“I think defensively we were so much better than we better than when we played them the first time,” Ferguson said. “We communicated much better, we took away the corner three which killed us the first time. I think we did a great job on Devin Foster, who’s just a terrific player. We knew if he got going, their guys would feed off that so we started with him. I know [Tony] Harris got a bunch and hurt us but defensively, that’s the best effort we have given for 32 minutes.”
The Eagles limited Canton to just six points in the opening quarter and then used a late surge – scoring seven points over the final minute of the first half, including five from senior Ricardo Ripley — to take a 23-18 lead into the locker room.
“It wasn’t about offense tonight, it was about our defense,” Gordy said. “We gave up a lot of uncontested shots, we didn’t compete hard enough defensive to win a game. That was probably the worst defense we played all season.”
Ben Stamm hit an early three pointer in the second half, Jimmy Fitzhenry (14 points, five rebounds) added one of his own and with just under three minutes to play in the third quarter, Ricardo Ripley (13 points) drained one from deep to give Sharon a 36-29 lead.
But Canton would close the gap with Foster driving to the basket for two and Austin Maffie draining a three to make it a two point game. Sharon once again had a response as Tommy Modelevsky connected from deep. Yet again, Canton chipped with with a layup from Maffie and two free throws from Brian Albert pulled the Bulldogs within three through three quarters.
Sharon took little time to build an early lead in the fourth quarter with a quick 7-0 run. Lester High drained a three for his lone bucket of the game, Ripley drove to the basket for two and Malik Lorquet hit two free throws — all while the Eagles defense kept Canton off the board to start the quarter.
“That’s what you need, guys to step up,” Ferguson said of getting buckets here and there from role players. “Tommy had a big three, Lester had a big three, and Ben hit a big three right at the start of the second half. We need those guys. We’ve been relying on Ricky and Malik, and Jimmy’s gotten better, but you have to have those side guys come in and hit shots. And add in Jayvon Monteiro, he played great defense and Sammy Kirshenbaum rebounded pretty well. That’s what we need from these guys day in and day out.”
“They hit shots – they didn’t hit shots last game,” Gordy said. “Sometimes it comes down to making and missing. I want to give them credit for shots, but we do close out drills all the time and we didn’t close out correctly all game. It’s a maturity issue right now. You can’t beat Franklin and then lose to Sharon in one week, it’s a maturity issue.”
Danny Hartnett connected on a three to get the Bulldogs’ offense back in gear and Harris scored twice in low to make it a three point game. Sharon sophomore Alex Kaufmann hit a pair of free throws to make it 53-46 but two from Harris and two free throws from Foster made it a one possession game with 2:22 to play.
But from there, Canton’s offense went cold while Sharon was successful from the free throw line. The Eagles ended the game with a 9-3 run, with seven points coming on free throws.
“That’s the difference — when we’re not active and we’re not cutting off passes, it’s an ugly defensive scheme,” Ferguson said of his zone being active, causing Canton problems. “But when we get active, when Malik can control the middle, Xavier [Hackett] helps us rebound, and when we aren’t giving teams second and third chances, we’re a pretty good defensive team. When we start giving up extra opportunities get into trouble.”
Sharon improves to 3-10 on the season, and 2-9 in Hockomock play. The Eagles will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Franklin. Canton (6-7, 4-7) looks to bounce back on the same day with a visit from Oliver Ames.
Game of the Week – Football
Milford, 0 @ Stoughton, 28 – Final 1st Quarter: (S) Izon Swain-Price 16 yard rush, Josh Cocchi XP good; (S) I. Swain-Price 6 yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (S) Justin Ly 6 yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good.
4th Quarter: (S) I. Swain-Price 79 yard rush, J. Cocchi XP good.
Sharon, 20 @ Canton, 7 – Final 1st Quarter: (C) Alec Ragusa 40 yard rush, Thomas Monagle XP good.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: (S) Drew Naisuler 1 yard rush, Mitchell Director XP good; (S) Juvan Elisma 71 yard rush, XP no good.
4th Quarter: (S) Xavier Hackett 82 yard rush, M. Director XP good.
North Attleboro, 35 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final (3 Quarters) 1st Quarter: (NA) Chad Peterson 82 yard pass to Kyle McCarthy, XP good; (NA) C. Peterson 38 yard pass to Nick Rajotte, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) Bobby Mylod 3 yard rush, XP good; (NA) C. Peterson 54 yard pass to B. Mylod, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (NA) C. Peterson 14 yard pass to B. Mylod, XP good.
4th Quarter: Game called after three quarters due to weather.
Attleboro @ Franklin – Postponed to 10/22 at 3:00.
Taunton @ King Philip – Postponed to 10/22 at 2:00.
Mansfield @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to 10/22 at 2:00.
Mansfield, 2 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Mansfield’s Jed Tolbert notched his sixth shutout of the season and the Hornets cashed in twice in the second half to beat Franklin. Sam Hyland headed home a corner kick from Sean Lanzillo in the 49th minute for the game-winner. Cullin Anastasia doubled the lead in the 73rd minute, finishing off a direct kick from Lanzillo.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – North Attleboro sophomore Justin Renehan scored his first career goal with 11 minutes to go in the game to put the Rocketeers ahead but Stoughton found the equalizer with just over two minutes to go. Stoughton sophomore Fabio Ponce De Leon scored the tying goal after a service into the box from a free kick passed by Marco Antunes. Shawn Watters had four big saves for the Rocketeers.
King Philip @ Taunton – Postponed to 10/22 at 10:00AM.
Oliver Ames, 4 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Kiana Lozzi scored a pair of goals as Oliver Ames improved to 12-0-3 on the season. Lauren Wright and Jess Robarge each added a goal while Zoe Chazan, Emily Freeman and Jackie Mills each had an assist.
Foxboro, 4 @ Milford, 2 – Final – Kristen Franzini and Gabbie Riley each scored for Milford.
Franklin, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Franklin’s Molly Duncan scored early in the second half off of an assist from Halle Atkinson to put the Panthers up but Mansfield found the equalizer in the final 10 minutes. Amanda Mangano converted with just eight minutes to go to keep the Hornets undefeated (13-0-2).
Stoughton, 0 @ North Attleboro, 5 – Final – Four players recorded two points in North Attleboro’s win at home over Stoughton. Haley Ferrin scored a pair of goals – “They were beautiful goals,” said North coach Bill Wallace – while Ashlyn Gaulin, Kayla Pasquel and Haley Guertin each scored once and had an assist. Britta MacDonald and Kenzie Rosenberg also had an assist for the Rocketeers. Stoughton head coach Tara Daniels said Gabby Diaz “played tough in the back field.” for the Black Knights.
Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip freshman Avery Snead netted the game winner in the 32nd minute of the game as the Warriors picked up the shutout win at home. “It was a rocket,” KP head coach Gary Pichel said of Snead’s goal. Julian Massarone doubled the lead in the 47th minute, converting a nice pass from Chloe Layne inside the area. Maddie Smith added an insurance goal just three minutes later in the 50th minute, converting a cross from Layne.
Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames defended home court with a 25-18, 25-16, 25-18 sweep of Attleboro. OA senior Bridget McCarthy tallied 22 assists and three aces and senior libero Alyssa Gavin added 12 digs and two aces. Caroline Cavanaugh had four kills and “played aggressive on the net” according to head coach Chelsea Correia.
Canton, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Canton picked up the sweep on the road at Sharon; “Everyone contributed to the win tonight,” Canton head coach Pat Cawley said. Nicole Poole led Canton with 16 assists, six kills and two aces. Emma Murphy added seven kills, three blocks and six aces. Sofia Connor, Malia Claiborne and Kehla Minkin all played good defense while Emma Gobbi played well at the net for Canton.
Milford, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final
Mansfield, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin used the energy of senior night to sweep Mansfield, 25-20, 25-21, 25-20. “It was a strong performance by the entire team,” Franklin head coach Kate Horsmann said. Senior Erin Skidmore had 14 kills and 11 digs to lead the Panthers while Meaghan Maguire had six kills and three blocks, Lauren McGrath had 22 assists, two aces and a kill and Maddie Kuzio finished with 22 digs and a pair of aces. For Mansfield, Jess Haradon had 20 digs, Meg Hill had 10 kills and Emily Kleber had six kills.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final
King Philip, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – King Philip picked up the 25-23, 25-10, 25-20 sweep on the road. Sydney Phillips led KP with 15 kills and 14 service points while Kat Kmetz had four kills, three digs and 13 service points, Liv Balduf chipped in with five kills and 11 service points and Amanda Loewen had six digs and eight service points.
Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Kayla Lozzi netted a pair of goals while Kendall Clifford found of the back of the cage once to pace OA. Katie Vamosi made six saves in net to preserve the shutout for the Tigers.
Canton, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – Final
Milford, 1 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final
Mansfield, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin sophomore Annie Walsh scored a pair of goals with her sister Erin Walsh, a freshman, scoring once to lead Franklin to a 3-2 win. Franklin head coach Lisa Cropper said Cassi Ronan, Caroline Lounsbury and Kayla Marshall also played well for the Panthers.
SHARON, Mass. – Sharon scored a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter and denied a late two-point conversion attempt from Foxboro to hold on for a 14-12 win on Saturday afternoon.
After a scoreless first half, the Eagles scored on a pair of runs in the third quarter. Foxboro responded with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter but saw their two-point attempt with 1:41 come up short as Sharon moved to 3-0 on the season. Sharon senior Juvan Elisma proved to be a big difference maker, rushing for 186 yards on 23 carries.
“We knew they had athletes so we knew they’d get first downs and chunks of yards, but we didn’t want to give up big plays and until the very end, we didn’t,” Sharon head coach Dave Morse said. “And I thought we actually played with a higher level of physicality, we had some big hits on the perimeter and that might make skill players a little reluctant. Our d-line and linebackers stepped up and played well, I was very happy about it.”
All four of Sharon’s drives in the first half ended with punts, including their second drive that spanned 52 yards on seven plays. But even as the Eagles’ offense stalled, their defense was strong and kept Foxboro at bay. The Warriors punted on their first drive, missed a 43-yard field goal on their second drive, fumbled possession away on the third drive and their late drive in the second quarter ended with an interception.
Foxboro was set to receive the opening kickoff of the season half, but a bouncing kick was muffed and Sharon junior Brett Litner emerged with the ball at the Warriors’ 43 yard line. Sharon moved the sticks right away with a 12 yard run from Elisma and three plays later, quarterback Drew Naisuler used a sneak to move the chains again.
Back to back runs from Elisma moved the ball to the 5 yard line and Xavier Hackett ran it down to the 1 yard line. Naisuler kept it again for a touchdown, putting Sharon up 6-0. The two-point conversion was stuffed but Sharon had a lead with 7:17 left in the third.
“[The recovery] wasn’t by design but that’s basically six points you pull out of nowhere,” Morse admitted.
The Eagles forced a three and out on Foxboro’s first possession of the second half and then rattled of its longest drive of the game. Sharon used nine plays to cover 58 yards to find the end zone again. Elisma moved the chains with a 14 yard gain and then Naisuler connected with Austin Dodes for a 15 yard reception. Elisma converted a fourth down with a six yard rush, getting Sharon inside the 10 yard line. Elisma went for four more yards and Naisuler used a QB draw to dive up the middle for a 3 yard touchdown.
Elisma took the handoff and plunged into the end zone for the two point conversion, putting Sharon up 14-0 with 1:54 left in the third quarter.
“Juvan is a competitor, he’s an unbelievable player to coach, one of the better guys that I’ve been around,” Morse said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s Tuesday or Friday night, he’s the most prepared player on the field. In big games, you need guys like that to step up and he put us on his back and made huge plays. He was the difference in the game.”
Foxboro was finally able to get its offense in gear on its second drive of the final quarter. After punting on its first drive, the Warriors used a 12-play, 72-yard drive to get on the board over halfway through the fourth quarter. Senior Mark Clagg hit Trey Guerrini for a 17 yard reception to start the drive and Anthony Capachietti converted a 3rd and 2 just before midfield. Clagg hit Jamaine Few on third down for 8 yards to move the chains and then hit Phil Dure for 15 more yards.
On 2nd and goal from the four, Capachietti darted up the middle for a touchdown. Foxboro’s extra point was wide as Sharon had a 14-6 advantage with 3:25 to go.
After a touchback, Sharon was facing a 3rd and 5 from its own 25 yard line. Elisma looked like he iced the game, getting around the edge and sprinting ahead for a 42 yard gain. But on the next play, an option resulted in a fumble and Foxboro recovered with 2:16 left.
On second down, Clagg his Capachietti for a circus 18 yard gain, catching in the flat on the left side before racing back across to the right sideline. On the next play, Clagg bought some time in the pocket and then found a wide open Devin Hassett downfield for a 47 yard touchdown with 1:41 to play.
Clagg completed his pass on the two point attempt but Sharon’s defense kept the ball out of the end zone to preserve a two point lead. On the onside kick attempt, Naisuler came away the recovery. Elisma ran for 10 yards on second down to move the chains and from there, Sharon was able to kill the clock with kneel downs.
The Eagles had plenty of players make contributions on both sides of the ball. Naisuler, the quarterback, recovered a fumble and handled the onside kick. Dodes had a pair of catches on offense and an interception on defense. Senior Nate Hirsh was not only a big factor on both the offensive and defensive lines, he had a strong day punting, averaging nearly 40 yards per punt and a long of 58 yards.
“We try to condition at a very high level because numbers wise, we’re Sharon – this is what we are. Sometimes you just need the right 40 instead of the wrong 80 and we got two way guys, we get them to believe in it and condition because for four quarters, we need legs. Look at Elisma, he’s still breaking tackles in the fourth quarter. That’s conditioning.”
Foxboro had the advantage in yards (299-240) and held Sharon to a poor third down conversion rate, but three turnovers hurt immensely.
“[Sharon] played great, you can’t take anything away from them,” Foxboro head coach Jack Martinelli said. “But you just can’t play seven minutes out of 44 and expect to win a game. [Elisma] was tough today, he ran good. It’s been kind of a sore spot for us this year on the edge.
“You have to play more than seven minutes of the game. It’s pretty cut and dry – too little too late.”
While Sharon nearly gave up its lead in the fourth quarter, Morse was happy that his young squad was able to make just enough plays to hold on.
“We’re still young so to give up those big plays but make a couple more and keep us in the lead, it’s good for a young team,” Morse said. “We’ll keep growing but we’re hoping that’s something that can pay big dividends in November when you’re playing in a big game.”
Sharon football (3-0, 1-0) will try to remain unbeaten when they host Stoughton on Saturday while Foxboro (1-2, 0-1) will host Canton on Friday night at the Ahern Middle School.
Foxboro graduated some key pieces on defense but the Warriors will be relying on experience in both the linebacking and defensive backs corps. Paul Darcy is one of the more experienced defensive backs for Foxboro and will be an important leader for the Warriors’ defense. The Davenport Division got even more competitive with the addition of North Attleboro, putting all three of the 2015 Hockomock champions in one division. Darcy will provide stability on defense, making plays in the passing game and also playing a role helping against the run on the outside. The Warriors should be in the race for the division title and Darcy’s leadership in the secondary will be a big reason why.
Whether he lines up at outside linebacker or drops deeper to play as a safety, Hackett is a playmaker for the Sharon defense. He can quickly read a play and see where it is headed, but has the speed and quickness to hang back for an extra beat before closing on a ball carrier. Hackett can also provide the Eagles with an edge rusher when they choose to blitz and on the next play drop deep into coverage down field. Hackett’s versatility meshes well with the Sharon lineup that includes a number of players who can switch between positions in the back seven. Hackett also adds his speed on special teams and lined up in the backfield on offense.
The Yale-commit could have been on the offense or defense list, as Hill has been a star for the Hawks on both sides of the ball. He caught 15 touchdown passes last season, lining up in the backfield, on the edge of the line, or split out wide, and was also team’s leading tackler as an imposing middle linebacker. Hill has the size and strength to bully his way past a blocker and the speed to be a menace as an end-rusher. He pursues the ball well and was in the middle of seemingly every defensive play for the Hawks. In addition, the speed he shows on the offensive side of the ball helps him cover running backs and tight ends downfield. Hill is the rare player that teams have to game plan for on both sides of the ball.
A lot of safeties at the high school level are one dimensional but Lyons has shown he can help defenses in a variety of ways. He has impressed in pass coverage with his ability to read the play as it’s happening and make a play on either the ball or the receiver after the catch. If it’s a run play, he’s quick to react and attack the ball carrier, typically making a play. In one on one situations, Lyons is patient and doesn’t over pursue, and sizes up the play he needs to make. On passing plays, he can quickly read it and either knock the ball down or come away with an interception. Lyons should be a vital part of Franklin’s defense as they work towards getting back to the playoffs.
North Attleboro’s defense was its primary weapon in clinching the Kelley-Rex title last season and Mylod was integral to the Rocketeers’ ability to stop other teams. Mylod is a speedy linebacker who was one of the team’s leaders in tackles. He can play close to the line of scrimmage to get involved in stopping the run and can also be effective in the pass rush either on the end of the line or up the middle on a stunt. He does not have the size of a player such as Milford’s Blake Hill, but he is strong enough to shed blockers and make the play. Mylod’s athleticism gives him the versatility to drop back into coverage when needed and he can keep up with running backs and even slot receivers. His performances last season have led to Mylod being touted as a potential all-state selection this year.
Whether he’s leading the way as the fullback on offense, or he’s coming at you on defense, you don’t want to be in Alex Olsen’s way. Olsen is a strong, quick linebacker that can do a lot of things for the Warriors. Whether it’s coming on a blitz, coming up to stop a run, or dropping off into pass coverage, Olsen is a reliable option. He can read the play well and attack the ball carrier. Olsen has the speed to get around the edge and the strength to make the tackle. If the play is coming up the middle, Olsen is no stranger to big hits and can make a play there too. He’s solid in pass coverage and quick to make a play if the pass is completed.
Canton middle linebacker Alec Ragusa is going to have a lot more responsibility in 2016 with some key pieces departed from the Bulldogs’ defense but don’t expect his production to change much. Ragusa hasn’t seen a ball carrier that he isn’t willing to chase down, no matter where on the field, and make a play. Even when someone is attempting to block Ragusa, he somehow manages to push his way towards the ball carrier and influence the play. When he does get his hands on an opponent, it’s not likely that they’ll be able to free themselves. As just a sophomore, Ragusa had some pretty big hits so with another year of growing and lifting, Ragusa could be one of the toughest players to get through.
Another member of North Attleboro’s vaunted defense, Reynolds gives the Rocketeers a presence on the defensive line to bottle up opposing running games and take on blockers to allow lanes for linebackers such as Bobby Mylod to make plays. Reynolds was also able to get into the backfield from his interior line position, shedding blockers to get to the ball carrier or to the quarterback. He has quick feet and gets off the ball well, while having the size and strength to bully his way past the opposition line of scrimmage. A lot of attention is rightly paid to North’s linebackers and secondary but the line led by Reynolds and Thomas Kummer regularly won the battle at the line of scrimmage and gave the defense a foundation on which to make plays.
Coming off a season in which he recorded more than 80 tackles, Sjoberg is the lynchpin of an experienced front seven for the Hornets that has Mansfield fans hoping for a quick turnaround from a 5-6 season and a challenge for the Kelley-Rex crown. Sjoberg is an aggressive linebacker who closes quickly and is relentless in pursuit of the ball. He is always around the line of scrimmage making plays and will be one of the vocal leaders on the defensive side of the ball. Behind Mansfield’s big defensive line, Sjoberg and the linebackers will have room to make plays and he has the potential to reach the 100-tackle plateau this season.
Teams are going to have a hard time throwing the ball against the Black Knights this season with Swain-Price in coverage against the top receiver. Swain-Price has the size and athleticism to match up with just about any receiver in the league and the closing speed to make plays on the ball even when it seems that he has been beaten on a route. There are plenty of times when quarterbacks think they have a sure completion on a throw to the sidelines only to see Swain-Price swoop in and get a piece of it. As a receiver on offense, he also has the hands to make plays in the secondary and then turn it into points on the other end. Between Swain-Price at the edge and Ryan Sullivan at safety, speed will not be an issue for the Black Knights defense.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Outdoor Track All Stars.
Hockomock League MVP
Brian Cherenfant, Taunton
Hockomock League All Stars
Isaiah Rodriguez, Attleboro
Jacob Hardy, Attleboro
Nathaniel Joyal, Attleboro
David Seybert, Attleboro
Mark Clancy, Canton
Ryan Spelman, Franklin
Michael Roby, King Philip
Jack Allan, King Philip
Devin Maughn, Mansfield
Jack Crawford, Mansfield
Jackson Murphy, Mansfield
Joseph Affanato, Mansfield
Kevin Crawford, Mansfield
Kyle Amerantes, Mansfield
Mike Shannon, Mansfield
Nick Rispoli, Mansfield
Jack DeSantis, Milford
Leo Moronta, Milford
Ryan Nesta, Milford
Mario Bresko, North Attleboro
Gareth King, North Attleboro
John Thompson, North Attleboro
Matt Tarantino, North Attleboro
Doug MacDonald, Oliver Ames
Jarod Boone, Oliver Ames
Mark Kendy Paul, Sharon
Matthew Hoffman, Sharon
William McManus, Sharon
Xavier Hacket, Sharon
Juvan Elisma, Sharon
Matthew McManus, Sharon
Clifton Gerring, Stoughton
Brian Cherenfant, Taunton
Lucas Alves, Taunton
William McKenzie, Attleboro
Patrick Hession, Canton
Eseosa Omuemu, Foxboro
Chris Chieng, Franklin
Ethan Dunne, King Philip
Griffin Boulter, Mansfield
Patick Brogioli, Milford
Michael Gould, North Attleboro
Zach Stern, Oliver Ames
Scott Kaplan, Sharon
Kyle Reason, Stoughton
Zac Bentley, Taunton
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.