The summer months may be dominated by baseball on Cape Cod, but that doesn’t stop local football teams from working on their craft ahead of the fall.
Across three different locations on every Wednesday, 12 teams gather for two-hand touch passing leagues. On Wednesday, July 10, Mashpee, Bourne, Old Rochester, Upper Cape Tech and Cape Cod Tech squared off for seven-on-seven drills at the Quashnet Elementary School in Mashpee. At DeConto Stadium at Sandwich High School, the Blue Knights hosted Falmouth and two different Barnstable teams. And Monomoy played host to Nauset, Dennis-Yarmouth and St. John Paul II in Harwich.
Seven of these 12 teams will be part of the newly reformed Cape & Islands League. For the purpose of football, Falmouth, Barnstable, Nauset and Dennis-Yarmouth will compete in the C&I Large Division while Sandwich, Monomoy and St. John Paul II will be in the Small Division. Mashpee (South Shore League), Bourne and Old Rochester (South Coast Conference) and UCT and CCT (Mayflower Athletic Conference) will remain in their respective leagues this season.
Below is a notebook recapping some of the highlights of the passing league as it pertains to Bourne, Upper Cape Tech and Mashpee.
A lot of turnover across the roster following the Canalmen’s best season in recent memory. Bourne’s Shawn McDonough completed his first two passes on underneath routes to get the offense rolling in its 10-play offensive series. He swung the ball out to his right to rising senior Jaimon Scott, who’s blessed with blazing speed, for a short gain. McDonough, playing out of a shotgun formation, found Brady Fitzpatrick across the middle on a drag route.
After those two completions, McDonough did not complete another pass—although many were on the mark, but dropped by his receivers.
Upper Cape Tech
Last year’s surprise success will carry large expectations for the Rams in 2019. UCT will return nearly all of its skill position players, most notably the backfield tandem of Juzary Salim and Kemrin Glover. Mix in rising senior Andrew Brightman and his younger brother, Jon, and the Rams feature two running threats and two sure-handed pass catchers on offense.
But they can also wreak havoc on the defensive side. After Thomas Zine hooked up with Salim for a touchdown on a deep seam route down the right side on the team’s final offensive play, the Rams' defense went to work against Bourne. Playing in a Cover 2, man-under formation, UCT broke up the final eight passing attempts by its in-town rival, highlighted by an interception by Jon Brightman in which he jumped a box route over the middle of the field.
The season didn’t end in the fashion that the Falcons had grown accustomed to—hoisting a state title trophy on the field of Gillette Stadium, but Mashpee is still loaded with hard-nosed, dedicated football players.
Some of the key offensive cogs may be gone, but returning is a core group: Kendall Rose, Devon Hughes, Matt Bowen and Jack Vinitsky. Those four players did much of the damage offensively when playing against both Old Rochester, the Division 5 state runners-up last season, and Bourne.
Rose, Bowen and Vinitsky all caught touchdowns for the Falcons, with Bowen appearing to be a solid replacement for recent grad Xavier Gonsalves at the tight end position, as he possesses both size and speed. Rose proved to be a reliable safety valve, catching five of the six balls thrown his way, including two for touchdowns.