Marquee Matchup:St Mary’s to Host DiBiaso-led CM on Sept 21

There is a date that Lynn football fans must circle on their calendar this fall. of

Jeff Newhall
St Mary’s Director of Athletics

On Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Manning Field, the St. Mary’s High School football team, led by first-year head coach Sean Driscoll, will host powerful Catholic Memorial, led by its first-year coach John DiBiaso, the former Everett High School coach who won 12 Super Bowls during his tenure there.

St. Mary’s Director of Athletics Jeff Newhall said that when Brockton High School backed out of its game against CM in Week 3, discussions began with DiBiaso about playing the Spartans, who had an open date. After working out the particulars with the legendary coach, Newhall agreed to the non-league game with Memorial, a Division 1 program.

“For our student-athletes to have the opportunity to compete against arguably the greatest coach in the history of the state, it’s exciting for our entire program -and we’re looking forward with much anticipation to that game,” said Newhall.

DiBiaso stepped down as head football coach after the 2017 season during which Everett defeated Xaverian to win the Division 1 Super Bowl and claim the No. 1 ranking in Massachusetts. DiBiaso stepped down in Everett to become the head football coach and assistant athletic director at CM. The Knights are expected to be a contender in the Division 1 South sectional.

DiBiaso said he is excited to bring his football team to Lynn.

“We [Everett] played a lot of games in Lynn, going back to the old jamboree [Hoffman Jamboree] they used to have there,” said DiBiaso. “St. Mary’s is a very good program and Sean Driscoll is an excellent coach. St. Mary’s has a great tradition. They’re good in all sports.”

DiBiaso is hoping that the two schools can play each other in other sports as well.

“Catholic Memorial is optimistic that this can lead to games in basketball, baseball, hockey, and other sports as well,” said DiBiaso. “I think it’s a nice fit for both schools. They’re very good in basketball. Coach [David] Brown does a tremendous job. They’re good in baseball every year. What better facility to play a baseball game than at Fraser Field. In hockey, they’re good as well. We’re looking at this as a win-win situation.”

For Jeff Newhall, the highly successful St. Mary’s girls basketball coach, the matchup against Catholic Memorial continues a trend of the St. Mary’s athletic program scheduling highly competitive non-league games and opting up to a higher division for the State Tournament. The St. Mary’s baseball team elected to move up to Division 2 this year and lost, 3-2, in extra innings to Beverly, who went on to play in the state final.

The St. Mary’s football program thrived under the leadership of Matt Durgin, who led the Spartans to an appearance in the Super Bowl. St. Mary’s was a state semifinalist last season, losing to eventual state champion Mashpee. Durgin stepped down as head coach following the season.

After reviewing many candidates for the football coaching position, Newhall selected Driscoll, the former Winthrop High School head football coach. Driscoll enjoyed much success as the Vikings’ mentor, and is poised to continue the winning tradition in his new post.

Driscoll will make his coaching debut against Millis High School, two-time defending Division 8/Division 4A state champion. Manchester-Essex is the Spartans’ second opponent.

Catholic Memorial plays St. John’s of Shrewsbury and Stoughton before its visit to Manning Field.

Meanwhile, TV-15 broadcaster John Hoffman will have an interesting perspective on the CM-St. Mary’s football game. Hoffman and former Item sports editor Paul Halloran have been the broadcast team for DiBiaso’s Everett High School football games. Hoffman will be in the booth calling the game for Lynn television, with DiBiaso on the visiting sidelines. Hoffman has a vast knowledge about DiBiaso’s coaching career at Everett, so the broadcast will feature some interesting tidbits for Lynn fans.

There is a possibility that Malden Catholic will be playing Lynn English before the Catholic Memorial-St. Mary’s game in what would be an exciting doubleheader at Manning Field.

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