By Jean DePlacido
---- — Sean Lovett is playing out of position this year for the St. John’s Prep football team, but the reliable senior has been consistently good all season.
Normally a tight end/defensive end, Lovett has taken over at center. On last year’s team he also was used at tackle, and was on the field for the whole playoff game against Andover.
After James Fagan — the outstanding center for last year’s Super Bowl champion — moved on to play at Bates College, the Eagles needed a replacement. Lovett took over and the stellar job he has done while flying under the radar has not gone unnoticed by his coaches and teammates.
Lovett stepped in to fill a void for the good of his team, and never regretted it. He is not a flashy player, but can always be relied on to do his job.
“We moved him to stabilize the line. He has been the one constant player on the offensive line all season,” St. John’s coach Jim O’Leary said. “He makes all the calls up front, and we haven’t had a lot of snap issues. He’s very bright, a great student, and we’ve looked to him to provide steady leadership.”
At the start of the season Lovett was the only newcomer on a veteran offensive line, but injuries and off-field incidents forced the coaching staff to fill the spots with underclassmen, who are still learning what it takes to play at the varsity level. Through it all, Lovett has provided consistency, doing his job well.
“I did play center my sophomore year so it’s not entirely new for me,” said Lovett, who is 6-foot-4, 225 pounds. “It’s not an easy position to play because you have a lot of responsibilities. I’m the quarterback of the offensive line.
“Thanksgiving has so much tradition, and every year this is a big rivalry for us. As a senior, I want to go out there and come away with a victory. I want to leave Cronin (Stadium) for the last time as a winner, but I know we will have to be flawless in all aspects of the game to do it. Xaverian has a great team, but we have the weapons to battle them.”
Joe Lovett, Sean’s father, has been an assistant coach at the Prep for 25 years. He handles the defensive ends and punting team, and in previous seasons was his son’s position coach.
“He’s been my coach in both football and basketball,” said the younger Lovett, who will return to his true position at defensive end next year at Bates College. “We get along great, and he always plays it straight with me. He tells me when I do something right and also the stuff I can improve on.”
The Eagles will face a tough opponent in the final game of their season. The Hawks have only lost once this season and will take on Central Catholic in the Super Bowl next month.
“It’s going to be a dog fight,” said O’Leary. “They have a full package offensively and are well coached. Charlie (Stevenson) always has them prepared. We just hope they might be looking past us to the Super Bowl. This is always a big rivalry, the game we point to all season.”
ST. JOHN'S PREP STARTING OFFENSE No. Name Yr. Pos. 7 Logan Mahoney Sr. WR 72 Jake Palmer Jr. LT 60 Dom Hooven Sr. LG 55 Sean Lovett Sr. C 65 James Carnevale So. RG 78 Sean Hoey Sr. RT 2 Owen Rockett Jr. WR 85 Jake Burt Jr. TE 13 Michael Geaslen Sr. QB 29 Cody Harwood Jr. TB32 Jack Lambert So. FB ST. JOHN'S PREP STARTING DEFENSE No. Name Yr. Pos. 80 Sam Sutera Sr. DE 66 Sam Gomez Sr. DT 56 Connor Daly Sr. DT 32 Jack Lambert So. DE 6 Brandon Kahari Jr. OLB 5 Jacob Yish So. OLB 45 Nick Marraffa Sr. ILB 44 Sean Fallon So. ILB 25 Joe Masterson Fr. CB 3 Matt Kirpas Sr. CB 22 Michael Fawehinmi Sr. S