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Atlantic Coast League football capsules August 30, 2007
Coach: Paul Funk (sixth year, 26-27-1). Last year's record: 5-6-0. Playing surface: Grass. Football website: Returning starters (11): Chris Arrigo, G, 5-10, 205, Sr.; Nick Cappello, G, 6-0, 190, Sr.; Andrew Dawson, OT, 6-3, 235, Sr.; Billy Dempsey, OT, 6-0, 220, Sr.; Joe Jamiel, HB, 5-8, 165, Sr.; Nick Montalto, QB, 5-8, 155, Sr.; Ricky Thompson, SE, 6-1, 200, Sr.; Mike Pena, HB, 5-9, 165, Sr.; Joe Allen, C/LB, 5-11, 210, Jr.; Alex Burch, TE/DE, 6-3, 230, Jr.; Dave Fronduto, DT, 6-0, 205, Sr. Returning letter winners (3): Nathan Peters, DL/DT, Sr.; Barry Reopell, DB/HB, Jr.; Matt Dawson, SE, So. Strength: Offensive line, senior leadership, team speed. Concerns: Depth. Outlook: Senior quarterback Nick Montalto has been the starter since his sophomore year and holds school records for rushing touchdowns. "Montalto is a great player and we look for him to lead this team," said Funk. With the entire offensive line more experienced and still intact, Montalto should have even more time to find his targets downfield. Halfbacks Mike Pena and Joe Jamiel will also benefit from the offensive line under Funk's spread-option offense. D-Y isn't big, but the Dolphins have excellent speed. "We are small but quick. That's our MO and we will use it to our advantage." The skilled players are there for D-Y and according to Funk, "the wins will come if we execute."
Coach: Dana Almeida (sixth year). Last year's record: 7-4. Playing surface: Grass. Football website: Returning starters (3): Tyler Mansfield, QB, 5-8, 170, Sr.; Colin Kulis, OL, 6-4, 250, Sr.; Nick Savoy, LB, 6-0, 200, Sr. Returning letter winners (2): Josh Burke, C, Sr.; Terrence Dineen, HB, Sr. Strength: Team speed. Concern: Youth up front, depth in backfield. Outlook: After returning 10 starters in 2006 en route to a successful 7-4 campaign, Falmouth will work with just three returning starters this season. One of those three starters is QB Tyler Mansfield, who Almeida expects big things from. Almeida will stick with his option sets on offense to utilize his overall team speed, underlining the importance of the fullbacks, namely senior Andrew Vitagliano and junior Dan McGill. "That's where the option starts so those guys will be key for us," said Almeida. Kulis will be a big body up front to open up holes in the defense, but he is particularly important as the leader of a young offensive line. It is a young roster but according to Almeida, the team will be competitive again this season.
Coach: Lou Silva (27th year, 152-98-7). Last year's record: 11-2. Playing surface: Grass. Football website: Returning starters (6): Mike Scanlon, LT, 6-4, 260, Sr.; David Garfield, LG/LB/NG, 5-10, 215, Sr.; John Mullen, DB, 5-9, 170, Jr.; Luke Poirier, LB/RB, 5-10, 170, Sr.; Brad Poirier, LB/RB, 5-10, 170, Sr.; Matt Macedo, S, 5-11, 175, Sr. Returning letter winners (10): Matt Kelly, SE/DB, Sr.; Tim Gomperts, SE/DB, Sr.; Phil Whittiker, TE/DE, Jr.; Tom McHugh, TE/DE, Jr.; Zack Triner, G/DE, Jr.; Geoff Carrol, T/T, Jr.; Richie Upson, QB/DB, Jr.; Casey Degust, OL/DL, Jr.; Evan Patch, OL/LB, Jr.; Bob Macneil, RB/LB, So. Strength: Athleticism and team speed. Concerns: Quarterback, few returning starters. Outlook: With QB Kurt Leone lost to graduation, it's a three-way battle for the starting job under center. Junior John Mullen is the only candidate with any varsity snaps, leaving a big question mark to start the year. "Last year we were strong at QB [with Leone]," said Silva. "We were veterans. Now our main emphasis is trying to find the right combination up front and concentrate on the run." Silva plans to run the Wing-T again and build around Mike Scanlon, David Garfield, and the Poirier brothers. 'They have been three-year starters and we will count on them on both sides of the ball,' said Silva. It will be vital for the younger kids to fill the holes, particularly on the offense with just two returning starters.
Coach: David Dykeman (second year). Last year's record: 0-10. Playing surface: Grass. Football website: Returning starters (11): Peter Margotta, OT, 6-1, 255, Jr.; Spencer Clark, OL, 5-10, 215, Sr.; Connor Seymour, QB/LB, 6-4, 210, Sr.; Brandon Murphy, WR, 6-1, 180, Jr.; Jamille Callum, WR/CB, 5-10, 160; Joe Madden, FB/LB, 5-10, 180, Jr.; Grant Schuerman, TE, 6-3, 205, Sr.; Brendan Scalley, LB/TB, 6-1, 185, Jr.; Rob Sliney, DL, 6-4, 255, Jr.; Gavin McCutcheon, LB, 6-0, 215, Sr.; Brandon Chase, FS, 6-3, 180, Jr. Returning letter winners: Too many to list. Strength: Experience, run game. Concern: Depth, learning to succeed. Outlook: After a winless campaign in his first season as head coach (and a 22-game winless streak dating back to 2004), Dykeman believes this year's team will make some noise. This is a much more experienced squad with 11 returning starters. "I expect great improvement for us," said Dykeman. "We played a lot of young kids last year and got better every game." The offense and defense (4-4) will again run with multiple sets in an effort to take advantage of team-wide familiarity and experience. There is great size up front in the senior trio of Spencer Clark, Peter Margotta, and Grant Schuerman which should help a run game that Dykeman describes as, "something we have worked very hard at." As in the past, depth could be a problem on the slim 39-man roster. Nauset needs to be mentally tough and earn that first victory early in the season.
Coach: Jim Connor (second year). Last year's record: 1-10. Playing surface: Artificial turf. Football website: Returning starters (8): Danny Jackson, HB/C, 5-9, 170, Sr.; Alex Tragellis, 5-9, 160, FS/SE, Sr.; Jon Cahill, 5-11, 190, FB/OL, Sr.; Marcellus Lee, TE/OL, 6-5, 245, Sr.; Dennis Martin, QB/S, 5-11, 175, Sr.; Dave Thomson, SE/SS, 5-10, 170, Sr.; Sekou Benjamin, G/LB, 6-0, 205, Sr.; R.J. Barden, G/LB, 6-1, 210, Jr. Returning letter winners (2): Pat Watkins, HB/SS, Jr.; Joe Vialapando, HB/SS, Jr. Strength: Depth at skilled positions, secondary. Concerns: Inexperience on offensive line. Outlook: North Quincy runs the Wing-T on offense and will set up with Danny Jackson (4.5 40 yard dash) and Joe Vialapando at halfback and Joe Cahill at fullback. Dennis Martin started at secondary last year but will take over as QB this season. Marcellus Lee will provide Martin with a very big target at TE and should help to keep defenses honest. The big question mark on offense is the O-line which lacks experience and will need to expedite the learning process. Defensively, North Quincy will show a 5-2, taking advantage of a secondary group stacked with talented, experienced guys in Alex Tragellis, Dave Thomson and Joe Vialapando. Teams will have a difficult time converting the big play. "We will bend but we don't break," said Connor. The Red Raiders return eight starters this season and should be better in Connor's second season as head coach. "We need to take advantage of opportunities and learn how to finish games. We need to get the ball rolling."
Coach: Bill Burkhead (seventh year, 51-14). Last year's record: 7-3. Playing surface: Grass. Football website: Returning starters (4): Kevin Broderick, OG/DT, 6-3, 250, Sr.; Keegan Grabhorn, CB/WR, 6-0, 170, Sr.; Jameson Wood, RB, 5-8, 170, So.; Emmett Cosgrove, OT/DT, 6-2, 200, Sr. Returning letter winners: Too many to list. Strength: Tradition, work ethic. Concern: Inexperience, few returning starters. Outlook: Captains Kevin Broderick and Keegan Grabhorn are three-year starters and two-time league all-stars who were part of back-to-back ACL titles in 2004 and '05. Captain Emmett Cosgrove is "one of the most hardworking off-season guys and a leader," said Burkhead. Unlike last season when 10 starters returned, only three are back this year, forcing pressure onto several younger bodies. Plymouth North starts the season with two strong non-league games against Silver Lake and Duxbury, giving the new starters some time to adjust and prepare for the league games. "We will develop our young team and prove that we can still compete for a league championship. I still think we can contend because of the tradition. It's our expectation."
Coach: Scott Fry (fifth year, 18-23-1) Last year's record: 8-3. Playing surface: Grass. Football website: Returning starters (11): Derrick Duquette, QB/DB, 6-1, 205, Sr.; Josh Wheeler, OT/DT, 6-2, 230, Sr.; Anthony Pat Rielly, LB, 5-10, 180, Sr.; Sean Quinn, TE, 6-3, 220, Sr.; Luke Osberg, OG/DT, 6-1, 235, Sr.; David Nelson, WR/DB, 6-0, 185, Sr; Brad Girouard, WR, 6-3, 190, Sr.; Mike Creed, FB/LB, 5-11, 190, Sr.; David Fournier, OG, 6-0, 235, Sr.; Bobby Brenton, 5-10, LB, 190, Sr.; Kyle Rowe, WR/DB, 6-2, 190. Returning letter winners (5): Chris Reske, OT/DT, Sr.; Travis Eliason, OT/DT, Sr.; Ryan Bettencourt, OL/DL, Sr.; Steve Malcom, DE/TE, Jr.; Erik Anderson, RB/DB, Jr. Strength: Returning starters on both sides of the ball, quarterback, offensive line. Concern: Team speed, many two-way players. Outlook: Scott Fry owned a 1-19-1 after two seasons at Plymouth South but has turned things around in a major way with school records for wins in 2005 (seven) and again last season (eight). This offensive line might be the biggest and one of the best in the league with an average weight of close to 250 pounds. Luke Osberg and Josh Wheeler are the both physical, athletic captains on the line and according to Fry are, "two of the better linemen in the league." The Panthers are an I-formation team but much of the offense will run through three-year starting QB Derrick Duquette, who scored nine touchdowns last season. "It doesn't happen often [starting at QB three years]," said Fry. "He doesn't make mental mistakes and he's at the top of his class." Duquette has two big targets in Brad Girouard and Kyle Rowe. The two wideouts also play basketball and will make for very difficult assignments for any secondary in the league. The Panthers' accomplishments last year included their first win against Plymouth North in 11 years. It will be tough to up the ante again this season but Fry has an excellent group of seniors returning (24). "This class could be the first in school history to graduate with a winning record and we have a chance to play with 10 returning starters on offense," said Fry.
Coach: Bob Noble (ninth year, 35-42-2). Last year's record: 3-7. Playing surface: Turf. Football website: Returning starters (8): Mike Andrews, T, 5-11, 240, Sr.; Zach Ohlson, RG, 5-10, 200, Sr.; Paul Carson, C, 5-9, 250, Sr.; Devon Gillen, LG, 5-10, 200, Sr.; Don Walsh, LT, 6-0, 200, Sr.; Joe Regginnini, RB, 5-9, 160, Sr.; Diego Arrendondo, 5-10, 200, Sr.; Ted Walsh, 5-10, 170, Sr. Returning letter winners: Too many to list. Strength: Offensive and defensive lines, run game. Concern: Inexperienced at quarterback and skilled positions. Outlook: There is some overhaul here with a new quarterback and new wide receivers battling for starting jobs. Lance Peterson, a 5-10, 170-pound sophomore and Mark Gilbody, a 5-10, 180-pound junior are competing at quarterback. Whoever wins the job will be responsible for running the team's spread shotgun, no-huddle offense. If quarterback remains an issue, the trio of returning starters at running back (Arrendondo, Regginnini, and Walsh) may be forced to carry more of the load. Of the eight returning starters, five are on the offensive and defensive lines and "they are expected to play very well," according to Noble. Linemen aside, the success of the underclassmen may determine how Quincy fares this season. "We are replacing a lot of skilled position players with inexperienced players who haven't seen a lot of varsity time. But they look like pretty good," said Noble. "I think we will be better than we were a year ago."
Coach: Bill Luette (third year, 15-17). Last year's record: 6-5. Playing surface: Grass. Football website: Returning starters (7): Barrett Kendrick, LB, 5-11, 215, Sr.; Andrew Scichilone, C/DE, 6-2, 215, Sr.; Brian Boltin, RB/DB, 5-10, 185, Sr.; Leo Bracken, OG/DT, 5-11, 235, Sr.; Chris Golden, G/T, 5-10, 225, Sr.; Justin Tierney, LB, 5-9, 115; Nick Recker, TE/WR/DE, 6-2, 215, Jr. Returning letter winners (5): Matt Adam, RB/DB, Sr.; Chad Urban, WR/LB, Sr.; James Haley, OT/DT, Sr.; Brendan Gattoni, OT/DT, Sr.; Chris Blount, OT/DT, Sr. Strength: Offensive line Concern: Depth. Outlook: Replacing the versatile Brendan Kelliher and his 15 touchdowns last season will be no easy feat but junior Joe Perry may be the guy to do it. Perry started as a defensive back last year but "he's going to be all over the field this season," according to Luette. "He is unbelievable. We just have to get him the ball." Perry will be the team's best weapon in the backfield and as a deep threat and he will also be featured at quarterback, splitting time with sophomore starter Pat Conrad. Luette will continue to use the spread shotgun, no huddle offense and with an experienced offensive line, both Conrad and Perry should have more time to throw the ball this year. "We are a good second-half team, going no huddle to wear other teams out. We run our kids like crazy." Brian Boltin will help balance the attack on offense as the full-time starter at running back. The biggest concern for Luette is injuries. "If we remain healthy we will reach our goal." That goal is to be better than last year.
Coach: Sean Clifford (sixth year, 39-22). Last year's record: 6-5. Playing surface: Artificial turf. Football website: Returning starters (9): T.J. White, LB, 5-11, 215, Sr.; TJ Lazarski, G/T, 6-2, 255, Sr.; John Mannetta, T/DE, 6-4, 230, Sr.; Randy Bartlett, T/T, 5-10, 265, Sr.; Jeff Smith, S, 6-2, 175, Sr.; Bo Barnes, RB/DB, 5-10, 185, Sr.; Joe Griffin, LB, 5-9, 175, Sr.; Kyle Armstrong, QB, 5-9, 185, Sr.; Noel James, WR, 6-2, 180, Jr. Returning letter winners: Too many to list. Strength: Offensive line. Concern: Quarterback, backfield. Outlook: Whitman-Hanson has a strong offensive line and Bo Barnes in the backfield, two ingredients which should make for a nice run game. John Minnetta and Randy Bartlett are the key guys on the line and also the leaders of this football team. "They have provided leadership all summer long and we need to build around them," said Clifford. "Our O-line has gelled as a unit and we need the rest of the team to catch up." Barnes, the team's leading rusher and scorer last season, is also a skilled and aggressive defensive back and will help to shut down opposing receivers. The running game should be productive with Barnes, but at the quarterback position there are questions. Senior Kyle Armstrong will be the guy behind center but he still has much to prove. "I'd like to see him step up there," said Clifford.
Compiled by Ricky Popolizio Copyright 2007 Globe Newspaper Company