Boston High School: Nick Chiarello

Everett's DiBiaso is Patriots' Coach of the Year

December, 16, 2010
Courtesy of the New England Patriots:

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Less than two weeks after winning the MIAA Division I Super Bowl championship at Gillette Stadium, Everett High School’s Head Coach John DiBiaso has been named the New England Patriots High School Coach of the Year in recognition of his team’s undefeated season and their Super Bowl victory. The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation will donate $2,000 to Everett High School’s football program in DiBiaso’s name in recognition of his Coach of the Year selection.
[+] EnlargeJohn DiBiaso
New England Patriots/Christy Berkery Everett High School football coach John DiBiaso and some of his players joined Andre Tippett and Steve Burton on the set of "Patriots All Access."

DiBiaso and some of his players – Manny Asprilla, Nick Chiarello, Matt Costello, Jonathan DiBiaso, Vondell Langston and Shaquille Taylor – along with Assistant Coaches Mike Milo and John Cappra were guests at Gillette Stadium on Wednesday to receive the award. They will be featured on the team’s weekly television magazine show, Patriots All Access, which airs at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 17 on WBZ-TV in Boston and later on

Each week this season, one Massachusetts high school coach has been awarded the New England Patriots Coach of the Week honor, culminating with this week’s Coach of the Year award to DiBiaso. This season marks the 15th year in which the Patriots have joined the National Football League in conducting the High School Coach of the Week program, which recognizes outstanding high school coaches and promotes youth football throughout New England. Patriots and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Andre Tippett, the team’s executive director of community affairs, oversees the program as part of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s commitment to youth football initiatives.

“This was the perfect season for the Everett High School football team,” said Tippett. “They finished 12-0, winning the Massachusetts High School Division I Super Bowl championship. They took last year’s Super Bowl loss versus Xaverian High School and used it as a teaching experience and inspiration for the following year. To go 12-0 takes a strong commitment by a dedicated group of players and coaching staff who never took their eyes off the bullseye. We congratulate the Everett High School Football team and coaches on a job well done from start to finish this year, and are happy to honor Coach DiBiaso with our Coach of the Year award.”

Super Saturday breakdown and picks

December, 3, 2010

Yesterday, coaches and captains from each of the teams participating in the six Eastern Mass Super Bowls played at Gillette Stadium toured the field in anticipation of Saturday's games. We caught up with Bridgewater-Raynham quarterback Billy Zolga and Everett wide receiver and defensive back Matt Costello yesterday.

Both players were at Gillette last year when their respective teams lost their Super Bowl bids. Now, the seniors are looking to leave a lasting imprint in their final high school football games.

This is for all the marbles, so let's get straight into the action:

Everett (11-0) vs. St. John's Prep (8-4), 6 p.m., Gillette Stadium
Everett players to watch:
ATH Manny Asprilla, WR Matt Costello, QB Jonathan DiBiaso, RB/LB Vondell Langston, LB Buck McCarthy, WR/DB Kenny Calaj, OL/DL Nick Chiarello, DL Shaquille Taylor.
St. John's Prep players to watch: RB Tyler Coppola, OL/DL Nathan Cyr, TE Ryan Delisle, TE/ROV Lucas Bavaro, OL/DL Dan Culkeen.
The skinny: In his third year under center, DiBiaso has exploded to lead one of the state's most prolific offenses (37.5 points per game), and re-write the record book (he threw his state-record 40th touchdown pass of the season in Tuesday's 21-0 win over Andover). But you best believe he is thanking his lucky stars for the exploits of Costello (20 touchdowns) and Asprilla. The Boston College-bound Asprilla, who lines up at both tailback and wide receiver, is one of the state's most dangerous threats in the short passing game, and known to rip off huge gains out of underneath routes. Prep, meanwhile, has rode a powerful ground game (what's new?) to victory, led by Coppola, who has nearly 450 yards on the ground in the last two games. The Eagles are anchored by a powerful line led by Cyr and Culkeen, while Bavaro has emerged as an intimidating presence over the middle on defense.
X-factor: The matchup of the Trinity-boud Cyr, one of the state's best o-linemen, versus Taylor, one of the state's best d-linemen, will be one of the most intriguing battles of the day. Both are built low to the ground, with an explosive first step, and you've got to wonder if one key block will spring either team to victory.

Barboza: A Prep win would be the fitting culmination to an emotional ride, but this has been the Crimson Tide's year. Everett, 27-21

Hall: This has been a remarkable run for the Prep, after all the program has been through these last two seasons, and they're winners in my book either way. I'm going with one of the unsung guys, Gilly DeSouza, to win it late with his feet for the Crimson Tide. Everett, 24-21.

Bridgewater-Raynham (10-2) vs. Gloucester (12-0), 8 p.m. at Gillette Stadium

B-R players to watch: QB/QB Billy Zolga, RB/LB Nick Schlatz, OL/DL Mike Devin, RB/LB Mike Chicoine, RB Brandon Morin.
Gloucester players to watch: TE/DE Chris Unis; RB/LB Gilbert Brown; FB/LB Jordan Shairs; OT/DE Andrew Mizzoni; C/NT Anthony Latassa.
The skinny: Do you like running the football? This game is for you. The Trojans and Fishermen do it better than just about anybody and certainly have the book on each other after facing off in last year’s Super Bowl. You’d be hard pressed to find a more consistent pair of backs than Gilbert Brown and Jordan Shairs of Gloucester. The Trojans ran behind Brandon Morin to a win over Weymouth in the semifinals after starting in place of injured tailback Nick Schlatz. It would give B-R a lift if Schlatz can recover from a shoulder injury sustained in a Thanksgiving Day win over Brockton
X-factor: Really it just comes down to which team blocks its assignments better. It’s simple as that.

Barboza: This might be the most difficult game to forecast, but I’m giving the edge to Gloucester’s experience. Gloucester, 16-14.

Hall: This might be the best matchup of the day. Power versus power, strength versus strength. Gloucester has more playmakers on the defensive side of the ball, but I like the way this B-R team has been running the ball this last month. Against Dan Buron’s wishes, of course, I’m picking the Trojans to avenge 2009 and put an end to the Fish's 25-game win streak. B-R, 17-14.

Mansfield (11-1) vs. Reading (12-0), 3:30 p.m., Gillette Stadium
Mansfield players to watch:
RB Jamel Marshall, QB George Busharis, WR Blayne Taylor, OL/DL Sean Otto, OL/DL Kyle McGuire, OL/DL Anthony Todesco, WR Jeff Hill.
Reading players to watch: QB/DB Brian Bourque, OL/DL Jeff Covitz, OL/DL Anthony Fodera, RB Larry Gilligan, RB Zack Bates, WR Sean Gildea, WR Connor Sheehan.
The skinny: The defending Division 2 Super Bowl champ Rockets come into Saturday on a 25-game win streak, albeit by a thread after some late heroics from Bourque and Covitz allowed them to escape their home turf with a 15-14 thriller over Dracut. With Bourque spearheading a shotgun-oriented rushing attack, the Rockets have amassed 42 rushing touchdowns going into Saturday. The Hornets, meanwhile, are back at Gillette for the second time in three years thanks to a stalwart defense led by McGuire at defensive tackle, and the workhorse carrying load of Marshall. This Mansfield squad, known for its Wing-T, isn't afraid to pass the ball more than in years past, with the arm of Busharis. Taylor and Hill, the latter of whom caught three touchdowns in Tuesday's 28-0 shutout of Walpole, have emerged as downfield threats the last few weeks.
X-factor: Covitz, with his above-average leg strength and low center of gravity, has been the most irreplaceable guy on the offensive line, and is generally been a nuisance for opposing offensive linemen coming off the edge. With that in mind, picking up the blitz will be crucial for the Hornets.

Barboza: When it's on the line, Marshall is just too explosive. Mansfield, 17-14.

Hall: Stan Andre, the one who kicked off this whole win streak, was in the house Tuesday night to take in the Reading game. I'm sure he said something to them in the ecstatic locker room after the game, and I'm sure it's going to count late in the fourth quarter. Reading, 28-27.

Duxbury (12-0) vs. Concord-Carlisle (10-2), 1:30 p.m. at Gillette Stadium
Duxbury players to watch:
QB Matt O’Keefe, DB/QB Kane Haffey, OL/DL Brett Harasimowicz, TE/DE Don Webber, RB/DB Reilly Naton.
Concord-Carlisle players to watch: RB George Craan; QB Peter George; RB/LB Jabrail Coy; LB Evan Boynton.
The skinny: These are two very stingy defenses with the Green Dragons allowing just 10.8 points per game and the Patriots have surrendered a shade under 13 points per game. Make no mistake, these teams can also move the ball. Duxbury thrives with its complement of Kane Haffey and Matt O’Keefe at quarterback. Concord-Carlisle can always depend on George Craan and his 1,600-plus yards out of the backfield.
X-factor: The Patriots and their fans know what to expect out of Craan, but if sophomore Tim Badgley can repeat his five-carry, 109-yard performance from their semifinal against North Andover, C-C’s chances for victory would greatly improve.

Barboza: One last time, I’ll pull this one out. The “Double Dragons” of O’Keefe and Haffey will lead them to victory. Duxbury, 21-20

Hall: Yes, that’s right, I called Duxbury’s defense “Duxbury Swag District” yesterday on our podcast. I am tragically lame, and slightly out of control. Duxbury, 24-10

Beverly (6-6) vs. Somerset (12-0), 11 a.m. at Gillette Stadium
Somerset players to watch:
RB/LB Seth DeMello; RB/DB Jaron Spear; OT/DT Ian Levesque; RB/LB Alex Estrella; QB Adam Ledoux.
Beverly players to watch: RB/DB Brendan Flaherty, QB/DB Joe Wioncek, OL/DL George Kallas, RB/DB Nick Theriault, LB Mark Giles, OL/DL Andrew Cannata.
The skinny: Somerset’s 28-0 win over Dighton-Rehoboth in the semifinals was a prototypical Blue Raiders game. Both Seth DeMello and Jaron Spear finished with over 100 yards rushing as Somerset bled the clock dry in the second half. Meanwhile, Beverly – the official Cinderella squad of the 2010 playoffs — showed that they truly belonged with a 41-14 thrashing of Scituate. Will the Blue Raiders prevail and finish a perfect season? Or can the Panthers keep the magic alive? It’s the quintessential favorite vs. underdog.
X-factor: The teams’ lines. For Division 3 schools, both of these squads have good sized linemen. Six-foot-five, 315-pound lineman Ian Levesque is a mountain on the Blue Raider line, but is agile as well. George Kallas is an immovable object on the Panther line.

Barboza: Not only is the double wing difficult for any team to run, but the Blue Raiders have all the right elements to run it to its best. Somerset, 28-14

Hall: Clock strikes midnight on Beverly, as two wings are better than one. Somerset, 21-10

Holliston (11-1) vs. Cardinal Spellman (12-0), 9 a.m., Gillette Stadium
Holliston players to watch:
RB/LB Kevin Curry, QB Sean Mayo, TE/DE Ryan Barrett, RB/DB Jake Frechette, WR/DB Christian Baker, OL/LB Ethan Rayner, OL/DL Kevin Lamarcque.
Spellman players to watch: RB/DB Blaise Branch, FB/LB Jared Lordi, RB/DB Jordan Williams, QB Zac Cooney.
The skinny: The 11-1 Panthers come into Saturday averaging just a hair under 40 points a game, with Mayo as the triggerman. Even in limited playing time -- the Panthers often pulled their starters in the third or fourth quarter -- the dual-threat quarterback put up 1,723 yards through the air, with 21 touchdown passes to only five interceptions, and also added 456 yards and nine scores on the ground. Spellman, in its third year under Ron St. George, had a remarkable turnaround, going from 2-9 to undefeated and in its first Super Bowl since 1992. At the forefront of St. George's vaunted Wing-T scheme is the senior Branch, who leads Eastern Mass with 36 rushing touchdowns. But over the last few games, defenses have had to worry more and more about Lordi and Williams.
X-factor: The Bryant-bound Barrett, at 6-foot-5 and 233 pounds, was a matchup problem all year long in the Tri-Valley League. And while he's not putting up the most gaudy numbers at tight end and was used more as a blocking back, his combination of size, speed and athleticism demands airtight coverage from the linebackers and helps open up the Panthers' offense.

Barboza: Panthers' rallying cry: 'We Don't Get Fooled Again". Holliston, 31-24

Hall: The Panthers came to Gillette last December and got manhandled. Guarantee you that's been fresh on their minds this week, and for that I think they avoid the same early mistakes that doomed them in 2009. Holliston, 25-20

Shawsheen (10-1) vs. Blue Hills (10-1), 10 a.m., Curry College
Shawsheen players to watch: OL/DL David Summiel, QB Ryan Woolaver, RB Andrew Dascoli, WR Rob Greenwood.
Blue Hills players to watch: RB Vincent Burton, RB Isaiah Teixeira, OL/DL Jamarr Goff, QB John Curran
The skinny: Shawsheen, on the heels of a 21-0 shutout of Madison Park in Tuesday night’s playoffs, is on a roll defensively. The Rams haven’t allowed a point in 19 quarters, dating back to a 41-6 win over Lynn Tech on October 15. Dascoli is the Rams’ workhorse back, while Greeenwood is their top threat at receiver. The Warriors, rested from a bye on Tuesday night, are led by Vincent Burton and his Division 4-best 30 touchdowns.
X-factor: The 6-foot-5, 310-pound Summiel might be the biggest catalyst for this incredible Shawsheen run. Playing right offensive tackle and left defensive end, Summiel paved the way for 118 rushing yards from leading rusher Dascoli, and also preserved a fourth straight shutout.

Barboza: The week off will certainly benefit Blue Hills, but the Rams defense is stout. Shawsheen, 14-7

Hall: Logic says to go with Blue Hills, as they’ll be well-rested thanks to their bye. But this Shawsheen defense is an absolute wagon by Division 4 standards, and for that I’m giving them another shutout to finish off what’s been a remarkable run over the last six weeks. Shawsheen, 21-0

Brighton (9-2) vs. Northeast (10-2), 1 p.m. at Curry College

Brighton players to watch: RB/LB Andrew Maestre, RB Dwight Kennedy, QB Jonathan Marrero, OL/DL Patrick Jean, WR Olumide Olukoga.
Northeast players to watch: RB/DB Bobby Novello; RB/DB Mike Cross; OL/DE Ryan Adams; FB/DE Ian Bagby; TE/LB A.J. Ortiz.
The skinny: You'd be hard pressed to find a hotter defense in the state than the Golden Knights, who have now pitched six shutouts after a 42-0 blanking of Pope John Tuesday. Their next challenge lies in the Bengals. A Division 4-A Super Bowl participant last year, Brighton’s offense is led by running back Andrew Maestre and quarterback Jonathan Marrerro, each of whom ran for two touchdowns in their 36-13 win over West Bridgewater on Tuesday.
X-factor: Brighton wide receiver Olumide Olukoga is the favorite target of Marrerro, but he’s also dangerous in the return game. Olukoga had a 41-yard kickoff return to set up Maestre’s first touchdown of the game. At this stage, with two talented teams, special teams play always comes to bear.

Barboza: Can’t pick against the Northeast defense, but the Bengals will put some points on the board. Northeast, 23-17

Hall: I used to live in Brighton Centre, and my neighbors were awesome. Go grab a bite at Smoken’ Joe’s when you get a chance, and make sure you get the Kansas City Sticky. Brighton, 21-17.

A View from No. 2 Everett

October, 14, 2010
ESPNBoston's Brendan Hall stopped by Everett Memorial Stadium this afternoon to discuss Saturday's colossal showdown between the No. 1 Xaverian Hawks and No. 2 Everett Crimson Tide. Let's just say you don't need to remind anybody on the Tide of what happened the last time these two met (Xaverian won handily, 29-0, last December amidst a snowstorm at Gillette Stadium to capture the Division 1 Super Bowl title).

Senior offensive lineman Nick Chiarello talked about the biggest keys for Saturday's game:

Boston College-bound wide receiver Manny Asprilla says he's been losing sleep all week just thinking about this game:

So, too, has defensive tackle Shaquille "Shaq" Taylor, the Tide's energetic mouthpiece:

DiBiaso shakes rust, handles Devils

September, 11, 2010
LEOMINSTER, Mass. -- Jonathan DiBiaso started the night off just as he had in several key moments last season -- sputtering -- and watched from the sidelines as Leominster quarterback Kyle Ford tucked the ball and scrambled around the right side unscatched for a 22-yard touchdown scamper for the game's initial lead.

The remedy? Breathe.

"We told him to keep his head up. The bad passes, we basically blamed ourselves," senior wideout Manny Asprilla said.

And then, DiBiaso turned right around and fired one over the middle to Asprilla, who promptly put on the jets and took off down the left sideline, a 72-yard score to knot it at 7-all and open the floodgates. The Crimson Tide took a 28-16 lead over Leominster into the half, all DiBiaso passing touchdowns, and went away 42-23 winners in the season-opener for both at Doyle Field.

In the nine years the two have been meeting, Everett has outscored the Blue Devils, 275-109. So much for those concerns about transitions to a no-huddle, spread-oriented offense in year two.

"All the criticism said, you know, we averaged what, 21 (points per game) last year? How the offense was gone," head coach John DiBiaso said. "We put up good numbers tonight, so...for the first game, I'm pleased."

On the Tide's first score, on third and short late in the first quarter, the original intent was to give the ball to running back Vondell Langston. But Asprilla saw the middle open, and the Tide switched plays at the line of scrimmage. DiBiaso (278 passing yards, five touchdowns) gave Asprilla a perfect feed over the middle, and the Boston College-bound wideout simply turned on the jets.

"I don't know what happened. I ran straight, and saw it looked empty, so I just ran," laughed Asprilla, who finished the night with 195 yards of offense (145 receiving) and two scores.

From there, the Tide eased further into a groove -- "After that, I think we really started getting into a rhythm," said senior Matt Costello, who one-upped Asprilla with three touchdown catches.

On their next offensive possession, Costello slanted over the middle of the end zone from five yards out, to haul in his first of three touchdown catches. Leominster's Kyle Sanders sandwiched a 74-yard touchdown run in between two more Everett scores in the second quarter -- first Asprilla's second touchdown, then Costello's second -- and the Blue Devils were ready to make this a shootout when Shaunsagh Addo hauled in a lucky Everett bounce for a 42-yard catch that set up 1st and 10 inside the Tide 25.

But the Tide defensive line, led by Shaquille Taylor, stifled the run, forcing the Blue Devils to settle for a 27-yard field goal.

Vondell Langston put the Tide up 35-16 in the third with a Gronkowski-like one-yard run, dragging a defender tugging at his right foot and spinning through a tackle. And from there, Leominster was unable to make a significant rally.

A few more observations:

-- If there was doubt before, let's put this to rest now: Asprilla has some serious burners. When you're 5-foot-10 and 165 pounds, you don't average 36 yards per catch in a game going for the deep ball. In the spirit of DeSean Jackson and Wes Welker, this guy is all about the YAC. On a first-and-10 late in the second quarter, Asprilla turned around for a five-yard comeback route, jab-stepped to the inside with his right foot, broke to the left sideline and was shoved out of bounds some 31 yards later.

Asprilla will turn heads this year with his offensive production -- the speedster ran for 50 yards out of motion-sweep handoffs -- but he also grabbed an interception on a jump ball in the third quarter (he figures to fit in at defensive back at BC). That's a welcome change from when we last saw the Tide, at Gillette Stadium in the Division 1 Super Bowl loss.

"Last season, the DB's and everyone was fighting with each other the last game, everybody was confused," Asprilla said. "All the turnovers, everybody was just angry at each other, we weren't on the same page. But this year we told each other that no matter what, even if it was a big play like when the big guy (Addo) caught that ball off Jaleel Wingard, we were going to keep each other up. We all just stayed on the same page."

-- Asprilla's yards after the catch will get the headlines, but Costello ran some very crisp routes tonight. His best catch might have been the one that set up Langston's touchdown run, turning at the left sideline a half-yard short of the near pylon, planting the tips of his toes inches short of the sideline, stretching out and bringing the ball to his chest. Just like they teach you in camp.

Not to mention, these trips to Doyle Field bear sentimental value to Costello, who was a long-time waterboy for the Tide before enrolling at the high school.

"Just growing up and being here, seeing the older kids go through it, and now getting a chance to actually go through it myself, I mean it's awesome," said Costello, who's been here for all five of Everett's trips to the Plastic City. "It's a little kid's dream growing up. And I mean, making the trip out to Leominster, it's not that bad...we've got the coach buses, we get to catch up on some sleep after school, coming on the way up, so it's great."

-- Can't leave out the man they call "Shaq". Taylor is the Tide's emotional leader out there, and when Taylor gets going, as Costello noted, "He's tough to stop. He's a big boy, and when he gets going, we can't even slow him down."

The 5-foot-11, 270-pound Taylor showed his speed with his pursuit of King in the backfield, and serves as the team's lead blocking back when they go to their goal line formation. It's a pretty nifty formation they've got: out of a double-slot Ace formation, Taylor lines up on the line of scrimmage, standing up as a tight end, and on DiBiaso's cadence the skill players switch from an Ace to a Power-I.

"He's an emotional player," the elder DiBiaso said. "That's important to play with emotion. I thought him and (Nick) Chiarello did real well tonight."

-- And by the way, the offensive line -- led by Chiarello and three sophomores -- didn't allow a sack tonight.

"We were sending kids off the edge, and their offensive line and running backs did a great job blocking," Leominster head coach John Dubzinski said. "We never put him (DiBiaso) on the ground at all. We just couldn't put him on the ground. They did a great job blocking."

Everett 42, Leominster 23

EHS 7 21 7 7 --- 42
LHS 7 9 0 7 --- 23

First Quarter
L - Kyle Ford 22 run (Leonardo Trento kick)
E - Manny Asprilla 72 pass from Jonathan DiBiaso (Gilly De Souza kick)
Second Quarter
E - Matt Costello 5 pass from DiBiaso (De Souza kick)
E - Asprilla 29 pass from DiBiaso (De Souza kick)
L - Kyle Sanders 74 run (kick failed)
L - Trento 27 field goal
Third Quarter
E - Vondell Langston 1 run (De Souza kick)
Fourth Quarter
E - Costello 9 pass from DiBiaso (De Souza kick)
L - Nick Wilford 34 run (Trento kick)

After fine-tuning, No. 3 Everett polished

September, 10, 2010
In a city where the school's football team is expected to run the gauntlet unscathed, year in and year out, three losses in a year is virtually an anomaly.

Yet, with the new blend of athletic skill players coming up to the ranks that commanded a changing of the guard, that's what happened at Everett High, the lumps of such a dramatic transition in offensive philosophy came at an unexpected rate. Early on in 2009, the Crimson Tide suffered their worst regular-season loss since the early 1990's, a 47-14 drubbing by Dracut, with interception after interception yielding to an avalanche of points.

That's all in the past, though. The Tide have looked steady so far leading up to tonight's season-opening clash in Leominster.

"Offensively, I think we're looking real good," said senior wide receiver Matt Costello. "Last year, as I said, it was more of a growing season, and our connection is starting to click. Our offensive line's getting better…defensively, we're coming in with a different mindset, more of speed defense. We get to the ball and rally on the ball. Our defense needs a little refining, but it's still early."

Jonathan DiBiaso, son of head coach John, looks polished headed in his junior season, his third under center. The long, sometimes Leftwich-like release has been tightened up, not to mention he's grown a bit since last December.

"He's had two good scrimmages, so I don't want to jinx anything," the elder DiBiaso laughed. "There's a big difference from being 15
years old, 155 pounds, to now you're 16 and 190, 195, and you look more like a man, know what I'm saying?"

Between deep-ball threat Matt Costello, athlete Manny Asprilla and workhorse junior running back Vondell Langston, there has been plenty to like about the Tide's offense in year two of the spread. In two scrimmages, they've scored five times each. Certainly, another year in the offense hasn't hurt.

"I think it means a lot. We're on the same page on alot of things," the elder DiBiaso said. "Making the reads on pass routes, picking up blitzes, we experienced that last year, and this year we've been a little more more experienced when teams have tried to do it in the preseason. We've had success against it, we've run alot of good routes, option routes, when do this gotta do that, guys are going to the right spots and making plays out of it."

2009: 8-3 (4-0 Greater Boston), lost in Division 1 Super Bowl
Coach: John DiBiaso (18th season at Everett, 226-63-1 overall)
Players to watch: Matt Costello, Sr., WR/DB, 6-1, 165 lbs; Manny Asprilla, Sr., RB/WR/DB, 6-0, 170 lbs; Jonathan DiBiaso, Jr., QB, 6-1, 195 lbs; Vondell Langston, Jr., RB/LB, 6-1, 200 lbs; Shaquille Taylor, Sr., OL/DL, 5-11, 270 lbs; Ralph Jonathas, Sr., OL/DL, 6-2, 195 lbs; Nick Chiarello, Sr., C/DL, 5-10, 205 lbs.
Strengths: Skill position players, experience, familiarity with offensive system.
Weaknesses: Youth on offensive and defensive lines.
Outlook: The Crimson Tide have lost just five regular season games over the last 10 seasons. So 2009's 8-3 campaign, to say the least, was an anomaly for what is typically one of the state's four or five best teams. By the looks of the preseason, the Tide have so far overcome the growing pains of transitioning to a spread from the double wing-T that dogged them last fall. Costello is one of the state's best deep-ball threats, and could have an even bigger year if DiBiaso's improved mechanics hold up -- "They've been trying to blitz him and they haven't had much success," says the elder DiBiaso. Asprilla and Langston, who combined for nearly 1,700 yards last season, will once again share the load in the backfield. Defensively, speed is key in what figures to be a youth movement.