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Here is a look at each EMass football team in Division 4 heading into the 2018 season.

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DIVISION 4 NORTH

Boston Latin

Coach: Ray Butler (3rd season). Career: 10-42 (6-16 at Boston Latin).

Last year’s record: 2-9.

Strengths: Offensive line.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Like most teams, it all starts on the line for Boston Latin. Senior Kevin Qi is a three-year starting tackle on the Wolfpacks offensive line and an ominous presence in the trenches. ‘‘Theres a big difference between when hes in there and when hes not in there,’’ Latin coach Ray Butler said. Throw 6-foot-3, 260-pound senior Johan Stavri into the mix on the offensive line and that gives second-year quarterback and senior Devin Vasquez plenty of protection. Senior Paul Curran is moving to running back from tight end, ‘‘based on his athletic ability and depth at that position,’’ according to Butler. Boston Latin has all the pieces of a balanced offense, and Butler said the team will work on consistently executing plays to make sure that translates into wins on the field.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 5 p.m., at O’Bryant

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Burlington

Coach: Dan MacKay (2nd season). Career: 1-10..

Last year’s record: 1-10.

Strengths: Experience.

Concerns: Consistency.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Burlington went through a rebuilding year in 2017 during Dan MacKay’s first season as coach, but he expects the Red Devils to surprise some teams in the Middlesex Freedom this year. Burlington returns 10 defensive starters and nine on offense, including all five offensive linemen. ‘‘We’re going to be much more competitive because of the experience that we have,’’ MacKay said. Junior Khyle Pea returns at quarterback for the second year in a row, as does junior wide receiver Ryan O’Halloran. MacKay is confident in his receivers’ abilities to run routes and work with Pea to produce points in their pro-style spread system. Junior Jake McCauley, is an athletic 6-foot-2, 190-pound outside linebacker. He returns after leading the team with 78 tackles last season.

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Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., vs. Bedford

Dracut

Coach: Jason Rivers (5th season). Career: 12-30..

Last year’s record: 4-6.

Strengths: Skill players.

Concerns: Offensive line.

Offense: Read option

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Dracut’s read option offense may be poised for success this season with a number of returning skill players. Senior quarterback Devin Lambert returns after showing poise and talent in six starts last season. Dracut has an experienced group of receivers, led by seniors Cam McCullough, Joey Petka, Shawn McGuire, Lucas Ibarguan, and junior Jakob Rivers. Seniors Allyn French and Kyle Silva will both see time at running back. Senior Will Peters, who led the Merrimack Valley Conference with 11 sacks in 2017, will anchor both the defensive and offensive lines.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., at Westford

Gloucester

Coach: Tony Zerilli (8th season). Career: 41-35..

Last year’s record: 6-4.

Strengths: Offensive talent.

Concerns: Inexperienced defensive line.

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Gloucester has run the Wing-T offense since 1991 and this year it has the right core of players to continue. Seniors Jan Pea-Ortiz, Marc Smith, and Ryan Argentino all return as a formidable rushing trio for the Fishermen, and theyre protected by senior offensive linemen Joe Ciarametaro, Noah Benson, and Geoff Latanzi up front. Senior James Nelson takes over as starting quarterback. Nelson showed poise late last season taking over for then-injured starter Matt Smith. ‘‘He really stepped up and took control of the offense and thats what youre looking for in a quarterback,’’ coach Tony Zerilli said. Zerilli said that while the offensive line is experienced, the defensive line is not, and that its one of the few areas the team needs to shore up before opening night.

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Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., vs. Revere

Marblehead

Coach: Jim Rudloff (10th season). Career: 81-22..

Last year’s record: 11-1.

Strengths: Speed.

Concerns: Defense.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Magicians lost nine offensive starters and eight on defense from last season’s team that lost to Melrose in the Division 4 North final. Even though Marblehead has 18 seniors, coach Jim Rudloff calls them a ‘‘green’’ group in terms of their inexperience. They’ll improve, but it will be a process. ‘‘You dont want them thinking, you just want them reacting and right now were still in the thinking stage. Our kids can be fast when we get to reacting but were not just there yet,’’ Rudloff said. Senior Chris Gally is at quarterback, returning after he suffered a hamstring injury in Marblehead’s final preseason game last season. Junior Tim Cronin running back/wide receiver is expected to be a key contributor on offense, as is senior wide receiver Jack McGrath. Senior nose guard/defensive tackle Aidan Michaud leads the offensive and defensive lines.

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Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., vs. Triton

Melrose

Coach: Tim Morris (25th season). Career: 176-97-4..

Last year’s record: 13-0.

Strengths: Skill players.

Concerns: Inconsistency, youth.

Offense: Read option

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Even though the defending state champion Red Raiders have won 16 consecutive games dating back to Nov. 4, 2016, coach Tim Morris thwarted any talk of a repeat in training camp. ‘‘We don’t really talk about that or encourage that,’’ Morris said. ‘‘We just try to get better today.’’ One area in which Melrose will have to adjust is the offense. Running back Isaac Seide, who rushed for 22 touchdowns and 1,497 yards and led Melrose to the state title win over Nashoba, has transferred to Everett. The offense’s lone returning starter is senior tackle Dylan Robertson. ‘‘We had two real good tailbacks last year and a good offensive line, so we may have to be a little more versatile offensively and be able to throw it a little more.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., vs. Malden

North Reading

Coach: Eddie Blum (1st season).

Last year’s record: 7-4.

Strengths: Speed.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Eddie Blum takes over as head coach after being the Hornets’ offensive coordinator for the last two seasons. North Reading’s offense averaged 22.2 points per game under Blum in 2017 and the program fell just short of reaching the North sectional final, losing to Melrose, 27-26. The Hornets have plenty of speed and talent among their skill players, a group led by senior Alex D’Ambrosio. He splits time on offense between running back and wide receiver. ‘‘(We’re) trying to put him in space to be able to make plays,’’ Blum said. ‘‘We also have one or two underclassmen backs that can take reps when hes at wide receiver. We just kind of have a nice group that allows us to put him where we need him to be. Senior Matt Solecki returns from injury to start at quarterback. Senior Mike Sheridan and junior Sean McCullough will lead the defense.

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Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., vs. Northeast

Revere

Coach: Lou Cicatelli (17th season). Career: 62-99..

Last year’s record: 3-8.

Strengths: Running backs.

Concerns: Offensive line.

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Any team that runs the Wing-T needs a talented set of running backs to successfully execute the offensive game plan and coach Lou Cicatelli believes he has that group this year. Led by senior Darius McNeil, described by Cicatelli as a ‘‘power back,’’ he and juniors Lucas Barboza and Zack Furlong will try to propel the Patriots back to the postseason after missing it for the first time in seven years. Sophomore quarterback Calvin Boudreau is expected to have increasing responsibility in his second year as a starter. ‘‘We like his poise for a young kid,’’ Cicatelli said. ‘‘He’s got a real good understanding of the game.’’ Revere has seven starters returning on defense, led by senior linebacker Zack Carifio.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., at Gloucester

Wakefield

Coach: John Rafferty (1st season). Career: 95-58 record at North Andover (2001-2014)..

Last year’s record: 4-7.

Strengths: Athleticism.

Concerns: Inexperience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Wakefield has John Rafferty at the helm, returning to coach his alma mater where he starred as a running back before playing at Syracuse University. The team he inherits, however, is young. Only four starters one of which plays both offense and defense return for the Warriors, and the team has a brand new offensive line. Senior quarterback Mike Lucey is a three-year starter who leads an athletic offense with senior running back Danny Marinaccio. Marinaccio also plays linebacker. Junior linebacker Rob Fossett and junior safety Michael O’Keefe return for Wakefield’s defense. ‘‘It’s brand new all the way around for the kids and it’s brand new for (the coaching staff) realizing we’re coaching some kids that we’ve never coached before,’’ Rafferty said. ‘‘Its a whole new language for them and as a result its taking some time, but were making some progress.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., vs. Reading

Wayland

Coach: Scott Parseghian (18th season). Career: 114-78..

Last year’s record: 7-4.

Strengths: Skill players.

Concerns: Offensive line.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Wayland was an upstart team last year that had just a few pieces missing to make a long playoff run. Now those pieces are in place. The Warriors return Dual County League Small MVP and senior running back Wellington Pereira, the DCL Small Lineman of the Year in senior Brooks Jones, and 6-foot-2, 210-pound athletic quarterback Mason Bolivar. ‘‘Those are three guys you like to build around,’’ coach Scott Parseghian said. Wayland must replace DCL All-Star linebacker Sean Devlin, but Parseghian expects senior Brian Carmichael to make an impact in that position. The Warriors have a large class of 20 juniors who will get plenty of time on the field and continue to build upon Wayland’s success in 2017.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., at Hopkinton

Wilmington

Coach: Craig Turner (2nd season). Career: 36-18 (8-3 at Wilmington)..

Last year’s record: 8-3.

Strengths: Offensive and defensive line play.

Concerns: Offensive consistency.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Fresh off of their first playoff win in program history a 30-0 quarterfinal victory over Gloucester the Wildcats are poised to build momentum off of that win. Senior Andrew Sullivan takes over at quarterback. He missed the 2017 season due to an ACL tear he suffered during the spring 2017 lacrosse season. Despite the time away, coach Craig Turner likes Sullivans progress. Its good to have him back and for him to be able get in there and learn what we used last year, Turner said. Theres been some growing pains but hes consistently getting better each day and I like the way our offense looks. Offensive tackle Pat McAndrew started only three games last year after suffering a knee injury, but the 6-foot-3, 260-pound junior will be an imposing figure in the trenches. Even though it was only three games as a sophomore, he looks like a completely different kid this year. Hes grown into his body, Turner said. Junior linebacker Bailey Smith and senior defensive end Kyle Kenyon will lead the defense.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., at Shawsheen

DIVISION 4 SOUTH

Dartmouth

Coach: Richard White (15th season). Career: 105-49-3..

Last year’s record: 6-5.

Strengths: Offensive skill players.

Concerns: Inexperienced offensive and defensive lines.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Most teams wouldn’t consider a 6-5 season a ‘‘down year,’’ but coach Richard White will aim to get the Indians back to the point where they’re capable of making a deep playoff run. There’s plenty of talent among a young group and White’s focus is making sure they’re well prepared. ‘‘Camp has been about getting guys to fit into the schemes on offense and defense,’’ White said. Junior quarterback Nolan Ellis is the focal point of the offense, a smart, composed leader who is a dual threat and can use the run option. White likes what he sees from a trio of running backs in senior Dustin Couto, junior Dylan Pacheco, and upstart freshman Javar Williams. Owen Gilbeault, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior will lead inexperienced offensive and defensive lines.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., at Central Catholic

Dighton-Rehoboth

Coach: Dave Moura (2nd season). Career: 4-7..

Last year’s record: 4-7.

Strengths: Senior class.

Concerns: Offensive line.

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Falcons lost by two points to Silver Lake in last season’s Division 4 South quarterfinals, so coach Dave Moura described his team’s collective attitude in one word hungry. That hunger stems from a senior class that has 23 in its group, but only six with varsity experience. ‘‘We’re probably going to see a lot of different people contribute,’’ Moura said. ‘‘It’s nice in that sense that they’re going to be hungry for playing time.’’ D-R lost the lynch pin of its Wing-T system in fullback Dennis Monteiro (18 touchdowns in 2017), but senior Chase Carroll is ready to take that position while seniors Reis Foley and Joe Carrera and sophomore Jaren Ramos will also get carries. D-R has five new players on its offensive line. ‘‘Hopefully they’ll gel pretty quickly,’’ Moura said. Senior defensive tackle Mason Cadorette is a talented and ominous presence at defensive tackle at 6-foot-3 and 255 pounds. He’s getting looks from Stonehill College, Bryant University, and Franklin Pierce University.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., vs. Canton

Hopkinton

Coach: Jim Girard (9th season). Career: 68-43 (57-32 at Hopkinton)..

Last year’s record: 11-1.

Strengths: Senior class.

Concerns: Size on offensive line.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Hillers fell one game short of a trip to Gillette Stadium last season, losing to Melrose, 22-8, in the state semifinals. Coach Jim Girard says there was one reason why they lost that game, and its Hopkinton’s main focus in 2018. ‘‘Our offensive line,’’ Girard said. ‘‘We were undersized and inexperienced and thats what hurt us in the game against Melrose.’’ So the line has been working all offseason, led by senior center Theo Cavallo, to get bigger, faster and stronger. Where the Hillers dont lack is in experience. Twenty seniors return, many of which played on last seasons Division 4 South title team. Senior Ryan Kelleher is back at quarterback and senior Luke D’Aloia is a solid two-way athlete at running back and at defensive back, leading a defense that recorded five shutouts last year. The Hillers have reloaded for another state title run.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., vs. Wayland

Milton

Coach: Steve Dembowski (4th season). Career: 141-74 (27-7 at Milton)..

Last year’s record: 8-2.

Strengths: Senior class, skill players.

Concerns: Physicality.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Last year’s Division 4 South runners-up, the Wildcats have 23 seniors returning and are poised to make a deep playoff run again. Senior quarterback Luke McMenamin returns after throwing for more than 2,000 yards last season. All of Milton’s top skill players are seniors, including wide receivers Ja’mier Woods and Isaiah Woodley, running back/defensive back Smith Charles, and linebacker/offensive lineman Alex Caputo. Despite all the talent, coach Steve Dembowski cited the offensive line and overall toughness as areas in need of improvement. ‘‘We have the makings of a strong, athletic team, but I think we just need to be more physical,’’ he said.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 6 p.m., at Belmont

Nauset

Coach: Bruce Strunk (2nd season). Career: 142-54 (3-8 at Nauset)..

Last year’s record: 3-8.

Strengths: Team cohesion.

Concerns: Late-game energy.

Offense: Single wing

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Depth was an issue for the Warriors last season in coach Bruce Strunk’s inaugural season, but they seem to be rectifying that problem in Year Two. Nauset had 21 players on the first day of practice in 2017. Now that number is at 40. Junior quarterback Bobby Joy will be under center for the second consecutive year. Senior Mac LaBarge will play both ways as running back and linebacker and senior Bobby Freidman will anchor the offensive and defensive lines. While another year of experience may bode well for the Warriors, they’ll be working on staying competitive late in games. ‘‘Last year, we lost five games in the fourth quarter,’’ Strunk said.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 6:30 p.m., vs. Sharon

North Quincy

Coach: Ryan Craig (1st season).

Last year’s record: 4-7.

Strengths: Quarterback, tight end.

Concerns: Youth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Ryan Craig, a 1989 North Quincy grad and former linebacker/running back for the Raiders, makes his debut as head coach with a new staff behind him. Craig was a varsity assistant for the program from 1995-2002. ‘‘We’ve changed the whole atmosphere of the program since we came in,’’ Craig said. ‘‘It’s very upbeat, very positive and (the kids) are buying in.’’ Three-year starter and senior Tim Layden returns at quarterback. Craig expects senior tight end Nelson Wolimjon to be one of Layden’s top targets. Senior running back Wyn Tran, a fast, versatile athlete will be another offensive weapon. Youth and inexperience could be an issue for the Raiders.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 8, 2 p.m., at Silver Lake

Norwood

Coach: Jim Tighe (5th season). Career: 11-33..

Last year’s record: 0-11.

Strengths: Experience, senior leadership.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Mustangs begin their first season in the Tri-Valley Large after moving from the Bay State Conference. Norwood is the second team in as many seasons to defect from the Bay State to the TVL, following Dedham’s lead. However, coach Jim Tighe isnt counting out any of his new leagues opponents, which features the likes of defending Division 4 South champion Hopkinton. ‘‘Some people think its going to be easier but I think it’s going to be just as challenging, if not more challenging,’’ Tighe said. It’s going to be a challenge because we dont know much about them, but theyre just as good as any Bay State team.’’ Senior Marc Murphy will be Norwoods starting quarterback. Senior Abdallah Khalil is a versatile player who will see time at fullback, halfback, and inside linebacker. Juniors Conor Sheehan (offensive line/outside linebacker) and Bryce Jenks (defensive back/running back) will be out for the season. Sheehan has a back injury and Jenks injured his knee outside of football season.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 8, 2:30 p.m., vs. Walpole

Pembroke

Coach: Brian King (4th season). Career: 34-51 (7-26 at Pembroke)..

Last year’s record: 4-7.

Strengths: Offensive line.

Concerns: Defense.

Offense: Pistol

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The top storyline of Pembroke’s season is senior Tommy Brooks’ move from wide receiver to quarterback. His skill set fits well into the Titans’ offensive system and the transition to under center has been a smooth one. ‘‘He’s probably been our best all-around athlete in terms of talent so he’s made a great transition to that position,’’ coach Brian King said. ‘‘His intelligence is a big plus, he understands conceptually what’s going on ... he’s deceptive, he’s elusive.’’ Pembroke has an experienced offensive line protecting Brooks led by seniors Jack Runne, Glen Egan, and Zach Mattie. King will work to get a young defense more experienced and prepared as the season progresses.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., vs. Westwood

Plymouth South

Coach: Scott Fry (15th season). Career: 72-83-1..

Last year’s record: 4-7.

Strengths: Secondary.

Concerns: Passing game.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With two-year starting quarterback Alex Cohen now playing at Anna Maria College, his replacement under center will be in learning mode all season for the Panthers. ‘‘Our passing game really hasnt developed yet, so thats probably going to be an ongoing process throughout the year,’’ coach Scott Fry said. Despite Plymouth Souths 4-7 record last season, the Panthers were competitive in just about every game they played. Four of their seven losses were by 10 points or less. Fry said that the secondary is ‘‘intact from last year,’’ so their passing defense should be one of their hallmarks. Brendan Shortall, who rushed for more than 1,000 yards last season, is expected to be the Panthers’ top offensive player. Seniors Matt Harrington (linebacker/fullback) and junior James Kernan (defensive end/tackle) are also expected to be key contributors.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 6 p.m., vs. Chicopee Comprehensive

Silver Lake

Coach: Chris Digiacomo (4th season). Career: 18-15..

Last year’s record: 6-5.

Strengths: Attitude, effort.

Concerns: Youth, inexperience.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: The Lakers fell just short in the Division 4 South quarterfinals last year, losing 20-18 to Dighton-Rehoboth. This year’s Silver Lake team is a young one, with just nine seniors after losing 17 to graduation. Silver Lake has plenty of depth at the wide receiver position, featuring seniors Bobby Ohlson and Cam Danahy, and juniors Owen Thompson and John Lastennete. Senior Jake Waters moves over from wide receiver to running back. ‘‘We felt like we had a pretty good stable of young receivers so we thought his skill set was a fit there,’’ coach Chris Digiacomo said of Waters. Watch out for junior offensive/defensive lineman Aidan Crone, who checks in at 6-foot-3 and 280 pounds.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 8, 2 p.m., vs. North Quincy

Westwood

Coach: Brad Pindel (2nd season). Career: 19-25 (3-8 at Westwood)..

Last year’s record: 3-8.

Strengths: Experience.

Concerns: Focus.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Wolverines learned new offensive and defensive systems last season in coach Brad Pindel’s first season, but with a year of experience under their belts, they feel ready to compete again in the Tri-Valley Large. Westwood has six returners apiece on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, led by senior offensive/defensive lineman Miles Heesplink. Senior linebacker/wide receiver Braden Loughnane and junior running back/cornerback Colin Fay will also be players to watch.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., at Pembroke