherty Memorial’s class of 2019 defensive back / safety Paul Yiadom could follow in his brother’s footsteps as Isaac Yiadom currently plays in the Boston College defensive backfield. At 6’1″ and 165 pounds Yiadom has good quickness and reads the quarterback well helping him to be a disruptive force on the defensive side of the ball. Look for all of these top safety prospects to find their way to play at Division 1 college football programs after two more years of high school football.

2017 Preseason Mass High School Football – Super 26 Team (6/24/17)…

With the approach of the 2017 Massachusetts high school football season let’s take a look at our ITHMA Super 26 preseason team. We will eventually be releasing all-league preseason teams for both the MIAA and the ISL. Also, keep an eye out for our MIAA and ISL team previews which will be released all summer long.

Offense:

Tackle – Scott Elliott – Holliston High School

Guard – Ben Bohnenberger – Mashpee High School

Center – Kyle Peck – Buckingham Browne and Nichols

Guard – Finn Dirstine – Lawrence Academy

Tackle – Pat Walsh – Wachusett Regional High School

Tight End – Pat Freiermuth – Brooks School

Wide Receiver – Cedric Gillette – Andover High School

Wide Receiver – Jake Bobo – Belmont Hill School

Wide Receiver – Anthony Norcia – Everett High School

Quarterback – Sal Frelick – Lexington High School

Running Back – Danny Abraham – Boston College High School

Defense:

Defensive End – Camden Gagnon – Governor’s Academy

Defensive Tackle – Ryan Betro – Lawrence Academy

Defensive End – Uche Ndukwe – Noble and Greenough School

Linebacker – Isaiah Likely – Everett High School

Linebacker – Will Bowen – Boston College High School

Linebacker – Bryce Shaw – Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School

Linebacker – Eric DeMayo – Peabody High School

Defensive Back – Jason Maitre – Everett High School

Defensive Back – Lewis Cine – Everett High School

Defensive Back – Jack McNeil – Marshfield High School

Defensive Back – Mike Sainristil – Everett High School

Special Teams:

Kicker / Punter – Gabe Desouza – North Andover High School

Kick Return – Devaun Ford – Mashpee High School

Kick Return – Brendan Ward – Marshfield High School

Punt Return – Quin Stott – Governor’s Academy

Mass High School Football Goes West Coast (6/23/17)….

With Milton Academy class of 2020 running back / linebacker Kalel Mullings picking up multiple west coast scholarship offers from UCLA and San Jose State (both as a running back) you now have a number of Massachusetts players with an opportunity to play college football out on the west coast. Former Newton South quarterback Austin Burton is already enrolled at UCLA and by all accounts has played well and could challenge for the starting position after current starter Josh Rosen moves on to the NFL. Deerfield Academy’s defensive end Dallas Hobbs will also be at Washington State this fall and could become a dominant force on their defensive line over the next few years. Class of 2020 Millis High School offensive lineman Kevin Pyne has also been offered by UCLA so it will be interesting to see if more Mass prospects end up considering to play out on the west coast. Great to see kids from Massachusetts getting top opportunities to play college football out on the west coast!

College Football Recruiting – Prospect Stats Or Athleticism? (6/23/17)…

All over the college football recruiting trail you hear about coaches who are only looking for high school players of a certain size or a certain 40 yard dash time. High school players are dropping out of other sports to focus solely on football with any offseason being used for lifting weights, getting faster or personal training sessions. Obviously there are some benefits to being both stronger and faster but you simply can not match up to a true athlete that plays multiple sports as he has so much more upside than a kid focusing in on only one sport. The State of Massachusetts has set the bar on this whole notion with extremely athletic players like Doug Flutie and Tom Brady reaching the pinnacle of success despite being written off as too small or too slow. The fact is that both Flutie and Brady were excellent multiple sport athletes that had a whole other level to their football abilities when they focused on only that sport. That is what college coaches should be looking for if they want to find the “difference makers” in their recruiting classes. Flutie was a three sport high school athlete from Natick who famously wore # 22 as he was recruited to Boston College as a defensive back before Head Coach Jack Bicknell put him in at quarterback in a lopsided game against Penn State. The Penn State coaches didn’t even know who Flutie was because he wasn’t listed on the BC depth chart that day. Everyone said he was too small to play quarterback but he was a tremendous athlete who had a unique competitive edge that you get playing sports. Tom Brady is another three sport high school athlete who also has this edge that pushes these type of well-rounded athletes to excel to the best of their abilities. Brady goes from a back-up quarterback at Michigan (and a sixth round NFL draft pick by the New England Patriots) to the greatest player to ever play the game of football. A prospect that plays football followed by basketball / hockey in the winter and baseball / lacrosse / track in the spring may not be as good at lifting weights or running a 40 yard dash but these are the kids colleges should be looking to recruit as they have so much more upside when they focus solely on football. Most college prospects won’t even play their freshman season so by the time they enter their second year these athletic players will have caught and surpassed the football only crowd in terms of lifting and running statistics. If we want a more current example let’s take a look at Clemson wide receiver Hunter Renfrow who is 5’11” and 180 pounds and was a walk-on player who ended up being one of the best players on the field in the National Championship game against Alabama. Renfrow, like Brady and Flutie, was also an excellent baseball player in addition to playing football and just continues to improve as he plays more college football. This is also what led Boston College to recruit Andover three sport athlete EJ Perry in their 2017 recruiting class. Perry is a top quarterback recruit but he was also an excellent basketball and baseball player in high school. Perry was also offered a scholarship to play baseball at BC. So to all of those coaches evaluating recruits at their college camps this summer remember that sometimes the best players are not those you are watching today but instead are those kids who will be even better tomorrow because they are the true multi-sport athletes with so much more upside than some of the single sport players.

Boston College – Athletic Building Boom (6/22/17)….

Anybody traveling in the area around Boston College’s main campus can’t help but notice the massive sports facilities actively being developed. Shea Field adjacent to the BC football stadium has been leveled and the new indoor football practice facility is now actively under construction.

Future Football Complex

This is all part of a $200 million dollar investment by BC into their overall athletic facilities. Down Lake Street on their Brighton campus a massive fourteen acre baseball and softball complex is also actively under construction and these new facilities should be ready for the 2018 seasons. The new baseball stadium will have 1,000 seats and the new softball field will have 300 seats.

Future Baseball Complex

The indoor facility for football is expected to be completed by July of 2018 and the lack of such a year-round football facility has been a top complaint from BC coaches for many years running. To successfully recruit top football and baseball prospects to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) you simply must have these kind of modern sports facilities. UConn and Syracuse are two competing northeast Division 1 football programs that already have year-round indoor football facilities and they are also two schools that recruit many of the same football prospects as BC does. Bryant University in Rhode Island actively promotes its brand new indoor football facility as the best in the northeast so it forces other Division 1 programs like BC to spend millions of dollars to try and keep up. Look for these new football and baseball facilities on the BC campus to be a huge advantage in recruiting for these two sports as they should make BC much more competitive in terms of what top recruits expect as part of choosing to attend a top Division 1 athletic program.

Mass High School ITHMA 2017 All-State Baseball Teams (6/21/17)…

With the conclusion of the 2017 Mass High School baseball season let’s now take a look at our ITHMA All-State teams.

First Team:

Starting Five Pitchers:

Ian Seymour -| Sr. | Saint John’s Shrewsbury

Mike Vasil – | Jr. | Boston College High School

Nate Espelin – | Jr. | Belmont High School

Jack Andrews – | Sr.| Braintree High School

Matt Stansky – | Sr. | Saint John’s Shrewsbury

Catcher: Alex Kennedy – | Jr. | Braintree High School

First Base: Jack Kennedy – | Sr. | Barnstable High School

Second Base: Charlie Auditore – | Sr. | Walpole High School

Shortstop: Jake Gustin – | Jr. | Peabody High School

Third Base: Tyler MacGregor – | Jr. | Saint John’s Preparatory High School

Outfield: Justin Files – | Sr. | Braintree High School

Outfield: Frank DiOrio – | Sr. | Saint John’s Preparatory High School

Outfield: Jarrod Marifiote – | Jr. | – Framingham High School

Second Team:

Starting Five Pitchers:

Nick Dombkowski – | Sr. | West Springfield High School

Brian Gaughan – | Sr. | Walpole High School

Sebastian Keane – | So. | North Andover High School

Steve Hajjar – | Jr. | Central Catholic High School

John Grady – | Jr. | Newton North High School

Catcher: Jack Gardner – | Sr. | Saint John’s Shrewsbury

First Base: Andrew Selima – | Sr. |  Saint John’s Preparatory High School

Second Base: Drew DeMartino – | Jr. | Taconic High School

Shortstop: Sal Frelick – | Jr. | Lexington High School

Third Base: Ryan Abel – | Sr. | Taconic High School

Outfield: Henry Funaro – | Sr.| Lowell High School

Outfield: Vicente Mendoza – | Sr. | Xaverian Brothers High School

Outfield: Kevin O’Brien – | Sr. | Braintree High School

Third Team:

Starting Five Pitchers:

David Barnard -| So. | Lynn Classical High School

Owen Langan – | Jr. | Xaverian Brothers High School

Izaiya Mestre – | Sr. | Taconic High School

Henry Weycker – | So. | Wellesley High School

Jake Noviello – | Sr. | Franklin High School

Catcher:  Cal Christofori – | Sr. | Belmont High School

First Base:  Sean Burke – | Jr. | St. John’s Shrewsbury

Second Base:  Jensel Soto -| Jr. | Beverly High School

Shortstop:  Dillon Koster – | Jr. | Woburn High School

Third Base: Nick Carpenter – | Sr. | Mashpee High School

Outfield:   P.J. Barry – | Sr. | St. Peter Marian High School

Outfield: Corey DiLoreto – | Sr. | Reading High School

Outfield: Ari Purdy – | Sr. |  Mashpee High School

 

Jason Maitre – Everett High School Class of 2018 Talks With ITHMA (6/20/17)…

Jason Maitre of Everett High School is a versatile football player who sees playing time as a defensive back, as a wide receiver and as an elusive kick return man on special teams. He was a big part of Everett’s Division 1 Super Bowl Championship last season and he and his teammates will now look to take this coming season week by week as they try and get back to the top of the mountain. Jason Maitre also recently announced that he has committed to play football at Boston College following his upcoming senior season at Everett High School. This is a huge recruiting win for Boston College as they try and keep the top Massachusetts football recruits from leaving the state and by getting Maitre to commit they definitely show that they are identifying and keeping top talent here in Massachusetts. Maitre attended a prospect camp at BC where he played well and this was followed up with an invitation to visit the BC campus where he was officially offered a scholarship. He had initially been contacted by BC Coach Rich Gunnell following Everett’s Division 1 North Finals win over Andover High School and he subsequently was contacted by BC Coach Brian White. He also says he has established a great relationship with the BC coaching staff and says he loves playing football and will play whatever position the coaches need him to. On his current Everett team Maitre lists teammates Anthony Norcia (WR), Lewis Cine (DB), Mike Sainristil (DB/WR), and Jake Wilcox (QB) as some of the top competitors he goes up against every day in practice. Many of his Everett teammates have also received college scholarship offers and Cine and Sainristil also hold offers from Boston College for the recruiting class of 2019. Jason Maitre is a huge addition to the Boston College recruiting class of 2018 and he should represent Massachusetts very well at the next level following what should be another very exciting year at Everett High School.