Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The End of ESPN Boston High Schools

We may not have a High Schools section any more, but at least I got to keep these tiny promotional footballs...
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

If you haven't heard, ESPN Boston officially announced today that it will no longer cover high school sports, effective Saturday.

Obviously, we on the High Schools team would have liked a BIT more than these 34 words inside the official announcement, but our fearless leader Brendan Hall will have a column about the ending of the High Schools section, and will speak about it briefly in our weekly High School Football Preview video as well.

I know this news comes as a bit of shock to athletes, coaches and parents across the state, and I can certainly tell you that nobody on the High Schools team was happy about it. But, this is the reality of the business we're in, and for many years we've been able to use the ESPN brand to deliver our message, so it's hard to be too mad at the mothership for contracting us.

Now please allow me to, as best I can, explain why this happened, thank a few folks, and talk about what comes next.

Monday, September 26, 2016

10 Takeaways from Week 3 of Massachusetts HS Football

Star running back Danny Abraham and his BC High teammates have impressed thus far.
By John Sarianides (@xnojoe)

Ed. Note- Another week, and another set of takeaways from our Massachusetts football guru John Sarianides. Here are John's 10 biggest stories from the weekend that was.

1. St. John’s Prep lost to Everett 35-14, but you have to figure that the Eagles will be a better football team down the road because of the tough schedule they have played to open the season.

2. Mansfield looked dominant in their 38-7 win over Attleboro on Friday. It looks like the Hornets are back. Just in time for their Friday night showdown at home with King Philip, who also rolled on Friday night, beating Oliver Ames 42-6.

Should be a great battle at the top of the Hockomock Kelley-Rex Division.

Central Mass Football Week 3 Wrap

Wachusett junior running back Cole Durkan  (pictured) has formed a lethal 1-2 punch with senior Josh Furtado. The Mountaineers ran the ball effectively in a win over Shepherd Hill Friday, and this duo has rushed for over 500 yards and 9 touchdowns already this season.
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

It was another crazy weekend across Central Massachusetts for high school football. I was at BC High, where Leominster suffered its first loss of the season, but here are my takeaways from all the other action over the past couple of days.

Kevin Mensah Dazzles in Debut

Wachusett ultimately came away with the win, but how can you not be impressed by running back Kevin Mensah's season debut? After an injunction cleared him to play Friday, the former Holy Name back exploded for nearly 170 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

But it isn't over for Mensah, as the MIAA is scheduled to hear his eligibility appeal Thursday. At this point, there's no real reason for the MIAA to hold him out- Both Shepherd Hill and Holy Name have signed the transfer waver, and the Rams are 0-3, dashing any "super team" arguments (not that I thought those arguments were particularly convincing or relevant).

Even if the MIAA does not grant Mensah eligibility, he is set to appeal in court again on Friday.

Honestly, this is just becoming an ordeal for everybody, so I'd love to see the MIAA end it Thursday by granting him full eligibility. With the Rams all but eliminated from playoff contention, let the kid put some good stuff on tape to send to the Division 1 programs recruiting him.

Wachusett and Algonquin are Underdogs No More

We know Wachusett has had some great teams over the years, and Algonquin has improved tremendously every year under coach Justin McKay, but you still got the feeling that both of these teams were flying under the radar a little bit.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Postgame Blog: Wachusett Wins a Classic as Kevin Mensah Debuts for Shepherd Hill

By Connor Evans (@RonnocEvans)

Friday night’s SuiteSports Game of the Week was a thriller right down to the end. A game filled with dramatic plays, lots of penalties, and a second half downpour, the Rams and Mountaineers sure gave us one to remember.

But, in the end, it was Wachusett (3-0, 1-0 Mid-Wach A) sealing the deal with a 28-21 victory over Shepherd Hill (0-3, 0-2 Mid-Wach A). Let's take a look back at this thrilling Mountaineer win.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Leominster Suffers First Loss of the Season Against Powerful BC High

It was a long day for Noah Gray against BC High's talented defensive front.
By Jason Siegel

The Leominster Blue Devils were shut out 36-0 at Boston College High School in an out of region contest with the Eagles Friday night.

Despite the loss, Leominster (2-1, 2-1 Mid-Wach A) head coach Dave Palazzi said that playing against a team like BC High (2-0, 0-0 Catholic Conference) was a valuable learning experience for the Blue Devils.

“We wanted to come out here and play teams like BC High, and these other Eastern Mass teams that are very strong and very good. I think it’s a good test for us, and we just need to build off of it,” said Palazzi.

Continue reading below for the full recap, and video highlights.