High School: 2022 ISL Preview

Image courtesy of the Boston Globe

The ISL kicks off its season this weekend and we have a doozy of an opener with Milton Academy hosting BB&N in what will be the game of the year in the league. Both are the favorites heading into the season.

Other programs will have something to say about that but there is no doubt that the Mustangs and Knights are the cream of the crop.

Here is a look at all the ISL schools as they open up their seasons this weekend.

Austin Prep is in their first season as a private school. They will be playing in the Evergreen League. The Cougars will have some growing pains but return several talented players that will enable them to compete. Hunter Weldon, Marcos Delacruz, Henry Jalbert and Luke Slaney anchor a talented offensive and defensive line that will lead the way for the program.

Belmont Hill has a new coach in Bryson Rosser who takes over for Chris Butler. Rosser will have plenty of talent to work with up front in David LoGrasso, Peter Fiumara, Tommy Rupley and Declan Reilly.

Sean Egan and Chris Milmoe form a potent one, two punch at the skill positions. Linebacker Daniel Drucker and defendive back Luis Kuehberger are the headliners on defense.

Buckingham, Browne and Nichols returns a slew of skill players most notably wide receivers Ronan Hanifan and Isaiah Kacyvenski, running back Bo McCormick and tight end Brett Elliott. If the Knights can get quality quarterback and line play, they will be tough to beat. Big Isaiah Ohuabunwa leads the way along the offensive line.

Captains Leo Sarzana and Jake Berglund are back at linebacker, and anchor a defense that is talented, fast and tough. Jay Kulkarni leads a talented defensive line.

The Knights are among the favorites in the ISL and will be neck and neck with Milton Academy all season long for the top spot.

Brooks will once again Be a team to watch. They return three of the most talented player in the ISL in quarterback Michael Wolfendale, wide receiver/linebacker and Buffalo commit Jackson Conners-McCarthy and wide receiver/defensive back Rayden Waweru. This team will be potent on offense and their defense has the ability to generate turnovers and get the offense more possessions.

Dexter Southfield returns several players from their team Moose Curtis Bowl Championship team. Liam Andrews leads along the offensive line and will have company Bridgewater-Raynham transfer Dom Silva playing next to him. Quarterback Joe McCauley returns and forms a along with Darius Day and Austin Hartsell at the skill positions. Dexter’s passing game is potent.

Governor’s Academy Coach Jim O’Leary has assembled a talented roster. The Governors should be a player in the ISL once again. Xavier Copeland and Parish Souza headline the offensive and defensive lines. WR/DB Krystian Pothel returns along with quarterback Owen Umansky. They will form a tough combination to stop in the passing game. The Governors have arguably the best kicker in the ISL in Christian Carretero.

New coach Amal Scott takes over for Joe Lang at Middlesex. Scott inherits some talent in receivers AliJah Clark and Chester Boynton and running back Bo Bensley. The key for Middlesex will be line play. If they get quality line play, they will tough to play against.

Groton will lean on the it offensive and defensive lines to lead the way. They return all five starters in Brendan Keegan, Alex Konigsberg, Amos Lawrence, Forest Nelson and Luke Romano.

Lawrence Academy will look to bounce back and contend. Jason Swepson will lean on a talented defense that features defensive backs Gavin Hatfield, Tavian Henderson and C.J. Schuster along with linebackers Denzel Khasabo and Michael Gregoire. The defensive line is anchored by Jake Ward and Dom Selvitelli and they pose match up problems for opposing offensive lines.

LA will be counting on a talented group of transfers featuring former Hanover quarterback Michael Landolfi and lineman Cole Nelson and Michael Pierotti. All three will step in, start and make an immediate impact.

Milton Academy coach Kevin McDonald announced he will be retiring after this season. McDonald has a chance to go out with a bang given the talent the Mustangs return this season. Quarterback Jake Holtschlag and tight end Andrew Rappleyea lead a talented skill group that can make explosive plays. Running backs Keith Nally and Owen Howlett give the offense balance and will run behind one of the most talented offensive lines in the ISL. Ryan McGurn, Darius Banaitas, Brady Earle and Dan Rosenberg are as good as it gets in the league. The defense has speed and can get consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They didn’t give up more than 14 points in any game last season.

The Mustangs will once again be in the mix for an ISL title and NEPSAC Bowl bid.

Noble & Greenough will be physical up front and they have one of the top playmakers in the ISL in Joey Duggan. Tight end Peter Nizolek is a match up problem and will give opposing defenses fits. Alistair Rose and Owen Fitzsimmons anchor an offensive line that could be among the best in the ISL.

Rivers made a NEPSAC Bowl last season and returns a talented core featuring DB Kalyl Lindsey, FB/DE Brendan Poirier, C/NT Brendan Coakley, WR/LB Jeremy Kiefer, WR/S Amir Lindsey, OT Luke Schutte, QB Max Stevelman and G/LB Gregory Canning. This group has experience and makes this a team to watch in the ISL.

New coach Matt Golden takes over at Roxbury Latin. All-ISL lineman T.K Gapontsang leads a group of talented lineman along with David Sullivan and Aidan Gibbons. R.L will need some skill guys to step if they are going to compete in the ISL.

Pingree will once again be a player in the ISL circuit. Coach Mike Flynn returns a slew of talented players led by quarterback Hudson Weidman, wide receiver Chris Colby, two-way lineman Theo Bachelder, tight end/defensive end Jayden DelTorchio and wide receiver/ cornerback Jaylon Richardson. This team can beat you in a myriad of ways.

St. Sebastian’s returns a solid core of players. LB/RB Landon Bailey, OL/DL Ryan Donovan and WR/DB Zion Simmons are all experienced players who make the Arrows tough to play against. Others include OL/DL Quincy Pickett and OL/DL Jake Mulrey. DE Dominic Funke has the potential to be the next elite level contributor. RB George Kelly is also a player to watch. St. Sebs could be a sleeper for regular season contention.

St. Mark’s returns talented dual threat quarterback Tru Styles along several other talented players including: OL/DL Liam Groh, WR/DB Si Jones and TE/DE Brayden Michaelson are back. A group of talented transfers are expected to contribute this season as well.

New Coach Matt Moore inherits some talent at Tabor. Running back Javar Williams is one of the top running backs in the region. He and quarterback Tim Bengston make up a dynamic backfield. Tight end, linebacker Brock Mozoki is tough and an underrated player. He is one to watch.

Thayer coach Jeff Toussaint might have his most talented team ever returning. Led by five star recruit Samson Okunlola. Okunlola is the headliner but this team has plenty of talent. Running back Nate Austin-Johnstone, quarterback Grady Russo, WR/DB Gibson Akoh, WR/DB Jaaden Simpkins, TE/DE Harry Salters, OL/DL John Kuropatkin, DB Conor Meehan, RB/DB Jason Ortega and WR/DB Jackson Reardon all form a talented nucleus for a team that could be a sleeper in the ISL this season.