Boston High School: A.J. Baker

ESPN Boston MIAA football All-State team

December, 6, 2011
12/06/11
7:40
PM ET
OFFENSE
QB – Jonathan DiBiaso, Sr., Everett
Statistically the state’s best all-time quarterback, the ESPN Boston Mr. Football recipient finishes his storied career in Everett as the state’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (103) and passing yards (7,052). This season he broke his own state single-season record for TD passes (44), and threw for over 2,800 yards. In the last two seasons alone, both perfect Super Bowl-winning campaigns, he threw for 87 touchdown passes to better the previous state all-time mark of 85. DiBiaso is undecided on college plans.

QB – Matt O’Keefe, Sr., Duxbury
In his first season as the full-time starter under center, the Johns Hopkins lacrosse commit was a finalist for ESPN Boston’s Mr. Football award. The 6-foot-3, 185-pounder totaled nearly 3,000 yards from scrimmage, throwing for 2,321 yards, rushing for another 670, and totaling 39 scores. O’Keefe, a defender for the defending Division 1 state champion Dragons, is currently ranked as the No. 32 overall lacrosse player in the Class of 2012 by ESPNU.

QB – Matt Montalto, Sr., Dennis-Yarmouth
The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder led the Dolphins to their best season in school history, finishing a perfect 13-0 campaign by winning the Division 2A Super Bowl title – their first championship of any kind in the Super Bowl era. For the season he completed 61 percent of his passes for 2,065 yards and 25 touchdowns to just seven interceptions. He also carried 134 times for 1,219 yards and 16 more scores. Montalto is fielding various college interest, including, New Hampshire, Albany, Colgate, Brown, Sacred Heart and Bentley.

QB – Michael Walsh, Sr., Swampscott
The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder was a force on both sides of the ball for the 9-2 Big Blue, completing nearly 60 percent of his passes for 2,129 yards and 25 touchdowns to go along with 930 rushing yards and 13 more scores. Defensively, he totaled 47 tackles from the free safety position, forcing three fumbles and making two interceptions. Walsh will continue his career next fall at Brown as a safety.

RB – Melquawn Pinkney, Sr., Springfield Putnam
The 5-foot-9, 170-pound Mr. Football finalist ended his career with the Beavers in record-breaking fashion. With 341 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 48-6 win over Commerce for the Division 2 Super Bowl title, Pinkney broek Cedric Washington’s 15-year-old state all-time record for single-season yardage (2,889), and set the new state single-season mark for rushing touchdowns (43). Earlier in the season, Pinkney set a Western Mass single-game record with 421 rushing yards in a win over Agawam. For the season, he averaged 8.4 yards a carry. Pinkney is currently undecided on college plans.

RB – Sacoy Malone, Sr., Springfield Central
Both Malone and his cross-town foil Pinkney eclipsed the 2,000-yard mark on the season, as the Eagles returned to the Western Mass. Division 1 Super Bowl for the second straight year. On the season, Malone had 257 carries for 2,001 yards and 22 touchdowns; since the start of the 2010 season, he’s accumulated over 3,200 yards and 35 touchdowns. The 5-foot-8, 175-pound Malone is currently fielding interest from several Division 1 FCS schools.

RB – George Craan, Sr., Concord-Carlisle
Craan, the reigning Dual County League MVP, was the catalyst for the Patriots’ historic Super Bowl-winning season. He followed up a 1,900-yard junior season with just as explosive numbers in 2011, carrying 220 times for 1,761 yards and 24 touchdowns, as the Patriots went 13-0. The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Craan is currently undecided on college plans.

RB – Charles Ruffin, Sr., King Philip
The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder is the second Warrior in four seasons to capture Hockomock League Offensive Player of the Year honors. On the season he amassed over 1,300 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns, and led the Warriors to their first postseason berth of the Super Bowl era. Ruffin, who also stars in lacrosse and track and field, is currently fielding interest from several Division 1 schools.

TE – Mark Riley, Sr., Needham
One of several All-Staters previously known most for their lacrosse exploits, the 6-foot-1, 200-pounder was a force to be reckoned with for the 9-4 Rockets. Utilized as both a receiver and tight end, Riley caught 72 balls for 1,266 yards and a school record 15 touchdowns. He is currently undecided on college plans, but fielding Division 1 interest in lacrosse.

TE – Jameson McShea, Sr., BC High
The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Temple commit didn’t put up eye-opening numbers in the passing game, but his support in the running game was without peer as he helped paved the way for both Preston Cooper and Deontae Ramey-Doe. As a defensive end, he recorded 68 tackles (12 for loss) and was named the Catholic Conference’s Lineman of the Year.

WR – Khary Bailey-Smith, Sr., Weymouth
One of the state’s best deep-ball threats, the 6-foot-3, 185-pounder tallied 936 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns for the 9-2 Wildcats this fall. Since the start of his junior season, Bailey-Smith has caught over 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns. He is also a state champion in track and field, having cleared 6-foot-10 in the high jump. Bailey-Smith is fielding interest from Division 1 schools.

WR – Gordon McLeod, Sr., BC High
One of the most versatile threats on the Eagles’ Division 1 Super Bowl champion squad, McLeod was one of the leading receivers in Eastern Mass., with 755 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns as they captured their second title in four seasons.


WR – Don Webber, Sr., Duxbury
Considered one of the state’s best route-runners, the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder was the 13-0 Dragons’ most dangerous weapon in space. Webber led the team with 52 receptions for 776 yards and 11 touchdowns, as the Dragons won a second consecutive Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium and extended the state’s longest winning streak to 26 games. Webber is leaning towards the Ivy League for college plans.

WR – Malcolm Brown, Sr., Pope John XXIII
Statistically, the 6-foot-1 Brown graduates from the Everett campus as one of the state’s most decorated receivers of all-time. This fall he caught 71 passes to set school records of 1,306 yards and 20 touchdowns, both tops in the state. He also racked up 918 return yards and three touchdowns, ran for 328 yards, and threw for another 267. Defensively, he recorded 65 tackles (10 for loss) and three interceptions, including a pick-six. For his career, he has 192 receptions for 3,447 yards and 44 touchdowns, and 56 total scores. Brown currently has interest from schools in the Northeast-10 and MEAC conferences.

OL – Andrew VanderWilden, Sr., Concord-Carlisle
At 6-foot and 245 pounds, VanderWilden was arguably one of the most efficient pound-for-pound centers in the state. He led a Patriots rushing attack that racked up 53 touchdowns and nearly 3,000 yards the ground, part of one of the state’s highest scoring averages (35.4). VanderWilden, a two-time Dual County League Lineman of the Year, will continue his career at Brown next fall.

OL – Keith Sullivan, Sr., Oliver Ames
The 6-foot-9, 300-pounder was arguably the most crucial two-way player for the Tigers’ historic run, winning their first Hockomock title since 1964 and qualifying for their first championship game of the Super Bowl era. Sullivan is currently undecided on college plans, but fielding Division 1 interest.


OL – John Montelus, Jr., Everett
DiBiaso’s blind side is quickly rising as one of New England’s top Class of 2013 prospects. The last two seasons the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder has allowed DiBiaso to throw 87 touchdown passes and keep his jersey clean. Montelus received four offers before his 16th birthday this fall, and counts UConn, Syracuse, NC State, Virginia and Boston College.

OL – Gordon Acha, Sr., Duxbury
Acha, the Dragons’ left tackle, was named ESPN Boston’s inaugural Lineman of the Year this week after helping pave the way to a second straight 13-0 season. The Dragons averaged 302 yards of offense and had 36 touchdown passes. The 6-foot-4, 255-pound Acha is currently fielding interest from Division 1 schools, including Boston College and Maryland.

OL – Rob Kosharek, Jr., Duxbury
Together with Acha, the 6-foot-6, 250-pound Kosharek created one of the state’s best tandems on the left side of the 13-0 Dragons’ line. Behind Kosharek at left guard, the Dragons won their second straight Division 2 Super Bowl title and rang their winning streak up to a state-best 26 games.


ATH – Geeavontie Griffith, Sr., Boston Cathedral
The 12-1 Panthers experienced one of the state’s most dramatic turnarounds under first-year head coach Duane Sigsbury, and leading the charges was Griffith. The 5-foot-7, 175-pound Randolph native carried 152 times for 2,244 yards and 29 touchdowns, as the Panthers advanced to the Division 4A Super Bowl. He is currently undecided on college plans.

ATH – Armani Reeves, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Don’t let the Mr. Football finalist’s limited touches fool you. Reeves, a Penn State commit and the state’s No. 1 overall prospect, was electric practically every time he touched the ball. He ran for 1,001 yards on just 46 touches, caught another 205, and returned a punt for a touchdown to total 15 scores for the 7-2 Knights. That averages out to almost a touchdown every three touches.

K – Jules Murphy, Sr., Xaverian
Murphy has been known to regularly hit from 40 yards and further, and while he didn’t have many opportunities this season, he was a near-perfect 27-of-28 on extra points. Murphy is undecided on college plans.


DEFENSE
DL – Ralph Jonathas, Sr., Everett

The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder was a mainstay of the Crimson Tide's back-to-back Super Bowl championship teams and a defense that allowed just over 12 points per game this season. Jonathas has received interest from multiple Division 1 programs, but is undecided on college plans.


DL – Brendan Battles, Sr., Nauset
At 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, the UConn commit was one of the most feared defensive presences in the state. But the bruising lineman also did double time, serving as the play-caller in Nauset's single wing offense, paving the way as the lead blocker out of the backfield. Battles also won the Division 1 and All-State wrestling crowns in the 215-pound divsion, advancing to the New England finals.

DL – Maurice Hurst Jr., Jr., Xaverian
The 6-foot-2, 275-pound defensive tackle was a physical presence in the middle of the Hawks defense. Hurst finished the season with 61 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks. Hurst also showed off his athleticism in one of the more improbable performances of the season, rushing for over 200 yards in the Hawks' win over St. John's of Shrewsbury, including an awe-inspiring 75-yard touchdown run.

DL – Henry Bumpus, Sr., Concord-Carlisle
The 6-foot-6, 218-pound defensive end was one of the more imposing physical presences in the state, as well as an important part of C-C's rushing attack at tight end. The senior captain helped to guide the Patriots to a Division 3 Super Bowl championship. A feared rusher off the edge, Bumpus finished with 9.5 sacks and 66 tackles. He also nabbed four interceptions on the season. Bumpus will attend Brown University next year.

LB – Tim Joy, Sr., Chelmsford
The Boston College-bound 'backer was the heart and soul of the Lions defense, leading the team with 155 tackles, including eight for a loss and three sacks. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder also had an interception in addition to three passes defensed. Joy was also a steady contributor to Chelmsford's offense, as a punishing lead blocker at full back in front of running back Eddie Sheridan.

LB – Luke Catarius, Jr., BC High
The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder lead the Eagles in tackles, despite playing 10 regular season games with 129 tackles, including 24 tackles for loss. Catarius was also a mainstay of BC High's offense, providing lead blocks at fullback in front of Preston Cooper and Deontae Ramey-Doe for the Division 1 Super Bowl champions.

LB – Vondell Langston, Sr., Everett
The Crimson Tide senior captain was an integral part of Everett's offensive and defensive units in each of their back-to-back Super Bowl championship seasons. As a linebacker, Langston was tough against the ran and a threat to drop back in coverage, coming away with three interceptions on the season. Langston tallied 15 touchdowns on the season at running back. He is undecided on his college choice.

LB – Cam Williams, Sr., Catholic Memorial
The 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker was named one of 50 national finalists for the high school Butkus Award, honoring the nation's top linebacker. The Penn State commit totaled 119 tackles (81 solo), including 18 tackles for loss. Wiliams was also effective in pass defense with an interception and seven passes defensed.

LB – Nick Schlatz, Sr., Bridgewater-Raynham
The Trojans' senior captain was part of a dynamic 1-2 punch at running back along with Brandon Morin, totaling nine touchdowns. Schlatz was the fulcrum of Bridgewater-Raynham's defense, which allowed just under 14 points per game this season.


LB – Dan Flink, Sr., Auburn
Flink was the heart of the Rockets' defense, which surrendered just over 10 points per game this season. He totaled 141 tackles, including 27 tackles for loss, along with seven forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and eight sacks. Flink played running back with the same mentality he brought to his play at linebacker with 1,393 yards and 27 touchdowns in his senior season. The three-year starter was part of four Super Bowl championship teams at Auburn and is looking to study at Mass Maritime Academy next year.

DB – James Burke, Sr., Duxbury
The senior captain was a stalwart in the Dragons' defense in their back-to-back Super Bowl titles. The 6-foot, 165-pounder formed a vicious safety duo along with Reilly Naton and led the secondary with 76 total tackles (50 solo) and had three interceptions with nine passes defensed. Also a standout on Duxbury's state-title winning lacrosse team, Burke has signed a letter of intent to play lacrosse at Penn State.

DB – Quinton Perkins, Sr., Fitchburg
The 6-foot, 170-pound wideout and safety was one of the most dynamic talents in the state, nevermind Central Mass. Perkins, who holds offers from UConn and UMass-Amherst, tallied 35 tackles and two interceptions on defense. He racked up 20 total touchdowns with 10 rushing, nine passing and a kickoff return. Perkins also racked up over 1,300 all-purpose offensive yards. He also racked up 200 all-purpose offensive yards and three touchdowns in the Red Raiders' playoff loss to Leominster.

DB – Casey DeAndrade, Sr., East Bridgewater
The University of New Hampshire commit was one of the most electrifying offensive talents in the state this year, but also played lock-down corner for the Vikings. DeAndrade tallied one interception in his senior season to push his career total to 11, a testament to opponents' weariness in throwing in his direction. The multi-talented athlete tallied 22 touchdowns with nearly 1,400 all-purpose offensive yards.

DB – Obi Melifonwu, Sr., Grafton
The UConn commit was a big-play threat on both sides of the football for Grafton, leading the Indians with three interceptions. The 6-foot-4, 195-pounder also ran for nearly 1,400 yards in a shortened season along with 17 touchdowns.


RET – Chucky Ortiz, Sr. Woburn
Ortiz was a jack of all trades while taking MVP honors of the Middlesex League Large division. In racking up 24 touchdowns, Ortiz tallied two pick-sixes, and a pair punt returns and kick returns for scores. Ortiz had six interceptions on defense while finishing a shade under 1,200 rushing yards. He also handled place kicking duties for the Tanners, connecting on 15 PATs and one field goal.

Best of the Rest
A.J. Baker, Sr. WR, Swampscott
Dan Barone, Sr. QB, Holliston
Vincent Burton, Sr. RB, Blue Hills
Kenny Calaj, Jr. WR, Everett
Andrew Coke, Sr. RB, Andover
Preston Cooper, Sr. RB, BC High
A.J. Doyle, Sr. QB, Catholic Memorial
Brian Dunlap, Fr. WR, Natick
Aaron Dyke, Jr. OL, Auburn
Andrew Ellis, Jr. LB, Barnstable
Joe Epps, Sr. RB, Bourne
Theo France, Sr. RB, Barnstable
Brett Harrington, Sr. DL, Chelmsford
Jack Harris, Sr. TE, Lincoln-Sudbury
Greg Heineman, Sr. QB, Minnechaug
Damion Johnson, Sr. WR, Dennis-Yarmouth
Jordan Keli'inui, Sr. RB, Mashpee
Thomas Kleyn, Sr. LB, Concord-Carlisle
Zack Hume, Jr. LB, Nashoba
Nick LaSpada, Sr. QB, Billerica
Cam McLevedge, Sr. QB, Weymouth
Reilly Naton, Sr. S, Duxbury
T.J. Norris, Sr. RB, Longmeadow
Mike Prendeville, Sr. OG, BC High
Will Quigley, Sr. RB, Marblehead
Deontae Ramey-Doe, Sr. RB, BC High
Max Randall, Sr. LB, Duxbury
Zack Schafer, Sr. LB, Mansfield
Eddie Sheridan, Sr. RB, Chelmsford
Jarod Taylor, Jr. RB, Mashpee
Shawn Whouley, Sr. WR, Weymouth

Recap: Swampscott 21, Beverly 13

November, 5, 2011
11/05/11
6:40
PM ET


BEVERLY, Mass. -– As far as momentum swings go, you won’t find many that top the one that happened Saturday in Swampscott’s 21-13 victory over Beverly.

With the host Panthers up 13-7 late in the first half, Swampscott quarterback Michael Walsh swung a pass to Richard Sullivan in the right flat, but Beverly’s Dan Brown arrived when the ball did and with authority.

The hit, which caused an incompletion, elicited a roar from the Beverly crowd and a corresponding one from Swampscott coach Steve Dembowski, who barreled over from his sideline to argue for either a personal foul or taunting penalty.

Neither came, but Dembowski ended up getting an even better result. On the next play, Walsh (240 all-purpose yards) converted a fourth and 3 when he picked up nine yards. Then, Walsh threw back to A.J. Baker, who found Walsh in the left flat with a wall of blockers leading him to the end zone for a 49-yard touchdown. Nick Meninno’s PAT gave the Big Blue a 14-13 halftime lead and they never trailed again.

Walsh added a 12-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter and the defense forced two turnovers on downs in Swampscott (8-1, 3-0 in the NEC/Cal Tier 2) territory later on to seal it. It was a satisfying win for the Big Blue, who hadn’t beaten Beverly (6-3, 2-1) since 2007.

“It feels incredible,” said Swampscott linebacker Zach Kalapinski. “They’re a great team.”

“This was huge,” said Walsh. “This was another step towards winning the NEC and that’s where we want to be. So this was a big step towards that.”

Beverly nearly took that step, as Brendan Flaherty (137 yards rushing, 91 receiving) was a major weapon for the Panthers, scoring on a 49-yard run on their first drive and a 27-yard reception on their second.

But Swampscott made just enough plays in the final minutes to hold off the hosts, turning the ball over on downs twice deep in Big Blue territory.

Swamp monsters: The Swampscott offensive line may not be the biggest around, but it’s an underrated group that made the difference in the second half. The all-senior group of Mark Lausier, Sam Gold, Michael Wynne, Michael Bagarella and Abdi Yusef paved the way for 108 yards on the ground between Walsh and Evan Rhodes (71 yards rushing) in the final 22 minutes.

“We thought we could win the trench war,” Dembowski said. “Last year we lost the trench war. We won the yards and all that stuff, but we didn’t get the touchdowns.”

No huddles here: Swampscott’s offense is well-known for its no-huddle spread, but Beverly showed at times that its Wing-T could be executed at just as quick a pace. For much of the game, the Panthers operated without a huddle and kept the Big Blue on their heels for the entire first half. The tempo at which the Panthers played was impressive, and by the looks of it, will only be more elevated in the future. With quarterback Dave Rollins, running backs Flaherty, Dom Abate and Kenny Pierce and four offensive linemen returning next year, expect more defenses to be sucking wind when the Beverly offense takes the field.

SWAMPSCOTT 21, BEVERLY 13
SWA (8-1, 3-0) 7 - 7 - 0 - 7 --– 21
BEV (6-3, 2-1) 7 - 6 - 0 - 0 –-- 13

First quarter
B – Brendan Flaherty 49 run (Dave Rollins kick)
S – Michael Walsh 1 run (Nick Meninno kick)

Second quarter
B – Flaherty 27 pass from Rollins (kick failed)
S – Walsh 49 pass from AJ Baker (Meninno kick)

Fourth quarter
S – Walsh 12 run (Meninno kick)

Recap: Swampscott 33, Lynn English 19

October, 1, 2011
10/01/11
8:41
PM ET


SWAMPSCOTT, Mass. -- Lynn English football head coach Peter Holey put it bluntly that turnovers not only kill football teams.

“They kill football coaches, too,” Holey added.

And so there was no way to look past the Bulldogs’ six turnovers as their undoing in a 33-19 loss at Swampscott on Saturday. Despite drawing even with the Big Blue for a time during the third quarter, Lynn English’s miscues had a multiplying effect, letting Swampscott’s spread offense get into rhythm.

“I thought when we threw the pick and they tied it up, 12-12, our guys really bore down,” Big Blue head coach Steve Dembowski said. “I thought Mike Walsh was stronger in the second half than the first, somewhat [like] last year.”

After throwing a pick-six to Lynn English's Malcolm Brown-Simpson to open the third quarter, Walsh rebounded to lead Swampscott on three scoring drives, with the Brown commits scoring once with his feet and throwing for another two touchdowns.

A sloppily played first half rife with penalties and (you guessed it) turnovers meant both teams weren’t able to establish much by the way of offensive momentum. But Swampscott (4-0) clung to a 12-5 halftime lead after Walsh found his favorite target, wide receiver A.J. Baker on an 11-yard touchdown pass.

In the second half, Big Blue had its opportunistic defense to thank for several scores and good field position. Defensive back Aiden Lang recovered two key fumbles, thwarting promising Bulldogs drives and setting up Swampscott scoring drives.

“We go over all week that we need to get turnovers,” Lang said. “Joe DeSalvo had one and Frank Legere had a pick and a couple of kids had forced fumbles. But it was basically a team effort throughout the week.”

FAMILIAR FACES, FAMILIAR SCHEMES
There is much in common in the offensive schemes run by both Dembowski and Holey. So Saturday’s matchup was a little bit like boxing against your shadow.

“It’s the same way we see it against Lynn English in practice,” Holey said. “They didn’t do anything we didn’t expect them to do.”

Add to the equation that Lynn English senior quarterback Jermaine Kelly started his high school career at Swampscott before moving across the town line, so Big Blue was more than familiar with the quarterback’s tendencies.

“It’s always nice getting to practice against a spread because our scout team knows what they’re doing,” Lang said. “We knew Jermaine’s cadence so we could figure out when to move and stuff, so it helps.”

Lining up against a spread team plays into Big Blue’s strengths with a host of athletic players on the second and third tier of the defense. But, more than that, Swampscott’s defensive line was able to keep Kelly, who can make plays happen with his feet as well and is a hard-to-tackle runner in the open field, in check for the most part.

“They run a lot of the same stuff that we do [offensively], so we were prepared,” said Walsh, who also plays at safety. “[Defensive backs] Coach [Peter] Bush prepared us the whole week for this offense. It really started up front though, Mike Wynne, Patrick Sheehan. Joe DeSalvo and Mark Lausier got penetration the whole day and the linebackers filled the gaps.”

The familiarity paid off.

“We thought we had a great game plan going in against them, for the most part,” Dembowski said. “I thought we did a good job except for when we went into a little bit of a prevent there. Our defense, overall, was awesome today.”

FRIENDLY RIVALRY
Even after beating up on each other all afternoon, a host of Swampscott players took extended time to talk with and extend best wishes to Kelly following the contest, including a hug from his former head coach.

But, in between the lines, friendship was put aside.

“I’ve talked to Jermaine a lot and he’s still a friend of mine,” Lang said. “But it meant a little bit more [to beat him].”

Photo day in Swampscott

August, 24, 2011
8/24/11
6:42
PM ET
Swampscott football Scott Barboza for ESPNBoston.comSwampscott quarterback Mike Walsh and his receivers posed for photos on media day. Look for more shots like these when we release our football preview photo gallery on Monday, Sept. 5.


SWAMPSCOTT, Mass. -- Wednesday was team picture day for the Swampscott football team and ESPN Boston tagged along with the Big Blue for a photo shoot on the harbor.

You can look for the full gallery on Monday, Sept. 5. We've been scouring Massachusetts to catch up with some of the team and players you'll want to keep an eye on this fall.

While meeting up with the Big Blue, we checked in with two players represented on our preseason All-State team. Swampscott wide receiver A.J. Baker was on our offensive first team while quarterback and safety Mike Walsh was listed on our "Watch List" and could be a candidate for Mr. Football honors this season.

Even though the players are no stranger to personal accolades, both have just one goal in mind for the upcoming season.

"We want to get back to the Super Bowl," said Baker, who's received interest from Colby and Bentley. "That's our goal every year. But we're putting first things first, we have to win our conference, so we have to win all our conference games and we'll take it from there."

That potential run to a Super Bowl is forged in the preseason, when the Big Blue signal-caller has frequently huddled up with his talented corps of receivers.

Considering Swampscott took the title at the New England Patriots Under Armour 7v7 tournament last month, it looks like this year's group is off and running.

"Last year, with [Peter] Yasi and [Zach] Beerman, I knew exactly where they were going to be the second they broke," said Walsh, who has committed to playing defensive back at Brown. "Now, it's working with this new group. We had a great summer though. We threw in a few new things to the playbook and all that stuff, but it's been good."

ESPN Boston's Preseason All-State Team

August, 22, 2011
8/22/11
6:55
AM ET
Below is our Preseason MIAA All-State Football Team, along with some other players to watch. Returning All-Staters are bolded.

OFFENSE

QB – Nick LaSpada, Sr., Billerica
QB – Jonathan DiBiaso, Sr., Everett
QB – Brandon Walsh, Sr., North Andover
RB – Andrew Coke, Sr., Andover
RB – Preston Cooper, Sr., BC High
RB – George Craan, Sr., Concord-Carlisle
RB – Sacoy Malone, Sr., Springfield Central
TE – Jameson McShea, Sr., BC High
TE – Lucas Bavaro, Jr., St. John’s Prep
WR – Khary Bailey-Smith, Sr., Weymouth
WR – Efrain Montalvo, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
WR – Don Webber, Sr., Duxbury
WR – A.J. Baker, Sr., Swampscott
OL – Tyler Loring, Sr., Catholic Memorial
OL – Peter Salem, Sr., Dracut
OL – Ryan Anger, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
OL – T.J. Leeman, Sr., Andover
OL – John Montelus, Jr., Everett
ATH – Armani Reeves, Sr., Catholic Memorial
ATH – Karl Sery, Sr., Hudson
K – Jules Murphy, Sr., Xaverian

DEFENSE

DL – Ralph Jonathas, Sr., Everett
DL – Dino Hyppolite, Sr., Brockton
DL – Brendan Battles-Santos, Sr., Nauset
DL – Brett Harrington, Sr., Chelmsford
LB – Tim Joy, Sr., Chelmsford
LB – Max McDaniel, Sr., Lexington
LB – Vondell Langston, Sr., Everett
LB – Max Randall, Sr., Duxbury
LB – Buck McCarthy, Sr., Everett
LB – Camren Williams, Sr., Catholic Memorial
DB – Jesse Monteiro, Sr., Brockton
DB – Reilly Naton, Sr., Duxbury
DB – Casey DeAndrade, Sr., East Bridgewater
DB – Obi Melifonwu, Sr., Grafton
RET – Chucky Ortiz, Sr., Woburn

Watch List:
Chris Burke, Sr. LB, Gloucester
Drew Burnett, Sr. QB, Needham
Chris Calvanese, Sr. QB, Xaverian
Luke Catarius, Jr. LB, BC High
D.J. Crook, Sr. QB, Barnstable
A.J. Doyle, Sr. QB, Catholic Memorial
Donovan Henry, Sr. RB/DB, Catholic Memorial
Kurt Hunziker, Sr. RB/LB, Masconomet
Maurice Hurst Jr., Jr. DL, Xaverian
Damion Johnson, Sr. WR, Dennis-Yarmouth
Matt King, Sr. RB/LB, Scituate
Jake Lazarus, Sr. QB, Longmeadow
Matt Montalto, Sr. QB, Dennis-Yarmouth
Paul Mroz, Sr. QB, Brockton
Terry Norris, Sr. RB, Longmeadow
Chuddy Nwachukwu, Jr. OL, Dighton-Rehoboth
Marcus Odiah, Jr. RB, Burlington
Matt O’Keefe, Sr. QB, Duxbury
Quinton Perkins, Sr. RB, Fitchburg
Joe Previte, Jr. OL/DL, Brockton
Bartley Regan, Sr. QB, BC High
Charles Ruffin, Sr. RB, King Philip
Nick Schlatz, Sr. RB/LB, Bridgewater-Raynham
Mike Walsh, Sr. QB/S, Swampscott

Swampscott claims Under Armour 7v7

July, 30, 2011
7/30/11
11:19
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Chelmsford was on the cusp of back-to-back championships on back-to-back weekends at the New England Patriots Under Armour 7v7.

The Lions rode the momentum from last week's Northeast 7v7 victory into the final of Saturday's event at Gillette Stadium, facing off against Swampscott. While there was no resolution after regulation, Big Blue spoiled Chelmsford's designs when quarterback Mike Walsh found A.J. Baker in the end zone for the game-winner in overtime.

After a disappointing performance at the Northeast 7v7 last week, Walsh was glad to his team's hard work pay off.

"We put a lot of preparation into this," said the rising senior who recently committed to Brown. "We have workouts every Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 6 a.m. All throughout the summer, we go through a ton of 7-on-7's and I think this is our sixth major tournament of the summer, plus the passing league were in every Sunday."

Walsh found his favorite target and lifelong friend -- Baker said they've been best friends since the first grade -- in the back of the end zone off of a crossing mesh route. Baker's responsibility on the play was actually as a decoy, setting a screen to allow another receiver to become open underneath. However, instead of setting that pick, Baker found open turf. When he turned around the ball was there and Big Blue walked away winners.

"We have a good chemistry," Baker said of his quarterback. "We played together in Pop Warner and on and on. He's really smart and he knows what he's doing back there. He makes his read and he throws wherever he wants to because he has a cannon of an arm, so he just launches off and finds the open man."

After the graduation of a couple of couple of his top receivers from 2010, including Peter Yasi and Zach Beerman, Walsh has been using the summer period to better acquaint himself with a new crop of wideouts.

"We have a lot of first-year kids who are stepping up big time," Walsh said. "We have a couple of juniors who played JV last year. Joe DeSalvo had a huge day today, offensively and defensively. A.J. [Baker] does his thing out there, too. He's going to be my go-to guy, but Aidan Lang's been running great routes and been doing real well. He's going to take the H-receiver role and I've been happy with all of those guys. Nick Meninno's been doing a great job on the outside, too. He's another JV guy from last year that's stepping up big."

The first-year event hosted eight of Massachusetts' top football programs with BB&N, Boston Cathedral, Catholic Memorial, Duxbury, North Andover and St. John's Prep joining the fray.

Among the breakout performers was Cathedral wide receiver Geeavontie Griffith who tallied nine touchdowns in four games.

SPONSORED HEADLINES