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GBL NOTEBOOK: Former MHS star Isaiah Likely gets 2022 NFL Combine invite after standout Coastal Carolina career

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Rated a top tight end heading to 2022 NFL draft; played three seasons at MHS, one at EHS; RHS swimmers off to impressive 4-2 start

  Malden High School may soon be able to say it has produced another NFL player if all goes as planned for Coastal Carolina senior tight end Isaiah Likely. The speedy, 6-4, 225, pass-catching machine, a former longtime Malden resident, now of Cambridge, has had an illustrious college career for the Coastal Chanticleers and just this week received an invitation to participate in the National Football League Combine. This year’s combine will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. from March 1-7.

  Likely had another year of eligibility at Coastal Carolina, despite being a senior, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which threw a monkey wrench into most college football programs over these past two seasons.

  Likely announced on his Twitter page last week (@DaGorilla4) that he was forgoing his final year of college football eligibility and was declaring for the NFL 2022 draft. In a statement on Twitter, he thanked his family, teammates and fans for their support. “I am excited for the road ahead and the challenges of attaining my ultimate goals in professional football,” Likely wrote in part. “I can’t wait for you all to be there with me for the ride.”

  He is projected as high as the second round in this year’s NFL Draft and possibly a late first-round pick, anywhere from 29-40, in many mock drafts. If Likely, as expected, is drafted by the NFL and makes a roster for the 2022 NFL campaign, he would become the third Malden High player to move on the NFL in the past 28 years, and the first offensive skill player.

  Dan Jones, a 1988 Malden High graduate who played for the University of Maine, played three seasons in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals, from 1993-1995. A 6-7, 298 offensive tackle, he appeared in 35 NFL games for Cincinnati, starting five.

  Breno Giacomini, a 2005 Malden High School graduate, was drafted in the fifth round of the 2008 NFL draft by the Green Bay Packers. He went on to have the longest NFL career of any player in NFL history, playing two seasons with Green Bay (2008-2009), four with the Seattle Seahawks (2010-2013), including a 2014 Super Bowl win, three seasons with the New York Jets (2014-2016) and one year with the Houston Texans, in 2017, before retiring after a 10-year career.

  Likely is projecting to be the highest-drafted player in Malden High history, as well.

  The second-team All-American grew up in Malden and played eight seasons in Malden, five with Malden Pop Warner football from 2008-2013. Likely then played three seasons at Malden High School, from 2014-2016, catching over 900 yards receiving and 14 touchdowns for the Golden Tornados in 2016, earning Greater Boston League All-Star honors for the second straight year.

  In 2015, Likely played a key role in Malden’s 22-19 victory over Everett which gave Head Coach Joe Pappagallo’s Golden Tornadoes team its first GBL Championship in 27 years. At Malden High, Coach Pappagallo – and for his final season, Malden Head Coach Bill Manchester – and their staffs worked diligently to increase Likely’s exposure and help turn the college recruiting spotlight his way.

  Likely also played one season at Everett High School, for the 2017 season.

  At the 2022 NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Likely and the other select invitees will get to showcase their skills in front of hundreds of coaches and scouts with hopes of making it to the league.

  Likely leaves Coastal Carolina ranked first all-time among CCU tight ends in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. During his senior campaign, Likely had 59 receptions for 912 yards and a team-high 12 touchdowns. a favorite veteran target of quarterback Grayson McCall and the fifth Chanticleer to eclipse 2,000 career receiving yards.

RHS swimmers are off to an impressive 4-2 start

  The Revere High swim team is off to an impressive 2022 start this season, splashing to a 4-2 record. The Patriots defeated Shawsheen Valley Tech in a non-league meet to start the season, 97-71, and have earned wins over Greater Boston League teams Lynn Classical (89-75), Somerville (87-73) and Lynn English (76-54). Revere’s two setbacks have both been to Malden, falling 93-75 in the first meeting and 90-77 this week.

  The Patriots have had a lot of individual success stories, including senior captain Mohamed Benzerdjeb, who was first in the 100 freestyle and 100 backstroke against Classical, first in the 200 IM against Shawsheen, and first in the 100 butterfly against Malden. Senior and team captain Ashton Hoang had five first-place and five second-place finishes in his individual events. Sophomore Alem Cesic has won nine out of 10 races and has won all four of the 500 freestyle endurance races.

  Coach Porrazzo pointed to the contributions of senior captain Daniel Cardona, junior captain Luanna Carvalhais seniors Julian Goglia and Miguel Leonarte, juniors Gavin Rua and Kathy Trinh and freshman Jannet Sheli; also sophomores Matthew Shell, Harrison Rua, Vilson Lipa, Mo Al-Azzawi and Nate Hill and junior Jennifer Rivera-Ayala.

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