Click here for the 2015 HockomockSports.com Football Awards.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2014 Record: 6-5
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave Bohane
Key/Returning Players: Jake Ragusa, Sr., HB/LB; Mac Brown, Sr., OL/DL; Joe Bires, Sr., FB/LB; Nick MacGregor, Sr., OL/DL; Kenny Dulcio, Sr., OL/DL; Michael Harris, Sr., SE/DB; Woanyen Mahn, Sr., HB/DB; Mike McMahon, Sr., HB/FS; Dennis Ross, Jr., QB/LB.
Outlook: The Bulldogs graduated a handful of big names this past Spring but Canton has a lot of talent coming back in key positions. Anchored by a handful of returning starters, including some who will start for the third straight year, Canton could be a tough opponent every single week.
Offensively, junior Dennis Ross will take over under center after Brian Hagan graduated. There are some similarities between Ross and Hagan (21 total TDs in 2014) so the transition will be a bit easier than others experience. Ross has some speed with his legs and has good throwing strength. One target Ross will look for is Michael Harris, who is a big threat option and will get a lot of looks this season. The offensive line is strong and there is a good amount of experience.
On defense, head coach Dave Bohane has a solid amount of experienced talent that will be key this season. Senior Jake Ragusa is back and has been one of the Bulldogs leading tacklers in both his sophomore and junior years. Joe Bires’ athleticism is key but his football IQ is something that will help the Bulldogs. Nick MacGregor will be an anchor on the defensive line while Bohane had high praise for Mike McMahon, who will be the defensive quarterback from his safety position.
2014 Record: 7-4
2014 Finish: Reached D4 South Semifinal
Coach: Jack Martinelli
Key/Returning Players: Ronnie Martin, Sr., RB/LB; Connor Downs, Sr., RB/LB; Trevor Fishman, Sr., OT/DE; James Blake, Jr., OT/DE; Austin Ryan, Sr., WR/CB; Connor McNamara, Sr., WR/CB; Pat McCarthy, Sr., P/WR/SS.
Outlook: While the spotlight is on Stoughton as the favorite of the Davenport, Foxboro has a strong core of players and should be right in the thick of things. There are some big shoes to fill left by the Class of 2015 but to no one’s surprise, Jack Martinelli looks to have his team primed for another playoff push.
Junior Mark Clagg looks to be the one that will gets the reps at quarterback this season. Clagg already has a career touchdown pass under his belt when he tossed one against Walpole last year. Despite minimal varsity experience, Clagg will have a good amount of weapons to work with. Hockomock League All Star Ronnie Martin is back and should get the majority of the carries this year. Austin Ryan had a great summer in passing league and could carry that momentum into the season. With a couple of key pieces back on the line, Foxboro’s offense could be among the best in the league.
Defensively, there will be some holes that the Warriors need to plug. Connor Downs will be one of the top linebackers this season while Pat McCarthy, Austin Ryan and Connor McNamara will all see time in the secondary. The key could be getting a push up front for the Warriors.
2014 Record: 7-4
2014 Finish: Reached D3 Southwest Semifinal
Coach: Joe Todd
Key/Returning Players: Jack Desantis, Sr., RB/DB; Leo Moronta, Sr., TE/DE; Ryan Nesta, Sr., WR/LB; Zach Lanzetta, Sr., QB; John Niro, Sr., OL/DL; Blake Hill, Jr., WR/RB/LB; Ryan Gray, Jr., OL/DL; Asong Aminmentse, Jr., RB/DB; Riley Burns, Jr., OL/DL; Harrison Bliss, Jr., OL/LB; Tony Mobilia, Jr., WR.
Outlook: Milford was one of the biggest surprises in all of Division 3 last year with the run they made. With the talent they had, it’s no surprise. Although the Scarlet Hawks graduated a good amount of contributors from 2014, expect Milford to give opponents a tough time all season.
One big positive for Joe Todd and Milford will be having Zach Lanzetta under center. Now a senior, Lanzetta has been getting some reps since his sophomore year. After sharing QB duties over the past two years, it looks like Lanzetta will be full time this year. Jack Desantis will get a good amount of carries out of the backfield while Blake Hill, Leo Moronta and Tony Mobilia are all receiving threats that have experience.
There is a good amount of experience returning on defense for the Scarlet Hawks. Desantis and Aminmentse will patrol the secondary, while Ryan Nesta, Harrison Bliss and Blake Hill will form one of the more formidable linebacking corps in the Davenport. On the line, Ryan Gray and Riley Burns are two players with experience. Expect Milford to sneak up on some teams this season.
2014 Record: 3-8
2014 Finish: Reached D3 Southwest Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Holland
Key/Returning Players: Connor Moroney, Sr., FB/LB; Andrew Callachan, Sr., RB/LB; Shawn Cardoza, Sr., TE/DE; Chris Hanegan, Sr., LB; Charlie Ryan, Sr., QB; Pat Mills, Sr., OL/DL; Kevin Geary, Sr., OL/DL.
Outlook: There is a lot that changes with a new coach but the Tigers have more than just a new face to deal with. With graduation and a couple of transfers, Oliver Ames has a lot gaps to fill this season. Luckily, new coach Mike Holland has been in the program for years which makes the transition smoother.
Charlie Ryan is back for his second year under center and his first full season as starter. Ryan tossed for nine touchdowns last season, which is second among quarterbacks returning this year. The biggest question will be finding new targets to catch those passes. Andrew Callachan has moved into the backfield this season and should get a good amount of carries. Connor Moroney will be an option on offense as will Shawn Cardoza but the Tigers will need some other faces to step up on offense.
On defense, Moroney could be one of the biggest surprises at linebacker while Shawn Cardoza could be one of the best lineman on defense this season. Kevin Geary has seen varsity time and could be poised for a breakout senior season. After giving up over 23 points on average last season, the Tigers will look to get back to 2013 form, where they gave up less than 10 points a game.
2014 Record: 2-9
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave Morse
Key/Returning Players: Nate Hirsh, Jr., OT; Joey Dowler, Sr., TE; Josh Rotman, Jr., WR/CB; Kenny Marrero, Sr., OG; Bryce Smith, Sr., WR/CB; Tyler Smith, Sr., RB/WR/CB; Matt Cancian, Sr., RB/LB; Carlos Grullon, Sr., RB; Juvan Elisma, Jr., RB; Xavier Hackett, Jr., Safety; Keson John, Sr., WR; Ian Longol-Leonard, Jr., OT/DT; Peter Banks, Jr., OC.
Outlook: The Eagles were forced to change things up last season and although the offense struggled for consistency at time, the defense was a big bright spot. Sharon was one of the top defenses in the league last year with just a hair over 20 PPG allowed.
The good news for Sharon this year is the amount of players they have back at the skill positions. When the quarterback is settled on, expect players like Matt Cancian, Carlos Grullon, Juvan Elisma and Tyler Smith to all get looks coming out of the backfield. With Josh Rotman and Bryce Smith — two players that saw a lot of varsity time last season — back in the fold, Sharon will have plenty of options on offense. The key will be establishing a consistent offensive line.
Defensively, the Eagles will have a strong secondary and linebackers. With both Tyler and Bryce Smith, Josh Rotman and Xavier Hackett back, the secondary has plenty of experience. Kevin Jones also has a good amount of varsity experience and will be paired with Matt Cancian at linebacker. John Dentino and Ian Langol-Leonard will be two players counted on to bolster up the Eagles defensive line. With the talent that Sharon has back, a playoff appearance might be in the picture.
2014 Record: 9-2
2014 Finish: Reached D3 Southwest Semifinal
Coach: Greg Burke
Key/Returning Players: Jake Gibb, Sr., QB; Guy Eddy, Sr., RB/LB; Jordan Taylor, Sr., RB; Ryan Sullivan, Jr., RB/DB; Xzavian Marrero, Sr., RB/DB; Izon Swain-Price, Jr., SE/DB; Nick Hardy, Jr., RB/DB; Steven Elice, Sr., SE/DB; Jack Connolly, Jr., TE; Matt Medina, Sr., OL/DL; Matt Soto, Sr., OL/DL; Antoyne Sellman, Sr., DB; Donny Foley, Sr., LB; Devlin Carroll, Sr., LB.
Outlook: If you want to know what the Stoughton football team values, look no further than the roster they hand out at games. The Black Knights are the lone team to put defense positions first. It may be reading into it a little bit, but Stoughton has been become one of the defensive power houses in the entire state.
Obviously last year was a great year for Stoughton but expect the Black Knights to reload for 2015. With their athleticism, speed and strength, there is a lot of reasons to expect another hard-nosed defense. Linebackers Guy Eddy, Donnie Foley and Devlin Carroll are all experienced players with speed and leadership qualities. IN the secondary, Ryan Sullivan, Steven Elice, Antoyne Selman and Izon Swain-Price are all individuals capable of making a big play. Stoughton will be looking to get a push on the line similar to what they had last year.
Similar to the defense, Stoughton’s offense will first need to establish a solid offensive line. With Greg Burke in charge of developing the line, expect Stoughton to produce another strong one. That will be key as the Black Knights will have Jake Gibb back for his third year at quarterback and could be one of the top players in the league. Ryan Sullivan and Xzavian Marrero will be dangerous coming out of the backfield while Christian Hill, Nick Hardy, Guy Eddy and Jordan Taylor could see time carrying the ball. Steven Elice and Jack Connolly could emerge as go-to guys for Gibbs this year.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
Players are listed in alphabetical order.
Mac Brown, Senior – Canton
One of the better lineman that didn’t get much attention last year was Canton’s Mac Brown. He’s got solid size but possesses his ability to move and find the ball was huge for the Bulldogs last year. We’d be remiss to not mention how impressive Brown is on offense but we expect a big year on defense this season. If teams want to run to Brown’s side, don’t expect a big hole to open up. He has the ability to take a lineman on one-on-one and will be a big factor for the Bulldogs this season.
Shawn Cardoza, Senior – Oliver Ames
One play that stands out was on special teams (a gigantic hit in a game against Stoughton) but it was just a taste of the power that Cardoza has. The burst he displayed coming off the line made it very tough for opponents to try and match up with him. It seemed with within a second of the ball being snapped, Cardoza was in the backfield disrupting the play. He’s strong enough to go through you and he;s fast enough to go around you. It won’t be very fun for the players who have to get hit by Cardoza this season.
Connor Downs, Senior – Foxboro
After graduating a handful of talented and experienced seniors, the Warriors are going to rely heavily on the returning players that did see substantial time last year. Downs saw plenty of time at linebacker this season and will be on of the best at that position in the Hock this year. Downs shows some patience at linebacker and reads the play well and attacks. As the play develops, Downs is quick to figure it out and react. Although it’s just one play, take last year’s game against Stoughton for example. Downs came right up the middle right to Stoughton back Joey Girolamo. Despite Girolamo being one of the toughest backs in the league, Downs was able to get right past him for a sack. We might be seeing that more often this season with Downs.
Connor Finerty, Senior – Mansfield
After recording a team-high in sacks last year, Connor Finerty is back for what could be a very big senior campaign. On top of his three sacks, Finerty had five tackles for loss, which was second on the game and forced a fumble. Strength is one of his biggest attributes which makes it tough for opponents to stop him – on both sides of the ball – but his speed complements his power which makes him even more dynamic. Finerty, a captain for Mike Redding this year, has the chance for a special 2015.
Connor Flynn, Senior – North Attleboro
On offense, Connor Flynn is part of a three-headed monster rushing attack with Nick Rajotte and Bobby Mylod. On defense, Mylod’s versatility makes him a dangerous player. Whether it be as a corner or a linebacker, Flynn is likely to make a play. He’s able to track the play well and then attack and make a play. The Rocketeers lost some good playmakers to graduation and will be looking for players to step into those roles. Flynn might be one of those players.
Tyler Gomes, Junior – Franklin
During his sophomore season, Tyler Gomes made himself familiar with opposing quarterbacks time and time again. In seemed like every game, Gomes was finding his way through the offensive line for a sack. Gomes’ athleticism and strength allow him to take opponents on one and one – if teams don’t double team him. Expect Gomes to draw a lot of attention and be a big factor as the Panthers make a push to return to the postseason.
Blake Hill, Junior – Milford
Blake Hill might have been one of the most underrated players on the defensive side of the ball last year. At the linebacker spot Hill was all over the field for the Scarlet Hawks. He did well to read the play and then attack and make a play. Milford graduated a lot of talent but with Hill back, he will be able to make an impact on both sides of the ball. Even if the play goes away from him, he doesn’t give up on the play and tracks it to the end. Hill is also a threat on the offensive side of the ball as he can take off with the ball in his hands and run over defenders.
Cory Lombardo, Senior – King Philip
There are only two Kelley-Rex Hockomock League All Stars coming back and Cory Lombardo is one of them. During the Warriors’ historic run last year, Lombardo was an anchor on defense and really helped define KP’s style and attitude. With KP graduating a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, Lombardo is the perfect player to help set the tone for the players stepping in. He does well to read the play and has real good strength. Good luck to anyone that’s trying to get past Lombardo.
Xzavian Marrero, Senior – Stoughton
The Black Knights lost a lot of talent when the Class of 2015 graduated but expect Stoughton to reload to be just as tough on the defensive side of the ball. One player that got some experience last season that is back this year is senior Xzavian Marrero. Marrero got time at corner last year and will be one of the top players at that spot this year. One reason Marrero is able to excel in the secondary is because of his tremendous athleticism. Whether it be going up and defending a pass, tracking down a ball carrier or laying a hit on someone, Marrero can do it.
Kyle Murphy, Senior – Attleboro
There are certain players that can change a team’s game plan and Kyle Murphy is one of them. Whether it be on the offensive line or the defensive line, Murphy is good enough to dominate on any given down. Since his sophomore year, Murphy has been a headache for offensive guards and tackles. Not only is Murphy’s size an advantage, his combination of quickness and strength is not something you see everyday. Last year in the playoffs, Murphy showed off how good he really is with his performance against eventual state champs Xaverian. Expect a lot of teams to pay plenty of attention to Murphy this season.