SUBSCRIBE

2017 Division 3 high school football previews

Globe Staff 

Here is a look at each EMass football team in Division 3 heading into the 2017 season.

DIVISION 3 NORTH

Arlington

Coach: Ryan Gendron (3rd season). Career: 9-13.

Advertisement

Last year’s record: 3-8

Strengths: Returning skill players.

Concerns: Offensive line.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Advertisement

Outlook: The Spy Ponders hope for a turnaround after finishing last in the Middlesex League Liberty Division a year ago. With a season under his belt, junior QB Adam Bowler will reunite with top targets Alijah Woods, Cully Curran, and Adam Elyounssi. Senior MLBs John Bowen and Ben Curico will lead the defense. ‘‘With so many young players earning varsity experience last season, we’re excited about their progression as juniors and seniors,’’ said Gendron.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Cambridge

Belmont

Coach: Yann Kumin (4th season). Career: 11-22.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: WR, RB, secondary.

Concerns: Offensive line.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The offense will look to take a big step forward in 2017. Senior WRs Will Ellet and Jake Pollock will be go-to guys for QB George Fitzgerald, a first-year starter as a senior. ‘‘He really studies the game, and he works very hard at it,’’ said Kumin. Linebacker Adam Deese (6-4, 245), a Middlesex League All-Star, shifts to the middle after playing on the outside in 2016. Sound defense and tackling will key a winning season for the Marauders.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Milton

Beverly

Coach: Andrew Morency (2nd season). Career: 67-48.

Last year’s record: 9-3

Strengths: OL, DL, offensive backfield.

Concerns: WR, MLB, and DB.

Offense: Pro set

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: After taking home the Division 2 North title a year ago, Beverly looks to repeat with strong, experienced lines on both sides of the ball. Captains Ben Ames, Paul O’Feish, and William Shaw start on both lines, and will pave the way for dangerous senior RB duo Ameer Alshrafi and Clayton McAlpine. The team will miss leading tackler LB Hugh Calice, who is playing for Merrimack. Competitions for important spots at QB and defensive back create uncertainty for a team otherwise poised for success.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., at Lynn English

Billerica

Coach: Duane Sigsbury (4th season). Career: 53-16.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Strong senior class.

Concerns: Overall depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: After falling two points short of winning the Division 2 North title last year, the Indians lost three seniors to D1 college programs. Twin RB/LBs Pat and Ryan Quinn, both senior captains, will be physical presences on both sides of the ball. Senior QB Tom Landry will start for the first time in his career in Week 1 vs. Burlington. DE Mickey Ricard, an Merrimack Valley All-Conference selection in 2016, is expected to set the tone up front.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Burlington

Concord-Carlisle

Coach: Mike Robichaud (9th season). Career: 68-25.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Work ethic, overall awareness.

Concerns: Depth.

Offense: Wing T

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Three games against Division 1 opponents to start the season provide a tough test for the Patriots. Senior RB/DB Jaylin Farquharson will again start in the backfield and the secondary. Mike Levinger, another senior, is a presence on both the offensive and defensive lines. Robichaud expects sophomore LBs Cam Ladd and Christian Gemelli to be impact players in their first full season.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 3 p.m., at Wellesley

Danvers

Coach: Ryan Nolan (1st season). Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: QB, skill positions.

Concerns: Lack of experience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: First-year coach Ryan Nolan will try to duplicate the successes that landed Danvers in the 2016 Division 2A North semis. Senior RB/DB Colby Holland, a three-time state champion wrestler, looks to bounce back after being hampered by an ankle injury last year. QB Justin Mullany has impressed with his arm this offseason, and has senior TE Zack Dillon as his top target. Said Nolan, ‘‘Dillon is a strong, smart, physical player on both sides, and is a leader by example.’’ Dillon and RB Tahg Coakley are the Falcons’ only returning starters.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Winthrop

Lynn Classical

Coach: Brian Vaughan (1st season). Career: 44-30.

Last year’s record: 3-7

Strengths: Speed at skill positions.

Concerns: Overall depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Experienced juniors hope to lead a turnaround for the Rams after going 0-5 at home in 2016. QB Keith Ridley will lead an offensive attack based on speed. WR/SS Chase Buono, a returning starter, has playmaking ability on both sides of the ball, and will be Ridley’s most reliable target. RB/DB Dyrell Rucker will take the handoffs, while Dennis Pierce (6-3, 250) will play TE. Pierce will also lead the defense from the nose guard position.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Medford

Lynn English

Coach: Chris Carroll (3rd season). Career: 7-15.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Skill position experience.

Concerns: Depth on both lines.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Hopes are high for the Bulldogs after a disappointing 2016 campaign. Junior QB Matt Severance, a three-year starter and team captain, will lead an experienced offensive attack, with help from senior RB Stravensky Gaston. Gaston is also the defensive leader at LB. Look for two-year, two-way starter Prince Brown to make an impact at both WR and CB as a junior. The team will lean on the offense to improve on last year’s record.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., vs. Beverly

Malden Catholic

Coach: Jeff Smith (7th season). Career: 20-45.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Speed/depth at skill positions.

Concerns: Inexperience, lack of OL depth.

Offense: Pro set

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Only six starters return from the 2016 team that was bounced in the first round of the Division 1A playoffs. RB/DL Howie Burns (6-0, 250) will lead a physical attack on both offense and defense. Senior receivers Geoff Ingrando and Brian Ciulla provide experience for junior QB Matt Jandresevits, who transferred in from Peabody. An otherwise young Lancers team will look to avenge four losses against Catholic Conference opponents a year ago.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Tewksbury

Tewksbury

Coach: Brian Aylward (21st season). Career: 128-83-1.

Last year’s record: 10-1

Strengths: Senior leadership, skill position experience.

Concerns: Kicking game, OL/DL experience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: Seven starters return for the Redmen after a successful 2016 campaign. Junior QB Jay Connolly looks to build on a promising sophomore season (1,200 yds, 12 TDs, 2 INT) with senior captains Will Matouv and Brandon Winn sharing the handoffs. Captain Blake Hiltz will play LB and TE after leading the team in tackles a year ago. Fellow captains Joe Rosberg and Masyn Lorick will highlight an experienced defense for the third straight year.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Malden Catholic

Winchester

Coach: Wally Dembowski (7th season). Career: 18-47.

Last year’s record: 4-7

Strengths: Experience at key positions.

Concerns: Young rotational players.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Five of the Sachems seven losses were by seven points or less last year. Senior captain Liam Fitzpatrick will start at QB for the fourth season after throwing for 1,700 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. His main target will be fellow captain Steve Osborne, a senior and three-year starter at WR. Seven other seniors will return as starters. Said coach Wally Dembowski; ‘‘If we can finish games stronger and continually improve on a weekly basis we should be competitive in every game.’’

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 2:30 p.m., at Newton South

DIVISION 3 SOUTH

Bishop Feehan

Coach: Gary Doherty (1st season). Career: 98-132-1 (19 seasons at Framingham).

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: Competition, new energy.

Concerns: Lack of experience, depth.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Coach Gary Doherty enters his first season leading the Shamrocks with competition across the depth chart, with new players being filtered into the new spread system. Senior Zach Penta will be a key cog on both sides of the ball, lining up at tight end and linebacker. Quarterback is still a question mark with two still fighting for the right to lead the huddle. Doherty looks to start a new tradition in Attleboro.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Falmouth

Duxbury

Coach: Dave Maimaron (13th season). Career: 129-36..

Last year’s record: 11-1

Strengths: Team work ethic, OL.

Concerns: Defensive backs.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Record-breaking All-Scholastic QB Bobby Maimaron will be missed after leading Division 2 with 33 touchdown passes last year. But 14 starters return from last year’s D2 Super Bowl champions, including three top receivers in John Roberts, Jack Jacobson, and James Miele, who was fourth in D2 with 10 touchdowns in 2016. Senior captain LBs Joe Gooley and Brad Backlund should lock down the middle of the defense, while offensive linemen Quinn Murphy (6-5, 316) and Chris Chaisson (6-5, 270) return to protect new QB John Roberts.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Bridgewater-Raynham

Hingham

Coach: Chris Arouca (3rd season). Career: 11-11.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Returning starters.

Concerns: OL/DL.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Harbormen veterans will try to build on last year’s winning season. Junior QB Jack Johnson won the pre-season position battle, and will lead an attack using a lot of no-huddle. Senior Marshall Terres will play safety after playing QB last year. Terres, a three-sport captain, can make plays at both the point of attack and the secondary. Senior Nick Beal provides physicality at TE and MLB. Five captains look to improve last season’s 3-2 record in Patriot Keenan play.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Foxborough

Milford

Coach: Anthony Vizakis (1st season). Career: 0-0.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Both lines.

Concerns: Lack of experience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: After graduating star RB/LB Blake Hill to Yale, a new senior class will be essential to success for the 2017 Scarlet Hawks. QB and captain Matt Curran has been praised as ‘‘a great in-game manager’’ by coach Tony Vizakis. Curran has two big targets in senior WR Kaden Kelly (6-4) and senior TE Tyler Joyce (6-2). Senior captain Patrick Bregoli will start on both lines as a G and DE. The team is counting on younger players to step up and fill gaps in the roster.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., at Scituate

North Attleborough

Coach: Don Johnson (9th season). Career: 57-19.

Last year’s record: 9-2

Strengths: Offense, versatility.

Concerns: Inexperience on defense.

Offense: Shotgun

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: QB Chad Peterson returns after throwing 20 touchdowns and leading last year’s team to the Division 2 South final. Split ends Mario Bresko (6-4) and Omar Jasseh join the elusive Ryan Gaumond to form a balanced receiving corps. Senior captain RB/MLB Zach DeMattio is a physical force on both sides of the ball. The Red Rockets are talented, but inexperienced with only six returning starters. ‘‘The main concern is how long it will take for players to settle into their new roles,’’ said coach Don Johnson.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at King Philip

Oliver Ames

Coach: Mike Holland (3rd season). Career: 4-18.

Last year’s record: 2-9

Strengths: Backfield, linebackers.

Concerns: Inexperience.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Coach Mike Holland expects his team’s hard-working attitude to help it bounce back after two straight 2-9 seasons. Senior QB Curtis Cann will take the reigns after spending three years on the bench, and has impressed coaches with his work ethic. Senior LB/FB Jay Fruci is a team leader on offense and defense, and will attempt to fill the void left by graduated RB Liston Funai, the team’s only Hockomock All-Star a season ago. Senior T/DE Jack Mills had 30 tackles last season, including four for a loss.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Bedford

Plymouth North

Coach: Kevin Cobban (6th season). Career: 31-23.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: Both lines.

Concerns: Skill positions.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: Returning starters on both the offensive and defensive line will be key for the Eagles. Four starting OL members are back, and will make or break the team’s success. DBs Ty Cole and Ben Andrade lead an experienced secondary. RB/LB Robbie Gomes, the team’s leading rusher last year, is the only returning starter in a skill position role. ‘‘We really need some young kids to step up,’’ said coach Kevin Cobban.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Weymouth

Sharon

Coach: Dave Morse (7th season). Career: 29-39.

Last year’s record: 7-5

Strengths: Defensive Line, Linebacker.

Concerns: Lack of Experience.

Offense: Spread

Playing surface: Grass

Outlook: A strong front seven will once again be key for the Eagles. Coming off their first winning season since their Super Bowl victory in 2012, coach Dave Morse’s squad must now account for the loss of a strong senior class. Senior Jake Romanow and junior Coleman Loftus are veteran linebackers and captains that will lead a relatively young defense. The team suffers from a lack of height; just six players on the roster are listed at 6-0 or taller.

Season opener: Saturday, Sept. 9, 1 p.m., vs. Randolph

Stoughton

Coach: Greg Burke (25th season). Career: 168-104-4.

Last year’s record: 8-3

Strengths: Returning starters

Concerns: Lack of depth

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: A heartbreaking loss to Duxbury in the D2 South semifinals last year is still fresh in the minds of returning Black Knights. Senior QB/SS Evan Gibb will lead a spread-style attack, with senior WR Colin Sanda as his main target. FB/LBs Alex Sjoquist and Justin Ly are physical players in the backfield and on defense. The team will play their games on the road and at Stonehill College as their new turf field is being built.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Franklin

Walpole

Coach: Barry Greener (9th season). Career: 71-20.

Last year’s record: 6-5

Strengths: QB, deep receiving corps.

Concerns: RB, secondary.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: The Rebels must replace RB Ferry Armand, an 1,000-yard rusher last season. Senior QB Brett Lavanchy and classmate WR Kyle Smith, a captain, will spread the field in an attempt to open up the offense behind junior OL Pat Kearns, a Bay State Conference All-Star in 2016. Senior Dan O’Leary, another league all-star, is a dynamic player in the secondary and on special teams. Four returning starters on each side of the ball will try to mask depth problems at OL and DB.

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., at Mansfield

Whitman-Hanson

Coach: Mike Driscoll (7th season). Career: 32-33-1.

Last year’s record: 7-4

Strengths: RB, WR, offensive line.

Concerns: LB, overall depth.

Offense: Multiple

Playing surface: Artificial turf

Outlook: With nine starters returning on offense and six returning on defense, the Panthers look to build on their second straight 7-4 season. The offense will be led by QB Ethan Phelps, who took an inexperienced 2016 squad to the MIAA tournament. Top receivers Bobby McCormack and Jason Bossen graduated, leaving Phelps with young but talented targets. Senior center and Patriot League All-Star Riley Holland will anchor the offensive line. Said coach Mike Driscoll, ‘‘We expect to compete for a championship.’’

Season opener: Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., vs. Plymouth South