Tag: Wayland

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. 

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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Stay connected with our New England football coverage on Twitter at @Noontime_FB

Mass. High Schools: MIAA Lacrosse State Tournament Pairings

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax 

The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) has unveiled the pairings for the high school state lacrosse tournament with preliminary or first-round games beginning next week.

Below are links to the various regional brackets, as well as each section’s top seeds, as well.

We’ll be keeping you posted on the tournament with daily scoreboards and tweets, so make sure to stay connected with @NoontimeLax for our postseason coverage.


MIAA Boy’s Lacrosse Pairings 

D1 North | Top Seed: St. John’s Prep (Danvers)

D2 North | Top Seed: Winchester 

 D3 North | Top Seed: Pentucket 

 D1 South | Hingham

 D2 South | Hanover

D3 South | Norwell 

D2 Central/East | Medfield

D2 Central/West | Algonquin

D3 Central/East | Dover-Sherborn

D3 Central/West | Grafton 


MIAA Girl’s Lacrosse Pairings

East Division 1 | Walpole 

East Division 2 | Wayland 

North Division 1 | Reading 

North Division 2 | Ipswich 

South Division 1 | Westwood 

South Division 2 | Martha’s Vineyard 

Central/West Division 1 | Longmeadow 

Central/West Division 2 | Bromfield


Stay connected with @NoontimeLax on Twitter for in-game updates to scores and news from the 2019 MIAA state tournament! 

Mass. High Schools: Eastern Mass. Lacrosse Rankings (May 28th, 2019)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax 

The final week of the Massachusetts high school lacrosse regular season has arrived, which means its time to unveil our latest Noontime Sports Eastern Massachusetts poll.

Our next poll will be our last – it will be posted at the conclusion of the state tournament, which is scheduled to begin Sunday, June 2nd.

As always, stay connected with our lacrosse coverage on Twitter by following @NoontimeLax, as well as @Noontime_HS for additional high school sports coverage! 


Eastern Massachusetts Boy’s Lacrosse Top 10 | Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

  1. Lincoln-Sudbury
  2. Hingham
  3. Acton-Boxborough
  4. St. John’s Prep (Danvers)
  5. Winchester
  6. Concord-Carlisle
  7. Medfield
  8. Xaverian Brothers
  9. Duxbury
  10. Franklin

On The Rise: Boston College High School, Central Catholic, Cohasset, Dover-Sherborn, Foxborough, Hanover, Hopkinton, Marblehead, Marshfield, Melrose, Natick, Needham, Newton North, Norwell, Reading, Silver Lake, Wayland, Westford Academy, and Westwood. 


Eastern Massachusetts Girl’s Lacrosse Top 10 | Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

  1. Westwood
  2. Walpole
  3. Notre Dame Academy (Hingham)
  4. Franklin
  5. Cohasset
  6. Needham
  7. Wellesley
  8. Norwell
  9. Concord-Carlisle
  10. Wayland

On The Rise: Braintree, Chelmsford, Dover-Sherborn, Duxbury, Foxborough, Hanover, Ipswich, Lexington, Lincoln-Sudbury, Manchester-Essex, Marblehead, Natick, Newburyport, North Andover, Reading, and Swampscott. 

Mass. High Schools Lax Notebook: Monday’s Eastern Mass. Rankings & Links

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @Noontime_HS 

A new week of high school lacrosse in Eastern Massachusetts is set to begin later today (and this evening), so let’s unveil our latest boys and girl’s lacrosse Top 10 polls, along with some news and links from across the world wide web.


Eastern Massachusetts Boy’s Lacrosse Top 10 | Monday, May 6th, 2019

  1. Lincoln-Sudbury
  2. Acton-Boxborough
  3. Medfield
  4. Xaverian Brothers
  5. Hingham
  6. Concord-Carlisle
  7. Winchester
  8. Duxbury
  9. St. John’s Prep (Danvers)
  10. Reading

On The Rise: Austin Prep, Bishop Fenwick, Boston College High School, Cohasset, Dover-Sherborn, Franklin, Foxborough, Marshfield, Melrose, Natick, Needham, Newton North, Norwell, St. Mary’s (Lynn), Wayland, and Westwood. 


Eastern Massachusetts Girl’s Lacrosse Top 10 | Monday, May 6th, 2019

  1. Notre Dame Academy (Hingham)
  2. Westwood
  3. Walpole
  4. Needham
  5. Norwell
  6. Lincoln-Sudbury
  7. Franklin
  8. Wellesley
  9. Concord-Carlisle
  10. Manchester-Essex

On The Rise: Chelmsford, Cohasset, Dover-Sherborn, Duxbury, Ipswich, King Phillip, Lexington, Marblehead, Natick, Newton North, North Andover, Reading, and Wayland 


News & Links from the Eastern Massachusetts Lacrosse World 


Stay connected with Noontime Sports’ Lacrosse coverage by following @NoontimeLax on Twitter!