WORCESTER — The weather simply has not cooperated with those at the Burncoat passing league this summer.
Yet again on Wednesday, rain, lightning, and thunder disrupted play on the fields behind Burncoat High, and very little actual 7-on-7 got in.
That said, we were able to talk with a few people who gave us info on their teams for this coming fall. We will share that with you here:
— Although Northbridge was not at Burncoat, the Rams were on the minds of many of the Div. 7 programs in attendance.
When we brought up Northbridge to one such assistant, he simply described the Rams as "loaded,"
Northbridge has a very talented and experienced senior class, and is always a tough out. Div. 7 as a whole, really in almost every part of the state, has good squads. It will be a fun group to follow.
— Speaking of Div. 7, the passing league's host, Burncoat, should continue to get better. During Fall II, Burncoat had about 35 players, but expects to have around 50-60 in the fall.
Some players to watch there include QB/DB Micah Haynes, WR/DB Kwasi Buakye, C/LB Caleb Douglas, RB/OLB Ryan Algieri, OT/DE Yoofi Abaka, and DL George Paye.
— Abby Kelley Foster had a similar roster breakdown in terms of numbers. The team had about 30 players in Fall II and is expecting around 50 in the fall.
This is a Div. 8 team, and has all its linemen returning with mostly juniors there.
The team will be led by quarterback Ben Paluk, running back Derrick Opong, and wide receiver Bryce Kissi.
— Doherty begins life without standout quarterback Noah Callery, as the Highlanders will compete in Div. 2 come playoff time.
Right now, there is no clear frontrunner to take over the quarterback spot, and the passing league will help in some ways in determining that.
The Highlanders should have about 75 kids to start the fall, and this is a program that always competes at a high level.
Leading the way will be OL/DL Mike Boutros, DE/TE Kofi Asare, DB/WR Colin Wanat, LB Phil Johnson, and LB/OL Liam Hartigan.
— One Div. 7 program that should really be competitive is West Boylston. This program will have about 40 kids come fall.
The early schedule is brutal. The first three games will be against Northbridge, Leicester, and Blackstone Valley Tech.
Look for players like LB Bobby Humphries, QB/DL Zylas Abney, and FB/DL Nathias Bonefont to lead West Boylston.
— Yet another Div. 7 team to watch is Leicester, which had about 20 kids in Fall II but is looking to have around 50 in the fall.
This program had a good year in 2019, where it fell to Abington in the Div. 7 state title game.
Players to watch for Leicester include QB Mike Nero, RB Xavien Rosario, FB Connor Linehan, WR AJ Direnzo, and WR Luke Clay.
— A Div. 4 team that should make some noise is Grafton. This is a program that always competes, and this fall should be no different.
This team returns a three-year starter at quarterback in Tyler Dimond. There are plenty of other players to watch, including OL/DL Charlie McMahon (6-2, 230), LB/FB Doug Landry, WR/RB/DB Matt Bittel, FB/OL/LB Cooper Berube (6-1, 215), DE/TE John Hamawi, RB/LB Tyson Thomas, and OL Rich Leach (6-5, 260)