LYNNFIELD — Excitement is in the air for the Lynnfield football team, which enters the 2019 season with high hopes for a turn-around.
The Pioneers will usher in a new season Friday (7) at Pioneer Stadium against Newburyport.
Look for a team that has put last year’s 3-8 season in the rear view mirror.
Second-year head coach Pat Lamusta’s confident that the chemistry and personnel are in place for the Pioneers to get back to their winning ways.
“Last year was tough on so many levels, but this is a totally different team that wants to get back to winning football games,” said Lamusta. “Unlike last year, we have six to seven returning starters on each side of the ball and the entire team has real chemistry. They are competitive, extremely athletic with many of them being multiple-sport athletes, and they are smart players, so I believe it will be an exciting and fun team to watch.”
Seniors Anthony Floramo, a running back, lineman Michael Julian, slot receiver John Lee and quarterback Clay Marengi will serve as captains.
“Floramo didn’t start last year, but had a regular payload of carries and is looking good,” said Lamusta. “Michael’s just a great leader on and off the field and John’s our longest tenured varsity guy who started as a sophomore. He can really do it all, he’s fast and can turn it upfield on jet sweeps and long routes, so he is a real dual threat.
“Clay has really gained so much confidence knowing that he is our quarterback. He has greatly improved his arm strength and has great chemistry with his receivers.”
One of those receivers is junior Jack Ford.
Junior D.J. Capachietti, senior Jac Contardo and sophomore Spencer Riley are in the mix at running back, while junior Bakari Mitchell (slot receiver/corner) will contribute on both sides of the ball.
“Bakari is a two-way guy and is very shifty and fast,” Lamusta said
Guard Liam Farrell, a senior, and senior tackle Owen Blacker will be key contributors on both lines.
“Liam is physical and fast, a guard who can pull and do a lot more,” Lamusta said. “Owen is in fantastic shape and is very physical. You never have to worry about execution as he knows all the plays and is a very smart player.”
Juniors Nik Marotta and Trent Balian along with sophomore Mike O’Brien will also factor on the offensive line.
Farrell, Julian and Blacker return as defensive linemen. Farrell will play nose guard, while Blacker and senior Justin Ndansi will see time at defensive end. Lamusta said O’Brien, Balian and Evan Balian “will also be cycling in.”
The linebacking corp includes Floramo, Ford, Capachietti with Khad Connell and Contardo also in the mix.
Lee and senior Aidan McCormack are back at strong safety, while senior Colby Clattenburg and juniors Nick Boustris, Blake Peters and Mitchell are in the mix at cornerback.
Blake, who may also see time as a receiver, is back at kicker, while Floramo will handle the punting duties.
Junior Austin Sutera (holder) and senior Pete Razzaboni (long snapper) are also in the special teams mix.
Sophomore newcomer Nick Marcinowski has been a pleasant surprise through the preseason.
9/13 – vs. Newburyport (7)
9/20 – at Medford (6)
9/27 – vs. Malden (7)
10/5 – at Pentucket (7)
10/11 – vs. Amesbury (7)
10/18 – at Ipswich (6:30)
10/25 – vs. Hamilton-Wenham (7)
11/28 – at North Reading (10)