Mansfield poised for playoff return


2009: 9-2 (7-2 Hockomock)

Coach: Mike Redding (22nd season, 175-58-4)

Players to watch: Jamel Marshall, Sr., RB, 5-11, 190 lbs; Sean Otto, Sr., LB, 6-1, 195 lbs; Anthony Todesco, Sr., OL/DL, 6-3, 240 lbs; Kyle McGuire, Sr., OL/DL, 6-1, 225 lbs; Jeff Hill, Sr., SE, 6-3, 190 lbs.

Outlook: Last year's Hockomock slate of games were, in a word, quite the anomaly. The Hornets' two losses came by a combined four points, one of which (Franklin) went on to win the league and clinch its first postseason berth since 1982. Heck, the league title came down to a Thanksgiving clash, but not Mansfield-Foxborough. Things could be coming back down to earth in 2010, as the Hornets are once again a favorite to win the league. They graduate 1,350 rushing yards in Sean Doherty, but Redding thinks his backup Marshall is more than capable of filling those shoes. Marshall, who is garnering looks from schools in the CAA, has a balanced blend of power and shiftiness in his running game. Defensively, the Hornets graduated size, but will play fast.