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.