2017 Hockomock Boys Lacrosse Preview

2017 Hockomock Boys Lacrosse Preview
Franklin’s Eric Civetti (28) beats four Foxboro defenders to score one of his three goals last season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2017 Hockomock Boys Lacrosse Preview

Attleboro

2016 Record: 4-13
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kevin Koppy

Now in its fourth year at the varsity level, Attleboro boys lacrosse is looking to take the next step in the 2017 season. First year head coach Kevin Koppy made it clear what the goal is for Big Blue: the postseason.

Koppy has plenty of experience at the youth level so he’s very familiar with a lot of the players on the team.

“With the experience and leadership of this team, I fully expect us to make the playoffs this year which would be a first for this relatively young program,” Koppy said. “If the kids work hard and play as a team we have enough talent to make this happen.”

Offensively, seniors Seth Lombardy and Zach Viau, along with junior Alex Banner, will see a lot of time. They’ll be bolstered by the midfield help of seniors Andrew Milliken, Sam Carrado and Jay Mota and sophomore Zach Thomas in the midfield. Juniors Kyle Henry and Aidan McKenna will man the face off X while Jim Nordberg and Chris Reynolds will be long stick midfielders.

Defensively, four year starter and captain Tyler Koppy will anchor the backline alongside juniors Dan Perry and Matt Potter. Sophomore Trevor Koppy returns as the starting goalie again this season.

Canton

2016 Record: 11-8
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Bill Bendell

The Bulldogs will rely on its athleticism, and be bolstered by depth this season, having more players in the program this season than in the last couple of years.

Canton looks to have one of its most athletic squads from top-to-bottom in recent years and will certainly be in the mix for the Davenport title after winning it twice in the past four seasons.

Offensively, the Bulldogs lost one of the top scorers in the league and in program history in Ben O’Neill, but the good news is that four of the team’s six top point producers from a year ago are back: Ryan Lodge, Joe Mulkay, Dan Dillon and Mike Shaw, all of which reached double figures in points.

Michael Pigeon has been one of the top LSMs in the league the last two years and will be a key piece for Canton defensively this season. Canton will rely on experience to fill the positions around him. The starting goalie spot is up for grabs between Dylan Cunningham, CJ Martin and Jack Connolly.

“The Davenport division is wide open again this year so we know every game is going to matter…we can’t wait to get going,” said head coach Bill Bendell.

Foxboro

2016 Record: 11-7
2016 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals
Coach: Matt Noone

The Davenport division looks like it will be wide open this year, but Foxboro could have a slight advantage because of the experience they return this season.

On offense, junior Andrew Whalen is a three year starter and junior Louis Piccolo led the team in scoring a team ago. Junior Mike Moses and sophomore Pete Conley will also factor into the attack or could see time in the midfield. Seniors Trey Guerini and Colin Spinney not only bring a wealth of experience to the midfield, but they have a lot of talent. Sophomore Brendan Tully will relocate to the midfield this season while junior Sam Blake, Lou Blake and Mike Collins will all factor in the midfield as well.

Defensively, it all starts with goalie Jake Addeche, one of the top netminders in the league and the area. Pat Kaveny is a two year starter, as is senior Padraig Farmer and will provide plenty of experience to the back line. Sophomore Pat Stapleton and freshman Ronnie MacLellan will also factor in defensively for the Warriors.

Franklin

2016 Record: 14-6
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Lou Verrochi

The Panthers are going to be young compared to past years, and compared to other teams in the league, but what they lack in age, they more than make up in skill.

There aren’t much better in the offensive end than junior Eric Civetti, and he’s only been in the league for two years. Already committed to Rutgers, Civetti will be one of the most dangerous scorers in the league. Senior captain Sam Arsenault will also be a top option in the offensive end while midfielders Packie Watson, a senior and Nitin Chaudhury, a sophomore, will also be viable options.

Defensively, the Panthers have a second Rutgers commit in sophomore Patrick Morrison. Senior Wyatt Arsenault will give the backline some experience while senior Jack Platner will be the team’s LSM. Junior Connor O’Rourke is back in the cage after a breakout sophomore year.

“We are young as compared to past years, but I feel we’ll be very competitive,” said head coach Lou Verrochi. “We’re very fortunate to have a strong youth program and many boys playing club lacrosse which provides us with talented players every year.”

King Philip

2016 Record: 11-9
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Jamie Stefanini

The Warriors had another strong season in 2016 and will be looking to do the same in 2017.

King Philip was strong in league play, posting a 7-3 record and will try to carry that success over to its non league schedule, which include games against Bishop Feehan, Newton North, Hopkinton, Westwood and more.

Paul Macrina has been one of the top goalies in the league over the past couple of seasons and is now ready for his senior year.

Replacing leading scorer Sam Agricola will certainly be a tough test, as well as replacing the production of Harry Fallon. But Tim Watson (27 goals, 21 assists) brings a lot of experience back to the offensive end for the Warriors.

Mansfield

2016 Record: 15-4
2016 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Tim Frias

Coming off one of the program’s best seasons in recent history, the Hornets will be looking to replicate that success in 2017.

The challenge will be replacing some of the top talent that graduated, including midfielders Billy Grant and Connor Finerty, and defenseman Josh Schafer.

The good news is that the Hornets return two of the top talents in the league with Sean Powers back in goal and Hunter Ferreira back patrolling the midfield. Joe Cox and Danny DeGirolamo will flank Ferreira in the midfield with Aidan Sacco, Brett Kessler and Brad Grant factoring in as well.

Offensively, seniors Cullen Murphy, Sam O’Connell and Jon Reed will be one of the most experienced units in the league. On defense, Grant Milas, Mike Zampine, Josh London and Tommy Donnelly will hold court in front of Powers.

“We are going to go out there this season and try to improve on the aspects we were weak on last season and just try to compete in every contest,” said head coach Tim Frias.

Milford

2016 Record: 0-18
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Doug Gallant

The Hawks are hoping for a turnaround season after going without a win a season ago. First year head coach Doug Gallant has taken over at the helm and is looking to make Milford a participant in the Davenport race.

The heart of the lineup could be in the midfield, with junior Andrew Gallagher bringing experience to the table and sophomores Ryan Hazard and Josh Ligor, as well as freshman Dan Farrell, providing the Hawks with skill and speed.

In the attacking end, Gallant will look to senior Alex Wood and sophomore Ryan Pearl, both with varsity experience, to pace the offense. LSM Nick Lurie and defenseman Harrison Bliss will be key pieces on defense in front of goalie Drew Mirisola.

“We have a great group of kids who are very eager to be successful,” said Gallant. “The reception from the players has been outstanding and they have bought in to my system.”

North Attleboro

2016 Record: 8-10
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kevin Young

After just missing out on the postseason a year ago, North Attleboro returns a lot of key pieces and will not only make a push for the playoffs, but should be in the mix for the Davenport crown.

The entire attacking corps is back this season Zach McGowan, Owen Costello and Colin Young all back again this season. Tim Lindstrom, who missed last season with an injury, will also be a key piece offensively for the Rocketeers.

Jack Dakin, the team’s leading scorer a season ago, will be a team leader from his midfield position while Nick Ward, Hunter Sarro, Nick Moore and Jason McNeany will all get minutes in the midfield as well. Poles David James, Zach Doucette and Tom Lockovitch, along with LSM Max Fontes, bring a combination of speed and size for the Rocketeers.

Dan McDonald is back for another year in goal and will be like a coach on the field for North Attleboro.

“He’s very solid in net and a great team leader,” head coach Kevin Young said of MacDonald. “Dan is that rare player that is like having a coach on the field. I think Dan is as good a goalie as you’ll see playing anywhere in Massachusetts this year.”

Oliver Ames

2016 Record: 10-10
2016 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Chris Digiacomo

The Tigers not only made the playoffs a season ago, but won their first ever postseason game as a program. Oliver Ames will face new challenges this season with the switch to the Kelley-Rex division.

While the Tigers face the task of going head to head with some of the top teams in the league, Oliver Ames will rely on team chemistry to try and get back to the postseason.

Offensively, juniors Owen Gallagher and Eric LeBlanc are back as two of the team’s top point producers. They’ll be helped by midfielders Liam Brown, a senior captain, and Jack Lang, a junior. Defensively, senior captain Phil Saba and senior Max Howe are two experienced players that will man the space in front of senior goalie Sean Cosgrove.

“The boys have worked very hard, and bought into our program,” said head coach Chris Digiacomo. “We play in an extremely tough league, but the boys are excited to get started.”

Sharon

2016 Record: 9-10
2016 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East First Round
Coach: Peter DeSisto

Sharon just made it into the postseason a year ago, punching its ticket on the last game of the season with a win over North Attleboro.

This season, the Eagles are expecting to qualify for the state tournament again because of the experience they have returning for the 2017 season.

Josh Rotman, who registered 35 goals a season ago, is one of the top midfielders in the league and will be relied upon to lead the Eagles this season. Spencer Hall and Chase Waxman are also back and should make an impact on both ends of the field. Jack Lesser has the ability to get forward and play as an attack or can drop into a midfield role.

“We have a lot of guys with experience at this level returning, so we have set our expectations high,” said head coach Pete DeSisto.

Stoughton

2016 Record: N/A
2016 Finish: N/A
Coach: Pat Healey

The Black Knights are the new kids on the block, entering their first year at the varsity level after playing at the JV level the last couple of seasons.

Combining the JV experience and a budding youth program, Stoughton won’t be starting from scratch. However, the Black Knights are ready for what could be a roller coaster ride of a season.

Leading the way for the Black Knights are captains Dave Cellucci, Ryan Pierri, Harry Leal and Matt St. Clair. Leal will anchor the team from the cage, Pierre is the leader of the team’s poles and Cellucci and St. Clair are standout members of the Black Knights’ midfield.

“The team knows we’re going to be getting our share of bumps and bruises,” said head coach Pat Healey. “And winning here in the Hock is no easy chore. But it wouldn’t be much of a challenge if it was easy.

Taunton

2016 Record: 1-19
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brendan Chambers

After getting its feet wet last season, Taunton is looking to improve now in its second year at the varsity level.

Sophomore goalie Ryan Williams was a bright spot for the Tigers a season ago and now, with a year under his belt, will an important part of the Tigers’ defense this season. Senior captain Mason Baacke and sophomore LSM Dylan Nichols will be key pieces in front of Williams.

Offensively, Shawn Campbell will try to ignite Taunton from the face off X while senior captain Andrew Wellington, who had a solid season a year ago, will be a vital piece in the midfield for first year head coach Brendan Chambers.

First Round Pins Lead Oliver Ames Past Stoughton

Oliver Ames wrestling
Oliver Ames senior Liston Funai (left) and Stoughton’s Quincy Francois go head to head in the 132 bout. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
NORTH EASTON, Mass. — Oliver Ames’ match against Stoughton no longer counts in the division standings, but that didn’t stop the Tigers from bringing extra intensity when they hosted their neighbors on Wednesday night.

The Tigers came out flying right out of the gates, building an early lead with five pins before coming away with a 52-27 win over the Black Knights.

“Anytime Oliver Ames goes against Stoughton it’s a fun time, the kids get excited,” OA head coach Kahn Lima said. “I think that’s part of the reason the kids were so aggressive tonight. Out of all our crossovers, this was the one they looked forward too, this was the one they cared about.”

It didn’t take long for the Tigers to get on the board. Senior Ryan DeCosta returned from an injury and earned a second round pin at 113. DeCosta used a pair of first period takedowns to build a 7-1 lead before getting the pin with 37 seconds left in the second period.

Cobey Williamson won via forfeit at 120 and just over a minute into the 126 bout, OA’s John Quilla gave the Tigers an 18-0 lead with a first period pin.

Senior Liston Funai stayed undefeated on the year with another first period pin. He took a 2-0 lead during the 132 bout but needed just 43 seconds to earn the pin and a 24-0 advantage for the Tigers.

“The kids went out and attacked,” Lima said. “Liston is undefeated still. I don’t think he’s had a match go out of the first round yet either.”

Brandon Belleton (138) and Chris Belleton (145) scored back to back first round pins to extend Oliver Ames’ lead to 36-0.

“When the kids see each other doing well, the kids they practice with throughout the week, it gets them excited and they build confidence when you get off to a fast start,” Lima said.

Stoughton got on the board during the 152 bout. Leo Freitas trailed 2-0 early after a takedown from OA’s Joey Savino but Freitas cut the deficit in half with an escape and took the lead with a takedown of his own. Freitas went on to get the pin 30 seconds into the second period for six points for the Black Knights.

The Tigers stretched their lead after another pin in the 160 bout. Eric Berardi built a 10-0 lead after the first round, during a pair of takedowns and two near falls. Berardi was able to get the pin with just five seconds left in the second period.

Sean Cosgrove added to OA’s lead with a 9-0 win at 170. Stoughton’s Nick Alves was able to fend off a pin by Cosgrove, who built a 4-0 lead after one round, a 7-0 advantage through two rounds and added two points in the third.

Stoughton’s Bobby Shaughnessy came away with a win at 182 in one of the closest battles of the night against Oliver Ames’ Billy Tat. Shaughnessy and Tat traded takedowns in the first period but a near fall had Stoughton up 5-3 through the first period. Shaughnessy built an 8-5, Tat leveled it at 8-8 but a takedown kept Shaughnessy up 11-8. In the this period, Shaughnessy extended his lead with an escape and a reversal, finishing with a 16-12 win.

In another tight battle, this one at 195, OA’s Dean Pacini emerged with a third round pin over Stoughton’s Ryan Pierre. Pacini built a 5-1 lead in the second round but a takedown, near fall and a reversal had Pierre up. Pacini took a 9-6 lead with a takedown in the third and then just over the minute mark, the sophomore was able to get the pin.

“He wore him out. We talked about wanting to get to the third period to try and wear his opponent down. Dean actually made a mistake in the second period that almost cost him but he got out of it and then took care of business in the third.

Stoughton’s Paul Feeney built a 4-1 lead in the first round of the 220 bout and, after a scoreless second period, he extended his lead to 8-1 in the third for the win.

In the heavyweight round, Lino Azul fell behind 2-0 to Jack Mills on a takedown but bounced back with a takedown of his own and eared the pin with 1:26 to go in the first period.

Oliver Ames wrestling (4-3) returns to action on Friday when they host a quad meet. Stoughton (0-2) will return to action after the holidays when they compete in the Lowell Holiday Tournament.

Big Plays Lead to Big Win for Stoughton at Canton

Stoughton football
Ryan Sullivan (20) scored a pair of touchdowns, including an 86-yard punt return that broke a first quarter tie, in Stoughton’s win at Canton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


CANTON, Mass. – Stoughton coach Greg Burke said that his team liked to play “ugly and tough,” but on Friday night at World War II Veterans Memorial Field, against rival Canton, the Black Knights showed flashes of pretty football too, scoring 42 points and totaling four touchdowns of more than 60 yards apiece.

Canton scored a couple of touchdowns late in the fourth quarter, but Stoughton rolled to a 42-22 victory that keeps it just a half-game back of North Attleboro in the Davenport division title race with two more league games to play (North plays Saturday at Sharon).

“That’s Black Knight football right there,” said Burke after the game. “It isn’t pretty, but I like it. I don’t care, I like the way we’re playing. That’s how we play. Our team wants to be ugly and tough.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The opening kick-off bounced a couple times before the Black Knights covered it at their own 13-yard-line, but it took only one play to get on the board. An inside trap to fullback Justin Ly broke for 87 yards down the Stoughton sideline to make it 7-0. Canton answered back on one play of its own. Tony Harris took an end around and raced 65 yards down the Bulldogs sideline to tie the game.

Two plays from scrimmage, two touchdowns, and only 44 seconds had elapsed.

Canton was forced to punt on its second possession and Thomas Monagle drove Ryan Sullivan all the way back to his own 14, but the senior running back made the catch and then broke up field, splitting the coverage and putting Stoughton back on top with an 86-yard return.

“Personnel-wise we’re not very deep,” said Canton coach Dave Bohane about the punt coverage, “and we try to get guys off the field but even with guys like [Brian] Smith and Jude Albert we’ve had trouble the last two weeks on punt return. We’ll continue to work at it but it’s disappointing and disturbing to see two weeks in a row.”

Burke praised Sullivan for his ability to break open a game. He said, “He’s just phenomenal. He’s not only the nicest kid in America, he makes plays. He was sort of a skinny, little kid before and now he’s getting to be a grown man. His best days are ahead of him.”

Early in the second quarter, Stoughton struck again, this time through the air. On third and 14, sophomore quarterback Evan Gibb (3-5, 84 yards) saw busted coverage on the right side and hit a wide open Izon Swain-Price for a 60-yard touchdown.

“They put a lot of guys up at the line to take away the run and they did,” said Burke, “but you can hit a couple of passes and Izon had a couple long ones, but that’s Izon for you. You’ve got to be able to throw a couple play action and we did.”

Bohane admitted, “We just couldn’t give them easy ones and we did. Usually against Stoughton we make them earn everything. Tonight was a number of big plays…but they’re very good.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With two minutes left until halftime, the Black Knights extended the lead. A nine-play, 52-yard drive, which included a five-yard scramble and dump off pass from Gibb to Sullivan to convert a fourth down, was finished off by Sullivan from three yards out for his second TD of the game.

While the Stoughton offense was making big plays, the defense was also controlling the game, particularly at the line of scrimmage with Andrew Iverson, Jason Joseph, and David Cellucci in on seemingly every play.

On the third play of the second half, Iverson hit Canton quarterback Dan Dillon to force a fumble that was recovered by Ryan Pierre at the Bulldogs 24. After an offsides call against Canton, Gibb threw his second touchdown of the game, hitting Jack Connelly for a 19-yard score. Cellucci, the holder on extra points, fielded a high snap and ran in the two-point conversion.

“He’s playing good, “ said Burke of Gibb. “He’s a young kid and we just have to protect him; he’s a sophomore, you can’t let him run around. Eventually he’ll be the fourth running back.”

Swain-Price (three carries, 112 yards) put an exclamation point on the game when it looked as though the Black Knights were buried deep in their own end. He cut inside on a sweep to the left and broke free for a 94-yard touchdown that made it 42-7.

Dillon had stepped in for Canton to replace Dennis Ross, who was unavailable for the game, and he was able to get the offense moving late in the fourth quarter. Despite the deficit, the Bulldogs kept fighting and put together a 12-play, 75-yard drive that featured carries from Dillon, Dan Alice, Mike Marino, and Joe Mulkay, who finished it with an eight-yard option pitch for the score.

Alice broke the plane of the goal line for the conversion and Harris leapt above the Black Knights hands team to recover the onside kick. This drive was capped by Dillon, who punched it in from a yard out.

“I’m very proud of Dan,” said Bohane. “He comes down to practice every day and probably knew coming into his senior year that he didn’t expect to play much. It didn’t faze him, plays special teams, takes a lot of snaps, and he’s gotten his opportunity here.”

The win keeps Stoughton right behind current league leader North Attleboro, hoping that the Rocketeers could slip up in the final two weeks of league play. Burke explained, “Who knows what North’s doing, but we’re taking it one at a time and hopefully good things happen.”

Stoughton (3-2, 2-1) will host Foxboro next Friday night, while Canton (1-4, 0-3) could do the Black Knights a favor when it hosts North Attleboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Stoughton Runs Past Franklin In Season Opening Win

Stoughton football
Stoughton senior Izon Swain-Price bursts through a big gap created by his offensive line. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – As Stoughton fought its way through the ups and downs of the 2015 season to finish with a 6-5 record, there were plenty of positives and negatives.

One big positive was the experience the players got, mainly the young offensive line. That experience paid off big time on Friday night as the Black Knights dominated up front behind it’s five-senior offensive line en route to a 58-19 statement win over Franklin.

Lino Azul, Ryan Pierre, Andrew Iverson, Harry Kimball and Brendan Walsh paved the way as Stoughton racked up 454 yards rushing and over 500 yards total in the win.

“They all played last year,” Stoughton head coach Greg Burke said. “We played some tough games last year so having a senior line this year, senior lines usually win. They’re just a little stronger, have a little more experience. Now we have the seniors [on the line] so I’m hoping it carries us. The line is key, offensively and defensively.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Stoughton opened the game on a seven play, 72 yard drive, capped with a two-yard rushing score from senior Ryan Sullivan (10 carries, 153 yards, four touchdowns, interception). Dave Cellucci’s (4/4, 60 yards) 20 yard pass to Izon Swain-Price and Sullivan’s 23 yard carry just prior to the score were highlights on the drive.

It didn’t take long for the Black Knights to double their lead as senior Jack Connelly ripped the ball free three plays into Franklin’s drive and Marselis Cox scooped the loose ball up and sprinted in from 45 yards out. Cellucci’s keeper for the two point conversion put Stoughton up 14-0 just over four minutes into the game.

The Black Knights forced a punt but were faced with 3rd and 20 on the ensuing drive. Cellucci floated one up and Connelly went up and grabbed it for a 27 yard completion and a first down. Two plays later, Swain-Price got around the edge for an eight yard touchdown, putting Stoughton up 21-0.

Sullivan came away with an interception on Franklin’s next possession and the Black Knights converted quickly. After a 28 yard gain from Sullivan on the ground, junior Justin Ly (11 carries, 137 yards, one touchdown) pounded it up the middle for a 10 yard touchdown, giving Stoughton a 27-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

After Franklin was unable to convert on fourth down, Ly took the first carry of the next drive 39 yards. Six players later, Sullivan took the toss to the outside for a five yard touchdown run to make it 34-0.

The Panthers were able to get some life back right before halftime, using a couple of screen plays to cut into the lead. Facing 3rd and nine, Franklin QB Jake Noviello (14/33, 215 yards, 2 touchdowns) hit running back Jacob Wolowacki (128 all purpose yards) for a 48 yard completion on the screen. Two plays later, Wolowacki punched it in for the Panthers’ first touchdown.

Franklin got possession back quickly, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Brad Jarosz. On the first play, the Panthers went back to the screen, with Noviello hitting Wolowacki for a 40 yard touchdown to bring the score to 34-12.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Stoughton struck once more in the final minute of the first half, using three straight runs – Sullivan for 24 yards, Ly for 32 yards and then Sullivan for a 10 yard score – to go into the half with a 40-12 lead.

“Just like any year, you want to start off good,” Burke said. “[Franklin] is a young team, I don’t want to see them next year, that’s for sure, they’ll be tough. Our guys have worked really hard. I’m really happy with our seniors. And our strength, that’s all weight room stuff. We have a lot seniors, we have 20 this year and that makes a difference. Seniors win football games, it’s that simple.”

On Stoughton’s first play of their second drive in the second half, Sullivan bust through a hole up the middle and scampered in for a 52 yard touchdown to make it 46-12.

Franklin struck back with Noviello dropping a perfect pass into the hands of Kinley Baird on the sideline and the senior did the rest, sprinting in for a 68 yard touchdown for the Panthers.

Stoughton added a pair of scores in the final quarter with Swain-Price dashing up the middle for a 40 yard touchdown and David Bell getting around the corner for a 34 yard score for the Black Knights.

“Four touchdowns is nice for me but scoring 58 points as a team is better,” Sullivan said. “We like to call it the three-headed monster. Justin goes up the middle, and then me and Izon on the outside. The holes, you could drive a truck through, it was unreal. It’s an all senior line and they stepped up big time. They got a lot of experience last year and now they are ready to go this year.”

“Those two guys [Sullivan and Swain-Price], you have to worry about them but then we did a nice job on the inside on the traps,” Burke said. “We have a line that can block any other line as far as I’m concerned. You have to be able to go inside and you have to be able to go outside, that’s our offense. It might not be high spread, but that’s not who we are.”

Stoughton football (1-0) will welcome Marshfield to town next Friday in a rematch of week two from a season ago. Franklin (0-1) will look to get its first win of the season with a trip to another Davenport division team, Milford (0-1).

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Football: 2016 Davenport Division Preview

2016 Davenport Football Preview
North Attleboro, the defending Kelley-Rex champions, will look to make a splash in its first season in the Davenport. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016 Davenport Football Preview

Canton

2015 Record: 6-5
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave Bohane

Key/Returning Players: Dan Alice, Sr., HB/DB; Dennis Ross, Sr., QB; Alec Ragusa, Jr., FB/LB; Brian Smith, Sr., OL/DL; Mark Whalen, Sr., OL/DL; Joe Mulkay, Sr., HB/DB; Thomas Monagle, Sr., K/FB/LB; Dan Pierre, Sr., TE/DE; Tony Harris, Jr., WR/DB; Ben Paolillo, Sr., OL/DL; Mike Marino, Sr., HB/LB.

Outlook: After falling victim to the playoff system’s alignment and just missing out on a postseason berth, Canton will be relying on a mix of experience and youth to try and get back to the state tournament under the new alignment.

Davenport division MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Jake Ragusa is off playing at Merrimack so that will be a major void for Canton to fill. However, the Bulldogs do return some players in key spots that will help them out of the gates. Senior Anthony Ross is back under center and could see an expanded role in 2016. Dan Alice is back after suffering an injury last season and should lead a stable of running backs, led by fullback Alec Ragusa. Joe Mulkay, Dan Pierre, Tony Harris and Mike Marino should all factor into the offense as well for Canton.

Defensively, Canton has some experience on the line in Brian Smith, who also plays as a tackle on offense, as well as Mark Whalen, who saw valuable minutes last year, and Ben Paolillo. Alec Ragusa will be the anchor in the linebacking corps alongside Thomas Monagle (also the team’s kicker) and Marino. Harris, Alice and Mulkay figure to be important pieces in the Bulldogs’ secondary this year.

“The kids have a strong work ethic and had a good offseason and now a good preseason,” head coach Dave Bohane said. “I think we’ll be strong up front on both sides and we have kids in key spots with experience.”

Foxboro

2015 Record: 8-3 (Davenport Division Champions)
2015 Finish: Reached D4 South Semifinal
Coach: Jack Martinelli

Key/Returning Players: Jamaine Few, Sr., WR; Mark Clagg, Sr., QB; Joe Bartucca, Sr., OL/DL; Trey Guerrini, Sr., WR/DB; Alex Parillo, Sr., OL/DL; John Cronin, Sr., K; Matt Mullally, Sr., LB; Brandon Corey, Sr., LB; Paul Darcy, Sr., DB; Matt Pond, Jr., LB.

Outlook: Coming off the program’s first league title since 2010, the Foxboro Warriors are hoping to stay near the top of the Davenport division again this year. And with one of the top returning quarterbacks in Mark Clagg under center for another year, the Warriors will likely be in the thick of the division race.

Clagg threw for nine touchdowns last season, third most among returning quarterbacks. After splitting some time with Darren Kelly last year, it looks like it was be Clagg’s spot full time in 2016. Another positive for having Clagg back is the experienced wide receivers he will have to work with. Jamaine Few is a big, experienced target at 6’3 and will be a tough one on one matchup for defensive backs. Trey Guerrini also has experience with Clagg while Phil Dure and John Whitehouse could be viable options as well. Foxboro will have to fill the void at running back, after the stability of Ronnie Martin and Keeyon Neal in previous years. Eseosa Omuemu, Matt Mullally and Anthony Capachietti are all possible choices to start in the backfield.

Defensively, the Warriors will rely upon experience in the linebacking and defensive back corps. Junior Matt Pond and senior Brandon Corey will be key cogs among the linebackers while Paul Darcy and Guerrini will be key pieces in the Warriors’ secondary. Foxboro will look to develop solid options on both the offensive and defensive lines.

“As always, the senior leadership plays a key role in the success of the 2016 campaign,” head coach Jack Martinelli said.

Milford

2015 Record: 7-4
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Joe Todd

Key/Returning Players: Blake Hill, Sr., RB/LB; Ryan Gray, Sr., OL/DL; Asong Aminmentse, Sr., RB/LB; Riley Burns, Sr., OL/DL; Harrison Bliss, Sr., RB/LB; Tony Mobilia, Sr., WR/DB; Jack Cappelletti, Sr., WR/DB; Alec Salamone, Sr., RB/DB; Pat Brogioli, Jr., OL/DL; Tyler Joyce, Jr., TE/LB; Shapel Feaster, Soph., RB/DB, Matt Curran, Jr., QB.

Outlook: The Scarlet Hawks have posted back-to-back 7-4 seasons and are hoping to continue their winning ways in 2016. With 11 starters returning, Milford is on the right track to do so.

It all starts with Yale-commit Blake Hill, who will be a top player on both offense and defense this season. Offensively he can hurt you in many ways, including running with the ball or catching passes. Hill will have some space to run thanks to an experienced offensive line that includes Riley Burns, Ryan Gray and Pat Brogioli. Junior Matt Curran will take over under center for the Scarlet Hawks and will have Jack Cappelletti, Tony Mobilia and Tyler Joyce as pass catching options to work with.

Defensively, Hill is one of the top linebackers in the league. He’ll be flanked by Harrison Bliss, Asong Aminmentse and Joyce. Burns, Gray and Brogioli will all be two-way linemen for the Scarlet Hawks. Shapel Feaster, who will also see touches on offense, will be in the secondary along with Alec Salamone, Mobilia and Cappelletti.

North Attleboro

2015 Record: 9-2 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions)
2015 Finish: Reached D3 Southwest Semifinal
Coach: Don Johnson

Key/Returning Players: Thomas Reynolds, Sr., OL/DL; Bobby Mylod, Sr., RB/LB; Nick Rajotte, Sr. RB/DB; Kyle McCarthy, Sr. QB/DB; Chad Peterson, Jr., QB; Thomas Kummer, Sr., OL/DL.

Outlook: As with any defending league champion, the North Attleboro Rocketeers will have some holes they’ll have to fill this year. But Big Red also has a slew of talented, experienced players back as North Attleboro looks to make a splash in its first season in the Davenport division.

Junior Chad Peterson is back under center after a breakout sophomore season in which he tossed 13 touchdowns, second most in the Hockomock League. While Kelley-Rex MVP Nick Morrison has graduated, North Attleboro returns Bobby Mylod and Nick Rajotte, who will give the Rocketeers a variety of attacking options. Thomas Reynolds will anchor the offensive line from the center position while Peterson will look for Hacmoni Cuevas, David Engler, Mario Bresko and Nick Dean to emerge as receiving threats.

It will be a lot of the same faces making plays on the defensive side of the ball. Reynolds and senior Tom Kummer are two major pieces and will take up the center of the defensive line. Mylod emerged as one of the top linebackers in the Hockomock and in the state last season and will be complemented at the position by Ryan Kingston, Zach DeMattio and Cuevas. Rajotte and Kyle McCarthy both had solid years in the secondary last season and will be big pieces to the defensive puzzle again this season.

“It’s going to be an interesting year switching to the Davenport division,” head coach Don Johnson said. “It certainly isn’t going to be any easier.”

Sharon

2015 Record: 4-7
2015 Finish: Reached D3 Southeast Quarterfinal
Coach: Dave Morse

Key/Returning Players: Juvan Elisma, Sr., RB; Josh Rotman, Sr., WR/CB; Nate Hirsh, Sr., OL/DL; Ian Langol-Leonard, Sr., OL/DL; Wilhelm Bolt, Sr., OL/DL; Xavier Hackett, Sr., OLB; Drew Naisuler, Jr., QB; Austin Dodes, Jr., WR; Sam Spencer, Jr., RB.

Outlook: A lot of the players listed as key and returning players for Sharon this season were also on last year’s list, and that’s a good thing for the Eagles, who are looking to take the next step forward in 2016.

Junior Drew Naisuler will step into the starting role at quarterback and will have some weapons at his disposal right away. Running back Juvan Elisma had a stellar 2015 campaign as a junior, rushing for eight touchdowns – tied for fourth most in the Hockomock League and tied for second in the Davenport. Now Elisma will look to cap a strong football career at Sharon by leading an Eagles’ rushing attack that will likely include junior Sam Spencer as well. Naisuler will have an experienced receiver as Josh Rotman is back for another year while junior Austin Dodes figures to be another target this season.

“Our season will be decided by how physical we can be and if our new varsity players can step up and make an impact,” head coach Dave Morse said.

The Eagles will also bring back some experience on both sides of the line. Nate Hirsh has been a key cog of the line on both sides of the ball for the Eagles. Ian Langol-Leonard and Wilhelm Bolt also will likely be key experience pieces up front for Sharon. Defensively, Rotman also is back as a talented defensive back. Xavier Hackett is another name to keep an eye on, as the senior has been able to make plays for Sharon in the past and looks to do more of the same in 2016.

Stoughton

2015 Record: 6-5
2015 Finish: Reached D3 Southwest Semifinal
Coach: Greg Burke

Key/Returning Players: Ryan Sullivan, Sr., RB/DB; Izon Swain-Price, Sr., RB/WR/DB; Dave Cellucci, Sr., QB; Nick Hardy, Sr., RB/DB; Jack Connelly, Sr., TE/LB; Harry Kimball, Sr., OL/DL; Lino Azul, Sr., OL/DL; Andrew Iverson, Sr., OL/DL; Ryan Pierre, Sr., OL/DL; Justin Ly, Jr., FB/LB; Brendan Walsh, Sr., OL/DL.

Outlook: No matter what team, it’s always going to be difficult to replace a three year starter at quarterback. But with the talented offensive line Stoughton has back this season and senior Dave Cellucci taking over under center, the Black Knights’ offense is in good shape.

The offensive line returns starters Lino Azul, Ryan Pierre and Andrew Iverson while Harry Kimball and Brendan Walsh – who both started on the defensive line – will play on both sides of the ball now. That experience will help give Cellucci a little more time in the pocket when he’s called upon to throw. Meanwhile, Ryan Sullivan, Izon Swain-Price and Justin Ly all figure to be key pieces in the backfield. Sullivan and Swain-Price caused havoc for defenses last season with a combined 10 rushing touchdowns. Swain-Price will also be a receiving option while Jack Connelly is back for another year at tight end.

Stoughton will look to continue its tradition of having a staunch defense. The Black Knights have depth on the defensive line with Pierre, Azul and Kimball all seeing time there along with junior Jason Joseph. Iverson, Ly and Connelly will all see reps at linebacker and Sullivan and Izon Swain-Price will likely be two of the top defensive backs in the entire league.

“We hope to stay healthy and get into the playoffs,” head coach Greg Burke said. “This has been a great group in the weight room and conditioning, that will have to carry us in the league. We know it will be a tough league this year.”