The Campus Report: Fall 2019 In Review

Campus Report

The HockomockSports.com Campus Report is an update on former Hockomock League athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail info@HockomockSports.com.

Former Mansfield star Hunter Ferreira, who holds the Hornets’ all-time receptions and receiving yards records, is well on his way to the top of the charts at Nichols College. In his sophomore season, he grabbed 69 passes for 912 yards and four touchdowns. His best game of the year came at the University of New England when he hauled in 12 catches (fourth-most in program history in a single game) for 148 yards. In just two years, he has 97 receptions (sixth all-time), 1,428 yards (sixth all-time), and 12 touchdowns (tied fourth all-time). Another former Hornet Joe Cox is the leader on the defensive side of the ball for the Bison. Cox led the team in tackles with 99, including a team-high and conference-best 68 solo tackles. He forced a fumble against Anna Maria and had an interception at Western New England. His 17 tackles for loss led the entire Commonwealth Conference. His 99 tackles this season is tied for sixth-best in program history. King Philip’s Brett McEvoy (Nichols ’18) is the program’s all-time tackle leader with 385. OA’s Darnele Ryan appeared in six games and has nine total tackles and Mansfield’s Phil Dinov made three tackles in four appearances.

Former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Joe Kellett had to watch Boston College’s first-round overtime loss of the ACC Tournament against Notre Dame after being issued a red card in the regular season finale. It marked the first game Kellett missed in his four years in college between BC and UMass Lowell. During his senior year, his first career goal for the Eagles proved to be the game-winner against UMass. He also scored the game-tying goal in a 2-2 overtime game against Virginia Tech. He played all 1,520 minutes of the season for BC during his junior year while starting all 34 games he played for UMass Lowell during his freshman and sophomore campaigns. In the first round of the NCAA tournament, Kellett played the opening 50 minutes in a win over Yale.

For the second straight season, King Philip’s Rachael Veilleux led the Nichols College volleyball team in assists. A sophomore setter, Veilleux has been dishing out sets for the past two seasons, helping the Bison win 12 matches this season. She had a team-high 360 assists (eighth-most in the conference) to go along with 16 aces this season. In her career so far, she has 592 assists.

Franklin Pierce’s Jason Reed earned All-East Region honors from the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association for his strong showing at the NCAA East Regional. Reed placed 20th overall at 32:28 and became the first Raven in program history to earn three straight All-Region accolades. Reed finished 14th overall at the NE10 Championship, clocking in at 27:47.6 for the 8k race.

Two former league rivals started every game this season for the Union field hockey squad. Senior Sarah Wilkinson, from Canton, and sophomore Cristina Boudreau, of Oliver Ames, both started in all 16 games this season for the Dutchmen. Wilkinson scored a pair of goals in her final season, once against Morrisville and then the game-winning strike in a win over William Smith. Boudreau scored her lone goal of the game against Rensselaer while recording three assists — all coming in a four-game span.

The Western Connecticut State University will be losing one of its most reliable players to graduation as Oliver Ames alum Melissa Krim wraps up her career with the Colonials. Krim did it all for WCSU, listed as a utility player on the roster because of her versatility. She scored 10 career goals, with eight coming in the past two seasons, and four assists. She scored her first game-winning goal this season in a win over Salem State. In her four years, Krim played in 76 games with 74 of them starts.

Milford graduate Katie Brown closed her career at Salem State with a strong senior season, earning MASCAC All-Conference Second Team honors. Brown, who was featured on HockomockSports.com earlier this season, was the leading goal scorer for the Vikings once again this season. For the second straight year, Brown found the back of the net eight times and added three assists this year for 19 total points. She scored the game-winning goal against Rivier early in the season and then added another winner in a 2-1 win on the road at Endicott. She finishes her career with the second-most points in program history (48) and second-most goals scored (22), just three shy of the record.

Success and Lily Sykes continue to go hand-and-hand as the former Foxboro Warrior is now helping the Tufts women’s soccer program go where it hasn’t gone in over a decade. A regular presence in the midfield, Sykes helped the Jumbos knock off Cortland in the opening round and TCNJ in the second round, sending Tufts to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2005. Sykes blasted a shot that was saved in the 8th minute of the game against Cortland, setting up Sophie Lloyd for the opening-goal. Sykes, a four-time EMass All-Star, has started in all 19 contests for the Jumbos this year, scoring three goals with one assist. She scored the game-winning goal on the road at Hamilton. Tufts takes on conference foe Williams in the Sweet 16 on Saturday.

Taunton’s Trevor Wysong continues to lead the pack for the Bridgewater State men’s cross country team. Wysong, who has been named MASCAC Runner of the Week six times this season alone, clocked in (25:56) nearly two minutes ahead of the next runner at the MASCAC Championship Race at Moore State Park to earn MASCAC Runner of the Year honors for the second straight season. After the MASCAC race, Wysong competed in the DIII New England Championships and finished 12th overall in the 8k course, clocking in at 25:11.3 to qualify for the NCAA DIII Championship race (this Saturday) for the second straight year.

Also competing at the MASCAC Championship race, Taunton’s Zac Bentley (Westfield State) finished 10th overall at 28:16, Stoughton’s Cameron Bean (Westfield State) was 12th overall at 28:25, Franklin’s Robert Moreau (Bridgewater State) crossed 15th overall ad 28:35, and Milford’s Anthony DiStauro (Westfield State) took 19th at 28:41. Milford’s Miguel Torres, a freshman for Framingham State, took 22nd overall at 29:02. Mansfield graduate Collin Rice, a sophomore at Westfield State, clocked in at 29:32 for 27th overall and fellow former Hornet Cullen Lancaster (Framingham State) was 33rd overall at 30:32.

On the girls’ side of MASCAC cross country, Milford grad and Bridgewater State senior Jenise Madden was the top former Hockomock runner this season. Madden was second at the MASCAC Championships and went on to place 34th out of a field of 380 runners to lead the BSU women’s cross country team and earn All-New England honors at the 2019 NCAA DIII New England Regional Cross Country Championships held at Bowdoin College. Other top finishes at the MASCAC race included North Attleboro’s Megan Leary (Bridgewater State, 21:14, 12th place) and North Attleboro’s Kyra Siano (Worcester State, 21:29, 15th Place).

Former Franklin standouts Alexis and Victoria Stowell wrapped up their collegiate careers with Assumption, helping the Greyhounds to a 7-4-5 overall record in 2019. Both played the same amount of games in their four-year careers (69) with Alexis (NE10 All-Conference Second Team selection) recording eight goals and six assists in 60 starts. Victoria played a vital role in the midfield with one goal and five assists in 53 starts. In their four years, Assumption won over 35 games.

The Bridgewater State women’s soccer team had its season come to a dramatic end in a double-overtime loss to Worcester State in the MASCAC Final. But a pair of former Hockomock standouts both had strong final seasons for the Bears. Taunton’s Alana Vincent was once again the leading scorer for the club, leading the conference in goals scored with 17. Her seven assists were also a team-high and were third in the MASCAC. Seven of her goals proved to be game-winners. Mansfield’s Katie Bongarzone also started all 19 games for BSU this fall as a key piece of the defense. She added a goal and three assists. Both Vincent and Bongarzone were selected to the MASCAC All-Conference First Team.

Two members of the HockomockSports.com 2015 Best XI were apart of the Northeast-10 All-Conference awards that were announced on Veteran’s Day. Former Oliver Ames captain and member of the 2015 D2 State Championship team Keegan Nutt finished his career with the Skyhawks this fall by being named to the NE10 All-Conference Second Team. Nutt tied for the team lead in scoring despite being a starting defender, scoring five goals and registering two assists for 12 points. He scored twice, including the game-winner off a free kick, against Saint Rose in late October. Another All-NE10 collection and former Best XI selection was Foxboro’s Devante Teixeira, who was named All-Conference Third Team. Teixeira, a senior at Southern Connecticut, led the Owls with 10 points (two goals, six assists) while starting in 14 games.

It’s been a good season for the UMass Dartmouth football team and the hexad of former Hockomock players there. All six have played for the Corsairs, who finished the year at 7-3. Taunton’s Chris Gomes had the biggest year of the half dozen alums, earning MASCAC Defensive Player of the Week honors back in September for his big game against Plymouth State in which he made a key stop on the 1-yard line to help secure a 21-14 win. For the season, the junior defensive back was fourth on the team with 47 tackles, including six for a loss and one sack, grabbed two interceptions, and tied for the team lead with six pass breakups. Attleboro’s Justin Cote was a regular on special teams, returning 12 kicks for a total of 219 yards. North Attleboro’s David Engler appeared in eight games, making a catch against Alred State. On the defense side, Foxboro’s Allston George had 14 tackles and played in all 10 games, North Attleboro’s Luke LaBonte made 11 tackles, including a half a sack, and Taunton’s Sam Krajewski had 10 tackles, an interception, and four pass breakups.

Former four-time Hockomock League All-Star and league MVP Ryan Tomaso is leading the way for the Hartford golf squad during his junior season. Tomaso played in five tournaments this fall with an average round of 73.64 in 14 rounds played. He shot par or better in four rounds and finished tied for second overall at the UConn Collegiate Invitational. He led the team in average for the fall season.

Former Taunton coach and current mentor for the Bridgewater State women’s tennis team Dave Purpura earned seven wins this fall and reached the Little East Semifinals before bowing out to RIC. Three former Hockomock players were in the lineup for Purpura, manning second, fourth, and fifth/sixth singles for the Bears. Taunton’s Olivia Sweeney was the second singles player and picked up six wins in singles action, and teamed up with fellow former Tiger Vanessa Rosa at second and third doubles. The pairing of Sweeney and Rosa won seven matches together, and Rosa had seven singles wins at mostly at fourth singles. Mansfield’s Rachel Tarantino played mostly fifth or sixth singles during the reason, earning 11 single wins and nine wins in doubles action at either second or third doubles.

Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year and Mansfield Hornet Hannah Reiter has been a stalwart for Dave Clarke and his Quinnipiac women’s soccer team ever set she stepped foot on campus in Hamden. She played in all 19 games this season (all starts), and has played in every single game (56 games) since joining the program in the fall of 2017. This season, she was third on the team with 1,646minutes played, playing an important role defensively for the Bobcats. For her career so far, Reiter has three goals and five assists.

Meghan Dieterle finished her career as a Purple Knight this fall, finishing with 45 appearances for St. Michaels, including 11 starts this season. Dieterle has been a regular in the lineup for SMC for the past three years, scoring a pair of goals as a sophomore and recording four assists during her junior campaign. She tallied her final collegiate point, an assist, in a win over Lincoln this fall. Also patrolling the pitch up in Colchester is Sharon alum Victoria Zambello. A junior forward, Zambello has appeared in 33 games in three seasons, scoring in the win over Lincoln. Franklin’s Grace Gallo is also a member of the Purple Knights.

Down in Pennsylvania, Canton’s Mac Brown scored his first collegiate touchdown for Dickinson in a win over Juniata. Brown, a senior running back, hauled in his first career pass for a three-yard score. A week later, Brown had another catch for 14 yards on the road at Moravian.

Taunton graduate Connor Briggs started at center in all 10 games for Fitchburg State this season. A senior lineman, Briggs helped pave the way for an offense that averaged over 100 yards per game on the ground and had 61 rushing first downs. Attleboro’s William Healy appeared in three games, including on defense where he recorded three total tackles, including two against Plymouth State.

Former King Philip standout Larsen Keys was the only player to start in all 19 games for Western New England this season. A leader for the Golden Bears’ defense, Keys found his way into the attack as well with two goals and two assists this season. Both of the sophomore’s goals proved to be game-winners, the first coming in a 1-0 win over Wentworth and the other on the road at Elms.

Over at Worcester State, former Franklin Panther Henri Guilmette started and played every minute in goal for the Lancers. In 20 starts, Guilmette allowed 27 goals (1.32 GAA) with a .803 save percentage, making 110 total saves in over 1,800 minutes of action. He posted four shutouts and helped the Lancers reach the MASCAC Semifinal.

Bianca Coghi-DeSousa had a solid showing in her one year playing for the UMass Boston volleyball squad. Coghi-DeSousa, who previously played two seasons at Framingham State and once held the program record for aces at Stoughton High, played in 15 matches for the Beacons this fall. In 45 sets, she landed 46 kills and added eight total blocks. The Beacons made the NCAA tournament but fell to Babson, coached by Easton native Eric Neely, brother to Franklin basketball coach CJ Neely.

Defense was a huge reason that the Westfield State volleyball squad went a perfect 7-0 in conference matches and went on to claim the MASCAC championship. Mansfield grad Jess Haradon is a key piece of the defense, ranking third on the team with 281 digs. Only one player has featured in more sets for the Owls this season than Haradon, who has played in 30 matches and 106 sets. She had a season-high 30 digs in a five-set thriller with Clark earlier this season and had a six-match stretch with double-digit kills. With one year to go, Haradon has 848 career digs.




Prinos sisters Diana and Sophia have been key pieces for the Fairfield University tennis. Diana finished the fall season on a three-match win streak, playing once at second singles (winning 6-2, 7-5) and twice at third singles, winning twice in three sets. Diana also picked up three wins this fall in doubles action, teaming up with Paulina Bakaite for first doubles and getting a win in their fall finale over Sacred Heart. Sophia Prinos had a lot of success, taking first place in one bracket at the West Point Invite. She won in straight sets over St. Bonaventure, Lehigh, Colgate, and Marist to get to the final where she defeated Amy Stanley (St. Bonaventure) 6-1, 6-4. She went 2-1 in head-to-head competition, finishing with a 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 win against Sacred Heart at fifth singles.

Up at the University of New Hampshire, Franklin’s Ryan Spelman participated in six races for the men’s cross country team during his senior year. He finished ninth overall in a dual meet between the Wildcats and Maine, clocking in at 26:32.0 for the 8k course. His best 8k time came against Lehigh when he clocked in at 25:55.6, good for 119th overall. On the women’s side, Foxboro’s Nicole Yeomans had a solid showing at the D1 Northeast Region meet, clocking in at 22:19.5 for 165th overall.

North Attleboro’s Vanessa Frost was named to the Commonwealth Coast Conference Second Team following a strong season in the midfield for Salve Regina. Frost was just one of two midfielders that started all 19 games for the Seahawks during the 2019 campaign. Frost scored once (in the CCC Final) and added three assists while Foxboro grad Kayla Ames made five appearances this season, scoring in a win over Dean.

Liz Morehouse was among the top goalies in the New England Women’s & Men’s Athletic Conference in her first year in the cage for the Springfield Field Hockey squad. Morehouse, a former Big Red Rocketeer, started in all 19 games this season, making 87 saves (sixth in the conference) with a 2.06 goals against average (fourth in the conference). She set a career-high with 11 saves against Babson, and then repeated that feat twice more in against Trinity and MIT.

Former Mansfield standout Sarah Mullahy had a successful senior campaign with the Suffolk volleyball squad. A middle blocker, Mullahy ranked third for the Rams with 182 kills (1.77 per set) with an impressive .265 hitting percentage. She was second on the team with 44 blocks, landed 29 aces and even chipped in with 46 digs for the 20-win Rams. A captain this season, she was named to the GNAC All-Sportsmanship squad and had 326 kills in three seasons.

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that sisters Ashlyn and Emma Gaulin made an immediate impact on the pitch in their rookie seasons with Hamilton College, who had a 10-5-1 overall record this season. Both appeared in all 16 games for the Continentals, with Emma starting all of the games and Ashlyn serving as a reliable super-sub off the bench. Patrolling the midfield, Emma recorded a pair of assists during the season with a helper against Bates and one against Hartwick, both games at home. Ashlyn also had an assist in the win over Bates while scoring off the bench against SUNY Oswego, Colby, Morrisville State (also an assist), and Sage Colleges. The Continentals were undefeated when either Gaulin recorded a point this season.

Franklin’s Madison Kuzio had a busy season as a defensive specialist for the Worcester State volleyball team. She was third on the team with 169 digs, playing in 70 sets this year. A junior, Kuzio has appeared in 66 matches thus far in her career and has 301 career digs to go along with 20 aces.

The workload continued to increase for Franklin grad Megan Adams during the 2019 season. After a redshirt first-year, Adams appeared in five games last season including her collegiate debut for Northeastern against Long Beach State. This year, Adams was the starting keeper for the Huskies, making 15 starts and playing over 1,200 minutes. Adams allowed just 16 goals (1.13 goals against average) while making 48 saves, posting a 7-7 record for the season with four shutouts. She had shutout wins over Towson, COFC, Drexel, and Elon.

Another former Panther and collegiate keeper Cat Robbins, a sophomore, continued to be a regular in net for the Plymouth State women’s soccer team. After nine starts last season, Robbins was once again the go-to option for the Panthers. She started 12 games this season, winning six games, with 41 saves and just a.184 goals against per game. She played over 1,000 minutes and has four shutouts in her career so far.

Two former Hockomock rivals are now team captains for Saint Anselm football. Junior Franklin Holgate, who played at Oliver Ames, and junior Ryan Sullivan, a former Black Knight, are two of the four captains for the Hawks. Holgate finished third on the team in receptions (40), fourth in receiving yards (484), and second with three touchdowns. Sullivan is a leader on the other side of the ball, second on the team with 54 solo tackles and 95 total tackles. He also had four sacks, 7.5 tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, and four pass breakups. He earned NE10 Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors in Week 6 for his performance against New Haven. In that game, he had 17 tackles, two sacks, and the forced fumble. Also at St. A’s, King Philip’s Michael Riggs appeared in nine games and made 25 tackles, including two for a loss, while Franklin’s Brian Kosicki has started every game at left tackle.

In the same week that Sullivan earned NE10 defensive honors, another former Black Knight was awarded the conference’s Offensive Player of the Week. Brandon Swain-Price, a graduate student with Southern Connecticut, recorded 10 receptions for 201 yards and two touchdowns. He is just the sixth receiver in program history to hit the 200-yard mark in a game, and the first SCSU receiver to reach the mark since 2010. For the season, Swain-Price had a team-high 49 catches for 792 yards and 10 touchdowns, which was second-most in the NE10.

Former Oliver Ames Tiger Jared Mallers wrapped up his collegiate career with Curry College, making 16 appearances for the Colonels with 11 starts. Mallers recorded an assist in a game on the road at the University of New England. North Attleboro grad Joe Hilf made three appearances in his rookie season while Jonathan Sandoval, who donned the Bombardier blue and white early in his high school career, played in three games.

Milford’s Andre Oliveira has fit in nicely with the Framingham State men’s soccer team. A sophomore defender, Oliveira is just one of four midfielders to start in 19 or more games this season, and the only one at his position to do so. Oliveira was in the lineup on Sunday when the Rams knocked off Salem State in the MASCAC Championship, giving FSU its first conference championship since 2011. Taunton’s Austin Botelho has nine appearances this year with a goal against Fitchburg while Attleboro’s Tyler Treichler had made eight appearances off the bench.

Former two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Sydney Phillips continues to find success at the collegiate level. An outside hitter for Bates, Phillips led the team in kills for the season. After featuring in just 10 matches during his freshman campaign, Phillips emerged as the go-to option for the Bobcats during her sophomore year. She slammed down 196 kills in 82 sets played (2.39 per set) and had 29 total blocks and 42 digs for the 16-win Bobcats.

Franklin’s Dayna McCue played in her 173rd and final set for the Connecticut College volleyball team this fall. Appearing in 68 matches in her four-year career, McCue was one of the Camels’ top defensive players. She had 110 digs in her final season, finishing her career with 372 digs. She posted a season-high 17 digs in a 3-1 win over Mitchell at the end of October.

The WPI field hockey team had its best season in over a quarter century, posting a 17-3 record and being ranked as high as fifth in the D3 New England East Rankings, and senior forward and team captain Carly Cidado was a big factor why. A former standout for Oliver Ames, Cidado was second on the team in goals (12) and points (26), helping the Engineers reach the NEWMAC Semifinals. WPI improved every year with Cidado in the lineup, going from six wins her freshman year to 17 in 2019. For her career, Cidado had 20goals and 10 assists, scoring four game-winning goals while starting in 67 of the 70 games she played in.

Former King Philip standout Nina Sitarski is one of the top runners for the Babson Women’s Cross Country team. Her top 5k time was 21:36 at the Keene State Invitational, crossing the finish line 112th overall. At the NEWMAC Championship race, Sitarski clocked in at 27:12 in the 6k race, finishing 111th overall. On the men’s side, Oliver Ames grad Matt Campbell was 65th overall at 29:29 in the 8k race at the NEWMAC championship. He just ran his personal-best in the 8k, clocking in at 28:53 at the NCAA Regionals at Bowdoin.

A senior golfer for the Wentworth Leopards, Franklin graduate Matt Pleshaw played in five tournaments this fall. He had a pair of top 10 finishes, finishing 10th in both the Mitchell Invitational and a tri-match with Eastern Nazarene and Mitchell. His best round of the fall was on the first day of the FSC Fall Invitational when he shot an 80; he finished 50th overall in the tournament.

Taunton’s all-time wins leader Jillian Pagliuca jumped right into the lineup in her first year with Franklin Pierce University. Pagliuca played mostly at fifth singles but also made appearances at fourth and sixth singles. Overall, she picked up six wins in singles action and earned her first doubles win (at third singles, 6-0) against American International in September.

Hannah Friend (Oliver Ames) has etched her name into the Saint Anselm record book, and multiple times too. A senior forward for the Hawks’ field hockey team, Friend is the program’s all-time career leader in points per game (1.19), goals (37), assists (27) and assists per game (0.32). She also set the program record for games played when she started against Assumption on November 8th. She currently has 85 appearances and begins the NCAA tournament on Friday afternoon against East Stroudsburg. Five other Hockomock alums are on the roster at St. A’s and all see regular time on the field. Canton’s Mary Nee, a senior midfielder has started 20 of the 21 games and has six goals and five assists, Oliver Ames’ Kendall Clifford has two goals and three assists in 21 starts, and sophomore midfielder Andrea McNeil of Canton has come off the bench in every game, scoring twice with two assists. Freshmen Maggie Malloy (Canton) and Emma Izydorczak (King Philip) have both played in 10 games this year.

Stoughton grad Molly Turner has played in 17 total matches so far this year for the Stonehill volleyball squad, featuring in 53 total sets. A freshman setter, Turner is third on the team with 236 assists to go with 10 aces and 86 digs. After seeing minimal time for the first month of her collegiate career, Turner has featured regularly since the October 5th match against Malloy, even picking up five starts (including the last two matches). The Skyhawks are set to take on AIC in the NE10 Semifinals on Friday night in Waltham.

Only Hockomock alumni patrolled the net for the Framingham State women’s soccer team this year. Attleboro grad Madison Brown started in all but one game for the Rams this season, playing over 1,500 minutes with 186 saves made, which was tied for the most in the MASCAC this season. She recorded a season-high 18 saves to help the Rams pick up a 3-2 win over Fitchburg State, finishing with double-digit stops in 11 games this season. Franklin’s Calen Frongillo made one appearance in goal during her rookie season, making one save with no goals allowed.

Two former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year selections spent the fall season on the same team at UMass Amherst. King Philip’s Tyler Mann, who transferred in from UMass Lowell, and Oliver Ames’ Nathaniel Cardoza, who earned the honor in consecutive years in 2016 and 2017, patrolled the same side of the field at times for the Minutemen. Mann played outside mid while Cardoza was an outside back. Both scored this season with Mann scoring at Central Connecticut and Cardoza netting the game-winner a week prior at Boston University.

Former Attleboro Bombardiers Tyler McGovern and Brendan Nunes were limited to just three games together at Salve Regina this season. McGovern, the starting quarterback, appeared in all but one game this year for the Seahawks, throwing for 1,464 yards on 117 completions with 49.2% accuracy. He had eight touchdown passes with 10 interceptions. Nunes was limited to just the first four games this year but was one of the top targets for Salve in that time, hauling in 12 passes for 140 yards. Foxboro’s Ronnie Martin played in three games, taking 22 carries for 95 yards (4.3 yards per carry) for the Seahawks.

Former North Attleboro Rocketeer Nick Rajotte has seen his workload increase as the season has gone on for Springfield. After not playing in the first three games, Rajotte played in seven straight games with the team winning five of those games. Has had 12 carries in a three-game span for a total of 158 yards, scoring in all three games. He scored a pair of touchdowns in a big win over Maine Maritime. But in the final game, Rajotte was the feature back with 10 carries for 92 yards. Another former Rocketeer, Nick Raneri, has two appearances at fullback and had three carries against Maine Maritime. On the defensive side of the ball, King Philip grad Terrell Jacobs-Baston is playing defensive tackle and had 12 tackles. He recorded his first sack in the win over Maine Maritime.

Joe Morrison and the University of Vermont men’s soccer team had the season end in heartbreaking fashion for the second straight season. After losing to UMBC in penalties during his freshman campaign in the America East tournament, the Catamounts fell in overtime on the road to Hartford this season. Morrison (a former HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year and two-time Best XI selection from Foxboro) was a regular on the pitch for UVM again this season, appearing in 14 total matches with 13 of them as a starter. He scored a pair of goals, both which turned out to be game-winners. He scored the opening goal against Binghamton and another against Hartford in the regular season meeting. He recorded assists against Harvard, Merrimack, and Binghamton.

The Endicott volleyball team earned the CCC championship this year with a sweep over Roger Williams, and two former Franklin Panthers were apart of the winning squad. Last year’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Lauren McGrath dished out 88 assists and landed 27 aces in her first year with the Gulls while also chipping in as a reliable defensive option with 241 digs. She made her collegiate debut in the season-opener against Worcester State. She played in all five sets in a 3-2 win over Amherst with 15 assists and 10 digs. Erin Skidmore, a junior outside hitter, has 25 career kills along with 60 digs.

After guiding Franklin to its first sectional championship last year, middle hitter Hailey Sanders continued her success at the collegiate level with Framingham State. Sanders led the MASCAC in attack percentage (.277), racking up 196 kills on 447 attempts with just 72 errors, and earned All-Conference Second Team honors. Sanders led the Rams and ranked second in the MASCAC in total blocks (68) with 20 solo blocks and 48 block assists. Mansfield’s Lexi Gardner appeared in 10 matches for the second straight season for Framingham, which reached the MASCAC Championship game.

At Bridgewater State, senior goalie Jillian Delaney recorded 172 saves in goal for the Bears’ field hockey squad. A former Foxboro Warriors, Delaney ranked second in the MASCAC in saves, logging over 960 minutes in 16 starts this season. She made 11 saves to help the Bears earn a 2-1 win over Fitchburg on the road, and then turned away 11 shots as BSU edged Framingham a week later. She had a season-high 20 saves on the road at Castleton. Emma Daly, another former Warrior, had two starts and three total appearances at the beginning of the season.

Franklin alum Dylan Kehoe has emerged as one of the top runners for the Merrimack men’s cross country squad, making a favorable impression in his rookie year. The Warriors took first place and repeated as Codfish Bowl champions back in September, which took place at Franklin Park. Kehoe was fifth overall in the race at 27:59 and was the third Warrior to cross the finish line. At the NEC Championship race, Kehoe took 37th overall by clocking in at 27:28.6, the sixth Warrior overall. North Attleboro’s Liam Monahan is also on the squad and ran 28:43.2 back in September at the Shawn M. Nassaney Memorial Road Race at Bryant University.

A pair of Hockomock grads played a vital role in the Regis field hockey team winning four straight games to finish the regular season and an upset in the first round of the GNAC tournament. Stoughton’s Ashley Chipman, a senior forward, started in all 19 contests this season, scoring four goals and adding three assists to finish third on the team with 11 points. She scored a pair of game-winning goals, both coming in that late-season stretch (over Albertus Magnus and Johnson & Wales). Oliver Ames’ Sarah Tetrault, a sophomore defender, joined the starting lineup midway through September and started 14 straight matches, helping the Pride allow just two goals in a five-game stretch at the end of the season.

Down at UMass Dartmouth, a pair of former Hockomock graduates helped the Corsairs earn seven wins this fall. Junior Jordan Martin (Taunton) posted a 3-2 record overall, winning a pair of matches at sixth singles. Martin played with three different doubles partners, going 7-3 overall at second doubles with Michelle Aftandilian, including three wins in Little East Conference action. North Attleboro’s Hana Hershey, also a junior, also played with three doubles partners and earned four wins total, all coming at third doubles.

After missing out on his sophomore season due to injury, Austin Ryan is back on the field for the Bentley football team. The Foxboro grad is second on the team with 36 receptions for 423 yards and three touchdowns in 10 games played, helping the Falcons win the NE-10 Championship. He had three catches for 118 yards and a score in a win over Saint Anselm on November 2nd. King Philip’s Evan Rice appeared in the final three games for the Falcons, recording a pair of tackles plus a tackle for a loss against Franklin Pierce.

The Bridgewater State football team features a handful of former Hockomock League players, including Foxboro defensive back Mark Wilson. Wilson is second on the team in individual tackles (31) and tied for third overall in total tackles (50), averaging 5.6 per game. He has one sack, five pass breakups, and returned an interception for a 46-yard touchdown in a MASCAC win over Worcester State. North Attleboro’s Maxwell Kroll has been in the backfield a bunch for the Bears with five tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and a blocked kick in nine games played. Freshman Dean Pacini, formerly of Oliver Ames, had 15 tackles in seven games played. Milford alum Michael Casey has been the starting center with North Attleboro’s Austin White to his left as the left guard. North Attleboro’s Thomas Duell, Taunton’s Paul Corrao, Stoughton’s Brendan Walsh, and Canton’s Brian Campagna have all seen time on the offensive line for the Bears, who won the 41st Annual Cranberry Bowl against Mass Maritime to finish the season. Wilson was named to the MASCAC First Defense while Casey and White were selected to the MASCAC Second Team Offense.

Only two players started all 18 games for the Mass. Maritime men’s soccer team this season and Foxboro graduate AJ Bubencik was one of them. A converted forward for the Buccaneers, Bubencik bagged his lone goal of the season in a 3-2 win at home over Becker, which featured King Philip grad Colby Koch and Oliver Ames’ Haendal Louhis, who had an assist.

AIC women’s soccer earned a first-round win in the Northeast-10 Conference tournament over Adelphi in penalty kicks, and Attleboro’s Paige Medeiros was the one who sent the Yellow Jackets into celebration. The teams were tied 0-0 after regulation, and neither side could find the back of the net in two overtime periods to send the first-round game to PKs. The first four Yellow Jackets converted their chances but Adelphi missed its second chance. Medeiros converted the fifth and final shot to give AIC the win. Medeiros logged 1,200 minutes this season, starting in 15 games and appearing in 18 total matches. She scored the game-winning goal in a win over Florida National University.

Former Canton standout and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Elizabeth Hamilton wrapped up her collegiate career this fall, helping the Johnson & Wales volleyball team earn its fifth straight GNAC Title and an NCAA berth. In her four years with the Wildcats, Hamilton had 332 kills with a .215 hitting percentage. She had 537 digs, 74 aces, and 45 total blocks. She was named to the GNAC Third Team during his freshman year and ranked in the top 20 in kills, hitting percentage, blocks, and points that season.

Shannon Cormier continued to be a steady presence for the AIC field hockey team. After starting in all 18 games as a rookie last year, Cormier was in the starting lineup 17 times this year while making one substitute appearance. She ranked third on the team in points, scoring four goals and adding two assists with over 1,000 minutes played…Foxboro’s Lily Daly made 11 appearances in her first year with Assumption, scoring her first collegiate goal in a win on the road at Mercy College…Oliver Ames’ Dimitra Efremidis was a reliable option off the bench for Bentley, recording an assist against Molloy while making 16 appearances this year.




Former Franklin standout Megan Georges wrapped up her career with the New Haven women’s soccer team, capping her four-year stint with the Chargers with 17 appearances (10 starts) this season. After just seven starts through three years, Georges was a regular on the pitch this fall, playing 912 minutes in the midfield. She found the back of the net against league foe St. Anselm and picked up an assist in a big win over Le Moyne. She played over 2,000 minutes in her career, finishing with three goals and four assists.

Taunton’s Amanda Baptiste factored into the scoring for the UMass Lowell women’s cross country team last week at the NCAA Northeast Regional. Baptiste clocked in at 23:03.5, the sixth River Hawk to cross the finish line, taking 215th overall. At the New England Championships in October, Baptiste crossed the finish line at 19:31 in the 5k course, taking third on the team. On the boys’ side, sophomore Jack Kalil (Milford) finished 24th overall at the UMass Dartmouth Invitational, finishing the race in 26:02.3.

Danny McLoughlin, a sophomore on the Saint Anselm golf team, played in one tournament this fall. A former Warrior at King Philip, McLoughlin played in the Penmen Fall Invitational in Canterbury, New Hampshire. He shot an 85 on the first and third days while posting a low round of 82 in the middle day. He finished tied for 69th overall with a 241.

Canton graduate Griffin Roach has made an immediate impact for the Boston University Terriers. After playing 60 minutes off the bench in the season-opener, Roach went on to start the remainder of games at outside back. While he didn’t register a point, he became a vital piece of the defense this year for BU, logging a team-high 1,494 minutes. BU head coach Neil Roberts just announced his retirement after a 40-year career with the Terriers.

Bridgewater State coach Brendan Adams had a plethora of former Hockomock soccer players to work with this season. Eight former Hock players representing three schools (Attleboro, Milford, and Franklin ) all saw time on the pitch for the Bears. Milford’s Justin Borges was the top producer, starting in all 19 games and leading the team with seven goals and three assists for a team-high 17 points. Freshman Joey Madden, another former Scarlet Hawk, also started in all 19 games and added five assists. Attleboro’s Will Halben appeared in all 19 contests in his first year, with 18 starts, and had one goal (against RIC) and four assists. Milford’s Michael Da Silva made two appearances in net with one start and made five saves. Franklin’s Hatim Bahimi made 16 appearances in the midfield with three starts, recording an assist against Westfield State. Milford’s Tiago Filadelfo, Attleboro’s Nick Hasenfus, and Franklin’s Nasir Brahimi all made five appearances.

James Cooke has been a steady presence for the Buccaneers of Mass. Maritime. Cooke started at left guard in all 10 games for the 6-4 Bucs, who finished their season with a loss in the Cranberry Bowl to BSU. Cooke has helped the offense rush for 162.4 yards per game and had to make a tackle in a win over Maine Maritime in the second game of the season, and for his strong season, he was selected to the MASCAC First Team Offense. Sophomore Jay Fruci (Oliver Ames) appeared in six games this year, taking a handoff against Fitchburg and making a tackle against Worcester State.

Attleboro grad Lexi Pereira continues to do it all at the collegiate level, now a top player on the Curry volleyball squad. A former all-around standout for the Bombardiers, Pereira is now the go-to option on offense for the Colonels. She’s the team leader in kills, putting down 256 for the season (8th in the conference) with 2.98 per set, which ranked second in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. She had a team-high 762 total attacks and was a valuable member of the defense with 204 digs. Elsewhere in the CCC, North Attleboro grad Tori Melanson is among the best net defenders in the league. She is second in the CCC with 79 total blocks, which leads the way for Roger Williams. Her 0.99 blocks per set is a conference-best. She also had 106 kills this season.

Attleboro’s Marissa Dias, a junior defender for the Framingham State field hockey team, was just one of five Rams to start in all 18 games this season. She was also a key piece in the offense, scoring a pair of goals while adding two assists this season. Her goal against Westfield State proved to be the game-winner. Another former Bombardier, Meghan Croteau, started four games and made a total of 16 appearances in the midfield for FSU. At Westfield State, OA grad Katie Vamosi started in six games in net, making 10 appearances total, and made 43 saves, earning a shutout win over BSU. North Attleboro’s Shaylee Maxcy made 15 appearances, earning her first collegiate start back in September.

Canton’s Lindsey Nolte and Milford’s Jessica Palmer finished their four years with the Merrimack field hockey team, helping the Warriors transition to Division I. Nolte started in all 17 games this season, scoring once and adding one assist. She scored her final collegiate goal on the road at Dartmouth; she finished her career with 12 goals and seven assists, starting in 55 of the 57 games she played. Palmer also had a goal and an assist in 17 starts this season, her final goal being the game-winner in a 2-1 win over Bryant. Palmer had 11 goals and three assists in 61 starts and 66 total appearances.

Former Oliver Ames standout Ryan McGarry had a solid sophomore campaign with the McDaniel College golf team. He finished in the top 10 in three of the five tournaments he participated in. His best finish was at the Don Scalf Memorial when he shot a 71 on both days, finishing two-under-par for fourth overall. He finished one-under and fifth overall at the Tom Kinder Memorial and tied for ninth at three-under in the Royal Lakes Fall Invitational. He was named the Centennial Conference Men’s Golfer of the Week in early October for his strong showing at the Royal Lakes tournament.

Last year’s HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Alli Meehan has had little trouble transitioning to D1 college field hockey, having a terrific year for Northeastern. Meehan scored 11 goals, tying for third-most in the Colonial Athletic Association and second-most on the Huskies. She was tied for second in the conference with four game-winning goals and ranked fourth in the league with 28 points (11 goals, six assists). For her stellar play, Meehan was named to the CAA Field Hockey Second Team and the All-Rookie Team. The Huskies fell in the CAA Championship game with Meehan recording an assist.

Former Taunton netminder Kayla Wentworth helped the Endicott women’s soccer team make it all the way to the Commonwealth Coast Conference title game but the Gulls fell 1-0 to the University of New England. In her two years with Endicott, Wentworth started in 33 games with 37 total appearances, making 152 saves with a 0.87 goals against average. She posted a total of 12 shutouts with a record of 19-11-7.

Attleboro’s Nick Lawrence was one of the few bright spots for the Anna Maria men’s soccer team this fall. A junior midfielder, Lawrence appeared in all but one game while starting in 15 of them. He scored four goals, including two game-winners, with one assist for nine points, which was second on the team. He scored the game-winner in the season-opener against Curry and had another winner in a win on the road at Northern Vermont-Johnson.

Canton’s Paolo Ruggeri saw plenty of the pitch in his first season with the Wentworth men’s soccer team. A defender, Ruggeri made seven substitute appearances along with 10 starts for the Leopards, who had a 10-8-2 record and reached the Commonwealth Coast Conference semifinals. North Attleboro’s Ryan Pasquel made three appearances off the bench during the 2019 season.

North Attleboro’s Amelia Murphy led the charge offensively for the Rhode Island College volleyball team this fall. After landing 280 kills during her freshman year, which was second on the team, the sophomore outside hitter had a team-high 263 kills (2.83 per set) during the 2019 campaign. She added 50 total blocks and 11 aces. She ranked eighth in the Little East Conference for kills, seventh for kills per set, and tied for 11th in blocks.

A key player in the development of the Stoughton High volleyball program, Bridgette Whalen wrapped up her collegiate career with Roanoke College this fell. The Maroons earned 57 wins in the four years that Whalen was on the team. She saw the most action during her senior season, featuring in 29 matches with 78 sets played. She had 20 kills and 33 digs while also being a big part of the net defense for Roanoke, recording 24 total blocks this season.

Former Foxboro two-sport standout Abby Tepper is an assistant coach with the top-ranked and top-seeded West Chester University field hockey team. In her first year with the Golden Rams program posted an 18-1 record, falling in the PSAC Semifinals to Kutztown University. Tepper, who got her coaching start with Oliver Ames, is a full-time assistant that helps in every aspect of the day-to-day operations. West Chester, the top seed in the NCAA D2 tournament, opens with a chance at revenge by taking on Kutztown in the first game.

Taunton’s Mario Wilson and Oliver Ames’ Steven Tasho both played for the Bryant University golf team this fall. Tasho played just three rounds, his low score a 77, and finished tied for 56th at the UConn Collegiate Invitational. Wilson participated in three tournaments for the Bulldogs, with a low round of 73. His best finish was 50th at the Ryan T. Lee Memorial Collegiate Invitational.

Former HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jake Ragusa continues to shine at the collegiate level for Merrimack. Now playing in Division I, Ragusa was named a Northeast Conference Prime Performance for six tackle game at Lehigh. Ragusa had 3.5 tackles for a loss to help the Warriors get the win. The redshirt junior has 28 total tackles this year, including a sack and eight for a loss. Another Canton grad, Alec Ragusa, is a redshirt freshman. Sharon’s Bryce Smith has broken up three passes for the Warriors this year, including two and an interception at home against Mayville State. He recorded his first career sack against Presbyterian.

The Merrimack men’s soccer team is fairing just fine in its first season at the Division I level, posting an 11-3-2 regular season mark. Brothers Cam and Connor Mullins have both played a role in helping the Warriors have a successful season, which included going undefeated in Northeast Conference play. Cam, a junior defender, has made five appearances this season, all wins, including a season-high 19 minutes against Robert Morris. Connor, a redshirt sophomore midfielder, has one start in 11 games played and recorded an assist in the win over Robert Morris.

Franklin’s Brian Czuba has been a reliable option off the bench for Nichols College during his senior year, making 17 appearances with two starts. He scored the tying goal in the 87th minute against Gordon, a game that the Bison would go on to win in overtime. He concludes his career at Nichols with over 40 appearances and two goals.

Mansfield alum Steph Kemp had a strong first year with the UMass Lowell women’s soccer squad. For her impressive play, Kemp was named to the America East All-Rookie Team, just one of two River Hawks to make the team. Kemp scored her first career goal in October against UMBC and went on to score two more in the match to finish with a hat trick. That game helped earn her America East Rookie of the Week honors. She finished with 14 appearances, including one start, and 417 minutes played.

Attleboro alums Hannah Tarbox and Michelle Sheehan ranked second and third, respectively, in kills for the Mass Maritime volleyball squad this season. Tarbox, a freshman middle, had 62 kills to go along with seven blocks in her first collegiate season. Sheehan, a senior outside hitter, 61 kills, 127 assists, 29 aces, 57 digs, and 11 total blocks for the Buccaneers. Sheehan finished with 184 kills in her four years along 899 assists and 465 digs.

Former Mansfield Hornet Julia Todesco appeared in 18 games for the Tufts field hockey team this fall. All appearances came as a substitute, giving the Jumbos a reliable option off the bench. Todesco scored a pair of goals in a win over Connecticut College and also had an assist in a close win over Hamilton. Tufts had its season come to a close in the third round of the NCAA tournament, falling to Johns Hopkins in overtime.

Gabe Pinhancos, a former midfielder for North Attleboro, had a strong sophomore season for Southern New Hampshire University. The Penmen, who tallied a 9-4-4 record, had its season come to a close in penalty kicks in the NE10 conference quarterfinals against Saint Rose. Pinhancos made 15 total appearances with 10 of them as a starter. He scored his first career collegiate goal in Hockomock territory in Easton in a win on the road at Stonehill.

Former Sharon star Ally Filipkowski became a go-to option for Fairfield University women’s soccer coach David Barrett. After transferring to Fairfield from George Washington following her freshman year, Filipkowski became a reliable reserve for the Stags. She appeared in all but one match this season, helping Fairfield post an 11-6-3 record, and earning three starts. She scored her first goal for the red and white in October in a 2-0 win over Manhattan, finishing off a cross int he 62nd minute to give the hosts an insurance tally.

Derek Pereira, a former Taunton Tiger, made four starts and nine total appearances for AIC in his senior season. He started the first three games of the season and then again against Franklin Pierce, helping the Yellow Jackets make a late push for the NE10 title. AIC knocked off nationally-ranked Adelphi in the opening round but fell to Assumption in the semifinal. Pereira featured in both games, logging 39 minutes in the upset over Adelphi. He had two goals and one assist this season, all coming in a regular-season win over the Greyhounds. He netted the game-winning goal in a 4-1 win.

Framingham State football concluded its regular season with a 47-6 trashing of Worcester State, and all three former Hockomock players now representing the Rams factored in. King Philip alum Brian Donahue had a team-high 12 tackles, including four solo. He was also a regular in the backfield, recording one sack (for a 12-yard loss) and a total of 3.5 tackles for loss. Earlier this season, Donahue forced a fumble against Westfield and Fitchburg. Franklin’s Nick Gordon completed a pair of passes for 25 yards while Taunton’s Noah Leonard also completed two passes from under center. The Rams travel to Wesley for the first round of the NCAA tournament this weekend.

2017 HockomockSports.com Football Awards

King Philip Shuts Down L-S To Earn D2 Super Bowl Title

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King Philip’s Shane Frommer gets past a Lincoln-Sudbury defender in the second half of the D2 Super Bowl. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By Joe Clark, HockomockSports.com Student Reporter

FOXBORO, Mass. – All season long, whenever it needed a stop, the King Philip Warriors defense had the answer.

In the MIAA Division 2 State Championship game Friday night at Gillette Stadium, that held true once again.

With 5:03 left to play and the game tied 7-7, KP linebacker Jack Webster hit Lincoln-Sudbury quarterback Braden O’Connell from the blind side and forced the ball loose with KP senior Evan Rice falling on the loose ball.

KP took over on the Lincoln-Sudbury 27-yard line, and moved the ball up to the L-S 13 to set up Cole Baker for a 31-yard field goal, which the sophomore drilled through the uprights with 1:36 to go, giving the Warriors a 10-7 and King Philip it’s 25th straight victory.

On the first play of Lincoln-Sudbury’s ensuing possession, Max Armour sacked O’Connell, and three incompletions later, King Philip clinched its second consecutive state championship.

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“I knew when we got that strip sack that we were going to win it,” King Philip head coach Brian Lee said. “I knew right then it was over.”

On KP’s first drive of the second half, starting quarter Brendan Lydon scrambled to his right and picked up the first down. However, Lydon got rolled up on and suffered a leg injury and was forcing to the sideline, meaning sophomore backup Robert Jarest had to take over under center.

“I really did not expect to play today,” Jarest said. “[Lydon] is a tough kid, I didn’t expect him to get hurt, but he went down, and I tried to do what the coaches asked me to do.”

On Jarest’s first play under center, he fumbled the snap.

“I would say there were some jitters there, I pulled it a little early,” Jarest added

After a Shane Frommer run, KP was facing a third and eight backed up in their own territory. The Warriors’ coaching staff showed their faith as Jarest connected with Thomas Madden down the sideline for a 38 yard gain that put KP on the L-S 23 yard line. Frommer (23 carries, 107 yards, TD) did the rest, as three carries later KP was in the end zone and the game was tied up at 7-7.

After KP forced a stop on the ensuing L-S possession, largely thanks to some key plays by cornerback Andrew Dittrich, the Warriors gave Frommer the keys to the offense once again, as he ran for 30 yards on the next KP drive to get them in field goal range. Cole Baker’s 39 yard field goal attempt had the distance, but it was just wide left.

On the next L-S possession, Jack Webster forced the strip sack that changed the momentum of the game.

“I was just going for the sack, and my head peeked over the shoulder and I just swatted at the ball, and got a hold of it,” Webster said about the game-changing play.

KP killed clock on their next possession by giving it to Frommer, who kept the ball moving and was able to pick up 14 yards. Baker came back in and drilled a 31-yard attempt to give KP a 10-7 lead.

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“I thought of taking a look to Thomas Madden on the outside, because Robert can throw a pretty good fade and that’s what got us down there before, but in the end I just didn’t want to put undue pressure on that kid coming in like he did, and I knew that Cole, had that kick in him, and I was more confident in going with Cole at that point,” Lee said about his decision to kick the field goal late in the game.

“Keep it simple, give it to Shane, let him get a first down, and run out the clock, and we did that, and Cole hit a great field goal,” Jarest added about KP’s strategy after forcing the turnover.

Lincoln-Sudbury opened the game in impressive fashion. After getting stuffed on two straight run plays to open the game, O’Connell completed a pass on third down to move the chains. From there, it was a slow grind as the Warriors methodically moved upfield, eventually taking a 7-0 lead on an 18-yard pass from O’Connell to Matthew Cunningham. The drive took 7:35 off the clock.

King Philip was limited to just 52 yards of offense on limited played in the first half thanks to Lincoln-Sudbury’s offense eating up a majority of the clock.

But in the second half, King Philip’s defense pitched a shutout. It marked the seventh time in 12 games that the Warriors didn’t allow any points in the second half. The five teams who have scored against KP in the second half this year did not score more than once, and three of them did it in the first three weeks of the season.

Even more impressive is that KP held the opposing Warriors to just seven points, which is over 30 points less than what previously unbeaten Lincoln-Sudbury averaged coming into the contest.

King Philip football (12-0) once again completes an undefeated season, and they’ve won 25 straight games dating back to Thanksgiving 2015 against Franklin. The Warriors beat Barnstable, Mansfield, and Bridgewater-Raynham en route to their second straight state title.

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KP Wins Rematch With Mansfield, Advances to Final

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King Philip senior Shane Frommer (25) scored a pair of touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a narrow victory over rival Mansfield and into the Warriors third sectional final in the past four seasons. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WRENTHAM, Mass. – Over the course of its 21-game win streak, King Philip has found a number of ways to come out on top, particularly in close games. Whether it is a big passing play, breaking a long run, or forcing an important turnover, the Warriors know how to grind out results week after week.

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There was a lot of turnover from last season’s state title-winning roster and head coach Brian Lee has admitted that he was not sure how good the Warriors could be this fall, but the new faces have stepped right in where the previous team left off and continued to win.

On Friday night at Macktaz Field, KP extended its winning streak by another game, pulling out a 13-11 win against rival Mansfield, beating the Hornets for a second time this season and advancing to the Div. 2 South final. This is the third sectional final in the past four years for the Warriors.

Lee explained, “The kids just battle. They’re tough. They’re not much to look at but they battle and compete. I didn’t know if we’d be any good this year and somehow we’re here again.”

“We’ve got a lot of guys who are just laid back and chill and they know when to perform,” said junior linebacker Jack Webster. “They perform at the right times. We’ve got good confidence on the team. We’re just calm, cool, and collected and we just play team ball.”

After pulling away with a strong fourth quarter in the first meeting between the two teams, KP carried the momentum into this game.

The Warriors called for a reverse on the opening kick-off and Shane Frommer took it up the sidelines for 42 yards to start near midfield. Brendan Lydon (5-14, 69 yards) hit David Morganelli for 16 yards and then Frommer for 21 to get the ball into Mansfield territory. Three plays later, Frommer (24 carries, 110 yards) bounced a run to the outside for six-yard score.

“We score the first drive, everyone’s smiling, and I was like, ‘Remember, it’s going to be a long game,’ “ said Lee. He added, “I told them before the game, ‘I don’t know how it’s going to play. I don’t know what they’re going to do different this time. All I know is that it’s going to take the entire game.’”

After a three-and-out by the Hornets, Aidan Bender’s return gave the Warriors great starting field position at midfield. The Mansfield coaches were imploring the defense to come through with a big stop and that is exactly what the Hornets got, forcing three-and-outs on back-to-back KP possessions to settle the game down.

The first meeting changed on a first half interception and it looked like Friday’s game might too. Lydon was flushed out of the pocket by Nick Marciano and his pass was picked off by Hunter Ferreira, who returned the ball down to the Warriors eight and gave the visitors momentum. Three plays later, Damani Scott (5-15, 55 yards) punched it in from the half-yard-line.

The Hornets surprised KP by running a trick play rather than an extra point with Ferreira pitching it to Mike DeBolt for the conversion and an 8-7 lead.

The excitement on the Mansfield sideline was short-lived, as the Warriors returned the ensuing kick out to the 45 for another great starting spot. As usual, KP turned to Frommer and the Yale University-commit carried the ball five times for 42 yards on the drive, including his second touchdown of the game, this time from 10 yards out.

The Hornets had gone practically nowhere on offense to this point, but with 3:25 left in the half and starting at their own 23 Mansfield put together its best drive of the game. Scott hit Danny DeGirolamo for a 14-yard completion and Khristian Conner for eight yards, while sophomore Vinnie Holmes (17 carries, 89 yards) gave the Hornets a threat up the middle. Mansfield got the ball to the KP 16 and DeBolt nailed a 33-yard field goal with 8.4 on the clock to cut the lead to two.

Deric Casado had an interception to start the second half for KP, but the Warriors were held to one first down, Chris Graham making a big stop on Frommer on second down. Mansfield’s next drive got on the edge of field goal range but Evan Rice had a big third down sack that forced a Hornets punt. It was one of three second half sacks for the Warriors, who ratcheted up the pass rush in the second half.

“The coaches just made up a great defensive plan this week,” said Webster. “We knew what we’re doing and we attacked it.”

Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “We played tough on Frommer, they did a great job on our run game, and we just needed to complete a few more passes. They’re as good a team as we play defensively every year, they make you work.”

The punt pinned KP down inside its own 10, but Webster managed three yards on third and three for a big first down then Lydon hit Morganelli for another third down conversion and Frommer picked up another with a nine-yard dive up the middle. The Warriors managed to get as far as midfield to switch the field position advantage.

“They got a lot of big first downs,” said Redding. “The Lydon kid hit a couple of outs, great throws on time. Field position was a killer. We always started in our end and gave them the ball at midfield way too much.”

The game seemed to be over when Makhi Baskin muffed a punt with about four minutes remaining, but again the Hornets held firm defensively with Conner making a big stop on Frommer on the sideline and Baskin redeeming himself with an interception at the goal line on fourth down.

Mansfield had one more shot. After a sack by Webster pushed the Hornets back five yards to their own 24, Scott hit Ferreira for his only catch of the game and the senior appeared to be out to the 40 for a first down. After some confusion, the officials marked him down at the 38, one yard short of the marker.

“I thought we completed the pass for 20 yards on [third down], someone’s got to explain that to me, but even with that I don’t know if we’ve got the time to get the field goal,” said Redding. “You just hate to see that in a big game, that kind of mismanaging of the stakes.”

On fourth down, Holmes tried to fight his way to the sticks but Webster was on the spot, as he had been all game, to make the stop that sealed the win.

“Fourth and one, I was daggering off the outside,” Webster explained, “and Jack Piller made a great play and everyone just collapsed on him and pushed him back. It was a great team effort.”

When asked what has made this KP roster continue to find ways to win, Webster said, “Shane Frommer and Andrew Dittrich, our two captains, have just made us play together, play great team ball, everyone’s made plays when we’ve had to…it’s just been a good team game.”

The respect for the Mansfield program and all that it has achieved is evident on the KP sidelines and Lee said that the strength of the Warriors’ rivals has pushed them to be even better.

“You know why I love Mansfield so much,” he said, “because they have made this program work so hard to compete against that and that’s how we’ve gotten better. You’re either getting crushed by them or you learn how to fight and our guys have responded.”

King Philip (9-0, 5-0), the top seed in Div. 2 South, advances to the sectional final and will host No. 3 Bridgewater-Raynham next Friday night. Mansfield (7-2, 4-1) has not set an opponent for next week.

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Frommer Sparks KP Comeback Against Mansfield

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King Philip senior Shane Frommer (25) scored the first and last touchdown for the Warriors in a 28-10 come from behind win over Mansfield. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WRENTHAM, Mass. – Mansfield had Thursday night’s game in its grasp. It was only the second quarter, but the Hornets were on the verge of capping a dominant first half with another score and building a three-score advantage before the teams headed back into the locker room.

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With 1:33 left in the half and the ball at the King Philip 10, Mansfield quarterback Damani Scott dropped deep and fired the ball towards Danny DeGirolamo (11 carries, 51 yards). The senior running back was well covered but almost pulled it in. The ball was deflected into the air and fell right into the hands of KP senior Shane Frommer.

The Yale University-commit hauled in the interception and took off down the suddenly energized KP sideline. He went 96 yards untouched to pull the Warriors back within three points and send the team into the half with a renewed purpose.

“It completely changed momentum for us,” Frommer explained after the game. “We were a little down, but right when I got the pick-six all of us got up again and we knew we had to finish it. We knew we were going to win.”

The interception turned the tide and King Philip never looked back. The Warriors scored 28 unanswered points, 21 of those in the fourth quarter, and pulled out a 28-10 victory over the Hornets at Macktaz Field, running the program’s win streak to 17 games.

Although it was not the game-winning score and it was a full quarter before KP added another point, both coaches highlighted the interception as the turning point in a battle between the two Kelley-Rex division favorites.

“We were up against ropes bad,” KP coach Brian Lee admitted. “We had nothing going and Shane…you have a dude for a reason. Everything was going wrong – pass interference and then we let them get a big run – and we had no answer. Then, bang, we get a play and we’re back in it.”

Mansfield coach Mike Redding said, “They’re good, they’re aggressive, but it’s just so frustrating when you play well for 22 minutes and one play completely flipped things.”

Even without injured senior Joe Cox, Mansfield went with the ground game right from the opening kick. It worked on the opening drive, as the Hornets marched 80 yards, all but nine on the ground, in 14 plays to take an immediate 7-0 lead. DeGirolamo capped the possession with a nine-yard run on a toss to the left.

KP ran only three plays before Brendan Lydon was intercepted by Hunter Ferreira, who returned the ball to the Warriors 30. After a pair of incomplete passes from Scott (4-21, 91 yards), Redding elected to go for the field goal and Mike DeBolt split the uprights from 37 yards.

The Warriors moved the ball on its next possession, but were forced to punt and Mansfield came right back down the field. Aidan Sacco (10 carries, 71 yards) converted one third down and Ferreira drew a pass interference call on a third and 10 to keep the possession alive. After Scott scrambled and found Ferreira for a spectacular 19-yard catch on the sideline, it looked like the Hornets were about to break it open, but Frommer stepped in and changed the storyline.

“Down 10, we knew we had to keep fighting,” he explained. “I knew I had to make a big play for the team. Luckily my teammate tipped it up for me and right when I picked it I knew I was going for six.”

Redding said, “The defense played great for the whole half and at minimum, if we get the field goal, it’s 13-0. It’s just a weird play. We go up and grab it and he ends up with it and we have no one to cover the pick. It’s just a huge flip.”

The second half was all KP. Although the first drive stalled at midfield, the defense held Mansfield to just six offensive plays in the third quarter (and 16 offensive plays in the entire second half). Evan Rice was involved in three sacks of Scott, including a big 15-yard loss in the fourth.

“The kids were just playing a little bit harder, again getting life with the big play,” Lee said. “I’m very pleased with the resiliency of the team.”

Mansfield had bottled up the KP rushing attack, but the Warriors turned to Lydon (8-18, 110 yards) to make plays. Jack Piller came up with a sliding grab for 25 yards and three plays later Lydon scrambled to bide time before hitting Dylan Leonard, who had come all the way across the field, for a 19-yard score and a 14-10 lead.

Following a Luke D’Amico interception, KP added another score. On fourth and 10 from the Mansfield 31, Lydon found Thomas Madden open in the middle of the field and the senior receiver broke tackles on his way to the end zone.

“We have to be more balanced,” said Lee. “We can’t just line up and do what we did last year. Going forward that’s something we’ll have to figure out. We’re still figuring out our pieces.”

Redding added, “They get a little momentum and they fed off it and we battled on ‘D’ but we gave them way too many plays. We couldn’t get any first downs.”

Another interception, this time by Jack Webster, gave KP back the ball at its own 39 with time winding down. The player who changed the game was also the one that ended it. Frommer burst through the middle of the line and broke off a 47-yard run for his second touchdown of the game.

He said, “It was a 25-power and I was going to be right behind my tackle, Anthony Vahue, he’s always been a leader for us and I knew right when the play was called this is going for six. I followed right behind him, saw him take out the linebacker, and I knew I was going for six.”

With the victory, King Philip (4-0, 2-0) extends its winning streak to 17 games, which is the longest active streak in the state. The Warriors will put it on the line next Friday with a trip to Franklin. Mansfield (3-1, 1-1) will look to bounce back and keep the pressure on KP when it hosts Taunton next week.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

King Philip Holds Off Rocketeers to Open With Win

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King Philip senior quarterback Brendan Lydon (12) tossed a pair of first half touchdown passes to lead KP to a season opening win over North Attleboro (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WRENTHAM, Mass. – King Philip came into Friday night’s season opener against fellow league champion North Attleboro at Macktaz Field in a very different position than last season’s matchup. The defending Div. 1A Super Bowl champion Warriors graduated the vast majority of the starters on both sides of the ball, including all but two on offensive, and had a roster filled with new faces.

Many of the names may have been new, but the play on the field was the same.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

KP sacked North’s star quarterback Chad Peterson (13-24, 165 yards) five times, forced four turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles), and the Warriors made enough plays to pull out a 24-14 victory, the program’s 14th straight win stretching back 2015.

“I’m very pleased,” said KP coach Brian Lee after the game. “I had no idea what to expect. We’re only returning five guys, so there were a lot of rookies out there, a lot of guys going two ways. I love playing North because they make you play your best.”

From North Attleboro’s perspective, it was mistakes that doomed the Rocketeers on Friday. In addition to the struggles protecting Peterson and the turnovers, North also committed five penalties and just looked out of sync.

“Too many self-inflicted wounds,” said North coach Don Johnson. “We had kind of seen it in preseason, but way too many [mistakes] to beat anybody really. They made plays they had to make but we had mistakes in basic coverages. That second touchdown we had someone line up wrong and left a guy wide open.”

The struggles started on the opening drive when KP defensive lineman Evan Rice sniffed out a third down screen, tipped, and intercepted Peterson’s pass to give the Warriors the ball at the North 33. A 13-yard run by senior quarterback Brendan Lydon (7-12, 143 yards) got the ball inside the 10, but KP was stopped on three straight plays and settled for a 22-yard Cole Baker field goal.

North’s defense made the next big play when Brendan McHugh got to Lydon on a blitz and stripped the ball loose. Brad White recovered the fumble for the Rocketeers and three plays later Peterson hit Nolan Buckley for a 21-yard touchdown into the back corner of the end zone to take North’s only lead of the game.

Facing third and 15 on its next possession, KP hit a big play to answer right back. A broken coverage left junior Aidan Bender running free down the seam and Lydon hit him in stride for a 71-yard score. Just two plays into the Rocketeers’ next possession and senior corner Andrew Dittrich forced a McHugh (11 carries, 45 yards) fumble and Dylan Leonard dove on it to get the ball right back.

Thomas Madden saved the possession for the Warriors by diving on a fumble on the first play and on third and eight from the North 13, Lydon threw a perfect strike into the corner that was pulled in by David Morganelli for a 17-7 halftime lead.

“I thought the wideouts caught some really good balls for us and I thought our pass [protection] was good,” said Lee about the success of the passing attack. “Sometimes you’ve got to change up what you’re doing and I thought the guys really responded.”

Johnson added, “I was pleased with the way that we stopped the run game, but they had good balance. I think the quarterback has come a long way for them. He was a difference maker.”

A punt and then back-to-back fumbles gave North the ball at its own 21 about halfway through the third quarter. The Rocketeers put together a 17-play drive that took more than 10 minutes off the clock and needed two fourth down conversions to get themselves back in the contest.

Peterson was sacked three times on the drive, twice by Bender, but also went 5-for-7 passing, including a dart on fourth and eight that hit Omar Jasseh and kept the drive alive. One play after the combo just missed on the right side of the end zone, Peterson threw another fourth down strike, this one to senior Marion Bresko down the left sideline for a 27-yard score that cut the lead to just three points (17-14) with 7:54 remaining.

Lee joked, “They pulled a KP on us. We didn’t do anything in the second half, except for hang on and play some ‘D’. We tell the kids, you’re going to fight. They’re going to come over here and fight to the end. We hung on and sometimes that’s what you have to do.”

A punt gave North the ball right back and a roughing the passer call pushed the Rocketeers to the KP 31. Two plays later, Peterson tried to go for the end zone, but the ball was intercepted by Luke D’Amico at the three-yard-line.

On third and nine, facing another punt to give the ball back to the Rocketeers, Lydon fired down the middle to senior tight end JJack Piller, who pulled the pass down despite two Rocketeers in coverage and held on through contact for a crucial first down. With 48 seconds left, senior running back Shane Frommer, who was held to just 41 yard on his first 13 carries, bounced a run off tackle to the left side and was gone for a 57-yard touchdown to seal the win.

The personnel may be very different from last season’s experienced squad, but the attitude is the same. The Warriors find a way to grind out victories and make opponents uncomfortable.

“That’s kind of our mentality in general – we like to attack,” said Lee. “Sometimes it looks nice to drop eight into coverage but good quarterbacks make plays when they have enough time. We’re just pretty good at it.”

He added, “We love to play good defense here. We made plays when we had to.”

King Philip (1-0) will try to make it 15 wins in a row when it takes on Foxboro next Friday in the first game at the newly renamed Jack Martinelli Field. Next week, North Attleboro (0-1) will host Bishop Feehan at Community Field.

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Football: 2017 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2017 Kelley-Rex Football Preview
Attleboro senior Cam Furtado (14) will be one of the key contributors for the Bombardiers this fall as they look to challenge for the Kelley-Rex title. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

Attleboro

2016 Record: 4-7
2016 Finish: Reached D1A South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Strachan

Key/Returning Players: Cam Furtado, Sr., QB/CB; Elvin Sam, Sr., WR/CB; Justin Cote, Jr., RB/OLB; Matthew Corrado, Sr., OL/DL; Matthew Jimenez, Sr., OL/DL; Dan Perry, Sr., OL/DE; James Weir, Sr., LB/TE; Nate Barboza, Sr., LB/FB; Nick Evans, Jr., TE/DE; Kyle Walsh, Jr., OL/DL; Jacob Weatherford, Jr., LB/FB; Josh Therrien, Jr., FS/WR

Outlook:
The Bombardiers started the season 3-2, but closed with only one win in the final six games, including a pair of losses to league rival and eventual Super Bowl champion King Philip. Injuries piled up for Attleboro in 2016, but it gave a number of players the chance to gain valuable varsity experience and the Bombardiers have high hopes for improvement this fall.

Experience at the skill positions is one of the reasons for optimism at Attleboro. Senior Cam Furtado is slated to start the season at quarterback and has proven to be a dynamic playmaker. Classmate Elvin Sam emerged as a big play weapon last fall, whether in the backfield or split out wide, and tight end James Weir gives Attleboro an option in the middle of the field. Wideout Josh Therrien and running back Justin Cote could also play bigger roles with running back Marcus Blaise adding depth.

Attleboro also has a strong returning core on defense with Furtado, Sam, and Therrien in the secondary and Weir joining senior Nate Barboza and junior Jacob Weatherford at linebacker. Matt Corrado, Matt Jimenez, and Kyle Walsh will give the Bombardiers strength on both sides of the line and junior Nick Evans could be poised for a breakout year after moving from linebacker to defensive end. Sophomore Qualeem Charles is also a player to watch on the line.

“I am extremely excited about our senior group of players,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “We have some dynamic players in Cam Furtado and Elvin Sam and hopefully they can maximize their athletic talents. We have many returning starters from last season so we hope to build on that experience.”

Franklin

2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Eian Bain

Key/Returning Players: Jake Noviello, Sr., QB; Sean Leonard, Jr., WR/TE; Brian Kosicki, Sr., OT; Nolan McLaney, Jr., S; Jackson Gilbert, Sr., DE; Ryan Driscoll, Jr., CB; Riley Downing, Jr., OL/DL

Outlook:
The first season for the Panthers under new head coach Eian Bain was a struggle at times for a young roster that was adapting to new systems on both sides of the ball, but there is hope that the experience gained last fall will pay dividends in 2017. Franklin will have a number of returning players to count on this season.

Offensively, Franklin will have to find ways to make up for the production of graduated running back Jacob Wolowacki, who was a go-to weapon in the ground and passing games. Senior quarterback Jake Noviello will be counted on to lead the offensive unit after more than 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall. Junior wideout Sean Leonard started all 11 games last year and will be a tough matchup for defenses along with fellow receivers Jack Nally, Will Davis, and Evan Wendell and running back Sean Hofferty. Three-year starter Brian Kosicki will be the leader of the offensive line and tight end Patrick Morrison will be a weapon in the passing game.

On defense, the Panthers have depth in the secondary, including junior safety Nolan McLaney, who was second on the team in tackles last year. Junior Ryan Driscoll has speed on the corner and Bain called him the “focal point” of the defense. Nick Gordon will hold down the other corner spot. Senior defensive end Jackson Gilbert is coming back from injury that cut short his junior season and will add strength on the edge. Junior Riley Downing gives Franklin size and speed in the middle of the line.

“We are in year two of our process,” said Bain. “We are in a different place than we were a year ago…Fans should expect to see a better team in 2017. We have a roster full of experience and had great participation through the Franklin speed and conditioning program. In a league this good we have to bring our best every week.”

King Philip

2016 Record: 12-0
2016 Finish: MIAA D1A State Champions
Coach: Brian Lee

Key/Returning Players: Brendan Lydon, Sr., QB; Evan Rice, Sr., RB/LB; Shane Frommer, Sr., RB/DB; Dylan Leonard, Sr., RB/LB; Cole Baker, Soph., K; Andrew Dittrich, Sr., WR/DB; David Morganelli, Jr. WR/DB; Anthony Vahue, Sr., OL/DL; Jack Webster, Jr., LB.

Outlook:
What will the Warriors do for an encore? King Philip won its third league title in the past five years, second outright Kelley-Rex title in the past three seasons, and completed an unbeaten season with a win over Reading in the Div. 1A Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.

Despite losing a large and influential senior class, the Warriors are being picked by some to repeat at champs this fall. One reason for continued belief is the return of senior quarterback Brendan Lydon, who showed poise in the pocket and the ability to make accurate passes downfield in his first year under center in 2016. Yale-commit Shane Frommer is also back for his senior season and will be the feature back for the Warriors in a system that prides itself on pushing teams around on the ground. Beyond that, it will be up to a group of rookies to make an impact. KP will boast an entire new offensive line, anchored by senior Anthony Vahue, and all new receivers. Junior David Morganelli will be one of the options for Lydon.

The Warriors boast a bit more experience on the defensive side of the ball. Even though a good chunk of starters are gone, KP’s rotation last year allowed for players like Evan Rice (defensive end), Jack Webster (linebacker) and Dylan Leonard (safety) to see action. Frommer will be back opposite Webster while Vahue will also play on the defensive line. Andrew Dittrich returns as a starting corner back to anchor the secondary.

Although there are a lot of new faces on this year’s roster and a lot of leadership missing from last season’s championship squad, head coach Brian Lee has instilled a toughness that permeates the program and expectations are that KP will have a decent chance at lifting a trophy again this fall.

“We don’t get any points for last year, we don’t get spotted a touchdown because we went undefeated last year,” Lee said. “When it comes to high school football, it’s about taking those rookies and getting them ready for varsity speed, they have to be able to handle the bright lights on Friday nights. If we can get them up to speed, we should be okay.”

Mansfield

2016 Record: 8-3
2016 Finish: Reached D1A South Quarterfinal
Coach: Michael Redding

Key/Returning Players: Will Shield, Sr., OL/DL; Colbey Eason, Jr., OL/DL; Jareme DiLorenzo, Sr., DE/TE; Hunter Ferreira, Sr., WR/OLB; Danny DeGirolamo, Sr., RB/DB; Joe Cox, Sr., RB/OLB; Khristian Conner, Jr., RB/DB; Chris Copponi, Jr., FB/LB; Aidan Sacco, Jr., RB/DB; Mike Shannon, Sr., TE/DE

Outlook:
The Hornets finished second in the Kelley-Rex division last year, with the only Hock loss coming by three points to league champ King Philip. Mansfield was stunned in a playoff thriller against Marshfield, but then bounced back to beat Div. 1 playoff teams Needham and Newton North and will enter 2017 with typically high expectations, as the Hornets look to win their first league title since 2013.

A strength for Mansfield this fall will be the experience it returns at the skill positions led by senior wideout Hunter Ferreira, who has emerged as one of the area’s top receivers. The backfield will once again be loaded for the Hornets, who will count on seniors Danny DeGirolamo and Joe Cox and juniors Khristian Conner and Aidan Sacco. New quarterback Damani Scott will try to make use of that talent and the 6-foot-3 junior has a big arm to make plays downfield.

Cox and Ferreira will add strength and speed to the linebacking corps, while seniors Mike Shannon and Jareme DiLorenzo will provide a pass rush at the defensive end positions. Conner, Sacco, and DeGirolamo will all return in the secondary. If there are questions for the Hornets, it will be at the line of scrimmage; senior Will Shield and junior Colbey Eason have returned and will be the players to build around on the offensive and defensive lines.

“After one week, we are happy with work ethic and development of linemen,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding, who is in his 30th season with the Hornets. “If we can get pieces of the puzzle sorted out up front on OL and DL, we’ll be a tough out. We have a very good collection of playmakers that can run and catch and we should score some points this year.”

Oliver Ames

2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike Holland

Key/Returning Players: Jack Mills, Sr., OL/DL; Curtis Cann, Sr., QB; Jay Fruci, Sr., FB/LB; Michael Mulrean, Sr., DB/WR; John-Michael Cole, Sr., OL/DL; Noah Fitzgerald, Sr., WR/DB

Outlook:
The Tigers got off to a promising start to 2016, winning two of the opening three games including a dramatic one-point win over Franklin, but Oliver Ames struggled down the stretch against a difficult schedule. Now entering his third year, head coach Mike Holland is confident the program is heading in the right direction this fall.

According to Holland, the Tigers’ strength on the offensive side of the ball is the experience of playing in the system for several seasons and a greater understanding of the concepts. Senior Curtis Cann will lead the attack after taking over as the starting quarterback last season and he has several talented weapons on the outside in seniors Michael Mulrean and Noah Fitzgerald. Jay Fruci will be one of the returning players in the backfield, lining up behind a big offensive line.

Jack Mills will be a mainstay in the middle on both sides of the ball and is one of the top lineman in the league. He will be paired with fellow senior John-Michael Cole on the line, giving the Tigers depth in the trenches. Fitzgerald and Mulrean will also be important contributors in the secondary, while Fruci will bring athleticism to the linebacking corps. Holland wants his defensive scheme to take advantage of the team’s speed.

“Looking forward to the start of a new season. Our guys’ preparation and approach leading up to the season has been excellent,” Holland said. “We have guys with experience that need to play big, as well as some new guys that are in the mix to compete for spots.”

Taunton

2016 Record: 5-6
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brad Sidwell

Key/Returning Players: Noah Leonard, Jr., QB; Brayden Merrill, Jr., WR/DB; Collin Hunter, Sr., WR/DB; Paul Corrao, Sr., T/DT; Cam Correiro, Jr., G/DT; Antonio Mendes, Sr., RB; Zakim Harrow, Sr., DT/NG; Nuno Camara, Sr., LB/FB

Outlook:
The Tigers narrowly missed out on a winning record in their first season under head coach Brad Sidwell and showed signs of improvement, including a narrow, three-point loss to Mansfield. In year two, Sidwell is hoping for even more and Taunton has potential on the roster to be a tough out in the league.

Losing wide receiver Adam McLaughlin to graduation will certainly impact the offensive attack, but junior quarterback Noah Leonard returns for his second season under center and will look to build on the experience he gained last fall. With a number of athletes at the skill positions, including senior Collin Hunter and junior Brayden Merrill at wideout and T.J. Mendes in the backfield, Taunton will use a number of formations and styles to cause matchup problems. Sidwell expects the passing game to be a major strength for the Tigers.

Defensively, Taunton will have a number of new faces, but has size and experience at the line of scrimmage. Seniors Paul Corrao and Zakim Harrow and junior Cam Correiro will all make a significant impact on the battle in the trenches. Senior Nuno Camara provides experience to the linebacking corps, while Merrill and Hunter will be important in the secondary.

“Moving into the second year, the players, coaches and fans are excited for the season but there is lots of work to be done,” Sidwell said. “Hopefully we can get off to a good start and provide some confidence to gain momentum into the difficult Hockomock League season.”

Dominant Performance Gives King Philip Second Win

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Foxboro’s Paul Darcy tackles King Philip’s Dylan Leonard following Leonard’s interception. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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WRENTHAM, Mass. – If you could draw up a prototypical King Philip football game, the Warriors’ 21-0 win over Foxboro on Friday night probably wouldn’t be too far off.

King Philip had its running game going, amassing all 236 of their offensive yards on the ground. The defense was stout, holding Foxboro to under 50 yards of total offense and forcing a turnover. And KP dominated on time of possession, picking up 17 first downs compared to just three for Foxboro.

“It’s nice when you can do it,” King Philip head coach Brian Lee said of being able to continuously run the ball. “The other facets of the game will come. Some nights we’ll be throwing it all over the place, you just never know what you’re going to get for defensive looks. We just played good defense, so you feel comfortable being patient.”

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Senior back Sean Garrity (17 carries, 102 yards) went over the century mark for the second straight week while Shane Frommer (14 carries, 66 yards) and fullback Alex Olsen (seven carries, 46 yards) proved to be viable options as well.

Both teams advanced inside the opposition’s 30-yard line on the opening drives but both sides failed to convert on fourth down. Mark Clagg’s pass to Jamaine Few in the end zone went incomplete to end Foxboro’s drive while Trey Guerrini broke up Brendan Lydon’s pass on fourth on KP’s opening possession.

Foxboro’s second possession resulted in a punt and the end of the first quarter. King Philip worked the first drive of the second quarter inside the red zone but their 27-yard field goal attempt was short.

The first turn of events finally came on Foxboro’s next possession when Dylan Leonard jumped the route, picking off Clagg on 3rd and 8 from the Foxboro 22 yard line. Leonard was able to get some yards on the return, setting up KP in the red zone.

After Lydon converted a 4th and 1 and the nine with a sneak, Frommer and Garrity took back to back carries to get it to the two yard line. Lydon took it in himself with the sneak and freshman Cole Baker’s extra point gave KP a 7-0 lead just 41 seconds before halftime.

“The hogs up front have been doing a good job, they were really stacking it in there and bringing a lot of dudes,” Lee said. “They got penetration a couple of times but we snuck by it and we were able to make plays. Our backs run the ball real hard, I have a lot of faith in them. If we miss a block, the backs can make a guy miss and fall forward for three yards and we’ll get it from there.”

KP started the second half in similar style, keeping the ball on the ground to move up the field. After Garrity was stopped in the back field for his first loss of the day, he took his next carry 33 yards up the left sideline, nearly breaking free for the end zone. Frommer romped through the defense for 15 yards on a pair of carries and Garrity took 15 more. Frommer was tripped up just outside the goal line, leading to Lydon’s second touchdown, this one a 1 yard sneak. Baker’s extra point gave King Philip a 14-0 lead with 4:58 left in the third quarter.

“We were on the field way too much defensively tonight,” Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli said. “You can only make so many stops and we didn’t punch back. You have to give them credit, they’re a good football team, they play hard, they play tough both ways. The score reflects the game was played.

“They were tougher, they deserved the 21-0 score.”

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Foxboro was forced into punts on its next two drives, the latter coming from deep inside its own territory. Guerrini skied a nice punt that reached midfield but KP’s Andrew Dittrich found some space on the right side and raced for a 42 yard return, giving KP possession inside the 10. After a pair of runs from Olsen, Lydon grabbed his third touchdown with yet another 1 yard sneak. Baker’s extra point made it 21-0 with 8:36 left in the game.

“It’s complimentary football. It’s cliche to say right now but it’s nice to have it,” Lee said. “Special teams, we’ve been waiting to make a big play in special teams. In the past we’ve always had a guy that can do that and we’re starting to develop that now. Hopefully that’s something we can capitalize on and get good field position.”

Nathan Gudas, Evan Rice and Sam Saintilus came up with sacks on Foxboro’s last possession, putting an end to the game. King Philip had five sacks with Garrity, John DeLuca, and Nick Kerr also getting in on the action.

“The kids played really good,” Lee said of his defense. “All of the guys in the secondary, they are all returning players. So all last year, they got tons of work. Last year when we played [Foxboro] they went right down the field throwing the ball. It started that way tonight but the kids settled down, made some adjustments, we got some pressure and went from there. When you get a lead, you feel good and we were able to keep it away from them. It wasn’t as pretty as we’d like it to be but it was good enough to get it done.”

King Philip football moves to 2-0 with wins over two Davenport division teams, which do not count to the league record. It marks just the fourth time in history KP has beat Foxboro and North in the same season, including 2011, 2009 and 1969. The Warriors will start their Kelley-Rex schedule with a trip to Oliver Ames next week.

“Back in the old days, we’d be sitting pretty good right now,” Lee said with a laugh of beating North and Foxboro to start the season. “The guys don’t really understand what the big three [Foxboro, North, Mansfield] was in the Hock. We used to waive the white flag to Jack, we used to hope North Attleboro would stop scoring. To be competitive with those guys means everything.”

Foxboro (1-1) will open up Davenport play on Saturday when they take a visit to Sharon to play the Eagles, who are sitting at 2-0.

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Lydon, Garrity Lift Warriors to Win at Community Field

King Philip Football
Junior Brendan Lydon thre the game-winning touchdown pass and Sean Garrity ran for a pair of scores as King Philip beat North Attleboro on opening day at Community Field. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – King Philip head coach Brian Lee likes to keep things close to the vest. Coming into the season, many outside of the program expected senior John DeLuca to be the starting quarterback for the third straight year. Instead, on opening night at Community Field, DeLuca was split out as a slot receiver and junior Brendan Lydon was under center.

Facing North Attleboro on the road is not the easiest task for a quarterback’s first varsity game, but Lydon answered the call with 112 yards, the game-winning touchdown, and most importantly no turnovers. Thanks to a strong performance from Lydon, two touchdowns from senior running back Sean Garrity, and a typically smothering defensive performance, KP started its season with a 19-7 victory.

“He’s like a surfer or something,” Lee joked about Lydon. “He doesn’t really get rattled too much and that’s a good temperament to have and he couldn’t have played better on his first night.”

Lydon said, “It feels unbelievable. I just had to stay calm, cool, and collected and I knew the boys would get it done.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Warriors moved the ball well on its first drive, including a 26-yard completion by Lydon to Shane Frommer on a screen to the North 20-yard line. But, the drive stalled, as did KP’s second drive, which also ended up in Rocketeers territory until Garrity lost a fumble at the North 39.

After back-to-back three and outs, North finally got something going offensively and moved the ball upfield. Junior Chad Peterson hit senior Bobby Mylod for 21 yards on third and 11 to keep the drive alive and then hit Mylod again on a crossing pattern for a 15-yard touchdown to give the hosts the lead.

Another KP drive ended in North territory, but the Warriors got the ball back at the Rocketeers 26 when Frommer dove on Nick Rajotte’s fumble. It was doubly difficult for North, which also lost Rajotte to an injury for the remainder of the game.

Garrity made the turnover count when he took a toss to the near sideline and burst through a hole for a 26-yard score that tied the game heading into halftime.

“It was huge because we had some drives fizzle,” said Lee of the tying touchdown. “I thought Sean really set the tone for us tonight. We didn’t even know he was going to be our main dude until tonight and he was angry and he wanted the job.”

The Warriors started the second half with the ball and quickly went back to work grinding out yards with the running game. Alex Olsen had a 10-yard carry on an inside handoff to convert on third and short and two plays later KP took the lead. North got pressure on Lydon, but he somehow eluded the rush long enough to fire a strike downfield to Michael Mello. The 48-yard touchdown put KP ahead 13-7.

“Defintely a lot of pressure,” said Lydon. “I don’t know…it was kind of a spur of the moment kind of thing. Swam the guy, threw it deep and Mello was there to get the TD. The greatest feeling in the world.”

North coach Don Johnson said, “I thought Tommy Reynolds had him and then the kid makes a good catch. The coverage wasn’t bad; we were there, so it was one of those kind of games. I knew it was going to come down to one play here or there, whichever team would make those plays and they made more than we did tonight.”

King Philip put the game away with a drive to make Lee proud. The Warriors moved 75 yards on 15 plays and ran out the remainder of the clock in the third quarter and the first three minutes of the fourth. Lydon found tight end Brett Mazur for a third down conversion, DeLuca (10 carries, 69 yards) ran the “Wildcat” three times for 25 yards, and Garrity finished the drive with a 12-yard rush up the middle.

“What they do, they do very well,” said Johnson. “They’re not fancy. They just pound it and come right at you. I thought the quarterback did a really nice job, so you couldn’t just sell out on the run.”

The Warriors were also dominating on defense. KP allowed only five first downs in the game and sacked Peterson four times. Junior Evan Rice, whose father played with Lee at Walpole High, had three of those sacks and two other hits that forced incomplete passes. Peterson (9-16, 59 yards) hooked up with Kyle McCarthy several times in the second half, but could not get the ball down field. Andrew Dittrich picked off a deep throw with a minute left to seal the win.

“That was part of the reason we didn’t get much going on offense,” said Johnson of the pressure. “In part that was good defense, but we had some breakdowns inside too.”

Lee saved special praise for DeLuca. He said, “You see what John DeLuca is for this team. How much of a competitor he is, what a winner he is, so you’re going to take a kid like that and ask him to move you’ve got to think highly of the kid coming in. It says a lot about John and how much he wants to win.”

The KP bench was all smiles as it ran through a tunnel of cheerleaders and fans on the way to the locker room. Lydon admitted that the Warriors felt under-appreciated coming into the season. He explained, “North is a great team, ranked in the top five to start the season…I guess we just brought it. It’s a great feeling and definitely a lot of confidence going forward.”

Lee added, “I didn’t know if we had it anymore. There’s new rules and football’s changing…they’re trying to make it something I don’t want to be a part of and then they come out tonight and they play it’s the way it’s supposed to be played.”

North Attleboro will travel to Bishop Feehan next week, while King Philip will get another cross-division test when it hosts Foxboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.