Tag Archives: St. John’s Prep

D3 Football: Amherst College Announces Its 2019 Captains

Mammoths-logo-flex-callout-reversed-1000x600By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11

Months after finishing its 2018 campaign with an 8-1 record, the Amherst College football team announced its captains for the upcoming season yesterday on Twitter.

Ollie EberthJames O’ReganAvery Saffold, and Henry Atkeson were each elected captains, according to the team’s Twitter handle, which credited all four student-athletes as “great leaders on the field and great ambassadors off it.”

All four student-athletes helped the Mammoths finish 4-0 at home last season, as well as capture their annual meeting with Williams College, too, which provided the Purple and White with its second-straight Little Three crown (they also beat Wesleyan University last season, as well).

Here are some highlights of all four student-athletes that will be tasked with leading Amherst to its third consecutive Little Three crown this season, as well as its first New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) title since 2015.

Avery Saffold (Defensive Back | Chicago, Ill.): Safford ended his junior year with a career-high 30.0 total tackles, including 21 solo stops in nine games. His 21 total tackles were the most he has recorded in his three years with Amherst. He also recorded four total tackles in three games while registering a quartet of solo stops in two contests.

James O’Regan (Wide Receiver | Wilmington, Mass.): O’Regan concluded his team’s nine-game schedule last fall with 39 catches (4.3 receptions per game) for 579 yards and four touchdowns. His best outing came against Wesleyan when he hauled in seven receptions for a season-best 134 yards and one touchdown.

Ollie Eberth (Quarterback | Andover, Mass.): The former St. John’s Prep signal-caller concluded his junior year with a career-best 1,634 passing yards on 122 completions (208 attempts) for 10 touchdowns. He also rushed for a career-high 405 yards on 97 carries for nine touchdowns. He tossed three touchdowns in a pair of wins over Bowdoin College and Colby College before rushing for a season-best three touchdowns in his team’s season-finale against Williams.

Henry Atkeson (Punter/Kicker | Raleigh, N.C.): Atekson recorded 39 punts last fall, including a career-long 72-yard boot against Middlebury College. The North Carolina native finished the season with 1,455 punting yards with 15 kicks landing inside his opponents’ 20-yard line. Additionally, four kicks resulted in touchbacks.

Mass. H.S. Lax: Walpole-St. John’s Prep To Meet In Creators Crosse Championship

Mass HS Lax Roundup

By Mass. High School Lax (@Mass_LaxHS) 

The 2017 Creators Crosse Championship is set for Saturday, April 22nd between St. John’s Prep and Walpole High School.

Both teams earned spots in this weekend’s championship after impressive semifinal victories today. The Rebels of Walpole edged Franklin, 11-10, while the Eagles of St. John’s Prep defeated Beverly, 8-7.

Thursday’s semifinal contests were hosted by Westford Academy.

In addition to both semifinal match-ups, Lexington defeated host Westford Academy, while Masconoment beat Marblehead, 13-6.

Below is the schedule for the tournament’s final day, which is scheduled to commence at 11 a.m. The championship between the Eagles and Rebels is slated to begin at 1 p.m.

After an impressive one-goal win, Walpole boy’s lacrosse shared the exciting news of their victory with the following tweet (below):

As for the Eagles of St. John’s Prep, Phil Stacey provided an exciting final update on K.J. Sarni, who went ‘Rip City for the game-winner!’

Saturday should be a fun day of lacrosse!

Mass. HS Lax: Opening Week Games To Watch

Opening Week!

By Mass. High School Lax (@Mass_LaxHS)

A brand new season of Massachusetts High School Lacrosse is slowly set to begin – there are still a few play-dates and scrimmages scheduled for the next few days. Below are a few games we’re going to be keeping an eye on – of course, there will be others, too – but here are some games to watch, attend or follow on social media!

  • Westford Academy at Lincoln-Sudbury (Thursday, Mar. 30th | 4 p.m.) – This will be a good test for the Grey Ghosts as they take on the two-time defending MIAA Division 1 Eastern Champions.
  • Xaverian Bros. at Belmont Hill School (Saturday, Apr. 1st | 10 a.m. | Scrimmage): We will be keeping both eyes on Tim Gardner‘s squad this season, which begins its 2017 campaign officially next Tuesday, April 4th when they host Walpole before entertaining Catholic Memorial three days later on Friday, April 7th at 7:00 p.m.
  • Duxbury vs. LaSalle Academy (Friday, Mar. 31st | 5:30 p.m. | Scrimmage): This will be the Dragons’ third consecutive scrimmage before hopping into regular season play next Monday (Apr. 3rd) against Whitman-Hanson.
  • Wellesley at Norwell (Monday, Apr. 3rd | 4 p.m.): The Norwell girls lacrosse team will attempt to win their third consecutive MIAA Division 2 crown, but don’t overlook a Wellesley Raiders squad that will certainly be in the mix for the Bay State Conference (BSC) crown this season.
  • Needham vs. Lexington (Thursday, Mar. 30th | 3:45 p.m. | Scrimmage): The Rockets saw their run toward a MIAA Division 1 South Sectional crown fall short to Duxbury last season, but being a new season (and a new tam), one should not overlook Needham, which will begin its season against B.C. High next Tuesday (on the road). As for Lexington, they’ll look to rebound after falling to Lincoln-Sudbury last year in the MIAA Division 1 North Quarterfinals.
  • Needham vs. Franklin (Thursday, Mar. 30th | 6:00 p.m.): Before competing in a play-date with Westwood girl’s lacrosse on Saturday, the Rockets will look to commence their season against a talented Franklin squad, which captured the MIAA East Division 1 crown last season with a 7-6 win over Acton-Boxboro.
  • St. John’s Prep at Reading (Thursday, Mar. 30th | 4:00 p.m. | Scrimmage): The Rockets and Eagles will tangle in what will be a quality scrimmage before Reading commences its season on Saturday, April 1st against Acton-Boxboro.
  • Grafton vs. Shrewsbury (Tuesday, Apr. 4th | 3:30 p.m.): Expect Grafton to make another run toward the MIAA Boys Central/West Division 3 crown, especially after defeating Mount Greylock – a team one should not over look, too.
  • Mount Greylock at Burr & Burton Academy (Tuesday, Apr. 4th | 4:15 p.m.): Mount Greylock should certainly be in the mix for a Central/West Division 3 crown this season – hey, maybe they actually get past Grafton and secure a spot in the state semifinals.
  • Cohasset at Newton North (Saturday, Apr. 1st | 12:00 p.m.): We highlighted this game earlier in an exciting tweet from coach James Beaudoin. The past two years have seen this game head to an extra session, so it is possible we could see a third this weekend.

See a game that wasn’t featured or mentioned? Let us know by sending us an email to MassHSLax2016@gmail.com and make sure to follow us on Twitter at @Mass_LaxHS

St. John’s Prep Ends Mansfield’s Playoff Run, 64-55

 

St. John's Prep junior forward Steve Haladyna and his team were too much for Mansfield to handle! (Credit Dan Libon)

By Matt Noonan

BOSTON, MA – At times it seemed possible that Mansfield High School was going to upset St. John’s Prep, but with the game on the line and the Hornets without their star player, senior forward Jeff Hill during the closing minutes of the fourth quarter, the Pioneers sank their free-throw shots and punched their ticket to the MIAA Division I state finals in Worcester on Saturday, as St. John’s Prep prevailed, 64-55.

“I think we did a pretty good job defensively against them,” said St. John’s Prep head coach Sean Connolly. “They have a kid [Michael] Lofton who is very good. Creates a lot of mismatches [and] once he gets to the paint it’s tough because he’s such a good passer, but overall, I thought we did a good job defensively.”

Defense seemed to be the key ingredient for the Pioneers success on Tuesday, as St. John’s Prep held the Hornets to just seven points during the first quarter, which came on behalf of Hill, who knocked down three baskets and went [1-3] at the line during the opening eight minutes.

Yet, the Hornets fought back during the second quarter, when Hill led the team on a 7-2 run to end the first half. Not only did Mansfield rely on Hill during the first half, but also, senior forward Joseph Gracia who knocked down a clutch three pointer during the closing seconds, as well as junior guard Brian Hershman scored on a layup after his team forced a Pioneers turnover.

While the Hornets appeared rejuvenated from forcing turnovers and scoring on the transition, Mansfield head coach Michael Vaughn seemed determined that his defense would help his struggling offense score points and win the game.

“I thought our defense did exactly what we had to to win the game,” said Vaughn.

Entering the second half, St. John’s Prep scored first and eventually took advantage of Mansfield’s missed shots, as the Pioneers extended their lead to 41-29, but being resilient, the Hornets stormed back again. The Hornets may have indeed struggled to convert jump shots or long rang three-pointers, so they utilized their taller players, such as Jeff Hill and senior forward Michael Lofton to score points in the paint.

“We haven’t shot well against teams that are good defensively,” said Vaughn. “We kind of find ways to muster points and score in spurts and coming in the shots weren’t falling, we had some early looks and all of a sudden we stopped shooting them and every shot you don’t take is like a miss as well because it just makes the defense that much more beneficial.”

Once the fourth quarter began, the Hornets continued to stop the Pioneers and draw closer to their lead, but once Hill committed his fifth foul of the game, it seemed as if Mansfield wasn’t going to be headed to the state title game in Worcester.

“I can’t say enough about what Hill brought to the table,” said Vaughn. “When we struggled offensively you could kind of see our offensive moral being down and Jeff just motored. He gave us everything he possibly had to a point.”

“I think it made it a little bit easier for us having him out, probably the best defender,” said Connolly.

With Hill done for the game and Mansfield’s title hopes slipping a way, the Hornets would pull within three points, but that would be as close as they could get, as Vaughn ordered his team to foul their opponents and send St. John’s Prep’s best player to the line, senior guard Pat Connaughton, who knocked down three free-throws during the final minutes. He also electrified the crowd during an open court steal, which prompted him to show off his vertical jump and dunk the ball too, which clearly electrified the crowd.

“Coach said, I had to get a dunk at the Garden, I played here three games and hadn’t one yet,” said a smiling Connaughton.

St. John’s Prep finished the game with critical free-throws and will return to school in preparation for their biggest game of the season, the state title, which will be occur on Saturday the DCU Center in Worcester.

It Truly was a “Super” Saturday

Everett High School awaiting their trophy after their 31-7 victory over St. John's Prep.

Foxborough, MA – Ask me what exactly my favorite afternoon has been in the month of December of 2010 and my answer, Saturday December 4, but why this particular day? There really hasn’t been too many days in the brand new month, so what exactly makes this particular date so darn special?

My answer … the Massachusetts high school football Super Bowls.

This was a special day for many parents, teachers, staff members, principals, friends and family because it is a moment that will be cherished and remembered for years and years.

Just think about the history of this exact day in five, 10, 20 or 35 years to these young men. They will always remember their particular game, no matter what the scoreboard read once the final whistle was blown, but the fact that they had the opportunity to be apart of a special and fun morning, afternoon and evening.

Although, what will be remembered most from this day?

Was it that a specific team lost or won a certain piece of hardware?

Was it that many young men who chose to play football had the chance to be able to play in a so-called “Super Bowl?”

Does it have anything to do with Gillette Stadium?

You know I want to say Gillette Stadium, but I can’t forget about those four schools that participated in the Division IV and IV-A Super Bowls at Curry College on Saturday too. They deserve the same amount of love and recognition as the Division I, II and III schools.

Yet, this particular day is not all about winning trophies or being crowned division champions, but instead, celebrating hard work, teamwork, overcoming challenges and of course, playing football for pride, not dollar bills.

One athlete, who happened to be a member of the Everett High School football team, Jonathan DiBiaso, was thrilled to say how much he enjoyed his team’s victory on Saturday because it was due to teamwork rather than certain individual efforts.

“I am extremely proud of them, it was a team (effort), hundred percent. No individual stars (throughout the game). It’s just overall a great team effort,” said DiBiaso.

Sure, “effort” maybe the word, according to DiBiaso, but that is what a team does, they put in extra effort to go the distance and make it to a special day like this one.

Even the head coach of St. John’s Preparatory in Danvers, had more to say about his team’s performance than his coaching abilities.

“I have a great group of kids (and) I’m going to miss going to practice on Monday with these kids,” said head coach Jim O’Leary.

The Northeast head coach of the Division IV-A champions, Don Heres, alluded to how this win was not too important to him, but his young men that he calls his football team.

“It’s all about them. It’s all about them. I love it, but it is more about them, not (about) me,” said Heres.

High school sports have and will always be about the friendships, teamwork and extra efforts that young men and women put in on a daily basis. Sure, playing on a stage such as Gillette Stadium is great, but what it all comes down to is the fact that this special day is remembered for years and years by these players, coaches, families, friends, school administrators and of course, spectators.

If you have ever had the chance to take in a few hours of a high school sports event or even had the chance to attend this particular day at Gillette Stadium, then you may know how much excitement and energy is in the air, not just in the press box. Yet, these are special moments, memories and days that will always be remembered and certainly, I will remember 10 years from now how special this day was to not myself, but for the coaches and players who demonstrated that high school athletics is not about championships, rings or medals, but playing for the love of the game.

 

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