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The Globe has selected football All-Scholastics for 120 years. See who made the all-time team.

ryan Huddle / Boston Globe


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Meet the Globe’s all-time All-Scholastic football team

When the Globe selected its first All-Scholastic football team in 1903, the first forward pass hadn’t even been attempted, and if a player weighed 200 pounds, he was considered massive.

The game has changed, and so have the players.

Over the last 120 years, several thousand high school football players have been selected as Globe All-Scholastics.

Many of these players went on to achieve more at higher levels of football, which got us thinking: Which Globe All-Scholastics would be the top players at each position based only on what they did after high school?

For three months, I researched and assembled a 23-player squad (11 on offense, 11 on defense, plus a kicker) based on the college and professional careers of Globe All-Scholastic players.

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But I wasn’t alone in this pursuit. Tom Lopez, who coached at Lincoln-Sudbury for 48 years, and former Everett/current Catholic Memorial coach John DiBiaso shared their vast knowledge of Eastern Massachusetts high school football history. Barry Gallup, who starred at Swampscott High and Boston College, and later coached at BC and Northeastern, also gave suggestions. Current Globe high school sports editor Craig Larson and former high school sports editor Bob Holmes also had a hand.

“I think of high school football as being the most enjoyable football I ever played in my life,” said one of our all-time All-Scholastic wide receivers, Darren Flutie. “Being recognized on the all-time Boston Globe All-Scholastic team, that’s quite an honor.

“120 years of people playing high school football in Massachusetts, that’s a lot of different players, a lot of teams, a lot of great players. It’s a very nice honor, and kind of grounds me a little bit to think about it.”

This project is meant to be a celebration of Eastern Massachusetts football history, so we encourage you to debate our selections, reminisce about your own high school football days, and to take a trip with us through the evolution of America’s game.

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Offense

Doug Flutie

Doug Flutie

Quarterback

High school: Natick

All-Scholastic: 1979, 1980

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Anthony Sherman

Anthony Sherman

Fullback

High school: North Attleborough

All-Scholastic: 2006

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Joe Bellino

Joe Bellino

Running Back

High school: Winchester

All-Scholastic: 1955

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Darren Flutie

Darren Flutie

Wide Receiver

High school: Natick

All-Scholastic: 1983

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Art Graham

Art Graham

Wide Receiver

High school: Matignon

All-Scholastic: 1958

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Ken MacAfee

Ken MacAfee

Tight End

High school: Brockton

All-Scholastic: 1972, 1973

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Tom Nalen

Tom Nalen

Center

High school: Foxborough

All-Scholastic: 1988

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Marc Colombo

Marc Colombo

Tackle

High school: Bridgewater-Raynham

All-Scholastic: 1996

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Gosder Cherilus

Gosder Cherilus

Tackle

High school: Somerville

All-Scholastic: 2002

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Pete Kendall

Pete Kendall

Guard

High school: Archbishop Williams

All-Scholastic: 1990

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Art Spinney

Art Spinney

Guard

High school: Saugus

All-Scholastic: 1944

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Charles Brickley

Charles Brickley

Kicker

High school: Everett

All-Scholastic: 1907, 1908, 1909

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Utilizing the classic I-Formation, this offense would be viable in any era and plays to the strength of our lineup: the offensive line, which is a balanced combination of size, technique, and craftiness. With help from Sherman, one of a dying breed of elite blocking fullbacks, and a tight end in MacAfee who was such a skilled blocker that Bill Walsh thought he’d make an All-Pro NFL guard, Bellino should have no shortage of holes to zip between on any given run play. But that’s not to say our passing game doesn’t have a bit of everything. At wideout, Graham is a deep threat who had elite speed for his day, and Darren Flutie is the kind of volume receiver the quarterback can always go to when all else fails. MacAfee’s big body and huge catch radius make him a nightmare in the end zone. Out of the backfield, Sherman always contributed a few surprise catches, and just imagine Bellino catching the ball in space, one on one with a linebacker. Not to mention Doug Flutie’s athleticism from quarterback; his ability to improvise while extending plays would make the offense unpredictable.

All-Scholastics who just missed the cut: Matt Hasselbeck (QB), Harry Agganis (QB), Jordan Todman (RB), Mike Esposito (RB), Greg McMurtry (WR), Pat Friermuth (TE)

DEFENSE

Dick Jauron

Dick Jauron

Safety

High school: Swampscott

All-Scholastic: 1967, 1968

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Tony Thurman

Tony Thurman

Safety

High school: Lynn Classical

All-Scholastic: 1979

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Mike Sainristil

Mike Sainristil

Cornerback

High school: Everett

All-Scholastic: 2017, 2018

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Al Louis-Jean

Al Louis-Jean

Cornerback

High school: Brockton

All-Scholastic: 2010

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Mike Croel

Mike Croel

Outside linebacker

High school: Lincoln-Sudbury

All-Scholastic: 1986

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Pat Hughes

Pat Hughes

Outside linebacker

High school: Everett

All-Scholastic: 1964

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Pete Cronan

Pete Cronan

Inside linebacker

High school: Marian

All-Scholastic: 1972

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Lofa Tatupu

Lofa Tatupu

Inside linebacker

High school: King Philip

All-Scholastic: 2000

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Maurice Hurst Jr.

Maurice Hurst Jr.

Defensive Tackle

High school: Xaverian

All-Scholastic: 2012

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Joe Nash

Joe Nash

Defensive Tackle

High school: BC High

All-Scholastic: 1977

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Fred Smerlas

Fred Smerlas

Nose Tackle

High school: Waltham

All-Scholastic: 1974

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Lining up in a 3-4 defense, this group is to be feared for its aggressiveness up front and playmaking ability on the back end. No passer or runner is safe in the backfield against our front three. When Hurst is on his game, he’s great at pursuing runners; Smerlas brings grit and an ability to blow up run plays from the middle; and Nash knows how to get to the quarterback from the interior. Even if an offensive player makes it to the second level, they’re running straight into a buzzsaw of a linebacking corps led inside by the hard-hitting Tatupu, who lines up next to the mobile Cronan. Those two are flanked at outside backer by tactician and pass coverage specialist Hughes, plus sackmaster Croel, whose speed off the edge is terrifying for offensive tackles and quarterbacks. Our cornerback pairing has a good blend of length and athleticism with Louis-Jean on one side, and ball skills and footwork on the other with Sainristil. And the last line of defense, our safeties, have to be accounted for. Jauron and Thurman are ball hawks who made passing deep a gamble and whose interception-return abilities made them the type of players who could break games wide open with one play.

All-Scholastic who just missed the cut: Tim Bulman (DL)

What about ...?

Where are Howie Long, Mark Bavaro, Nick Buoniconti, and many others who played high school football in Massachusetts and had college and pro accomplishments that would rival or even exceed those of the players chosen for this feature?

There are two reasons you don’t see them: 1. They played high school football in Western or Central Massachusetts and were thus ineligible to be a Globe All-Scholastic. 2. They simply were not selected by the Globe as All-Scholastics at the time.

That said, we did compile a team of players from the Bay State who had outstanding college and/or pro careers but never made a Globe All-Scholastic team.

Offense

Starters: QB Jack Concannon (Matignon); RB Joe Morris (Ayer, Central Mass.); RB Fred Willis (Marian); WR Bill Brooks (Framingham North); TE Mark Bavaro (Danvers); TE Mark Chmura (Frontier Regional, Western Mass.); OL Ed Healey (Springfield Central, Western Mass.); OL Walt Sweeney (Cohasset); OL Ron Stone (West Roxbury); OL Chris Lindstrom (Shepherd Hill, Central Mass.); OL Breno Giacomini (Malden).

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On the bench: FB Patrick Ricard (David Prouty, Central Mass.); RB Jamie Morris (Ayer, Central Mass.); TE Dan Ross (Everett); TE Wayne Millner (Salem); OL Frank Varrichione (Natick); OL Dave Lapham (Wakefield).

Defense

Starters: S Bruce Laird (Scituate); CB Isaac Yiadom (Doherty, Central Mass.); CB Jerry Azumah (St. Peter-Marian, Central Mass.); LB Stephen Cooper (Wareham); LB Nick Buoniconti (Springfield Cathedral, Western Mass.); LB Jim Cheyunski (West Bridgewater); LB Fred Wallner (Greenfield, Western Mass.); DL Howie Long (Milford, Central Mass.); DL Don Colo (East Bridgewater); DL Ken Clarke (Boston English); DL Bob Dee (Braintree).

On the bench: S/CB Ifeatu Melifonwu (Grafton, Central Mass.)


Inside the selection process

Players were chosen based on their college and pro accomplishments, and some of the players who made our team had much better college careers than pro careers.

For example, Joe Bellino played just 35 games over three seasons in the AFL , but he still got the nod over Jordan Todman, who was a better pro running back, because Bellino was superior in college (the Heisman Trophy is a pretty good trump card).

There also was the issue of weighing the Canadian Football League vs. the NFL in the case of evaluating the careers of Doug and Darren Flutie. Though the NFL undoubtedly is the stronger league, both Fluties had record-setting accomplishments that were more impressive than those of their competitors, and in some cases better college careers.

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On defense, the only selection debate we had was Maurice Hurst Jr. vs. Tim Bulman on the defensive line. Both were college standouts, but Hurst gets the nod because he enjoyed much more team success in college, plus both his college and NFL stats are slightly better. Hurst’s career is still ongoing, so there’s room for continued improvement to his NFL résumé.


Everett is the most represented high school on our team with three players, all from very different eras (Brickley, Sainristil, and Hughes). Brockton (MacAfee and Louis-Jean) and Natick (the Flutie brothers) have two representatives apiece.

What era was the most dominant? The 1970s had more players on the team than any other decade. The ’80s had the second-most with four, and the 2000s and 2010s are tied with three players apiece. The youngest player on our team is Sainristil at 23. If he were alive, Brickley would be the oldest at 131.

Not surprisingly, the most represented college program is Boston College with 13 players — including every member of our offensive line. Michigan is the only other school with more than one player.

Weigh in: Tell us what you think about our All-Scholastic team

Julian E.J. Sorapuru is a Development Fellow at the Globe and can be reached at julian.sorapuru@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter.


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Julian E.J. Sorapuru is a Development Fellow at the Globe and can be reached at julian.sorapuru@globe.com. Follow him @JulianSorapuru