SWAMPSCOTT– When Bob Serino took over the helm of the Swampscott football program, he inherited a young team with a lot of talent and a big sophomore class.
Now those sophomores are seniors with much more varsity experience under their belts. And Serino hopes the strong group can lead Swampscott into the tournament and beyond.
Last season, the Big Blue got off to a fast start, going 3-1 through their first four games. The tide turned in the second half, however; Swampscott made the playoffs, but was bounced by Triton in the quarterfinal round. It ended the season on a four-game losing streak, capped by a loss to rival Marblehead on Thanksgiving.
Two Thanksgivings ago, the Big Blue were trounced by Marblehead, but four of five linemen, a receiver, a running back and the quarterback were all sophomores, and each has come into his own heading into the 2017 season.
“They’re all back, they hit the weight room, learned our schemes, and they’re ready to get back into it,” Serino said.
Headlining the returning bunch is quarterback Colin Frary, who took over the starting gig a few games into Serino’s first season. There’s starting guard and captain Alex Sheehan, and starting tackles Kwest Tyler Lacy and Noah Carreiro. Dom Codispoti returns as a slot receiver/tight end who has been a three-year starter on both sides of the ball and had a strong summer in 7v7 play. Lucas Cote figures to take over the role played by Sean Lahrizi at receiver. Jake Bartram, a junior, will also play a big role as the starting center.
Things have been clicking already for the Swampscott squad.
“It’s kind of funny, my coaches, who have been with me all three years, like defensive coordinator Peter Bush and offensive coordinator Chris Cameron, they’ve been coming into the locker room and saying we’re way ahead of where we usually are,” Serino said. “We’re happy with the progress so far.”
In addition to a strong senior class, the Big Blue will again have a dynamic sophomore group as well.
“We have a ton of sophomore receivers who stepped up in the strength and conditioning program and the 7v7 season,” Serino said. “The junior class is kind of light, but the sophomore class is loaded with talent.”
One of the Big Blue’s strengths is its tough offensive line, which Serino says they’ve dubbed “the cattle.”
“They’re been together a long time and they’ve been working out together in the gym,” the coach said. The defense is also shaping up to be quick and powerful.
The Blue will see a revamped Northeastern Conference this season, and will join a division with Saugus, Winthrop, English and Salem. Swampscott will also take on Revere in Week 6 and non-league opponent Triton in Week 2.
Swampscott will kick off its season September 9 on the road at Greater Lawrence. While Serino says that’s the only game his team is focusing on right now, there’s a lot of excitement surrounding the home opener on September 16, when the team gets to break in the new Blocksidge Field turf.
“We’re trying to keep our guys grounded,” Serino said. “They keep asking when they can go on the field, but I tell them this field, the practice field, is our field. We’re staying there until the day before (the home opener). The kids are excited but keeping things in check.”