Tuesday, October 16, 2018

MIAA Football: Updated Player Of The Year Caniddates

Mashpee's Devaun Ford is undoubtedly one of the most valuable players in the state.

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

Last week, SuiteSports unveiled its initial 2018 MIAA Football Player of the Year Candidates. Now, we are ready to add a sixth 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.

Last week, we began with five candidates, but players have the opportunity to add their name into consideration as we gradually add to the while the season plays out over the next four weeks.

This week, we have added our second quarterback to the list, 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

The leader of the pack, Sainristil has done nothing but strengthen his case as the season has gone progressed.

In leading Everett to a 6-0 record and the top spot in our poll, the dynamic playmaker has impacted the game in all three phases. In the passing game, he has 21 receptions for 407 yards and six 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 may not have his best performance of the season in week six, but he continues to be the battery that makes the North Andover offense tick.

In a 40-21 win on Friday over Dracut, McElroy finished 7-of-11 for 100 yards through the air, while adding 35 rushing yards and a touchdown

The dual-threat quarterback has 914 passing yards to go with nine touchdowns through the air. On the ground, meanwhile, McElroy has amassed 147 rushing yards and a tenth score.

Matt Smith, Sr., TE/WR, Needham

Needham may have suffered its first loss of the season on Friday night, but Smith once again was the star of the show.

The Rockets most potent offensive weapon had eight catches for 204 yards and two touchdowns, including a 74-yard score midway through the fourth quarter. Outside of Sainristil, Smith has proven to be the toughest cover in Massachusetts.

Including his play on Friday night, Smith has 37 receptions for 731 yards and seven touchdowns. He is averaging 19.76 yards per reception.

Mike Masse, Sr., LB/FB, Xaverian

Xaverian was idle in week six, but courtesy of Needham's loss to Milton, they are once again in line to be the top seed in Div. 1 South. That all comes back to the play of the Hawks defense centered around Masse.

Masse is in his second year as a starting linebacker for Xaverian and his impact has never been more valuable. Through five games, Masse has 39 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and a pair of forced fumbles. The Hawks are currently in a stretch in which they have not allowed a point in over seven and a half quarters.

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 150 rushing yards, 60 receiving yards, and four touchdowns.

DeVaun Ford, Sr., RB/DB, Mashpee 

As the weeks go by, Ford's candidacy just gets stronger and stronger. If Ford is not the best player in Massachusetts he very well may be the most valuable.

It was another banner night for Ford on Friday night versus Hull. He had two more rushing touchdowns, but even more impressive - he also had two kickoff returns for touchdowns. Ford also showcased his value on the defensive side of the ball intercepting a pair of passes.

For the season, the Falcons centerpiece now has 14 total touchdowns and six interceptions.

Drew Campanale, Sr., QB, Shrewsbury

Our newcomer to this week's list is Shrewsbury quarterback Drew Campanale.

The Colonials are legit contenders not just in Div. 3 Central, but to make it to Gillette Stadium and that all centers around the play of Campanale.

Campanale came into this season with plenty of hype, with many labeling him as one of - if not the top - quarterback to watch coming into the season 2018. He has done nothing but live up to the preseason praise.

Through the first six games of the season, Campanale has a 68-percent completion percentage, 591 passing yards and six touchdowns. Campanale is also a threat on the ground as evidenced by his production as he is averaging 7.8 yards per attempt, has totaled 247 rushing yards, and has four additional scores.

Campanele's performance thus far has helped lead Shrewsbury to a 5-1 start.

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