Football: 2016 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

2016 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

By Staff

2016 Kelley-Rex Football Preview


2015 Record: 7-4
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Strachan

Key/Returning Players: Cam Furtado, Jr., QB/DB; Tyler McGovern, Sr., QB; Andrew Gingras, Sr., OL/DL; Sam Corrado, Sr., RB/LB

Attleboro has developed as a program under head coach Mike Strachan and continues to be one of the teams contend with for the Kelley-Rex title even with a number of new faces on the roster heading into this fall. Even with the loss of standout lineman Kyle Murphy, the Bombardiers will have size on both sides of the ball and use that to control the line of scrimmage.

Offensively, senior quarterback Tyler McGovern returns after an injury knocked him out of the starting lineup midway through last season. He gives Attleboro the chance to look downfield, while junior Cam Furtado stepped in at QB last year and proved to be a dynamic athlete who opened up defenses with his legs.

The offense will flow behind senior lineman Andrew Gingras. At 6’5 and 285 pounds, Gingras will be counted on to open holes for senior running back Sam Corrado and also provide a stout run stopper on defense. Corrado will also provide help at linebacker and on special teams.

“The 2016 Bombardiers are a young team with many players that will be competing for time both offensively and defensively,” said Strachan, who is confident that despite the youth on the roster that Attleboro will be a team to watch this fall.


2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Eian Bain

Key/Returning Players:
Jacob Wolowacki, Sr., RB; Packie Watson, Sr., WR/DB; Joey Blasie, Sr., WR/DB; John Fenton, Sr., OL/DL; Jake Noviello, Jr., QB; Jake Lyons, Sr., RB/DB; Brad Jarosz, Sr., FB/DL; Nick Gordon, So., QB/DB; Khyler Colella, Sr., RB/LB

There is a lot of energy in the Franklin camp over the past couple of weeks, as new head coach Eian Bain takes over from longtime coach Brad Sidwell and looks to give the Panthers a boost after three straight one-win seasons in the Kelley-Rex division. Bain said that he expects there to be a “different vibe” from the team this season.

The Panthers have a lot of experience coming back this season starting in the backfield with quarterbacks Jake Noviello (junior) and Alex Cregg (senior), who both saw action last season. Whoever is starting will have a host of experienced receivers to look for with Eddie Scannapieco, Packie Watson, and Joey Blasie on the outside and 6’5 Connor Peterson at tight end. The bulk of the offense will run through senior tailback Jacob Wolowacki, who emerged last year as a go-to back with three touchdown runs.

Defensively, Franklin has a lot of talent returning in the back seven led by senior safety Jake Lyons, who will also help out as a running back on offense. The secondary also includes Kyle McInery and Nick Gordon with Justin O’Callahan, Bruce Johnson and Khyler Colella manning the linebacker positions. Brad Jarosz will add size to the defensive end position.

Bain said, “It has been an uptempo, high energy camp in Franklin. Players have answered the bell every step of the way to learn both new offensive and defensive systems. While still a work in progress, the team is making strides every day.”

King Philip

2015 Record: 5-6
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Brian Lee

Key/Returning Players:
John DeLuca, Sr., QB; Sean Garrity, Sr., RB/DB; Brett Mazur, Sr., TE/LB; Alex Olsen, Sr., FB/LB; Giovanni Fernandez, Sr., RB/LB; Daniel Loewen, Sr., OL/DL; Michael Sullivan, Sr., OL/DL; Paul Macrina, Sr., OL/DL; Michael Mello, Sr., WR/DB

King Philip got off to a rough start last season, but managed to turn things around with a dramatic victory at Mansfield and won three out of four to get back into the postseason. The Warriors could be inconsistent on the offensive side of the ball in 2015, but with experienced skill position players coming back KP could be ready to challenge for the league title.

It begins in the backfield with senior quarterback John DeLuca, who is ready for his third year as the starter and is one of the toughest signal callers in the league. This season, DeLuca will have a number of weapons to help put points on the board. Senior running back Sean Garrity will add speed to the edge for the Warriors, while his classmate Giovanni Fernandez is a power back to add another dimension inside the red zone. Senior Michael Mello returns to add experience to the receiving corps.

The strength of the Warriors under head coach Brian Lee has been defense and line play and this season should be no different. Seniors Paul Macrina, Michael Sullivan, and Daniel Loewen will be major factors on both sides of the ball. Senior Alex Olsen has the potential to be the defensive MVP this year taking over the role of graduated linebacker Cory Lombardo. Fernandez and fellow senior Brett Mazur will add strength to the linebacker position as well.


2015 Record: 5-6
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinal
Coach: Michael Redding

Key/Returning Players:
Hunter Ferreira, Jr., WR/DB; Ben Budwey, Sr., WR; Brian Lynch, Sr., RB; Nick Graham, Sr., RB/DB; Anthony DeGirolamo, Sr., QB; AJ Gibbs, Sr., OL/DL; Colin Gibbons, Sr., OL/DL; Travis Sjoberg, Sr., LB; Andrew Ducharme, Sr., OL/DL; Nick Krouskos, Sr., RB/LB; Diogo DeSousa, Sr., K

Mansfield’s defense held teams to 15 or fewer points in all but two games last year. Only St. John’s Prep and Marshfield (two teams ranked in the top five in the state when they faced the Hornets) were able to get any rhythm going offensively against the Hornets. Despite strength on that side of the ball, Mansfield struggled to find consistency on offense and ended up one point short of a share of the Kelley-Rex division title.

This season, the Hornets offense could be a huge strength with a number of playmakers returning. Senior quarterback Anthony DeGirolamo will be the starter for the second season in a row and will have a strong backfield around him with senior Brian Lynch as the power back and Nick Graham giving Mansfield speed to the edges. DeGirolamo will be able to aim for junior Hunter Ferreira, who has emerged as one of the top receivers in the league, and senior Ben Budwey.

On defense, the front seven will once again be a strong feature for the Hornets. A.J. Gibbs, Colin Gibbons, and Andrew Ducharme add size and strength on both sides of the ball, while senior linebacker Travis Sjoberg is a leader with the potential for hitting triple digits in tackles this fall. Senior placekicker Diogo DeSousa is a weapon in special teams after being recognized at kicking camps over the summer.

“We are a senior team (30 seniors),” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding, “but we have some very talented juniors and sophomores that will help us win this year and give us some great depth”

Oliver Ames

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

Key/Returning Players:
Liston Funai, Sr., RB; Jack Mills, Sr., OL/DL; Travis Campbell, Sr., QB/LB; Kyle Gagliardi, Sr., QB/DB; Leandro Moro, Sr., TE/LB; Jay Fruci, Jr., LB; Noah Fitzgerald, Jr., DB; Michael Mulrean, Jr., DB

Oliver Ames head coach Mike Holland is entering his second season in charge of the Tigers and will also be managing the program’s first fall in the Kelley-Rex division. In the last three games of 2015, OA beat Norwell and North Quincy and battled Sharon in a three-point loss on Thanksgiving Day, building momentum heading into this season.

The Tigers are excited about the potential of the offense with two quarterbacks who can make plays with their feet or their arms. Kyle Gagliardi and Travis Campbell are in the mix to be the starter and Holland expressed confidence in both of his seniors. OA also has a strong running game with senior Liston Funai leading the way for a group of backs that provide the Tigers with toughness and the ability to find open space.

OA has a lot of experience returning on the defensive side of the ball. Jack Mills will be a force on both the offensive and defensive line, while Jay Fruci and Leandro Moro will provide a spark from the linebacker spot. The secondary has also been boosted by Noah Fitzgerald and Michael Mulrean. “[We] have an excellent group of seniors and younger guys,” said Holland. “Kids are working hard and putting in strong efforts in all phases.”


2015 Record: 1-10
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brad Sidwell

Key/Returning Players:
Adam Mclaughlin, Sr., WR/DB; Andrew Welington, Sr., TE/LB; Collin Hunter, Jr., QB; Khoury Simmons, Sr., OL/DL; Jake Norberto, Sr., OL/DL; Khoury Simmons, Sr., OL/DL; Paul Corrao, Jr., OL/DL; Zakim Harrow, Sr., OL/DL; Sylvester English, Sr., OL/DL; Mike Fernandez, Sr., TE/LB; Brevan Walker, Sr., RB/DB

The Tigers have a new coaching staff this fall, but it will be one that is very familiar to fans of the Hockomock League. Brad Sidwell moved to Taunton after 20 years in charge of the Franklin program. Sidwell comes into his new position with plenty of experience in the league and an experienced roster that has 14 returning starters, but the Tigers enter 2016 without a Kelley-Rex win since 2012.

There is optimism in the camp this preseason because of the large number of returning players and because of the size that Taunton boasts on the front line. Senior Zakim Harrow checks in at 6’2 and 335 pounds, his classmate Sylvester English is 6’1 and 290 pounds and junior Paul Carrao is 6’3 and 270 pounds. Those players will open holes on both sides of the ball and create space for playmakers such as senior linebacker Mike Fernandez and senior running back Brevan Walker.

There is a battle for the quarterback position this season. Junior Collin Hunter threw 11 touchdown passes last fall but sophomore Noah Leonard has impressed in camp and could snag the starting spot for Friday night’s opener at New Bedford. Whoever is under center will have a couple of strong targets to aim for with senior receivers Adam McLaughlin and Sam Krajewski and senior tight end Andrew Wellington all back.

“We’re just looking for improvement everyday,” Sidwell said. “Hopefully with a little confidence we can get off to a good start.”

The 2016 Hockomock Boys Swimming All Stars & HMs

Below are the official Hockomock League Boys Swimming All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Alex DiGiacomo, King Philip

Hockomock League All Stars

River Wright, Attleboro
Dylon Willis, Attleboro
Nathan Tellier, Attleboro
Colton Parkinson, Attleboro
Sebastian Melendez, Canton
Diego Ferstler, Canton
Sean Mitchell, Canton
Owen Guerini, Canton
Connor Bourgeois, Franklin
Tim McQuaid, King Philip
Tyler Stringfellow, King Philip
Alex DiGiacomo, King Philip
Jack Poppenberger, King Philip
Andy Sprague, King Philip
Sebastian Gwynne, Mansfield
Nick Antonellis, Milford
Marcello Panno, Milford
Nick Haddad, North Attleboro
Victor Cai, North Attleboro
Randy Wentworth, North Attleboro
Zach Vogel, Oliver Ames
Kyle Gray, Oliver Ames
Andrew Abramson, Oliver Ames
Greg Klimov, Sharon
Ben Mo, Sharon
Jason Hertz, Sharon
Caelan Schrama, Taunton

Honorable Mentions

Dan Nadeau, Canton
Kyle Stringfellow, Foxboro
Roy Wang, Franklin
Tate Duffy, King Philip
Jared Gabrilowitz, Mansfield
Chris Watson, Milford
Brian Hines, North Attleboro
Michael Sullivan, Oliver Ames
Connor King, Taunton

Late Field Goal Lifts Foxboro Over King Philip

By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
FOXBORO, Mass. – The snap from senior Sean Smalley was on point. Senior Connor McNamara took the snap and put the football down perfectly.
From there, junior John Cronin took three steps, planting his left leg and using his right to split the uprights for the game-winning field goal as Foxboro took down King Philip, 17-15, and deliver head coach Jack Martinelli his 250th career victory. Martinelli becomes just the 15th coach in Massachusetts high school history to reach the milestone.
“I have to say the kids came to play tonight,” Martinelli said. “It wasn’t easy and I knew it would be like that, just like last week. I knew they would try to beat us up and at times they did. They kept us off the field but I think we proved that we can play against physical football teams as well as finesse teams.”
King Philip looked like they completed a drive that might have put an end to game, chewing up over 12 minutes of game clock and pushing in a touchdown and a two point conversion to take their first lead of the game.
But with 2:24 left and starting from their own 36 yard line, Foxboro was able to move the ball down the field in just three plays and then three plays later, connected on Cronin’s field goal.
A sack by Daniel Loewen on first down pushed Foxboro back but after that, junior quarterback Mark Clagg connected with Connor McNamara on a screen for 14 yards on second down. On first down from Foxboro’s own 47, Clagg hit Austin Ryan over the middle and after a juke move, Ryan went on to gain 38 yards to the KP 15-yard line.
Two rushing plays and an incompletion got the clock to under 30 seconds. That’s when Cronin hit his 28-yard field goal to put Foxboro up 17-15 with 21.2 seconds left.
“Clagg had all the composure just like John Cronin who kicked the field goal,” Martinelli said. “With at least two timeouts to ice him, he still made it perfect. I’m so proud of him.
“I’d like to say it’s coaching but it isn’t it’s all the kids. The long snapper Sean Smalley has been great and the holder Connor McNamara, they were a lot calmer than the coaches on the sideline. I guess that’s what makes heroes, what they did tonight.”
King Philip trailed 7-0 and 14-7 in the game but it wasn’t until their second to last drive when they finally took the lead. Starting at their own 11-yard line, King Philip used 20 plays to go 89 yards to find the end zone. Junior quarterback John DeLuca did most of his work on the ground but not in the conventional way most high school signal callers do. DeLuca, working from under center, gained 31 of those yards on 10 QB sneaks, capped off by his plunge in from a yard out.
Because of the success of DeLuca’s sneaks, KP head coach Brian Lee elected to go for two. Once again, DeLuca followed the blocks right up the middle set by center Daniel Loewen and guards Michael Sullivan and Billy Dittrich and converted the two-point conversion to give KP a 15-14 lead with just over two minutes to play.
Foxboro took the first lead of the game on the first drive of the game. Starting at their own 25, it took just six plays before they found the end zone. On the second play, Clagg found McNamara on a short pass and he scampered down the right sideline for 61 yards all the way to the 15-yard line of King Philip. Two negative rushes and a 10-yard completion to Ryan forced Foxboro into a 4th down situation.
Martinelli first sent Cronin and the field goal unit out but after a pair of timeouts – one from each side – the Warriors trotted out Clagg and the offense again. Clagg connected with McNamara on the right side again and he raced into the end zone to give Foxboro a 7-0 lead.
King Philip knotted the game in the second quarter. The Warriors alternated carries from their backs and DeLuca to move the ball. First it was a pair of runs fro Sean Garrity that netted 19 yards. Two more from Gio Fernandez picked up 11 yards and then two from Garrity sent for seven yards. On third down from the one yard line, DeLuca took it form under center on the sneak and went all the way to the end zone to tie the game at 7-7.
KP fumbled away possession on their first drive of the second half but got it right back four plays later from a punt from Foxboro. Martinelli’s defense stood strong though and were able to get the ball back. A holding penalty backed KP up 10 yards and an incomplete pass made it 2nd and 20. Foxboro’s James Blake made his way into the backfield to sniff out a run from Garrity for a loss. On 3rd and 23, Pat Flannery came flying in on a safety blitz and dropped DeLuca for a 10 yard loss.
A punt from King Philip had an unlucky bounce backwards and Foxboro took control at KP’s 29-yard line. Foxboro didn’t waste anytime as Clagg dropped back and hit senior Jason Procaccini, who was wide open after a double move created separation. Procaccini walked in untouched to put Foxboro up 14-7.
With the win, Martinelli earned his 250th win to become just the 15th coach in Massachusetts high school history to reach that mark. But, unsurprisingly, Martinelli was quick to credit his players and staff.
“The focus is really on the kids,” Martinelli said. “Probably about 3,000 kids who have played here since 1982 and the coaches that have been with me since 1982, that’s where the credit goes. It’s all on the kids that come. We’re a small school and we dress 95 kids every year and it’s a credit to the community and the kids. 250 is just a number. Am I happy? Yeah I’m happy. But I think it’s a load off the kids’ back too. It was never said or mentioned other then amongst the kids so just for the sake, they can can be happy.”
Clagg finished 10/12 for 183 yards and two touchdowns for the Warriors while McNamara (105 yards) and Ryan (57 yards) each had four receptions. While Foxboro’s passing game worked, King Philip stuck with the running game. Gary had 109 yards on 23 carries, DeLuca had 78 yards on 17 rushes and Fernandez picked up 45 yards on seven carries.
Foxboro (2-0) will open its Hockomock League Davenport Division schedule when they host Sharon next Friday. King Philip (0-2) will look for its first win when they host North Attleboro.