Haverhill Hillies Football '07

Members of the Haverhill football team during practice. » Jill Connor, Staff Photographer

Haverhill football preview

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2006 record: 4-7

Returning starters (12): Peter Byron, Sr., QB, 5-8, 175; Troy Warcewicz, Sr., RB/LB, 5-10, 200; Dan Saunders, Sr., LB, 6-0, 200; Dan Triplett, Jr., DL, 6-0, 220; Nick Vazquez, Jr., RB/DB, 5-9, 170; Kenny Perkins, Sr., WR/DB, 5-9, 165; Isiah Ocasio-Pantoja, Jr., DB, 6-0, 175; Joe Natale, Jr., WR/LB, 6-0, 190; Justin Cook, Sr., WR, 6-1, 170; Brian Paszko, Sr., OL, 5-10, 220; Tim Wallace, Sr., OL, 6-1, 250; Miguel Rosario, Sr., OL/DL, 5-10, 230

Returning lettermen: Alex Aguirre, Jr., OL/DL, 6-0, 200; Justin Fitzgerald, Jr., WR/DB, 5-9, 170; Shaun Mueller, Sr., OL/LB, 6-1, 220; Evan Pare, Jr., WR/DB, 5-7, 160

Newcomers: Tito Morel, Soph., RB/LB, 5-10, 170; Noel Figuereo, Jr., RB/DB, 5-7, 145; Ryan Gauthier, Jr., WR/LB, 6-0, 170; Chad Haford, Sr., OL/DL, 5-10, 230; Cody Skinner, Sr., OL/DL, 5-10, 240; Kyle Sullivan, Soph., OL/LB, 6-0, 210; Austin Campbell, Soph., QB/DB, 5-8, 150; Aaron Pinet, Soph., 5-8, 165, DB; Chad Kimball, Jr., WR/LB, 5-9, 170; Isaiah Williams, Soph., RB/DB, 5-8, 170

Candidates in all grades: 78

Captains: Peter Byron, Troy Warcewicz, Ryan Paszko, Shawn Mueller

Offense: Spit back; Defense: 3-4

Returning leaders: Peter Byron 94-200-1,371, 8 passing TDs; Nick Vazquez 21-80-3.8 rushing

Returning honorees: Troy Warcewicz, second-team All-MVC; Dan Triplett, second-team All-MVC

Assistants: Rob Pike offensive line/linebackers, Steve Silva wide receivers/defensive backs; John Valaskatgis running back/outside linebackers; Brett LeGault offensive line/defensive line; Dante Gobbi, Frosh.; Bennie Scavotti, Frosh.

Opener: Hosts Malden Friday, 7 p.m.

Odds and ends: Last year Haverhill won its first four games for the first time since 1963, but then things went south and the Hillies lost their final seven games. ... Peter Byron's 1,371 passing yards are the most by a Hillies since the Eagle-Tribune began keeping that statistic in 1995. ... Noel Figuereo, who was ineligible last season, will contribute at running back. ... The Hillies had to practice at Pentucket Regional for five days during the preseason due to construction at Haverhill Stadium. ... The stadium will be standing room only this season as the stands are being repaired. ... Football assistant and wrestling head coach Brett Legault is Mr. September in the Good Guys for Eyes calendar put out by the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Coach Tim Briggs (2nd year, 4-7): "I feel like we are a couple steps ahead of where we were last season. We are putting in a new offense that involves options and passing. When Peter (Byron) plays he is as good as any quarterback in the MVC. Troy Warcewicz has done a super job and looks like one of our running backs. Nate Vazquez ran for us a little last year and he has done a good job. Danny Triplett is 220 pounds and moves really well and Noel Figuereo is 145 pounds and may be the best of the group. Warcewicz was our leading tackler last year and he is back. He is just a hard-nosed linebacker. Dan Saunders is back and Triplett leads the way on the line. Vazquez is returning as a defensive back."

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