Pelham Pythons Football '07

Timberlane, Pelham ready to run

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Tuesday, August, 28 By Hector Longo
Staff writer

Sometimes, athletes are forced to grow up quicker than they might like.

Such is life with both the Timberlane Regional and Pelham High football teams.

At Pelham, a talented senior class, which anchored a pair of playoff trips and one appearance in the Division 5 title game, has moved on. That leaves the pressure squarely on the shoulders of junior halfback Bruce Vieira.

Meanwhile, over at Timberlane, graduation hit hard, but a two-pronged running monster remains, with senior James Dionne and sophomore Derek Furey. The pair split 1,603 rushing yards last year, almost evenly. Opponents can expect plenty more of the duo as the Owls look to make a return trip to the Division 2 playoffs.

"I'm expecting a lot more out of myself," said Vieira. "I'm a junior, an upperclassman. It's time."

Vieira already has a 1,023-yard, 20-touchdown, Eagle-Tribune All-Star sophomore season in the bank. More importantly, he learned from one of the better groups to come through the Pelham program. "They went to the championship, won big games, had all the ups and downs," said Vieira, who leads Pelham into the Division 5 season opener Friday night at home against Winnisquam. "Now it's my turn to help carry that on with another group of younger guys.

"It's not like I'm alone. Four of the guys up front are back from last year, and they've done the work this summer to get ready. I think we'll be all right." If Furey thought he was going to rest on his resume, he was surely incorrect, not with big brother, Mike, hanging around.

"He's a senior, he's a captain up on the line," said Derek. "He made sure I put in the work." Dionne and Furey promise to be bigger, faster and tougher to stop, even as the Owls welcome a plethora of new faces. "I feel like people are counting on the two of us an awful lot, and we'll be ready for it," said Furey. "With me and James sharing the load again, I think we can make a playoff run. There's a lot of talent here."

Scheduling frenzy

Trinity High's departure from the Division 1 ranks to independent | at least for one year until the Pioneers probably move down to Division 3 or 4 | forced some creative scheduling. Many teams looked to the Bay State Pinkerton Academy coach Brian O'Reilly said the Astros, who already play Brockton, couldn't line up their free weekend for a blockbuster matchup with a Central Catholic or St. John's Prep. Instead, the Astros will just take the bye week.

Some interesting, or at least ambitious, matchups were made, none bigger than Salem High's Oct. 6 trek to Xaverian High in Westwood, Mass., the alma mater of the NFL's Hasselbeck brothers and slew of other fine players.

A week before that, Manchester West will travel to Everett, the reigning Eastern Mass. Division 1 Super Bowl champion. Nashua South High will open the year with a pair of EMass clubs in the first three weeks, beginning with Woburn on opening weekend and then challenging Lowell in Week 3. Nashua North now features October dates at Chelmsford and at Methuen.

And Concord travels to EMass Division 2 Super Bowl champion Foxboro in a Week 2 affair.

Since Trinity opted out of Division 1 in the middle of the usual two-year cycle, official NHIAA shuffling won't take place until next year. Watch for Keene to move up from Division 2, filling the void left by Trinity in Division 1.

Indians make progress

Coach Vin Pettis is all smiles this preseason as Sanborn Regional in Kingston readies for its second year of football at the junior varsity level.

"We've added a freshman schedule, too," said Pettis, who welcomed over 60 eager Indians to preseason practice. "So far, it's been good. We've put more stuff in right now than we did all of last year. You can really tell the guys who are in their second year with us."

Sanborn is building the program, which hasn't played a varsity game since 1973, from the foundation up.

"The middle school program is in place, so we're building up some momentum," said Pettis. "The kids are itching to go. We're all itching to take it to the next level."

Sanborn expects to be placed in Division 4 next year.

Title tilt talk

After a messy November last fall, the NHIAA has moved to make all championship games be decided on neutral, artificial fields.

The tentative schedule for the five title games is as follows: Division 1 | Nov. 17, 1 p.m., at Stellos Stadium in Nashua; Division 2 | Nov. 17, 1 p.m., at Ball Stadium in Exeter; Division 3 | Nov. 11, 1 p.m., at Ball Stadium; Division 4 | Nov. 10, 1 p.m., at Hanover High; Division 5 | Nov. 18, 1 p.m., at Stellos Stadium.

The only exception to this rule would be if both title contenders play their home games on artificial turf fields. In that case, the game would be held at the home of the higher seed.

Meet the new boss

Former Methuen High great and one-time Londonderry High assistant Matt Jozokos is the new head coach at Division 3 Kingswood Regional in Wolfeboro.

The Knights went 1-9 last year and lost 15 seniors to graduation.

Jozokos, 38, is a teacher in the system and lives in Wolfeboro. This is the first head-coaching experience at the high school level for Jozokos, an All-American who threw a whopping 96 TD passes at Plymouth State.

0 Story Comments