Tag Archives: Hanover

Hanover Football: Exceeding Outside Expectations

The Hanover High football team wasn’t supposed to be having this kind of year. After an exceptional season last year led by a gifted senior class, it was the opinion of many that the program would take a step down this year. After all, only 3 two-way starters returned to the team: Steve Cockey, Seamus Boutin and Mike Canniff. Lots of players took ribbing from their friends throughout the off season about how the team would finish 2-9 or 4-7 at best.  Barring a catastrophic collapse, the Indians will exceed those grim predictions with ease.

The Indians have been playing some of the best football on the South Shore this fall and they don’t show signs of stopping. The season started off with a game at Silver Lake where they pulled away for a 27-7 win. The game was the first indication to fans that the Indians were going to compete this season. Sophomore running back Brad Rogers ran for over 100 yards getting two touchdowns and was involved in what could have been the play of the year for the Indians. Rogers took a hand off and after picking up a couple of yards, started to go down. Sophomore  lineman Pat Flynn hoisted the stumbling Rogers off a Silver Lake defender and released him into the open field for a big play.  Hanover moved the ball well all game and played stout defense.

After a bye-week, Hanover went on the road to the brand-new East Bridgewater high school to play the highly regarded EB Vikings. The last several years, EB has had a reputation of having an electric offense combined with a rugged defense. Hanover was able to play well on defense, allowing its only regulation time touchdown on a play where the EB star wide receiver Jake Peterson broke a couple of tackles and got into open space. But similar to EB, the Hanover offense’s woes prevented

Shane Fallon, Miles Lombardo and Dimitry Laforest about to celebrate a touchdown
Shane Fallon, Miles Lombardo and Dimitry Laforest about to celebrate a touchdown

them from capitalizing on their defense. Hanover couldn’t move the ball in the air or the ground and running back Brad Rogers got hurt in what would be a potentially season ending injury. Late in the game, trailing EB 7-0, junior running back Dimitry Laforest took a handoff up the middle, popped outside and took the ball for a 37 yard touchdown. After a defensive interception, Hanover got in striking distance again with about 50 seconds left, but a throw over the middle was intercepted. Early in overtime quarterback Joe Byrne was intercepted again and it took EB only two plays to clinch an 13-7 Overtime victory.

While the East Bridgewater loss was demoralizing, Hanover rebounded against a weak Pembroke team for a 21-7 victory at their place. Joe Byrne threw a touchdown pass to Seamus Boutin and Dimitry Laforest had two touchdown carries. The Indians were also able to force five turnovers in the game.

The following week Hanover held their home opener against league favorite Scituate and their star quarterback Christian Brady. Brady became an after thought as the Hanover starting defense held Scituate and their weapons to 13 points in what would be a 47-26 victory. Scituate’s 1st offense scored twice on Hanover’s second D later in the game. The real stars of that game were Seamus Boutin and Dimitry Laforest, who had 3 touchdowns each. Fullback Steve Cockey would add a 4 yard touchdown run of his own as well.  Laforest was untouchable all night, including on kick return. He weaved his way to three touchdown runs with lengths of 52, 29 and 9 yards. Boutin was an offensive weapon in the back field where he ran for 2 touchdowns and as a wide receiver where he caught a 37 yard touchdown. Hanover controlled play on offense, defense and special teams. Scituate had no chance to make something happen after Hanover got rolling and it was a long night for the Sailors.

Hanover has come a long way from a team that lost a huge talent base to now a real state championship contender. The Indians still have lots of work to do. Mike McLeod, a captain who plays OG/MLB for the Indians, had some perspective on how the Indians can improve. “The season has gone very well so far. But there is a lot of time left. One thing we need to do better is not make dumb mistakes like holding or blocking in the back”, says McLeod. Fellow Captain Senior Stephen Cockey echoed McLeod’s points. In his opinion, “We need to be more disciplined; with such a young team we have too many penalties that either end our drives or extend theirs. But being disciplined isn’t just penalties, its being lined up correctly and doing your job every play because teams capitalize on our mistakes.”  McLeod has already seen improvement in his unit. “At the beginning, the O-Line needed a lot of work but I think we’ve come a long way in that department and made a weakness a strength for us.” Once again Cockey and McLeod were on the same page.  Says Cockey, “The biggest surprise this year has been the offensive line because we came in thinking that would be our weakness with such small, inexperienced players but it seems to be our strength, we can power run on any team.”

The Indians are excelling this year with contributions from upperclassmen but also maintain a large sophomore contingency. The O-Line features three sophomores: Tim Mullane, Pat Flynn (who doubles on D-Line) and Matt Hughes. Jeff Wheeler sees lots of playing time as Wide Out and Corner Back as well as being the teams main Kicker. Matt Lanagan has been starting at Safety and Mike Nimeskern got a start a Defensive End against Scituate. Kenny Janotta has also seen starting time at Linebacker and Brad Rogers was the Tail Back before an ankle injury. Besides the returning three, many other seniors have led the team with an excellent work ethic and production of their own. Miles Lombardo has been starting at Linebacker and has seen time at Fullback. Mike McLeod and Evan Kazmouski have made impacts on the offensive line and defensive front seven. Three returnees to football, Jesse Sellier (FB/LB), Mike Barry (OL/DL), and Shane Fallon (TE) have given the team a huge talent boost. In terms of juniors Joe Byrne has played well at Quarterback and Dimitry Laforest has been dynamic at Running Back. Xaverian transfers Teddy Flaherty and Colin Boutin have had success at Wide Receiver and Defensive Back for the Indians. Cory Devlin has also been a go-to receiver for Byrne.

Senior Fullback Steve Cockey picks up some yards after a recpetion
Senior Fullback Steve Cockey picks up some yards after a reception

Following up a team that had a tremendous season,  made the playoffs for the first time in awhile, lost to an eventual state champ and the finished the year 3-0 is a tall task. Yet this years team has the capability to exceed all that. Senior captain Steve Cockey simplified their ambitions into 7 words, “Win the league, then on to Gillette.” Indians have league games remaining against Plymouth South, North Quincy and undefeated Middleboro as well as the Thanksgiving game against Norwell on the docket. Due to new MIAA playoff system (instituted as of last year), Hanover has 3 games that will be playoff games or assigned games. Specific details about the games are TBA but Hanover is in shape for playoff berth right now. Cockey has been incredibly proud of the team up to this point. “Our biggest challenge is we are the smallest, lightest, and youngest team in the league. But we make up for it with speed, intensity, and playing as one team, one heart. I’ve never been on a team that plays with more heart than my current teammates.” says Cockey. The team will play at North Quincy Friday and you won’t want to miss it.


Golf Team off to an Undefeated Start

Coming off a successful season last year, the varsity Golf team knew they were in a great position this fall. That being said, even they are surprised by their current level of success on the course. Up to this this point, the Golf team is 11-0 and has the ability to finish the season undefeated.

Based out of Harmon Golf Club in Rockland, the team has brought their best to each match, home and away. The core 6 players that compete for varsity are seniosr Tyler Powers and Sophie Morrill, sophomores Charlie Banks and George Lastowka, Junior John Carroll, and freshman Luke Smigliani.  According to John Carroll, “What we do best is a different kid steps up when we most need it. We are really get along and are a team even though it’s mostly an individual sport.” That team chemistry as well as exceptional skill on the course has brought the team down its current path.

The team has won some matches with ease and has had some come down to just a couple of strokes. The most difficult match so far has been a 3 stroke win over a talented Hingham team. On Wednesday October 8, the team will face its biggest challenge yet against Duxbury at the Duxbury Yacht Club. This match is the biggest roadblock in achieving perfection. No matter the result of the match against Duxbury, Hanover will still head into the tournament with a great record and still has a great shot of clinching the league title.

Boys Soccer: Season full of Highs and Lows

The boys varsity soccer team is off to a good start this year, though they still realize they have room for improvement. After  10 games, Hanover has a record of 5 wins, 3 losses and 2 ties.  Despite their middle of the road record, the team has had some ups along with the inevitable downs. Hanover started the season with a disappointing 1-0 loss at Rockland before school had even started. It was a game where they out-hustled and

Junior sweeper Liam Riley covers a Scituate forward earlier this year
Junior sweeper Liam Riley covers a Scituate forward earlier this year

outplayed Rockland for most of the game but they just couldn’t put one in the back of the net and it cost them.  Their next game was at Top 25 Silver Lake, where they lost 3-1 but put up a great battle with the game being remembered as a moral victory.  After two relatively easy victories over Middleboro and North Quincy, the team traveled to Pembroke for what might have been their toughest game all year. Facing arguably the best team in the league, Hanover played an incredibly tough game all around and led Pembroke for a good portion of time after a Zach Chase goal.  Toward the end of the game, Pembroke dominated play and scored in the last 5 minutes of action to force a tie. It was an upsetting result at the time but, looking back, the team acknowledges that they nearly beat an exceptional team that has been dominating all year.

Despite the Indians playing a fiery, competitive style all year coming into the Scituate game, the Sailors took it to them for a 4-0  drubbing in which Hanover showed little resistance. Hanover quickly recovered, coming back to beat Plymouth North 3-0 and program nemesis Hingham 1-0, a feel-good win for the Hanover program and alumni as well. The following week. Hanover beat Plymouth South 1-0 with Joe Maguire getting the deciding goal.  After a rain postponement last night Hanover felt another game slip away as they tied Quincy 2-2. Despite scoring 2 well executed goals and controlling play in surges for a lot of the game, Hanover let Quincy steal a point by scoring on 2 set pieces.

Captain Drew Zwart still regards the season a success at this point. “We have a young team and a lot of younger guys have stepped up big time,” said Zwart. “The team chemistry has been great and everyone gives everything they have. All the seniors have been good examples as well as fellow Tri-Captains Johnny Ferrarini and Jack Phelan. They play their heart out and bring physical tone to every game and people follow their lead.” At this point in the season Ferrarini has kept opponents’ totals low with  good defensive games while Zwart (5), Nick Kelsey (5), Chase (2), and Maguire (2) have done the bulk of the scoring.

Hanover’s record might be surprising to some outside the program who saw a lot of inexperience in this year’s team. Zwart himself was somewhat

Sophomore midfielder Zach Chase scores a goal in a 2-0 victory over North Quincy. Nick Kelsey scored for Hanover as well
Sophomore midfielder Zach Chase scores a goal in a 2-0 victory over North Quincy. Nick Kelsey scored for Hanover as well

surprised with how well the team has battled. “Not to say I didn’t think we could compete with teams like Hingham, but the fact that we came out and took it to them shows hows defiant of a team we have. On any given day we can compete with any team in the state.”

The second half of the season will be similar to the first, a mixed bag of very good teams with some sub-par teams that can still pose a threat if overlooked. Hanover will face Patriot-Fisher foes Scituate, Pembroke, Plymouth South, North Quincy, and Middleboro each one more time as well as match ups with talented Duxbury, Whitman-Hanson and Rockland squads. According to Zwart, “The biggest challenge going forward is taking advantage of our opportunities and building upon leads, our defense has been exceptional all year and played large minutes, but we still need to take some pressure off them by expanding the difference margins in our games.” If the team can do that, they have a chance to make a deep run in the state tournament.

Hanover resumes play on October 7 against North Quincy. You won’t want to miss it.