Monday, September 3, 2018

MIAA Football: Five Predictions For The 2018 Season



Mashpee is one of three schools along with Everett and King Philip looking to three-peat. 

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Boston, Mass. – The MIAA high school football season kicks off on Friday night and with that programs from across eight divisions will begin their quest to try and reach Gillette Stadium.

Every week, SuiteSports will be there to provide content concerning the prior weekend’s action, game previews, picks, feature stories and much more.

Before the season begins, however, we thought we would provide five predictions that we have for the upcoming season. Be on the lookout tomorrow as we release our preseason MIAA High School Football Player of the Year Watch List.

1. Division 3 Super Bowl Brings a Pair of Fresh Faces


Last season, North Attleboro and St. John’s Shrewsbury each showcased its offensive fire power running through their respective sections and semi-final games to a Super Bowl showdown. Often, in high school sports – football in particular – it has become common in recent years for teams to experience mini-dynasties. We are seeing it play out right now with Mashpee, Everett, and King Philip all trying for a third consecutive Super Bowl.

This December, we see two new teams to face off against one another in the Div. 3 Super Bowl. The west-central part of the section boasts a bevy of contenders including Shrewsbury, Springfield Central and Doherty who are all more than capable of giving the Pioneers are run for their money. On the other side, meanwhile, Tewksbury looks like an early potential Super Bowl favorite and the South includes potential threats such as Hingham, Duxbury, and Whitman-Hanson.

Both St. John’s and North Attleboro are sure to be strong yet again in 2018, and it remains to be seen who rises to the cream of the crop in Div. 3 (our prediction is below), but we expect two new teams take the field at Gillette Stadium come December.

2. King Philip Still Ends Up Ruling the Hockomock

How can this be possible? King Philip enters the 2018 season returning just five starters on defense, which looks like a gargantuan amount when considering they return all of one starter on offense.
Additionally, the Warriors face daunting road tasks including a trip to North Attleboro to open the season and one in Mansfield in week four. One of these weeks King Philip has to go down. It’s only a matter of time, right? Well, we’ll believe it when we see it.

Despite the incredible two-year run the Warriors have had in amassing two Super Bowl titles and 25 straight wins there were plenty of times when it looked as though they were destined to fall. There was the sectional final versus Bridgewater-Raynham followed by the Super Bowl versus Reading in 2016, and the sectional-semi final against league rival Mansfield last season. Lincoln-Sudbury seemed like too tall of a task come the 2017 Super Bowl, and yet in each instance King Philp found a way to get to the finish line.

This is not to say we predict King Philip to win a third straight Super Bowl (more on that in a moment) but come the end of the regular season we have the Warriors taking home another Hockomock Kelly-Rex title.

3. The Merrimack Valley Small Becomes the Talk of the Town

Over the first five years of the new playoff format, Central Catholic been the centerpiece of most headlines concerning the Merrimack Valley Conference. The Raiders have appeared in a pair of Super Bowls and lost in the Div. 1 North Final the three other previous times.

This season, however, it feels as though the MVC Small will be capturing the headlines. Highlighting the pool is Tewksbury, looking to take the next step after falling in the Div. 3 state-semis to North Attleboro last fall.

Elsewhere, North Andover has the pieces to dethrone Lincoln-Sudbury as the top-dog in Division 2. The battle between Scarlet Knights’ quarterback Jake McElory and Redmen quarterback Jay O’Connor on September 28th will alone be worth the price of admission.

Dracut also figures to be a factor with Cameron McCullough and Allyn French manning the secondary.

Come November it would be of little surprise to us if more than one MVC Small school is holding a sectional championship trophy.

4. Everett Starts and Finishes at No. 1 

For at least one more season, it looks as though Everett will be the team to beat in Division 1. Despite losing Jason Maitre, Duane Binns and Isaiah Likely – among others – to graduation and Lewis Cine and Jake Willcox to transfer, the Crimson Tide are still explosive. Mike Sainristil very well could be the best player in the state and Isaac Seide enters as the starting running back after being one of the top running backs in the state in 2017.

What will be interesting to see is who emerges as the biggest threat to Everett’s hopes of a three-peat. Xaverian is always a reliable choice considering they are the only team to appear in all five super bowls since the new playoff format was instituted in 2013. The trendy pick is Catholic Memorial who return Hunter Tully, Lucas Folan, Hunter Salmon, and Khari Johnson among other key pieces from a sectional final team in 2017.

Up north, St. John’s Prep has a healthy Wes Rockett and Aise Pream to complement quarterback Matt Crowley.  A sleeper could be Brockton who has size on both lines. We would not be surprised if Needham made run through Div. 1 South and took on Everett at Gillette Stadium with the returners they have back on offense. 

That being said we still have Everett coming out on top to end the year when it is all said and done. 

5. Preseason Super Bowl Predictions

Here are our Super Bowl preseason predictions for each of the eight divisions.

Division 1

Everett

Division 2

Lincoln-Sudbury

Division 3

Shrewsbury

Division 4

Milton

Division 5

Dennis-Yarmouth

Division 6

Stoneham

Division 7

Mashpee

Division 8

Lynn Tech

1 comment :

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