Boston High School: Chris Ryan

D2 boys' lax: Catholic Memorial 10, Medfield 9

June, 6, 2012
6/06/12
12:26
AM ET
WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- No. 3 Catholic Memorial fought off a spirited Medfield fourth-quarter comeback to hang on to a 10-9 victory in a Division 2 quarterfinal game on Tuesday night.

No. 7 Medfield (16-5) battled back from a three goal deficit, trailing 8-5, heading into the fourth quarter. Warriors senior attack Conor Roddy (4 goals) and sophomore midfielder Matthew Crowell (2G) scored two big goals each in the final quarter with Roddy scoring with 25 seconds remaining in the game to pull Medfield to within one at 10-9.

CM (19-3)would hold off one final Medfield shot at the buzzer to earn the hard-fought 10-9 victory.

“We knew going in that it was going to be a one or two goal game,” CM head coach Kevin Lynch said. “We run similar stuff to each other on offense and on defense. Both teams have great athletes and I knew it was going to come down to the end.”

CM led 3-2 after one quarter and 5-4 at the half but it would be the third quarter that proved to be the pivotal quarter for the Knights as they outscored Medfield 3-1 and dominated possessions.

The third quarter would prove to be one of the most physical quarters of the tournament to date as Medfield would be penalized four times and CM on three occasions. Late in the quarter CM played for one second with three men down before Medfield’s David Parsons would score a 6-on-4 man-up goal at the end of the quarter.

Face-offs: Medfield senior Clay Richard is one of the best at taking draws in New England but CM senior Antonio Zegarelli and the CM face-off group did a great job of battling for each possession.

“Our entire face-off unit of Chris Ryan, Aaron Marcel and Antonio Zegarelli really came together and worked very well tonight,” Lynch said. “They did a good job neutralizing a very good Medfield group. You could tell [Richard] had the face but we did a good job of making adjustments to get the ground ball.”

Know Your Role: CM midfielder Austin Bannister saved his best for last as the senior scored both of his goals in the final 6:04 of the game with the biggest coming with 32 seconds on the clock as he answered Crowell’s second goal of the fourth quarter to give CM a 10-8 lead .

“We knew we had to step our games up on both offense and defense tonight and we did,” Bannister said. “It was really a team effort all the way until the end tonight. The big thing this year is to just know your role. Everyone knows their role right now and everyone is just doing their job.”

Semi-Final Match-Up: CM will match-up against No. 2 seed Concord-Carlisle (19-0) in Concord on Friday in one D2 Eastern Massachusetts semifinal. Face-off time is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Concord-Carlisle.

C-C defeated No. 10 Foxborough 11-3 earlier on Tuesday evening. Senior midfielder Mike O’Brien led the Patriots offense with three goals as they displayed an aggressive offense and consistent team defense in their quarterfinal win.

“We know they have a very great defense with some very good offensive players,” Lynch said. “I think if we bring our overall game it will be a very good match-up. I think whoever wins the ground ball game will come out on top.”

Bannister echoed his coach’s thoughts, “We will be ready. We have 15 seniors on the team who are hungry and we have been together for awhile now. We have a Catholic Conference banner hanging in the gym and that was our first goal and now we want to get to Harvard.”

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

January, 25, 2012
1/25/12
4:01
PM ET
Buried amidst the rubble in Central Falls, which long ago filed for bankruptcy and has been under the direction of a state-appointed receiver, has been the fate of the coaches of the city’s lone high school.

Rhode IslandTo be precise, they’ve given new meaning to the words “volunteer coaches.”

Because of a budget freeze and ongoing contract negotiations between the city and the union representing teachers, Warriors coaches have been guiding their teams sans compensation.

That was true in the fall; it’s carried over to the winter sports season; and barring any change in developments the status will remain quo come the spring.

Ironically, Warrior teams have enjoyed an inordinate amount of success.

Coach Mo Jackson led CF to the Division IV Super Bowl in December.

Coach Rich Sousa took his girls’ volleyball team to the Division II semifinals.

Coach Carl Africo guided the boys’ soccer team to the Division I quarterfinals.

The other falls sports for which coaches weren’t paid are boys’ and girls’ cross country, girls’ soccer and unified volleyball.

CF’s winter sports include boys’ and girls’ basketball, wrestling, boys’ and girls’ track and unified basketball.

The spring sports slate includes only baseball and softball.

The 63-year-old Jackson, who’s the dean of Warrior coaches, didn’t learn about the lack of funding until midway through the football season.

“I was a little upset,” Jackson was quoted in The Times of Pawtucket. “But I wasn’t going to abandon the kids halfway through the season.

“I don’t know if I had known before the season started if I would have coached. After being here 20 years, I’d like the opportunity to make that decision. But you don’t get into (coaching high school sports) to make a lot of money.”

North Kingstown, to a certain extent, is in a similar position as Central Falls – although the South County town is far from bankruptcy.

However, it has a projected $1.6 million deficit for fiscal year 2013.

As a result, Superintendent Phil Auger is working on proposals that could include cuts that would impact Skipper high school teams.

(Read full post)

No. 14 Marshfield claims Chowda Cup tourney

April, 16, 2011
4/16/11
8:02
PM ET
COHASSET, Mass. -- The Chowda Cup tournament will always be held close in the heart of Marshfield head coach Rick Bagby.

Four years ago, when Bagby was the head coach at Scituate, he teamed with Scituate native Bill Gray to put the two-day lacrosse tourney together to celebrate the memories of five players from Scituate and Cohasset who tragically passed away well before their time.

Former Cohasset players Bourke Corcoran and Justin Langham were both lost to car accidents in their youth, as was Scituate's Tim Mahoney. Former BC High players from the area P.J. Trendowicz and Ryan Flannery are also commemorated and played for both Bagby and former Cohasset coach Stew Curran when both coached the Eagles.

Fittingly, one of the tournament's founders was able to raise the championship trophy for the third time as a coach. Will Contento stopped 14 shots and was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament, while Ty Martina, Connor Bagby, John Powers and Matt Entwistle each scored two goals as No. 14 Marshfield defeated No. 12 Cohasset, 9-4, in the Chowda Cup final at Cohasset's Alumni Field.

"They were such great kids," said Coach Bagby of the five players in whose honor the tournament is held. "We had a speech before the first games and I told all four teams to play with a lot of pride and a lot of passion. Respect the game, respect your opponents, the referees, the coaches. That's how those kids played the game. I would do anything to have them back here with us. I get choked up talking about it. I miss those guys so much."

Marshfield (5-0) set the tone on defense, and with two starters out had to rely on reserves Brennan Quackenbush and Luke Cavallaro to fill those minutes alongside Ryan Connors, Jake Norris and Colin Clark.

Long stick midfielder Josh White played brilliantly within the confines of the Rams' "Tiger Zone" defense, shadowing Cohasset star and returning All-American Thomas Flibotte while his teammates stepped up to help with double and triple teams. A lot of the extra attention paid to Flibotte was because the Skippers were without do-it-all midfielder Kyle Livingstone, who suffered a broken thumb a week ago against Barnstable.

Behind them was Contento, a first-year starter playing in his biggest game thus far. The senior proved more than up to the task, joining his defensive mates in holding the Skippers scoreless in the first half.

"It was incredible. It's my first experience as a goalie in the Chowda Cup and I can't explain how good a feeling this is," Contento said. "My defense was incredible today. We were missing a couple of starters but I wasn't even worried going into the game because I knew those guys could step in and do what they did and they played incredible."

John McGoldrick scored twice for Cohasset, with Flibotte and Alex Evans getting the others.

"It's bittersweet because I coached with these guys last year," added Cohasset coach Thomas Flanagan, who was a Rams assistant after three years as the head coach at Norwell. "They came in and played hard. We had a couple of good looks in the beginning and we didn't score, and when they had their looks, they did score. That was the big difference."

In the consolation game, Sharp Jones scored four goals and freshman Jake Reynolds made 11 saves as Scituate (4-1) topped Catholic Memorial, 10-3. John Brown and Harold Gerbis each added a pair for the Sailors.

All-Tournament Team: Will Contento (MVP), Ty Martina, Connor Bagby, Josh White and Ryan Foohey (Marshfield); Sam Leahy, T.J. Bicknell, Thomas Flibotte and John McGoldrick (Cohasset); Tucker Ciessau, Lucas Barisano and Jake Reynolds (Scituate); Chris Ryan and Miles McCarthy (Catholic Memorial).

No. 3 Everett stands up No. 15 SJP

September, 25, 2010
9/25/10
11:44
PM ET
EVERETT, Mass. -- St. John's Prep gave Everett an early scare, orchestrating a 79-yard drive toward the end of the first half, but junior middle linebacker Chris McCarthy led the Crimson Tide defense on a goal line stop that stifled St. John's momentum and held them scoreless until under two minutes left in the game, allowing Everett to coast for a 27-7 victory.

"I thought [the goal line stance] was big," Everett head coach John DiBiaso said. "They had all the momentum. They had stopped us; they drove the ball the length of the field."

Solid running by senior running back Tyler Coppola and quarterback Tommy Gaudet, and a 19-yard hookup from Gaudet to Chris Ryan, brought the Eagles (2-1) into the Everett red zone late in the second quarter. But the defense of the Crimson Tide (2-0) denied them repeatedly at the three yard line, sending the Crimson into the half up by one touchdown and having taken some air out of the Eagles' squad.

"To drive the ball the length of the field, to eat up time like that and to come away with nothing was a little bit of a back breaker for them, gave us a little momentum going into the half," DiBiaso said.

Everett, well known for its high-powered passing game, had to adjust early to a run-heavy game as a result of St. John’s defensive set designed to take away the pass. That, coupled with the two hurried passes by junior Jonathan DiBiaso on Everett’s first drive, threw off Everett's rhythm.

Late in the first, Everett drove 70 yards, and Manny Asprilla (24 rushing yards, TD; four catches, 100 yards, two TDs) punched it on a 3-yard draw, an Everett favorite, but the extra point field goal block by St. John’s Cody Rothwell gave the Eagles enough energy to hold onto the ball for almost the rest of the half, but McCarthy and company would not falter under pressure, especially on Homecoming day with all of Everett faithful pulling for a 2-0 start.

"Our goal line defense is tremendous," said Jonathan DiBiaso (144 passing yards, two touchdowns). "Our linemen are big, strong dudes. They hold the runners and our linebackers come up and make the plays."

Starting the second half, the teams traded drives. A 64-yard punt return by Everett’s Ra’ees Wingard got them into the end zone, but an illegal block brought the ball back to the St. John's 31 yard line. A run by Asprilla, one by DiBiaso and a pair by Vondell Langston set up a 17-yard touchdown pass from DiBiaso to Asprilla, who caught the ball between two defenders. Senior Matt Costello caught a pass from DiBiaso for the conversion, giving Everett a 14-0 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, SJP's Coppola returned the ball for 19 yards, but a fumbled snap picked up by Everett’s Paul Marckini gave the Crimson Tide the ball back on St. John’s 25. They scored again, after less than 30 seconds had gone off the clock.

"Turnovers are big, especially in high school football," said coach DiBiaso.

Two runs by Jonathan DiBiaso for a 17-yard gain gave the defense reason to key on him. That set up a draw, sidestep and extra effort at the goal line by Langston that gave Everett another score at 10:15 in the fourth quarter, putting the game well out of reach for the Eagles. The 56-yard pass from DiBiaso to Asprilla at 6:40 was an insurance run, as St. John’s did not score until the second defense for Everett was in at 1:14.

"When it's first and goal on the four, and you don't get it in, that's always an issue," reflected St. John’s coach Jim O"Leary. "That was a turning point for us. We're not going to throw the ball a lot. We're a ball control team, so when it gets to be like that, it's difficult to come back."

Veterans Memorial Stadium Re-Dedicated

Yesterday’s game marked the rededication of Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Everett. War veterans, people who lost family members in the September 11th attacks and local politicians were touted yesterday before the game for their sacrifice and hard work.

"In these tough days and times, when people are down on their luck, to be able to dedicate a field for their kids and all of our kids in the city to have a safe place to play a sport on, it feels great," said Everett Mayor Carlo DeMaria Jr. "To have done it with the help of Governor Deval Patrick’s office, having used all sales surplus money, so it didn’t impact the taxpayers at all, it was my honor to work with so many great individuals to get this done."

Congressman Edward Markey spoke of the field as a place that harnesses the best of brightest of Everett.

"Everett has the greatest football tradition of any city in New England. Today, they have just rededicated the field, for the next century that will continue to produce not only the best football players, but the best young men that the country can produce."

Mr. John Rombolli, whose grandson makes the fifth generation of his family to play on this field, is glad to have seen the development of the field.

"Living basically across from the stadium (he lives directly behind the home stands) and watching it when it could hold 18,000, 19,000 and then fall apart, it was a great pleasure to see the field being rededicated. Having my father, myself, my grandson and all of his brothers play here, it’s amazing how much it has progressed."

Mr. Rombolli, also an assistant coach with the Crimson Tide, was very thankful for the elected officials who’ve supported the project.

"The field is perfect, being dedicated to all those who have passed, having all the politicians back the field is great. They're supporting the city, they’re supporting the football players, supporting the team, just trying to keep Everett doing well. You need a field like this if you’re going to compete. You have to have the facilities and the (FieldTurf) these days."

Coach John DiBiaso was most thankful to the veterans for whom the field is dedicated to and how fortunate the town is to have the field, considering others in the area.

"It's very important for the veterans, because it represents the people who give their time, and some of them their lives, for our freedom and that we can have the way of life that we have, so that was very important… We don’t have many parks in Everett and the fields are older, and they’re dirt, to have this so that our soccer team can play here, our girls soccer team an play here, all the Pop Warner's can play here because it's just a beautiful facility. I can’t thank the people involved enough."

No. 3 Everett 27, No. 15 St. John's Prep 7

SJP (2-1) 0 0 0 7 --- 7
EHS (2-0) 6 0 8 13 --- 27

1st Quarter
E – Manny Asprilla 3 run (kick blocked) 1:35

3rd Quarter
E – Asprilla 17 pass from Jonathan DiBiaso (Matt Costello pass from DiBiaso) 0:0

4th Quarter
E – Vondell Langston 8 run (kick blocked) 10:15
E – Asprilla 56 pass from DiBiaso (Gilly DeSouza kick) 6:40
SJ – Alex Moore 1 run (Connor Shaw kick) 1:14

No. 18 St. John's Prep squeezes by No. 21 CC

September, 18, 2010
9/18/10
7:51
PM ET
DANVERS, Mass. – No. 18 St. John’s Prep headed to the locker room down 14-6 to No. 21 Central Catholic Saturday. The Eagles had been without their best running back, Tyler Coppola, for part of the half and head coach Jim O’Leary thought the Raiders were being tipped off on their runs. Their option attack wasn’t yielding much either.

So O’Leary did what any good football coach does: He adjusted.

First, he put in a couple plays on play-action to get the ball into the hands of receiver Dillon Gonzalez.

Check.

Next, he changed up the Eagles’ blocking scheme in the run game to throw off Central Catholic’s keys on fullback Chris Ryan.

Done.

Those small changes added up in a big way for Prep on two second-half touchdown drives in a thrilling 22-21 comeback win.

“When the defense is keying in on the run, those passing lanes open up,” Gonzalez said. “We made some changes to our running game, too. Those were all adjustments that we made at halftime.”

Eagles junior quarterback Tommy Gaudet grabbed a botched snap, composed himself and snuck in for a 4-yard touchdown run — his second of the game — to bring Prep (2-0) within a point at 21-20. Gaudet then finished what he started by taking in the 2-point conversion on the keeper.

The Raiders (1-1) got the ball back with two minutes to play, but their drive was dashed when Ryan picked off a Matt McDermott pass over the middle in Eagles’ territory.

“Did you really think I would kick it there?” O’Leary said, grinning about his decision to go for two and the win.

Coppola, who finished with 15 carries for 136 yards, was knocked out of the game for part of first half after he was clipped by an opponent’s helmet on the chin. Eight stitches were required to close the gash.

The senior running back returned in time to led the Eagles back in the third quarter.

Coppola led Prep on a 79-yard touchdown drive that spanned more than eight minutes of the third. The drive culminated with his 32-yard touchdown run (the game was then tied 14-14 after Gaudet took in the 2-point try) to open the fourth quarter. Coppola accounted for 49 of the Eagles’ yards on the drive.

“I want the ball in those situations,” he said. “It gets you pumped up.”

Both of the Eagles’ second-half touchdowns were in no small way aided by Gonzalez’s efforts in the passing game.

The 5-foot-11 wide out skied over the Central Catholic secondary to haul in a sensational one-handed reception over the middle for a 21-yard gain and helped to set up Coppola’s touchdown run.

Gonzalez also put his imprint on what would prove to be the winning Prep drive. Once again, this time on a go-route down the right-hand sideline, he went up for a jump ball and came down the ball over a Raider defender.

“They were just flying up to our option so we put the pass to Dillon [Gonzalez] in,” O’Leary said. “Tommy [Gaudet] threw a nice ball and he got us down the field.”

Central Catholic was not without its bright spots though.

The new look Raiders offense was efficient under the direction of McDermott, who completed 11 of 18 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in shared time with Ben Onett.

Bruising running back Trae Musumarra contributed 10 carries, 56 hard-fought yards and a rushing touchdown, which temporarily reclaimed the lead, 21-14, for Central Catholic in the fourth quarter.

“They ran the ball between the tackles and we didn’t do a great job of stopping them,” Raiders head coach Chuck Adamopoulos said. “We scored the go ahead touchdown with [three] minutes to go. You’ve got to be able to win the game there. They went for two, which was a good move because we looked awful on defense at that point.

“They made the plays.”

Coppolas inspiration to St. John's Prep

September, 2, 2010
9/02/10
12:58
AM ET
DANVERS, Mass. -- Since the second grade, Tyler Coppola has always shared the football field and the spotlight with two of his brothers. But now he is the only Coppola playing football for the No. 19 St. John’s Prep Eagles.

It started two years ago when Tyler’s brother Brandon fractured his fifth cervical vertebra making a hit in practice. Although he did not undergo surgery, doctors said he could never play contact sports again.

Then, last year, another one of the triplets suffered another career-ending injury. This time it was Jared, the middle child of the three, who fractured the same vertebra.

But this injury was worse.

Jared, who was starting at safety going into last year, could not move after colliding with a Lynn English player during a scrimmage in September. He was then taken to Children’s Hospital Boston where Doctors operated on his C5 vertebra and stabilized his spine.

According to St. John’s head coach Jim O’Leary, initially the injury shocked the community so much that some parents took their children off of the team.

“It was a lot of adversity for last year’s team,” said O’Leary.

Jared spent last fall at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta trying to regain motion in his limbs. Now — just one year removed from the injury — he has regained motion in his upper body, and is rehabbing his lower extremities. Even though doctors still consider Jared a quadriplegic, the high school senior proclaims he will walk again.

The most impressive part is that the brothers will once again share the same field.

Tyler is St. John’s starting tailback and a co-captain. Brandon helps younger players learn their plays and run their routes. Jared serves as a constant motivation by cruising the sidelines in his wheelchair.

“Although we didn’t have a great season last year, he was a lot of motivation for us to pick up our game and play,” co-captain Ryan Delisle said. “It’s good to have him back home though. He is just showing us how precious life is.”

Last year, the community rallied around Jared’s injury and helped the family through tough times. A local public-access television station even streamed the Eagles’ games online so Jared could watch in Atlanta.

“It was just good to know that I had the support, they were there for me and that I knew they had my back,” said Jared about the school’s reaction.

St. John’s players wrote the initials “J.C.” and No. 34 on everything from their athletic tape to their helmets in memory of their injured teammate.

Coming into this year O’Leary and the triplets’ mother, Dawn Coppola, had a lot of discussions about whether or not Tyler should play football. Doctors were brought in to study Tyler’s spine and compare it to Jared and Brandon’s.

In the end, they deemed the two injuries rogue accidents, and Tyler decided that he wanted to play this season for his two brothers.

“I just have to play like nothing happened even though I know that in the back of my mind they both got hurt,” said Tyler.

Along with Delisle and quarterback Tommy Gaudet, Tyler will be one of the go-to options on the Eagles offense. This year with both of his brothers on the sideline, Tyler is ready to produce under pressure.

“It would be better if they could play because we’ve been playing on the same team since second grade,” said Tyler of his brothers’ presence. “But I just have to step up my game because I have to carry the weight for the three of us.”

ST. JOHN’S PREP AT A GLANCE
2009 record:
4-6
Coach: Jim O’Leary (27th year, 178-84-2)
Players to watch: Danny Culkeen, Sr., OL/DL, 6-0, 245 lbs.; Blair Friedensohn, Sr., C/DE, 6-3, 220 lbs.; Nate Cyr, Sr., LB/OG, 6-2, 250 lbs.; James Ferguson, Sr., OT, 6-3, 270 lbs.; Tyler Coppola, Sr., RB/CB, 5-9, 185 lbs.; Chris Ryan, Sr., FB/ILB, 5-9, 230 lbs.; Tommy Gaudet, Jr., QB, 5-11, 190 lbs.; Ryan Deslisle, Sr., TE/DE, 6-5, 245 lbs.
Strengths: Size, Senior leadership.
Weakness: Depth.
Outlook: The Eagles lost four games by seven points or less last season, and had a tough time against Catholic Conference and non-conference opponents. However according to O’Leary, this year’s schedule “didn’t get any easier”. While St. John’s offensive and defensive line can match up against anyone and they have experience at the skills positions, they are unproven at quarterback. Look for Gaudet to throw primarily to Delisle and use Coppola to complement him in the Eagles' option offense.

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