SAUGUS– The Saugus football team seemed to pick up momentum toward the tail end of its 2017 season. After a sour 1-6 start through their first seven games, the Sachems finished the season with victories in three of their final four contests to finish at 4-7. Saugus logged victories over Pentucket, Amesbury and Greater Lowell before closing its season with a loss to Thanksgiving rival Peabody.
Under first-year coach Anthony Nalen, Saugus took some time to find its groove but showed plenty of signs of improvement as the season progresses. Now the Sachems look to take the momentum they built at the end of last season and carry it into 2018.
They’ll have to do so without former Sachems starting quarterback Mike Mabee, a three-sport athlete who also played basketball and baseball at Saugus High. Mabee flourished under center with a new offense and set the program record for touchdown passes with 18. The Sachems also graduated running back/wide receiver Ricky Martinez, an Item All-Star in 2017.
Saugus returns junior wide receiver Christian Correia, who emerged as a key offensive weapon for the Sachems last fall. Senior James Moise also returns to the fold after providing a handful of electrifying highlights last season. Senior tight end/defensive end Jake Morgante also projects to play a key role.
The Sachems have four home games at Stackpole Field on their regular season schedule. Saugus hosts Salem (Sept. 22, 1 p.m.), Winthrop (Oct. 13, 1 p.m.) and Swampscott (Oct. 19, 1 p.m.). Saugus visits Peabody Nov. 22 for the annual Thanksgiving game between the two Northeastern Conference rivals.
Saugus opens the season Friday night (7) at Amesbury in a non-conference tilt.