Updated: Feb 12, 2019
We will likely take another trip over to see the competition with the Legacy New England Football 7-on-7 teams, but there were a few notes we wanted to pass on from what we saw and heard Saturday.
— Catholic Memorial's scheduling difficulties seem to have been taken care of for now. The Knights have the six needed to qualify for postseason play. In no particular order, they will face St. John's of Shrewsbury, Springfield Central, Pope John XXIII of Everett, Xaverian, Malden Catholic, and St. John's Prep in the regular season to go along with the Thanksgiving matchup with BC High.
We know CM took a lot of flak for scheduling a Division 8 team in Pope John when the Boston Herald's Dan Ventura broke the news on Twitter, but that should not distract people from the fact that Pope John is a quality program that should be right back in the mix for another deep postseason run in 2019.
Running back/wide receiver John Smith Howell, who played with NE Blue, is one of the most explosive skill players in the state, and the Tigers also only graduate one lineman. Wide receiver Roshad John had one of the best days out of anyone we saw with NE Black.
Of the main losses, linebacker Ajan Nelson still has a number of Div. 3 schools after him. According to Pope John coach Paul Sobolewski, Framingham State, Curry, Nichols, and Husson are in the mix there, while quarterback Anthony Mejia is likely off to Nichols.
— CM was well-represented in South Weymouth. Junior Jamall Griffin had a strong day for NE Black, which went 3-1, while sophomore Zach Mitchell and freshmen Devon Marshall and Jameson Romulus helped NE Gold to a 2-2 day. Two Knights quarterbacked NE Blue to a 3-1 day in junior starter Barrett Pratt and eighth-grader Owen Umansky.
On Marshall and Romulus, we did not watch too much of NE Gold's games, but we've been hearing for a while now how talented CM's freshman group is, and those two, along with Umansky, are no doubt a big part of the optimism for future years on Baker Street.
— Another freshman group we heard good things about toward the end of the season was King Philip's. Two players from the Warriors who are competing as defensive backs for NE Blue are Crawford Cantave and Jonathan Joseph. Cantave is also breakaway threat at running back whom the KP coaching staff is excited about. Sophomore Michael Zagrodney is another is a sophomore from KP that is also with NE Blue.
— According to the rosters, no program had more players involved than Everett. The Crimson Tide had 15 players listed spread out over six different teams.
NE Red features Everett freshman Ish Zamor, who already holds a Michigan offer. With the Crimson Tide this fall, Zamor played quarterback and wide receiver, and with one of NE Red's quarterbacks out, he filled both roles again Saturday.
He made one spectacular, diving catch in the corner of the end zone toward the end of the day, and showed off his speed on the allotted quarterback runs when given the chance to do that.
We spoke to Zamor briefly early in the afternoon, and we'll have that interview up, along with some video of him on our Instagram page, later this week. His brother, Chris, was the youngest player listed as a Class of 2024 linebacker for NE Navy.
— NE Red is also home to two of the most highly-recruited wide receivers from the same high school program in St. John's of Shrewsbury's Jay Brunelle and Eamonn Dennis, both of whom hold major offers as juniors. We will also have interviews with each later this week.
— BB&N's Sammy Malignaggi is another player on NE Red who is starting to see his recruitment pick up. Even though he can play on either side of the ball, it appears that many schools are looking at him on offense right now, in most cases as a running back or slot receiver.
— The only squad to run the table on the day was NE Orange, which went 4-0 with players mostly comprised of the Merrimack Valley and New Hampshire. Central Catholic sophomore Jermaine Wiggins Jr. is one of three players from Chuck Adamopoulos' program on that roster, and the 6-foot-4 tight end used his size well all day.
— NE Purple featured Salem linebacker Sam Ofurie, whom we spoke to briefly early in the afternoon for an interview that we will post later this week. Ofurie recently picked up a Boston College offer, then a Michigan one right after that. Needless to say, there are plenty of opportunities on the way for the sophomore, who is very new to the sport compared to many of his peers.
— Before falling to NE Navy in the final contest of the day, NE Black had some of the best moments, including a win over NE Red in Legacy's designated "Game of the Week." Lawrence Academy junior and Leominster native Brady Martin again showed off his arm strength and penchant for taking shots downfield.
John, Griffin, Old Rochester senior Tyler Noe, Lynn English sophomore Mathias Fowler and more all had nice days for NE Black.
— The NE Navy squad that handed NE Black its only loss featured another quarterback whose name you will hear more and more over the course of the next year in Newton North's Andrew Landry. He's all of 6-5 and distributes the ball well.
There are a lot of names to look out for on that team, but two of the best out of the Boston City League in Tech Boston running back Marcus Gonzalez and Boston English/New Mission defensive back Takari Hobbs are just a couple worth keeping an eye on.
— NE Maroon featured a lot of players to watch, but one intriguing name is Michael Phelps, a sophomore quarterback for St. Sebastian's. He sat behind one of the top playmakers in the ISL in Billy Siedl this past season, but don't be surprised to see Phelps just keep the ball rolling for the Arrows at that position next fall.
— Team Breakthrough of Rhode Island pushed NE Black to the limit in one game and handed NE Navy its only loss in another. And NE Green, which featured a heavy presence of Connecticut players, went 0-4, but was competitive throughout.