Boston High School: Matt Cahill

D2 Central/East: Medfield 12, Concord-Carlisle 4

June, 6, 2014
MEDFIELD, Mass. - Concord-Carlisle came into the Division 2 Central-East final riding the momentum of a 10-game win streak, but that was quickly turned on its head by a dominant performance from top seed Medfield, which rolled to a 12-4 victory before a home crowd on Friday night.

“We didn’t not play well -- that team is just better than us and they forced us into the mistakes we made,” said Concord-Carlisle coach Tom Dalicandro. “We just couldn’t match the speed, the intensity, we couldn’t win a face-off, and they’re just better than us right now.

He added, “This game isn’t going to define our season. I’m proud of my guys -- it was a great run, but we ran into the wrong team in the tournament.”

Senior midfielder Matt Crowell and sophomore middie John MacLean each scored hat tricks for the Warriors (21-2), senior Brian Bissell won 18 of 20 faceoffs, and senior long-stick midfielder Blake Frasca controlled the Patriots top scorer Will Blumenberg.

It was, according to Medfield coach John Isaf, one of the Warriors most complete games of the season.

“I think these guys came out really focused today,” he said. “They really wanted it; they were fired up. I think from the opening whistle, our guys just really wanted it.”

The game plan was clear for the Warriors -- possess the ball and put pressure on the Patriots (14-7) right from the start. MacLean opened the scoring inside the opening two minutes with a low angle shot to the corner. Tyler Hagan smacked the bar and Matt Treiber returned from injury to double the lead with 1:25 left in the quarter.

“Having Matt back was huge; he was a huge part of our lineup early in the season,” said MacLean. “We loved to see him get back and get that first goal.”

He added, “I think on offense we really slowed it down and possessed it well and when we got the possessions we needed then we executed on it…I guess we just had the mindset that if we had an open dodge take it to the net.”

Medfield broke the game wide open in the second with five goals. MacLean scored the first and fifth goal of the quarter to get his hat trick. In between, Nigel Reiff scored after collecting a rebound behind the net and finishing, Bissell got his lone goal directly after winning a face-off, and Crowell got his first of the game after a one-handed snag of a loose pass.

“That was probably our fewest turnovers of the season and we made it a point to emphasize let’s not beat ourselves,” said Isaf. “If we can win the turnover battle, then we’ve got a real good chance of winning. When we value the ball and realize that we don’t have to take the shot on the very first dodge we’re very hard to defend.”

Austin Hoey got the only Patriots goal of the half as the Warriors were in control 7-1 at the break. The deficit grew in the second half, as Jack Isaf, Matt Cahill, a pair of goals from Crowell, and one from Hagan pushed Medfield’s advantage to as high as 10 at 12-2.

A rare transition led to a goal for Concord-Carlisle’s Tommy Standish, which made the score 10-2 at the time. Standish and Hoey would each get their second goals, but not until the final eight minutes of the game.

Aggressive Warriors defense dominates: One of the reasons for Medfield’s domination on Friday night was the ability of its poles to control the Patriots top attackers, in particular the battle between Frasca and Blumenberg, who scored eight goals in Concord-Carlisle’s playoff win over Sharon last week.

“The less he scores, the less they can start clicking, so we just wanted to keep him on edge,” said Frasca. “Obviously, we did that pretty well.”

Isaf noted, “Blake’s covered the best middie one every team. He’s covered D1 guys…he’s just a great athlete, who stays on balance. You never see him overrun a dodge; he never falls for the rollback. When you can take a guy like Blumenberg and put our LSM on him and contain him…we feel like we can cover guys.”

It was a match-up that the coaches had been emphasizing for days leading up to the final and Frasca acknowledged that he was fired up for the challenge.

He said, “I see him scoring eight goals in the first round and obviously you know that you’re going to have a tough match-up, but I live for that you know. That’s what you play lacrosse for.”

Behind Frasca, the combination of defensive players such as William Murphy, Mike MacLean, and Jimmy Ganem, managed to slow down the Patriots offense by being aggressive.

Mike MacLean said, “We see kids who we can lock off; we can just try to strip them, pressure them, and try to make turnovers.”

Frasca added, “It’s important to get out there and play on their hands and with a chip on your shoulder, but only to a point. If you get out there and lunge a little bit then they’re just going to backdoor you or go right past you.”

Making sure history doesn’t repeat itself: Concord-Carlisle came into Friday night’s game not only with a winning streak on its side, but also a little bit of history. In 2009, the Patriots visited Medfield in a sectional final and upset what is widely regarded as one of the all-time best Warriors squads.

Medfield’s coaches used that history to ensure that the current squad did not take the Patriots lightly and, judging by the play of the Warriors, it was a history lesson that they took to heart.

John MacLean said, “Coach kind of got us motivated by getting us together and telling us how they beat us in ’09 here and we kind of wanted to get them back. So, we kind of had that fresh in our mind.”

Isaf explained, “I don’t know what Tom is going to throw at us. From five years ago, he’s done it before, so I don’t know what he’s got up his sleeves.”

He continued, “Based on past performance, we were hoping that [Bissell] could get us a lot of possessions and we noticed that they’re not very deep on defense and we said that if we can run these guys…that’s what we wanted to do.”

“We try to take away the top options and do what we can and then see who is the better team.”

Medfield advances to the state semifinal to take on the winner of Westfield and Shrewsbury, which will play the Central-West final on Saturday evening.

D2 EMass lax: Medfield 11, Hingham 10 (OT)

June, 13, 2013

ALLSTON, Mass. – No. 1 seed Hingham and No. 3 Medfield would go toe-to-toe on Wednesday afternoon in a classic Eastern Massachusetts Division 2 boys’ lacrosse final. With both teams being so evenly matched, it would be only fitting that the game would end in overtime,

With 2:10 on the clock in overtime, Medfield attack Andrew Melvin would win it, as the senior beat his man to the cage from behind the net to give Medfield an 11-10 overtime victory. The win sends Medfield (22-3) back to the Division 2 state championship for the third time in four years.

“When it comes down to overtime at Harvard, you need to put the ball in the stick of your senior leader and the quarterback of our offense,” Medfield defenseman Ben Cox said after the game. “That is Andrew, and he stepped up big for us today.”

Medfield led early and took a 7-4 advantage to the half as they controlled the possessions and did a great job of executing their scoring opportunities.

Cox (1 assist) and goalie Robert Treiber (8 saves) both did their job on the day as the tandem helped contain a dangerous Hingham offense for most of the half.

Trailing by three goals Hingham would come out of the half and score the next three on goals from David Freitas (3 G, 1A), Matt Giarrusso and Boyce Bleak to tie the game at 7-7.

Treiber made the save of the day as the goalie stopped a late opportunity that would have given Hingham the lead heading into the fourth quarter.

“Robert [Treiber] stood on his head,” Cox said. “I think they hit him once in the face, and were buzzing shots at him.”

Despite going back and forth in the final quarter it would be Medfield who would take the control of the game in the final minutes of play as freshman John Maclean (2G) and junior Matt Cahill would score big goals to give Medfield a 10-8 lead late in the final quarter.

Medfield’s offensive balance was highlighted by the play of a trio of freshmen, including Mclean, Matthew Treiber and Nigel Reiff.

“Great composure, good maturity, and we brought them along the entire season,” Medfield head coach John Isaf said of his freshmen. “We have been giving them increasing levels of responsibility and building their confidence. John (Mclean), Nigel (Reiff), and Matt (Treiber) are all guys that have really helped us.”

Despite trailing by two goals late in the game Hingham’s Patrick Burke and Jacob Brodie would net the ninth and tenth goals of the game for Hingham as they tied the game, 10-10, with just 24.7 seconds remaining in the game on Brodie’s goal.

Hingham’s (21-4) spirited comeback would last midway into the first overtime period as Melvin would find the back of the net to help send Medfield back to the state championship game on Friday night (7 p.m.) at Foley Field in Worcester.

“I was here my freshman and sophomore year and I was sitting on the bench and not getting much time,” Melvin said. “I feel like now, as seniors, we have earned it. We are excited and pumped to get back out to Worcester.”

Defenseman Jack Ullrich (1G) and goalie Tommy Bannan (9 saves) played well for Hingham in defeat.

“Hingham is a very talented team,” Isaf said. “They are well coached. They were very patient in the second half and got some good looks.”

Medfield’s Matthew Crowell (1G) and faceoff man Brian Bissell also shined for the winners.

Medfield’s win sets up a date with Western Mass. champion Longmeadow, who defeated St. John’s of Shrewsbury, 15-6, in Wednesday night’s Western vs. Central battle.

“One more game,” Isaf told his team after the game. “You guys got one more goal, and one more ground ball today.”

Medfield will need to continue to take advantage of the loose balls , team depth and clutch playmaking as they look to avenge a 16-1 mid-season drubbing at the hands of Longmeadow.

“We go seven middies deep,” Isaf said. “The whole D-middie group; we go five attack deep and it helps us stay fresh come the fourth quarter and in overtime which helps us make a play like that.”

Recap: No. 1 Duxbury 5, No. 7 Medfield 4

May, 3, 2013
MEDFIELD, Mass. -- While his teammates searched for the necessary adjustments on defense and any sort of continuity on offense, Duxbury goalie Nick Marrocco produced a second consecutive game-winning performance in the cage.

The junior Georgetown commit sparkled in the first half, making seven of his 11 saves to help lead top-ranked Duxbury to a 5-4 victory over No. 7 Medfield Thursday night at Medfield High School.

Marrocco made several saves that fell into the ridiculous category while giving the Dragons (9-4) every possible opportunity climb out of a 3-2, first-half deficit.

"Nick stood on his head," praised Duxbury coach Chris Sweet. "If not for Nick, that would have been a loss for us. He kept us in it in the first half until our guys kind of woke up."

Medfield (10-2) jumped out first as Matt Crowell snapped in an unassisted tally on the game's first possession. Brendan Burke pulled the Dragons even at the 7:01 mark, but the Warriors won the ensuing faceoff and retook the lead on a goal from Matt Ruzzo.

Wes Quinzani tied it up again with an athletic play that saw him split through a pair of defenders, then crash through two more as he got off his shot. Medfield would another in the second quarter as Jack Isaf converted a feed from Matt Cahill for a 3-2 lead they would carry into the half.

The third quarter belonged to Duxbury, who used smart, lengthy possessions to keep the ball away from the Warriors while generating quality scoring opportunities for itself. Bobby O'Brien made it a 3-3 game with a shot through traffic that may have gone off a defenseman, then C.J. LoConte gave the Dragons their first lead on a sidewinder, and Matt Sharpe capped the 3-0 run off a feed from LoConte with nine seconds left in the frame.

"In the first half we were trying to get as many possessions and we could but ended up playing a lot of defense so it was kind of just knocking it down," Marrocco said. "We communicated a lot, that was huge, my defense helps me out with that. Trying to figure out the slides in the first half it was a little tough but we got it going in the second half and let the offense do the job."

And on the slide package, Marrocco said, "They were dodging from the top and basically feeding the middle as we slid, before the two was coming so we just adjusted to that and got the two really early so we had that backup guy."

Medfield was kept scoreless until Andrew Melvin got one through with just one second left to play in the game.

"Unfortunately it was a tale of two different halves," lamented Medfield coach John Isaf. "Part of it is, we've got to make smart decisions. We've got to get the ball out quicker. When we have a ground ball or a save, we've got get the ball out quicker. We're not breaking out fast enough, we're not getting in our lanes and we've got to get the ball out faster. Part of that is when we let somebody set up a ride, its tougher to clear."


Over past couple of weeks, as many as seven Dragons have been sidelined with various injuries but the team finally had some good news with the return of Fairfield-bound defender Jay Walsh to the lineup. Walsh has missed the last two weeks with a hyperextended elbow.

"We needed Jay back," Sweet said. "The poor kid was exhausted by the end there but he's a trooper. He's still got a bad wing but he played great. We really needed him because they've got two or three guys in the midfield that can bring it and Jay was a big help there."

The senior captain stepped right back into his spot alongside Marshall McCarthy and John Hurvitz and the unit was able to make the necessary adjustments to help the defense react to what Medfield was doing.

"We knew their big guys, they have a lot of great shooters so we were trying to stay with them and then we realized once went, we had to recover," Walsh said of the adjustments on defense. "That's where they were beating us, on that backside guy. Once we got that figured out and had a middie slough in, we've been having that problem all year, just the middies sloughing back, and I think we're starting to figure that out now and it showed in the second quarter and second half."

Still on the Dragons injured list are: Trevor and Shayne O'Brien, Jack and Shane Sullivan, Tanner Williams and Brendan Fitzgerald. The majority of those players are offensive guys, and getting them healthy will go a long way toward curing a three-game stretch over which the team has managed just three, eight and five goals respectively.

"We scored just enough. We've been a little stale on offense. We have a couple of middies out that are going to help us when they get healthy and I think were going to get them back soon. The good news is that the guys who have stepped in for them have played pretty well. We'll work on it."


Medfield had ample opportunity to put an end to the buzz already generating for next Thursday's showdown between Duxbury and Lincoln-Sudbury, and if not for Marrocco's effort, we could have been discussing a Warrior victory.

Instead, it was a tale of two halves for Medfield, who seemed to have things in hand over the first 24 minutes but could not maintain it through the end.

"We still haven't put a complete game together," Isaf said. "We played a lousy first half against Foothill and played a great second half. We played a pretty decent first half against Dover-Sherborn, didn't get it done in the second half. We played a good first half tonight, didn't get it done in the second half. We have to figure out how to get a complete game. Once we do, we'll be a tough out."

When asked what his team needed to do to get that elusive complete-game performance, Isaf said, "Keeping your intensity up, keeping your focus, not letting a momentum play change your confidence. Focus, intensity and when another team goes on a run and throws a punch, you've got to get up and punch back. We've done that most of the season. The only teams we haven't have been against two defending state champions."

L-S, Westford battle in 'Coaches vs. Cancer'

May, 19, 2012
SUDBURY, Mass. -- Occasionally, the literal and figurative lines separating sports from real life disappear, as they did Friday night at Feeley Field.

While No. 5 Lincoln-Sudbury was scratching and clawing its way to a 2-1, eight-inning victory over Westford, there were symbols all around reminding everyone that what happened on the baseball diamond was not the life or death situation some make it out to be.

The Westford players sported pink undershirts they made for the "Coaches vs. Cancer" fundraiser they had weeks before. Most of the L-S players sported pink wristbands during the game. About 100 feet away from the concession stand, a woman stood at a Coaches vs. Cancer table, collecting donations and selling raffle tickets for a cause she believes in.

Before the game, L-S coach Kirk Fredericks presented Coaches vs. Cancer with a check for a $4,000, on behalf of the school.

These were all done to generate support and raise money for the American Cancer Society. It’s in times like these when one can see that games, at any level, are just that: games.

“Every year I watch the Jimmy Valvano speech (from the 1993 ESPYs) and that really touches me,” said Fredericks, one of the main organizers of the baseball team’s fundraising efforts. “As a matter of fact, I have it on tape because it kind of brings you back down to reality. When you’re going through every day life and you get up and you complain about your boss, or you complain about some kid you have in class.

"My daughter has had a rough two years in life. She doesn’t have cancer, but you go in the hospital and there are kids there that are living in the hospital. It makes you realize how lucky you are. We lost a kid from L-S a couple years ago to leukemia, who was in the baseball program. We have a kid now who is hopefully at the tail end of his battles, so things just make it mean a little more to you.

"Our seniors wanted to raise some money to put towards that cause and if we can have a part in that, then great.”

The team raised money by selling discount cards to various restaurants around the Sudbury area. During the game, raffle tickets were sold for the opportunity to win a signed photograph of Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis.

The total amount raised by the sales at the game and by the players in school will be added to the donation total, once it is tallied.

L-S works extra innings: On the field, it was the grind one would come to expect by two Dual County League teams.

Westford (9-9) scored its only run of the game off L-S (14-3) pitcher Sid Warrenbrand in the top of the first inning.

John Troy singled to right with one out, then stole second two batters later. He scored from second on a Riley Cox single to make it 1-0.

Troy also did well for himself on the mound also, not allowing a L-S hit until the fourth inning. He walked Matt Cahill to open the inning, then faced Michael Walsh.

Walsh hit a grounder to short, which slowed down considerably in the infield grass. By the time the shortstop could make a play on the ball, Cahill was mere feet away from second base.

Cahill slid head-first into the bag, beating the throw, making everybody safe, and giving L-S its first hit of the game.

He then moved to third, but a 6-4-3 double play gave his team two outs. He scored two pitches later on a Troy wild pitch.

L-S plated the final run of the game after Troy fell apart in the eighth inning. Michael Biggins singled to right to open the inning, then Cahill reached base safely after Troy’s throw to second pulled the shortstop off the bag, making both runners safe.

He then hit Walsh with a 3-1 pitch, which loaded the bases. Warrenbrand’s hit dropped in the outfield to send the fans home happy, and allowed him to finish the game he started.

Warrenbrand shining: Warrenbrand is only a sophomore, but did not pitch like one Friday. After he gave up the run in the first, he left 10 Westford runners on base, three of which reached third base.

His biggest scare came in the sixth inning, when he walked Riley Cox to start the inning. A William Alden single put runners on first and second with nobody out.

He came back and struck out Thomas O’Brien looking, then got Luke Morse to ground out to him, which advanced the runners, but made two outs in the inning.

Connor Murphy came up to hit, but Warrenbrand struck him out swinging, ending any hopes Westford had of scoring in the inning.

He gave up a single to start the seventh inning, but came back and forced a fly ball out and a double play to end the inning.

“He’s been struggling a little bit lately, and struggled in the early part of the game, threw a lot of pitches,” said Fredericks. “He’s been getting better as the game goes on. I think what you saw was that he’s a competitor and he’d come off the mound in each of those last three innings he pitched, and he came off like he just won the state championship. Then he goes and gets the game-winning hit. Sometimes you’re the hero, and sometime’s you’re the goat, but today he was the hero.”

Warrenbrand was relieved in the eighth by David McCullough.

Recap: No. 10 Medfield 12, No. 25 Longmeadow 7

May, 6, 2012
Medfield LacrosseBruce LerchPlaying without some key starters due to injury didn't stop No. 10 Medfield from taking a 12-7 win over No. 25 Longmeadow.
MEDFIELD, Mass. -- The noticeable glare emanating from the Medfield sideline during the second half of Sunday's nonleague matchup with Western Mass. power Longmeadow wasn't so much from the sun as it was from the smiles on the faces of Warriors coaches Mike Douglas and John Isaf.

Like many other teams, Medfield has suffered from the loss of several starters due to injury, most notably top scorers Conor Roddy (concussion) and Matt Crowell (knee). What the coaches, players and fans saw on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon should give them great optimism in regard to the remainder of the Warriors season.

Andrew Melvin led the offense with two goals and three assists, Chris Diana, Cal Given and Matt Ruzzo each scored twice and No. 10 Medfield used a 6-0 run in the second half to pull away from the No. 25 Lancers for a 12-7 victory at Medfield High School.

With Roddy and Crowell on the shelf for the time being, the Warriors (9-3) have been looking for some of their younger players to step up and help fill those voids. Sophomores Tyler Hagan, Jack Isaf and Matt Cahill each had scores and helped do exactly that.

"It was nice to see some of the younger guys step up," Douglas admitted. "It's a tough spot. You're playing for a good team and you've got sophomore stepping in that are used to being role players or secondary players and there's a learning curve there."

"If those guys can continue to build off this, when we get our big guns back, we're going to be much stronger team overall," he continued. "Hopefully, this will benefit us down the road."

The two teams traded goals back and forth in the first half with neither side able to get more than a one-goal lead. Dave Parsons potted a critical goal with just one second left in the first quarter that pulled Medfield back to a 3-3 tie.

Late goals proved big for the Warriors, who scored in the final minute of each frame. Given got one with 52 seconds left in the first half to make it a 5-5 game, and the Warriors retired to the sideline determined to start finishing plays they felt they had left out there for the taking.

"We felt like in the first half we beat ourselves a lot. We left a lot of plays on the field that we should have finished off," Douglas said. "We felt like we were playing well, but we weren't finishing plays. Once we got a couple goals in a row we thought we could push the game out of reach."

Although the Lancers opened the third with a snipe by John Mentor (two goals, assist), Medfield finally put together spurt it was looking for. With Clay Richard turning in another dominant performance on faceoffs (14-for-19), the Warriors started cashing in on those possessions.

Given got Medfield back to even and a minute later, Chris Diana ripped a laser through for the go-ahead goal. That started a string of six straight tallies by the Warriors with Isaf, Ruzzo, Cahill and Diana again closing out the run.

Frankie Elder potted his second for Longmeadow to stop the bleeding, but Medfield was able to hold the Lancers off and added a final tally by Ruzzo to close things out.

"We've struggled a little bit against better teams this year and in the last couple of games we've had with Wellesley and Dover-Sherborn and it was good for some of these young guys to step up," Douglas said. "That's something we hope that these guys can build off of - being able to have some success in an important spot against a really good team."

Recap: No. 7 Xaverian 4, No. 15 L-S 2

April, 12, 2012
SUDBURY, Mass. — Pitching depth can mean the difference between a good team and a team that could potentially make a run at a state title when the weather gets a little bit, make that a lot warmer, in June.

Xaverian has two horses at the top of the rotation in Tim Duggan and Austin DeCarr, and now they can add Alex Person to that depth that coaches love to have at their disposal.

Person struck out seven and only allowed three runs (two earned) in a complete game, four-hitter as he controlled the Lincoln-Sudbury lineup in the Hawks 4-3 victory on Thursday at frigid Feeley Field.

“To have depth not only allows you as a coach to manage things in terms of quantity of pitches, but it also allows your team to be confident with many different guys out there,” said Xaverian head coach Gerry Lambert. “That’s big. Your team’s confidence comes from feeling like they are ready to make a play, and that starts with the pitcher.”

Duggan and DeCarr probably get most of the limelight when Xaverian is talked about, however Person showed that he was able to handle an afternoon that was clearly not ideal for baseball against a team that will be in the hunt in Div. 1. He showed off good command of both his fastball and his breaking pitch as he only gave up two hits in the first five innings of the game on 59 pitches.

“I got into a rhythm and I just hit my spots,” said Person. “I wasn’t overpowering anybody. I was just hitting the outside corner.”

Person’s defense started to let him down a little bit in the final two innings and the Warriors did get the tying run to second base after Matt Cahill stole second base with Jack Harris at the plate. Person got Harris to fly out to right to end the game and move the Hawks record over. 500 to 3-2.

Let Him Go: There is a balance, according to Lambert, in the early season when it comes to protecting his starters from overworking themselves. In the first week he likes to keep his pitchers in the 60's in terms of pitches throw and build up through there.

Person was working his way around miscues from his fielders in the sixth that Lambert trusted him to get the final outs of the game on a very cold afternoon. Lambert discussed his philosophy with keeping Person in the game, which ultimately turned out to be the right call.

“They squared it up a lot more frequently and he lost two to three m.p.h off his fastball, but I also thought he was commanding the ball still,” said Lambert. “It’s a tough balance. I am not a guy who is looking to really overextend people early in the season and wind up having a problem in May and especially June.”

Searching For A Few Good Arms: It seems like Kirk Fredericks has always had a stud pitcher to turn to in big games over the past couple of seasons. This year, the Warriors head coach is looking for that next No. 1.

Fredericks and the Warriors nearly pieced together a victory with five different pitchers in the loss. No pitcher tossed more than two innings, but that was more to the fact that the pitchers were young and inexeperienced rather than inability to string together a handful of outs.

“It’s just a matter of that’s what we have,” said Fredericks. “We have a bunch of young guys who don’t have any experience. They aren’t very strong and we are trying to find out who is going to throw strikes and who can throw pitches like what (Xaverian) has.”

Alex Weiland looked like a promising sophomore pitcher for the Warriors. He struck out four in his two innings and only allowed two runners to reach base on a single by Chris Hoyt (3-for-3) and a walk. Both times Weiland got out of the inning without surrendering a run.

Brendan Kelly, another sophomore pitcher, pitched out of trouble in the seventh after letting the first two guys reach without letting a Hawk cross home plate to keep the game within reach.

“If those two can do that, then we will be competitive,” said Fredericks. “That would be a huge plus.”

Another crowning achievement for Everett

December, 3, 2011

WALTHAM, Mass. -- You hear all the time about how important the high school football team is to the city of Everett, but you can't truly appreciate it until you see what the Crimson Tide players look like following a Super victory.

The rivers of tears streaking down their faces. The emotional hugs and hearty backslaps shared between teammates, friends and brothers. The coaches seeking out players to share in those moments amidst the throng of supporters from the city that have come to take part in celebrating with their players.

Football is Everett. Everett is football.

"It's a culmination of 17 years for me and Jonathan and four years for these seniors and, it might sound corny, but a lot of our kids don't have much," said Crimson Tide coach John DiBiaso, choking back tears and shivering from the cold after being soaked with the postgame Gatorade dump. "What they have here means something special to them. No disrespect to the other team but a lot of our kids don't have much, and the school and this team are their lives. I’m very happy for them."

They may not have much, but they do have a second straight Super Bowl championship. One that they earned against a Lincoln-Sudbury team who were expected to be mere cannon fodder but turned out to be one of the toughest opponents Everett faced all season long. L-S punched at Everett like few teams have this season. But the Tide stood tall, exactly like champions are supposed to do.

When the Warriors threw a punch, Everett took it and threw counter punches. Tom Lopez's L-S squad trailed at the half, 21-6, but kept the highest scoring team in Massachusetts off the scoreboard for the entire third quarter. In the process, they closed out the frame with a nine-play, 64-yard drive that ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Matt Cahill to Jack Harris to get to within a single score.

Then, Everett came right back three plays later and watched as Jakarrie Washington took a jet sweep around the right end and slipped down the sideline on great blocks by receivers Jaylen McRae and Jalen Felix. Then, Washington pulled the move of the night, hesitating for a split second for a stutter step in mid-sprint to throw his pursuer off stride, then easily ran the rest of the way for a game-changing 63-yard score.

"I always wanted to play for Everett High and ever since I got here," Washington said. "I did whatever I had to do to start and play. I love this man Jonathan, he’s the best quarterback in the state right now and he should be doing better things in college. I have one of the best coaches in Massachusetts. We live in Everett, its mostly a football city, so we just stay lifting and getting ready for every season. We just try to perfect whatever we do."

From the moment Washington crossed the goal line, everything changed in what was a highly competitive battle. Everett forced L-S to punt, a favor which the Warriors returned. However, the Tide forced a fumble which Vondell Langston recovered at the 20. Three plays later, DiBiaso had his second scoring run of the game.

L-S got one more chance with 3:30 to go, but Washington intercepted Cahill on their third play to lock up Everett's ninth Super Bowl title under Coach DiBiaso.

"Its indescribable, its an amazing feeling," Langston said. "It means a lot to me because there’s millions and millions of other people out there and how many of them can say they’ve been to two Super Bowls in a row and won both of them. We’ve been to three and won two. Not many people can say that."

The most emotional person in sight was Jonathan DiBiaso. The state's single season (44) and career (103) leader for touchdown passes in Massachusetts. His 108 passing yards last night gives him 7,052 for his prolific career. Not to mention his second Super Bowl championship, earned once again with his father guiding him along the way.

"This is great. I’ve been here my whole life," DiBiaso said while losing the battle with streaming tears and a choked up throat. "I love Everett, I love my teammates, I love my coaches, I love everything about Everett and to go out a champion means everything to me.”

Recap: Lincoln-Sudbury 14, Barnstable 13

November, 29, 2011
TAUNTON, Mass. -- Any resemblance between the Lincoln-Sudbury team in the second half of Tuesday’s Eastern Mass. Division IA semifinal game versus Barnstable and the Lincoln-Sudbury team in the first half was pure coincidence.

The Warriors were dead in the water in the first half as the Red Raiders built a 13-0 lead. But Lincoln-Sudbury rallied behind quarterback Matt Cahill and edged Barnstable, 14-13 – with all of the Warriors' points coming in the fourth quarter.

[+] EnlargeJack Harris
Eric Adler for ESPN.comJack Harris sparked the L-S comeback with several big grabs, including this one-hander.
Barnstable (7-5) was clinging to a 13-7 lead late in the fourth when it went for a first down on fourth-and-two from the Warriors’ 6. But the Warriors slammed Hayden Murphy for a three-yard loss.

What transpired next was the stuff of legends as Cahill guided a 71-yard drive which culminated when he threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jack Harris with 2:19 remaining.

Will Twyman then kicked the second of his two PATs for what proved to be the winning point.

“Matt Cahill rebounded from a never-mind-the-first half and played a great second half,” Warriors coach Tom Lopez said. “He’s a great leader.”

All Cahill did in the second half was complete 9-of-11 passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

Barnstable bolted to a 13-0 lead at halftime thanks to a 28-yard run by quarterback D.J. Crook late in the first quarter and a 30-yard touchdown pass by Crook to James Burke on the first play of the second.

“We thought we were making mistakes and that’s why they were successful,” Lopez said. “We thought we’d cut down on our mistakes. Having said that, we didn’t play very well in the first half.”

Lopez felt what was a momentum-shifter occurred in the third quarter.

“I think the key was when they stuffed us on fourth-and-two,” Lopez said. “They went three-and-out and that gave us some confidence. All of a sudden the momentum changed.”

Good point.

After Barnstable punted, the Warriors (11-1) reeled off a 93-yard drive that ended with Cahill’s 11-yard touchdown pass to Harris.

What made the Warriors victory even more impressive was the fact the played all but a few minutes without one of their top players, Brian Carroll.

“We lost Brian Carroll on the second series (with a shoulder injury),” Lopez said. “He’s basically been our whole offense. He had eight interceptions on defense and 800 yards rushing on offense.

“He’s not in and Dan Cellucci, Greg Roder and Henry Guild all did a great job filling in. I couldn’t be more proud of our kids.”

L-S (11-1) 0-0-0-14 - 14
Barnstable (7-5) 6-7-0-0 – 13

First quarter
B – D.J. Crook 28 run (kick failed)

Second quarter
B – James Burke 30 pass from Crook (Tom Mullen kick)

Fourth quarter
LS – Jack Harris 11 pass from Matt Cahill (Will Twyman kick)
LS - Harris 13 pass from Cahill (Twyman kick)

ESPN Boston Week 10 picks

November, 11, 2011
ST. JOHN’S PREP (4-4) at No. 3 BC HIGH (6-3)
The Skinny: The young Eagles bounced back from an 0-3 start to win four or their last five games behind electrifying sophomore Jonathan Thomas. Lucas Bavaro and the defense will have their hands full with Eagles running back Deontae Ramey-Doe who’s coming off a 200-yard game behind a talented, big offensive line led by senior Mike Prendeville and Adam Richard.

Scott Barboza: Coming off a stellar effort against Xaverian, the Eagles roll into their Turkey Day showdown with CM. BC High, 28-14.
Brendan Hall: Going with the big ol' goose egg on this one. BC High, 24-0.

The Skinny: The Knights proved they’re for real with a statement win over Hockomock Kelley-Rex power Mansfield early this season. But now it’s the Davenport division title on the line and Stoughton controls their own destiny. With wins over OA and Canton, the Knights can clinch outright.

Barboza: The Knights secondary can shut down an offense, but I like Tigers running back Sam Langston to have a big game. OA, 26-24.
Hall: You think these Stoughton DB's something to watch in the deep field? Wait 'til basketball season. Stoughton, 17-10.

The Skinny: The Hornets control their own destiny when it comes to the Hockomock Kelley-Rex title. A loss and Mansfield would be hard pressed to prevail in the league’s tie-breaker system. The matchup also features some of the area’s best running backs with the Red Rockets’ Alex Jette and the Hornets’ Greg Donahue and Blayne Taylor.

Barboza: In the typical fashion of this season, the Hornets go down to the wire, but win. Mansfield, 21-20.
Hall: Don Johnson was trying to explain to me the tiebreaker scenario this afternoon, and I'm still confused. So naturally, I want to see it enacted. North Attleborough, 14-10.

The Skinny: The Shamrocks defense has rolled through Eastern Athletic Conference play thus far, not allowing a single point. The league race was decided by these two teams last year with the Blue Raiders hanging 49 points on Feehan in Somerset to clinch a playoff berth, so the Shamrocks will be looking to return the favor.

Barboza: The EAC title was decided by this very game last season, as it will this year. Only difference is the result. Feehan, 21-14.
Hall: TD Garden is the Garden, the Comcast Center is the Great Woods, and whatever they're calling this school now, it'll always be just Somerset to me. Anyways, I still owe a steak dinner to somebody down there, and Nick Freitas is a terrific coach. Somerset, 21-7.

The Skinny: These teams have had their shares of ups and downs throughout the season, but the fate of the Big Three title hinges largely on this matchup. The Boxers seemed to right ship with a 3-game wining streak in the middle of the season, but are coming off two straight losses. The Whalers are still smarting over two rough losses to Dartmouth and Dennis-Yarmouth (106 points surrendered in those games) in their last three.

Barboza: The question of the year has been when will the Boxers get on track? Is this the week? Maybe, but Whalers win. New Bedford, 28-20.
Hall: One of the most feast-or-famine teams south of Boston is going to have a three-course meal Saturday. New Bedford, 17-0.

The Skinny: The last two remaining ISL football squads meet in what should prove to be an emotional game as it is Hillies head coach Kevin Fleming’s final regular season game. Belmont Hill’s offense finally caught fire last week with a 42-point performance against Lawrence Academy, but the Hillies’ defense has been stifling throughout, allowing less than a touchdown per game. Gov’s is averaging 36 points per game on offense and weren’t held under 30 points until last week’s win over Milton Academy.

Barboza: Gov’s QB Tate Jozokos might be the best player in the state nobody is talking about. Maybe it’s because his lacrosse star overshadows his football ability? Gov’s, 17-14.
Hall: I know what I said on the podcast earlier. But thinking about this one again, it just wouldn't be fair for both of us to pick against Kevin Fleming in his final ISL game. Belmont Hill, 13-6.

The Skinny: The matchup everyone's been waiting for in the South Shore League gauntlet, the No. 19 Vikings come into the game with a bit more hype, what with UNH-bound running back Casey DeAndrade (18 touchdowns) putting in another fine season and the Vikings averaging over 37 points per game. But the Falcons are no slouch, either, averaging 30.7 points per game and getting leadership out of their underrated tailback Jordan Keli'inui.

Barboza: I’ve said this is the Vikings’ year from the very beginning. EB, 20-14.
Hall: Text from our good friend Joe Burke: "I'm not just rooting for Mashpee because they're a Cape team, but because head coach Matt Triveri is a 'Barnstable guy'." Mashpee, 21-17.

The Skinny: This game means nothing for playoff implications, but is one of the weekend's most anticipated matchups. We know all about C-C's three-pronged rushing attack of George Craan, Tyquan Culbreath and Tim Badgley; but overlooked is one of the area's more stout defenses, led in the trenches by Andrew VanderWilden and Henry Bumpus, a unit allowing 10 points a game. Then again, the No. 12 Warriors have been even stingier, allowing just 8.1 points per game while getting plenty of production offensively from players like Chris Giorgio and Matt Cahill.

Barboza: This might be the first time this season C-C’s starters are required to play a full four quarters. C-C, 31-28.
Hall: Three heads, one monster. C-C, 30-20.

NO. 21 NATICK (8-1) AT NO. 23 WALPOLE (8-1)
The Skinny: Since losing to Needham on Oct. 21, the No. 23 Rebels haven't allowed a point. Overall, the Walpole defense is the stingiest by a wide margin, allowing just 8.1 points per game. They'll be saddled with the task of stopping a Natick offense that, one week after that Walpole contest, hung 49 on that same Needham team in a blowout win. Sophomore Troy Flutie (2,465 offensive yards, 28 total TD) has a shot at surpassing both 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 rushing by season's end; meanwhile, freshman wideout Brian Dunlap (52 catches, 896 yards, 12 TD) is one of the state's leaders in touchdown receptions. Oh, and did we mention the Bay State Herget title is on the line again?

Barboza: If the Rebels get some early stops and a turnover or two to slow down the Red & Blue attack, they can pull it out. Walpole, 14-13.
Hall: The Red and Blue would have you believe their youth may very well show through on this one. Sorry fellas, not fooling me. Natick, 24-14.

The Skinny: The CAL/NEC Division 1 title is on the line in this one. Both teams come into this contest riding a hot streak, with the unranked Bulldogs have won five straight since dropping two in a row to Beverly and Swampscott in September. The No. 25 Knights, meanwhile, haven't lost since the opening-weekend contest to rival Andover; but an injury to senior quarterback Brandon Walsh in last week's win over Masconomet has some concerned.

Barboza: Walsh’s status might be questionable after last week’s injury, but I’m sure he’ll be ready for this one. North Andover, 34-28.
Hall: I don't see the elder Walsh missing this one, and I think the Knights overall are a bit more disciplined. North Andover, 38-35.

The Skinny: The Catholic Central Large title is up for grabs here. Given the way both teams are playing on defense right now, this may be one of the weekend's more underrated matchups. AC comes into this contest having pitched shutouts in two of its last three contests. Down the road in Brockton, Spellman is allowing just 4.6 points per game, second in the state to Blue Hills (4.4), with four shutouts. A garbage-time touchdown by Austin Prep in last weekend's rout marked the first time all season an opponent got out of single digits.

Barboza: The Cardinals’ experience of going to the Super Bowl last year is the difference. Spellman, 20-14.
Hall: AC is the team absolutely no one's talking about, but Ron St. George's coaching mettle in games like this will shine through. Spellman, 20-18.

The Skinny: It's a simple command for CM -- win this one, and set up a Thanksgiving showdown with archrival BC High for the Catholic Conference title. The execution may be more complex, given the diversity head coach Charlie Stevenson has shown with his offense the last few weeks. One week, it was a "Wildcat" look deploying both quarterbacks Austin DeCarr and Chris Calvanese. The next, it's a "500-pound backfield" of Hunter Taute and 270-pound defensive tackle Maurice Hurst Jr. combining for over 200 yards on the ground. But the Knights wield the ultimate X-factor: Armani Reeves, the state's most electric player out of the backfield.

Barboza: Because we’re all looking forward to a potential Thanksgiving Day battle for the Catholic Conference title. CM, 16-10.
Hall: As always, the Knights will find a way to make this one interesting. CM, 28-24.

Recap: No. 13 L-S 21, A-B 14

November, 5, 2011

ACTON, Mass. -– Chris Giorgio led Lincoln-Sudbury to a close 21-14 win over league rival Acton-Boxborough last night with 10 carries for 40 yards and two touchdowns. The win keeps the Warriors on the undefeated (thus far) wall and pole position in the Dual County Small race.

“O-line played great today,” said Giorgio after the game.

Giorgio scored his first touchdown with a leaping dive late in the first quarter over the bodies of offensive and defensive lineman on the grass as snow still piled up on the sidelines. The second, early in the second quarter, came after a three and out for A-B on the ensuing drive. Although Giorgio put the most points on the board, he still gave props to his teammates for producing their complimentary offense that allowed him to get space for his scores.

“Brian Carroll, Dan Cellucci ran the ball amazing, Henry Guild ran the ball, Jack Harris [caught] the ball well, Matt Cahill threw the ball well. I just ran it in easy,” added Giorgio.

Cold as Ice: After last week’s storm, the cold stayed in the area and as the game went along, so did the hard hits slow down. For the second week in a row, senior captain Kyle Ashley proved an alarming opponent with seven tackles, protecting the L-S end zone with as much fervor as he and the brethren could muster in near freezing temperatures.

“We knew that this was the game that… had the possibility to take us to the Super Bowl and we got it done and we’re going to the playoffs,” said Ashley.

Border Line Antagonist: Not only do the regional high schools of Acton-Boxborough and Lincoln-Sudbury exist within the same league but the towns of Acton and Boxborough sit above the towns of Lincoln and Sudbury geographically, so the need to show whose on top is there. According to Colonials coach Bill Maver, and exhibited by players in a close game picking each other up off the ground, the healthy rivalry is fierce during play, but dissipates once the whistle blows the ball dead.

“Tom [Lopez] is a great friend of mine. I want to beat him bad and I am sure he wants to beat me bad too,” said Maver laughing. “After the game, we shake hands and we’re friends. I think that’s what’s great about the rivalry.”

Thin Edge: Late in the fourth quarter, Acton-Boxboro put together a sustained drive led by Kyle Sweeney with 46 yards on the series (112 on the day), but once they got down to the 20, on third and one, Chris Giorgio and William Twyman stuffed him for a two yard loss, and an incomplete pass to open space on fourth down killed the chance for the Colonials to take a game and slay the dragon. While it will go down in the history books as a win, it was not decisive in the eyes of L-S quarterback Matt Cahill; it was a game down to the last whistle.

“Acton came out and played and unbelievable game, they’re an unbelievable team, a real class act,” said senior quarterback Matt Cahill. “But at the end of the day, we were the ones on the right side of the score board, and that’s a great feeling.”

LS (9-0, 3-0) 7 - 7 - 7 - 0 --– 21
AB (5-4, 1-1) 0 - 7 - 7 - 0 –-- 14

First Quarter
L – Chris Giorgio 6 run (William Twyman kick)

Second Quarter
L – Giorgio 3 run (Twyman kick)
A – Kyle Sweeney 6 pass from Ethan Dukes (Jack Perry kick)

Third Quarter
L – Dan Cellucci 33 pass from Matt Cahill (Twyman kick)
A – Billy Jackman 14 run (Perry kick)

Recap: No. 13 Lincoln-Sudbury 38, Westford 14

October, 29, 2011

SUDBURY, Mass. -- No. 13 Lincoln-Sudbury shut out Westford Academy in the second half of their 38-14 win.

The Warriors maintained their perfect season thus far (8-0, 2-0 2-0 DCL) as junior running back Christopher Giorgio ran for three touchdowns on the evening.

“First of all I give big credit to the O-linemen today, they made the holes really big and it was easy to run the ball,” Giorgio said.

Giorgio and the rest of the offense amassed 280 yards on the ground last night.

Down 14-10 at the half after Westford’s Justin Mount scored an 18-yard touchdown run up the gut of the Lincoln-Sudbury defense, Warriors head coach Tom Lopez did not panic because he saw a legitimate reason that his team was down and it was an easy fix – hold onto the ball.

“We gave them a short field two times,” Lopez said. “We have to make them march. That was the key as we saw it. I don’t think we punted during the day, so our offense was fine, but we can’t give them the ball on our side of the field and expect the defense to hold them.”

Just before the half, the Westford Grey Ghosts (4-4) marched 48 yards to go ahead 14-10 after Brian Carroll fumbled the ball on the L-S 48. Carroll returned the kickoff nearly 60 yards, and despite a block in the back call on the play, the Warriors started on the Westford 47. Lincoln-Sudbury ate nearly five minutes off the clock and used seven of their most effective players on the drive, holding onto the ball and executing the way Lopez had expected them to.

“It changed the momentum of the game. The momentum of the game was definitely with them at 14-10… If they hold us, force us to punt, they control the ball while they have the lead it’s a whole different game.”


On three of L-S four scoring drives of the second half, John Harris caught passes of 18, 45 and 38 yards respectively, to bring his team within striking distance. Although he did not make it into the box score, Harris’ catches surely made a world of difference in sealing the win for the Warriors. His teammates call him “Double Coverage” for his ability to snag balls at will and the need for defenses to put more than one player on him to stop his terror in the secondary.

“We’re a run-first team… but when we got into spots, third and short, third and long, we have to go to the air, [quarterback] Matt [Cahill]’s able to make reads on the coverage… makes a good call and we can beet them deep.”


The first two games of the season saw senior captain Kyle Ashley on the sidelines due to an elbow injury. As a three-year starter, Lopez noted that the team would miss Ashley. But with the team rolling as they are, Ashley’s offseason workout that kept him in shape allowed him to play out the whole game on this cold New England night without any serious issues. With 27 seniors, compared to Westford’s 11, the core of the Warriors team, led by Ashley, know how to tough out a cold game and bring home the W.

“We all knew to lead by example and just leave everything on the field because it’s our last season and we don’t want to lose it.”

Westford Academy (4-4) - 7 7 0 0 -- 14
Lincoln-Sudbury (8-0) - 0 10 14 14 -- 38

1st Quarter
W – Alex Eaton 1 run (Alex Locker kick)

2nd Quarter
L – Daniel Cellucci 24 pass from Matthew Cahill (William Twyman kick)
L – Twyman 28 yard field goal
W – Justin Mount 18 run (Locker kick)

3rd Quarter
L – Christopher Giorgio 1 run (Twyman kick)
L – Brian Carroll 9 run (Twyman kick)

4th Quarter
L – Giorgio 6 run (Twyman kick)
L – Giorgio 30 run (Twyman kick)

A young No. 22 L-S squad matures

August, 24, 2011
Losing is never an easy thing and losing a playoff game is tough. Getting shut out at home in the playoffs could be potentially grueling.

But Lincoln-Sudbury football head coach Tom Lopez, he's a different kind of guy.

"Hopefully we can pick up on some of the positive enthusiasm we ended with last year," said Lopez of his team's 21-0 loss at the hands of the Super Bowl champions Gloucester. "That was to be expected. They were 11-0 coming into the game, we were coming off of a 5-6 season and realistically, they were better than us. I told the guys, if we had played them 10 times we probably would have lost ten times. Usually, I'd say if we play somebody 10 times, we could lose nine and win one, with Gloucester I don't know if we would."

When asked why his team would not have won one of the contests, Lopez did not hesitate - his team was simply outmuscled.

"Basically, the difference between us and Gloucester, was from tight end, to the other tackle," Lopez said. "We weren't tough, and Gloucester was just moving us off the ball. We'd move the ball a little bit, get a five-yard penalty or a holding call and we couldn't make up the penalty. Gloucester would have a 10-yard holding penalty and they'd still make the first down."

The feeling wasn't so settling for returning senior captain Kyle Ashley.

"I had that bitter taste in my mouth from losing to Gloucester, having them doing their fight song on our field after not scoring a point was really disappointing."

Ashley, the team's starting center, will miss the first few weeks of game play because of an elbow injury, but Lopez has a number of players that he is confident can get the ball back to senior quarterback Matthew Cahill.

While the Warriors have a senior-heavy team (30), they also have 22 juniors, but two standout for coach Lopez: Brian Carroll and Chris Giorgio.

"They were sophomores and the only kids that went both ways last year," said Lopez. "This, with a junior class last year of 8 kids who had started as sophomores. Giorgio and Carroll, week in and week out, every down, went both ways."

Lopez said that while the senior class is very talented, Carroll and Giorgio are still exceptional, and they haven't limited their skills to just football.

During the offseason, Giorgio played on the L-S lacrosse team that surprised everyone by making it into the playoffs. While the boys' lacrosse team bowed out to St. John's Prep in the quarterfinals of the D1 tournament, like the football team, the lacrosse squad's run was an improbable one.

Carroll, on the other hand, played for the state championship baseball team. Lopez attributed the winning that swept across the school as a "good cycle", but Carroll sees it as more of a byproduct of the school's coaching staffs and players working together.

"We have a number of athletes that go out for several sports and our athletic department is good about staying on guys, keeping us in shape to make sure that we can be competitive in all sports," Carroll said.

Lopez said that he will still run the Wing-T offense this year, but with his dynamic backers a constant threat out of the backfield and talented skill players lined up outside of the tackles, he will look to open up the field and bet on the house.

"With guys like Carroll, Giorgio, [running back Dan] Cellucci, [receiver John] Harris and Cahill, that a can make people miss in the open field, we are going to make teams play in spaces," added Lopez, who admitted that the Wing-T has been his meat and potatoes for years.

But with the personnel that he's got, it might be time to open up the Warriors offense more regularly. Last year, the Warriors were not expected to win the Dual County Large, so now that they are the team favored to take it, Lopez wants to makes sure that teams do not get comfortable with his sets and that he gives his players the best possible chance to win games with their play .

"If they are going to try and cover the other guys with a linebacker and a strong safety, that's going to be to our advantage. I like the advantage of our kids one on one."

L-S captures third state title in seven seasons

June, 18, 2011

LYNN, Mass. -- Keith Anderson is a big boy at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, but today he was Orca big for his team.

He opened up the offense for the Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors with a drop-in to center field to spark a seven-run second inning. On the flip side, he made a potentially game-altering snag with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning, leading L-S (24-4) to its third state championship in seven years with a 10-2 win over Minnechaug.

“I was just trying to the offense going,” Anderson said of his shallow center chip that turned into more than he had imagined. “I was just thinking that it was going to drop in front of him, but as I got to first, I saw that it was past him so I just took second base.”

Anderson did not consider the ball being caught, although he admitted that upon reflection had the ball been dove for, the game could have had a different outcome, but the ball fell in, he took and extra base and the rest is history.

“No one has hit the ball better than Keith in this tournament,” said Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Kirk Fredericks. “Earlier in the tournament, he scooped a ball that saved us a couple of runs. He has turned himself into a really good player.”

Juniors Ricky Antonellis and Ryan Bassinger smacked grounders into left field, respectively, after Anderson got the team going, the second knocking in Anderson. The next batter, junior Matt Cahill, executed a bunt down the third baseline that kept the inning going for the Warriors, a part of their game that was not so heralded early in the year, but something that Fredericks has had the team work on during the season just for situations like this.

“Kids don’t practice bunting in the offseason, so we worked on it during the season,” said Fredericks. “Knowing that the last two years when we lost in the north semifinals, we lost because we couldn’t hit, so if you can’t hit you’ve got to get on base somehow and bunting is one of the options.”

With the bases now loaded, sophomore Brian Carroll smacked a shot to the third baseman, who dove to make the catch, but unfortunately made one of the Falcons’ three errors in the second inning, overthrowing the second baseman after, and allowing L-S to tally another five runs.


Scoreless in the second, the Falcons (15-11) capitalized on opportunities given them as L-S senior righthander Adam Ravenelle walked four straight batters. He gathered himself and struck out clean-up hitter Matthew Warren, then gave up a right field pop fly to Kevin Sugermeyer that yielded the second and last run of the game for the Falcons.

Kevin Baker fanned for the second time to end the inning, but after Kevin White drove one into dead center in the top of the fourth, Fredericks pulled the plug on Ravenelle on brought in Matt McGavick who allowed two hits during his four innings on the mound.

“I knew I had my team behind me and they have been all year,” said Ravenelle. “I have the utmost faith that they’ll pick it up when I’m not at my best.”

Like Ravanelle, McGavick walked the bases loaded, and was unsure how things would turn out, as he usually comes into the game during either the seventh or eighth inning, but the fielding of Keith Anderson was all that he needed, as he snatched a line drive that would have rolled into shallow right, potentially scoring two runs. A five-run lead is much easier to pitch with than a three-run lead and McGavick was appreciative of the defensive support he received from Anderson and the rest of the Warriors.

“That catch by Keith Anderson the first inning I was in really got me going and gave me confidence to keep throwing the ball in there, pitching strikes knowing that my defense would be there to back me up,” said McGavick.


Although it was a long ride from Main Street in Wilbraham, Minnechaug coach Erik Mandell did not recognize the play that he saw in the field from his team and did not yank his pitcher, or scream at his players, but let them know that he expected to see them making the little plays that made the big differences in the game, such as the one Anderson made two innings later to potentially save the game.

“Baseball is a game of inches,” said Mandell. “And to get here, we’ve had to make a number of plays like that one on first base just to get here. A few inches to the left, a few inches to the right, it may be a different ball game… but I told my guys they needed to make those plays.”

Despite giving up 10 runs, Mandell stuck through the eighth inning with his starting pitcher, Gregory Heineman, because he felt he was pitching a good game.

“We needed to be better on defense, we had one particularly bad inning, and overall we weren’t as sharp as we needed to be, but I don’t think that Greg pitched poorly. On top of that, they’re a good ball club.”

L-S shuts out A-B to take D1 North title

June, 13, 2011

LOWELL, Mass. -- Shutouts are far from rare in high school baseball. To shutout a team twice in one season? Possible.

But to shutout a team three times in one season? Especially when that team beat Lowell, previously-undefeated Lexington, and Lawrence to get to the sectional final? That is very difficult.

Lincoln-Sudbury did it Monday, however, with a 7-0 victory over Dual County League foe Acton-Boxborough at Alumni Field. L-S outscored A-B 30-0 over the three games they have played this season.

Of course, it is easier when you have Adam Ravenelle, the hard-throwing New York Yankee draftee, on the mound. The right-hander, who pitched in the previous two shut-outs for L-S, pitched six innings of one-hit baseball, striking out eight and surrendering three walks.

“I felt good today, it’s been a while since I’ve felt good with both my fastball and my curveball,” Ravenelle said. “It’s definitely a good time for that to come out.”

“Usually my strikeout pitch is my curveball, but today it was the fastball. I set it up with the curveball, and I guess they were still looking for it and I just kind of froze them with the fastball.”

With the win, L-S (22-2) moves on to play the winner of the D1 South Final, either Xaverian or Franklin, on Wednesday for the right to play for the Division 1 State Championship.

L-S knows that game will be a challenge, regardless of who they play.

“We have two teams left that we’ve played,” L-S coach Kirk Fredericks said. “Xaverian we played and lost 4-0. They’re a good, scrappy team, very well-coached. Franklin we played in the MetroWest Classic Championship game. They hit the ball well and have five or six pitchers that throw the ball as good as any of our guys. We fully expect it to be a war on Wednesday.”

Even though he didn’t let a runner past second base in his six innings of work, it was predetermined that Ravenelle would exit the game when he did. An A-B (18-6) runner did not make it past second base the entire game.

“We decided that we’d probably throw him about five innings today, regardless of the score,” said Fredericks. “He said he wanted to go one more, so we left him out there for one more.”

A-B’s Tyler Dickinson was moving along smoothly on the mound until the third inning when he surrendered back-to-back singles to Matt Cahill and Brian Carroll. Then he walked Dan Cellucci to load the bases. He struck out Carl Anderson for the second out of the inning, but gave up back-to-back singles to Ravenelle and Michael Berry that scored all three runners.

L-S struck again in the fifth with four runs on three hits in a walk, which included a two-run triple by Anderson that was made possible when the A-B leftfielder dove to try to catch the ball, but he missed, which allowed it to roll all the way to the wall.

“That’s baseball,” said A-B coach Patrick Grucela. “That was two phenomenal teams playing a game. We’ve talked all season that big innings are the curse and they got one three-run inning and one four-run inning when things didn’t quite go our way and that was the difference in the game.”

L-S got great production from Cahill and Carroll, their No. 8 and 9 hitters, who each went 3-for-4 in the game. It will need that if it hopes to advance to the State Championship game.

“Everyone takes their turn, and when we can put it together we’re a tough team,” Fredericks said.

Brown, Shairs share load for Gloucester

December, 1, 2010
SUDBURY, Mass. -- What one Gloucester running back started, the other finished off. That was the way it went for the Fishermen, as they eased to a 21-0 win over Lincoln-Sudbury in the Division 1A Semi-final on Tuesday night.

Gloucester came out firing in the first half with wing back Gilbert Brown (19 carries, 122 yards, 1TD), and turned in the second to fullback Jordan Shairs (19 carries, 142 yards, touchdown). Both backs worked the Lincoln-Sudbury defensive line for gaps, and accelerated to the second level after they made it through.

“That was the strategy,” Shairs said about sharing the workload. “He was running the ball well and the defense would try to stop him, so then I would get the ball…that’s the best part of our offense.”

To start the game, Brown worked at wingback and ran a lot of jet-sweeps to stretch the defense across the field, while Shairs ran the traps in the middle. In the second half the roles changed -- as Shairs took more belly-handoffs -- but success remained a constant.

The duo worked as well as they have all season, but was thankful of the effort of their offensive line.

The Gloucester offensive line, led by senior co-captain Andrew Mizzoni, neutralized a powerful Lincoln-Sudbury front-seven. With the help of tight ends Chris Unis and Michael Tomaino, the group kept defensive lineman Zach Smerlas in check.

“The line was the biggest thing for us today,” Brown said. “I think they deserve the credit because they work their butts off all year in practice and in games, and don’t get noticed.”

“You have to give the offensive line a lot of credit,” Gloucester coach Paul Ingram said about the success on the ground. “They’re a tough group of kids.”

Lincoln-Sudbury head coach Tom Lopez decided to ditch his Wing-T background and go with a more spread-oriented offense for most of the game. The Warriors had little success running the ball against the Gloucester defense, but did find pockets of hope airing the ball out.

Early in the second quarter L-S showed signs of life on a 13-play drive that started from its own 26-yard line but stalled at the Gloucester 5, after a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

Warriors’ quarterback Matt Cahill completed 11 of 25 passes for 82 yards with an interception in the game. He and wide receiver Jack Harris showed their usual chemistry and narrowly missed hooking up on a 23-yard touchdown pass that would have cut the score to 13-6 in the second. Cahill lofted a perfect fade to Harris, but the Gloucester defense caught up to Harris just as the ball hit his hands and knocked it loose.

Surprisingly, Gloucester looked as fresh in this game, as they did in the season opener. The team had a familiar spark in its step provided from the return of running back Brandon Cusumano. Cusumano had a few rushes sprinkled throughout the game, but hauled in a 25-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Joseph Avila to begin the fourth quarter. The wingback missed most of the year due to injury, but is back in the lineup and looks healthy again.

With the win, Glloucester advances to the Division 1A Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, where last year they defeated Bridgewater-Raynham, 33-13.

“The team is fired up,” Shairs said about reaching Gillette Stadium again. “That’s like our home field…We’re not just showing up to for the playoffs, we’re going in and we’re going in to win.”

G 7 6 0 8 -- 21
L 0 0 0 0 -- 0

First quarter

G - Brown 5 run (Santo Parisi kick)

Second quarter

G - Shairs 1 run (kick failed)

Fourth quarter
G - Cusumano 25 pass from Avila (Parisi kick)