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Mass. Boys HS: Division 1 Pre-Season Top 20 – BC High Begins Quest For Third Straight State Title

Massachusetts Boys Division 1 Top 20

1BC High2032
3Pope Francis1823
8Austin Prep1663
12St. Mary's1651
13St. John's Prep1383
14Catholic Memorial1481

The tradition is in place, an expectation of excellence established. Players come and players go but it seems of little consequence to No. 1 BC High (20-3-2). Coach John Flaherty’s clubs are always ready to rock and roll.

The two-time defending Division 1A Tournament and Catholic Conference champion Eagles return 14 players and remain perched atop our HNIB News pre-season Massachusetts Boys Division 1 Top 20 to start this season. You know, you have to beat the champ to be the champ…

Can No. 2 Xaverian (17-8-1) recreate its magic from a season ago when it dazzled with three wins in the 1A? The Hawks boast perhaps the premier forward pair in the state in seniors Ryan Pomposelli (17-20-37) and Matty Ryan (18-22-40).

BC High is the defending Division 1A champion

No. 3 Pope Francis (18-2-3) may be bit younger than the teams that endured 1A OT title game losses to B.C. High each of the past two years but the Cardinals possess a difference-maker in junior goalie Ben Zaranek, a three-year starter.

Among the Publics, No. 4 Hingham (19-6-1) is perhaps the best at re-loading year in and year out. Although 14 seniors graduated from last year’s 1A semifinal squad, coach Tony Messina anticipates this club will be just fine.

No. 5 Framingham (17-5-2) is aiming for a return to the 1A Tournament. Senior Jake Handy, a Bay State Conference all-star last season, posted gaudy 1.35/.933 numbers and gives the Flyers the chance to win every time out.

Expect No. 6 Arlington (15-5-3), the Middlesex League Liberty Division champion, to make a big push. Four-year senior forward Anthony Messuri, a Northeastern commit, and goalie Nate Brennan are key cogs for Coach John Messuri’s Spy Ponders.

Defending Division One State Champ No. 7 Duxbury (22-5-0) of the Patriot League may actually have arrived a year early last season under veteran coach John Blake. A dozen seniors return from that team looking for a repeat.

No. 8 Austin Prep (16-6-3), a perennial 1A qualifier, is chasing its ninth consecutive Catholic Central Large crown. Senior captain and four-year varsity regular Chris Roy leads the way for coach Bill Pappas.

Perhaps no team has more depth than No. 9 Braintree (13-7-1) of the Bay State Hegert Division. The Wamps welcome back 21 players, including 10 forwards.

New coach Gino Khachadourian takes the reins for No.10 Winchester (17-8-0), a State Finalist last season. Senior forward Ryan McCarthy and junior goalie Robert DiVincenzo should rank among the very best at their positions in D1.

No. 11 Burlington (14-8-2), the Middlesex League’s Freedom Division champion, welcomes back 16 players including standout senior forward Ryan O’Halloran (46 points).

No. 12 St. Mary’s (16-5-1) returns 18 players with varying degrees of experience and is especially deep on defense.

No. 13 St. John’s Prep (13-8-3) of the Catholic Conference is younger than usual but is generally a quick study under veteran coach Kris Hanson and his staff.

No. 14 Catholic Memorial (14-8-1) will rely on impressive depth and features junior Captain Will MacNeil up front and senior Captain Kevin McCarthy on the blue line.

No. 15 Marshfield (14-7-2) will play an Independent schedule this season before joining the Patriot League a year from now.

No. 16 Melrose (12-5-5) of the Middlesex Freedom, No. 17 Reading (12-7-4) of the Middlesex Liberty, No. 18 Wellesley (12-8-2) of the Bay State Carey,  No. 19 Needham (14-8-1) ,the Bay State Herget champ; and No. 20 Andover (13-7-2) of the MVC/DCL One round out the preseason rankings.

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Kevin joined HNIB in 1990 and is a Senior Writer and Director of the Northern New England and Mass/R.I. High School Division camps. A veteran editor/writer of 40 years in the print and digital mediums, he has edited and produced original content and coordinated production for local and global publications and websites. He holds degrees from Merrimack College and Boston University and won multiple industry awards as Sports Editor of The Daily News of Newburyport and News Editor of The Amesbury News. He is the 2016 recipient of the North Shore Lifetime Commitment From the Community award presented by Moynihan Lumber and a 2017 Newburyport High School Wall of Fame inductee. He resides with his family in Portsmouth, NH. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @kdoyle40
Kevin Doyle
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