[ccfic caption-text format="plaintext"]
By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Following a 4-6 record and a first-round loss at the hands of Middleborough in the Division VI playoffs a season ago, the Dover-Sherborn Regional High School football team is looking improve its record and return to the postseason again in 2018.
“We want to spread the ball around on offense,” said head coach Steve Ryan when asked about his team’s game planning for the upcoming season. “We have depth at skill positions, so we want many guys to contribute. On defense, we want to pick up where we left off last year with an aggressive, attacking group of athletes.”Leading DS into battle this season will be four senior captains in running back/linebacker Tylan Mendes, running back and defensive back Tim Polk, tight end and defensive tackle Jamie Wirth, and offensive and defensive tackle Leo Jalali.
Along with the four captains, some key impact players to watch out for on offense are senior guard Jake Bulotsky, first-year skill position utility man and senior Matt Paolatto, junior center Ethan Blanchard, junior running back Luke Fielding, junior quarterback Kirby Ryan, and sophomore wide-out Drew Dummer. Ryan says he and his team are especially excited to see what Paolatto can do with his speed.
“This is Matt’s first year on the team,” said Ryan. “But, he should be one of the fastest players in the TVL. He’ll serve as a running back and wide receiver for us, and we’re excited to see what he can do.”
Defensively, Polk, Fielding, and Dummer (all defensive backs) will serve as the anchors of the DS secondary, while Wirth and Mendes headline a strong and experienced defensive front. Another name to watch out for on the front-seven, according to Ryan, is linebacker Alex Thompson, who missed all of last season due to injury.
“Alex got hurt at our first practice last year and never played,” said Ryan. “He should step in at linebacker and be a big impact player for us.”
Along with Thompson, Ryan also expects big things out of senior newcomer Martin Brault.
“Martin also didn’t play last year to focus on academics,” said Ryan. “He’s back this year, however, and we’re excited to see him make an impact at linebacker.
The Raiders will open up the 2018 campaign on the road at Weston on September 7.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.