Below are the official 2017 Hockomock League Football All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Shane Frommer, King Philip
Chad Peterson, North Attleboro
Hockomock League All Stars
Cam Furtado, Attleboro
James Weir, Attleboro
Elvin Sam, Attleboro
Brian Kosicki, Franklin
Jake Noviello, Franklin
Shane Frommer, King Philip
Jack Piller, King Philip
Brendan Lydon, King Philip
Jack Webster, King Philip
Andrew Dittrich, King Philip
Will Shield, Mansfield
Hunter Ferreira, Mansfield
Danny DeGirolamo, Mansfield
Vinnie Holmes, Mansfield
Anthony Berksza, Oliver Ames
Jack Mills, Oliver Ames
Zakim Harrow, Taunton
Dan Murphy, Taunton
Brendan Albert, Canton
Alec Ragusa, Canton
Devin Hassett, Foxboro
Mike Henri, Foxboro
Kade Treannie, Foxboro
Patrick Kaveny, Foxboro
Patrick Brogioli, Milford
Will Pointer, Milford
Neil Arquillano, Milford
Chad Peterson, North Attleboro
Ryan Clemente, North Attleboro
Sam Bullock, North Attleboro
Marion Bresko, North Attleboro
Aidan Harding, North Attleboro
Justin Ly, Stoughton
Alex Sjoquist, Stoughton
Ruben Gonzalez, Stoughton
Jason Joseph, Stoughton
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2017 Kelley-Rex Football Preview
2016 Record: 4-7
2016 Finish: Reached D1A South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Strachan
Key/Returning Players: Cam Furtado, Sr., QB/CB; Elvin Sam, Sr., WR/CB; Justin Cote, Jr., RB/OLB; Matthew Corrado, Sr., OL/DL; Matthew Jimenez, Sr., OL/DL; Dan Perry, Sr., OL/DE; James Weir, Sr., LB/TE; Nate Barboza, Sr., LB/FB; Nick Evans, Jr., TE/DE; Kyle Walsh, Jr., OL/DL; Jacob Weatherford, Jr., LB/FB; Josh Therrien, Jr., FS/WR
The Bombardiers started the season 3-2, but closed with only one win in the final six games, including a pair of losses to league rival and eventual Super Bowl champion King Philip. Injuries piled up for Attleboro in 2016, but it gave a number of players the chance to gain valuable varsity experience and the Bombardiers have high hopes for improvement this fall.
Experience at the skill positions is one of the reasons for optimism at Attleboro. Senior Cam Furtado is slated to start the season at quarterback and has proven to be a dynamic playmaker. Classmate Elvin Sam emerged as a big play weapon last fall, whether in the backfield or split out wide, and tight end James Weir gives Attleboro an option in the middle of the field. Wideout Josh Therrien and running back Justin Cote could also play bigger roles with running back Marcus Blaise adding depth.
Attleboro also has a strong returning core on defense with Furtado, Sam, and Therrien in the secondary and Weir joining senior Nate Barboza and junior Jacob Weatherford at linebacker. Matt Corrado, Matt Jimenez, and Kyle Walsh will give the Bombardiers strength on both sides of the line and junior Nick Evans could be poised for a breakout year after moving from linebacker to defensive end. Sophomore Qualeem Charles is also a player to watch on the line.
“I am extremely excited about our senior group of players,” said Attleboro coach Mike Strachan. “We have some dynamic players in Cam Furtado and Elvin Sam and hopefully they can maximize their athletic talents. We have many returning starters from last season so we hope to build on that experience.”
2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Eian Bain
The first season for the Panthers under new head coach Eian Bain was a struggle at times for a young roster that was adapting to new systems on both sides of the ball, but there is hope that the experience gained last fall will pay dividends in 2017. Franklin will have a number of returning players to count on this season.
Offensively, Franklin will have to find ways to make up for the production of graduated running back Jacob Wolowacki, who was a go-to weapon in the ground and passing games. Senior quarterback Jake Noviello will be counted on to lead the offensive unit after more than 1,700 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall. Junior wideout Sean Leonard started all 11 games last year and will be a tough matchup for defenses along with fellow receivers Jack Nally, Will Davis, and Evan Wendell and running back Sean Hofferty. Three-year starter Brian Kosicki will be the leader of the offensive line and tight end Patrick Morrison will be a weapon in the passing game.
On defense, the Panthers have depth in the secondary, including junior safety Nolan McLaney, who was second on the team in tackles last year. Junior Ryan Driscoll has speed on the corner and Bain called him the “focal point” of the defense. Nick Gordon will hold down the other corner spot. Senior defensive end Jackson Gilbert is coming back from injury that cut short his junior season and will add strength on the edge. Junior Riley Downing gives Franklin size and speed in the middle of the line.
“We are in year two of our process,” said Bain. “We are in a different place than we were a year ago…Fans should expect to see a better team in 2017. We have a roster full of experience and had great participation through the Franklin speed and conditioning program. In a league this good we have to bring our best every week.”
2016 Record: 12-0
2016 Finish: MIAA D1A State Champions
Coach: Brian Lee
Key/Returning Players: Brendan Lydon, Sr., QB; Evan Rice, Sr., RB/LB; Shane Frommer, Sr., RB/DB; Dylan Leonard, Sr., RB/LB; Cole Baker, Soph., K; Andrew Dittrich, Sr., WR/DB; David Morganelli, Jr. WR/DB; Anthony Vahue, Sr., OL/DL; Jack Webster, Jr., LB.
What will the Warriors do for an encore? King Philip won its third league title in the past five years, second outright Kelley-Rex title in the past three seasons, and completed an unbeaten season with a win over Reading in the Div. 1A Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium.
Despite losing a large and influential senior class, the Warriors are being picked by some to repeat at champs this fall. One reason for continued belief is the return of senior quarterback Brendan Lydon, who showed poise in the pocket and the ability to make accurate passes downfield in his first year under center in 2016. Yale-commit Shane Frommer is also back for his senior season and will be the feature back for the Warriors in a system that prides itself on pushing teams around on the ground. Beyond that, it will be up to a group of rookies to make an impact. KP will boast an entire new offensive line, anchored by senior Anthony Vahue, and all new receivers. Junior David Morganelli will be one of the options for Lydon.
The Warriors boast a bit more experience on the defensive side of the ball. Even though a good chunk of starters are gone, KP’s rotation last year allowed for players like Evan Rice (defensive end), Jack Webster (linebacker) and Dylan Leonard (safety) to see action. Frommer will be back opposite Webster while Vahue will also play on the defensive line. Andrew Dittrich returns as a starting corner back to anchor the secondary.
Although there are a lot of new faces on this year’s roster and a lot of leadership missing from last season’s championship squad, head coach Brian Lee has instilled a toughness that permeates the program and expectations are that KP will have a decent chance at lifting a trophy again this fall.
“We don’t get any points for last year, we don’t get spotted a touchdown because we went undefeated last year,” Lee said. “When it comes to high school football, it’s about taking those rookies and getting them ready for varsity speed, they have to be able to handle the bright lights on Friday nights. If we can get them up to speed, we should be okay.”
2016 Record: 8-3
2016 Finish: Reached D1A South Quarterfinal
Coach: Michael Redding
Key/Returning Players: Will Shield, Sr., OL/DL; Colbey Eason, Jr., OL/DL; Jareme DiLorenzo, Sr., DE/TE; Hunter Ferreira, Sr., WR/OLB; Danny DeGirolamo, Sr., RB/DB; Joe Cox, Sr., RB/OLB; Khristian Conner, Jr., RB/DB; Chris Copponi, Jr., FB/LB; Aidan Sacco, Jr., RB/DB; Mike Shannon, Sr., TE/DE
The Hornets finished second in the Kelley-Rex division last year, with the only Hock loss coming by three points to league champ King Philip. Mansfield was stunned in a playoff thriller against Marshfield, but then bounced back to beat Div. 1 playoff teams Needham and Newton North and will enter 2017 with typically high expectations, as the Hornets look to win their first league title since 2013.
A strength for Mansfield this fall will be the experience it returns at the skill positions led by senior wideout Hunter Ferreira, who has emerged as one of the area’s top receivers. The backfield will once again be loaded for the Hornets, who will count on seniors Danny DeGirolamo and Joe Cox and juniors Khristian Conner and Aidan Sacco. New quarterback Damani Scott will try to make use of that talent and the 6-foot-3 junior has a big arm to make plays downfield.
Cox and Ferreira will add strength and speed to the linebacking corps, while seniors Mike Shannon and Jareme DiLorenzo will provide a pass rush at the defensive end positions. Conner, Sacco, and DeGirolamo will all return in the secondary. If there are questions for the Hornets, it will be at the line of scrimmage; senior Will Shield and junior Colbey Eason have returned and will be the players to build around on the offensive and defensive lines.
“After one week, we are happy with work ethic and development of linemen,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding, who is in his 30th season with the Hornets. “If we can get pieces of the puzzle sorted out up front on OL and DL, we’ll be a tough out. We have a very good collection of playmakers that can run and catch and we should score some points this year.”
2015 Record: 2-9
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Mike Holland
The Tigers got off to a promising start to 2016, winning two of the opening three games including a dramatic one-point win over Franklin, but Oliver Ames struggled down the stretch against a difficult schedule. Now entering his third year, head coach Mike Holland is confident the program is heading in the right direction this fall.
According to Holland, the Tigers’ strength on the offensive side of the ball is the experience of playing in the system for several seasons and a greater understanding of the concepts. Senior Curtis Cann will lead the attack after taking over as the starting quarterback last season and he has several talented weapons on the outside in seniors Michael Mulrean and Noah Fitzgerald. Jay Fruci will be one of the returning players in the backfield, lining up behind a big offensive line.
Jack Mills will be a mainstay in the middle on both sides of the ball and is one of the top lineman in the league. He will be paired with fellow senior John-Michael Cole on the line, giving the Tigers depth in the trenches. Fitzgerald and Mulrean will also be important contributors in the secondary, while Fruci will bring athleticism to the linebacking corps. Holland wants his defensive scheme to take advantage of the team’s speed.
“Looking forward to the start of a new season. Our guys’ preparation and approach leading up to the season has been excellent,” Holland said. “We have guys with experience that need to play big, as well as some new guys that are in the mix to compete for spots.”
2016 Record: 5-6
2016 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brad Sidwell
Key/Returning Players: Noah Leonard, Jr., QB; Brayden Merrill, Jr., WR/DB; Collin Hunter, Sr., WR/DB; Paul Corrao, Sr., T/DT; Cam Correiro, Jr., G/DT; Antonio Mendes, Sr., RB; Zakim Harrow, Sr., DT/NG; Nuno Camara, Sr., LB/FB
The Tigers narrowly missed out on a winning record in their first season under head coach Brad Sidwell and showed signs of improvement, including a narrow, three-point loss to Mansfield. In year two, Sidwell is hoping for even more and Taunton has potential on the roster to be a tough out in the league.
Losing wide receiver Adam McLaughlin to graduation will certainly impact the offensive attack, but junior quarterback Noah Leonard returns for his second season under center and will look to build on the experience he gained last fall. With a number of athletes at the skill positions, including senior Collin Hunter and junior Brayden Merrill at wideout and T.J. Mendes in the backfield, Taunton will use a number of formations and styles to cause matchup problems. Sidwell expects the passing game to be a major strength for the Tigers.
Defensively, Taunton will have a number of new faces, but has size and experience at the line of scrimmage. Seniors Paul Corrao and Zakim Harrow and junior Cam Correiro will all make a significant impact on the battle in the trenches. Senior Nuno Camara provides experience to the linebacking corps, while Merrill and Hunter will be important in the secondary.
“Moving into the second year, the players, coaches and fans are excited for the season but there is lots of work to be done,” Sidwell said. “Hopefully we can get off to a good start and provide some confidence to gain momentum into the difficult Hockomock League season.”
MANSFIELD, Mass. – The Hornets won the coin toss and elected to defer possession to the second half. With senior Diogo DeSousa kicking with the wind at his back, Mansfield coach Mike Redding knew that he could pin the Bombardiers deep in their own zone.
The strategy worked perfectly. Mansfield started all but two first half possessions in Attleboro territory and the two that started in the Hornets’ half of the field were at the 49 and the 48. Mansfield cashed in every time, scoring each of the first five times it touched the ball and cruised to a comprehensive 38-7 victory at Alumni Field in the league opener for both teams.
“Diogo with wind is going to get it in the end zone and we get three and outs, we get good field position, we get big plays early,” Redding explained. “They gave us a couple of breaks and we took advantage.”
After a three and out to start the game, Mansfield started its first possession at the Attleboro 40. Kristian Conner rushed for 15 yards to the left, Nick Graham went for 11 up the middle, and Will Garvin broke a 15-yard carry on a counter. Joe Cox capped the short drive with a one-yard plunge to put the Hornets on top.
Attleboro got off to a good start on its next possession with Tyler McGovern (7-16, 61 yards) hit James Weir down the seam for 21 yards. But on the next play, Cam Furtado had the ball ripped loose by Julio Arevalo who kept hold of it and returned the fumble 34 yards to the one. Anthony DeGirolamo scored on a QB sneak on the next play and it was 14-0.
“That was a big turnover for us,” Attleboro coach Mike Strachan admitted. “I think that was a big play in terms of momentum and it got kind of blustery there and it pinned us. We’ve got to regroup.”
Another three and out gave the Hornets the ball at their own 49. Four plays later, on fourth and three from the Attleboro 44, Graham took a toss sweep to the left and cut it back inside, finding a hole and taking it to the house for a 21-0, first quarter lead.
The mistakes continued for the Bombardiers with the next possession ending on a low snap that flew past McGovern and was recovered by Jareme Dilorenzo at the six. Two plays later, DeGirolamo hit Hunter Ferreira on the near sideline for a four-yard score.
“It was absolutely brutal for us,” Strachan said, “but we need to find a way as a team to fight through that adversity. We didn’t and they’re just that much more seasoned then us and we’re going to go through some growing pains.”
Ben Budwey returned an Attleboro punt 12 yards to the Bombardiers 27 where Mansfield started its fifth possession. Again the Hornets took advantage of the short field. Cox had two carries for 20 yards and Graham ended the drive with a seven-yard carry up the middle for his second touchdown of the game.
Redding credited the play of the offensive and defensive lines for the dominating performance.
“He’s just a one-man wrecking crew,” said Redding of Arevalo. “Andrew Ducharme, [Shayne] McCoyis playing great at d-end, the young kid [Colbey] Eason is playing well at tackle, [A.J.] Gibbs and [Colin] Gibbons are great guards and they’re just the hidden secret here on why we’re turning the corner.”
Redding continued, “We do have good skill guys but they’re only as good as the guys in front of them. I think our guys on the O- and D-line are very underrated, not real big but tough and athletic. They’re playing really good football now.”
The Bombardiers tried to get back into the game in the second half. McGovern hit Weir again down the seam for 21 yards to the Mansfield 19. After a six-yard gain by Marc Dieu, McGovern hit Elvin Sam for a 13-yard touchdown. The ensuing kick bounced in front of the Hornets’ returner and was recovered by Malik Mcalister-Pruitt. The comeback ended on a turnover on downs at the Mansfield 19.
“They’re a good football team and they’re better than us,” said Strachan. “I think it’s that simple. In every aspect of the game, they came to play and they caught us early.
“We’ve got a lot of young kids who played tonight and it’s going to be that way for us the rest of the year… We just need to get better as the season goes on.”
DeSousa tacked on a 33-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to round out the scoring. Mansfield will head into next week’s showdown with King Philip clicking in all four phases and Redding was already thinking ahead to next Friday.
“We’ve got another huge one next week,” he said. “It won’t determine the league title but whoever wins is certainly in the driver’s seat moving forward. With North leaving the division, it’s kind of us and KP taking over as maybe one of the better rivalries.
“Buy a ticket early for next Friday. It should be a great atmosphere and a great game…As good as we’ve played, we need to bring our ‘A-plus’ game to stop King Philip.”
Mansfield football (2-1) will host King Philip (3-0), which beat Oliver Ames 42-6 on Friday, at Alumni Field next week. Attleboro (1-2) will look to end a two-game losing streak when it hosts Taunton (1-2).