Thursday, August 24, 2017

MIAA Football Camp Road Trip: The BC High Eagles

BC High seniors from left to right- Francis Dooley, Tommy Aicardi, Danny Abraham and Elijah Miranda all have big plans for the 2017 season.
By Matt Feld (@mattyfeld612)

BOSTON - In each of the last four seasons, BC High has seen its football season start in promising fashion, only for it to come to a crashing halt at the hands of a Catholic Conference opponent.

Three of the last four years, the Eagles have seen a potential Division 1 State championship appearance go by the boards, thwarted by a Xaverian dynasty that saw the Hawks reach four straight state finals.

Twice, including last year, the defeat came in the South Sectional Title game.

However, behind a strong returning core, highlighted by Harvard bound running back Danny Abraham, the 2017 Eagles may be poised to return to the state championship for the first time since 2011.

Abraham burst onto the scene last fall when he ran for 385 yards and four touchdowns against Andover in week one of the season. That performance earned Abraham an offer from Boston College. A bevy of others soon followed before the star finally chose the Crimson.

Surrounding Abraham on the offense is a trio of weapons in wideouts Bobby Demeo, Seamus Donovan, and Luke Muprhy. All three are sure to give opposing defenses fits with their versatility, both as pass catchers and with their speed in the open field.

Up front, Harvard commit Tommy Aciardi leads the Eagles' stalwart offensive line, while Evan Ohaubunwa provides support at the guard position.

The quarterback position will feature a variety of play makers, each hoping of filling the void left by the graduated Connor Cady.

Matt Sullivan is expected to be the starter for the majority of the season, while senior Thomas Gradson provides the Eagles with some depth under center.

On the defensive side of the ball, BC High will rely heavily on senior defensive ends Francis Dooley and Elijah Miranda to keep opposing quarterbacks uneasy.

At linebacker, Zack Catarius looks to fill the shoes of 2016 SuiteSports All-State selection T.J. Rothmann.

Zack, who is the brother of former BC High and Princeton linebacker Luke Catarius, will work alongside Will Bowen as the Eagles look to continue their yearly tradition of producing a strong linebacking corps.

Demeo is expected to be the number one cornerback, while Kaleb Mooney and Nate Stewart man the fort at safety, allowing the Eagles' main offensive weapon in Abraham to remain fresh throughout the season.

BC High coach Jon Bartlett noted that, while the Eagles return a promising group, there are still some big shoes to fill.

“Losing guys like T.J. (Rothmann) and Connor (Cady) is tough,” said Bartlett. “But we have a great group, and these guys are expected to fill in and perform. Camp gives us a good shot to see who can play and who can perform.”

The road to the top of the Division 1 South Sectional standings will be far from easy.

BC High opens with a tough road test against perennial Division 1 North power Andover, before coming back to Viola Stadium to take on Division 2 favorite Marshfield in its home opener.

The middle of the season sees the Eagles travel to New Jersey to take on Hudson Catholic, along with a battle against Brockton that is set to take place at Harvard University while BC High’s new football turf is being put down.

Still, the Eagles' tallest tasks, as always, will come via Catholic Conference play, when they host universally considered Top 10 challenges in St. John’s Prep and the aforementioned Hawks to close out the regular season.

“We always tell our kids that every game is a battle,” said Bartlett. “When you look up and down our schedule, every team is a high quality team. Hudson Catholic, who we’re going to play in New Jersey, is a fast and physical team, and Brockton is always solid.”

There is no question that BC High has had its fair share of success over the past five seasons, including four straight trips to the postseason since the implementation of the new state-wide playoff format.

One glimpse at the Eagle roster, however, and this very well could be the season that BC High gets out of the south and gives Bartlett his fourth state title trip as head coach.

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