Xaverian’s wire-to-wire run leaves no doubt

By Michael Grossi
Globe Correspondent / December 13, 2009

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Xaverian finished the season where it started, at the top of the Globe Top 20 football rankings. The Hawks went wire to wire as the No. 1 team, finishing with a 13-0 record and a Division 1 title.

Led by junior running back Joe Colton and senior quarterback Alex Phelan, Xaverian roughed up Everett in the Super Bowl, 29-0. The Hawks also got wins this season against two Top 20 teams: No. 4 Brockton (twice, once in the playoffs) and No. 10 Bridgewater-Raynham.

Reading’s perfect season earned it the No. 2 spot as the Rockets saved their best football for the playoffs. They shut down the high-powered offenses of No. 11 Dracut and No. 5 Natick in the postseason, allowing a combined 6 points while averaging 23 on their way to a Division 2 Super Bowl title.

Gloucester comes it at No. 3. The undefeated Fishermen utilized their wing-T attack to plow through the snow at Gillette Stadium and control the ball against Bridgewater-Raynham in the Division 1A Super Bowl.

Two more Super Bowl winners round out the back end of the Top 20. Austin Prep makes its first appearance in the rankings, taking No. 19. The Cougars toppled previously undefeated Holliston in the Division 3A Super Bowl behind the running of Ray Acciavatti and the passing of Jon Richard.

Whittier slides into the final spot thanks to its 14-12 victory in the Division 4 Super Bowl.

The Division 2A Super Bowl champion, Marshfield, ranks 13th, and Division 3 champion Bishop Feehan is 15th.

In other final rankings:

Girls’ soccer
Acton-Boxboro couldn’t cap a magical season with a win in the state title game against Algonquin, but a flawless mark in Eastern Mass. keeps it as the No. 1 team in the Globe Top 20, a spot it held all season. In the postseason, the Colonials knocked off three of the top seven squads (No. 2 Whitman-Hanson, No. 3 Peabody, and No. 7 Westford).

Cardinal Spellman jumps from No. 18 to No. 6, following a run to the Division 2 title. Despite a heartbreaking penalty-kick loss to Danvers in the North final, Wayland breaks into the rankings at No. 17.

In Division 3, solid postseason defense allowed No. 11 Millis to capture the state title, following a shutout of Gateway in the championship game. Jumping into the rankings at No. 20 is Georgetown, which lost a hard-fought contest to Millis in the state semifinals.

The postseason was a beast for seven teams that entered the playoffs unbeaten, all seven lost. The final rankings show zero undefeated teams, a testament to a wacky 2009.

Boys’ soccer
Catholic Memorial finishes atop the Globe rankings thanks to its first Division 1 state championship. The Knights defeated defending champion Ludlow, 1-0, in the final.

Coach John Finn’s squad was led by a quintet of seniors who played four years of varsity soccer: Will Donovan, Connor Askins, Hamadi Cantave, Frank Wheeler-Larusso, and Kevin Butler. Donovan, a forward who is heading to Duke next fall, scored the winning goal against Ludlow.

Concord-Carlisle checks in at No. 7 based on its 1-0 victory over Palmer in the Division 2 state title game. The Patriots’ team-oriented, ball-control offense allowed them to return to the summit for the second time in three years under coach Ray Pavlik.

Division 3 state champ Weston finishes at No. 9. Led by coach Renato Capobianco, the Wildcats took home their first championship with a 2-0 win over Douglas in the title game. Weston dominated throughout the tournament, shutting out 5 of 6 opponents.

The three schools gave Eastern Mass. a sweep in the state finals after coming up empty in last year’s championships.

Globe correspondents Evan MacDonald and Charlie Peters contributed to this report.

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