At the college level, spring football is commonplace, a time when teams fine-tune their rosters in preparation for the real deal in the fall. This year, we will add another participant to spring football – the high school teams.
Unable to play this past fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, the area high school teams will play this spring in the newly created Fall-2 season made possible by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association. And the Hull Pirates will be one of those teams strapping on the pads and helmets.
‘It’s great for the kids to be able to play,” says Hull head coach Mike O’Donnell, entering his fourth season at the helm. “They have worked very hard in this extended off season and can’t wait to be playing again.”
Hull is entering its second season as an associate member of the Mayflower League but, with scheduling challenges, will play a mix of Mayflower League and South Shore League teams. The Pirates open the season next Saturday (March 13) at home against Norwell at noon. Coach O’Donnell served as an assistant coach for the Clippers for five years.
Coming off a 5-6 season in 2019, Hull might discover its path to a winning season will be the return of senior tri-captain running back Jimmy Polito, who surpassed 1,000 all-purpose yards last season. “He [Polito] is our best player and the most committed,” O’Donnell says. “His off-season work ethic has been outstanding, and he has been a positive influence on our younger players.”
Seniors Zach Smith (OT/DE) and Ben Olivieri (RB/DB) will be the other tri-captains and are expected to have impact seasons for the Pirates.
Hull will see a new face at quarterback as sophomore Luke Richardson replaces three-year starter Trevor MacDonald. Despite not having much varsity experience, Richardson has a poised pocket presence and throws a good ball, according to O’Donnell. “We will keep the same basic wing-T offense and similar terminology but have made a few changes that play to Luke’s strength,” the coach says.
Other experienced players who will be key contributors this spring will be: senior Tyler O’Hare (RB/CB); juniors Aiden Robey (FB/LB), Ryan Dunn (OL/LB), and Jaden Stilphen (TE/LB); sophomores John Gianibas (RB/LB), Aiden Murphy (C/LB), Tyler Sordillo (TE/DE), and Austin Bongo (WR/DB); and freshman Sean Reilly (OL/DE)
The move to the spring season has one advantage – the opportunity for the varsity soccer players to play football. Five soccer players will suit up, led by senior Hayden Anastos, who will be a huge help with kickoffs and extra points. Seniors Nolan Tiani and Sean Newcomb and sophomores Sasha Green and Ethan Rickard are also competing for playing time.
Coach O’Donnell will welcome back assistant coaches John Donahue and Jen Oliveiri. … Hull will play its first three games at home. Following the Norwell game on March 13, the Pirates will host Carver on March 19 and Holbrook on March 26. … There will be no MIAA playoffs this season, and the Mayflower League is uncertain if it will have its own league playoffs. … The annual Thanksgiving Day game will be played on Thursday, April 22, at Cohasset at 7 p.m.
Babe Ruth League registration
Registration is now open for the 2021 Hull-Hingham Babe Ruth Baseball League. Coach Eric Rickard is hoping that enough Hull players register so that there can be one team with all Hull players. That scenario occurred last season with the Hull team (the Dodgers) taking first place. To register, go to: https://www.hinghamsports.com/baberuthbaseball
March Madness contest
Due to the large response to my recent Super Bowl contest, I will be having an NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament contest, with the winner receiving a $100 gift card to Schooner’s Restaurant. It will be a point system. Email me (see address below) your picks for the Final Four (five points for each correct), the Final 2 (10 points each), and the champion (15 points). The tournament bracket will be posted next Sunday (March 14). All entries need to be received by noon on Thursday, March 18.
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