MILTON, Mass. – With a full compliment of skill players surrounding an experienced senior quarterback in Bobby Maimaron, the Duxbury Dragons went virtually unchallenged at the Under Armour Northeast 7-on-7 New England Championships.
They qualified for the ten-team tournament by cruising through the South Regional a week and a half earlier and proceeded to go undefeated in pool play on Wednesday afternoon at Milton high school.
In the semifinals, Duxbury held off Rhode Island power Bishop Hendricken in a 14-12 victory before the Dragons dispatched Danvers 22-8 to take home the first place trophy.
“Whenever the team competes together they want to represent the town and the program in the right light,” explained Duxbury head coach Dave Maimaron. “It’s good to come out of the flag season healthy with some wins. It’s not real football, but it’s great practice for the skill players on both sides of the ball.”
Duxbury went 6-0 in the tournament with wins over Danvers, Greenwich (CT), Wells (ME), and Cambridge private school Buckingham, Browne & Nichols in the group stage. Duxbury was the only team to go undefeated throughout pool play and it didn’t take an expert analyst to see why they were dominating the competition.
Duxbury marches right down the field to open 6-0 pic.twitter.com/iJzCjxIpAa— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) July 28, 2016
The Dragons advanced to the Division Southwest Regional Final last fall before losing to Milton, 42-28, in a shootout. They advanced that far despite losing two dynamic skill players to injury in wide receiver Ryan Reagan and running back Devin DeMeritt.
Now that both players are healthy, senior quarterback Bobby Maimaron had no issues moving the ball down the field and hooking up with his playmakers for a few spectacular touchdowns.
What a catch by *Ryan Reagan* (no rosters here) to put Duxbury up two scores pic.twitter.com/YfORmqCuyO— Nate Weitzer (@nweitzer7) July 28, 2016
“We have a lot of young kids and it’s good for them to get used to the system,” Reagan said after the tournament. “Devin [DeMeritt] has been out since the beginning of last season and it’s great to see him come out and make a big impact. He’s going to be huge for us this year.”
On the other side of the ball, Duxbury’s defense was as close to dominant as a coach could hope for in this format.
That is a particularly important improvement for Duxbury, because the speed and athleticism of last year’s Milton team gave the Dragons secondary a lot of issues in what proved to be their final game of the year.
“Our defense got stops all day long and they did the same last weekend, so it’s good to see that we’re more athletic on defense than we were last year,” Maimaron said.“It’s so hard to get a stop in flag [football] and if you get a couple you’re probably going to win the game.”
The Dragons were able to string together enough stops to build plenty of momentum in this 7-on-7 tournament, and this talented group hopes to ride that wave into a season that is rife with high expectations.