Boston High School: ESPNBoston Mr. Football

ESPN Boston names Mr. Football Award Finalists

November, 21, 2011
PM ET and its high school sports staff today have named the five finalists for the second annual ESPN Boston Mr. Football Award, to be announced on December 5. The winner will be presented with an award and jersey on the field at Gillette Stadium, prior to Dec. 4's matchup between the Patriots and Colts.

Last year, Everett wide receiver Matt Costello won the award. His quarterback, Jonathan DiBiaso, is one of the five finalists this season.

Here are the five finalists:

Senior Quarterback
6-foot-1, 197 lbs.
Jonathan DiBiaso
Jonathan DiBiaso
The returning All-Stater more than lived up to his hype so far in the 2011 season, breaking the state's all-time mark of 85 career touchdown passes late last month. And with as many as three games left on the slate, he could not only put it into triple-digits (he currently has 97), but out of reach. Through 10 games for the undefeated No. 1 Crimson Tide, he has completed 148 of 250 passes for 2,407 yards and 38 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Since the start of the 2010 season, DiBiaso has thrown 81 touchdown passes to just 10 interceptions.

Senior Athlete
5-foot-10, 185 lbs.
Armani Reeves
Armani Reeves
The Penn State commit and returning All-State athlete has been labeled as the state's No. 1 overall Class of 2012 prospect, at times teetering in the ESPNU 150. Suffice it to say that he has made the most of his limited touches, for a Knights squad that has been averaging nearly 32 points per game over the last seven games. Lining up at both running back and wide receiver for the No. 5 Knights (7-1) as well as cornerback and retuner, he has been dazzling. He's run for 939 yards and 11 touchdowns on 42 carries, and caught 294 yards and another three, with a total of 15 touchdowns. That breaks down to an average of one touchdown for every three touches.

Senior Quarterback
6-foot-3, 185 lbs.
Matt O'Keefe
Matt O'Keefe
The Johns Hopkins lacrosse commit is ranked as the No. 32 overall player in the ESPNHS 100, as a defender, but he's made plenty of noise on the gridiron this fall as well. In his first season as the full-time starter under center, he has completed 66 percent of his passes (136 for 206), for 1,992 yards and 30 touchdowns to just six interceptions. On the ground he has been just as tough for the No. 2 Dragons (10-0), carrying 72 times for 493 yards and four scores.

Senior Linebacker
6-foot-2, 220 pounds
Tim Joy
Tim Joy
The Boston College commit is the third finalist on this list who made ESPN Boston's inaugural MIAA All-State Team in 2010, and so far he has lived up to his billing as one of the state's premier middle linebackers. After registering 131 tackles last season, Joy has nearly matched that total through 10 games this year for the No. 4 Lions (9-1); and with potentially three games left on the slate, it isn't out of the realm to think he could surpass 300 tackles in the last two seasons.

Senior Running Back
5-foot-9, 170 lbs.
Melquan Pinkney
Melquan Pinkney
After rushing for over 1,000 yards in part-time duty as a junior, Pinkney has been electric in 2011, leading the No. 8 Beavers (9-1) through one of their most historic seasons in recent memory. In the first month of the season, he ran for a Western Mass. record 421 yards and six touchdowns; it took him just three weeks to go over the 1,000-yard plateau. Through 10 games, he has carried 262 times for a state-best 2,113 yards and 33 touchdowns, for averages of 8.1 yards a carry and 211 yards a game.

Mr. Football Watch: Week 2

September, 12, 2011
Last week, we introduced our initial list of 15 players expected to be in contention for our annual ESPN Boston Mr. Football Award. After a wild first weekend, the running is decidedly wide open. Here's how we break it down this week:


Andrew Coke, Sr. RB, Andover - Carried the ball 21 times for 130 yards and score, and had a hand in the game-changing flea flicker, as the Golden Warriors beat rival North Andover 30-20.
Preston Cooper, Sr. RB, BC High - Ran for 98 yards and three scores in a 42-0 blanking of Brockton.
George Craan, Sr. RB, Concord-Carlisle - Ran for 135 yards and three touchdowns in a 26-7 win over defending Division 3 Super Bowl champion Beverly.
Jonathan DiBiaso, Sr. QB, Everett - Threw for 256 yards and four scores in a 47-12 win over Leominster.
Matt Montalto, Sr. QB, Dennis-Yarmouth - Was nearly perfect through the air, completing 12 of 14 passes for 281 yards and three touchdowns, and added a fourth on the ground, in a 41-7 rout of Taunton.
T.J. Norris, Sr. RB, Longmeadow - Carried 10 times for 114 yards and two scores in a 35-6 win over Chicopee Comp.
Nick LaSpada, Sr. QB, Billerica - Threw for 189 yards and added 70 on the ground, totaling five scores, in a 49-28 win over Burlington.
Michael Walsh, Sr. QB, Swampscott - Completed 13 of 19 passes for 193 yards and two scores, and added 149 rushing yards and a score on 10 carries, as the Big Blue rolled to a 33-14 win over Somerville. He also had an interception on defense.


Khary Bailey-Smith, Sr. WR, Weymouth - Caught three of Cam McLevedge's six touchdown passes in a 48-6 rout of Milton.
D.J. Crook, Sr. QB, Barnstable - In a 65-0 rout of Durfee (the Red Raiders' first shutout since 2003), Crook was 18 of 27 passing for 247 yards and two scores, and added a third touchdown on the ground. That brings him to 67 career touchdown passes, 18 away from the state record.
Greg Finley, Sr. QB, Framingham - Threw for 196 yards and ran for 119 more, totaling three touchdowns in a 41-10 win over Wellesley.
Troy Flutie, Soph. QB, Natick - Darren's son threw for 270 yards and three scores, and added 101 yards on the ground, in a 21-7 win over Brookline. Also notable is the debut of freshman wideout Brian Dunlap, who had 11 catches for 240 yards and two scores.
Steve Flynn, Sr. QB/DE, St. Peter-Marian - Threw for 240 yards and two scores in the Guardians' 20-6 win over Fitchburg. He also made 11 tackles and batted two passes on defense.
Greg Heineman, Sr. QB, Minnechaug - Was 23 of 36 passing for 230 yards and a touchdown in a 33-14 win over Silver Lake.
Jermaine Kelly, Sr. QB, Lynn English - The Swampscott transfer made his presence felt in his first start for the Bulldogs, leading a 41-0 rout of Gloucester with 279 passing yards and six touchdowns.
Jordan Knowles, Sr. DE, St. Peter-Marian - Recorded two sacks and nine tackles in a 20-6 win over Fitchburg.
Eric LaCroix, Sr. QB, Methuen - Totaled 292 yards of offense and all four of the Rangers' scores in a 27-13 win over Plymouth North, avenging last year's season-opening loss.
Cam McLevedge, Sr. QB, Weymouth - Led a quick dismantling in a 48-6 rout of Milton, completing 11 of 15 passes for 267 yards and six touchdowns.
Jimmy Ryan, Jr. QB, Dracut - In his first start taking over for Matt Silva, Ryan threw for 113 yards and ran for 103, totaling one score, as the Middies upset St. John's Prep, 13-7.
Sean Wilson, Sr. RB, St. John's (Shrewsbury) - Carried 26 times for 179 yards and three touchdowns in a 22-21 thriller over Holy Name.

Mr. Football Watch: Week 1

September, 6, 2011
Last year, Everett wide receiver Matt Costello was the inaugural recipient of the ESPNBoston Mr. Football Award, annually given to the top high school football player in Massachusetts.

It was a unanimous decision for the Princeton freshman, who also took home the state's Gatorade Player of the Year honors. But with the wealth of quality quarterbacks and running backs this season, this year's field appears to be much more wide open.

Check back with us each Monday leading up to the announcement on December 5, as we track the players in the running across the state. Below is our initial list of 15 players to watch for the award:

(Note: The award is not eligible to players in their fifth year of high school)

The ESPN Boston preseason All-State selection will be looking to lead the Eagles back to the top of the Catholic Conference. Cooper ran for more than 1,500 yards last season.

GEORGE CRAAN, Sr. RB, Concord-Carlisle
The Dual Country League Small 2010 Player of the Year is coming off a 1,914-yard rushing performance. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound back also led Division 2A with 24 touchdowns and will be a major factor in the Patriots’ quest for another Super Bowl appearance this year.

CASEY DeANDRADE, Sr. ATH, East Bridgewater
DeAndrade is a true triple threat for the Vikings at running back, defensive back and kick returner. He racked up over 1,000 offensive yards with 750 rushing yards. DeAndrade scored 23 total touchdowns last season with four defensive touchdowns on his nine interceptions. For his career, DeAndrade has accumulated over 2,000 yards of offense with 14 interceptions.

The coach’s son had a junior year for the ages, throwing for a state-record 43 touchdown passes to just four interceptions and accumulating 2,885 yards. What’s next? With 59 career scoring strikes, another monster season could put him atop the all-time record books (Brockton’s Tom Colombo holds the record at 85).

TIM JOY, Sr. LB, Chelmsford
The Boston College-bound, two-time Merrimack Valley Conference All-Star made a name for himself as one of the state’s best defensive players, racking up 131 tackles from his middle linebacker position, including 13 for losses and adding three interceptions.

NICK LaSPADA, Sr. QB/S, Billerica
In his swan song at Billerica, where he’s assured every school record when all is said and done, LaSpada is looking to lead the Indians back to the playoffs after a 5-6 campaign. The 2009 Mass. Gatorade Player of the Year has over 9,300 yards of offense for his career; last season, he totaled 3,802 yards and 40 scores.

SACOY MALONE, Sr. RB, Springfield Central
The Golden Eagles didn’t have quite enough to knock off perennial power Longmeadow in Western Mass. last season, but Malone was a big reason for the Golden Eagles’ Super Bowl berth. Malone has average over six yards per carry for his career and posted a 1,200-yard rushing performance with 16 touchdowns.

MATT MONTALTO, Sr. QB, Dennis-Yarmouth
In the Dolphins’ historic 2010 campaign, Montalto threw for over 1,300 yards and 22 touchdowns to just four interceptions, while adding 1,123 yards and 15 more scores on the ground. He could be in for an even bigger campaign this fall.

PAUL MROZ, Sr. QB, Brockton
After a junior season that hinted at promise, the 6-foot-1 senior could be in for a big 2011. A season ago, he threw for 1,322 yards and 12 touchdowns; on the ground, he ran for another eight scores and averaged nearly seven yards per carry.

T.J. NORRIS, Sr. RB, Longmeadow
As the Lancers gun for their 11th Super Bowl title in the last 15 seasons, Norris will again be the feature back in coach Alex Rotsko’s Wing-T offense. Norris eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing plateau despite missing the final two games of the season while racking up 1,148 yards and 14 touchdowns.

ARMANI REEVES, Sr. ATH, Catholic Memorial
The Knights plan on using the Penn-State bound scatback and his 4.4 speed in every conceivable fashion in their quest for the Catholic Conference title. He racked up over 1,250 all-purpose yards and scored 16 touchdowns in four different ways – rushing, receiving and returning both punts and kicks.

NICK SCHLATZ, Sr. RB/LB, Bridgewater-Raynham
The 6-foot-2, 185-pound was an Old Colony League All-Star in both football and track and field and is about as good a two-way player as you’ll find in the state. Schlatz ran for 1,300 yards last season with 18 touchdowns and was a key cog to the Trojans’ defense that led the team to its second straight Eastern Mass Division 1A Super Bowl appearance.

KARL SERY, Sr. RB/CB, Hudson
After leading a rapid turnaround a year ago, the Bryant-bound Sery has the Hawks in Super Bowl conversation again. Last year he ran for 1,430 yards and 18 touchdowns, and added 32 tackles and three interceptions on the defensive side of the ball.

BRANDON WALSH, Sr. QB, North Andover
Walsh’s remarkable interception-free streak came to an end at the most inopportune times, but that shouldn’t tarnish a spectacular junior season. He threw for 1,525 yards and 23 touchdowns while adding another 695 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground while leading the Knights to a Division 2A playoff appearance.

MIKE WALSH, Sr. QB/S, Swampscott
After playing most of last season just on the offensive side of the ball, Walsh, who’s commited to playing safety at Brown, will hold down duties on both sides of the ball this year. The Northeast Conference’s 2010 Offensive MVP combined to put up over 3,000 yards of offense last year.