Boston High School: UConn

St. Seb's Ronan commits to UConn

October, 23, 2013
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St. Sebastian's hockey senior forward Corey Ronan has given a verbal commitment to the University of Connecticut, Arrows head coach Sean McCann confirmed to ESPN Boston.

Ronan, a Franklin native, is expected to join the Huskies for the 2014-15 campaign.

Last season, Ronan put up 11-19-30 total in 28 games played with St. Seb's after a 32-point season as a sophomore.

"Corey is an outstanding kid," McCann said. "He is a leader because of his work ethic and determination is unmatched and his desire to win is exceptional. He has tremendous speed, which presents opportunities for him offensively."

But McCann also acknowledged what makes Ronan, son of former BU star and Montreal Canadien Ed Ronan, really tick.

"Corey plays the full sheet [of ice]," McCann said. "He works as hard defensively as he does offensively, and he is a dangerous penalty killer. I can't say enough about Corey's character, one can never have enough kids like him on your team."

Recruiting Notes: Boyle opts for UConn

February, 11, 2013
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From a New England standpoint, perhaps the most noteworthy item on national signing day was Tim Boyle's decision to remain in his home state and sign with the University of Connecticut.

Recruiting NotebookBoyle, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound quarterback, led Xavier High School (Middletown) to its third consecutive Class LL state championship last fall. He passed for 2,483 yards and 24 touchdowns during his senior season.

Boyle originally committed to Boston College, and remained committed to BC after Connecticut native Steve Addazio replaced Frank Spaziani as BC's head coach. Addazio's offense requires a dual-threat quarterback, however, and although he ran for 295 yards and five touchdowns on 60 carries last season, Boyle is considered to be more of a pro-style passer.

He decommitted from BC and gave a verbal commitment to UConn earlier this month, and made things official on national signing day.

“This is a good day for me,” Boyle said after signing his National Letter of Intent. “It's been a long process because BC was the first school to offer me a scholarship back when I was a sophomore. I'm happy it's over.”

Boyle is one of five Connecticut residents in the Class of 2013 who signed National Letter of Intent to play at UConn. The others are linebacker Cory Jasudowich (Cheshire Academy), tight end Thomas Myers (Coventry), defensive end Cole Ormsby (Windsor) and fullback Matt Walsh (Daniel Hand).

BLOCKS OF GRANITE
The University of New Hampshire brought in a small class – 11 players – but three of them were in-state linemen: Portsmouth defensive tackle Rick Holt, Souhegan offensive tackle Jake Kennedy and Bedford offensive tackle Will McInerney.

Holt and Kennedy have been playing against each other since they were freshmen.

"There was some trash-talking between us when we were freshmen and sophomores, but we developed a level of respect for one another during our junior year," Holt said. "We've played against each other for a long time, but it's pretty cool that we're both going to UNH as friends and teammates."

McInerney, who is 6-foot-7 and weighs 290 pounds, may be the most intriguing prospect of the three. He had surgery on both knees last year, and did not play during his senior season.

"It was unfortunate that he missed his senior year, but he was very impressive in our camps and clinics last spring, so we knew he was the right fit for us," UNH coach Sean McDonnell said.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Bangor (Maine) wide receiver Matt Cosgrove is one of three players who signed a National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Maine. Cosgrove's father Jack is Maine's head coach.

“It’s exciting, I think, for both of us,” Jack Cosgrove told the Bangor Daily News. “It’s something we talked about up front. Matt gets it -- he knows what we’re all about. He’s seen it growing up with big eyes as a little boy and with small eyes as a big boy.”

Defensive back Spencer Carey (Lawrence) and tight end Dakota Tarbox (Thornton Academy) were the other Maine players who signed with the Black Bears.

DELAY OF GAME
Running back Jerickson Fedrick, who grew up in Lawrence but played high school football in Salem, N.H., said he has accepted a scholarship from the University of Maine, but will redshirt next season.

Fedrick graduated from Salem in 2012 and played prep school football for Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn., last season. He ran for a team-high 1,268 yards and 16 touchdowns last fall.

Fedrick, who was also a track standout in high school, rushed for 4,568 yards and scored 75 touchdowns for Salem.

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR
Five of the top recruits from New England in the Class of 2014:
  • Jon Baker, OL, Millis/Hopedale
  • Manny Latimore, RB, Pinkerton Academy (N.H.)
  • Arkeel Newsome, RB, Ansonia (Conn.)
  • Connor Strachan, LB, St. Sebastian's
  • Jon Thomas, RB, St. John's Prep

Strachan and Thomas are both on the ESPN Watch List.

Information about high school or prep school recruits in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

Recruiting Notes: Frenzy leading to Signing Day

February, 1, 2013
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The second half of January featured a flurry of activity with regard to New England players committing to colleges. Some of the notable commitments:

Recruiting Notebook"Everett High School wide receiver/defensive back Jakarrie Washington to Wisconsin: Recruiting writers were scrambling last week when word leaked that Washington would be joining the Badgers, since he was relatively unknown outside of Massachusetts. He had no other scholarship offers at the time of his commitment. What Washington does have is speed. He has reportedly run the 40 in 4.4 seconds. He's also versatile. He caught 33 passes for 439 yards and nine touchdowns last season, when he also carried the ball 75 times for 697 yards and 15 touchdowns.

"St. John's Prep running back Alex Moore to Pennsylvania: Many thought Moore would join teammate Lucas Bavaro at Dartmouth, but he selected Penn – the first school to make him an offer. Moore, perhaps the best two-way player in Massachusetts last season, helped St. John's Prep win the EMass Division I Super Bowl and claimed the third annual ESPN Boston “Mr. Football” award, which is given annually to the best player in the state. Moore, who will likely play on the defensive side of the ball in college, made 67 tackles (five for loss), recorded four interceptions and forced four fumbles during his senior season. He also rushed for 857 yards and 14 touchdowns, and caught 20 passes for 455 yards and five touchdowns.

"Windsor (Conn.) defensive end Cole Ormsby to Connecticut: Ormsby committed to UMass in June, but switched that commitment last week. Ormsby led the state with 17 sacks last season, when Hand defeated Windsor 23-6 in the Class L championship game. He completed his senior season with 85 tackles.

SIGN HERE

Wednesday is National Signing Day, and ESPNU will have 10 hours of coverage beginning at 9 a.m. At least 17 of the nation's top uncommitted recruits are expected to announce their college decision live during the telecast. Rece Davis and Dari Nowkhah will host the coverage from Charlotte, N.C.

ESPNU will have reporters at the following schools: Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ole Miss, Ohio State, Texas, Texas AM and USC. The station will also air a two-hour preview show on Tuesday beginning at 5 p.m.

THESE GUYS ARE COMMITTED

Nine of New England's top 10 recruits (as rated by ESPN) have verbally committed to college programs. Six of the 10 players are from Connecticut, and the four others are from Massachusetts. Here's where those players will be playing next season:

John Montelus, OG (Everett High School): Notre Dame
Maurice Hurst Jr., DT (Xaverian Brothers): Michigan
Tim Boyle, QB (Xavier): Boston College
Noel Thomas, ATH (St. Luke's): Connecticut
John Van Allen, OLB (Avon Old Farms): Harvard
Sadiq Olanrewaju, OT (Salisbury School): Virginia
Cory Jasudowich, ILB (Cheshire Academy): Connecticut
Tevin Montgomery, OT (Tabor Academy): Boston College
Jack McDonald, OG (BC High): Virginia.

Note: Thomas, who played for his father at St. Luke's in New Canaan, Conn., enrolled at UConn for the spring semester. Thomas played wide receiver, quarterback and running back in prep school, and finished his career with 4,888 yards of offense and 53 touchdowns. He is expected to play wide receiver in college.

BULLDOG MENTALITY

Michael Dulac, Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year for the 2012 season, has committed to play for Division I Bryant University. The Bulldogs compete in the Northeast Conference.

Dulac, a 6-foot-3, 270-pound lineman, led Hartford High School (White River Jct.) to three consecutive Division I championships. He started on each side of the ball in all 43 games of his high school career.

Dulac reportedly had offers from eight schools, and selected Bryant over Dartmouth.

NEW HAMPSHIRE LANDS LINEBACKER

Proctor Academy fullback/linebacker Odaine Franklyn committed to the University of New Hampshire on Thursday.

Franklin made 48 tackles last season. He also rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns on 17 carries. Proctor finished the season with an 8-1 record.

Franklyn, who was recruited to play linebacker, was a three-year starter for White Plains (N.Y.) High School before he enrolled at Proctor Academy. He had scholarship offers from Akron and Albany coming out of high school.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

Recruiting: Prep's Thomas running patiently

January, 18, 2013
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St John's Prep running back Jonathan Thomas may be known for his above-average speed, but he appears to be in no hurry to select the school where he'll play college football.

Recruiting NotebookThomas, who will be among the top recruits from New England in the Class of 2014, raised his profile by running the 40-yard dash in 4.47 seconds at the Under Armour Combine earlier this month. His time was the second fastest overall at the event, and the top time among juniors.

“Right now it's early in the process for me,” Thomas said. “I don't have a No. 1 school. I'll be taking a lot of [unofficial] visits to schools before next season.”

Thomas said Massachusetts is the only school that has extended a scholarship offer, but he expects both Boston College and Virginia to offer soon. Brown and Dartmouth have also shown strong interest.

“My grades are there, but I don't think I'll be going to the Ivy League,” Thomas said. “I want to play at the [FBS] level, and I know I can.”

Thomas, a Peabody resident, said Connecticut and Penn State are two other schools that have shown serious interest. He attended camps at BC and Virginia last summer, and said he's being recruited exclusively as a running back.

“I would like to go down South and play, but right now [BC] is an option,” Thomas said. “Coach Addazio [BC head coach Steve Addazio] is good friends with Coach O'Leary [St. John's Prep coach Jim O'Leary] and he knows what he's doing. He's no stranger to big-time football programs. They're definitely on my list.”

Thomas, a 5-10 1/2, 200-pound junior, helped St. John's Prep win the Division I Super Bowl last season. St. John's Prep defeated Brockton, 48-28, in the championship game.

Thomas finished the season with 1,794 yards rushing and 15 touchdowns on 220 carries. He also caught nine passes for 153 yards and three touchdowns.

“I just want a good academic school with good Division I football,” Thomas said. “Whoever has interest in me, I have interest in playing for them.”

QUARTERBACK KEEPER
Bedford (N.H.) High School's James Caparell may have been the best quarterback in New Hampshire last season, but he's still waiting for his first scholarship offer.

Caparell has received interest from mix of FCS and Division II schools, but said at this point his future is unclear. A postgraduate year at Worcester Academy is also a possibility.

Rhode Island, Marist and Albany are among the FCS schools that have shown interest. He's also been contacted by several Division 2 schools in the Northeast-10 Conference, including Merrimack, New Haven, St. Anselm and Stonehill.

“Merrimack and Stonehill have already said they were going to give me money, it's just a matter of how much,” Caparell said. “I'm just looking for a good program at the highest level I can compete at.”

New Hampshire has also shown interest in Caparell, but not as a quarterback. The Wildcats already have several young QBs on their roster.

“They're really the only school looking at me as an athlete,” Caparell said. “I would still get some reps at quarterback, but they see me as a potential wide receiver or defensive back, which I've played.

“I'd like to play quarterback [in college], but it'll really come down to money and the school. Picking the right school is important just in case something happened and I couldn't play football.”

Caparell completed 153 of 233 passes for 2,265 yards and 25 touchdowns last season. He also rushed for 536 yards and 11 touchdowns on 87 carries. He completed 579 passes for 5,389 yards during his four-year varsity career.

NOTEWORTHY
Sanford (Maine) High School running back Alex Shain has accepted a full scholarship from Division 2 Assumption last week. Shain rushed for 1,413 yards and scored 28 touchdowns last season, when he also made 43 solo tackles. He is one of three finalists for the Fitzpatrick Trophy, which is awarded annually to Maine's top senior football player. … Running back/defensive back Brendan Flaherty, a key piece on the Beverly High School team that won last year's Division 2A championship, committed to Holy Cross earlier this week. Flaherty rushed for 1,496 yards and 18 touchdowns on 160 carries last season. He also caught 10 passes for 236 yards and four touchdowns. … BC High fullback/linebacker Luke Catarius couldn't pass up an opportunity to play in the Ivy League. Catarius committed to Bryant in December, but told ESPN Boston earlier this week that he intends to attend Princeton. Catarius suffered a broken bone in his right ankle during BC High's first scrimmage last season, and missed first seven regular-season games. He learned that he had been accepted to Princeton last weekend. …. Three-star wide receiver David Coggins (Sacred Heart/Waterbury, Conn.) said he plans to attend prep school next season, but has yet to select a school. Coggins committed to Boston College last year, but parted ways with BC before the start of his senior season.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

Recruiting Notes: Prep's Bavaro set for Dartmouth

November, 23, 2012
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Lucas Bavaro called it the toughest decision he's ever made, but in the days leading up to the deadline the choice became clear: He was going to play college football at Dartmouth.

Recruiting NotebookBavaro, a senior at St. John's Prep, received an offer from Dartmouth after attending a football camp there last summer. An offer from Colgate was also on the table, but the Dartmouth coaches asked Bavaro to give them a decision no later than early November.

“It really came down to Colgate and Dartmouth,” Bavaro said. “They wanted me to go early decision, so I think they needed an answer by November 5, but I didn't even need the deadline. Every day I became more and more confident with my decision.”

Bavaro, who plays tight end and an outside linebacker/strong safety hybrid position for St. John's Prep, committed to the Big Green earlier this month. He will play safety in college.

Several other Ivy League schools showed interest in Bavaro, as did FBS schools like Boston College and Connecticut. Bavaro said BC asked him to attend prep school for a year before enrolling, but he had no interest in going that route. He said Ivy League football – and an Ivy League education – had a special appeal.

“My dad [former NFL tight end Mark Bavaro] said football is not forever,” Bavaro said. “I was also thinking about life after football.”

Bavaro, an 18-year-old Boxford resident, will join former Everett High School quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso at Dartmouth next season. DiBiaso is currently attending Phillips Exeter Academy.

“When [Dartmouth] made the offer I was ecstatic,” Bavaro said. “Location was one of the factors. It's like a six-hour ride to Colgate. Dartmouth is about two hours.

“I thought about this decision every day. It feels great to get it over with.”

PINKERTON'S RISING STAR
Pinkerton Academy (Derry, N.H.) running back Manny Latimore will likely be the top-rated recruit in New Hampshire next season.

Latimore ran for 177 yards and scored two touchdowns – one on a 78-yard punt return – in Saturday's 31-21 loss to Exeter in New Hampshire's Division I championship game. Latimore rushed for 1,477 yards and 27 touchdowns during his junior season.

Latimore also starts in the defensive backfield for a Pinkerton team that has reached the Division I title game in each of the last three seasons.

“I think I've been around this long enough to know if a kid can play in college, and football is in Manny's future,” Pinkerton Academy coach Brian O'Reilly said. “I think he'll be a running back. He can run inside and he can run outside. He can also catch the ball.”

Matt Jordan (UMass), Ryan Mihalko (Notre Dame) and Joe Segreti (Holy Cross) are among the Pinkerton Academy running backs who have played in college.

“Manny has track speed and he has football speed,” O'Reilly said. “Sometimes that track speed doesn't always translate. A lot will depend on what camps he attends this summer.”

QUARTERBACK OPTIONS
As reported on ESPN Boston earlier this week, Tabor Academy quarterback Miles Wright received a scholarship offer from UMass last weekend.

Wright transferred to Tabor Academy from Boston Latin, and is repeating his junior year. UMass has one QB in its current recruiting class: Todd Stafford of The Brunswick School in Greenwich, Conn. Stafford, a three-star recruit, committed in March.

Wright is a dual-threat quarterback who scored 23 touchdowns (12 passing) in eight games for Tabor this season.

Information regarding high school or prep school players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

Recruiting Notes: La Salle's Morris Yale-bound?

October, 23, 2012
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La Salle Academy (R.I.) running back Josh Morris has been nursing a sprained ankle for much of the season, but it hasn't hampered his recruiting situation.

MaineYale head coach Tony Reno recently told Morris he'd like him to join the Yale program next season.

“I started to build a good relationship with Yale last spring,” Morris said. “I visited and camped there last summer. The Yale head coach kept calling me every week during the season to make sure I was still interested and letting me know he was still interested in me.

“Last Thursday he told me: You have an offer from Yale.”

[+] EnlargeJosh Morris
Courtesy Josh MorrisYale is the latest school to offer La Salle Academy (R.I.) running back Josh Morris, who was the Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior.
Morris, who was the Rhode Island Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior, has offers from four other FCS schools: Brown, Bryant, Monmouth and Valparaiso.

Morris is being recruited primarily as a running back, but he could also play slot receiver or defensive back for Yale. Morris said he'd prefer to play offense in college.

“I like the ball in my hands,” he said. “Yale offered me as an athlete – that's what [Reno] said. They would probably put me at a position based on whatever else they get in their class.

“I really do like the Ivy League. It's hard to pass up an Ivy League education, but I'm keeping my options open to see what else might be out there.”

Morris injured his ankle during a victory over South Kingstown on Oct. 5. He scored three touchdowns in a 41-24 triumph over Bridgewater-Raynham the following week, but said he's been playing at less than 100 percent since the injury.

“I haven't missed any games, but it's been lingering,” Morris said.

Morris rushed for 1,278 yards and 16 touchdowns on 134 carries last season. He also caught nine passes for 175 yards, and averaged 39.8 yards per kickoff return.

He's run for 613 yards and 11 touchdowns in six games this year.

New Hampshire may be the next school to offer Morris, who has generated interest from several Patriot League and Colonial Athletic Association schools.

“A lot of schools are on the cusp [of making a scholarship offer] right now,” Morris said. “My senior film could determine whether schools pull the trigger [on an offer] or not.”

Decision time: Tabor Academy's Tevin Montgomery, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive lineman, said he will announce his college choice on Dec. 1 at his school. He has narrowed his choices to Boston College, Vanderbilt and Virginia.

“But I don't know if I'm going to make a big scene,” Montgomery said. “I might just call the school and let them know.”

Montgomery, a three-star recruit, is the top-ranked uncommitted player from Massachusetts in the Class of 2013. He also has offers from Temple, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rutgers, Maryland and Missouri.

Catching a Crook: Worcester Academy quarterback D.J. Crook is generating plenty of interest, but is still waiting for his first scholarship offer, according to Worcester Academy coach Tony Johnson.

“He's got interest from Holy Cross, Princeton, Dartmouth and a few others from the Patriot League – Lafayette and Colgate,” Johnson said. “And there are a few schools interested from the MAC, like Akron and Massachusetts.

“You know how it works. He's gotta get that one offer, and then a few more come in quickly. I think he's done enough.”

Crook played a Barnstable High School before choosing to spend a postgraduate year at Worcester Academy. He missed four games because of a fractured thumb during his senior season.

Big man not on campus: Four-star offensive lineman John Montelus was scheduled to take his official visit to Notre Dame last Saturday, but had to postpone the trip when Everett High School's game against BC High was postponed from Friday night to Saturday because of heavy rain.

Montelus, the No. 1 prospect from Massachusetts in the Class of 2013, said he will reschedule the trip. Montelus committed to Notre Dame following the team's spring game in April. He is the only New England player ranked in the ESPN 300 (No. 292).

Back in motion: Ansonia (Conn) High School running back Arkeel Newsome has gained 884 yards through six games this season.

Newsome, a junior who has scholarship offers from Connecticut and Massachusetts, led the nation in rushing last year, when he set a Connecticut record by gaining 3,763 yards.

Newsome's playing time has been limited this year because Ansonia is 6-0 and has won all six games by at least 28 points. Ansonia has scored at least 35 points in each of its six games.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

South Kent's Salvaggio commits to UConn

October, 2, 2012
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Former Xaverian hockey standout Jason Salvaggio committed to the University of Connecticut today. He will arrive in Storrs for the 2014-15 season.

The 5-foot-11, 187-pound left shot winger/center attends the South Kent School and skates with the Selects Advantage AAA team, which is based at the Connecticut school.

In September, Salvaggio was included on the NHL Central Scouting Watch list, receiving a 'C' grade.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

June, 2, 2012
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Bryan Daniello said he felt less pressure this spring than he did a year ago – and it showed on the field.

ConnecticutDaniello, a pitcher/shortstop for Norwalk's Brien McMahon High School, was selected as the state's Gatorade Player of Year earlier this week. Daniello, a senior, has signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at the University of Connecticut.

“I was more relaxed this season,” Daniello said. “I had already committed to UConn so I could just go out and play my game and have fun. There wasn't as much pressure as there was a year ago.”

Daniello raised his record to 8-1 Tuesday, when he picked up the win in Brien McMahon's 11-1 triumph over New Milford in the Class LL tournament's first round. He also hit an inside-the-park home run (his seventh home run of the season) and a double in the victory.

He entered the tournament's second round with a .407 batting average and a 1.22 ERA.

“Daniello is fast, he plays a great shortstop and he has tremendous power,” Fairfield Warde coach Mark Caron said. “I think he's the best player we've seen all year.”

GRIDIRON MOVES
Mark Ecke resigned as Cheshire High School's football coach on May 21 after he was suspended by the Cheshire Board of Education on May 9 following an incident at his son's junior varsity lacrosse game.

Ecke, a spectator at a contest between Cheshire and Glastonbury, was ejected after confronting an official after his son, Tucker, was hit by a Glastonbury player.

Ecke, a sergeant in the Cheshire Police Department, had been Cheshire's coach since 1995. The Rams won the Class L title in 1995, and earned the Class LL title in 1996 and 1997.

“I am passionate about our program and our players, and I am most passionate about my family,” Ecke said.

Offensive coordinator Don Drust has been named the school's interim head coach. Drust has been with the Cheshire program since 2007.

"Prince Tech-Hartford football coach Robert McNamara will leave his current position to teach at Abbott Tech-Danbury after the current school year. It's uncertain if McNamara will be part of the Abbott Tech coaching staff.

Prince Tech had a 24-28 record during McNamara's six-year tenure.

"East Catholic-Manchester has hired Steven Calande to replace Bill Baccaro as its football coach. Calande coached at Old Town (Maine) last season. Baccaro resigned as East Catholic's head coach in April.

IN THE CARDS
The Greenwich golf team punctuated an 18-0 regular season by winning the FCIAC championship at Fairfield Wheeler Golf Club on Thursday.

The Cardinals won the event by posting a 290 team score. Staples finished second (311) and Fairfield Warde was third (316).

Junior Danny Guise, the FCIAC Player of the Year, led the way by shooting a 2-under-par 69. J.P. Rafferty (72), Paul Pastore (73) and Chris Pavelic (76) also scored for the Cardinals, who finished as the FCIAC runner-up in each of the last two seasons.

LAX POWERS
Darien and New Canaan were the two Connecticut teams ranked in the latest ESPNHS FAB 50 boys lacrosse rankings.

Darien dropped 11 spots to No. 22 following a loss to Ridgefield. New Canaan entered the poll at No. 48 after it defeated Ridgefield in the FCIAC tournament's championship game.

Darien and New Canaan could meet in the Class M state tournament.

Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader, and publishes the New Hampshire Football Report (www.nhfootballreport.com). He has reported on high school sports throughout New England since 1992.

A local slant on NFL free agent signings

April, 30, 2012
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If you told Nick Schwieger four years ago that he’d have a shot at the NFL, he wouldn’t have believed you.

After becoming Dartmouth’s all-time leading rusher, the Bishop Feehan product and Norton native signed an undrafted free agent contract with the St. Louis Rams on Saturday.

“All I wanted to do was establish myself as a player [at Dartmouth],” said Schwieger during in a phone interview Monday after he finished an exam.

Schwieger admits he didn’t take a direct route to pro football, noting the perceived knock on Ivy League football. But after racking up 3,150 career rushing yards with the Big Green, he certainly made a name for himself.

Schwieger said he started to hone in on his NFL dream during junior year, when he was a co-recipient of the Ivy’s Bushnell Cup — its MVP award. Interest continued through his senior year and built in the pre-draft process. Schwieger said he’d been in touch with the Rams, along with the Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers before the draft. When the seventh round came and went, Schwieger became a free agent and immediately fielded calls with offers from the Bengals and Rams.

He settled on St. Louis citing several factors, including the composition of the team’s roster, coaches and the ability to run with one of the league’s preeminent backs.

“Stephen Jackson will be a great guy to learn from,” Schwieger said with a laugh. “I’m really looking forward to that. And Coach [Jeff] Fisher, you know what a great player coach he’s been for such a long time. It’s just a great opportunity.”

As Schwieger is finishing course work at Dartmouth, he will not be able to join the Rams until their June camps, after he’s graduates.

Then, his attention will turn to carving out a roster spot, whether that’s as a running back or a special teamer. For now, the former MIAA Super Bowl champion with the Shamrocks has time to reflect on what go him there.

“I definitely believe that Massachusetts football is on the rise, you see better and better prospects coming out every year and more and more people are making it [to the NFL]. Looking back, I probably took hard way, or the long way there, but that makes it all that much more rewarding.”

New Englanders signing with NFL teams:
Here is a list of the players with New England roots who’ve signed undrafted free agent contracts with NFL teams. It should also be mentioned that former Nashua North (N.H.) standout and UConn product Kendall Reyes was drafted 49th overall (second round) by the San Diego Chargers.

Dartmouth
Nick Schwieger (Norton, Mass.) RB – St. Louis Rams

Endicott
Kevin Eagan (West Hartford, Mass.), DE – Indianapolis Colts
Taylor Allen (Westborough, Mass.), LS – Jaguars

Merrimack
Shawn Loiseau (Shrewsbury, Mass.), LB – Houston Texans

Rhode Island
Jason Foster (East Pittsford, Vt.), OL – Indianapolis Colts

St. Anselm
Marc Wilson (Farmington, Conn.), WR – Arizona Cardinals

UMass
Emil Igwenagu (Shrewsbury, Mass.), FB/TE – Philadelphia Eagles

Player Perspective: Masuk's Casey Cochran

November, 6, 2011
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His name is Casey Cochran, and he's the most prolific quarterback who's ever played high school football in Connecticut.

Cochran, who's in his senior season at Masuk High School in Monroe, owns the state record for career passing yards (9,797), career completions (573) and career touchdowns (104). He passed the century mark in touchdown passes when he threw for five touchdowns in a 55-6 victory over New Milford on Oct. 28.

Cochran guided New London High School to Connecticut's Class SS title in 2008 before he transferred to Masuk. His father, Jack, coached that New London team. It's one of eight teams Jack has guided to a CIAC state title (he's tied with New Canaan's Lou Marinelli for most state titles by a Connecticut head coach).

Cochran helped Masuk win the Class L title last season, when he passed for 3,345 yards and 40 touchdowns (seven interceptions). Following his junior season he was named Connectcut's Gatorade Player of the Year. Cochran has completed 88 of 111 passes for 2,097 yards and 29 touchdowns in eight games (all victories) this season. Masuk extended the program's winning streak to 21 games by beating Pomperaug 49-3 on Saturday night.

Cochran recently spoke with ESPNBoston.com and was asked him about his passing records, his decision to attend the University of Connecticut and the possibility of winning another state championship this season:

Q: You've set quite a few records this season. Are you proudest of one more than the others?

[+] EnlargeCasey Cochran
Christopher Beauchamp/ESPNHSMasuk (Conn.) QB Casey Cochran recently eclipsed the 100-touchdown-pass plateau for his career and is the state's all-time leader in scoring passes.
A: "Not necessarily. Coming into the year I had heard that there were a couple records coming up, but I tried to keep my mind away from them. I've found that not looking at the stats and just going out and playing, going out and winning games, you'll eventually get there. So my mindset has kind of shifted. Early in my career it was all about getting the best stats, the awards and everything. Quarterbacks are measured too much about their stats. I feel like wins are a lot more important than how many yards you threw for … how many touchdowns you threw. Completion percentage is also very important. There are a lot of guys who go out and throw 50 touchdowns, but they might have only completed 50 percent of their balls. I think a high completion percentage and winning percentage are the true stats people should look at."

Q: What do you consider your strength to be as a quarterback?

A: "I believe accuracy, and I believe reading coverages. That's what it's come down to the past two years – reading coverages and putting the ball where it needs to be. Getting my offense out of plays that can't work versus a defense pre-snap, and getting it to the right receiver post-snap."

Q: What was it like to play for your father and how much has he contributed to your success growing up as a football player and as a quarterback?

A: "It was a great experience playing for my father. Not many kids get to play for their father at a high level in high school. He instilled a great work ethic in me and that really carried through into my years in high school. He's taught me to have a great work ethic in everything I do -- not just in sports. If you're gonna do something, do it right. That's really rubbed off on me. I've taken that stuff to heart, and I really think that all my accomplishments have come down to hard work. He's really helped me a lot in both aspects – work ethic as well as learning the game."

Q: Are you still on pace to graduate from high school in December?

A: "Yes, and I'm supposed to start up in Storrs in January as well."

Q: What were some of the things that sold you on Connecticut as a college and a football program?

A: "First of all, it's the home-state team. It's really an honor to play for your home state. The coaching change (Connecticut hired Paul Pasqualoni to replace Randy Edsall when Edsall became Maryland's head coach). I believe Coach Pasqualoni is a very good coach. I really like the coaching staff and everyone on it. I got closer with them during the offseason, so it was a very easy choice once the [scholarship] offer came."

Q: Are you concerned at all with all of the conference reshuffling? Is that troublesome to you at all?

A: "No. I've been trying not to worry about it too much during the season. I made a commitment to Coach Pasqualoni and the UConn football team. I trust that the athletic director, the UConn president as well as the Big East commissioner will put UConn and entire Big East in a great position."

Q: Is this year's team the best team you've played on.

A: "I think every year has been a little different. I think this year we're very tight-knit as an offense. We have a lot of timing. We've done a lot of work together. Being able to do passing leagues in the winters and the summers and just the work we've put in in the offseason has contributed to us being a great offense this year. Our running back, Colin Markus, is a great runner, and he sets up a lot of our passes. The play action is when he's running so hard and the defense tends to come up a little bit. That's when we can get over the top. Our O line, coming into the year they were a pretty young O line, but they've stepped it up. As an offense together we really work together well and a lot of hard work is paying off for all of us."

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

November, 2, 2011
11/02/11
6:02
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Is there any sports fan who hasn’t heard that cliché’ “picking up the slack?”

Rhode IslandThat’s exactly what Division I leader La Salle Academy did on October 28 when the Rams overcame the loss of quarterback Anthony Francis, who was sidelined with an ankle injury, and still throttled playoff contender Cranston West, 30-6.

Junior running back Josh Morris certainly picked up the slack in his teammate’s absence by scoring on touchdown runs of 22 and 51 yards in the first half as the Rams remained on top with a 6-0 record.

La Salle also received a lift from backup quarterback Jack Collins who came off the bench and scored on runs of two yards and one yard.

As a result, La Salle has outscored its six division opponents by a hefty margin of 234-86 and is in position to run the table which would enable coach Geoff Marcone’s team to clinch the division title and the top seed in the upcoming playoffs.

But as is frequently the case, the title and the No. 1 seed won’t be decided until Thanksgiving Day when the Rams play arch-rival East Providence (4-1) in the state’s longest-running series on that holiday.

The Townies ventured to Massachusetts last weekend and were blanked, 26-0, by Foxborough in a non-league game – due in large part to the fact they committed seven turnovers. But the previous weekend, East Providence moved into title contention by beating third-place Hendricken (4-2), 35-14, as quarterback Brandon Peters threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Victor Adewoski and ran for a pair of touchdowns.

Should East Providence and La Salle enter their Thanksgiving game still ranked 1-2 in the standings and if the Townies win which would force a tie, they would earn the No. 1 seed based on the first tiebreaker (record in head-to-head competition).

(Read full post)

New England Roundup: Connecticut

September, 28, 2011
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The most controversial rule in high school sports may be the “Score Management policy” Connecticut instituted for high school football in 2006.

ConnecticutAlso known as the “50-point rule,” the Score Management policy can result in a one-game suspension for any coach whose team wins a game by more than 50 points. Bridgeport Central's Dave Cadelina became the first coach penalized when he was suspended after his team beat Bassick 56-0 in the first week of the 2006 season. Central topped 50 points when a reserve running back scored in the second half.

The suspension was later lifted, but Cadelina – and the rule – made plenty of headlines.

The rule received even more publicity last season, when Cadelina's team had a 49-0 lead at halftime and punted on first down throughout the second half.

Connecticut had gone three seasons without a team violating the rule, but that ended Saturday, when Northwest Catholic defeated Weaver 52-0. The rule was modified before the 2011 season, however, and that modification allowed Northwest Catholic coach Mike Tyler to appeal the penalty and avoid a suspension.

Now when a team wins by more than 50 points the game is reviewed to determine if the winning coach used proper sportsmanship.

Here is the press released issued by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Association regarding the Northwest Catholic/Weaver game:
“After a review of reports received from both schools involved and the game officials in regards to Northwest Catholic High School's 52-0 varsity football victory over Weaver High School on Saturday, it has been determined that the proper sportsmanship protocols were followed, and that there was no violation of the CIAC Score Management policy by the winning school's head coach.”

Tyler will be able to coach this weekend's game against Bloomfield.

(Read full post)

BC High's Melley commits to UConn

July, 29, 2011
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BC High rising senior Bobby Melley has verbally committed to the University of Connecticut, his father told ESPN Boston via email Friday.

The Eagles' catcher and captain is a two-time Catholic Conference All-Star and was the Catholic Conference's batting champion in 2011. Melley, who was a "Utility" Honorable Mention selection on ESPN Boston's inaugural MIAA All-State team, will join coach Jim Penders and the 2011 Big East Champions in the fall of 2012.

New England Roundup: Connecticut

July, 20, 2011
7/20/11
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When Paul Pasqualoni was the football coach at Syracuse he did what he could to lure Connecticut’s best talent out of state. How times have changed.

ConnecticutPasqualoni, who is in his first season as UConn’s head coach, is now doing everything he can to keep Connecticut’s top players at home. He got off to a good start when Ansonia High School running back Montrell Dobbs committed to UConn on July 7.

"I'm a Connecticut guy, and UConn is like the Rutgers of New Jersey -- it's our big-time school," Dobbs said. "I'm not sure if they had any interest in me when [former coach] Randy Edsall was there. Edsall had a reputation of not getting in-state kids [Connecticut signed eight in-state players in its last three recruiting classes], but I think with Pasqualoni there things are gonna change."

New Britain's Tebucky Jones and Bloomfield's Dwight Freeney are two of the Connecticut residents who played at Syracuse under Pasqualoni.

Connecticut was the only FBS school that made a scholarship offer to Dobbs, who said he also received mild interest from Pittsburgh, Louisville, Syracuse and Cincinnati.

He's the first in-state recruit Connecticut landed since Pasqualoni replaced Edsall as UConn's head coach.

Dobbs ran for more than 300 yards in seven of Ansonia's 13 games last season. He finished the season with 3,445 yards rushing -- the second-highest single-season total in state history -- on 406 carries.

He'll attend Milford Academy in New Berlin, N.Y., next season and plans to enroll at UConn in January. LeSean McCoy (Pittsburgh/Philadelphia Eagles) and Shonn Greene (Iowa/New York Jets) are among the running backs who played at Milford Academy.

He is expected to sign a national letter of intent in February.

"A year of prep school is going to help me," Dobbs said. "Milford is known for its running backs and that kind of got my attention.

"I think me going to Connecticut is going to open up the door for more Connecticut kids to go there."

IMMACULATE HIRES FOOTBALL COACH
Bryan Pinabell, who has spent the last three years as an assistant coach at St. Pius X Catholic High School in Atlanta, was recently hired to become the head football coach at Immaculate.

Pinabell, an East Boston native, replaces Gary Bellagamba, who took over the program last year after spending several years as an assistant coach. Bellagamba resigned earlier this month after Immaculate posted an 0-10 record last fall.

Immaculate hasn’t had a winning season since 2003, when Steve Kaplanis led the Mustangs to the Class S semifinals. Kaplanis died at age 50 in 2005, and Immaculate has an 8-53 record under three head coaches since then.

Rebuilding programs is nothing new to Pinabell, who spent two seasons as the head coach at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic High School in Fayetteville, Ga. Our Lady of Mercy had won five games in six seasons when Pinabell took over, and he guided the Bobcats to seven victories – including six in 2007 – during his two seasons as the program’s head coach.

BRANFORD’S KACZYNSKI RETIRES
Branford girls basketball coach Ted Kaczynski announced his retirement on July 11.

Kaczynski, 62, spent the last 20 with the Branford girls program. He also spent one season coaching the Branford boys basketball team.

He coached boys and girls basketball at East Haven before moving on to Branford.

Kaczynski finished his career with a 355-290 record. He guided his teams to the state tournament in 26 of his 29 seasons as a head coach.

GUILFORD HIRES NEW AD
Jake Jarvis has been named to replace Chip Dorwin as the new athletic director at Guilford.

Dorwin retired at the end of the 2011 school year after spending 25 years as the school’s AD.

Jarvis, a 37-year-old Branford resident, spent the last two years as an assistant to New Haven athletic director Joe Canzanella. Jarvis has coached baseball boys basketball and girls basketball at Hyde.

Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.

New Englanders taken in MLB Draft

June, 7, 2011
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The third and final day of the Major League Baseball Draft has concluded. Here's a rundown of which locals went where:

First Round (Monday)
11. Houston Astros, George Springer, OF, Connecticut (Avon Old Farms), New Britain, Conn.
19. Boston Red Sox, Matt Barnes, RHP, Connecticut (Bethel H.S.), Bethel, Conn.
21. Toronto Blue Jays, Tyler Beede, RHP, Lawrence Academy, Auburn, Mass.

Second Round (Tuesday)
63. Arizona Diamondbacks, Anthony Meo, RHP, Coastal Carolina (Cranston West H.S.), Cranston, R.I.
64. Baltimore Orioles, Jason Esposito, 3B, Vanderbilt (Amity H.S.), Bethany, Conn.
85. Atlanta Braves, Nick Ahmed, SS, Connecticut (East Longmeadow H.S.), East Longmeadow, Mass.

Third Round (Tuesday)
118. New York Yankees, Jordan Cote, RHP, Winnisquam Regional, Sanbornton, N.H.

Fifth Round (Tuesday)
162. New York Mets, Jack Leathersich, LHP, UMass-Lowell (Beverly H.S.), Beverly, Mass.
169. Toronto Blue Jays, Andrew Chin, LHP, BB&N, Newton, Mass.

Sixth Round (Tuesday)
182. Pittsburgh Pirates, Dan Gamache, 3B, Auburn (Bishop Hendricken H.S.), Exeter, R.I.

Tenth Round (Tuesday)
302. Pittsburgh Pirates, Taylor Lewis, CF, Maine (Montville H.S.), Montville, Conn.
303. Seattle Mariners, Dan Paolini, 2B, Siena (Bunnell H.S.) Stratford, Conn.
317. Detroit Tigers, Curt Casali, C, Vanderbilt (New Canaan H.S.) New Canaan, Conn.

Twelfth Round (Tuesday)
363. Seattle Mariners, Mike Dowd, C, Franklin Pierce (Cardinal Spellman H.S.), East Bridgewater, Mass.

Thirteenth Round (Tuesday)
394. Arizona Diamondbacks, John Pedrotty, LHP, Holy Cross (Portsmouth H.S.), Portsmouth, R.I.

Fifteenth Round (Tuesday)
463. Florida Marlins, Jhimoar Veras, RF, Western Oklahoma State Coll. (Methuen H.S.), Methuen, Mass.

Seventeenth Round (Tuesday)
519. Chicago Cubs, John Andreoli Jr., RF, Connecticut (St. John's of Shrewsbury), Shrewsbury, Mass.

Eighteenth Round (Tuesday)
553. Florida Marlins, Greg Nappo, LHP, Connecticut (Daniel Hand H.S.), Madison, Conn.
563. San Diego Padres, Mike Gallic, LF, Marist (Tolland H.S.), Tolland, Conn.

Twentieth Round (Tuesday)
610. Houston Astros, Matt Duffy, 3B, Tennessee (St. Sebastian's), Milton, Mass.
630. Tampa Bay Rays, Garrett Smith, SS, Boston College (St. John's of Shrewsbury), Sterling, Mass.

23rd Round (Tuesday)
700. Houston Astros, Ruben Sosa, 2B, Oklahoma City University (Lawrence H.S.), Lawrence, Mass.
702. New York Mets, Jeff Diehl, C, Cranston West H.S., Cranston, R.I.
715. Cincinnati Reds, Sal Romano, RHP, Southington H.S., Southington, Conn.

24th Round (Tuesday)
747. San Francisco Giants, Keith Bilodeau, RHP, Maine (Bourne H.S.), Bourne, Mass.

25th Round (Tuesday)
763. Florida Marlins, Sean Donatello, RHP, UConn-Avery Point (East Lyme H.S.), Salem, Conn.
780. Tampa Bay Rays, Brooks Belter, RHP, Occidental (The Gunnery Prep), Lakeville, Conn.

28th Round (Tuesday)
862. Boston Red Sox, Brenden Shepherd, RHP, Stonehill (Masconomet Regional) Boxford, Mass.
867. San Francisco Giants, Tyler Mizenko, RHP, Winthrop (Hamden Hall H.S.), Wallingford, Conn.

31st Round (Wednesday)
958. Minnesota Twins, Garrett Jewell, RHP, Southern New Hampshire (Newfound Regional), Alexandria, N.H.

32nd Round (Wednesday)
975. Los Angeles Angels, John Leonard, RHP, Boston College (Hanover H.S.), Hanover, Mass.

35th Round (Wednesday)
1076. Atlanta Braves, Mike Hashem, LHP, Fisher College (North Andover H.S.), North Andover, Mass.
1080. Tampa Bay Rays, John Magliozzi, RHP, Dexter School, Milton, Mass.

38th Round (Wednesday)
1163. San Diego Padres, Pat Connaughton, RHP, St. John's Prep, Arlington, Mass.
1169. New York Yankees, Joe Maher, RHP, Bedford H.S., Bedford, N.H.

39th Round (Wednesday)
1192. Boston Red Sox, Corey Vogt, RHP, Keene State (Suffield H.S.), Suffield, Conn.

40th Round (Wednesday)
1206. Kansas City Royals, Ben Waldrip, 1B, Jacksonville State (Medford H.S.), Medford, Mass.

42nd Round (Wednesday)
1269. Chicago Cubs, Brad Zapenas, SS, Boston College (Nashua North H.S.), Nashua, N.H.
1290. Tampa Bay Rays, Mike Bourdon, C, U. Tampa (Northwest Catholic H.S.), Simsbury, Conn.

43rd Round (Wednesday)
1303. Florida Marlins, Drew Leenhouts, LHP, Northeastern (Franklin H.S.), Franklin, Mass.
1310. St. Louis Cardinals, Chris Costantino, RHP, Walters State CC (Bishop Hendricken H.S.), Lincoln, R.I.

44th Round (Wednesday)
1349. New York Yankees, Adam Ravenelle, RHP, Lincoln-Sudbury H.S., Sudbury, Mass.

45th Round (Wednesday)
1372. Boston Red Sox, Matt Gedman, 2B, UMass (Belmont Hill), Framingham, Mass.
1377. San Francisco Giants, Brian Maloney, LHP, Franklin Pierce (Brockton H.S.), Brockton, Mass.

46th Round (Wednesday)
1389. Chicago Cubs, Scott Weismann, RHP, Clemson (Acton-Boxborough H.S.), Boxborough, Mass.

48th Round (Wednesday)
1443. Seattle Mariners, Max Krakowiak, RHP, Fordham (Staples H.S.), Westport, Conn.
1448. Cleveland Indians, Blaine O'Brien, RHP, Keystone College (Scituate H.S.), Scituate, Mass.

50th Round (Wednesday)
1522. Boston Red Sox, John Gorman, RHP, Catholic Memorial, Norwood, Mass.
Tags:

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