Category: Noontime High Schools

Noontime Football Postgame: Bishop Fenwick 48, Arlington Catholic 7

Bishop Fenwick’s Costa Beechin and the Crusaders leaned heavily on the run game to beat Arlington Catholic on Saturday. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By Matt Noonan

MEDFORD, Mass. — After relying on its passing game to score an opening day win over South Hadley last Friday, Bishop Fenwick turned to its rushing attack on Saturday to score an impressive 48-7 victory over Arlington Catholic at Hormel Stadium.

Troy Irizarry highlighted his team’s initial Catholic Central Large (CCL) win by rushing for three touchdowns, including two scores in the opening session.

Costa Beechin (25-yards) and Luke Connolly (13-yards) each rushed for one score, as well, while Steven Woods tossed his fourth touchdown of the season early in the opening frame when he capped a two-play, 28-yard drive with a 21-yard strike to Chris Faraca on the left side.

Arlington Catholic, which outlasted Lowell Catholic last Friday, registered its only score at the end of the first quarter when quarterback Isaiah Osgood located Andrew Sullo down the far side for a 27-yard touchdown.

The touchdown was Osgood’s third of the season.

While Osgood’s touchdown did provide somewhat of a spark for the Cougars in the second quarter, it quickly disappeared late in the session when Bishop Fenwick’s Michael DiFelice pounced on a loose ball with two minutes remaining. Woods appeared to have mishandled the snap on his opponent’s one-yard line, but luckily DiFelice fell on the loose ball quickly — for a moment, it appeared as if maybe Arlington Catholic’s Niko Ceppi had recovered the loose ball, but the head referee flung his hands into the air shortly after the play had ended to signal it was a touchdown, not a touchback.

Bishop Fenwick is back in action next Friday, September 24 when they host Austin Prep at 7 p.m. while Arlington Catholic will visit Archbishop Williams for a 6 p.m. kickoff.

Mass. High School Football: Week One Highlights & Takeaways

Malden Catholic scored an opening night win last Friday against Weymouth. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By Matt Noonan

The first official week of the Massachusetts high school football season is in the books. 

Here are some highlights (and yes, takeaways, too) from the initial week of the 2021 season.  

  • For starters, it was great to see fans back in the stands last Friday and Saturday.

    I was at one of the games — a non-conference clash between Malden Catholic and Weymouth that saw the Lancers roll past the Wildcats by a score of 35-6. The game was highlighted by some impressive defensive plays, along with a rushing attack that will once again be on display this week when the Blue and Gold host Gloucester on Friday, September 17 at 7 p.m.
  • Speaking of Gloucester, the Fishermen dropped their season-opener to Hamilton-Wenham last Friday evening by a score of 13-7.

    The Generals defense kept the Fishermen’s offense in check, limiting Gloucester to just one touchdown, a 62-yard rushing score by Caleb DeCoste, which provided them with their first and only lead of the contest.

    Friday’s clash between the Fishermen and Lancers will be one to keep an eye on — could the Lancers begin their season with back-to-back wins?
  • Scituate is going to be a team to watch, both this week and throughout the fall — the Sailors scored an impressive victory last Friday over Milton, thanks to Keegan Sullivan, who rushed for four touchdowns, including a 67-yard score in the third and 66-yard touchdown in the fourth to secure a 34-20 victory. 

    This week, the Sailors visit Duxbury on Friday for a 7 p.m. kickoff — the Dragons also scored an opening win by downing Bridgewater-Raynham by a score of 42-0.
  • The Norwood Mustangs are going to be a team to watch and yes, beat, in the Tri-Valley League (TVL).

    Norwood commenced its 2021 campaign with a 21-14 victory over Stoughton last Friday — the win was highlighted by a trio of student-athletes, including Matt Alves, who recovered a fumble in the end zone in the third quarter.

    Sean Steeves was also instrumental in the win — he was named to the Boston Globe’s EMass Players of the Week after tallying three interceptions against Stoughton, along with seven total tackles.

    Norwood returns to the field on Saturday, September 18 when they host Falmouth, which lost its season-opener to Plymouth North by a score of 18-14.
  • Jathan Greene was the player to watch last Friday afternoon in Brighton’s season-opener against O’Bryant.

    Greene led the Bengals with three touchdowns — two on the ground, one through the air — while Damian Blacknall added an 82-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth.

    Following Greene’s initial score against the Tigers, Quarterback Sahmir Morales connected with Isiah Joseph for a 36-yard touchdown, which provided the visitors with a 14-0 lead after one frame.
  • Brighton’s opponent this week — East Boston — also scored an opening day win over Boston Latin, thanks to a trio of rushing scores from Jaye Kincade, Jashua Delacruz, and Randy Bermudez.

    The Jets beat the Bengals during Fall II by a score of 20-12, so it will be interesting to see if the Blue and Yellow can duplicate that performance from March on Friday.
  • A few additional thoughts … congrats to Brian McCray on his first win as the head coach at Belmont. The Marauders defeated Cambridge last Friday by a score of 20-7 … Wayland looked rather impressive last Friday as the Warriors rolled past Hopkinton by a score of 40-6. Shayne Sutton could not be stopped as the senior rushed for four touchdowns against the Hillers …  Chelsea, which is competing in the Greater Boston League (GBL), scored an opening day against Salem, and will look to continue their early season  momentum against Revere, which lost its home opener to Peabody by a score of 28-7. The two teams will square-off in Chelsea on Friday at 6 p.m. 

We’ll have a few more high school football posts later this week, but for now, thanks for stopping by to read our first-week highlights — and yes, some takeaways and thoughts, too. 

Noontime Football Postgame: Malden Catholic 35, Weymouth 6

Malden Catholic celebrates its first win of the 2021 season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/Noontime Sports)

By Matt Noonan

MALDEN, Mass. — The Malden Catholic football team scored a convincing 35-6 victory on Friday evening against Weymouth in front of their home crowd at Donovan Field at Brother Gilbert Stadium.

Here are some takeaways and thoughts, as well as a few observations from the Lancers’ initial win of the 2021 fall season.

  • Friday’s win was a complete team effort. However, what really impressed me was the Lancers defense, along with their special teams.

    After forcing the Wildcats to go three and out on their initial series, Michael Azzari recorded a punt block, which would eventually be followed later in the half with a key sack during the final seconds of the second quarter, which allowed the Lancers to enter the break with a 21-6 advantage.

    When I asked Azzari about his blocked punt in the beginning of the first quarter, he thought he was going to score. “It was crazy,” he said.

    Unfortunately, the Lancers were unable to score on the ensuing possesion — the Weymouth defense, which did pose challenges to some running and passing plays — was able to stop Malden Catholic on the Wildcats’ one-yard line.

  • Malden Catholic first-year Jaiden Williams was a players to watch on both offense and defense this evening. Not only did he record a 12-yard rushing touchdown midway through the opening session, but he also recovered a key fumble late in the third quarter on defense.

    Williams said he was very excited to play his first varsity contest — he told me after the game how excited he was hearing his name echoed throughout the stadium. “I feel great,” Williams said when discussing his first varsity game and touchdown. “It’s a feeling I can’t explain.”

  • In addition to being impressed by Williams, I also enjoyed watching senior Aidan Sweeney, especially on his 50-yard touchdown run to the left at the end of the first half.

    When I asked Sweeney about his lone touchdown of the non-conference clash, he said that it was “somewhat our trick play.” Sweeney

    As you can see below, it appeared as if a few members of the Lancers offensive line were going in different directions before Sweeney burst through to the left side.

    “Thankfully, it worked out,” he said.

    Indeed, it did. And that touchdown — the team’s third of the contest — seemed to keep momentum on the Lancers’ side.

Sweeney will certainly be a player to watch on the Lancers this fall, but so will Williams and other members of the offense, along with quarterback Ryan Perry, who did a good job leading the squad on a few long drives that resulted in points.

  • All three players I spoke with after the game credited their teammates for the win, but also the fans, too — it was an exciting atmosphere for football that I (and most likely many) have not experienced since 2019.

    Said Azzari, “The energy was crazy, the crowd was going wild, it was a great time

Malden Catholic will look to continue its early momentum next Friday, September 17 when they host Gloucester at 7 p.m. The Fishermen lost to Hamilton-Wenham by a score of 13-7.

Weymouth will look to bounce back next Friday, as well, against Newton North.

MIAA Waives Masks For Outdoor Sports; Masks For Some Indoors

Massachusetts high school lacrosse players will no longer need to wear masks under their helmets or on the sidelines, per today’s announcement from the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA). (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan

Following yesterday’s announcement from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker about lifting Covid-19 restrictions next Saturday, May 29, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) issued a statement this morning that masks and facial covers will no longer be required for those competing outdoors.

The MIAA Sports Medicine Committee (SMC) “voted unanimously” to approve the guidelines the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) unveiled yesterday that would allow both youth and amateur sports participants to “no longer require face coverings for youth athletes 18 and under while playing outdoors.” The remaining restrictions will be lifted effectively on May 29.

In addition to no longer needing a face mask or covering while competing outside, student-athletes will no longer need to wear them on the bench or in a dugout. Those that compete in low-risk sports indoors will not have to wear a mask or face covering as long they can maintain at least 14 feet or more from other participants. Face masks and coverings will be required for those attending indoor events such as boy’s volleyball matches but not needed for outdoor contests, pending fans can safely distance themselves from others.

Excluding today’s decision on masks and facial coverings, no changes will be made to the MIAA sports modifications. However, the governing body of Massachusetts high school sports did say they would review the EEA guidelines as restrictions are lifted.

Opinion: There Was No Need For Duxbury To Use anti-Semitic Play Calls

The Duxbury High School Football Team used anti-Semitic play calls during a recent game this month. (PHOTO COURTESY: Anderson Mancini on Visual Hunt / CC BY)

By Matt Noonan

There was no need for the Duxbury High School football team to use anti-Semitic language at the line of scrimmage earlier this month when the Dragons opened their spring season against Plymouth North High School.

According to the Boston Globe, the Dragons shouted words like “rabbi” and “dreidel” at the line of scrimmage – they even referenced Auschwitz, too, and because of these inappropriate actions, Duxbury Superintendent John Antonucci announced Wednesday afternoon that he had fired head coach Dave Maimaron.

Maimaron, who is a special education teacher within the Duxbury school system, has been placed on administrative leave, and according to the Patriot Ledger, “the school is hiring a law firm to conduct an investigation.”

As for Maimaron’s assistant coaches, they are currently “under review.”

Friday’s Patriot League clash between Duxbury and Hingham High School has been called off. And as of now, it remains an unknown as to when fans of the Dragons will see their team return to the gridiron.

And while this story seems to be changing on a minute-by-minute basis, I can’t help but wonder why Maimaron, as well as his student-athletes, felt this language was appropriate? Seriously, didn’t someone question the tenured coach’s motives when choosing these offensive words to alert the offense about executing another play?

Like many, I want action now – I want to know how a program that has been so successful over the past few years was never flagged or penalized for using inappropriate language. Additionally, I would like to know why it took just one football game – were there others? – to alert both the Duxbury community and general public about this high school football team’s inappropriate actions.

But as much as I want action – and yes, more answers, too! – I also want to know how the Duxbury school system, along with other districts throughout the state, will learn from this horrific incident.

I believe this is a teachable moment, not just for the football players, but for all of us. And that is something Rabbi Howard Cohen of the Congregation Shirat Hayam said earlier this week to the Boston Globe. Cohen said he would make himself available to the school and I certainly think he would be a great resource, but the same could said for Barry Finegold, a state senator that penned an open letter to the Duxbury football team with hope of helping the Green and White truly understand their actions from two weeks ago.

No matter what transpires over the next few days and weeks, I hope this this particular episode will help our coaches, athletic directors, and administrators, as well as the student-athletes understand that inappropriate actions and behaviors have consequences. And the Duxbury football team has had to learn this the hard way.