Boston High School: Hopkinton

D1 South: B-R 7, Hopkinton 0

June, 8, 2014
Jun 8
5:23
AM ET
TAUNTON, Mass. – The trio is back.

After experimenting with hitting All-State infielder Madi Shaw in the cleanup spot, Bridgewater-Raynham softball coach Mike Carrozza went back to his regular lineup for the Trojans’ Division 1 South semi-final game with Hopkinton on Saturday. With Shaw back leading off, center fielder Stacey Korotsky hitting second and catcher Emily Kurkul following third, the Trojans’ “trio” was unstoppable.

Both Kurkul and Shaw hit home runs while beating the Hillers, 7-0, while punching their ticket to Monday’s sectional final against North Attleborough.

“When I told them I was hitting lead-off again, they were so fired up,” Shaw said of Korotsky and Kurkul. “I think even that gave them a little oomph today. It’s good to be back.”

Kurkul provided the biggest hit of the day with a three-run homer to left, her 12th home run on the season, breaking up a scoreless game in the third inning.

“I was just looking to move my runners and maybe get at least one [run],” said Kurkul, a junior Merrimack commit.

Shaw was the fulcrum. While going 3-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases, the Fordham commit set the table effectively, including during the third. Shaw led off with a base hit before Korotsky turned a sacrifice bunt attempt into a hit as well. Kurkul followed with the blast on a Alissa Karjel fastball.

“It was a good, balanced effort,” Carrozza said. “Emily [Kurkul]set the tone early with that blast to left and then Madi, [Shaw] but the offense, we had runners on base in just about every inning.”

And then there was B-R starter Sarah Dawson. The junior Pitt commit cruised through with four strikeouts while not surrendering a walk, as she continued her streak of scoreless postseason appearances this year.

“Sarah was dominant again in the circle, hitting her spots,” Carrozza said. “When your pitcher’s dominant like that, it frustrates the offense on the other side.”

Kurkul’s homer would have been enough, but the Trojans (22-1) continued adding to their lead with Shaw’s one-out blast in the fourth before striking for three more in the fifth. Kelsey Leuenberger scored on a wild pitch and Taylor Poulin added run-scoring single before Shaw picked up her second RBI of the game on her third hit of the day.

Return to full strength: Shaw was frustrated as she missed two weeks at the end of the regular season due to injury but is rounding into form in the postseason. But after a performance like Saturday’s, Shaw’s back to normal.

“It was excruciating sitting and watching,” Shaw said. “I’m feeling more myself though.”

While Shaw has been a key cog to the Trojans’ lineup throughout her four varsity seasons, the protection in the lineup offered by Kurkul has been a key to B-R’s success this season. Although Shaw hit fourth in the Trojans’ lineup earlier this postseason, her return to the leadoff spot was welcomed by her teammates, creating the opportunities for Kurkul to drive in runs.

“She’s a threat, everybody’s afraid of her,” Shaw said.
Hopkinton softball junior pitcher and shortstop Alissa Karjel has given a verbal commitment to St. Bonaventure, her father and Hillers athletic director Eric Karjel told ESPN Boston today.

The reigning Tri-Valley League Most Valuable Player, Karjel led the Hillers to their third straight league title this season, while hitting .500 with a league-leading five home runs and 21 RBI. In the circle, Karjel is 11-3 with a 0.73 earned run average this season and holds a 35-8 career record.

Karjel is expected to contribute to the Bonnies’ infield as well as their pitching staff.

TVL Large football All-Stars announced

November, 20, 2013
11/20/13
2:10
PM ET
The Tri-Valley League Large division today announced its All-Stars and postseason award winners for the football season.

Thanks to Medfield head coach Erik Ormberg for the email sent to local media today.

Coaches or league representatives, across all fall sports, are encouraged send their league All-Star lists to editors Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com) and Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com):

TVL MVP – Bo Berluti, Westwood
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Matt Jeye, Holliston
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – Paul Beling, Holliston
LINEMAN OF THE YEAR – Kevin Sheehan, Medway
COACH OF THE YEAR – Dave McSweeney, Medway

-----

ALL-STARS

O-LINE
Austin Barrett #52-Holliston
Jon doCarmo #55-Holliston
Callan Berry #51-Hopkinton
Joey Sears #55-Medfield
Chris Eldridge #52-Westwood

RECEIVERS
Zach Elkinson #3-Holliston
Chris Hanley #24-Westwood

RUNNING BACKS
Anthony Parchesky #23-Medway
Dan Roache #28-Westwood

TIGHT ENDS
Brendan Patterson #44-Westwood

QUARTERBACK
Stephen Ledogar #7-Medfield

D-LINE
Cam Smith #77-Medway
Joe Belomo #30-Holliston
Ryan Demaranis #75-Westwood

LINEBACKER
Tim Huffam #1-Medway
Jordan Jacobs #34-Hopkinton
Scott McManus #56-Westwood
Tom Radonich #53-Westwood

DEFENSIVE BACK
Nick Athy #12-Holliston
Nick D’Aloia #7-Hopkinton
Tommy Sears #5-Medfield
Matt Patry #25-Medfield

ALL-PURPOSE
Jeff Greenberg #17-Medway
Drew Donahue #22-Hopkinton

ESPN Boston Girls Lacrosse MIAA All-State Team

June, 29, 2013
6/29/13
11:08
AM ET
STARTING ELEVEN

Isabella O'Connor, Jr. A, Notre Dame (Hingham)
The Plymouth resident racked up both U.S. Lacrosse and Under Armour All-American honors as the Cougars grabbed their first Division 1 state title in program history. O'Connor registered 56 goals, 15 assists, 40 ground balls and 33 forced turnovers on the season. She is verbally committed to the University of Florida.

Maddie Stenberg, Sr. A, Needham
Stenberg was named the Bay State Conference's MVP after leading the Rockets to a 20-3 campaign and D1 South semifinals appearance. She was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, and leaves Needham with 439 career points. She will continue her career next year at Penn State.

Amy Arnold, Sr. A, Masconomet
The Cape Ann League's Player of the Year registered 71 goals and 19 assists as the Chieftains reached the semifinals of the D1 North tournament. Arnold was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, and will continue her career next year at the University of Florida.

Alex Dalton, Sr. M, Notre Dame (Hingham)
The recipient of this year's prestigious ESPN Boston Miss Lacrosse Award, Dalton led an explosive Cougars attack to their first D1 state title in program history. She registering 76 goals, 15 assists, 79 ground balls, 69 draw controls and 61 forced turnovers, and leaves the program with 303 career goals and 44 career assists. Dalton was named both a U.S. Lacrosse and Under Armour All-American, and will play next year at Notre Dame.

Marina Burke, Sr. M, Westwood
Burke totaled 48 goals and 39 assists for the Wolverines as the long-time Tri-Valley League juggernaut once again reached the D1 South Final. She was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, and will continue her career next season at Harvard University.

Megan Hennessy, Sr. M, Winchester
A three-time selection, Hennessy had a career-high 91 goals and 55 assists in leading the Sachems to the Division 2 State Final. She leaves Winchester with 290 goals and 163 assists for her career, and will continue her career next season at Harvard.

Bailey Mongillo, Sr. M, Westford Academy
Mongillo took the competitive Dual County League by storm this spring, recording 108 goals and 33 assists as the Grey Ghosts captured the D1 North title to cap an unprecedented season. She leaves Westford with 420 career points, and will continue her career next year at Villanova University.

Ela Hazar, Jr. M, Westwood
A repeat All-State selection, the dynamic speedster led the Wolverines' potent attack with 90 goals and 40 assists, to garner U.S. Lacrosse All-American honors. Hazar is verbally committed to the University of North Carolina.

Alexa Cambi, Jr. M, Longmeadow
The Lancers dominated the Western Mass. scene once again, and Cambi was at the forefront, leading the way with 57 goals as they reached the D1 State Final. Cambi was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American for her efforts.

Taylor O’Connell, Sr. D, Algonquin
One of the top one-on-one defenders around, O'Connell led the Tomahawks to a second straight Division 1 Central title as they allowed 8.2 goals per game on the season. Named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, O'Connell will continue her career next year at Loyola University (Md.).

Aileen Kelly, Jr. G, Framingham
Allowing 10 goals per game, the Flyers defense was solid, and it started in the back with Kelly. She was named a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, as the Flyers reached the semifinals of the D1 North tournament. Kelly is verbally committed to UMass.

BEST OF THE REST

Meghan Collins, Sr. D, Marblehead
Catherine Conley, Jr. M, Needham
Tess Chandler, Sr. M, Hopkinton
Shannon Fitzgerald, Jr. M, Newton North
M.J. Keefe, Sr. A, Andover
Hannah Murphy, Sr. M, Duxbury
Mary O'Connell, Sr. M, Norwell
Annee O'Connor, Jr. G, Needham
Zoe Ochoa, Sr. G, Longmeadow
Abby Quirk, Sr. A, Lincoln-Sudbury
Alison Ryan, Jr. M, Norwood
Kristina Schaefer, Jr. A, Longmeadow
Jillian Scyocurka, Jr. M, Longmeadow
Mariel Teague, Sr. M, Notre Dame (Hingham)
Maddie Ward, Sr. M, Norwell

TVL softball All-Stars announced

June, 4, 2013
6/04/13
9:01
AM ET


The Tri-Valley League recently announced its softball All-Star teams.

Here's a look at the list, as provided by Hopkinton athletic director Eric Karjel:

Editor's note: League all-star lists may be sent to editors Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com) or Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com).

Coach of the Year - Dennis Baker Jr., Hopkinton

MVP - Alissa Karjel P/SS Hopkinton - Sophomore

TVL 1st team all-stars:


Kaycee Babineau, Sr. CF, Medway

Jackie Dunne, Jr. CF, Norton

Ilyza Holman, Sr. SS, Ashland

Alissa Karjel, Soph. P/SS, Hopkinton

Lauren Keast, Sr. SS, Holliston

Rachel Kuhlman, Jr. C, Bellingham

Lindy Kyger, Sr. 1B, Holliston

Erica McBride, Jr. C, Hopkinton

Jess Pieterson, Jr. P, Norton

Nicole Reed, Sr. SS, Bellingham

G.G. Ricciardi, Sr. P/OF, Bellingham

Dannielle Vaclavik, Jr. C, Medfield

D2 South Baseball: Milford 3, Hopkinton 1

June, 1, 2013
6/01/13
12:01
AM ET
MILFORD, Mass. -- In a deadlocked game heading into the late stages, both Hopkinton and Milford knew any opportunity that came its way needed to be seized.

The Scarlet Hawks got such a chance in the bottom half of the sixth inning. Hillers lefty pitcher Nick Burns was doing a yeoman-like job keeping Milford's bats in check through the first five frames, holding them to just one run. But in the sixth, the junior quickly ran into problems by issuing walks to Eric Fernandes and Chris Trafecante. Recomposing himself on the mound, Burns retired the next two Scarlet Hawks and appeared destined to tightrope out of the jam.

But Mike Tracy had other ideas. Staring at a 2-2 count, the senior ripped a fastball in the gap between left and center field scoring both base runners en route to a 3-1 triumph in a first round Division 2 South matchup Friday afternoon at Fino Field.

"I came up to the plate looking to be aggressive," said Tracy, also the winning pitcher. "He left a fastball over the plate and I took advantage of it. I was just hoping it would find the gap and it did."

No. 8 seed Milford (14-7) will face top-seed Nauset (16-4) in Monday's quarterfinals at Eldredge Field in Orleans beginning at 7 p.m.

As impressive as he was at the plate, Tracy shined on the mound as well. The tall, lanky righthander, who hopes to play at Boston College next season, limited the ninth-seeded Hillers (12-9) to five hits in his complete game effort.

"Mike was huge today," Milford head coach Paul Pellegini said. "He threw strikes most of the day and we played good defense. I thought all three of our outfielders played very well. They tracked down some balls that were hit pretty hard. The top strength of our defense is our outfield. We didn't hit all that well today but that's a credit to Burns who threw his stuff very well. But we made the hits when we had to. I'm just glad this game was only seven innings."

The Scarlet Hawks fired the first salvo in their half of the second. Alex Tonkonogy walked, took second on a Robert Benjamin single and came around to score on Mike Tarolli's hard single to left. Burns (5-2/3 IP, 3 hits, 8 Ks) settled down after that, allowing zero hits over the next three frames, mixing his pitches well to keep Milford off-balanced.

"It was a wonderful high school baseball game," Hopkinton head coach Jay Golden said. "Tracy pitched a great game and his at bat in the sixth was a really good swing. That's what it was going to take against Nick because I thought he pitched his heart out as well.

"He's a smart pitcher and has been our ace since he was a sophomore. We knew Milford was an aggressive team and like to swing early in the count so we tried to focus on keeping them off-balanced as much as we could and for the most part Nick did that."

With Burns doing his job, he, along with his teammates, obliged by scoring the tying run in the top of the sixth. Andrew McMillian led things off by reaching on a throwing error and moving to second base. Two outs later, Burns singled putting runners on the corners. Sophomore Matt Decina followed by lining a single into right plating McMillian. Tracy avoided further trouble by inducing Connor Hudson to fly out to end the inning.

The momentum the Hillers had conceived by getting back into this one was brief after the Scarlet Hawks came up big in the bottom of the frame to win their first Eastern Mass. postseason game since moving over from Central Mass. at the start of the year.

TVL boys' lacrosse postseason awards

May, 28, 2013
5/28/13
10:28
PM ET
The Tri-Valley League recently announced its boys' lacrosse All-Star team and postseason award winners.

Here's a look at the list, as provided by Dover-Sherborn head coach Brian McLaughlin:

Editor's note: League all-star lists may be sent to editors Scott Barboza (sbarboza@espnboston.com) or Brendan Hall (bhall@espnboston.com).

Tri-Valley League All-Stars:

Brandon Jaeger, A, Dover-Sherborn
Andrew Melvin, A, Medfield
Paul Beling, A, Holliston
Matt Crowell, M, Medfield
Drew Adams, M, Westwood
Zach Elkinson, M, Holliston
Matt Huemme, M, Dover-Sherborn
Brian Bissell, M, Medfield
Rogers Boylan, D, Dover-Sherborn
Ben Cox, D, Medfield
Jimmy Ganem, D, Medfield
Ryan Goodall, G, Dover-Sherborn

Specialist – Jeff Bolton, Ashland

Offensive Player of the Year – Matt Crowell, Medfield

Defensive Player of the Year – Ben Cox, Medfield

League MVP – Ryan Goodall, Dover-Sherborn

Coach of the Year – Chris Collins, Holliston

Assistant Coach of the Year – Dave Fredrickson, Westwood

Sportsman of the Year – Alex Muscanell, Hopkinton

Recap: No. 10 King Philip 6, No. 16 Hopkinton 0

May, 23, 2013
5/23/13
9:23
PM ET
HOPKINTON, Mass. -- On paper, it was a marquee match-up. It was a meeting of the champions of the Hockomock League’s Kelley-Rex division and the Tri-Valley League, as well as two teams in the Top 25 in the state.

But, on the field, the game was more about two teams closing out busy weeks and long regular seasons with all eyes on potentially deep postseason runs. In the end, King Philip (16-4) had just a little more gas in the tank and a little more depth.

The No. 10 Warriors cruised to a 6-0 victory on the road at No. 16 Hopkinton (17-3) behind six innings of relief from freshman pitcher Kali Magane. The Warriors No. 3 starter struck out eight Hillers while giving up only two hits. At the plate, she also added a pair of hits and drove in a run.

“She hasn’t been on the mound in three or four weeks so to come in and perform that way goes to show you how tough she is. She’s got a lot of good years ahead of her,” Warriors head coach Norm Beauchemin said.

Magane entered the game in the second inning after starter Anna O’Neill, who has been KP’s ace all season, complained of tightness in her arm. This was O’Neill’s third start of the week and second in as many days (an eight-inning loss to Taunton on Monday and 3-1 win over Coyle on Wednesday) and Beauchemin did not want to take any chances with his top pitcher with the tournament looming.

He remarked with a chuckle, “Anna was a little sore from last night’s game. She pitched Monday and she pitched yesterday and said she had a little stiffness. So, with playoffs coming, we can’t ruin our horse.”

Magane struck out the side in the second inning and the Warriors offense responded in the top of the third.

Lead-off hitter Bre Shaffer began the inning with a walk and shortstop Ashley Hession reached on an error by catcher Erica McBride. With runners at second and third, senior Tori Constantin lined an RBI single to left. Sophomore first baseman Renee Poirier followed with the game’s big hit – a three-run homer that was crushed to right center.

Beauchemin marveled, “She’s been killing the ball all year. She probably has the most extra-base hits for us. She’s a great hitter.”

He added with a laugh, “She struck out for probably the fourth time all season tonight. So, she’s probably more upset about that than happy about the homerun.”

Prior to the game, Hopkinton head coach Dennis Baker Jr. admitted that he was struggling to put together the line-up because of injuries and the fact that the Hillers were playing their fourth game of the week. Hopkinton clinched the TVL title on Wednesday night with a win over Westwood (in conjunction with Bellingham’s win over Norton) and Baker gave a rest to several of his starters.

King Philip essentially put the game away in the top of the fourth when Hession doubled home Shaffer and was then brought home by a Magane single. Hannah Engstrom ended the inning with a perfect throw to the plate to nail Constantin trying to score from second. The Warriors took advantage of the 6-0 lead to use some of the substitutes that have not seen playing time in recent weeks.

It was a comfortable road win over a tough opponent for King Philip but, for both the Warriors and the Hillers, all eyes are on next week and the start of state tournament play.

AC, Apponequet enter softball Top 25

May, 19, 2013
5/19/13
2:49
PM ET
With many teams suffering losses in the last week, there was plenty of shakeups in this week's MIAA softball Top 25 poll.

This week's changes are marked by plenty of up-and-down movement, in addition to four teams entering the poll this week, including a couple of newcomers.

Both No. 24 Arlington Catholic and No. 25 Apponequet make their first-ever Top 25 showings, after some critical league wins. The Cougars claimed their first Catholic Central Large crown after beating Archbishop Williams last week. Meanwhile, the Lakers now stand atop the South Coast Conference standings, thanks to an extra-innings, walk-off win over Fairhaven.

Also moving back into the poll this week was No. 15 Bellingham and No. 20 Taunton on the heels of significant divisional victories. The Blackhawks split their season series with defending Tri-Valley League champion Hopkington while the Tigers nipped former No. 2 North Attleborough in an extra-innings Hockomock League battle.

(Editor's note: Records are as of Friday.)

Recap: No. 9 Medfield 10, No. 15 D-S 6

April, 27, 2013
4/27/13
1:07
AM ET


DOVER, Mass. -- Medfield senior Sarah Honan thrives in situations where most keepers would feel uncomfortable.

Succeeding against a medley of free position shots and one-on-one breakaways last night, Honan made 12 difficult saves as she battled defending Division 2 state champion Warriors (8-2, 5-2) to a 10-6 besting of Tri-Valley League foe Dover-Sherborn (6-2, 3-2), at Nora Searle Field.

“I love free position shots,” said Honan. “I like to stay on my toes, just watch the ball all the way to my stick and hopefully I come up with the save. Crashing together as a team and moving together.”

Honan's impressive outing was aided with five goals from fellow senior Katelyn Noschese and a strong showing from the Warriors' man-to-man defense.

Looking Like Defending Champs: The Warriors were looking to bounce back after a poor second half on Wednesday that lead to a tough 14-9 loss to fellow league power Hopkinton (6-2). Medfield was ahead for 46:01 of the 50 minutes on Friday as they edged away for good off a four goal streak in the first half.

Sophomore Lauren Tschirch crashed the net then lowered her head into a group of defenders to draw Medfield's first free position. She buried the effort top-net for a 2-1 lead at 18:11.

Noschese cradled her way past two straight defenders to net a 5-1 goal and end the run with 7:13 left in the first half.

“Not only does it physically prepare us, but it mentally prepares us to stay in games and not let up,” said Noschese. “First of all move the defender (and) get her off track then fake the goalie and just shoot to the corner she is not protecting. It forces them to crash on you.”

Noschese cut out in front of the goal from behind the crease and nailed a 10-yard effort to help clinch the game at 10-6 with 5:07 left in the game. The Warriors moved into their "stall" offense after that score as they wasted of the rest of the clock.

“I was very proud of how smart they were,” said Medfield coach Kathleen McCullough. “It is kind of like a stall if we are in a situation where we need to maintain possession. No shots (allowed).”

Senior Management: Lauren Harrity's two goals and one assist did little justice to show the senior midfielder's influence on Medfield's offensive management. Harrity played a role in half of the Warriors' scores, including the two straight tallies that put her team ahead 9-5 with 13:47 left.

The senior looped around the crease to setup both goals as she lobbed passes to freshman Grace Crowell and sophomore Hailey Tschirch for 10-yard scores and the 9-5 advantage.

“She is just very dynamic,” said McCullough. “If she gets covered too hard she knows that she is going to have to feed the ball and if they are not playing hard defense on them she knows to go to goal.”

Unable to Gain Ground: Dover-Sherborn struggled to pull even as they twice scored two scores then gave up a pair of goals.

Senior Nora Klemmer (three goals) converted a breakaway off a personal draw victory with 21:50 left in the game. Within 44 seconds, she lost two defenders as she cut away from net and produced enough space to sneak a 7-5 score along the post to finish the second run.

“Her first two shots did not go and she was able to adjust to the type of shot that was going to work,” said Dover-Sherborn coach Erin Newton. “We need to make sure we are capitalizing on fast breaks. Our offensive end needs to be quicker in terms of our cuts and our of ball movement.”

TVL As A Playoff Standard: Five of the eight teams in the Tri-Valley League made last years' postseason. The TVL has represented both of the two available girls' lacrosse state titles for the past two years.

In league games like last night's represent a good example of postseason play especially for the two Division 2 squads that played.

“We know that every team comes out strong against us (and) we can't really let up,” said McCullough. “We learned a lot just from our last game against Hopkinton.”

Roundtable: Big statements, bigger production

October, 4, 2012
10/04/12
1:44
AM ET
1. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST STATEMENT YOU GOT OUT OF BARNSTABLE'S UPSET OF EVERETT?

Scott Barboza, ESPN Boston High Schools Editor: Aside from the defense, which was phenomenal by all accounts, the manner in which the Red Raiders were able to pull off the upset was impressive, meaning that the offense was firing on all cylinders for most of the game. In other words, Barnstable can win ugly. When you hear about the offense and all the things the Red Raiders can do on offense, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the fundamentals. They can do all the things that constitute a potentially successful playoff team in that they can run the ball when called upon, get the back stop when required and they don’t turn the ball over. When you have one of the top quarterbacks in the state like Nick Peabody, that’s all you need to win. And, if Hayden Murphy runs the ball as he can and the defense, led by Andrew Ellis, is on, Barnstable is difficult to beat, no matter the conditions.

Brendan Hall, ESPN Boston High Schools Editor: For me, more than anything, it was a throwback statement. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much Division 1-caliber talent you've stockpiled, how heavy your line is, or how many of your skill players run a 4.5. All that matters is who puts themselves in the best position to win -- period. Barnstable demonstrated that to a T on Friday night.

Of course, this Red Raiders team isn't an underdog. They came into the game at No. 3 in our statewide poll, and I think the general consensus was that this would be a one-score type of affair. Nick Peabody is in a quarterbacking class of his own through the first month of the season, Dylan Morris is beginning to enter Matt Costello territory in terms of production, and the Raiders' linebacking corps is one of the two or three best in the state.

Barnstable coach Chris Whidden dialed up a great defensive gameplan in the pouring rain, playing outside contain on the Crimson Tide's gifted receivers, and getting great push in the trenches with a deceivingly athletic front four that fired quickly off the ball. These guys were not as big, but they certainly were fast, and above all else they hit with a level of abandon replicated by very few teams in the state.

At the end of the day, it was a pleasant reminder that things haven't gotten soft in the game of football. At the end of the day, the overarching theme remains -- if you come out complacent, someone's going to knock you around.

Adam Kurkjian, ESPN Boston correspondent: Year after year, while Everett always seems to have its share of explosive skill players, the foundation of its success is consistent and dominant line play on both sides of the ball.

The biggest statement Barnstable made Friday night was that it can go toe-to-toe with Everett's front and get the better of the exchange. That is rare, and it speaks to the level of offseason commitment the Red Raiders have made the past few seasons. While Barnstable may have the reputation as a finesse team because of the amount of times it puts the ball in the air, it looks like the Red Raiders shattered that notion last week.

Bruce Lerch, ESPN Boston correspondent: Defense, defense, defense. Staring at Everett's offensive line with 300-pounders across the board is daunting for any opposition but the Raiders didn't seem intimidated at all. In fact, they set the tone and managed to stuff the Tide twice on fourth-down tries from the one-yard line.

All 11 starters, plus the others that rotate in made plays. Jason Frieh and the defensive line held their own Everett's blockers, linebackers Brian Hardy, Andrew Ellis, Terrence Mudie and Robbie Stuart made tackles all over the field. Safeties Ryan Litchman and Kevin Hardy were tremendous in support against the run and corners Tedaro France and Derek Estes won their matchups with Everett's speed merchants at the receiver positions.

John Botelho, Editor-in-Chief, South Shore Sports Journal: Nick Peabody and the offense have been well publicized -- and deservedly so -- all season. Going into the Everett game, they had scored an astounding 145 points in three games. But the biggest statement made while snapping Everett's 28-game win streak was that the Red Raiders' defense is just as good as their powerful offense. Division 1A should be real fun to watch come December.

Everett and Barnstable Round II is already a Super Bowl many people are excitedly calling for, but neither has an easy path to get there. Everett is likely headed for a first-round playoff game with Lincoln-Sudbury, and Barnstable has to worry about beating Bridgewater-Raynham during the regular season just to reach the playoffs.

2. NAME YOUR FIVE BEST WIDE RECEIVERS IN THE STATE

Barboza:
1. Brian Dunlap, Natick – Might not be No. 1 on any other list, but come his senior season, he's going to be right there on the top of all the volume stats list.

2. Jalen Felix, Everett – Seeing, in person, the catch he made during last year’s BC High game at Memorial Stadium is something I’ll likely never forget. It’s the same feeling I had watching Randy Moss make impossible catches.

3. Jakarrie Washington, Everett – One of the best route runners around since those Asprilla and Costello kids were the go-to targets in Everett.

4. Dylan Morris, Barnstable – Hard to argue with Morris’ production thus far this season with his eight touchdown catches.

5. Will Heikkinen, Andover – Spies tell me Xaverian had Heikkinen blanketed with double coverage throughout most of last week’s game. That’s the ultimate compliment paid to a wideout.

Hall:
1. Dylan Morris, Barnstable - You'll be hard-pressed to duplicate his five-catch, 207-yard performance in Week 2, and right now he's on track for 20 touchdown receptions and over 1,000 yards receiving. Bar none, best wideout in the state right now. And to think, some have mused he may be a better baseball player.

2. Jakarrie Washington, Everett - You could rotate this spot with Jalen Felix, who had an explosive performance against Springfield Central, but right now you've got to with Washington based on game-breaking ability. Against Leominster and St. John's Prep, he turned the game on its heels seemingly on a dime with one back-breaking catch or run.

3. Brian Dunlap, Natick - A versatile route-runner, he's got crunch-time knack (see his game-winning catch against Norwood with 10 seconds to go) and makes the most of his touches (17.25 yards per catch, 6 TD).

4. David Harrison, Weymouth - Has seven receiving touchdowns, and in the last two games running a pistol offense at quarterback, has thrown for six. He's just plain productive.

5. Sam Blake, East Longmeadow - Doesn't get a lot of touches in the Spartans' system, but in terms of athleticism I've heard some pretty crazy stories. In his last two games, he has 232 receiving yards and four touchdowns on just seven catches.

Kurkjian:
Tough to say for me because most of the games I have been to have featured mainly run-oriented teams.

That said, looking around the state, Lincoln Collins of BC High needs to be mentioned for his size and improved speed.

Jakarrie Washington of Everett may be the fastest receiver out there right now.

Speaking of guys that can motor, Andover's Cam Farnham has been pure lightning all season as well.

As far as pure production goes, there aren't many who do more on a week-to-week basis than Natick's Brian Dunlap.

If anyone can outdo Dunlap in that department, though, how about Shawsheen receiver Devonn Pratt? One of the top wrestlers in the state, Pratt has 11 touchdown receptions already, including five in a ridiculous, 15-catch, 268-yard performance against Cambridge two weeks ago.

Lerch:
1. Dylan Morris, Barnstable - Seems to have a tremendous mind meld going on with quarterback Nick Peabody. Has eight TD receptions on the season, including two clutch catches in the 13-7, double OT win over Everett.

2. Jalen Felix/Jakarrie Washington, Everett - I'm cheating a little by putting both in, but it's hard to argue against the fact that these speedsters are two of the biggest gamebreakers in Massachusetts.

3. Bryan Vieira, Thayer Academy - Eight receptions for 200 yards and a TD in the opener (along with an interception return for a score) and six more catches for 179 yards and three TDs in week two. The top receiver in the ISL.

4. Brian Dunlap, Natick - Just a sophomore, Dunlap continues to team up with QB Troy Flutie to put up big numbers week after week. I may be underrating him because of his age, but all signs point toward Dunlap someday taking over at the top of this list. Maybe sooner rather than later.

5. David Harrison/Tyler O'Brien, Weymouth - It's a cheat day for me in the roundtable as I'm going with a duo once again. The Wildcats receivers have combined to catch 13 TD passes and O'Brien seems to be Harrison's favored target when he switches under center as Weymouth's quarterback.

Botelho:
1. Dylan Morris, Barnstable: This is sort of a chicken and egg thing. Is Nick Peabody such a good quarterback because he has Morris to throw to, or is Morris the beneficiary of a standout QB. I think the answer is Peabody is a tremendous QB and Morris an elite receiver, and the results have indicated that so far.

2. Lincoln Collins, BC High: Collins might not have the gaudy stats some his peers do (he's caught just one TD this year) but he's a D-1 scholarship athlete going to Villanova for a reason. The Eagles have been the victims of bad luck and bad timing this season, dealing with some of the toughest teams in this state - and New Jersey - while figuring out how to replace injured stars like Brendan Craven and Luke Catarius.

3. Brian Dunlap, Natick - Like Morris, Dunlap has a premier QB throwing him the ball. He's pulled in 6 TD from Troy Flutie, and is one of the biggest reasons Natick is scoring more than 30 points per game.

4. Dondre James, Whitman-Hanson - James single-handedly changes game plans of opposing teams, often drawing more than one defender on passing plays. He's spread out defenses all season, allowing QB Tom Sapienza to throw 8 TD already. James' speed and athleticism are clear with one looks at the Panthers on offense, but what he contributes away from the ball might be even more impressive. James has sprung more than one ball carrier this year with a big block.

5. Rory Donovan, Cardinal Spellman - The Cardinals aren't matching their regular season success from the last two years, but Donovan is among the toughest receivers for defenses to match-up with. At 6-5 and with an impressive vertical, not many defenders can go up and get a jump ball against him. He's averaging a touchdown a game right now and could get better as Spellman's line matures this season.

3. WHO IS THE BEST QUARTERBACK FROM A SMALL SCHOOL?

Barboza: Right now, I’m looking at Hopkinton’s Hank Rudden. The Hillers have been off and running in the Tri-Valley League, averaging more than 34 points per game through four weeks. Whether the Hillers can keep it going into the meat of their TVL schedule is another thing, but the 6-foot-1 senior is a dependable pocket presence.

Hall: Hard to argue with the production of Northbridge's Matt Phelan. Head coach Ken LaChapelle (who won his 300th career game last weekend) is famously inclined towards the pass -- and a passing pioneer for this state, really -- but through the first four games of the 2012 Phelan has been arguably better on his feet (41 carries, 448 yards, 12 TD) than through the air (42 of 50, 514 yards, 2 TD). LaChapelle has joked that he would like to once coach a game where he doesn't call a running play, but he tends to yield some freelancing to his quarterbacks when he feels they're up for it. And understand, for LaChapelle to loosen the reigns, you have to be a special player.

Kurkjian: Let's go into the Boston City South Division where Latin Academy junior Kyle Dance is putting together a fantastic season through four games.

To this point, Dance has had a hand in 13 touchdowns (nine passing, four rushing). You want to know how many touchdowns the Dragons have as a team? Fourteen. In other words, Dance is doing it all for this team, and it will be exciting to see how the rest of his season and career develops.

Lerch: Since taking over in week two, Shawsheen's Mike O'Hearn has produced eye-popping numbers and ranks fourth in the state with 11 touchdown passes, including a six-TD performance against Cambridge. With the 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior at the helm, the Rams have put up 98 points in their last two games.

Botelho: Assuming "small" school means any outside of Div 1, 1A, 2 or 2A, the best small school QB might be Dan Eckler at Stoughton. They're a run-first offense with tons of weapons, but he's been the point man for all of their success this year.

Hanover's Ryan Bennett and Middleborough's Troy Rossi both have big arms and ideal QB size and have been fun to watch early on.

Abington's Brandon Cawley has all of the tools to run the offense for the Green Wave. He's tall, has a cannon of an arm and can tuck it and run if need be. Andrew Benson also comes to mind in the South Shore League. After sliding over from RB to QB when the Vikings didn't have an obvious heir apparent to Tim O'Brien, Benson has handled the transition well. He's very athletic and gives EB a similar look on offense they had a year ago.

4. WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE CATHOLIC CONFERENCE?

Barboza: (Disclaimer: None of this argument has to do with St. John’s Prep right now.) Honestly, I’m not trying to make excuses here, and this has happened a couple of times during the last couple seasons, but it’s not as though the teams are playing easy schedules. On the other hand though, I think the rest of the state has caught up with the parochials a little bit. Some inside the Catholic Conference used to scoff at the idea of a Hockomock team (North Attleborough anybody?) hanging with one of those teams. Use this weekend’s Xaverian vs. Duxbury matchup as another proof positive. I think the Hawks will find out that last year’s win by the Dragons at the Hawk Bowl was no fluke. And, while most of the state still cannot match the numbers the Catholics have on their sidelines, there’s plenty of talent to be had.

Hall: With St. John's Prep, nothing. With the rest of the conference (a combined 4-12 heading into this weekend's games), where do you start?

Expectations weren't high on Malden Catholic or Catholic Memorial coming into the season, but the way BC High and Xaverian (preseason Nos. 2 and 3, respectively) have stumbled out of the gates is concerning. Then again, they've endured brutal schedules, and few teams in Massachusetts would come out of September with better than their 1-3 records. Still, the way in which they've lost is not convincing, between BC High getting dominated from scrimmage by North Attleborough and Xaverian laying eggs against Brockton and Andover. Bottom line, BC High and Xaverian so far haven't lived up to the preseason hype.

Something tells me they'll turn it around. BC High will be getting All-State linebacker Luke Catarius (ankle) back this month, and quarterback Brendan Craven (knee) sometime soon, and you can't say enough how much that could change things quickly. Xaverian finally showed signs of life in the second half of the Andover upset, and Mike Brennan has been bringing steady production to what has been an otherwise stale offense.

How quickly does Xaverian turn it around? Jury's out, because the rest of the Hawks' 2012 schedule, in order, goes like this: Duxbury, Everett, Bridgewater-Raynham, St. John's (Shrewsbury), BC High, Catholic Memorial, St. John's Prep. Talk about skating uphill.

Kurkjian: Well, there's not much wrong with St. John's Prep right now, as they've looked outstanding in their three wins and only have one loss to Everett in a game many observers thought could have gone the other way with a few breaks.

As for the rest? BC High has been decimated by injuries, but the Eagles are starting to heal up and it would not be a total shock to see them make a run at the league title once everyone is back.

Xaverian does not have nearly the amount of team speed it usually does and has not looked physical at all on the lines.

Catholic Memorial has, as expected, struggled on offense, and you simply don't improve when graduation takes away as much talent as it did for the Knights.

Malden Catholic is this year what it has been nearly every year, which is the fifth-best team in the league.

Lerch: The coaches won't make excuses but we can. Injuries have absolutely decimated BC High while graduation hit both Xaverian and Catholic Memorial pretty hard. Not to mention that these teams all play among the toughest schedules in the state. That said, St. John's Prep is still a top-three team in Massachusetts and don't think for a second that the aforementioned trio won't put it together by the time league play rolls around. Anyone who counts these teams out when we're not even halfway through the season is making a big mistake.

Botelho: BC High and Xaverian has certainly underachieved, but their schedules have been absolutely brutal. BC is also dealing with a whole mess load of injuries. That said, what looked like the best league in the state before the season needs a turnaround in the second half to avoid an overall disappointing year. If things continue like they are, St. John's Prep will coast to a league title behind Jonathan Thomas and Alex Moore. The Prep, in my mind, is probably the favorite to win the Div. 1 Super Bowl right now (I still love Brockton, but missing Austin Roberts is going to hurt them in a big way).

5. THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF SHOOTOUTS IN THE FIRST TWO WEEKS OF ISL PLAY. WHICH IS THE BEST OFFENSE?

Barboza: I think this was supposed to be Thayer’s year to shine behind wide receiver Aaron Gilmer and the Tigers haven’t disappointed, putting up 76 points in their two games. But they still have nothing to show for it, losing two close barn-burners against Governor’s and Roxbury Latin. But it’s hard to ignore the defending ISL champions at Governor’s. We’ve extolled about Tate Jozokos’ two-sport excellence for a couple years now, but running back Eli Morrissey has been a true revelation in the early going. Gov’s should face a test this weekend against BB&N, but with 103 points scored in two games, it’s hard to pick against anything short of a repeat performance of 2011.

Hall: If what Duxbury's been doing the last couple of years doesn't tell you enough about the value of lacrosse skill in football, then Governor's senior quarterback Tate Jozokos will. The UNC lacrosse commit led a renaissance last fall, leading the Governors to the ISL championship, and is off to a quality start this season. He is as a true a dual-threat quarterback as you will find in Massachusetts.

Running back Eli Morrissey has been just as productive (5 TDs), and is arguably one of the best backs in the ISL -- not the biggest, but definitely one of the most complete, and a tough runner. Overall, the Governors have averaged 51.5 points per game in their first two contest. Hard to argue with a number like that.

Kurkjian: Tough to say with such a small sample size, but it's hard to go against what Governor's Academy has accomplished in the first two weeks. With 103 points in two games, the Governors are simply running past, over, around and through everyone in their way.

We will see whether or not that continues this weekend as they travel to Cambridge to face an always-tough BB&N squad.

Lerch: When in doubt, I always say go with the team led by the lacrosse guy. Governor's is stacked with talent on offense with quarterback/dynamo/North Carolina lacrosse commit Tate Jozokos leading the charge. Along with standout running back Elijah Morrissey, the duo has combined to score nine rushing TDs in the first two games. Until some team finds a way to slow these two guys down, the Red Dogs will keep piling on the points.

Locals make Area Code Games squad

June, 27, 2012
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The Northeast squad of the Area Code Games, represented by the New York Yankees, have unveiled the roster they will bring to Long Beach in August, and several locals made the cut.

Saugus native and Salisbury Prep (Conn.) junior righthander Riley MacEachern was among the most notables. Joining him are Lynn Classical sophomore catcher Kyle Devin, Hopkinton sophomore outfielder Ryan Sullivan, and Lynn English lefthander Ben Bowden (who last week was named to ESPN Boston's All-State Team).

To see the full roster, CLICK HERE.

Boys' lacrosse All-Americans announced

May, 29, 2012
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The 2012 boys' lacrosse Eastern Mass. High School All-American team was released Monday morning by the Eastern Mass. Lacrosse Coaches Association.

Also included was the list of senior Acacemic All-Americans.

Here is the All-Americans list, which will be forward to U.S. Lacrosse:

Doug Gouchoe, Sr. G, Concord-Carlisle
Connor Darcey, Sr. G, Wellesley
Kurt Hunzinger, Sr. M, Masconomet
Kevin Blair, Sr. A, Hingham
Paul Hellar, Sr. A, Duxbury
James Burke, Sr. D, Duxbury
Max Randall, Sr. D, Duxbury
Matt O'Keefe, Sr. D, Duxbury
Nico Panepinto, Jr. A, Needham
Tucker Ciessau, Jr. A, Scituate
Ben MeLaugh, Sr. A, Billerica
Bill Polk, Sr. M, Dover-Sherborn
Henry Bumpus, Sr. D, Concord-Carlisle
Ryan Cassidy, Sr. LSM, Wellesley
Greg Stamatov, Sr. G, Foxborough
Kyle Soroka, Sr. M, Acton-Boxborough
Tom Stanton, Sr. M, Catholic Memorial
D.J. Smith, Jr. G, Billerica
John Sexton, So. D, Lincoln-Sudbury
Jay Drapeau, So. A, Westford Academy
Cabot Noyce, Sr. A, Norwell
Matt Comeford, Jr. G, Reading
Matt McIver, Sr. A, Andover
Alex Eaton, Sr. M, Westford Academy
Tyler McKelvie, Sr. A, Acton-Boxborough
Henry Guild, Jr. M, Lincoln-Sudbury
Mark Riley , Sr. M, Needham
Chris Williams, Sr. M , Duxbury
Ian Yanulis, Jr. D, BC High

Academic All-American Team
Benjamin Newbert, Dover-Sherborn
Mitchell Maffeo, Masconomet
Wellesley Shrewsbury, Masconomet
Jacob Sherman, Newton North
Peter Trombly, Acton-Boxborough
Jacob Saccorso, Foxborough
Stephen O'Grady, North Andover
Miles McCarthy, Catholic Memorial
Jonathan Lee, Hopkinton
Mark Palermo, Lowell
Colton Williamson, North Attleborough
Oliver Gregory, Marblehead
James Moynahan, BC High
Branden Morin, Bridgewater-Raynham

Updated MIAA softball Top 25 poll

May, 22, 2012
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With days remaining until the end of the regular season, we've updated the MIAA softball Top 25 poll on last time before seedings are released for the upcoming tournament.

Milford is running strong at No. 1 and looks to finish an undefeated regular season run. Bridgewater-Raynham, Minnechaug and Malden snuck into the top 10 this week.

Things largely remained unchanged, but we did welcome one new team to the poll in Hopkinton. The Hillies moved back into the poll for the first time since our second poll of the season after knocking off Bellingham, ending the Blackhawks' design on a perfect season.

Recap: No. 8 Medfield 14, No. 5 D-S 7

May, 19, 2012
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MEDFIELD, Mass. –- Medfield lacrosse’s attacking mentality boils down to two letters: I and O. That’s short for what the Warriors like to call “Instant Offense.”

But in Medfield’s first performance this season against Tri-Valley League rival Dover-Sherborn, the Warriors’ offense was anything but, sputtering in a 7-5 loss.

With their second crack at the No. 5 Raiders on Friday, with the league title up for grabs, the Warriors lived up to their creed. Medfield translated a nearly instant 6-2 first-quarter lead into a 14-7 romp.

“We pick it up and we try to run to the sideline and get it out of the sticks as quickly as possible,” senior attack Calvin Given said, “and [we] try to make the extra pass to find that man on the weak side where he can just get that layup.”

Medfield (13-3) amassed their early lead thanks in no small part to their ability to win ground balls in the first quarter. The Warriors hustled and scooped their way to a 9-3 ground ball advantage in the period.

“That’s something we focused on in practice all week,” senior attack Chris Diana said. “It showed in the first quarter. We got off to a good start and we just kept the momentum from there.”

Twice in the first quarter, Diana was a beneficiary to the Warriors hustle play, turning ground balls into transition and two of his team-high four goals on the evening. Given also celebrated Senior Night with a hat trick of his own.

The Raiders (15-3) didn’t go quietly, however.

D-S whittled down Medfield’s lead to two goals late in the third quarter, after a three-goal run to open the second half. Raiders senior attack Jared Spence led the comeback charge with two of his four goals.

Yet, Medfield was able to close the deal, scoring the final five goals on the night.

“This game, we valued the ball a lot more,” Given said. “When we’d dodge, we didn’t force anything. We pulled it out if nothing was open. We were just always working it around, looking for that extra pass. “

Perhaps a little restraint can result in something instant.

X MARKS THE SPOT
Aside from the Warriors’ crisper offensive showing, Medfield also prospered with the recent return of one of its most skilled players to the lineup.

Although he was held without a goal on Friday, senior attack Connor Roddy’s presence was felt, particularly with his three assists. But even without the ball, the ESPN Boston Preseason All-Stater demands the defense’s attention.

After missing several weeks due to injury, it should come as no surprise that the Warriors’ offensive resurgence has coincided with Roddy’s return.

“He sees the field very well and he makes the right passes,” Diana said of Roddy.

A BETTER SITUATION
The Warriors backed into the postseason last year, after seeing their record TVL winning streak go up in smoke with back-to-back losses to both D-S and Hopkinton.

Maybe this year Medfield will enter with momentum.

In any event, as seemingly is the case every year in the lacrosse hotbed, the second season remains the most important season for the Warriors, who look for a third straight Division 2 state title.

“I think we’re in a good spot, as compared to last year,” Given said. “Last year, we lost this game and the previous game against Hopkinton, which are two TVL games and a huge deal to us."

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