Tuesday, October 23, 2018

MIAA Football: Our Latest Player of the Year Watch List

Mike Masse (#44) continues to strengthen his candidacy with his play on both sides of the ball.

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Two weeks ago, SuiteSports unveiled its initial 2018 MIAA Football Player of the Year Candidates. Now, we are ready to add a seventh name to the list.

Two seasons ago, Duxbury's Bobby Maimaron took home the honor, while last season King Philip's Shane Frommer won the award in a runaway.

We began with five candidates, and added a sixth last week, but players have the opportunity to add their name into consideration as we gradually add to the list while the season plays out over the next three weeks.

This week, we have added our first lineman to the list bring our total number of candidates to seven, and each week going forward we will add one additional player.

We will then release our final 10 candidates for the award on the Monday of Super Bowl week.

Here is our  updated list of MIAA Football Player of the Year Candidates as selected by our panel of writers, correspondents, and editors.

Mike Sainristil, Sr., WR/DB, Everett

Everett was off in week seven due to Malden electing to forfeit. There was still plenty of news surrounding the Crimson Tide play maker, however, as Sainristil announced Monday night via Twitter that he was reopening his recruitment.

In leading Everett to a 7-0 record and the top spot in our poll, Sainrisitl has impacted the game in all three phases. In the passing game, he has 24 receptions for 462 yards and seven touchdown receptions while on the ground, Sainristil has rushed for 174 yards and two additional touchdowns.

Defensively, meanwhile, Sainristil continues to show why he is widely considered the top defensive back in the area intercepting four passes. 

And then there is special teams where Sainristil has returned seven kicks for 80 yards and is averaging 31 yards per punt return. 

Jake McElroy, Sr., QB, North Andover

McElroy was just about spotless in the Scarlet Knights week seven win over Billerica that capped off a perfect regular season.

In the win, McElroy finished 9-of-12 for two touchdowns to go with three rushes for 64 yards. 

Heading into the postseason, McElroy has 1,054 passing yards to go with 11 touchdowns through the air. On the ground, meanwhile, McElroy has amassed 213 rushing yards and a tenth score.

Mike Masse, Sr., LB/FB, Xaverian

Xaverian's defense has been the best in Massachusetts over the last few weeks and its all centered around the play of Masse.

Over the final 11 quarters of the season, the Hawks did not allow a single point helping to propel them to the No. 1 overall seed in Div. 1 South.  In Xaverian's shutout win over BC High on Friday night, Masse had seven tackles and a sack. Offensively, meanwhile, he added a touchdown. 

Masse is in his second year as a starting linebacker for Xaverian and his impact has never been more valuable. Through six games, Masse has 46 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles.

Masse has also been used out of the backfield from the fullback position on a number of occasions as the Hawks stick to their ground-and-pound ways. So far, he has 197 rushing yards, 60 receiving yards, and five touchdowns.

DeVaun Ford, Sr., RB/DB, Mashpee 

To the surprise of no one, Friday night provided another boost to Ford's candidacy. 

In a gutsy, 30-24 road win over St. Mary's, Ford totaled 235 rushing yards and four total touchdowns. His efforts have the three-time defending Super Bowl champion Falcons entering the postseason as the No. 1 overall seed in Div. 7 South and nursers of a 27-game winning streak

For the season, the Ford now has 18 total touchdowns, five games of 110 yards or more, and six interceptions.

Drew Campanale, Sr., QB, Shrewsbury

One week after joining our watch-list, Campanale turned in his finest performance of the season for Shrewsbury in a 35-7 win over Westboro.

The true dual-threat in Campanale threw for over 300 yards and two touchdowns while also adding a third score on the ground.

Through the first six games of the season, Campanale has a 72-percent completion percentage, 902 passing yards and eight touchdowns. Campanale is also a torturing defenses on the ground as evidenced by his production. He is averaging 7.9 yards per attempt, has totaled 302 rushing yards, and has five additional scores.

Campanele's performance thus far has helped lead Shrewsbury to a 6-1 record.

Matt Smith, Sr., TE/WR, Needham

Needham has hit a bit of a wall over the last two weeks, picking up their first losses of the season. Still, Smith continues to be one of the top weapons in the Bay State.

Smith's performance on Friday night versus Walpole was nothing compared to the week prior, but he still hauled in a 12-yard touchdown reception. 

Including his play on Friday night, Smith has 40 receptions for 760 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Scott Elliot, Sr., OL/DL, Holliston

The newest member is also our first lineman as Harvard commit and Holliston's own Scott Elliot becomes the seventh player on our watch-list.

Elliot has been dominant on both sides of the ball, helping to lead the Panthers to a perfect 7-0 regular season record and a TVL Large title. Offensively, he has proven to be a valuable piece both in Holliston's up-tempo spread attack and in the Panthers ability to run the football.

Defensively, meanwhile, his 6-foot-3 inch and 270 pound frame helps him overpower opponents, making him a force as a run stopper and also a consistent threat to get to the quarterback.

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