Below are the official 2021 (Fall 2) Hockomock League Football All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Kelley-Rex Division MVP
TJ Guy, Mansfield
Kelley-Rex Division All Stars
Michael Strachan, Attleboro
Chris Leonardo, Attleboro
Jake O’Brien, Franklin
Mack Gulla, Franklin
Patrick Zarba, King Philip
Mikey Malatesta, King Philip
Crawford Cantave, King Philip
TJ Guy, Mansfield
Jake McCoy, Mansfield
Cincere Gill, Mansfield
Nico Holmes, Mansfield
Anthony Comer, Mansfield
Nick Bertolino, Mansfield
Mario Lee, Milford
Carter Scudo, Milford
Dominic Schofield, Milford
Kedrick Santos, Taunton
Trent Santos, Taunton
Davenport Division MVP
Christopher Ais, Stoughton
Davenport Division All Stars
Jack Albert, Canton
Matt Connolly, Canton
James Kraus, Foxboro
Jon Moses, Foxboro
Luis Sulham, Foxboro
Mike Norvish, Foxboro
Sean Ferguson, Foxboro
Harry Bullock, North Attleboro
Jacob Silva, North Attleboro
Jared Penta, North Attleboro
Matt Penta, North Attleboro
Tyler DeMattio, North Attleboro
Ike Ogbonnanze, Sharon
Christopher Ais, Stoughton
Christian Ais, Stoughton
Jake Queeney, Stoughton
John Burke, Stoughton
Sproul Deroulos, Stoughton
Below are the official 2021 (Fall 2) Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Football All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league.
King Philip, 3 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – King Philip took a lead on three different occasions, the final time coming in the sixth inning and that one held as the Warriors scored a win on the road. KP took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Eli Reed walked, stole second and scored on a single by Shawn Lagere but Attleboro answered with a run in the bottom half, Owen Taber coming around to score after a leadoff walk. In the top of the fourth, Lagere singles again and scored on a triple from Grayden Lawrence for a 2-1 lead, but the Bombardiers once again answered. This time in the bottom of the fifth on a solo home run from Jake Gorman to make it 2-2. KP pushed across the winning run in the sixth as Conor Cooke drew a walk and eventually scored on a sac fly from Mikey Malatesta.
Oliver Ames, 4 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Christian Papasodero came in to strike out the final batter of the game, earning the save, and a big win for OA. The victory keeps the Tigers just one back of North Attleboro in the win column heading into the final three games of the season. Nick Clark picked up the win for OA, going 6-2/3 innings and giving up four hits and three runs and striking out six. Jadon Ricci and Patrick Finnerty each went 2-for-4 with two runs scored to spark the OA offense. Jake Waxman, Nate Carpentier, and Nate Fulford each drove in a run.
North Attleboro, 12 @ Foxboro, 6 – Final – North Attleboro jumped out to a 10-1 lead through five innings and then held off a late Foxboro rally to secure the win, moving half a game ahead of Oliver Ames in the Davenport title race. Danny Curran went 5-1/3 innings with eight strikeouts, allowing three runs, to pick up the win. Joe Hartnett went 1-2/3 innings of relief, allowing only three unearned runs. Curran also helped himself at the plate, going 2-for-4. Gavin Wells also went 2-for-4 with an RBI, while the bottom third of the order came up big for the Rocketeers. The 7-8-9 hitters accounted for six hits, five runs scored, and seven RBI. Tyler Bannon and Aidan Conrad each went 2-for-4, with two RBI and two runs and Justin Vecchiarelli went 2-for-2 with three RBI. Ryan LeClair, Jack Watts, and Sean O’Leary each had two hits for the Warriors and accounted for four of Foxboro’s six runs.
Sharon, 1 @ Stoughton, 16 – Final (5 Inn.) – Stoughton had its best offensive day of the season, exploding for 16 runs on 15 hits in a win over visiting Sharon. The Black Knights scored in each of the five innings with Ben Zola (two hits, two runs) setting the pace from the leadoff spot. Kyle Doolin had a pair of walks, two runs, and an RBI, Jake Queeney added two runs, one walk, and one RBI, and Jonah Ly chipped in with two runs and three RBI in the win. A day after coming up with a clutch two-out hit to force extras, Brandon Mantilla-Mercado had two hits and drove in four runs. Freshman Hunter Malkin earned his first career win on the mound, allowing one run on four hits and three walks, striking out five in five innings.
Foxboro, 4 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final – For the first time in program history, North Attleboro has repeated as league champion. The Rocketeers clinched the outright Davenport crown after sweeping the home-and-home with the Warriors. Foxboro made it tough, leading 2-0 heading to the bottom of the fifth, but the North offense exploded for five runs to grab the lead for good. Emily Nardelli’s two-run homer tied the game and Kelly Colleran put North in front with a solo shot. Colleran added her fourth homer in two days when she knocked one out in the sixth and also picked up the win in the circle, striking out eight. Colleran and Zoey McDonough each finished with three hits and Belle Clarkin had two hits for North. Morgan Sylvestre had a homer for the Warriors.
Franklin, 4 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – Mansfield won for the third straight time and moved within a game of .500 on the season. The Hornets scored the winner in the bottom of the sixth, after Franklin had rallied from three runs down to tie it. Ashlyn Conley (3-for-3) doubled and then came around to score on a Nicole Kobasa (2-for-3) single. In addition to driving in the winning run, Kobasa also came up big in right field, throwing out a pair of runners at first. Franklin jumped in front in the second, but Mansfield scored three in the fourth inning to lead 3-1. Casey Moussette (2-for-3) started it with a single, Molly Kucharski reached on a fielder’s choice, Conley singled, and another fielder’s choice from Kobasa scored the first run. Abby DeCoste (2-for-3) tripled to score one and then came around when the throw got away. The Hornets tacked on a run in the fifth on a walk by Jill Koppy, a stolen base, and then an RBI-single from Moussette. Live Madeira also had a hit for Mansfield.
Canton, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 8 – Final – Canton grabbed the lead, scoring four of its five runs in the top of the third, but the Tigers rallied, answering back with two in the bottom half, three in the fourth, and then a big insurance run in the sixth. Katie Melendy went the distance in the circle to pick up the win. Offensively, Maddie Homer (2-for-3, three runs, and three steals), Emma Varella (2-for-3, three runs scored), and Taylor Lake (2-for-3, two runs, and two RBI) each had a pair of hits. Grace Simone drove in a pair and Caitlin Miller added one RBI. Amanda Vrabel went 3-for-3 for the Bulldogs and drove in a pair of runs. Ellie Bohane added three hits and scored twice, while Taylor Reynolds went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Liz Bickett and Steph Trendell made two great plays in the field for Canton.
Stoughton, 13 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Nicole Baker allowed eight hits and struck out 11 in a complete game win that moves the Black Knights into a tie with Foxboro for second in the Davenport division. Stoughton had 18 hits as a team, including a 4-for-4 game from Julia Driscoll. Sydney Menz went 3-for-5 with two triples and Melody Casna went 3-for-5 with a two-run homer. Alyssa Edwards and Baker also had multiple hits in the win.
Attleboro @ King Philip, 3:45
Canton, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 14 – Final – Jake Manthous and Ross Carroll had the goals for OA.
Foxboro @ North Attleboro, 6:00
Stoughton, 1 @ Sharon, 10 – Final
King Philip, 14 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – KP won its fifth straight and got to 10 wins on the season. The Warriors used a balanced attack with two players accounting for five points, Julia Marsden and Morgan Cunningham, and two accounting for four points, Lily Brown and Haley Izydorczak.
North Attleboro, 4 @ Foxboro, 19 – Final – Paige Curran (two assists) and Lilly Vey each scored four goals, as Foxboro swept a two-day series with North Attleboro and, in the process, clinched the outright Davenport division title for the ninth straight season. The Warriors continue to fire on all cylinders offensively, with eight different players finding the back of the net. Mya and Ella Waryas each scored three times and assisted on another. Kate Collins scored twice, while Mary Collins had a goal and two assists and Dylan Rappoli had a goal and an assist. Val Beigel added a goal. Maddie Maher had another strong game in goal for the Warriors, making seven saves.
Franklin, 23 @ Mansfield, 6 – Final – Franklin secured at least a share of its eighth straight league title, beating Mansfield for the second time in as many days, and extending its lengthy league win streak by another game. Katie Jones powered the Panthers with six goals and an assist, but Franklin showed off its balance on offense. Jackie O’Neil scored four times and assisted on another and Stella Regan scored twice and had five assists. Jamie Tanner had a pair of goals and a pair of assists. Lindsay Atkinson had a strong game in the Franklin midfield, winning 10 draws.
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip won all three singles matches in straight sets and that was enough for a 3-2 win over visiting Attleboro. Nick Putney (first singles) and Jon Cohen (third singles) both won without dropping a game while Brady Jannell scored a 6-4, 6-0 win at second singles. The Bombardiers won both doubles matches with Alejandro Jimenez and Kevin Rebelo taking a 6-4, 6-3 win at first doubles and freshmen Kyle Neuendorf and Tyler Rocchio secured a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win at second doubles.
Canton, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Canton kept alive its hopes of sharing the league title with a win at OA. Minh Duong battled cramps in a marathon match against Kylash Ganesh at first singles, but managed to pull out a win. He took the first set 6-4, lost 7-5 in the second, and won a third set tiebreaker 10-4 to grab the point for his team. Ethan Nguyen won 6-1, 7-5 at second singles and Elias Jabbour and Huy Hung won 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles. In second doubles, Shawn Welch and Jackson Santos fell behind 5-2 in the first set but rallied to win 7-5 and then closed out the match with a 6-2 second set. Freshman Nick Westerbeke won OA’s lone point at third singles with a 6-2, 6-2 win.
Stoughton, 1 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Sharon swept doubles and won a pair of singles matches to stay unbeaten in the league and clinch at least a share of its second straight Davenport title. Ridhuik Neti and Deyan Kassev (first doubles) and Alex Budovaloev and Ben Levinson (second doubles) both won their matches 6-0, 6-1. Max Chen took his match at second singles by a score of 6-3, 6-4 and Matthew Lally won 6-1, 6-0 at third singles. Waseem Sabion grabbed Stoughton’s lone point, winning the first set 6-0 and then bouncing back from an 0-6 loss in the second to close out the match with 6-3 third set.
Foxboro, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – North Attleboro kept up its pursuit of first-place Sharon with a sweep of Foxboro. The Rocketeers are two games back of the Eagles and will face them twice next week. Sam Gallagher (second singles), Will Folan (third singles), and the team of Brody Carter and David Marroquin each won their matches 6-0, 6-0. Jonah Manso won his match at first singles 6-3, 6-0 and the second doubles team of Niteesh Saravanan and Visruth Chavalam won 6-1, 7-5.
King Philip, 5 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – King Philip made it a sweep of Attleboro to remain unbeaten and sealed at least a share of its fourth straight Kelley-Rex division title. Ahunna James and Shea Mellman (6-3, 6-0) and Resha Ajoy and Amanda Van Roon (6-1, 6-0) won their doubles matches in straight sets, as did Katarina Schneider (6-0, 6-2) at first singles. Sammie Taylor also won in straight sets at third singles, but had to battle in a second set tiebreaker before pulling out a 6-2, 7-6 (8-6) win. Mia Valencia lost her opening set to Lauren Anthony in a tiebreak but then won the next two sets 6-4, 6-4 to seal the fifth point for the Warriors.
Mansfield, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Canton, 2 – Final – The first doubles team of Morgan Vasiliou and Caroline Peper won 6-3, 6-1 to earn OA its third point and to seal the first league win of the season for the Tigers. OA also got points from Mia Corradini at third singles and from Celine Souaidan and Courtney Lake at second doubles, both matches finishing 6-1, 6-0. Canton won the top two singles matches, as Rachel Kupferman didn’t lose a game in a straight sets win and Laura Correal won 6-2, 6-4 at second singles.
Sharon, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final
North Attleboro, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final – The Warriors beat North Attleboro for the second time in as many days to remain unbeaten and clinch at least a share of the Davenport title for the first time since 2015. Athena Li continued her dominant rookie season, remaining unbeaten with a 6-0, 6-0 victory at first singles. Pam Nelson also won 6-0, 6-0 at second singles and Sarah Prag won 6-1, 6-1 to make it a clean sweep of singles. At first doubles, Maggie McAuliffe and Abby Costa battled with North’s Anoushka Banerjee and Julia Curran and pulled out a hard-fought, straight-sets win, 6-4, 7-6 (2). North’s point came at second doubles, as the team of Lauren Consentino and Kyna Shah won 6-0, 6-4.
Mansfield @ Canton, 4:00
Oliver Ames, 31 @ North Attleboro, 40 – Final – The dual meet came down to the final match, as Keysun Wise was able to hold off Jaden Hinton 6-4 at 285 to seal a win for the Rocketeers. North now moves one game up in the win column on Foxboro and sets up a final match with the Warriors to decide the Davenport title. Tanner Ferguson (113), Kyle Dumke (132), Ethan Smith (145), and Griffin Gouck (160) each had pins for North. Kyle Hardie remained unbeaten for the Tigers with a pin at 120, while Giovany Juste (170), Anthony Hoffman (182), and Onye Nwadiugwu (195) also had pins for OA.
Taunton, 3 vs. Quincy, 0 – Final – Taunton swept Quincy in three sets (25-18, 25-20, 25-23). Tyler Stewart had another big match for the Tigers, leading the team with 17 kills but also adding three aces and seven digs. Faisal Mass chipped in with six kills and three blocks and Jakob Thorpe had eight kills and two blocks. Mattia Casagrande (six kills) and Colin McDougal (three kills) added to the Taunton offense, which was spearheaded by setter Daniel Medina, who finished with 36 assists. Travis Nunes had 12 digs and was a key in Taunton serve-receive game.
2019 Record: 14-10 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Final Coach: Steve Dunlea
Two years ago, Attleboro made a run to the Div. 1 South final, only to run into league rival and eventual state champ Taunton. While the Bombardiers only return three players with varsity experience, Attleboro will be looking to replicate some of that momentum and challenge the top teams for the Kelley-Rex division title this spring.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Senior catcher Bailey Camacho caught half the innings during his sophomore season and will be the starter this spring, as well as an important presence in the lineup. Seniors Jake Gorman and Matt McMahon will both be part of the rotation and play corner infield spots when they’re not on the mound building off the experience they got two years ago. Senior Cam Foster adds speed at short and will be the closer, while juniors Billy Saltmarsh and Cian Kelleher, and sophomores Dillon James and Danny Johnson are part of what should be a deep staff for the Bombardiers. Speed should also be a strength for Attleboro, including outfielders Ben Hochwarter, Nate George, Hayden Hegarty, and Packer Sackett, and middle infielders Owen Taber and Evan Houle. Junior Christian Dame is a versatile player who can step in at multiple positions.
“We’re excited to get our players out there to see what we can accomplish,” said Attleboro coach Steve Dunlea. “Our guys have worked very hard during the off-season and have come a long way in the past few years. We are particularly proud of our senior leadership. It’s been a tough year and we are so grateful to the MIAA and ADs for making this season happen for our seniors.”
2019 Record: 6-14 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Ben Shuffain
Canton had a great start to the 2019 season under then first-year head coach Ben Shuffain, including an impressive win over Wellesley. But almost all of the Bulldogs’ wins came in the first half of the season. Now Canton will look to start strong and continue that throughout the year as they look to challenge for the Davenport division title.
The Bulldogs are one of the teams that have a good number of players that played back in 2019 so there is a lot of optimism surrounding the experience on the roster this season. Canton has four starters back for this year’s campaign: shortstop/right-handed pitcher Steve Burbank, outfielder Cam Sanchez, catcher/outfielder Sawyer Julier-Albert, and right-handed pitcher Nate Hewit. Both Burbank (0.328) and Julier-Albert (0.395) were among the league leaders in batting average as sophomores so they will be key pieces for the offense this year. Shuffain will also look for contributions from outfielders Andy Butler and Zach Peters, infielder Nico Bonanno, and utility option Matt Quan — all four could also see time pitching.
Burbank will also see time on the mound and Hewit will be an important piece of the pitching staff this year. Junior Andrew Middleton, who tossed a perfect game in the season-opener, will obviously be a major part of the rotation as well, giving the Bulldogs solid depth. Behind the pitching staff, there will be a lot of players who have experience at the varsity level so Shuffain hopes mistakes will be at a minimum.
“We are lucky to have a good number of players who have varsity experience from 2018 and 2019,” Shuffain said. “They have been preparing for 18 months for this season and this group has tremendous leadership and a ton of talent. I am excited to see what they can do on the field.”
For the 2021 season, it all starts with pitching for the Foxboro Warriors. The 2019 squad graduated six players, and there were nine juniors on that team that missed out on their senior season a year ago. That means Foxboro has four players coming back for this spring, and almost all picked up a lot of valuable experience the last time out.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Seniors Cam Prescott and Sean Yoest will headline the Warriors’ rotation, bringing a lot of experience to the staff. Prescott logged over 26 innings as a sophomore, allowing just four walks with a 1.86 ERA. Yoest had a lot of success at the plate as a sophomore and will be looking to replicate that on the mound this year. Sophomore Sean O’Leary will likely be a key piece on the mound when fully healthy and the Warriors will look to seniors Dylan Quinn, Mike O’Toole, Ryan Jacobs, and Sebastian Ortiz, as well as juniors Liam Mulkern and Tom Marcucella to provide pitching depth.
Yoest will patrol the outfield when he’s not on the mound and will be a key piece offensively after hitting 0.346 as a sophomore with 11 runs scored and 11 RBI. Yoest will be joined in the outfield by junior Jack Watts, a three-sport athlete who has excelled in golf and hockey, and sophomore Kenny Mello. Marcucella will also see time in the outfield while senior Griffin Morse is a solid depth piece that can play all three spots in the outfield.
Prescott will see time at either third or shortstop when he’s not pitching. Beyond Prescott, the Warriors will have some inexperience around the infield with freshman Tyler Prescott (second base) and sophomore Ryan LeClair (shortstop) impressing early on. Mulkern and O’Toole will provide the infield with some senior leadership from first while Marcucella and Ortiz providing depth. Mulkern will also be an option behind the plate while junior Mike LaVita will step into the starting role at catcher.
“We are excited for the opportunity to get back on the field and compete every day,” head coach Derek Suess said. “Having our top two arms still here is comforting, but we will need contributions from many different guys. We have a good mix of seniors and underclassmen who have bought in to our vision for the season.”
2019 Record: 22-3 2019 Finish: Reached Super 8 Coach: Zach Brown
While Franklin won’t be able to make it three straight appearances in the Super 8 with the tournament not happening this year (and possibly for a couple of years), there is something the Panthers can do: defend their Kelley-Rex division title.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
The Panthers were nearly perfect in league action during the 2019 season (15-1) and will be one of the favorites for the title again this year. But it will be almost an entirely new cast of players doing so. Franklin had 10 seniors on that team plus another seven juniors that graduated last year, meaning just a handful of players from the roster are back. Of that group, just one starter is back in senior Jake Fitzgibbons, who played second base at the time.
Now Fitzgibbons moves behind the plate and will be in charge of handling a pitching staff that is new to the varsity level. Having him behind the plate should make it easier for the likes of junior Jacob Jette and sophomore Alfred Mucciarone, who figure to be two of the key components of Franklin’s rotation this season. And when needed, Fitzgibbons will switch out from behind the plate and take the mound himself.
Seniors Nate Cooke and CJ Jette serve as captains alongside Fitzgibbons and will provide leadership both on and off the field. Cooke is slated to start at first base and will bring a big bat to the lineup while Jette will see time both in the outfield and at designated hitter. Seniors Luc Boudreau (outfielder) and Nick Quinn (right-handed pitcher) have impressed early on as well.
“As always the cornerstone of our program is pitching and defense,” said head coach Zach Brown. “We believe we have the right mix of athletes and arms to compete daily this season. Offensively, we believe that our line-up can be pretty athletic. Obviously, we are all in the same boat missing last season so it will be an exciting season to get back out onto the field. I know the players and our coaching staff are really excited for the games to start up.”
2019 Record: 8-12 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Jeff Plympton
There will be a lot of new faces on the mound, in the field, in the batter’s box, and even on the bench for the King Philip Warriors this season. Looking back at the 2019 season, only one name is back in action for the Warriors this season. And on top of that, there’s a new coach in the dugout in Jeff Plympton.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Both Conor Cooke and Jack Silveria saw plenty of action during their sophomore seasons but Silveria will miss his senior campaign after undergoing Tommy John surgery. That means that Plympton and the rest of the Warriors will lean heavily on Cooke, a three-year starter who will guide KP from behind the plate. Cooke, who is committed to play at Brown University, is a rock behind the plate and that will be important as KP deploys a pitching staff that is new to the varsity level. That rotation will feature junior Nick Viscusi and sophomore Rudy Gately, with seniors Jack Mullen, Grayden Lawrence, Harry Brown, and Jake Burns all providing depth.
Cooke will be a key part of the offense as well, slated to hit from the clean up spot. Viscusi will set the tone from the leadoff spot and can cause some damage on the base paths with his speed. Junior Shawn Lagere will start at shortstop and bat third in the lineup, providing the Warriors with some power while Gately will see time at third when he isn’t on the mound. Seniors Ethan Hurwitz and Mikey Malatesta provide outfield depth and Plympton has 10 juniors on the roster to help fill out the lineup.
“Looking forward to getting the season going and watching the team play together,” Plympton said. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had high school baseball and most of our guys, like many teams, are new to the varsity level. We have some good talent on our team. Plenty of good throwing arms to get us through the new pitching restrictions. The infield is solid with very dependable fielders around the diamond. The outfield is fast and does a great job tracking fly balls. I believe defense will be our best strength this season. The players have been putting in a lot of hard work during practices.”
2019 Record: 18-7 2019 Finish: Reached Super 8 Coach: Chris Hall
Joe Breen had a very successful run at the helm of the Hornets, and his successor is one that the program is very familiar with. Chris Hall, who served as Breen’s assistant, takes over and is aiming to continue the success that Mansfield has had in recent seasons.
Coming off one of their best seasons in program history that culminated in a second straight Super 8 appearance, the Hornets will try to rebuild their lineup with a strong core of seniors. Eric Sullivan will move into the starting role behind the plate and will be a vocal leader both on and off the field for the Hornets. Three-sport athlete Jack Colby is slated to take over at first base, Luke Urban looks to take over at second base, Ben Mintz can slot into a variety of roles, including in the field or on the mound, and Greg Coyle, the lone returner from the 2019 team, will be an option on the mound for the Hornets. Juniors Jared Fraone and Liam Anastasia will help round out the lineup.
Coyle will be joined by juniors Aaron Blinn, Anthony Sacchetti, and Jimmy Gilleran on the Hornets’ staff. That group brings a lot of baseball experience and a range of knowledge, and Hall is hoping all of that will translate to the varsity level. Mintz, Colby Geddis, and Brayden Purtell will look to provide additional innings in relief.
“With two years off due to COVID-19, and few players having varsity experience, I expected tryouts to be exciting,” Hall said. “Our players knew they had to come in and earn everything to gain a spot in the starting lineup. There continues to be daily position battles daily and it pushes players to improve. The talent we have in the program is consistent from top to bottom. The team brings energy and enthusiasm to everything they do and it truly makes the atmosphere on the field second to none. We cannot wait to get out on the field and compete against some of the best competition in the Hockomock League.”
2019 Record: 11-11 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Alex Dion
Milford will be the new kids on the block this season in their first year apart of the Kelley-Rex division, which features two teams that went to the Super 8 last time out and another that won the D1 State title.
The Hawks are going to rely on their pitching as they compete for the division title. Senior right-hander Mario Lee and classmate Wes Solomon, another righty, both picked up valuable experience as sophomores during the 2019 season and will anchor the Milford pitching rotation. Lee, who is committed to playing both football and baseball at Wesleyan, pitched in 10 games out of the bullpen in 2019 while Solomon appeared in five games with a 2.33 ERA.
Sophomore Evan Cornelius is a “big, physical kid” according to head coach Alex Dion, and he will round out the Hawks’ rotation this season. When he isn’t on the mound, Cornelius will be behind the plate and the same goes for Solomon, who could also see him in the middle infield. Lee will also be in the lineup when he’s not on the mound, playing at either first or third. Senior Carter Scudo burst onto the scene as a sophomore, hitting 0.352, and will be the catalyst to the offense this year, batting in the leadoff spot. He will anchor the outfield defense from center field.
“I’m excited to start our 2021 season,” Dion said. “It has been great to get back out on Fino Field for the first time since 2019. I have a good group of young men this year with players from all four classes making the varsity roster. This is a great league with quality teams, players, and coaches throughout. We will go out and compete to the best of our ability on a daily basis. I am optimistic about what this group has to offer this year and in the future.”
2019 Record: 11-10 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round Coach: Mike Hart
North Attleboro head coach Mike Hart has the best arm in the Hockomock League in senior Dennis Colleran and the 2019 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year Jared Penta as the catalyst for the offense so the Rocketeers will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport title this season.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Colleran, who is committed to pitch at Northeastern, has been a member of the Rocketeers since his freshman year, making his first appearance in North’s D2 South Semifinal win over Dartmouth back in 2018. He logged 37.1 innings as a sophomore, posting a 3-4 record with a 2.63 ERA during the 2019 season. Since then, Colleran has honed his skills on the club scene and is poised to lead the Rocketeers this year. Senior Joe Hartnett and junior Danny Curran look to fill out the rotation while the Rocketeers have plenty of depth pieces including Tyler Bannon, Dan Pedro, Derek Maceda, and Aidan Weir.
Penta will hit from the leadoff spot and set the tone for the offense. Weir and classmate Justin Vecchiarelli will anchor the infield Maceda, a sophomore, could be poised for a breakout season at shortstop. Curran will also see time in the outfield when he isn’t pitching while senior Evan Vigorito, and juniors Brody Rosenberg, and Gavin Wells will be in the outfield mix. Bannon and Nik Kojoian will be options behind the dish for the Rocketeers.
“Just like other teams in the league, we are curious how our players will make the jump to varsity baseball,” Hart said. “We will do our best to be fundamentally sound and keep things simple. Our pitching staff has a handful of competitive guys who are looking for an opportunity to help the team. The boys are excited about the season and hope we can bring a consistent approach to all our opportunities this year.”
2019 Record: 12-13 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal Coach: Joe Abarr
After reaching the D2 South Sectional Final in 2018, the Tigers fielded basically an entirely new squad during the 2019 campaign. Two years later, Oliver Ames looks to be in the same boat as there minimal varsity experience on the roaster.
Senior Nate Fulford is one of the few players that did see varsity action two years ago, emerging as a go-to option offensively as a pinch-hitter as a sophomore. Now Fulford will be a key piece in the lineup each game, manning third base and bringing a big bat to the heart of the lineup. Senior Jadon Ricci will take over at shortstop and is slated to hit near the top of the lineup.
Junior Jack Richardson was a part of the Tigers’ varsity squad as a freshman and is now in position to anchor the rotation. He’ll be in the lineup even when he’s not on the mound, patrolling the always tricky outfield at Frothingham Park for the Tigers. When it comes to new faces on the squad this year, junior Jake Waxman brings a big bat to the lineup and can bring some pop to the offense; he will start at first base defensively. Junior Joe Cicchetti has impressed early on in tryouts and the preseason both offensively and defensively, and he is slated to start in center for the Tigers.
“We should have a solid lineup,” said OA head coach Joe Abarr. “We have depth at most positions and decent options on the mound. With so little practice time prior to the first game, there are still a lot of questions to be answered, but we have a great group of guys that are really looking to compete this year.”
2019 Record: 2-18 2019 Finish: Missed postseason Coach: Andrew Poliferno
The last time the Eagles hit the field, they had one of the youngest teams in the Hockomock League. Now that means there is a lot of returning players back in the dugout this year and Sharon should be one of the most experienced groups in terms of baseball played.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
Sharon has a new head coach in alum Andrew Poliferno, who is no stranger to the program after coaching at each level over the past few seasons. Poliferno takes over for Kee Arguimbau, who had been with the program as a coach for nearly 20 years including the last four as head coach. Poliferno has 10 seniors at his disposal this year including two of the most experienced players in JD Rittenberg and Justin Brown, who both started as sophomores in 2019. Playing at second and short, respectively, the Eagles will have solid defense up the middle of the field. Sharon expects strong defense to come with the experience it has.
Junior Dylan Labbe pitched some innings as a freshman so the Eagles will lean on him as one of the anchors of the pitching staff. Senior Justin Nault and junior Ryan Baker will also see time on the mound while freshman Luke Meixel is slated to be a part of the starting rotation right away. Offensively, Rittenberg and Brown will lead the way once again. Baker and classmate Nate Yaffe should slot into the lineup in their first year on varsity, playing third and outfield, respectively. Poliferno is also looking for contributions from Damien Bonner and Daniel Zagoren offensively.
“After a missed season, it’s wonderful to see our players back out on the field,” Poliferno said. “Despite the year off, I was impressed with the growth and progress our players made since they last played high school baseball. It was clear to me we have a program of players who work hard during the off-season and I look forward to seeing their hard work translate to wins this season.”
2019 Record: 14-9 2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Semifinal Coach: Mike Armour
Like most schools, Stoughton has a limited number of players with varsity experience on the roster this season. It will be baptism by fire for a lot of new faces as head coach Mike Armour will look to get the most out of his lineup to try and compete for the Davenport division title.
The players that do have any varsity experience will be key, especially early on in the season as the rest of the Black Knights get used to the varsity level. Senior Brady Conlin will anchor the Stoughton staff on the mound this year and also hit in the heart of the lineup. Conlin has experience both pitching and at the plate and could be one of the most dangerous all-around players in the league. Senior captain Kyle Doolin will anchor the infield and is an option to pitch as well. He is slated to hit near the top of the lineup and could also see time behind the plate defensively.
Jake Queeney, another senior captain, will patrol center field for the Black Knights and hit from the leadoff spot. Queeney’s speed has been on display on both the basketball court and football field, so his legs could cause some damage on the base paths. Senior captain Brandon Mantilla-Mercado will take care of the pitching staff this year as the starting catcher and will bring some power to the plate offensively. Junior infielder Anthony Tilton has impressed early and figures to be a top bat in the lineup, juniors Jonah Ly and James Price will both see innings in the infield and on the mound, and junior Brad Franey is slated to take over at second. Seniors Joe McNulty, Colby Andrews, Andrew Scardina, and junior Colin Alessi provide lineup depth. Freshmen Hunter Malkin and Ben Zola will likely make an immediate impact for Stoughton.
“The kids are excited to play baseball,” Armour said. “They have brought a positive attitude and willingness to work to practice, which is all I can ask for as a coach. We are excited to get a little bit better every day, and put ourselves in a position to win some ballgames this season.”
2019 Record: 21-7 2019 Finish: Won Div. 1 State Championship Coach: Blair Bourque
It seems like just yesterday the Tigers were celebrating their Division 1 State Championship at LeLacheur Park in Lowell. Yet at the same time, it somehow also feels like a lifetime ago.
2021 Hockomock League Baseball Preview
The Tigers are one of the teams that will “what if” when it comes to the 2019 season, as they were set to have eight starters back to try and defend their first-ever state championship. Now for the 2021 season, there is just one Tiger starter back from that regular season. That is senior pitcher/infielder Danny MacDougall, who will anchor the pitching staff and also return to his shortstop position. Ty Cali, who took over for MacDougall after an injury sidelined him for the postseason, is also back to give Taunton a solid 1-2 punch up the middle of the field. Cali can also slide over and play short when MacDougall, who is committed to playing at the University of Hartford next year, is on the mound.
Sophomore Ryan MacDougall is set to finally make his varsity debut this year. A verbal commit to the University of Dayton, Ryan MacDougall was on the playoff roster for the state championship team as an eighth-grader. Not only does he bring a big bat and power to the lineup, head coach Blair Bourque described his plate discipline as “well beyond his years.” If the Tigers want to compete at a high level, Bourque noted the importance of senior pitchers Conor Quinlan, Bretton Heggs, and Matthew Ferrara. In total, Taunton boasts a dozen seniors on the roster.
“My expectation for this season is for us to compete as a team and individually every day as best we can, but ultimately, I will be grateful I get to spend time on the field with my players,” Bourque said. “It is always about the relationships formed with your players throughout the course of a year, you don’t always appreciate how good you have it until it’s gone. Losing last season really made me appreciate my role as the head coach for the Taunton High baseball program.”
Taunton, 5 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final (9 Inn.) – Senior Ty Cali drove in a pair of runs for the Tigers, including the game-winning run in the top of the ninth as Taunton moved to 2-0 on the season. Tied 2-2 through seven innings, the teams traded runs in the eighth inning before Taunton was able to keep the lead for good in the ninth. Cali tripled in the go-ahead run and then came in to score an insurance run on a single from Braden Sullivan (2-for-3, walk). Danny MacDougall struck out six in 4.1 innings of work, allowing five hits and four walks with just one earned allowed. Sophomore Ryan MacDougall earned his first career win in a relief appearance, striking out one in two innings of work with no earned runs allowed.
Stoughton, 7 @ Canton, 9 – Final – Canton scored all of its runs between two innings, including a five-run sixth inning to erase a three-run deficit and earn a win. Stoughton claimed a 1-0 lead in the top of the first but the Bulldogs battled back with four in the bottom half to jump ahead. Stoughton added three runs in the third, two more in the fourth, and one in the sixth to stake a 7-4 lead but the Bulldogs answered once again to retake the lead. Sawyer Julier-Albert (two runs, walk, RBI) and Andrew Middleton (run, two RBI) each had two hits for Canton, who totaled nine as a team. Steven Burbank and Zach Peters also drove in a run in the win. Matt Quan picked up the win in relief, allowing one run with one strikeout and two hits allowed in 3.2 innings of work. For Stoughton, Brady Conlin had four strikeouts, allowing seven earned on nine hits in a complete game effort. At the plate, Conlin went 4-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. Jake Queeney (run, two RBI), Kyle Doolin (two runs), and Hunter Malkin each had two hits for Stoughton.
Sharon, 7 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Sharon freshman Luke Meixel had a memorable debut for the Eagles, tossing a complete game with just two runs allowed on two hits and two walks to lead the Eagles to a win over Foxboro. Meixel had just one earned run allowed while striking out three. JD Rittenberg paced the offense for the Eagles, who blew open a 1-1 game with six runs in the top of the sixth. Rittenberg had three hits, two RBI, and scored two runs while Justin Brown added two hits, an RBI, and a run scored. Tom Marcucella and Sean O’Leary each had a hit and a run scored for Foxboro.
Milford, 3 @ Franklin, 13 – Final – Sophomore Alfred Mucciarone earned a win in his debut on the mound for the Panthers, allowing just two runs on five hits and three walks, striking out five in four innings of work for Franklin. Ethan Voellmicke (three strikeouts) and James Kuczmiec (two strikeouts) each tossed a scoreless inning in relief. Ben Jarosz led the offensive charge with three hits, including a pair of doubles, drove in two runs, and scored once himself. Ryan Gerety (two runs, RBI), Jack Marino (two doubles, two RBI, three runs), and Eisig Chin (two runs, RBI) each had two hits for Franklin.
Mansfield @ King Philip – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/12 at 3:45.
North Attleboro @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/12 at 3:45.
Attleboro, 2 @ Taunton, 4 – Final – Taunton senior Kelsey White struck out 16 batters and the Tigers held off a late-rally from the Bombardiers to win at home. Taunton scored once in each the first and third innings and tacked on two more in the bottom of the fifth. White allowed two runs, both coming in the top of the seventh, on three hits and two walks, but closed the door shut to preserve the win. Taunton had just three hits on the day but took advantage of five walks and two Bombardier errors. Hanna Aldrich had an RBI and scored a run, White helped her own cause with an RBI, and Kyleah Plumb had a hit and a run scored in the win. In the top of the seventh, Brenna Morse drew a walk and Lora Woyton singled to put two on. Freshman Rylie Camacho smashed a two-run triple to bring the tying run to the plate but Taunton was able to close it out. AHS head coach Mark Homer credited Hailey Perry (shortstop) and Kayla Goldrick (third base) for strong defensive plays to keep Attleboro close. Woyton pitched a complete game, allowing just three hits and five walks.
Foxboro, 14 @ Sharon, 4 – Final – Foxboro exploded for eight runs in the top of the sixth inning, turning a close game into a big win on the road against the Eagles. Foxboro belted out 18 hits as a team, led by senior Morgan Sylvestre’s five-hit day. Sylvestre hit one home run and three doubles, driving in four runs in the process and scoring twice. Peyton Feldman added four hits out of the leadoff spot, including one double and one triple, and scored all four times. Nicole Theriault and Kaylee Bruce each added three hits and eighth-grader Emma Callahan helped her own cause with two hits. In the circle, Callahan tossed a complete game for her second win, scattering eight hits while striking out eight. Trinity Payne struck out nine and went 2-for-4 in the loss. Sharon also got three hits from Julia Earley and two from Penny Rabatsky.
Franklin @ Milford – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/12 at 3:45.
Canton, 5 @ Stoughton, 12 – Final – Stoughton picked up its first win of the season with a win at home over neighboring Canton. Senior Julia Driscoll led the offensive charge for the Black Knights with two hits, driving in three runs. Junior Sydney Menz (two doubles) and freshman Julie Powers each had two hits for the hosts, freshman Alyssa Edwards recorded her first hit and scored two runs, and seniors Sarah McGrath and Nicole Baker each had a hit on the day. Baker earned the win in the circle for the Knights, scattering seven hits while striking out nine.
King Philip, 7 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – The Hornets tried to mount a rally in the top of the seventh, loading the bases with two outs and the top of the order due up but KP sophomore catcher Sarah Cullen picked off a runner at third ended the game. Cullen was the star of the game, going 3-for-3 at the plate with three runs scored, recording a double and a triple. She also reached a fourth time after being hit by a pitch and finished with two RBI for KP. The Warriors scored once in the first, three in the third, two in the fourth, and added one more in the sixth. Charlotte Raymond added three hits, including a pair of doubles, and two RBI while sophomore Libby Walsh smashed a two-run triple and had a strong game defensively (two putouts, four assists). Mansfield recorded five hits as a team, including two from Jill Koppy and one each from Olivia Madeira, Molly Kucharski, and Nicole Kobasa.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ North Attleboro, 10 – Final – Zoey McDonough allowed a bunt single and a walk, but then retired the next 18 batters that she faced to earn her first career win and shutout. McDonough finished with 12 strikeouts and helped her own cause with three hits and four RBI. Kelly Colleran continued her hot start at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a walk, two triples, and a solo homer. Emily Nardelli, Belle Clarkin, and Ally Levine each had two hits for North. For OA, Maddie Homer (stolen base) and Grace Simone each recorded a hit.
Mansfield, 9 @ Canton, 11 – Final
Sharon, 1 @ Franklin, 21 – Final – Franklin had 11 players find the back of the net in a big win over visiting Sharon. Sophomore Jayden Consigli led the charge with seven goals and one assist while classmate Luke Davis scored four goals and had one assist.
North Attleboro @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Thursday, 5/13 at 3:45.
Attleboro, 8 @ Taunton, 16 – Final – Taunton dominated at the draw, leading to a big win over visiting Attleboro. The Tigers won 22 of the 28 draws while both Alana Tavares (two assists) and Tasia Lajoie recorded seven goals. Rosemary McGrath added a pair of goals and an assist while Cali Melo had two helpers. Emily Gannon made 10 saves in the win for the Tigers.
Mansfield, 10 @ Canton, 11 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Canton jumped out to an 8-2 lead early in the second half, but the Hornets rallied with eight of the game’s final 11 goals and the Bulldogs needed to win the final draw with just 50 seconds to play to hold on for the win. Canton led 3-2 after the first quarter, thanks to a pair of goals from Ella Yeaton and one from Kayla Albert. Lola Varricchione and Grace Danehy got on the board for the visitors. The Bulldogs broke the game open in the second and led 7-2 at halftime. Devan Spinale, Carly Fitzgerald, Emily McCabe, and Yeaton tallied for the home team, and then Allie McCabe scored off a turnover early in the third quarter to build the lead to six. Mansfield rallied with four straight to get back in the game. Lauren Clark scored three of the four and Ava Adams added the other, but Sierra Abbott stopped the run with 12.1 on the clock to send Canton into the fourth up 9-6. Spinale added her second (both with low-angle, backhand shots) a minute into the final quarter. AnnMarie McCoy scored back-to-back goals, but Abbott answered with her second of the night. Danehy got her second just 30 seconds later and then Adams made it a one-goal game with 49.9 on the clock. Canton controlled the draw and ran the ball down to the far corner, winding down the clock for its second win.
Sharon, 4 @ Franklin, 23 – Final – Franklin defended its home turf against visiting Sharon as 13 players found the back of the net for the Panthers. Katie Ryan, Maura Cogavin, and Emma Sousa each scored their first varsity goal in the win.
Oliver Ames @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Thursday, 5/13 at 3:45.
Attleboro, 4 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Attleboro won a pair of matches in singles action and picked up two more in doubles play to get a win on the road over Taunton. Evan Sousa earned a 6-4, 7-5 win at second singles while Matt Lortes picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Alejandro Jimenez and Kevin Rebelo prevailed with a 6-3, 6-4 win at first doubles while Kyle Neuendorf and Tyler Rocchio secured a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles. Taunton’s Michael Kimmer won a long battle at first singles, 5-7, 6-4, 11-9.
Canton, 4 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Canton freshman Max Kupferman prevailed in three sets in a well-played match at second singles to help the Bulldogs secure a win on the road. Kupferman prevailed 6-1, 6-7 (8-10), 6-2 at second singles while Minh Duong scored a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Ethan Nguyen and Jalen Townsend didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles while Elias Jabbour and Charlie Doody teamed up for a 6-4, 6-2 win at second doubles. Stoughton’s Waseem Sablon earned a 6-3, 6-2 win in an excellent match at first singles.
Foxboro, 0 @ Sharon, 5 – Final
Franklin, 5 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Franklin went on the road and won all five matches in straight sets over Milford. Liam Marr picked up a 6-0, 6-1 win at first singles, Vayshnav Malhotra didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at second singles, and Drew Mahoney earned a 6-0, 6-2 win at third singles. The team of Anish Gundimeda and Sameen Shaik took home a 6-0, 6-1 decision at first doubles while Thomas Broyles and Jay Gorgas notched a 6-1, 6-1 win at second doubles.
King Philip, 0 @ Mansfield, 5 – Final – It was a clean sweep for the Hornets, winning all five matches at home against visiting King Philip. Kailash Elumelai prevailed with a 6-2, 6-4 win at first singles, Dheeraj Valluru won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles, and Benson Delaney picked up a 6-1, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Kai Schirmacher and Nikhil Lankipalle secured a 6-3, 6-0 win at first doubles, and the team of Jonah Fine and Adam Elsner walked away with a 6-2, 6-4 win at second doubles.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – North Attleboro started division play off with a win over visiting Oliver Ames, winning all five matches in straight sets. Jonah Manso didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles, Sam Gallagher took a 6-0, 6-1 decision at second singles, and Will Folan won 6-3, 6-1 at third singles. Connor Willis and Sayf Siddiq won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles while Brody Carter and Niteesh Saraanan won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles.
Taunton, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro picked up a pair of wins from doubles action and then added a key win in singles play to edge out visiting Taunton. Lauren Anthony prevailed 6-2, 6-2 at second singles for the Bombarders while the teams of Rachel Rainey and Saharla Yusuf (first doubles, 6-5, 7-6 (7-5)) and Emma Pion and Tina Lam (second doubles, 7-5, 6-2) each won to help the match win. Taunton’s Jocelyn Pagliuca won 6-3, 6-1 at first singles while Cayeesha Charles won 6-2, 6-3 at third singles for the Tigers.
Stoughton, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton won two matches in singles action and added one win from doubles play to edge out visiting Stoughton. Rachel Kupferman didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles and Laura Correal earned a 6-2, 6-1 win at second singles. The team of Lily Hazam and Olivia Durham picked up a 6-0, 6-3 win at first doubles for the Bulldogs. Stoughton’s Allie Lada won 6-1, 6-1 at third singles while the team of Nadia Prokopiuk and Lynn Le earned a 4-6, 6-0, 10-6 win at second doubles.
Sharon, 2 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final – Foxboro’s Sarah Prag emerged with a three-set win at third singles to secure the winning point in the Warriors’ 3-2 win over Sharon. Athena Li (first singles) and Pam Nelson (second singles) each won 6-0, 6-0 to give Foxboro two points while Sharon’s Anjali Jha and Julia Zelevinsky (first doubles, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-3)) and the team of Tanvi Mittal and Sasha Fein (second doubles, 6-2, 6-0) each won to give the Eagles two points. Prag dropped the first set but rallied to win the match 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to get the win.
Milford, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final
Mansfield @ King Philip, 3:45
North Attleboro, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – It was a clean sweep in singles action for the visiting Rocketeers, who also added a win from doubles action to beat Oliver Ames. Junior Charlotte Moynihan earned a 6-4, 2-6, 6-1 win at first singles, senior Haley Strom won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles, and freshman Lauren Hunt grabbed her first win with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 win at third singles. The team of juniors Lauren Consentino and Kyna Sha won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles for North. Oliver Ames’ Morgan Vasiliou and Caroline Peper picked up a 6-0, 6-0 win at second doubles.
Franklin, 18 @ Stoughton, 14 – Final
Oliver Ames, 45 @ Mansfield, 25 – Final
Greater New Bedford Voke, 0 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Taunton defended home court with a 3-0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-12) sweep over visiting Greater New Bedford. Tyler Stewart had a big game for the Tigers with 17 kills, eight blocks, and five digs. Mattos Casagrande added seven kills, two aces, and a block while Faisal Mass chipped in with two kills and four blocks. Daniel Medina added two blocks and two aces to go along with his 29 assists while Travis Nunes played well in the back row.
STOUGHTON, Mass. – With small snowflakes swirling in the wind, the temperature hovering in the mid-30’s, and Canton Bulldogs and Stoughton facing off on the gridiron on a Thursday morning, it sure felt like Thanksgiving.
The holiday rivalry continued between the Bulldogs and the Black Knights, only this time it was on Earth Day and in the middle of April vacation for the final game of the Fall II season due to COVID-19.
It marked Stoughton’s first home game for the holiday meeting since 2016 and the Black Knights celebrated in grand style. The hosts put a bow on an impressive season with a 41-7 win at the new Veteran’s Memorial Stadium on the campus of Stoughton High.
Stoughton wasted little time to take the lead and found the end zone early and often. In fact, the Black Knights made four trips to the end zone — all in the first quarter — within its first 14 plays on offense. Three of the four drives started in Canton territory and the other just one yard into their own half.
“That was a good start,” said Stoughton head coach Greg Burke. “We’ve played hard the last three weeks, we’ve hung in and had some guys down. Every game has been tough. We might not be the most talented, but we work hard and the kids play tough.
“It’s been a tough year for Canton a little bit, they have some good kids over there. But they weren’t able to do much against our defense. I’m so happy for the seniors, it’s a great way to finish it up. It’s a weird time, been a weird year but overall I think we had a pretty good year, I’m very happy. I’m going to miss these guys.”
The Black Knights also put on a shutdown performance on the defensive side of the ball, shutting out the Bulldogs until the final play from scrimmage when senior Jack Albert, who was selected to wear #27 in honor of former Canton star Ricky Shannon, bullied his way in for a 1-yard touchdown.
Senior Jake Queeney set the tone right away for the hosts with a 58-yard return on the kickoff, only denied a touchdown on a tackle from kicker Will Keefe. From there, Stoughton needed just five plays as senior quarterback Brady Conlin dropped a pass to Christian Ais for a 12-yard score. Jonah Ly’s first of five successful point after attempts put Stoughton ahead 7-0.
The Black Knights got the ball back after a punt at their own 49-yard line. Four plays in, facing 3rd and 9, Conlin dropped back and dumped a screen pass off to junior Emmett Pearl, who got to the sideline and turned on the jets, racing the rest of the way for a 40-yard score with 4:07 left in the first.
Ais had a big return on Canton’s next punt and on the first play of the ensuing drive, Stoughton was back in the end zone again. Senior John Burke took over under center and kept it himself, first racing to the left before cutting back through a big gap and going in for a 19-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 2:30 left in the first quarter.
It continued to go Stoughton’s way as the Bulldogs coughed up the football on the kickoff with Ly coming up with the loose ball. After a 17-year end-around rush from Queeney, Burke handed it off to senior Nivon Domoulin for a 7-yard touchdown and a 28-0 advantage with 0:48 left in the opening quarter.
Domoulin was starting in place of star senior running back Christopher Ais, who missed the game after being poked in the eye the week before. For Stoughton, it was another player on a long list of starters that missed time this season.
“The kids that stepped up for us were great,” Burke said. “We had seniors that came in and got to play and it just shows how they are tough kids. Nivouin was the one today [for Christopher Ais]. We just got Christian Georges back, who at full throttle he’s the best player in the league. But that’s the way it is, that’s high school football. You’re only as good as your backup. These days, you have to practice them almost harder than your starters because, at any time, they’ll be in.”
Canton’s final drive of the first half was its best of the first two quarters, marching 34 yards into Stoughton territory on seven plays but the Black Knights stuffed the Bulldogs on 4th and 2 to end the half with a 28-0 lead.
It was more of the same on the offensive side of the ball for Stoughton in the second half. The Black Knights used eight plays to cover 64 yards, highlighted by a 33-yard pass from Burke to Ais. Christian Georges, back from injury, capped the drive with a 2-yard plunge and a 35-0 advantage.
Stoughton forced a turnover on downs and its offense went to work, needing just three plays to find the end zone. After Ais went for 25-yards, Domoulin found the end zone for the second time in the game with an 8-yard rush.
“I’m really happy with the year,” Burke said. “[John] Burke had a busted finger from last week so Conlin came in, another great senior, and threw two touchdowns. We got Colby [Andrews] in there as well, he’s another senior. You try to play everyone when you can, it’s not easy but they are great kids. I’ll take these kids over anyone. We don’t have any problems, they play together as one and we’re very proud of that.”
Canton took advantage of a Stoughton fumble late in the fourth quarter to get on the board with junior Andrew Butler coming up with the fumble recovery. Butler got the drive going with an 11-yard carry and two plays later, Albert burst up the middle for a score from a yard out.
Stoughton football finishes the season at 5-2 while Canton wraps up the Fall II campaign at 2-5.
STOUGHTON, Mass. – One of the characteristics that first-year Milford coach Dale Olson has talked about with his team is resiliency. On Friday night at Stoughton’s new Veterans Memorial Stadium, the Hawks showed that they have been listening to the coach’s message.
Milford overcame two first half turnovers and three first half drives that ended inside the Stoughton 10, and twice in the fourth quarter the Hawks answered Stoughton touchdowns with scoring drives of their own. All of that allowed Milford to pull out a hard-fought, 28-21 road win against their former division rival.
“We always talk about adversity and we faced it again tonight,” said Olson. “The kids handled it. We didn’t score two times inside the five and that’s a great football team and you can’t do that, but I’m proud of our kids tonight. They fought and good teams find a way to win.”
The visitors were able to move the ball almost all night. Milford finished with more than 300 yards passing and nearly 200 yards on the ground, but the Hawks missed several opportunities to break the game open early.
On the opening drive of the game, the Hawks put together a 10-play drive and marched all the way down to the Stoughton three. Milford was finding success with the short passing game, as senior Brady Olson (25-of-42, 312 yards) completed seven passes to three different receivers on the first possession. But, on first and goal, his pass into the end zone was intercepted by Emmett Pearl.
“We were trying to get as much pass rush as we could and they just nickel-dimed it,” said Stoughton coach Greg Burke. “They had a couple simple patterns and we were trying to cover, but we didn’t stop them right there.”
Stoughton got the ball at it own three and just four plays later was in the lead. A 19-yard carry by Christopher Ais (17 carries, 68 yards) gave the Black Knights some breathing room. On third and five, John Burke (11-of-24, 187 yards) fooled the Milford defense with play action and hit Christian Ais (five catches, 108 yards) in stride for a 73-yard score.
Not to be outdone, the Hawks hit back with a big play of their own. Facing third and 13, Olson fired a strike to Max Martin (seven catches, 121 yards), who hauled it in, took a big hit, spun free, and got a good block from Jayden Agnew to race 75 yards. Both extra points were blocked, so it was tied 6-6.
Following and Evan Hazard interception and return, Milford started its next drive at the Stoughton 25. The Black Knights managed to stop the Hawks on three plays inside the 10 and blocked Nicholas Araujo’s 21-yard field goal attempt.
A short punt again gave Milford great starting field position, this time at the Stoughton 34. On second down, Jake Queeney picked off a pass in the end zone to again deny Milford a go-ahead score.
With a 53-yard punt, Christopher Ais pinned Milford down to start its next drive at its own two, but with horrible starting field position the Hawks finally got back into the end zone. Olson started working down the left sideline to Matt Varteresian (seven catches, 74 yards) out to almost midfield.
As Stoughton’s defense prepared for the pass, Carter Scudo took a draw play up the middle for 52 yards and the visitors’ first lead. Olson hit Agnew on the conversion to make it 14-6.
Milford had one more possession to try and extend its lead before halftime. The Hawks used 15 plays and got all the way to the Stoughton three but were denied again by the Black Knights defense. Andrew Medina made a good play on the ball to breakup one pass and Olson saw his fourth down try get batted down at the line.
It definitely looked like the story of the game would be missed chances, as Stoughton put together a 14-play, 76-yard scoring drive that ate up nearly 7-1/2 minutes of the third quarter. The big play was a play action pass from Burke to Pearl for 31 yards into Milford territory.
Burke capped the drive on third and goal from the five, as he rolled out to his left and went full extension to hit the front pylon. His two-point pass to Pearl in the back of the end zone tied the game at 14-14.
“He had some good throws,” Burke said of his quarterback. “We just missed a couple of home runs. We worked hard and we had some good runs.”
After an intentional grounding call stalled Stoughton’s next drive inside Milford territory, the Hawks answered to get back in front. On third and six, Olson went deep to Keithley Sutton, who just got his hands under the ball and pulled in the 37-yard reception. On third and three from the 26, Olson showed off his legs, scrambling for 25 yards down to the goal line. Scudo (11 carries, 68 yards) punched it in for his second touchdown of the night.
“We knew that we could take the short stuff,” Olson explained. “Take what they give you and [Brady] did it tonight. At times, it didn’t look good and we struggled to run the football and in the end we rushed for 173 yards. In the end, we needed to be able to run the football to win this game and we did.”
For the second time in the game, Ais pinned Milford deep, this time with a 60-yard boot that rolled down to the two. On first down, the Black Knights nearly caught Scudo in the end zone, but he was able to dive to the one and avoid the safety. Stoughton took advantage of a short punt to even the game up. Christian Ais cut upfield on a sweep to the left and raced for a 22-yard score, his second touchdown of the night, and it was 21-21 with 4:38 to play.
Momentum seemed to be with the home team, but Milford’s offense continued to be hard to stop. An eight-yard pass to Sutton converted a third and four and kept the drive alive. With the ball at the Stoughton 22 and the Black Knights expecting a pass, Tyler Lane (seven carries, 58 yards) burst up the gut on a draw play, cut to the far sideline, and flung himself at the front corner of the end zone for what turned out to be the game-winning score.
“I was trying to blitz there at the end, thinking they were going to throw, and that kid just went over us,” said Burke. “Their QB is just tough. He had a pretty good day. Second half I thought we did better.”
Stoughton had two minutes to try and answer. Burke started it with a 15-yard keeper and was able to recover from an intentional grounding call with an 11-yard pass to Queeney on fourth and eight. In the end, the Milford defense forced three straight incompletions and a turnover on downs to seal the win.
“It was a rock fight,” said Olson. “Burke has a done a great job and Stoughton kids are tough kids. We’re 4-1 and almost every game we’ve been in a rock fight, it’s just a slugfest.”
Milford (4-1) will travel to Lowell for a non-league game next Friday night. Stoughton (3-2) will look to avoid a three-game losing streak when it travels to King Philip.
NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Through the first three weeks of the Fall II season, North Attleboro’s high-powered offense has received plenty of attention and headlines.
In the biggest game of the year to date, however, it was the Rocketeers’ defense that received rave reviews after containing a dangerous Stoughton offense — all the way to the final play of the game — to the tune of a 14-6 victory, clinching at least a share of the Davenport division title in the process.
The North Attleboro defense forced four straight punts to start the game, ended a pair of Stoughton drives on downs inside their own territory, created back-to-back turnovers in the fourth quarter, and denied the visitors a chance at tying the game as time expired.
“We were worried because it’s a physical matchup against those guys with their big backs and all of our little guys coming up trying to tackle them,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “I think we kept them off balance enough. We learned last year one guy isn’t going to bring down their backs so we worked all week on getting guys to the football, and we have some speed on defense so that helps.
“It felt like the whole second half we kept giving them chances, we could never get that third score. We felt like if we could get that third score we could relax a little but we never got it, we never finished it on offense but the defense kept stepping up and making plays.”
It marked a quick one-season turnaround for the program, which finished under .500 for the first time in over 25 years during the 2019 season. Now, the Rocketeers are division champions for the fifth time in the past six years.
“These kids were really motivated throughout the whole offseason, they wanted to get North Attleboro back to where it should be,” Johnson said. “I couldn’t be prouder of them, they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them for the past 15, 16 months now and it’s been awesome, it’s a great group of kids.”
Stoughton’s defense, down three starters to injury including top pass-rusher Christian Georges, put in a solid shift as well as the Black Knights continued to make big stops in the second half to give themselves a chance. The visitors made things interesting by scoring on the first play of the fourth quarter as senior quarterback John Burke read the blitz and got the pass out quickly, hitting an open Christian Ais. Ais turned on the jets and sprinted up the left sideline for a 43-yard score and Stoughton trailed by just one possession, 14-6.
North nearly answered right away but couldn’t quite finish off the drive. The Rocketeers used all of their weapons on the drive to march down the field, as junior quarterback Tyler DeMattio (24 carries, 150 yards) started with a 24-yard run, Tommy Whalen followed with a 10-yard carry, and Jacob Silva moved the sticks for the third straight play with a 16-yard rush.
DeMattio ran for 11 yards later in the drive to get into the red zone but on 4th and 5, Stoughton’s Christopher Ais came up with a sack and the Knights took over on downs.
But just three plays into the ensuing drive, North Attleboro got the ball back as junior Tyler Bannon ripped the ball free from the ball carrier and recovered the fumble himself, setting the Rocketeers up with the ball at the Stoughton 30.
The Black Knights once again came up with a red zone stop to stay in the contest. Christian Ais had a tackle for a loss on second down, and on fourth and 2 from the 8-yard line, Stoughton’s Davin Swierzewski met DeMattio up the middle to deny him the first down with 3:24 to play.
A 20-yard rush from Burke plus a personal foul followed by an 11-yard reception from Jake Queeney moved Stoughton over midfield. But Stoughton’s drive came to another screeching halt as Bannon came flying in and jarred the ball free and the ref ruled it was a fumble and not an incomplete pass, allowing sophomore Greg Berthiaume to slide into the loose ball before it went out of bounds, seemingly ending Stoughton’s chance at a comeback with just 1:17 to go.
Stoughton used its two timeouts on first and third down, denying the Rocketeers a first down and making the hosts punt with just seconds to go. A high snap forced punter Max Bumpus to chase the ball down, falling on it at his own 20-yard line for a turnover on downs, giving Stoughton one last chance.
Burke’s first pass was knocked down as Christian Ais was triple covered in the end zone, and his second toss was just out of the end zone as he tried to hit Queeney in the corner.
“We had a chance at the end,” said Stoughton head coach Greg Burke. “I was happy we didn’t let them score in the second half and we got one, but we can’t give up the two scores. They certainly deserved at least one [score] in the first half, they were pushing us around and I thought we’d do a little better upfront so hats off to them. Their quarterback is tough, every time you think you got him he just squirms awayWe lost the ball a couple of times, and you can’t do that in games like this.
“It’s a consolation but the kids played hard, we didn’t get blown out. Our kids are never going to quit, no matter what, no matter who we play so I’m happy about that.”
North Attleboro orchestrated back-to-back scoring drives on its second and third chances of the game. After going three-and-out to start the game, the Rocketeers took advantage of good field position both times.
On the first drive, the Big Red needed seven plays to cover 45 yards before finding the end zone. Silva had a 15-yard carry to set the tone to start the drive and then hauled in a 3-yard catch inside the 5-yard line to move the chains. DeMattio kept it himself from a yard out to give North a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.
North’s next drive started in the first quarter and ended in the end zone with 8:29 left to play in the second quarter. Again starting in Stoughton territory, North marched 41 yards on 10 plays, twice converting on fourth down, to double its lead.
The Rocketeers went to Silva to covert 4th and 1 early in the drive, and then DeMattio kept it himself for 10 yards on 4th and 2. North kept going with DeMattio up the middle and two plays later, he kept it for a 5-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead.
“With their speed, they were doing a good job of shutting down the edge on us early so it was leaving a little bit of a seam up inside,” Johnson said. “He’s the safest way to run off tackle, you don’t have to risk a handoff or anything. So that’s why it ended up being him more than some of the other running backs.
“[Tyler’s] the guy you want in your fox hole. There’s no stop to him, he’s just constantly going hard in everything that he does. He’s pound-for-pound the toughest kid that I’ve seen in a long time.”
After four punts to open the game, Stoughton finally got something going on offense late in the first half. Jonah Ly sprinted for 12 yards on first down, Christian Ais followed with a 13-yard carry, and Christopher Ais went up the middle to convert third and short. The Black Knights moved inside the red zone but back-to-back incompletions, including one near the pylon in the front of the end zone, stopped the drive.
Stoughton’s defense forced a turnover on downs on North’s first drive of the second half (10 plays, 51 yards) and the Black Knights carried some momentum to offense. Christian Ais scampered his way for a 41-yard carry to start the drive but three plays later, Burke’s pass to Christian Ais was spotted a yard short on fourth down.
“They have great speed, they were able to use that,” Burke said. “We had some success going right at them but we didn’t continue with it, but shoulda, coulda, woulda, and we just didn’t do enough. We had some chances but came up short on some fourth downs. They did a good job using their speed, brought an extra guy in on us. I thought we’d hit a few more passes but we didn’t. And we had turnovers, you can’t do that.”
North Attleboro (4-0) can clinch the Davenport title outright when it travels to Foxboro on Friday for a 5:30 kickoff. Stoughton (3-1) will compete in crossover action when it hosts Milford (3-1) on Saturday at 11:00 AM.
STOUGHTON, Mass. – The Stoughton football team has long prided itself on its performance in the fourth quarter and how they finish games.
Whether it’s with a lead, in a tie game, or trying to come from behind, the Black Knights always look to empty the tank in the final 12 minutes of action.
Locked in a defensive battle with division rival Foxboro, knotted at 7-7 since the opening quarter of the game, Stoughton delivered in the fourth quarter. The Black Knights scored a pair of touchdowns inside the final five minutes of the game, sandwiched around a game-clinching takeaway to earn a 21-7 win over the visiting Warriors.
After the opening drive of the game in which the Black Knights broke free for a 44-yard touchdown, Foxboro’s defense stymied Stoughton’s offense. The Warriors recovered fumbles on back-to-back possessions in the first half, forced Stoughton to punt to start the second half, and had a huge stop in the red zone forcing a turnover on downs in the third quarter.
But when Stoughton’s offense took the field for the first time in the fourth quarter, starting at their own 20-yard line with 11 minutes to play, the Black Knights finally found a rhythm.
Helped along by a pass interference call three plays in on a third down, Stoughton’s ground game got going. Christopher Ais (20 carries, 138 yards) took four straight carries, moving the chains twice, and took the Knights into Foxboro territory. Then it was Christian Ais’ (10 carries, 50 yards) turn, cutting back up the middle for a 21-yard dash to get down to the 10-yard line.
Three plays later, Christian Ais bowled his way over a trio of Foxboro defenders at the goal line, getting an extra push from junior lineman Edward Conrad, for a 2-yard touchdown. Jonah Ly (3-for-3 on extra points) split the upright to put Stoughton up 14-7 with 4:33 to go.
Ais’ score capped a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took off 6:27 of the clock.
“We fumbled all over the place, you don’t do that, you can’t give up the ball,” said Stoughton head coach Greg Burke. “They are tough, we knew they’d be good but at least we finished up the way we want to play and we played good defense throughout. But hey, if we give up only one touchdown every week I’ll take it. We have a couple of issues that we still need to iron out but we’ll get there.”
Foxboro started the ensuing drive at its own 15-yard line but Cam Prescott’s deep pass got caught up in the wind and Stoughton senior Andrew Medina was able to adjust and come down with the interception to get the hosts the ball back right away.
Stoughton went right back to its ground game, and aided by a Foxboro unsportsmanlike penalty, moved into the red zone. Christopher Ais broke free for a 15-yard run to get inside the 10-yard line and two plays later, senior quarterback John Burke took the QB option around the corner on the left sideline for a 9-yard touchdown and a 21-7 lead with 1:31 to play.
“The fourth quarter comes down to weight training,” Burke said. “We’ve got a brand new weight room here that the kids haven’t been able to use. They put in the time, they found ways in the offseason to lift. We aren’t the biggest team but pound-for-pound I’ll match us against anyone. I felt like if we could hang close for three quarters, we could win in the fourth. We didn’t help ourselves with the fumbles, they had one or two good hits but those fumbles are our fault. We’ll get back to the drawing board but we’re 2-0 and we’ll take any league win we can.”
While Foxboro’s defense slowed Stoughton’s offense throughout the majority of the game, the Black Knights’ defense kept the Warriors’ offense bottled up.
The Warriors’ defense forced a turnover on downs to set up Foxboro’s best drive of the game, a 5-play, 45-yard drive. Starting in Stoughton territory, junior Dylan Gordon had pair of good runs and junior Omarion Otto-Broomstein barreled his way in from 1-yard out. Sam Carpenter’s successful point after attempt tied the game, 7-7, with 1:14 left in the opening quarter.
But beyond that, Stoughton’s defense didn’t allow the Warriors to move the ball much. In fact, Foxboro only ran more than five plays on one drive, punting on five possessions, including four straight between the second and third quarters. The Warriors ran nine plays on their second possession but that came to an end on downs.
“Our defense played great for us,” Burke said. “[Gordon] had a couple of runs, we kept [Chris McNamara] in check, and [Luis Sulham] only caught a couple of passes. They did a good job passing blocking, that’s something we usually get in on but they did a nice job there. But I was very, very happy with the way the defense played and getting the win, it was a tough win. We still have a long way to go.”
Stoughton nearly jumped back in front twice near the end of the second. The Black Knights marched 9 plays to get into the red zone but fumbled on a run to the left and Sulham jumped on the loose ball for the visitors. But Foxboro’s drive was put to a stop on a sack from Davin Swierzewski. Stoughton got the ball back at the Foxboro 31-yard line with 32 seconds left but had four straight incompletions to end the half.
The Black Knights threatened again at the end of the third quarter, set up on a 41-yard pass and catch from Burke to Christian Ais. But Foxboro’s defense tightened up, getting key tackles from Mike Norvish, Dylan Kerrigan, Jon Moses, James Kraus and Trent Rennie. Stoughton tried to run the “Philly Special” on fourth down but Jake Queeney’s pass to Burke was just out of reach in the end zone.
“I thought the kids did a good job but those three backs [the Ais brothers and Christian Georges], you can’t key on one that’s for sure,” said Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli. “It’s not like stopping one back, and they run what they run offensively very well. Even if you have those kids stopped, they are still going to get positive yardage so give them credit. It was a good game, 21-7 doesn’t look like the game I saw…14-7 yeah. If you don’t tie up those kids before they get going…they are as good as I’ve seen in a while in a league and there are three of them.
“I’m disappointed in how it ended but not disappointed in how the kids played from start to finish. Now we’re onto next week.”
Stoughton (2-0) will host Sharon on Friday night at 5:00 while Foxboro (1-1) has its home opener, hosting Canton at 5:30.
It’s a new era in Canton as Anthony Fallon takes over for longtime head coach Dave Bohane, who stepped down from his second stint in charge of the Bulldogs at the end of last season.
While it’s a new era, all of the players and coaches are hoping that the success from the past two seasons continues going forward. If that success is going to continue, it’s going to be by a host of new faces. The Bulldogs graduated a historic class that won back-to-back Davenport division titles and reached the D5 South Sectional final in 2019. While competing for the Davenport division title this year, Canton will lean heavily on its few returners while new players take advantage of the new opportunities.
Senior Matt Connolly is a force on both sides of the ball, protecting the quarterback on the offensive line and leading the way for the ground game with his blocking. And defensively, the 6-foot-2, 300-pound senior who is committed to play at Assumption College, is an absolute handful and requires a lot of attention. Cam Sanchez is another experienced player back for the Bulldogs and will be involved in the running game offensively and apart of the secondary defensively. Carson Campbell started all 11 games for Canton last year at right tackle and will add defensive line duties this season. Jack Albert should see an expanded role on both sides of the ball and will be one of the main targets in the receiving game.
“Our team has great speed in our secondary, we are big and strong upfront and our linebackers are tough and fast,” Fallon said. “We have a solid mix on our varsity of juniors and seniors. I am also excited with our numbers on the sub-varsity level with 30-plus players. With a tough-minded defense and a fast offense, I know we will compete in every game.”
There is a lot of optimism in Foxboro for the Fall II season, and with a strong group of returning starters in different spots all over the field, there is good reason for it.
The Warriors seem to be in the mix for the Davenport division title each season, coming in third in 2019 and 2017. With talent back in key spots, Foxboro could be a serious contender for their first crown since 2015. The offense starts with the line and Foxboro has some experience and size to work with. Senior Sean Ferguson is a towering presence at 6’5, 315-pounds and anchors the line from the center position and he will be joined by junior Dylan Kerrigan (6’0, 205) at tackle. Senior Cam Prescott will start under center and will have a bevy of options to work with including playmaker Luis Sulham and junior Rashaad Way. Look for Chris McNamara to pick up where he left off carrying the ball.
Foxboro has an equal amount of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball with the strength of the team coming from the linebackers and the secondary. Seniors Mike Norvish and James Stamatos return with plenty of varsity experience under their belts and will anchor the linebacker position while senior James Kraus will start at safety and will be accompanied in the secondary by Way and Tom Sharkey, both juniors. One player to keep an eye out for is senior Jon Moses, a 6’4 defensive end that really improved over the course of last season and could be a handful for opposing offenses to deal with.
“The heart and soul of team this year is the senior leadership and experience along with a strong and talented junior class,” said Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli.
North Attleboro was ravished by injuries during the 2019 season and the result was the program’s first sub-.500 season in 27 years. It speaks volumes to how consistent the Rocketeers are year in and year out that it had been that long but the Big Red are ready to turn the page and begin a new streak.
The Rocketeers are getting a lot of players back that missed time last year and also have a bunch of players back that were thrown into the fire last year and now have varsity experience. With that combination, North Attleboro is hoping the end result is the Davenport division title. Junior Tyler DeMattio is back under center for his second year as the starter after making a big splash on Thanksgiving his freshman season. DeMattio can get it done with both his arm and his legs (and his foot in the kicking game). He has a lot of weapons at his disposal this year with Jared Penta and Alex McCoy in the slots, Coby Feid and Matt Penta at split end, and 6-foot-5 Endicott-commit Robbie Donovan at tight end. Jacob Silva returns at tailback and will be complemented by senior Tommy Whalen while sophomores Nathan Shultz and Greg Berthiaume could be in the mix as well. Harry Bullock will anchor the offensive line alongside classmates Danny Hayes and Justin Vecchiarelli and juniors Jared Vacher and Keysun Wise.
On top of the eight returning starters on offense, the Rocketeers boast eight returners on the defensive side of the ball as well. North Attleboro has a lot of depth at the linebacker position with Silva, a team captain, being a key part of the group. He’ll be joined by Berthiaume, Vecchiarelli, Whalen, senior Dylan Eberle, and junior Tyler Bannon. Jared and Matt Penta are both very experienced safeties while McCoy and Feid return at corner, so the secondary will certainly be a strength for the Big Red. The Rocketeers don’t have the biggest defensive line but the likes of Donovan, Vacher, and Bullock provide speed from the edge.
“The extended off season has provided extra time for tremendous growth in the weight room,” said North Attleboro head coach Don Johnson. “The depth at the skill positions on both sides of the ball will be the strength of this team. The key will be how quickly and effectively we can put together our offensive and defensive lines.”
Oliver Ames is back in the Davenport division and is looking to make a splash in its first season back.
The Tigers had a lot of success when the league first split into two divisions, winning the Davenport title in 2011 and 2013 before making the jump up to the Kelley-Rex. With a strong group of players back, OA is looking to take the next step forward during the Fall II 2020 season. Senior captain Gavin Morrison is a two-way lineman and will anchor the offensive group from the center spot. He’ll be joined by senior Dante Cocivera and Max Tower, both returning players from last season. Junior Collin Williamson burst onto the scene last year and should see an expanded role in the backfield during this abbreviated season while sophomore Chad Silva should be in the mix as well.
Speed will be a strength on the defensive side of the ball for the Tigers, who boast a lot of the same faces on the defensive line as their offensive line. Tower anchors the linebackers and will be one to keep an eye on, using his speed and strength to make plays, and he’ll be joined by the sophomore Silva. Senior captain Jaden Ricci is one of the best defensive players on the team, a fast, physical player with a nose for the ball that will start at corner. He’ll be joined by senior Jaden Krowski in the secondary.
2020 (Fall II) Davenport Division Preview
“We are excited about where our program is heading and are really ecstatic and thankful to get an opportunity to play this season,” said head coach Ed DeWitt.
Sharon had a very young squad a season ago and went through plenty of growing pains. The Eagles are hoping to turn some of that experience into success on the field this season.
Not only do the Eagles have their quarterback and top receivers back, but they are also getting a big boost with a return from injury. Senior Kiran Chandrasekaran returns under center and has weapons in PJ McManus, Owen Conway, and Conor McLaughlin in the passing game. Nico Marrero, who showed flashes of great play as a sophomore, had to miss all of last year due to injury but is back this year and will be a key two-way player for the Eagles. Marrero is a powerful runner that will look to find space created by an improved offensive line. The Eagles’ offensive line is anchored by senior center Shea Letendre while junior Jack Murphy and sophomores Miles Clay and Daniel Davis help round out Sharon’s line.
Defensive the Eagles are always a competitive group, the challenge will be doing so for four quarters against some top offenses in the Davenport. Ike Ogbonnanze, who is also a big receiving target on offense, will start at linebacker alongside Marrero and Letendre, giving the Eagles a very experienced group in the heart of the defense. McManus and Conway will play on both sides of the ball, starting in the secondary defensively.
“Our kids know our numbers are not strong but they have a great attitude and are playing like their backs are against the wall,” said Sharon head coach Dave Morse.
Stoughton head coach Greg Burke always leans heavily on his senior class and he has a real talented group this year.
The Black Knights have a handful of very talented and experienced seniors that have played a lot of snaps over the past two seasons and that has Stoughton primed for a run a the Davenport division title. Senior John Burke is back under center at quarterback for the Knights and it’s likely we’ll see Brady Conlin take some snaps similar to how Burke split with Clayton Rahaman last season. Both quarterbacks will have plenty of options to work with, especially on the ground. The Knights have a “home run” type offense with any given handoff capable to break off a big run. Senior brothers Christopher and Christian Ais recently committed to the University of New Haven and both bring speed and power when running the ball. Christian Georges is another workhorse out of the backfield while juniors Anthony Girolamo and Jonah Ly could see some carries as well. What makes Stoughton’s run game so dangerous is all of the backs do a great job of blocking when they don’t get carries. Jake Queeney will be the main target in the passing game for the Knights. Sproul Derolus is one of the few returners on the offensive line so Stoughton will need some players to step up there.
Defense is always a staple for the Knights and that looks to be the case again this year. A lot of the same faces that make plays on the offensive side will be the ones making plays on the defensive side. Georges is an absolute monster coming off the edge and uses his speed and strength to cause havoc in the backfield. Christopher Ais will be joined by Ly and Girolamo at linebacker while Christian Ais, Queeney, and Burke are all returners in the secondary for the Knights.
“Hopefully without a ton of injuries we can have a good year,” Burke said. “We have some experience and the kids have worked hard in the clubs for weight training. We need the juniors to step up and contribute fast while still learning varsity speed. The league is always tough and hopefully, we can survive tough crossover games.”
Stoughton, 67 @ Franklin, 77 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Franklin created separation in the opening quarter and that was proved to be the difference in a non-league crossover clash between the Panthers and visiting Stoughton. The hosts used a 15-3 surge in the first quarter, outscoring the Black Knights 22-10 overall in the first eight minutes. The game hovered around the 10-point cushion the rest of the way, with Stoughton winning the second (17-16) and fourth (21-18) quarters while Franklin edged the visitors in the third (21-19). The closest Stoughton got the rest of the way was seven, down 34-27 in the second quarter, and Franklin had the lead up to as much 19 (49-32) in the third. But the Black Knights continued to make a game of it, the game playing out like a one-possession game throughout. Stoughton made it an eight point game, 70-62, in the final minutes but Jake O’Brien delivered a dagger three, one of 13 made triples for the Panthers. Declan Walmsley saved the best for last, dropping a career-high 34 points (on 71% shooting) along with 11 rebounds in the final game of his high school career. Junior Sean Vinson came off the bench and added a career-high 12 points and six rebounds while Alex Newman had nine points and four boards for the hosts. Senior Waseem Sablon hit six threes for a career-high 22 points for Stoughton while junior KC Ugwuakazi had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and senior Jake Queeney finished with 10 points and three assists.
Foxboro, 78 @ King Philip, 68 – Final – Foxboro led by 20 points at halftime and then had to hold off a furious KP comeback to close out the season with a seventh straight victory. KP got the lead down to as little as four in the second half, but the visitors made the plays down the stretch to secure the win. Katelyn Mollica closed out her stellar career with by scoring a career-high 35 points. The two-time state champion, Stonehill College-commit, and league’s leading scorer finished her career with more than 1,400 points, which puts her fourth all-time in program (and school) history. Caroline Aaron was the spark for KP, as she also put up a career-high, scoring 26 points in the loss. Jordyn Collins added 13 points and Hannah Blake and Erin Foley both had 11 for Foxboro.
Stoughton, 24 @ Oliver Ames, 71 – Final – Oliver Ames’ offense was firing on all cylinders on Saturday morning, pouring in 42 first half points in a big win over Stoughton, clinching the Davenport division title. Junior Caroline Peper led the way in scoring with 19 points while senior Kelsey Yelle added 17 points and 15 rebounds in the win. OA recorded 28 assists as a team.
Canton, 59 @ Attleboro, 52 – Final – Canton held off a late Attleboro comeback to close out the season with four straight wins. Kiara Cerruti paced the Bulldogs with a game-high 17. Sydney Gallery added 15 and Fay Gallery chipped in with 11 for Canton. Attleboro cut a 10-point lead in half with a minute remaining, but the Bulldogs had enough on both ends to finish with the victory. Meghan Gordon was Attleboro’s top scorer with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Kayla Goldrick scored 11 points and Narissa Smith and Emma Reilly both finished with eight. Attleboro coach Marty Crowley called it a “great Hock game between two good teams.”
North Attleboro, 3 @ Mansfield, 9 – Final