Boston High School: Steve Femino

Recap: No. 18 Falmouth 54, Barnstable 53

February, 14, 2012
2/14/12
11:01
PM ET
Paul Lundberg’s wish came true last night in Barnstable. Prior driving 15 miles up Route 28 to Barnstable High School from Falmouth High, the Head Coach of the Falmouth Clippers told his assistant coach, Steve Femino, that he was really hoping to get a big performance out of forward Nate Steele later on that night against his team’s biggest rival.

Steele, who has pretty much been the Clippers fourth or fifth offensive option all year long, must have overheard the conversation because the junior had the best game of his high school career to help lead the 18th-ranked boys club from Falmouth to their 16th straight win, a 54-53 nail-biter over their rivals from Barnstable.

Falmouth, which has already claimed the Atlantic Coast League championship with a perfect 11-0 record so far, improved to 17-1 on the season and avenged their lone loss, a 1-point defeat back in December to the Red Raiders back. Barnstable, which can win the Old Colony League title with a win over Dartmouth on Friday, falls to 13-4.

Steele was the remedy to a laundry list of ailments for Falmouth in the game. All-star point guard Andrew McGill (seven points, six assists) was whistled for a technical foul midway through the third for arguing a foul call and sat down for several minutes. Seconds later big man Kyle Kasprzyk (six points, five rebounds), the Clippers' post presence, went down with a nasty looking ankle injury in the third quarter and would not return. Leading scorer Damien Reid was playing on balky ankle that he had turned the previous day in practice and was held to just 4 points by the Raiders.

Enter the man named Steele, who was not wearing a cape but certainly played like he deserved one in the third quarter as he scored 13 of his game-high 18 points.

“He came through huge for us,” Lundberg said. “It’s always someone different for us, we don’t have any superstars.”

Even with Steele exploding in the third, the game was still in doubt heading to the final period and the Clippers had few answers for the Red Raiders inside. Barnstable’s Charlie Rice, Nick Peabody and Jason Eddy dominated the glass throughout the game, combining for 31 rebounds between them and were able to keep it close all the way through. Falmouth led 42-36 going to the fourth, thanks to a pair of pretty hoops by Steele inside the last 17 seconds, including a jumper off the window at the buzzer.

In the fourth the visitors extended their lead to as many as 7 points on a dribble-drive dish by McGill that set up a Sam Lumbert lay-in with 6:00 to play that made it 46-39.

Barnstable answered right back with five quick points by Eddy, who drained a 3-pointer and then stole the ball and got to the line for a pair of freebies. The two free throws had Barnstable back to within 2.

Thanks to some suffocating defense, Barnstable shaved it down to a single point with 2:50 to play. Peabody dropped in 1-of-2 from the line and then hit a put-back to make it a 48-47 game. Barnstable continued to shut down the Falmouth offense on the Clippers’ next few possessions, but missed open jumpers on three straight possessions.

Inside the last minute Clippers freshman Brian Jeffrey connected on the shot of the night. With time winding down on the shot clock the rookie got the ball at the top of the arc and drained a 3-pointer with Eddy in his face to extend the Clippers’ lead to 51-47.

Barnstable got the look it wanted the next time down, but Rice’s lay-up rimmed off and Steele came down with the ball and got it quickly to McGill, who was fouled and hit 1-of-2 to make it a 5-point game with 32 seconds remaining.

“You always have to look down at the last stretch, but I think you have to look at throughout the game that whatever our shooting percentage was, it was bad. Defensively we played well enough to win the game, I thought we took pretty good care of the basketball,” Barnstable Coach Gerry McDowell said. “But, we missed too many shots at close range and I think that was the difference. We didn’t maximize our offensive opportunities.”

Rice rebounded the missed second attempt by McGill and Barnstable started to bomb away with bad results. First Travis Kendrew put one up that was wide. Barnstable got the ball back out of a scramble, thanks to the possession arrow being in their favor, but then Eddy missed from downtown. Pat Kotfila was hacked after that and hit 1-of-2 for Falmouth, making it a six-point game, 53-47, with 14 seconds to go.

Eddy gave his team hope with six ticks to go when he drained a bomb from the corner. The Raiders then fouled on the inbound, sending Steele to the line with a chance to ice things. The man of the night did just that, making it a two-possession game with five seconds to go by draining the first of his two shots. Rice grabbed the carom on the missed the second shot and beat the buzzer with a long three from about 35-feet out, but it left the home team a point short with no time to play.

That left McDowell’s team with sagging shoulders and plenty of "what if's" it will be asking itself for the rest of the week.

“We rebounded very well, we took care of the basketball, we shot free throws, we played well enough defensively, but good teams, winning teams, don’t make it difficult for themselves and we made it difficult for ourselves,” McDowell said.

“(Falmouth) shot the ball better. I give them a lot of credit for making shots, and you’ve got to do that. You can’t always get the ball inside for lay-ups, you’ve got to make shots. When you get the ball inside, those are the ones you’re supposed to make, you should shoot 50-percent, and we didn’t do that. We didn’t come close.”

Lundberg credited his team’s depth and composure for the victory. At times Falmouth had four sophomores and a freshman on the court against the Raiders, but the youngsters got the job done.

“They didn’t panic, they just played. It’s a game of basketball,” the coach said.

And if there’s one thing that these Clippers seem to be doing well this season it’s following their coach’s credo of “just keep playing.”

“I can’t believe we’ve already played 18 games. (When the year began) I was hoping to just make the tournament, but these kids keep coming," he said. "The chemistry is well, they’re having fun. Man, 17-1 is a huge surprise to me, I don’t know how much of a surprise it is to them, kids are kids, but it’s a big surprise for me. I’m happy for them because they do all of the work.”

Plymouth North shocks No. 7 Clippers

October, 23, 2010
10/23/10
12:29
AM ET


PLYMOUTH, Mass. -– Plymouth North head coach Dwayne Follette tried to downplay the significance and the motivation behind the win, but senior running back Matt Walsh took it personal.

Under a full moon and a chilly October night with temperatures in the 30s, the No. 22 Blue Eagles shocked No. 7 Falmouth, 28-7, in front of a standing-room only, homecoming crowd and sent the previously unbeaten Clippers' packing in a defining Atlantic Coast League battle.

Forced to play their home games at rival Plymouth South's field a few miles away due to construction, the defense didn't seem to care as they held Falmouth to 11 yards on only 13 plays from scrimmage in the first half alone.

Walsh finished with 102 of the 174 rushing yards for the Eagles on 16 carries and was referring to last season's 41-0 rout at the hands of Falmouth when he said the seniors wanted to “punch them in the mouth” with a victory. With the win, Plymouth North (5-2, 2-0) remains unbeaten in league play and with a 15-0 win last week over the defending league champion Marshfield, this victory puts the Eagles' at the head of the pack with three winnable league games left on the schedule.

“Every time I got the ball there were holes everywhere, it wasn't just one hole at a time,” Walsh said. “[Assistant] Coach [Carl] Freyemuth told us this was a big game and we were hyped up beating Marshfield and we knew coming in we needed at least two turnovers and I think we got more then that.”
[+] EnlargePlymouth North vs. Falmouth
Brian Fabry for ESPNBostonMatt Walsh rumbles in for the first of his two touchdown runs in Plymouth North's 28-7 upset win over Falmouth on Friday.

The Plymouth North defense caused six turnovers overall converting the first three Clippers' miscues into touchdowns in the first two quarters of play.

Plymouth North (5-2, 2-0) was staked to a 14-0 lead in the first 8:43 of play as the Eagles cashed in two forced fumbles for touchdown on Falmouth's first two series. The two turnovers set up Plymouth North with great field position, with the first opportunity coming at the Clippers' 24-yard line after a Mike Cahill fumble recovery.

After two Walsh rushes got Plymouth North to the 11-yard line, quarterback Cody Merritt scored on an 11-yard keeper right up the middle of the Falmouth defense. Falmouth's Jonah Olsen burst off the right end untouched and blocked Vinny Tavernelli's extra point attempt to hold the score at 6-0.

But the momentum never changed as on the very next series, the Clippers' second fumble was on the ground on only the second play from scrimmage. This set up the Eagles' with even better field position inside the red zone at the Falmouth 14-yard line.

Last week's offensive star Zach Zaniboni was credited with the recovery and four plays later, Matty Walsh scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns from two yards out and then Merritt converted the two-point conversion on a swing pass to Walsh for the 14-0 lead.

“We haven't been getting many turnovers and we got a lot of turnovers tonight and we turned them into scores, so it was great we executed,” Eagles head coach Dwayne Follette said. “The defense played awesome again but our offense played real well tonight, got some big plays, and turned the short fields into scores and that was the difference.”

After the two teams exchanged three-and-outs, Merritt turned around to the defensive side of the ball and picked off the Clippers' Dillon Mansfield at the start of the second quarter to set up the third Eagles' score.

The Eagles methodically ate up over nine-plus minutes of the second half on a 12-play drive – not including a spinning 27-yard run from Zaniboni that was negated on a holding call - that culminated on a fourth-and-one plunge from Walsh with only 50 seconds left before the half. As the teams dispersed for halftime, Plymouth North was firmly in control, 21-0.

“We had a good week of practice and everyone was on key,” Walsh added. “We played hard the whole game we didn't give up and we gave it all we could”.

The nightmare continued for Falmouth (5-1, 1-1) as they coughed up the ball on their next two possessions of the second half and lost two-sport star Nelson Baptiste to an undisclosed injury before the second stanza started.

Plymouth North smelled blood in the water as Zaniboni had his second fumble recovery and the fifth Falmouth turnover turned into a picture-perfect hook and ladder between Merritt and Liam Cosgrove with the final pitch going to Bobby Savoia for the 32-yard touchdown.

Before Falmouth knew the second half whistle was fired off, the Eagles offense posted 28 unanswered points with 9:08 remaining in the third quarter.

Olsen took it upon himself to ruin a second consecutive Atlantic Coast League shutout for the Eagles with a 40-yard scamper on a sweep to the right as he outran four would be tacklers with 9:03 remaining in regulation.

Said Follette: “We have three league games left and every week you play for controlling your own destiny. We talked (last season's loss) up, but this was a big enough game that we didn't need the extra motivation, but [Falmouth head coach] Steve [Femino] is a great guy, he addressed our team [post-game], he's a class act but we won –- we played the better game”.

Falmouth goes back over the Sagamore Bridge to lick their wounds in anticipation of next week's battle with Marshfield, which will essentially knock one of the two ACL powerhouses out of contention for this year's Division 2A Super Bowl playoffs. Plymouth North goes on the road to face non league foe, Barnstable, in a tune up for the remainder of the league schedule.

The rest of the schedule includes road games against Sandwich and the always dangerous Dennis-Yarmouth before the season-ending tilt with in-town rival Plymouth South at the annual Thanksgiving Day battle.

FALMOUTH (5-1) 0 0 0 7 -- 7
PLYMOUTH NORTH (5-2) 14 7 7 0 -- 28


PN – Cody Merritt 11 run (kick blocked)
PN – Matty Walsh 2 run (Walsh from Merritt)
PN – Walsh 1 run (Vinny Tavernelli kick)
PN – Bobby Savoia 32 pass from Merritt (Tavernelli kick)
FA – Jonah Olsen 40 run (Tyrone Reine kick)

Falmouth's Lavin commits to Bryant

October, 20, 2010
10/20/10
12:29
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John Lavin, tight end and defensive end for No. 7 Falmouth High football, has given a verbal commitment to Bryant University, Clippers head coach Steve Femino confirmed Tuesday night.

Lavin has been out of the Clippers' lineup for the last several weeks while nursing a broken leg. The 6-foot-5, 215-pounder is a big target in the passing game and was a key contributor to Falmouth's Division II South championship basketball team last year.

The Clippers face Atlantic Coast League rival No. 22 Plymouth North on Friday.

What We Learned: Week 4

October, 4, 2010
10/04/10
3:15
PM ET
Better hold on to your hats.

That was the theme of Week 4 of the local high school football schedule from the perspective of weather and its results. Driving rains and howling winds across Southern New England had many of Friday’s games washed out and moved to Saturday. For those who remained steadfast in their Friday schedules or kicked off on Saturday, there were plenty of upsets to be had and much on the line.

Here’s what we learned from this weekend’s action:

The good ship Falmouth

Down 15-0 at halftime? No problem. Thirty-six players on your sideline? That’s enough. Falmouth has now made “upset” wins over BC High old hat.

It was the first time that a Catholic Conference team had traveled to the Cape in more than a decade. And coming off of last year’s 22-20 loss to the Clippers, the Eagles had plenty of motivation to return the favor to what Falmouth had done on their turf last year.

Yet, somehow, the Clippers found a way to win. They weren’t just playing for themselves and for their teammates, they were playing for the entirety of football on the Cape. That perceived no man’s land of football has now definitively proven it is a force.

“Everybody thinks that because we’re from Cape Cod that we don’t know how to play football,” senior Nelson Baptiste told ESPN Boston’s Brendan Hall on Thursday.

Things didn’t look good for Falmouth’s chances early, as BC High running back Preston Cooper (two rushing touchdowns, 2-point conversion) accounted for all but one of the Eagles’ 15 first-half points. BC High’s front also bottled up the Clippers’ option attack, holding Falmouth to just seven offensive plays in the half.

In the second half, Clippers head coach Steve Femino relied on a couple his less-heralded players to lead the charge in the second half.

Bobby Whelan led the rushing attack with 14 carries for 110 yards and touchdown — all coming in the second half. His 21-yard carry on his first touch of the game in the third quarter set the tone for what was to come.

After a Dillon Mansfield score made it 15-14, Falmouth looked for its defense to make a stand.

The Clippers forced the Eagles three-and-out with two plays for negative yardage, as Tyrone Reine and Jonah Olsen make tackles for a loss. Then, it was junior corner Devon Soares who left his imprint with two interceptions on successive BC High drives to close out the win.

“Devon Soares has been our biggest surprise of the year,” Femino said. “He’s not the biggest kid and some teams look to pick on him because [Nelson] Baptiste is on the other side. But he’s done everything we’ve asked him to do and he’s been a great surprise for us.”

Though we shouldn’t be surprised about anything the Clippers accomplish from here on out.

Armani Reeves is a big-time player with prime-time speed

Asked about the performance his star junior had just put on in a big win over New Hampshire power Bishop Guertin, Catholic Memorial head coach Alex Campea could only exhale deeply as he beamed, draping a hand on Armani Reeves' shoulder.

"This guy can make it happen, this guy can make it happen," he repeated to ESPNBoston's Brendan Hall. "Listen, we have some good players, and tonight in a big game they shone through -- making big catches, big plays, offensively and defensively. But I'm glad we have him. He competes every snap of every game."

We've previously held Reeves -- who lines up at both wide receiver and running back, and also returns kicks and punts -- in high regard. But last weekend's performance (193 all-purpose yards, three touchdowns) affirms everything.

Reeves currently holds scholarship offers from Penn State, UConn, Wake Forest and UMass, but we expect more to roll in as more and more coaches discover what a special athlete this kid is.

TVL up for grabs

Holliston entered Friday night’s tilt with Tri-Valley League rival Medway looking as though they might run away and hide with the league title. The Panthers were averaging 48 points per game before they met the Mustangs’ defense and met their first loss of the season in a 28-16 win over Holliston.

"I think it showed a lot of character that we were down 10 to nothing," Medway coach Dave McSweeney told ESPN Boston correspondent Neil Carroll on Friday. "We didn’t panic and we made plays when we had to. Michael [Ozella] broke a nice run off that set up the last second pass so we kind of lucked out there, but I’ll take it anyway we can get it."

With the win, Medway threw the TVL standings for a loop, drawing even with Holliston at 3-1 in league play. Both teams stand a game behind Westwood and Norton, who both improved to 4-0 on the weekend. Norton dispatched Medway in Week One, 23-14, but Westwood looms on the schedules of both the Panthers and Mustangs.

So things are about to get really interesting.

Is the Bay State Carey wrapped up?...

So we’re not about to go Gore v. Bush in this space, but it’s hard to not look at Weymouth’s convincing 26-0 whitewashing of Needham as a huge leap forward to deciding the Bay State Carey.

Once again, the Super Colarusso Bros. (Can we get a video game in development for these guys yet?) led the way, combining for 225 yards and four touchdowns.

"This is not a league title tonight," Weymouth head coach Kevin Mackin told our Phil Perry on Friday, tempering the hype. "It certainly puts us in a good spot, but we've got to continue to work because there are other good teams here."

...One things's for certain: the Merrimack Valley Conference isn't


In Jason Houston's first year as an assistant at Dracut back in 2004, he watched as the Middies lost a 63-46 shootout to Division 1A Super Bowl runner-up Chelmsford. Now six years later, Houston won his second career game as head coach -- and his second in as many weeks over a previously-ranked opponent -- by flipping the switch, his team rolling to a 60-42 win over Billerica behind big nights from quarterback Matt Silva (8 of 12 passing, 262 yards, four touchdowns; 17 carries, 110 yards, touchdown), wide receiver Chris Malonis (seven catches, 252 yards, four touchdowns; 95-yard kickoff return touchdown) and running back Keith Hamel (20 carries, 121 yards, three touchdowns).

Dracut, by the way, wasn't even the favorite in the MVC Small headed into the season. Heck, they could very well end up 7-4 or 6-5 in this kind of daunting league schedule.

"In my opinion, top to bottom, this is the toughest league in the state," said Houston, who himself won an MVC title quarterbacking Lowell in the late 90s.

Central showdown

Looking ahead to next weekend, among the things we’ll be watching is the matchup of Central unbeatens No. 17 Auburn and Northbridge. Both teams enter at 4-0 and hope to keep their marks unblemished. But the Rockets have an extra motivation in keeping their state-best 28-game win streak in tact.

However, Auburn’s already had a couple of brushes this season. The Rockets slipped by Shrewsbury, 6-2, in Week One and escaped 19-15 this weekend’s test against Hudson. No doubt Northbridge, which enters the game averaging nearly 29 points per game, will be looking to be the team to finish the deed.

HEAD OF THE CLASS

VALVOLINE CO-PEAK PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK: MATT SILVA, SR. QB, AND CHRIS MALONIS, SR. WR, DRACUT

Talk about an offensive explosion. Silva accounted for 372 yards of offense (262 passing, 110 rushing) and five total touchdowns, linking up with Malonis (seven catches, 252 yards) for all four of his touchdown passes, as the Middies survived a Wild West 60-42 shootout with Billerica. Since losing to Westford 27-13 in Week 2, the Middies have exploded, averaging 43.5 points per game and knocking off previously-ranked opponents in back-to-back weeks. Think things are clicking up on Route 38?

THE CLASSMATES

Sean Amaru, Sr. RB, Westwood - The speedy Amaru led the Wolverines with 340 yards rushing on 18 carries and six touchdowns, in an easy 48-24 dispatching of Millis/Hopedale.

Andrew Coke, Jr. RB, Andover - For the second straight week, Coke eclipsed the 200-yard mark on the ground, this time rushing for 214 yards and three touchdowns on 26 carries in the Warriors' 31-0 win over Haverhill -- in pouring rain, no less. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Coke has accumulated 450 yards and nine touchdowns in the last two weeks.

Matt Costello, Sr. WR, Everett - Costello had a dominant afternoon for the Crimson Tide in their 43-14 win over Barnstable, catching eight balls for 203 yards and four scores.

Nate Costello, Sr. RB, Assabet Valley Tech - The senior ran for 232 yards and three scores for the Aztecs, who cruised to a 48-8 win over Nashoba Tech.

Tyllor MacDonald, Sr. QB, Lynn English - The 6-foot-1 MacDonald threw for 263 yards and four scores, ran for 74 yards and three more scores, and added an interception on defense to lead the Bulldogs in a 47-16 win over Danvers.

John Page, Sr. RB, Bourne - Page ran for 243 yards and four scores in the Canalmen's 42-14 win over Coyle-Cassidy.

Nick Schlatz, Jr. RB, Bridgewater-Raynham - Schlatz carries 18 times for 211 yards and four scores as the Trojans rolled to a 42-14 win over New Bedford.

Mike Walsh, Jr. QB, Swampscott
- Down 34-14 at the half, Walsh rallied the Big Blue to a stunning comeback over Revere, tossing for three touchdowns and finishing the day 25 of 43 for 322 yards passing. He threw the game-winning score with 16 seconds left, and the Big Blue converted the two-point try for the 43-42 win.

Falmouth makes statement vs. No. 5 BC High

October, 2, 2010
10/02/10
2:20
AM ET


FALMOUTH, Mass. – BC High’s defense had done well to keep Falmouth running back Nelson Baptiste quiet for most of Friday night’s game.

The Eagles held Baptiste to a pedestrian six carries for 26 yards. But it was Baptiste’s 34-yard game-winning touchdown catch that did all the talking.

“That’s fourth down. That’s everything. That’s our whole season,” a loquacious and emotional Baptiste said after the Clippers’ win. “That’s my senior year. I know I have to make that catch, we have to win this game and bring it home.”

When the 6-foot, 180-pounder fell backward into the end zone, after leaping over a team of Eagles defenders, bobbling the ball and then finally securing the touchdown pass from Dillon Mansfield, it wasn’t the only amazing element to the play.

The play call came on fourth and seven. Falmouth had attempted just three passes up to that point, none were completed and two ended in interceptions. With field conditions resembling those of a Southeast Asian rice paddy because of torrential downpours throughout the day, Clippers head coach Steve Femino had the fortitude to make a tough decision.

It paid off to the tune of a 20-15 victory for No. 13 Falmouth, which for the second straight year took a surprising win over the fifth-ranked Eagles.

“We noticed earlier in the game they were real aggressive,” said Femino, who has the Clippers off to a 4-0 start in his first season. “They were trying to jump him when he was shallow, but we wheeled him down the sideline and Dillon [Mansfield] put it in the one spot that he could come down with it.”

BC High (2-2) carried play in the first half with junior running back Preston Cooper carrying the load.

Cooper racked up 18 carries for 101 yards with two touchdowns and a two-point conversion to his credit at the half. Coupled with runs from fullback Luke Catarius (12 carries, 71 yards), the Eagles possessed the ball for the majority of the first half. Falmouth ran just seven offensive plays before heading to the locker room down 15-0.

“Coming out in the second half, we really just needed to start completing our blocks,” Clippers senior running back Bobby Whelan said. “Their linebackers were blowing up the plays. Coach went over the reads; nobody was making the right reads. We got our blocks down and everything worked out. The option was really working in the second half.”

Whelan (14 carries, 110 yards, TD) kicked off the second half, marching Falmouth down the field on a 15-play, 70-yard drive which culminated in his 1-yard touchdown run to cut the deficit to nine points.

On the ensuing BC High drive, junior cornerback Devon Soares came up with his first of two game-changing interceptions.

“He looked off the other way and then came back my way, I knew the ball was coming,” said Soares whose second pick came with a minute remaining in the game to stop a potential BC High comeback.

With the ball back in their hands, the Clippers struck again on Mansfield’s 7-yard touchdown run.

It was time for one more defensive stand. The Eagles went three and out. Falmouth had the ball back with 4:54 remaining.

The Clippers embarked on their final drive with good field position, starting at their own 48-yard line. But the drive nearly stalled at the Eagles 34.

That's when the Femino went all-in.

“I loved it,” Whelan said of Femino’s play call to go for it on fourth down. “Dillon [Mansfield] threw two interceptions, so BC High was probably [thinking] like they’re not going to pass it.

“So coming out, Coach showed his heart. He believed in Dillon and we all did.”

While the Clippers didn’t have an advantage in sheer numbers — Falmouth dressed only 36 players for the game — there was no question about heart.

“Everybody thought we were going to get blown out,” Baptiste said. “We just wanted to show the whole state how we play.”

New skip to No. 16 Falmouth's ship

September, 4, 2010
9/04/10
12:32
PM ET
FALMOUTH, Mass. – The last time Falmouth High won an Atlantic Coast League title was 1994, when Steve Femino was still a high school senior, playing as a lineman for the Clippers.

[+] EnlargeFalmouth football team
Scott Barboza/ESPNBoston.comNo. 16 Falmouth hasn't won an Atlantic Coast League title since 1994, when new head coach Steve Femino was playing for the Clippers. Could this be the season?
Much has changed in the last decade and a half, but not too much to notice, except for the fact that Femino is the Clippers’ new head coach.

“It’s been too long since we’ve won the league title,” he said. “I’d like to change that.”

When Falmouth tabbed Femino for the position, after former head coach Dana Almeida retired, the Clippers welcomed back a native son.

A decorated football player in his own right, the Falmouth native went on to play left tackle for Bridgewater State College where he was a New England Football Conference all-star. Last fall, he was inducted into BSC’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

After graduating, Femino continued to pursue his passion for football, playing with the semipro Middleboro Cobras for eight seasons. While with the Cobras, he was a part of four Eastern Football League championship teams under the helm of Mark Hannon, who now is the sideline boss at Taunton High. Femino worked with his former coach last year as an assistant with the Tigers.

In fact, Femino’s Clippers were supposed to tussle with Taunton on Saturday. But, with Hurricane Earl eying the Massachusetts coast, the scrimmage was postponed.

“You have to be prepared for everything,” Femino said.

In addition to his 11 years of football coaching experience, which includes stops at Falmouth as an assistant, Mashpee, BSC and Taunton, Femino is familiar with many of the Clippers standouts. He’s served an assistant to basketball head coach Paul Lundberg for the last couple of seasons.

Now, Femino’s excited to get things going on the gridiron with the No. 16 Clippers.

“It’s a great opportunity to come back to my hometown, give back to the community,” he said. “Part of my plan is to move my family here and put my kids through the school system.”

That plan also includes putting his stamp on team that went 9-2 in 2009.

“I wanted to entrench them in a philosophy that it’s OK to work hard and have fun while they’re doing it,” Femino said. “They need to enjoy what they’re doing. We want to connect with as many student athletes as we can. We want to make them want to go to school, make them feel like they’re a part of something.”

He paused for a moment and added, “Along with that, we’d like to win the league title.”

FALMOUTH AT A GLANCE
2009: 9-2 (5-1 Atlantic Coast)
Coach: Steve Femino (first year)
Players to watch: Nelson Baptiste, Jr., HB/DB, 6-0, 170 lbs.; John Lavin, Sr., TE/DE, 6-5, 215 lbs.; Bob Whelan, Sr., FB, 5-10, 190 lbs.; Alex Sodekson, Sr., RT/LB, 6-3, 200 lbs.
Strengths: Depth at running back, experience at skill positions.
Weaknesses: Lack of experience on offensive line.
Outlook: The Clippers will be carried by an explosive offensive backfield that is led by Nelson Baptiste (8 touchdowns in 2009), but will also feature halfback Jonah Olsen and fullback Bob Whelan. The struggle for Femino will plugging an offensive line where only one starter returns. “That’s going to be our challenge, how those young kids come along on the line. How well they do that is going to dictate how well our skill players can do because we do have some very talented skill people.” On defense, the Clippers will play a 3-3 stack to accentuate their athleticism at linebacker and in the secondary. Whelan, a linebacker, is the anchor of the defense and 6-foot-5 end John Lavin — who is also a main target of the passing game at tight end — can create disruption up front.

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