Boston High School: Bourne

What We Learned: Week 4

October, 2, 2012
10/02/12
1:57
AM ET
RAIDER NATION HAS OFFICIALLY ARRIVED
Barnstable head coach Chris Whidden had barely left the turf of Everett Memorial Stadium on Friday night before his phone began buzzing like crazy. To call the city of Hyannis' reaction to the Red Raiders' double-overtime upset of the No. 1 team in the land an outpour would be on diplomat's terms.

"Let's put it this way, I think I had eight or nine texts on my phone by the time I got on the bus," he said.

It's been a wild few days south of the Sagamore Bridge since the the Red Raiders pulled off the virtually unthinkable. Many pundits predicted the hard-hitting, fundamentally disciplined Raiders to keep it close with Everett, holders of a 28-game win streak and the top spot in ESPNBoston.com's statewide poll since October 2010 -- but on the mainland, nobody actually believed they'd actually pull it off. And with it, Barnstable moves up two spots in our poll to No. 1, becoming the first Old Colony League team to be anointed the top team in the land in the history of our poll.

What statement does this make about Cape Cod football? Not much, really. That was made last year, when an unprecedented five teams from the Cape & Islands region (including Barnstable) qualified for postseason, with four of them winning a Super Bowl (Dennis-Yarmouth, Bourne, Mashpee, Nantucket). And the Cape is strong once again, with Nauset, Bourne, Wareham, Sandwich, Martha's Vineyard and the aforementioned Raiders all off to at least 3-1 starts or better.

No, this is more about the Barnstable program itself. After some tumult the last few years, the Raiders have taken off after settling with Whidden as their head coach, and Nick Peabody as their quarterback. Friday night, after going 0-for-10 with an interception in the first half, Peabody showed why he is on the short list for ESPN Boston's Mr. Football Award by throwing two second-half touchdown passes to his favorite target Dylan Morris, including the crucial one in the second overtime that clinched it.

The Red Raiders can score -- this much we know, after putting up 110 points in the first eight quarters of the season -- and have some gifted athletic versatility between Morris, Theo France and junior Hayden Murphy. But Friday's stunning upset was more a statement of Whidden's defensive prowess.

Barnstable threw a variety of man and zone coverages at Everett, primarily out of a three-deep shell, aimed at containing Everett's two superstar receivers, Jakarrie Washington and Jalen Felix. Up front, the Raiders began in a three-man front, but quickly found more success with four down linemen, and stuck with it. Where there was a weight disadvantage -- the Tide average over 300 pounds across, led by Notre Dame-bound left tackle John Montelus -- the Raiders made up for with quickness, athleticism, and length, behind Jason Freih, D.J. Goncalves and John Eldridge.

Whidden is known for his knack as a defensive play-caller. But it also doesn't hurt having two NFL vets and Cape football legends coaching up the defense, either. Falmouth grad and former Oakland Raider Willie Ford has the secondary's ear, while Barnstable grad and former Dallas Cowboys lineman Mike Dwyer has the defensive line.

"They're able to get so specific with the technique," Whidden said. "For a defensive lineman working different skills, different technique, whether it's pass rush or run defense, they're not the same moves or same techniques, so that's crucial. Same with the secondary, playing man coverage and zone coverage are completely different techniques. They got that repetition during the week."

This year's team-issue shirts at Barnstbale feature a bulls-eye on the back, a statement more to do with the target that comes with being the regining OCL champ. That target has just gotten a little bigger.

A lot, actually.

"They know now that teams are really gunning for us," Whidden said. "We pay attention to the way we celebrated on their field after the game. Now we've got teams coming at our place as the top dog, and we've got to make sure we avoid having anyone celebrate like that against us."

KEN LACHAPELLE -- VISIONARY, INNOVATOR, GRANDFATHER
For as long as Ken LaChapelle has been at the helm of Northbridge High football, there has always been a good quarterback calling the shots. But there is but one name to trump all names: Danny Brown.

Brown, widely considered the greatest in a long line of great Rams signal-callers, reminisced about his recruiting during the 2001 and 2002 seasons, when reached last week by ESPNBoston.com to reflect on LaChapelle. The one moment of the process that's always stuck with him, he says, is a meeting with the Dartmouth coaching staff during a visit, in which the staff raved about LaChapelle's offensive innovation, telling him the coach is "always one step ahead".

LaChapelle became the third coach in MIAA history to achieve 300 career wins on Sunday, with a 42-12 victory over Southbridge, to go along with 10 Super Bowl titles. Unique from the other two to achieve the milestone is that LaChapelle has done it all in one place, holding the Northbridge job continuously since 1976.

Unique, too, was his foresight to install the Run-and-Shoot offense upon taking the head coaching job, at a time when power-running formations like the Wishbone were all the rage. LaChapelle has light-heartedly mentioned in the past his desire to one day coach a game in which he didn't attempt a run (that was short-lived on Sunday, as quarterback Matt Phelan racked up 154 yards on 5 carries). Many of the spread principles you see in the state's top teams? Northbridge has been running it for decades, going back to the days of the San Diego Chargers' revolutionary "Air Coryell" offense.

Brown, like many Northbridge alums, was a lifer, first getting a taste of Rams football as a waterboy. He endured a great career at Harvard and had a brief stint in Europe before returning to Northbridge, where he is happily engaged and makes the hour commute each way every day to the Xenith helmets sales office in Lowell. It bears asking: What keeps a guy like LaChapelle, a 1965 grad, in Northbridge for 50 years?

The short answer is family. He has a half-dozen children and nearly two-dozen grandchildren littered around the southern plateau of Worcester County. He currently coaches two grandchildren, Daiton LaChapelle and Koby Schofer, and by the looks of it could coach many more.

How many more years? Brown says, with an honest tone, "he could go another decade".

That leaves plenty more opportunities for that elusive run-less game.

FAMILIAR TERRITORY
Bob Bancroft left a lasting legacy at Whitman-Hanson in his tenure as head football coach. On Friday, Bancroft’s Pembroke squad left a loss behind.

The Titans rolled over their current head coach’s old team in a 19-3 win. The Panthers entered the game with the momentum gained off a tight win over Foxborough.

But after taking an early 3-0 lead on a 28-yard field goal on Friday, it was all Pembroke. The Titans quickly reclaimed the lead with Brian Tinkham’s first touchdown of the game before Ken Blasser’s pick-six extended the Titans’ lead in the fourth. Tinkham added his second score of the game as added insurance late in the fourth.

What’s more is that it marked the second straight year Bancroft claimed victory over his former side, proof that the master still reigns.

WILD NIGHT IS CALLIN’
More than a change in No. 1 teams, Friday night was ripe with upsets as the rain poured down in bowls across the state. No place was that more prevalent than in the Hockomock League, where a couple of teams in Davenport (small school division) claimed wins over their Kelley-Rex counterparts.

Foxborough’s defense stymied North Attleborough’s offense, holding the Red Rocketeers to just 91 offensive yards, in a 21-0 blanking. Dynamic Warriors running back Kiivone Howard outgained North by himself, running for 130 yards.

North wasn’t the only Kelley-Rex team with a struggling offense. For the second straight year, Stoughton knocked off Mansfield with a 25-6 win. Meaning that the Hornets came away with a grand total of six points during their meetings with the Black Knights in the last two seasons. Stoughton again showed its defensive mettle, with Adam Leonard notching a key strip-sack early in the game and Aaron Mack’s strong play in the secondary.

With both teams coming off notable upsets of Top 25 squads, the Davenport picture will come into clearer view when the Black Knights and Warriors tangle this Friday.

IN MEMORIAM
With the one of the biggest football games of the season coming, football seemingly is the last thing on the minds of the Stoughton High community this week.

Less than 24 hours after celebrating another win over Mansfield, Black Knights player David Wade, 17, was killed on Saturday by a gunshot wound to the chest. Wade played football this year after being a member of the Black Knights cheerleading squad. He also competed with Stoughton’s winter track team and played tennis.

Our thoughts are with David’s friends and family at this time.
This season, we're trotting a new feature for football season that we started back in the spring. Each Wednesday, we'll pool the minds of our ESPN Boston staff and contributors to debate several hot button topics across the state in our Roundtable.

Without further ado, let's kick off the new season with these takes:

1. BC HIGH RECEIVED SOME BAD NEWS LAST WEEK WHEN RETURNING ESPN BOSTON ALL-STATE LINEBACKER LUKE CATARIUS SUFFERED A HAIRLINE FRACTURE ON HIS ANKLE. HOW WILL THE EAGLES COPE?

Brendan Hall, ESPN Boston High Schools Editor: Over the last decade, BC High has proven to be a program with enough sufficient depth to compensate when star players miss a significant time with injury. However, it’s different when you lose the quarterback of your defense, especially when it’s a player as special a talent as the Eagles’ Luke Catarius.

In the scrimmage against Mansfield, after Catarius went out with the ankle injury, the Hornets went to the underneath game and exploited the flats for big gains. There was also one big miscommunication in the secondary that allowed Kevin Maki to wheel right through the middle of the deep field for a 45-yard completion. Not that this won’t be shored up before Friday’s big tilt with Brockton, but it is worth pointing out.

The good news, obviously, is that the Eagles’ Catholic Conference season doesn’t start until late October – but with Xaverian and St. John’s Prep looking sharp, it will be obvious if this team isn’t in proper shape. With that in mind, I expect Brandon Owens’ role at outside linebacker to have an even bigger significance than before. The pressure will also be on the front four, led by Jaleel Johnson, to buy the back seven time.

Scott Barboza, ESPN Boston High Schools editor: In terms of talent, I think the Eagles can get along. My greatest concern for BC High’s defense without Catarius relates to communication. The linebacker has been the leader of the defensive huddle, with messages from the sideline passed along to the inside linebacker. On field, Catarius was the quarterback of the defense as well, not only knowing his own responsibilities, but that of his teammates. That comes from knowledge of the system and cannot be replicated; it only comes through game-condition experience. The Eagles have a bevy of returning starters on the defensive line and secondary to shoulder the load but this one hurts. Will they rely on Brandon Owens to not only be the feature back, but take on more Catarius’ two-way role? We saw what happened last year when Preston Cooper went down at running back and how Deontae Ramey-Doe filled those shoes. So perhaps this will be more of the same for a deep Eagles’ squad. But a player of Catarius’ ilk cannot simply be replaced.

Adam Kurkjian, ESPN Boston correspondent: Without question, losing one of the top two-way players in the state will have a negative impact on BC High. The Eagles will not be able to replace his production easily and there may be an extra loss or two that comes down their way early on because of it. That said, if he is back by the time Catholic Conference play rolls around, BC High will still be one of the favorites to make it back to the playoffs. But still his loss cannot be understated.

Bruce Lerch, ESPN Boston correspondent: Believe it or not, I think the Eagles will be fine defensively. Obviously, Catarius is a one-of-a-kind talent with the ability to singlehandedly change opposing offensive gameplans. BC High will simply lean more on the unit as a whole rather than an individual to bail them out, as Catarius often did with his read and react style of play. Linebackers Danny Collins and Brandon Owens are leaders, defensive linemen like Billy Breen and Jaleel Johnson will take up blockers and make a few plays on their own, and the secondary will have to be more active in supporting.

Oddly enough, I think it's on offense where the Eagles may miss Catarius the most. A bruising fullback, Catarius helped pave the way for Preston Cooper and Deontay Ramey-Doe to pile up yardage last season. New backs Owens and Skyler Evans, along with a mostly inexperienced line, would have benefitted greatly from having Catarius leading the charge.

John Botelho, Editor-in-Chief, South Shore Sports Journal: I'm not even sure this Luke Catarius injury will have any real impact on BC. And I don't mean that as a slight to Catarius - in fact, I think he's the best linebacker in the state. My point of view though is this is a non-issue for the Eagles for two reasons.

First of all, replacing Catarius obviously wouldn't be easy, but aren't teams in the Catholic Conference best suited to replace someone they lose to an injury? Those teams are so loaded and so deep that it seems they have significant depth at every position. Or at least it seemed that way when Preston Cooper - who was arguably the best running back in the state in the first half of last year - went down with a broken ankle. All BC did was go on to win the Super Bowl as Deontae Ramey-Doe stepped in and the Eagles never missed a beat.

Secondly, and most important, is that BC doesn't open up league play until October 26 when they host Malden Catholic. I think even without Catarius, it'd be considered an upset if the Eagles lost that match-up. If it really comes to it, they don't need Catarius back until November 4th, week eight of the season, when they travel to Xaverian. It's reasonable to think that a hairline fracture would be healed up and they'd have him back by then.

2. WHICH REGION OF THE STATE HAS THE BEST UP-AND-COMING TALENT?

Hall: The emergence of Springfield-area talent over the last few years is one of the best stories developing this fall. But in terms of pure talent, for me it’s got to be the Cape & Islands region.

Every year, there seems to be a Cape player that seemingly washes ashore to earn a Division 1 scholarship. Two years ago, it was Randall Jette from Martha’s Vineyard going to UMass. Last year, Nauset’s Brendan Battles-Santos surprising everyone at UConn’s prospect camp to earn a scholarship practically on the spot. This past summer, UMass dug back into the region to pluck 6-foot-7 tight end Terrel Correia out of Nantucket, with intentions of making him an offensive tackle.

We’ll obviously be watching Correia closely this fall, but he isn’t even the best player from the region. Barnstable quarterback Nick Peabody is among the state’s best, with Ivy League interest. Mashpee has three athletes with Division 1 potential in tackle Nate Chrzanowski, running back Jared Taylor (he of the 300-yard epic last year at Gillette Stadium) and his new backfield mate Malik Lee, a Cape Cod Tech transfer with plenty of upside at 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds.

Also keep an eye on Dennis-Yarmouth’s Joe Tyo, who still has to fill out but is projectable with a long 6-foot-5 frame and some active footwork. Falmouth sophomore Craig Green will be an intriguing prospect to monitor, after running a 10.6-second 100-meter dash last spring at the New England Track and Field Championships. And as good as Darien Fernandez was on the basketball court for Wareham last winter, some believe he’s an even better running back.

Barboza: I’m looking no further than our statewide preseason Top 25 poll to find two Springfield squads (Central at No. 14 and Putnum at No. 23) and another (Springfield Commerce) knocking on the door. Central is retooled for another run at Longmeadow in Div. 1 West with some key returnees from last year’s squad that made it to Gillette Stadium. Quarterback Cody Williams could be a breakout performer this year and Shawn Lockett is a legitimate force to deal with on the lines. Melquawn Pinkney might be gone, but the cupboard’s not bare for Putnam with Wayne Lowery, shouldering more of the running load while playing lock-down corner. Sha’ki Holines (UConn) and Hassan Graham (not to be confused with the Patriots receiver of yesteryear) grade out at their positions against anybody across the state.

Kurkjian: This is a tough question because the season has not started yet, so it is hard to assess which region has the top players. As it stands now, though, the North Shore looks to have an overflow of top players if you consider Everett part of that region. Also, don't forget BC High's Brandon Owens hails from Salem.

Botelho: Last fall made it hard to argue with any region being more up-and-coming than the Cape. Four of the nine Eastern Mass. Super Bowl champs were from the Cape and Islands (Dennis-Yarmouth Div. 2A, Bourne Div. 3A, Mashpee Div. 4 and Nantucket Div. 5). Not only did those teams each win Super Bowls last season, but the Cape teams outscored opponents 120-29 in those games. Only Bourne had a competitive game, beating defending Super Bowl champ Hamilton-Wenham, 16-14.

3. WHICH RUNNING BACK WILL HAVE THE BIGGEST BREAKOUT?

Hall: There’s a lot of directions you can go with this one. The addition of Malik Lee, and his soft hands, to Mashpee’s already-dangerous backfield has to feel like a high school offensive coordinator’s dream. Out west, Springfield folks are excited about two potential breakout candidates in Putnam’s Wayne Lowery and Central’s Aaron Owens. St. John's of Shrewsbury's Shadrach Abrokwah is bound for a breakout in John Andreoli's new Oregon-style "blur" offense.

However, I’m going with BC High’s Brandon Owens. That he is already committed to a Division 1 FCS school (Bryant) despite only seeing part-time duty one way last season speaks to his upside. As a runner, there is no wangle to his makeup – he’s a north-south, one-cut guy with a powerful frame that accelerates quickly to hit the hole at full speed.

Losing fullback Luke Catarius for the first six weeks of the season means the Eagles may have to get more creative with their offensive sets. But after seeing him take the corner on toss plays out of “Ace” formations, in the Mansfield scrimmage, I think he’s up for any task the coaching staff throws at him.

Barboza: I think we’re all hedging that Malik Lee of Mashpee will have a monster season in his first year with the Falcons, but I’m going to buck the trend here and go with another runner inside the South Shore League. Abington’s Babila Fonkem tallied seven touchdowns (five of those came in one game against backyard rival Archbishop Williams) and ran for over 1,000 yards last season. I think the 5-foot-10, 180-pounder has the potential to more than double last year’s tally as a feature back during Jim Kelleher’s swan song as head coach.

Kurkjian: From the looks of it, Brandon Owens has had a spectacular preseason and he will be the feature back in what expects to be another punishing ground attack for BC High. It appears as if the Eagles have just reloaded there.

Lerch: Everett's Kenny Calaj is already something of a household name, having been an impact weapon in Everett's offense the past two seasons. The majority of that. however, came as a pass catcher. With a pair of untested quarterbacks still battling to replace record-setting Jonathan DiBiaso, not to mention a mammoth group of offensive linemen, it would only make sense for the Tide to return to the ground game and Calaj should benefit as the main ball-carrier. I'm not sure what the record for all-purpose yardage in Massachusetts history, but Calaj is in a position to do some historic things as a senior.

Botelho: Arcel Armstead is primed to have an elite year at running back for Bridgewater-Raynham this season. It's no secret that Dan Buron-coached teams run the ball as well as anyone, and with both Nick Schlatz and Brandon Morin gone, Armstead will be the featured back for the Trojans. His athleticism alone would be enough for him to have a big year in that system, but B-R returns their entire offensive line from a season ago, led by 6-foot-4, 260-pound Joey MacInnis, meaning the sky is the limit for Armstead.

Don't sleep on guys like Jon Hurvitz at Duxbury, who is the best athlete returning to the Dragons who will need to remake their identity a bit without Matt O'Keefe under center. Hurvitz runs hard and has a chance to be the first running back Duxbury has built their offense around in recent memory.

Also, the South Shore League seems littered with potential breakout candidates. Jared Taylor is probably the best well-known running back who was a back-up last season. He flashed his electric running ability in the Super Bowl to the tune of more than 300 yards. But he won't be the only guy terrorizing defense in the league.

Babila Fonkem returns to Abington for a senior year with added size from his 1,000-yard campaign a year ago. Brian Kilmain, a junior for the Green Wave, could give them the most dangerous two-headed backfield in the league.

Andrew Benson, who looks like he'll officially be a quarterback, is ready to break out at East Bridgewater. He could end up running for more yards than ESPN All-Stater Casey DeAndrade a year ago, for more than one reason. Last year, DeAndrade split carries with Tim O'Brien. While Benson will share the backfield duties with Kevin Lynch, he'll see a higher percentage of touches than DeAndrade last year. Also, E-B's offense was so explosive last year that DeAndrade (and O'Brien) had their numbers cut down because the Vikings had big enough leads that the starters weren't on the field a lot in the fourth quarter. Only when they played Abington and Mashpee did starters stay in the entire game. This year's team will rank among the best in the SSL, but I don't think they'll put teams away so quickly this time around.

4. TAKE A LOOK AT THE FIRST MONTH OF BROCKTON’S SCHEDULE, AND PREDICT A RECORD.

Hall: This is going to upset some of our readers in the City of Champions, but there’s a realistic possibility of the Boxers coming out of the gate 0-4. Of those first four opponents – BC High, Reading, St. John’s Prep, Xaverian – nobody’s gotten worse from 2011, while I feel Brockton is still sitting in second gear after last year’s disappointing end.

That said, it sounds like Bryant-bound running back/defensive back Micah Morel will be ready for Friday’s opener against BC High after injuring his shoulder in the preseason, so that’s a positive sign. As for record, I think the Boxers will steal a game, either against Prep or Reading, to start off 1-3.

Barboza: Well, let’s go the tape … And hold me to this. I’m going:

Week 1, vs. BC High – Loss

Week 2, at Reading – Win

Week 3, vs. Xaverian – Loss

Week 4, vs. St. John’s Prep – Loss

That would make the Boxers 1-3 rolling into October. Then I think they rebound with three straight wins and finish out the season at 6-5 and represent the Big Three in the Division 1 playoffs as a very dangerous team after enduring a trying first month.

Kurkjian: With so many question marks surrounding this offense, it is hard to project exactly how the Boxers will fare. That said, this is a brutal start to the season. The feeling here is that Brockton manages to steal one and get off to a 1-3 start.

Lerch: It's a very real possibility that Brockton goes 0-4, and I think best case scenario is that they salvage a 2-2 mark. Any better than that and I wonder if the Catholic Conference would have an issue with adding a "league game" between Brockton and Everett to play for its championship.

Botelho: Brockton has the best program in state history. Literally. Their 751 all-time wins ranks first in the state by a wide margin (no one else even has 600 wins). They've also captured 11 Super Bowl titles in 40 years. That said, the last few years haven't been what Boxer fans are used to. They missed the playoffs two years in a row, and last season slumped to a disappointing 5-6.

All those struggles did was ignite something in the Boxers, who look primed to return to the postseason this season. I'm going to say Brockton gets through that portion of the schedule (one Peter Colombo said might rank as the toughest in New England) with a winning record. I'm a believer in Brockton this year, and they'll knock off at least one Catholic Conference opponent, as well as take care of business with Reading and Fitchburg. My guess is the Boxers end up 3-2 in this stretch (including a loss to BC High week one, which they'll avenge in the Super Bowl in December).

5. WHAT GAME WILL BE THE MOST THRILLING OF WEEK 1?

Hall: On a state-wide level, Everett’s trip to Leominster is certainly garnering the most interest, and deservedly so. The atmosphere there is going to be electric, with projections of anywhere up to 7-8,000 for expected attendance at Doyle Field. But, at the risk of being the wet blanket here, find me a pundit that doesn’t expect Everett to win.

Putnam-Central will be an intriguing battle out west, but I’m going with an underrated Saturday afternoon showdown in Shrewsbury, where St. John’s will host Holy Name in their customary season-opener. For all of Holy Name’s success under Mike Pucko, the Naps have never beaten St. John’s under John Andreoli. Last year’s contest, a 22-21 St. John’s thriller, was just epic on all fronts. And if there’s any year for Holy Name to get that elusive win over the Pioneers, it’s this one.

Barboza: This might not be the most high profile game on the docket, but I’m looking at the good ole fashioned brawl in the backyard between Dighton-Rehoboth and Somerset. The Falcons, coached by Somerset alum Dave Driscoll, are looking to rebound a bit in the South Coast Conference this season behind physical tackle Chuddy Nwachukwu and the Raiders could bounce back from a rebuilding year last year to finish atop the Eastern Athletic Conference this year. This has always been an underrated rivalry game in Southeastern Mass. and it's a great way to kick off the season for both squads.

Kurkjian: When in doubt, go with the No. 1 team opening up on the road against a program and community brimming with optimism over a Super Bowl win. No matter what happens, the atmosphere for Friday night's Everett at Leominster game will be electric.

Lerch: With apologies to several other high profile (BC High/Brockton) and not-so-high-profile (East Boston/Blue Hills will be a barnburner) matchups certainly deserving attention, the game at the top of my marquee is Duxbury at Bridgewater-Raynham (Saturday, 4 p.m.). Two programs very similar in the foundations programmed by a pair of tremendous head coaches, and both with an eye on getting a jump start on the "reload" process should be ready to go toe-to-toe for 44 minutes (or more).

Botelho: My favorite week one match-up is always Bridgewater-Raynham and Duxbury (especially this year, where these two teams grabbed the top two spots in our pre-season poll over at SportsJournal.co). Both perennial Super Bowl contenders, if either team doesn't bring their 'A' game from the get-go, they start the season with a loss. Dave Maimaron and Dan Buron always have their kids supremely prepared, so this one has a playoff atmosphere in September.

Combine notes from the month of May

May, 29, 2012
5/29/12
12:14
PM ET
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.

MHSFCA unveils 'Super 26' All-State Team

December, 29, 2011
12/29/11
1:38
PM ET
The Massachusetts High School Football Coaches' Association unveiled its annual "Super 26" All-State Team today. Those honored will be presented this spring at Lantana's Restaurant, in Randolph.

Below are the selections. Italicized names indicate they were also a selection to ESPN Boston's MIAA All-State Team.

OFFENSE

Quarterback
Jonathan DiBiaso, Everett
Cam McLevedge, Weymouth
Matt Montalto, Dennis-Yarmouth

Receivers
Armani Reeves, Catholic Memorial
Don Webber, Duxbury

Offensive Line
Brendan Melanson, St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Dan McCourt, Pembroke
Jameson McShea, BC High
Andrew VanderWilden, Concord-Carlisle
Chad Woodfine, Chicopee

Running Back
Sacoy Malone, Springfield Central
Quinton Perkins, Fitchburg
Melquawn Pickney, Springfield Putnam

DEFENSE

Defensive Line/Linebacker
Henry Bumpus, Concord-Carlisle
Nick DiChiara, BB&N
Tim Joy, Chelmsford
Vondell Langston, Everett
Max Randall, Duxbury
Zack Schafer, Mansfield
Nick Schlatz, Bridgewater-Raynham
Will Twyman, Lincoln-Sudbury
Camren Williams, Catholic Memorial

Secondary
Todd Collier, St. Mary’s (Lynn)
Jack Connolly, St. Sebastian’s
Joe Epps, Bourne
Charles Ruffin, King Philip

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: Bourne 16, Hamilton-Wenham 14

December, 3, 2011
12/03/11
8:44
PM ET
LYNN, Mass. -- It was a battle between undefeated teams in the Div. 3A Super Bowl Saturday, and it was easy to see that being the team with the loss was not an option for either Bourne or Hamilton-Wenham.

In a tightly contested matchup — that fit the billing coming into it — the Canalmen walked off the field with their first Super Bowl championship in school history thanks to a 16-14 victory over the Generals (12-1) on an unseasonably warm afternoon at Manning Field.

Jason Moriarty finished 3-for-4 for 53 yards, and his 10-yard touchdown pass to Nick Pereira in the third quarter, followed by his two-point conversion rush, proved to be the game-winner to clinch the perfect season.

A BIT OF REDEMPTION

In a game of this magnitude, and with so many twists and turns, it was Moriarty’s efforts on that touchdown drive that helped make up for a mistake at the goal line before the whistle blew at halftime.

The Canalmen were down 14-8 and on the last play of the second quarter Moriarty had the offense at the 1-yard line looking to tie the game or take a lead. Instead, Moriarty fumbled the handoff to his fullback and the ball rolled into the end zone, only to be scooped up by the Generals’ Kevin Anthony for a touchback.

“I messed up earlier in the game,” said Moriarty. “I dropped the ball and did some things, and it was really hard to keep my composure, but this team knows how to win. We just did what we had to do.”

In the opening minutes of the third quarter, the offenses played a little bit of giveaway, as Bourne coughed up the ball only to get it right back on the very next play on a fumble recovery.

The Canalmen were set up with great field position at the 50, and preceded to march down the field in an efficient 10 plays. Jacob Achstetter picked up three yards on fourth-and-1, and Moriarty hit Pereira over the middle to get to into the red zone.

Two plays later, the duo hooked up again on a corner route and Moriarty gave the two-point lead with a conversion rush.

“I just had to deliver a good pass and I got it in there,” said Moriarty. “My man (Pereira) caught it in and it worked out.”

TOUGH BREAK FOR H-W
Trevor Lyons was a thorn in the Bourne side in the first half. He was getting it done through the air — as he was 3-for-3 for 48 yards and a 44-yard touchdown strike to Matt Putur — and he was doing it with his legs with nine carries for 39 yards, most of the work coming when the play was breaking down.

But on a run to get the Generals down to the 1-yard line, he was hit hard by two Canalmen and he initially injured his shoulder. Lyons was seen getting some treatment on the sidelines after delivering a success conversion pass to tie the game 8-8 following an Eliot Burr touchdown.

The Generals got the ball back a few plays later thanks to a turnover, and Lyons struck on the 44-yarder to Putur on the very first play of the drive. After the play, Lyons had to leave the game and was seen on the sideline with a sling on his right throwing shoulder.

“That was huge. I felt so bad for (Lyons), because he’s a hell of a football player,” Canalmen head coach John McIntyre said. “We knew that they weren’t going to be able to scramble (without Lyons). We were able to do some defensively and take a little more chances with the blitzes and stuff, knowing that their quarterback couldn’t run as much as they wanted to.”

BOURNE 16, HAMILTON-WENHAM 14
Bourne (13-0) 8 – 0 – 8 – 0 - 16
Ham.-Wenham (12-1) 0 – 14 – 0 – 0 – 14

BO — Joseph Epps 6 run (Drew Girouard pass from Jason Moriarty)
HW — Eliot Burr 1 run (Luke Wendt pass from Trevor Lyons)
HW — Matt Putur 44 pass from Lyons (rush failed)
BO — Nick Pereira 10 pass from Moriarty (Moriarty rush)

Super Saturday football breakdown and picks

December, 2, 2011
12/02/11
5:33
PM ET
EASTERN MASS
Division 1: BC High (9-3) vs. Needham (9-3), 6 p.m., Gillette Stadium


BC High players to watch: FB/LB Luke Catarius; QB Bartley Regan; RB/DB Deontae Ramey-Doe; TE/DE Jameson McShea; WR/DB Gordon McLeod; WR/DB Lincoln Collins OL Mike Prendeville; LB Zach West.

Needham players to watch: Mark Riley, Sr. TE; Nico Panepinto, Sr. WR; Ryan Charter, Sr. QB; Mike Vespa, Sr. FB/LB; Dan Pierce, Jr. WR/DB; Ronny Rosser, Soph. DB; Andrew Murowchick, Sr. K.

The skinny: The Eagles again disposed Chelmsford for the second time this season while Needham thrashed New Bedford to set up this playoff matchup. Both of these teams have overcome notable injuries this season to offensive leaders (Preston Cooper at BC and Drew Burnett at Needham, respectively) to arrive on the big stage.

X-factor: Needham tight end Mark Riley. Big enough to play tight end and athletic enough to play wideout, he presents matchup problems. Will it be talented outside linebacker Zach West tailing Riley throughout the game? The matchup is worth watching.

Scott Barboza: It's a testament to the Rockets for having the depth and moxie to get to this stage, but pure talent will take over in this one. BC High, 27-20.

Brendan Hall: Sorry, BC High fans. Not giving you the glory this time. BC High, 35-7.

Division 1A: Everett (12-0) vs. Lincoln-Sudbury (11-1), 7 p.m., Bentley University
Everett players to watch: QB Jonathan DiBiaso; RB/LB Vondell Langston; WR/DB Kenny Calaj; WR/DB Jakarrie Washington; WR/DB Jalen Felix; WR/DB Jaylen McRae; OL/DL Jon Montellus; OL/DL Ralph Jonathas.

Lincoln-Sudbury players to watch: Matt Cahill, Sr. QB; Dan Cellucci, Sr. RB; Chris Giorgio, Sr. RB; Brian Carroll, Sr. RB; Kyle Ashley, Sr. OL/DL; Jack Harris, Sr. WR.

The skinny: Everett brings its high-flying offense (state-best 41.8 points per game) into Bentley University where it will be the overwhelming heavy favorite against the Warriors. Jonathan DiBiaso (104 career TD passes) has a number of dangerous targets to throw to. L-S counters with a rushing attack led by Cellucci, Giorgio and Carroll.

X-factor: Everett's offensive line anchored by junior tackle John Montelus -- one of New England's top Class of 2013 prospects -- is one of the state's best. If they give DiBiaso time to get into a groove early, this could be over quick.

Barboza: Again, great ride for the Warriors, but this is the Crimson Tide we're talking about. Can we host our own "Bowl Championship Series" playoff next weekend with BC High, Duxbury and Everett? The invites are in the mail. Everett, 37-28.

Hall: Look at it this way. Jonathan DiBiaso has at least gotten to win one Super Bowl at Gillette, and next year the Tide will be back here on the Foxborough turf. Everett, 35-0.

Division 2: Duxbury (12-0) vs. Tewksbury (7-5), 3:30 p.m., Gillette Stadium
Tewksbury players to watch: RB/CB Chris Bettano; QB/S Kevin Saunders; OL/LB Derek Tarpey.

Duxbury players to watch: Reilly Naton, Sr. WR/DB; Khai Perry, Soph. RB; Andrew Buron, Sr. WR/DB; Matt O'Keefe, Sr. QB; James Burke, Sr. WR/DB; Don Webber, Sr. WR; Max Randall, Sr. LB; Gordon Acha, Sr. OL/DL; Rob Kosharek, Jr. OL/DL; Joe Guilfoile, Jr. WR/DB.

The skinny: Duxbury received its biggest scare of the season, sweating out a 7-0 win over King Philip to advance while the Redmen earned a 21-6 win over Reading in one of the more surprising results of Tuesday night. However, Tewksbury comes in having played a battle-tested schedule with several wins over Merrimack Valley Large opponents while Duxbury also boasts marquee non-league wins in the regular season over the likes of Xaverian and Bridgewater-Raynham.

X-factor: Dragons wide receiver Don Webber is perhaps the finest route-runner in the state and is often double-covered by opposing defenses, allowing room for Andrew Buron, Guilfoile and Naton to work underneath. It will be interesting to see what Brian Aylward's inventive coaching staff has up its sleeve.

Barboza: Expect the Dragons to look to power the ball a bit more than they did against King Philip on Tuesday. The way this defense is playing right now, all it seems the offense needs is three points to victory. Duxbury, 24-14.

Hall: Redmen are going to throw the kitchen sink at Duxbury, but the Dragons are about as steady and consistent as they come. Duxbury, 28-14.

Division 2A: Dennis-Yarmouth (12-0) vs. Wakefield (10-2), 3 p.m., Manning Field (Lynn)
Dennis-Yarmouth players to watch: Matt Montalto, Sr. QB; Dylan Hodsdon, Sr. WR/RB/LB; Damion Johnson, Sr. WR/S; Quan Lovett, Sr. WR/DB; Rufus Hamilton, Sr. WR/DB; Hunter Oppedisano, Sr. OL/LB; Tommy Kennedy, Sr. OL/DL; Joe Furness, Sr. RB.

Wakefield players to watch: LB Zach Bates; RB Josh Puccio; RB/DB Dan Cardillo; QB James Bourque; E/DB Nick Calderone.

The skinny: D-Y scored one of the most eye-opening victories of Tuesday night with a 46-20 dismantling of a talented Walpole defense. Wakefield, which scored a dramatic 7-6 win over Marblehead, will have to dictate tempo early to keep All-State quarterback Matt Montalto from getting into a groove.

X-factor: Damion Johnson draws plenty of attention from the secondary, when Dylan Hodsdon gets going in both the running and passing game, the Dolphins can kick it into another gear.

Barboza: No disrespect to Walpole, but the Dolphins' score on Tuesday didn't even do it justice as to how thorough their victory was. D-Y, 34-24.

Hall: The Cape's dream season is almost complete. D-Y, 21-0.

Division 3: Concord-Carlisle (12-0) vs. Oliver Ames (7-4), 9 a.m., Gillette Stadium
Concord-Carlisle players to watch:
RB/DB George Craan; RB/DB Tyquan Culbreath; TE/DE Henry Bumpus; RB/LB Tim Badgley; OL/DL Andrew VanderWilden; OL/LB Thomas Kleyn; OL/DL Trevor Castrichini.

OA players to watch: Jared Schneider, Sr. QB; Brian Rezendes, Sr. RB/LB; Jake McDougall, Sr. OL/LB; Alex Tepper, Sr. WR; Keith Sullivan, Sr. OL; Brian Crosby, Sr. RB/DB; Dean Soucie, Sr. RB/LB

The skinny: The Patriots were denied a Super Bowl title at Gillette last year by Duxbury and Oliver Ames is representing the Hockomock as a league champion of any kind for the first time since 1964. The Tigers rumbled past previously unbeaten Pembroke to earn a berth while C-C slipped past defending champion Holliston, 32-27.

X-factor: Much has been written about Craan and Culbreath in the C-C backfield, but Badgely is a key cog in the Patriots' offensive machinery -- not to mention, the experience he brings to their linebacking corps.

Barboza: Line of the day during Thursday's media day at Gillette Stadium posed by C-C's Bumpus, Kleyn and VanderWilden to the Needham captains: "Why don't you guys have mohawks, too?" C-C, 31-23.

Hall: Patriots playing for a regional title at the home of the Patriots. How can you pick against that? C-C, 30-17.

Division 3A: Hamilton-Wenham (12-0) vs. Bourne (12-0), noon, Manning Field (Lynn)
H-W players to watch:
QB/DB Trevor Lyons; RB/LB Elliott Burr; WR/DB Matt Putur; OL/DL Taylor Drinkwater.

Bourne players to watch: Drew Girouard, Sr. TE/DL; Nick Pereira, Jr. WR/DB; Jason Moriarty, Sr. QB; Joe Epps, Sr. RB/DB; Jack Schmitt, Sr. OL/DL.

The skinny: H-W, owners of one of the state's stingiest defenses (7.3 points allowed), gets put to arguably its toughest test of the year in a Bourne squad led by running back Joe Epps. The senior is second in Div. 3A in scoring (19 rushing TD), and is coming off an impressive performance in a Tuesday night playoff against Bishop Feehan (11 carries, 112 yards, 3 TD).

X-factor: The Generals must find a way to keep Epps, arguably one of the fastest running backs south of Boston, from getting to the corner. The 170-pounder has some wheels.

Barboza: Epps has to among the fastest players we've seen all year save for Armani Reeves. Bourne, 27-24.

Hall: Robert Perryman's not walking through that door. But Joe Epps is. Bourne, 24-21.

Division 4: Cardinal Spellman (12-0) vs. Mashpee (12-0), 8 p.m., Gillette Stadium
Spellman players to watch:
RB Pat Hinkley; RB Dan Kustka; OL/LB Dan Barry; OL/DL Kevin Grey; OL/DL Joe Glynn.

Mashpee players to watch: Jordan Keli’inui, Sr. RB; Graham Kilpatrick, Sr. OL/DL; Jared Taylor, Jr. RB/LB; Zach Orcutt, Sr. QB/S; John Bernard, Sr. RB/LB.

The skinny: Mashpee has run over opponents with a wrecking crew in the backfield comprised for Keli'inui and Taylor. Spellman is a near mirror image with Hinkley and Kustka combining to run for over 2,000 yards this season replacing the dynamic play of graduate Blaise Branch.

X-factor: Hinkley. A shoulder injury sustained while making a tackle in the Cardinals' win over Shawsheen on Tuesday threatens Hinkley's availability in Saturday's game. Will he be ready to go? If not, that's a huge loss for Spellman on both sides of the ball.

Barboza: You heard it here first, Hinkley does his best Willis Reed/Pedro Martinez/Curt Schilling impression and delivers when it counts. Spellman, 14-13.

Hall: Even if Pat Hinkley is 100 percent, and even though there isn't a more deserving coach than Ron St. George, it's going to be hard to break this Falcons D. Mashpee, 14-10.

Division 4A: Boston Cathedral (12-0) vs. Blue Hills (11-1), 10 a.m., Bentley University
Cathedral players to watch: OL/DL Treyvon Clegg; RB Geeavontie Griffith; QB/S Matt Owens; RB/DB Carlos Bermudez; QB/DB Antonio Thomas; OL/DL Mohammad Briamah.

Blue Hills players to watch: Vincent Burton, Jr. RB/S; Isaiah Teixeira, Sr. RB/LB; John Curran, Sr. QB; David Neil, Soph. WR.

The skinny: Burton has accumulated 52 rushing touchdowns since the start of his sophomore season, but this may be the fastest defense he's faced yet. Cathedral is coming off an emotional last-second win Tuesday night against Chelsea, and can score in a hurry with Griffith (2,107 rushing yards, 23 TD) leading the charges.

X-factor: We strongly advise against punting to Carlos Bermudez.

Barboza: Things I enjoy about my job: having phone conversations with Cathedral head coach Duane Sigsbury about computer technology. High hilarity. Cathedral, 17-14.

Hall: I repeat, don't punt to Carlos Bermudez. Cathedral, 14-0.

Division 5: Latin Academy (7-4) vs. Nantucket (9-2), Noon, Taunton High School

Barboza: The Whalers shalt harpoon the Great White Whale ... Um, something like that. Nantucket, 17-13.

Hall: Because I want to see colleagues Corey Allen and Jack McCluskey happy. Latin Academy, 12-6.

CENTRAL MASS
Division 1: Leominster (9-3) vs. St. John's (Shrewsbury) (8-4), 11 a.m., Gillette Stadium


Leominster players to watch: RB/DB Geraldo Rivera; QB Garrett DelleChiaie; TE/LB Shaun Addo; RB/DL Cortez Ludden; E/DB Kevin O'Connor; OL/DL Jeffrey Cheng.

St. John's players to watch: E/LB Drew Orton; RB/DB Sean Wilson; QB Connor Kurtz; OL Ryan Anger; OL Brendan Melanson; WR Efrain Montalvo.

The skinny: Leominster is back on the big stage after beating Twin Cities rival Fitchburg for the second time in six days in Tuesday's playoff game, while the Pioneers blew out crosstown rival Shrewsbury. These teams are no strangers to each other either. The Blue Devils made a statement in a 23-15 overtime win over St. John's in Leominster in October.

X-factor: Rivera is one of the most explosive players outside of 495, or anywhere in the state for that matter. If he gets going early, watch out.

Barboza: The second time is even sweeter. Leominster, 28-21.

Hall: I'm sure the post-game celebration back in the Twin Cities will be huge, too. Leominster, 17-16.

Division 2: Nashoba (12-0) vs. Holy Name (8-4), 2 p.m., Fitchburg State
Barboza: The Naps will do it with 12 men playing both ways on the field. Holy Name, 13-10.

Hall: Chieftains will finish in our poll where they're likely to start 2012 -- in the Top 10. Nashoba, 21-14.

Division 3: Auburn (11-1) vs. Hudson (9-3), 3 p.m., Worcester State
Barboza: Might be one of my favorite matchups of the day. Auburn, 24-21.

Hall: This one will be by the hair, but overall there is more firepower in Auburn than Hudson's talented backfield. Auburn, 28-27.

Division 4: Southbridge (8-4) vs. Northbridge (7-5), 12:30 p.m., Worcester State
Barboza: North over South. Northbridge, 17-10.

Hall: I'm trying to stay on Dave Lefort's good side.

Division 5: Leicester (8-4) vs. Clinton (6-6), 10 a.m., Worcester State
Barboza: What everybody from outside of New England thinks we sound like: "JAWWWWNNNNN LESSSSSTAHHHHH." I'm going with his namesake. Leicester, 23-17.

Hall: I'm Irish, so naturally I'm biased on this one. Clinton, 20-10.

Division 6: Assabet (11-1) vs. Bay Path (10-2), 11 a.m., Fitchburg State
Barboza: Picking blind here, so I'll go with the girls' hockey hotbed. Assabet, 20-14.

Hall: Aztecs are one of the most consistent vocational schools around. Assabet, 18-12.

WESTERN MASS
Division 1: Springfield Central (10-2) vs. Longmeadow (10-2), 1:30 p.m., Gillette Stadium


Central Players to Watch: Sacoy Malone, Sr. RB; Cody Williams, Soph. QB; Rich Williams, Sr. TE/LB; Aaron Owens, Jr. LB/FB; Ismael Figueroa, Jr. OL/DL; Quentin Jones, Sr. DE.

Longmeadow Players to Watch: T.J. Norris, Sr. RB; Frankie Elder, Jr. QB; Austin Sierra, Jr. RB; Robbie McClure, Jr. OL/DL; Devante Clarke, Jr. RB.

The skinny: Central ended Longmeadow's 52-game league winning streak when the two met back in October, and this should be an exciting rematch. Two of the region's strongest running games face off here, with the Eagles averaging nearly 220 yards per game behind the workhorse Malone (1,916 yards, 20 TD). Norris (1,313 yards, 23 TD) looks poised again after missing some time with an ankle sprain.

X-factor: The emergence of Sierra during Norris' injury has given the Lancers another threat out of the backfield. Central's defense, which has forced 21 fumbles, will have to keep the running game in check.

Barboza: The Lancers' reign is interrupted -- at least for one year. We'll see if the Golden Eagles have more in store past this year. Central, 17-14.

Hall: It's been a dream season for the Golden Eagles, and things are only going to get better from herein. Central, 21-20.

Division 2: Springfield Putnam (11-1) vs. Springfield Commerce (8-4), 12:30 p.m., Westfield State
Barboza: I feel like this game should be played at Blunt Park. Putnam, 34-21.

Hall: No disrespect to Commerce, but Pinkney is going to run in whichever direction he wants. Putnam, 28-10.

Division 3: Mt. Greylock (11-0) vs. Lee (10-2), 10 a.m., Westfield State
Barboza: In the words of Tenacious D, "Swimming in a sea of Lee." Lee, 31-24.

Hall: I grew up in Westminster, home to half of Mt. Wachusett, so naturally I'm biased towards the hills. Mt. Greylock, 14-3.

Division 4: McCann Tech (10-1) vs. Pioneer (8-3), 3 p.m., Westfield State
Barboza: Going with the volleyball powerhouse here. Pioneer, 21-16.

Hall: My father went to college at the former North Adams State, so take a guess where I'm going with this one. McCann Tech, 13-7.

Recap: Hamilton-Wenham 7, Newburyport 0

November, 29, 2011
11/29/11
11:46
PM ET
ANDOVER, Mass. -- The Hamilton-Wenham offense didn't score many points in Tuesday's Eastern Mass. Division 3A semifinal against Newburyport, but it did produce big plays when the Generals needed them the most.

Hamilton-Wenham came up with three game-changing plays during its final offensive possession, none bigger than a 4-yard touchdown run by junior quarterback Trevor Lyons with 32.8 seconds to play.

Lyons' touchdown came on a sweep around right end on a third-down play. He went airborne when he was realized he was nearing the sideline, was hit by two defenders and landed on the goal line.

“I knew I was in,” Lyons said. “Half a yard, there was no way I wasn't getting in.”

The touchdown held up as Hamilton-Wenham advanced to Saturday's Division 3A Super Bowl with a 7-0 triumph. The Generals will face Bourne (12-0), which defeated Bishop Feehan in Tuesday's other 3A semifinal.

The Generals moved the ball 47 yards on 10 plays during its final drive. The other big plays in the drive were a 2-yard sneak by Lyons on a fourth-and-1 play, and a 30-yard screen pass from Lyons to senior running back Eliot Burr on a third-and-16 play. The screen pass moved the ball to the Newburyport 5-yard line.

Hamilton-Wenham improved its record to 11-0. Newburyport, which dropped an 18-6 decision to Hamilton-Wenham in September, finished its season with a 9-3 record.

“We had an idea it could be a defensive slugfest,” Hamilton-Wenham coach Andrew Morency said. “But in the end offensively our big guns got it done. Eliot Burr made a nice play there and Trevor kept his cool and got in the end zone. So you couldn't ask for a better ending.”

SCREEN TEST
The screen pass Morency called was perhaps the most curious play call of the game. The Generals had run that play only twice before this season, but it turned out to be an excellent play against Newburyport's aggressive front seven (sometimes eight).

“I gotta tell you we were going into the attic a little bit,” Morency said. “That middle screen we hadn't run in a while, but it was something we knew we had and it's just kind of ironic that's the play the kind of broke it open a little bit.”

Lyons said he was surprised when he learned the third-down play would be a middle screen.

“That drive was all play calling by coach [Morency],” Lyons said. “We were waiting for the right opportunity to call that play. This was the perfect team to try it on because they like getting after me. It was a great call at a great time.”

NO PASSING ZONE
Newburyport coach Ed Gaudiano had no explanation for why his offense struggled against Hamilton-Wenham, which allowed an average of 8.0 points per contest in its previous 10 games.

“We thought we could do a couple things, but they did a good job against us up front,” Gaudiano said. “I'll have to go look at the film. I don't know. Didn't look pretty.”

Newburyport quarterback Connor Wile entered the game with 1,968 yards passing and 21 passing touchdowns this season. He was held to five completions in 16 attempts for 44 yards.

Newburyport didn't run a play on Hamilton-Wenham's half of the field after the first quarter. Its best scoring opportunity came on a 19-yard missed field goal attempt on the final play of the first quarter.

“Give them all the credit in the world,” Gaudiano said. “I thought they did a good job defending us.”

HAMILTON-WENHAM 7, NEWBURYPORT 0
Newburyport (9-3) 0 0 0 0 – 0
Hamilton-Wenham (11-0) 0 0 0 7 – 7

4th Quarter

HW – Trevor Lyons 4 run (Paul Kim kick), 32.8.

Recap: Bourne 22, Bishop Feehan 14

November, 29, 2011
11/29/11
8:51
PM ET


BRIDGEWATER, Mass. –- Aside from his 112 yards rushing on 11 carries and three rushing touchdowns in Tuesday night’s Division 3A Eastern Mass playoff, the signature play of Bourne senior captain Joe Epps’ performance might have come on defense.

In the third quarter of the Canalmen’s 22-14 win over Eastern Athletic Conference champion Bishop Feehan, Epps slid into the box and undercut Shamrocks fullback James Corbesero on fourth and 1, forcing a turnover on downs at Bourne’s 5-yard line. The play changed the course of action in the second half of what was then a tied game (14-14).

The play helped set the stage for Bourne’s deciding 10-play, 80-yard drive. The Canalmen’s longest sustained drive of the evening soaked up more than five minutes of the fourth quarter, Epps tallied his third rushing score of the game, a 5-yard run with 4:46 to play, lifting the Canalmen to a Super Bowl appearance.

“I knew they were coming right up the middle,” Epps said of his fourth-down stop, one of several key defensive stops by Bourne (11-0) in the second half. “They’d been doing that all game. I knew I had him in the backfield and I knew we had to have that stop.”

The Canalmen now face Hamilton-Wenham in the Division 3A Super Bowl on Saturday.

Epps immediately put a stamp on the game with his first offensive touch. The 5-foot-11, 172-pound speedster broke around right tackle on a toss sweep -- which the Canalmen ran to perfection for much of the contest -- and ran 51 yards for a touchdown.

Feehan (7-5) answered on the ensuing drive with Corbesero’s first of two rushing touchdowns with 3:43 remaining in the first quarter.

Bourne’s lightning-quick attack struck again before the quarter was out, thanks to some great field position. The Canalmen started their drive at their own 45 and scored five plays later on Epps’ 2-yard touchdown run.

Corbesero tied the game, 14-14, before the half, with a 4-yard touchdown run. He finished the game with eight carries for 34 yards.

Bishop Feehan (7-5) -- 7 7 0 0 -- 14
Bourne (11-0) -- 14 0 0 8 -- 22


First quarter
B - Joe Epps 51-yard run (kick failed)
BF - James Corbesero 11-yard run (Matt Allen kick)
B - Epps 3-yard run (Joe Epps run)

Second quarter
BF - Corbesero 4-yard run (Allen kick)

Fourth quarter
B - Epps 5-yard run (Jake Achstetter pass from Jason Moriarty)

Tuesday football playoff sites set

November, 25, 2011
11/25/11
2:18
PM ET
The MIAA released the sites and times for each of Tuesday's division playoff matchups this morning.

Here's how the action breaks down (Note: Division 5 playoff teams Latin Academy and Nantucket advance directly to Saturday Super Bowl):

DIVISION 1
BC High vs. Chelmsford - Lowell, 5:15
New Bedford vs. Needham - Weymouth, 7:30

DIVISION 1A
Everett at Lynn English - Manning Bowl, Lynn, 7:30
Barnstable vs. Lincoln-Sudbury - Taunton, 5:15

DIVISION 2
Tewksbury vs. Reading - Reading, 7:30
King Philip vs. Duxbury - Weymouth, 5:15

DIVISION 2A
Marblehead vs. Wakefield - Manning Bowl, Lynn, 5:15
Walpole vs. Dennis-Yarmouth - Bridgewater-Raynham, 7:30

DIVISION 3
Concord-Carlisle vs. Holliston - Lowell, 7:30
Oliver Ames vs. Pembroke - Franklin, 7:30

DIVISION 3A
Hamilton-Wenham vs. Newburyport - Andover, 7:30
Bishop Feehan vs. Bourne - Bridgewater-Raynham, 5:15

DIVISION 4
Cardinal Spellman vs. Shawsheen - Andover, 5:15
Millis/Hopedale vs. Mashpee - Taunton, 7:30

DIVISION 4A
Boston Cathedral vs. Chelsea - Reading, 5:15
East Boston vs. Blue Hills - Franklin, 5:15

VOCATIONAL BOWLS (THURSDAY)
Lynn Tech vs. Tri-County, Braintree, 4:30
Greater Lawrence vs. Greater New Bedford Voke, Braintree, 7

New Englanders taken in MLB Draft

June, 7, 2011
6/07/11
3:30
PM ET
The third and final day of the Major League Baseball Draft has concluded. Here's a rundown of which locals went where:

First Round (Monday)
11. Houston Astros, George Springer, OF, Connecticut (Avon Old Farms), New Britain, Conn.
19. Boston Red Sox, Matt Barnes, RHP, Connecticut (Bethel H.S.), Bethel, Conn.
21. Toronto Blue Jays, Tyler Beede, RHP, Lawrence Academy, Auburn, Mass.

Second Round (Tuesday)
63. Arizona Diamondbacks, Anthony Meo, RHP, Coastal Carolina (Cranston West H.S.), Cranston, R.I.
64. Baltimore Orioles, Jason Esposito, 3B, Vanderbilt (Amity H.S.), Bethany, Conn.
85. Atlanta Braves, Nick Ahmed, SS, Connecticut (East Longmeadow H.S.), East Longmeadow, Mass.

Third Round (Tuesday)
118. New York Yankees, Jordan Cote, RHP, Winnisquam Regional, Sanbornton, N.H.

Fifth Round (Tuesday)
162. New York Mets, Jack Leathersich, LHP, UMass-Lowell (Beverly H.S.), Beverly, Mass.
169. Toronto Blue Jays, Andrew Chin, LHP, BB&N, Newton, Mass.

Sixth Round (Tuesday)
182. Pittsburgh Pirates, Dan Gamache, 3B, Auburn (Bishop Hendricken H.S.), Exeter, R.I.

Tenth Round (Tuesday)
302. Pittsburgh Pirates, Taylor Lewis, CF, Maine (Montville H.S.), Montville, Conn.
303. Seattle Mariners, Dan Paolini, 2B, Siena (Bunnell H.S.) Stratford, Conn.
317. Detroit Tigers, Curt Casali, C, Vanderbilt (New Canaan H.S.) New Canaan, Conn.

Twelfth Round (Tuesday)
363. Seattle Mariners, Mike Dowd, C, Franklin Pierce (Cardinal Spellman H.S.), East Bridgewater, Mass.

Thirteenth Round (Tuesday)
394. Arizona Diamondbacks, John Pedrotty, LHP, Holy Cross (Portsmouth H.S.), Portsmouth, R.I.

Fifteenth Round (Tuesday)
463. Florida Marlins, Jhimoar Veras, RF, Western Oklahoma State Coll. (Methuen H.S.), Methuen, Mass.

Seventeenth Round (Tuesday)
519. Chicago Cubs, John Andreoli Jr., RF, Connecticut (St. John's of Shrewsbury), Shrewsbury, Mass.

Eighteenth Round (Tuesday)
553. Florida Marlins, Greg Nappo, LHP, Connecticut (Daniel Hand H.S.), Madison, Conn.
563. San Diego Padres, Mike Gallic, LF, Marist (Tolland H.S.), Tolland, Conn.

Twentieth Round (Tuesday)
610. Houston Astros, Matt Duffy, 3B, Tennessee (St. Sebastian's), Milton, Mass.
630. Tampa Bay Rays, Garrett Smith, SS, Boston College (St. John's of Shrewsbury), Sterling, Mass.

23rd Round (Tuesday)
700. Houston Astros, Ruben Sosa, 2B, Oklahoma City University (Lawrence H.S.), Lawrence, Mass.
702. New York Mets, Jeff Diehl, C, Cranston West H.S., Cranston, R.I.
715. Cincinnati Reds, Sal Romano, RHP, Southington H.S., Southington, Conn.

24th Round (Tuesday)
747. San Francisco Giants, Keith Bilodeau, RHP, Maine (Bourne H.S.), Bourne, Mass.

25th Round (Tuesday)
763. Florida Marlins, Sean Donatello, RHP, UConn-Avery Point (East Lyme H.S.), Salem, Conn.
780. Tampa Bay Rays, Brooks Belter, RHP, Occidental (The Gunnery Prep), Lakeville, Conn.

28th Round (Tuesday)
862. Boston Red Sox, Brenden Shepherd, RHP, Stonehill (Masconomet Regional) Boxford, Mass.
867. San Francisco Giants, Tyler Mizenko, RHP, Winthrop (Hamden Hall H.S.), Wallingford, Conn.

31st Round (Wednesday)
958. Minnesota Twins, Garrett Jewell, RHP, Southern New Hampshire (Newfound Regional), Alexandria, N.H.

32nd Round (Wednesday)
975. Los Angeles Angels, John Leonard, RHP, Boston College (Hanover H.S.), Hanover, Mass.

35th Round (Wednesday)
1076. Atlanta Braves, Mike Hashem, LHP, Fisher College (North Andover H.S.), North Andover, Mass.
1080. Tampa Bay Rays, John Magliozzi, RHP, Dexter School, Milton, Mass.

38th Round (Wednesday)
1163. San Diego Padres, Pat Connaughton, RHP, St. John's Prep, Arlington, Mass.
1169. New York Yankees, Joe Maher, RHP, Bedford H.S., Bedford, N.H.

39th Round (Wednesday)
1192. Boston Red Sox, Corey Vogt, RHP, Keene State (Suffield H.S.), Suffield, Conn.

40th Round (Wednesday)
1206. Kansas City Royals, Ben Waldrip, 1B, Jacksonville State (Medford H.S.), Medford, Mass.

42nd Round (Wednesday)
1269. Chicago Cubs, Brad Zapenas, SS, Boston College (Nashua North H.S.), Nashua, N.H.
1290. Tampa Bay Rays, Mike Bourdon, C, U. Tampa (Northwest Catholic H.S.), Simsbury, Conn.

43rd Round (Wednesday)
1303. Florida Marlins, Drew Leenhouts, LHP, Northeastern (Franklin H.S.), Franklin, Mass.
1310. St. Louis Cardinals, Chris Costantino, RHP, Walters State CC (Bishop Hendricken H.S.), Lincoln, R.I.

44th Round (Wednesday)
1349. New York Yankees, Adam Ravenelle, RHP, Lincoln-Sudbury H.S., Sudbury, Mass.

45th Round (Wednesday)
1372. Boston Red Sox, Matt Gedman, 2B, UMass (Belmont Hill), Framingham, Mass.
1377. San Francisco Giants, Brian Maloney, LHP, Franklin Pierce (Brockton H.S.), Brockton, Mass.

46th Round (Wednesday)
1389. Chicago Cubs, Scott Weismann, RHP, Clemson (Acton-Boxborough H.S.), Boxborough, Mass.

48th Round (Wednesday)
1443. Seattle Mariners, Max Krakowiak, RHP, Fordham (Staples H.S.), Westport, Conn.
1448. Cleveland Indians, Blaine O'Brien, RHP, Keystone College (Scituate H.S.), Scituate, Mass.

50th Round (Wednesday)
1522. Boston Red Sox, John Gorman, RHP, Catholic Memorial, Norwood, Mass.
Tags:

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Shriners Football Classic rosters announced

May, 5, 2011
5/05/11
10:32
AM ET
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:

NORTH
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

SOUTH
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


Tags:

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

MIAA hockey playoff notebook

March, 8, 2011
3/08/11
1:26
AM ET
With no action on the local rinks on Monday, we decided to clear out the ole trusty reporter's notebook after a busy first week of tournament play.

Saturday’s first-round Super Eight matchup was a family affair for the Evangelista clan.

The family’s attention was divided between cousins Conor, of top-seeded Malden Catholic, and Tommy, of eighth-seeded Central Catholic.

Adding another dimension to the matchup was that Conor, a junior defenseman on the Lancers’ top pairing, would be duking it out all night with Tommy, a junior center, and the Raiders’ top line.

“My cousin’s really fast, so I told my uncle that I’d have to break Tommy’s blades to have a chance out there, so that he didn’t burn me,” Conor said with a smile. “We talked a lot before the game though.”

Conor may have gotten the last laugh, as Malden Catholic held off Central in a 4-3 victory, but the cousins also have had opportunities to play on the same side while growing and most recently as last summer during the Hockey Night in Boston tournament.

It’s also evident that talent runs through the bloodline. Conor was among the top scoring defensemen in the state with 27 points during the regular season, while Tommy has been a consistent scoring threat for Central with 17 goals and 20 assists this season.

“We didn’t have anything else on the side,” Conor said of his pregame conversations with Tommy, “just bragging rights.”

VECCHIONE ON HISTORIC PACE
You can ascribe many labels to Mike Vecchione’s play, but you might soon have to apply the title all-time leader to his very impressive resume.

With three assists during Malden Catholic’s 4-3 win over Central Catholic on Saturday, Vecchione tied the Catholic Conference’s single-season scoring record with his 73rd point. The UNH commit entered Super Eight play with 26 goals and 44 assists for the regular season.

“I had no idea,” Vecchione replied after being informed of the milestone. “That’s a great feat.”

It seems fitting that Vecchione would tie the record with assists since it’s the selfless manner that has allowed the winger to prosper to unparalleled heights playing alongside linemates Brendan Collier (63 points regular season) and Ryan Fitzgerald (66 points).

SHEA UNSTOPPABLE
Every year, there seems to be a breakout player who takes his game another level to lift his team in the Super Eight. Think of then junior Tim Driscoll willing the Harbormen to the title last year, including his game-winning goal in the final.

It’s safe to say that the early leader in the clubhouse in this year’s young tournament is Woburn forward Casey Shea. The junior forward led the Tanners in scoring this season, so his postseason brilliance thus far hasn’t come as a surprise. But he’s certainly set a tremendous pace.

Shea made a big splash in Woburn’s win over Springfield Cathedral in a play-in game on Monday with five goals, including a natural hat trick in the first period. So what did he do to follow up that performance? He only turned in a SportsCenter-worthy goal, beating two St. John’s Prep defenders in alone, deking them out of their skates before finding the back of the net once again.

“Casey did what he usually does,” Tanners head coach Jim Duran said of the goal.

WARRIORS CAST OFF TOP SEED
Who could’ve seen Coyle-Cassidy’s overtime upset over top-seeded Mansfield in Division 2 South this weekend? Well, we hate to toot our own horn as did have the Warriors as one of our dark horse teams in our postseason picks.

All kidding aside, there’s a concurrent theme to C-C’s upset, as well as that of Scituate over top-ranked Bourne in D-3 South, and that’s strength of schedule.

The Warriors entered postseason play with a marginal record of 9-9-2. However, the degree to which they’d been tested in their 20 game schedule was without parallel in D-2. Aside from turning in their eighth straight Eastern Athletic Conference title, Dave Borges’ team played a schedule that included four Super Eight field teams, including BC High, Hingham St. Mary's of Lynn and Springfield Cathedral, and a host of other Division 1 teams. Granted, the Warriors took their lumps against both BC High and Hingham, but they showed why they could be such a dangerous postseason team tying up Cathedral, 2-2, just one week before the Panthers slipped into a Super Eight play-in game.


BOURNE, Mass. -- Mitch Warren’s job on Scituate’s third line largely consists of doing a lot of the dirty work. Along with linemates Andrew Mitchell and Dan DelGrosso, Warren’s duties consist of keeping up the forecheck, digging in the corners and neutralizing the opposing team’s scoring threats.

With a hat trick in the No. 17 seed Sailors’ 5-3 win over top-seeded Bourne in a Division 3 South first-round playoff game at John Gallo Arena, the senior forward not only had a career game, he nearly totaled his goal tally for the entire season in one night.

“Our line has always been the one to set the tone and the speed out there,” said Warren, who netted four goals during the regular season. “But it was really good to contribute on the goal standpoint this time.”

Despite outshooting the Canalmen 37-11, Scituate struggled to put much of anything past Bourne goaltender Josh Eddy through two periods. The teams were tied 1-1 headed into the second intermission.

Warren spearheaded the Sailors’ attack in third.

Despite falling behind 2-1 on a Canalmen power play goal, Warren helped the defending Division 3 Eastern Mass champions back with two goals in the third.

“Warren, Mitchell and DelGrosso, they were just attacking the net all night,” Scituate head coach Mike Breen said. “That was the only way we were going to score on that goalie [Eddy]. He was one of the best that we’ve come against.”

Eddy repeatedly bailed out his teammates in the first period, stopping all 11 shots while the Canalmen took a 1-0 lead on Spencer Andrews’ put back goal six minutes in.

The Sailors (12-7-2) came back to the tie the game on Warren’s first marker of the evening, coming with 5:27 remaining in the second period with assists by David Lyons and Mitchell.

Scituate continued its barrage on Eddy in the third, when they outshot Bourne, 14-5. However, the Canalmen (18-2-0) broke the stalemate on Matthew Crowley’s power play goal assisted by William Humfryes.

The Sailors responded less than a minute later, tying the game on a goal by Jack O’Donoghue. Warren picked up an assist on the play. Warren put Scituate ahead for good with 9:46 remaining, scoring his second of the game with a helper from DelGrosso. Devon Flynn then provided the Sailors with a breathing room and a two-goal cushion, banking home a shot from behind the goal line off a Canalmen defender's shin guard.

Humfryes drew Bourne within one, providing a highlight reel tally with 8:45 remaining. The power play goal came with the junior forward steaming on an end-to-end rush. He cut through several Scituate defenders before dragging the puck on a string to the slot, where he finished with a top-shelf wrister.

Not to be outdone, Warren capped off his memorable night with his third goal of the game with five minutes to play.

“We’ve had games like that all season,” Warren said. “Sometimes the goals just don’t come, but we knew they were going to come because we had the shots and we knew they would come.”

Warren also credited the Sailors’ ability to roll three lines against a short Bourne roster as a benefit to Scituate in the third period.

“We have three lines, which most teams don’t have, and we just keep the intensity up the whole time,” Warren said. “That’s a difference in games.”

ESPN Boston MIAA hockey tourney picks

March, 1, 2011
3/01/11
7:13
PM ET
The MIAA boys' and girls' tournament kicked off across the state last night, so we took a little time to dissect all of the brackets and weigh with our predictions for the postseason.

BOYS' TOURNAMENTS:
DIVISION 1A:
Favorite: Malden Catholic (16-2-2).

Dark horses: St. John’s Prep (14-5-1), Hingham (13-5-4).

Overview: Is this finally the Lancers’ year? Can the Harbormen repeat? There are plenty of storylines headed into Saturday’s first night of action. Malden Catholic is the definitive favorite, if for nothing else, based on the fact that they have three D-1 recruits on their top line. Prep has come on strong down the home stretch and they’re plenty talented. Hey, this has been a year of parity anyway, so wouldn’t it be fitting to see a dark horse emerge from the pack.

Barboza’s pick: They’re been the favorite from day one and we have no reason to change ship now. It’s the Lancers’ tournament to lose.

DIVISION 1:
Favorites: North – St. Mary’s of Lynn (13-4-3), Billerica (10-2-8), Reading (15-6-1); South – Springfield Cathedral (12-10-1), Barnstable (13-3-4), Marshfield (14-3-5).

Dark horses: North – St. John’s of Shrewsbury (14-6-1), Austin Prep (10-6-4); South – Archbishop Williams (9-6-5), Xaverian (10-8-2).

Overview: Consensus is that the North is the stronger of the fields and it starts at the top of the field with St. Mary’s (which was bounced out of the Super Eight field), Billerica (which was the last team out of the Super Eight) and Reading (which a Super Eight Watch Lister). The South could be Springfield Cathedral’s to lose, but it remains to be seen how the Panthers rebound from Monday’s thumping against Woburn in the Super Eight play-in.

Barboza’s picks: North finals – St. Mary’s over Billerica; South finals – Braintree over Archbishop Williams; Final – St. Mary’s over Braintree.

DIVISION 2:
Favorites: North – Wilmington (16-2-2), Winthrop (14-2-4), Saugus (12-1-7); South – Mansfield (17-2-1), Canton (15-3-2), Franklin (14-4-2).

Dark horses: North – Boston Latin (14-3-3), Tewksbury (14-5-1); South – Coyle-Cassidy (9-9-2).

Overview: Division 2 North might be our favorite bracket in the state. With a glut of Northeastern North teams clamoring for the for the top spot and Cape Ann stalwarts like Wilmington and Newburyport, this might be the most difficult section to predict. It might be a safe assertion that a team from the Hockomock League will be coming out of the South.

Barboza’s picks: North finals — Winthrop over Saugus; South finals – Franklin over Coyle-Cassidy; Final – Winthrop over Franklin.

DIVISION 3:
Favorites: North – Shawsheen (15-4-1), Marblehead (15-4-3); South – Bourne (18-2-0); Abington/East Bridgewater (15-2-3); Central – Hudson (18-2-0); West – Longmeadow (15-4-1).

Dark horses: Dracut (15-3-1), Dartmouth (14-4-2), Medway (13-6-1), Wachusett (14-4-2).

Overview: In the North, Shawsheen and Marblehead will be strong favorites, but the South should be wide open with 27-team field. Hudson and defending champion Longmeadow figure to once again have influence on the statewide tournament.

Barboza’s picks: North champion – Marblehead; South – Dartmouth; Central – Hudson; West – Longmeadow; State champion – Hudson.

DIVISION 3A:
Favorites: Central – Groton-Dunstable (17-2-1); West – Holyoke (18-1-1).

Dark horses: Oakmont Regional (9-6-3), Wahconah (18-2-0).

Overview: Groton-Dunstable takes the top seed coming out of the Central, but all eyes will be on the Purple Knights of Holyoke, who were the last team in the state to carry an undefeated record into the month of February. Defending champion Oakmont Regional should also have a say in the Central.

Barboza’s picks: Holyoke over Groton-Dunstable in the championship.

GIRLS’ TOURNAMENTS
DIVISION 1:
Favorites: St. Mary’s of Lynn (19-0-3), Woburn (18-1-1), Lexington (14-2-4).

Dark horses: Hingham (16-4-2), Arlington (14-5-1), Billerica (14-6-1).

Overview: The Lady Spartans keep steaming along and are on schedule to reach consecutive game No. 100 without a loss in the first round of the tournament. It’s hard to pick against the winners of the three previous tournaments, but St. Mary’s will face stiff competition from Middlesex entrants Woburn and Lexington, among others.

Barboza’s picks: Semifnals – St. Mary’s over Arlington and Woburn over Acton-Boxborough; Final – St. Mary’s over Woburn.

DIVISION 2:
Favorites: Norwood (17-1-2), Duxbury (17-3-0), Medfield (14-2-4).

Dark horses: Fontbonne (13-2-5), Canton (11-6-3), Walpole (14-4-2).

Overview: Defending Division 2 champion drew the 17th seed, so it’s likely that we’re looking a new state champion. Norwood, Duxbury and Medfield drew the top seeds, but Fontbonne Academy might have the brackets best player in forward Taylor Shepherd and her 32-goal season.

Barboza’s picks: Semifinals – Fontbonne over Norwood and Duxbury over Medfield; Finals – Duxbury over Fontbonne.

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