Winthrop High football opened its annual training camp this week amidst the first significant rains of the entire summer and the wet weather has the team and the coaching staff playing catch up as they prepare for their first controlled scrimmage of the pre-season on Saturday at home against Newburyport at 1 p.m.
“It’s kind of crazy,” said head coach Sean Driscoll, late Tuesday night. “It’s been beautiful all summer and the week we open camp to start training for the coming season we get heavy rains for two (maybe three days). It has put us behind where we wanted to be, but we have gotten on the field for a couple of the sessions and we are seeing some really good competition between the underclassmen and a large returning group of seniors (13), who all are trying to earn playing time.”
As a result of the rain, the coaches and staff are still evaluating players and making decisions about where players may best be suited to play the coming season. With the exception of the three captains, and a fourth senior running back/cornerback, Driscoll noted that positional battles will dominate the coaches’ attention over the remaining days of camp, through next Tuesday’s controlled scrimmage on Nantucket.
“I would like to talk about my three captains this year,” said Driscoll. “They are all four year players and they are all doing a great job of providing that leadership that we look for from our captains.”
Offensive and defensive tackle Nicholas Doonan, running back and defensive back Nick McCarthy and tight end and linebacker Joseph Boudrow are the 2010 Winthrop Viking Captains.
“Joe Boudrow is a player that we are really looking for some good things from this year.” said Driscoll. “he was having a phenomenal year for us last year as a junior, until he got injured and basically missed the rest of the season. Nick McCarthy is our returning starter at running back and defensive back and we think he is ready to have a breakout year on offense, and defense, but he should be a player to watch on the North Shore.”
Driscoll also had high praise for Doonan, who is the unquestioned leader of the offensive and defensive leaders and is already making his presence felt in that regard.
“Really can’t say enough about what Nicholas Doonan brings to this team in terms of his strength and determination,” said Driscoll. “Another player we’re expecting a lot of this year is senior running back Chris Strangie, who should do some really nice things off of McCarthy’s style. He’ll give us a real nice balance to the way we run the ball and be a nice change of pace offensive threat.”
In all Driscoll said the team has 13 seniors this year, many of whom have three years of experience, which bodes well for the team.
“That’s a lot of seniors for us and generally that is a good sign for our program and the direction it is heading when we can bring out that many seniors and three and four year players,” said Driscoll.
One positional battle that Driscoll did highlight was the battle to replace three-year starting quarterback Will Milano, who graduated after last season.
“Right now we have a nice competition going between junior Jimmy Barker and sophomore Dave Capone,” said Driscoll. “Barker is a little bit ahead in that battle, because he has played longer, but Capone is going to develop into a very nice quarterback for us, so that’s exciting too.”
Saturday, August 28 at 1 p.m. at Miller Field there will be a controlled scrimmage against Newburyport.
Tuesday, August 31 at Nantucket the Viking will play their second controlled scrimmage of the pre-season and officially close camp when they return to Winthrop.
Saturday, September 4 the team will play its only game scrimmage against Malden at 7 p.m. at Miller Field.
Monday, September 6 Labor Day, the Vikings will travel to Ipswich for a passing scrimmage at 11 a.m.
Open at Salem, September 10
On Friday September 10 at 7 p.m. the regular season will kick off in Salem, as the Viking take on “a very talented Salem Witches team, with a lot of returning starters and a very talented quarterback.”
Winthrop Elks to host pre-season barbecue for team and cheerleaders
The Lodge of Elks will host its annual barbecue for the Vikings on Saturday, August 28 following the team’s scrimmage with Newburyport.
“That’s a really nice thing that the Elks do for the team and the cheerleaders every year,” said Driscoll.
Sub varsity team making strides
Driscoll also noted that the team has reinstated a sub-varsity 2 squad, comprised of eighth graders and freshmen, which has been practicing with the varsity and junior varsity teams this week and turning some heads.
“This is our first year bringing that unit back and it’s been pretty impressive what they’ve been able to do throughout camp so far,” said Driscoll. “We’ve got some talented younger kids and they are really catching on and learning the systems.”