Boston High School: MIAA Top 25

Final Regular Season Baseball Poll

May, 28, 2014
May 28
8:47
AM ET
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 baseball poll last night. To view it, CLICK HERE.

This is the final poll of the regular season. We will do one more poll update following the conclusion of the MIAA State Tournament.

A few notes and observations about the second to last poll of the 2014 season:

New No. 1 from Newton: After claiming the top overall seed in Monday's Super 8 selection meeting, Newton North slides up one spot to take the No. 1 position for the first time in our poll history. Following May 7's loss to Braintree, a 3-2 decision, the Tigers reeled off nine straight wins to close out the regular season, allowing just 11 runs over that stretch.

Rounding out the top five are St. John's Prep (2), Bridgewater-Raynham (3), Silver Lake (4) and Braintree (5).

Season debuts: Two teams are making their season debuts this week. Dighton-Rehoboth (22) is in the poll for the first time since 2013 after capturing the South Coast Conference title, and No. 2 overall seed in Division 2 South. Waltham (24) jumps into the tail end of the poll after a strong finish to the season, sandwiching defeats of Lincoln-Sudbury and St. Peter-Marian around a 2-0 loss to Newton North.

As always, here is how the poll breaks down by league affiliation:

Catholic Conference - 4
Bay State - 3
Central Mass. Conference - 2
Dual County - 2
Merrimack Valley - 2
Northeastern - 2
Patriot - 2
Cape & Islands - 1
Cape Ann - 1
Mid-Wach A - 1
Old Colony - 1
South Coast - 1
South Shore - 1
Valley League - 1
Valley Wheel - 1
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 baseball poll this morning. To view it, CLICK HERE.

The next poll update will be on Sunday, April 20.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

B-R remains No. 1: After an opening week of the season that included victories over Marshfield, New Bedford and Lincoln-Sudbury, Bridgewater-Raynham remains the top team in the land. The Trojans have gotten great work out of the starting rotation with its 1-2 punch of junior righthanders Jack Connolly (Notre Dame) and Andrew Noviello (Maine). Meanwhile, Virginia Tech commit Joe Freiday has been on a tear, with two home runs in the first four games.

Plymouth North and St. John's of Shrewsbury exchange spots, with North jumping up to the Pioneers' No. 2 spot following a 4-1 start and St. John's falling three spots to No. 5. Braintree (3) and BC High (4) round out the top five.

Plenty of movement in the poll: To give you an idea of how much parity there is this season in Massachusetts, look no further than the amount of debuts this week in the poll. Catholic Memorial debuts at No. 12 following wins over Malden Catholic and previously-ranked Lowell, followed by St. Peter-Marian, debuting at No. 14 following upsets of St. John's (Shrewsbury) and Malden Catholic. MC comes in at 15 by virtue of its 6-5 walkoff upset of BC High, followed by Andover (16), Middleborough (17), Nauset (18), Chelmsford (20) and Wellesley (23).

The biggest jump up this week is Peabody, which moves 13 spots up to No. 10 following its season-opening upset of rival St. John's Prep. Meanwhile Newton North (8, from 15) and Agawam (15, from 23) both move up seven spots in the poll.

As always, here is how the poll breaks down by league affiliation:

Catholic Conference - 5
Bay State - 3
Merrimack Valley - 3
Valley League - 3
Atlantic Coast - 2
Central Mass. Conference - 2
Patriot - 2
Dual County - 1
Northeastern - 1
Old Colony - 1
Southern Worcester County - 1
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 girls basketball this evening for the final time in the 2013-14 season. To view it, CLICK HERE.

For the second time in three seasons, our preseason No. 1 went wire to wire as the top team in the land. Braintree finishes exactly where it started, atop the poll, after capturing the Division 1 state championship for the first time since 2006. This marks the first time that both the boys and girls team during a sport's season have gone the entire season as No. 1 in the land. Springfield Putnam, the preseason boys No. 1, hasn't lost a game in 13 months and won its second straight D1 state title last weekend to finish atop the boys poll.

Here are the six teams that have gone wire-to-wire as No. 1 in our site's four-year history:

2011: Everett - football; Westwood - girls lacrosse
2011-12: Andover - girls basketball; Malden Catholic - boys hockey
2013-14: Putnam - boys basketball; Braintree - girls basketball
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 poll this afternoon. To view it, CLICK HERE.

Updates are typically each Monday during the regular season. But with nine teams in our poll battling in Monday, Jan. 20's BABC Winter Classic, we are moving out next poll update to Tuesday, Jan. 21.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

Everett leaps into Top 5: After an impressive win over Greater Boston League archrival Cambridge, Everett catapults seven spots into the Top 5 for the first time in our poll's history. Led by junior Gary Clark and sophomore Ernie Chatman, the Crimson Tide are one of the most physically imposing defenses to deal with, and have a deep arsenal of scorers as well.

Top teams stand pat: Springfield Putnam remains No. 1 for the sixth consecutive week, a spot they've held on to since the preseason, but could be in for a challenge this weekend at the Hoophall Classic, where they'll open the five-day showcase with a battle against archrival Springfield Central (the two schools are separated by less than a mile) Thursday night, then face Woodstock Academy (Conn.) on Saturday.

Mansfield holds on to the No. 2 spot -- also a position they've held since the preseason -- after breezing its way to a 9-0 start. Much has been made of the Hornets' success without three of its starters, but with recent news of reigning Hockomock MVP Brendan Hill now being done for the season, one has to wonder if this all could eventually catch up to them.

Debuts and returns: Leominster finally makes its long-awaited debut in the poll, after beating archrival Fitchburg last week. The Blue Devils delivered one of the year's biggest stunners on the opening night of the season when they knocked off St. John's of Shrewsbury, 66-62. Brookline also jumps back into the poll, at No. 20, after a one-week hiatus, thanks to an upset of Newton North on Friday.

As always, here's how the poll breaks down this week by league affiliation:

Bay State - 3
Catholic Conference - 3
Boston City League - 2
Central Mass. Conference - 2
Eastern Athletic - 2
Greater Boston - 2
Hockomock - 2
Merrimack Valley - 2
Mid-Wach A - 2
Northeastern - 2
Patriot - 1
Valley League - 1
Valley Wheel - 1

Westford moves up in girls hoop Top 25

December, 30, 2013
12/30/13
3:00
PM ET
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 girls basketball poll this morning. To view it, CLICK HERE.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

Westford jumps into top five: Following its win over Central Catholic in finals of the Commonwealth Motors Classic on Saturday night, Westford Academy makes the jump two spots up to No. 5. Other than that, there is little shuffling among the top 10, with the only other switch involving Lynn English, which jumps up two spots to No. 6 after upsetting St. Mary's of Lynn.

The top four spots remain the same -- Braintree (1), followed by Archbishop Williams (2), Newton North (3) and Medfield (4). The rest of the top 10 starts with St. Mary's at No. 7, followed by Central Catholic (8), Holy Name (9) and Northampton (10).

Plenty of fresh faces: Five teams make their debuts this week in the poll, starting with Franklin (16), coming off a solid win over Arlington Catholic last week. Other squads making debuts this week are Abington (20), Masconomet (21), Lincoln-Sudbury (24) and Longmeadow (25).

As always, here is how the poll breaks down by league affiliation:

Dual County - 4
Hockomock - 3
Bay State - 2
Catholic Central - 2
Merrimack Valley - 2
Suburban - 2
Cape Ann - 1
Central Mass. Conference - 1
Eastern Athletic - 1
Middlesex - 1
Mid-Wach B - 1
Northeastern - 1
Patriot - 1
South Shore - 1
Tri-Valley - 1
Valley League - 1

North Quincy debuts in Top 25 boys hoop poll

December, 23, 2013
12/23/13
10:29
PM ET
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 basketball poll this morning, ahead of this afternoon and evening's slate of games. To view it, CLICK HERE.

The next poll updated will be on Monday, Dec. 30.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

North Quincy makes return: After making a surprise run to the Divsion 1 South Final last March, North Quincy came into this season sitting in our "Last 10 out", but it was only a matter of time before they made their triumphant return to the Top 25. They come in this week at No. 22 having manhandled Brockton and Middleborough, led by 6-foot-8 senior center Anthony Green. Keep an eye on the Red Raiders, who could see a big jump in the next few weeks if all goes well.

Also making its debut this week is Lynn Classical, which comes in at No. 25.

Putnam remains on top: Springfield Putnam maintains the No. 1 spot in our poll, a position they've held since the final poll of the 2012-13 season. The Beavers routed East Longmeadow in their season opener, 80-41, then rallied past Brooklyn, N.Y. power Nazareth Regional in overtime on the second night of the BasketBull Hoops Fest.

As always, here is how our poll breaks down by league affiliation:

Catholic Conference - 3
Hockomock - 3
Valley League - 3
Bay State - 2
Boston City League - 2
Central Mass. Conference - 2
Merrimack Valley - 2
Northeastern - 2
Catholic Central - 1
Eastern Athletic - 1
Greater Boston - 1
Inter-High - 1
Mid-Wach A - 1
Patriot - 1

Braintree is No. 1 in first girls hoop poll

December, 18, 2013
12/18/13
12:13
PM ET
Our first statewide MIAA Top 25 girls hoop poll of the 2013-14 season is up. To view it, CLICK HERE.

The next update of the girls' basketball poll will be on Friday, Dec. 27.

A few notes and observations about the first poll of the season:

Braintree is preseason No. 1 -- again
For the second straight season, Bay State Conference juggernaut Braintree is the No. 1 team in the land to start the season. The Wamps were No. 1 to start the 2012-13 season; they ended up winning a second straight Division 1 South title before falling to the eventual state champs -- this time Central Catholic -- in the Eastern Mass. Final at TD Garden. A trio of highly-touted juniors -- guard Ashley Russell, center Molly Reagan, and reigning Bay State MVP Bridget Herlihy -- lead the way, as well as Herlihy's younger sister, sophomore Brianna.

Rounding out the top five are Archbishop Williams (2), Newton North (3), Medfield (4) and St. Mary's of Lynn (5).

DCL, Catholic Central represented well
Members of the Dual County and Catholic Central leagues account for nearly one-third of the poll, led by the aforementioned Archies at No. 2. The Bishops are the defending D3 state champs, littered with scholarship-caliber talent, but come into the season snakebitten by injury, none bigger than Penn State-bound junior center Jaylen Williams (knee). The aforementioned St. Mary's (5) and Arlington Catholic (13) are also representing the Catholic Central.

From the DCL, Westford Academy leads the way at No. 7, coming off a D1 North Final appearance a season ago with talented duo Sam Hyslip and Hannah Hackley. The latest MIAA realignment has the Grey Ghosts moving into D1 Central, where they're almost certainly the top dog. Three of the final five spots in the poll are also represented in the poll, with Bedford (22), Newton South (24) and Boston Latin (25).

Here's how the first poll of the season breaks down by league affiliation:
Dual County - 4
Catholic Central - 3
Bay State - 2
Hockomock - 2
Merrimack Valley - 2
Boston City - 1
Cape Ann - 1
Central Mass. Conference - 1
Eastern Athletic - 1
Greater Boston - 1
Middlesex - 1
Mid-Wach B - 1
Northeastern - 1
Patriot - 1
Suburban - 1
Tri-Valley - 1
Valley League - 1

Preseason Top 25 Boys Hoop poll

December, 12, 2013
12/12/13
2:06
PM ET
Today we officially updated the MIAA Top 25 boys basketball poll for the first time in the 2013-14 season. To view it, CLICK HERE.

Last week, we rolled out the preseason poll by counting down five teams each day. In case you missed it, here are the previews for each team on the countdown: Nos. 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6 | 5-1

With many teams across the state kicking off the season this weekend, look for our next poll update on Monday, Dec. 23.

A few notes and observations about the poll:

Putnam remains on top: After finishing the 2012-13 season No. 1 in the poll, after winning its first Division 1 state championship in school history, Putnam unanimously retains the top spot to start this winter. In addition to four returning starters, including guard Dizel Wright and returning All-State senior forward David Murrell, the Beavers added a wealth of talent over the offseason, including prep school transfer Tyonne Malone and promising sophomore Davidson Pacheco, who starred last year at since-closed New Leadership.

Mansfield (2), Central Catholic (3), Catholic Memorial (4) and Lynn English (5) round out the Top 5.

The City of Springfield is well-represented in the poll, with three of the city's high schools in the Top 20 for the first time in poll history. Joining top dog Putnam among the Springfield schools are Central (10) and Cathedral (18).

Hockmock, Catholic Conference, Valley League represent: Leagues getting the most representation in the season's first poll are the Hockomock, Valley League and Catholic Conference. The three aforementioned Springfield schools come from the Valley League, while the Hockomock is represented by Mansfield (2), Taunton (21) and Sharon (23). Coming out of the Catholic Conference are Catholic Memorial (4), St. John's Prep (8) and BC High (17).

Here's how the poll breaks down by league affiliation:

Catholic Conference - 3
Hockomock - 3
Valley League - 3
Bay State - 2
Boston City League - 2
Central Mass. Conference - 2
Merrimack Valley - 2
Northeastern - 2
Catholic Central - 1
Eastern Athletic - 1
Greater Boston - 1
Inter-High - 1
Mid-Wach A - 1
Middlesex - 1

Mansfield is No. 1 in final Top 25 football poll

December, 10, 2013
12/10/13
10:30
AM ET
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 football poll of the 2013 season. To view it, CLICK HERE.

A few notes and observations about the final football poll of the season:

Mansfield remains No. 1
After winning the Division 2 state championship, incumbent Mansfield maintains the top spot in the state, a position they've held since Week 5 of the season. Most impressive, they were able to do it without superstar tight end/wide receiver Brendan Hill, going back to a ground-and-pound philosophy and running for 299 yards on St. John's of Shrewsbury to win 28-14, despite committing five first-half turnovers. Of course, adversity is nothing new for the Hornets -- without five starters, they delivered the biggest upset of the season, over Dunbar (Md.), in Week 1.

Rounding out the top five are Division 1 state champ Central Catholic (2), D1 runner-up Xaverian (3), St. John's (4), and D3 state champ Tewksbury (5). Everett (6), Springfield Central (7), Attleboro (8), D4 state champ Doherty (9) and D5 state champ Bishop Fenwick (10) round out the Top 10.

Hockomock, MVC reign supreme
Both the Hockomock League and Merrimack Valley Conference represent most in the final poll, with three members each. Lowell (15) joins Central Catholic and Tewksbury among MVC representation, while the Hock is represented by Mansfield, D1 South runner-up Attleboro (8) and D3 South runner-up Stoughton (23). Leagues with two members represented included the Catholic Conference (Xaverian, BC High), Atlantic Coast League (Dennis-Yarmouth, Plymouth South), Southern Worcester County League (Shepherd Hill, Northbridge), and the Bay State Conference (Natick, Needham).

Here's how the final poll of 2013 breaks down by division:

Div. 1 - 6
Div. 2 - 7
Div. 3 - 4
Div. 4 - 5
Div. 5 - 2
Div. 6 - 1

MIAA Boys Hoop Countdown: Nos. 5-1

December, 6, 2013
12/06/13
11:46
PM ET
Tonight, ESPNBoston.com concludes its week-long countdown of the top 25 boys basketball teams in Massachusetts.

The Friday preview includes two D1 North favorites in Lynn English and Central Catholic, two teams with loaded backcourts in Catholic Memorial and Putnam, as well as Mansfield--who only last one impact player off of last year's Division 1 finalist team.

For a refresher on how the final 2012-13 poll ended up, CLICK HERE.

Here's how the countdown has gone so far: Nos. 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6


5. LYNN ENGLISH
Coach: Mike Carr
2012-13 results: 17-6, Division 1 North finalists
Key players: Sr. G Freddy Hogan, Jr. G Stevie Collins, Jr. F Johnny Hilaire, Sr. F Danny Lukanda, Jr. G Erick Rosario
Analysis: English was undoubtedly the surprise team of the year last year, but the talent on Mike Carr’s team won’t be surprise anybody this year. Fred Hogan, Stevie Collins, and Erick Rosario should all be considered to be on the all-state radar, while the Bulldogs’ will boast rebounding specialist Danny Lukanda and 6-foot-6 athletic center Johnny Hilaire down low.

4. CATHOLIC MEMORIAL
Coach: Denis Tobin
2012-13 results: 13-8, Division 1 South, first round
Key players: Sr. G Aamahne Santos, Jr. G Guilien Smith, Sr. C Gerard Adams, Soph. G Denis Tobin, Soph. G Kellan Grady
Analysis: Aamahne Santos transferring back to CM for his senior year automatically puts CM in the conversation of state title favorites, but don’t forget about Guilien Smith—who anchored the Knights offense on plenty of occasions last year. Denis Tobin and sophomore Kellan Grady add even more depth to the backcourt, while big man Gerard Adams should be considered one of the MIAA’s best post threats.

3. CENTRAL CATHOLIC
Coach: Rick Nault
2012-13 results: 21-6, Division 1 North champions
Key players: Sr. G Tyler Nelson, Sr. F Nick Cambio, Sr. F Aaron Hall, Fr. G Kevin Fernandez, Jr. G Alex Santos
Analysis: Fairfield commit Tyler Nelson needs no introduction. He proved last year to one of the state’s most lethal all-around scorers, and should be able to use his lights-out three-point stroke to his advantage this year with big men Nick Cambio and Aaron Hall down in the post. Look for freshman Kevin Fernandez to have an instant impact at the point guard position for Rick Nault’s squad.

2. MANSFIELD
Coach: Mike Vaughan
2012-13 results: 25-3, Division 1 state finalists
Key players: Brendan Hill, Rocky DeAndre, Michael Boen, Ryan Boulter, Kyle Wisniewski, Kevin Conner
Analysis: This Hornets team came up just short of beating Putnam last year at the DCU for the Division 1 championship game. Mansfield lost one impact player of last year’s squad, captain Greg Romanko, but they return a plethora of talented guards, including Rocky DeAndre, Michael Boen, and Ryan Boulter. Brendan Hill will miss games early because of an injury suffered during football season, but look for him to be on Super Team radar when all is said and done.

1. PUTNAM
Coach: William Shepherd
2012-13 results: 24-1, Division 1 state champions
Key players: Sr. F David Murrell, Soph. F Tyonne Malone, Soph. F Davidson Pacheco, Jr. G Justin Stewart, Sr. G Dizel Wright, Jr. F Jonathan Garcia, Jr. G Ty Nichols, Jr. G Ki-Shawn Monroe, Soph. G Luqman Abdur-Rauf
Analysis: The Beavers were a no-brainer at the top spot, especially given the fact that they may have even more talent on the roster than last year’s Division 1 state title-winning squad. Newcomer Tyonne Malone -- who already holds offers from UMass, Boston University, St. Peter's and Manhattan -- is a college prospect to keep a close eye on over the next couple of years, after a strong freshman campaign at Williston-Northampton. He leads an influx of transfers that includes Pacheco (New Leadership), Stewart (Williston-Northampton) and Abdur-Rauf (New Leadership). Look for David Murrell, the post anchor of last year’s team, to be in the conversation for first-team All-State.

MIAA Boys Hoop Countdown: Nos. 20-16

December, 3, 2013
12/03/13
9:08
PM ET
To kick off the start of the MIAA basketball season, ESPNBoston.com is spending this first week of practices counting down and previewing the top 25 teams in the state.

Today’s preview includes the two-time defending state champion: Danvers, two potential tournament darkhorses in BC High and Springfield Cathedral, a potential Division 3 favorite in Cardinal Spellman, and a Dorchester squad that boasts one of the state's best stable of guards.

For a refresher on how the final 2012-13 poll ended up, CLICK HERE.

For a look at Monday's preview of Nos. 25-21, CLICK HERE.

Be sure to check back each day this week for the latest in the boys basketball top 25 countdown.


20. DANVERS
Coach: John Walsh
2012-13 results: 24-2, Division 3 state champions
Key players: Vinny Clifford, Kieran Beck, Peter Merry
Analysis: Vinny Clifford was a role player for Danvers in their second consecutive state championship run last year, but this year he will likely be their leading scorer and most consistent all-around player on what is a pretty young and somewhat inexperienced team moving up to Division 2. Kieran Beck got some important minutes in big games last year for the Falcons, while 6-foot-6 forward Peter Merry will be one of the best bigs in the NEC.

19. SPRINGFIELD CATHEDRAL
Coach: Justin Dalessio
2012-13 results: 13-9, Division 1 West quarterfinals
Key players: Darrick Boyd, Edens Jean-Baptiste,
Analysis: Playmaking junior Darrick Boyd will be one of the state’s best combo guards this year, with a team full of weapons around him to give him an opportunity to create. Perhaps the most dangerous weapon, besides Boyd, is sculpted forward Edens Jean-Baptiste. Make no mistake, Putnam and Central are the top dogs out west until proven otherwise, but if there’s any team in Western Mass. that can knock the last two D1 state champions, it’s this team.

18. CARDINAL SPELLMAN
Coach: Mike Perry
2012-13 results: 19-4, Division 3 South quarterfinals
Key players: Ryan Roach, Rory Donovan
Analysis: With Wareham graduating Darien Fernandez and two-time defending D3 state champ Danvers moving up to Division 2, Cardinal Spellman should be considered one of the big favorites statewide in Division 3. Stonehill commit Ryan Roach is one of the MIAA's very best scorers, while forward Rory Donovan will pose a major problem in the post for opposing defenses.

17. BC HIGH
Coach: Bill Loughnane
2012-13 results: 17-4, Lost in Division 1 South first round
Key players: Phil Leotsakos, Jack Loughnane, Zac Bailey, Steve Young
Analysis: The Eagles lost one of the state's best backcourts from last year in Jameilen Jones and Charles Collins, but bring back a solid core who will be looking to avenge two straight bounces from the first round of the D1 South tournament. Look for Zac Bailey, Steve Young, and shooting guard Jack Loughnane, who played well for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC) this past summer, to pick up some of the scoring slack. Look for the Eagles to be a bit more uptempo as well.

16. DORCHESTER
Coach: Johnny Williams
2012-13 results: 14-9, Division 2 South quarterfinals
Key players: Khalil Newson, Markus Neale, Dean Lee, Justin Clarke
Analysis: The Bears were one of the best teams in the Boston City League last year and will look to make a deep run this year considering their depth and talent at guard. Throw West Roxbury transfer Markus Neale into the mix with returners Khail Newson, sharpshooter Dean Lee, and Justin Clarke and this team can be considered one of the early favorites to win the city championship later in the season.

MIAA Boys Hoop Countdown: Nos. 25-21

December, 2, 2013
12/02/13
3:41
PM ET
To kick off the start of the MIAA basketball season, ESPNBoston.com will spend the next five days counting down the teams in our Preseason MIAA Top 25 Poll, starting with Nos. 25 through 21 today and concluding with the state’s top five teams on Friday.

Today’s previews include Hockomock members Taunton and Sharon, a Bishop Feehan squad who is moving up to Division 2 with a solid core coming back, and Central Mass. foes South and Wachusett, along with our “Last 10 out”.

For a refresher on how the final 2012-13 poll ended up, CLICK HERE.

Be sure to check back each day this week for the latest in the boys basketball top 25 countdown.

Last 10 out: Braintree (13-10), Doherty (14-7), East Boston (11-7), Fitchburg (13-9), Franklin (16-8), Lynn Classical (15-9), Milton (15-9), North Quincy (18-6), Quincy (14-7), Watertown (13-8)

25. WACHUSETT
Coach: Tom Gibbons
2012-13 results: 19-5, reached Division 1 Central Semifinals
Key players: Tyler Dion, Justin Bowker, Kevin Durkin, Brian Quinn
Analysis: The Mountaineers lost a lot of leadership off of last year’s team, including graduated seniors Zack Berman, Jesse Maresca, Trevor MacNeil, Zach Knapp, and Alex Cooper, but Coach Tom Gibbons returns what may be the biggest frontcourt in Central Mass. in juniors Kevin Durkin and Justin Bowker. At 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-5, respectively, the Mountaineers’ twin towers will man the post, while sophomore point guard Tyler Dion, who picked up plenty of big-game experience last year, will be expected to fill Berman’s shoes at point guard.

24. BISHOP FEEHAN
Coach: Matt Freeman
2012-13 results: 18-4, Division 3 South quarterfinals
Key players: Mike Nelson, Frank Oftring, Austin Burlone
Analysis: Feehan has to be one of the favorites in Division 2 following their run in last year’s playoffs. The Shamrocks return senior Austin Burlone, junior Frank Oftring, and sophomore star Mike Nelson in hopes of building off an 18-win season last year. With games in the opening few weeks against Archbishop Williams, Westford Academy, and Martha’s Vineyard, we’ll find out soon enough just how far this Feehan squad can be expected to go this year.

23. WORCESTER SOUTH
Coach: Pat Williams
2012-13 results: 14-7, lost in Division 1 Central First Round
Key players: Kasheen Cunningham, Nate Mensah, Khalil Bryan-Robinson, Aaron Maday
Analysis: The Colonels will be living life without last year’s star Rod Milton, but the cupboard is far from bare for South coach Pat Williams. South returns three of their top four scorers from last year, including point guard Kasheen Cunningham, combo guard Nate Mensah, and forwards Khalil Bryan-Robinson and Aaron Maday. As has been the case for the last three years, the top dog in the Inter-High will likely come down to South or Doherty, a fierce rivalry that has been a must-see matchup every time the two meet.

22. SHARON
Coach: Bruce Jackman
2012-13 results: 15-8, Division 2 South semifinals
Key players: Brian Mukasa, Jimmy Firtzson, Erik Kushner, Ade Bright
Analysis: There aren't many backcourts in the area that are going to be stronger than the pair of seniors Brian Mukasa and Jimmy Fritzson. Both finished in the top 10 in scoring in the Hockomock last year and both have the chance to eclipse the 1,000-point mark this season. The biggest question will be down low, were the Eagles graduated Kevin Bartas and Ian Beach, but they will rely heavily on Erik Kushner and players from last year's JV squad, who only had one loss last season.

21. TAUNTON
Coach: Charlie Dacey
2012-13 results: 16-7, reached Division 1 South semifinals
Key players: Gerald Cortijo, Shaq Davis, Corey Green.
Analysis: Taunton had a strong first campaign in the Hockomock League last season, and will look to try and upset Mansfield as the top team in the Kelley-Rex this year. Shaq Davis, who has been making plays for Taunton for some time now, will be back with another year of experience under his belt as. Sharpshooter Gerald Cortijo and Corey Green, who is just a junior, will also be big playmakers for the Tigers.

BC High makes big jump in Top 25 football poll

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
3:08
PM ET
We updated our statewide Top 25 football poll this morning. To view it, CLICK HERE.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

BC High leapfrogs up the list: Boston College High, following its 13-7 upset of Catholic Conference rival St. John's Prep, shoots up 11 spots in the rankings to No. 11. The Eagles were a preseason No. 19 in the poll, but quickly fell out following a loss to North Attleborough in the season's opening week. After a 1-2 start, the Eagles came out of a bye week and have won three straight, including an impressive 6-0 shutout of Brockton in which they held the Boxers to 112 yards of offense. With the loss, St. John's Prep fell nine spots to No. 13.

Blue Devils in the Top 5: With Prep's loss, Leominster moves up one spot to No. 5, its highest ranking ever in the history of our poll. The Blue Devils had another strong showing on Friday, beating Nashoba 40-15 to hand the Chieftains their third straight loss. With MIAA playoffs less than two weeks away, Leominster has commanding control of the top spot in Division 2 Central, and figures to be the favorite.

Rounding out the top five are Mansfield (1), Everett (2), Springfield Central (3) and Xaverian (4).

Here's how the poll breaks down this week by division:

Div. 1 - 8
Div. 2 - 10
Div. 3 - 3
Div. 4 - 3
Div. 5 - 1

Fenwick, Arlington debut in Top 25 football poll

October, 14, 2013
10/14/13
1:09
PM ET
We updated our statewide MIAA Top 25 football poll this morning. To view it, CLICK HERE.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

Debuts for Fenwick, Arlington: Two programs from the North, Bishop Fenwick and Arlington, make their debuts in the football poll for the first time in our site's four-year history. It's simply impossible to ignore the way Fenwick is rolling right now. Behind a dominant rushing attack, led by bullish junior Rufus Rushins, the Crusaders are averaging a state-best 46.5 points per game; their lowest scoring output was a 41-0 shutout of Northeast Metro Tech in Week 2. Arlington, meanwhile, is sitting a surprising 5-0 and tied with Woburn atop the Middlesex Liberty standings. The Spy Ponders put together nice wins over Belmont (42-6) and Winchester (28-26) these last two weeks, but the hallmark was upsetting then-No. 10 Reading 17-14 back in Week 3.

Tewksbury climbs into Top 10: With one of the state's most potent rushing attacks, Tewksbury makes a first-ever appearance in the Top 10 of our poll's four-year history. The Redmen are 5-0 and sitting in first place in the Merrimack Valley Conference's second division after a 41-14 rout of Methuen on Saturday. In four MVC games so far, the Redmen have outscored their opposition 151-37.

Here's how the poll breaks down this week by division:

Div. 1 - 8
Div. 2 - 10
Div. 3 - 3
Div. 4 - 3
Div. 5 - 1

Xaverian new No. 1 in Top 25 football poll

September, 23, 2013
9/23/13
12:21
PM ET
For the fourth consecutive week, we have a new No. 1 in our statewide Top 25 football poll. To view it, CLICK HERE.

A few notes and observations about this week's poll:

Xaverian takes over top spot: After dismantling previous No. 1 Bridgewater-Raynham 49-13 on Saturday, Xaverian takes over as the No. 1 team in the land, jumping up nine spots from No. 10. It's the second week in a row the Hawks have knocked off an incumbent No. 1 by double digits. Two weeks ago, the Hawks visited then-No. 1 Everett and delivered a 20-8 upset. The 49 points by Xaverian Saturday are the most they've scored since a 49-0 shutout of New Britain (Conn.) in 2005.

This also the first time Xaverian has been ranked No. 1 since Week 3 of the 2010 season, after which they were quickly upset by then-No. 2 Everett. The Crimson Tide went on to hold the No. 1 spot continuously for nearly two years.

Rounding out the top five are Mansfield (2), St. John's Prep (3), Everett (4) and Springfield Central (5). B-R tumbles all the way to No. 9 following its loss.

Westwood enters countdown: Perhaps it is overdue, but Westwood finally cracks the Top 25 after its bye week, debuting this week at No. 20. The Wolverines had previously fought to a 7-0 loss against No. 19 King Philip, and opened the season with a 36-26 defeat of Needham -- which fell out of the poll following the loss, but returns this week at No. 22 following a 26-6 pounding of No. 25 Walpole.

As always, here is how the poll breaks down this week by division:

Div. 1 - 8
Div. 2 - 11
Div. 3 - 3
Div. 4 - 2
Div. 5 - 1

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