Editor’s note: “Hidden Gems” will take a look at a few of the weekend’s under-the-radar performers in North Shore high school football.
DAN BAILEY, North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie
Senior captain and tackling machine was one the main reasons the Bulldogs held Bishop Fenwick’s bruising tailback, Rufus Rushins, to under 100 yards last Friday night, cutting him down almost every time he ventured into Bailey’s space. North Shore head coach Paul Worth said after the game that his defense “will live and breathe with him” this fall.
JOEY KOZLOWSKI, Beverly
Lost in the shuffle of the Panthers’ explosive offensive night was the work of Kozlowski in the team’s secondary. The senior laid some big hits on North Andover receivers, forcing some dropped passes over the middle, and proved to be an intimidating presence under the lights as the hosts picked up their first win of 2013.
TOM KOOPMAN, Marblehead
On a night where the Magicians’ trenchmen dominated their Salem counterparts, Koopman was one of the main culprits in causing all kinds of mayhem. The senior captain was quick off the snap and darted through gaps and past would-be blockers to constantly meet the Witches’ ballcarriers in the backfield, resulting in negative yardage on a number of occasions.