2009 EMASS Football Preview

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Div 4 Mayflower (Large)

Bishop Connolly

  • Last year's record: 1-9
  • Strength: Defensive line and backfield.
  • Concerns: Special teams and depth on offensive line and at linebacker.
  • Coach: Frank Sherman (6th season, 12-53-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 8 lettermen
    • Carlin Desmaris, G/LB, Junior, 6-1, 190
    • Zach Ferreria, G/DE, Senior, 6-1, 215
    • Adam Ferreria, C/DL, Junior, 6-0, 218
    • Ricky Landis, WR, Senior, 5-10, 170
    • Scott Mallie, DL/G, Senior, 6-3, 360
    • Alex Paiva, G/DT, Senior, 6-1, 235
    • Jacob White, FB/LB, Senior, 5-10, 176
    • Daves Wright, QB, Senior, 5-11, 185

Coming off a season that saw the Cougars go through four different quarterbacks and countless other players due to a bevy of injuries, Sherman has emphasized avoiding nagging and minor injuries, and being aggressive on both sides of the ball. Daves Wright, who started at tailback for much of 2008 before being installed as the Cougars' quarterback, has had an entire training camp under center. Sherman expects him to be an integral part of an offense that should feature everything from double tight end sets to twin wide receiver sets. He "has to recognize what the other team is giving him and audible or check down," Sherman says. "He's just got to play smart." Wright will be flanked by in the backfield by senior Jacob White and transfer Hunter Laffin. at 6-2, 185 pounds, Laffin will play both ways and Sherman touts the Colorado native's quickness, strength and technical ability. Laffin (at defensive end), sophomore defensive back Marcus Delgado, junior defensive lineman Adam Ferreria and 360-pound senior Scott Mallie are players to watch in Sherman's blitz-happy defense.

Blue Hills

  • Last year's record: 7-4
  • Strength: Overall speed.
  • Concerns: Inexperience on offensive and defensive lines.
  • Coach: Ed Catabia (2nd season, 7-4)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games

The Warriors' personnel at quarterback and fullback will be different from 2008, but the approach will remain the same: four or five yards of bruising ground attack at a time. Replacing Kevin Murphy, 2008's Division 3A scoring leader, at fullback will be sophomore Myles Comeau. His downhill running style will be offset by the speed of running backs Jordan Reed, Gabriel Casado and Hadi Dah. Junior quarterback Kevin Bennett will almost exclusively "hand the ball off and fake very well," Catabia says. "He does a pretty good job of that. He can throw down field, but he's not that accurate yet. Our strength is our running attack." Even though the Warriors' stout offensive line lost Kyle Pervis, "the glue that held these kids together [last season]," Catabia hopes senior captain Derreack Latham can fill Pervis's shoes. Latham will be leaned on defensively too at end, along with seniors Scott Weld (defensive tackle) and Brendan Englehart (defensive end). The Warriors' defense will play mainly four and five-man fronts with Catabia implementing lots of stunting and slanting. He admits, though, that his team may be undersized for the smashmouth Mayflower Large. "We're not that big but we're pretty quick, so some team speed and some luck, some lady luck [will help]."


  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Quarterback and linebackers
  • Concerns: Inexperience on offensive and defensive lines
  • Coach: John Parris (2nd season, 6-5)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 11 lettermen
    • Joe Arruba, FB/CB, Junior, 5-8, 160
    • Evan Cabral, QB, Senior, 5-10, 165
    • Matt Cornell, OL/WB, Junior, 5-8, 170
    • Wayne DeVaughn, CB/TE, Senior, 6-1, 190
    • Brooks Farria, TB/LB, Junior, 5-8, 155
    • Ben Leonard, CB/WR, Senior, 6-1, 185
    • Justice Lima, NT/RT, Senior, 6-1, 305
    • Harrison McNeil, FB/ML, Senior, 5-11, 210
    • Matt Shertlift, LB/G, Senior, 6-1, 225
    • Kevin Sullivan, G/ML, Senior, 5-9, 220
    • Nick Welbey, WB/S, Senior, 5-10, 160

Coach John Parris says this season's motto is "no excuses." In his second season at the helm, Parris is expecting mistakes derived from inexperience and confusion in his defensive system to be reduced and his players to be responsible for their actions. "Last year with the new offense and defense, kids had excuses why they didn't know what to do," Parris explains. "This year, they know I won't accept excuses." With senior captains Harrison McNeil and Kevin Sullivan anchoring the linebackers, and Ben Leonard and Wayne DeVaughn darting around the secondary, the Craftsmen's defense should be a force this season. Offensively, senior captain and quarterback Evan Cabral's arm is expected to catch up to his legs. Said Parris, "his throwing has improved leaps and bounds. He's going to be a legit threat through the air this year." Parris is hopeful sophomore running back Jesse McCartney (6-1, 200 pounds) will shoulder a bulk of the carries this season with four members of the backfield graduated from 2008. Parris touted McCartney's "breakaway speed" as well as his "ability to pound the ball." Expect him to balance the offense.

Cape Cod Tech

  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Senior leadership and work ethic.
  • Concerns: Lack of experience at quarterback.
  • Coach: David Currid (8th season, 44-27-1)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 8 lettermen
    • Tyler Amato, RB/LB, Senior, 5-10, 200
    • Mike Brigham, QB/DE, Junior, 5-9, 185
    • Ken Eldredge, OL/DL, Senior, 6-3, 240
    • Jake Field, OL/DL, Senior, 6-2, 265
    • Taylor Inkley, RB/LB, Senior, 6-0, 175
    • Joe Little, OL/DL, Senior, 5-10, 205
    • David McWilliams, TE/DE, Senior, 6-1, 200
    • Jeff Wolcott, RB/LB, Junior, 5-10, 195

The Crusaders lost their best player from 2008, quarterback Michael Hamilton, but coach David Currid is still confident entering 2009. Though he admits the leadership and athletic ability of Hamilton can't be replaced, Currid is confident that the senior guidance of captains Joe Little, Taylor Inkley and Tylor Amato will help bridge the gap Hamilton's departure created. Junior Daniel Peters, who played baseball in the spring and has minimal football experience, has a grasp on the starting quarterback job. Currid calls Peters a "student of football" and says he has been gaining knowledge quickly. Balancing the offense will be a trio of seniors in the backfield: Nick Gault, Greg Flemin and Inkley. A 5-3 defense has been retained in an attempt to counteract the bruising running games of the Mayflower Large.


  • Last year's record: 6-5
  • Strength: Passing game.
  • Concerns: Team inexperience.
  • Coach: Richard Vickrey (4th season, 7-36)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 1 lettermen
    • Bryan Yun, QB, Junior

The Bengals have improved in each of the three seasons that Vickrey has been at the helm and look to finish above .500 for the second straight season. Junior quarterback Brian Yun will lead the offense, with senior tight end Justin DeSilva as Yun's main target. Vickrey will be moving to a 4-4 formation on defense this season, which will look to improve on the 200 points allowed last year. Only five seniors return as starters on either side of the ball though, and the inexperience may lead to another inconsistent season

South Shore Voc-Tech

  • Last year's record: 8-4
  • Strength: Fullbacks and tradition
  • Concerns: Quarterbacks, inexperienced defense
  • Coach: Derek Mariani (11th season, 74-42-2)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 14 lettermen
    • Brandon Brazao, RB/LB, Junior, 5-8, 155
    • Steve Buckley, FB/LB, Junior, 5-5, 150
    • Chris Coronity, OT/DE, Junior, 6-2, 210
    • Cameron Crowley, QB, Junior, 6-1, 165
    • Tony DePaula, TE/DE, Junior, 5-11, 175
    • Dylan Finch, RB/CB, Junior, 6-0, 125
    • Kyle Fitzgerald, G/DE, Junior, 5-8, 165
    • David Franey, TB/S, Senior, 5-8, 165
    • Steve Kimball, TE/LB, Junior, 5-10, 180
    • Scott Lowe, G/LB, Senior, 5-7, 165
    • Ryan Macaluso, TB/DT, Senior, 5-9, 165
    • Michael Murphy, QB/CB, Junior, 5-9, 150
    • Sean Murphy, FB/DT, Senior, 6-3, 235
    • Cristian Ryan, C/NT, Senior, 6-4, 245

One year ago, the Vikings powered their way to a Small Vocational School Super Bowl victory with a menacing run game led by then-senior Frank Mogavero. With him gone, Mariani will lean on senior captain and fullback Sean Murphy while two inexperienced quarterbacks -- junior Michael Murphy and sohomore Jake Petruzzelli -- get their feet wet. He admits both have been nervous in scrimmages. "I don't want to put them in a situation where they have to make plays," Mariani says. "Hopefully our senior backs make the plays." Along with Murphy, senior tailbacks Dave Franey and Ryan Macaluso will share the load, while the Vikings' large offensive line should provide the blocking needed to run down the clock and ease the burden on defense. Citing the only two returning starters on defense, Christian Ryan and Joe Hutchinson, Mariani has concerns the instinctive play-making might not be there from the start. "Reading and recognizing, we're going to be baptism under fire when it comes to that," he says. Instilling and sustaining team confidence will be Mariani's toughest task and he admits 2009 will be a challenging season for him. "This season will put a lot of pressure on me," said Mariani. "I have to instill confidence in [my players]. Confidence is such a huge part of the game... We've just got to learn how to step up to the talent we're playing."


  • Last year's record: 2-9
  • Strength: Speed at skill positions and toughness.
  • Concerns: Lack of experience in backfield, at tackle and linebacker.
  • Coach: Dan Tripp (1st season, 0-0)
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Schedule: Complete list of games
  • showReturning: 38 lettermen
    • Ed Alger
    • Mendelson Armand
    • Brandon Best
    • Tyson Boone
    • Ken Brodie
    • Adam Cannizzaro
    • Bobby Casey
    • Patrick Chadwick
    • Andrew Conners
    • John Deligolia
    • William Diaz
    • John Eckler
    • Stephen Ellis
    • Jeff Feely
    • Riley Fournier
    • Daryl Instasi
    • Matt Knight
    • Zachary Lane
    • Kevin Merrick
    • Jonathan Nelson
    • Fabiano Paiva
    • Anthony Pecca
    • Fred Pierre
    • Hansler Pierre, 0
    • Michelet Prudent
    • Nick Ready, QB, Senior
    • Kevin Rivera
    • Mike Sacks
    • Daniel Salvucci
    • Paul Shaw
    • Matt Small
    • Mike Smith
    • Zachary Spano
    • Tyler Spector
    • Chris Thomas
    • Paul Vincent-Carlet
    • Chris Williams
    • Shane Wilson

Junior Mike Smith has a leg up on the Hawks' starting quarterback position due to his leadership qualities and because he is "grasping [the option-based offense] a bit better" than senior Nick Ready. Because of his size, Ready will be tried at fullback and will play corner back in Tripp's 4-4 defense. Juniors Shane Wilson and Jeff Feely, two defensive ends who "invite contact," will be relied upon heavily to slow down the running games of Mayflower Large opponents. The Hawks' roster may not be chocked full of seniors, but 2008 saw seven sophomores start on each side of the ball, which makes Tripp feel like he has leaders on the field for him because of the experience they gained. "I want us to think we have a shot at the Mayflower championship," Tripp says. "If we keep working and getting better -- and I've seen some good things -- it could be a possibility."

10 games to watch


BC High has won both times they met in the past year, including last season's nail-biting Super Bowl.


Walpole hopes to put a tumultuous off-season in the rearview mirror as they start their 2009 campaign.


In an interesting non-league match-up, Hurd Stadium in Beverly will host its first-ever night football game.