PLAYERS TO WATCH
Shadrach Abrokwah , St. John’s High: With a 40-yard-dash time of under 4.5 seconds and a 5-foot-9, 210-pound frame that’s hard to bring down, the senior running back will be at the heart of the Pioneers’ hurry-up offense.
Jon Baker , Millis-Hopedale: The exceptionally athletic 6-foot-3, 300-pound junior guard/defensive tackle has already received scholarship offers from Boston College, University of Connecticut, University of Massachusetts and Harvard.
Brian Carroll , Lincoln-Sudbury Regional: The senior two-way starter (at running back and safety) proved to have a nose for the ball when he snared eight interceptions during the Warriors’ run last fall to the Division 1A Super Bowl.
Troy Flutie , Natick: After accounting for more than 3,000 yards of offense and 32 touchdowns through the air and on the ground last season, the junior quarterback — with the help of his favorite receiver, sophomore Brian Dunlap — will spark the Red Hawks’ high-octane offense once again.
Zack Hume , Nashoba Regional: The 6-foot-2, 230-pound inside linebacker amassed more than 100 tackles over the last two seasons, and last fall helped coach Ken Tucker's team to an undefeated 13-0 record and the Central Mass. Division 2 Super Bowl title.
PERRY'S TOP 10
(With final 2011 record)
1. Nashoba Regional (13-0)
2. St. John's High (8-5)
3. Natick (9-2)
4. King Philip Regional (9-2)
5. Needham (9-4)
6. Lincoln-Sudbury Regional (11-2)
7. Acton-Boxborough Regional (7-4)
8. Millis-Hopedale (10-2)
9. Holliston (9-2)
10. Concord-Carlisle (13-0)
GAME OF THE WEEK
Norwood at Needham, Friday, 7 p.m.: The Needham Rockets advanced to the Division 1 Super Bowl last season behind then-sophomore quarterback Ryan Charter, who was pressed into service because of injury. Now with the reins of the offense from the outset, the junior signal-caller — along with senior receiver Nico Panepinto and tackle Mitch Hildreth — will try to get his team off to a strong start in its first test against the Mustangs.
WEEK 1 SLATE
(All games at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted)
Friday: Shawsheen Valley Tech at Arlington Catholic, 6:30 p.m.; Belmont at Melrose; Nauset at Dover-Sherborn; Norwood at Needham; Brookline at Natick; Millis-Hopedale at Wayland; Randolph at Weston; Newton South at Hopkinton; Stoughton at Holliston; Hingham at Medway; Watertown at Bellingham; Arlington at Wilmington; Lexington at Wakefield; Franklin at Milford; King Philip Regional at Dover, N.H.; Woburn at Acton-Boxborough Regional; Marlborough at Central Catholic; Minuteman Tech at Nashoba Valley Tech; Ashland at Marian; Wachusett Regional at Nashoba Regional; Gardner at Hudson; Shrewsbury at Auburn; Maynard-Bromfield at Groton-Dunstable Regional; Uxbridge at Ayer-Shirley Regional.
Saturday: Framingham at Wellesley, noon; Waltham at Newton North, 1 p.m.; Lincoln-Sudbury Regional at Tewksbury, 1:30; Tri-County Tech at Blackstone Valley Tech, 2; Holy Name at St. John’s, 2:30; Concord-Carlisle at Beverly, 3; Medfield at Oliver Ames, 4.
Sunday: St. Clement at Keefe Tech, 3:30 p.m.