EMass high school football: Players to Watch

Mashpee tailback Devaun Ford is the Globe’s reigning D7 Player of the Year.
Mashpee tailback Devaun Ford is the Globe’s reigning D7 Player of the Year.(FILE/STEVE HAINES/FPOR THE GLOBE)

Anthony Bianchi, Lexington — The program’s record-setting receiver is shifting gears, and positions after three seasons, to quarterback, replacing grad Sal Frelick, the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year now playing baseball at Boston College.

Kyle Cardoza, Falmouth – His coach, Derek Almieda, calls the senior defensive end “one of the better players in the state who can dominate on both sides of the ball.”

Spencer Cassell, Hingham — A Harvard recruit, the 6-foot-6, 240-pound two-way end is a star for a Harbormen squad that has legit hopes of contending for a D3 Super Bowl berth.

Ryan Clemente, North Attleborough — The 6-foot-3, 285-pound senior is a rock on both lines a scrimmage for the Red Rocketeers. He has committed to play at Sacred Heart in the Northeast Conference.


Lucas Ferraro, Xaverian — The 6-foot-2, 270-pound senior is a two-way force in the trenches for the Hawks. He and fellow road grader Grant Laws (6-3, 280) key the ground game. At defensive end, Ferraro is a “game-wrecker” according to Xaverian coach Al Fornaro.

Lucas Folan, Catholic Memorial — The reigning Catholic Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound senior racked up 19 tackles for loss, 12.5 sacks, 51 tackles, and two forced fumbles last season.

Devaun Ford, Mashpee — The Globe’s reigning D7 Player of the Year capped a 1,244-yard, 20-touchdown season with 177 yards in powering the Falcons to their third straight Super Bowl victory. Ford and fellow Globe All-Scholastic Xavier Gonsalves are potent 1-2 punch.

Christian Keeling, West Bridgewater — The reigning Mayflower League MVP piled up 1,486 yards and 22 touchdowns to propel the Wildcats to the playoffs.

Cal Kenney, Lincoln-Sudbury — The 6-foot-3, 265-pound two-way senior was the Dual County League Lineman of the Year in the Warriors’ drive to the Division 2 Super Bowl against King Philip. He fueled a punishing ground game while contributing 32 tackles and a fumble recovery on defense.


Hunter Lane, Georgetown — The son of former Patriots lineman Max Lane is making a name for himself for the Royals. The 6-foot-4 senior end snared 61 catches last season. He has the versatility to play multiple positions on D.

Jake McElroy, North Andover — A true dual threat at QB, the 5-foot-11 senior racked up 1,843 yards and 16 touchdowns through the air last season and 581 yards and 11 TDs on the ground. McElroy and returning All-Scholastic receiver/kicker Gabe DeSouza will be quite a pair.

Ethan Phelps, Whitman-Hanson

The sure-handed signal-caller amassed 2,500 yards and 32 touchdowns (14 passing, 18 rushing) as a junior in leading the Panthers to the D3 playoffs. In 11 starts at safety, he had 50 tackles with four forced fumbles.

Wellington Pereira, Wayland — The senior back/middle linebacker was the 2017 Dual County League Small MVP. The 5-foot-11, 226-pound Pereira rushed 1,006 yards and 16 touchdowns and recorded 55 tackles and four sacks.

Kevin Pyne, Milford — The massive 6-foot-8, 275-pound tackle won a pair of Division 8 Super Bowl titles at Millis. Now the highly-recruited lineman is suiting up for his hometown Scarlet Hawks in the Hockomock League.

Mike Sainristil, Everett All eyes will be on the dynamic 5-foot-10, 175-pound Virginia Tech recruit whenever the Crimson Tide have the ball. A threat in all three phases of the game.


Zach Sanderson, Northeast Tech — The 5-foot-10 senior churned out a school-record 2,109 rushing yards and 208 points (29 TDs, 17 two-point conversions) last fall. He’s a terror in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference and D6.

Billy Silvia, Braintree — Running back, outside linebacker, kicker, returner. There is not much the 5-foot-9, 175-pound senior can not do. He’s the engine that makes the Wamps go.

Matthew Smith, Needham

The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Duke commit is a matchup nightmare at tight end. As a junior, he hauled in 37 balls for 702 yards.

Aidan Sullivan, QB, Scituate – After winning the starting QB in the 2017 preseason, he piloted the Sailors to the first postseason wins in program history. He threw for 23 touchdown passes and 1,990 yards with a 65-percent completion rate.

Jack Webster, King Philip — The senior linebacker will long be remembered in KP lore for his strip sack, leading to the go-ahead field goal against Lincoln-Sudbury as the Warriors repeated as Super Bowl champion. He piled up 46 tackles, 6 sacks, and 2 interceptions.


Craig Larson can be reached at