WATERTOWN — The good news for Immaculate Heart Central this year is that the Cavaliers return one of the top passers in Section 3 in Cole Carpenter and a veteran offensive line.
But finding someone for Cole Carpenter to throw to, as well as trying to replace most of the key defensive performers from last year’s Section 3 Class C finalists, will be coach Paul Alteri’s toughest job.
“To be this young and inexperienced in such a tough division (Class C North) is going to be tough,” Alteri said. “Every team in our division has the potential to win the crown, so we’re going to have a tough game each and every week.”
Fortunately for IHC, Alteri’s offense is in Carpenter’s capable hands. The 6-foot-2 senior passed for nearly 1,600 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior. But instead of guys like Nick Koelmel, Jude Whalen, Haden Baker and Miles Sexton as targets, his entire receiving corps this year possesses virtually no varsity experience. Alteri is hoping a talented group of sophomores (Josh Navarra, Vincenzo Alteri, Silas Baker, Trent Mitchell) can pick up some of the slack and help the offense out.
Senior running back Jordan Trudeau will get most of the carries this year after he shared duties with several players last year.
Alteri has no worries up front with the likes of Dan Grant, Nick Kramer, Grant Chamberlain, Connor Ingerson and Calo Alteri returning. “It’s a nice, tight group and we expect them to carry the load for us this year,” Alteri said. “Protecting Cole will be our number one goal.”
The IHC defense, which graduated most of its leading tacklers and playmakers, will be a work in progress with so many new people in key spots. And with just a 23-man roster, most of the starters will be playing both ways.
Alteri really likes this team’s potential. He is worried, however, about the low numbers and what the program will look like in the near future.
“We’re going to be in trouble unless we start getting more kids (in the program),” Alteri said. “It’s tough to play so many kids both ways and remain competitive.”
2013 record: 9-1, 4-0 Class C North.
Coach: Paul Alteri (9th year, 51-20).
Players to watch: Cole Carpenter (Sr., QB, 1,581 pass yds., 17 TD); Jordan Trudeau (Sr., RB, 245 rush yds., 4 TD); Michael Laverty (Jr., RB); Nick Kramer (Sr., OL/DL); Grant Chamberlain (Sr., OL/DL); Connor Ingerson (Jr., OL/DL); Daniel Grant (Sr., OL/DL); Calo Alteri (Sr., C); Vincenzo Alteri (So., WR/DE); Joshua Navarra (Jr., WR/DB); Silas Baker (So., WR/DB); Trent Mitchell (So., TE); Walter Dodard (Jr., LB.