Mass. High Schools: Games To Watch (Week Five)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The fifth week of the Massachusetts high school football season began a few days ago – Rivers was edged by Hamden (Conn.), while Kipp Academy and Stoughton scored wins last night.

This evening, we have some very intriguing (and important) matchups to follow, as well as some games to watch tomorrow, too.

Here are some predictions for games both today and tomorrow, including our Noontime Sports Game of the Week between Masconomet and North Reading.


Game of the Week: Masconomet at North Reading (Friday, Oct. 4th at 7 p.m.): The Hornets have been very impressive this season, scoring recent wins against Hamilton-Wenham (41-15) and Newburyport (28-14). North Reading quarterback Jack Keller will be challenged against a Chieftains defense, which is yielding an average of 8.6 points per game. Masconomet halfback Will Hunter will be the key for the Red and White as they look to score an important Cape Ann League (CAL) road win. PREDICTION: Masconomet over North Reading

Millis at Medway (Friday, Oct. 4th at 3:45 p.m.): After falling to Dover-Sherborn one week ago, look for Brian Kane and the Mohawks to find a way to bounce back on the road against the Mustangs of Medway. PREDICTION: Millis over Medway 

Wellesley at Natick (Friday, Oct. 4th at 4 p.m.): A pair of 4-0 teams are set to kick-off at 4 p.m. this afternoon- look for Natick to make one or two extra plays down the stretch s to secure a hard-fought and important conference win against the Raiders. PREDICTION: Natick over Wellesley 

Wakefield at Burlington (Friday, Oct. 4th at 4:30 p.m.): Burlington was impressive one week ago against Watertown – look for a similar effort this afternoon against Wakefield. PREDICTION: Burlington over Wakefield 

Medford at Everett (Friday, Oct. 4th at 5 p.m.): Medford has certainly shown improvements the past few weeks, but this will be a tough conference test for the Blue and White. PREDICTION: Everett over Medford 

Waltham at Cambridge (Friday, Oct. 4th at 7 p.m.): Carl-Heinz Renaudin highlighted the Hawks’ win last week against Newton South and will certainly be a player to watch against a Falcons squad that is eager to return to the win column. PREDICTION: Waltham over Cambridge 

Ipswich at Somerville (Saturday, Oct. 5th at 2:30 p.m.): Give the Highlanders credit for facing some tough competition in the first month. That experience should help them find a way to tame the Tigers of Ipswich at Dilboy Stadium. PREDICTION: Somerville over Ipswich 

Malden at Hamilton-Wenham (Saturday, Oct. 5th at 3 p.m.): Both teams enter Saturday’s mid-afternoon clash seeking a win. The Generals have the upper-hand in this match-up, but look for the Golden Tornadoes to provide them with some challenges in all four quarters. PREDICTION: Hamilton-Wenham over Malden. 

Holliston at Westwood (Saturday, Oct. 5th at 3 p.m.): Holliston has looked very impressive in its first three games and should continue its recent momentum against Westwood on Saturday. PREDICTION: Holliston over Westwood 

St. John Paul II at Matignon/St. Joseph (Saturday, Oct. 5th at 7 p.m.): This is a must-win for the Warriors, who fell to Austin Prep last week on the road. St. John Paul cracked the win column last Friday with a 28-14 win over CathedralPREDICTION:. St. John Paul II over Matignon/St. Joseph 

Mass. High Schools: Games to Watch In Week Three (Sept. 19-21st)

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Week three of the Massachusetts high school football season resumes today with Old Colony facing Keefe Tech which means its time to unveil our weekly games to watch and predictions, too.

Let’s see how we do this week – we have struggled the past few weeks with picks, but we think we have some good selections for today, tomorrow and Saturday!


Mass. High Schools: Games to Watch | Week Three

Old Colony at Keefe Tech (Thursday, Sept. 19th): The Cougars took care of business last week, defeating Avon-Holbrook 41-6 in their season-opener. Look for their week two effort to continue against Keefe Tech in Framingham. PREDICTION: Old Colony 28, Keefe Tech 17 

Newton North at Needham (Friday, Sept. 20th): This is a must-win for the Rockets, which have dropped back-to-back games against Natick and Tewksbury. Newton North’s Andrew Landry enjoyed a successful to start to his final season with the Tigers by tallying five touchdowns in a 33-0 win over Waltham last Saturday. PREDICTION: Newton North 30, Needham 14 

Latin Academy at Boston Latin (Friday, Sept. 20th): The Wolfpack are seeking their first win of the 2019 season, while the Dragons of Latin Academy enter Friday’s tilt with some momentum following a 16-14 win last week over Tech Boston. LA’s Robert Marek will be a player to watch in this game. PREDICTION: Latin Academy 21, Boston Latin 14 

Lynnfield at Medford (Friday, Sept. 20th): The Pioneers enjoyed a successful start to their 2019 season with a 43-7 win over Newburyport. Look for that momentum to continue against the Mustangs in Medford. PREDICTION: Lynnfield 30, Medford 10 

Millis at Lowell Catholic (Friday, Sept. 20th): Lowell Catholic enters week three as winners in their last two contests. They should continue that trend on Friday – look for a big game from Ryan PenrosePREDICTION: Lowell Catholic 21, Millis 10 

Watertown at Cambridge (Friday, Sept. 20th): The Raiders scored multiple points in the first half last week, while their defense provided a slew of challenges for the Arlington Catholic offense. Watertown will need both its offense and defense to duplicate its performance from last week against a Cambridge team that is averaging 32.5 points per game. PREDICTION: Watertown 30, Cambridge 22 

Malden at Somerville (Friday, Sept. 20th): Greater Boston League (GBL) play begins in Somerville on Friday – this is a tough matchup for a Golden Tornadoes squad that will tasked with finding ways to slow down Jamir Vernet and Louis MontinaPREDICTION: Somerville 32, Malden 10 

Lynn Classical at Danvers (Friday, Sept. 20th): The Falcons return to the gridiron after starting their season with 41-20 victory over Masconomet. Lynn Classical has faced some real challenges during the past two weeks and is eager to finally crack the win column. PREDICTION: Lynn Classical 35, Danvers 32 

North Quincy at Westwood (Friday, Sept. 20th): Jake Pfaff and the Wolverines used a total team effort to beat Medway last week. Look for Pfaff and company to continue last week’s success against North Quincy on Friday evening. PREDICTION: Westwood 28, North Quincy 13 

Walpole at Wellesley (Saturday, Sept. 21st): The Rebels look to bounce back from a 31-7 setback to Natick last week, while Wellesley looks to continue its early-season momentum. The Raiders’ defense has yielded 6.5 points through two contests. PREDICTION: Wellesley 22, Walpole 20

Lexington at Concord-Carlisle (Saturday, Sept. 21st): The Patriots’ special teams seemed to be the difference a week against Oliver Ames. Will they need that unit again against the Minutemen? PREDICTION: C-C 28, Lexington 21 

Medway at Norwood (Saturday, Sept. 21st): Look for Norwood to deliver first-year coach Manny Lopes his first win with the Mustangs. PREDICTION: Norwood 28, Medway 14 

Mass. High Schools: Week One Football Picks

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

The first week of the Massachusetts High School football season is here – it technically began last night with a few games – but before a few more contests commence later today, let’s dish out (and share) our predictions for week one.

As always, stay connected with our Massachusetts high school sports coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_HS


Week One Football Picks: Friday, Sept. 6th, 2019 

Norwood at Walpole (4 p.m.): A new era of Mustangs football begins this afternoon when first-year coach Manny Lopes leads Norwood down the road to face the Rebels in an intriguing non-conference clash. PREDICTION: Walpole 21, Norwood 10

Ashland at Westwood (4:30 p.m.): The Wolverines finished 4-7 last fall, but return some key players on both sides of the ball, including some talented seniors that should help Westwood squeak out an opening day win. PREDICTION: Westwood 21, Ashland 18 

Springfield Central at Everett (5 p.m.): Everett returns a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, which should help the Tide roll to an opening day victory. PREDICTION: Everett 28, Springfield Central 20 

Needham at Natick (6 p.m.): The Rockets will once again be a team to watch in the Bay State Conference (BSC) this fall, but face a challenging week one test against a Natick team that will be led by quarterback Will LedermanPREDICTION: Natick 28, Needham 17 

Acton-Boxborough at Lexington (6 p.m.): A new era begins in Lexington with coach Mike Hill, who is bullish about his team’s size and speed, which should help the Minutemen claim an opening day victory. PREDICTION: Lexington 24, A-B 14 

Wellesley at Weymouth (7 p.m.): Matthew Maiona and the Raiders offense should have no problem locating the Weymouth end zone a few times this evening. PREDICTION: Wellesley 28, Weymouth 14

Dedham at East Bridgewater (7 p.m.): Both teams return just a few starters from last season, which makes this an intriguing match-up to follow. Dedham is coming off one of its best seasons in program history and will most certainly lean on its returners in this one. PREDICTION: Dedham 14, East Bridgewater 10 

Malden Catholic at Winchester (7 p.m.): First-year coach Bill Raycraft will lead a Lancers squad into its initial contest of the 2019 season with hopes of utilizing its speed on both sides of the ball to secure a week one victory. PREDICTION: Malden Catholic 21, Winchester 14 

Boston Latin at Cambridge (7 p.m.): The Wolfpack will pride itself on its experience this fall, which should help Boston Latin score an opening day win in Cambridge. Matt Susich will be one of a few players to watch this evening – the senior will play quarterback and linebacker for the Wolfpack this season.


As always, stay connected with our Massachusetts high school sports coverage on Twitter by following @Noontime_HS. 

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

MIAA Lacrosse State Championship Schedule and Predictions

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports & @NoontimeLax

Due to Mother Nature, all five Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) state lacrosse championship games will occur tomorrow, Friday, June 21st.

Babson College will be the site for three games, including the MIAA D3 boy’s lacrosse state final between Dover-Sherborn and Grafton at 3 p.m.

Following D-S and Grafton, Longmeadow and Notre Dame Academy (Hingham) will square-off in the D1 girl’s lacrosse state finals at 5 p.m. followed by the D2 state championship between Cohasset and Manchester-Essex at 7 p.m.

Veterans Memorial Stadium, the new home of the Boston Cannons, will host a pair of boy’s state championship games, beginning with the D2 state finals between Medfield and Winchester at 1 p.m. The D1 final between Lincoln-Sudbury and Hingham will take place at 4 p.m.

Here are our predictions for all five contests – remember to stay connected tomorrow for updates from all five games on Twitter by following @NoontimeLax.

MIAA D1 Boy’s Lacrosse: Lincoln-Sudbury over Hingham. The Warrior scored some impressive wins over the past few weeks, including a 10-6 victory in the MIAA D1 North finals against St. John’s Prep. Earlier this season, the Warriors beat the Harbormen in the Coaches Cup Finals and should once again find a way past Hingham in the state championship.

MIAA D2 Boy’s Lacrosse: Winchester over Medfield. The Sachems averaged 15.33 goals per game in a trio of MIAA D2 North postseason contests – they netted 17 in their quarterfinal win over Wakefield – and recently scored a very impressive 10-3 win over St. John’s (Shrewsbury) in the D2 state semifinals. Medfield was also a team to watch in the D2 East/Central bracket, scoring wins over Concord-Carlisle, Walpole, and Westwood before flexing their muscles against Sandwich with a 21-5 win in the state semifinals. This has the making of an exciting contest that could come down to the final possession.

MIAA D3 Boy’s Lacrosse: Dover-Sherborn over Grafton. The Raiders and Indians will square-off in the title game for the second time since 2016 and third since 2015. D-S has won both match-ups against the Indians and will certainly rely on Pierce Gregory to lead the Raiders to hopefully their final victory of the 2019 season. Henry Kenney will also be a player to watch on D-S, as well, but the Raiders must find a way to slow down Grafton’s Matt Gilliatt, who located the back of the net six times in his team’s state semifinal victory against Dracut.

MIAA D1 Girl’s Lacrosse: Notre Dame Academy over Longmeadow. Postseason wins over Needham and Westwoodalong with a recent state semifinal victory against Walpole has provided the Cougars with the momentum they will need to slow down the Lancers, who are seeking their first state title since 2015 (beat Westwood, 10-9, in double-overtime). NDA last captured the D1 state championship in 2013 when they beat Longmeadow, 13-10, and will need a solid effort from their senior class, including Madison Ahern and Kelsey Kenney.

MIAA D2 Girl’s Lacrosse: Cohasset over Manchester-Essex. Cohasset’s Jane Hansen will attempt to cap her high school career with a state championship before she attempts to lead Northwestern University to a national championship next spring. Hansen and the Skippers have gained some valuable experience this spring by competing against some of the state’s top teams, including Longmeadow, Notre Dame Academy, and Wellesley. That experience should help the Skippers against a talented Hornets squad, which has scored some exciting postseason wins, including a 7-6 win over Newburyport in the D2 North finals and an 11-10 win earlier this week over Bromfield in the state semifinals.