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Holliston, Medfield butt heads

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Oct 21, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
By Damian Vega/News Sports Writer, Metrowest Daily News MEDFIELD at HOLLISTON (Holliston High, 7 p.m.) Week 7 of the high school football season kicks off tonight and the heavyweights of the Tri-Valley League will duke it out when Bellingham travels to Hopkinton. Oops. Sorry, wrong decade. "For years the TVL has always been the haves and the havenots," Medfield coach Vin Joseph said. "The way we look at this year is kind of like the Red Sox looked at their season, 'Why not us'?" Tonight, Joseph will find out if it will be his Warriors, when Medfield (6-0, 4-0 TVL) travels to Holliston (5-1, 4-0) in the biggest game for both programs in the last 20 years. "It's very hard to duplicate what they are going to do, but our scout teams gave us great looks on offense and defense, so we are pretty confident," Holliston coach Todd Kiley said. "We have a mature group with five seniors that never get too high or too low. The rest of the team really feeds off them." Said Joseph: "If we don't win, it'll be because Holliston outplayed us. We've had the best week of practice that we've had all year long. Our kids are focused and really excited for this game." Defensively, the majority of that focus is concentrated on stopping Holliston quarterback Tyler Parrino. Parrino is the Panthers' main offensive weapon. He's orchestrated a high-powered attack that has broken the 30-point plateau five times this season. Against Hopkinton last week, the senior signal-caller had 10 carries for 76 yards and a score, while completing 3 of 7 passes for 34 yards and a TD. On the season, Parrino has tossed 11 touchdowns and run for four others. "We mix it up between running and passing to take what the defense gives us," Holliston coach Todd Kiley said. "Whether we're running or throwing, he's a really big part of both of those." And the main focus of Medfield's defensive plan. "I'd be naive to look at them and see he's not what makes them tick," Joseph said. "The head coach and Tyler have both said 'our offense is unstoppable.' So, we're going to go out there and try to hang in the game and stop them, I guess."
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Surprise party on gridiron

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Oct 21, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
By T.D. Pointer Metrowest Daily News Surprise party on gridiron Medfield, Holliston earning top billing T.D. loves surprises and he also loves parties. Put the two together and you have Pointer's all-time favorite family gathering: a surprise party. The candles on the cake, the pointy paper hats and exuberant partygoers ... Pointer's ticker can't handle all that excitement. Tonight in Holliston a different type of surprise party kicks off at 7 p.m. in the Tri-Valley League. Undefeated Medfield travels to the home of the undefeated Panthers in a marquee matchup that figures to have nearly 1,000 guests and all of them are more than shocked at the guests of honor. "I can't remember the last time Holliston and Medfield were both in the running for the TVL title," Grandpa Pointer said while readjusting his hearing aid. "Both of them are usually good, solid teams, but fall in the middle of the pack behind Bellingham, Hopkinton and Westwood." Well, G.P. -- and that's not Gary Payton -- the Panthers and Warriors have broken from the middle of the pack and into the upper echelon this year. Holliston is led by quarterback Tyler Parrino, who can run it as well as he throws it. The offensive line provides a pocket on every pass attempt and can clear a path for running backs Dave Menapace and Zach Rodgers. T.D. has heard murmurs about the confidence Holliston coach Todd Kiley has in his offense, which has some in Medfield shaking their heads. Defensively, the Panthers are tough against the run, which is good because Pointer hasn't seen a back like Medfield's Bryan Lee in quite some time. Lee can turn nothing into something and can go the distance every time he touches the ball. The line creates gaping holes for him to run through as well. On the defensive side, the Warriors have pitched three shutouts this season, allowing a paltry 42 points. Expect some fireworks early in this one, as neither team has played in a game this big in nearly a decade. Eventually, they'll both settle down. Once that happens look for the Panthers to ride the wave of momentum from the home crowd to a three-point victory. Pick: Holliston.
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Menapace has filled void left by Burke

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Oct 19, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
Menapace has 'filled void' left by Burke By Sean Jacquet/ Sports Correspondent Wednesday, October 20, 2004 Entering Year 2 of the rebuilding project, the Holliston football team figured to be strong at every position. The only position to be filled was at running back, where Daily News all-star and 1,400-yard rusher John Burke had left a huge hole when he took his game to Curry College. A number of candidates would compete for the job, but the eventual starter was still a question mark. Consider it a question mark no longer. After spending last season as a backup receiver and a part-time kicker, junior tailback Dave Menapace has emerged as the feature back, becoming one of the most productive players on one of the Tri-Valley League's most prolific offenses. Starting alongside the likes of Tyler Parrino, Chris Valiant, Zach Rodgers, and Mike Shilalie, all of whom will likey be TVL all-star selections, Menapace has provided the steady ground game the Panthers weren't sure they could count on. "He's definitely filled a large void," says Holliston coach Todd Kiley. "With John leaving we weren't sure whether he'd be able to replace him, and we knew it would be unreasonable to ask him to do that, but he's definitely exceeded expectations." And if not for an injuries to various players during training camp, Menapace would never have been given the opportunity. "All this feels good, considering that I wouldn't even have been asked if a couple kids hadn't gotten hurt in camp," says Menapace. "If not for that, I'd still be a backup receiver." But it' not as though he hasn't earned the starting job. The junior has proven he'l gladly do what it takes to win. Over the summer, Menapace was a fixture in the weight room, packing on 15 pounds of muscle. So deep is his commitment to winning that he developed frostbite from over-icing while rehabbing an ankle injury. But all that means is that he wasn' 100 percent. Until now. "He was the hardest worker in the offseason," says Kiley. "He was running and lifting religiously, and as time went on, his confidence grew." Looking at his numbers, it' not hard to see why. Menapace has crested the century mark three times this year, and is averaging nearly 100 yards a game. Overall, he has scored seven touchdowns, which would put him on pace for 13 touchdowns and just over 1,000 yards. And to think he may have spent time languishing as a backup. Combining speed, quickness, and vision, Menapace has become the ideal back for Kiley's high-octane offense. Luckily for the Panthers, Menapace and the tailback position have become the perfect match. "He has great vision," says Kiley. "It's pretty clear that running back is a good fit for him. He's a natural and he's improving with each carry. He's only going to get better. Sometimes as a coach, you don't know if a player is going to work out, but he's definitely done the job." Considered by Kiley to be the "consummate team player", Menapace is quick to credit his teammates, particularly bruising fullback and classmate Zach Rodgers. Together, they comprise one of the TVL's most productive backfield tandems. "Only once or twice has a hole been clogged by a linebacker or lineman," says Menapace. "There are always huge holes and the blocks are always where they're supposed to be. And Zach Rodgers is the best blocker on the team. Half, if not all, my touchdowns are because of him." And the Panthers will need the Menapace-Rodgers connection to be working at full tilt heading into Friday night's showdown with unbeaten Medfield. The Warriors are 6-0 (4-0 TVL), and are lodged in a three-way tie at the top of the TVL with Westwood and Holliston. For Menapace and Kiley, this is unquestionably the most important game of their Panther tenure, and the importance is certainly not lost on Menapace. "We have the best teams in the league coming up with Medfield, Dover-Sherborn and Westwood," explains Menapace. "We want to win those games, and I'm going to do everything I can to make that happen." Which also includes subjugating his role in the offense. In the Panthers' 34-21 win over Hopkinton (Holliston first over the Hillers since 1990), Menapace shuffled between receiver and tailback, serving more as a decoy than a feature back. The move not only highlighted his versatility, but also his unselfishness. And if you needed further confirmation regarding Menapace's team-first attitude, you need only to listen to his coach. "He's definitely a team guy," says Kiley. "And he'll gladly stick to the game plan even if it means getting fewer touches. He's wants it bad and he'll do everything it takes to win." The only question here: Can Menapace and the Panthers do what it takes to beat the Warriors Friday night?

Teams rated by News staff with first place team receiving 10 points second place 9 and so on.

Team                                        Prev                           Points
1. Acton-Boxboro (6-0)              1                               (120)
2. Wellesley (5-1)                      3                               (101)
3. Concord-Carlisle (5-1)            2                               (  92)
4. Medfield (6-0)                      5                                ( 91)
5. Holliston (5-1)                       9                                ( 61)
6. Lincoln-Sudbury (4-2)           6                                ( 47)
7. Uxbridge (5-1)                      NR                              ( 44)
8. Dover-Sherborn (5-1)            4                                ( 33)
9. Natick (4-2)                          7                                ( 29)
10. Wayland (4-2)                     NR                               (17)

Other receiving votes: Northbridge (11), Hudson (10),  Franklin (3) Medway (1)

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Holliston 31 Norton 6

Posted by Andrea Murphy at Oct 16, 2004 5:00PM PDT ( 0 Comments )
Metrowest Daily News: NORTON -- Dave Menapace rushed for 123 yards on 11 carries and added a pair of touchdowns to lead Holliston over Tri-Valley League counterpart Norton. Menapace's performance helped the Panthers pull even with Westwood and Medfield atop the TVL at 4-0. Holliston is now 5-1, while Norton drops to 0-6 (0-4 TVL). Holliston hosts Medfield Friday (7 p.m.). The first Menapace score came on a 19-yard run in the first quarter. Norton blocked Mike Shilalie's extra-point attempt, and Mark Audet returned the ball 93 yards for a 2-point conversion. Menapace scampered for a 65-yard touchdown later in the first quarter. Chris Vailliant -- on a 32-yard touchdown catch from Tyler Parrino -- and Chris Harris' 3-yard scoring run gave Holliston a commanding 24-2 halftime lead. John Norcott gave Norton its first touchdown on a 1-yard plunge into the end zone. Shilalie answered with an 87-yard kickoff return. In the final quarter, Norton's Rick Coombs had an 8-yard touchdown reception from Chris Pinheiro. Pinheiro hit Ryan MacKenzie for the conversion.