Boston High School: Ned Deane

Coke powers No. 11 Andover to new heights

August, 31, 2011
ANDOVER, Mass. -- The 2010 season was a wild ride for Andover's Andrew Coke.

Coke transferred back to his hometown high school from Brooks School to join his Golden Warrior teammates. It was also the first season for head coach E.J. Perry, who took over the program from John Rex. Adapting to his new surroundings, Coke self-admittedly got off to a slow start in his new surroundings.

"The first scrimmage last year, I probably had about 20 carries for five yards," the 6-foot-1 running back said.

Those meager beginnings were no indication of where Coke would end up. The ESPN Boston All-Stater grinded out 1,841 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns. As a hybrid running back and quarterback in the Golden Warriors' Wildcat-like offensive scheme, Coke also threw for over 200 yards and two touchdowns. He had over 2,000 all-purpose yards.

All of Coke's contributions helped Andover to its first Merrimack Valley Conference title in 35 years and had them within an earshot of the Division 1 Super Bowl. The Golden Warriors had a season that started off a bit like that of their offensive leader.

"You have to remember, at one point last season we were 4-3," Perry said. "That's when we started to gel and come together as a team. We got smacked in the face by Chelmsford and then we woke up."

From there, Andover went on a run leading up to their Thanksgiving Day win over Central Catholic to clinch the MVC title.

Now, the 11th-ranked Golden Warriors have higher expectations than ever.

"We're willing to take that extra step to play in Foxborough," Coke said of their Super Bowl aspirations.

Coke's role will be slightly different this season. He's going to play defense as well, so with his time at safety mixed in, you might not see Coke rack up the 35-carry performances that become customary last year. Perry is also looking for junior C.J. Scarpa to hold down the quarterbacking duties. It would come as no surprise to see Coke under center again -- as became a necessity last season after Tom Dempsey was lost to injury -- however, Perry's looking to exploit Coke's athleticism more, meaning he'll be lined up more in the backfield, or even split out wide.

No matter what the circumstance, the Andover boss is happy to have the ball in No. 2's hands.

"He has a unique blend of power, speed and the ability to cut," Perry said. "I think his production made him the best back in the state last year. With his speed, and when you consider that he's bigger and faster this year, it's going to cause trouble for other teams."

Coke, who has received a lot of interest from Ivy League schools including Brown, Harvard and Princeton, is looking to take his game to another level. And, in the process, he'd like nothing better than to finish his short but fruitful Andover career with a win at Gillette Stadium.

But he won't soon forget how it all started.

"Things are a lot different this year," Coke said.

2010 record: 8-4 (Lost to Everett in Division 1 playoffs)
Coach: E.J. Perry (2nd year, 8-4)
Players to watch: Andrew Coke, Sr. RB/S, 6-1, 200; T.J. Leeman, Sr. OL, 6-2, 270; Freddie Scribner, Sr. RB/DB, 6-0, 175; Matt Crush, Sr. OL/DL, 6-2, 225; Giovanni Rosano, Sr. LB; 6-0, 175; Brendan Paquette, Sr. TE/LB, 6-1, 175; Cam Farnham, Jr. SE, 5-8, 150; Will Heikkenen, Jr. SE, 6-2, 185; Ben Hartford, Soph. OL, 6-2, 250.
Strengths: Mental toughness, physical style of play.
Weakness: Experience at quarterback.
Outlook: As giddy as the Golden Warriors are about having another year with Coke, added cause for optimism lies in the offensive line. Andover returns "two and a half" (Perry's words) starters from the line last year, including Leeman and Crush. James Kelley also started during the second half of the year following a rash of injuries on the line. Sophomore tackle Ben Hartford is a name fans will be hearing in the coming years and associated with D1 college programs. Junior Andreas Christopulos takes over at center. On defense, Perry thinks he's found a replacement for the talented Ned Deane, who was very much the quarterback of the unit last year, in Rosano. "He's a tremendous linebacker and people are going to get to know him," Perry said. Paquette adds experience and skill to the linebacking corps while nose tackle Greg Brown will hold down lineman up front with his two-gapping ability.

Shriners Football Classic rosters announced

May, 5, 2011
The North-South game of the 33rd Annual Shriners Football Classic kicks off this June 17 at 7 p.m., and for the second year in a row the contest will be held at Gillette Stadium. Below are the rosters for both squads participating in the game:

Ryan Adams, Northeast, DE
James Aloisio, Masconoment, OT
Eric Apgar, Acton-Boxborough, RB
Anthony Arcari, Tewksbury, RB
Manny Asprilla, Everett, WR
Derek Bent, Shawsheen, TE
Brian Bourque, Reading, DB
James Brao, Hamilton-Wenham, LB
Cal Carroll, Methuen, QB
Brendan Casey, Boston Latin, DT
Thomas Chub, Masconomet, OL
Mitchell Colley, Arlington, LB
Sean Connolly, Tewksbury, FS
Tyler Coppola, St. John's Prep, RB
Matt Costello, Everett, WR
Anthony Courtouis, Lowell, WR
Jeff Covitz, Reading, OL
Nate Cyr, St. John's Prep, OL
Ned Deane, Andover, LB
Ryan Delisle, St. John's Prep, TE
Jake Giovanucci, Dexter, DE
Mike Grassa, BB&N, DB
Will Guinee, Malden Catholic, OL
Mike Harper, Methuen, LB
Zach Hayes, Chelmsford, S
Justin Hood, Billerica, DE
Brian Hurley, Wilmington
Zach Ingalls, Westford, DB
George Kallas, Beverly, OT
Ben Koopman, Marblehead, C
Chris Malonis, Dracut, WR
Tyllor MacDonald, Lynn English, DB
Tom Meade, Malden Catholic, LB
Trae Musumarra, Central Catholic, LB
Zach Nardone, Bishop Fenwick, DT
Paul Nwokeji, Thayer Academy, OL
John O'Connell, Northeast, DL
Daniel Omorgie, Lynn Classical, DE
Xavier Peralta, Central Catholic, DB
Ony Ramos, Lawrence, DB
Peter Savarese, BB&N, RB
Jordan Shairs, Gloucester, RB
Matt Silva, Dracut, QB
Bradley Skeffington, Salem, DB
Zach Smerlas, Lincoln-Sudbury, DL
Brian Strachan, St. Sebastian's, WR
Dave Summiel, Shawsheen, DT
Chris Unis, Gloucester, DE
Trae Weathers, Revere, RB
Sean Whittaker, Methuen, OL
Peter Yasi, Swampscott, DE

Matt Allen, Pembroke, SE
Ryan Barrett, Holliston, TE
Rob Barrus, Weymouth, LB
Adam Boari, King Philip, OL
Blaise Branch, Cardinal Spellman, RB
Lance Burlingame, New Bedford, OL
Jack Carrier, Cohasset, SE
Dylan Colarusso, Weymouth, RB
Joe Colton, Xaverian, DB
Tom Condon, Whitman-Hanson, OL
David Conroy, Walpole, SE
Nate Crary, Dennis-Yarmouth, DL
Seth DeMello, Somerset, RB
Mike Devin, Bridgewater-Raynham, OL
Mike Driscoll, Rockland, FB
Connor Fraser, Abington, DL
Jake Golden, Hingham, OL
Mitchell Graziano, Silver Lake, DB
William Greene, Oliver Ames, DE
Ernest Guy, Foxborough, OL
Joseph Hak, East Bridgewater, OL
Matt Hallisey, Duxbury, SE
Brian Harrington, Rockland, DE
Jordan Henderson, Barnstable, WR
D.J. Jamieson, West Bridgewater, RB
Randall Jette, Martha's Vineyard, DB
Dan Johnson, North Attleboro, SE
Andrew Kestenbaum, Dartmouth, OL
Matt Lockwood, Seekonk, RB
Albert Louis-Jean, Brockton, SE
Denis Maguire, Duxbury, LB
Jamel Marshall, Mansfield, RB
Zach Martin, Mashpee, RB
Alec May, King Philip, TE
Sean Mayo, Holliston, QB
Paul McCarthy, North Attleboro, DB
Kyle McGuire, Mansfield, OL
Dave McSweeney, Medway, OL
Obum Obukwelu, BC High, OL
Trevon Offley, Brockton, RB
Jon Page, Bourne, RB
Tyler Park, Scituate, QB
Liam Porter, Natick, OL
Ethan Rayner, Holliston, OL
Nate Robitaille, Attleboro, DB
Andrew Siden, Natick, TE
Kevin Stanton, Cardinal Spellman, LB
Jeff Synan, Plymouth North, OL
Chris Tamasi, Xaverian, LB
Ryan Vaughn, Norwell, OL


Football, Albert Louis-Jean, St. John's Prep, Andrew Kestenbaum, Liam Porter, Lynn English, Chelmsford, Swampscott, Gloucester, Tyllor MacDonald, Lincoln-Sudbury, Plymouth North, Manny Asprilla, Matt Costello, Central Catholic, Obum Obukwelu, Barnstable, Bridgewater-Raynham, Paul Nwokeji, Zach Smerlas, Andrew Siden, Matt Silva, Matt Hallisey, Acton-Boxborough, Eric Apgar, Chris Malonis, Lance Burlingame, Joe Colton, Chris Tamasi, Trevon Offley, Oliver Ames, Ryan Barrett, Ethan Rayner, Paul McCarthy, Dan Johnson, Trae Musumarra, Xavier Peralta, King Philip, Adam Boari, Mike Devin, Tyler Coppola, Ryan Delisle, Brian Bourque, Jeff Covitz, Zach Hayes, Jordan Henderson, Zach Ingalls, Cal Carroll, Mike Harper, Sean Whittaker, Justin Hood, Chris Unis, Jake Giovanucci, Jamel Marshall, Kyle McGuire, Malden Catholic, Will Guinee, Dennis-Yarmouth, Nate Crary, Jordan Shairs, Anthony Arcari, Sean Connolly, Cardinal Spellman, Blaise Branch, Peter Savarese, Connor Fraser, Silver Lake, Seth DeMello, Trae Weathers, Lynn Classical, Martha's Vineyard, Randall Jette, New Bedford, Rob Barrus, Dave McSweeney, St. Sebastian's, Brian Strachan, Peter Yasi, Mike Driscoll, Brian Harrington, Whitman-Hanson, Bishop Fenwick, Masconomet, Jeff Synan, East Bridgewater, Boston Latin, David Conroy, Foxborough, Hamilton-Wenham, West Bridgewater, Derek Bent, George Kallas, Tyler Park, D.J. Jamieson, James Brao, Ryan Adams, Denis Maguire, Thayer Academy, Marblehead, Ben Koopman, Wilmington, Brian Hurley, Shriners Football Classic, James Aloisio, Brendan Casey, Thomas Chub, Mitchell Colley, Anthony Courtouis, Mike Grassa, Zach Nardone, John O'Connell, Daniel Omorgie, Bradley Skeffington, Dave Summiel, Matt Allen, Jack Carrier, Tom Condon, Jake Golden, Mitchell Graziano, William Greene, Ernest Guy, Joseph Hak, North Attleboro, Matt Lockwood, Zach Martin, Kevin Stanton, Ryan Vaughn

ESPNBoston's MIAA All-State Team

December, 7, 2010
QB -- Dan Light, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
In his first year under center after playing tight end last year for the Pioneers, the 6-foot-4, 235-pounder spearheaded one of the state’s most prolific offenses with precision, as the Pioneers rolled to their second straight Division 1 Central Mass Super Bowl title. He threw for 2,171 yards and 32 touchdowns to just seven interceptions, and on the ground he added 1,131 yards and 16 more scores. Light is considering several Division 1 schools.

QB -- Jonathan DiBiaso, Jr., Everett
In his record-setting junior campaign, DiBiaso helped deliver the Crimson Tide their eighth Division 1 Super Bowl title in 12 years. He threw for 2,885 yards and a state single-season record 43 touchdowns, to just four interceptions, and capped with a 31-7 win over St. John’s Prep at Gillette Stadium for the Super Bowl title. He has 59 touchdown passes for his career.

QB -- Nick LaSpada, Jr., Billerica
The junior, who won the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2009, lived up to the hype in spite of a marginal season for the 5-6 Indians. He threw for 2,738 yards and 25 touchdowns, and added 1,064 yards and 15 touchdowns on the ground, averaging over eight yards per carry. For his career, he has thrown for over 5,800 yards and ran for over 3,500 in his three years as starting quarterback. LaSpada is being recruited by a number of Division 1 FBS schools, including Boston College, Notre Dame, Oregon, Alabama, Penn State, Missouri, Arkansas, Michigan, USC, Florida State and Stanford.

RB -- Trevon Offley, Sr., Brockton
In taking over full-time rushing duties from his cousin, Khalil James-Offley, the 5-foot-6, 190-pound Trevon proved to be one of the state’s toughest runners in between the tackles. Offley carried 155 times for 1,364 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging 8.8 yards per carry for the 8-3 Boxers.
RB -- Jamel Marshall, Sr., Mansfield
After backing up Shawn Doherty in 2009 and watching him set a school record, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Marshall went ahead and smashed it. His 1,339 yards on the ground (including 7.1 yards per carry) broke Doherty’s mark of 1,239, and his 21 touchdowns came within striking distance of breaking a two-decade record held by Omari Walker. Marshall is considering several Division 1-AA and Division 2 schools.

RB -- Tyler Coppola, Sr., St. John’s Prep
As the focal point of the 8-5 Eagles’ offense, the 5-foot-7, 185-pound Coppola did not disappoint. He carried the ball a yeoman 243 times for 2,172 yards and 20 touchdowns, including an unheard-of 348 yards and six scores against St. Joseph’s (Md.) in October, as the Eagles captured a share of the Catholic Conference title and reached the Division 1 Eastern Mass Super Bowl for the first time since 2002.

RB -- Andrew Coke, Jr., Andover
After an outstanding sophomore season at Brooks School alongside current BYU freshman Jordan Johnson, Coke transferred back to his hometown high school and helped lead the Golden Warriors to their first Merrimack Valley Conference title in 35 years. The 6-foot-1, 218-pound junior carried 304 times for 1,841 yards and 29 touchdowns (most in Division 1), and as a wildcat quarterback completed 24 of 34 passes for 267 yards and two more scores.

WR -- Matt Costello, Sr., Everett
After a tremendous senior season, the 6-foot-1, 170-pound Costello racked up numerous awards, including this year’s state Gatorade Player of the Year and ESPNBoston’s inaugural Mr. Football award. Costello played an instrumental role in DiBiaso’s state-record junior campaign, as he caught 76 balls for 1,301 yards and 23 touchdowns – including 11 catches for 145 yards and three scores in the Tide’s 31-7 victory over St. John’s Prep in the Division 1 Super Bowl. Costello is considering Princeton, Penn and Harvard.

WR -- Richard Rodgers, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
The talented Rodgers tore up the competition once again in his senior campaign with the Division 1 Super Bowl champion Pioneers. The 6-foot-5, 230-pounder caught 65 balls for 1,064 yards and 17 touchdowns, for an average of 16.4 yards per catch. He was also a force at defensive end, recording eight sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception. Rodgers is following in his father’s footsteps, as he will play tight end next fall at Cal.

WR -- Jordan Henderson, Sr., Barnstable
The speedy Henderson made a name for himself as one of the state’s most dangerous threats in the short passing game, leading the 7-4 Red Raiders in every receiving category. The 6-foot, 180-pounder caught 61 balls for 1,069 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 17.5 yards per catch.
TE -- Anthony Fabiano, Sr., Wakefield
One of several outstanding tight ends to be used in more of a blocking role, the 6-foot-5, 258-pound Fabiano excelled on both sides of the ball for the 6-4 Warriors, who captured their second straight Middlesex League Small title. Fabiano caught 23 passes for 267 yards, and as a defensive end recorded 57 tackles, a team-high nine sacks and three forced fumbles.

TE -- Ryan Barrett, Sr., Holliston
Like Fabiano, Barrett was used primarily in a blocking role for the 12-1 Panthers, who captured their first Super Bowl title since 1985 with a 21-7 win over Cardinal Spellman. With Barrett’s guidance, the Panthers ran for more than 2,500 yards on the ground and scored more than 500 points through the ground and air. Barrett is committed to Bryant University, where his brother Andrew is currently a sophomore offensive lineman.

OL -- Nathan Cyr, Sr., St. John’s Prep
The 6-foot-1, 246-pound Cyr was one of the state’s best run-blockers this season, paving the way to a monster season from Coppola and over 3,000 yards on the ground total as the Eagles captured a share of the Catholic Conference title and went to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2002. Cyr is committed to Trinity College.

OL -- John Wallace, Sr., Somerville
The 6-foot-4, 265-pound Wallace was a three-year starter for the Highlanders, and is a two-time Greater Boston League All-Star. This season for 4-6 Somerville, he recorded 68 tackles and five sacks while also providing plenty of run support as both a guard and tackle. He is considering several Division 1 FCS schools, including UMass and New Hampshire.

OL -- Jeff Covitz, Sr., Reading
The 6-foot-2, 250-pound Covitz, a three-year starter for the 12-1 Rockets, was a force at right tackle for the Rockets, paving the way for one of the state’s most potent rushing attacks (45 rushing touchdowns). At defensive end, he was a dominant run-plugger for a defense that allowed a Division 2-best 8.7 points per game.

OL -- Ian Levesque, Sr., Somerset
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound tackle paved the way for two 1,000-yard rushers in Seth DeMello and Jaron Spear for the 12-1 Blue Raiders, who advanced to their first Super Bowl since 1981. In addition to helping the Raiders rack up nearly 300 rushing yards per game and over 50 rushing touchdowns, he also was an anchor along the line of a defense that allowed just 11 points per game. He is considering several Division 1 FCS schools, including Colgate and Wagner.

OL -- Lance Burlingame, Sr., New Bedford
The 6-foot-4, 255-pounder is a two-time Big 3 Conference All-Star at offensive tackle and defensive end. In 10 games, he demonstrated outstanding feet as both run and pass blocker, and proved just as dominant defensively with 84 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries. He is considering several Division 1 FCS schools, including UMass, New Hampshire and Maine.

ATH -- Armani Reeves, Jr., Catholic Memorial
The 5-foot-10, 178-pound Reeves emerged as one of the state’s most electric playmakers this season for the 5-5 Knights, lining up all over the field to great results. He amassed 1,279 all-purpose yards and scored 16 touchdowns in four different ways – receiving, rushing, punt and kick returns. He currently holds 10 scholarship offers from Division 1 schools, including Boston College, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Virginia, UConn and Penn State.

ATH -- Isaiah Jones, Sr., Mahar
The 5-foot-10, 165-pound Jones emerged as one of the state’s most elusive weapons in the open field, with 40 speed in the 4.5’s. In a season hampered by injury, he carried 151 times for 1,726 yards and 23 touchdowns, added 150 receiving yards, and also had three returns for touchdowns (two punt, one kickoff). For his career, he amassed over 4,400 yards rushing. Jones is considering several Division 1 schools, including Boston College, UMass and New Hampshire.

K -- Connor McDavitt, Sr., Wachusett
While his powerful right leg wasn’t called into action as much, the 5-foot-7 McDavitt demonstrated great range when called upon, hitting from a long of 42 yards this year for the Division 1A Central Mass Super Bowl Champion Mountaineers. He recorded 14 touchbacks, and also had a net punting average of 42.5 yards.

DL - Chris Unis, Sr., Gloucester
After recovering from an elbow injury, Unis returned to lead the Fishermen to their second straight Super Bowl title and third in the last four years. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound speed rusher proved a handful for offensive linemen and was also vital to Gloucester’s running game, playing tight end. Unis also collected his third straight Northeastern Conference All-Star nod.

DL - Obum Obukwelu, Sr., BC High
The 6-foot-1, 255-pounder was an imposing figure on the Eagles’ defensive line and tallied 8.5 sacks on 68 tackles with 18 tackles for a loss. Obukwelu is committed to play football at Harvard next year.
DL - Zach Smerlas, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
The three-year defensive starter often faced double and triple teams against him this season, but the senior captain still managed to make 40 tackles (18 solo) while clogging up the interior for the Dual County League Large champion Warriors.
DL - Shaquille Taylor, Sr., Everett
Taylor was the affable heart of the defense for the Eastern Mass Division I Super Bowl champions. The 5-foot-11, 275-pounder was an immovable object on the line, stuffing the run and showing speed to pressure the quarterback.
LB - Chris Tamasi, Sr., Xaverian
The senior captain was the fulcrum of the Hawks’ defense and a steady contributor out of the backfield on offense. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder has verbally committed to play football at Amherst College next year.

LB - Matt Walsh, Sr., Plymouth North
Walsh provided bite to the Eagles’ offense and defense as both a hard-nosed fullback and middle linebacker. While leading Plymouth North’s defense, which surrendered just 10 points per game, Walsh also tallied 12 touchdowns. A talented catcher, he has committed to Franklin Pierce where he will play baseball.

LB - Jordan Shairs, Sr., Gloucester
For everything that Chris Unis or Andrew Mizzoni weren’t able to get to up front, Shairs was there to clean up. The 6-foot, 210-pounder helped the Gloucester defense average just 10 points per game against and saw a bulk of Gloucester’s carries following Gilbert Brown’s injury, tallying 31 total touchdowns (30 rushing) on the season. Shairs was named Northeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year and league All-Star for his 1,400-yard rushing performance.

LB - Tim Joy, Jr., Chelmsford
Already a two-time all-conference teamer, Joy had 131 tackles, including 13 for a loss, two sacks and three interceptions for his junior season. He has been recruited by several FBS schools, including Boston College.
LB - Ned Deane, Sr., Andover
Deane provided the bite to the defense that helped the Golden Warriors to a Merrimack Valley Conference Large title. The 6-foot-2, 205-pounder led Andover with 112 tackles in addition to three sacks and an interception. He is considering Amherst, Dartmouth, Harvard and Princeton among his college choices.

LB -- Kevin Curry, Sr., Holliston
The Tri-Valley League Defensive Player of the Year was a force on both sides of the ball for the 12-1 Panthers, who captured the Division 3A Super Bowl crown. In addition to manning the middle on a defense that allowed just 11.5 points per game, Curry carried the ball 139 times for 1,144 yards and 14 touchdowns, for an average of 8.2 yards per carry.

DB - Albert Louis-Jean, Sr., Brockton
The shutdown corner was also a double-threat for the Boxers, hauling in 28 catches for 572 yards and five touchdowns on offense. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound speedster came away with four interceptions. Louis-Jean recently de-committed from Miami, so there’s likely to be a lot on interest surrounding him in the coming months.

DB - Joe Colton, Sr., Xaverian
Colton consistently drew the matchup of the opposing team’s top receiver and went toe-to-toe with some of the state’s best. The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder was also a steady contributor to the Hawks offense with 15 touchdowns on the season.
DB - Manny Asprilla, Sr., Everett
Asprilla was as much of a lockdown defender as he was a threat on the offensive side of the ball. And that’s saying something about someone who had 2,787 career all-purpose yards for the Division I Eastern Mass Super Bowl champions. Asprilla is committed to play football at Boston College next year.
DB - Randall Jette, Sr., Martha’s Vineyard
Jette only pocketed one pick in 2010, but that’s simply because teams didn’t bother throwing his way. The senior captain also made 50 tackles (24 solo) in coverage. Also, as the Vineyarders quarterback, Jette tallied 953 rushing yards on 121 carries with 19 touchdowns to go along with four passing scores and two special teams return touchdowns. He’s being recruited by BC, Bryant, Rutgers, Stonehill, UMass and UNH.

Luke Bakanowsky, Sr. QB, Oakmont
Blaise Branch, Sr. RB, Cardinal Spellman
Gilbert Brown, Sr. RB/LB, Gloucester
Cal Carroll, Sr. QB, Methuen
Trevor Choruzek, Sr. RB, Leicester
Dylan Colarusso, Sr. RB/LB, Weymouth
George Craan, Jr. RB, Concord-Carlisle
Brendan Flaherty, Soph. RB/LB, Beverly
Jeff Hill, Sr. WR, Mansfield
Ray Holloway, Sr. RB, East Longmeadow
Ryan Lipka, Sr. WR, Bishop Fenwick
Sean Mayo, Sr. QB, Holliston
Kyle McSweeney, Sr. OL/DL, Medway
Mike Mercadante, Sr. RB, Minnechaug
Brian Miller, Sr. TE, Andover
Andrew Mizzoni, Sr. OT/DE, Gloucester
Matt Montalto, Jr. QB, Dennis-Yarmouth
Paul Mroz, Sr. QB, Brockton
Thomas Murphy, Sr. QB, Northbridge
Reilly Naton, Jr. SS, Duxbury
Liam Porter, Sr. OL/DL, Natick
Quinton Porter, Jr. ATH, Fitchburg
Cody Savoy, Sr. RB, Narragansett
Matt Silva, Sr. QB, Dracut
Jesse Wilkins, Sr. RB, North Shore

Sloppy playoff win, but Everett will take it

December, 1, 2010
LYNN, Mass. -- Playing for the Everett Crimson Tide, it is not a big deal to win a game, nor is it a big deal to win the Greater Boston League Title, nor to win a playoff game.

No, if you play for the Everett Crimson Tide, and are the DiBiaso camp, your expectations are to be nothing but Super Bowl victors. To celebrate anything less, would be ungentlemanly.

“We’re not celebrating, we haven’t reached our goal yet,” said Everett head coach John DiBiaso coolly after his team’s 21-0 win over Andover tonight, which saw his son Jonathan break the state single-season passing touchdown record, with his 40th. “The goal for the year… has always been to win the championship.”

Coach DiBiaso wasn’t even happy. Turnovers, unsportsmanlike penalties, illegal motion penalties, and sustained drives by Andover filled the postgame speech. No mumbling from the players though, only solemn nods of agreement.

“We need to work harder on offense,” said Manny Asprilla, who racked up 42 yards and one touchdown on the day, as well as a fumble recovery in the red zone and seven tackles. “And we need to tighten up on defense."

Everett (11-0) only scored once in the first half, and Andover (8-4) -- having controlled the ball for 9:33 out of the ten minutes in the first quarter -- showed that they could move the ball on Everett effectively, despite being stopped on the Everett 6 after marching 66 yards. Just before the half, Andover’s Tyler Boudrow intercepted a DiBiaso pass and ran it back past the 50, giving the Golden Warriors momentum going into the second half.

The Golden Warriors forced Everett into its only three-and-out on the day on the opening drive of the second half. Andover got the ball at their own 45 after the punt and return, looking to go in for a score. On the first play of drive, quarterback Tom Dempsey ran left for nine yards across the 50 to the 46. On the next play, Dempsey attempted to hand the ball off to Freddie Scribner, but somewhere between the two, Shaquille Taylor made a hit and the ball came loose, and falling on it was Everett junior Paul Marckini, who saw another player jump on it but came up with the ball.

“Somehow, it ended up under me,” said Marckini. Marckini did not start at the beginning of the season, but has earned a starting spot on the team, as he and other players say, due to his dedication to lifting and working hard in practice.

“Sometimes it’s hurtful,” said Taylor, of making it into the backfield past lineman who will do just about anything to stop a defender. “But I like to pride myself on taking the pain. We’ve got a lot of guys who play hard and play tough. That’s what I love.”

Getting the ball on their 47, Everett then weaved together an 11-play drive, despite two off sides penalties, capped off by a pair of runs by Manny Asprilla. The first was an eight yard run to the left, on which Asprilla drove his body forward with his legs, but came up two yards short of the score, setting up first and goal. On first and goal, Asprilla took the handoff and busted up the middle, meeting tacklers at the line of scrimmage but forcing his detractors back with his will, moving the pile past the plane to put Everett up 13-0. The Gilly DeSouza kick made the game 14-0.

Taking over from their own seven, Andover refused to stand by and wait for a chance to break a play, as they made a quick move that caught Everett off guard. A quick pass from Dempsey to Ned Deane on the left sideline netted Andover 41 yards on its first play of the drive. Three plays and one off sides penalty later, the Warriors were faced with a first and 15 from the Everett 35, driving towards the end zone.

Andover’s Freddie Scribner made it down to about the 15 before losing control of the ball in a collision, and Asprilla, always alert and looking for play, fell on it and cradled the ball like it was his first-born son, with the potential to put the game out of reach for the Golden Retrievers.

“I saw Ronnie [Richard] hit him so hard that the ball came out,” said Asprilla, "I knew I had to jump tight on it."

DiBiaso, knowing that two scores would not be enough for the win, took on double duties for the drive, running for 41 yards and passing for 45 yards, including the 12-yard corner of the end zone hookup between him and Costello for the insurance score.

“We’ve got one more game left,” added coach DiBiaso, of Everett’s match against St. John’s Prep for the Division I title on Saturday, December 4th.


AND 0 0 0 0 0
EVE 0 7 14 0 21

2nd Qtr.
E - Matt Costello 15 pass from John DiBiaso (Gilly DeSouza kick)

3rd Qtr
E - Manny Asprilla 2 run (DeSouza kick)
E - Costello 12 pass from DiBiaso (DeSouza kick)

Andover rides lunch-pail crew into Turkey Day

November, 24, 2010

ANDOVER, Mass. -- There's a renewed buzz in the hallways at Andover High this week.

"It's really crazy," said senior linebacker/tight end Ned Deane. "They're already selling tickets at school. All the kids plan on going. Usually, we kinda make fun of a lot of the kids in our school, because they don't really come out to the football games, and this week they're asking when they can buy tickets."

He adds, laughing, "We've (jokingly) been calling them fair-weather fans...but we're really excited about this, everywhere I go around town people are wishing me good luck. It's really awesome to see this hype in Andover, everyone in the town is excited for this. It's a whole different level this year."

Don't blame Deane for asking how many of his peers skinned themselves jumping onto the Golden Warriors' bandwagon. Heck, with all of the relative unknown (new coach, new faces) outside of its one sure thing (Boston College-bound wide receiver Brian Miller), and all of the hype in other places in the Merrimack Valley Large (see: LaSpada, Nick; Joy, Tim), not many knew how much weight to put into Andover's chances. Yet here they are, two days before a winner-take-all showdown with Thanksgiving rival Central Catholic, sitting at 7-3 and potentially grabbing their first MVC title of any kind since 1975.

They'll be doing it without Miller, the team's most versatile athlete, who went down with a broken tibia in the Warriors' jaw-dropping 88-82 eight-overtime win over Lowell two weeks ago. But this season hasn't been about guys like Miller and wildcat junior quarterback Andrew Coke (1,600-plus rushing yards, 28 touchdowns), as much as it's been about the gritty, undersized guys who play with their heads -- in some cases literally.

Deane, at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, has pedigree -- his father, Ned, starred at linebacker at Minnechaug Regional and UMass -- but not the most imposing of size. But with the experience from getting thrown into the fire so young as a sophomore, along with above-average speed and ball instincts, Deane prides himself not only on the ability to read the play and find a clear lane to the point of attack, but also on the amount of abandon in his pursuit.

"I think if you're a linebacker, it doesn't matter how big you are," Deane said. "If you're tough, and you're fast, and you can read, then you can get anywhere. You can make a play. It's all about toughness, really. If someone runs an Iso right at you, I know people that would worry 'You need a big guy in the middle'. That helps, but it's not entirely true. You need a tough kid in there, a kid who's going to stick his nose in there and blow up the play."

A torn medial collateral ligament in his left knee cost Deane all but four games of his junior season, but the heady play has been evident since his first varsity start as a sophomore in 2008, when the Warriors faced physically-imposing Gatorade Player of the Year Matt Grimard and Dracut High. Deane, then a 5-foot-11, 160-pounder, remembers his sack of the 230-pound Grimard, chasing him as he flushed out of the pocket to his side and taking him out at the legs for a stop on fourth down. "We were jacked up at that point," Dean smiled (Andover eventually lost to the Middies, who won the Division 1A Super Bowl that season).

Teammate and captain Connor Clancy remembers the play vididly: "Tackling a big kid like that, it was awesome," said the 6-foot, 230-pound center/nose guard. And as for Deane's production, who leads the Warriors with over 100 tackles, there is little shock.

"To me, it's been absolutely no surprise, to be quite honest," Clancy said. "He's been one of my best friends since sixth grade, and sophomore year he came in when he had a few injuries and played awesome. Last year, he was playing awesome and then we got hit with the injury bug. That happens in football. But he's done an unbelievable job, he's going big places."

Clancy, like Deane and Miller, was another youngster thrown onto the varsity as a sophomore. And like Deane, he takes similar pride in his toughness.

Not to mention the beaten-up, falling-apart look of his navy blue helmet. Long, white scrape marks litter the crown of it; the golden "A" logo is partially chipped off; the bars on his facemask are a mixture of navy blue and rust-brown. Clancy says it's not from leading with his head, but from his legs, then his arms, and inevitably the facemask.

But it's the exact aesthetic this team feeds off of, and following Tuesday's practice the team was served another reminder. First-year head coach E.J. Perry screamed at his players, reminding them of where they were five weeks ago and where they are now. Nobody believed in us, he repeated.

And for Clancy, that's OK.

"I think from day one, since last year, all the way up day one this year, everyone's been telling us we can't win," he smiled. "We don't have enough stars. We lost too many people. We don't have a playmaker. But we just kinda told them you're wrong, and we're going to shove it up yours."

Perry charts a new direction for Andover

August, 26, 2010
ANDOVER, Mass. – First-year head coach E.J. Perry is gaining praise from his players at Andover High School. And Perry knows that with a player like Brian Miller, an aggressive defense and plenty of team chemistry — anything is possible.

“When you get an athlete of [Miller’s] caliber — and he’s ranked in the top eight tight ends in the country,” Perry said. “You definitely have a good starting point.”

Perry installed a new playbook in the offseason and is moving Miller from tight end to wide receiver in order to take advantage of his receiving talents and physicality. Miller, who committed to play tight end at Boston College next year, is up to the task and agrees that his coach is doing the right thing.

“I haven’t had Coach Perry around me for a long time,” said the 6-foot-4, 235-pound senior. “But I can already tell that he’s been a great influence on me.”

No matter where he’s lined up, Miller is simply a playmaker. He returns kicks, plays defensive end and punts. And beware of the fake punt because this summer he was clocked running a 4.65 40-yard dash.

“I’m not worried about what other people think,” said Miller. “I’m just going to go out there and play the best that I can.”

However, the senior co-captain is not alone. He is surrounded on defense by a smart, sturdy group of athletes.

Most teams will look past the defense because of its inexperience. However, it could one of the best units in the Merrimack Valley Conference.

Opposite Miller at defensive end for the Warriors is senior co-captain Lyle Baker, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 230 pounds, and has 4.8 speed. In the middle of the recently installed 4-3 scheme is yet another senior co-captain, Ned Deane, who also ran the 40 in under 5 seconds.

The rest of the defense is a talented group of knowledgeable players that are bonded together by Perry’s coaching techniques, which stress unity, discipline and execution.

“This year we’re one team,” said Deane. “A lot of that has to do with Coach Perry, but it also is due to a lot of the good character kids on this team.

“There’s no fooling around in practice,” said Baker. “We keep it fun, but we want to get something done as well.”

With the Perry era underway, the Warriors might realize their goals sooner rather than later.

2009 record: 6-5
Coach: E.J. Perry (first year, 0-0)
Players to watch: Connor Clancy, Sr., C/NG, 6-2, 250 lbs.; Lyle Baker, Sr., LT/DE, 6-2, 230 lbs.; Ned Deane, Sr., LB/TE, 6-1, 195 lbs.; Brian Miller, Sr., WR/DE, 6-4, 235 lbs.; Matt Crush, Jr., RG/LB; Andy Coke, Jr., QB/LB; Tommy Dempsey, Sr., QB; William Keller; Sr., LB
Strengths: Run defense, passing game
Weaknesses: Running back experience/depth, size in secondary
Outlook: The Warriors could use more speed on the outside, but have plenty of power between the hashes. A fierce quarterback competition between a few players is starting to settle, and it looks as though senior Tommy Dempsey and transfer Andy Coke are the favorites. Nevertheless, whoever is quarterbacking Andover will put up monster numbers with Miller. This year’s offense is more wide-open than years past, but will still hinge on the zone-read. The Warrior’s defense will surprise. Defensive front sevens don’t come much more balanced than this. With speed, power, size and smarts, this group has it all.

Neil Carroll is an intern for High Schools and a senior journalism major at UMass Amherst, where he was the sports director of WMUA 91.1-FM for three years and covered UMass teams with The Daily Collegian. He has also written on Western Mass high school football for The Springfield Republican. A graduate of Longmeadow High School, Carroll played center and won two Division 1 MIAA Super Bowls with the Lancers.