- 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. Update: Was offered by LSU on 11/29/16. Offered by Notre Dame. 5/9/17 Offered by Ohio St.Hudl Film
- Ryan Betro– Walpole HS / Lawrence Academy – DT / OL – A force on the defensive line Betro stands 6’4″ and 285 pounds. An aggressive and disruptive defensive lineman he has the speed to play inside or on the edge and can can also act as a pulling guard on the offensive line. He has been offered by Sacred Heart and has received interest from Boston College and will very likely hear from other FCS and FBS schools. Update: Also received interest from Wake Forest, Syracuse, Delaware, Coastal Carolina, Yale and URI. Visited Syracuse on Junior Day. 2/1/17 Offered by Syracuse. 3/3/17 Offered by Boston College. 3/26/17 Offered by UMass. 4/14/17 Offered by Rutgers. Visited Penn State. 4/26/17 Offered by Fordham. 5/11/17 Committed to Boston College.
- Jay Symonds, Jr. – 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, Pittsburgh, Duke, U Conn, Rutgers, UCF, Harvard, Princeton, Dartmouth, U Penn and Holy Cross. Look for FCS and FBS offers to roll in over the next few months. Recently visited Harvard. Visited Boston College on Junior Day. 2/23/17 Offered by Pitt, URI and Temple. 3/16/17 Committed to Pittsburgh. Hudl Film
- 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, Syracuse and UMass. He also recently visited Notre Dame and Alabama. As an offensive lineman at Lawrence Academy, Dirstine has played an important part in Boston College bound RB AJ Dillon racking up thousands of yards rushing. 1/31/17 Added an offer from Yale. 2/24/17 Added an offer from Dartmouth. 5/10/17 Committed to Boston College.Hudl Film
- 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 Duke, BC, Wake Forest, Dartmouth, URI, Elon and is receiving interest from Stanford, UConn and UNC. Look for his next offers to come from UConn or UNC. Visited Boston College on Junior Day. 2/8/17 Recently offered by Army, Harvard and Yale. 2/25/17 Committed to Duke.Hudl Film
- Danny Abraham – RB – Boston College High School – Abraham is a 5’11” and 185 pound running back who runs a reported 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 Duke, Stanford, Virginia, Harvard University and others. Visited BC on Junior Day. 5/2/17 Offered by Army (West Point) 5/2/17 Offered by Fordham. 6/27/17 Committed to Harvard University. Hudl Film
- Bryce Shaw – Bridgewater-Raynham – MLB/FB – Shaw stands 6’1″ and 205 pounds and he leads the Trojans on defense having played a brutal schedule against some of the top teams in the state. Shaw is productive playing in a three back running system but really excels on the defensive side of the ball as a stay at home linebacker that fills gaps and makes plays. He often uses his quick first step to stuff the run or pressure the quarterback. Shaw has had interest from Duke and Navy with more schools likely interested after a very solid all-around junior season. 2/18/17 Recently visited Harvard. 3/26/17 Visited Navy. 3/28/17 Committed to Navy. Hudl Film
- Will Bowen – Boston College High School – OLB/ATH – Bowen is one of the top athletes in the State of Massachusetts and he has already committed to play lacrosse at the University of North Carolina. Bowen stands 6’3” and 215 pounds and runs extremely well as an H-Back on offense where he is an effective blocker while also being a sure handed receiver. Bowen really excels as a very physical outside linebacker on defense and could easily transition to a Power 5 program given his size and overall athleticism. 5/11/17 Offered by Navy. 5/17/17 Offered by Army. 5/26/17 Offered by Brown University.
- Hunter Gorgas – St. John’s Shrewsbury HS – TE / DE – A big target at 6’5″ and 245 pounds, Gorgas lines up as a traditional tight end and also as a wide receiver as he has excellent hands. Also plays defense and has received interest from Boston College and Maryland. 2/25/17 Offered by URI. 3/4/17 Visited Syracuse. 3/26/17 Visited Temple. 4/8/17 Visited Boston College. 5/24/17 Offered by Wagner College. 5/28/18 Offered by Monmouth University. Hudl Film
- Jason Maitre – Everett HS – WR / DB / KR – Maitre stands 5’10” and 165 pounds and uses his elite speed on offense, defense and special teams. An elusive receiver with good hands who also starts as a defensive back and handles kick returns. Maitre was a force on offense and a star in the Everett secondary. A very explosive playmaker on offense and special teams while consistently playing against top competition including Xaverian in their D1 Super Bowl victory. Maitre will be someone who can contribute in all three phases and will most likley end up on the defensive side of the ball along with special teams at the next level. 2/25/17 Visited URI. 6/8/17 Offered by URI. 6/19/17 Committed to Boston College. Hudl Film
- Isaiah Likely – WR / LB – Everett 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 big receiving target or also defensive prospect. After a productive junior season look for Likely to pick up interest from local schools. Visited Boston College and URI. 6/8/17 Offered by URI. Offered by Bethune-Cookman University. 6/18/17 Offered by Bryant University. Hudl Film
- Johnny Rosario – Cambridge Rindge and Latin – Thornton Academy – Williston Northampton School – WR / ATH – At 6’4’’ and 195 pounds Rosario is an extremely athletic receiver that can also return kicks for his team. Rosario has great speed reported to be in the 4.4 range and has great field awareness as he moves well and is able to break plays for big gains. Rosario had received interest from several schools including offers from Boston College, New Hampshire, UMass, Maine and Georgetown. Offered by Boston College, UNH, Georgetown, UMass. Visited Duke. 7/15/17 Offered by Wake Forest.
- 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. 3/9/17 Committed to UNH.Hudl Film
- Cedric Gillette – Andover HS – WR / CB – Filling in nicely at WR for Brown commit Dan Gemmel, Gillette standing at 6’1” and 172 pounds has become EJ Perry’s top receiving target in the high powered Andover offense. Gillette also contributes on defense from the cornerback position and is a good athlete who also plays baseball. Hudl Film
- Patrick Walsh – Wachusett Regional High School – OL – Walsh stands 6’5” and 275 pounds while running a reported sub five forty yard dash. A very physical and aggressive lineman with good feet and an excellent motor. Walsh engages and holds his blocks often pancaking the defender. A very good run blocker and also solid in pass protection. Visited Boston College and UMass. 5/2/17 Offered by Holy Cross. 5/4/17 Offered by Bryant. 5/23/17 Offered by the University of Rhode Island. 6/29/17 Committed to the University of Massachusetts. 7/31/17 Offered by Harvard.Hudl Film
- 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. 6/25/17 Commtted to Coastal Carolina.Hudl Film
- 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. 2/25/17 Visited URI. 4/8/17 Visited Princeton. 6/20/17 Offered by Bryant University. 7/18/17 Offered by Cornell. Hudl Film
- Camden Gagnon – Governor’s Academy – DE / T – At 6’5” and 240 pounds Gagnon is an aggressive and intimidating force on the Governor’s defensive line. Gagnon uses his hands well and he also uses good leverage to shed blocks, stuff running gaps and to get into the opponents backfield. Gagnon regularly goes up against other top talent in the ISL and holds his own on the edge and he plays to the whistle on every down as he has a terrific motor. 5/23/17 Offered by Bryant University. Hudl Film
- Jonathan Pace – Saint Sebastian’s School – DE/T – Pace stands 6’5’’ and has a great frame for a defensive end / offensive tackle with a good motor allowing him to push through defenders to make plays. Pace runs well, has a good first step and has plenty of room to add weight on his frame. Pace has received an offer from Army while also receiving interest from Michigan and other FBS schools. Offered by Army, Duke and UConn.
- 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. 6/20/17 Offered by Bryant University.Hudl Film
- Anthony Norcia – Everett HS – WR – A fast playmaker who stands 5’11” and 180 pounds. Norcia plays a big role in the Everett offense and regularly goes up against top competition. On an Everett offense loaded with playmakers Norcia had a huge junior season as he scored twelve touchdowns and had an impressive Super Bowl performance against Xaverian. 2/25/17 Visited URI. 5/2/17 Visited UNH. Hudl Film
- Andy Clough – Marblehead High School – TE / DE – A 6’6″ and 225 pound tight end who can add to his physical frame while already running a reported sub 5 forty yard dash. Clough is fast enough that he can line up effectively as a slot receiver but is also physical enough to line up as a more traditional tight end where he blocks well. A very solid two way player for the Magicians as he is also a very disruptive defensive end. 6/25/17 Offered by Brown University.
- Zach Banks – Cushing / Salisbury – LB – A solid 6’2” and 225 pound linebacker who re-classed from the 2017 class after Cushing disbanded their football program. Banks is a good cover linebacker and finds himself near the ball and has a good field presence. Banks has received interest from Boston College, Rutgers, Yale, Pittsburgh, UNH and Syracuse. 6/7/17 Offered by UNH. 6/30/17 Committed to UNH. Hudl Film
- Mike Sullivan – Noble and Greenough School – OL – At 6’6’’ and 308 pounds Sullivan is a very good athlete for his size running a reported 5.22 forty yard dash. Sullivan displays good footwork along with very strong arms and hands that allow him to extend his reach. Played guard and tackle but given his size would likely project as an offensive tackle. Sullivan recently visited Notre Dame, Michigan State and Western Michigan as interest in him has picked up. 5/22/17 Offered by the University of Rhode Island. 7/22/17 Visited Kansas.
- 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. 6/21/17 Committed to the University of Rhode Island.Hudl Film
- Chad Peterson – North Attleboro – QB – At 6’2” and 195 pounds Peterson is an athletic quarterback who throws well and makes smart decisions to move the ball downfield. Also a very good basketball player he is a good leader on both the football field and on the hardwood. With Peterson’s arm and his overall athletic skill set he should receive interest from schools. 5/2/17 Visited Brown. 5/30/17 Visited Boston College. Hudl Film
The Harvard University football program did an excellent job recruiting Massachusetts in their 2017 recruiting class and it appears they will follow-up with another outstanding group of Massachusetts players in their 2018 class. For 2017 Harvard received commitments from Jack McGowan (Catholic Memorial), Ryan Reagan (Duxbury High School), Mike Silva (Milton Academy) and Griffin Burke (Barnstable High School – Cheshire Academy). These are all players who will help your football team win games and they will all represent your school very well. For the 2018 class we have already seen Harvard get three commitments from BC High star running back Danny Abraham, BC High offensive lineman Tommy Aicardi and defensive end David Schwartz from Longmeadow High School. This could be the beginning of a significant class of 2018 prospects from Massachusetts who will be staying in-state to play at Harvard as there are a number of other players who have or will receive offers and who will choose Harvard University as their best option to play football at a very high level while also getting an elite education. Having followed the local college rosters for a while it has been striking how few players from Massachusetts that Harvard has had playing for them. The four 2017 players from Massachusetts will join only a handful of upperclassmen currently on the Harvard roster who include WR Brian Dunlap (Natick High School), LB Peter Graves (Belmont – Phillips Exeter), OL Liam Shanahan (Marlborough High School) and DT Bobby Gilmore (Milton Academy). In Danny Abraham the Crimson are getting a legitimate FBS level recruit who should be a force in the Ivy League following his senior season at BC High. It is great to see Harvard University realize how much football talent is in their own backyard and they should keep their focus on Massachusetts as the classes of 2018 and 2019 are both filled with the types of players who can help them win Ivy League Championships while also being excellent representatives of the school and its mission.
Elite college football programs have come calling to Everett High School this spring and much of the attention has been focused on the players that constitute the team’s starting defensive backfield. We recently saw senior defensive back Jason Maitre commit to Boston College while his class of 2019 defensive backfield teammates Mike Sainristil and Lewis Cine have also picked up multiple Division 1 scholarship offers with Cine already becoming a national recruit. Add in senior stong safety Jordan Riggs and junior defensive back Chonlee Cine and you have what could easily be ranked as the best high school defensive backfield in the entire country. Maitre and Sainristil are two excellent defensive backs who can turn a game in a hurry with their playmaking skills on both sides of the ball. Free safety Lewis Cine and strong safety Riggs provide a second layer to the Everett secondary that is both fast and physical as Cine goes 6’3″ and 175 pounds while Riggs is 6’2″ and 200 pounds. This post won’t even address the number of talented players Everett has at linebacker who are capable of dropping into effective pass coverage. Teams may choose to try and stay away from the Everett secondary by running the football but all of these players are also very aggressive in coming up to support the Everett run defense. Throwing against the Everett secondary is just as daunting as Maitre and Sainristil are so fast and quick that they can pick a ball off and be going the other way with it before you even know what happened. Juniors Lewis Cine and Mike Sainristil (in addition to Maitre) will both play college football at major programs and look for Jordan Riggs and Chonlee Cine to also have big years playing in this very talented group.
Last Season: The Brockton Boxers football team faced a very challenging overall schedule in 2016 and as a result had a number of losses. Playing against Catholic Conference powers including BC High, Catholic Memorial and Xaverian Brothers proved to me more than the Boxers could handle and then Brockton finished their season in the playoffs with an elimination loss to BC High followed by close losses against Wellesley High School and Bridgewater-Raynham High School. In 2017 the Boxers will once again challenge themselves with a very difficult schedule including the same Catholic Conference powerhouse teams from 2016 as well as road games against highly ranked teams Lexington High School and Bridgewater-Raynham High School.
Last Season Record: 5-6
ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 10
2017 Schedule – Key Games: @ (11) Lexington (9/9/17) – This could be a very fun game with two of the best offensive backfields in the state going head to head. (6) Catholic Memorial (9/22/17) – Brockton lost 34-0 on the road at CM last season. @ (3) BC High (9/29/17) – In their two games against BC High last season the Boxers lost both and only scored a total of eight points. @ (4) Xaverian Brothers (10/6/17) – Another very difficult Catholic Conference opponent and this year the Boxers have to travel to Westwood. @ (9) Bridgewater-Raynham (11/23/17) – The Boxers lost to their rivals 15-13 in overtime last season and this year they will have to travel to play at BR.
2017 – Full Schedule – @ (11) Lexington High School (9/9/17), Weymouth High School (9/15/17), (6) Catholic Memorial High School(9/22/17), @ (3) BC High (9/29/17), @ (4) Xaverian Brothers (10/6/17), Durfee High School (10/13/17), @ New Bedford High School (10/20/17), @ (9) Bridgewater-Raynham High School (11/23/17)
Key Returning Players – Offense: Jose Monteiro, Jr. (QB), Tom O’Brien (QB), Eddie Kelsey (RB), Nate Derolus (FB), Segun Okunlola (TE), Matthew Goldstone (OL)
Key Returning Players – Defense: AJ Walker (DT), Kurtis Reace (DT), Anthony Goodwyn (SS), Segun Okunlola (DE), Dexter Cumberlander (OLB), Nate Derolus (LB)
Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Eddie Kelsey (KR)
Breakout Players To Watch – Sophomore Isaiah Laguerre is a 6’1″ and 175 pound wide receiver and junior Taisun Doherty is a 6’4″ and 220 pound tight end / wide receiver and both could have breakout seasons. Laguerre played on the JV team as a freshman and Doherty recently picked up playing football in addition to being a very good basketball player. Look for both of these players to make an impact for Brockton this fall.
Biggest Team Strength – Brockton should have a dynamic offensive backfield featuring a combination of quarterbacks Jose Monteiro, Jr., Tom O’Brien and Mike Norman along with running back Eddie Kelsey. A combination of these players could result in a very productive Brockton rushing attack.
Biggest Team Weakness – Brockton graduated a number of their top players from last season and face just as difficult schedule this season. Losing playmakers like athletic wide receiver Matt Caruso and physical middle linebacker Kingsley Ejiogu-Dike on both offense and defense will force a number of new starters to come in and play at a very high level against some of the top teams in the state.
Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: Given their losses to graduation and their overall schedule difficulty it could be another challenging year for the Boxers in 2017. A number of new starters will have to be plugged in on both sides of the ball and both Monteiro, Jr. and Kelsey will have to perform at an extremely high level on offense. Brockton always seems to find a way to compete so it will be very interesting to see how the coaching staff handles this team going up against many of the top ranked teams in the state and an early season match-up against 11th ranked Lexington High School should tell us a lot more about how far this Brockton team can go this year.
Last Season: Head Coach Dan Buron and Bridgewater-Raynham High School played a very difficult schedule in 2016 and had losses against Super Bowl Champion teams including Duxbury High School and then King Philip in the State playoffs. The Trojans had two other closes losses to Dartmouth High School and St. John’s Prep but they also had impressive victories over top ranked Xaverian Brothers, Wellesley High School and Brockton High School. B-R loses a number of players to graduation but should be a very tough team to play against once again in 2017.
Last Season Record: 7-4
ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 9
2017 Schedule – Key Games: @ (17) Duxbury High School (9/8/17) – Both of these teams lost a lot of key players so this will be an early season test to see which team can bounce back in 2017. @ (4) Xaverian Brothers (9/15/17) – The Trojans hung on for a 22-21 win last season and this year they have to travel to Westwood to play the fourth ranked Hawks. @ Dartmouth High School (10/6/17) – Cole Jacobsen and Dartmouth prevailed 13-6 last year and look for another close game this year when B-R has to travel to Dartmouth for the game. @ (2) St. John’s Prep (10/20/17) – Another battle of two ITHMA Top Ten ranked teams as B-R faces QB Mike Yarin and the second ranked Eagles. (10) Brockton High School (11/23/17) – The two rivals needed overtime last year before B-R pulled off the 15-13 road victory.
2017 – Full Schedule – @ (17) Duxbury High School (9/8/17), @ (4) Xaverian Brothers High School (9/15/17), New Bedford High School (9/22/17), @ Chelmsford High School(9/30/17), @ Dartmouth High School (10/6/17), Barnstable High School (10/13/17), @ (2) St. John’s Prep (10/20/17), (10) Brockton High School (11/23/17)
Key Returning Players – Offense: Devante Greaves (RB), Bryce Shaw (FB), Corey Sullivan (QB), Joe D’Emilia (WR)
Key Returning Players – Defense: Bryce Shaw (MLB), James Hanafin (OLB), Michael Perrotta (LB), Danny Taylor (SS), Devante Greaves (DE), Joe D’Emilia (DB)
Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Danny Taylor (KR)
Breakout Players To Watch – Senior running back and defensive end Devante Greaves will look to step in for star running back Shawn Noel, Jr. who the Trojans lost to graduation. Greaves was productive last season but will be relied on more in 2017 as he is a key two way player for Bridgewater-Raynham. At 6’1″ and 200 pounds Greaves is a very fast and physical player who should have an excellent 2017 season and will be a big part of the B-R offense.
Biggest Team Strength – Bridgewater-Raynham returns a number of their best playmakers from last season including Sullivan, Greaves, Shaw and Hanafin. Greaves should lead a productive rushing offense and the combination of Shaw and Hanafin make for one of the top linebacker duos in the state.
Biggest Team Weakness – The Trojans lost a lot of players to graduation and they will have to replace a number of their starting linemen on both offense and defense. A very challenging schedule so their new starters will need to hit the ground running with big road games against Duxbury and Xaverian Brothers.
Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: Bridgewater-Raynham has to replace a number of starters from last year but the players they do return are all very good. If they can find replacements along the offensive and defensive lines they should once again be a very solid team which will be needed given their strength of schedule. Look for their defense and especially their linebackers to be very good and for running back Devante Greaves to successfully take over for Shawn Noel, Jr. who was the featured back for the Trojans last season.
Last Season: The Central Catholic Raiders started off hot in 2016 with three straight wins including a very impressive 21-14 road win at St. John’s Prep. A surprising 21-10 loss at Haverhill and a 43-18 loss to State Division 1 Champion Everett in the playoffs were the only two losses all season for the Raiders who also added wins over other solid programs including Reading High School and Andover High School. Look for Central Catholic to be a very strong team in 2017 led by senior QB Bret Edwards and featuring a number of very good linemen on both sides of the ball.
Last Season Record: 7-2
ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 8
2017 Schedule – Key Games: @ Dartmouth (9/8/17) – Dartmouth was rolling last year with wins over Bridgewater-Raynham and Walpole before losing to a good North Attleboro team in the playoffs so look for this to be an early test for Central Catholic this season. (2) St. John’s Prep (9/15/17) – Another early season match-up of two ITHMA Top Ten ranked teams and this will be a critical Division 1 North game between two teams who hope to make it to the State Championship game. Billerica High School (9/29/17) – The Raiders will face an always dangerous Billerica team that knocked off State Champion Everett last season.
2017 – Full Schedule – @ Dartmouth High School (9/8/17), (2) St. John’s Prep (9/15/17), Methuen High School (9/22/17), Billerica High School(9/29/17), Lowell High School (10/13/17)
Key Returning Players – Offense: Bret Edwards (QB), Max Faro (RB), Ty Donatio (RB), Mathias Villafane (WR), Osho Omoyeni (OL), Kalvin Guillermo (OL), Ryan Burns (OL), Nathan Driscoll (OL), Michael Awiszus (OL)
Key Returning Players – Defense: Max Faro (LB), Ty Donatio (LB), Osho Omoyeni (DL), Kalvin Guillermo (DL), Michael Awiszus (DT), Mathias Villafane (DB)
Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Zach Debay (K), Mathias Villafane (KR)
Breakout Players To Watch – Senior running back and linebacker Max Faro is a dynamic two way player who along with QB Bret Edwards will lead the Central Catholic offense this season. At 5’9″ and 190 pounds Faro plays with a surprising physicality as he is a hard hitting linebacker and he will run outside but has no problem running between the tackles as well. Look for Faro to be an impact player on both sides of the ball for the Raiders this season.
Biggest Team Strength – Central Catholic has excellent senior leadership and a number of linemen who will make them competitive in every game. Seniors Edwards, Faro and Donatio will lead the offense statistically but it will be behind a very good offensive line featuring Omoyeni, Guillermo, Burns, Driscoll and Awiszus.
Biggest Team Weakness – Central Catholic did lose a number of top players to graduation including standout lineman Carlos Cabrera and wide receiver David Onyemem but return a core group of very solid players.
Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: A winnable schedule this year with the big tests coming early on with a home game against second ranked St. John’s Prep on September 15th followed by another home game against Billerica on September 29th. Look for UNH commit Edwards to lead the Raiders to a very solid year and they should be in the hunt for the Division 1 North title at the end of the season.
Last Season: The Marshfield High School football program and Head Coach Lou Silva earn their way into the ITHMA 2017 Top Ten rankings after a 2016 season that saw them lose only three games to three very good teams by a grand total of 18 points. Losing to Falmouth in overtime and close losses to King Philip and Catholic Memorial show just how close Marshfield was last season and how good they can be in 2017 with so many of their best players returning. During 2016 Marshfield had solid wins over three very good teams in Stoughton, Mansfield and Duxbury and look for them to take things to the next level in 2017.
Last Season Record: 9-3
ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 7
2017 Schedule – Key Games: @ (3) BC High (9/15/17) – An early season public vs. private clash between two top ten ranked teams as the Marshfield defense will look to slow down Danny Abraham and the BC High running game. (15) Falmouth High School (9/22/17) – The Rams will look for a better outcome at home after last year’s 20-14 overtime road loss to the eventual Super Bowl champion Clippers . (17) Duxbury High School (11/23/17) – Marshfield beat the eventual Super Bowl champions 53-0 last year in a game in which Duxbury sat their starters.
2017 – Full Schedule – @ Cranston West High School (RI) (9/8/17), @ (3) BC High (9/15/17), (15) Falmouth High School (9/22/17), Nauset High School(9/29/17), @ Sandwich High School (10/6/17), @ Dennis-Yarmouth High School (10/13/17), (17) Duxbury High School (11/23/17)
Key Returning Players – Offense: Jack McNeil (RB), Brendan Ward (RB), Jackson Phinney (QB), Casey Phinney (RB), Ryan Mosesso (T/TE), Jacob Devonshire (OL), Patrick Barnes (OL)
Key Returning Players – Defense: Jack McNeil (FS), Brendan Ward (DB), Brendan Finneran (OLB), Casey Phinney (OLB)
Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Brendan Ward (KR)
Breakout Players To Watch – Class of 2020 sophomore linebacker Casey Phinney is a dynamic two way player who started as a freshman and contributed on both sides of the ball. At 6’1″ and 210 pounds Phinney lines up as all over the field on defense playing middle linebacker and a hybrid outside linebacker / defensive end for the Rams. Look for major college football programs to come calling for Casey Phinney over the next few years.
Biggest Team Strength – Marshfield is just a solid football program with a lot of excellent football players. A young team last season but they still did not back down against Super Bowl champions like Falmouth and King Philip while also slugging it out with Catholic Conference power Catholic Memorial. Players like McNeil, Ward and the Phinney brothers make Marshfield a very dangerous team to play against in 2017.
Biggest Team Weakness – Marshfield does not have a ton of size on their offensive and defensive lines so it will be interesting to see how they play against a team like BC High early in September as the Eagles will try and impose their physical will on a smaller Marshfield team.
Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: A winnable schedule this year with the big tests coming early on with a road game against third ranked BC High on September 15th followed by a home game against Falmouth on September 22nd. Look for Jack McNeil, Brendan Ward and Casey Phinney to all have explosive offensive seasons and for Marshfield to have a great shot to return to a Super Bowl championship game at the end of the 2017 season.
Last Season: The 2017 Catholic Memorial football team will see a lot of changes from last season as they lose a number of outstanding players to graduation including Harvard bound linebacker and playmaker Jack McGowan. They will also have a new Head Coach this season as former New England Patriot defensive lineman Brent Williams will take over on the Knights’ sideline. In 2016 Catholic Memorial had a very solid 7-4 record with two of those losses coming against state Division 1 finalist Xaverian Brothers who in their second meeting knocked CM out of the playoffs by a 34-29 score. Catholic Memorial also had very good wins last season over Brockton High School, Marshfield High School and rival BC High.
Last Season Record: 7-4
ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 6
2017 Schedule – Key Games: (5) St. John’s Shrewsbury (9/8/17) – An early season rematch of two top ten ranked teams that last year saw the Pioneers prevail with a high scoring 30-28 victory. @ (10) Brockton (9/22/17) – CM shut out the Boxers 34-0 last season and will look for a similar result this year. @ (4) Xaverian Brothers (9/29/17) – Both Catholic Conference powers lost a lot on both sides of the ball so it will be interesting to see how quickly they can reload this year. (2) St. John’s Prep (10/7/17) – Another Catholic Conference battle which will see the Knights defense try and slow down QB Mike Yarin and the SJP offense. @ (15) Falmouth High School (10/13/17) – Another tough test for the CM defense as they try and slow down the Falmouth triple option running game. (3) BC High (11/23/17) – BC High will be looking for some payback against their longtime rival after last year’s 41-27 loss.
2017 – Full Schedule – @ (5) St. John’s Shrewsbury (9/8/17), Stoughton (9/15/17), @ (10) Brockton (9/22/17), @ (4) Xaverian Brothers High School(9/29/17), (2) St. John’s Prep (10/7/17), @ (15) Falmouth High School (10/13/17), @ Malden Catholic (10/20/17), (3) BC High (11/23/17)
Key Returning Players – Offense: Pat Duffy (OL), Hunter Salmon (OL), Ryan Wetterberg (OL), Ore Ojo (RB), Kion Tucker (RB), Garrett McCarthy (FB)
Key Returning Players – Defense: Jarrett Martin (FS), Khari Johnson (DB), Lucas Folan (DE), Dan Boyle (DE), Hunter Salmon (DT), Ore Ojo (LB), Garrett McCarthy (LB), Michael Brown (LB)
Key Returning Players – Special Teams: William Fay (K)
Breakout Players To Watch – Senior running back and outside linebacker Ore Ojo stands 6’0″ and 181 pounds and makes plays on both sides of the ball. A quick running back that has the speed to get to the outside edge and a disruptive hybrid outside linebacker that can get after the quarterback. Having Ojo running behind Duffy, Salmon and Wetterberg should help the Catholic Memorial offense establish a strong running game. Also keep an eye out down the road for freshman Owen McGowan who already plays a similar brand of football as his brother Jack who just graduated.
Biggest Team Strength – Catholic Memorial definitely has a number of very solid players on the defensive side of the ball including Johnson, Martin and Folan but losses to graduation will force new players to take on bigger roles this season. Their defense should keep them in games while their offense tries to get up to speed under their new Head Coach.
Biggest Team Weakness – Catholic Memorial graduated a bunch of high end starters and many of their skill position players from last season including starting quarterback Matt Marcantano and all-around star Jack McGowan. New players will have to step up in a big way and their brutal overall schedule including playing against five Top Ten teams gives them little room for error in finding their stride this season.
Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: Bringing in a new Head Coach and a bunch of new starters will be a huge challenge for Catholic Memorial this season. Their overall schedule is extremely difficult so a lot of new players will have to perform at a very high level right out of the gate. With games in September against St. John’s Shrewsbury, Brockton and Xaverian Brothers we should quickly see if their roster depth can rise up to this challenge or if it may take a year or two with all of the changes they are currently going through over in West Roxbury.
Last Season: The St. John’s Shrewsbury football team had a very good season in 2016 posting a 7-3 record that included a big 30-28 win over Catholic Memorial and an out of state loss to Connecticut powerhouse Xavier. The Pioneers return a number of top playmakers in 2017 and they have a very solid senior class that should make them one of the best teams in the state this fall.
Last Season Record: 7-3
ITHMA 2017 MIAA Preseason Ranking: # 5
2017 Schedule – Key Games: @ (6) Catholic Memorial (9/8/17) – An early season rematch of two top ten ranked teams that last year saw the Pioneers prevail with a high scoring 30-28 victory. @ Shrewsbury (9/22/17) – The Pioneers faced Shrewsbury twice last season beating them in their first game by a score of 38-35 but losing to them in the playoffs by a score of 34-28.
2017 – Full Schedule – @ (6) Catholic Memorial (9/8/17), Leominster (9/15/17), @ Shrewsbury (9/22/17), @ Wachusett Regional High School(9/29/17), Shepherd Hill (10/14/17), St. Peter Marian (11/23/17)
Key Returning Players – Offense: Eamonn Dennis (WR), Hunter Gorgas (TE), Peter Oliver (RB), Michael Bernard (RB), Coleman Drugotch (WR), Josh Shrestha (WR), Zachary Pedone (WR), Federico Ernst (OL), Neal Nasuti (OL), Steven Bucciaglia (QB)
Key Returning Players – Defense: Liam Doran (LB), Isaiah Keegan (LB), Andrew DelBrocco (DB), Michael Bernard (SS)
Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Eamonn Dennis (KR)
Breakout Players To Watch – Peter Oliver is a two dimensional threat in the offensive backfield as he has speed and very good vision running the ball in traffic but he can also be used in the passing game. Running behind linemen Neal Nasuti and Federico Ernst should result in a big year for Oliver who recently received an offer to play college football at Harvard University. On defense senior linebackers Liam Doran and Isaiah Keegan are both very physical and are always around the ball.
Biggest Team Strength – St. John’s Shrewsbury is loaded on offense with a number of senior playmakers returning including Oliver, Bucciaglia and Gorgas. Look for the Pioneers offense to score a lot of points this season and they will need to show up in big games against teams like Catholic Memorial, Wachusett and Shrewsbury.
Biggest Team Weakness – The St. John’s schedule has some difficult games and battles against Wachusett and Shrewsbury will likely determine the top team coming out of central Massachusetts this year. The Pioneers defense will need to play better in big games this season if they are going to make some noise come tournament time.
Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: There is a lot of potential with this St. John’s Shrewsbury team given the talent on offense and their overall senior leadership. If their defense can play better in big games this year they will be a tough team to keep up with. Look for Oliver and Bucciaglia to control the time of possession on offense and to put up a lot of points on the scoreboard. The first game of the season on the road against eastern powerhouse Catholic Memorial will be a huge test for this team and will be a very good indicator of how far they can go in 2017.
The quarterback of a football team is clearly the single most important player on the field at any level of play be it high school, college or the National Football League. This fall there will a number of new starting quarterbacks at local high schools as a result of upperclassmen graduating and others transferring to new schools. It is interesting to note that many of these quarterbacks are multi-sport athletes who should have even further upside should they focus solely on football. So here are six quarterbacks across the MIAA and NEPSAC football landscapes who will be key players if their teams are to perform at a high level this coming season.
Jake Willcox – Everett High School – Willcox takes over running the Everett offense as last year’s starter Jordan McAfee has moved on to play college football at UConn. Willcox is a junior this year but he has already had significant playing time at the varsity level as he started most of his freshman season when McAfee was out due to illness. The 6’2″ and 170 pound Willcox has a number of skilled running backs and receivers to work with at Everett and he should have an excellent season. In 2015 Willcox led his Everett Pop Warner team to a National Championship and he more recently picked up a Division 1 scholarship offer from Bryant University.
Matt Sullivan – BC High – Sullivan is a 6’3″ and 190 pound senior who will be in charge of managing one of the best rushing attacks in the state. In addition to handing the ball off to Danny Abraham, Sullivan can also run very well out of the read option and if he adds a passing threat to the BC High offense he could really open things up even further for their running game as this would help to keep opposing defenses off balance. A very good athlete Sullivan also plays on the BC High baseball team and was recently named a Catholic Conference All-Star.
John Grady – Noble & Greenough – Grady has transferred over to Nobles and will be a junior this coming football season. Grady was very effective both throwing and running the ball for Newton North last season so he should be a perfect match to lead the Nobles offense in the high scoring ISL. It should be very interesting to see how far he can take Nobles as he joins a team with a very strong offensive line and a number of high skill players. At 6’1″ and 225 pounds Grady is a very good all-around athlete who was recently named an All-Conference starting pitcher and he also played on the Newton North hockey team.
Ryan Eamer – Buckingham Browne & Nichols – Eamer is an All-Conference transfer from Medfield High School who will be a junior this season and will take over at quarterback for Jeff Costello who has moved on to focus on his baseball career at Northeastern University. BB&N played an up-tempo and high scoring brand of football with Costello running their offense so it will be interesting to see how fast the BB&N coaching staff can get Eamer up to speed running things. Eamer stands 5’9″ and 170 pounds and can both run and throw the ball well so he should fit in very well at BB&N. Look for Eamer and Pittsburgh bound tight end Jay Symonds, Jr. to become a dynamic scoring threat in the ISL.
Nick Salmon – Tilton School (NH) – Salmon had a very productive season at Durfee High School last season and he will now move on to play at Tilton School in New Hampshire. A very good athlete who also plays basketball and baseball, Salmon stands 6’2″ and 200 pounds while running a reported 4.58 forty yard dash. Salmon played all over the field for Durfee and was utilized on offense as an athletic quarterback and on defense as a big defensive back. He also returned kicks on special teams. Look for Salmon to have an excellent season at Tilton and for Division 1 schools to look at him given his overall athleticism and versatility on the field.
Jared Martino – Cheshire Academy (CT) – Martino is another multi-sport athlete who stands 6’1″ and 190 pounds and will be a junior at Cheshire Academy in Connecticut having transferred over from Malden High School. Martino was an ITHMA Player Of The Week following his seven touchdown performance against Lowell High School last fall. Martino also threw a no-hitter this spring for the Malden High School baseball team. Look for Martino to challenge Josh Comune for the starting quarterback position at Cheshire this fall.