Updated: Sep 12, 2020
In addition to our 40-team countdown, we wanted to open things up to more squads this year. So we have this user-submitted preview to add to our section. We can always take more submissions, so if you don't see your school here, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will post your info. So big school, small school, Eastern Mass., Central Mass., Western Mass., it doesn't matter, we will post your preview here. Thank you!
Amherst reached the Div. 5 state title game before losing to Swampscott. Even though the Hurricanes lost some terrific players, coach Chris Ehorn has another group that will be among the best in Western Mass. CJ Woofine-Holmes is one of the top players in the state. A year ago, he played wide receiver and defensive back. This year, he will add quarterback duties to his workload. Zayd Sadiq is another who is one of the top players in the area, and he will play wide receiver, defensive back, and also quarterback when it calls for it. Despite the loss of Jack Nagy, the lines again should be a strength. Junior Landon Worgess at 6-2.5, 245 pounds is growing into quite the talent, and will start both ways after primarily working on defense in 2019. Other linemen who will contribute are Nick Parker, Owen Frenette, Nolan Klaes, Joel Cruz-Rodrigues, and Gabriel Kebede. Darius Robinson is another wide receiver/defensive back who earned a lot of experience last season, and Nate Mills is a hard-hitting linebacker/fullback. Some up-and-coming players to keep an eye on include junior running back/linebacker Carmelo Sanchez, sophomore linebacker/wide receiver Ty Ifill, and incoming freshman defensive back/quarterback Jameson Dion. Dion has generated some excitement, a big hitter on defense who plays with great instincts.
Lawrence went 2-9 in 2019 with wins over Methuen and Haverhill in the Merrimack Valley Conference's Division 1. Heading into this fall, Lawrence returns most of its experience at the skill positions. On offense, the Lancers bring back senior wide receiver/running back Vinny Schmidt, sophomore receiver Adonis Garcia, and senior guard Erek Gomez. Gomez will also return at defensive tackle on a defense that brings back junior linebacker Estarling Morales, senior cornerback Devin Reynoso, and junior linebacker Chris Garcia. This should be a team with good team speed but could take its lumps from an inexperience standpoint early on.
North Quincy has one of the more experienced teams in the area with 10 starters back on offense nine on defense. Leading the way on offense is Liam Hines, who is a returning league all-star at running back and free safety. Last year, he led the team in rushing, interceptions, fumble recoveries and returned punts. The defense is led by linebacker Matt Craig, another returning all-star who led the team last year in tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks. The offense also returns starters quarterback Cooper Hanson, running back/wide receiver Tyler Le, wide receiver Brendan Hines, wide receiver Jamal Maximilien, tight end Colm Geary, and offensive linemen Harry Gaudiano, Samee Akhouzine, Brandon Baker, and Rean Beqo. The defense also returns starters Geary, Beqo, and Baker up front, Thomas Murray and Le at linebacker, and Brendan and Liam Hines and Maximilien in the secondary.
Old Colony had a terrific 2019 with a program-best nine wins and an appearance in the MVADA Small School Vocational Championship. This is a team that boasts a strong backfield with the return of 1,000-yard rusher Thomas Stanton and bruising fullback Ryan McGuiggan. Those two are also standout linebackers, as well. Dylan Hathaway, a 6-4 offensive tackle and defensive end, will anchor both lines. New signal caller Austin Mendes will be a leader on the field. The sophomore and junior classes are untested but have good players coming up, including guard/linebacker Joe Rubini and running back/linebacker Ray Thibault.
Silver Lake graduated 17 seniors, but brings back some key talent, including 6-foot-5 quarterback Ben Lofstrom. Over his two years as a starter, Lofstrom has thrown for over 4,200 yards. His targets include 6-3 junior tight end Ryan Carroll, wide receiver Tommy Ohlson, and Plymouth North transfer Gio Hendrickson. The line will be anchored by two-year starter Kyle Cipullo and senior center Matt Schmitz. A very talented junior class should help offset the lost experience from last year's Div. 4 South semifinal squad.