Tuesday, December 4, 2018

MIAA Football: Final Top 25 Poll of the 2018 Season

North Andover finishes the season at the top after completing a perfect season with a Division 2 Super Bowl (Photo Courtesy: Brendan Hall/@BhallUFA)

By Matt Feld (@Mattyfeld612)

The last two years, Everett has made it easy cruising through the majority of the regular season and postseason to clearly emerge as the top team in Massachusetts.

This season, however, became much more difficult to read when the Crimson Tide were shocked in the Division 1 North Sectional Semifinals to Central Catholic leaving the door open for someone else to grab the top spot in our final MIAA Football Top 25 Poll.

After plenty of discussion, North Andover is our top overall team to conclude the 2018 season with its blowout win over Lincoln-Sudbury coupled with its Super Bowl victory over King Philip in a rock fight being the deciding factor. St. John's Prep ends up in the two spot after being nothing short of dominant during the Division 1 Tournament. The aforementioned Crimson Tide end up at three, while Catholic Conference champion Xaverian and Division 1 South Sectional champion Catholic Memorial round out the top five.

Other Super Bowl winners to finish in the top 10 beyond North Andover and the Prep are Springfield Central (No. 6), Scituate (No. 9) and Nashoba (No. 10).

Now, here is our final Top 25 Poll of the 2018 season. Make sure to check back in tomorrow when we release our MIAA Football All-State Team

1. North Andover (12-0; Last Poll: 2) North Andover proved it could win in a variety of ways this season, scoring 42 points on Lincoln-Sudbury in the sectional final before emerging victors from a slug fest with King Philip in the Division 2 Super Bowl. This senior class will go down in program lore. 

2. St. John's Prep (9-2; Last Poll: 2) The Eagles left little doubt about their standing in Division 1, scoring 159 points over four postseason games to win the Super Bowl for the first time since 2012. A strong senior class departs, but quartberback Matt Crowley should have them back as a contender next year.

3. Everett (10-1; Last Poll: 1) Crimson Tide were stunned by Central Catholic in the Division 1 North Semifinals leaving everyone to wonder what could have been. 

4. Xaverian (8-2; Last Poll: 4) Hawks may not have gotten back to Gillette for a sixth straight season, but a Catholic Conference title over St. John's Prep at Fenway Park is a pretty good consolation prize. 

5. Catholic Memorial (9-3; Last Poll: 11) John DiBiasio's first year at the helm was an impressive one as the Knights reached their first Super Bowl since 1978. With talents such as Owen McGowan, Will Stockwell, and Barrett Pratt back again in 2019 one has to believe CM is just scratching the surface.

6. Springfield Central (10-1; Last Poll: 13) The 2018 season was a historic one for Springfield Central as they became the first Western Mass. team to win a state-wide Super Bowl. Valdamar Brower deserves heavy praise for the job he has done.  

7. Central Catholic (8-3; Last Poll: 17) Chuck Adamopolous did as good a coaching job as anyone in the state this season. His young Raiders only improved as the year went on, culminating in a stunning victory over Division 1 favorite and two-time defending champion Everett.

8. King Philip (8-3; Last Poll: 14) A bitter taste will certainly linger in Wrentham considering how close the Warriors were to knocking off North Andover, but it was still a terrific season for a program that has gotten used to winning. 

9. Scituate (12-1; Last Poll: NR) Scituate had a season to remember with Aidan Sullivan, Will Sheskey, and Daniel May leading a loaded roster that had weapons all over the field. This Sailors team may have been the first to win a Super Bowl in program history, but there is reason to believe a second may be coming in the near future. 

10. Nashoba (12-1; Last Week: NR) They do not often receive the state-wide recognition they deserve, but the Chieftains have built a bit of a dynasty with Saturday night marking their fourth Super Bowl since 2011. 

11. Tewksbury (11-2; Last Week: 20) Impressive run for Brian Aylward's bunch, as only a loaded Springfield Central team had the man power and physicality to slow them down. 

12. Stoneham (12-1; Last Week: 21) Christos Argyropoulos' career ended the way it should have - with him carrying a game-winning, 42-yard touchdown run into the end zone at Gillette Stadium.

13. Duxbury (11-1; Last Week: 5) Many were surprised when the Dragons fell in the Division 3 State Semifinals. Still a terrific season for Dave Maimaron's group, highlighted by Patriot League Keenan MVP Will Prouty. 

14. Acton-Boxboro (9-2; Last Week: 7) It was a breakout year for Acton-Boxboro who, behind quarterback Finn Murray and wideout Victor Otero, picked up big wins over rivals such as Lincoln-Sudbury and advanced to the Division 1 North Semifinals. 

15. Lincoln-Sudbury (9-2; Last Week: 8) Warriors season ended with a bitter defeat to North Andover, but this senior class highlighted by Braden O'Connell, James Dillon, and Cal Kenney will not soon be forgotten. 

16. Old Rochester (11-1; Last Week: NR) Impressive season for the Bulldogs who were minutes away from finishing an undefeated season with a Super Bowl. 

17. Franklin (7-4; Last Poll: NR) Panthers were a couple of plays away from an upset at Xaverian in the second round of the Division 1 South Tournament. Nick Gordon was one of the more exciting quarterbacks to watch this season. 

18. Hingham (7-3; Last Poll: 19) Successful season for the Harbormen in Jim Connor's first year despite fighting the injury bug all fall. Getting over the Duxbury hump is crucial going forward. 

19. North Attleboro (8-3; Last Poll: NR) Another eight-win season for a Don Johnson program that is one of the more consistent ones in the state. Ryan Celemente departs as one of the top linemen in Massachusetts. 

20. Danvers (8-3; Last Poll: NR) Danvers showcased their true capabilities in the postseason, putting top-seeded Tewksbury on its heels before the Redmen came storming back in the sectional final. It will not be easy to find a duo that has the same explosiveness as Brandon Treacy and Matt McCarthy. 

21. St. John's Shrewsbury (8-4; Last Poll: 18) Season may not have ended the way St. John's hoped, but with Colin Schofield, Jay Brunelle, and Eamonn Dennis back in the fold next season the Pioneers should be the favorite to return to Gillette. 

22. Canton (9-2; Poll: NR) Terrific season for the Bulldogs who came out of nowhere to make the sectional finals. Brendan Albert spearheaded a defense that was one of the more dangerous units in Eastern Mass. 

23. Blackstone Valley Tech (11-1; Last Poll: NR) Beavers used fuel from their 2017 Super Bowl loss as motivation and came storming back to claim the Division 7 crown convincingly this time around. With J.D. Antaya back in the mix next season they will likely contend again.

24. Dighton-Rehoboth (9-3; Last Poll: NR) The Super Bowl performance may be one to forget, but the Falcons were impressive throughout the season consistently relishing the role of underdogs and defeating Milton in the sectional final to reach Gillette.

25. Gloucester (9-3; Last Week: NR) Running back trio of Marc Smith, Jan Pena-Ortiz, and Daylon Lark met its match against Nashoba, but not before grabbing a Div. 4 North Sectional crown


J Bartlett said...

Not sure how a CM team gets blown out by a number 2 team and KP losses 6-0 in a game to the number 1 team they could have easily won sans timley mistakes, and kp drops 3 spots below CM.

Tl said...

Jeff, you of all people know the catholic conference always gets additional,points, whether deserved or not.

J Bartlett said...

Thanks TI for the breaking news, how did Rj end up