Swampscott’s Michael Walsh and Marblehead’s Will Quigley have met as adversaries on the football field every Thanksgiving morning since they began high school. Walsh was the star quarterback for the Big Blue, Quigley a running back and the Magicians’ all-time leading scorer.
They both lined up as safeties when not leading their high-powered offenses. They will continue playing defense in college at Brown University, side by side for the first time, along with four other Bay State natives.
Andrew Coke (Andover), Will Twyman (Lincoln-Sudbury), and Concord-Carlisle’s Henry Bumpus and Andrew Vanderwilden are expected to join the Bears. Today is the first day they can make their verbal commitments official by signing National Letters of Intent. Everett will hold a press conference Friday as record-setting quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso will announce his decision between prep school and the Ivy League.
“I think that’s going to be awesome,’’ Walsh said. “Especially Will [Quigley], I’ve played against him for four years now. I think going out there we can both push each other and make each other better. Also I know Andrew Coke a little bit too, he’s a great player, they’re all great players. I’m really excited to get to play with them.’’
Walsh, the Cape Ann/Northeastern Conference MVP, racked up 3,150 all-purpose yards (2,200 passing) last season with 39 touchdowns (25 passing), and 40 tackles with two interceptions as a safety. Quigley scored 20 touchdowns on 1,550 all-purpose yards, and his four interceptions gave him 11 for his career.
The Bears currently have 12 players from Massachusetts on their roster.
“There’s going to be a special bond between kids who are coming from the state,’’ Walsh said. “The coach [Phil Estes] said they had a lot of Massachusetts kids a couple years ago and he said they had a really strong bond also after four years. That’s what I’m hoping for next year.’’
Bumpus, last season’s Dual County Small MVP, said it was strange playing against Twyman in a 27-0 win last season knowing they would be teammates at Brown, but embraces the opportunity to play with him.
“I think it will be good because it will be easy to relate to them,’’ Bumpus said. “I think that will help. Not to say that playing with kids from other states will be difficult, but I think it will be nice to have kids from your home state to play with.’’
Coke scored 48 times for the Golden Warriors in the last two seasons alone and finished his career 2 rushing yards shy of 3,000. Twyman finished with 117 tackles at linebacker last season in the Warriors’ run to the Division 1A Super Bowl. Vanderwilden, a 6-foot-2-inch, 250-pound center, paved the way for the Patriots’ lethal running attack.
Any one of them could find themselves lined up against BC High’s Jameson McShea, the 2011 Division 1 Player of the Year, at some point this fall; the 6-4, 240-pounder verbally committed to Harvard.
McShea only caught two passes as a tight end for the Eagles this season, but it was his ability to block that caught the eye of recruiters as he paved the way for one of the most potent running attacks in the state. He finished with 68 tackles as a defensive end, 12 for loss.
The well-chronicled journey of four Catholic Memorial players will come to an end today with a signing ceremony in West Roxbury for Armani Reeves (Ohio State), Camren Williams (Ohio State), A.J. Doyle (UMass) and Donovan Henry (Northeastern for track) . . . Billerica quarterback Nick LaSpada will attend a year of prep school, with Taft, Phillips Exeter, and Phillips Andover all possibilities. LaSpada missed the last two games of the season with heart and lung issues, but his family reports he’s improving and gaining weight . . . Barnstable QB DJ Crook, who also had his season interrupted by injury, is considering prep school. Crook has been accepted at Worcester Academy . . . Pope John’s Malcolm Brown has narrowed his choices to Bentley or Framingham State . . . Cathedral’s Geeavontie Griffith will attend Bridgton Academy.