Boston High School: Berny Platel

Combine notes from the month of May

May, 29, 2012
In between baseball and girls lacrosse games, I had the chance to check out a few football combines this past month. Emptying out the notepad, here are some leftover nuggets:

Massachusetts High School Football Coaches Association Combine
Gillette Stadium
Foxborough, Mass.
May 6

Earlier this month, we checked in with several of the state's top prospects who were at the combine, including Xaverian's Maurice Hurst Jr., Mills/Hopedale's Jon Baker, and Dighton-Rehoboth's Chuddy Nwachukwu. Today, with new information, I'm bringing to light some new information about some players with hidden potential.

Athletic Standard CEO Thomas Newman passed along some information regarding the tests his company ran during the combine, pasted below. I've added each player's school in parentheses:

The following Athletes all tested in the 95th percentile in the nation for vertical jump (Horsepower and the first indicator of genetic potential):

Sean Antonuccio (Masconomet)
Junior Oyaronbi (St. Clement)
Frank Ansah (Worcester South)
Terrance Gibson (Taunton)
Berny Platel (Fitchburg)
Shaun Callahan (Norwood)
Nick Patten (Medford)
Sean Eldridge (Bristol-Plymouth)
Isaiah Douglas (Bishop Feehan)
Dominque Leite (Brockton)
Alex Jette (North Attleborough)
Babila Fonkem (Abington)
Elias Camacho (Canton)
Jamal Williams (Taunton)
Justin Mount (Westford)
Shadrach Abrokwah (St. John's of Shrewsbury)
Quron Wright (Holy Name)
Kevin Makie (Mansfield)
Kaylan Philbert-Richardson (Archbishop Williams)
Thomas Johnson (Pembroke)
Daniel Kegbeh (Holy Name)

Lateral Speed (huge component for separation or locking down on defense)

Jhalen Bien-Aime (Boston Latin)
4.218 - Laser pro agility
4.01 - Stop Watch Conversion time

Additionally, it should be noted this kid was so raw any speed coach will bring this down to a sub 4.0 pro or a 3.8 stopwatch time. Great kid by the way, real gentleman

Watch List (these kids have one standout feature):

Andrew Benson (East Bridgewater)
6-foot-1, 175 lbs.
Vertical - 27.75
Pro Agility - 4.421

It doesn't appear that he will grow much more but depending on his football skills this would be a solid pick.

Ricardo Calixte (Brockton)
5-foot-10-3/4, 198 lbs.
6-foot-4 wingspan nearly (this kid will grow over the summer)

Vertical - 28 inches - Normalized Index 406
Pro-Agility - 4.43 - Normalized Index 330

I would keep a close eye on him because if he gets any taller or heavier he will easily tip into the strong D1 prospect.

Calixte's story is an interesting one. He has the athletic frame and raw tools to be an impact on defense (he also ran a 4.75 second 40-yard dash), but has played sparingly to this point -- allegedly, he didn't suit up for Friday night games last season due to religious obligations. The only points to his name in last year's box scores is a two-point conversion run. Micah Morel is probably the Brockton prospect with the highest ceiling right now, but keep an eye on Calixte.

Impact Performance Football Combine
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Buzzards Bay, Mass.
May 26

Impact Performance Training owner Ross Jatkola put on his first combine on the turf at Mass. Maritime's Clean Harbors Stadium, attended primarily by athletes from the Cape Cod area.

Pound for pound, Dennis-Yarmouth was arguably the toughest team in the state last fall. The Dolphins' run to the Division 2A Super Bowl title this year, blowing out many of their opponents despite being routinely undersized (sometimes comically so), and everyone playing both ways, is testament to this. A lot of credit goes to Paul Funk and the remarkable building job he's done over the last decade to a program that won just six games in the 1990's. But credit also has to go to Jatkola, a D-Y grad and former University of Albany tight end who also works as the Dolphins' strength coach.

Cape Cod football is on the rise in Massachusetts -- a record five Cape teams made playoffs last year, with four of them winning Super Bowls -- and this was a good chance to see some of the rising stars in action. About three dozen competed, with Barnstable's Bryan Hardy winning the pro agility and Bourne's Josh Curry winning the 40-yard dash.

For the complete results CLICK HERE.

A few observations:

Peabody pleases
If I'm picking four quarterbacks for our preseason All-State team, Barnstable's Nick Peabody is probably on the list -- I would have said this in January. He has ideal quarterback size (6-foot-3, 225 pounds) puts a lot of zip on the ball, and has big-game experience (leading the Red Raiders to their first playoff appearance in 10 years). I know we have to take these things for what they're worth, but the way he threw the ball around in 7-on-7 drills reaffirmed my disposition. Saturday morning, he was putting the ball in tight spots all over the field, hitting teammates on 15-yard out patterns seemingly on a dime.

Linemen to watch
Two Class of 2013 linemen to keep an eye on are Barnstable's Tom Grimmer and D-Y's Joe Tyo. Grimmer is built low to the ground, going about 5-foot-11 and 250 pounds, but has good balance and posture. He won the bench press event, doing 26 repetitions at 185 pounds.

Tyo could be a late-bloomer. He's a raw prospect at 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, didn't start on the interior defensive line until Week 3 of the 2011 season, and needs to build more upper-body strength. His frame has yet to fill out. But he also ran a 4.9 second 40-yard dash, and demonstrated terrific footwork in pass-blocking drills.

Next In Line?
It's too early to predict the next Matt Montalto, D-Y's 2011 ESPN Boston All-Stater at quarterback who will be suiting up for Bentley University this fall. But when the time comes, his cousin, Michael Dunn, could fit the bill. The freshman won the vertical jump at 9 feet 3 inches, and I'm told he'll be used in an "athlete" slasher role going forward for the Dolphins.

Recap: No. 14 Leominster 21, Fitchburg 14

November, 24, 2011
FITCHBURG, Mass. -- There was not a spot in the playoffs up for grabs Thanksgiving morning. Each team already had one of those. Fitchburg and Leominster played for pure pride and bragging rights, with Leominster holding on for a 21-14 victory.

It was the 128th meeting between the two Mid-Wach A schools, so it is a storied rivalry to say the least. With the two teams so familiar with each other, one could almost expect to see something it had not seen before.

On Fitchburg’s first offensive play, quarterback Connor Lemieux lined up in the shotgun and handed the ball off to Demitri Brasili. He ran left, then pitched the ball to Quinton Perkins for what appeared to be a designed reverse for the speedy wide receiver. Instead of running around the right end, he heaved the ball downfield to a wide open Berny Platel for a 68-yard touchdown.

“We knew it was going to happen, we told them, ‘Don’t bite up on that,’ and we bit up,” said Leominster coach Dave Palazzi. “But it’s a game of what you do after you’re down. I told the kids that’s what this game is all about. There’s going to be plays, there’s going to be big plays, it’s how we respond to those big plays that’s going to be the test of who we are.”

Game on.

After going three-and-out on its first drive, Leominster (8-3) responded with a five-minute scoring drive. The pivotal play came when Palazzi decided to go for it on 4th-and-4 from the Fitchburg 10-yard line. Quarterback Garrett DelleChiaie (5-of-18, 93 yards) took the snap and sprinted off left tackle with his running back to his right, available for the option pitch if needed. Instead, he decided to keep the ball and got into the end zone to put his team ahead 8-7 after the two-point conversion.

The momentum swung towards Leominster on the ensuing drive when it stopped Fitchburg (6-5) on 4th-and-5 around midfield. This gave the Blue Devils short field position, which they capitalized on early in the second quarter when running back Geraldo Rivera (18 carries, 60 yards; three catches, 71 yards) ran in from seven yards out to put his team ahead 14-7.

Fitchburg tied up the score on its next possession, but Leominster came up with a big play when Brandon Herrick knocked the ball out of Perkins’ hands on a running play. Jason Valera picked up the fumble and ran it back 40 yards for the deciding touchdown.

“It’s one of those Leominster-Fitchburg games,” said Palazzi. “It’s always the same thing, same deal. One or two plays here and there is the deciding factor and we just held strong until the end.”

Palazzi reflects: This marked the first Fitchburg-Leominster Thanksgiving Day matchup for Palazzi as the head coach of Leominster. When asked after the game if the game had a special feeling to it, he quickly put the attention back on the players.

“I’m just happy for our 32 seniors,” said Palazzi. “Starting out the season 0-3, and to be standing on this field 8-3 beating Fitchburg on their home field and just letting our seniors take it all in is fantastic. We’re just fortunate to do what we’ve done. My hat goes off to Ray Cosenza and his entire team. That’s a good football team over there. They battled all game and we’ll see what happens in the playoffs.

D1 Playoff field set: The playoff eligibility was already decided for the two teams coming into Thanksgiving, so the result of the game only told the two teams who they would play Tuesday night in the playoffs. Fitchburg will play St. John’s of Shrewsbury, while Leominster is scheduled to face Shrewsbury. This marks a short preparation time for all teams involved.

“We have tomorrow off, then we’ll practice Saturday, Sunday, and Monday,” said Palazzi. “We’ll have a Tuesday night playoff game. Maybe you guys will figure out who we’re playing and when. I know it will be at Doyle Field, I’m just not sure of the time.”

Perkins goes down: In the third quarter, Fitchburg’s Quinton Perkins went down with an apparent cramp and was forced to leave the game. After getting stretched out on the sidelines by the trainers, he gave it another shot and reentered the game later in the quarter. After one running play, the pain appeared again, but this time Perkins left the game for good.

This time, no stretching or hydration could help. It was a big loss for Fitchburg because until that point, he was giving the Leominster defense fits. The Fitchburg offense was noticeably sluggish with him not in the lineup. Perkins was lining up as a receiver, running back, and even a Wildcat quarterback until that point. He ended the game with 9 carries for 74 yards and the 68-yard touchdown pass.

Defense holds: Both defenses showed up when its team needed it to in the second half. However, it was Leominster’s defense that made the bigger impact by intercepting Connor Lemieux three times in the second half.

“I knew once they started throwing the ball and Perkins went out of the game, that really hurt them,” said Palazzi. “Let’s be honest, he’s an unbelievable player. You take our best player away from us and those things happen. They had to change their gameplan a little bit, throwing the ball around, and I had a little more confidence once they started to throw the ball. We defended the pass pretty well all year and we did it in the second half.”

LEO (8-3) --- 8 - 13 - 0 - 0 --- 21
FIT (6-5) --- 7 - 7 - 0 - 0 --- 14

First Quarter
F - Berny Platel 68-yard pass from Quinton Perkins (Eric Comeau kick)
L - Garrett DelleChiaie 10-yard run (Kevin O'Connor pass from DelleChiaie)

Second Quarter
L - Geraldo Rivera 7 run (pass failed)
F - Comeau 33 pass from Connor Lemieux (Comeau kick)
L - Jason Valera 40 fumble return (Pawel Kubiak kick)