High-SchoolMassachusetts: Jonathan DiBiaso

The past 12 months have been interesting, to say the least. To help us break down everything that happened in 2011 (and look forward to 2012), we're bringing in some experts.

Everett football won its second consecutive Super Bowl this season, and no two players were more valuable than senior quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso and junior offensive lineman John Montelus. DiBiaso broke the state record for passing touchdowns (again), and Montelus was there to make sure his quarterback had a clean pocket to do it from.

We asked the duo about the best of 2011, and they gave us the answers.

* Players' responses are in Everett Crimson.

THE VERY BEST OF 2011

Best High School Team
DiBiaso:
I may be biased, but I'd say us. We won every single game by double digits, and every fourth quarter just came down to us running the clock out. Overall I think we scored with a really exciting offense, and we did it by throwing and spreading it out, which you don't see a lot in Massachusetts.
Montelus: Everett, of course.

Best High School Athlete
DiBiaso:
I'd say Pat Connaughton. He was a two-sport athlete and went to a Division I school in Notre Dame for basketball and baseball. I know how hard it is to do it for one sport, so doing it for two is incredible.
Montelus:
Preston Cooper from BC High. He's was probably the best athlete I saw this season at running back. I felt bad for him because he tore his ankle and it's going to take a lot to come back. But he's a great athlete.

Your Best Moment of 2011 (On the field)
DiBiaso:
The Super Bowl game was probably my best moment. It was the last game for me playing in Everett, and it was a really exciting game. It was an emotional game for me.
Montelus: Definitely winning the Super Bowl this year.

Your Best Moment of 2011 (Off the field)
DiBiaso:
I'd say probably getting my first offer. I was just hanging out with my friends on a random day, and the coach from Harvard called and said they were going to offer me. It really was a weight off my shoulders. I worked hard for it, so that was probably my best moment.
Montelus: Getting my first scholarship offer at the end of the summer. UConn offered me.

Your New Year's Resolution (On the field)
DiBiaso:
Right now I play on the basketball team and we're 0-4, so winning a game and making the tournament would be my goal. It's been a shaky start. We've lost more games to start the season than in my entire football career, so we have to turn it around.
Montelus: To get bigger. I want to try to reach 300 pounds and get more offers.

Your New Year's Resolution (Off the field)
DiBiaso:
Just setting a good example and doing things the right way.
Montelus: I want to focus on getting my GPA up.

Pro Athlete of the Year
DiBiaso:
Tim Tebow. I think he brings a lot of excitement to the NFL. With all those comebacks, people were wondering if it was coming from heaven and bringing them life in the fourth quarter. And come the fourth quarter, it's all over Twitter and Facebook -- Everyone would have Tebow statuses.
Montelus: I gotta go with Ndamukong Suh. He's just a dominant player down on the line.

Best Pro Championship Team
DiBiaso:
I'm not a big Boston fan, but living here and seeing the hype and excitement around the Bruins, that was one of the biggest stories of the year. They didn't win it for so long, but they made Boston a hockey city again.
Montelus: Definitely the Packers, because half the team was injured and they still managed to pull it out. No one expected Aaron Rodgers to be this good, but he's one of the best in the game.

Most Memorable Game
DiBiaso:
The NBA Finals. With all the hype and anticipation from the Heat forming a dream team, then Wade and LeBron making fun of Dirk before the game, it was just a lot of drama. Then the Mavs came out and shut them up and made a lot of NBA fans happy. They proved it's not always the best players that win, it's the best team.
Montelus: The most interesting game I watched was the Seahawks and the Saints in last year's playoffs. I was at home watching with my cousin, and we were just going crazy.

The one story you want to leave in 2011
DiBiaso:
I'm kind of sick of AAU sports. Basketball is big up here, but there's a lot of kids in my area who don't stay in public schools. They play AAU and go to prep schools, which aggravates me because I'd rather play for my own city and have pride in where I come from.
Montelus: I'm tired of listening to Tim Tebow. All you hear is Tebow talk, and in my opinion he's just an OK quarterback. He's not Drew Brees or Tom Brady, but on SportsCenter it's Tebow this and Tebow that. It's enough.

Disagree with the Best of 2011? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and make your case.
5

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you're putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you're making that special list for Santa, there's nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we're bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: Massachusetts A-Listers

What is an A-Lister? In Hollywood, it's the George Clooney and Julia Roberts crowd. In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. The A-List is the best of the best. So which athletes can be considered A-Listers in Massachusetts this year? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state.

Jonathan DiBiaso
Everett, Football
Credentials: Named 2011 Gatorade State Player of the Year after throwing state-record 44 touchdown passes; threw 43 TD passes in 2010; led Everett to Super Bowl championships in 2010 and 2011.

Ryan Fitzgerald, Junior
Malden Catholic, Hockey
Credentials: Led MC to Super Eight championship last year; tough call between Fitzgerald and senior teammate Brendan Collier, but Fitzgerald's 24 goals and 42 assists in 2010-11 were tops on the team. Committed to Boston College.

Jake Layman, Senior
King Philip, Basketball
Credentials: Ranked No. 53 nationally in the ESPNU 100; averaged 24.6 points, 13.6 rebounds and 4.6 blocks last year; committed to Maryland.

Armani Reeves, Senior
Catholic Memorial, Football
Credentials: Named ESPN Boston Offensive Player of the Year after running for 1,001 yards and scoring 15 total touchdowns; committed to Penn State.

Rhett Wiseman, Senior
BB&N, Baseball
Credentials: A potential first-round draft pick, Wiseman batted .447 with 11 home runs and 29 steals last year; committed to Vanderbilt.

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Tomorrow: The top underclassman football players from Massachusetts.

Think I missed someone who should be on the A-List? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala) and make your case.

DiBiaso named ESPN Boston Mr. Football

December, 5, 2011
12/05/11
2:51
PM ET
Everett quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso has been named Mr. Football by ESPN Boston after breaking his own state record for touchdown passes in a season. DiBiaso, a senior, tossed 44 TDs this season while leading Everett to its second consecutive Super Bowl championship. He threw 43 touchdown passes last year.

To read the complete story from ESPN Boston, click here.

DiBiaso wins Gatorade POY

December, 1, 2011
12/01/11
12:59
PM ET
Last year, Jonathan DiBiaso helped his Everett teammate Matt Costello win the Gatorade State Player of the Year award. This time around, DiBiaso is the winner after breaking his own Massachusetts record for touchdown passes in a season and leading Everett back to the Super Bowl.

DiBiaso, a senior quarterback, has tossed 44 TD passes and thrown for 2,731 yards through 12 games, all Everett wins. He's also the state's all-time leader in touchdown passes with 103.

There were other strong candidates for the award — including Duxbury senior QB Matt O'Keefe and Catholic Memorial senior WR/RB Armani Reeves. But I think the Gatorade guys got this one right. DiBiaso has capped off a truly great career with his best season, and that makes him a worthy winner in my book. Now let's see if he can finish it off with another Super Bowl championship on Saturday.

To see the complete rundown of DiBiaso credentials, click here.

To see all the winners from every state, click here.

Mr. Football down to five finalists

November, 21, 2011
11/21/11
4:35
PM ET
ESPN Boston announced the five finalists for the 2011 Mr. Football award today, and the names on the list should sound very familiar.

Everett quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso is a finalist, and he's joined by Duxbury quarterback Matt O'Keefe, Catholic Memorial running back/receiver Armani Reeves, Chelmsford linebacker Tim Joy and Putnam running back Melquawn Pinkney.

At this point, I'd have to single out DiBiaso as the frontrunner. He's leading the No. 1 team in the state, and he's arguably having an even better year than he did in 2010, when he set the state's single-season TD pass record. Here's what the ESPN Boston story has to say about Dibs:
The returning All-Stater more than lived up to his hype so far in the 2011 season, breaking the state's all-time mark of 85 career touchdown passes late last month. And with as many as three games left on the slate, he could not only put it into triple-digits (he currently has 97), but out of reach. Through 10 games for the undefeated No. 1 Crimson Tide, he has completed 148 of 250 passes for 2,407 yards and 38 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Since the start of the 2010 season, DiBiaso has thrown 81 touchdown passes to just 10 interceptions.

You also have to be impressed with the season Pinkney is having. The senior has already rushed for 2,113 yards and 33 touchdowns. Maybe it's because of an EMass bias (I admit, I've seen a lot more of DiBiaso than I have of Pinkney), but if pressed for a vote right now I'd cast it for DiBiaso.

Thankfully, there's still a lot of football to be played.

To read the complete ESPN Boston story, click here.

Week 9 picks: Showdown in the Dot

November, 4, 2011
11/04/11
2:51
PM ET
The most interesting football game on the Week 9 slate is in Dorchester, where No. 3 BC High is hosting Xaverian in a Catholic Conference showdown.

BC High is without star running back Preston Cooper, who was lost for the season when he injured his ankle two weeks ago, but the offense looked good last week. Senior Deonte Ramey-Doe stepped into the primary tailback role and looked smooth, but Xaverian's defense is a challenge unto itself. Hawks' Defensive tackle Mo Hurst had two sacks last week in a win over St. John's (Shrewsbury).

With such a compact league schedule, each game becomes magnified. Expect a playoff-level atmosphere for this one, and it leads off our weekly picks.

Week 9 picks

Xaverian (5-3) at No. 3 BC High (5-3)
Friday, 7 p.m.
Winner of this game may be the Division 1 Super Bowl favorite. I think Xaverian's defense steps up here.
XAVERIAN 24, BC HIGH 14

No. 6 Lincoln-Sudbury (8-0) at Acton-Boxboro (5-3)
Friday, 7 p.m.
I picked against L-S last week, but I'm a believer now.
LINCOLN-SUDBURY 28, ACTON-BOXBORO 14

No. 1 Everett (8-0) at Somerville (1-7)
Friday, 7 p.m.
After setting the state record for career TD passes last week, Jonathan DiBiaso can focus on winning (and maybe getting to 100).
EVERETT 45, SOMERVILLE 6

Hanover (4-4) at No. 2 Duxbury (8-0)
Friday, 7 p.m.
The Hanover offense is waaaaay too inconsistent to hang with the Dragons for four quarters.
DUXBURY 35, HANOVER 12

Lowell (5-3) at No. 4 Chelmsford (7-1)
Friday, 7 p.m.
The Lowell offense can be slowed down, and Chelmsford has the personnel to do it.
CHELMSFORD 28, LOWELL 13

No. 7 Auburn (7-1) at Northbridge (4-4)
Friday, 7 p.m.
Auburn has been able to slow the Northbridge passing game in the past. Take the Rockets here.
AUBURN 34, NORTHBRIDGE 21

No. 5 Bridgewater-Raynham (6-1) at Barnstable (4-4)
Friday, 6 p.m.
Like Lowell-Chelmsford, this one also pits a spread offense against a tough defense. I'll take the B-R defense every time.
BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM 31, BARNSTABLE 20

Think I made a bad call? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).
No. 1 Everett didn't encounter any drama on the field this weekend, dispatching Medford, 41-14 on Saturday. But there was a monumental moment during the game, as Crimson Tide quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso broke the state's all-time record for touchdown passes. DiBiaso, a senior, threw four TD passes in the first quarter to bring his career total to 86. The record-breaker was a beautiful 55-yard bomb to Jaylen McRae. DiBiaso finished with six touchdowns in the game, pushing the new record to 88.

The rest of the POWERADE state rankings remain the same this week, as every squad was victorious.
  1. Everett (8-0) — Defeated Medford, 41-14 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Duxbury (8-0) — Defeated Silver Lake, 34-7 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Boston College (5-3) — Defeated Malden Catholic, 44-7 (last week: No. 3)
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings.

Week 7 preview: Everett vs. BC High

October, 21, 2011
10/21/11
2:34
PM ET
If you're a high school football fan with any self-respect, you should drive to Everett on Saturday afternoon, park within a few miles of Memorial Stadium, hit up the fried dough cart and settle in for what could be the game of the year in Massachusetts.

The Game:
No. 3 BC High (4-2) at No. 1 Everett (6-0)
Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

The Players:
BC High — In order to stand a chance against Everett, you've got to keep the Crimson Tide under 30 points somehow. I say that because I can't envision any team in the state hanging a 30-spot on the Everett defense. BC High placed two defensive players on the ESPNBoston Midseason All-State Team in junior LB Luke Catarius and senior DB Gordon McLeod, but the Eagles looked vulnerable against the pass in both of their losses this season, surrendering 49 and 35 points. Think a bad pass defense is going to work against Everett QB Jonathan DiBiaso?

Everett — As always, it starts with DiBiaso. He's four TD passes away from setting the state record for a career, and if BC High doesn't correct their secondary problems, he could set the mark in this game. WR Kenny Calaj is going to be a tough matchup for BC High, as Everett likes to move him around the field. DiBiaso should have plenty of chances to make big plays; if he can execute, Everett is looking good.

The Stakes:
Look forward with me for a moment. If Everett ends up winning the Division 1A Super Bowl and BC High wins the D1 Super Bowl (both distinct possibilities — they're currently the top-ranked team in each division), this head-to-head matchup would be the determining factor in which team was truly better.

The Prediction:
BC High is one of the few teams in the state that can match Everett in terms of talent and playmakers. But I can't shake the feeling that the Eagles' pass defense was exposed in each of their two games against good throwing teams. BC High isn't winning a shootout, so I see this one going to the Crimson Tide.
EVERETT 35, BC HIGH 20

Click here for the rest of the Week 7 picks.

Week 6 football: Xaverian vs. Everett

October, 14, 2011
10/14/11
3:08
PM ET
This week's most intriguing matchup had the potential be the game of the season, but No. 5 Xaverian lost to No. 2 Duxbury last weekend, spoiling what could have been a 1 vs. 2 showdown. It's still going to be one of the best-played games of 2011, as these are two talented squads. Everett is once again the best team in Massachusetts, while Xaverian has legit Division 1 Super Bowl hopes.

The Game:
No. 5 Xaverian (4-1) at No. 1 Everett (5-0)
Saturday, 2 p.m.

The Players:
Xaverian — The Hawks employ a QB time share, with Chris Calvanese and Austin DeCarr both getting significant snaps. Both are capable of hitting the big pass down the middle of the field, a staple of the Xaverian offense. When DeCarr is under center, Calvanese moves around the field and lines up at WR and RB, where his athleticism causes matchup problems for the defense.

Everett — The first thing any opponent has to consider is QB Jonathan DiBiaso. Give him time in the pocket and he will find the open man. But while Everett has turned to the passing game in recent years, the 2011 Crimson Tide have a power running presence in senior Vondell Langston. On defense, DE Ralph Jonathas will try to hem in the Xaverian QBs.

The Stakes:
For Xaverian, this is the second "statement game" in a row. After blowing a fourth-quarter lead at home against No. 2 Duxbury last week, a win over Everett would completely erase any negative vibes and cement the Hawks as the Division 1 favorite. Everett is looking to make a statement of its own — the Crimson Tide play No. 3 BC High next week, and sweeping those two games would give them a clear path to another undefeated season.

The Prediction:
Xaverian needs to attack through the air to be successful, but it has to be on the Hawks' terms. If Everett gets out front and forces Xaverian to play catch-up, things could get out of hand quickly. In the end, I don't think Xaverian has the athletes up front to slow down Langston and the rest of the Everett running attack, which will open up the entire playbook for DiBiaso.
EVERETT 38, XAVERIAN 20

For the rest of my picks, check out yesterday's post by clicking here.
Quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso threw four touchdown passes, but it was the Everett defense that keyed the Crimson Tide's 34-21 win over Barnstable on Saturday. The No. 1 Tide forced a pair of red-zone turnovers in sealing the win. First, junior Jalen Felix intercepted Barnstable QB D.J. Crook in the end zone. Later, Crook was sacked and fumbled, and Everett's Joey White scooped up the ball and ran 95 yards for the game-clinching touchdown.

The only change near the top of the Massachusetts POWERADE rankings is the flip-flopping of BC High and Xaverian. BC High lost its second game (both to New Jersey schools), and while we overlooked the first out-of-state loss, Xaverian simply looks better right now.
  1. Everett, 4-0 — Defeated Barnstable, 34-21 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Duxbury, 4-0 — Defeated Whitman-Hanson, 37-0 (last week: No. 2)
  3. Xaverian, 4-0 — Defeated Somerville, 44-0 (last week: No. 4)
Click for complete POWERADE state rankings
No. 1 Everett has looked invincible through the first three weeks of the season, but they'll be facing a different kind of test tomorrow against Barnstable. The Raiders feature one of the state's most prolific passing attacks, led by senior QB D.J. Crook. Barnstable likely won't be able to slow down the Everett offense at all (too much size, skill, Jonathan DiBiaso, etc), so it should be an entertaining game.

The Game:
No. 1 Everett at Barnstable
Saturday, 4 p.m.

The Players:
Everett — You know all about Jonathan DiBiaso, but Vondell Langston has been incredible this season. The senior LB/RB is a powerful runner on offense and one of the Crimson Tide's most powerful defensive players. He'll have work cut out for him on the defensive side tomorrow, chasing Barnstable receivers across the middle.

Barnstable — D.J. Crook is working toward the state record for touchdown passes, so slowing him down is obviously the main objective for Everett. But Crook is mobile and decisive, so he should have time to make plays. He'll need to have a huge game to keep Barnstable in it.

The Stakes:
For Everett, the Tide gets to test themselves against a different type of offensive attack. Barnstable gets to host the undisputed No. 1 team in the state and try to pull the upset.

The Prediction:
Barnstable can try to spread it out all they want, but the Everett defense will prove to be too good. They'll wear down the Barnstable offensive line and have Crook running for his life by the end of the game. On defense, Everett will crank up the running game and finish it off with DiBiaso passes in the red zone.
EVERETT 42, BARNSTABLE 16

Other notable games:

Millbury at No. 5 Auburn
Friday, 7 p.m.
It won't be long before this Auburn grad is picking the Rockets to score in triple digits. AUBURN 54, MILLBURY 10

St. Peter's Prep (N.J.) at No. 3 BC High
Saturday, 2 p.m.
BC High may need help from the actual Saint Peter to have a prayer in this one. ST. PETER'S PREP 45, BC HIGH 28

Whitman-Hanson at No. 2 Duxbury
Dragons quarterback Matt O'Keefe is making a run at Player of the Year honors, and he'll keep it going in this game. DUXBURY 35, WHITMAN-HANSON 14
Everett's non-league schedule is as challenging as any in the state, and Week 2 saw the Crimson Tide welcome Western Mass contender Springfield Central. Though Central had been upset by Putnam in Week 1, the matchup was still anticipated as a test for Everett. But senior QB Jonathan DiBiaso fired three touchdown passes and the Tide rolled, 42-13. So much for tests.

No. 3 BC High is also playing a tough early-season schedule, and it came back to bite the Eagles on Saturday, as they traveled to New Jersey and were beaten by DePaul, 49-35. The result didn't cause BC High to drop in the POWERADE state rankings, as it was an out-of-state contest, but it did expose some problems with the Eagles' pass defense.

No. 7 Auburn ran its state-best winning streak to 39 games with a 14-13 win over Holliston.
  1. Everett, 2-0 — Defeated Springfield Central, 42-13 (last week: No. 1)
  2. Duxbury, 2-0 — Defeated Plymouth North, 35-20 (last week: No. 2)
  3. BC High, 1-1 — Lost to DePaul (N.J.), 49-35 (last week: No. 3)
Click for full POWERADE Massachusetts rankings
The high school football slate is kicking off with a bang tonight, as a pair of Division 1 Super Bowl hopefuls clash in Dorchester. No. 6 Brockton brings its power rushing game to No. 3 BC High. This game traditionally comes down to the fourth quarter, and I expect another tight one this time around. Both teams are talented and loaded with veterans at key spots — in short, either one of these teams could raise the Super Bowl trophy in December.

The Game:
No. 6 Brockton at No. 3 BC High
Friday, 7 p.m.

The Players:
BC High — The Eagles are led by a pair of top skill players in senior RB Preston Cooper and senior TE Jameson McShea. Cooper ran for more than 1,500 yards last season to earn Catholic Conference MVP honors, while McShea is an ESPNHS All-State first team selection.
Brockton — Senior QB Paul Mroz was good last year, throwing 12 TD passes and running for eight more. With a deep array of weapons around him this season, he could see his production explode.

The Stakes:
The winner of this game will probably be considered the early favorite to take home the Division 1 Super Bowl.

The Prediction:
Brockton might field the best defense BC High will face all season, but I think the Eagles will be able to move the ball in spurts. I see two, maybe three touchdown drives, mostly powered by Cooper. The shifty back is dangerous catching the ball out of the backfield, and he's as difficult to tackle as anyone in the state. I think Brockton's defense can eventually wear down BC's front, and passing the ball will be risky in the fourth quarter. A big turnover could turn the game for Brockton, but if BC High is smart with the ball, I think the Eagles hold on to a tight lead. Brockton's offense has potential, but there are too many moving parts and it's too early in the season. The Boxers will get better, but they don't have the firepower to mount a late drive in this game. BC HIGH 15, BROCKTON 13

Other notable games

Leominster at No. 1 Everett
Everett's defense will be tested by Leominster's new spread attack, but the Crimson Tide have the athletes to get it done. Jonathan DiBiaso kicks off his senior season in style, tossing four TDs. EVERETT 35, LEOMINSTER 7

Bridgewater-Raynham at No. 2 Duxbury
Everything is in place for Duxbury to enjoy one of the best seasons in program history. It starts with a convincing win over a tough, tough B-R squad. DUXBURY 26, BRIDGEWATER-RAYNHAM 10

No. 4 Catholic Memorial at Marshfield
We're excited to see the CM offense in action, as it's not often that an EMass team trots out multiple Division I recruits. An Armani Reeves kick/punt return blows this one open. CATHOLIC MEMORIAL 24, MARSHFIELD 17

North Andover at No. 7 Andover
The Andrew Coke show is back for another season. He drops 160-plus and the Golden Warriors roll. ANDOVER 38, NORTH ANDOVER 14

No. 10 Auburn at Shrewsbury
If you're waiting for me to pick against Auburn, it's already been over a decade. The Rockets continue the fourth-longest winning streak in the nation, running it up to 37. AUBURN 20, SHREWSBURY 14

Draft day: Picking the state's best

September, 7, 2011
9/07/11
2:01
PM ET
Just for fun, I thought we'd take a different approach to our 2011 football preview. Instead of going through the top players in Massachusetts one by one, why not stage a mock fantasy draft? We rounded up 10 GMs willing to play along — a group made up of ESPNHS staff, ESPNBoston gurus and even a couple of the state's top players. After a lottery to determine the order, we jumped right in. Of course, there is no league and we probably just wasted a lot of time, but it was an amusing way to waste it. And big thanks to Nick LaSpada and Jonathan DiBiaso, two of the state's hardest-working QBs, for taking part in this. Here are the Round 1 results:

1st Annual ESPNHS Massachusetts Mock Fantasy Football Draft

Round 1, Pick 1
GM: Matt Remsberg, ESPNHS senior editor
Selection: WR/RB Armani Reeves — Catholic Memorial, Sr.
Strategy: I was tempted to take Billerica's Nick LaSpada or Everett's Jonathan DiBiaso here, but I'm reluctant to take a QB in the first round of any fantasy draft — even fake high school fantasy drafts. I love Reeves' versatility, and the Penn State commit should rack up the TDs this season.

Round 1, Pick 2
GM: Brandon Parker, ESPNHS associate editor
Selection: QB Jonathan DiBiaso — Everett, Sr.
Strategy: I normally don't like taking quarterbacks this high either, but it's hard to look past the numbers DiBiaso put up last year. The two times I've won fantasy football titles, quarterbacks have been critical (hello Tom Brady in 2007), and after DiBiaso's junior campaign of 43 scores and just four interceptions, I like this kid running the show for my squad.

Round 1, Pick 3
GM: Chris Parish, ESPNHS associate editor
Selection: RB George Craan — Concord-Carslisle, Sr.
Strategy: Normally I'd take LaSpada, but I really want to see if he picks himself. So instead I'm going with George Craan. He's got perfect size to dominate at 5-11 and 210 pounds, and his numbers last season don't lie. He'll go for more than 2,000 yards this year and I think he'll find the end zone 26 or 27 times, and you can't ignore numbers like those in a fantasy draft.

Round 1, Pick 4
GM: Nick LaSpada, Billerica QB/2009 Gatorade POY
Selection: QB Nick LaSpada — Billerica, Sr.
Strategy: I really like my skill position players this year, and our offense has been working hard to be ready for the start of the season. If our team is playing well, the numbers will be there. And I feel I can change games on both offense and defense.

Round 1, Pick 5
GM: Scott Barboza, ESPNBoston editor/reporter
Selection: LB Tim Joy — Chelmsford, Sr.
Strategy: They say championships are built on defense right? Well, Joy will hope to lead the Lions to a Merrimack Valley Large title this year. The BC commit is an imposing presence at 6-2, 220 pounds and is a tackling machine with 131 stops last year.

Round 1, Pick 6
GM: Brendan Hall, ESPNBoston reporter/editor
Selection: QB Paul Mroz — Brockton, Sr.
Strategy: In my opinion, the most underrated passer in New England. They grow up quick in the City of Champions, and it's hard not to root for this kid after everything he's been through off the field. I definitely want this kid in the clutch — he's a natural leader.

Round 1, Pick 7
GM: Jonathan DiBiaso, Everett QB
Selection: RB Andrew Coke — Andover, Sr.
Strategy: I played against Andrew last season and trained with him over the summer. He's a tough, hard-nosed runner with great vision, and in the open field I don't see anyone catching him from behind. Andover runs an offense that is built around him, and like he did last season, I see him putting up monster numbers this fall.

Round 1, Pick 8
GM: David Auguste, ESPNHS associate editor
Selection: RB Preston Cooper — BC High, Sr.
Strategy: I was immediately sold on this kid, and I'm ecstatic he fell to me at No. 8. I watched a play last year where Cooper flattened an oncoming corner with a stiff arm, juked a linebacker out of his cleats with a nasty cutback, then reversed field for a touchdown. It's those kinds of runs that lead me to believe he will improve on last year's 1,500-yard campaign. CHAMPIONSHIP!

Round 1, Pick 9
GM: Mike Grimala, ESPNHS associate editor
Selection: RB Karl Sery — Hudson, Sr.
Strategy: I'm a CMass guy, so you know I'm going outside 495 for my first pick. Sery ran for more than 1,400 yards last year, and most of his offensive line returns intact this season. I think he's a good bet to run for 20-plus touchdowns, and if he adds a few more TDs on interception returns, hey I'll take those too. Now I just have to hope there's a good QB available in the next round.

Round 1, Pick 10
GM: Jon Mahoney, ESPNHS senior editor
Selection: QB A.J. Doyle — Catholic Memorial, Sr.
Strategy: As a BC High Alum, it pains me to pick a CM kid. But North Carolina State coach Tom O'Brien knows his quarterbacks (ever heard of Matt Ryan or Russell Wilson?), so if this kid's good enough for the Wolfpack, he's good enough for my team. And with Armani Reeves as his top target, I expect a big year out of Doyle.

For Round 2 results, click here.

Have a suggestion for my pick? Hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).

Stock is rising for Severin, Henry

August, 23, 2011
8/23/11
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In this week's edition of All-State Stock Watch (aka the first edition of All-State Stock Watch), we're looking at All-State football players who saw their potential value rise or fall over the summer. A player could have performed well at a camp, gotten a big-time scholarship offer, or broken a leg. Whatever the case, I chart all the data (in my head) and give you the biggest movers of the week.

STOCK WATCH

UP — Canaan Severin, Worcester Academy WR
No one's profile has risen like Severin's since last season. The senior receiver is big (6-foot-2, 210 pounds), fast and explosive, and his skills were on display in July at the Champion Gridiron Kings competition in Orlando, Fla. Teams were made up of elite players from across the country, and Severin contributed a touchdown catch as his squad made it to the finals. He plans to announce his college decision soon and counts Boston College, Penn State, UConn and Iowa among his top choices.

DOWN — Jonathan DiBiaso, Everett QB
This may be a bit of a stretch here, as no one expects DiBiaso to take a step back this season. But I fully expect his numbers to come back to earth after a perfect storm scenario unfolded in 2010. DiBiaso was brilliant in throwing a state-record 43 touchdown passes last season, but with Gatorade State Player of the Year Matt Costello having graduated, DiBiaso won't have his top receiving target. Also gone is receiver Manny Asprilla, who is playing at Boston College now. So while DiBiaso is still a first team All-State selection and the quarterback of the No. 1 team in Massachusetts, don't expect him to approach last year's record-setting numbers. For that, he gets tagged with a "DOWN" grade.

UP — Donovan Henry, Catholic Memorial DB
Henry's summer started out a bit on the disappointing side, as he pulled a hamstring prior to the New England track championships (he went undefeated in the 200 during the season), but he rallied in a hurry. After attending a one-day camp at Boston College, Henry committed to the Eagles in July. He'll play defensive back in college, but this fall he'll be pulling double duty at safety and running back. Look for the speedy playmaker to put up crazy stats in 2011.

Disagree with any stock picks? Or have a suggestion for next week? Leave a comment below or hit me on Twitter (@ESPNHSGrimala).

For the complete All-State football team, click here.

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