Boston High School: Ryan Kelley

Recap: No. 9 Brockton 41, Cath. Memorial 6

November, 3, 2012
WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- No. 9 Brockton defeated Catholic Memorial 41-6 on the heels of De’Andre Brown (two interceptions) and Ryan Kelley (two fumble recoveries, kick block) leading the defensive charge. Aaron LeClair (two rushing TDS) and Austin Roberts (one rushing TD, one passing) led the Boxers offensively.

“I was kind of surprised it was this easy, but we’ll take it”, said Brockton coach Peter Colombo.

Although CM (2-6) did not score until the fourth quarter, the Knights were moving the ball well for a time in the first half, but direct turnovers and failure to convert on third down were crucial to the Knights.

“When you’re playing a team like Brockton, you can’t turn the ball over at all,” said CM coach Alex Campea. “We’ll go back to the drawing board come Monday and we’ll be on the field working at it to get better.

Brockton has been turning up the defensive play, according to Colombo, and capitalized on those opportunities yesterday.

“The defense has been playing good football three weeks in a row,” added Colombo. “I have been very impressed by their hitting too.”

On the offensive front, Ricardo Calixte came up big for the Boxers, ripping a 52-yard run on their first possession, following Kelley’s first fumble recovery, to set up Brockton’s first score. Calixte, along with LeClair and Roberts, got good-sized holes from the offensive line and took advantage of the speed benefit once they were in the open field to produce extra yardage.

“They were blocking good, moving people and giving up space,” said LeClair. “This was a big week.”

Jimenez Injured Early: With 5:30 left in the first quarter, senior running back Luis Jimenez took a handoff from Austin Roberts and broke left with a touchdown on his mind. He laid out his body and broke the plane with the ball, lighting up the scoreboard for Brockton. As the team and fans alike celebrated the first score of the day, Jimenez remained on the ground with little movement. Jimenez was immobilized, placed onto a gurney, transferred to a stretcher and taken to hospital with an undisclosed leg injury.

As the World Turns: Last year, Catholic Memorial blanked Brockton 26-0. After Brockton went up early, talk of last year’s game and this year’s opposite outcome spread through the press box, airwaves and in the crowd.

“We twisted it around on them. They were a great team last year,” said Colombo. “And I think we’re turning into a pretty good team this year, We’re right where we want to be.”

Lunch Of Champions: While some students complain about school lunch, Ryan Kelley has made the grub at Brockton High School a part of his regiment.

“I had a chicken sandwich during school,” said Kelley with a laugh when asked about his game day menu. “After that I went to D’Angelo’s and had my meatball sub. That’s my ritual.”

BR (6-3) 7 21 13 0 --- 41
CM (2-6) 0 0 0 6 --- 6

First Quarter
B – Luis Jimenez 12 run (Levon Merian kick)

Second Quarter
B – Aaron LeClair 6 run (Merian kick)
B – LeClair 4 run (Merian kick)
B – Micah Morel 17 pass from Austin Roberts (Merian kick)

Third Quarter
B – LeClair 12 run (Merian kick)
B – Roberts 1 run (Kick failed)

Fourth Quarter
CM – Darren Wagner 3 run (kick blocked)

BC High trio attend Semper Fidelis combine

January, 19, 2012
A trio of BC High football players were among seven Massachusetts participants recently to attend the upcoming Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl "Proving Ground" combine.

Eagles linebacker/fullback Luke Catarius, quarterback Brendan Craven and wide receiver Lincoln Collins were among the 300 elite juniors competing in the individual skills competitions in Phoenix, Ariz. on Jan. 2.

Other Bay Staters who participated in the combine were Brockton's Ryan Kelley, Nashoba's Zack Hume, Catholic Memorial wide receivers David Berment Jr. and Deijon Evans, and Portsmouth Abbey (R.I.) quarterback Gabe Carter.

On another note, Craven was one of two Massachusetts-based players to attend the U.S. Army National Combine in San Antonio, Texas on Jan. 5-7.

Pugilistic Roberts integral to No. 5 Brockton

September, 3, 2011
It’s not often that a Brockton Boxer is literally a boxer.

Austin Roberts, though, a junior Swiss Army knife for the Division 1 powerhouse and No. 5 team in the state, actually puts on gloves and hits people when he’s not doing it in shoulder pads.

Roberts lives in East Bridgewater, but is able to attend Brockton because his father Ralph -- an assistant coach with the Boxers -- is a sophomore English teacher at the high school. He started boxing in his early teens at Eddie Bishop’s Gym in West Bridgewater.

“I’ve definitely became tougher because of boxing,” said the 5-foot-8, 175-pounder, who is 2-1 in three amateur bouts. “It’s an awesome experience sparring with people a lot better than me. It teaches you to remember to stay in the ring no matter how much you’re taking a beating. It made me a better foottball player in that sense.

“I love being an underdog. I’m, you know, a smaller person. I’m only 5-8. Going against taller people bigger people, you have to out-tough them every chance (you) get.”

“He loves it maybe moreso than I thought,” noted Ralph. “He does like getting in the ring with people.”

He got one such chance earlier than expected in 2009, when a suspension to starting quarterback Sam Previte forced the freshman, then only around 5-6 and 150 pounds, into action against Waltham on Thanksgiving and a date with unbeaten Xaverian in the Division 1 semifinals.

Against Waltham, Roberts completed 9-of-16 passes for 148 yards and a touchdown in an 18-11 win.

Facing unbeaten Xaverian the following Tuesday was a different animal. Still, the freshman didn’t go in to the situation intimidated.

“I was just thankful for the opportunity to get the experience as a freshman,” he said. “I was more excited than anything.”

When Xaverian took a 21-6 lead deep into the fourth quarter, the game looked finished.

But Roberts led the Boxers on a two-minute drill that culminated in a 28-yard strike over the middle to Dominique Williams, now a safety at Boston College. Williams ran in the two-point conversion out of the Wildcat and it was 21-14 with 1:28 to play.

The Boxers nearly recovered an onside kick, but Xaverian was able to hold off the comeback bid and eventually win the Super Bowl the following Saturday.

“Yeah, I mean I’ve thought about that (onside kick) over and over thinking what could have happened,” Roberts said.

By the time his sophomore year rolled around, Roberts was first on the depth chart at quarterback before Paul Mroz eventually overtook him. However, that didn’t keep Roberts off the field. His strength as a quarterback to this point in his career has been running the option, so he did that in spots and also held for extra points as well as other various special teams duties.

“Obviously I was a little disappointed that I wasn’t able to get the starting job,” Roberts said. “But I was contributing and I wanted to have a good attitude by just getting better and waiting my chance.”

This season, those chances are abundant. While he still comes in and runs the option, he also starts at outside linebacker and slot receiver and rarely comes off the field.

“Auggie comes in and immediately runs the option as well as any high school quarterback I’ve seen,” said coach Peter Colombo. “That’s good to know we have that. He’s also playing on defense, playing at wide receiver, showing his versatility.

“Guys that play multiple positions are intelligent players and they wouldn’t be able to do that without that and I think it showed on defense; he’s just always around the ball. If the ball hits him in the hands, it’s going to be our football.”

“As a freshman and sophomore game the game was very fast,” Roberts said. “This year we’re able to get to the plays faster. I know the plays a lot better. I also got work last year at the J.V. level and now I can crank it up to the next level to varsity.”

So far, the whole defense has cranked it up to another level in that respect.

“(The defense is) tougher than last year,” Roberts said. “We had to be. We’re smarter, too. We’ve got a lot of smart kids on the field. I don’t know. We’ve got to clean it up before (the BC High) game. I think we know we’ve got work to do.”

Sounds like he’s ready to rumble.

Coach: Peter Colombo (9th season, 72-23-1)
Last year: 8-3
Key returnees: Paul Mroz, QB, 6-2, 195, Sr. (64-of-130 passing for 1,322 yards, 12 TD, 7 INT, 398 yards rushing on 59 carries, 6.75 yards per carry, 8 TD); Josh Brewster, RB, 5-9, 175, Sr. (177 yards on 34 carries, 5.21 ypc); Dino Hyppolite, DT, 6-0, 250, Sr. (30 tackles, 1 sack, 2 fumble recoveries); Jesse Monteiro, WR/CB, 5-8, 170, Sr. (16 catches for 271 yards); Lucas Depina, WR/K/P, 6-2, 180, Sr. (4 catches, 162 yards, 3 TD); Khahleell Alcide, LG, 6-0, 220, Sr.; Jerrod Shelby, WR/TE/OLB, 6-4, 190, Sr.; Devante Cartwright, CB, 5-9, 170, Sr.; D.J. Brown, DB, 6-0, 190, Sr.; Austin Roberts, OLB/QB/WR, 5-8, 175, Jr.; Ryan Kelley, ILB, 6-2, 210, Jr.; Joe Previte, OT/DT, 6-2, 260, Jr.; Anthony Davis, G/DE, 6-0, 250, Jr.; Micah Morel, S/QB, 5-11, 175, Jr.; Moise Eduard, OLB/RB, 5-8, 225, Jr.
Strengths: Quarterback, speed, offense, young talent.
Weaknesses: Inexperience on defense, pass rush.
Outlook: Offensively, the Boxers have the potential to be better than a year ago despite losing speedy wideout Albert Louis-Jean (Boston College) and shifty running back Trevon Offley (Suffield Academy). Mroz, with a year of experience under his belt and a deep group of weapons to spread the ball around to in Brewster, Depina, Monteiro, Depina and Cartwright. Brewster will get to run behind an offensive line that includes three three-year starters in Alcide, Previte and Davis. The defense has strength on the defensive line but has lacks a pure pass rusher off the edge. The linebackers are sure tacklers and the secondary has excellent corners and a safety in Morel that is already drawing FBS interest despite not having started a single varsity game yet. The schedule offers no favors with BC High, Xaverian and St. John’s Prep in the first four weeks. If the Boxers survive that stretch relatively unscathed, there is nothing holding them back from their first appearance at Gillette Stadium since 2008.

Scrimmage Slants: Brockton vs. St. John's (S)

August, 27, 2011

WESTWOOD, Mass. -- Brockton coach Peter Colombo had one message for his team following its impressive showing in a scrimmage with Central Massachusetts powerhouse St. John’s of Shrewsbury, at Xaverian High.

“Keep this in perspective. It was a scrimmage,” said the coach of the preseason No. 5 team in the state. “I think we know that the sky is the limit this year.”

It certainly looked that way Saturday.

Brockton’s offense scored twice in its four plays and -- from the first string to the end of the depth chart -- the Boxers found the end zone at least once on every possession. The Pioneers moved the ball well in spots but found the end zone just once. While keeping score in a first scrimmage can be taken with a grain of salt, strictly first team against first team, Brockton led, 20-6, and overall it was 42-6. Each team went for two-point conversions after every score.

“You keep it in perspective,” Colombo said. “(The Pioneers) have been real good the last two years, and maybe a little inexperienced this year, which I thought we exploited. But I’m very happy with being in pads two days; the execution was very good. People’s attitudes, we’ve got people people in different positions adjusting. And (our) defense is young but I liked the way they ran to the ball. I thought the hitting was excellent for first day.”

“All around good game: offense; defense. It was just a good game,” said senior Jesse Monteiro, a wide receiver and cornerback. “Everybody stepped it up from the sophomores and the juniors and the seniors. Played as a team, and that’s what you have to do to make it.”

The players seemed to absorb Colombo’s message well.

“Stay humble,” Monteiro said. “Don’t let it get to our heads because we have a lot more work to do. It’s a long journey.”

The first step wasn’t too shabby.

Some other observations:

-- Brockton quarterback Paul Mroz looked superb. At this time last year, the signal-caller wasn’t nearly as patient with his reads and was prone to scrambling before the play fully developed. The senior, who received a waiver earlier this month to return to the team and is on track to graduate in January, went through his progressions and found the open receiver, spreading the ball around evenly to his weapons.

“The offensive line did a great job,” Mroz said. “They gave me confidence and if they give me time to throw I think I can make the throws happen.

“All offseason I’ve been working with these (receivers) so I got to adjust to their speeds and the timing on the routes. They do a great job running them.”

His first pass was around a 50-yard completion to Jerrod Shelby to set up a touchdown run by Josh Brewster. After a first-down strike to Monteiro, Mroz kept the ball on a zone read, found the sideline and scored a 60-yard touchdown that was aided by a thunderous block by Shelby on a trailing Pioneer defensive back.

“It was a basic read, read the end,” Mroz said. “He came in, he went with Brewster, so I just went around the whole team and I had good lead blocking on the way there. I saw Bubba (Shelby) the whole way. The defender didn’t even see that one coming.

-- Brewster looks like a capable replacement for departed All-State tailback Trevon Offley, now doing a post-graduate year at Suffield Academy. Brewster, a senior, runs downhill with decisive cuts and has soft hands coming out of the backfield. He finished with two touchdown runs and caught a two-point conversion on a nicely-designed and executed weakside throwback.

“I think Josh could be in the tradition of Brockton High running backs,” Colombo said. “We’ve got to make sure we get the ball in his hands enough because we want to spread it around, be balanced. But still, he’s a weapon that we want to exploit.”

Backups John Gomes and Moise Eduard scored on touchdown drives led by junior quarterbacks Austin Roberts (who also played outside linebacker and slot receiver) and Micah Morel, respectively. Junior Josh Laboard also had a rushing touchdown.

-- Defensively, the Boxers are young and inexperienced, but there is talent. Despite missing starting cornerbacks D.J. Brown and Devante Cartwright for much of the scrimmage, the Boxers made good plays on the ball and only let up one long reception. Morel came up and filled the running lanes well at safety. An all-junior linebacking corps of Eduard, Johashy Cornely, Ryan Kelley and Roberts was stout inside the tackle box with Eduard coming up with one of the biggest hits of the day on a third-and-short at midfield. Juniors Jeff Celestin, Malik Cooley-Walker, Anthony Davis and senior Giovanni Hyppolite held their own against a big and physical St. John’s offensive line. The backups also played well up front, as junior defensive tackle Rodney Thomas swallowed up a play in the backfield on the last defensive series.

-- For St. John’s, an always-good offensive line got better when senior Ethan Borchelt came out for football for the first time and won the starting left tackle job. At 6-foot-6, 250 pounds, the Pioneers found good yardage running to his side. Borchelt, who rows crew and plays basketball, has room to fill out his long frame and shows good technique for a first-year varsity player. The offensive line will be even better once junior Michael Marto (6-3, 280) returns to the lineup.

“It was the first full contact (Borchelt’s) had other than in a controlled camp-type structure and practice,” said St. John’s coach John Andreoli. “But just in terms of getting his body where it needed to be and keeping his lower half down lot and walling guys off, he did a pretty good job. We were very pleased with what he did and I think he’s going to keep getting better. So he’s going to be somebody to watch.”

-- St. John's senior captain Brendan Melanson, a returning starter at center, has transitioned well into taking over an inside linebacker spot.

“I kind of had some butterflies going into this game, how I was going to do,” he said. “Basically it was an easy move. I feel like coach ‘A’ is great to learn from. He’s got so much knowledge. So I feel like it’s been an easy switch. I think I did pretty well today but I definitely have something to move on from and learn from.”

-- The battle for the Pioneers' starting quarterback job is between junior Connor Kurtz and sophomore Andrew Smiley. Kurtz led the Pioneers on their only touchdown drive with a nice pass down the seam to Drew Ortone for a big gain that helped set up a short touchdown run by senior Sean Wilson. No matter who wins the job, he will have a deep and talented group of runners to hand the ball to. Efrain Montalvo is a speedy slot receiver who picked up good yardage on jet sweeps, while junior Shadrack Abrokwah and freshmen Devon Jones and Taquar Stewart also had nice long gains.

“Sean Wilson just ran with a lot of pop today,” Andreoli said. “He was delivering blows and making nice cuts. Efrain Montalvo: he’s a 4.4 guy legitimately and he has some really nice hips and can get in the open field really quick...And those freshmen - Devan and Taquar - they’ve got a fourth and fifth gear. They have a natural ability to run the ball and get to the open area. Those were a couple hit-and-spins that were pretty impressive today.

“We’ve got a lot to do. But we saw some really good things today.”

ESPNBoston's Hoops Finals Picks

March, 18, 2011
We've got you covered from the first tip-off to the final buzzer tomorrow at Worcester's DCU Center, home of six MIAA basketball state championships. But for now, to whet your appetite, here's high school editor Brendan Hall's picks for each of the six games.

The Lowdown: In a season of relative unknowns in Division 3, the Wildcats of Lee dominated Western Mass again, albeit to nobody's surprise. Puncutated by wins over Division 1 finalist Amherst and Division 3 juggernaut Sabis (which was averaging nearly 70 points per game before falling in the D3 West final to Lee), the Wildcats are at it again with that famously dogged press of theirs. Always undersized yet always relentless, they blitzed Pentucket a year ago on the DCU floor en route to their sixth state title in 20 years, and could be up to their same old tricks tomorrow morning. St. Mary's, meanwhile, has size all over the place, led by the senior "Twin Towers" of 6-foot-2 center Tori Faieta and 5-foot-11 forward Cassi Amenta. The Spartans beat Lee a month ago, 71-60, in a tournament just before the start of the MIAA playoffs.
Hall's Pick: History says to never take Lee lightly -- no matter what shape or size it comes in. But unfortunately, there is just too much size to be accounted for on St. Mary's side of things. Not that they're unbeatable, but I just think the Spartans will control the glass. St. Mary's, 50-45.

The Lowdown: Another matchup that on paper looks uneven, the Whitinsville Christian Crusaders boast plenty of size behind 6-foot-9 Hans Miersma, who dominated Lenox in Wednesday night's Central/West semifinal. Meanwhile, Watertown's tallest player is 6-foot-3 senior forward Connor Stockdale -- whom head coach Steve Harrington likens to another point guard on the floor -- and Marco Coppola, one of the state's leading scorers with 25 points per game. Whitinsville excels in the 2-3 zone but isn't afraid to quickly drop it and play straight man should they get into early trouble. But this is Harrington's Raiders, which means you're likely to see four things: weakside post, four out, pick and roll, perimeter shots. In other words, don't take the Raiders lightly, especially if they don't try to challenge Miersma immediately at the rim.
Hall's Pick: The tale of the tape favors Whitinsville, just based on the size it wields in the frontcourt. But Steve Harrington is one of the best coaches in New England, and you can guarantee he's going to draw up a hell of a game plan to try and neutralize the size advantage. Whitinsville Christian, 65-64.

The Lowdown: The Arlington Catholic Cougars -- led by Emma Roberson, Nicole Catizone, and sisters Rachel and Maura Buckley -- can be viewed as a green bunch with all of their youth abound. But on Monday night at TD Garden, they pulled off one of the more impressive feats in recent EMass Finals history, clawing back from 18 down with six minutes left in the first half to take a halftime lead over Hopkinton and hold it up. Meanwhile, Millbury has burned opponents in the transition game all season long, beating opponents in the playoffs so far by an average of 16.5 points per game. Out on the break, seniors Julie Frankian (19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds) and Sydney Bloomstein (9.5, 6.1) have been as formidable duo as we've seen in Division 2.
Hall's Pick: Sorry, AC. That was an amazing comeback you pulled over Hopkinton over the Garden. But this is Julie Frankian's moment in the sun. Millbury, 60-48.

The Lowdown: Mission was the odds-on favorite in Division 2 headed into the season, and hasn't done a whole lot to convince otherwise. Led by three Northeast-10 ready senior guards in Samir McDaniels, Kachi Nzerem and Darius Davis; as well as Charles Gunter, Leroy Hamilton, and Isshiah Coleman on the blocks; the Titans have begun to find that scoring touch around the rim that was missing for stretches this season. They also like to wear opponents out with a smothering, physical man-to-man defense -- as head coach Cory McCarthy often tells reporters, "The uglier, the better." Good news for the Titans: Northbridge relishes in that style, too. Eight of its players were on the Rams squad that won a Division 2 football Central Mass Super Bowl this past fall, and have brought that aggressive mentality to the floor with forwards (and brothers) Thomas and Harrison Murphy. Also watch out for Corey Pryor, who burned Sabis on Wednesday night with a series of uncontest layups en route to 24 points.
Hall's Pick: Cory McCarthy is known to fill up a reporter's notebook fairly quickly with his endless arsenal of money quotes. But the one that still resonates above the rest is the one he gave our correspondent Adam Kurkjian back in December: "I love these kids. I would do anything for these kids. And I feel like they will eat glass for me." Remember that one if this is close in the waning minutes. Mission, 58-47.

The Lowdown: Amherst, written off the in preseason after the transfer of Mariah Lesure to Tabor Academy, has rolled through Western Mass, and arrives in Worcester after a thrilling overtime defeat of Algonquin in Tuesday's Central/West state semifinal. Much of the Hurricanes' emergence has to do with the maturation of their junior class led by Brianna Leonard (11.1 points), Morbasaw Nkambeo (10.0) and Kristen Ferrola (9.3). The Golden Warriors, meanwhile, were one of several heavy favorites in Division 1 headed into the season, and save a lone regular-season blip to Central Catholic have done nothing to deter that thinking. Much has been made of Andover's Division 1-ready backcourt led by Marist-bound senior Natalie Gomez-Martinez and BC-bound junior Nicole Boudreau, the state's newly-anointed Gatorade Player of the Year. But the Warriors excel on the boards, too, behind junior Ally Fazio and sophomore Devon Caveney.
Hall's Pick: At the risk of jinxing this...should Andover win, I don't think it's out of the realm to think the Warriors have a shot next season at making it the first Division 1 girls three-peat since Haverhill in the mid-90's. Long Live The MVC. Andover, 70-60.

The Lowdown: After the loss of Ryan Kelley (ACL tear) and stalemate of a Central Final defeat of Fitchburg (40-38), some questioned whether Shrewsbury was ripe for the picking. The Pioneers put an end to that doubt on Wednesday night, handling a talented Northampton squad with physical defense and clutch shooting from Matt Harrington. Head coach Bob Foley is known for his Princeton-ish offense, this year led by forward pivots Matt Palecki and Richard Rodgers, but we've seen the Pioneers transition teams to death in state championships past (Lynn English, 2009, anyone?). This marks the fourth straight D1 final appearance for SJS, while Prep is making its first appearance since 1974. The matchup of the day might be Pat Connaughton versus Rodgers (we'll just assume that's what Prep head coach Sean Connolly will do for now), but the Eagles have prided themselves all year long on the work of their role players. Every game, it's a different kid stepping up, between Steve Haladyna, Freddy Shove, Mike Carbone, Owen Marchetti and Isaiah Robinson.
Hall's Pick: It's going to be a rockfight on the court, and both student sections are going to be rocking out. And I do mean rocking. I literally can't wait. By the way, every high school fan ever, you've got your work cut out for you after Northampton's "Full Metal Jacket" routine the other night at DCU. Prep, 45-41.

Kelley-Palecki connection pulls No. 2 SJS away

February, 15, 2011

FITCHBURG, Mass. -- Ryan Kelley swore it was a pass.

"It hit the rim, I wasn't supposed to do that," the senior forward joked to reporters about his St. John's teammate's tip-slam in the waning minutes of last night's 68-55 win over St. Bernard's. Up 59-49 wit three minutes left, the 6-foot-2 Kelley broke free in transition and tossed up a lay-in that kissed the glass -- and the rim -- before 6-foot-4 senior Richard Rodgers easily slammed it home one-handed, effectively putting the game away.

That would have been his eighth assist in an otherwise superb night for the 6-foot-2 Kelley, who bailed out the Pioneers (14-3) in the fourth quarter after the Bernardians (14-4) stormed back into the game with a third quarter rally that cut the lead to one. Working against a 2-3 zone, Kelley repeatedly stepped out into the wing and delivered a swift entry pass to 6-foot-6 junior Matt Palecki (17 points), who tipped it home.

Kelley was deferential after the game, particularly to Palecki -- "We've been playing together for three years, before school, after school," he noted. Palecki was nearly perfect from the field (8 of 10) as the Pioneers spoiled a festive night at the St. Bernard's Activity Center, which included a round of "Senior Night" photo-ops and a halftime ceremony honoring the recent nomination of senior John Henault (26 points, six rebounds) for the McDonald's All-American Game.

The chemistry between Kelley and Palecki is evident as the Pioneers get geared up for another Division 1 state tournament run.

"To get ready for St. Bernard's, we practiced against the 2-3 every day," Kelley said. "Every cut was made more than a couple of times, so I know where he knows to go, I know where he's going to be open, and I just throw it there. He gets there, and you know, it worked out tonight."

Said head coach Bob Foley, "Ryan Kelley, he was the key during that period of time. They were all obviously trying to play Richard Rodgers (13 points) and Kelley made some big plays, and Matt Palecki comes to the right spot and he got open and made the big plays. These are the games you wait for, you know are going to happen, and boy I'd like to see St. Bernard's go a long way."

Down 35-23 at the half, the Bernardians outscored St. John's 19-8 in the third quarter to cut the lead to 43-42, taking two brief leads along the way. Keying the run was the perimeter presence of Henault and Andrew Pierce (nine points, three 3-pointers). St. B's went 5 of 6 from long distance, and took a 40-39 lead with Henault's third trey of the game with 1:13 left in the quarter.

"We're slower than most teams, especially tonight, so we're a very perimeter-oriented team," St. B's head coach Mark Pierce said. "And we run a lot of stuff to try to get open looks, and our first half they did a pretty good job getting out on our shooters, challenging everything. I thought the third quarter especially, we did a better job setting screens, creating enough space so we can get shots off."

But from therein, the Pioneers' size advantage reclaimed momentum. With nobody to match up with St. John's frontcourt, the Bernardians' 2-3 zone struggled to slow Palecki and Rodgers at the blocks. And when they managed to size up, they left sophomore Ken Harrington (12 points, 4 for 6 on three-pointers) open on the wing; he nailed two treys in the fourth to help stave off the surge.

In all, both teams shot over 47 percent from three-point range, including a 7 for 14 night for St. John's. But there's a reason the Pioneers haven't lost to an in-state opponent since last year's Division 1 state championship, and it showed once again around the rim.

"It's not for lack of effort. I told the guys, fourth quarter they're going to go back to their bread and butter," Pierce said. "Three-four passes, reverse the ball, into the post, and sure enough...they do it very well. We stopped it half the night, and the other half we didn't, fourth quarter especially. (Palecki) got some great shots, you just catch the ball from three feet in and he's got it sealed off, it's tough."

Lowell harriers keep pace, motivation

November, 13, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. -- Saturday’s Eastern Massachusetts Division I meet was proof that not much can slow Lowell High boys’ cross country team.

Raiders head coach Phil Maia knows his team didn’t run its best race collectively, but they were still good enough to win the sectional crown. The Raiders finished 20 points better than second-place finisher, Brookline, at Franklin Park.

Padraic Donovan led the Lowell charge with a seventh-place finish, navigating the 5K course in 16 minutes and 24 seconds. Michael Giardina finished two spots behind in 16:34. Patrick Coppinger (16, 16:48), Michael Gendron (36, 17:15) and Nathan McCarthy (39, 17:18) rounded out the top five for Lowell.

The Raiders have already claimed titles this season at the Manhattan Invitational and the Catholic Memorial Invitational in addition to a Merrimack Valley Conference championship.

Lowell now turns its attention to All-States.

“We rested boys for the MSTCA Invitational last week,” Maia said. “We knew we would be good enough to qualify for All-State and we wanted to plan out our postseason. I think we can regroup for next week, have a couple of kids improve on their times. Hopefully, we can put that together.”

Maia laughed when asked if his harriers might have been tad slow-footed because they were in attendance at Friday night’s eight-overtime football bout between Lowell and Andover.

“No, we had the guys over to watch ‘Prefontaine’ and pizza,” Maia said. “We want them to be fresh and we try to make sure that they’re not out late – like at a football game.”

The leaderboard of the Division IV boys’ race went as follows: Pembroke, Pembroke, Pembroke.

The Titans authoritatively cruised to the team title with three runners taking the top three spots. Senior Ryan Kelley placed first in 15:58. He virtually could have crossed the finish line holding hands with his teammates who finished second and third. Junior Wesley Gallagher was only two seconds behind with senior Brendan Adams a second behind him.

Overall, Pembroke placed seven runners in the top 30.

“This team is incredibly deep,” Kelley said. “We went one-two in the sophomore meets, too, so I think this team should be set for the next couple of years.”

Senior Ryan Moran placed 15th in 17:03 just ahead of teammate Joe Vercollone, who claimed 16th in 17:06. Freshman John Valeri crossed in 17:11 for 20th and Jesse Fine was 28th in 17:23.

As to whom of the Titans harriers was to take the top spot, that was worked out amongst themselves.

“It really doesn’t matter who wins,” Gallagher said. “I led through around the Wilderness and then I hung onto Ryan [Kelley] on the way down through the second loop. It just helps each of us to work off of each other.”


1. Stephen Sollowin, Sr., Weymouth, 15:47
2. David Melly, Sr., Newton South, 16:05
3. Nickolas Christiansen, Jr., Peabody,16:09
4. Ben Halpin, Sr., St John's Prep, 16:19
5. Simon Voorhees, Sr., Andover, 16:20


1. Lowell, 107
2. Brookline, 127
3. Methuen, 164
4. St. John’s Prep, 169
5. Acton-Boxborough, 176


1. Shayne Collins, Sr., Mansfield, 16:02
2. Josh Lampron, Jr., Mansfield, 16:09
3. Kevin Thomas, Jr., Marshfield, 16:13
4. Joel Hubbard, Jr., Marshfield, 16:36
5. Matthew Cioe, Sr., Mansfield, 16:45


1. Mansfield, 42
2. Westford Academy, 80
3. Chelmsford, 152
4. Lincoln-Sudbury, 172
5. North Andover, 179

1. Tyler Sullivan, Sr., Whitman-Hanson, 16:03
2. Drew Beck, Jr., Oliver Ames, 16:18
3. Pat Ryan, Jr., Whitman-Hanson, 16:32
4. Peter King, Sr., Wellesley, 16:35
5. Justin Connolly, Jr., Walpole, 16:38


1. Oliver Ames, 67
2. Whitman-Hanson, 69
3. Walpole, 128
4. Gloucester, 160
5. Concord-Carlisle, 170


1. Ryan Kelley, Sr., Pembroke,15:58
2. Wesley Gallagher, Jr., Pembroke,16:00
3. Brendan Adams, Sr., Pembroke, 16:01
4. Brendan Sullivan, Jr., Foxborough, 16:17
5. Stephen Robertson, Jr., Wakefield, 16:28


1. Pembroke, 37
2. Bishop Feehan, 98
3. Sandwich, 161
4. Marblehead, 171
5. Dighton-Rehoboth, 228


1. Dana Dourdeville, Sr., Old Rochester, 16:20
2. Mark Rollfs, Sr., North Reading, 16:42
3. John Mantia, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy, 16:45
4. Patrick O’Donnell, Sr., Westwood, 16:49
5. Conor Lyons, Sr., Hamilton-Wenham, 16:49


1. Hamilton-Wenham, 58
2. Newburyport, 97
3. Medfield, 110
4. Old Rochester, 149
5. Westwood, 174


1. Kieran Kinnare, Sr., Ipswich, 16:34
2. Nate Larrimer, Sr., Seekonk, 16:43
3. Ben Girard, Sr., Manchester-Essex, 16:52
4. William Harrington, Sr., Bishop Fenwick, 16:58
5. John McKeon, Sr., Abington, 17:15


1. Seekonk, 55
2. Ipswich, 133
3. East Bridgewater, 133
4. Norwell, 161
5. Dover-Sherborn, 170

Depina lifts No. 2 Brockton over No. 23 CM

November, 5, 2010
WEST ROXBURY, Mass. -- Lucas Depina may well have antifreeze flowing through his veins.

With Brockton’s No. 1 receiver Albert Louis-Jean out with a leg cramp, Depina caught a 41-yard pass from quarterback Paul Mroz on fourth and nine with seven seconds remaining in the game to boost the No. 2 Boxers (8-2) past No. 23 Catholic Memorial, 19-18, evading the upset that might have been.

“[Depina] catches the ball when he really needs to,” Mroz said. “I prayed to God before that play, and God answered those prayers."

Trailing 13-12 with 5:20 left in the game, Catholic Memorial (5-3) got the ball at their own 21 with their sights on a score, going right to the air while field goal kicker Tom Byrne was warming up his leg on the sideline. Two passes from A.J. Doyle to William Earl (4 yards) and John Gorman (21) put CM on their own 45.

A pair of nine-yard runs by Earl and Donovan Henry (8 carries, 86 yards) moved the ball down to the Boxers’ 36. Brandon Hamel dashed twice to the left, picking up 14 yards on each carry, setting up a first and goal from the 8.

Doyle (five carries, 28 yards) rushed for five yards before being wrapped up by Giovanni Hyppolite (four tackles). Henry was stopped at the line of scrimmage by Brockton’s David Hylton and Zach Apotheker (five tackles) for no gain. The successful run game left Brockton vulnerable to a quick hitch from Doyle to Armani Reeves in the left flat, who swept into the end zone to put CM up 18-13.

The dictatorial drive could have knocked Brockton out, but the Boxers refused to bow out without a battle.

“Unbelievable, gutsy, gutsy performance on a rough night,” Boxers head coach Peter Colombo said to his team after the game. “We didn’t play our best, but we won a football game. We showed a lot of heart, I am very proud of everybody.”

On the ensuing kickoff, a seven yard return by Jesse Monteiro put Brockton on their 40. After a Mroz pass went off the hand of Trevon Offley (24 carries, 150 yards), he found Ryan Kelley to his left, who took the ball up the sideline and was pushed out of bounds by Dimitri Claude(fumble recovery, four tackles) at the Knights’ 42-yard line with 36 second left. Mroz rushed for one yard down to the 41 before a failed pass and a rush by Offley, both for no gain, brought up fourth and nine with 16 seconds left.

On the following play, Brockton went in for the win, sending their receivers into the end zone. With their go-to receiver, Albert Louis-Jean, on the sidelines with a leg cramp, Mroz tossed the ball up top to a wide open Depina, who pulled in the ball and fell past the plane, bringing much of the Brockton sideline with him into the end zone for a victory fête.

“He’s got about five catches this year, and three or four of them are for touchdowns,” added Colombo. “For a kid that has had a limited role this year, he’s had a huge impact on the offense. He understands that on a lot of teams, he may be the go-to receiver, but this year he’s got to play his role and he was ready when we called on him. “

One Foot, One Point, Huge Win
Without Depina’s extra point kick in the third quarter, the score with seven seconds remaining would have left the Boxers tied with CM, but his ability to the boot conversion with ease was extremely valuable to the outcome of the game. “Lucas is just a high level athlete,” said Colombo. “He’s a high level volleyball player and a high level soccer player, which is where the kicking comes from.”

No. 2 Brockton 0 0 7 12 -- 19
No. 23 CM 0 0 12 6 -- 18

C - Donovan Henry 60 run (pass failed)
B - Trevon Offley 13 run (Lucas Depina kick)
C - Henry 82 pass from Camren Williams (rush failed)
B - Offley 38 run (rush failed)
C - Amani Reeves 3 pass from A.J. Doyle (rush failed)
B - Depina 41 pass from Paul Mroz (rush failed)

Under the Radar: Football underclassmen

November, 2, 2010
The MIAA regular season is almost over, and we’ve gotten a chance to see a lot of talented football players showcase their skills over the past few months. You probably already know the names and teams to look out for, but we're taking sometime today to look at a number of under-the-radar underclassmen who haven’t gotten a ton of attention so far, but - given their talent level - that won’t last very long.

(Listed in alphabetical order):

Lucas Bavaro, OLB/S, 5-11, 162, St. John’s Prep, Class of 2013
Yes, Lucas is the son of Mark Bavaro, who went from Danvers High to Notre Dame to the NFL as an All-Pro tight end. Lucas isn’t the same type of player, but he has a bright future ahead of him. Bavaro is a fluid athlete who can both be an asset in pass coverage and against the run. His best attribute is his instinctual nature as a play develops. He simply knows where the ball is going to be before it gets there. He delivered one of the biggest hits we’ve seen all season in a game against Mt. St. Joseph’s (Md.), where he laid out a Gaels’ receiver in the right flat. Expect to see a lot more of that in the future.

Christopher Burke, LB, 6-2, 200, Gloucester, Class of 2012
There aren’t a whole lot of Fishermen who start that aren’t seniors, but Burke is a player who has earned his spot among a truly spectacular defense on the North Shore. Burke is like everyone else on the Gloucester defense in that he can run fast and hit hard. Burke has good size and the potential to add weight to his frame. He plays well in space and is an aggressive player on both sides of the ball (he also plays on the offensive line). There are many reasons why it is tough to run the ball on the Fishermen, and Burke is a big reason why.

Kenny Calaj, RB/WR/OLB/DB, 5-11, 180, Everett, Class of 2013
As you can see by the number of positions that are listed next to his name, one of the biggest strengths to Calaj’s game is his versatility. Last year, Calaj started at cornerback as a freshman. This year, Calaj plays closer to the line of scrimmage and no one has been able to get the edge to his side all season. People who have seen Everett this season and watched their defense have noticed Calaj, but we’re curious to see what happens next year when he will be more of a factor on an offense that will have to replace receivers Matt Costello and Manny Asprilla. Whatever happens, Calaj will be fun to watch the next few seasons.

Luke Catarius, FB/LB, 6-0, 210, BC High, Class of 2013
The last time BC High won a Super Bowl, it had a player a lot like Catarius on its roster named Tyler Horan, now a baseball player at Virginia Tech. Another player Catarius reminds us of is former North Attleborough star and current starting fullback for UConn, Anthony Sherman. On offense, Catarius is a punishing lead-blocker and runner between the tackles. Defensively, he’s just always around the ball, and if he’s able to get his hands on the ball-carrier, then he’s going down. On top of that, Catarius plays with the type of enthusiasm and intensity you like to see in a player.

Lincoln Collins, WR, 6-3, 170, BC High, Class of 2013
Collins is a little bit more of a project than most of the other players on this list, but he has gotten better each time we’ve seen him. His ceiling is pretty high. He reminds us a little bit of former Xaverian and current University of New Hampshire wide receiver Kevon Mason at the same stage. The biggest difference between the two is that Mason didn’t start until his senior year and by that time Mason was a lot faster than Collins is now. Collins isn’t a burner, but he has shown good hands and has the size to be a mismatch against most defensive backs at this level. The more he plays and gets bigger and stronger, the more it will be harder to ignore his ability.

Casey DeAndrade, RB/S, 6-0, 175, East Bridgewater, Class of 2012
DeAndrade may play at a smaller school, but he is good enough to play at any of the bigger schools around here. DeAndrade is just a playmaker on either side of the ball. He possesses good speed and knows what to do with the ball in his hands. Defensively, he’s the type of player that can cause receivers to play with alligator arms. DeAndrade has a solid build and looks more filled-out than his listed weight of 175 indicates.

Lucas Depina, WR/S, 6-1, 190, Brockton, Class of 2012
The Boxers seem to have a bevy of tall, speedy athletes on the perimeter this year, and Depina is one of the best of the lot. Depina doesn’t start on defense yet, but when he does get in you can see his vast potential at the safety position. Depina is every bit of 190 pounds and pursues well to the ball in the run game. Overall, his game is a little reminiscent of former Boxer safety/wideouts Nate and Darren Thellen. Brockton’s depth has limited Depina’s playing time a bit this season but shouldn’t overshadow his ability.

Colby Enegran, FB/DE, 6-2, 225, Xaverian, Class of 2012
As a sophomore, Enegran battled injury problems and wasn’t able to get much varsity experience. This year, Enegran has been able to stay healthy and has gotten better with each viewing as a starting strongside defensive end for the Hawks. Enegran has good strength and can be overpowering for offensive tackles at this level. He hasn’t gotten many reps at fullback, but he is a bear on that side of the ball as well.

Ryan Farrell, S, 6-1, 190, Xaverian, Class of 2012
The Xaverian coaches have been high on Farrell for a while, and this fall we’ve been able to see why. Farrell is a thickly-built, aggressive player who could be just as comfortable playing outside linebacker. Like DeAndrade, Farrell is the type of player who can be intimidating for opposing receivers going over the middle. Just a physical, aggressive player, Farrell has his best playing days ahead of him.

Ray Gobbi, G, 6-0, 288, Xaverian, Class of 2013
A native of Brockton, Gobbi is the type of mauling interior lineman that the Hawks used to lack for much of the last decade. While Gobbi at times has had some typical struggles of a sophomore starting on varsity against the Hawks’ difficult schedule, you can see why he’s earned a spot on the front five. Gobbi’s strength at this point is his run-blocking, and one can expect to see him make huge strides each year under one of the best offensive line coaches in the state in Dennis Lozzi.

Kurt Hunziker, MLB/FB/H-back, 6-3, 215, Masconomet, Class of 2012

Hunziker has been a starter at Masco since his freshman season, and he looks like a man among boys sometimes. Hunziker is listed at 215 pounds, but he looks a lot more like 225 or 230. Hunziker moves well for a player his size and is a punishing tackler. He patrols the middle of the field well in the passing game but that’s not his strength. Overall, Hunziker is light on his feet and an intimidating player at this level who also flashes good ball skills when needed.

Giovanni Hyppolite, DT, 6-0, 240, Brockton, Class of 2012
The height and weight listed here is taken off the Brockton program but doesn’t look very accurate. Hyppolite may be 6-feet tall, but he is closer to 270 than 240. The Boxers are extremely deep at defensive tackle, but Hyppolite is one of the more essential pieces of that unit. Hyppolite plays with great leverage and quickness of the snap and has been able to get into opposing backfields all season. With another year of strength and conditioning, this already productive tackle will be even more so next season.

Ryan Kelley, LB, 6-2, 205, Brockton, Class of 2013
Kelley has been injured for most of the season, but he won a spot at inside linebacker early on and when he returns it will be a big boost to the Boxer defense. In a program with a lot of young talent, Kelley may have the most potential out of anyone. Kelley runs well and has the frame to add a lot of good weight. Kelley is one of the more complete linebackers in his class in terms of his overall versatility and it will be interesting to see how effective he is the rest of the season coming off his injury.

Jack McDonald, OT, 6-4, 255, BC High, Class of 2013
We talked to BC High coach Jon Bartlett at the Xaverian passing league this past summer about who some of the candidates are to start on an offensive line that lost four starters, and he raved about the progress McDonald made. McDonald didn’t start at the beginning of the season but he does now, and he simply doesn’t look like a sophomore. He has good length and we can only imagine how big and strong he will be by the time he’s a senior. BC High always produces quality linemen and McDonald looks to be the next in a long line of great ones.

Gordon McLeod, WR, 6-0, 170, BC High, Class of 2012
Another player Bartlett was very optimistic about in that same conversation at the Xaverian passing league was McLeod. As a sophomore, McLeod was integral in his team’s Thanksgiving Day win over Catholic Memorial. McLeod will need to keep adding weight as he still looks a little skinny, but there’s no denying the speed he has. Truly one of the most underrated skill players in the state, McLeod has the speed to be a vertical threat to go along with very good hands.

Jameson McShea, TE/DE, 6-4, 230, BC High, Class of 2012
Like a few players on this list, we’ve put the height and weight that is listed on the roster, but we wouldn’t be surprised if McShea is closer to 245 or 250 based on what we saw at the Everett game. If we had to compare McShea to a recent player from around the area, it would be former Eagle and University of Virginia standout Jack Shields. McShea has good hands and is a load to bring down once he gets a head of steam. But, like Shields, we wouldn’t be surprised if McShea isn’t converted to an interior offensive lineman at the next level.

John Montelus, OT, 6-4, 245, Everett, Class of 2013
When we talked to Everett coach John DiBiaso this past summer, he compared Montelus to Gosder Cherilus at the same stage. Cherilus went from Somerville to Boston College to the Detroit Lions, so it’s pretty high praise. Montelus is the type of tackle prospect that major college programs covet because of his long arms and excellent footwork. Everett offensive line coach Mike Milo is one of the best you will find anywhere, not just in the state, and expect him to draw every bit of potential out of this promising tackle.

Alex Moore, RB/DB, 5-11, 176, St. John’s Prep, Class of 2013
This is another player who looks a lot bigger than his listed height and weight on the St. John’s Prep roster. Moore is part of a young secondary at the Prep, but he could just as easily be an outside linebacker like classmate Lucas Bavaro. His speed and physicality jump out at you in person. He is simply an impressive looking athlete who can bury a ball-carrier when he gets to him. He will get a look at the starting tailback job when Tyler Coppola graduates but his position at the next level is likely on defense.

Kevin Painten, OL/DT, 6-0, 250, Xaverian, Class of 2012
Yet again, we wouldn’t be surprised if Painten were a little heavier than his listed weight. Overall, Painten’s best quality is his footwork. He plays a lot like Brockton’s Hyppolite, using his low center of gravity to get the best of opposing linemen. Painten is a two-year starter at offensive tackle, but his height will keep him on the interior at the next level. Xaverian will have a very good offensive line next year and Painten is a big reason why.

Hunter Taute, FB/ILB, 6-2, 225, Xaverian, Class of 2013
Like Brockton’s Kelley, Taute has been injured most of the season but he is just getting healthy now. The Xaverian coaches are very excited about Taute’s potential on both sides of the ball. A bowling ball of a player, Taute is a lot like Catarius. Right now, Taute is mostly getting reps at fullback but the Xaverian coaching staff wants him to eventually get time at middle linebacker, as well.

Jonathan Thomas, CB, 5-7, 137, St. John’s Prep, Class of 2014
Thomas looks a lot more thickly-built than 137 pounds. Either way, it’s impressive that Thomas has been able to crack the starting lineup and play at the Prep as a freshman. Thomas has had to cover the likes of Albert Louis-Jean, Matt Costello and Richard Rodgers this season and held his own. Obviously, Thomas will need to get bigger, but we can see Thomas being a force by the time he’s a senior.

John Warner, TE, 6-7, 225, Xaverian, Class of 2012
Warner is just starting to scratch the surface of his potential. Obviously at this stage Warner’s best attribute is his height, and he used it well this past weekend when he leapt for a jump ball in the end zone for a touchdown against St. John’s of Shrewsbury. If Warner hits the weight room hard this offseason and works on his speed, he will be able to have his pick of schools by this time next year.

Jakarrie Washington, WR/RB/CB, 5-10, 160, Everett, Class of 2013
Everett has speed all over the field, and one of their fastest players is this talented sophomore. Right now, Washington plays wide receiver, but we wouldn’t be surprised if he went the same route as teammate Manny Asprilla and eventually saw time at cornerback. Washington is also someone who will make an effective running back at this level, as he possesses outstanding speed and change-of-direction skills.