Pat Lamusta, the Lynnfield boys’ lacrosse coach in the spring, is now the school’s new football coach – replacing the longtime, highly successful gridiron mentor Neal Weidman.
Needless to say, the first couple of weeks on the job organizing the practices and orchestrating the scrimmages have been pretty hectic. “It is very busy, but definitely rewarding when I see our players improve with each practice and scrimmage,” said Lamusta. “I am very thankful for my assistant coaches, who have made the transition to head coach much smoother than I anticipated.”
Lamusta has no shortage of athletes, as he welcomed 67 players to camp in late August. He has two returning varsity starters to go along with 10 who received their varsity letters after participating in at least one game in 2017. Leo Quinn, Jaret Simpson, Hunter Allain and Cole Moretti are this year’s captains and they are helping the new coach build team chemistry before the real games begin.
Among the players who have impressed the new coach is junior John Lee, who’s slated to be a wide receiver and defensive back throughout the next three months. “He plays fast and is a true competitor,” said Lamusta.
Lamusta expects his football Pioneers to compete in every game while making a strong push for the playoffs, once again.
The team’s strengths are its speed and athleticism, while the weaknesses are size and experience.
John O’Brien, the school’s veteran baseball coach, will be Lamusta’s defensive coordinator. He’ll also be in charge of the running backs. Ted Flaherty is the defensive line coach. The special teams coordinator is Jeff Gannon, who will also work with the wide receivers and linebackers. The JV head coach is Steve Mondello, and he will also guide the varsity wide receivers and defensive backs. Ryan Sheehan is the JV assistant coach, and he is also the varsity quarterback mentor. The freshmen coach is Frank Cammisa.
Lamusta liked the steady improvement the team has shown in the scrimmages. “By the Melrose scrimmage,” he said, “there was drastic improvement in the realm of execution, even though they were a tough opponent.”
The Pioneers will open up the regular season on Friday night, Sept. 7, against host Newburyport, starting at 7 p.m. “It will be a difficult game, but also exciting. It is an intense place to play, and the stands there always fill up very quickly, which will add to the intensity and our players’ motivation to win.”
The offense will be basically led by quarterback Brett Cohee, who can also double as a running back. Clayton Marengi is projected to be a wide receiver who can also direct the offense as a signal caller. Simpson (running back) and Lee (wide receiver) will also figure prominently in the offense.
Senior Cole Moretti, junior Justin Ndansi, junior Hunter Allain, junior Mike Julian and senior Cam Comeau will make their presence known along the offensive line. A defense – led by Simpson, McCormack, Quinn and Lee and Matt Fiore – will frustrate many opposing offenses this fall, and Lamusta hopes it begins Friday night against host Newburyport.