Boston High School: Dave Morse

Sharon's Morse named Patriots Coach of the Year

December, 11, 2012
12/11/12
6:17
PM ET
Press release from the New England Patriots:

Sharon High School’s Dave Morse has been named the New England Patriots High School Coach of the Year in recognition of his team’s EMass Division 3 Super Bowl victory over Wayland, 12-3, on Saturday, Dec. 1. In just his second season at Sharon High School, Coach Morse led the Eagles to the school’s first Davenport Division title, first Super Bowl appearance and first Super Bowl championship. Sharon High had won seven total games in seven seasons before hiring Morse, the youngest football coach in Massachusetts at the time. The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will donate $2,000 to Sharon’s football program in Morse’s name in recognition of his Coach of the Year selection.

Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, the team’s executive director of community affairs, visited Coach Morse and his team on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Sharon High School. The visit and check presentation will be featured on the team’s weekly television magazine show, Patriots All Access, which airs at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14, on WBZ-TV in Boston and will be available immediately after on Patriots.com.

This is the 17th year in which the Patriots join the National Football League in conducting the High School Coach of the Week program, which recognizes outstanding high school coaches and promotes youth football throughout New England. Tippett oversees the program as part of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s commitment to youth football initiatives.

“Everyone is calling Sharon’s victory a Cinderella story, but for me, it looked like a team who was very determined to finish what it started,” Tippett said. “To have success on the football field, you need a great coach and team players who are hard workers, disciplined and who know how to persevere. You need a little luck on where the ball rolls but everyone has to be on the same page: offense, defense and especially special teams. That’s what I saw during the season and again today during my visit with Coach Morse and the Eagles at Sharon High. The seniors have left a great legacy for others to follow and the program is in good hands with Coach Morse. The Patriots are pleased to award Coach Morse and Sharon High School a donation to the football program and we congratulate them on their groundbreaking Super Bowl championship.”

In 2011, Tippett decided to take the award on the road so he could visit the schools that benefit from the program. In previous years, Tippett has invited the Coach of the Week and senior captains for a visit to Gillette Stadium. This year was also the second year the Patriots accepted nominations for High School Coach of the Week.

Schiff shows why he's Hock, Sharon MVP

December, 1, 2012
12/01/12
2:47
PM ET
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Brad Schiff made his first career interception count.

The Sharon High middle linebacker stepped in front of a pass in the flat to end a Wayland drive with just under 3 minutes remaining in the Division 3 Super Bowl and capped an improbable season for the Eagles.

Schiff, who was named the Hockomock Defensive MVP by the league’s coaches, has been a mainstay in the middle for the Eagles this season and labeled an All-State caliber player by head coach Dave Morse.

“We knew that was going to be the nail in the coffin,” Morse commented amidst the pandemonium on the field after the game. “He’s made plays all year. That’s his first career interception and it came at a big time.”

With only 30 seconds left on the clock, Schiff also broke up a pass on the goal line to end Wayland’s final drive.

“I’m doing my job,” he explained. “I saw him go to the flat and I did what I’m supposed to do. That’s what happens, you come out on top. We got the ball back, ground and pound, that’s how you win a game.”

The Wayland offense put up 36 poins on Tuesday night against Westwood, but the Sharon defense was tenacious in limiting the Warriors ground game. In addition to Schiff’s big plays, junior defensive lineman Erik Kushner had two big sacks.

Sharon has come to expect this type of defensive effort.

Schiff said, “I say we have a really smart defense. We spend hours and hours watching film. We had this team studied back and front. Our pursuit was good and we wrapped up.”

Morse echoed those sentiments, “They bought into hard practices, to early morning film sessions, to film sessions before practice – they bought into it and it shows. That’s how you win Super Bowls.”

This was the first ever playoff appearance, let alone Super Bowl victory, and Schiff was at a loss to explain what it meant to him and the team to come out on top.

“It’s unreal,” he said. “It still hasn’t hit me. I’m overwhelmed by emotions. It’s hard work, it’s commitment for four years. It feels great.”

Recap: Sharon 7, Pembroke 6

November, 28, 2012
11/28/12
3:24
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BRAINTREE, Mass. -– Sharon was far from an offensive juggernaut, but was extremely opportunistic and composed when it mattered in the program's first playoff appearance last night.

Forcing a red zone fumble on a punt-return for the winning score and stuffing a late conversion attempt, Sharon (9-3) edged Pembroke (7-4), 7-6, at Braintree High to advance to the Division 3 Super Bowl, its first Super Bowl berth in school history.

The Eagles, who combined for only 20 yards in the second half, will play Wayland (9-3) on Saturday.

“We have been preaching all year for a big play to happen on special teams and we have not had it yet,” said Sharon coach Dave Morse. “They stayed in their lanes and did their job. It was their time to shine.”

Sharon's Brad Schiff forced the important fumble on a reverse attempt by Pembroke which fellow senior Tobenna Modebelu recovered on the Titans' five-yard line. Senior Sean Asnes finished a four-yard sweep two plays later for a 7-0 Sharon lead at 5:14 in the third.

“We do situational football in practice to prepare for these different situations,” said Morse. “We have a lot of good weapons on offense. They kept their composure throughout and made plays when they had to.”

With Sharon pinned on its goal line with 5:40 remaining in the game, Pembroke forced a punt to start its final drive on the Eagles' 31-yard line. Junior quarterback Corey Brandon hit a seven-yard bootleg screen-pass to teammate sophomore Jake Coughlin to cut the margin to 7-6 with 1:09 remaining.

However, a short post-pass conversion attempt by Brandon fell off the hands of fellow junior Tom Johnson.

“We faked off tackle (on the score) because defensively you have to play for the run,” said Pembroke coach Bob Bancroft. “Coughlin catches the ball he just does extra stuff with it. We always hand off on (punt returns).”

After a 48-yard punt return by senior Nick Burns put the Titans on the Eagles 32-yard line with 34.2 seconds remaining in the third quarter, an illegal substitution set Pembroke up with fourth down and goal line on the Sharon 13-yard.

Titans' Senior Brian Tinkham scrambled 12-yards on a dive play, but fell just short as he hit Sharon defensive wall along the one-yard line.

Fall of the Titans: Pembroke looked to score with four minutes left in the first quarter when junior quarterback Corey Brandon nailed senior Nick Burns for a 23-yard streak pass in the endzone. However Burns was called for a 15-yard pass interference penalty while scrapping the receiver to kill the 39-yard drive.

The Titans drove 48-yards on its next drive to reach the Eagles'12-yard-line, including a pair of option pitches to seniors Brendan Morse and Nick Burns for 15- and eight-yards, respectively. After dropping three yards on a quarterback keeper, Brandon overthrew a corner pass toward a double-covered Burns in the endzone on a fourth down and 13 yards with 1:27 left in the first half.

Repeat Mistakes: Pembroke looked to avoid the mistakes they made in the program's first playoff appearance in a 20-12 loss to Oliver Ames last year.

However they dropped 35-yards on five penalties mostly in big moments and turned the ball over twice.

“I thought we would stay away from those mistake being our second time here,” said Bancroft. “However it was not like we were committing unsportsmanlike (penalties).”

Day for the Defense: Sharon senior Sean Asnes totaled 1,020 yards and seven touchdowns during the regular season, but was held to 10 carries for 34 yards and one touchdown and one catch for 21 yards.

Tinkham (1,728 rushing yards this season) was held to eight yards in the first half and took nine total carries for 46 yards.

SHARON 7, PEMBROKE 6

PEM (7-4) 0 0 0 6 -- 6
SHA (9-3) 0 0 7 0 -- 7


SH -- Sean Asnes 4 run (Eric Lesser kick)
PB – Jake Coughlin 7 pass from Cory Brandon (Pass failed)

Quick-hit thoughts from Thanksgiving football

November, 23, 2012
11/23/12
6:12
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1. The biggest thing that stood out to me from yesterday’s Natick-Framingham game was how efficient the Redhawks’ passing game remained despite limited touches by Brian Dunlap. The sophomore has an unheard-of 30 receiving touchdowns since his first varsity start last season, but for the first time in his career did not register a touchdown catch.

I posed this question to the Framingham defense in my pick Wednesday, and I’ll pose it again to Plymouth South -– how do you cover Brian Dunlap? But now, I’m wondering if bracketing or shading a safety to his side is even the best gameplan. The Natick coaching staff was pretty high on Alex Hilger before he missed most of the season with a broken collarbone, and yesterday we saw why. Athletically, he’s a terrific target who can stretch the field. Between Dunlap, Hilger and the recently-blooming Justin Robinson, it might be a case of "pick your poison".

Still, I think the key on Tuesday will be running back Nick Lee, who injured his ankle last month but looked solid yesterday. He told me yesterday his right ankle was “100 percent”, and anyone who watch Natick’s No. 9 win over Walpole knows that wasn’t the case.

***

2. You could make a pretty solid list of elite players sitting at home after Thanksgiving -– Xaverian’s Maurice Hurst Jr., Catholic Memorial’s Peter Ngobidi, Needham’s Mike Panepinto and Nantucket’s Terrel Correia come to mind. But the one I was really looking forward seeing was Amherst running back Kieran Presley, who ended his career yesterday with 175 rushing yards and two scores on just 10 carries in a 35-15 win over Northampton.

We profiled Presley after his ridiculous 359-yard performance in a Nov. 2 win over Chicopee, and you can argue he is playing his best ball right now. He finished with 1,009 yards on the season, but 684 of those yards have come in the last three weeks – including four scores of 56 yards or longer. Head coach David Thompson also says there is varying degrees of interest from a scattering of Division 1 FBS and FCS programs, including UConn, Albany, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and James Madison.

It looks like the Hurricanes finally got their zone-blocking scheme down midway through the season, but unfortunately they’ll be on the outside looking in. Just a hunch, Thompson has a good thing going forward with this program.

***

3. I said this on FOX 25 last night, and it bears mentioning again. For the most part, there isn’t an overwhelming favorite among any of the divisions in Eastern Mass. Out in Central Mass., Division 1 is wide open, and on paper Nashoba feels like the overwhelming favorite but this is a team that Doherty nearly upset earlier this season.

However, in Division 3 Central, it’s Auburn, Auburn, or Auburn. The Rockets are No. 9 in our statewide poll, and No. 1 in the Telegram & Gazette’s poll, for good reason. As a team, they’ve run for 2,863 yards and 44 touchdowns, with an average of 10 yards per carry, led by senior Tyler Desjardins (120 carries, 1,560 yards, 23 TD).

Much like USC’s student body right or Nebraska’s I-bone formation, there’s not a lot of trickeration to the domination – everybody knows what’s coming. The Rockets run primarily power sets with jumbo personnel, and have been blowing people off the ball all season. I’ve previously mused that in the past the Rockets have gotten by just on outweighing people at the point of attack (they average about 280 pounds across, after all), but this is a unit that seems to get more mobile every time out. All-State candidate Aaron Dyke is at the forefront of this, able to pull down and lead block on sweeps fluidly.

The rest of the field in Division 3 consists of Hudson, Tantasqua and Groton-Dunstable. To those three teams, I say good luck.

***

4. Sharon’s Dave Morse, Stoughton’s Greg Burke and Plymouth South’s Scott Fry are on many short lists for Coach of the Year, and deservedly so. But I think we should also consider Upper Cape’s Mike Hernon for any such nod. In just his second year at the helm, he has the Rams in the playoffs as Mayflower Small champs, with a 10-1 record. The Rams are one of the highest-scoring teams in Division 4A (28.1 points per game), and they have junior running back Jon Dumont to thank for that. He had an impressive start to the season (89 carries, 889 yards, 11 TD in his first five games), and is a hard north-south runner with 40 speed allegedly in the 4.5 range.

***

5. If Barnstable and Everett win out on Tuesday, then the Division 1A Super Bowl is by far the marquee game of the Gillette Stadium slate. Some of us -– myself included -– are probably wondering why that got the 3:30 p.m. slot instead of 6 p.m., which has been designated for Western Mass. Division 2. Especially considering the crowd for last year’s Western Mass. Super Bowl, an early-afternoon contest between Springfield Central and Longmeadow, was thoroughly a ghost town.

All of that considered, I might end up eating my words if Wahconah makes it. I had a conversation with noted Berkshire Eagle columnist Howard Herman the other day, and he assured me that if the Warriors make it to the Super Bowl, the town of Dalton “will shut down”. Hope he’s right.

Sharon's Morse named Patriots Coach of the Week

September, 25, 2012
9/25/12
11:44
AM ET
[+] EnlargeHS coach Dave Morse
Courtesy of the New England Patriots Sharon High's Dave Morse was honored Tuesday morning as the New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week.


Sharon High's Dave Morse is this week's New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week, after the Eagles beat North Quincy to improve to 3-0 for the first time since 1998.

Below is the full press release from the New England Patriots:



FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Sharon High School’s Dave Morse has been named this week’s New England Patriots High School Coach of the Week in recognition of his team’s 34-22 victory over North Quincy High School on Saturday, Sept. 22. The win brings the Eagles record to 3-0 and continues a streak of success under the school’s second-year head coach. Sharon has now won seven of its last 13 games dating back to 2011, after winning just four games total from 2008-2010. The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will donate $1,000 to Sharon High School’s football program in Morse’s name in recognition of his Coach of the Week selection.

Patriots and Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, the team’s executive director of community affairs, visited Coach Morse and his team on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at Sharon High School. The visit and check presentation will be featured on the team’s weekly television magazine show, Patriots All Access, which airs at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 28, on WBZ-TV in Boston and will be available immediately after on Patriots.com.

The 2012 season marks the 17th year in which the Patriots join the National Football League in conducting the High School Coach of the Week program, which recognizes outstanding high school coaches and promotes youth football throughout New England. Tippett oversees the program as part of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s commitment to youth football initiatives.

“It was a pleasure to visit Sharon High School to present the New England Patriots Coach of the Week award to Coach Morse and his team,” Tippett said. “I enjoyed meeting with the Eagles and could see the determination and resolve that helped them overcome a fourth-quarter deficit on Saturday. Coach Morse did a tremendous job keeping his team focused en route to a comeback win. The Patriots are pleased to reward his team and Sharon High School with a donation to the football program. We wish them success throughout the 2012 season.”

At the conclusion of the season, one high school coach will be named the New England Patriots High School Coach of the Year and will receive an additional $2,000 contribution toward the school’s football program.

In 2011, Tippett decided to take the award on the road so he could visit the schools that benefit from the program. In previous years, Tippett has invited the Coach of the Week and senior captains for a visit to Gillette Stadium. This year is also the second year the Patriots will accept nominations for High School Coach of the Week. Anyone who knows a high school football coach in New England who has a great week or reaches a personal career milestone is encouraged to submit a nomination to nominatecoach@patriots.com.

The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the non-profit through which the Patriots support charitable and philanthropic organizations throughout New England. This support comes in the form of direct grants, in-kind donations and player appearances. The foundation assists a variety of charitable organizations and programs throughout New England by supporting their educational, family and health initiatives.



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