East Boston Jets head football coach John Parziale is very clear about the position his team faces this year.
“The good news is that we won the city championships last year,” said Parziale after practice on Monday. ‘The bad news is that we lost most of our key personnel from last year, including our entire starting backfield to graduation.”
Where that leaves the team for the coming campaign is hunting for skill position starters and team leaders, as they prepare for another tough season in the Boston North division.
“We haven’t even declared captains, at this point, because so far no one has emerged as the leaders for this team,” said Parziale. “We’ve still got some time to get ready, but we’re searching for an entire backfield and it’s the same story on defense, where we lost all of our linebackers and most of our defensive line.”
The situation is not entirely bleak, as Parziale noted that there are several returning starters on both sides of the ball, including juniors Xavier Wooten (OL) and Conner Henry (Split End and Safety), as well as both starting cornerbacks from last year, Matt Robinson and Leroy McPherson.
McPherson, according to Parziale will also see some time at running back, as he had some carries for the Jets last year.
“Mark Robinson also carried the ball some year, so we’ll probably have them both in the running back mix,” said Parziale. “At quarterback, we have two possible quarterbacks in senior Stan Harris and junior Vincent Lepore.”
Parziale also mentioned Gamiel Regalado, as a player who saw some starting time on the offensive line and at defensive tackle for last year’s team. He will also be looked to for veteran leadership and a starting role.
“This year will be a tough test for us, with a tough schedule,” said Parziale. “:Brighton moved up to our division and Bosotn English moved down, so that will make our division tougher as well. I think West Roxbury and Madison Park are the most likely teams to challenge for our division this year, and South Boston on Thanksgiving is always a tough game.”