Mass. High Schools: North & South Football Postseason Pairings

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The road to the Massachusetts high school football championships at Gillette Stadium officially begins this week for a slew of teams that are scheduled to compete in the North and South quarterfinals.

Below are the top seed for all eight divisions in the North and South, as well as a link to their respective brackets.


2019 MIAA North Tournaments

MIAA Division 1 North: Central Catholic (6-1) 

MIAA Division 2 North: Reading (6-1) 

MIAA Division 3 North: Danvers (7-0) 

MIAA Division 4 North: Melrose (7-0) 

MIAA Division 5 North: Pentucket (6-1) 

MIAA Divison 6 North: Shawsheen (6-0) 

MIAA Division 7 North: Manchester Essex/Rockport (5-1)

MIAA Division 8 North: Lynn Tech (5-2) 


2019 MIAA South Tournaments

MIAA Division 1 South: Catholic Memorial (7-0)

MIAA Division 2 South: Natick (7-0) 

MIAA Division 3 South: Hingham (6-1)

MIAA Division 4 South: Milton (7-0)

MIAA Division 5 South: Canton (7-0)  

MIAA Division 6 South: Cardinal Spellman (6-0)

MIAA Division 7 South: Cohasset (5-2) 

MIAA Division 8 South: West Bridgewater (7-0) 

Mass. High Schools: Needham Football 2019 Season Preview

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Needham High School football coach Doug Kopsco directs his players through a practice drill. (PHOTO: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

For Doug Kopsco, his first season as the head coach of the Needham High School football team seemed to go pretty well.

Kopsco’s Rockets posted a winning record of 7-4 last fall, which included a postseason win over Newton North in the quarterfinals of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) D1 South playoffs and an exciting one-point victory over archrival Wellesley on Thanksgiving Day.

Heading into his second season with his alma mater’s football program, Kopsco appears more relaxed. In fact, he seems to be enjoying his new role with the Rockets, who are expected to once again contend for a Bay State Conference (BSC) Herget title this fall. 

“Really at the end of the day, it isn’t about x’s and o’s. It is about the culture, it is about the kids and it is about the family enviornment,” said Kopsco, who was previously a coordinator for the Rockets football program before taking over for coach Dave Duffy last season.

“It’s one thing to preach it and talk about it, but it is another thing to invite that environment and share that environment, and get the kids involved with creating that culture. And I think these guys did a great job of that this year.”

Kopsco says what has made this season’s preseason so much fun has been the competition – there seems to be multiple positions up for grabs due to some graduation losses, especially on the offense.

“We have a ton of competition this year,” said Kopsco.

“Last year, I think we knew (who our starters would be), and that’s both gratifying and exciting … but this year, all spots are open, so everyone is working hard, everyone is pushing each other and there is no kind of gimme spots.”


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Needham’s 2019 Football Season Outlook

Needham’s 2018 SeasonThe Rockets enjoyed a successful first season under coach Doug Kopsco, winning five of seven regular-season contests along with one postseason game, too.

Their run toward an MIAA D1 South championship concluded in the semifinals with a 35-32 loss to Catholic Memorial, but Needham would close the season on a high note by defeating Wellesley, 14-13, on Thanksgiving Day.

Key DepaturesThe Rockets graduated some key pieces from last year’s offense, including tight end Matt Smith, who will be competing for Duke University this fall.

Jack Murmes, who was also a tight end, will be playing for Assumption College this season, while quarterback Charlie Ogletree will be suiting up for Bentley University.

Players to WatchTyler Reid returns for his final season – the senior tri-captain will be spotted in the backfield at halfback and is someone Kopsco will certainly rely on this season.

Odahri Hibberts returns for his final season – he will be lining up in the slot and at cornerback on defense.

Ryan Villa is back for his final season with the Rockets and will be playing offensive tackle and guard.

Filling the holes on defenseWith just two student-athletes returning on defense with starting experience, Kopsco and his staff will be looking for some new additions this fall to fill all three levels.

“We have on defense have two kids coming back that have starting experience, so it is all wide open,” said Kopsco, “but we have (had holes to fill on defense from previous seasons) and honestly, we ended up with some of our better defenses.”

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Upcoming ScrimmageNeedham will compete against Wayland (the game will be held at Weston) on Friday, August 30th. Kopsco is excited for his team to compete against another squad prior to their initial game of the 2019 season on Friday, September 6th at Natick.

Said Kopsco, “They are always super well-prepared, great coaching staff, and it is a wonderful time to test out where we are at this point of the season … it is a wonderful opportunity to see how much we have taken in so far.”

A challenging opening monthNeedham will certainly be tested in the first few weeks of the season when they compete against Natick (week one) and Tewksbury (week two) and Newton North (week three).

Tewksbury advanced to the MIAA D3 Super Bowl – they lost to Springfield Central at Gillette Stadium – but are expected to once again be a team to beat in Merrimack Valley Conference (MVC).

“We’re excited (about our upcoming games),” said Kopsco. “Natick’s awesome, great coaches and super-well prepared. This is going to be a super-competitive game. We won last year, but they won the year before, so I think it is a good chance to see how we can come out of the gates as a team and a family, and hopefully, we come out on top.

“(Tewksbury) is a great team. This is just a great team. They are very versatile on offense, they give you a lot of different looks, they can do a lot of different things to you, so we just need to (make sure) we’re prepared, ask good questions during the week and we need to make sure everyone knows their assignments.”

Coach Dave Duffy returns to the sidelinesAfter announcing his retirement last summer following a very impressive 19-years of coaching the Rockets, coach Dave Duffy has returned to Needham to help his former squad continue its recent success.

Kopsco is very excited to have his former coach back on the sidelines – he is certainly eager to learn more from him as the season progresses.

“We were very fortunate this year” to have coach Duffy back, explained Kopsco, who played fullback and linebacker for the Rockets before returning to the program as a defensive coordinator.

“I didn’t want to hound him too much, but I really always wanted to work with Roy Johan and Dave Duffy. I am still learning from both of them, (but) they are amazing coaches with 35 years of varsity experience between the two of them alone, so we’re really going to lean on them heavily this year to make sure we’re headed in the right direction.”


Needham’s 2019 Schedule

  • Friday, September 6th – at Natick, 6 p.m.
  • Friday, September 13th – vs. Tewksbury, 6 p.m.
  • Friday, September 20th – vs. Newton North, 6 p.m.
  • Friday, September 27th – at Weymouth, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, October 4th – at Braintree, 7 p.m.
  • Friday, October 18th – vs. Milton, 6 p.m.
  • Friday, October 25th – vs. Walpole, 6 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 28th – at Wellesley, 10 a.m.

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New England High Schools: Highlighting Darien’s Successful Start

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Months after falling to Ridgefield in the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (Class L) championship, the Darien Blue Wave erased their one-goal setback with the Tigers by scoring a commanding 14-6 win last Friday.

Hudson Pokorny and Henri Pfeifle each recorded hat tricks in the win while helping the Blue Wave construct an eight-goal run in the second half to secure an impressive win over a Tigers team that has won two of three games this season.

The win certainly meant a lot to the Blue Wave, who certainly seem poised to make a run at the Class L crown later this spring. The mindset for the Blue Wave, according to Gametime CT, is to take it “one game at a time.”

As Pokorny mentioned to Gametime CT, this was certainly a “big one” for the Blue Wave, who recently beat Fairfield Ludlowe for their fourth win of the season.

Darien heads to Manhasset (New York) this weekend for their second out of state contest – they recently beat Yorktown, 11-7.

Also heading out of state this weekend is Daniel Hand, which will travel to Longmeadow on Friday for a 5 p.m. face-off. This should be a good test for the Tigers, who have won three games this season, including a 9-8 win on Wednesday over Shelton.

Longmeadow captured the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) Central/West D2 crown last spring before falling to Concord-Carlisle in the state semifinals. C-C would advance to the championship round but lose to Reading, which won its first state title at Boston University.

One day after Daniel Hand visits Longmeadow, Simsbury will make the trek to Hingham on Saturday, April 13th. The Harbormen will enter the contest with a great deal of momentum, thanks to recent wins over North QuincySt. John’s Prep (Danvers) and Catholic Memorial.

We’ll have another notebook later this week, but make sure to stay connected with @NoontimeLax on Twitter for New England high school lacrosse news and scores! 

New England High Schools: Keep Your Eyes On Hingham & Norwell

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By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

If you’re a fan of the Hingham Harbormen then you couldn’t have asked for a better start to their season.

Hingham enters the new week with a 2-0 mark, thanks to wins over Catholic Memorial and St. John’s Prep (Danvers). Both wins secured them the second position in today’s BostonLax.net week two poll, which found Xaverian Brothers in the top spot, while Boston College High School secured the third position, thanks to a win over Cohasset.

Rounding out the site’s top five positions were Duxbury and Lincoln-Sudbury, checking-in fourth and fifth, respectively.

Hingham checked-in first in the Wicked Local South boys power ranking, while NorwellMarshfield, and Plymouth South secured the second, third, and fourth positions, respectively.

The Harbormen face a very interesting test on Saturday, April 13th when they host Simsbury (Conn.) at 1 p.m., and will certainly need another solid outing from Cooper Dainton, who netted four goals in his team’s win over the Eagles this past weekend.

In today’s Wicked Local South girls power rankings, Norwell secured the top spot, thanks to a 2-0 start, while Braintree, Cohasset, and Hingham checked-in second, third, and fourth, respectively.

Norwell, which returned 23 players from last year’s MIAA D2 state championship squad, has commenced its season with convincing wins over Foxboro and Westwood. The win over the Wolverines – an 8-7 victory – should provide the Clippers with some momentum heading into a week where they will face Hingham and Medfield. Both games won’t be easy.

Medfield enters the early week tilt with Norwell with a 1-0 record, thanks to a 19-4 win over Norwood last Friday. The win over the Mustangs was also the Warriors’ initial Tri-Valley League (TVL) victory, too.

News and Notes from the New England High School Lacrosse World


Stay connected with our New England lacrosse coverage on Twitter @NoontimeLax

Football Friday Notebook: Duxbury’s Roberts Stars In Season-Opener

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Welcome to Football FridayNoontime Sports Fans and Friends!

Today, we kick-off a brand new season of high school football here in Massachusetts – sure, it may have started last night, but today marks the official start of Friday Night Lights 2018.

In addition to the return of Friday Night Lights, the New England Patriots will officially begin their season on Sunday when they host the Houston Texans at Gillette Stadium.

So, with a jam-packed weekend ahead, let’s get this Football Friday started with some news and links from around the New England football world!


High School Football Links


10 Massachusetts High School Game Predictions

Every week, we will dish out a few games we will be following from the high school football world, as well as our picks, too! 

Milton over Belmont
Somerville over Peabody
Arlington over Cambridge
Lynn Classical over Medford
Bedford over Burlington
Everett over Xaverian Bros.
Melrose over Malden
Lynn English over Beverly
Matignon/St. Joseph’s over Minuteman
Catholic Memorial over St. Joh’s (Shrewsbury)


New England D3 Football: Friday Night Lights Schedule

Mass. Maritime Academy at SUNY Maritime, 7 p.m.
Bridgewater State at Endicott College, 7 p.m.
Anna Maria at Nichols College, 7 p.m.
MIT at Curry College, 7 p.m. 


Stay connected with our New England Football coverage by following @Noontime_FB on Twitter today!