Boston High School: 10 off the top

10 Off the Top: Week 3 edition

September, 18, 2013
9/18/13
11:57
PM ET
A smattering of observances, trends, anecdotes, factoids and musings collected from around Massachusetts football in the last week or so:


10. One way-too-early prediction: Marblehead is going to cause some waves in Division 3 Northeast.


9. It might still be early, but Middleborough looks to have a playmaker for some years to come in sophomore running back Eddie Hart. While not the tallest in stature (he's 5-foot-7), the shifty Hart dazzled again in Week 2 with a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown in addition to 130 rushing yards on 15 carries, with two touchdowns, in the Sachems' victory over Coyle-Cassidy.


8. It was a rough second half for Weymouth's defense against Bay State rival Natick last Thursday, but someone worth keeping an eye on is Wildcats middle linebacker James Bradley. The senior showed good instincts and sideline-to-sideline pursuit (against a fleet-footed Redhawks squad nonetheless).


7. And while we're on those Redhawks ... After a week, it looks as though Alex Hilger will be Troy Flutie's go-to target with Brian Dunlap lost for the season to injury. But while teams might soon begin giving Hilger a Dunlap-like treatment with bracketed coverage, that's only to create more space for fellow senior wide receiver Justin Robinson to work, particularly along the seems of the field, as he did with increasing frequency during later stages of Natick's win at Weymouth.


6. As in six hundred. In a wild 64-39 win over Swampscott, St. Mary's (Lynn) accumulated just shy of 600 rushing yards -- well, 570 to be exact -- but Connor Sakowich, Jordan Manthorne and Abraham Toe put on a show no one will soon forget.


5. After making his college decision on Monday, Central Catholic senior running back/defensive back D'Andre Drummond-Mayrie offered his evaluation of the Merrimack Valley Conference this year -- as well as a pet peeve about scheduling.


"Very, very good competition," he said. "Lowell's great. Andover's good. Chelmsford's always tough. Billerica looks really good, too, their quarterback [Jordan Bolarinho] is putting up crazy numbers right now."


But then, again, "We don't get to play Methuen any more though. I'm a little bummed about that. It was always a great game atmosphere."


4. And another thing about Drummond-Mayrie ... When you talk to Raiders head coach Chuck Adamopoulos about his star two-way player, the first trait he'll bring up to you is his humility. Adamopoulos added that the most difficult thing for Drummond-Mayrie in his recruiting process was informing the five other offering schools of his decision. He took the time Monday to call all of the prospective coaching staffs before announcing his commitment to local media.


3. The number of consecutive wins No. 1 Bridgewater-Raynham holds over No. 14 Xaverian entering Saturday's Game of the Week matchup.


2. Speaking of those aforementioned Trojans, here's another factoid for you. In Saturday's 13-10 win over Duxbury, B-R did not surrender an offensive touchdown. It marked the first game during Duxbury head coach Dave Maimaron's 9-year tenure in which the Dragons did not score an offensive touchdown.


1. Undoubtedly, the story of Week 2 was how B-R quarterback Matt Clement dutifully played in the midst of a chaotic day for his family.

Saturday morning, Scott Clement suffered a heart attack while running the track at B-R. He'd been training for an upcoming 5K race. If not for a couple of Good Samaritans who were also around the athletic complex at the time and called 911, Scott Clement's life could have been in even greater peril.


He was rushed to Brockton Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery to insert a stent.


With Matt by his side, Scott Clement had one final message for his son before being wheeled into the O.R.: "Focus on what's at hand."


"I couldn't believe that's what he told me," Matt told me Tuesday. "He's the one going into surgery and he's telling me to do that? I told him he needed to focus on what he was doing more."


Scott Clement, a quarterback in his days at Holbrook High, also told his son he was to play that night against the Dragons. Matt led the Trojans to their second straight road win, en route to seizing the No. 1 ranking in our Top 25 poll.


The first thing Matt did after passing through Saturday's postgame handshake line was pick up the phone.


"I was just sad that he missed it," Matt said. "It was a great game, and he loves this program. He loves football."


Scott Clement was released from the hospital Monday evening.

10 off the top: Happy November edition

November, 1, 2010
11/01/10
10:08
PM ET
Put away the pumpkins and bring out the turkeys. October's given way to November and that means Thanksgiving's football cornucopia isn't too far away. But before we get ahead of ourselves, let's look at the weekend past. Let go to the links:

TOP PERFORMANCES

10. Roger Brown looks at the performances from some of the region's top recruits on his blog.

GO WEST, YOUNG MAN
9. Ben Larsen of MassLive.com looks back on the weekend that was in Western Mass.

GRANITE STATE OF MIND
8. Marc Thaler has New Hampshire's Top 10 updates with his Moving the Chains blog on the Union Leader site.

HARRIERS IN SPOTLIGHT
7. Lori Riley of The Hartford Courant takes a look at the Nutmeg State cross country championships.

6. Nephi Tyler of the Standard-Times catches up with Old Rochester's Dana Dourdeville, someone to watch out for in Saturday's State Coaches Invitational in Wrentham.

A PROLIFIC PACE
5. The Salem News has a look at North Shore Tech's Jesse Wilkins, who has already surpassed the 2,000-yard rushing plateau in just eight games.

GETTING PAST THE PAIN

4. Dale Ransom of The Sun Chronicle has the inspiring story of Attleboro's Randy Wnuk.

RED AND BLUE AND WINNING
3. Tim Whelan Jr. of the MetroWest Daily News has Natick girls' soccer's return to prominence in the Bay State.

SMALL IN SIZE, BIG IN ACCOMPLISHMENTS
2. Mike Szostak of The Providence Journal examines how Exeter/West Greenwich has been so successful across its programs this fall season.

MOURNING A LEGEND
1. Rich Garven of the Telegram & Gazette reports on the death of Grafton coaching legend Richard Egsegian with reaction from Steve Spagnuolo, among others.

10 off the top: 10/25

October, 26, 2010
10/26/10
1:00
AM ET
It's our wrap-up of the week that was across the Interweb, it's 10 off the top.

Let's get to the links:

LINKS CHAMPS
10. It's hard to believe champions are already being crowned this season. But as the calendars are about to flip to November, the MIAA state golf championships are underway. Weston claimed the Division III title on Monday. The champions of Divisions I and II will be decided Tuesday. Here's a look at the pairings for tomorrow's Division I competition to be held at Longmeadow Country Club. Check back with ESPN Boston tomorrow for all the results.

9. Lenny Megliola of the MetroWest Daily News had a look at one of Tuesday's hopefuls, Franklin's Peter French.

BASKETBALL JONES
8. ESPN Boston correspondent Adam Finkelstein is at it again on his New England Recruiting Report. Check out the stars of tomorrow as Finkelstein released his Massachusetts Class of 2013 rankings.

A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

7. Carolyn Thornton of The Providence Journal takes a look at the RIIL's unified volleyball teams, which provides opportunities for students with intellectual disabilities to take part in their respective high schools.

6. Also around Rhody this weekend, Bay View's Rebecca Curran notched her second straight state singles' tennis title.

BIG WEEKEND FOR MATTY
5. Matty Walsh of Plymouth North football had a big weekend. Not only did he and his Eagles teammates knock off previously undefeated Falmouth in a key Atlantic Coast League game. The talented catcher also declared his college choice, as reported by Danny Ventura of the Boston Herald.

MR. 200

4. Martha's Vineyard head coach Don Hermon probably would've liked that his 200th career win had come a week earlier against Eastern Athletic Conference foe Somerset. But the Vineyarders treated their boss to No. 200 on Saturday in a 35-6 win over Cape Cod Tech. Amanda Comak of the Cape Cod Times had the story.

GRANITE STATE OF MIND
3. As he does every week, ESPN Boston correspondent Marc Thaler chimes in on this week's Union Leader/WGAM/WMUR power poll with his own two cents on the New Hampshire football scene on the Union Leader's "Moving the Chains" blog.

HEAD MATTERS
2. Bill Wells of MassLive.com breaks down the MIAA's requirement for winter sports head coaches to take a concussion education course.

SAID IT ONCE BEFORE BUT IT BEARS REPEATING NOW
1. You've probably seen it by now, because this clip is currently making it's way through the New England media scene and blowing up the Internet. But in case you haven't, here's another look at the controversial call during Friday's South Shore League battle between Abington and Rockland. You decide whether the correct call was made.

10 off the top: 10/19

October, 19, 2010
10/19/10
10:56
AM ET
It's our wrap-up of the week that was across the Interweb, it's 10 off the top.

Let's get to the links:

BASKETBALL JONES
10. We start with a little basketball recruiting news this week, as correspondent Adam Finkelstein writes on his New England Recruiting Report that Haverhill's Noah Vonleh has his first high-major scholarship offer from Boston College. That comes in the same week when Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim was around to take a look at the super sophomore.

9. While we're at it, we should also mention that Mr. Finkelstein, who will be checking in frequently throughout the winter, also launched a complimentary website devoted to girls' basketball recruiting to compliment his boys' coverage.

DOUBLE VISION
8. Dave Dyer of the Eagle-Tribune takes a looks at Londonderry (N.H.) High's Schwarz sisters, Megan and Katie, who could be in the running for the Granite State's volleyball Player of the Year Award. For more on the sisters Schwarz, check out Marc Thaler's New Hampshire Roundup from last week, in case you missed it.

GRANITE STATE OF MIND
7. Sticking around New Hampshire, there was a major shakeup at the top of state's football polls as consensus No. 1 Winnacunnet was upset by Timberlane, 26-14, for its first loss of the season, which leads the Nashua Telegraph to conclude that nothing should be taken for granted.

6. For more on the New Hampshire football scene, check out the latest Union Leader/WGAM/WMUR power poll.

HERE, THERE AND EVERYWHERE
5. For a little more regional perspective...here's the latest Hartford Courant poll.

4. ...And a look at the Rhode Island Division I girls' tennis finals.

SURPRISE, SURPRISE
3. Guess who's No. 1 again in the Telegram & Gazette football poll? Yeah, you guessed it ... Frank Stallone. I mean, St. John's of Shrewsbury.

THE 200 CLUB
2. Phil Shore, of The Boston Globe, catches up with Danvers girs' soccer head coach Jim Hinchion, who tallied his 200th win last week.

LINKS CHAMPIONS
1. Ross Held, of The Republican, recaps the Division I Western Mass golf championships where the first titles of the fall season were handed out.

10 off the top: 10/12 edition

October, 12, 2010
10/12/10
1:17
AM ET
It was a holiday weekend for some, just another Monday for others. Either way, it's that time again when we take the 10 best links from the weekend for your perusal.

Let's go to the links:

THE PROSPECTUS
10. Roger Brown offers his take on some of the area's top recruits and their performances over the weekend.

BASKETBALL JONES
9. In a busy week of basketball recruiting, one which saw several locals give their commitments, correspondent Adam Finkelstein, writing on his New England Recruiting Report, reports that North Carolina is the latest in a laundry list of schools to have offered St. Mark's Alex Murphy a scholarship.

NUTMEG MILL
8. Tom Yantz of the Hartford Courant has his latest edition of the Fabulous 15 from last weekend.

GRANITE STATE OF MIND
7. Correspondent Marc Thaler has his weekly New Hampshire Top 10 on the Union Leader Moving the Chains blog.

A NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT
6. Jay Gearan, of the Telegram & Gazette, takes a look at Marlborough High volleyball coach Peter Lepore who's closing in on his 800th overall win while coaching boys' and girls' volleyball in addition to girls' basketball.

RANGERS' PRIDE
5. Dave Dyer, of the Eagle-Tribune, looks at the talent and faith of Methuen cross country runner Marwah Haq.

DON'T CALL IT AN UPSET

4. Frontier girls' volleyball beat defending state champion New Bedford not once, but twice last week.

PUTTING DOWN SPIKES
3. Peter Gobis, of the Sun Chronicle, looks at North Attleborough junior Kelsey Weymouth, who was among a dozen players invited to the U.S. Volleyball Association's camp last summer and has the Red Rocketeers off to a fast start this season.

A DIG AGAINST CANCER
2. Oliver Ames and Brockton are teaming up to host the first "Dig Pink" benefit game for breast cancer research.

SAID IT ONCE BEFORE BUT IT BEARS REPEATING NOW
1. If you have not already done so, check out Brendan Hall's take on the hubbub surrounding the St. George's cancellation of their scheduled game against Lawrence Academy last weekend. It provides another angle to the story, which could still have some legs. Stay tuned.

10 off the top: 10/4 edition

October, 4, 2010
10/04/10
7:38
PM ET
While everyone's waiting for kickoff in tonight's Pats-Dolphins Monday Night Football battle, let take a look around the region at the best and brightest around the region in this week's 10 off the top.

Let go to the links:

GAME OFF?
10. Danny Ventura, of the Boston Herald, has the news of St. George's calling off Friday's scheduled game against Lawrence Academy.

In reaction to the news, Lawrence Academy head coach Mike Taylor told our Brendan Hall: "We're taking it as a bye week. For some reason, they don't feel comfortable with the kids they've got, but that's their business. We'll take it as a bye week, and do what we can do to get better."

Certainly a situation that bears watching.

THE PROSPECTUS
9. ESPN Boston correspondent Roger Brown takes a look at how some of New England's highly touted football prospects fared this weekend, including Matt Costello, Marcus Grant, Armani Reeves and Casey Cochran of Monroe, Conn.

NUTMEG MILL
8. Speaking of Connecticut, correspondent Matt Stout posted some passing thoughts from this weekend's action there ...

7. ... and there were some shake-ups to the Hartford Courant's statewide Top 10 poll.

LITTLE RHODY, BIG PERFORMANCES
6. Mike McDermott, of The Providence Journal, breaks down some of the Ocean State's top performers.

SOLID AS GRANITE
5. ESPN Boston correspondent Marc Thaler has his weekly Top 10 picks on his "Moving the Chains" blog, via the Union Leader.

GO WEST
4. Justin Felisko, writing on MassLive.com, digests the top performances from Western Mass.

A PUCK TALE
3. Old friend Andy Vogt of the MetroWest Daily News took an interesting look at Hopkinton's Teddy Doherty, who's playing hockey at Shattuck-St.Mary's in Faribault, Minnesota. You might have heard about a kid named Sid who passed through there recently, among other notable alumni.

INSIDE THE ROPES
2. Not too long ago, David Carty was a host of our Scott Barboza's WEBN-TV sports productions at Emerson College. Now, the Massachusetts native has returned home to work with The Sun Chronicle. Carty had this intriguing story about Norton High student Melanie Costa, who is rated among the area's top female boxers.

GATOR BITES
1. Alright, so maybe there's not too much of a connection, but we couldn't resist adding this link we came across. But Paul Bedard, the story's subject is a graduate of Bishop Stang in Dartmouth, and it is chronicled in on ESPN's "E:60", so here it goes. Mike Thomas, of the (Fall River) Herald News, has this look at the local gator wrestler. Yes, gator wrestler.

10 off the top: 9/27 edition

September, 27, 2010
9/27/10
2:59
PM ET
Somebody got a case of "The Mondays"? Not us, we're still buzzing over Saturday's Brockton-Xaverian battle for the ages.

We're ringing in the new week, as we always do, with the best and brightest from around New England. To the links we go:

A HINT OF NUTMEG
10. ESPN Boston High Schools correspondent Matt Stout passed along some thoughts from this weekend's football action in Connecticut.

9. Stout's contemporaries at the New Haven Register have a wrap on their statewide Top 10.

STEADY AS GRANITE
8. New Hampshire correspondent Marc Thaler has No. 1 Granite State team, Winnacunnet holding in a tight one against rival Exeter on his Moving the Chains blog.

ONE COMMON GOAL
7. Bill Reynolds of The Providence Journal looks at the RIIL's most unconventional team, the Knights, which features students from Providence Country Day, Wheeler and Juanita Sanchez.

AN ELITE CLASS
6. Adam Finkelstein, writing on his New England Basketball Recruiting Report takes a look at the super Froshes and Sophs from last weekend's Elite 75 Showcase at Boston University. Finkelstein will have an update from the event in this space tomorrow.

HERE AND THERE FROM THE TOP OF THE SEVEN HILLS
5. Mike Thomas of The Herald News of Fall River gives a shout out to Durfee head coach Robb McCoy, who joined Dracut's Jason Houston among the local coaches who earned their first win with their respective teams, after Friday's dramatic 22-21 comeback win over Taunton. Thomas also writes in his column on the resignation of Hilltoppers girls' basketball head coach Tony Martin, who is leaving to spend more time with his family.

GO WEST, YOUNG MAN
4. Ben Larsen, writing on MassLive.com, has a wrap up from a wild weekend of Western Massachusetts football action, which included Holyoke's upset of Westfield.

ANOTHER MR. 200
3. Peter Badavas, writing for the The Enterprise of Brockton, has more on Jim Kelliher's 200th career win at Abington.

HAWKEYE
2. The Globe's Sopan Deb has video highlights from Saturday's epic Brockton-Xaverian battle.

GOOD TIMES IN REVERE
1. The Herald's Danny Ventura has his weekly Sweet 16 here, but takes time to point out the 3-0 start by Revere, which hasn't happened since, well ... Let's say a long time.

10 off the top: 9/20 edition

September, 20, 2010
9/20/10
3:23
PM ET
While all of New England attempts to compose itself after Sunday's letdown at the Meadowlands, we're taking a look at the best and brightest from around the region yet again in this week's edition of 10 off the top.

Lets get to the links:

BASKETBALL JONES
We're still a ways away from basketball season, but there was plenty of big recruiting news from the weekend to whet your hoops appetite:

10. The news of Pat Connaughton's commitment to Notre Dame (which was first reported in this market in this space by my cohort Brendan Hall) dominated weekend headlines. Adam Finkelstein, writing on his ESPN recruiting blog (Insider content), had more on Connaughton's decision with Middlesex Magic head coach Mike Crotty Jr.

9. Finkelstein also provided some added perspective on the other big recruiting news of the weekend on his New England Recruiting Report: Dominique Bull's commitment to the University of Rhode Island. It's fitting the Worcester native, who will suit up with the Tilton School Rams this winter, will also be a Ram in his college career.

THE BIG BUILD UP
8. I'm already getting super charged-up for this weekend's bout between No. 1 Brockton and No. 2 Xaverian in Westwood and Danny Ventura kicked off the build up to the big game with a chronicle of teams' tête-à-têtes going back to 1988.

BEWARE THE BEAR CAGES
7. A bit of news that has this guy feeling a little forlorn for his cross country days and those epic struggles (and, alas, ultimate failures) against the terrain of Franklin Park. As Joe Reardon of the Boston Herald reported here, the MSTCA has scratched the venue from its meet schedule this year, meaning there will be far fewer opportunities to tackle the bear-ish "Bear Cages" portion of course.

WELCOME TO THE SHOW
6. Russ Charpentier of the Cape Cod Times has Falmouth High alum Steve Cishek getting the call from Double-A to the Florida Marlins last night.

BEST OF THE WEST
5. Ben Larsen, writing on MassLive.com, had the weekend's top performers from Western Mass.

STAY STRONG
4. John Gillooly of The Providence Journal has the inspirational story behind the recovery of South Kingstown High footbal player Mike Gray, who suffered severe head trauma during summer practices.

EARLY GRADES
3. High School Football Report has been keeping tabs on how our weekly football picks have panned out and stacked them against some of our contemporaries around the region. And let's just say Brendan and I have some ground to make up ... That is, even though we go out on a limb and pick like 10 times the games everybody else does. Just sayin' ...

END OF THE ROAD
2. Checking in with our far flung correspondents, Marc Thaler reported on the end to Plymouth Regional's epic 57-game winning streak on Friday night in New Hampshire. Kennett High of Conway beat the visiting Bobcats, 20-9, after the Eagles scored 20 unanswered points.

MR. 200
1. Mark Ducharme of The Enterprise catches up with Cardinal Spellman head coach Ron St. George, who pocketed his 200th career victory on Saturday. Look for our interview with St. George coming at you tomorrow.

10 off the top: Opening week edition

September, 13, 2010
9/13/10
11:16
PM ET
Week 1 of the Massachusetts high school sports calendar is in the books, so we’ll be taking some time today to digest all the action from the week that was. And, as we do each Monday, we’re also taking a look around the local scene and beyond in New England for our “10 off the top” link-o-rama.

Let’s get to the action:

CONTRIBUTING ON BOTH SIDES
10. With the kickoff of the MIAA football schedule behind us, we take a minute to reflect on those whose efforts paid off on both sides of the ball this weekend. After hauling in a touchdown pass and breaking off a game-breaking fumble recovery for a score, we caught up with Marshfield’s Jonathan Fraser after the Rams’ 33-20 win over Dracut on Saturday.

NORTH OF THE BORDER
9. This one comes from our neighbors to the North and the Canadian Football League. Check out former Everett High standout Diamond Ferri, who now plays for the Montreal Alouettes, and the hit he delivers around the 2:45 mark of this clip.

FROM BEHIND ENEMY LINES
8. This coming Sunday, Mike DeVito will be the object of many jeers cast at the television when he suits up for the New York Jets in their impending match-up with the Patriots. However, Pats fans might reserve some of that ill will directed toward the Nauset High grad and former Wellfleet resident considering what DeVito did for his old team. Amana Comak of the Cape Cod Times has the story here.

YEAH, THEY’RE GOOD
7. Jim Wilson of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette shares the opinions of many around the region — including us here at ESPNBoston.com High Schools — that St. John’s Shrewsbury football is, in fact, pretty darn good.

TAKE THE TEST
6. Phil Stacey of the Salem News takes an interesting look at the evolving complexities found in the defensive schemes of local high school football teams.

PUTTING IN OVERTIME
5. Doug Saffir of The Boston Globe takes a look at Reading High swimmer Erica Belcher’s Olympic aspirations.

GRANITE STATE RUNDOWN
4. Marc Thaler of the Union Leader, who also covers New Hampshire happenings for ESPNBoston.com, has his third-week Power Poll up.

“THE RIVALS”
3. On Saturday, the Smithsonian Channel premiered “The Rivals.” Directed by Kirk Wolfinger, the documentary followed the football teams of Mountain Valley High, in Rumford, Maine, and Cape Elizabeth High and their quest for the state championship during the 2007 season. A sneak preview is provided here.

A RECRUIT ON TWO FRONTS
2. Connecticut hoops recruit Phil Gaetano verbally committed to Sacred Heart as reported by Lucas Shapiro, writing for New England Recruiting Report.

1. What remains to be seen from that headline is the story behind the author of that post. Shapiro is a junior at Milton (Mass.) High and is somebody who has the pulse of basketball happenings throughout the region. We often turn our attention to high school athletes who dazzle on the court, but it’s times like these that it’s nice to pause and put the spotlight on a youngster who’s doing great things in high school sports in a different form. He’s talented and takes his beat seriously; that’s much more than could have been said about me when I was his age, so he might just take my seat one of these days. Keep up the good work, Lucas.

10 off the top: 8/30 edition

August, 30, 2010
8/30/10
1:56
PM ET
It’s Monday again and the weekend seemed to whiz by quicker than James Toney’s chances against Randy Couture in the Octagon. And that means it’s time for another "10 off the top".

The kickoff to high school football scrimmages on Saturday was a reminder that games aren’t too far away (with T-minus 11 days until teams do it for real).

With that, let’s get into another edition of the best and brightest from all points to kick the week off right:

THE BAND IS ON THE FIELD
10. You may have already read in this space that St. John’s (Shrewsbury) phenom Richard Rodgers has decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Cal Bear. ESPNBoston.com High Schools correspondent and Scouts, Inc. blogger Roger Brown had more about it on his recruiting blog and caught up with Rodgers, who talked about his decision.

HITTING THE LINKS
A roundup of links from around the region from the “in case you missed it” dept.

9. Danny Ventura had a nice story on the return of West Roxbury legend Leo Sybertz.

8. The Eagle-Tribune posted its Merrimack Valley Conference preview.

7. Peter Gobis of The Sun Chronicle tracked down former North Attleborough star Anthony Sherman.

6. Carolyn Thornton of The Providence Journal reported that the RIIL will not copy its boys’ basketball statewide tournament format in girls’ basketball.

5. Basketball is still some time away, but Adam Finkelstein of the New England Recruiting Report — who will also be bringing some of his insights to our site during the winter — is always on the job and posted his rankings for the New Hampshire Class of 2012.

4. One more basketball-related item … Alex Murphy of St. Mark’s was tracked down by TheShiver.com, a Kansas recruiting site, at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 in Venice Beach, Calif.

3. We also kicked off our first in a series of team capsules for our MIAA preseason Top 25 football teams with correspondent Neil Carroll making a stop at No. 25 Lynn English. We’ll have previews for No. 24 Holliston and No. 23 North Attleborough later in the day.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
2. North Attleborough football head coach Don Johnson on BC High’s defensive line after Saturday’s tri-scrimmage: "Man, they're big. I wish we could have a couple of those guys.”

SURPRISE, SURPRISE
1. One more item from North Attleboro and the Hockomock. When I asked Johnson who he thought might be a surprise team to watch out for in the always competitive Hock, he had this to say: “I think that would be Oliver Ames. Their junior varsity team has been playing well for the last couple of years. They could really sneak up on some people.”

Season starts: 10 off the top

August, 23, 2010
8/23/10
9:52
AM ET
Happy New Year!

On this rather soggy day, high schoolers across Massachusetts are back on the football field.

We’ll be checking in on the first day of action later on in the day, but for now here’s 10 off the top to celebrate the new season, featuring the best of the weekend, the week ahead and everything in between:

Said it once before, but it bears repeating now
10.) As a matter of housekeeping, an appeal to everyone who has graciously clicked on the site in our first week or so; please continue to send us your feedback. We love to hear what you have to say. And for the athletic directors out there, please remember to file your fall coaches contact information to us — and the rest of the year if you so please.

9.) As Massachusetts footballers return to practice, Pat Connaughton will not be one of them, as my cohort Brendan Hall had it here first.

8.) Before looking ahead, we must look back and old friend Dave Pevear of the Lowell Sun provided a fond look back at the Morris brothers of Ayer.

Early birds
7.) High school athletes in Maine had a head start on their New England counterparts, kicking off practice last Monday. We’ll have a full rundown of the Maine scene on Wednesday, when Gary Hawkins files our first Vacationland dispatch for our Five-State Roundup.

Out of season, not out of mind
6.) Interesting developments last week out of Rhode Island, where the RIIL Principals Committee on Athletics approved the establishment of a single statewide basketball tournament. One single champion will be crowned after a tournament featuring eight Division I entrants, five Division II teams and three Division III squad, following separate tournaments in each of the respective divisions. We’ll have more on this later in the week when correspondent Mike Scandura checks in with our first Five-State Roundup notebook from the Ocean State. Now, if we could only figure out a way to find one statewide divisional football champion for Massachusetts. One can dream.

5.) Did you know that Massachusetts leads the New England states with 88 established boys’ volleyball programs? Last among the six states? Maine, with a whopping zero. That may be changing soon, however, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Back in the saddle again
4.) Massachusetts isn’t the only state getting back to business, Connecticut schools were in the act last week. In case you missed it, take a look at correspondent Matt Stout’s preview for the Nutmeg State.

3.) While footballers across the state return to practice today, set your sights on Saturday when the bulk of the preseason scrimmage schedule begins. Among the highlights are Brockton visiting St. John’s (Shrewsbury), Everett facing Lynn English at the Manning Bowl, a tri-scrimmage du jour with BC High and Marshfield invading North Attleborough and Bridgewater-Raynham tussling with the Hawks at Xaverian.

2.) Later in the day we’ll have our first look at our preseason girls’ soccer Top 20. Will reigning Division I state champion Algonquin enter the season ranked No. 1 in their quest to repeat? Also, we’ll have the boys’ soccer Top 20 on tap tomorrow, so be on the look-out for that.

1.) Checking in with those aforementioned Xaverian Hawks, the returning Eastern Mass Division I Super Bowl champions. Head coach Charlie Stevenson said that even the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of his players this morning as they returned for conditioning drills.

“I think the kids even kind of liked it because it was nice and cool,” Stevenson said of the fall-like weather. “It sure beats those 90-degree days.”

10 off the top: 7/26

July, 26, 2010
7/26/10
12:16
PM ET
The weekend that was.

Given that it’s summertime — hopefully — that meant getting around to some backyard barbecue or perhaps some beach volleyball. While school is out, there’s still plenty going on in the world of high school sports, however. And for the high school athletes out there, you realize it’s a busy time. It’s not a time to rest on one’s laurels, instead it’s a time of preparation for the seasons ahead.

Many have put their summers to good use and we’ve been trolling the net for the best and brightest there is to offer.

It’s a service we’ll aim to provide in this space every Monday, at least throughout the school year, and whenever there are noteworthy happenings to pass along. Let us work hard so that you don’t have to and enjoy the best of what was this weekend across New England.

So without further ado, we present to you the … (drum roll please)

“We’re not waiting any longer for Hideki Okajima to break his silence” (Where's the bullpen help?)

The first-ever edition of “10 off the top”

It’s shake and bake, and they helped
10.) and 9.) Heating up some leftovers from this weekend’s Swampscott-Lynnfield 7-on-7 Shootout: This weekend's Tip of the Cap goes to Lynn English's Tyllor McDonald and Travonne Berry-Rogers, who were on opposite ends to many of the Bulldogs’ scores on Saturday. It was quite a treat watching these two consistently operate at a high level on what was a very steamy day.

Legions on the march
There was plenty going down at Campanelli Stadium at the Massachusetts American Legion State Baseball Tournament over the weekend. We’ll be checking in on the action later this week, but for now, here’s a primer on the action:

8.) Host Brockton Post 35 is faced with a must-win tonight.

7.) Bridgewater Post 203 staved off elimination.

6.) … as did New Bedford Post 1.

5.) Meanwhile, Milton Post 114 was in the driver’s seat as Sudbury Post 191 has some work to do in order to move on.

Huzzah!
4.) Kudos to the Western United F.C. U17s who claimed the U.S. Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup earlier this month in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

The times they are a changin’
3.) Changing enrollments could lead Maine to change to a four-class system in football.

Top of the pedestal, top of the class
1.) and 2.) The Providence Journal doled out its yearly Honor Roll and Ponaganset’s Nick Keeling and Cranston East’s Julia Maguire were tops in the class.

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