Boston High School: Albert Louis-Jean

Brockton's Mroz making most of 2nd chance

September, 2, 2011
MrozBrendan Hall/ Thanks to a ruling by the MIAA, Brockton QB Paul Mroz got his second chance.
BROCKTON, Mass. -- Clifford Lechtur takes a front row in the home bleachers at Xaverian High’s Hawk Bowl to watch his beloved Brockton Boxers in their annual scrimmage with St. John’s of Shrewsbury, on this Saturday morning that is beginning to darken as Hurricane Irene makes its way up the Atlantic Coast.

The kid he’s here to watch today, 18-year-old quarterback Paul Mroz, just might be the best-kept secret in New England, and he’s putting on a show to kick things off. He hits a wideout perfectly in stride 40 yards down the right sideline on the very first play from scrimmage, setting up a rushing score one play later. On the second play of the Boxers’ next offensive series, he takes off down the left sideline unscathed, slips outside of a vicious crackback block, and races 70 yards to paydirt.

Four plays, two scores, all in the time it takes to change the oil on one’s car.

He is as nimble on his feet, with borderline-4.5 speed, as he is strong with his arm despite his skinny 6-foot-1 frame. Those high-arching fades and darts in tight space account for just three incompletions in four offensive series.

Lechtur -- family friend of Mroz’s mother, and the kid’s mentor from age three on -- is watching something special unfold, and it’s putting a sheepish grin on his face. All those car rides, money loans and life lessons just might be coming full circle.

“It’s a good story. I think at some point in his life, he coulda gone the other way,” he says.

So what, then, kept this kid from going the other way?

Lechtur takes a long pause.

Ten, fifteen seconds.

‘I was stupid, really dumb’

Lechtur finally responds softly, “He’s basically a good person. A lot of encouragement from myself and his brother.”

So what, then, would that other way have been?

“Well, he has some friends who he went to junior high with,” Lechtur starts before pausing to clear his throat. “They were good friends, they played AAU basketball together, I used to drive them to their games at the time. A couple of those kids, even though they were good kids, they used to get themselves in trouble, and a couple of them landed in jail ... As far as I know, two of his best buddies went to jail for some time.”

And that’s your starter kit for this story.

Most of it, as Mroz explained over lunch with a few weeks ago, just simply takes too long.

“I’ve got issues, I can go on for days about what happened to me in the projects,” he chuckled.

“You used to go outside, and gun shots were right near you,” he continued. “It was pretty bad, but it’s a lot better now.”

Mroz has grown up in Brockton’s Crescent Street condominiums -- or as he calls it, the “East Side Projects” -- and found himself constantly quarreling with the neighborhood kids, a few times getting into trouble with the law “for dumb things” (he’ll leave it at that). It was enough that he ended up taking boxing lessons at the popular Cappiello Brothers Boxing facility for two months during the seventh grade, to learn how to fight.

To this day, Mroz is prone to spontaneously start dancing the way a boxer does around the ring, mimicking the footwork he’s studied on many a grainy YouTube highlight of Brockton’s most famous son, Rocky Marciano. That means he could be doing it in the middle of the night in his living room, with no lights or music, or outside on the pavement with his friends, mid-sentence.

More importantly, like many of the other sports he dabbled in growing up, Mroz said “anything I could do I was into, because it was boring in the projects and I was trying to get the hell outta there.”

Football became his first love, and he first picked up shoulder pads at 10 years old, playing quarterback in the city’s Midget League under the tutelage of his brother, former Weymouth North star running back Rick Mroz. After the Boxers’ last Division 1 Super Bowl victory in 2005, won at their home venue Rocky Marciano Stadium, little Paul snuck into the locker room and began celebrating with strangers.

But Paul also had other things going on. He had a bad attitude, hair down almost to his waist, and hated school.

When Howie Long was in high school in his native Charlestown, aimlessly wandering around the streets, he once went 45 consecutive days without showing up to a class (Hence the subsequent transfer to suburban Milford High). During his freshman and sophomore years at Brockton High, Mroz was probably the next lowest denominator.

At his worst, Mroz would show up for a day “and then miss a couple weeks”, popping his head into the building “usually just to see friends”. The rest of the time was spent at home taking care of his mother and his sister’s infant child, or out by the basketball courts across the street, or at the dirty pond nearby, trying to catch turtles with his bare hands, fetching sunfish using a wire and a hook attached to a stick.

It was enough for law enforcement to show up at his front door from time to time, with the threat of lockup for his repeated truancy issues.

“I didn’t care about school, it was really bad. I was stupid, really dumb,” he said. “And I knew in my head that, how am I gonna stay on the freshman team if I can’t keep my schoolwork up? But I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know why. It was like a disability for me, or something, I dunno.

“Just couldn’t do it, for whatever reason. Sent to the office every day, ‘You’re being disruptive’, stuff like that. It was really bad.”

Embracing this opportunity

Even today, Brockton head coach Peter Colombo marvels of Mroz, “Frankly, I never thought he’d play. I knew he had problems at home, difficulties, and just figured the odds were too great.”

[+] EnlargeBrockton
Brendan Hall/ ESPNBoston.comPaul Mroz has developed into a leader for fifth-ranked Brockton.
On the verge of heading down that dreaded path Lechtur alluded to, and unable to cope with the schoolwork at Brockton High, Mroz transferred to Champion School, a charter school across the city where he would receive more one-on-one attention on lesson plans, and would then have to present what he learned to a panel of teachers and guests.

With specialized guidance, Mroz found interest in subjects he used to loathe. Problem was, the school was not yet part of the Brockton public schools system, and therefore he was relegated to the upper rows of the bleachers, long hair and all, watching the game he loved from what might as well have been an eternity away.

When Champion was integrated into the public school system for the 2009-10 school year, allowing him to join Brockton High’s athletic squads, Mroz saw a second chance. And then, after a long talk with Rick, Paul hopped in his brother’s Jeep with two buddies, took a ride down to the local Supercuts and chopped off all his hair.

“I thought he would chicken out, to be honest with you,” Rick cracked.

It wasn’t until Thanksgiving that Mroz found his way into varsity action. But during last summer’s preseason, Mroz won the starting job despite his lack of experience, and in the first game of the season made his presence felt immediately, throwing for 183 yards and two scores -- including a 53-yard strike to current Boston College freshman cornerback Albert Louis-Jean -- in a 16-6 win over rival BC High.

From there things only blossomed. He guided the Boxers to an 8-3 record as he threw for 1,322 yards and 12 scores, adding eight more touchdowns on the ground.

Still, Mroz was going to need a hardship waiver from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association, since he is technically going into his fifth year of high school. Mroz is currently scheduled to graduate from Champion in January.

There are several elements to a waiver application, but often the dealbreaker on granting these things can come down to the student-athlete’s personal essay. Mroz made sure to pour his heart out in writing, unveiling his past troubles with full transparency, and explaining how sports have re-shaped a life once thought to be destined for danger.

Early last month, Mroz came home from a workout with an urgent message from his mother to call Colombo back. The coach gave him the news that his waiver had been granted, and Mroz pretty much lost his mind.

And then Colombo peered out his window. “I looked up over the East side of Brockton to see if he was in orbit,” he laughed.

Mroz got his waiver granted on his first attempt, which to some was a surprise based on history with these requests.

“I know how much he wanted it, and he deserved it, and I commend the MIAA for doing the right thing,” Colombo said. “Waivers are created to help people change their lives, and give people opportunities, and he just deserved it.”

Of his waiver, Mroz said, “I can’t thank the MIAA enough, because they just helped me out a lot in my life. This is a huge year for me. Now I know what to do, I know how to be a leader, the guys respect me that much more on the team, and around Brockton. I love Brockton.”

As always, Mroz wears his heart on his sleeve, and the newfound bounce in his step has been significant. During a photo shoot with the morning before the first day of MIAA-sanctioned practices, Mroz was heard barking orders at his fellow seniors to pay attention and follow the photographer’s orders, even politely apologizing in private on behalf of the group afterwards.

Outside Brockton’s circles, coaches are told of Mroz’s reversal of fortune and often remark about his good nature. It’s a respect well-earned.

“In the city of Brockton, there’s other decisions that have ended a lot of careers, nothing to do with [football],” Colombo said. “You know, you’re out there in the streets, doing things you shouldn’t do. He’s all about football, really, 24 hours a day. The kid just loves to play football, and that’s why his life has changed.”

Raw talent still needs polish

Mroz is the first to admit last year was all about winging it.

That I-have-arrived strike to Louis-Jean in the first week of last season? Winging it.

In Week 9, with five seconds left and down five to highly touted Catholic Memorial, Mroz said a prayer in the huddle, called up four vertical routes, and heaved up a 41-yard Hail Mary strike to Lucas Depina for the thrilling win. That, too, was winging it.

And so, too, was the following week’s gut-wrenching loss to rival New Bedford, statistically one of Mroz’s worst outings, one that eventually gave the Big 3 title to the Whalers and sent the Boxers home with no playoff berth for the first time since 2001. Mroz recalled dropping to the turf and “bawling my eyes out”, adding, “win or lose, it’s the quarterback’s fault”.

Mroz admits he is still fairly new to the mental aspect, an element so crucial to the quarterback position. In the last month, since returning from the National Underclassmen Combine in Oklahoma, he has been getting pro bono lessons from former UConn quarterback and Arena League vet Shane Stafford on reading defenses, getting rides from Lechtur down to Stafford’s house in Connecticut for study sessions.

For all of the promise shown in that first scrimmage last Saturday, Mroz is still a raw prospect. But with his athletic ability, the ceiling is undisputedly high.

Last spring, Mroz took home the Division 1 state championship in the javelin with a throw of 169-8, just a year after first picking it up.

Last June, he showed up at the inaugural New England Nike SPARQ Combine in Waltham, and drew praise from ESPN recruiting analysts. Senior analyst Billy Tucker wrote in his recap, “Mroz had the best all-around day at the quarterback position. He demonstrated a very natural throwing motion, good arm strength and very polished footwork.”

A month later, Mroz took the trek out to the NUC Camp with Lechtur and was one of six out of 500 talented campers to receive an award. This one was for leadership: “He could end up getting some late D-I offers, if not he would make a very good FCS quarterback ... He came across as being very polished while having good leadership.”

Colombo won’t go so far as to make a comparison to former Brockton great Mark Hartsell, who went on to star at Boston College and had cups of coffee in the late '90s with the Bears and Redskins. But the potential might be there.

“He’s not Mark Hartsell, who stood in the pocket and threw rockets, although his arm strength is very, very good,” Colombo said.

Mroz took an unofficial visit to UConn over the summer, and attended both the Huskies’ as well as Boston College’s camps. He said the Huskies are showing the most interest right now.

But his route to college ball is still up in the air. Officials at Champion are awaiting a verdict from the NCAA on whether the core courses there will be recognized as such courses as required for eligibility. Current NCAA requirements call for passing grades in 16 identified core courses for Division I, and 14 for Division II; new legislation passed last year calls for a student-athlete’s grade point average to be frozen after eight semesters, with the exception of core courses.

Mroz is set to graduate in January, and accepts that junior college may be a route. But as much as he’d enjoy reuniting with former teammate and defensive tackle William Carruthers out at Ventura (Calif.) College, he says “If I don’t have to do that, I don’t want to.”

You get the feeling, though, that wherever his future takes him, he’ll find a way to the top. Because, after all, he’s a fighter at heart.

“I’ll tell you though, sometimes I felt like giving up, not gonna lie,” Mroz said. “Coaches, I didn’t feel like they wanted me to play. They weren’t even looking at me, it felt like, didn’t even know I existed. Wasn’t even there, I’ll tell you that much.

“Sometimes, something happens and you just feel really down, and you’re like, ‘Ah! I give up on everything!’ That happens to me a couple times too, just like anyone else. But I never let it happen.”

Shriners Football Classic rosters announced

May, 5, 2011
The North-South game of the 33rd Annual Shriners Football Classic kicks off this June 17 at 7 p.m., and for the second year in a row the contest will be held at Gillette Stadium. Below are the rosters for both squads participating in the game:

Ryan Adams, Northeast, DE
James Aloisio, Masconoment, OT
Eric Apgar, Acton-Boxborough, RB
Anthony Arcari, Tewksbury, RB
Manny Asprilla, Everett, WR
Derek Bent, Shawsheen, TE
Brian Bourque, Reading, DB
James Brao, Hamilton-Wenham, LB
Cal Carroll, Methuen, QB
Brendan Casey, Boston Latin, DT
Thomas Chub, Masconomet, OL
Mitchell Colley, Arlington, LB
Sean Connolly, Tewksbury, FS
Tyler Coppola, St. John's Prep, RB
Matt Costello, Everett, WR
Anthony Courtouis, Lowell, WR
Jeff Covitz, Reading, OL
Nate Cyr, St. John's Prep, OL
Ned Deane, Andover, LB
Ryan Delisle, St. John's Prep, TE
Jake Giovanucci, Dexter, DE
Mike Grassa, BB&N, DB
Will Guinee, Malden Catholic, OL
Mike Harper, Methuen, LB
Zach Hayes, Chelmsford, S
Justin Hood, Billerica, DE
Brian Hurley, Wilmington
Zach Ingalls, Westford, DB
George Kallas, Beverly, OT
Ben Koopman, Marblehead, C
Chris Malonis, Dracut, WR
Tyllor MacDonald, Lynn English, DB
Tom Meade, Malden Catholic, LB
Trae Musumarra, Central Catholic, LB
Zach Nardone, Bishop Fenwick, DT
Paul Nwokeji, Thayer Academy, OL
John O'Connell, Northeast, DL
Daniel Omorgie, Lynn Classical, DE
Xavier Peralta, Central Catholic, DB
Ony Ramos, Lawrence, DB
Peter Savarese, BB&N, RB
Jordan Shairs, Gloucester, RB
Matt Silva, Dracut, QB
Bradley Skeffington, Salem, DB
Zach Smerlas, Lincoln-Sudbury, DL
Brian Strachan, St. Sebastian's, WR
Dave Summiel, Shawsheen, DT
Chris Unis, Gloucester, DE
Trae Weathers, Revere, RB
Sean Whittaker, Methuen, OL
Peter Yasi, Swampscott, DE

Matt Allen, Pembroke, SE
Ryan Barrett, Holliston, TE
Rob Barrus, Weymouth, LB
Adam Boari, King Philip, OL
Blaise Branch, Cardinal Spellman, RB
Lance Burlingame, New Bedford, OL
Jack Carrier, Cohasset, SE
Dylan Colarusso, Weymouth, RB
Joe Colton, Xaverian, DB
Tom Condon, Whitman-Hanson, OL
David Conroy, Walpole, SE
Nate Crary, Dennis-Yarmouth, DL
Seth DeMello, Somerset, RB
Mike Devin, Bridgewater-Raynham, OL
Mike Driscoll, Rockland, FB
Connor Fraser, Abington, DL
Jake Golden, Hingham, OL
Mitchell Graziano, Silver Lake, DB
William Greene, Oliver Ames, DE
Ernest Guy, Foxborough, OL
Joseph Hak, East Bridgewater, OL
Matt Hallisey, Duxbury, SE
Brian Harrington, Rockland, DE
Jordan Henderson, Barnstable, WR
D.J. Jamieson, West Bridgewater, RB
Randall Jette, Martha's Vineyard, DB
Dan Johnson, North Attleboro, SE
Andrew Kestenbaum, Dartmouth, OL
Matt Lockwood, Seekonk, RB
Albert Louis-Jean, Brockton, SE
Denis Maguire, Duxbury, LB
Jamel Marshall, Mansfield, RB
Zach Martin, Mashpee, RB
Alec May, King Philip, TE
Sean Mayo, Holliston, QB
Paul McCarthy, North Attleboro, DB
Kyle McGuire, Mansfield, OL
Dave McSweeney, Medway, OL
Obum Obukwelu, BC High, OL
Trevon Offley, Brockton, RB
Jon Page, Bourne, RB
Tyler Park, Scituate, QB
Liam Porter, Natick, OL
Ethan Rayner, Holliston, OL
Nate Robitaille, Attleboro, DB
Andrew Siden, Natick, TE
Kevin Stanton, Cardinal Spellman, LB
Jeff Synan, Plymouth North, OL
Chris Tamasi, Xaverian, LB
Ryan Vaughn, Norwell, OL


Football, Albert Louis-Jean, St. John's Prep, Andrew Kestenbaum, Liam Porter, Lynn English, Chelmsford, Swampscott, Gloucester, Tyllor MacDonald, Lincoln-Sudbury, Plymouth North, Manny Asprilla, Matt Costello, Central Catholic, Obum Obukwelu, Barnstable, Bridgewater-Raynham, Paul Nwokeji, Zach Smerlas, Andrew Siden, Matt Silva, Matt Hallisey, Acton-Boxborough, Eric Apgar, Chris Malonis, Lance Burlingame, Joe Colton, Chris Tamasi, Trevon Offley, Oliver Ames, Ryan Barrett, Ethan Rayner, Paul McCarthy, Dan Johnson, Trae Musumarra, Xavier Peralta, King Philip, Adam Boari, Mike Devin, Tyler Coppola, Ryan Delisle, Brian Bourque, Jeff Covitz, Zach Hayes, Jordan Henderson, Zach Ingalls, Cal Carroll, Mike Harper, Sean Whittaker, Justin Hood, Chris Unis, Jake Giovanucci, Jamel Marshall, Kyle McGuire, Malden Catholic, Will Guinee, Dennis-Yarmouth, Nate Crary, Jordan Shairs, Anthony Arcari, Sean Connolly, Cardinal Spellman, Blaise Branch, Peter Savarese, Connor Fraser, Silver Lake, Seth DeMello, Trae Weathers, Lynn Classical, Martha's Vineyard, Randall Jette, New Bedford, Rob Barrus, Dave McSweeney, St. Sebastian's, Brian Strachan, Peter Yasi, Mike Driscoll, Brian Harrington, Whitman-Hanson, Bishop Fenwick, Masconomet, Jeff Synan, East Bridgewater, Boston Latin, David Conroy, Foxborough, Hamilton-Wenham, West Bridgewater, Derek Bent, George Kallas, Tyler Park, D.J. Jamieson, James Brao, Ryan Adams, Denis Maguire, Thayer Academy, Marblehead, Ben Koopman, Wilmington, Brian Hurley, Shriners Football Classic, James Aloisio, Brendan Casey, Thomas Chub, Mitchell Colley, Anthony Courtouis, Mike Grassa, Zach Nardone, John O'Connell, Daniel Omorgie, Bradley Skeffington, Dave Summiel, Matt Allen, Jack Carrier, Tom Condon, Jake Golden, Mitchell Graziano, William Greene, Ernest Guy, Joseph Hak, North Attleboro, Matt Lockwood, Zach Martin, Kevin Stanton, Ryan Vaughn

LA's senior class comes full circle

February, 4, 2011
BOSTON -- Two weeks ago, Mike Orloff's phone went off during class, as sometimes happens these days. And when he looked down at the missed call, he was startled to see a Los Angeles area code number.

"I couldn’t for the life of me guess who it was going to be," the Lawrence Academy senior laughed as he recalled the story of how he ended up just minutes earlier this Thursday evening, from the 37th floor of the 40-story 28 State Street skyscraper in Government Center, signing a National Letter of Intent to play football at UCLA next fall.

Turns out the mystery call was a voicemail from Rick Neuheisel, head coach of the Bruins, and he had just finished watching his film 10 seconds ago. Not only did he love the linebacker's physical, downhill style of play, and natural nose for the ball, he wanted him to call back immediately and come down to Westwood for an official visit.

Mike Orloff
Brendan Hall/ESPNBoston.comSenior linebacker Mike Orloff switched his commitment Monday from Iowa to UCLA and signed his letter of intent Thursday night in Boston.
Orloff had verbally committed to Iowa last summer, but couldn't resist. He flew down for an official visit last Friday, and by Monday he had made up his mind to switch his commitment.

On Thursday night, high above the downtown Boston skyline, he and six of his Spartan teammates signed National Letters of Intent to play Division 1 football at the FBS or FCS level, bringing the Spartans' amazing run these last two seasons -- 17-1, with two ISL championships and a NEPSAC Bowl victory -- full circle.

Wednesday's National Letter of Intent signing day for football prospects was one that lacked drama, with all of the top in-state prospects already committed. But it was quite an anomaly, with 13 players signing NLI's to Division 1 FBS schools from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Conference-USA, Pac-10, Mountain West and MAC, most significantly Brockton's Albert Louis-Jean (Boston College), Rivers' Taariq Allen (Nebraska) and St. John's of Shrewsbury's Richard Rodgers (Cal). One of Orloff's teammates, three-star wideout Marcus Grant, signed with Iowa; they were joined by running back Anthony Knight (Nevada), tight end Clay Horne (Villanova), linebacker Dan Giovacchini (Brown) and linemen Max Ricci (BC) and Ryan Welch (UNH).

It's a level of depth not seen year to year in this state. Allen, for instance, will be the Huskers' first scholarship player from Massachusetts since Peabody's Grant Miller in 2002; before that, you have to go back to Lincoln-Sudbury's duo of Mike Croel and Joe Sims in the 1980's. Louis-Jean, meanwhile, is the No. 9 overall cornerback in the nation by ESPNU's rankings, and committed to Miami last March before dropping the Hurricanes following Randy Shannon's firing as head coach.

"Being from Mass, and seeing other kids from Mass going on to big places, Taariq going to Nebraska and Albert going to BC, and all of us in this room, it’s been incredible," said Grant, a Carver native, moments after putting the ink on his paperwork. "To see people you’ve known for so long, going on to play big time football, it’s been a pretty amazing experience for me."


Grant was in Iowa City this past January 21, a Friday, the day after a number of players performed an intense squat workout that has since come under scrutiny from the national media. Grant said he saw "players limping, looking like they couldn't move, couldn't even go out at night to hang out."

He didn't put too much weight into the scene until Monday rolled around and reports surfaced that 13 players were hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis, a stress-induced syndrome that can cause kidney problems and damage cells. The news has resonated back in the Boston area, as Duxbury native and linebacker Shane DiBona was among the 13 hospitalized, while strength coach Chris Doyle hails from Quincy.

Earlier today, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics spokesman Tom Moore told the Associated Press that three employees were in the process of being terminated over a breach of players' medical records, while two more were handed five-day unpaid suspensions.

Grant says he sticks by the Hawkeyes, and that the news has not had an affect on his commitment.

"It was crazy," Grant said. "First thing I did was talk to my recruiting coordinator, Ken O’Keefe, and he actually had no idea at the time because he was out on the road. It was crazy, but then again they said it wasn’t anything to do with people on the team doing something illegal or anything. It wasn’t too concerning, you’ve just got to take care of your body when you do a gruesome workout like that."

When asked how much of an affect the highly-publicized incident had on him switching his commitment from the Hawkeyes, Orloff swiftly responded, "Absolutely not, absolutely not. I mean, coach Doyle is one of the most respected people in that business. As far as I know, he’s one of the best, so that has nothing to do with it."

Football Signing Day is here

February, 2, 2011
The first day of the football National Letter of Intent signing period has arrived, and we've got you covered all day (though we'll probably be buried under snow ourselves). Here is a list of Massachusetts athletes committed to Division 1 programs headed into today's big day.

Any commitments can be sent to Scott Barboza at or Brendan Hall at

(NOTE: The Ivy League does not recognize National Letters of Intent)

Taariq Allen, Rivers – Nebraska
Manny Asprilla, Everett – Boston College
Dalton Gifford, Bridgton Academy (Maine)/Barnstable – UConn
Marcus Grant, Lawrence Academy – Iowa
Harry Keselman, Oliver Ames - Temple
Anthony Knight, Lawrence Academy – Nevada
Albert Louis-Jean, Brockton – Boston College (enrolled in January)
Brian Miller, Andover – Boston College
Paul Nwokeji, Thayer Academy – UConn
Rodman Noel, Milford Academy (N.Y.)/Everett – NC State
Mike Orloff, Lawrence Academy – UCLA
Liam Porter, Natick – Boston College
Max Ricci, Lawrence Academy – Boston College
Richard Rodgers, St. John’s (Shrewsbury) – Cal
Andrew Siden, Natick – Tulane

Jeff Anderson, Longmeadow - Brown
Ryan Barrett, Holliston – Bryant
Connor Candito, Bridgton Academy (Maine)/St. John's (Shrewsbury) - Sacred Heart
Jamie Casselbury, Philips Andover - UMass
Connor Caveney, Cushing Academy - Sacred Heart
Matt Costello, Everett – Princeton
Jeff Covitz, Reading - Bryant
Ryan Delisle, St. John’s Prep – Harvard
Anthony Fabiano, Wakefield – Harvard
Ryan Flannery, North Attleborough - Columbia
Justin Flores, Tilton School/Woburn - Maine
Dan Giovacchini, Lawrence Academy – Brown
Will Guinee, Malden Catholic - Dartmouth
Greg Hilliard, Suffield Academy (Conn.)/Brockton – UMass
Clay Horne, Lawrence Academy – Villanova
Brandon Howard, Worcester Academy/King Philip - UMass
Randall Jette, Martha’s Vineyard – UMass
Isaiah Jones, Mahar - Maine
Andrew Kestenbaum, Dartmouth – Rhode Island
Ben Koopman, Marblehead – Holy Cross
John Lavin, Falmouth – Bryant
Dan Light, St. John’s (Shrewsbury) – Fordham
Harrison Lyons, Avon Old Farms (Conn.)/Norwell - Bryant
Alec May, King Philip - Georgetown
Brian McDonald, Hebron Academy (Maine)/Westwood - Sacred Heart
Andrew Mizzoni, Gloucester – Holy Cross
Obum Obukwelu, BC High – Harvard
Ben Patrick, Rivers – UMass (preferred walk-on)
Jason Richard, Milford Academy (N.Y.)/Weston - Sacred Heart
Peter Savarese, BB&N - Dartmouth
Zach Smerlas, Lincoln-Sudbury – Brown
Keshaudas Spence, Taft (Conn.)/Catholic Memorial - Sacred Heart
Charlie Storey, Milton Academy - Dartmouth
Brian Strachan, St. Sebastian’s – Brown
Cam Sullivan, Westfield - Bryant
Jeff Synan, Plymouth North - Bryant
Ben Ticknor, Milton Academy - Dartmouth
John Wallace, Somerville – UMass
Ryan Welch, Lawrence Academy – UNH
Conor Wyand, Nashoba - Brown

Nick Broughton, Marblehead - Merrimack
Matt Delaney, Barnstable - Assumption
Chris Mooney, Stoneham - Assumption
Mike Muir, Xaverian - Bentley
Bobby Richman, North Attleborough - Bentley
Chris Unis, Gloucester - Merrimack

Eric Bertino, BB&N - Middlebury
Ned Deane, Andover - Amherst
Mike Devin, Bridgewater-Raynham, Bowdoin
James DiBlaisi, BB&N - Trinity
Josh Friedland, Marblehead - Bates
Jake Giovanucci, Dexter - Bowdoin
Mike Gustafson, Belmont Hill - Washington & Lee
Brett Harasimowicz, Duxbury - Middlebury
Mike Hogan, St. John's (Shrewsbury) - Wesleyan
Matt Perlow, Marblehead - Bowdoin
Mike Tomaino, Gloucester - Bates

More on Louis-Jean's commitment

December, 28, 2010
From the beginning, it came down to three for Albert Louis-Jean.

As to which school he ended up with, it was a win-win from the get-go.

The 6-foot-1, 175 pound Brockton cornerback, Massachusetts’ No. 1 rated football recruit, always had Boston College, Miami and Penn State in mind. Louis-Jean eventually committed to Miami, but when Hurricanes head coach Randy Shannon was fired in November after finishing a 7-5 campaign, he withdrew his verbal commitment.

Then, it was two, with Louis-Jean considering BC and Penn State. But the decision he made Monday to go with the Eagles was an easy one really.

“I’m right at home,” Louis-Jean said in a telephone interview Tuesday morning.

In addition, the nation’s ninth-ranked cornerback is going to get an early start on his college career, as he will enroll at BC in January.

“It’s going to be a lot of getting used to college life, getting used to working out at specific times and just getting used to the schedule,” Louis-Jean said. “A big part of college is learning how to use your time right.”

Louis-Jean said the Eagles intend to play him at cornerback and contribute on special teams units with a share in kick and punt return duties.

“I’ve known this coaching staff going back to sophomore year,” said Louis-Jean, who cited his experience with Eagles offensive line coach Sean Devine. “They kept telling me how much they wanted me and how much they wanted me to play there.”

Both Louis-Jean’s father, Albert Sr., and his high school coach were thrilled by the news and the possibility of watching him in their backyard.

“It’s great that he will be close to home and have the chance to be part of a great football and academic family,” Albert Sr. said. “BC was always in the picture, as I always told him, if you thinking about the NFL, you shouldn’t. If you’re good enough, you’re good enough, but the academics are what are really going to shape your life.”

A sentiment Boxers head coach Peter Colombo reflected.

“I don’t think he could’ve made a better decision. Looking at life beyond football, that BC network is invaluable. And that’s coming from a Holy Cross guy. But seriously, they graduate their kids and you have the national exposure of the ACC, the chance to play at a high level. With Coach Spaz, you know he’s going to be around longterm and you know that he’s a great coach.

“I’m very happy for Albert.”

Louis-Jean commits to Boston College

December, 28, 2010
Massachusetts' top-rated 2011 football prospect Albert Louis-Jean of Brockton High School committed to Boston College on Monday, ESPN Boston's Brendan Hall has learned.

Louis-Jean, a four-star recruit who is the ranked by ESPN Scouts Inc. as the No. 9 cornerback in the nation, also told ESPN Boston he plans to enroll at BC in January.

The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder had committed to Miami last March during spring practice, but with the firing of head coach Randy Shannon, Louis-Jean had a change of heart.

Scouts Inc.'s Billy Tucker had this to add on the Eagles' big get:
"The Eagles land their first four-star prospect for 2011 and now claim the top rated prospect in Massachusetts with committed of Louis-Jean, a former Miami pledge. The top-10 rated national corner has a lot of physical tools to develop in Chestnut Hill and should be one of the more athletic defensive back's on the Eagles depth chart as soon as he arrives on campus."

"At 6-foot-1, Louis-Jean has ideal height, length and range for a perimeter defender but also good footwork and overall agility needed to match up in space. His speed is more straight-line but still very good for his size and he should excel in B.C.'s zone schemes with his good closing burst and physicality. A great pickup for Boston College adding to a deep, quality class lacking a ton of blue chip prospects but filled with fundamentally sound, coachable prospects they have been achieving consist success with."

Mass coaches name All-State football team

December, 21, 2010
The Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association announced its All-State team on Tuesday.

Eastern Mass Division 1 Super Bowl champion Everett led the way with three selections, with quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso, wide receiver Matt Costello and defensive back Manny Asprilla taking honors.

Here's the list of honorees:


Jonathan DiBiaso, Jr., Everett
Nick LaSpada, Jr., Billerica
Tom Murphy, Sr., Northbridge

Running back
Isaiah Jones, Sr., Mahar
Jamel Marshall, Sr., Mansfield
Jordan Shairs, Sr., Gloucester

Matt Costello, Sr., Everett
Richard Rodgers, Sr., St. John's (Shrewsbury)

Offensive line
Lance Burlingame, Sr., New Bedford
Jeff Covitz, Sr., Reading
George Kallas, Sr., Beverly
Obum Obukwelu, Sr., BC High
Liam Porter, Sr., Natick

Defensive line

Brian Miller, Sr., Andover
Zach Smerlas, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
Chris Unis, Sr., Gloucester

Seth DeMello, Sr., Somerset
Dan Giovacchini, Sr., Lawrence Academy
Matthew LeBlanc, Sr., Wachusett
Mike Mercadante, Sr., Minnechaug
Conor Wyand, Sr., Nashoba

Defensive back
Manny Asprilla, Sr., Everett
Dan Johnson, Sr., North Attleborough
Joe Colton, Sr., Xaverian
Albert Louis-Jean, Sr., Brockton
Brian Strachan, Sr., St. Sebastian's

Miami remains an option for Louis-Jean

December, 13, 2010
It appears that the University of Miami still has a chance to reel in Brockton High four-star defensive back Albert Louis-Jean.

Louis-Jean committed to Miami in March, but was one of three players who de-committed earlier this month after the school fired Randy Shannon. Louis-Jean said Miami remains a potential landing spot.

“Of course,” Louis-Jean said. “I’m going down there [for an official visit] this weekend.”

Louis-Jean, who is the top-rated recruit from New England, has already taken official visits to Boston College and Penn State. He said after this weekend, he does not have any other official visits planned.

Louis-Jean’s father, Albert Louis-Jean Sr., said at the moment it’s a three-team race between those schools.

“I’d say BC has just as good a chance as anybody,” Louis-Jean Sr. said. “We’ve heard from a lot of schools since Randy [Shannon] was fired, but I wouldn’t say we’ve had serious conversations with any of them. He’s not really interested in anybody else at this point.

“He’s always been interested in just a few schools. That’s why he committed early.”

Miami is scheduled to introduce former Temple head coach Al Golden as Shannon’s replacement today. Louis-Jean said as of Monday morning, he had not been contacted by Golden or anybody at Miami.

“I really don’t’ know anything about him,” Louis-Jean said.

Golden is a New Jersey native who played tight end at Penn State. Before he became Temple’s head coach, Golden served as an assistant coach at Virginia, Penn State and Boston College.

Miami has four commitments in its current recruiting class.

Louis-Jean is expected to announce his decision during the first week of January.

Cochran leads Masuk to title
ESPNU 150 Watch List quarterback Casey Cochran (Monroe, Conn./Masuk) completed 22 of 32 passes for 309 yards and three touchdowns in Masuk’s 50-20 triumph over New Canaan in Connecticut’s Class L championship game Saturday.

Cochran, who also ran for a touchdown, left the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter, but returned late in the fourth.

Masuk completed its season with a 13-0 record.

ESPNBoston's MIAA All-State Team

December, 7, 2010
QB -- Dan Light, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
In his first year under center after playing tight end last year for the Pioneers, the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder spearheaded one of the state’s most prolific offenses with precision, as the Pioneers rolled to their second straight Division 1 Central Mass Super Bowl title. He threw for 2,171 yards and 32 touchdowns to just seven interceptions, and on the ground he added 1,131 yards and 16 more scores. Light is considering several Division 1 schools.

QB -- Jonathan DiBiaso, Jr., Everett
In his record-setting junior campaign, DiBiaso helped deliver the Crimson Tide their eighth Division 1 Super Bowl title in 12 years. He threw for 2,885 yards and a state single-season record 43 touchdowns, to just four interceptions, and capped with a 31-7 win over St. John’s Prep at Gillette Stadium for the Super Bowl title. He has 59 touchdown passes for his career.

QB -- Nick LaSpada, Jr., Billerica
The junior, who won the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2009, lived up to the hype in spite of a marginal season for the 5-6 Indians. He threw for 2,738 yards and 25 touchdowns, and added 1,064 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground, averaging over eight yards per carry. For his career, he has thrown for over 5,800 yards and ran for over 3,500 in his three years as starting quarterback. LaSpada is being recruited by a number of Division 1 FBS schools, including Boston College, Notre Dame, Oregon, Alabama, Penn State, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, USC, Florida State and Stanford.

RB -- Trevon Offley, Sr., Brockton
In taking over full-time rushing duties from his cousin, Khalil James-Offley, the 5-foot-6, 190-pound Trevon proved to be one of the state’s toughest runners in between the tackles. Offley carried 155 times for 1,364 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging 8.8 yards per carry for the 8-3 Boxers.
RB -- Jamel Marshall, Sr., Mansfield
After backing up Shawn Doherty in 2009 and watching him set a school record, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Marshall went ahead and smashed it. His 1,339 yards on the ground (including 7.1 yards per carry) broke Doherty’s mark of 1,239, and his 21 touchdowns came within striking distance of breaking a two-decade record held by Omari Walker. Marshall is considering several Division 1-AA and Division 2 schools.

RB -- Tyler Coppola, Sr., St. John’s Prep
As the focal point of the 8-5 Eagles’ offense, the 5-foot-7, 185-pound Coppola did not disappoint. He carried the ball a yeoman 243 times for 2,172 yards and 20 touchdowns, including an unheard-of 348 yards and six scores against St. Joseph’s (Md.) in October, as the Eagles captured a share of the Catholic Conference title and reached the Division 1 Eastern Mass Super Bowl for the first time since 2002.

RB -- Andrew Coke, Jr., Andover
After an outstanding sophomore season at Brooks School alongside current BYU freshman Jordan Johnson, Coke transferred back to his hometown high school and helped lead the Golden Warriors to their first Merrimack Valley Conference title in 35 years. The 6-foot-1, 218-pound junior carried 304 times for 1,841 yards and 29 touchdowns (most in Division 1), and as a wildcat quarterback completed 24 of 34 passes for 267 yards and two more scores.

WR -- Matt Costello, Sr., Everett
After a tremendous senior season, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Costello racked up numerous awards, including this year’s state Gatorade Player of the Year and ESPNBoston’s inaugural Mr. Football award. Costello played an instrumental role in DiBiaso’s state-record junior campaign, as he caught 76 balls for 1,301 yards and 23 touchdowns – including 11 catches for 145 yards and three scores in the Tide’s 31-7 victory over St. John’s Prep in the Division 1 Super Bowl. Costello is considering Princeton, Penn and Harvard.

WR -- Richard Rodgers, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
The talented Rodgers tore up the competition once again in his senior campaign with the Division 1 Super Bowl champion Pioneers. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder caught 65 balls for 1,064 yards and 17 touchdowns, for an average of 16.4 yards per catch. He was also a force at defensive end, recording eight sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception. Rodgers is following in his father’s footsteps, as he will play tight end next fall at Cal.

WR -- Jordan Henderson, Sr., Barnstable
The speedy Henderson made a name for himself as one of the state’s most dangerous threats in the short passing game, leading the 7-4 Red Raiders in every receiving category. The 6-foot, 180-pounder caught 61 balls for 1,069 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 17.5 yards per catch.
TE -- Anthony Fabiano, Sr., Wakefield
One of several outstanding tight ends to be used in more of a blocking role, the 6-foot-5, 258-pound Fabiano excelled on both sides of the ball for the 6-4 Warriors, who captured their second straight Middlesex League Small title. Fabiano caught 23 passes for 267 yards, and as a defensive end recorded 57 tackles, a team-high nine sacks and three forced fumbles.

TE -- Ryan Barrett, Sr., Holliston
Like Fabiano, Barrett was used primarily in a blocking role for the 12-1 Panthers, who captured their first Super Bowl title since 1985 with a 21-7 win over Cardinal Spellman. With Barrett’s guidance, the Panthers ran for more than 2,500 yards on the ground and scored more than 500 points through the ground and air. Barrett is committed to Bryant University, where his brother Andrew is currently a sophomore offensive lineman.

OL -- Nathan Cyr, Sr., St. John’s Prep
The 6-foot-1, 246-pound Cyr was one of the state’s best run-blockers this season, paving the way to a monster season from Coppola and over 3,000 yards on the ground total as the Eagles captured a share of the Catholic Conference title and went to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2002. Cyr is committed to Trinity College.

OL -- John Wallace, Sr., Somerville
The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Wallace was a three-year starter for the Highlanders, and is a two-time Greater Boston League All-Star. This season for 4-6 Somerville, he recorded 68 tackles and five sacks while also providing plenty of run support as both a guard and tackle. He is considering several Division 1 FCS schools, including UMass and New Hampshire.

OL -- Jeff Covitz, Sr., Reading
The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Covitz, a three-year starter for the 12-1 Rockets, was a force at right tackle for the Rockets, paving the way for one of the state’s most potent rushing attacks (45 rushing touchdowns). At defensive end, he was a dominant run-plugger for a defense that allowed a Division 2-best 8.7 points per game.

OL -- Ian Levesque, Sr., Somerset
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound tackle paved the way for two 1,000-yard rushers in Seth DeMello and Jaron Spear for the 12-1 Blue Raiders, who advanced to their first Super Bowl since 1981. In addition to helping the Raiders rack up nearly 300 rushing yards per game and over 50 rushing touchdowns, he also was an anchor along the line of a defense that allowed just 11 points per game. He is considering several Division 1 FCS schools, including Colgate and Wagner.

OL -- Lance Burlingame, Sr., New Bedford
The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder is a two-time Big 3 Conference All-Star at offensive tackle and defensive end. In 10 games, he demonstrated outstanding feet as both run and pass blocker, and proved just as dominant defensively with 84 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He is considering several Division 1 FCS schools, including UMass, New Hampshire and Maine.

ATH -- Armani Reeves, Jr., Catholic Memorial
The 5-foot-10, 178-pound Reeves emerged as one of the state’s most electric playmakers this season for the 5-5 Knights, lining up all over the field to great results. He amassed 1,279 all-purpose yards and scored 16 touchdowns in four different ways – receiving, rushing, punt and kick returns. He currently holds 10 scholarship offers from Division 1 schools, including Boston College, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia, UConn and Penn State.

ATH -- Isaiah Jones, Sr., Mahar
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Jones emerged as one of the state’s most elusive weapons in the open field, with 40 speed in the 4.5’s. In a season hampered by injury, he carried 151 times for 1,726 yards and 23 touchdowns, added 150 receiving yards, and also had three returns for touchdowns (two punt, one kickoff). For his career, he amassed over 4,400 yards rushing. Jones is considering several Division 1 schools, including Boston College, UMass and New Hampshire.

K -- Connor McDavitt, Sr., Wachusett
While his powerful right leg wasn’t called into action as much, the 5-foot-7 McDavitt demonstrated great range when called upon, hitting from a long of 42 yards this year for the Division 1A Central Mass Super Bowl Champion Mountaineers. He recorded 14 touchbacks, and also had a net punting average of 42.5 yards.

DL - Chris Unis, Sr., Gloucester
After recovering from an elbow injury, Unis returned to lead the Fishermen to their second straight Super Bowl title and third in the last four years. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound speed rusher proved a handful for offensive linemen and was also vital to Gloucester’s running game, playing tight end. Unis also collected his third straight Northeastern Conference All-Star nod.

DL - Obum Obukwelu, Sr., BC High
The 6-foot-1, 255-pounder was an imposing figure on the Eagles’ defensive line and tallied 8.5 sacks on 68 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss. Obukwelu is committed to play football at Harvard next year.
DL - Zach Smerlas, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
The three-year defensive starter often faced double and triple teams against him this season, but the senior captain still managed to make 40 tackles (18 solo) while clogging up the interior for the Dual County League Large champion Warriors.
DL - Shaquille Taylor, Sr., Everett
Taylor was the affable heart of the defense for the Eastern Mass Division I Super Bowl champions. The 5-foot-11, 275-pounder was an immovable object on the line, stuffing the run and showing speed to pressure the quarterback.
LB - Chris Tamasi, Sr., Xaverian
The senior captain was the fulcrum of the Hawks’ defense and a steady contributor out of the backfield on offense. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder has verbally committed to play football at Amherst College next year.

LB - Matt Walsh, Sr., Plymouth North
Walsh provided bite to the Eagles’ offense and defense as both a hard-nosed fullback and middle linebacker. While leading Plymouth North’s defense, which surrendered just 10 points per game, Walsh also tallied 12 touchdowns. A talented catcher, he has committed to Franklin Pierce where he will play baseball.

LB - Jordan Shairs, Sr., Gloucester
For everything that Chris Unis or Andrew Mizzoni weren’t able to get to up front, Shairs was there to clean up. The 6-foot, 210-pounder helped the Gloucester defense average just 10 points per game against and saw a bulk of Gloucester’s carries following Gilbert Brown’s injury, tallying 31 total touchdowns (30 rushing) on the season. Shairs was named Northeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year and league All-Star for his 1,400-yard rushing performance.

LB - Tim Joy, Jr., Chelmsford
Already a two-time all-conference teamer, Joy had 131 tackles, including 13 for a loss, two sacks and three interceptions for his junior season. He has been recruited by several FBS schools, including Boston College.
LB - Ned Deane, Sr., Andover
Deane provided the bite to the defense that helped the Golden Warriors to a Merrimack Valley Conference Large title. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder led Andover with 112 tackles in addition to three sacks and an interception. He is considering Amherst, Dartmouth, Harvard and Princeton among his college choices.

LB -- Kevin Curry, Sr., Holliston
The Tri-Valley League Defensive Player of the Year was a force on both sides of the ball for the 12-1 Panthers, who captured the Division 3A Super Bowl crown. In addition to manning the middle on a defense that allowed just 11.5 points per game, Curry carried the ball 139 times for 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns, for an average of 8.2 yards per carry.

DB - Albert Louis-Jean, Sr., Brockton
The shutdown corner was also a double-threat for the Boxers, hauling in 28 catches for 572 yards and five touchdowns on offense. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound speedster came away with four interceptions. Louis-Jean recently de-committed from Miami, so there’s likely to be a lot on interest surrounding him in the coming months.

DB - Joe Colton, Sr., Xaverian
Colton consistently drew the matchup of the opposing team’s top receiver and went toe-to-toe with some of the state’s best. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder was also a steady contributor to the Hawks offense with 15 touchdowns on the season.
DB - Manny Asprilla, Sr., Everett
Asprilla was as much of a lockdown defender as he was a threat on the offensive side of the ball. And that’s saying something about someone who had 2,787 career all-purpose yards for the Division I Eastern Mass Super Bowl champions. Asprilla is committed to play football at Boston College next year.
DB - Randall Jette, Sr., Martha’s Vineyard
Jette only pocketed one pick in 2010, but that’s simply because teams didn’t bother throwing his way. The senior captain also made 50 tackles (24 solo) in coverage. Also, as the Vineyarders quarterback, Jette tallied 953 rushing yards on 121 carries with 19 touchdowns to go along with four passing scores and two special teams return touchdowns. He’s being recruited by BC, Bryant, Rutgers, Stonehill, UMass and UNH.

Luke Bakanowsky, Sr. QB, Oakmont
Blaise Branch, Sr. RB, Cardinal Spellman
Gilbert Brown, Sr. RB/LB, Gloucester
Cal Carroll, Sr. QB, Methuen
Trevor Choruzek, Sr. RB, Leicester
Dylan Colarusso, Sr. RB/LB, Weymouth
George Craan, Jr. RB, Concord-Carlisle
Brendan Flaherty, Soph. RB/LB, Beverly
Jeff Hill, Sr. WR, Mansfield
Ray Holloway, Sr. RB, East Longmeadow
Ryan Lipka, Sr. WR, Bishop Fenwick
Sean Mayo, Sr. QB, Holliston
Kyle McSweeney, Sr. OL/DL, Medway
Mike Mercadante, Sr. RB, Minnechaug
Brian Miller, Sr. TE, Andover
Andrew Mizzoni, Sr. OT/DE, Gloucester
Matt Montalto, Jr. QB, Dennis-Yarmouth
Paul Mroz, Sr. QB, Brockton
Thomas Murphy, Sr. QB, Northbridge
Reilly Naton, Jr. SS, Duxbury
Liam Porter, Sr. OL/DL, Natick
Quinton Porter, Jr. ATH, Fitchburg
Cody Savoy, Sr. RB, Narragansett
Matt Silva, Sr. QB, Dracut
Jesse Wilkins, Sr. RB, North Shore

Brockton's Louis-Jean decommits from Miami

December, 2, 2010
Brockton High defensive back Albert Louis-Jean, the top-ranked 2011 prospect in Massachusetts and New England, has decommitted from the University of Miami, ESPNU is reporting.

Louis-Jean, a four-star recruit who is the ranked by ESPN as the No. 9 cornerback in the nation, had committed to the Hurricanes last March during spring practice. But with the firing of head coach Randy Shannon last Saturday, Louis-Jean and his family had a change of heart.

"I wouldn't say I'm solid [to Miami] right now," Louis-Jean told correspondent Roger Brown on Sunday night. "[Shannon] was a huge factor. When I went down there he told me they would take care of me. Whoever they bring in is going to tell me whatever I want to hear. It's up in the air right now.

"I was surprised because I was told even if he didn't do what he was supposed to do [this season], they were going to give him one more year. It's a bad situation down there right now."

Louis-Jean currently holds more than a dozen scholarship offers from Division 1, but Penn State and Boston College could emerge as favorites. He has taken official visits to Chestnut Hill and Happy Valley this fall; his official visit to the Penn State last weekend for their game against rival Michigan State was his second visit to the campus inside of three weeks.

Brockton's Louis-Jean weighing options

November, 29, 2010
Correspondent Roger Brown is reporting today on his blog that the University of Miami's decision to fire head coach Randy Shannon on Saturday has caused Brockton senior wideout/safety and Hurricanes commit Albert Louis-Jean to once again open up his recruitment.

Louis-Jean, an ESPNU 150 defensive back and the top-ranked prospect in both Massachusetts and New England, gave a verbal commitment to Miami last March. He was at the Penn State-Michigan State game Saturday for an official visit, his second trip to Happy Valley inside of three weeks, and has also taken an official to Boston College. Louis-Jean has not yet taken an official to Coral Gables, but told Brown such a visit is still in play in the wake of Shannon's firing.

"I wouldn't say I'm solid (to Miami) right now," Louis-Jean told Brown last night. "(Shannon) was a huge factor. When I went down there, he told me they would take care of me. Whoever they bring in is going to tell me whatever I want to hear. It's up in the air right now.

"I was surprised, because I was told even if he didn't do what he was supposed to do (this season), they were going to give him one more year. It's a bad situation down there right now."

For more recruiting updates on local prospects, be sure to check out Brown's blog.

No. 13 B-R takes inaugural Cape Cod Cafe Cup

November, 25, 2010
BROCKTON, Mass. -- It was the first annual Cape Cod Bowl, the nickname given to the newfound Thanksgiving day rivalry between Brockton and Bridgewater-Raynham. For the playoff-bound Trojans, it appeared to be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as they edged the Brockton, 23-21, at Marciano Stadium.

“This was a big win for us and I’m really proud of the way our team played,” B-R head coach Dan Buron said following his team’s win. “This match-up is a really exciting thing. For our guys, years after this, they aren’t going to be thinking of the playoffs. They are going to be talking about the win over Brockton.”

On their first possession of the game, the Trojans (9-2) didn’t waste any time. Junior tailback Nick Schlatz (16 carries, 78 yards) ripped off a run of 25 yards on B-R’s first play. On the very next snap, senior quarterback Billy Zolga rolled out of the pocket and found Brad Deluliis in the back of the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown pass. Zolga completed the two-point conversion pass to Steve Wentworth, and the Trojans jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead.

However, the Boxers (8-3) struck right back on their next possession. Led by two consecutive 32-yard runs by tailback Trevon Offley (17 carries, 144 yards, three touchdowns), Brockton quickly marched down the field. Following a pair of short runs by quarterback Paul Mroz, Offley capped off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run, cutting the B-R lead, 8-7.

Things looked to be going Brockton’s way early on. On B-R’s next possession, Brockton’s wunderkind cornerback Albert Louis-Jean picked off Zolga and returned the ball to the 1-yard line. Offley then punched the ball in for his second TD of the game, giving Brockton the 14-8 lead.

But in the second quarter, the wheels started to come off for the Boxers. The Trojans dominated the clock in the second quarter as they kept pounding the ball against the Brockton defense. Led by Schlatz, the Trojans gave the Boxers trouble all day, and following a Schlatz touchdown and another two-point conversion at the end of the quarter, the Trojans took a 16-14 lead going into the half.

It was more of the same for B-R in the third quarter. On the Trojans first possession of the half, they monopolized the clock once again through their bruising running game. Zolga finished the drive when he found Sean McCall for a 20-yard touchdown pass and the Trojans began pulling away, 23-14.

As things began to look down for Brockton, the Boxers found new life in the beginning of the fourth quarter after recovering a B-R fumble. Brockton strung together a few big plays as the clock was winding down, as Mroz connected with both Jesse Monteiro and Louis-Jean for 20-yard pass plays. Offley, who was one of the few bright spots on the day for the Boxers, ran for his third TD of the game. But it proved to be too little, too late, as the Boxers fell 23-21.

Earlier this year, Brockton and Bridgewater agreed to a 10-year deal to play each other in the Thanksgiving game. Ultimately, for Buron, he is elated for his program to begin a rivalry with what he sees as the strongest program in the state.

“When I’m somewhere else in the country, and I tell them I’m from Bridgewater, they don’t really know where it is,” Buron said. “But when I say ‘It’s just south of Brockton,’ then they know. When you think of Massachusetts football, you think of Brockton.”


B-R 8 8 7 0 --- 23
Brockton 14 0 0 7 --- 21

1st Quarter
B-R - Brad Deluliis 14 pass from Billy Zolga (Steve Wentworth pass from Zolga)
Brock - Trevon Offley 3 run (Lucas Depina kick)
Brock - Offley 1 run (Depina kick)

2nd Quarter
B-R - Nick Schlatz 5 run (Sean O'Donnell pass from Zolga)

3rd Quarter
B-R - Sean McCall 20 pass from Zolga (Mike Chicoine kick)

4th Quarter
Brock - Offley 1 run (Depina kick)

Louis-Jean: 'Never take anyone lightly'

November, 24, 2010
Player diary correspondent Albert Louis-Jean of Brockton High checks in with his next installment. The Boxers host Bridgewater-Raynham this morning in the inaugural Cape Cod Cafe Cup.

Last week we met up with the Bridgewater-Raynham players and coaches for a meal at the Cape Cod Cafe, as part of the pre-game leading up to our Thanksgiving game with the Trojans. It was a good meeting, it was good to kind of mingle with them a little bit, see what kind of people they are. Overall, it was a good experience in my opinion.

We scrimmage them every year in the preseason, and I can tell you every time it's a game. We smash each other in every scrimmage, and it's usually really close. There's a huge rivalry between the two schools in other sports, and now with football added to it that's even better. It’s always a big game with B-R.

Obviously we are hurt from the New Bedford loss, and possibly not making the Division 1 playoffs. We still could have a chance to make it if Durfee knocks off the Whalers, so for the seniors we just have to make this upcoming game a positive experience. This could possibly be our last game, so we want to leave it all out there. Losing to New Bedford has made us learn that stuff like that can always happen, no matter who the opponent, and we will never take another opponent lightly again. But the past is the past.

From what we've seen from the Trojans, they like to run alot of sweeps, and although they run alot they are a good passing team too. There isn't really anyone that sticks out for them, overall this is a pretty complete and tough team.

I'm also looking forward to eating Thanksgiving dinner at my mother’s house, with my mother’s side of the family. I don’t get to see my mother's side that much. Some of them come to my games, but the rest of them I usually don’t get to see a lot of because of my commitments with football. But the meal is always lovely, particularly the macaroni and cheese and the yams.

Depina lifts No. 2 Brockton over No. 23 CM

November, 5, 2010
WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- Lucas Depina may well have antifreeze flowing through his veins.

With Brockton’s No. 1 receiver Albert Louis-Jean out with a leg cramp, Depina caught a 41-yard pass from quarterback Paul Mroz on fourth and nine with seven seconds remaining in the game to boost the No. 2 Boxers (8-2) past No. 23 Catholic Memorial, 19-18, evading the upset that might have been.

“[Depina] catches the ball when he really needs to,” Mroz said. “I prayed to God before that play, and God answered those prayers."

Trailing 13-12 with 5:20 left in the game, Catholic Memorial (5-3) got the ball at their own 21 with their sights on a score, going right to the air while field goal kicker Tom Byrne was warming up his leg on the sideline. Two passes from A.J. Doyle to William Earl (4 yards) and John Gorman (21) put CM on their own 45.

A pair of nine-yard runs by Earl and Donovan Henry (8 carries, 86 yards) moved the ball down to the Boxers’ 36. Brandon Hamel dashed twice to the left, picking up 14 yards on each carry, setting up a first and goal from the 8.

Doyle (five carries, 28 yards) rushed for five yards before being wrapped up by Giovanni Hyppolite (four tackles). Henry was stopped at the line of scrimmage by Brockton’s David Hylton and Zach Apotheker (five tackles) for no gain. The successful run game left Brockton vulnerable to a quick hitch from Doyle to Armani Reeves in the left flat, who swept into the end zone to put CM up 18-13.

The dictatorial drive could have knocked Brockton out, but the Boxers refused to bow out without a battle.

“Unbelievable, gutsy, gutsy performance on a rough night,” Boxers head coach Peter Colombo said to his team after the game. “We didn’t play our best, but we won a football game. We showed a lot of heart, I am very proud of everybody.”

On the ensuing kickoff, a seven yard return by Jesse Monteiro put Brockton on their 40. After a Mroz pass went off the hand of Trevon Offley (24 carries, 150 yards), he found Ryan Kelley to his left, who took the ball up the sideline and was pushed out of bounds by Dimitri Claude(fumble recovery, four tackles) at the Knights’ 42-yard line with 36 second left. Mroz rushed for one yard down to the 41 before a failed pass and a rush by Offley, both for no gain, brought up fourth and nine with 16 seconds left.

On the following play, Brockton went in for the win, sending their receivers into the end zone. With their go-to receiver, Albert Louis-Jean, on the sidelines with a leg cramp, Mroz tossed the ball up top to a wide open Depina, who pulled in the ball and fell past the plane, bringing much of the Brockton sideline with him into the end zone for a victory fête.

“He’s got about five catches this year, and three or four of them are for touchdowns,” added Colombo. “For a kid that has had a limited role this year, he’s had a huge impact on the offense. He understands that on a lot of teams, he may be the go-to receiver, but this year he’s got to play his role and he was ready when we called on him. “

One Foot, One Point, Huge Win
Without Depina’s extra point kick in the third quarter, the score with seven seconds remaining would have left the Boxers tied with CM, but his ability to the boot conversion with ease was extremely valuable to the outcome of the game. “Lucas is just a high level athlete,” said Colombo. “He’s a high level volleyball player and a high level soccer player, which is where the kicking comes from.”

No. 2 Brockton 0 0 7 12 -- 19
No. 23 CM 0 0 12 6 -- 18

C - Donovan Henry 60 run (pass failed)
B - Trevon Offley 13 run (Lucas Depina kick)
C - Henry 82 pass from Camren Williams (rush failed)
B - Offley 38 run (rush failed)
C - Amani Reeves 3 pass from A.J. Doyle (rush failed)
B - Depina 41 pass from Paul Mroz (rush failed)

No. 4 Boxers fend off late Pinkerton charge

October, 15, 2010
BROCKTON, Mass. -– You want to see an exciting high school football game? Go see No. 4 Brockton. Chances are you’ll get your money’s worth.

The Boxers have lived on the edge in every game but one this season. The hosts escaped an upset bid from Pinkerton Academy (N.H.) Friday night at Marciano Stadium with a 21-14 victory, sealed in the final minute when senior Ralph Cherry intercepted a Chris St. Onge pass inside the Boxer red zone with 20 seconds remaining.

With the victory, Brockton improves to 5-1, while Pinkerton drops to 5-2.

“It was big, real big,” said Cherry, who also had a fumble recovery, of his game-saving pick, which was initially deflected by cornerback Davidson Barthelmy. “Defense came together at the end. We always have our backs to the wall but we came together as a family, got the interception, game over.”

Other than a few key defensive stops and turnovers, the Boxers were able to come away victorious due to the running of senior tailback Trevon Offley, who had 188 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Quarterback Paul Mroz only completed four passes, but one of them was a 48-yard touchdown to Albert Louis-Jean (3 catches, 68 yards) to open the scoring. Mroz also had a 2-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to help give the Boxers a 13-8 lead at the half.

Here are a few observations on yet another dramatic Brockton contest:
  • Getting Offley back from a shoulder injury earlier in the season has been huge for the Boxers. Sure, the Brockton offensive line has been improved over the course of the season, but what makes Offley so special is that he can make a big play when the hole isn’t there. As good as the Brockton passing game has looked at times with Mroz finding players like Louis-Jean, Cherry and juniors Jesse Monteiro and Lucas Depina, having Offley dance around defenders opens this offense up that much more. Or, as coach Peter Colombo said, “He’s the bread and butter.” Generously listed at 5-feet, 8-inches tall, Offley isn’t the biggest back around, but if you want to find a more elusive player with his combination short-area quickness and lower-body strength, you’ll be looking a long, long time, because you’re not going to find anyone like that around here.
  • Speaking of that offensive line, the Boxers were faced with a dilemma two weeks ago when junior left guard Khahleell Alcide went down with an injury that will likely keep him out another few weeks. The solution that offensive line coach David Grein came up with was to put 6-3, 300-pound defensive tackle William Carruthers in his spot next to senior left tackle Jacques Janvier (6-1, 300). That move has paid off pretty well so far. When Brockton runs to that side, Carruthers and Janvier – who have the nifty footwork and explosiveness off the snap that belies their bulk – simply collapse the edge to make way for Offley, who knows what to do with holes that large. “I’m pleased with the way our offensive line is starting to come together and give (Offley) the room he needs,” Colombo said.
  • The Boxers have a ton of playmakers on defense, but the one who is probably making the most right now is senior defensive end/outside linebacker Saquaan Louis (6-1, 215). “Tiny,” as his teammates call him, isn’t at all tiny, neither in stature nor ability. According to the Boxer coaches, Louis made 19 tackles against Fitchburg. He didn’t have that many against Pinkerton, but he did make the most bone-jarring hit of the night when he absolutely leveled an Astro back on a run up the gut in the second quarter. The play resulted in a fumble and recovery by James Flores. Louis is most likely headed to a junior college or prep school next year, but whatever Division I school happens to pick him up after that will be lucky to have him. Louis has the ability to not only play at that level, but be a difference-maker from the outside linebacker spot. If you want a comparison to a recent Boxer linebacker, think Tyronne Pruitt (Boston College).
  • Although it technically would have been an upset if Pinkerton won, the Astros are an excellent team that could compete with anyone in Eastern Mass. If you want to pinpoint it, Pinkerton runs the Wing-T, but the Astros aren’t a typical Wing-T team in that they run it out of more formations and with greater versatility than is typically run around these parts. Also, while Brockton definitely had a speed advantage, the Astros have their fair share of burners. Freshman Manny Latimore (5-9, 175) looks and runs like a senior, while junior Emmitt Smith (5-9, 150) was shaking the Brockton defenders out of their shoes all night. The two combined for 152 yards on 26 carries and a touchdown. But maybe the most impressive-looking player on the Astros’ roster is junior lineman Jesse Trottier (6-3, 265). Pinkerton fell just short against the Boxers, but with just nine seniors on the roster and a bevy of underclassmen starting, the Astros have a lot to look forward to and will only get better from having faced a team of Brockton’s caliber.

Pinkerton 0 8 6 0 - 14
Brockton 7 6 8 0 - 21

B - Albert Louis-Jean 48 pass from Paul Mroz (Lucas Depina kick)

P - Kevin Davies 4 run (Branden Rodgers pass from Sean Conroy)

B - Mroz 2 run (rush failed)

P - Manny Latimore 1 run (rush failed)

B - Trevon Offley 4 run (Austin Roberts rush)