Boston High School: Spencer McCaffrey

No. 15 D-Y playing unusual role of favorite

August, 29, 2011
SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. -- All of last week, the Dennis-Yarmouth Dolphins gathered with No. 1 Everett for a week's worth of practices at a campground in Brewster, tucked into the elbow of Cape Cod and bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean.

As usual when these two programs butt heads, it's a stroll down memory lane for Funk. In 2001, he left the Crimson Tide coaching staff to take over a program past the verge of collapse. D-Y wasn't just a program in disarray, with a mere six wins to its credit in the 1990's; it was a program so bad, it was relegated to exclusively junior varsity status, with the school even considering dropping the program altogether.

They say if you're not the lead dog, the view never changes. Safe to say a decade after nearly disbanding, the Dolphins are affirmatively in the front of the pack in not just the pecking order of the Cape's programs, but all of Division 2A.

Four seasons ago, it was Nick Montalto kick-starting the program, quarterbacking the Dolphins to a 10-1 campaign and a share of the Atlantic Coast League title (they missed out on the playoffs by virtue of a head-to-head matchup with Marshfield). Last season, after a few .500 seasons, it was Montalto's younger brother, Matt, amassing 37 touchdowns and nearly 2,500 yards of offense as the Dolphins claimed the ACL outright and punched their first postseason berth in school history.

All the intangibles are back again in 2011 to make them a favorite in the ACL again. But putting them over the top -- putting them in Super Bowl contention, in some circles -- is Matt Montalto, the spirited gun-slinger and baseball centerfielder praised as much for his decision-making as his toughness. And that's even after taking into his relative lack of size (Montalto stands just 5-foot-10 and 175 pounds).

"He's just a gamer, great kid, really good leader," Funk said. "He has put his heart and soul into the program. He's almost at 245 on hang clean, 265 on the bench press, he's like a big, strong kid. Even though he's not tall for kid at his position, he can run a 4.6.

"And on top of that, he's the most accurate passer I've ever seen and ever been around. You put those things together with the toughness and leadership qualities, and he's a kid that we're very fortunate to have."

Last fall, the Dolphins were most successful with Funk's read-option attack when Montalto was spreading the ball around to a handful of slot receivers on underneath routes, or hitting running backs Dylan Hodsdon and Joe Furness out of the backfield. Funk noted an improved arm strength over the offseason, adding that he'd put Montalto "up with any of them" in a deep quarterbacking class that includes Everett's Jonathan DiBiaso, Barnstable's D.J. Crook, North Andover's Brandon Walsh, Catholic Memorial's A.J. Doyle, Swampscott's Michael Walsh and Billerica golden boy Nick LaSpada.

That should bode well for arguably the Dolphins' most dangerous target. At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, senior Damion Johnson is a mismatch and their best deep-ball threat, demonstrating quality body control on jump-balls and exhibiting elite burners in the open field that has touched the 4.5-4.4 range. He's probably in for a bigger season after racking up 728 receiving yards and nine total touchdowns last fall.

At free safety, Johnson was also the ACL's Defenisve Player of the Year, jumping routes to the tune of eight interceptions.

"He's good as a receiver and good on both sides of the ball," Funk said. "At safety, he comes up hard on run. I think he creates problems for teams."

Undoubtedly, the target is on the Dolphins' back, a position at once uncomfortable and enviable.

"That’s what happens when you start wininng games," Funk said. "That's what we wanted to do with this program. When we started from scratch, to where we are now, we still haven't gotten to where we need to be, there's stuff that didn't get finished last year, there's a lot of work be done to get to there. But this is what we hoped as a coaching staff would happen when we started this thing 10 years ago."


Coach: Paul Funk (11th season, 58-39-1)
Last Year: 10-2 (Lost to Duxbury in Division 2A playoffs)
Key Returnees: Matt Montalto, Sr. QB/DB (1,300 passing yards, 22 TD, 4 INT; 121 carries, 1,123 yards, 15 TD); Tommy Kennedy, Sr. OL/LB; Hunter Oppedisano, Sr. OL/DL; Dylan Hodsdon, Sr. RB/DB (11 TD receptions); Damion Johnson, Sr. WR/DB (704 receiving yards, 9 total TD; 8 INT); Arthur Hairston, Sr. OL/DL; Shane Lappen, Sr. OL/DL; Rufus Hamilton, Sr. RB/DB (6 rushing TD); Barry Dempsey, Sr. OL/DL; Spencer McCaffery, Jr. WR/DB; Joe Furness, Sr. FB/LB (11 rushing TD).
Strengths: Team speed, returning skill players.
Weaknesses: Depth at linebackers.
Outlook: The Dolphins climbed to unprecedented heights in 2010, and many of the integral pieces of the puzzle are back for one more go-around, making them one of several favorites in Division 2A. The most integral of them all, Montalto, could have an even bigger senior campaign after totaling 37 scores as a junior. Montalto made a name for himself across the state last year with his elusive 4.6-40 speed and accuracy in the short passing game, and all the familiar targets are back to shoot for an even bigger senior campaign. "Our offense isn’t one to pass the ball 35 times," Funk said. "We're very balanced, very evenly spread out, and Matt's the perfect guy for that in this offense." Without the greatest arm strength in the world, Montalto excelled in spreading the ball around underneath to guys like Hodsdon and McCaffery, and keeping the defense honest with handoffs up the middle to Furness, but Funk noted an improvement in arm strength this offseason. That should bode well for Johnson, who figures to emerge as one of the Cape's all-around most dangerous targets after a strong junior campaign; as should the offensive line, which loses mammoth 310-pound tackled Nate Crary but returns three speedy starters. Defensively, there are concerns of depth in the front seven with the graduation of linebackers Victor Andrade and T.J. Camel, but the secondary should buy the pass rush some time, with Montalto and Johnson manning the safety positions.

Bay State Games: Day 3 Recap

July, 8, 2011
Courtesy of Bay State Games media relations director Peter Cohenno:

Bentley University – Waltham, MA

Metro 15, Central 7

In an offensive showcase, Metro earned a decisive 15-7 victory against Central in the opening game on Thursday.

Metro scored six runs on six hits in the top of the first inning to help propel the squad to an early lead, however, Central retaliated in the bottom of the inning, plating five to pull within one.

Metro pulled ahead, 7-5, in the second, as sophomore leftfielder Malcolm Nachmanoff (Boston, Boston Latin) drilled a RBI single, which scored junior right fielder Bartley Regan (Boston, Boston College HS), who had singled up the middle.

In the bottom of the third, sophomore first baseman Zackary Tower (Auburn, Auburn HS) nailed a RBI single and sophomore leftfielder Jake Ryan (Northbridge, Northbridge HS) drew a walk for a RBI to help Central knot the game at 7-7.

Metro put the game out of reach with seven runs in the fourth inning and added one more in the fifth to earn the 15-7 victory.

Nachmanoff and junior second baseman Austin Teal (Malden, Malden HS) led the offensive effort for Metro, going 2-for-2 with one RBI apiece. Sophomore shortstop Michael Woll (Milbury, Holy Name Central Catholic HS) was 1-for-1 at the dish with two RBI for Central.

Junior pitcher James Mulry (West Roxbury, Boston Latin) registered the win for Metro, hurling 21/3 scoreless innings, while tallying four strikeouts and allowing just one hit.

Northeast 8, West 0

A complete game shutout from junior pitcher Ryan McDonald (Boxboro, Acton-Boxboro Reg. HS) propelled Northeast to an 8-0 victory against West in game two on Thursday. McDonald tallied seven strikeouts and allowed just one hit in the solid outing.

Northeast jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first, thanks to RBI from junior designated hitter Peter Franchi (Lynnfield, Lynnfield HS) and junior right fielder Sean Glabicky (Peabody, Malden Catholic HS).

The only hit of the game for West came in the fourth, when junior centerfielder John Kinne (Great Barrington, Monument Mountain HS) sent a leadoff single to left field.

The Northeast squad never looked backed, adding six insurance runs on seven hits in the sixth to secure the victory.

Southeast 5, Coastal 5

In the third game on Thursday afternoon, Southeast and Coastal played a hard fought, back-and-forth contest that ended in a 5-5 draw.

Southeast broke the game open in the second inning, when junior first baseman Sean Greene (Hingham, Hingham HS), junior third baseman Mark Pomella (Marshfield, Marshfield HS), and junior centerfielder Jake O’Rouke (Medway, Medway HS) recorded consecutive singles to put their squad up, 1-0. Pomella scored on a wild pitch, giving Southeast an early 2-0 lead.

Southeast added a third run in the third, but Coastal would not go quietly. Sophomore centerfielder Dan Dougherty (Pembroke, Boston College HS), who singled to right field, set up a rundown, which allowed sophomore leftfielder Spencer McCaffrey (South Dennis, Dennis-Yarmouth HS) to score in the bottom of the third. In the squad’s next at bat, Coastal registered three runs on four hits to take a 4-3 lead through four innings of play.

Southeast tied the game at four in the fifth on a RBI triple from junior designated hitter Phil Sciretta (Duxbury, Nobles & Greenough HS), but Coastal pulled ahead in the following inning, as junior leftfielder Aaron Chouinard (Swansea, Joseph Case HS) tallied a sacrifice fly to score junior catcher Brian Hocking (Duxbury, Boston College HS).

Southeast plated the tying run in the top of the seventh, when Sciretta lifted a RBI sacrifice fly to right field. The squad then shutdown Coastal in the bottom of the inning to end the game deadlocked at five a side.

West 3, Central 1

West used a seventh-inning rally to defeat Central, 3-1, in a defensive showdown on Thursday afternoon.

The squads were deadlocked at zero until the fourth inning, when junior centerfielder Steve Moyers (East Longmeadow, East Longmeadow HS), drew a walk to get on and scored on a throwing error by the Central pitcher to break the game open for West.

Central retaliated in the fifth, as junior first baseman Adam Goldstein (Worcester, Doherty Mem HS) knocked in junior leftfielder Matt Lavin (Worcester, Burncoat HS) with a single to center, knotting the game at 1-1.

West earned the go-ahead runs in the top of the seventh, as junior first baseman Brenden Geary (South Hadley, Tabor HS) and Moyers registered RBIs to put the squad on top. The West then retired the Central side in the home half of the inning to take the 3-1 victory.

The squads were led by outstanding showings from their pitchers, who each turned in complete game performances. West’s junior Rory Ziomek (Amherst, Phillips Andover) allowed just two hits and one run, while striking out six in seven innings of work. Junior Tyler Wager (Uxbridge, Uxbridge HS) struck out seven for Central.

New England Sports Center – Marlboro, MA

Boys Scholastic

Northeast 5, West 1

Junior forward Joe Czarnota (Reading, Reading HS) tallied two goals and an assist to lead Northeast over West, 5-1. Pat Flanagan (Westford, Westford Academy), Brett Buckley (Wakefield, Wakefield HS) and Blaise Heally (Melrose, Tilton School) also potted scores for the winners. Sophomore David Senecal (North Adams, Drury HS) lit the lantern for West’s only goal.

Southeast 9, Central 7

Southeast’s Dean Chandler (Hanover, Hanover HS) and Jason Riley (Dedham, Dedham HS) each scored a pair of goals to help their team fend off Central, 9-7. Junior Paul Curran (Milton, Milton HS) chipped in with a goal and three assists. For Central, Tyler Kirby (Hudson, Hudson HS) and Brett Lawson (Milford, St. Mark’s School) potted two goals apiece with Kirby also dishing out an assist.

Metro 4, Coastal 1

Junior forward Conal Lynch (Charlestown, Boston Latin) had a hat trick and Kevin Cotrone (West Roxbury, Boston Latin) tallied four points with a goal and three assists to lift Metro over Coastal, 4-1. Defenseman Max Sherman (Rochester, Old Rochester Reg HS) potted the lone goal for Coastal. In net, Peter Cronin (Norwell, Boston College HS) and Ryan Ciavette (Medford, Matignon) combined to 43 saves for the winners. Sean Cleary (Centerville, Barnstable HS) came on in relief for Coastal to make 18 saves while allowing a single goal.

Northeast 5, Southeast 2

Northeast jumped out to a three-goal lead in the first half and held on to defeat Southeast, 5-2. Forward Kevin Doherty (Wakefield, Wakefield HS) potted Northeast’s second and third goals. Also chipping in on the Northeast attack was Blaise Heally (Melrose, Tilton School) who registered a goal and an assist. Southeast came out storming in the second half and began its comeback with two quick strikes by David Consigle (Medway, Catholic Memorial) and Brian Higgins (Milton, Milton HS) in the fourth and ninth minute, respectively. Southeast goaltender Stephen Jenner (Abington, Archbishop Williams) made 19 saves including two spectacular diving saves.

Girls Scholastic

Southeast/Coastal 4, Central/West 4

Southeast/Coastal scored twice in the final three minutes to salvage a 4-4 tie with Central/West. Southeast/Coastal got two goals apiece from freshmen Emily Kelly (Norwood, Norwood HS) and Brooke Matherson (Walpole, Walpole HS) including a score from each in the critical final minutes. Kelly also added an assist. Central/West had a balanced offensive attack that was lead by Shannon Reynolds (Belmont, Belmont HS) who had an assist on Colleen Lynch’s (Worcester, South High Community School) strike in the first period, and scored in the third period to push the score to 4-2.

Waltham High School – Waltham, MA

Boys Scholastic

Northeast 0, Southeast 0
Great two way game by both teams.

Metro 8, Central 1
Dumbuya (ME) (unassisted) at 2min
Nichole (CE) from Lajoie at 12min
Chajon (ME) from Desouza at 15min
Chajon (ME) from Lo at 17min
B. Pires (ME) from Rolim at 24min
Dumbuya (ME) from Chajon at 45min
B. Pires (ME) from Teixeira at 55min
Murrill (ME) from Irazo at 66min
Murrill (ME) from Irazo at 68min

West 2, Coastal 1
Oupka (WE) unassisted at 33min
Thompson (CO) from Phillips at 55min
Merdcer (WE) from Friedman at 62min

Girls Scholastic

Northeast 2, Metro 0
Havelinan (NE) on assist from McDonough at 20min
McDonough(NE) from DesRosiers at 27min

Central 2, Southeast 0
Miele (CE) from Costa at 6min
Kane(CE) from Adams at 18min

West 3, Metro 0
Delasco0 (WE) from Caney at 22min
Caney (WE) from Bates at 27min
Bovat(WE) at 60min unassisted

Northeast 3, Southeast 0
McDonough(NE) from Cunnerty 10min
May(NE) from Newhall 30min
Digiacomo (NE) from McDonough 44 min

Regis College – Weston, MA

Coastal 4, West 3
Northeast 8, Central 1
Southeast 7, Metro 4
Metro 7, Central 0

Northeast v Southeast
Results not available