Three of the most dynamic high school football players in the state are Foxboro High’s Dylan Gordon, King Philip High’s Ryan Gately and North Attleboro High’s Tyler DeMattio so it is only appropriate that they highlight the selections to The 2021 Sun Chronicle Football All-Star Team.
Coach Brian Lee’s King Philip High Warriors rode the running skills of Gately into the MIAA Division 2 Super Bowl at Gillette Stadium, while Coach Don Johnson’s North Attleboro High Rocketeers followed the lead of DeMattio into the MIAA Division 3 Super Bowl in Foxboro.
All Gordon did was produce a record-setting season for coach Jack Martinelli’s Warriors, the Davenport Division champions of the Hockomock League who advanced to the semifinals of the MIAA Division 4 playoffs.
“I never witnessed what this man did on a weekly basis,” Martinelli said of Gordon.
The Warriors’ senior amassed nearly 3,000 yards of offense (over 2,000 on the ground) and 37 touchdowns. With Gordon on the field, Foxboro scored the most points (447) of any Hockomock League member school, winning nine straight games. Gordon has the complete athletic package and is pondering walk-on collegiate football possibilities at Boston College and Vanderbilt.
“I know I’m biased,” said Martinelli, who ranks Gordon among the all-time Warrior greats in his four decades of coaching in the Hockomock League.
Gordon is joined on The Sun Chronicle Football All-Star Team by Foxboro’s two-way senior linemen Dylan Kerrigan and Aidan Hughes, the versatile and dependable Tommy Sharkey, who totaled 438 receiving yards; receiver-returner Rashaad Way, who compiled 1.033 multi-purpose yards; along with three-sport standout and senior quarterback Tom Marcucella, who threw for 2,335 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Ditto for DeMattio, the Rocketeers’ running back, quarterback, linebacker and pulse.
“He epitomizes toughness,” Johnson said. “He would do whatever he was asked to help the team win,”
DeMattio chalked up 1,138 rushing yards and 24 TDs this season, while having a Big Red career record 41 TDs and a career-record 369 points. He is also a member of the Rocketeer golf and baseball teams besides his football career.
“He is such a great leader and team player,” Johnson said.
Then there is “The dude they call Rudy,” according to King Philip’s Lee, in Gately, the under-sized, but supremely talented and determined running back and linebacker.
“You watch what he does on the field and then you go back and watch it on film and you shake your head,” Lee said of Gately’s ability to find space and evade tackles as a runner.
Gately rushed for over 1,400 yards in sparking KP to nine wins with four one-possession wins, and seven straight wins and a spot in the Super Bowl spotlight in December. The Warrior junior is joined on The Sun Chronicle All-Star Team by 632-yard rusher Crawford Cantave; quarterback Charlie Grant, who passed for 863 yards; two-way lineman Hunter Hastings and defensive stoppers Nick Viscusi and Jonathan Joseph, who each had three interceptions on the season.
The Rocketeers won six straight to reach the Division 3 Super Bowl, finishing with eight wins, including a stirring second half rally at King Philip and a 100th anniversary Thanksgiving Day win over Attleboro. The Rocketeers ranked second in the Hockomock League in points (379), led by Sun Chronicle All-Star linemen Jared Vacher and Keysun Wise, receiver (20 catches for 432 yards) and defensive secondary star Gavin Wells, team-leading tackler and linebacker Greg Berthiaume, along with the relentless running back (940 yards) and linebacker Tyler Bannon.
Two Bishop Feehan stalwarts, 1,000-yard rusher Cam Burns and 1,000-yard multi-purpose three-way threat Connor McHale, also highlight The Sun Chronicle All-Stars with junior two-way rising star lineman Case Mankins, two-way lineman Tristen Upton and linebacker Dante Bruschi.
Norton coach Jim Artz’s Tri-Valley League Small School Division Lancers have five players on The Sun Chronicle All-Star Team, including senior TVL Lineman of the Year J.D. Artz and senior TVL Defensive Player of the Year Nathan Tripolone. Also on the All-Star Team from Norton are three-way threat Anthony Tripolone, two-way lineman and All-TVL pick Ben Litchfield, along with captain Jack Nihill.
Attleboro senior captain and two-way lineman Chris Leonardo is joined by Bombardiers’ senior running back/safety Kaiden Murray on The Sun Chronicle All-Stars from the Bombardiers, who won three of their final four games, while taking Franklin, King Philip and North Attleboro to one-possession games.
The seven-win Mansfield High Hornets, are represented by two-way senior lineman Mark DeGirolamo, lineman and kicker (32 PATs, three field goals) Jim Gilleran, two-year, two-way lineman starter Joe Forte, quarterback Conner Zukowski, who threw for 1,778 yards and 17 TDs, along with 734-yard rusher and linebacker Rocco Scarpellini.