With the introduction of a new state playoff system, a number of high school programs will kick off this season with renewed hope for, and a legitimate shot at, qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in memory.
Ashland (4-7; 2012 record);
Tri-Valley League Small/Division 5
Bay State Carey/Division 1
Middlesex Liberty/Division 1
Dual County Large/Division 2
Middlesex Freedom/Division 4
Player to Watch
Mike Panepinto, Needham:
The shifty running back rushed for 2,085 yards and 26 touchdowns last fall.
Phil Perry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.