2017 Football Team Profile – Lawrence Academy (7/31/17)…

 

Last Season: Head Coach Paul Zukauskas and the Lawrence Academy football team had a very good 2016 season compiling an overall record of 6-2 with losses coming at the hands of BB&N and the Brooks School. With a healthy A.J. Dillon the Spartans beat Connecticut powerhouse Cheshire Academy and they also had impressive ISL victories over Milton Academy and Governor’s Academy. With Dillon now a freshman running back at Boston College it will be very interesting to see how this year’s Lawrence Academy team adjusts as when Dillon was out with an injury for the second half of last season the Spartans lost to BB&N 20-17 and they lost at Brooks by a score of 20-0.

Last Season Record: 6-2

ITHMA 2017 ISL Preseason Ranking: # 1

2017 Schedule – Key Games: (8) BB&N (9/23/17) – Running back A.J. Dillon has graduated from LA and quarterback Jeff Costello has graduated from BB&N so both of these teams will be looking for new stars on offense. (5) Noble and Greenough (9/29/17) – A lot of new skill players on both of these teams and they also feature some of the best linemen in the state with players like Ryan Betro of LA and Michael Sullivan of Nobles.  (3) Belmont Hill (10/28/17) – Belmont Hill will be a handful to match up against this year with receivers like Jake Bobo and Blake Brookes looking to stretch the field on offense. (4) Milton Academy (11/4/17) – The LA defense will be put to the test against Milton Academy’s running game led by sophomore sensation Kalel Mullings.

2017 – Full Schedule – Taft School (CT) (9/16/17), (8) BB&N (9/23/17, (5) Noble and Greenough (9/29/17), @ (7) Governor’s Academy (10/7/17), @ (10) St. Mark’s (10/14/17), @ (6) St. Sebastian’s (10/21/17), (3) Belmont Hill (10/28/17), (4) Milton Academy (11/4/17), @ Tabor Academy (11/11/17)

Key Returning PlayersOffense: Finn Dirstine (OL), Ryan Betro (OL), Cam Reddy (TE), Thomas Greaney (TE/QB), Joey Luchetti (TE), Brady Martin (QB), Spencer Aronson (RB/WR), Justin Barron (WR)

Key Returning Players – DefenseRyan Betro (DT), Joey Luchetti (DE),  Cam Reddy (DE), Thomas Greaney (LB), Josh Arruda (LB), Peter Bryant (LB), Spencer Aronson (DB)

Key Returning Players – Special TeamsSpencer Aronson (KR), A.J. Mastrangelo (K)

Breakout Player To Watch – Look for transfer Spencer Aronson to have an immediate impact at Lawrence Academy this season as he can make big plays in all three phases of the game. A terrific all-around athlete who stands 6’2″ and 190 pounds and he is also a very good basketball prospect. Look for Aronson to contribute on offense, defense and special teams as he has excellent speed and quickness to go along with very good hands.

Biggest Team Strength – This year’s Lawrence Academy team is full of Division 1 college prospects and their offensive and defensive lines should both be very solid. Adding in athletic playmakers such as Spencer Aronson and Justin Barron will help make up for the loss of star A.J. Dillon. Boston College commit Ryan Betro anchors what should be a very tough LA defensive unit.

Biggest Team Weakness – A.J. Dillon was the single best player in Massachusetts high school football last year and his loss to graduation can not be underestimated. Without Dillon in their line-up Lawrence Academy lost to the Brooks School 20-0 raising questions about the Spartans going up against the top teams in the ISL without him dominating on both sides of the ball.

Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: The Lawrence Academy schedule this fall is very difficult with the Spartans having to play a number of ranked teams including BB&N, Noble and Greenough, Governor’s Academy, St. Sebastian’s, Belmont Hill and Milton Academy. The overall talent they have on both sides of the ball make them the favorite in the ISL heading into the 2017 season but their very challenging schedule will be sure to test the Spartans football program this fall.

ISL All-State Preseason Football Team (7/28/17)…

With the approach of the 2017 Massachusetts high school football season let’s take a look at our ITHMA ISL All-State preseason team.

Offense:

Tackle – Michael Sullivan – Noble and Greenough School

Guard – Dan Monaghan – Noble and Greenough School

Center – Kyle Peck – Buckingham Browne and Nichols

Guard – Finn Dirstine – Lawrence Academy

Tackle – Jonathan Pace – Saint Sebastian’s School 

Tight End – Pat Freiermuth – Brooks School

Tight End – Jay Symonds, Jr. – Buckingham Browne and Nichols

Wide Receiver – Terrell Brown – Brooks School

Wide Receiver – Jake Bobo   – Belmont Hill School

Wide Receiver – Nick Murray – St. Mark’s School

Quarterback – Seamus Lambert –  Brooks School

Running Back – Kalel Mullings – Milton Academy

Fullback – Desi O’ Mahony – Buckingham Browne and Nichols

Defense:

Defensive End – Camden Gagnon – Governor’s Academy

Defensive Tackle – Ryan Betro – Lawrence Academy

Defensive End – Uche Ndukwe – Noble and Greenough School

Linebacker – Shane Smith – Governor’s Academy

Linebacker – Jason Medeiros – Noble and Greenough School

Linebacker – Bryce Gallagher – St. Sebastian’s High School

Linebacker – Blake Brookes – Belmont Hill School

Defensive Back – Jaylen Cromwell – Brooks School

Defensive Back – Caleb Coleman – Groton School

Defensive Back – Joey Everett – Saint George’s School

Defensive Back – Jailen Branch – Milton Academy

Special Teams:

Kicker / Punter – A.J. Mastrangelo  – Lawrence Academy

Kick / Punt Return – Quin Stott – Governor’s Academy

MIAA All-State Preseason Football Team (7/28/17)….

With the approach of the 2017 Massachusetts high school football season let’s take a look at our ITHMA MIAA All-State preseason team.

Offense:

Tackle – Scott Elliott – Holliston High School

Guard – Ben Bohnenberger – Mashpee High School

Center – John McNamara – Mashpee High School

Guard – Tommy Aicardi – Boston College High School

Tackle – Pat Walsh – Wachusett Regional High School

Tight End – Jerrod Clark – Brighton High School

Wide Receiver – Cedric Gillette – Andover High School

Wide Receiver – Isaiah Likely – Everett High 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 – Hunter Gorgas – St. John’s Shrewsbury

Defensive Tackle – Nick Correia – Nantucket High School

Defensive End – Andy Clough – Marblehead High School

Linebacker – Duane Binns – 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 – Cooper Deveau – Xaverian Brothers High School

Boston College Football – A Make Or Break Season (7/28/17)…

Head Coach Steve Addazio and the Boston College football program start their 2017 season on Friday September 1st when they go on the road to play against Northern Illinois. On paper this may seem like an average out of conference football game between two struggling programs but for Boston College this game and this season are of immense importance. New Athletic Director Martin Jarmond comes to BC from Ohio State and he has inherited an athletic department with football and basketball programs that have not been relevant in years. Dismal conference performance in both sports along with huge declines in attendance will force Jarmond to make drastic changes if things do not improve this coming season. It was Coach Addazio himself who said it would take five years to turn things around at BC and as he enters his fifth season leading the program fans are still wondering if he will be able to follow through on his plan. This first game against a decent Northern Illinois team that won four of its last five games in 2016 will show if Addazio has recruited the type of players that can compete in the ACC or if they are just another version of last year’s BC team that could play against weaker teams but were no match for highly ranked teams such as Clemson, Florida State and Louisville. After the Northern Illinois game BC will face Wake Forest at home and will then play Notre Dame at home and Clemson on the road. How BC fares in these first four games will likely determine Addazio’s future at the Heights. Should he go 1-3 or 0-4 in these first four games Jarmond will have to start considering what is best for the program in the long term. Even if BC goes 2-2 with losses against Notre Dame and Clemson fans will still be complaining that no progress has been made under Addazio in his five years leading the program. Beating Northern Illinois and Wake Forest are critical but winning against Notre Dame or Clemson (or even just being competitive in these games) will be the only way to show Jarmond and the BC fans that actual progress is being made. Jarmond is a young and motivated Athletic Director who will not sit by and watch his football program be irrelevant with an apathetic fan base. The month of September will go a long way to determining who will lead the Boston College football program into the future.

Evolution Of The High School Running Back Position – Mass Edition (7/27/17)….

 

Yesterday ITHMA profiled the King Philip High School football team that features a dynamic rushing attack on offense led by their star running back Shane Frommer who is committed to play at Yale University next year. With many of the teams in the NFL and college football moving to spread offenses that feature a “pass first” philosophy it is interesting to see how high school offenses have evolved and how they incorporate running backs into their offensive game plans. Many high school running backs these days have to be multi-functional as they are asked to run the ball, catch the ball as a receiver out of the offensive backfield and be able to block in passing formations. Some high schools will even line up an athletic running back at the quarterback position and run a wildcat offense as we have seen with Zach Harris at Braintree High School and Darren Watson at North Andover High School. In a more traditional sense you have a player like BC High running back and Harvard commit Danny Abraham who runs behind a big and physical offensive line that is designed to wear down an opposing defense and to control the time of possession on offense. In the high scoring Independent School League (ISL) you still find a number of productive running backs with very different styles of play including Milton Academy’s Kalel Mullings, Noble and Greenough’s Jason Medeiros and Governor’s Quin Stott. Mullings and Medeiros are also linebackers on defense so they bring a more physical game while Stott relies primarily on his speed and quickness to make big plays on offense. Back in the MIAA you have a number of versatile running backs like Everett’s trio of Jacob Miller, Kevin Brown and Yirah Irung, Mashpee’s Devaun Ford, Brockton’s Eddie Kelsey, Xaverian Brothers’ Ike Irabor, St. John’s Prep’s Aise Pream, Lexington’s Ben Quint, Central Catholic’s Max Faro, Danvers’ Tahg Coakley, Bridgewater-Raynham’s Devante Greaves, Tewksbury’s Brandon Winn, St. John’s Shrewsbury’s Peter Oliver and Marshfield’s three-headed monster of Jack McNeil, Brendan Ward and Casey Phinney. All of these running backs play a very important role on offense and show that the position has definitely evolved over time but still plays a critical role in managing a football game and keeping opposing defenses off balance to help set up the passing game. High school teams have joined the trend towards more passing on offense but the running back position can still be effectively utilized in a number of ways to control the ball on offense, to force opposing defenses to respect the run game and to make their overall offensive game plan more dynamic and difficult to stop. A team like Everett High School is really the perfect example of how dangerous a high school offense can be when they have the dual threat of both a running and passing game on offense. Everett has a number of running backs who can move the ball on the ground while also having a deadly passing attack with multiple receivers who are all scoring threats. This balance on offense is a nightmare for opposing defenses and is the single biggest reason ITHMA ranked Everett as the best team in the state. Passing the football on offense will continue to be the trend even at the high school level of play but the vast majority of highly ranked teams in our ITHMA poll still feature running backs as a key part of their offensive game plans and this is something not likely to change as it is this dual threat offense that helps to define the best teams in the State of Massachusetts this coming football season. Look for a future post that will detail some of the state’s best fullbacks for this coming football season.

Mike Kallenberg – Arlington Catholic (OG – Class of 2018) – ITHMA

ITHMA Player Profile – Mike Kallenberg

Contact Information:
Twitter: @mikekall51
High School: Arlington Catholic High School
Grade: Junior – Class of 2018
GPA / SAT: 2.7 GPA
Position(s) Played: OG/OL
Height-Weight: 6’3” and 275 Pounds
Hudl Highlights
Speed: Quickness:
2016 Football Stats:
Gym Stats: Bench 245, Squat 460, Clean 190
Other Sports Played:
Notes:
College Interest: Sacred Heart, Bryant University, University of Maine, Pace University, St. Anslem’s
College Offers:
Links:

2017 Football Team Profile – King Philip Regional High School (7/26/17)…

Last Season: Head Coach Brian Lee and the King Philip Warriors had a perfect 2016 season going 12-0 and winning the Division 1A Super Bowl title by beating Reading High School 21-18 at Gillette Stadium. The Warriors had a number of close wins over some excellent football teams including Bridgewater-Raynham, Marshfield High School and Mansfield High School. These three wins by a total margin of just fifteen points were the difference in keeping KP perfect during the 2016 season and helping them make it all the way to the Division 1A Super Bowl where they brought home the Warriors’ first MIAA championship in school history.

Last Season Record: 12-0

ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 14

2017 Schedule – Key Games: (16) North Attleboro (9/8/17) – An early and important Hockomock Conference game that KP won 19-7 on the road last season. (21) Mansfield High School (9/28/17) – Hunter Ferreira and the Hornets will be very good this year and they will look to turn the tables after a tough 20-17 loss to KP last season.

2017 – Full Schedule – (16) North Attleboro High School (9/8/17), Foxboro High School (9/15/17), (23) Attleboro High School(9/22/17), (21) Mansfield High School (9/28/17), @ Franklin High School (10/6/17), Oliver Ames High School (10/13/17), @ Taunton High School (10/20/17), Franklin High School (11/23/17)

Key Returning PlayersOffense: Shane Frommer (RB / H Back), Brendan Lydon (QB), Jack Piller (TE), Aidan Bender (RB), Andrew Dittrich (WR)

Key Returning Players – DefenseShane Frommer (LB), Max Armour (LB), Aidan Bender (CB), Andrew Dittrich (DB), Jack Webster (LB)

Key Returning Players – Special TeamsShane Frommer (KR), Cole Baker (K)

Breakout Player To Watch – Look for the King Philip running game to once again be the focus of the KP offense but senior quarterback Brendan Lydon showed he could throw the ball effectively in KP’s Super Bowl victory last year. Lydon threw for ten touchdowns last season and ran for eleven more so he is going to play a bigger part in the King Philip offense this coming season.

Biggest Team Strength – The King Philip football program is extremely well run and Coach Lee will have his squad ready to go this fall. Seniors Shane Frommer and Brendan Lydon will look to lead this young Warriors team that will be replacing a number of starters from last year’s championship season.

Biggest Team Weakness – King Philip graduated star Brett Mazur who was a playmaking tight end and middle linebacker. Mazur will move on to play football at West Point this fall and his presence on both sides of the ball will be missed. KP also loses a number of other players who all contributed including Alex Olsen, John DeLuca, Sean Garrity and Gio Fernandez.

Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: King Philip has a number of playmakers returning including Yale commit Shane Frommer who contributes on offense, defense and special teams. In the very competitive Hockomock League look for KP’s success to come down to a handful of close games against teams including North Attleboro High School, Mansfield High School and Attleboro High School. If the Warriors can replace Brett Mazur’s leadership on the field and find new starters to step up right out of the gate the Warriors should be in a good position to try and defend last year’s Division 1A Super Bowl title.

2017 Football Team Profile – Tewksbury High School (7/24/17)…

 

Last Season: Head Coach Brian Aylward and the Tewksbury Redmen football team were rolling last season with an undefeated regular season record before being tripped up in a 9-8 loss to Beverly High School in the Division 2 North playoffs. Tewksbury had wins against solid Merrimack Valley Conference teams including North Andover and Billerica and their offense was very productive in most games driven by a number of key playmakers who all return for the 2017 season.

Last Season Record: 10-1

ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 13

2017 Schedule – Key Games: North Andover High School (9/23/17) – An early Merrimack Valley Conference game that went to overtime last season with Tewksbury coming away with a 35-27 road win. Billerica High School (10/20/17) – Tewksbury beat Billerica 20-7 last year and this will be another tough challenge for the Redmen in 2017.

2017 – Full Schedule – @ Malden Catholic High School (9/8/17), Methuen High School (9/16/17), North Andover High School(9/23/17), Lawrence High School (10/6/17), Chelmsford High School (10/14/17), Billerica High School (10/20/17), Willmington High School (11/23/17)

Key Returning PlayersOffense: Masyn Lorick (WR), Brandon Winn (RB), Will Matovu (RB), Blake Hiltz (RB), Jay Connolly (QB), Shane Darrigo (FB)

Key Returning Players – DefenseMasyn Lorick (FS), Brandon Winn (SS), Will Matovu (DB), Joe Rosberg (DT), Blake Hiltz (LB), Shane Darrigo (LB), Nolan Kavanaugh (DB)

Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Will Matovu (KR), Brandon Winn (KR)

Breakout Players To Watch – Look for Will Matovu to have a great senior season as he will play as a running back on offense, as a cornerback on defense and as a return man on special teams. The 5’11” and 195 pound senior runs well and makes plays whenever he is on the field.

Biggest Team Strength – The Tewksbury senior class is loaded with a number of athletic playmakers in both the offensive and defensive backfields. Two way players like Masyn Lorick, Brandon Winn and Will Matovu will all contribute at a very high level on both offense and defense for the Redmen this season.

Biggest Team Weakness – Tewksbury graduated almost all of their starting offensive and defensive linemen. Coach Aylward has a long history of getting his team ready to play each season so look for a number of new names to emerge to help fill these key line positions.

Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: Tewksbury has a senior class filled with skilled playmakers including Lorick, Matovu and Winn . If the Redmen can replace a number of graduated linemen on both offense and defense they should be a very good football team. Their defensive backfield should also be excellent and a favorable schedule should have Tewksbury right in the mix when the playoffs come around later this fall.

2017 Football Team Profile – Mashpee High School (7/23/17)…

Last Season: Head Coach Matt Triveri and the Mashpee High School football team had a championship season in 2016 going 12-1 and winning a Division 4 Super Bowl title with a convincing 34-13 win over Waconah. The single blemish on the season was a close 31-26 road loss at Nantucket and most games on their schedule showed how good Mashpee was on both sides of the ball with the Falcon offense averaging over thirty points per game while their defense gave up less than ten points per game in the majority of their contests. Look for Mashpee to be very good again in 2017 with key linemen coming back along with star running back Devaun Ford who returns for his junior season.

Last Season Record: 12-1

ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 12

2017 Schedule – Key Games: Nantucket High School (10/14/17) – The Falcons suffered their only loss in 2016 on the road at Nantucket and they will now host Nantucket in this mid October showdown. Mashpee lost to Nantucket 31-26 last year so they will have to play their best football against the Whalers this year if they hope to come away with the victory. Abington High School (10/20/17) – Mashpee won last year’s game on the road by a score of 20-8 but this an Abington team that knocked off Nantucket late last season.

2017 – Full Schedule – Bishop Connolly / Westport High School (9/8/17), South Hadley High School (9/15/17), Carver High School(9/22/17), @ Cohasset High School (9/29/17), @ Hull High School (10/6/17), Nantucket High School (10/14/17), Abington High School (10/20/17), @ Sandwich High School (11/23/17)  

Key Returning Players – OffenseDevaun Ford (RB/WR), Michael Barrows (WR), Camron Kergo (WR), Ben Bohnenberger (OL), John McNamara (C), Roo Garcia (OL), Xavier Gonsalves (TE)

Key Returning Players – DefenseXavier Gonsalves (DE), Ben Bohnenberger (DT), John McNamara (DT), Camron Kergo (DB), Devaun Ford (DB)

Key Returning Players – Special TeamsDevaun Ford (KR)

Breakout Players To Watch – It is stunning that Devaun Ford has yet to receive a Division 1 scholarship offer but that will come in time when college teams come to Mashpee in droves looking for the services of one of the best class of 2019 athletes in the state. That being said, look for fellow class of 2019 defensive end Xavier Gonsalves to have an excellent 2017 as he continues to add to his 6’3″ and 230 pound frame and he should receive a lot more attention from Division 1 college programs this fall.

Biggest Team Strength – The Mashpee running game will once again be a dominant force with running back Devaun Ford operating behind an offensive line led by guard Ben Bohnenberger and center John McNamara. Ford is an elite athlete who can line up all over the field and makes big plays running, catching and even throwing the football. Ford will follow in his father’s footsteps and play FBS football at a national college program.

Biggest Team Weakness – Mashpee lost some players to graduation but some key players return and a relatively easy schedule should have Mashpee right back in Super Bowl contention in 2017.

Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: Mashpee will be very tough once again and they should be a heavy favorite in almost all of their games this fall. A looming rematch with Nantucket on October 14th will be a good benchmark game for 2017 but there is no reason that Mashpee can’t find their way back to defend their Super Bowl championship. Look for Ford, Bohnenberger, McNamara and Gonsalves to all receive Division 1 recruiting attention with Ford being one of the best class of 2019 prospects in the State of Massachusetts.

2017 Team Football Profile – Lexington High School (7/22/17)…

 

Last Season: The Lexington High School football team went 9-2 last season with their only two losses coming at the hands of Andover High School and St. John’s Prep. The 54-48 overtime loss to Andover knocked the Minutemen out of the Division 1 North playoffs but it also showed that the high powered Lexington offense could keep them in just about any game. Many of the key players that led Lexington in 2016 will return this season and their offense should be one of the highest scoring in the state with the dynamic senior duo of quarterback Sal Frelick and running back Ben Quint leading the way.

Last Season Record: 9-2

ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 11

2017 Schedule – Key Games: (10) Brockton (9/9/17) – This could be a very fun game to watch with two of the best offensive backfields in the state going head to head. Winchester High School (9/28/17) – Lexington hung on for a 28-27 win over Winchester last season and look for another rematch of quarterbacks as Sal Frelick for Lexington and Liam Fitzpatrick for Winchester will go head to head.

2017 – Full Schedule – (10) Brockton High School (9/9/17), @ Concord-Carlisle High School (9/15/17), Reading Memorial High School(9/22/17), Winchester High (9/28/17), Arlington High School (10/7/17), @ Belmont High School (10/13/17), @ Woburn High School (10/20/17), @ Burlington High School (11/23/17)  

Key Returning Players – OffenseSal Frelick (QB), Ben Quint (RB), Josiah Fleming (RB), Jimmy Lane (WR), Anthony Bianchi (WR), Max Khozozian (OL), Will Thomas (C)

Key Returning Players – DefenseTenzin Pharachesur (DT), Anthony Bianchi (DB), Josiah Fleming (DB), Max Stevens (LB), Luke Butler (DL)

Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Josiah Fleming (KR)

Breakout Players To Watch – Quarterback Sal Frelick receives most of the attention but look out for playmaking running backs Ben Quint and Josiah Fleming who should both have breakout seasons in 2017. Quint stands 5’10” and 175 pounds but runs extremely well and is very productive with the ball in his hands. Fleming is a 5’7″ and 165 pound jack of all trades who can run the ball, catch the ball out of the backfield, plays well as a defensive back and is a very dangerous kick returner on special teams.

Biggest Team Strength – Lexington should have a dynamic offensive backfield featuring a combination of quarterback Sal Frelick and running back Ben Quint. Look for wide receivers Jimmy Lane and Anthony Bianchi to also be key contributors in the up-tempo and very innovative Lexington offense. A solid offensive line will make things easier for all of the Lexington playmakers and the Minutemen should be a very fun team to watch play this season.

Biggest Team Weakness – The Minutemen lose top receiving target Spencer Kendall to graduation but return the vast majority of players from last season’s 9-2 team. Opposing teams did put up points against the Lexington defense last season so they will need to try and keep things in check and let their offense do what they do best. Lexington’s first game of the year against tenth ranked Brockton will be a very early test as to how good this team can be in 2017.

Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: Lexington will score a lot of points against the vast majority of teams they play this season. The big question is can they play with the truly upper tier teams as when they played St. John’s Prep last season they lost by a lopsided score of 55-19. If they can beat Brockton early on the rest of the Lexington schedule is winnable with key games against Reading High School and Winchester High School. Quarterback Sal Frelick will move on to play baseball at Boston College after his senior season at Lexington but before he does he should help lead one of the top offenses in the state and this Minutemen team could be a real threat come playoff time.