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Atlantic Coast League Atlantic Coast League football capsules September 2, 2006
  • DENNIS-YARMOUTH
  • Coach: Paul Funk (fifth year, 21-21-1).
  • Last year's record: 5-5-1.
  • Playing surface: Grass
  • Website: N/A.
    Returning starters (10): Josh Coleman, DT, 6-0, 210, Sr.; Ross Desmairas, RB/DB, 5-7, 165, Sr.; Matt DiMatteo, FB/LB, 5-11, 185, Sr.; Bobby Ewing, SE/DB, 6-1, 175, Sr.; Sean Geary, SE/DB, 6-2, 175, Sr.; Jordan Gomes, DB, 5-10, 165, Sr.; Roger Williams, DE, 6-3, 215, Sr.; Nick Montalto, QB, 5-7, 155, Jr.; Mike Pena, RB/LB, 5-8, 170, Jr.; Andrew Voros, C, 6-2, 220, Jr.
    Strength: Team speed, backfield, secondary. Concern: Offensive and defensive lines.
    Outlook: Montalto scored a school-record 12 rushing touchdowns and the offense will continue to run through him in Funk's triple option set. DiMatteo, Desmairas, and Pena make up a speedy backfield rotation that complements Montalto. Ewing (8 interceptions last year) anchors a solid secondary that returns all three starters from last season. A young group of defensive lineman and linebackers must grow up fast if they don't want to spend most of their time chasing down opposing running backs. In a league that coaches see as the most competitive in years, many see D-Y finishing at the top.
    FALMOUTH
  • Coach: Dana Almeida (fifth year).
  • Last year's record: 3-7.
  • Playing surface: Grass.
  • Website: N/A.
    Returning starters (10): Sam Traubert, OT/DT, 6-0, 210, Sr.; Zach Carman, OG/DT, 6-1, 255, Sr.; Nick Fuccillo, C, 5-11, 195, Sr.; Savio Olveira, OT, 6-2, 210, Sr.; Adam O'Donnell, SE, 6-1, 155, Sr.; Eli Olsen, RB/S, 5-9, 165, Sr.; Mike Cotfilla, QB, 6-0, 175, Sr.; Anthony Belisle, FB, 6-0, 200, Sr.; Frank O'Connor, LB, 5-11, 185, Sr.; Nate Brown, LB, 6-2, 250, Sr.
    Strength: Experience. Concern: Size. Outlook: Many ACL coaches see Falmouth as a potential sleeper to challenge for the league title, or at least a team that could upset the balance of power. And like most of the ACL, Falmouth returns several starters. Almeida runs a triple option set that will feature Cotfilla, Belisle, and returning letterman Jon Muniz, all of whom will need an undersized offensive line to find a way to hold its ground against bigger opponents. Defensively, Falmouth runs a 4-4 and will benefit from returning starters at most of the positions.
    MARSHFIELD
  • Coach: Lou Silva (26th year, 141-96-7).
  • Last year's record: 6-4-1.
  • Playing surface: Grass.
  • Website: marshfieldrams.org.
    Returning starters (5): Kurt Leone, QB, 6-3, 180, Sr.; Wendell Chipman, RB, 6-0, 185, Sr.; Steve Mulligan, OG/DE, 6-3, 245, Sr.; Will Nagle, OG, 6-3, 265, Sr.; Garrett Petti, OT, 5-9, 225, Sr.
    Strength: Experienced offense, team speed. Concern: Few returning defensive starters. Outlook: After winning the Old Colony League last season, Marshfield returns to the ACL after a five-year absence. It's a welcome move that renews old rivalries, according to Silva, and could upset the league's balance of power. The Rams run the Wing-T and will rely on their experienced line to plug the middle while primarily running sweeps, counters, and reverses on the outside with three horses (running backs Chipman, Steve Good, and Jerry Frede). Marshfield has only three positions filled on defense with the rest up for grabs. Silva's strategy? Score a lot of points out of the gate and limit turnovers to give the defense time to gel as a unit.
    Nauset
  • Coach: David Dykeman (first year).
  • Last year's record: 0-10.
  • Playing surface: Grass.
  • Website: http://www.nausetschools.org.
    Returning starters (6): Connor Seymour, QB, 6-5, 200, Jr.; Matt Warren, OT, 6-2, 295, Jr.; John Ferro, OT, 6-3, 250, Sr.; Matt Margotta, OG, 5-11, 245, Sr.; Peter Margotta, OT, 6-0, 245, Jr.; Brian Morton, DB, 6-0, 165, Sr.
    Strength: New philosophy. Concern: Learning how to win.
    Outlook: After scoring the fewest points in the league last year while giving up the most, there's nowhere to go but up for Nauset. The problem last year, according to Dykeman, was a low number of players who turned out for the team. That changed this season, as 76 kids tried out. ``They've made a commitment to improve," Dykeman said. The first-year coach inherits a young squad in which nearly every position is up for grabs, and he plans on instituting a wide-open offense with multiple sets. The bigger roster will give them depth and flexibility, but Nauset will need time to develop a winning system. Nauset has a tough schedule to begin the season, facing perennial powers Plymouth North, Plymouth South, and Marshfield in the first four weeks.
    NORTH QUINCY
  • Coach: Jim Connor (first year).
  • Last year's record: 2-9.
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf.
  • Website: http://nqrr.tripod.com.
    Returning starters (7): Dave Guerrero, RB, 5-10, 165, Sr.; Benn Johnson-Tattlebaum, 5-11, 250, OG, Sr.; John Benoit, 5-11, 235, OG, Sr.; Seqou Benjamin, LB, 5-11, 176, Jr.; Phil Kelly, OT, 6-3, 285, Sr.; Danny Jackson, RB, 5-9, 160, Jr.; Shawn McBrian, QB, 5-9, 165, Sr.
    Strength: Senior leadership. Concern: Learning on the fly.
    Outlook: It has been a whirlwind off-season for first-year coach Connor, who was hired at the beginning of summer and has had to teach an entirely new offense (Wing-T) and defense (52 base) in just a few weeks. ``There's been some cramming," he said. The upside is the Red Raiders return 30 seniors and, according to Connor, are stacked with versatile athletes who played basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring. A deep rotation of returning offensive linemen will be called upon to open holes for Guerrero (4.5 40-yard dash).
    PLYMOUTH NORTH
  • Coach: Bill Burkhead (sixth year, 44-11).
  • Last year's record: 9-2.
  • Playing surface: Grass.
  • Website: http://www.plymouthnortheagles.com.
    Returning starters (10): Jim Garrigan, QB, 6-1, 185, Sr.; Eric Nicotra, CB/RB, 5-10, 185, Sr.; Keegan Grabhorn, DB/SE, 6-1, 175, Jr.; Pat MacPherson, OT/DT, 6-2, 250, Sr.; Bob Fleming, OG, 6-0, 205, Sr.; Aaron Mathews, LB, 6-0, 185, Sr.; Dylan McLoud, LB/OT, 6-0, 200, Sr.; Long Nguyen, OT/DT, 6-0, 240, Sr.; Sean Martin, TE, 6-4, 190, Sr.; Harry Sims, P, 5-11, 185, Sr.
    Strength: Offensive and defensive lines. Concern: Inexperience at skill positions.
    Outlook: Plymouth North won the ACL last season and has a tradition of contending for the title every year. Standing in the Eagles' way is the return of Marshfield from the Old Colony League, a team Burkhead said is now the best in the division. The Eagles have a lot of experienced players returning, but the key will be staying healthy. Grabhorn is a deep threat at receiver and a thief in the defensive backfield. Though Nicotra saw limited action as a running back last season, he has the luxury of a tough offensive line that returns most of its starters and will pry open space for him to run out of Burkhead's Wing-T scheme.
    PLYMOUTH SOUTH
  • Coach: Scott Fry (fourth year, 10-20-1).
  • year's record: 7-3.
  • playing surface: grass
  • Website: http://www.plymouthsouthathletics.com.
    Returning starters (9): Derrick Duquette, QB/DB, 6-1, 190, Jr.; Jon Belfort, RB, 5-11, 170, Sr.; Anthony Tognacci, FB/DB, 6-0, 225, Sr.; Corey Magurie, OT/DT, 6-1, 230, Sr.; Todd Antonucio, OG, 5-11, 220, Sr.; Brandon Coolidge, SE/DB, 5-11, 175, Sr; Mike Grumet, DT, 5-10, 185, Sr.; Mike Creed, DE, 5-11, 180, Sr.; Ryan Burr, LB, 5-10, 180, Sr.
    Strength: Returning starters on both sides of the ball. Concern: Team speed, many two-way players.
    Outlook: After going 0-10 in 2004, Plymouth South had the best record in school history last season. Returning backfield mates Belfort and Tognacci might be the best running duo in the league. Anchoring the offensive line is Antonucio, whom Fry called one of the most dominant linemen in the league. The Panthers have a bitter taste in their mouths after losing to rival Plymouth North, 30-0, in the last game of the season that decided the league champion. In a hyper-competitive league, Plymouth South has the tools to challenge anyone.
    QUINCY
  • Coach: Bob Noble (eighth year, 32-35-2).
  • Last year's record: 6-4.
  • Playing surface: Artificial turf.
  • Website: http://www.qhsfbclub.tripod.com/index.html
    Returning starters (6): Matt Boyle, QB, 6-2, 180, Sr.; Tom Hazelhurst, RB/LB, 5-11, 200, Sr.; Jim Aikens, SE/S, 6-0, 180, Sr.; Camillo Arrendondo, OL/LB, 5-9, 200, Sr.; Jared Tucker, 6-1, 190, SE/DB, Sr.; Mark Cugini, OL/DE, 5-9, 240, Sr.
    Strength: Skill positions. Concern: Offensive and defensive lines.
    Outlook: Quincy features the rarely seen no-huddle shotgun spread offense that forces opposing teams to spend a lot of practice time preparing for it. Three-year starter QB Matt Boyle, who's 10-4 as a starter and ``as good as any other quarterback in the league," according to Noble, will be at the helm. The speedy Aikens and Hazelhurst will be his primary targets. Quincy isn't committed to running the spread shotgun every single play of the game, however, and will run traditional sets depending on what opposing defenses dictate. Quincy scored only 132 points last season and greater production will lead to greater success.
    SANDWICH
  • Coach: Bill Luette (second year, 9-12).
  • Last year's record: 6-5.
  • Playing surface: Grass.
  • Team website: http://www.sandwichgridiron.com.
    Returning starters (11): Randy Hitchens, QB/DB, 5-9, 190, Sr.; Brendon Kelliher, RB/SE/DB, 6-0, 175, Sr.; Joe Collins, FB/DT, 6-1, 220, Sr.; Billy Lyons, SE, 6-4, 180, Sr.; Mike Lambros, SE, 5-10, 135, Sr.; C.J. Hein, SE/FS, 5-10, 155; Brendan Murphy, OT/DT, 6-2, 240; Jake Wood, OT, 6-0, 185; Andrew Scichilone, OT, 6-2, 210, Jr.; Chris Golden, DT, 5-9, 185, Jr.; Leo Bracken, DT, 5-11, 245, Jr.
    Strength: Team speed, skill positions. Concern: Size.
    Outlook: After learning a spread shotgun offense last season, Luette said his team has mastered the system and will be more effective this season. The Blue Knights have to be, as they will need to put up at least 200 points during the season to compete for the title in this tough division. Hitchens ``has a body like a linebacker," and doesn't go down easily, according to Luette. Kelliher, their most talented athlete, will play the Reggie Bush role, playing in the backfield or splitting out wide, attacking any place the opposing defense is weakest. Defensively, Sandwich is small and will need to rely on Kelliher jumping in front of passes and Collins evading blockers. Special teams play has improved after little emphasis was placed on them last year, according to Luette.
    WHITMAN-HANSON
  • Coach: Sean Clifford (fifth year, 33-17).
  • Last year's record: 3-7.
  • Playing surface: Artificial Turf
  • Website: N/A.
    Returning starters (10): Luke Kelliher, RB, 5-11, 195, Sr.; Ben Ford, QB/DB, 5-9, 165, Sr.; Nick Baker, TE, 6-3, 215, Sr.; Nate Clergy, LB, 5-10, 160, Sr.; Bill Condon, C, 6-0, 210, Sr.; Ryan Otis, SE, 6-3, 215, Sr.; Kevin Water, SE, 6-0, 175, Sr.; T.J. White, OL, 5-10, 215, Jr.; Jeff Smith, DB, 6-2, 175, Jr.; Beau Barnes, RB, 5-9, 175, Jr.
    Strength: Strong backfield. Concern: Youth, inexperience up front.
    Outlook: Many of Whitman-Hanson's skill players combine size and speed, epitomized by receivers Baker and Otis and RB Kelliher. W-H runs the veer offense and will need signal-caller Ford and an inexperienced offensive line to step up after the team finished near the bottom of the league in scoring last season. On defense, Clifford uses multiple fronts.
    Compiled by Jason Claffey Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.