Two receivers back at Bridgewater State
Chris Constantine’s 2012 season was essentially over before it started. The leading receiver for Bridgewater State University the previous two seasons and former Hingham High stalwart suffered a knee injury in a scrimmage against Curry last August.
Fortunately, Stoughton High grad Matt Green stepped forward, snaring 32 catches for 482 yards and six touchdowns — team highs among the receiving corps — and was a key to the Bears’ 9-2 run as the team received an at-large berth to the NCAA Division 3 playoffs.
Constantine’s return and Green’s breakout season are a plus for head coach Chuck Denune who will have both seniors in his starting lineup Saturday when Bridgewater opens its season at Salve Regina University.
“Greenie can play as a slot receiver or as a wideout. He’s a threat either way,’’ said Denune, whose team was picked to finish second in the inaugural MASCAC football conference by the league’s coaches.
“Chris tried to tough it out [last season], but after playing pretty well in our opener against Springfield he just couldn’t go at full speed and eventually needed surgery,’’ added Denune. “But he’s looked really good in camp and hasn’t lost a step. Having both of them back gives us a lot of options. They both have high football IQs. It’s going to be pretty interesting.’’
In addition to their sure hands as receivers, Green and Constantine also carry the ball on option pitchouts and sweeps, and return punts.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound Green rushed 15 times for 105 yards and a touchdown last season. Constantine, a 5-foot-9, 195-pound senior, averaged nearly 4 yards per carry his freshman and sophomore seasons and has seven career TDs — five as a receiver.
At Hingham High, Constantine earned Globe All-Scholastic and Super 26 Team honors in 2007 when he scored 30 touchdowns and rushed for more than 2,000 yards when the Harbormen were runners-up in the Division 2A Super Bowl.
Constantine attended Milford Academy for one semester and participated in spring football at the University of Massachusetts, but decided not to play after head coach Don Brown left in 2008 to become defensive coordinator at Maryland.
“D-1 football wasn’t for me, but coming to Bridgewater definitely got me excited about playing again,’’ said the 23-year-old Constantine, a football and wrestling captain in high school who also played baseball for the Harbormen. “Being out last year was tough. It was hard seeing my teammates go so far from the sideline, but I feel great making my cuts and I’ve been cleared to play without a brace if I want to.’’
At preseason practices, Green has been lining up mainly as a wideout and Constantine as a slot receiver and in the backfield.
“I sat in a chair at practices before I had to have surgery last September and tried to help Greenie out when he took my place,’’ said Constantine, who has yet to make a decision whether to return next season via a medical waiver. “But he picked things up pretty quickly. Most of our offense is back, and I’m excited to be back with them.’’
Green, a three-sport athlete and Hockomock League football all-star in high school, was redshirted at Dean College in 2010. He was in the wideout rotation as a Bridgewater freshman and then blossomed last year. He will still have a year of eligibility for the 2014 season.
“I didn’t have much time to prepare for taking Chris’s place in the slot after the Springfield game,’’ said Green, “but Chris really helped me that week. He’s a very good player and a veteran who all the receivers can go to any time for advice.’’
Green sparkled in his new role when the Bears defeated visiting University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, 31-6, in last year’s second game. He opened the scoring with a 47-yard reception and closed it with a 15-yarder while compiling 115 yards on five catches.
He had four catches for 68 yards the entire 2011 campaign.
“You never forget your first touchdown. It was a slant and go and that game gave me confidence for the rest of the year,’’ said Green. “Now with Chris back, we have the potential and talent to make the playoffs again, but we have to get better every practice and every game and keep our focus.’’
Tate Doehler (Lakeville/Apponequet Regional), a 230-pound defensive end, and Mike Duran (Bridgewater-Raynham), a 275-pound offensive tackle, are also returning starters.
Doehler recorded 31 tackles and 4.5 sacks last season and was named to the New England Football Conference Bogan Division second team.
“Tate plays with great intensity and brings everything you could want to his position, and Mike has the potential to be an all-conference pick,’’ Denune said.
Here and there
Foxborough’s Scott Congdon qualified for the US Mid-Amateur golf championship with a three-under 69 last Monday at Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield. Congdon, 27, had four birdies, including holes 15, 16, and 18, to take the second of three spots. The Mid-Am, for players age 25 and older with a handicap not exceeding 3.4, will take place Oct. 5-10 at The Country Club of Birmingham in Alabama. . . .
Junior Deb Langley of Abington (South Shore Vocational) has been named cocaptain of the women’s volleyball team at Massachusetts Maritime Academy, which opens its season Thursday at Anna Maria College. A two-year starter, she had a team-best 109 set assists and 37 service aces last season. . . .
The Massachusetts State Track Coaches preseason high school cross-country top 20 poll includes Boys’ Large: Mansfield (9) and Oliver Ames (15); Boys’ Small: Pembroke (1); Girls’ Large: Whitman-Hanson (9), Weymouth (14), Hingham (19), and Oliver Ames (20); Girls’ Small: Ursuline Academy (4), Westwood (16), West Bridgewater (17), and Norwell (19).