Boston High School: Shawsheen

Students from Shawsheen Regional Tech had a couple of unexpected "photo-bombers" in their prom photos Thursday night at Gillette Stadium as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Patriots owner Robert Kraft stopped to take photos.

Goodell was in town to be part of the "Moms Football Safety Clinic" also being hosted at the stadium.

Here's a look at one of the snapshots from last night via NFL public relations man Brian McCarthy:

D4 North: Shawsheen 57, New Mission 55

March, 1, 2013
BILLERICA, Mass. -– Shawsheen Tech senior guard Stephanie Champoux stepped to free throw line with her team trailing by one point and six seconds remaining in the game. She knew at that moment that her season and high school career were on the line.

“It was definitely nerve-racking,” Champoux (12 points) said after the game. “I had my team behind me cheering me on and I just wanted to do anything I could to help them win.”

The senior co-captain calmly made the front end of a one-and-one and after a New Mission timeout she stepped back to the line and sank the second to give No. 3 Shawsheen (17-2) a 56-55 lead.

“I said before the game that this was going to be a tough battle,” Shawsheen head coach Dick Barriss said after the game. “It was going to come down to the end of the game and we were going to have to make a key free throw, a key basket, and get a key rebound and that is what happened.”

Shawsheen’s eventual 57-55 win did nothing to overshadow one of the best performances of the year by New Mission junior point guard Jaszala Laracuente. The talented lead guard scored 32 points, including two huge shots down the stretch that tied the game and gave No. 6 New Mission (14-7) a one-point lead at 55-54 with 11 seconds remaining in the game.

“She was unstoppable,” Barriss said of Laracuente. “She just played phenomenal out there tonight.”

Laracuente, a Division 1 recruit and must-see athlete, also added six rebounds, five assists, and six steals on the night.

In a back and forth battle that saw both teams exchange leads in each quarter it was the clutch shooting of Shawsheen junior guard Arianna Medeiros and the efficient work at the free throw line that helped Shawsheen earn the win.

“Ari Medeiros made some huge threes tonight for us,” Barriss added.

Medeiros scored nine of her team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter and hit five 3-pointers on the night.

New Mission senior guard Shantel Soloman (10 points, seven rebounds) also had a great fourth quarter for the Titans as she was effective on both ends of the floor and had a key offensive rebound and put back in the final minute of the fourth quarter.

Fourth quarter action: In a game that saw numerous lead changes throughout it was the fourth quarter that provided the hottest action. The final minute of play saw four lead changes and big plays from both teams and their star players.

“We are just a very determined team,” said Champoux. “Even though we were down we stayed positive. We just wanted this win and to try to get to the Garden.”

Shawsheen trailed 43-37 entering the final quarter of play, and tied the game in the first minute of the fourth on threes from Medeiros and junior point guard Shanell Nardone (seven points).

Shawsheen junior forward Rachel Fahey (nine points) was also big down the stretch for the Rams.

Humphries’ loss: New Mission junior forward Deandra Humphries went down, early in the fourth quarter, on a play going to the basket where she drew contact but a foul was not called. After being helped off the floor and checked by the Shawsheen trainer, she was ruled out with a concussion as a result of the play and was not able to re-enter the game.

The loss clearly hurt the Titans as Humphries was beginning to assert herself in the third quarter as she scored seven of her 11 points in the third and was beginning to find space to slash to the basket.

Next Up: Shawsheen will take on reigning Division 4 state champion Fenway in the state semi-finals.

No. 7 seed Fenway defeated No. 2 seed Pope John 64-55 on Friday night.

Recap: St. Mary's 36, Shawsheen 8

November, 27, 2012
LYNN, Mass. -- Behind 262 yards rushing by junior Jordan Collier, St. Mary’s knocked off Shawsheen with relative ease on Tuesday night, shutting out the Rams before Shawsheen scored a touchdown with less than a minute left in the game. The Spartans rolled 36-8.

Shawsheen made a run early in the first quarter, getting within field goal range in their first drive. However, their drive was to no avail following a missed field goal.

St. Mary’s turned the ball over on downs late in the first quarter, but after getting the ball again early in the second quarter, Collier struck quickly with a 66-yard touchdown run.

Later on in the second quarter, sophomore quarterback Jake Cassidy extended the lead on a twelve-yard sneak, putting St. Mary’s up 16-0 following their second successful two-point conversion.

Staring at that two touchdown lead going into the half, Shawsheen was never able to get anything going offensively early in the second half, a time where they desperately needed to get something going offensively.

“They didn’t give us the short stuff undernearth…it forced us to try to get further down the field, and their pass rush put a lot of pressure on us. They played a complete game,” Shawsheen head coach Al Costabile said.

With dominant defense holding Shawsheen down, Collier did the rest, running for two long touchdowns of 64 and 85 yards respectively early in the fourth quarter.

“[Collier] was just unbelievable, great effort,” St. Mary’s coach Matt Durgin said, “his teammates blocked well for him; he hit the hole, got the runs, and got in the endzone for us.”

Rams sophomore running back Connor Sakowich got in on the act late in the fourth quarter, scoring a 55 yard touchdown of his own to put St. Mary’s up 36-0. Sakowich relieved the lightning-quick Collier, who finished with 262 yards and three touchdowns on just 13 carries.

“It was a great team effort, just outstanding. Shawsheen started out moving the ball down the field early on, but as the game went on I think we wore them down,” Durgin said.

Most of that wearing down came thanks to Collins, who couldn’t be more excited to play for a shot at the super bowl title.

“[Winning] was the best feeling I could have, words can’t explain how I feel right now,” he said, “it’s gonna’ be awesome, I can’t wait. I’m just gonna’ play my heart out, just put it all out on the field.”

St. Mary’s (11-1) will move on to play Abington in the eastern Mass. division 4A Super Bowl on Saturday at Curry College. Exact time is expected to be announced by the MIAA on Wednesday.

Peabody, Franklin represent on national, ESPN Boston poll

October, 12, 2012
The ESPN Boston girls' soccer Top 20 poll for Week 5 has been updated.

Peabody remains No. 1 in the state as well as the nation. Central power Nashoba dropped several places after a string of ties and Oliver Ames moves down six spots after a disappointing loss to No. 5 Franklin. The Panthers also made a move in the latest NSCAA national girls' soccer poll, rising from No. 21 to inside the Top 20 at No. 19.

Bishop Feehan dropped out of the ESPN Boston Top 20 after a loss to Brockton and are replaced by Concord-Carlisle, which clinched a playoff spot this week join the C-C boys' program as one of the top teams in the state. Shawsheen, Pittsfield, and Apponoquet sit just outside the Top 20 despite unbeaten records.

Roundtable: Big statements, bigger production

October, 4, 2012

Scott Barboza, ESPN Boston High Schools Editor: Aside from the defense, which was phenomenal by all accounts, the manner in which the Red Raiders were able to pull off the upset was impressive, meaning that the offense was firing on all cylinders for most of the game. In other words, Barnstable can win ugly. When you hear about the offense and all the things the Red Raiders can do on offense, it’s sometimes easy to overlook the fundamentals. They can do all the things that constitute a potentially successful playoff team in that they can run the ball when called upon, get the back stop when required and they don’t turn the ball over. When you have one of the top quarterbacks in the state like Nick Peabody, that’s all you need to win. And, if Hayden Murphy runs the ball as he can and the defense, led by Andrew Ellis, is on, Barnstable is difficult to beat, no matter the conditions.

Brendan Hall, ESPN Boston High Schools Editor: For me, more than anything, it was a throwback statement. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much Division 1-caliber talent you've stockpiled, how heavy your line is, or how many of your skill players run a 4.5. All that matters is who puts themselves in the best position to win -- period. Barnstable demonstrated that to a T on Friday night.

Of course, this Red Raiders team isn't an underdog. They came into the game at No. 3 in our statewide poll, and I think the general consensus was that this would be a one-score type of affair. Nick Peabody is in a quarterbacking class of his own through the first month of the season, Dylan Morris is beginning to enter Matt Costello territory in terms of production, and the Raiders' linebacking corps is one of the two or three best in the state.

Barnstable coach Chris Whidden dialed up a great defensive gameplan in the pouring rain, playing outside contain on the Crimson Tide's gifted receivers, and getting great push in the trenches with a deceivingly athletic front four that fired quickly off the ball. These guys were not as big, but they certainly were fast, and above all else they hit with a level of abandon replicated by very few teams in the state.

At the end of the day, it was a pleasant reminder that things haven't gotten soft in the game of football. At the end of the day, the overarching theme remains -- if you come out complacent, someone's going to knock you around.

Adam Kurkjian, ESPN Boston correspondent: Year after year, while Everett always seems to have its share of explosive skill players, the foundation of its success is consistent and dominant line play on both sides of the ball.

The biggest statement Barnstable made Friday night was that it can go toe-to-toe with Everett's front and get the better of the exchange. That is rare, and it speaks to the level of offseason commitment the Red Raiders have made the past few seasons. While Barnstable may have the reputation as a finesse team because of the amount of times it puts the ball in the air, it looks like the Red Raiders shattered that notion last week.

Bruce Lerch, ESPN Boston correspondent: Defense, defense, defense. Staring at Everett's offensive line with 300-pounders across the board is daunting for any opposition but the Raiders didn't seem intimidated at all. In fact, they set the tone and managed to stuff the Tide twice on fourth-down tries from the one-yard line.

All 11 starters, plus the others that rotate in made plays. Jason Frieh and the defensive line held their own Everett's blockers, linebackers Brian Hardy, Andrew Ellis, Terrence Mudie and Robbie Stuart made tackles all over the field. Safeties Ryan Litchman and Kevin Hardy were tremendous in support against the run and corners Tedaro France and Derek Estes won their matchups with Everett's speed merchants at the receiver positions.

John Botelho, Editor-in-Chief, South Shore Sports Journal: Nick Peabody and the offense have been well publicized -- and deservedly so -- all season. Going into the Everett game, they had scored an astounding 145 points in three games. But the biggest statement made while snapping Everett's 28-game win streak was that the Red Raiders' defense is just as good as their powerful offense. Division 1A should be real fun to watch come December.

Everett and Barnstable Round II is already a Super Bowl many people are excitedly calling for, but neither has an easy path to get there. Everett is likely headed for a first-round playoff game with Lincoln-Sudbury, and Barnstable has to worry about beating Bridgewater-Raynham during the regular season just to reach the playoffs.


1. Brian Dunlap, Natick – Might not be No. 1 on any other list, but come his senior season, he's going to be right there on the top of all the volume stats list.

2. Jalen Felix, Everett – Seeing, in person, the catch he made during last year’s BC High game at Memorial Stadium is something I’ll likely never forget. It’s the same feeling I had watching Randy Moss make impossible catches.

3. Jakarrie Washington, Everett – One of the best route runners around since those Asprilla and Costello kids were the go-to targets in Everett.

4. Dylan Morris, Barnstable – Hard to argue with Morris’ production thus far this season with his eight touchdown catches.

5. Will Heikkinen, Andover – Spies tell me Xaverian had Heikkinen blanketed with double coverage throughout most of last week’s game. That’s the ultimate compliment paid to a wideout.

1. Dylan Morris, Barnstable - You'll be hard-pressed to duplicate his five-catch, 207-yard performance in Week 2, and right now he's on track for 20 touchdown receptions and over 1,000 yards receiving. Bar none, best wideout in the state right now. And to think, some have mused he may be a better baseball player.

2. Jakarrie Washington, Everett - You could rotate this spot with Jalen Felix, who had an explosive performance against Springfield Central, but right now you've got to with Washington based on game-breaking ability. Against Leominster and St. John's Prep, he turned the game on its heels seemingly on a dime with one back-breaking catch or run.

3. Brian Dunlap, Natick - A versatile route-runner, he's got crunch-time knack (see his game-winning catch against Norwood with 10 seconds to go) and makes the most of his touches (17.25 yards per catch, 6 TD).

4. David Harrison, Weymouth - Has seven receiving touchdowns, and in the last two games running a pistol offense at quarterback, has thrown for six. He's just plain productive.

5. Sam Blake, East Longmeadow - Doesn't get a lot of touches in the Spartans' system, but in terms of athleticism I've heard some pretty crazy stories. In his last two games, he has 232 receiving yards and four touchdowns on just seven catches.

Tough to say for me because most of the games I have been to have featured mainly run-oriented teams.

That said, looking around the state, Lincoln Collins of BC High needs to be mentioned for his size and improved speed.

Jakarrie Washington of Everett may be the fastest receiver out there right now.

Speaking of guys that can motor, Andover's Cam Farnham has been pure lightning all season as well.

As far as pure production goes, there aren't many who do more on a week-to-week basis than Natick's Brian Dunlap.

If anyone can outdo Dunlap in that department, though, how about Shawsheen receiver Devonn Pratt? One of the top wrestlers in the state, Pratt has 11 touchdown receptions already, including five in a ridiculous, 15-catch, 268-yard performance against Cambridge two weeks ago.

1. Dylan Morris, Barnstable - Seems to have a tremendous mind meld going on with quarterback Nick Peabody. Has eight TD receptions on the season, including two clutch catches in the 13-7, double OT win over Everett.

2. Jalen Felix/Jakarrie Washington, Everett - I'm cheating a little by putting both in, but it's hard to argue against the fact that these speedsters are two of the biggest gamebreakers in Massachusetts.

3. Bryan Vieira, Thayer Academy - Eight receptions for 200 yards and a TD in the opener (along with an interception return for a score) and six more catches for 179 yards and three TDs in week two. The top receiver in the ISL.

4. Brian Dunlap, Natick - Just a sophomore, Dunlap continues to team up with QB Troy Flutie to put up big numbers week after week. I may be underrating him because of his age, but all signs point toward Dunlap someday taking over at the top of this list. Maybe sooner rather than later.

5. David Harrison/Tyler O'Brien, Weymouth - It's a cheat day for me in the roundtable as I'm going with a duo once again. The Wildcats receivers have combined to catch 13 TD passes and O'Brien seems to be Harrison's favored target when he switches under center as Weymouth's quarterback.

1. Dylan Morris, Barnstable: This is sort of a chicken and egg thing. Is Nick Peabody such a good quarterback because he has Morris to throw to, or is Morris the beneficiary of a standout QB. I think the answer is Peabody is a tremendous QB and Morris an elite receiver, and the results have indicated that so far.

2. Lincoln Collins, BC High: Collins might not have the gaudy stats some his peers do (he's caught just one TD this year) but he's a D-1 scholarship athlete going to Villanova for a reason. The Eagles have been the victims of bad luck and bad timing this season, dealing with some of the toughest teams in this state - and New Jersey - while figuring out how to replace injured stars like Brendan Craven and Luke Catarius.

3. Brian Dunlap, Natick - Like Morris, Dunlap has a premier QB throwing him the ball. He's pulled in 6 TD from Troy Flutie, and is one of the biggest reasons Natick is scoring more than 30 points per game.

4. Dondre James, Whitman-Hanson - James single-handedly changes game plans of opposing teams, often drawing more than one defender on passing plays. He's spread out defenses all season, allowing QB Tom Sapienza to throw 8 TD already. James' speed and athleticism are clear with one looks at the Panthers on offense, but what he contributes away from the ball might be even more impressive. James has sprung more than one ball carrier this year with a big block.

5. Rory Donovan, Cardinal Spellman - The Cardinals aren't matching their regular season success from the last two years, but Donovan is among the toughest receivers for defenses to match-up with. At 6-5 and with an impressive vertical, not many defenders can go up and get a jump ball against him. He's averaging a touchdown a game right now and could get better as Spellman's line matures this season.


Barboza: Right now, I’m looking at Hopkinton’s Hank Rudden. The Hillers have been off and running in the Tri-Valley League, averaging more than 34 points per game through four weeks. Whether the Hillers can keep it going into the meat of their TVL schedule is another thing, but the 6-foot-1 senior is a dependable pocket presence.

Hall: Hard to argue with the production of Northbridge's Matt Phelan. Head coach Ken LaChapelle (who won his 300th career game last weekend) is famously inclined towards the pass -- and a passing pioneer for this state, really -- but through the first four games of the 2012 Phelan has been arguably better on his feet (41 carries, 448 yards, 12 TD) than through the air (42 of 50, 514 yards, 2 TD). LaChapelle has joked that he would like to once coach a game where he doesn't call a running play, but he tends to yield some freelancing to his quarterbacks when he feels they're up for it. And understand, for LaChapelle to loosen the reigns, you have to be a special player.

Kurkjian: Let's go into the Boston City South Division where Latin Academy junior Kyle Dance is putting together a fantastic season through four games.

To this point, Dance has had a hand in 13 touchdowns (nine passing, four rushing). You want to know how many touchdowns the Dragons have as a team? Fourteen. In other words, Dance is doing it all for this team, and it will be exciting to see how the rest of his season and career develops.

Lerch: Since taking over in week two, Shawsheen's Mike O'Hearn has produced eye-popping numbers and ranks fourth in the state with 11 touchdown passes, including a six-TD performance against Cambridge. With the 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior at the helm, the Rams have put up 98 points in their last two games.

Botelho: Assuming "small" school means any outside of Div 1, 1A, 2 or 2A, the best small school QB might be Dan Eckler at Stoughton. They're a run-first offense with tons of weapons, but he's been the point man for all of their success this year.

Hanover's Ryan Bennett and Middleborough's Troy Rossi both have big arms and ideal QB size and have been fun to watch early on.

Abington's Brandon Cawley has all of the tools to run the offense for the Green Wave. He's tall, has a cannon of an arm and can tuck it and run if need be. Andrew Benson also comes to mind in the South Shore League. After sliding over from RB to QB when the Vikings didn't have an obvious heir apparent to Tim O'Brien, Benson has handled the transition well. He's very athletic and gives EB a similar look on offense they had a year ago.


Barboza: (Disclaimer: None of this argument has to do with St. John’s Prep right now.) Honestly, I’m not trying to make excuses here, and this has happened a couple of times during the last couple seasons, but it’s not as though the teams are playing easy schedules. On the other hand though, I think the rest of the state has caught up with the parochials a little bit. Some inside the Catholic Conference used to scoff at the idea of a Hockomock team (North Attleborough anybody?) hanging with one of those teams. Use this weekend’s Xaverian vs. Duxbury matchup as another proof positive. I think the Hawks will find out that last year’s win by the Dragons at the Hawk Bowl was no fluke. And, while most of the state still cannot match the numbers the Catholics have on their sidelines, there’s plenty of talent to be had.

Hall: With St. John's Prep, nothing. With the rest of the conference (a combined 4-12 heading into this weekend's games), where do you start?

Expectations weren't high on Malden Catholic or Catholic Memorial coming into the season, but the way BC High and Xaverian (preseason Nos. 2 and 3, respectively) have stumbled out of the gates is concerning. Then again, they've endured brutal schedules, and few teams in Massachusetts would come out of September with better than their 1-3 records. Still, the way in which they've lost is not convincing, between BC High getting dominated from scrimmage by North Attleborough and Xaverian laying eggs against Brockton and Andover. Bottom line, BC High and Xaverian so far haven't lived up to the preseason hype.

Something tells me they'll turn it around. BC High will be getting All-State linebacker Luke Catarius (ankle) back this month, and quarterback Brendan Craven (knee) sometime soon, and you can't say enough how much that could change things quickly. Xaverian finally showed signs of life in the second half of the Andover upset, and Mike Brennan has been bringing steady production to what has been an otherwise stale offense.

How quickly does Xaverian turn it around? Jury's out, because the rest of the Hawks' 2012 schedule, in order, goes like this: Duxbury, Everett, Bridgewater-Raynham, St. John's (Shrewsbury), BC High, Catholic Memorial, St. John's Prep. Talk about skating uphill.

Kurkjian: Well, there's not much wrong with St. John's Prep right now, as they've looked outstanding in their three wins and only have one loss to Everett in a game many observers thought could have gone the other way with a few breaks.

As for the rest? BC High has been decimated by injuries, but the Eagles are starting to heal up and it would not be a total shock to see them make a run at the league title once everyone is back.

Xaverian does not have nearly the amount of team speed it usually does and has not looked physical at all on the lines.

Catholic Memorial has, as expected, struggled on offense, and you simply don't improve when graduation takes away as much talent as it did for the Knights.

Malden Catholic is this year what it has been nearly every year, which is the fifth-best team in the league.

Lerch: The coaches won't make excuses but we can. Injuries have absolutely decimated BC High while graduation hit both Xaverian and Catholic Memorial pretty hard. Not to mention that these teams all play among the toughest schedules in the state. That said, St. John's Prep is still a top-three team in Massachusetts and don't think for a second that the aforementioned trio won't put it together by the time league play rolls around. Anyone who counts these teams out when we're not even halfway through the season is making a big mistake.

Botelho: BC High and Xaverian has certainly underachieved, but their schedules have been absolutely brutal. BC is also dealing with a whole mess load of injuries. That said, what looked like the best league in the state before the season needs a turnaround in the second half to avoid an overall disappointing year. If things continue like they are, St. John's Prep will coast to a league title behind Jonathan Thomas and Alex Moore. The Prep, in my mind, is probably the favorite to win the Div. 1 Super Bowl right now (I still love Brockton, but missing Austin Roberts is going to hurt them in a big way).


Barboza: I think this was supposed to be Thayer’s year to shine behind wide receiver Aaron Gilmer and the Tigers haven’t disappointed, putting up 76 points in their two games. But they still have nothing to show for it, losing two close barn-burners against Governor’s and Roxbury Latin. But it’s hard to ignore the defending ISL champions at Governor’s. We’ve extolled about Tate Jozokos’ two-sport excellence for a couple years now, but running back Eli Morrissey has been a true revelation in the early going. Gov’s should face a test this weekend against BB&N, but with 103 points scored in two games, it’s hard to pick against anything short of a repeat performance of 2011.

Hall: If what Duxbury's been doing the last couple of years doesn't tell you enough about the value of lacrosse skill in football, then Governor's senior quarterback Tate Jozokos will. The UNC lacrosse commit led a renaissance last fall, leading the Governors to the ISL championship, and is off to a quality start this season. He is as a true a dual-threat quarterback as you will find in Massachusetts.

Running back Eli Morrissey has been just as productive (5 TDs), and is arguably one of the best backs in the ISL -- not the biggest, but definitely one of the most complete, and a tough runner. Overall, the Governors have averaged 51.5 points per game in their first two contest. Hard to argue with a number like that.

Kurkjian: Tough to say with such a small sample size, but it's hard to go against what Governor's Academy has accomplished in the first two weeks. With 103 points in two games, the Governors are simply running past, over, around and through everyone in their way.

We will see whether or not that continues this weekend as they travel to Cambridge to face an always-tough BB&N squad.

Lerch: When in doubt, I always say go with the team led by the lacrosse guy. Governor's is stacked with talent on offense with quarterback/dynamo/North Carolina lacrosse commit Tate Jozokos leading the charge. Along with standout running back Elijah Morrissey, the duo has combined to score nine rushing TDs in the first two games. Until some team finds a way to slow these two guys down, the Red Dogs will keep piling on the points.

ESPN Boston MIAA hockey tourney picks

February, 29, 2012
The MIAA boys' and girls' tournaments have kicked off across the state, and with snow pushing back some of the competition today, we’re taking the time to dissect the brackets and weigh in with our predictions for the postseason.

Favorite: Malden Catholic (15-1-4).

Dark horses: St. Mary’s of Lynn (18-1-3), St. John’s Prep (13-5-2), Hingham (16-4-2), BC High (10-5-5).

Overview: Once again, this is MC’s tournament to lose. The Lancers have been No. 1 in our poll from box to wire and they’ll be playing with ailing coach Chris Serino in mind. However, St. Mary’s, Prep and BC High will be tough outs, particularly if any of the respective teams goaltenders (Bailey MacBurnie, David Letarte and Peter Cronin catch fire. The Harbormen might be our darkhorse, however. That team has been sneaking up on the competition since Day One.

The pick: Crossovers: MC, St. Mary’s, Prep, Hingham; Championship: MC over Prep.

Favorites: North – Burlington (14-1-6), Westford Academy (13-4-4); South – Needham (14-6-1), Marshfield (18-2-2).

Dark horses: North – Woburn (12-5-4), Reading (10-4-6); South – Norwood (14-3-4).

Overview: Otherwise known as the Super 8 consolation brackets, play-in game losers Burlington and Needham return to their respective brackets with chips on their shoulders. However, the teams with most to prove might be a pair of squads who were left off the Super 8 table in both Westford Academy and defending D1 champions Marshfield. The highlight to the tournament could a potential North semifinal between the aforementioned Red Devils and Woburn, who’ve had the Tanners’ number twice this season. Also look out for another potential semifinal with a league rivalry to it with Norwood on Needham’s side of the bracket.

The pick: North final – Burlington over Andover, South final – Marshfield over Needham; Final – Burlington over Marshfield.

Favorites: North – Lynnfield (17-3-1), Boston Latin (14-2-4); South – Franklin (16-2-3), Canton (15-2-3).

Dark horses: North – Wilmington (11-4-5), Winthrop (12-6-2), Saugus (11-6-3); South – Coyle-Cassidy (8-11-1).

Overview: We feel that the Div. 2 North boys’ hockey bracket might be the most competitive in the state, regardless of sport. Again, the Northeast Conference is well represented with both Saugus and Winthrop scoring first-round “upset” wins. The tournament will still run though No. 1 and 2 seeds Lynnfield and Boston Latin, however. The South is dominated by three Hockomock League squads (Canton, Franklin and Mansfield) who’ve seen plenty of each other throughout the season. But always look out for the battle-tested squad from Coyle, which sports a sub-.500 record, but has done so against a host of Super 8 teams.

The pick: North final – Boston Latin over Danvers; South final – Canton over Franklin; Final – Boston Latin over Canton.

Favorites: North – Bedford (16-4-0), Lowell Catholic (13-5-2); South – Medfield (16-3-1), Pembroke (15-4-3); Central – Hudson (18-1-1); West – Longmeadow (10-6-4).

Dark horses: Marlborough (13-5-2), Shawsheen (12-5-3), Swampscott (8-8-4), Westfield (14-4-2).

Overview: The state’s biggest field of teams lies in Division 3, where some of the perennial favorites are back at it and among the top-seeded teams. Perhaps the story of the year has been Bedford, which earns the No. 1 seed in the North. The South bracket is likely to be decided in the fourth matchup of the season between South Shore rivals Pembroke and Scituate. Hudson claimed top-billing in Central, while in the West, the road still runs through power Longmeadow, but Westfield eyes a return trip to the Garden ice.

The pick: EMass final: Pembroke over Lowell Catholic; Central/WMass final – Hudson over Westfield; Final – Pembroke over Hudson.

Favorites: Acton-Boxborough (17-1-2), Westford Academy (16-2-2), St. Mary’s of Lynn (18-3-1), Woburn (15-3-2).

Dark horses: Arlington Catholic (16-3-1), Braintree (13-5-2), Hingham (14-6-1).

Overview: Last year’s Division 1 runners-up Acton-Boxborough emerge at the No. 1 seed in this year’s tournament, riding 8th-grade goaltender Cali Loblundo and top-scorer Kati Goguen once again. Westford Academy pulled the No. 2 seed, but could have its hands full with defending champion Hingham lying in the reeds at No. 10. Of course, this was also supposed to be the year that St. Mary’s of Lynn was written off as a legitimate contender, but Frank Pagliuca has pulled off perhaps his best-ever coaching job (according to those who know) and has the Spartans primed for another run into late March.

The pick: Semifinals – Acton-Boxborough over Woburn and St. Mary’s over Hingham; Final – St. Mary’s over A-B.

Favorites: Duxbury (18-0-1), Walpole (15-2-3), Belmont (14-4-2).

Dark horses: Canton (13-7-0), Fontbonne Academy (11-8-1), Westwood (14-5-1).

Overview: The best in the state thus far may have resided in Division 2, as defending champion Duxbury ran the table and was the state’s only unbeaten squad. Walpole has also been among the most consistent teams in the state, running over Bay State opponents with a mix of high-octane offense and steady defensive play. The story of the year — ever since their stunning December upset of Woburn — has been Belmont. The MIAA’s oldest girls’ hockey program has returned to prominence after the squad went winless just three years ago.

The pick: Semifinals – Duxbury over Belmont, Walpole over Westwood; Final – Duxbury over Walpole.

Recap: Mashpee 34, Cardinal Spellman 8

December, 3, 2011

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -– No Jordan Keli'inui. No problem.

The Mashpee High School football team was without Keli'inui, the team's leading rusher, for Saturday's Division 4 Super Bowl against Cardinal Spellman, but had the best running back in the game anyway.

Junior Jarod Taylor rushed for a career-high 306 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries, as Mashpee rolled to a 34-8 triumph in the program's first Super Bowl appearance.

“I was trying to fill his shoes today,” Taylor said. “It was a great feeling to help out. I did it for everyone in Mashpee.”

Keli'inui missed the contest because of a sprained ankle he suffered in Tuesday's playoff victory over Millis/Hopedale. He has rushed for 1,170 yards this season.

Mashpee coach Matt Triveri said he didn't know Keli'inui wouldn't be able to play on offense until about five minutes before the opening kickoff. Keli'inui did play on defense.

“He was about 60 percent,” Triveri said. “He played fine on defense, but he just couldn't go on offense.

“Taylor is a guy who is gonna be one of the better backs in the state next year. He might be there right now. To have two backs like that, we're lucky and blessed. No doubt about it.”

Taylor entered the game with 1,070 yards rushing this season. Before Saturday, his career high for yards rushing in a game was the 183 yards he gained in an 31-7 victory over Norwell earlier this season.

Two of Taylor's three touchdowns came in the third quarter, when the Falcons put 22 points on the scoreboard to take complete control. He gained 209 yards on nine carries in the quarter.

“We knew [Taylor} was capable of this,” Triveri said. “As a staff we joke that we're doing a terrible job by not giving him enough carries because he's averaging over 9 yards per carry. We knew he had it in him. It was just a matter of getting him the football and the offensive line coming to play.”

It was the third time Spellman has surrendered more than eight points in a game this season.

Mashpee, which completed its season with a 13-0 record, led 6-0 at halftime and 28-0 entering the fourth.

Spellman, which lost to Holliston 21-7 in last year's Division 3A Super Bowl, finished its season with a 12-1 record.

“Their offense is very, very good, and their defense is exceptional,” Cardinal Spellman coach Ron St. George said. “They're extremely fast, extremely physical and extremely instinctive. They just proved that they were the better team.

“That Taylor kid is gonna be tearing it up next year. He's as talented as the senior (Keli'inui).”

The only scoring in the first two quarters came on the half's final play. Quarterback Zak Orcutt shifted to wide receiver and pulled in a 4-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Cody Bingham-Hendricks as time expired.

Mashpee's lead swelled to 14-0 when Taylor scored on a 58-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter. Orcutt added the two-point conversion.

The Falcons added another touchdown when Orcutt connected with Kyle Murray for a 14-yard touchdown pass with 4:26 left in the third.

Taylor scored on a 54-yard run with 2:52 left in the third, and then capped his night by scoring on a 10-yard run with 5:35 to play.

“All we wanted to do was get this win for our school, our community and our kids,” Triveri said.

Shouldering the load: Spellman running back Pat Hinkley was questionable because of a separated shoulder he suffered in Tuesday's victory over Shawsheen Valley, but did play. Hinkley gained 44 yards on 10 carries and scored his team's only touchdown on an 18-yard run with 38 seconds to play.

Hinkley was not used on defense, where he usually lines up at linebacker.

“I gotta give the kid a lot of credit,” St. George said. “His shoulder totally popped out. They had to go to the hospital Tuesday night and put it back in. For him to come back and be ready to play was a great display of courage on his behalf.”

Numbers game: Cardinal Spellman entered the Super Bowl averaging 28.2 points per game, but was outgained 438-104. The Falcons gained 18 yards (all rushing) in the first half, and finished the game with 79 yards on the ground.”

“What can I say,” St. George said. “It was a tough way to end our season.”

Cardinal Spellman (12-1 ) 0 0 0 8 – 8
Mashpee (13-0) 0 6 22 6 – 34

2nd Quarter
Mas – Zak Orcutt 4 pass from Cody Bingham-Hendricks (rush failed), 0:00.

3rd Quarter
Mas – Jarod Taylor 58 run (Orcutt rush), 9:40.
Mas – Kyle Murray 14 pass from Orcutt (Orcutt rush), 4:25
Mas – Taylor 54 run (rush failed), 2:52.

4th Quarter
Mas – Taylor 10 run (pass failed), 5:35.
CS – Pat Hinkley 18 run (Ricky Donovan pass from Tim Burke), :38.

Recap: Blue Hills 16, Boston Cathedral 14

December, 3, 2011
WALTHAM, Mass. -- For a minute, it appeared Boston Cathedral had won their first Super Bowl in school history.

Then, there was a flag.

Senior quarterback Matt Owens was flagged for lifting his right pointer finger toward the sky during a fourth-quarter sprint on the 24-yard line of Blue Hills. All the momentum immediately shifted to the Warriors, who escaped with a dramatic, 16-14 victory Saturday at Bentley University.

“On the game being played, we won the game, [but] I give Blue Hills a lot of credit. They’re a great football team, [and] we deserved better,” Boston Cathedral head coach Duane Sigsbury said.

As for Blue Hills head coach Ed Catabia, he appeared more relieved and overjoyed that his team was able to walk off the field with a victory.

“I’ve had these kids in class [since] their sophomore year," Catabia said. "They’re undefeated as freshman [and] we knew that they were a good team.”

Warriors’ senior quarterback John Curran jumpstarted his offense on the team’s first drive with a 45-yard strike to senior Isaiah Teixeira before senior running back Vincent Brown trotted past the Panthers defense for a one yard score on the ensuing possession.

Boston Cathedral responded after an unproductive first quarter with two touchdowns before halftime, as senior quarterback Matt Owens connected with senior teammate Carlos Bermudez on a 44-yard pass, and then ran for a three-yard score.

In the second half, Boston Cathedral produced two critical turnovers, an interception and a fumble, which Blue Hills couldn’t capitalize on. Yet, the Warriors offense did win the time of passion battle, as they finished the final two quarters with 29 plays compared to Boston Cathedral, who had 17.

“We took some time off the clock and that was one of our goals is to take some time off the clock [in the second half],” said Catabia.

“We just wanted [to get a few] first downs, [and] that’s all that mattered,” Warriors quarterback John Curran said. “We weren’t worried about milking the clock, as much as just trying to get in the end zone.”

Blue Hills offense produced Boston Cathedral’s only points of the second half, as they snapped the ball high above their quarterback late in the fourth quarter and out of the end zone before they stopped the Panthers on their final drive of the game, which was an incomplete pass from Owens to Bermudez.

Prior to kick-off, both coaches and captains met to discuss the rules for the game and in that particular meeting, the referees reminded the participants that they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate a touchdown before it was scored.

However, Sigsbury believed that the decision to flag Owens, who did celebrate the potential go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, was the wrong decision, and certainly, it seemed as if he believed the Panthers should have been crowned champions.

“[The game] got taken away from us, and what else can you do,” Sigsbury said. “If you’re going to take away from a kid being excited because he just made the play of his life, shame on you.”

When asked about the touchdown that was revoked, Blue Hills head coach Ed Catabia responded by saying, “We try to play by the rules, and the rule is that there is no celebrating. It was unfortunate for him [and]; it was a great a call. It’s just unfortunate that’s how it turned out.”

Boston Cathedral certainly had chances in the second half to score, but this particular play will certainly be in the back of their minds prior to the start of next years season.

Burton recorded 150 yards on 36 carries, as well as one touchdown, but the biggest offensive series of the game came for the senior running back in the third quarter, as he recorded 13-of-19 plays from the line of scrimmage.

“It was very important [because] we had to keep control of the ball, and let the clock run out, so that we could just eventually win the game,” said Burton, when asked to describe the play call in the third quarter.

When asked to describe the play of Burton, Currant commented by saying, “[He’s] unbelievable player. He’s one of the best backs I’ve ever seen. It’s incredible watching it from after I hand the ball, it’s like watching him make the cuts and hit the defense, and it’s unbelievable.”

What it means to win a championship

After losing last year to Shawsheen Regional Technical High School, both Burton and Curran explained they were overjoyed and happy to end their final season with a championship.

“I [saw] all the hurt in everyone’s eyes when we lost last year,” Burton said. “This year, it meant a lot to us and we knew that I didn’t want to see that feeling in their eyes again, so I know it meant a lot to me to win this game.”

“It’s a dream come true to have another chance to go back to the Super Bowl,” Curran said. “We worked so hard since August [at] captain’s practice, [and] we did everything we could to get back here. We just couldn’t miss the opportunity again. We knew what we had to do.”

Blue Hills– 16-0-0-0--16
Boston Cathedral – 0-12-0-2 --14

First Quarter
BH – Isaiah Teixeira 45-yard pass from John Curran (Vincent Burton run)
BH – Burton one-yard run (Burton run)

Second Quarter
BC – Carlos Bermudez 44-yard pass from Matt Owens (Owens run unsuccessful)
BC – Owens three-yard run (Pass fails)

Fourth Quarter
BH – Safety

Recap: Cardinal Spellman 31, Shawsheen 7

November, 29, 2011
ANDOVER, Mass. -– Even though his team had just posted a playoff victory, Cardinal Spellman coach Ron St. George was not a happy man following Tuesday night's 31-7 triumph over Shawsheen Valley.

The reason? Senior running back/linebacker Pat Hinkley, one of four team captains, suffered a shoulder injury while making a tackle late in the game and might not be available for Saturday's Super Bowl.

“There's a lot of concern because one of our best all-around football players right now ... his status for the game is in question,” St. George said. “If there's any way a kid can be back Pat Hinkley will be the kid who can do it. He's worked so hard.

“I feel terrible about it. I feel bad for the team and I feel bad for Pat mostly. We gotta regroup in a short amount of time.”

All Hinkley did Tuesday night was run for two touchdowns, catch a touchdown pass and lead Cardinal Spellman in solo tackes (five). He scored on a 1-yard run in the first quarter, on a 15-yard run in the second quarter and on a 15-yard reception early in the fourth. He entered the game with 18 touchdowns this season.

“He doesn't go down easy,” St. George said.

Spellman's other touchdown came on a 29-yard run by Scott O'Brien with 1:01 left in the first half.

The victory raised Cardinal Spellman's record to 12-0. The Cardinals will face Mashpee (12-0) in the Eastern Mass. Division 4 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium. Saturday's opening kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Shawsheen's only score came on a 9-yard touchdown run by Brian Ward with 2:06 to play. The Rams completed their season with a 6-5 record.

“I thought our effort was great,” Shawsheen coach Al Costabile said. “They made the most out of their opportunities [early]. It gave them the lead and allowed them to dictate play the way they wanted to.”

Shawsheen put the ball in the air 31 times. Starting quarterback Mike O'Hearn completed 10 of 29 passes for 76 yards.

The Rams turned the ball over four times (three interceptions). Spellman allowed an average of 5.6 points per game through its first 11 contests.

“We don't usually throw the ball that much, but they're a real tough team to run on,” Costabile said. “That was the game plan.”

Spellman had a 10-0 lead early in the second quarter, but didn't have to work very hard for its points.

A bad snap from punt formation gave Spellman the ball on Shawsheen's 6-yard line and set up Spellman's first touchdown. Three plays later Hinkley scored the game's first touchdown on a 1-yard run.

Then Dan Kustka intercepted an O'Hearn pass late in the quarter. Spellman took over on the Shawsheen 11-yard line and added to its lead when Ben Cowan made a 22-yard field goal.

“We were fortunate early,” St. George said. “We didn't create those points. They turned the ball over and we turned it into points. At any level of football you can't turn the ball over, especially when the other team cashes it in for points.”

Shawsheen was held to three first downs in the first half, and one of those came on a pass interference penalty.

The Rams generated 30 yards of offense on 28 plays in the half. Shawsheen failed to gain any yards on four of its seven possessions, and turned the ball over twice (both interceptions).

Spellman had a 24-0 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Shawsheen (6-5 ) 0 0 0 7 – 7
Cardinal Spellman (12-0) 7 17 0 7 – 31

1st Quarter

CS – Pat Hinkley 1 run (Ben Cowan kick), 3:19.

2nd Quarter
CS – FG Cowan 22, 8:26.
CS – Hinkley 15 run (Cowan kick), 5:53.
CS – Scott O'Brien 29 run (Cowan kick), 1:01.

4th Quarter
CS – Hinkley 15 pass from Tim Burke (Cowan kick), 9:22.
Sha – Brian Ward 49 run (DeVonn Pratt kick), 2:06.

Tuesday football playoff sites set

November, 25, 2011
The MIAA released the sites and times for each of Tuesday's division playoff matchups this morning.

Here's how the action breaks down (Note: Division 5 playoff teams Latin Academy and Nantucket advance directly to Saturday Super Bowl):

BC High vs. Chelmsford - Lowell, 5:15
New Bedford vs. Needham - Weymouth, 7:30

Everett at Lynn English - Manning Bowl, Lynn, 7:30
Barnstable vs. Lincoln-Sudbury - Taunton, 5:15

Tewksbury vs. Reading - Reading, 7:30
King Philip vs. Duxbury - Weymouth, 5:15

Marblehead vs. Wakefield - Manning Bowl, Lynn, 5:15
Walpole vs. Dennis-Yarmouth - Bridgewater-Raynham, 7:30

Concord-Carlisle vs. Holliston - Lowell, 7:30
Oliver Ames vs. Pembroke - Franklin, 7:30

Hamilton-Wenham vs. Newburyport - Andover, 7:30
Bishop Feehan vs. Bourne - Bridgewater-Raynham, 5:15

Cardinal Spellman vs. Shawsheen - Andover, 5:15
Millis/Hopedale vs. Mashpee - Taunton, 7:30

Boston Cathedral vs. Chelsea - Reading, 5:15
East Boston vs. Blue Hills - Franklin, 5:15

Lynn Tech vs. Tri-County, Braintree, 4:30
Greater Lawrence vs. Greater New Bedford Voke, Braintree, 7

MVC quarterbacks throttle North to win

June, 18, 2011

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- It was the first time since last Thanksgiving's rivalry game since Dracut's Matt Silva and Methuen's Cal Carroll had been on the same gridiron together. But their good friendship off the field didn't prevent ribbing these past two weeks of practice leading up to the Shriners All-Star Game.

"He [Carroll] kept telling me they won 16-12, and I had to remind him we won 19-12 all week," Silva laughed.

Opposite one another, they completed one of the more thrilling second halves from last Thanksgiving morning's slate of historic rivalry games. Together, they were up to the same old freelancing that made them two of the Merrimack Valley's most exciting quarterbacks to watch last fall, all part of a winning effort in the North's last-minute 17-14 win over the South.

En route to the MVC's Offensive Player of the Year honors in 2010, Carroll ran Pat Graham's power-based spread scheme with a chip on his shoulder, often calling his own number on inside zone options and bursting his way through the middle. So it should come as no surprise that with the ball just a few feet short of the goal line with under two minutes to go, Carroll followed Beverly's 310-pound center George Kallas into the end zone on a sneak.

Just like they used to draw it up on Ranger Road, only under center rather than their customary end zone dives out of Tebow-ish formations.

But then again, Carroll noted, "who wouldn't want to be under center when you've got George Kallas in front of you? He's 6-5, 300 pounds or something like that. That whole line wanted nothing more than for the ball to be on the ground."

Carroll, who will play baseball at Stonehill next year, finished with 70 yards on 8 of 12 passing, with two touchdowns. In the first half, he connected with Merrimack-bound running back Anthony Arcari on a screen pass for the team's first touchdown.

"We really put the game in the offensive line's hands on that drive, pounded the ball at the South, pretty much the whole drive" Carroll said. "[We] nickel and dimed it when we had to, with pass plays, and then set up a screen for Anthony Arcari. He has great wheels, maybe the fastest guy in Massachusetts. I didn't make a great pass, but he came down with it and walked into the end zone."

The North's offensive MVP honors went to Revere running back Trae Weathers, but the ebb and flow of the MVC's signal-callers made this all the more fun, between Carroll's toughness between the tackles and Silva's scrambling.

"I thought Carroll and Silva did a great job tonight," North head coach Al Costabile, also of Shawsheen Tech, said. "Our quarterbacks played very composed, our quarterbacks played very well all night, they also ran the ball well tonight. They came up with some timely runs to mix in and keep our offense going. Our kids gave up, and I'm so proud of them."


Jim Sullivan called it a career as head coach of Norwell following the Clippers' Thanksgiving loss to Hanover. In this last season coaching at the Shriners, he was made head coach of the South squad for this final go-around.

And for Sullivan, he couldn't be going out any happier.

"The game's about the kids, always, every game that I'm around in," Sullivan said. "Can't say enough of the heart of our guys. The kids played very well."

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

Marblehead claims another D3 North title

March, 13, 2011

BILLERICA, Mass. -- Three out of four ain’t bad for the seniors of Marblehead boys’ hockey.

With a convincing 6-2 win over Shawsheen Valley Technical School in Saturday’s Division 3 North final at Chelmsford Forum, the Magicians capped a rather impressive run, capturing three of the last four sectional championships.

“Freshman year was amazing, and this one’s still amazing, but we want to get to that next level," Marblehead senior forward Chris McLeod said. "We want to get that state championship. It’s still a great feeling, but we’ve got a couple more games to go.”

Both teams boasted recent success in the sectional tournament, as the Rams had ousted Marblehead from tournament in the 2009 semifinals with a shootout victory.

“We talked about tradition earlier,” Magicians head coach Bob Jackson said. “We talked about the fact that Marblehead during the 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s was regarded with the tradition they had. Over the past 24 hours, I’ve gotten hundreds of e-mails from former past captains and players, asking us to do something they’d never done.”

However, this year’s matchup was all Marblehead (17-4-3) from the get go. The Magicians, who scored at least five goals in each of their three tournament games, took the first lead of the game three minutes into the first with Austin Haley putting back a rebound of McLeod’s shot.

Shawsheen (17-5-1) responded and tied the game about a minute later with Michael DiGiorgio letting go a wrister from the left wing boards. Thomas Price set up with the tally with a chip from the corner. The Rams then took a 2-1 lead with 2:43 remaining in the period with Joseph Sodergren turning a Magicians’ defensive zone turnover into a goal.

Marblehead tied the score before the period was out. McLeod earned his second point of the game, scoring on the power play with 53 seconds remaining. Hunter Graves had the assist.

The Magicians continued to dictate play in the second period, outshooting Shawsheen, 15-5. Marblehead also netted the go-ahead goal in the first minute of play with Ryan Dempsey finding the back of the net on a one-timer with a set up from Graves, who earned his second point of the game.

Things really opened up for Marblehead in the third. Ty Bates started an onslaught of three Magician goals in the third with 12:08 to play. Ben Koopman followed 18 seconds later, providing a three-goal Marblehead lead with 11:50 to play.

McLeod tallied his second goal of the game on a 5-on-3 power play with 10:19 to play, rounding out scoring.

“We’ve been working on the power play in practice lately, it’s just been clicking,” McLeod said. “It’s been rolling, that’s great for us. We just need to keep it going for the rest of the playoffs.”

ESPN Boston MIAA hockey tourney picks

March, 1, 2011
The MIAA boys' and girls' tournament kicked off across the state last night, so we took a little time to dissect all of the brackets and weigh with our predictions for the postseason.

Favorite: Malden Catholic (16-2-2).

Dark horses: St. John’s Prep (14-5-1), Hingham (13-5-4).

Overview: Is this finally the Lancers’ year? Can the Harbormen repeat? There are plenty of storylines headed into Saturday’s first night of action. Malden Catholic is the definitive favorite, if for nothing else, based on the fact that they have three D-1 recruits on their top line. Prep has come on strong down the home stretch and they’re plenty talented. Hey, this has been a year of parity anyway, so wouldn’t it be fitting to see a dark horse emerge from the pack.

Barboza’s pick: They’re been the favorite from day one and we have no reason to change ship now. It’s the Lancers’ tournament to lose.

Favorites: North – St. Mary’s of Lynn (13-4-3), Billerica (10-2-8), Reading (15-6-1); South – Springfield Cathedral (12-10-1), Barnstable (13-3-4), Marshfield (14-3-5).

Dark horses: North – St. John’s of Shrewsbury (14-6-1), Austin Prep (10-6-4); South – Archbishop Williams (9-6-5), Xaverian (10-8-2).

Overview: Consensus is that the North is the stronger of the fields and it starts at the top of the field with St. Mary’s (which was bounced out of the Super Eight field), Billerica (which was the last team out of the Super Eight) and Reading (which a Super Eight Watch Lister). The South could be Springfield Cathedral’s to lose, but it remains to be seen how the Panthers rebound from Monday’s thumping against Woburn in the Super Eight play-in.

Barboza’s picks: North finals – St. Mary’s over Billerica; South finals – Braintree over Archbishop Williams; Final – St. Mary’s over Braintree.

Favorites: North – Wilmington (16-2-2), Winthrop (14-2-4), Saugus (12-1-7); South – Mansfield (17-2-1), Canton (15-3-2), Franklin (14-4-2).

Dark horses: North – Boston Latin (14-3-3), Tewksbury (14-5-1); South – Coyle-Cassidy (9-9-2).

Overview: Division 2 North might be our favorite bracket in the state. With a glut of Northeastern North teams clamoring for the for the top spot and Cape Ann stalwarts like Wilmington and Newburyport, this might be the most difficult section to predict. It might be a safe assertion that a team from the Hockomock League will be coming out of the South.

Barboza’s picks: North finals — Winthrop over Saugus; South finals – Franklin over Coyle-Cassidy; Final – Winthrop over Franklin.

Favorites: North – Shawsheen (15-4-1), Marblehead (15-4-3); South – Bourne (18-2-0); Abington/East Bridgewater (15-2-3); Central – Hudson (18-2-0); West – Longmeadow (15-4-1).

Dark horses: Dracut (15-3-1), Dartmouth (14-4-2), Medway (13-6-1), Wachusett (14-4-2).

Overview: In the North, Shawsheen and Marblehead will be strong favorites, but the South should be wide open with 27-team field. Hudson and defending champion Longmeadow figure to once again have influence on the statewide tournament.

Barboza’s picks: North champion – Marblehead; South – Dartmouth; Central – Hudson; West – Longmeadow; State champion – Hudson.

Favorites: Central – Groton-Dunstable (17-2-1); West – Holyoke (18-1-1).

Dark horses: Oakmont Regional (9-6-3), Wahconah (18-2-0).

Overview: Groton-Dunstable takes the top seed coming out of the Central, but all eyes will be on the Purple Knights of Holyoke, who were the last team in the state to carry an undefeated record into the month of February. Defending champion Oakmont Regional should also have a say in the Central.

Barboza’s picks: Holyoke over Groton-Dunstable in the championship.

Favorites: St. Mary’s of Lynn (19-0-3), Woburn (18-1-1), Lexington (14-2-4).

Dark horses: Hingham (16-4-2), Arlington (14-5-1), Billerica (14-6-1).

Overview: The Lady Spartans keep steaming along and are on schedule to reach consecutive game No. 100 without a loss in the first round of the tournament. It’s hard to pick against the winners of the three previous tournaments, but St. Mary’s will face stiff competition from Middlesex entrants Woburn and Lexington, among others.

Barboza’s picks: Semifnals – St. Mary’s over Arlington and Woburn over Acton-Boxborough; Final – St. Mary’s over Woburn.

Favorites: Norwood (17-1-2), Duxbury (17-3-0), Medfield (14-2-4).

Dark horses: Fontbonne (13-2-5), Canton (11-6-3), Walpole (14-4-2).

Overview: Defending Division 2 champion drew the 17th seed, so it’s likely that we’re looking a new state champion. Norwood, Duxbury and Medfield drew the top seeds, but Fontbonne Academy might have the brackets best player in forward Taylor Shepherd and her 32-goal season.

Barboza’s picks: Semifinals – Fontbonne over Norwood and Duxbury over Medfield; Finals – Duxbury over Fontbonne.

Shawsheen champs for 1st time in 3 decades

December, 4, 2010
MILTON, Mass. -- The Shawsheen Rams put an end to their 32-year drought and finally earned their first Division 4 Super Bowl in school history, as they defeated the Blue Hills Warriors, 20-6, on Curry College’s Walter M. Katz Field on Saturday.

“This means so much to the community, its five sending towns that we represent and its just an honor to represent this community, to represent the families and the school, so it means so much for our school and our communities,” said Shawsheen head coach Al Costabile.

Following a scoreless first quarter, quarterback Ryan Woolaver kept the ball and ran for a 30-yard touchdown inside Warriors territory, but was injured after diving into the end zone for the score. After the touchdown was recorded, Woolaver remained on the ground, but was able to get himself off the field, despite sustaining
an injury.

The Rams missed the point after attempt, but ended the half on a sour note when they watched Woolaver get sacked for a loss and suffer a game ending injury. He was taken to the hospital after the fourth quarter was complete, which allowed back up quarterback Tyler MacInnis to take over the Rams offense for the final 20-minutes
of their season.

“Of course, we had doubts, you can’t replace a guy like Ryan Woolaver. I just knew that I had to get the defense fired up, had to get going and back up quarterback Tyler MacInnis did a great job,” Shawsheen receiver Derek Bent said.

The Rams would begin the second half, attempting to put more points on the board, but Warriors defensive end Brian Onyechefule intercepted backup quarterback MacInnis’s short pass. The Warriors would respond and use 15 plays to earn their only points of the day, as running back Isaiah Teixeira scored on a two-yard run. After the touchdown, they attempted a two-point conversion, which was unsuccessful.

The Rams would respond with an explosive fourth quarter, scoring 14 points, all on account of Steve Reynolds, who scored both touchdowns of the quarter on offense and defense.

Reynolds first scored on a 25-yard run and then intercepted Warriors quarterback John Curran for a 35 yard score.

“I mean we lost momentum, but we just kept on fighting and we got it,” said Bent.

Blue Hills attempted one final drive late in the fourth quarter to possibly come within striking distance of Shawsheen, but were once again, denied a comeback when Reynolds intercepted Curran.

Once the final whistle blew, Costabile addressed his team to say: “We normally don’t give out a game balls, that’s something we don’t do around here because we are all about team, not individuals. I think you are all going to agree with me that the game ball goes to Ryan Woolaver.”

Bent complimented his opponent after the game.

“They played a great game. I was getting worried at the end and when they came down and scored, tied it up, I knew it was going to be a game and our defense had to dig in and offense had to make plays.”

Shawsheen - 0 6 0 14 - 20
Blue Hills - 0 0 6 0 - 6

Second quarter

S- 30 yard run by R. Woolaver (Kick no good)

Third quarter
B - 2 yard run by Isaiah Teixeira (Two Point conversion failed)

Fourth quarter
S - Steve Reynolds 25 yard touchdown run (kick goodDevonn Pratt)
S - Steve Reynolds 35 yard touchdown interception (Kick good Pratt)