Right off, Swampscott Big Blue football will play games vital to qualifying for the playoffs under the state's new post-season format.
The first contest is one of those games.
On Saturday Big Blue faces Div. 4 foe Triton at noon at Blocksidge Field.
Both Swampscott and Triton are in the Div. 4 North bracket.
The other schools that will vye for playoff spots in Div. 4 North are: Amesbury, Arlington Catholic, Bedford, Hamilton-Wenham, Ipswich, Lynnfield, Newburyport, North Reading, Pentucket, Saugus, Stoneham, Triton, Watertown, Weston, Winthrop.
In just two weeks, Sept. 20, Swampscott squares up against another Div. 4 team, Winthrop.
Playoff qualifying teams will begin play at the beginning of November, with the victors advancing until a Super Bowl champ is crowned after Thanksgiving.
Teams that don’t make the playoffs will play other non-playoff teams in the weeks leading up to the annual Thanksgiving game.
Swampscott will play arch-rival Marblehead twice.
They play at home Sept. 28, then, two months later, on the Magician's turf in the annual Thanksgiving clash.
2013 SWAMPSCOTT FOOTBALL PREVIEW by Coach Dembowski
· Coach: Stephen Dembowski (15th year 106-53)
(Work) 617-690-2582 (Cell) 617-417-1560 CoachDembo@yahoo.com
· Last Year’s Record: 5-6
· Captains; Ben Faulkner, Toby Hale, Brendan McDonald & Justin Nestor
· Returning Starters (7): Justin Chasse, OG, Sr; Mike Faia, LB, Jr.; Faulkner WR, Sr.; Hale, DE. Sr; McDonald, SS, Sr.; Nestor, OG, Sr.; Mark Rittiboon, DL, Jr.
· Returning Letterman: (8)
Tim Costin, WR/DB, Sr.; Devon Conroy, WR/DB, Jr.; Ryan Cresta, WR/DB, Jr.; Jesse Haynes-Lewis, OL/DL, Sr.; Jordan James, LB, Jr.; Christian Llorente, WR/LB, Jr.; Maleek Newsome, RB, Sr.; Nathan Raustad, LB, Sr.
· Strength: Depth on the Lines, Running back and Receiver
· Weakness: Kicking game, Skill Inexperience
Outlook: The team is full of players able to contribute. How to put them together will be the challenge for the 2013 Big Blue. With over 40 players in the junior and senior classes, Swampscott should be able to play with everyone on their schedule. McDonald is ready to assume the quarterback duties surrounded by experienced lineman. The overall depth of the team should allow flexibility in the schemes and the ability to overcome adversity. The Big Blue will need to start putting the puzzle pieces together quickly as every game counts towards the playoffs and the schedule is difficult after being moved up to the NEC North. Leading the way are captains Faulkner, Hale, McDonald and Nestor and the team has shown tremendous dedication in the conditioning program.
On Offense, McDonald is poised to assume the starting quarterback roll and will be supported by Devon Conroy (Jr.) and Devon Wall (So.). McDonald
McDonald is a dual threat and understands the system. New playmakers will have to emerge from the receiver group which returns Faulkner. Leading candidates are Costin who saw plenty of action last season along with Cresta, Greg Collier, Jeremy Epstein, Cam Frary, Mark Irvine, Trevor Kelly, Llorente, Alex Petras and Anthony Rizzo. The line is loaded with experience as Chasse, Hale, Haynes-Lewis and Nestor all have started games. Others pushing for time include Austin Hamilton, Ryan Bradley, Tyler Scaglione and Barry Tevrow all of whom had excellent off-seasons. The running back position has many candidates and many could see action including Faia, Newsome and senior transfer Desmond Wilhelmsen.
The Defense has some experience up front but needs experience in the secondary. The line will showcase Hale, Haynes-Lewis, Hamilton, Mike McCuish, Scaglione and Rittiboon. This is a deep area so other players could easily surface like; Arena, Albright, Adams, Petrocelli, Bradley and Young. The linebackers have some experience with Raustad and James in the middle. Both saw plenty of action last season. The outside backers’ include Kelly, Llorente, Wilhelmsen and Mike Faia, whom also has varsity experience. The secondary returns several role players including McDonald, Faulkner, Costin, Conroy, Cresta and Joey Faia. This group will be pushed by Collier, Epstein, Petras and Wall.
Special Teams was hit hard by graduation and only McDonald returns as the long snapper. All the other jobs are open for competition.
Big Blue 2013-14 Football Schedule
Sat 9/7/13 12pm
Swampscott Big Blue vs. Triton
Thu 9/12/13 7:30pm
St. Mary's vs. Swampscott Big Blue
Fri 9/20/13 7pm
Winthrop Vikings vs. Swampscott Big Blue
Sat 9/28/13 12pm
Swampscott Big Blue vs. Marblehead
Fri 10/4/13 5pm
Lynn English Bulldogs vs. Swampscott Big Blue
Sat 10/19/13 2:30pm
Swampscott Big Blue vs. Gloucester Fighting Fishermen
Sat 10/26/13 1pm
Beverly Panthers vs. Swampscott Big Blue
Fri 11/1/13 TBA
Fri 11/8/13 TBA
Fri 11/15/13 TBA
Thu 11/28/13 10am
Marblehead vs. Swampscott Big Blue