Boston High School: Thanksgiving picks

ESPN Boston Thanksgiving mega-picks

November, 27, 2013
11/27/13
7:13
PM ET
ANDOVER (6-4) AT CENTRAL CATHOLIC (9-1)

Scott Barboza: All appearances are that Chuck Adamopoulos and the Raiders are playing to win (to be commended for that), but Andover and Will Eikenberry go out on top. Andover, 21-20

Brendan Hall: If the Raiders are playing to win, which all indications point to as of Wednesday, than I expect Central to take the season sweep. Central, 28-14

ATTLEBORO (8-2) AT NORTH ATTLEBORO (6-4)

Barboza: This reminds me a little of the last time the rivalry was at North, and the Red Rocketeers were hoping for a playoff berth. Big Red was the better team then, but Attleboro gave them everything they could handle; same applies here. Attleboro, 21-17

Hall: It’s not often than Attleboro has the true upper hand here, but the Blue Bombardiers’ resume speaks for itself. Look for Tim Walsh to cap a brilliant high school career with a big day here against the Rocketeers. By the way everyone, tweet us your helmet pics. Attleboro 27-24

BC HIGH (5-5) AT CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (5-5)

Barboza: Can’t think of a tougher end to a playoff run than the Eagles’ epic overtime battle at Xaverian. With that in the back of their minds, they’ll bring the lumber. BC High, 24-14

Hall: Connor Walsh, one of the more underappreciated talents in Massachusetts, has a big day at the office – on both sides of the ball. BC High, 24-6

BOSTON LATIN SCHOOL (5-5) VS. BOSTON ENGLISH (6-4)

Barboza: Brian Vaughn has already done a remarkable job turning English around. They’re just a year away from winning this game, however. Latin School, 24-21

Hall: For the first time in what seems like eons, English has a chance in this one. Do your eyes deceive you? Did you just read those words? Trust me, they have a chance. Two words: Emmanuel Almonte. English, 21-20

BROCKTON (5-5) AT BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM (6-3)

Barboza: After a tough bow out against Attleboro in the Div. 1 South playoffs, no way the Trojans let this one slip through their fingers. B-R, 21-13

Hall: B-R’s baseball team will receive its state championship rings at halftime, and then B-R’s football team will follow up by taking the Cape Cod Café Cup. B-R, 21-7

DUXBURY (5-4) AT MARSHFIELD (4-6)

Barboza: Feels like moons ago that we last talked about the Dragons – a team that could still go toe-to-toe with a lot of the remaining playoff teams across the state. I think Grant Kramer and Co. can win the point of attack. Duxbury, 14-7

Hall: This one will be more evenly played than in years past, but I like the Dragons’ swarming defense a little bit more, plus I think they will have the advantage at the line of scrimmage behind Grant Kramer. Duxbury, 17-13

EAST LONGMEADOW (7-3) AT LONGMEADOW (6-4)

Barboza: The Lancers hold a sizeable advantage in the teams’ all-time series, but I’m going with the “underdogs” here. East Longmeadow, 27-22

Hall: Promising sophomore Mike Maggipinto does his best Danny Woodhead impression in and upset of Longmeadow. East Longmeadow, 28-25

EASTIE (4-6) AT SOUTHIE (0-9)

Barboza: The alma mater of Jermaine Wiggins flys again. Eastie, 20-13

Hall: Again, for the hundredth time, I'm Irish. Southie, 18-6

KING PHILIP (7-3) AT FRANKLIN (5-5)

Barboza: Always love this matchup: Panthers spread vs. the Warriors’ D. In those matchups, side with the defense. KP, 20-18

Hall: There always seems to be some theatrics with this rivalry as of late, but the Warriors will put this one away with an impressive defensive effort. KP, 21-0

LEOMINSTER (9-1) AT FITCHBURG (3-7)

Barboza: A lot of us – including myself – projected the Blue Devils would have another game at hand at this time of the season, but so is life. A nice sendoff to a deep and talented pool of seniors. Leominster, 28-24

Hall: The half-horseshoe at Crocker Field will be rockin’, but the Blue Devils will roll behind Neil O’Connor. Leominster, 30-14

MALDEN (4-6) AT MEDFORD (3-7)

Barboza: The epic rivalry even got a shoutout from Keith Olbermann on his terrific Thanksgiving Day football special this week. Malden, 14-7

Hall: I’m feeling lucky. I’ll pick the winner based on who has the cooler helmets. Medford, 13-12

MANSFIELD (11-0) AT FOXBOROUGH (6-4)

Barboza: Mike Redding has said the Hornets are playing to win this one. Don’t see any result otherwise. Mansfield, 34-21

Hall: Whether or not Mansfield rests its starters for this one or not, there is too much firepower for Foxborough to overcome here. Mansfield, 24-10

NAUSET (6-4) AT DENNIS-YARMOUTH (9-2)

Barboza: Paul Funk had the most Belichick-ian response to the question of whether starters will play, worth a good chuckle. It will be interesting to see how they play it though. D-Y, 14-13

Hall: D-Y coach Paul Funk said “We’ll do what’s best for our team” when asked about the play-or-not-play dilemma with starters as they near the state championship. If it were up to me, “what’s best for our team” would be getting the starters of the field ASAP. D-Y, 23-20

NEEDHAM (7-3) AT WELLESLEY (6-4)

Barboza: Whether Mike Panepinto plays or not is next most intriguing question going into Thanksgiving than whether teams will play starters. Think the Rockets take it on depth, however. Needham, 28-21

Hall: Many are speculating about Mike Panepinto’s health headed into this one. I think either way, with Wellesley’s run-and-gun offense and Needham’s gifted receiver Mike Elcock, sparks are going to fly. Set the over-under of total points score at 75. Needham, 42-38

PLYMOUTH NORTH (7-3) AT PLYMOUTH SOUTH (9-1)

Barboza: Get your programs ready. Christian Carr is going to put up Madden-like numbers. North, 28-14

Hall: South coach Scott Fry indicated he will rest his starters here, so expect Christian Carr and co. have a field day running the ball for North. Besides, South won the first two meetings anyway. North, 20-7

ST. JOHN’S OF SHREWSBURY (9-2) AT ST. PETER-MARIAN (7-3)

Barboza: No chance of let down for the Pioneers here. Talking to Andrew Smiley earlier in the week, he was excited to face off against some old friends. St. John’s, 35-28

Hall: This one could get interesting. St. John’s plans on dressing its starters, but how long they stay in the game remains to be seen. Meanwhile I expect SPM to play to win, and they have enough perimeter speed behind Dan Henrickson, Tyis Boykin and Noah Burke to sneak up on these guys. St. John’s, 28-27

WESTWOOD (7-3) AT HOLLISTON (8-2)

Barboza: The question here is how many overtimes? I’m going with two. TVL MVP Bo Berluti goes out on top in the rubber game. Westwood, 46-44

Hall: Like the third installment of a movie trilogy, anything goes in meeting No. 3. Wouldn’t be surprised by anything in this rubber match, other than a low score. Holliston, 45-41

WEYMOUTH (5-5) AT WALPOLE (6-4)

Barboza: Rebels redeem a frustrating end to the season. Walpole, 20-18

Hall: Steve Cuqua has a big day against the Wildcats, and gives us a glimpse of what’s to come with the Rebels in 2014. Walpole, 23-16

WAKEFIELD (6-4) AT MELROSE (9-2)

Barboza: Malik Garrett, one of the breakout performers of the postseason, caps a wonderful senior season. Melrose, 20-14

Hall: Underrated, sneaky good rematch here. One of our writers earlier this year half-heartedly threw out a Tommie Frazier comparison with Melrose quarterback Malik Garrett. As a closet Huskers fan myself, I welcome any and all such comparisons. Guy was awesome to watch in college. Melrose, 29-23

XAVERIAN (9-1) AT ST. JOHN’S PREP (6-4)

Barboza: As Charlie Stevenson told me, if you’re a Hawk and you don’t want to beat Prep – something ain’t right. Xaverian, 17-10

Hall: If Xaverian is playing to win here, I don’t see how they lose. Xaverian, 9-0

Thanksgiving football mega-picks

November, 21, 2012
11/21/12
4:52
PM ET
ESPN Boston High Schools editors Scott Barboza and Brendan Hall weigh in on all the Thanksgiving Day action with a mega-edition our our weekly picks:

NO. 3 ST. JOHN'S PREP (8-1) AT XAVERIAN (4-6)
Scott Barboza: I think the Hawks keep it close through three, and the Eagles pull away in the fourth. Prep, 28-20.

Brendan Hall: Great to see Xaverian showing life late in the season, but the Catholic Conference has thoroughly belonged to the Prep this fall. Prep, 28-17.

NO. 17 CENTRAL CATHOLIC AT NO. 22 ANDOVER (9-1)
Barboza: If the Raiders can keep the Golden Warriors under 30, they'll win. And they do. Central, 30-24.

Hall: The better defense will do just enough to hold on in the end. Central, 21-17.

NO. 11 NATICK (9-1) AT FRAMINGHAM (5-5)
Barboza: The Redhawks make the Bay State Herget elementary with a win. Natick, 38-24.

Hall: I’m sure Framingham has some surprises up its sleeve, but I can’t get over this question: How do you cover Brian Dunlap? Natick, 35-21.

HOLLISTON (7-3) AT WESTWOOD (7-3)
Barboza: Going with recent history here. Holliston, 20-17.

Hall: The name of the game here remains: speed, speed, speed. Holliston, 31-28.

BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM (5-5) AT NO. 6 BROCKTON (7-3)
Barboza:
It's a one-game season for the Trojans. Go with the hungrier team. B-R, 17-14.

Hall: I won’t hold anyone back. I swear. Even if I tried. Brockton, 17-10.

NEWBURYPORT (6-4) AT AMESBURY (8-2)
Barboza: With Connor Wile back from his shoulder injury, he's the difference. Newburyport, 26-24.

Hall: I’m going with the better rushing attack in this one. Newburyport, 30-20.

NORTH READING (8-1) AT LYNNFIELD (7-2)
Barboza: North Reading plays ball control and escapes with the CAL/NEC Tier 4 title. North Reading, 20-13.

Hall: These bottom two tiers of the CAL/NEC have to like the coming playoff changes for next year, what with all the competition for that lone playoff berth.

FITCHBURG (1-9) AT LEOMINSTER (6-4)
Barboza: Blue Devils run with a little bit of momentum into Tuesday's playoff game. Leominster, 34-20.

Hall: It’s been a rough year for the Red Raiders, and while they might show some life in this one, there’s too much talent to account for on offense. Leominster, 28-7.

FOXBOROUGH (7-3) AT NO. 19 MANSFIELD (7-3)
Barboza: If I don't pick the Hornets here, I might not ever be allowed back within the town limits. Mansfield, 21-14.

Hall: If the Hornets can contain Kiivone Howard, they can do a lot in this game. Mansfield, 28-21.

WELLESLEY (6-4) AT NEEDHAM (7-3)
Barboza: This could be the best side dish to all the fixins' on Thursday. Needham, 28-20.

Hall: Count me among the Jesse Davis converts. Raiders are one of the hottest teams in the second half, and they’re in for a shootout here. Wellesley, 38-31.

MEDFORD (0-9) AT MALDEN (2-8)
Barboza: Malden's softball team members will receive their sectional title rings during halftime, and the Golden Tornadoes take care of business on the field in No. 125. Malden, 31-21.

Hall: Expect a big day out of Malden’s little engine that could, receiver Franklin Huynh. Malden, 28-14.

NO. 13 WALPOLE (9-1) AT WEYMOUTH (8-2)
Barboza:
Wildcats could rest on their laurels, but they'd still like to play spoilers to the Rebels' postseason designs. Weymouth, 13-7.

Hall: We know the Wildcats can score, and score in bunches. But can they move the ball against this Walpole front seven? Walpole, 20-13.

NO. 8 SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL (9-1) AT MINNECHAUG (7-3)
Barboza: This will be the one of the highlights of Thanksgiving Day throughout the state. Central, 38-28.

Hall: Set the over/under on total passing yards at 400 in this one. Central, 30-28.

ST. PETER-MARIAN (5-5) AT ST. JOHN'S OF SHREWSBURY (6-4)
Barboza: Pioneers simply have too much to contain on offense. SJS, 32-24.

Hall: St. Peter-Marian has been inconsistent this season. But if Shrewsbury can do it, and Milford can almost do it, then why not the Guardians? SPM, 24-23.

HOLY NAME (7-3) AT WACHUSETT (7-3)
Barboza:
The Mountaineers do it on defense. Wachusett, 20-13.

Hall: Two-hundred rushing yards and three scores for the state’s best running back outside of I-495. Holy Name, 28-24.

TYNGSBOROUGH (10-0) AT GROTON-DUNSTABLE (9-1)
Barboza: The Crusaders upset the Tigers' perfect season and walk away with the Mid-Wach C title. G-D, 28-21.

Hall: Going with the hot hand here. And hey, how about a second straight soccer state title for the Crusaders? G-D, 23-20.

DENNIS-YARMOUTH (5-4) AT NAUSET (9-1)
Barboza:
Jimmy Sullivan will have a big day. Nauset, 24-14.

Hall: Because Nauset needs this one to ease the soul. Nauset, 18-6.

NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH (6-4) AT ATTLEBORO (4-6)
Barboza: Red Rocketeers get the win and look forward to next year, when maybe, just maybe, they'll be a part of the playoff picture. North, 32-21.

Hall: We should consider giving out a trophy to the most creative helmet design in this game. North Attleborough, 20-10.

SOUTH BOSTON (3-7) AT EAST BOSTON (4-5)
Barboza
: Jets will rebound from a lop-sided loss to Madison Park for the win. Eastie, 22-16.

Hall: I’m Irish. Southie, 15-12.

BOSTON ENGLISH (3-6) AT BOSTON LATIN SCHOOL (1-9)
Barboza: Records wouldn't indicate it on the way in, but Wolfpack are still the favorites. Latin, 21-14.

Hall: Latin has won 29 of the last 30 meetings, but you know what? I’m feeling lucky today. English, 12-10.

BILLERICA (2-8) AT CHELMSFORD (5-5)
Barboza:
Lions run behind Jeff d'Auria to the victory. Chelmsford, 34-31.

Hall: Will we see the Billerica that almost knocked off Barnstable, or the one that laid an egg against Andover? My hunch is the former. Billerica, 31-30.

HAVERHILL (8-2) AT NO. 20 LOWELL (8-2)
Barboza: How do the Raiders try to slow down physical target Jordan Javier? Hillies with the upset. Haverhill, 38-34.

Hall: Set the over/under on total yards from scrimmage between Chance Brady and Jack Galvin at 450. Lowell, 40-38.

NO. 21 ABINGTON (10-0) AT WHITMAN-HANSON (6-4)
Barboza: This could be one of the better battles in this long rivalry, but a little too much on Abington's offense. Abington, 24-17.

Hall: I’ll get denied leftovers if I don’t take the Green Wave here. Abington, 21-7.

SWAMPSCOTT (4-6) AT MARBLEHEAD (8-2)
Barboza: Ian Maag lets 'em rain down from above. Sorry Dembo. Marblehead, 37-28.

Hall: Wondering what kind of designer lunch pail the Magicians have in store this year. Marblehead, 30-20.

MARSHFIELD (0-10) AT NO. 5 DUXBURY (10-0)
Barboza:
Dragons roll. Duxbury, 24-14.

Hall: Not much of a contest this year, but next year’s installment of the rivalry should be a lot more competitive. Duxbury, 28-0.

PLYMOUTH NORTH (3-6) AT PLYMOUTH SOUTH (7-3)
Barboza:
Panthers carry action on the field, but Alex Sims' dance crew holds it down for North. South, 28-14.

Hall: It won’t be a record-setting day, but the North defense is going to have a hard time solving Dylan Oxsen in that pistol offense. South, 35-14.

DURFEE (0-9) AT NEW BEDFORD (4-5)
Barboza: The South Coast's longest and best rivalry belong to Mike Rapoza and the Whalers. Sorry to my Hilltopper friends. New Bedford, 35-20.

Hall: Wait til basketball season. New Bedford, 28-10.

WESTFORD ACADEMY (7-3) AT ACTON-BOXBOROUGH (7-3)
Barboza:
Jack-of-all-trades Justin Mount probably makes a mean stuffing, too. Wouldn't be at all surprised. Westford, 30-24.

Hall: Wondering how many positions Justin Mount plays today. He will be the difference. Westford, 21-8.

CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (2-7) AT BC HIGH (3-6)
Barboza
: I see Brandon Owens having a big game if the Eagles win the battle up front. BC High, 19-13.

Hall: It’s been a tough year for both squads. I see the Eagles finishing strong here. BC High, 23-12.

CAMBRIDGE (6-4) AT SOMERVILLE (1-8)
Hall: I visited my old stomping grounds in Davis Square the other night, and like three frozen yogurt shops popped up. As if the coffee shops weren't bad enough. The heck is happening in my beloved Somerville? And what the heck is “Fro Yo”? Cambridge, 35-31.

Barboza: What's wrong with coffee? I'm drinking some right now as I write this sentence. Well, not actually, it's hard to drink and type at the same time, but you get the point. Cambridge,

NO. 12 LONGMEADOW (8-2) AT EAST LONGMEADOW (5-4)
Barboza:
Frankie Elder's the key. Longmeadow, 21-14.

Hall: Sam Blake is a monster for the Spartans, but Longmeadow will play ball control, just as they have all season. Longmeadow, 14-12.

NORTHAMPTON (6-4) AT AMHERST (5-3)
Hall:
The bands Dinosaur Jr. and The Pixies both formed in Amherst, and Northampton has the Calvin Theatre and Pearl Street. Can’t go wrong here. Amherst, 26-20.

Barboza: Boom. Kids, if you want to know what real music sounds like, listen to the Pixies' "UMass," yeah, that's the actual title. Amherst, 13-7.

Thanksgiving football mega-picks

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
9:58
PM ET
BROCKTON (5-5) AT NO. 10 BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM (7-2)
Scott Barboza: I, for one, think the Boxers are back on track after last week's performance. They into the Div. 1 playoffs. Brockton, 28-20.
Brendan Hall: If it takes you 10 weeks to get it together, the outlook for Week 11 ain't exactly Candy Land. Sorry, the Whalers will get in again. B-R, 21-6.

NO. 3 BC HIGH (7-3) AT NO. 5 CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (7-1)
Barboza: Can't ask for anything more. The pageantry, the history, this one has it all. Talking to Knights head coach Alex Campea on Monday, he was practically giddy about this game. I still think the Eagles defense has enough to shut down A.J. Doyle and Co. Barely. BC High, 20-17.
Hall: I just don't see the Knights losing this one. Not with the field being dedicated to the guy who gave Bill Hanson his job, and not with the spectre of Armani Reeves fielding punts. But it will be an instant classic. CM, 14-10.

NO. 14 LEOMINSTER (7-3) AT FITCHBURG (6-4)
Barboza: This game only makes it official that the Blue Devils are back on the map in Massachusetts football. Leominster, 21-13.
Hall: I'll go ahead and say it -- this is the best Thanksgiving rivalry in New England. Pure, clean, old-fashioned disdain for one another. Fitchburg has arguably the fastest player in Central Mass. in Quinton Perkins, but on this day the whole will be greater than the sum. In overtime, of course. Leominster, 30-28 (2OT).

NAUSET (7-3) AT DENNIS-YARMOUTH (10-0)
Barboza:
In many ways, it would be a shame to see the Dolphins miss out on the playoffs after such a dominant regular season, but don't sleep on this Nauset team. Still think the P-Funk All Stars are playing on to the playoffs, however. D-Y, 34-27.
Hall: This is going to go down to the wire, but Matt Montalto was born with fourth-quarter moxie running through his arteries. D-Y, 28-27.

NEEDHAM (7-3) AT WELLESLEY (2-8)
Barboza: It's been a real season of high and lows for the Rockets, but they finish strong with a win in the nation's oldest rivalry game and roll into the D1 playoffs. Needham, 31-21.
Hall: I honestly don't have a lot to say about this one. Two teams that have gone in opposite directions. The Rockets are wounded, but still roll. Needham, 30-10.

WEYMOUTH (8-2) AT WALPOLE (9-1)
Barboza:
Defense reigns and this Rebels D is for real. Walpole, 14-7.
Hall: Walpole left five in the box and rung up five sacks on spread-happy Natick. Wildcats got their work cut out, even with one of the most dangerous receivers in the state. Walpole, 24-20.

EAST BOSTON (6-3) AT SOUTH BOSTON (6-4)
Barboza: Hey, the Jets retired Jermaine Wiggins' jersey this year, maybe the Super Bowl magic will rub off. Eastie, 28-20.
Hall: James Toles is the best running back in the city league. And what the heck, I'm Irish, so... Southie, 23-16.

BOSTON LATIN (4-6) VS. BOSTON ENGLISH (1-9)
Hall: In case you missed it, last week on FOX 25, Kristine Leahy asked Scott and I what we thought of the "Black and Purple" music video the Latin kids created on YouTube. I told her I'm a Dr. Dre fan, but I'll let it slide. Latin, 30-10.
Barboza: It's a tough act to follow. I'm going Black and Purple. Latin, 28-7.

FRAMINGHAM (6-4) AT NATICK (8-2)
Barboza: I'm still shocked Mike Reiss went against his Flyers. I guess that means it's OK for me to go with the Red & Blue. Natick, 31-17.
Hall: I don't know what to make of Framingham's 50-0 loss to Weymouth two weeks ago, but I do know that the high-powered Red and Blue won't be any shorter a task. Natick, 28-14.

NO. 20 MANSFIELD (8-2) AT FOXBOROUGH (4-6)
Hall: Great Woods versus Gillette Stadium. I'm pulling for a traffic jam at the top, because it wouldn't be a football season in Eastern Mass. without a crazy tiebreaker. I yearn for the days when this was the premier rivalry in the state, year in and out. Mansfield, 23-0.
Barboza: Everybody at home pull out you commemorative Hockomock League tiebreaker rubric and wait for the ice cream headache to ensue. Mansfield, 24-10.

LYNN CLASSICAL (4-5) AT NO. 23 LYNN ENGLISH (8-2)
Barboza: The Bulldogs continue their roll into postseason play. English, 27-7.
Hall: Jermaine Kelly burst onto the scene with a 6-TD dismantling of Gloucester opening weekend, and I see him closing his career strong. English, 33-17.

NORTH ANDOVER (8-2) AT MASCONOMET (6-4)
Hall: Two Walshes are better than one. North Andover, 21-10.
Barboza: Sounds like a Springsteen ditty. North Andover, 28-26.

NO. 22 SWAMPSCOTT (9-1) AT MARBLEHEAD (8-2)
Hall: So just to confirm, next preseason we're doing a photo of the Swampscott players in a boat on the harbor in the iconic "Washington Crossing The Delaware" pose, right? Swampscott, 35-27.
Barboza: Yes, yes, that's right. Big ups to Zach Kalapinski, too. Swampscott, 27-21.

WACHUSETT (5-5) AT HOLY NAME (6-4)
Barboza: Are we sure the Naps still have enough players to put together a team on Thursday. Something tells me Pucko would find a way to stay competitive with 10 players on the field. Holy Name, 14-13.
Hall: Something tells me this game could go either way. Injuries have played a factor, but my money is on the Naps proving once again why they field the toughest kids in the state, one through 11. Holy Name, 17-16.

BEVERLY (6-4) AT SALEM (1-9)
Barboza: #KennyPierce once killed a yak from 3 miles away with nothing by a spitball. Beverly, 14-6.
Hall: I'll never forget the time #KennyPierce went to visit Pope Benedict XVI wearing a camouflage "Beverly Football" baseball cap, and ol' Benji goes, "Cool hat, wanna trade?" Beverly, 24-3.

XAVERIAN (5-5) AT ST. JOHN'S PREP (4-5)
Hall: Next season, both these teams could start the year in the Top 5 of our poll. Xaverian, 13-6.
Barboza: Truer words have never been spoken. Prep's Jonathan Thomas will be a household name next year the way Jonathan Taylor Thomas was for teenage girls in the 90s. Xaverian, 20-10.

MINNECHAUG (9-1) AT NO. 13 SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL (8-2)
Barboza: Simply put, this is Central's year ... Let's zoom to the rematch with 'Meadow. Central, 34-28.
Hall: Spread teams haven't been kind to Central in the past, and what the heck, it's Thanksgiving and I like upsets. Minnechaug, 20-19.


ST. JOHN'S (SHREWSBURY) (6-4) VS. ST. PETER-MARIAN (7-3)
Barboza: This is a game Jordan Knowles takes over, but the Pioneers still slip by. St. John's, 17-14.
Hall: The Guardians have been up and down this year, but look good headed into the postseason. If there's any year to beat the Pioneers, it's this one. SPM, 20-7.

BEDFORD (6-4) AT NO. 6 CONCORD-CARLISLE (10-0)
Hall: Jack Belcher is one of the better coaches in the Dual County League, and I think his work doesn't get enough credit. But this is thoroughly, and unabashedly, the year of the Patriot. C-C, 35-17.
Barboza: Craan, Culbreath, Badgely, pick your poison. C-C, 42-28.

OLIVER AMES (5-4) AT SHARON (4-5)
Barboza: Everybody who had this game having playoff implications at the beginning of the season, stand up. Yeah, I see you standing up ... No, you didn't. Sit down. OA, 28-20.
Hall: Wondering if Andre Tippett will be in the house for this one. OA, 34-30.

ATTLEBORO (7-3) AT NO. 19 NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH (8-1)
Hall: This all depends on which Attleboro team shows up on Thanksgiving, but I see the Red Rocketeers making some key defensive stops to dictate tempo early. NA, 20-10.
Barboza: See my Mansfield prediction. North, 19-9.

NO. 12 KING PHILIP (8-1) AT FRANKLIN (4-6)
Barboza: See my North/Attleboro pick (i.e. see my Mansfield pick). KP, 21-13.
Hall: Brad Sidwell will draw up a good gameplan to try and slow this KP offense, but you can only contain the rushing attack for so long. KP, 23-12.

ANDOVER (7-3) AT CENTRAL CATHOLIC (5-5)
Barboza: I heard from Raiders boss Chuck Adamopoulos at the D1 volleyball championship that he listens to our podcast during the day. Chuck, thanks for listening, but get back to work! Andover, 13-10.
Hall: Andrew Coke has had his ups and downs this year, after coming into the season with considerable hype. But he'll end his high school career with the Golden Warriors on a positive one. Andover, 31-21.

No. 4 CHELMSFORD (9-1) AT BILLERICA (7-3)
Hall: It's such a bittersweet way for Nick LaSpada to end his career at Billerica, which is why I think the Indians are going to come out fired up and ready to rock. Still, his absence is that much of a difference. Chelmsford, 17-14.
Barboza: The Indians pull one out for their ailing chief. Billerica, 8-7.

MARLBOROUGH (6-4) AT HUDSON (8-2)
Hall: My upset special of the day. Jacques Pierre will have a terrific day in the trenches, and Austin Garvey will come up with some late heroics. I can see Karl Sery putting up 200-plus yards in a loss. Marlborough, 28-26.

No. 25 GARDNER (10-0) AT OAKMONT (7-3)
Hall: See my staff Thanksgiving pick. Oakmont, 24-14.
Barboza: Just to spite you ... (Wink, wink) Gardner, 52-7.

WAKEFIELD (8-2) AT MELROSE (8-2)
Barboza: The Redmen put an emphatic stamp on their league title. Wakefield, 31-24.
Hall: I'm guessing Wakefield will play cautiously in this one, with the Middlesex Small wrapped up. But its defense (League-best 9.7 points allowed) will get it done. Wakefield, 14-10.

DIGHTON-REHOBOTH (8-2) AT SEEKONK (5-4)
Hall: Another strong South Coast rivalry. Falcons missed on some postseason glory, but the outlook is strong for next season in my opinion. D-R, 22-16.
Barboza: Ditto. D-R, 16-14.

WESTWOOD (8-2) AT HOLLISTON (8-1)
Barboza: Thanks to our Matt Noonan for his nickel tour of his alma mater's campus during the field hockey section finals. Still going with the Panthers though. Holliston, 20-14.
Hall: Westwood's thumping at the hands of Hopkinton exposed the worst of the Wolverines. Not that I didn't feel good about picking the Panthers in this one to begin with. Holliston, 28-14.

EAST LONGMEADOW (5-5) AT No. 17 LONGMEADOW (8-2)
Barboza: The Lancers are vulnerable and ripe for an upset. Here's my upset special of the day. East Longmeadow, 20-17.
Hall: Injuries may play a factor for the Lancers going forward, but there is some depth with this program. Longmeadow, 13-7.

HINGHAM (5-5) AT SCITUATE (6-4)
Barboza: The Harbormen are still smarting from the Duxbury loss and use that as motivation headed into this one. Hingham, 21-14.
Hall: Tough year for the Sailors, but I think Matt King and Co. go out on top. Scituate, 24-21.

ESPNBoston.com Staff Thanksgiving Picks

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
6:14
PM ET
In keeping with the good holiday spirit, we've given our local ESPN Boston staffers a turn at picking the Thanksgiving football game at their alma maters. Behold...

NO. 25 GARDNER (10-0) AT OAKMONT (7-3)
ESPNBoston.com High School Editor Brendan Hall, Oakmont Class of 2003: Proud to say in my three years representing Gang Green on Turkey Day, we never lost to the Wildcats. I know Gardner’s Jamison Craft practically walks off the bus and runs for 150 yards, but the ol’ ball coach Dave LaRoche has had the Cats’ number since before I was born. And I just turned 26. Oakmont, 24-14.

BISHOP CONNOLLY (1-8) at BISHOP STANG (2-8)
ESPNBoston.com High School Editor Scott Barboza, Connolly Class of 2002: As always, this South Coast rivalry is a big one in the Barboza household. My mother is a Spartan, so if the Cougars lose, that means I might not get a second helping of stuffing. The teams are playing for nothing more than pride and that's what being a Cougar is all about. Connolly, 13-10.

FRAMINGHAM (6-4) AT NATICK (8-2)
ESPNBoston.com Patriots Writer Mike Reiss, Framingham Class of 1993: This one hurts. As much as I want to go with my alma mater, a 50-0 loss to Weymouth has shaken my confidence, and I have to imagine it's done the same to some of the players heading into this one. Natick is at home, and this looks like a tough spot for the Flyers. Hope I'm wrong. Natick, 28-21.

OXFORD (3-7) AT NO. 11 AUBURN (9-1)
ESPNBoston.com Celtics Writer Chris Forsberg, Auburn Class of 1998: The football rivalry has become so one-sided, I tried to drum up a list of things Oxford is actually better at than Auburn. Here's what I got: 1. Go-to breakfast spot (Carl's edges The Heritage, barely, in triple overtime due to portion size), 2. Places Clara Barton was born, and 3. Team nickname. Sure, Pirates makes no sense for landlocked Oxford, but I was always kinda jealous of the black and orange. So let's quit ignoring the elephant in the room, Auburn; It's time to go back to the Dandies nickname. Oh, sure, it's far from daunting, but at least it had a little bit of originality. Sorry, Mr. Goddard and your liquid-fueled rocket, it's time to bring back the top hats. Go Dandies! Auburn, 40-7.

ESPNHS Associate Editor Mike Grimala, Auburn Class of 2000: True story — I won “Most School Spirit” in high school, so the chances of me ever picking against AHS are approximately zero percent. The fact that the Rockets are one of the best teams in the state makes this an even easier pick. Auburn, 38-6.

CARDINAL SPELLMAN (10-0) AT ARCHBISHOP WILLIAMS (1-8)
ESPNBoston.com Senior Account Executive Derek Tardanico, Archbishop Williams Class of 1992: I played in the game. We won 37-14 my senior year, and I had 3 TDs with 16 carries and 283 rushing yards that day. It’s always tough to pick against your alma mater, and all records are usually thrown out the window on Turkey Day, but Spellman rolls on Storrs Ave. Sorry Archie Bills. Spellman, 42-6.

ARLINGTON (3-7) AT ARLINGTON CATHOLIC (1-8)
ESPNHS Senior Editor Matt Remsberg, Arlington Class of 2000: It’s been a tough year for my Spy Ponders, but they’ve won two of their last three and face an A.C. team coming off a devastating loss to Cardinal Spellman, which cost them a postseason berth. Look for Arlington to catch the Cougars licking their wounds and surprise them with a narrow victory. Arlington, 15-14.

STOUGHTON (5-5) AT CANTON (3-6)
ESPNHS Associate Editor Dave Auguste, Stoughton Class of 2001: What better way to kick off your Turkey Day than with a Stoughton beatdown of Canton. Listen, I’m fully aware Stoughton squandered an opportunity to clinch the Davenport Division crown outright with last week’s loss to Oliver Ames. But with an outside shot at the playoffs on the table (we need a win and an OA loss against Sharon), they will put this game away pretty early. Look for QB Alex Fernandes to light up Canton’s secondary and Andrew Paredes and Co. to keep the Bulldogs off the scoreboard. Stoughton, 35-6.

ACTON-BOXBOROUGH (6-4) AT WESTFORD (6-4)
ESPN Recruiting Director Dave Geaslen, Acton-Boxborough Class of 1983: Pains me to think that coach Maver is in his 26th season at A-B, I graduated before his tenure began, and that the Thanksgiving game was against Maynard in my day. Back to present day, the Colonials are rebuilding and inconsistent in points scored, but they have enough fire power in the running game to send the Colonial fans home happy. A-B, 32-14.

LATIN ACADEMY (6-4) AT CHARLESTOWN (3-6)
ESPNBoston.com Colleges Reporter Jack McCluskey, Latin Academy Class of 2004: Sure, the Dragons may have backed into the postseason via a bizarre tiebreaker that awards the berth to the team that hasn’t earned it outright for the longest time, but at least they’re going! Rocco Zizza’s got my alma mater in a Super Bowl for the first time since 1994, averaging a shade more than 16 points while allowing 14. That may not sound like a recipe for success, but it’s worked for Kyle Dance & Co. so far. Considering Charlestown’s averages (18.4 against, 13.1 for) it will be a tight one on Thanksgiving. But judging from records against common opponents (Latin Academy 5-1, Charlestown 3-3) -- not to mention obvious bias -- I say BLA wins. Latin Academy, 21-16.

AMHERST (3-6) AT NORTHAMPTON (2-8)
ESPNBoston.com Editor Peter Lawrence-Riddell, Amherst Class of 1992: While the rivalry between Amherst and Northampton certainly isn’t new, this is just the seventh year of the game taking place on Thanksgiving Day. After collecting its first on-field win in the Thanksgiving series last year (Hamp forfeited the first Thanksgiving game between the two teams), Amherst starts its own series winning streak this year. Amherst, 24-13.

NORTHBRIDGE (5-5) AT UXBRIDGE (2-8)
ESPNBoston.com Editor David Lefort, Northbridge Class of 1994: Expect Northbridge junior quarterback Matt Phelan -- one of the top passer in Central Mass. -- to take to the air against a 2-8 Uxbridge squad. He’s been a big play threat all season and we envision at least a couple of long scoring plays on Turkey Day. Northbridge, 34-16.

NO. 3 BC HIGH (7-3) AT NO. 5 CATHOLIC MEMORIAL (7-1)
ESPNBoston.com Sales Manager J.J. Alberts, BC High Class of 1989: This battle for the Catholic Conference Championship will be a defensive grudge match with BC High wrapping up the game in the fourth quarter on a defensive score. BC High, 21-7.

STONEHAM (2-8) AT READING (7-3)
ESPN Football Recruiting Coordinator, Billy Tucker, Reading Class of 1993: The Rockets like the new playoff format in the Middlesex League. Due to splitting the league, the Rockets cruised through the large tier, but did lose to small school Melrose, which is in third place in the smaller tier. John Fiore won’t allow a letdown to Stoneham, though. The Spartans have been given an overall face lift by head coach Dave Pignone and are playing hard, but the Rockets will soar to victory in one of the longest Turkey Day rivalries in the state. Congrats to legendary Rockets coach Tom Kasprzak on his recent induction (Nov. 19th) into the Reading High School Hall of Fame. Reading, 21-7.

WESTWOOD (8-2) AT NO. 21 HOLLISTON (8-1)
ESPNBoston correspondent Matt Noonan, Westwood Class of 2006: The story of the Westwood High School football team has been a great one this season. However, against the defending Division 3A Super Bowl champion Holliston Panthers, I expect the Wolverines to struggle. Although no matter the outcome of this game, I think it's fair to state that the Wolverines certainly exceeded expectations, and made the last few months rather enjoyable. Holliston, 28-14.

ESPNBoston.com Staff Picks

November, 19, 2010
11/19/10
3:10
PM ET
In keeping with the good holiday spirit, we've given our local ESPN Boston staffers a turn at picking their own high school football game. Behold...

OAKMONT REGIONAL (7-3) AT GARDNER (6-4)
ESPNBoston.com High School Editor Brendan Hall, Oakmont Regional Class of 2003:
Before I arrived at ESPN, one of the part-time jobs I held down was subbing gym classes at the alma mater. Mr. Hall kicked some butt in flag football, but alas didn’t take any names. Also, look out for this dude Luke Bakanowsky to have a big day. Oakmont 28, Gardner 14.

BISHOP STANG (4-6) AT BISHOP CONNOLLY (1-8)
ESPNBoston.com High School Editor Scott Barboza, Bishop Connolly Class of 2002:
The Cougars only began playing football in 2003 -- the year after I graduated, how convenient? So this isn't one of those time-honored traditions like we see elsewhere in the state. However, the two South Coast Catholic schools separated by only a handful of exits on Interstate 195 and have a healthy rivalry in just about every sport. Plus, this one means a little bit more in the Barboza household since my mother is a Stang alum. A house divided? For one day each year, yes. Frank Sherman's squad is a little banged up heading into Turkey Day, but Cougars always play with pride. Connolly 16, Stang 14.

HOLLISTON (9-1) AT WESTWOOD (7-3)
ESPNBoston.com Columnist Jackie MacMullan, Westwood Class of 1978:
Although I'm well aware that Holliston will be heavily favored in this game, it's impossible for me to bet against my hometown. I predict Sean Amaru will have the game of his life and lead the Wolverines to a major upset. Go Green! Westwood 27, Holliston 24.

NATICK (6-4) AT FRAMINGHAM (6-4)
ESPNBoston.com Patriots Writer Mike Reiss, Framingham Class of 1993:
Great memories of attending games at Bowditch Field in Framingham and Memorial Field in Natick. This year’s game is at Bowditch, which has had an impressive renovation, and I think the Flyers will squeak out the first Thanksgiving win at their new and improved home field. Framingham 35, Natick 28.

MARBLEHEAD (5-5) AT SWAMPSCOTT (7-3)
ESPN’s Todd McShay, Director of College Scouting for Scouts Inc., Swampscott Class of 1995:
I'm obviously leaning towards the Big Blue, but Marblehead has turned things around the last few years. I wish I was in this offense that Steve Dembowski is running now, throwing the ball around as much as they have. I know they're disappointed coming off the loss to Beverly, knocking them out of the playoffs, but you're always fired up for this rivalry. Swampscott 24, Marblehead 17.

LUNENBURG (3-6) AT ST. BERNARD’S (3-7)
ESPNBoston.com Red Sox Writer Gordon Edes, Lunenburg Class of 1972:
It has been a down season for both schools, but the Blue Knights (3-7) go into season finale Wednesday night encouraged by playing powerhouse Clinton even for a half in its last game. Bernardians (2-7) were crushed by Clinton 35-12 earlier in the season but defense has tightened since. Lunenburg 20, St. Bernard’s 16.

AUBURN (10-0) AT OXFORD (6-4)
ESPNBoston.com Celtics Writer Chris Forsberg, Auburn Class of 1998:
While acknowledging that these have to be the most biased predictions ever considering alumni are being asked to pick a game involving their own school, it's pretty clear that Auburn rolls in this one. Even with a postseason bid already in their back pocket, the Dandies (c'mon, let's bring back the old mascot, there's like 47 other teams in Massachusetts named the Rockets) have allowed only 7.1 points per game this season. What's more, Auburn hasn't lost a game since the town changed the school nickname**. It'll be closer than it should be, given that Turkey Day is a rivalry game and the fact that Auburn doesn't want to waste too much energy with the playoffs looming. Still, the Dandies roll. Auburn, 77-7 (OK, OK, more like 28-14).
** = slight exaggeration

NORTHAMPTON (1-8) AT AMHERST (3-6)
ESPNBoston.com Editor Peter Lawrence-Riddell, Amherst Class of 1992:
The “Battle of the Bridge” didn’t take its place on the Thanksgiving schedule until well after I was out of high school. But Amherst-Hamp was always a highlight on the schedule in any sport back in my high school days. I’ll admit this is a homer pick, but this seems like the year for Amherst to get on the board in this Thanksgiving rivalry. Amherst 23, Northampton 21.

UXBRIDGE (4-6) AT NORTHBRIDGE (7-2)
ESPNBoston.com Editor David Lefort, Northbridge Class of 1994:
I expect Hall of Fame coach Ken LaChapelle's crew to add another highlight to a successful season with a cakewalk victory over rival Uxbridge, which has given up about 25 points per game this season. Senior quarterback Tom Murphy should add another touchdown pass or two to his robust season total of 17. Northbridge 28, Uxbridge 14.

LONGMEADOW (9-1) AT EAST LONGMEADOW (9-0)
ESPNBoston.com Intern Neil Carroll, Longmeadow Class of 2007:
Statistically, the teams look like a reflection of one another. The deciding factor in the game will be whether Longmeadow's offensive line can wear down the Spartan's defense. If the teams played this game out 10 times, both would walk away with five victories. This time though, the Lancers escape on a Ben Sterrit field goal. Longmeadow 24, East Longmeadow 21.

BROOKLINE (1-9) AT NEWTON NORTH (4-6)
ESPNBoston.com Editor Alisha Ricardi, Newton North Class of 2002:
NNHS owned this rivalry for all four of my years at North, including in 2001, when I was one of the students acting as mascot George the Tiger. I must be good luck. Add that to Brookline’s flat record, and the Ben Clark-powered Tigers have this year in the bag. Newton North 24, Brookline 10.

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