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Football All-Scholastics and league All-Stars

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Football All-Scholastics and league All-Stars

FOOTBALL ALL-SCHOLASTICS

Jake Adelmann (Natick)

Jared Arone (Franklin)

Will Baker (Cohasset)

Xaviah Bascon (Swampscott)

Lincoln Beal (Andover)

Johnny Bennett (Dover-Sherborn)

David Brown (St. Mary’s)

Alex Carucci (North Reading)

Cadence Chase (Fairhaven)

Jayden Clerveaux (Everett)

Jacob Coulstring (Rockland)

Malcolm Chrispin (Latin Academy)

Connor Cronin (Marblehead)

Mark DeGirolamo (Mansfield)

Jackson Delaney (St. John’s Prep)

Will DeLuca (West Bridgewater)

Tyler DeMattio (North Attleboro)

Christopher Domoracki (Hamilton-Wenham)

Steve Donnelly (Northeast)

Drew Donovan (Abington)

Matt Festa (Duxbury)

Dan Fleming (Tewksbury)

Jack Funke (Xaverian)

Ryan Gately (King Philip)

Peter Godfrey (Stoneham)

Adam Goodfellow (Wayland)

Dylan Gordon (Foxboro)

Mack Gulla (Franklin)

Carson Harwood (Catholic Memorial)

Datrell Jones (Catholic Memorial)

Eugene Jordan (Barnstable)

Joe Kelcourse (Xaverian)

Kyle King (Catholic Memorial)

Michael Landolfi (Hanover)

Matthias Latham (Central Catholic)

Delby Lemieux (Duxbury)

Jack Lucido (Georgetown)

Devon Marshall (Catholic Memorial)

Amari Marsman (Milton)

Owen Masterson (Marshfield)

Andrew Meleski (Ashland)

Sean Mercuri (Central Catholic)

Bryan Metayer (Norwood)

Marco Monteiro (Milford)

Juan Muniz (Methuen)

James Murphy (Reading)

Jaylen Murphy (Everett)

Nolan O’Brien (Lincoln-Sudbury)

Thomas O’Brien (Reading)

Riley O’Connell (Lincoln-Sudbury)

Patrick O’Neill (Barnstable)

Kole Osibuni (Catholic Memorial)

Ayden Periera (Central Catholic)

Jack Perry (St. John’s Prep)

Josh Robertson (Marblehead)

Michael Sheskey (Scituate)

Keegan Sullivan (Scituate)

Chase Vaughan (Milton)

Jason Wonodi (Brockton)

Steven Woods (Bishop Fenwick)

Ismael Zamor (Everett)

Preston Zinter (Central Catholic)

HONORABLE MENTION

Mason Andrade (Watertown), J.D. Artz (Norton), Tyler Bannon (North Attleboro), Justin Bloise (Nantucket), James Cannon (Scituate), Ty Connolly (Waltham), Mike Doherty (Woburn), Ed Ellis (Catholic Memorial), Trevor Foley (Mansfield), Dom Gird (Billerica), Jathan Greene (Brighton), Will Griffin (Hingham), Bobby Haarde (Lincoln-Sudbury), Pete Jurovich (Winthrop), Kevin Kazadi (Woburn), Shea Lynch (Peabody), Brady McGowan (Catholic Memorial), Eric Miles (Bedford), Pat McNamara (Stoneham), Jonathan Monteiro (Xaverian), Cam Nolan (St. John’s), A.J. Pallazola (Manchester-Essex), Spencer Riley (Lynnfield), Jason Romans (Bishop Fenwick), Juan Setalsingh (KIPP), Ben Smith (Lincoln-Sudbury)

ALL-SCHOLASTICS

JAKE ADELMANN, Natick

This 5-foot-6, 170-pound running back and linebacker led the Redhawks to a Bay State Conference championship season this fall as a senior. He rushed for 790 yards and 14 touchdowns on 110 carries, and made 46 tackles, 4.5 for loss, four pass breakups, two blocked punts, two blocked PATs, an interception, a fumble recovery, and a sack. A National Honor Society and High Honor Roll student, Adelmann is also class president.

JARED ARONE, Franklin

The signal-caller for the 10-1 Panthers had a terrific senior season. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder completed 68 percent of his passes for over 2,000 yards, 28 touchdowns, and just two interceptions. A captain and Hockomock League All-Star, Arone was a two-year starter who threw for over 3,000 yards in his career.

WILLIAM BAKER, Cohasset

This 6-foot-4, 205-pound junior led Cohasset to a Div. 7 state title. Baker completed 49 of 86 passes for 711 yards and seven touchdowns, and rushed for 856 yards and 16 touchdowns. The South Shore League Tobin Division MVP is a High Honors student.

XAVIAH BASCON, Swampscott

The senior running back, defensive back, and return man did a little bit of everything for the Div. 5 state champions. The 5-foot-9, 185-pounder compiled over 2,000 yards and 24 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,524 yards on 209 carries. All that helped him earn the Northeastern Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors.

LINCOLN BEAL, Andover

The junior running back, wide receiver, and linebacker rushed for 945 yards and also had 1,038 receiving to go along with 25 total touchdowns. A two-time Herald All-Scholastic, Beal made 76 tackles on defense. Beal also participates in basketball and spring track.

JOHNNY BENNETT, Dover-Sherborn

The 5-foot-10, 175-pound senior played wide receiver and defensive back. Bennett had nine receiving touchdowns, four via return, and four rushing. He piled up 1,501 total yards, and seven interceptions. He earned Tri-Valley League MVP honors for his efforts.

DAVID BROWN, St. Mary’s

The 5-foot-9, 167-pound junior running back and cornerback had 2,051 all-purpose yards, with 1,297 yards and 18 touchdowns rushing on 116 carries. He also had 250 yards and four touchdowns receiving. The Catholic Central Large co-MVP has 14 career interceptions.

ALEX CARUCCI, North Reading

The junior quarterback led his team to the Div. 5 state title game. The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder completed 124 of 164 passes for 2,390 yards and 26 touchdowns. He also rushed for eight touchdowns. A high honor roll student, he was the Cape Ann League MVP.

CADENCE CHASE, Fairhaven

As a running back, wide receiver, and safety, this 6-foot, 175-pounder led the way for his 8-3 team. A senior, Chase was the South Coast Conference MVP and a two-time league All-Star. He set Fairhaven’s single-season record for touchdowns with 20, and rushed for 1,054 yards. He also caught 10 passes for more than 200 yards, led the team in tackles, had five interceptions, and caused three fumbles.

MALCOLM CHRISPIN, Latin Academy

The 5-foot-7, 150-pound senior running back and linebacker rushed for 1,008 yards and 12 touchdowns. On defense, he made 65 tackles. He had a single-game total of five touchdowns, which set the school record. A two-time honor roll student, Chrispin is a two-time all-state placer in wrestling.

JAYDEN CLERVEAUX, Everett

One of the best running backs in the area since his sophomore year with the Crimson Tide, this 5-foot-11, 215-pounder had a big senior year. This fall, Clerveaux rushed for 1,200 yards and 22 touchdowns on 92 attempts in earning MVP honors in the Greater Boston League.

JACOB COULSTRING, Rockland

The junior running back/safety was a key cog in Rockland’s march to the Div. 6 Super Bowl title. The 5-foot-11, 160-pounder rushed for 964 yards and 11 touchdowns on 174 carries. A three-sport athlete, Coulstring plays lacrosse and field hockey. His longterm goal is to attend a four-year school to major in environmental science.

CONNOR CRONIN, Marblehead

The Magicians won the Div. 3 state title with help from the 6-foot-2, 185-pound wide receiver and safety. A junior, Cronin had 533 yards rushing and five touchdowns. He made 68 receptions for 1,050 yards and 10 touchdowns. An all-conference lacrosse talent, he also made three interceptions.

MARK DeGIROLAMO, Mansfield

A 6-foot-2, 225-pound defensive lineman, this senior had 82 tackles, four sacks, and an interception as a Hockomock League All-Star. Over his three-year varsity career, he had 136 tackles, four sacks, and an interception. He is an All-League performer in both hockey and lacrosse.

JACKSON DELANEY, St. John’s Prep

The sure-handed senior wide receiver caught 51 passes for 978 yards and 13 touchdowns in leading the Eagles to the Div. 1 state semifinals. For his career, Delaney hauled in 115 passes for 2,045 yards and 25 scores. A Principal’s List award winner, Delaney will play college football at Brown.

WILL DeLUCA, West Bridgewater

A 6-foot, 180-pound junior, this running back and outside linebacker had 923 yards and 15 touchdowns on 123 carries. On defense, he made 47 tackles, eight for loss, and one sack. He is a National Honor Society member.

TYLER DeMATTIO, North Attleboro

The 5-foot-10, 196-pound senior led his team to the Div. 3 state title game. A running back and outside linebacker who also played some quarterback, DeMattio rushed for 1,138 yards and 24 touchdowns. He also was 37 for 38 on PATs, with a school record 199 total points scored this season. His 41 career rushing touchdowns are a school record, as are his 369 total points.

CHRISTOPHER DOMORACKI, Hamilton-Wenham

The 6-foot, 215-pounder played tailback, linebacker, and fullback. As a senior, he rushed for 1,207 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also had 136 tackles. The Cape Ann League Baker Division MVP, he rushed for 301 yards and four touchdowns against Ipswich on Thanksgiving. A National Honor Society student, he is also an all-league performer in lacrosse.

STEPHEN DONNELLY, Northeast

The Most Valuable Player in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference Large, Donnelly rushed for 1,915 yards and 30 touchdowns in leading the Golden Knights to the MVADA Large School Vocational Bowl title. For his career, Donnelly amassed 2,372 yards in 25 appearances to go with 35 touchdowns.

DREW DONOVAN, Abington

Whether it was offense, defense, or special teams, this 5-foot-11, 160-pounder got it done. The MVP of the South Shore League Sullivan Division, Donovan had 12 touchdowns, including two punt returns and two interception returns for scores. He also had over 1,800 all-purpose yards and six interceptions. For his career, Donovan had over 3,000 all-purpose yards and 21 touchdowns.

MATT FESTA, Duxbury

The junior quarterback played a key role in leading the Dragons to the Div. 3 Super Bowl. He threw for 2,462 yards and 33 touchdowns, while rushing for 461 yards and 16 more scores. For his career, Festa has thrown for nearly 3,500 yards and 45 touchdowns, completing 73 percent of his passes. A multi-sport standout, Festa has given a verbal commitment to pitch for the University of Maryland in the fall of 2023.

DAN FLEMING, Tewksbury

A senior captain, Fleming had 2,030 all-purpose yards, with 1,194 rushing. He also had 760 passing yards, and 76 receiving. Overall, he had 31 total touchdowns, with 21 rushing, eight passing, and two receiving. He earned the MVC Div. 2 MVP.

JACK FUNKE, Xaverian

The 6-foot-6, 290-pound offensive and defensive tackle will continue his career at Boston College. A team captain, he made 40 pancake blocks on offense this fall. On defense, he made 25 tackles and four sacks. Funke made first or second honors every quarter for his time at Xaverian.

RYAN GATELY, King Philip

The 5-foot-9, 175-pound junior running back and linebacker rushed for 1,472 yards and 13 touchdowns on 244 attempts. He finished with 15 total touchdowns and 92 points scored. On defense, he had 36.5 tackles, 34 solo tackles, a sack, 6.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups, and a forced fumble.

PETER GODFREY, Stoneham

A towering presence at 6-foot-6, 290 pounds, Godfrey’s blocking helped Stoneham rush for over 300 yards per game at 8.5 yards per carry. He registered 42 pancake blocks. Defensively, he had 55 tackles and five quarterback sacks.

ADAM GOODFELLOW, Wayland

The senior quarterback and free safety rushed for 890 yards and 18 touchdowns. He completed 47 of 94 passes for 1,068 yards and six touchdowns. On defense, he made 62 tackles with five interceptions and five passes broken up. The Dual County League MVP also had 407 return yards with a punt return for a touchdown.

DYLAN GORDON, Foxboro

This senior running back and defensive back had 2,323 total yards for 36 touchdowns (27 rushing, six receiving, and three pick-sixes). A team captain and Hockomock League Davenport Division MVP, he led the Warriors to the Davenport title and a semifinal appearance in the Div. 4 state playoffs.

MACK GULLA, Franklin

A 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior running back, three-year starter Gulla rushed for 1,700 yards and 16 touchdowns. The captain was named the Hockomock League MVP. He finished his career with over 2,500 yards rushing.

CARSON HARWOOD, Catholic Memorial

A big back with breakaway speed, Harwood had a terrific junior year for the Div. 2 state champion Knights, rushing for 1,280 yards and 17 touchdowns. For his career, Harwood has 1,880 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 220-pounder is a first honors student.

DATRELL JONES, Catholic Memorial

The junior speedster is already committed to play at Boston College when he finishes up at CM. This season, the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder rushed for 1,100 yards and 18 touchdowns on 105 carries. Jones already has 30 career TDs.

EUGENE JORDAN, Barnstable

The 5-foot-8, 205-pounder rushed for 1,860 yards and 23 touchdowns. For his career, Jordan rushed for 3,645 yards and 53 touchdowns. Jordan is a National Honors Society member.

JOE KELCOURSE, Xaverian

The 6-foot, 195-pound senior rushed for seven touchdowns. Over his career, he rushed for over 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns. Kelcourse is a National Honors Society student.

KYLE KING, Catholic Memorial

This senior for the Div. 2 state champion Knights was a short-yardage fullback who rushed for six touchdowns. At linebacker he led the team with 106 tackles. King is also a standout wrestler.

MICHAEL LANDOLFI, Hanover

The 6-foot, 180-pound junior quarterback passed for 2,412 yards with 32 touchdowns. He completed 154 of 213 (72 percent) of his passes and rushed for 542 yards and three touchdowns on 55 attempts.

MATTHIAS LATHAM, Central Catholic

The junior running back and safety was a two-way starter for the Div. 1 state finalist Raiders. On defense, Latham made 97 tackles. On offense, he rushed for 410 yards on 68 carries. He also had 468 yards receiving on 23 receptions. Latham is an honor roll student.

DELBY LEMIEUX, Duxbury

The 6-foot-4, 260-pound two-way lineman earned his third straight Patriot League All-Star nomination. On defense, Lemieux recorded 62 tackles (38 solo) and six sacks. A member of the National Honor Society and Patriot League Academic Award winner, Lemieux will play football at Dartmouth.

JACK LUCIDO, Georgetown

The senior wide receiver and defensive back had 78 receptions for 1,389 yards, 11 receiving touchdowns and a passing score. He also had 348 return yards, 40 tackles and three interceptions. He is the all-time Georgetown and Greater Newburyport leader in receiving yards in a single season.

DEVON MARSHALL, Catholic Memorial

This was one of the primary playmakers for the Div. 2 state champs, earning Catholic Conference MVP honors. As a cornerback, Marshall made eight interceptions, including a pick six. He also had two kickoffs and two punt returns for touchdowns. The 6-foot, 190-pounder is a first honors student and will play football at Villanova.

AMARI MARSMAN, Milton

The 6-foot-1, 192-pounder was a force on both sides of the ball as a running back, outside linebacker, and free safety. He rushed for 655 yards and 16 touchdowns on 103 carries. He also had 460 yards receiving and three touchdowns on 33 receptions. He made 47 tackles, six tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one recovery, and six passes defensed.

OWEN MASTERSON, Marshfield

The 5-foot-11, 180-pounder had a Patriot League MVP season at quarterback, passing for 2,180 yards, rushing for 449, and had 36 total touchdowns with just four interceptions. He holds single-season school records for passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions, and touchdown-to-interception ratio. He also holds the single-game school records for completion percentage, passing touchdowns, and total completions.

ANDREW MELESKI, Ashland

Meleski rushed for 1,808 yards and 19 touchdowns. He averaged 9.3 yards per carry and never fumbled. On defense, he made 65 total tackles, 6.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries, a defensive touchdown, and two interceptions.

SEAN MERCURI, Central Catholic

The junior linebacker for the 11-2 Raiders had 114 tackles, five sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles, and a defensive touchdown. He also plays baseball and enjoys working out and fishing.

BRYAN METAYER, Norwood

The senior had 1,035 yards rushing, 244 yards receiving, and 20 touchdowns, including a kick return and a pick six. He was the Tri-Valley League Large Offensive Player of the Year. Metayer also plays hockey and baseball.

MARCO MONTEIRO, Milford

The 6-foot-5, 290-pound senior offensive lineman had more than 100 pancake blocks over the course of the season. An honor roll student, Monteiro was ranked among the top shot putters in the Hockomock League. He will play football at Brown.

JUAN MUNIZ, Methuen

This 6-foot, 180-pound running back and defensive back had 840 yards and 15 touchdowns on 124 carries. He also had 27 receptions for 304 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw two touchdown passes. On defense, he made 36 tackles with two interceptions.

JAMES MURPHY, Reading

A junior, this 6-foot-5, 200-pound quarterback is a two-time Middlesex League MVP. Murphy completed 68 percent of his passes and threw for 2,415 yards and 31 touchdowns. He holds the school record for career passing yards (5,789) and touchdowns (69).

JAYLEN MURPHY, Everett

The 6-foot-2, 230-pound senior defensive end recorded 35 tackles, 10 quarterback pressures and seven sacks in leading Everett to a 9-1 season. Murphy will continue his football career at the University of Massachusetts.

NOLAN O’BRIEN, Lincoln-Sudbury

The 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior wide receiver/defensive back was MVP of the Dual County League. O’Brien set school records for receptions (52), yards (916), receiving touchdowns (17) and punt return yardage (291). A three-time Dual County League All-Star, the Trinity-bound O’Brien ended his career with 89 receptions for 1,420 yards and a school-record 22 touchdowns.

THOMAS O’BRIEN, Reading

The 6-foot-6, 310 pound O’Brien played left tackle and nose guard. A co-captain, O’Brien started every game both ways. Playing left tackle, he only let up two sacks in 263 pass plays. On defense, he made 36 total tackles. He was a Middlesex League All-Conference selection.

RILEY O’CONNELL, Lincoln-Sudbury

The Dual County League Offensive Player of the Year, O’Connell completed 100 of 156 passes (64 percent) for 1,777 yards, 27 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also had 381 yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on 51 carries. He will continue his football career at Williams.

PATRICK O’NEILL, Barnstable

The 6-foot-4, 240-pound senior tight end/defensive end recorded 98 tackles and nine sacks on his way to earning all-Southeast Conference honors. A three-time all-league selection, O’Neill ended his career with 356 tackles. A member of the National Honor Society, O’Neill will play college football at Brown.

KOLE OSINUBI, Catholic Memorial

The junior caught 44 passes for 792 yards. Over his career, Osinubi has 18 touchdowns. He also plays basketball and runs track.

AYDEN PEREIRA, Central Catholic

The quarterback passed for 2,823 yards and 34 touchdowns last season. He also had 790 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. For his career, he passed for 5,551 yards and 68 touchdowns, with 1,614 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns. He will continue his football career at the University of Maine.

JACK PERRY, St. John’s Prep

The 6-foot, 170-pounder completed 146 of 242 passes for 2,596 yards, 35 touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also had 200 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. A Catholic Conference All-Star, Perry is the Prep’s all-time leader in single season passing touchdowns and yards.

JOSH ROBERTSON, Marblehead

The senior quarterback led the Magicians to an undefeated Div. 3 state title. He passed for 2,586 yards and 30 touchdowns, both school records. He also rushed for 358 yards and 10 touchdowns. The two-time Northeastern Conference MVP finished with 5,383 yards and 64 touchdowns.

MICHAEL SHESKEY, Scituate

The 6-foot-2, 285-pound senior for the Div. 4 state champions played right guard and defensive end. Sheskey made 51 tackles, five sacks, eight tackles for loss, an interception and a defensive touchdown. A two-time Patriot League All-Star, Sheskey is a National Honors Society student.

KEEGAN SULLIVAN, Scituate

This 5-foot-10, 170-pound wide receiver, running back, and defensive back was Patriot Fisher Division League MVP. Sullivan had 848 yards rushing on 101 carries. He also had 616 yards receiving on 45 catches. He finished with 16 touchdowns, three two-point conversions, 60 tackles, and four interceptions.

CHASE VAUGHAN, Milton

This quarterback and safety was a productive player for Milton, which went 8-3 this season. The Bay State Herget MVP completed 130 of 213 passes (61.03 percent) for 1,778 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also rushed for 262 yards and four touchdowns. He made 18 tackles, three pass breakups, and snatched an interception.

JASON WONODI, Brockton

The senior quarterback had 29 touchdowns, 17 passing and 12 rushing. He ran for 1,039 yards on 113 carries, at 9.2 yards per rush. He also threw for 1,645 yards. He plans on continuing his career at Norfolk State and has already qualified for states in the 55 meter and 4×400 relay for winter track.

STEVEN WOODS, Bishop Fenwick

The quarterback and safety completed 68 percent of his passes for 2,044 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also rushed for 638 yards and five touchdowns. Woods earned Catholic Central Large co-MVP honors.

ISMAEL ZAMOR, Everett

A 6-foot-1, 190-pound wide receiver and safety, Zamor had eight receptions for 300 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the team with four interceptions in his first year playing safety. The honor roll student will play football at Boston College.

PRESTON ZINTER, Central Catholic

The junior tight end/outside linebacker was the Defensive Player of the Year in the Merrimack Valley Conference with 62 tackles, nine for a loss. On offense, he made 39 receptions for 589 yards.

LEAGUE ALL-STARS

BAY STATE CONFERENCE

CAREY: Joseph Ferrante, Cody Coleman, Kevin Rodrigues, Alex Lopez (Framingham); Vincent Ferrara, Sam Gear, Tom Seifert, Jack Poirier, Jake Parker (Wellesley); Subomi Soyoye, Colin LaRosee, Ecsedy Ethan, Bryce Busa (Newton North); Caetano Drinkwater, Nico Braun, Chase Halfkenny, Josh Karp (Brookline); Jake Adelmann, Nizayah Montas, Aaron Becker, Jacob Snoeyink, Jayson Little, Ryan LeBrun, Nick Burgoyne, Henry O’Connor, Teddy Ferrucci, David Seiche (Natick)
MVP: Jake Adelmann

HERGET: Kevin McGurn, Mario Franciosa-Johnson, Brooks Ryan, Cameron Garrity (Braintree); Pat Morrison, Ryan Hannigan, John Ogletree (Needham); Max Collins, TJ Farrell, Corey Kilroy, Matt Florio Sousa, Shane Hurley, Andrew Falzone (Walpole); Amari Marsman, Cameron Pina, Isaiah Hassell, Owen McHugh, Jack Finnegan, Liam McLaughlin, Matthew Paquette, Drew Cakouros, Michael Fulton, Chase Vaughan (Milton); Ryan Kennedy, Nick Kuja, Michael Ritz, Nick Resca (Weymouth)

MVP: Chase Vaughan

BOSTON CITY LEAGUE

Jathan Greene, Maleek Lee, Sahmir Morales, Michael Menendez, Michael Melendez, Yariel Ortiz (Brighton); Alan Aunauxe, Kevin Branch, Joseph Keating, Damoni Pena (Excel/Burke); Randy Bermudez, Sean Curtis, Joshua DeLaCruz, Elvis Escover, Daniel Pedronio, Mike Portillo (East Boston); William Aghedo, Terrell Gethers, Keesean Kerr, Guy Norbrun, Mark Osorio, Denzil Pierre (Boston English/New Mission); Malcolm Crispin, Cian Flaherty, Nebiyu Kassaye, Owen O’Neil, Xavier Polanco, Lucas Suazo (Latin Academy); Jamre Williams (J.D. O’Bryant); Leo Bowman, David Gonzalez, Quran Smith (Tech Boston)

CAPE AND ISLANDS LEAGUE

LIGHTHOUSE: Jayden Coyle, Kaleb Hatt, Hiaggo Goncalves, Gabe Brito, Harper Hearn, Chase Grant, Luciano Baldwin (Martha’s Vineyard); Justin Bloise, Caiden Shea, Zavion Stanley, Garner Ray, Makai Bodden, Ryan Downey, Justin Zadroga, Jeremy Caspe, Ian Williams (Nantucket); Patrick Morin, Danny Bader, Brady Carroll, Aiden Spurr, Conner Coutinho, Connor Stack (Sandwich)

MVP: Justin Bloise

ATLANTIC: Eugene Jordan, Patrick O’Neill, Aidan Canty, Colin Fay, Bryan Silva, Colby Myrbeck, Ayden Edwards, Henry Machnik, Gibson Guimond (Barnstable); Ryan Fitzgerald, Jaden Moore, David Azor, Levens Louis, Jackson Blake (Dennis-Yarmouth); Cooper Young, Nolan Murphy, John Vincent, Aiden Leblanc, Brady Garcia, Eric Zylinski (Falmouth); Dillon White, Chad Caramanna (Nauset)

MVP: Eugene Jordan

CAPE ANN LEAGUE

BAKER: Henry O’Neill, Luke Arsenault, Nick Marden, Shea Cucinotta, Drew MacDonald (Amesbury); Chris Domoracki, Chris Collins, Tim Seaward, Markus Nordin (Hamilton-Wenham); Spencer Riley, Jack Phelps, Steven Dreher (Lynnfield); David Lonergan, Henry Wright (Ipswich)

MVP: Chris Domoracki

KINNEY: Ryan McCullough, Alex Carucci, Craig Rubino, Sam Morelli, Will Batten, Anthony Pino (North Reading); Chase Dwight, CJ Condon, Brandon Lee, Will Sutton (Pentucket); Peter (Finn) Sullivan, Lucas Stallard (Newburyport); Ashton Wonson, Max Ciaramitaro (Triton)

MVP: Alex Carucci

CATHOLIC CENTRAL LEAGUE

David Brown, Ali Barry, Tommy Falasca, Jack Marks, Donovan Clark, Derick Coulanges (St. Mary’s); Chris Faraca, Jason Romans, Jacob Vargus, Steven Woods (Bishop Fenwick); Zach McBrine, Jack Duffy (Cardinal Spellman); Nick Hyland, Michael Golden (Bishop Stang); Case Mankins, Aidan Crump, Matt Saunders, Dante Bruschi, Cam Burns, Connor McHale (Bishop Feehan); Brenden Walsh, Henry Jalbert, Lee Poulin (Austin Prep); Matt Kowalski, Will LeClair (Archbishop Williams); Niko Ceppi, Isaiah Osgood (Arlington Catholic); Tyler Farren, Kyree Edgarton, Alphonso Ughu, Andrew Hedgepeth (*Cathedral/Matignon)

* – played an independent schedule

MVP: David Brown, Steven Woods

CATHOLIC CONFERENCE

Darrell Jones, Devon Marshall, Kole Osinubi, Carson Harwood, Brady McGowan, Ed Ellis Jr., Kyle King (Catholic Memorial); Jack Funke, Cole Jette, Jonathon Monteiro, Joe Kelcourse, Jake Gilbert, Cole Canty (Xaverian); Bob Rodolakis, Cam Nolan, Sebastian Romain, Justyce Hathaway, Ryan Coonan (St. John’s); Jackson Delaney, Jack Perry, James Guy, Jesse Ofurie, Stephon Patrick (St. John’s Prep); Pat Minihane, Ben Evee, Julian Pollard (BC High); Chris Gill, Aidan Sweeney (Malden Catholic)

MVP: Devon Marshall

COMMONWEALTH ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

LARGE SCHOOLS: Steve Donnelly, John McDonough, Angel Maldonado, CJ Moriconi, Anthony Tinkham, Steven Day, Tyler Trumpler (Northeast); Shane Costello, Ryan Dusablon, Mavrick Bourdeau, Kevin Ackerley, Sidney Tildsley (Shawsheen); Kaden Silton, Tristan Yepdo, Nick Sawyer, Riley Nichols, GP Dulac (Lowell Catholic); Manuel Vasquez, Adrian Morales, Dominic Colon, Brady Valliere (Greater Lawrence); Steven Perrin, Keiser Zayas, Ron Allard, Aviren Chitpaseuth (Greater Lowell); Nico Burke, Jake Richards, Jyzaiah Ferreira, Jeremy Rousseau (Whittier); Devin LeBron, PJ Norton, Cael Dineen (Essex Tech)

MVP: Steve Donnelly

SMALL SCHOOLS: AJ Pallazola, Brennan Twombly, Ben Hurd, Luke Smith, Henry Otterbein, TJ Rogers, Troy Flood (Manchester-Essex); Juan Setalsingh, Jaythean Im, Piero Canales, Vic Mafo, Hakim Badmus, Jovan Machado (Kipp Academy); Dominic Giordano, Tyler David, Regnar Vival, Alejandro Gonzalez (Lynn Tech); Randy Delva, Jack Dermarais, Elijah Murphy (Nashoba Tech); Jack Lucido, Anthony Plumb, Chris Guyer (Georgetown); Cole Savage, Zach Evans (Minuteman)

MVP: A.J. Pallazola, Juan Setalsingh

DUAL COUNTY LEAGUE

LARGE SCHOOLS: Sean Coverdale, Devin German, Jordan Pelletier (Acton-Boxboro); Lamar Beaton, Bobby Haarde, Evan Munuz, Jack Napier, Nolan O’Brien, Riley O’Connell, August Reardon, Will Rutherford, Tyler Rosenberg, Josh Skenderian, Ben Smith (Lincoln-Sudbury); Harry Capodilupo, John Toyias, Joe Toyias (Newton South); Ty Connolly, Isaiah Louissaint, Edwin Ramirez, Jack Renaud (Waltham); Joey Bella, Damien Digiovine, Kyle Doney, Anthony Rudiman, Cole Stickel, Drew Wilson (Westford Academy)

MVP: Nolan O’Brien

SMALL SCHOOLS: Jamie Buchannan, Mikey Delia, Richie Fedele, Eric Miles, Jake Morrison, Charlie Naylor, Chris Puglielli (Bedford); Greg Rosenkranz (Boston Latin); Libaan Aden, Dante Christie, Williams Kaufmann (Cambridge); Kyle Fivek, Dylan Jennings, Jason Lu, Holden Miller, Blake Newcomb (Concord-Carlisle); Ryan fennelly, Adam Goodfellow, Finn O’Driscoll, Luciano Sebatianelli, Shayne Sutton, Reid Vanslette (Wayland); Chase Hinton, Mack McManus, Brady Rutkowski, Tom Sacco (Weston)

MVP: Adam Goodfellow

GREATER BOSTON LEAGUE

J.C. Clerveaux, Ismael Zamor, Cam Mohammed, Moses Seide, Jaylen Murphy, Jayden Biggi, Marcus Scott, Syeed Gibbs (Everett); Augusto Goncalves, Mark Marchese, Max Doucette, Wilner Rodriguez-Mejia, Elmahdi El Kaouakibi (Revere); Jesse Maggs, Wesley Chandler, Nolan Mulcahy (Lynn English); Brian Vaughan, Nick Costa, Kyle Duran (Lynn Classical); Alvin Legros, Isaiah Blake (Medford); Justine Desimone, Mackenley Anasthal (Malden); Isaiah Wright (Somerville)

MVP: J.C. Clerveaux

HOCKOMOCK LEAGUE

KELLEY-REX: Chris Leonardo, Kaiden Murray (Attleboro); Jared Arone, Shane Kindred, Will Tracey, Mack Gulla, Joe Tirrell (Franklin); Hunter Hastings, Crawford Cantave, Rudy Gately (King Philip); Mark DeGirolamo, Jephte Jean, Trevor Foley, Rocco Scarpellini (Mansfield); Tyler Lane, Marco Monteiro, Isaiah Pantalone (Milford); Trent Santos (Taunton)

MVP: Mack Gulla

DAVENPORT: Bahsor Mahn (Canton); Dylan Gordon, Tom Marcucella, Rashaad Way, Dylan Kerrigan, Aidan Hughes, Tom Sharkey (Foxboro); Tyler DeMattio, Tyler Bannon, Jared Vacher, Keysun Wise, Gavin Wells (North Attleboro); Collin Williamson (Oliver Ames); Jonah Ly, Anthony Girolamo, Emmett Pearl, Shawn Fargher (Stoughton)

MVP: Dylan Gordon

MAYFLOWER ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

LARGE SCHOOLS: Anthony Graziano, Eric Mann, John Ierardi, Thomas Taylor, Joe Deascentis, Joe Dicalogero (Blue Hills); Anthony Fratelli, Ryan Barnes, Mike Bruner, Cayden Bryant, Jovanni Cruz (Bristol-Plymouth); Devyn Senecal, Jayden Massey, Jacob Furtado, Alex Rivest, Collin Rondeau (Diman); Nick Levine, Kenny Oliveira, Joseph Tully, Levante Brown, Logan Koxias, Jovanni Cruz (Southeastern); Peter McEnaney, Owen Lopez, Angel Velez, Bret Mathews, William Roddy (Tri-County)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Jayden Massey, Nick Levine

SMALL SCHOOLS: Daniel Cruz, Phillip Griffith, Alex Riker, Cameron McCormack, Aidan Choukri (Cape Cod Tech); Matthew McGuiggan, Hunter Morrell, Raymond Thibault, Joseph Rubini, Patrick Quin, Chrostopher Egan (Old Colony); Tyler Richards, Ashton Gabler, Lucas Jones, Tyler Holmes, Matheus Silva, Todd Egan (South Shore); Markeno Glenn, Davonte Green, Noah Demoranville, Mason Dunfee (Upper Cape)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Matthew McGuiggan

COMPREHENSIVE SCHOOLS: Kameron Silva, Adam Banks, Jordan Furtado (Atlantis Charter); Daveon Scott, Brady Sheehan, Chris Cavino, Justin Jerome, Matt Lind, Anthony Pettijohn (Holbrook/Avon); Will DeLuca, Nathan Anderson, Nathan Razza, Joey LeClerc, Aiden Baker, Will Maider, Devon Hensley, DJ Amaya, Matt Outerbridge, Jon Hogrell (West Bridgewater)

PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Daveon Scott

MERRIMACK VALLEY CONFERENCE

DIVISION 1: Scott Brown, Brian McSweeney, Lincoln Beal, Jason Osbonre (Andover); Matthias Latham, Ayden Pereira, Preston Zinter, Evan Leblanc, Justice McGrail, Sean Mercuri, Jaden Wiggins, Kolten Williams (Central Catholic); Gabe Grzyboski, Tristan Naylor (Haverhill); Joenel Figueroa, Andy Medina, Estarling Morales (Lawrence); Aaron Morris, Travis VanDinter, Gustavo Ventura (Lowell); Drew Eason, Joe Jean, Juan Muniz, Jason Silverio, Anesti Touma (Methuen)

MVP: Ayden Pereira

DIVISION 2: Jack Colby, Aidan Colby, Scott Emerson, Dom Gird, Shana Rana, A.J. Tassone (Billerica); Cooper Collins, Michael Hennessey, Dan Craig, Griffin Hart, Ben Hogan, Colin Reid (Chelmsford); Mitchell Cripps, Josh Gagnon (Dracut); Nick Ankiewicz, David Cooperstein, Jack O’Connell, Jack Ferullo, A.J. Lawrence, Brendan Regan (North Andover); Danny Fleming, Aaron Connelly, Cole Kimtis, Michael Sullivan, Davenche Sydney, Nick Wilson (Tewksbury)

MVP: Dan Fleming

MIDDLESEX LEAGUE

FREEDOM: Sal Asaro, Jason Nutting, Pat McNamara, Marshal Albrecht, David Skutul, James Scally, James Connell, Peter Godfrey, Josh Nardone (Stoneham); Jake Chirichiello, Marcello Misuraca, Jack Malloy, Luke Murphy, John Germano, Pedro Germano, Gavin Erickson (Wilmington); Mason Andrade, Nate Master, Colin Owens (Watertown); Bryan Lynch, Ian Dixon, Leo Yardumian, Chris Amyouny (Wakefield); Justin Camellio, Trevor Botto, Shea Fogarty , Robert Colozzo (Melrose); Adam Eldeeb, Tim Vadnais , Ronan Noke (Burlington)

MVP: Mason Andrade

LIBERTY: Colby Goodchild, Thomas O’Brien, James Murphy, Ryan Strout, Aiden Bekkenhuis, Eamon Centrella, Jon Lawrence, Patrick Duross (Reading); Mike Doherty, Derek Baccari, Yahya Aksadi, Brian Ferriera, Kevin Kazadi, Derek Dabrieo, Jake Damell (Woburn); Kayden Mills, Marcues Jean-Jacques, Jake Schiano, Stanley Pierre, Joseph Corbett, Han Al-Bachawaty (Arlington); Zach Moss, John Dolan, Tyler Arno, Kevin Logan, Gordon Lasseter, Tony Zhao (Belmont); Ahmad Hanberry, Mario Capone, Nelson Mendes-Stephen, Rhys Scarbrough (Lexington); Thomas Centurelli, Derek Gianci, Sean Holland (Winchester)

MVP: James Murphy

NORTHEASTERN CONFERENCE

DUNN: Joe Mignone, Jason Codispoti, Cam O’Brien, Dillon Dubiel, Jake Papozoglu, Xaviah Bascon, Cole Hamerick, Elijah Burns (Swampscott); George Percy, Connor Cronin, James Doody, Josh Robertson, Drew Annese, Craig Michalowski (Marblehead); Zach Sparkman, Jordan Irvine, Grant Eastin, Andre Sullivan (Beverly); Mike Leon, Colin Kelter (Danvers); Mat Naworny, Corin Canada-Hunt, Danny Ganji (Masconomet)

MVP: Josh Robertson

LYNCH: Shea Lynch, Peter Gardikas, Danny Barrett, Mike Perez, Jovante Daily, Eli Batista (Peabody); Drew Gardiner, Braden Faiella, Mark MacEachern (Saugus); Bryan Swain, Frank DeSisto, Aidan Cornetta, Caleb DeCoste (Gloucester); Mike Ready, Jariel Del Valle, Cory Grimes, Dante Roper, Jean Davis Candenas (Salem); Pete Jurovich, Cam Martin, Mikey Chaves, Ian Harris, Chuck Dassau (Winthrop)

MVP: Shea Lynch

PATRIOT LEAGUE

KEENAN: Owen Masterson, Jason O’Keefe, Ross Olinger, Sam Sullivan, Casey Trodden, Pat Yesinko (Marshfield); Tindell Frick, Matt Festa, Brady Madigan, Cameron Pang, David Condon, Delby Lemieux (Duxbury); Will Griffin, Cian Nicholas, Owen Richards, Ronan O’Ciardubhain (Hingham); Dallas Murphy, Wesley Hillman, Cameron Champney (Plymouth North); Ryan Carroll, Nick Peterson (Silver Lake); Malcolm Alcorn-Crowder (Whitman-Hanson)

MVP: Owen Masterson

FISHER: Keegan Sullivan, Michael Sheskey, Shea Morley, James Cannon, Jack Thompson, Danny Thompson (Scituate); Casious Johnson, PJ Murphy, Zach Proctor, Harry Ottino, Carter Reynolds (Plymouth South); Michael Landolfi, Dave Quinlan, Joe Curran, Dylan Rice (Hanover); Matt Craig, Brandon Baker, Harry Gaudiano (North Quincy); Jarod Walker, Drew Boretti, Riley O’Connell (Quincy); Aidan Keefe (Pembroke)

MVP: Keegan Sullivan

SOUTH COAST CONFERENCE

Cadence Chase, Dante Biardi, Josh Mello, Peter Joseph (Fairhaven); Jackson Gagnier, Caleb Procaccini, Harrison Lemiuex ( Apponequet ); Logan Cook (Bourne); Brady Thiboutot, Braden Ventura (Case); Caleb Newman, Jacob Suprenard (Dighton-Rehoboth); Cam Lynch, Aziz Ba, Max Lague (Greater New Bedford); Zachary Proffit, Stephen Old , Keane MacGregor, Noah Sommers, Jacksen Martin (Old Rochester); Josh Troiano (Seekonk); Dylan Rodriguez, Alex Pavao (Somerset Berkley)

MVP: Cadence Chase

SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE

Ryan Breheny, Declan Byrne, Dawson Dubose, Logan Johnson, Michael Rubbo, Dominic Silva (Bridgewater-Raynham); Makhi Boston, Darren Castor, Josiah Cora, Cameron Monteiro, Aaron Russell, Carlos Timas, Jason Wonodi (Brockton); Patrick Crane, Baron Dutra, William Kelly, Ethan Marques, Dan Martin (Dartmouth); Jevon Holley, Ben Haliday, Jaden Lewis, Brian Hayden (Durfee); Ranen Goodine, Mitchel Thompson, Jahzed Valls (New Bedford)

SOUTH SHORE LEAGUE

SULLIVAN: Logan Verhaegan, Jacob Briggs, Nate Tullish, Harry Fuller, Pat Miller, Isaiah Furtado (Middleboro); Jacob Coulstring, Lucas Leander, Leary Costa, Brett Armstrong, Peter Celestino, Gabe Pinheiro (Rockland); Drew Donovan, Shea McClellan, Kurtis Lucas Summers, John LaRosa, Eddie Reilly, Isiah Rickerton, Adam Abbibi (Abington); Jake Croke, Jackson Adams (Norwell)

MVP: Drew Donovan

TOBIN: Mike Donahue, Lucas Najjar, Josh Burke, Nick Henry, Jay Fox, Jackie Lyon, Will Baker (Cohasset); Osaruyi Izedonmwen, Makhi Barnes (Randolph); Mike Crump, Aiden Jordan (Carver); Kayden Eaton, Danny Mitchell, Jesse Hickey, Chris Dostilio, Brady Johnston, Erich Menke (Mashpee); Aiden Murphy, Luke Richardson, Austin Bongo, Tyler Sordillo, John Gianibas (Hull)

MVP: Will Baker

TRI-VALLEY LEAGUE

LARGE SCHOOLS: T.J. Kiley, Robert Payne, Patrick Griffin, Brady Sweeney (Holliston); Justin Skehill, Subodh Dhakal, Matty Mahoney, Sean Quinn, Igor Reiss, Joey Steeves, Brandon Francis, Bryan Metayer, Matt Alves (Norwood); Cole Cloney, Max Gobin, T.J. Casey, Sam Patry (Medfield); Seamus Murphy, Brendan McGowan (Hopkinton); Mark Homsy, JT O’Shea, Dylan Grady, Joe Shavitz, JP Herlihy (Westwood); Andrew Meleski, Dylan Drozek, Patrick Deslausiers, Luke Herter, Matt Gillis, Jack McGoff, John Giglia, Jake Troutman (Ashland);

MVP: Andrew Meleski

SMALL SCHOOLS: Danny Sullivan, Efosa Imade, Brian Olson, Ryan Kane, Henry Murphy, Derek Daly, Johnny Bennett (Dover-Sherborn); Calvin Polchlopek, Mark Imparato, Gavin Elder (Bellingham); Anthony Tripolone, Logan Moberg, Jack Nihill, Ben Litchfield, Thomas Mulvaney, Nathan Tripolone, JD Artz (Norton); Matt Childs, Matt Palos, Ryan Abrams, Alex Infanger, Mike McNeil, Sean Converse, Connor Kewely, Jack Applebaum (Medway); Nick Almeida, Braeden McPhee, Nick Quinzani (Millis); John Doyle, Landon Silver, Matt Lombardi, Jack Millea, Dillon Hoey (Dedham)

MVP: Johnny Bennett

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Who’s the best fit for Orlando Magic with No. 1 in 2022 draft?

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Who’s the best fit for Orlando Magic with No. 1 in 2022 draft?

It didn’t take long for the Orlando Magic’s draft lottery celebration to turn into speculation.

Moments after the Magic won the draft lottery Tuesday in Chicago, questions quickly started to surround Orlando, the winner of the No. 1 pick in the June 23 NBA draft.

What will be the Magic’s approach to having the top pick?

Will their philosophy during the scouting combine and predraft machinations change?

Are they drafting based on need?

Jeff Weltman, president of basketball operations, made it clear they’re not going into the process looking to draft based off need.

“We’re at the stage right now where we’re not a need-based team,” Weltman said. “We’re looking for talent, character and guys who fit the way we want to play and the way we want to grow the team.”

Coach Jamahl Mosley echoed Weltman.

“It’s constantly adding the high basketball IQ, the competitiveness, the toughness, the fighter — the guy that’s willing to come in and work with this group of guys,” Mosley said. “Jeff and those guys do a phenomenal job of evaluating the talent, getting to know these guys over time and then we’ll go from there.”

Orlando has another month to decide what they’ll do with the No. 1 pick. Here are the three best fits for the Magic:

1. Jabari Smith (Auburn)

Height: 6-foot-10 | Weight: 220 pounds | Age: 19

Smith’s best offensive skill — shooting — is an area the Magic can improve.

Orlando’s 33.1% 3-point percentage during 2021-22 was the league’s third-worst mark and it’s been a bottom-five shooting team the past two seasons.

Taking Smith, who shot 42% from beyond the arc on 5.5 attempts during his lone season with the Tigers, would instantly help make life easier for the Magic’s playmakers in the halfcourt.

Smith isn’t just dangerous in spot-up situations. At 6-foot-10 with a high release point, he can shoot over defenders with ease from multiple areas of the floor without needing to create much of an advantage.

His size, length and athleticism make him a disruptive perimeter defender and someone who doesn’t have trouble switching across multiple positions.

Because of his shaky ballhandling and inconsistent interior scoring, there are concerns about whether Smith will develop into the go-to scorer/creator the Magic need. But Smith would be the cleanest fit in what Orlando already has started to build with its roster.

2. Chet Holmgren (Gonzaga)

Height: 7 feet | Weight: 195 pounds | Age: 20

Holmgren is arguably the most polarizing top college player in this year’s draft.

His combination of rim protection (3.7 blocks with the Bulldogs), handles, touch near the rim, basketball IQ and floor-spacing ability for his size (7 feet) make him one of the more distinctive prospects in a while.

Holmgren’s size, length and versatility — he’s light enough on his feet to guard on the perimeter — is a profile Orlando has shown an affinity for in previous drafts.

The Magic started two-big lineups with Wendell Carter Jr. and Mo Bamba, and Holmgren could be a seamless fit next to Carter in the frontcourt so they can maintain rim protection at all times, a core principle of Mosley’s defensive system.

There are significant concerns about how effective Holmgren can be in the post on both ends of the floor and as a finisher at the rim because of his skinny frame for his height. Holmgren’s outside jumper (39% on 3s with Gonzaga) would have to be consistent for him to be an offensive threat.

Holmgren’s potential is evident and he fits into what the Magic already have, but there are questions of whether he’ll maximize his skillset.

3. Paolo Banchero (Duke)

Height: 6-foot-10 | Weight: 250 | Age: 19

Banchero’s skillset coming out of Duke suggests he can be a go-to option at the next level.

With the Blue Devils, Banchero thrived in creating opportunities for himself and others off the dribble. He’s a versatile scorer who finished well around the rim because of his strength, footwork and touch.

Banchero is one of the better-passing top prospects (3.2 assists as a forward) who can serve as an offensive hub, which the Magic could use after having the league’s second-worst offensive rating in 2021-22.

His outside shooting (33.8% from beyond the arc) is an area he’ll need to improve.

Banchero also wasn’t consistently locked in as a defender at Duke and it’s not clear how switchable he’ll be at the next level.

This article first appeared on OrlandoSentinel.com. Email Khobi Price at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.

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Rookie Christopher Morel’s special moment pumps life into the Chicago Cubs’ rebuild plan: ‘It’s so cool’

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Rookie Christopher Morel’s special moment pumps life into the Chicago Cubs’ rebuild plan: ‘It’s so cool’

If the Chicago Cubs could bottle moments like Tuesday night at Wrigley Field, they wouldn’t have to worry so much about people calling this a rebuild.

Christopher Morel’s bat-flipping celebration after homering in his first major-league at-bat, combined with Brandon Hughes’ five strikeouts in 1 ⅔ innings in his big-league debut, provided Cubs fans with hope the future might be brighter than imagined.

That’s what an infusion of youth can do.

“It just brings that energy, that new energy,” pitcher Kyle Hendricks said before Wednesday’s series finale against the Pittsburgh Pirates. “It’s having a good balance of both. We have so many good veteran guys around here now that bring the right energy from that side and that aspect.

“But seeing these young guys come up, kind of a deer-in-the-headlights (look) a little bit. They don’t know what to expect. They just go out and play and play so wholeheartedly and so natural. It’s just fun to see all that emotion come out of them.”

Morel was in the starting lineup at third base Wednesday, still flying from the electric moment in the eighth inning Tuesday. The 22-year-old call-up from Double-A Tennessee knew when he stepped up that Willson Contreras had homered in his first at-bat in 2016.

“I saw it on the scoreboard and I said to him, ‘Hey, I’m going to make my first at-bat a home run just like you,’ ” Morel said.

The moment the ball left the bat, Contreras jumped out of the dugout like the Cubs had won the pennant. It was an instant flashback to June 19, 2016, at Wrigley, when he homered in his first major-league at-bat on Father’s Day against the Pirates.

“It was amazing,” Contreras recalled Wednesday. “A good introduction for me in the big leagues.”

Justin Steele chimed in, recalling watching the shot six years ago when he pitched for Class A South Bend.

“Pretty sure me and Adbert (Alzolay) watched that home run together,” Steele told Contreras.

Morel’s homer sparked a wild reaction from the crowd at Wrigley, which already was on its feet for the 3-2 pitch. He performed a semi-moonwalk out of the box while flipping his bat for what he insisted was the first time in his career.

Really? His first-ever bat flip?

“Like this, yes,” he said. “Last year I hit a walk-off and I flipped my bat, but not like this.”

Morel became the ninth Cub to homer in his first major-league at-bat and the first since Contreras.

“I wasn’t thinking about it until it happened,” Hendricks said of the coincidence. “(Contreras) did it on the first pitch, of course. But we thought about it right away, especially Willson running out there giving him a hug. It was just an awesome, awesome moment for him. Going out there and doing that, it’s so cool to see things like that happen.”

Contreras said he was waiting for Morel to “do something positive, either a blooper or a base hit.”

Morel did something even better.

“Hitting a home run is pretty good,” Contreras said. “Almost nobody can do that in the big leagues.”

Manager David Ross called it a moment Cubs fans will always remember and said he and pitching coach Tommy Hottovy had “swelling” in their eyes.

“That’s what stories are made of, and I’ll never forget that,” Ross said. “It reminded me of Willson’s first at-bat, that emotion. And then I started laughing when he nearly missed first base, like Mark McGwire (after breaking the home run record).”

The Cubs were riding a wave entering Wednesday night’s game, with a four-game winning streak and Marcus Stroman scheduled to return to the mound Thursday after his COVID-19-related IL stint. Closer David Robertson was cleared to return from his COVID-related absence Wednesday.

Team President Jed Hoyer doesn’t want his plan labeled a “rebuild,” a term the Cubs embraced a decade ago before it became associated with another word — tanking.

But when kids such as Morel, Steele, Hughes and Keegan Thompson enjoy some success, “rebuild” doesn’t sound quite as offensive. Most Cubs fans, in fact, would prefer to watch unproven 22-year-olds develop at Wrigley than former prospects signed on the cheap or 30-something pitchers who can be moved at the trade deadline.

“We have a lot of good, young talent, and they are hungry,” Contreras said. “They bring a lot of positive energy around the clubhouse, which is always good to have.”

Hendricks and Contreras helped establish the winning culture on the North Side in their early years, and both said they hope the younger players understand they’re here to keep that culture alive.

“We’re trying to hold on to that,” Hendricks said. “And everybody that comes into this environment, we hope that’s what they feel.”

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Annabelle De St. Maurice: We’re losing the fight against superbugs, but there’s still hope

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Annabelle De St. Maurice: We’re losing the fight against superbugs, but there’s still hope

As parents, we inherently want to protect our children. We tell them stories with happy endings and reassure them that there aren’t monsters hiding under the bed.

But there’s an enemy living among us that poses a fatal threat to kids and adults alike — and we’re simply not doing enough to stop it.

These enemies are “superbugs” — bacteria and fungi that are resistant to antibiotics and other medications. All microbes, from everyday bacteria to killer superbugs, are constantly evolving. And paradoxically, exposing microbes to antimicrobials — whether a common antibiotic for strep throat or a potent antifungal treatment given in the hospital — can make them stronger in the long run.

While most of the microbes die when treated, the ones that survive can reproduce. These new generations of microbes can build up resistance to certain antimicrobials, rendering some medications less effective or ineffective over time.

Unfortunately, this natural evolutionary process is speeding up for several reasons. We greatly overuse antibiotics in patients with viruses, like the flu, common colds and bronchitis — without benefit. And modern medical care has increased the demand for antibiotics. Advances in cancer care, organ transplants and surgeries such as hip and knee replacements have become much more common. These procedures can extend and improve life, but patients often require antimicrobials because they are at high risk of developing infections.

Bacteria are mutating at a speed that outpaces the development of antibiotics. Penicillin was discovered in 1941, but it wasn’t until 1967 that penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumococcus was first identified. By contrast, consider an antibiotic for multidrug-resistant bacteria released in 2015, called ceftazidime-avibactam. That same year a strain of bacteria emerged that was resistant to this new antibiotic.

Drug-resistant pathogens are one of the greatest healthcare threats of our time — for everyone, everywhere, including adults and children. More than 1.2 million people died worldwide from antibiotic-resistant infections in 2019 alone. Multidrug-resistant infections are on the rise in kids. More of these infections originate outside of our hospitals and within our communities.

Without effective antibiotics, run-of-the-mill pneumonia or skin infections can become life-threatening.

COVID-19 exacerbated the situation. Amid the widespread uncertainty and limited treatment options at the beginning of the pandemic, doctors often used antibiotics to treat COVID-19 patients as they tried to help them. Patients may also have been given antibiotics in instances in which it was difficult to distinguish between bacterial pneumonia, which requires antibiotics, and COVID-19.

Hospital stewardship programs — which manage the careful and optimal use of antimicrobial treatments — also had to redirect their limited resources away from antibiotic use to focus on the complex administration of COVID-19 therapeutics. And severely ill patients on ventilators were at a higher risk of contracting secondary infections, especially while their immune system was weakened.

These factors led to an increase in drug-resistant infections acquired in hospitals during the pandemic. Drug-resistant staph infections, MRSA, jumped 34% for hospitalized patients in the last quarter of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

Prior to COVID-19, we made initial progress in the fight against antimicrobial resistance. In 2014, California was the first state to pass a law requiring antimicrobial stewardship programs in hospitals. In 2019, Medicare began requiring antibiotic stewardship programs.

Some modest federal investments have also been made in antimicrobial research and development, but not enough to generate the pipeline patients need. We must increase support for antimicrobial stewardship practices, which were under-resourced even before the pandemic. Teaching practitioners to safely use and monitor antimicrobial treatments is a significant step.

We also need to develop novel antimicrobial medicines capable of defeating the superbugs that have grown resistant to previous generations of treatments. But market incentives are misaligned. Because doctors prudently limit their use of antimicrobials to avoid further resistance, there isn’t high demand to sustain the development of new products, which take years of research and billions of dollars in investments.

As a result, many large biopharmaceutical companies have stopped antimicrobial research entirely. And many smaller startups have had success at first, only to face bankruptcy. That’s part of the reason why there have been few new classes of antibiotics developed in the last 35 years.

This is a textbook case of a market failure, but government intervention can help realign market incentives.

The PASTEUR Act is a bipartisan bill in Congress that would establish a payment model for critically needed antimicrobials.

Currently, the government pays manufacturers based on the volume of drugs sold. But under PASTEUR, the government would enter into contracts with manufacturers and pay a predetermined amount for access to their novel antimicrobials — allowing scientists to innovate new treatments without fear of an insufficient return on investment due to low sales volumes.

Essentially, the bill would switch the government from a “pay-per-use” model for antimicrobials to a subscription-style model that pays for the value antimicrobials bring to society. By delinking payments to antimicrobial makers from sales volumes, the measure would stimulate investment in new antibiotics.

The bill would also provide resources to strengthen hospital antimicrobial stewardship programs, which help clinicians use antimicrobials prudently and help the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention closely monitor resistance. Hospitals should join public health leaders in supporting this legislation and invest more of their resources in their antimicrobial stewardship programs.

Unfortunately, superbugs aren’t an easy enemy to defeat. We need to be fighting them more vigorously to ensure that they don’t get around our best defenses.

Annabelle de St. Maurice is an associate professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and head of pediatric infection control and co-chief infection prevention officer at UCLA Health. She wrote this for the Los Angeles Times.

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