SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

September 6, 2012

Hamilton-Wenham looking to regroup after Super Bowl run

The Hamilton-Wenham football team seemingly faces an uphill battle this season.

Seventh-year head coach Andrew Morency and his players will go for their third straight league title despite having graduated a massive senior class deep in talent and leadership.

But with a few returning pieces and a push from some younger players looking to have breakout seasons, there’s been a lot for the Generals to be excited about.

“The three-peat is kind of unheard of,” explained Morency, whose Generals reached the program’s first-ever Super Bowl last December before falling to Bourne, 16-14, in the Division 3A title game. “We know we’ll have our hands full, but we’re still psyched.”

And who wouldn’t be, with returning senior quarterback Trevor Lyons, the North Shore’s leading returning rusher (1,420 yards,19 TDs), back under center? He’s been itching to get back on the gridiron since injuring his shoulder late in the first half of the Super Bowl.

But with 11 seniors having graduated, Lyons lost every member of last year’s offensive line except Matt Vogus.

The Generals will need an immediate impact from sophomore left tackle Nolan Wilson (6-foot-3, 250 pounds) and right tackle Liam Donovan (6-1, 215 lbs.) as well as Tristan Smith and other big guys like Andrew Cavanaugh and Brian Riordan.

Along with Vogus and Lyons will be returning veterans Christian Ecker, Pete Duval and Steve Turpin. Ecker and Vogus will be the outside linebackers in the Generals’ 3-4 defense; they’ll rely on the duo’s athleticism to patrol from sideline to sideline.

Hamilton-Wenham could struggle some against beefier teams who try to pound the ball up the middle. But if opponents try to move to the passing game, Morency has the secondary to thwart almost any aerial attack. Duval, Turpin and Matt Curran all saw time at defensive back last year and will be aided by incoming junior transfer Ian Dickey, who will also play wideout.

Along with Dickey will be sophomore Jimmy Campbell; he saw serious time as a forward on the court for the H-W basketball team last winter and decided to return to football after his freshman year on the soccer field. Fellow former soccer player Alex Rogers, who could be a tackle on most CAL teams, will play tight end and defensive end for the Generals.

But the youngest addition to Hamilton-Wenham could be the most exciting. Last year in Pop Warner, the H-W eighth graders went undefeated to win the Super Bowl — and a big reason why was tailback Cam Macri. Macri considered going to Governor’s Academy in Byfield, but instead decided to lace ‘em up for the Generals. So far, Morency has been impressed; Macri played with the first unit in the team’s scrimmage against Revere and rushed for a touchdown against the Patriots’ first defensive unit.

“(Macri’s) very mature for his age. We kind of downplayed the whole thing until he started to run the football,” said Morency. “He’s like stick of dynamite; small, as in short, but very fast. He’s like a bowling ball. There could be something special there.”

Hamilton-Wenham also added a wrinkle to its offense with the emergence of James Foye and his ability to throw the football. Having another option under center means Morency has even more ways to get the ball in Lyons’ hands.

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