The Catholic Conference had its footprints all over the Division 1 postseason landscape.
Catholic Conference rivals St. John’s Prep and Catholic Memorial won their respective sectional titles en route to the Super Bowl. The upstart Knights hung tough for the better part of three quarters before the Eagles pulled away in the fourth to prevail, 40-22.
St. John’s Prep’s road to repeat will not be easy in the North. Longtime power Everett was stunned by Central Catholic in the sectional semifinals and have a lot of skill positions players back looking to make amends.
Central Catholic returns several key components and won’t be a pushover. The Raiders will have some competition in the Merrimack Valley Conference Large from the likes of Methuen and Andover.
Catholic Memorial ended Xaverian‘s five-year stranglehold on the South sectional title and many feel the Knights are primed to take the final step under legendary coach John DiBiaso. While Catholic Memorial and St. John’s Prep garnered the postseason limelight, people should remember that it was Xaverian who was the Catholic Conference champions and beat both Super Bowl finalists in the regular season.
BC High feels it is ready to crack the logjam at the top of the Catholic Conference. Franklin took Xaverian to double-overtime in the South semifinals, while Brockton has some scary talent in the skill positions.
North Andover ran the table on its way to the Division 2 Super Bowl title. The Scarlet Knights took some heavy graduation hits but the cupboard is far from bare for head coach John Dubzinski. Reading has some talent back in key positions, while perennial contender Lincoln-Sudbury has a new coach for the first time in four decades in Jim Girard.
Div. 2 South is an annual battle and this year should be no different. King Philip saw its two-year run as Super Bowl champions go by the boards, but the Warriors will be back in the mix. The toughest challenge could come from Mansfield, which has been eliminated by King Philip the last two postseasons by a combined five points.
Natick figures to be one of the top teams in the Bay State Conference and have the horses to make a long postseason run. Barnstable has earned some rave reviews from folks in the southeastern part of the state, while Bridgewater-Raynham is eager to bounce back from a rare offseason in 2018.
Here are the breakdowns for the North and South sections for both Division 1 and Division 2.
DIVISION 1 NORTH
St. John’s Prep
DIVISION 1 SOUTH
DIVISION 2 NORTH
DIVISION 2 SOUTH
Josh Atwood, Sr., OL/DL, 6-2, 305, Natick: The UMass-commit has been a standout in the trenches since his freshman year.
Matt Crowley, Sr., QB, 6-1, 190, St. John’s Prep: Crowley threw for nearly 2,000 yards and 23 touchdowns in leading the Eagles to the Division 1 Super Bowl title.
Zach Goodwin, Sr., OG, 6-0, 265, Catholic Memorial: The leader of a veteran offensive line expected to do big things this fall.
Ryan Halliday, Sr., RB, 5-10, 185, King Philip: Halliday ran for nearly 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns in leading the Warriors to their third straight Super Bowl.
Vinnie Holmes, Sr., RB/LB, 5-10, 200, Mansfield: Two-way standout recorded 92 tackles and ran for 500 yards last year.
Samy Lamothe, Jr., DB, 5-10, 180, Everett: One of the premier cornerbacks in New England, Lamothe already has several Division 1 college offers.
Owen McGowan, Jr., LB, 6-1, 225, Catholic Memorial: Standout with a nose for the ball, McGowan has already given a verbal commitment to Boston College.
Declan Moriarty, Sr., OL, 6-4, 280, Barnstable: Naval Academy commit should be one of the top linemen in the state this fall.
Cooper Smith, Sr., OG, 6-3, 300, St. John’s Prep: A mainstay on the offensive line, Smith played a large part in the Eagles’ productive ground game.
Will Stockwell, Jr., S, 6-2, 195, Catholic Memorial: Excelled as a sophomore down the stretch and much is expected of him this season.
Brandon Tighe, Sr., WR, 5-11, 185, Lowell: Tighe caught 21 touchdown passes and finished with more than 1,200 receiving yards last year.
Ozzy Trapilo, Sr., OT, 6-7, 275, BC High: The BC-bound lineman has the size and athletic ability which makes him a dominant player in the trenches.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Tre Andrews, Sr., SS, Newton South; Jalyn Aponte, Jr., RB, Natick; Eli Auguste, Sr., DB, Everett; Tyrese Baptiste, Jr., WR, Everett; Shaheed Barros, Sr., DB, New Bedford; Garret Bean, Sr., OL, Natick; Michael Berluti, Jr., QB, Xaverian; Alex Berrouet, Jr., RB, Acton-Boxboro; Jack Beverly, Sr., QB, Framingham; Nolan Boyer, Sr., OL, Newton North; Ricky Brutus, Sr., RB, North Andover; Colby Burke, Sr., LB, Barnstable; Connor Bryant, Sr., QB, Methuen; Christian Cabral, Sr., RB, 5-9, 180, Waltham; Andrew Cahill, Sr., DB, Lincoln-Sudbury; Sam Callanan, Sr., DE, King Philip; Carlton Campbell, Sr., LB, Haverhill; Rick Cezaire, Sr., OL, Waltham; Cade Chabra, Sr., DE, Marshfield; Jake Chiasson, Sr., LB, Chelmsford; Qualeen Charles, Sr., OT, Attleboro; Parker Cheuvront, Jr., K, Franklin; Kareem Coleman, Sr., WR, Methuen; Colin Comerford, Sr., DB, Reading; Ryan Conneely, Jr., OL, Catholic Memorial; Jack Corcoran, Sr., TE, Masconomet; Nick Coviello, Sr., OT, Woburn; Alec Cruz, Sr., LB, Woburn; Woudanly Danger, Sr., DT, Taunton; Kelvin Davila, Sr., WR, Andover; Mike DeBolt, Sr., RB, Mansfield; Dom DeCrescenzo, Jr., OL, Reading; Jack Desmond, Jr., DL, Weymouth; Dom DiBari, Sr., LB, Chelmsford; Mike Difo, Sr., DE, North Andover; Dan DiMare, Jr., LB, Reading; Dillon Doherty, Jr., QB, Everett; Nick Donatio, Sr., FS, 5-11, 165, Central Catholic; Matt Duchemin, Sr., DB, St. John’s Prep; Quincy Eutsay, Jr., DE, Catholic Memorial; Nick Faretra, Sr., RB, Westford; Jed Fellows, Jr., OT/DT, Masconomet; Felix Ferrucci, Sr., DB, Natick; Steven Ferullo, Jr., DE, North Andover; Shamus Florio, Sr., PK, Andover; Brian Frieh, Sr., RB, Barnstable; Freddy Gabin, Sr., RB, 5-7, 160, North Andover; Connor Garland, Jr., RB, Xaverian; Thomas Garland, Jr., RB, Xaverian; Finn Garrity, Sr., OL, Lincoln-Sudbury; Cincere Gill, Jr., RB, Mansfield; Jamaal Griffin, Sr., RB, Catholic Memorial; Brandon Grundy, Sr., OL, Haverhill; Isaac Guidel, Sr., OG, Attleboro; James Guy, So, RB, St. John’s Prep; T.J. Guy, Jr., OL/DE, Mansfield; Victor Harrington, So., QB, Andover; Mason Hatfield, Jr., RB, Lexington; A.J. Heidtke, Jr., OL, Andover; Kyle Hess, Sr., OL, Bridgewater-Raynham; Odhari Hibbetts, Sr., WR, Needham; Jakobi Holiday, Sr., OL, Natick; Fletcher Holt, Sr., OL, Wellesley; Robbie Jarest, Sr., QB, King Philip; Matheos Kartsounis, Sr., T, Masconomet; Manuel Lara, Sr., WR, 5-8, 155, Lawrence; Reece Lachance, Sr., RB, Framingham; Andrew Landry, Sr., QB, Newton North; Dave Langlois, Sr., LB, Woburn; Darrius LeClair, Jr., RB, Catholic Memorial; Will Lederman, Jr., QB, Natick; James Lennon, Sr., DE, Braintree; Jay Levy, Sr., DL, Haverhill; Daniel Lopes, Sr., WR, Catholic Memorial; Kyle Maglione, Jr., LB, Peabody; Jaden Mahabir, Sr., RB, Everett; Matt Maiona, Sr., QB, Wellesley; Nick Marciano, Sr., RB, Mansfield; Andrew Maregni, Sr., RB, Newton South; Nick Mazzie, Jr., PK, Central Catholic; Ryan McCallum, Sr., OL, Bridgewater-Raynham; Danny McDougall, Jr., WR, Taunton; Jerry Mervil, Sr., WR, Haverhill; Zack Mitchell, Jr., WR, Catholic Memorial; Anthony Morrison, Jr., DB, Bridgewater-Raynham; Seth Mullen, Jr., DL, Weymouth; Jack Nally, Sr., DB, Franklin; Shawn O’Brien, Sr., DB, Brockton; Adam Ohanian, Sr., DL, Waltham; Ben Ohler, Sr., TE, Lincoln-Sudbury; Thomas Our, Sr., OL, Barnstable; Angel Paulino, Sr., RB,, Peabody; Dan Picard, Sr., QB, Weymouth; Quincy Plumer, Barrett Pratt, Sr., QB, Catholic Memorial; Nick Pucillo, Sr., LB, Acton-Boxboro; Nayvon Reid, Jr., WR, Brockton; Tyler Reid, Sr., RB, Needham; Carter Rice, Jr., WR, BC High; Jakob Rivers, Sr., DB, Lowell; P.J. Rodriquez, Sr., DB, Braintree; Anthony Romano, Jr., TE, Methuen; Jeremy Rosh, Sr., DB, Reading; Michael Sader, Sr., OL, Central Catholic; Jamie Simpson-Lizotte, Sr., OL, Lincoln-Sudbury; Michael Slayton, Sr., LB, Andover; Billois Sousa, Jr., OL, New Bedford; Isaiah Steinberg, Jr., RB, Quincy; Michael Strachan, Jr, TE, Attleboro; Davenche Sydney, So. OL, Haverhill; Jacob Tamayo, Sr., DB, Lawrence; Mike Tellier, Sr., QB, Braintree; Evan Thompson, Jr., LB, Newton North; R.J, Viele, Jr., RB, Framingham; Ryan Villa, Sr., OL, Needham; Raekwon Washington, Sr., RB, Newton South; Ahmik Watterson, Sr., RB, Brockton; Justin Wenstrom. Sr., DB, 5-11, 185, Xaverian; Evan Wertz, Sr., LB, Franklin; Shiloh White, Jr., RB, Wellesley; Jason Weir, Sr., QB, Attleboro; Jermaine Wiggins Jr., Jr., DE, Central Catholic; Tyrek Williams, Sr., OL, New Bedford