Boston High School: Joe Bellomo

Player of the Week: W-H's Nick Smith

October, 14, 2014
Oct 14
WHITMAN, Mass. -- As Whitman-Hanson has battled a plethora of injuries in the first half of the season, Panthers junior quarterback Nick Smith has continued to shoulder the load.

There has been no finer example of Smith's ability to keep the Panthers on track in both the passing game and on the ground than Friday's 42-33 win over Silver Lake. Smith threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns while adding another 206 yards on 21 carries.

ESPN Boston High Schools editor Brendan C. Hall caught up with Smith on Monday as our Player of the Week, presented by New England Dairy:


Joe Bellomo, Sr. DE, Holliston – Tallied four sacks and 10 total tackles (5 solo, 5 assists) in a 42-7 win over Medway.

Oliver Eberth, Sr. QB, St. John’s Prep – Threw for 305 yards on 18 of 22 passing and six touchdowns in a 58-31 win over Catholic Memorial.

Cliff Kurker, Sr. WR/DB, Needham – All three of his receptions went for touchdowns while racking up 210 receiving yards and adding a fourth score on an 80-yard punt return in a 25-23 win over Braintree.

Nick Smith, Jr. QB, Whitman-Hanson – Threw for 309 yards on 14 of 20 passing and three touchdowns while running for 206 yards on 21 carries in a 42-33 win over Silver Lake.

Brooks Tyrrell, Sr. RB, Marblehead -- Rushed for 273 yards and two touchdowns while adding two receiving touchdowns on four catches for 118 yards in a 48-22 win over Beverly.

Top 25 countdown: Nos. 15-11

August, 21, 2014
Aug 21
On Monday, we unveiled our statewide MIAA Top 25 preseason football poll. Today, we continue our annual countdown of the poll with Nos. 15 through 11.

In case you missed our earlier installments: Nos. 25-21; Nos. 20-16.

Coach: Jon Bartlett (5th season, 33-12)
Last Season: 6-5, lost in Division 1 South Semifinals
Returning Starters: 9 (6 offense, 3 defense)
Key Returnees: Sean Holleran, Sr. QB, 5-11 185 lbs.; Nick Locken, Sr. OL/MLB, 6-1 240 lbs.; Will Johnson, Jr. WR/DB, 5-8 160lbs; Ryan Black, Sr. OL/DT, 6-2 245 lbs; Scott Gosnell, Sr. DB, 6-2 195 lbs; Christian Dallas, Sr. TE/DE, 6-3 200 lbs.; Shane Libby, Sr. TE/LB, 6-3 240 lbs; Brendan Smith, Sr. RB/OLB, 6-0 195 lbs; Brendan Lynch, Jr. OL/DT, 6-5 270 lbs.
Strengths: Commitment, attitude.
Weaknesses: Inexperience on defense.
Outlook: When Jon Bartlett took over in May for his second stint as head coach for BC High, one of the first things he stressed to his players was how much of a “team” they needed to be. It didn’t take players long to buy into the system, after learning that the man that had been their head coach for the past two seasons (Joe Gaff), would be returning to the staff as an assistant for Bartlett. “For coach Gaff to not only bring coach [Bartlett] back but to also stay with this team, it showed us how committed he is to all of us,” explained senior quarterback Sean Holleran. “That commitment makes us even more excited to play.” The Eagles will look towards Holleran’s leadership to guide the Eagles on offense and also their signature I-formation that will feature senior running back Brendan Smith. With a history of producing talented running backs in recent years, none of this will be possible without the power from the offensive line led by Nick Locken, Ryan Black and Brendan Lynch. On defense, inexperience may be a weakness heading into camp, but coach Bartlett has faith in his younger players to step up when they get their number called. Two returning players to keep an eye are ball-hawking senior defensive back Scott Gosnell and senior linebacker Shane Libby. The Eagles will be challenged like always, having to go through the gauntlet, that is the Catholic Conference, but with plenty of leadership from captains and seniors alike, BC High will be determined and use their loss to conference foe Xaverian in last year’s D1 South Semi-finals as extra motivation.

Coach: Todd Kiley (12th season, 91-33)
2013: 9-2, Division 4 South finalists
Returning starters: 17 (8 offense, 9 defense)
Key Returnees: John DoCarmo, Sr. OL/DL, 5’11, 235 lbs; Nick Athy, Sr., QB/S, 6’, 200 lbs; Zach Elkinson, Sr., WR, 5’9, 175 lbs; Joe Bellomo Sr., RB., 6’, 215 lbs.
Strengths: Experience, athleticism, strength.
Weaknesses: Depth.
Outlook: It’s been an offseason keyed on conditioning for last year’s runner-up in Division 4 south, with many of the returners on Todd Kiley’s Panthers surpassing their personal records in the weight room this summer. Holliston can be expected to be a favorite in the Tri Valley League as well as in Division 4 south this year, a year after falling to Dennis-Yarmouth 26-7 in last year’s D4 south title game. Holliston will also be one of the most experienced teams in Eastern Mass., returning eight starters on each side of the ball to give the athletic squad a veteran presence. “We’re definitely a senior laden team , a lot of experience. Our guys have taken it up on themselves to put themselves in position to get a title. A lot of them have been working since day after Thanksgiving last year,” Kiley said. After averaging nearly 40 points per game last year, the offense will be based around captain quarterback Nick Athy, his favorite target: senior receiver Zach Elkinson, and running back Joe Bellomo – all three of whom made the cut for our pre-season all-state watch list. The Panthers will get things started quickly this week, heading to No. 25 Natick, who reached the D2 south semifinals last year, in a scrimmage on Saturday “I’m good friends with Coach Mortarelli, Kiley said of the Natick coach, “He’s done a great job with those guys. They just put together a solid product every year. A lot of people would have thought they’d take a step back, but they’re just as good as they were last year. That’s gonna be an awesome test on Saturday.” Look for a stingy and experienced Panthers defense to terrorize the TVL this year, led by linebackers Connor Lefevra and Derek Kiley and defensive lineman Michael Chipman. Their toughest test may very well come in just a matter of weeks, when they travel to take on Duxbury on September 5. “This is a hungry group, they’re very focused. It was a great summer, they worked their tails off,” Kiley said, “Getting that close like we did last year gave these guys some experience. That experience is really going to pay off for our guys.”

Head Coach: Jim Rudloff (6th season, 41-17)
2013: 9-2, lost to Tewksbury in Div. 3 Northeast sectional final
Returning starters: 10 (5 offensive; 5 defensive)
Key Players: Brooks Tyrrell, Sr. RB/DB, 6-0, 195 lbs.; Derek Dumais, Sr. OT/DT; 6-5, 315 lbs.; Dan Marino, Sr. OT/DT, 6-3, 245 lbs.; Will Millett, Sr. TE/OLB/LS, 6-4, 220 lbs.; Spencer Craig, Sr. QB, 6-2, 205 lbs.
Strengths: Running game; depth and experience on offensive line; special teams return units.
Weaknesses: Lack of game experience at key positions on defense.
Outlook:One of the most talked about players in the state entering this football season will not be playing a down past December. Marblehead’s Brooks Tyrrell is a game-changing athlete both on the gridiron and the lacrosse field, but will stick to the latter when he matriculates to Notre Dame next year. While he’s with the Magicians, Tyrrell presents a multi-faceted threat, allowing Marblehead to run inside out of a single-back set while also presenting a threat as a receiver out of the backfield and across formations. The Magicians’ running attack is also advantaged by a pair of college-grade tackles in recent UMass commit Derek Dumais and fellow senior Dan Marino. Dumais presents a versatile element to Marblehead’s line, as he can play both tackle positions and kick inside to guard. Look for a breakout season from Will Millett, an adept blocker and pass catcher at tight end, who will also be an integral part of the Magicians’ defense at outside linebacker.

Coach: Paul Funk (13th season, 89-45-1)
Last Season: 11-3 (4-2 ACL), lost in Div. 4 State Final
Returning starters: 11 (6 offense, 5 defense)
Key Returnees: Michael Dunn, Sr. QB/DB, 6-1, 200 lbs; L.K. Metz, HB/LB, 5-11, 180 lbs, Andrew Jamiel, JR, SE/DB, 5-9, 145 lbs; Zack Mancini, SR, G/DT, 5-8, 220 lbs; Nick Coelho, SR, C/DE, 6-1, 215 lbs; Chip Evangelista, SR, G/LB, 5-11, 185 lbs.
Strengths: Speed and athleticism, offensive line, linebackers, secondary.
Weaknesses: Defensive line, depth.
Outlook: The 2014 Dolphins will go as far as senior Michael Dunn can carry them, and don’t be surprised if that is a return trip to the Div. 4 Superbowl. D-Y graduated a talented group of seniors in the offseason including most of their offensive backfield, but D-Y seemingly has the ability to mass-produce undersized, yet athletic and speedy skill players that perfectly fit into their read-option scheme. Dunn is the lone exception to the Dolphins undersized nature, sporting a 6-1, 200-pound frame and was the Dolphins main weapon from every offensive skill position last season. But with the departure of QB Spencer Tyler, Dunn will take the majority of snaps under center. Despite the move to primary signal caller, head coach Paul Funk says Dunn will still be a threat across the field, “It wouldn’t surprise me if there were times where [junior quarterback Ian] Crosby was under center and Dunn lines up in the slot. He’s one of those kids who can do it all and him running in our triple option from quarterback is definitely something that we like.” Flanking Dunn in the backfield is L.K. Metz who will likely see a sizable increase in his workload at tailback and split out wide is Andrew Jamiel after a breakout sophomore campaign. D-Y also returns three starters from the offensive line; center Nick Coelho and guards Zack Mancini and Chip Evangelista. The question mark surrounding the Dolphins this year is their defensive line. Typically undersized, 2014 looks to be the same up front for D-Y, but their strength remains in the second and third levels where Metz and Evangelista return at linebacker and for those unfortunate to reach the secondary, will be welcomed by Dunn. Over the past three seasons, the seniors have amassed a 15-1 record at home, but only once in the opening four weeks of the season will they be in the friendly confines of the Lagoon (week two vs. No. 19 Plymouth North) while traveling No. 23 Barnstable, No. 24 Marshfield and Scituate.

Coach: Barry Greener (6th year, 46-11)
2013: 7-4, lost in Division 3 Southwest Quarterfinals
Returning Starters: 10 (5 offense, 5 defense)
Key Returnees: Steve Cuqua, Jr. RB, 5-10, 185 lbs.; Matt Ordway, Sr. OG, 5-10, 210 lbs.; Andy Papirio, Sr. WR/DB, 5-10, 175 lbs.; Chris Bender, Sr. FB/DE, 6-0, 215 lbs.; Jack Lavanchy, Sr. WR/S, 6-1, 180 lbs.; Lovie Salvant, Jr. RB/ROV, 5-10, 165 lbs.; James Murphy, Sr. LB, 5-10, 185 lbs.; Mike Curran, Jr. LB, 5-6, 175 lbs.
Strengths: Speed, secondary, linebackers.
Weaknesses: Experience at quarterback, depth at running back.
Outlook: After a sophomore season in which he racked up over 1,500 rushing yards –- including his 300-plus yard, six score performance in an overtime epic with rival Natick –- there is a wave of hype beginning to build around Cuqua, who now clocks in the 4.5 range for 40-yard dash and has put on some more muscle in the offseason. “We can run, we’re pretty quick,” Greener said. But the Rebels are thin beyond Cuqua, and are hoping the speedster stays healthy. With the graduation of Will Bolster, the Rebels will have two juniors, Tyler Berkland and Noah Maire, vying for the starting spot under center. Defensively, though, they should be in much better shape after last year's trial by fire. Injuries in the secondary led to a slew of youngsters thrown to the wolves, but what was a deficiency a year ago is arguably now their strongest asset. The Rebels will likely stick to a 4-2-5 to counter many of the spread looks they now see in the Bay State Confernece. Between Lavanchy and Papirio -- the latter considered one of the better man-to-man defenders on Walpole's basketball team -- there is a lot to like. "He's a physical corner -- he'll hit you," Greener said of Papirio. Overall, the Rebels have a solid foundation in the junior and senior classes after enduring injuries to key players a year ago, and look suited make another quality run through the BSC. As usual, October's meeting with Natick could decide the Herget division.

D4 South final: D-Y 26, Holliston 7

November, 16, 2013
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. – It wasn’t pretty and it was downright frustrating at times.

In what was expected to be a high scoring affair between two of the best passing offenses in the state, it was the defenses that stole the show in Friday’s Division 4 South title game.

The Dolphin defense picked off Panther quarterback Matt Jeye five times and the offense finally found their stride in the final quarter in a 26-7 victory, clinching a spot in the Division 4 State semifinals.

The Dolphins broke a 7-7 tie with less than five minutes to play on Michael Dunn’s 11-yard scoring run and Spencer Tyler put the game on ice a minute and a half later with a 13-yard scamper.

“We just started off slow,” Tyler said following the victory. “I struggled a little bit, us as a group we weren’t clicking as we’re used to. We knew we had to pick it up in the second half because the defense played a hell of a game.”

The D-Y front four got immense pressure on Jeye all game, resulting in five sacks and countless knockdowns. Defensive end Jake Stafford led his line with three sacks and Kyle Pina and Dan Robels each got to the senior play-caller once.

“They got pressure on him, that was the key to it,” said Panther coach Todd Kiley. “They got pressure with their front four and our guys had a little difficulty getting open. D-Y did a great job, they have great athleticism in the secondary.”

That pressure contributed to the five interceptions. The first came at the end of the first quarter when L.K. Metz jumped an out route on fourth down and returned it to the Panthers’ 38-yard line.

The Holliston defense answered by forcing D-Y to turn the ball over on downs in four plays.

Two plays later, Mike Anderson picked off a pass intended for Paul Beling, giving D-Y the ball at the Holliston 25 yard line. Tyler made the Panthers pay five plays later hooking up with sophomore receiver Andrew Jamiel from 12 yards out. A Drew Tardiff extra point gave the home team a 7-0 lead with eight minutes to play in the second quarter.

“From start of the game to end of the game, I don’t know if anyone had a better game than Andrew Jamiel,” D-Y coach Paul Funk said. “He’s only a sophomore. For a sophomore to step up like this and go both ways, he normally doesn’t do that.”

After the two teams turned the ball over on next two drives, Jeye (9 of 34, 119) yards) had the Panthers on the doorstep of tying the game when the ball took an unfortunate bounce.

With the ball at the Dolphins’ 17 yard line, Jeye went over the middle but the ball was tipped by Tristan O’Leary at the line of scrimmage and fell into the hands of Angelo Hardaway.

Again the Holliston defense made a stop, forcing a punt at midfield. Liam Matheson pinned the Panthers at their own one-yard line and on the following play, Dunn (16 carries, 90 yards) picked off a deep pass down the right side intended for Zach Elkinson and returned it to the Holliston 35.

“I can’t say enough about Mike Dunn,” Funk said “That kid [Elkinson] is one of the best players in the state. He covered him all game on defense and ran the ball as much as we could give it to him on offense. It says a lot about him.”

Put into a tough position third time that quarter, the Holliston defense answered again forcing a turnover on downs.

The Dolphins got the ball to begin the half and were set to double their lead when Holliston caught a break. After going four plays and 46 yards in less than a minute, Corey Desimone (10 rush, 51 yards) fumbled the ball away at the Panther 14-yard line.

After an ugly first half in the passing game, Holliston began to transition to the run game, giving their junior halfback Joe Bellomo a heavier load and looking toward the run-option to move the football.

On their first two drives of the half, the Panthers rushed the ball for 100 yards and tied the game with 2:49 remaining in the third quarter on Bellomo’s nine yard scoring run.

With the momentum at the back of the Panthers their defense forced another D-Y stop and Jeye had the offense clicking. Threatening to take the lead with the ball at the Dolphins 25 yard line, the DY defense stiffened up and forced the turnover on downs.

Dunn broke out a 40-yard run on the following play and scored from 11 yards out seven plays later.

Matheson picked off Jeye for the fifth time on the following drive, and Tyler and Jacob Pawlina scored touchdowns in the final three minutes to finish out the game.

Taking away their weapons: D-Y had not seen a passing offense like this since Barnstable to open their season. To plan for the three and four wide receiver sets that the Panthers run, the Dolphins took some up their own wide receivers to line up on defense.

Making D-Y secondary’s job easier was the outstanding play of the defensive line.

But the Panther wide outs had difficulty getting any separation.

Andrew Jamiel was the standout defensive back for the Dolphins. The sophomore doesn’t play defense but was inserted into the lineup and had himself a game.

“Jamiel was outstanding,” said Funk. “A kickoff return, a touchdown, he made a tackle on the quarterback, great defensive play on fourth and long.”

Mike Anderson drew the tough card of handling Jeye’s favorite target Paul Beling. Beling caught five balls for 67 yards, but was relatively held in check as he longest catch was only 15 yards.

Dunn lined up opposite Elkinson and held him without a catch on the night.

We just kept working on it hard in practice,” Dunn said. “We put a couple receivers that start on offense and I covered them in practice to prepare for [Elkinson]. They only had a couple targets to three and no catches, so I think we worked hard enough in practice and prepared for them well to ruin their game plan.”

That stingy Holliston defense: When Holliston football comes to mind it is their electric pass game that immediately comes to mind. But their defense stole the show.

The Panthers turned the ball over four times in the first half. Three of those Dolphin drives began in Holliston territory. D-Y only got seven points off those four turnovers. Given the circumstances, the defense showed up to play. D-Y was 2-for-14 on third down and had four fourth down stops.

“Our defense played great,” said Kiley. “As poorly as we played, we had a chance in the fourth quarter to close it out.”

Dennis-Yarmouth 26, Holliston 7

H 0 0 7 0 -- 7

DY 0 7 0 19 -- 26

Second Quarter

DY-Andrew Jamiel 12 pass from Spencer Tyler (Drew Tardiff kick), 8:02

Third Quarter

H-Joe Bellomo 9 run (Matt Jeye kick), 2:49

Fourth Quarter

DY-Michael Dunn 11 run (kick fail), 4:30

DY-Spencer Tyler 13 run (rush fail), 2:51

DY-Jacob Pawlina 29 run (Tardiff kick), :27

Recap: Holliston 20, Hopkinton 0

October, 21, 2011
HOPKINTON, Mass. -- Holliston quarterback Dan Barone admitted, with a big smile on his face, to being a little tired following last night's Tri-Valley League Large showdown with Hopkinton.

He had good reason to be both tired and smiling. The 5-10, 170-pound senior was a workhorse for the Panthers, ripping off 217 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries as Holliston blanked the Hillers, 20-0, Friday night at David Hughes Stadium.

Both defenses really dug in and it took until nearly halftime for the game's first points to be scored. After a Hopkinton (6-1 overall, 1-1 TVL) punt set the Panthers (5-1, 2-0) up at the Hillers 48, Barone carried four times in six plays and ultimately scored from the 1 with 2:08 left in the half.

Late in third quarter, the Panthers needed just four plays to go 80 yards as Barone broke loose for a 60-yard touchdown run, taking a pitch, looking inside first, then cutting back to the outside to make it a 14-0 Panther lead with 54 seconds left in the frame.

"I just saw a cutback lane," Barone described. "I kind of ran up the right side and a seam opened up on the left so I kind of cut it back and had some great backside blocks and I was able to get free down the sideline and tried my best to get into the end zone."

Holliston was able to stall a Hillers drive when Charlie Moore recovered a fumble at his own 43. The normally fast-paced Panthers settled in for a 12-play march that took 6:28 off the clock, ending with a five-yard touchdown run by Max Athy that left just 2:28 on the game clock.

"He’s the heart and soul of our team," said Holliston coach Todd Kiley in praise of Barone. "We have a lot of good players but I think he’s the kid everyone looks to. When the going gets tough, he’s the guy we want with the ball in his hands. As well as Jake Frechette too. It’s a 1-2 punch, you could really pick either one of them."

Kiley noted early in the game that the Hopkinton defense was very focused on limiting breakaway chances for his speedy Panthers. Rather than play into it, Kiley opted to shift his offensive scheme from their regular spread to what he calls the 'WAR' set. Barone would shift from quarterback to wingback, with sophomore Steven Hennessy under center.

Out of this set, Holliston looked to pound the ball with Barone, Frechette (11-61 rushing), Athy (7-39, TD) and freshman Joe Bellomo (4-29). Hennessy would either make a short, inside pitch to one of the backs, or fake the pitch and send his runners through the middle with traps and inside handoffs.

"We’ve always been a team, we like to think at least, that we’re a team that takes what the defense gives us," Kiley explained. "We felt they were doing a nice job against our spread. They were mixing it up so we decided to go into what we call our 'WAR' set and pound the football."

"You could tell they were defending our edge," Kiley continued. "They wanted to shut down our speed and our perimeter play and we felt there were some seams in there. They still did a nice job defending it but we started getting 6-7 yards a pop because they were defending the perimeter so much, we felt like we could take advantage of off-tackle."

The way both defenses started the game, it looked like the winner would be a matter of which team would be the first to finally break through with a big offensive play. Barrett Hanlon finished with a game high eight tackles and an interception for Hopkinton, while teammates Alex Hulme and James Goncalves (sack) each had seven.

The Hillers also came up with a huge goal-line stop on Holliston's opening drive of the fourth quarter. The Panthers led, 14-0, and drove from their own 31 down the Hopkinton 3, but Hulme led a host of defenders in a charge to stop Barone at the 1.

Holliston did it on the interior, led by linemen Moore and Jon Schofield with six tackles apiece. Frechette added five stops and an interception in his own end zone.

Additionally, the Panthers defense allowed the Hillers to get on their side of the field just four times in eight possessions. The first ended on Frechette's interception in the end zone; the second and third stalled at the 40 and 43 yard lines respectively; and the final bid ended on the Panthers 29 in the final seconds.

"I think that's our first shutout of the year and to get it against a team like this, Hopkinton’s a great team, is definitely great our defense," Barone said. "We played with a lot of heart. The coaches set a goal for us in that, if we tackled well in this game, they thought we were going to come out with a victory and I think that definitely showed tonight."

Added Kiley, "Our defense played well. They moved the ball on us but we kind of took on the bend-don’t-break. [Frechette's] interception was huge. That’s just a senior, a four-year starter for us, making a play when it counts. He’s a kid that’s a warrior. When the going gets tough, thats when he gets better too."

Starting quarterback Mike Decina missed last night's showdown due to a bout with mononucleosis, although he was able to stand on the sidelines with his teammates. He expected to possibly miss the next two games. Junior Hank Rudden took over under center and finished with 97 yards on 11-of-25 passing.

Decina's absence was not why Hopkinton lost this game, but he was greatly missed for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, the loss of his incredible athletic ability and experience simply cannot be overcome, especially in such a huge game such as this one. Second, the Hillers were forced to add new wrinkles to the gameplan to compensate, alternating from a Rudden-led spread offense to a 'Wildcat' scheme that featured Hulme running the ball (87 yards).

Kiley, an offensive guru who knows a thing or two about coaching great quarterbacks, had nothing but praise for Rudden afterward.

"You gotta give them credit, they battled tonight, he said. "That was a tough football team. They were down a couple of kids but they don’t quit. The backup QB came in and threw the ball nicely, had a lot of composure. That’s a well coached football team and we’re very happy to get out of here with a win."

Holliston (5-1) 0 7 7 6 - 20
Hopkinton (6-1) 0 0 0 0 - 0

HOLL - Dan Barone 1 run (Barone kick)
HOLL - Barone 60 run (Barone kick)
HOLL - Max Athy 5 run (kick failed)