Friday, August 25, 2017

MIAA Football Camp Road Trip: The Duxbury Dragons

By Tom Joyce (@TomJoyceSports)

DUXBURY - 2016 was last year.

Well, obviously, but, after winning a Division 2 State title last season, the 2017 Duxbury High football team is now looking to forge its own identity.

Following last season, the Dragons lost three of the state’s top skill players to graduation: Quarterback Bobby Maimaron (who set the statewide record with 122 touchdown passes in his varsity football career), star wide receiver Ryan Reagan, and do-it-all running back Devin DeMeritt, and there is nothing they can do about it.

“That team graduated,” Dragons head coach Dave Maimaron said. “This is a new team in a brand new year. We’ve got a tough first week against Bridgewater-Raynham ahead, and we’re looking forward to that.”

Last year, the Dragons took great pride in their talent at the skill positions.

This year, however, they are going to be led up front. The team returns a trio of burly three-year lettermen on the offensive line in left tackle Quinn Murphy (6-foot-6, 316 pounds), right tackle Chris Chaisson (6-foot-4, 275 pounds) and right guard Eli Peters (6-foot-2, 260 pounds). Those three were a major reason why the Dragons had some of the best pass protection in the state last year, and they weren't slouches when run blocking either.

“It’s all about communication,” Peters said. “We’ve got to know what protection we’re in, what guys are coming, and we’ve got to keep our heads up. We’re very talkative on the line.”

The team should also have a sound front seven defensively. Senior linebacker Joe Gouley was named the Dragons' Defensive Player of the Year last season, and is back as the team’s defensive leader. On the edge, defensive ends Charlie Gans and Jack McKim, each of whom are three-year varsity starters, will put pressure on opposing Patriot League quarterbacks.

Speaking of quarterbacks, the Dragons have yet name theirs yet. The Dragons' previous two freshman football starting quarterbacks are now competing for the varsity job.

John Roberts, who was a varsity slot receiver for the team last year, and the starting quarterback for the freshman team in 2015, is going head-to-head with sophomore Seamus Johnston, who was the freshman team’s starter last season.

“They’re both working hard and they both want it," Maimaron said. “Plus, they’re both great kids. Some healthy competition makes the team better.”

That said, the Dragons probably will not be throwing at the high rate they had in the past.

“We could look a little different this year with the experience on the O-Line and the inexperience under center,” Maimaron said. "We’ll probably be a little more run heavy than we have in the past. Last year was like playing a video game with that three-pronged attack. They’re gone though, but hey, that’s high school football. Hopefully we’ll reload and not rebuild.”

Regardless of who they have going at QB, the Dragons have their full-attention set on their Friday, Sept. 8 home opener against Bridgewater-Raynham.

“Everything’s for the purpose of beating B-R,” Peters said. “Every time we break down a station, we say B-R, since that’s all our focus is right now.”

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