Posted by: Coach P

Senior Billy Marsden get ready to recieve a pass from best friend and teammate senior Tim Wheeler.

Senior Billy Marsden scored exactly 27 points last evening and left the Central gymnasiusm wiith exactly 1,000 career varsity points as Central rolled over Lawrence 71-45.   As I've said here before, Marsden is one of the all time greats to play in the Merrimack Valley.  Many of his 1,000 points have been game changing or game winning shots and a slew of them came last year as Marsden was the difference as Central won two close games on their way to the schools second state title.  Having coached Marsden for three years as a member of the Mass Rivals, there are very few players that I've coached in my 25 year career that play with the intensity and desire that Mr. Marsden does.  Not to mention that this young man is quite intelligent and has excellent SAT scores.  Where will he go next year, nobody knows.  But as of now, he has scholarship offers (3 years out of 4) at both Southern New Hampshire University and the Univesity of Lowell.  He is also receiving significant interest from Bentley College and has had recent discussions with them.  Then of course, he has made a visit to MIT, has spoken to Williams College, and Trinity College is hot on his heals.  And of course there are many more chasing the talented guard.  It's nice to be Billy.  The lesson here is that when you're good, bright. a hard worker, and a great kid, you can take your time like Billy.

Posted by: Coach P

 Donald Celestin

Donald Celestin took the Merrimack Valley by storm last winter averaging 16 points per game during his Freshman year as a starter for the Greater Lawrence Technical School basketball team.   Donald let the Merrimack Valley know he was for real when he posted 24 points against Pinkerton and then 16 more against North Andover in the Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament last holiday season.  Donald's performance in the Christmas tournament established him as one of the most talented Freshman to ever play in the event. 

At 6'2" tall, Donald is very long and athletic and has a huge upside to him.  One can just imagine what a super athlete this young man will turn into when he gets to college and has a coaching staff that demands that Donald be in the weight room every day.  Donald's athleticm is obvious as he plays the game above the rim and has the speed to go by people like they are standing still.  Donald also has the finest crossover dribble in the area.   His crossover is a weapon, and when he uses it, he creates a good six feet of space leaving his defenders literally standing there embarrassed and in awe.  Best of all, Donald finishes around the rim a variety of different ways at a speed that is unparalleled by any high school player in the Merrimack Valley. 

If Donald continues to improve his skill level while committing himelf to the weight room, he will be a force to wrecken with in the years to come.  Expect Donald to turn into a major player in Eastern Massachusetts during this upcoming basketball seaon.  Furthermore, expect Donald to bring many coaches into the gym before his high school playing days are over. 

Posted by: Coach P

  Carson Desrosiers stock keeps rising

Georgia Tech head coach Paul Hewitt visited Central Catholic High School this Tuesday to watch Carson Desrosiers workout.   As usual, Carson looked smooth and showed Coach Hewitt why he is one of the top division 1 prospects in America.  The 6'10" Desrosiers showed he can put the ball to the floor as well as make the three.  After the workout, coach Hewitt said that Carson has a home at Georgia Tech if he wants it.

Posted by: Coach P

Mass Rivals Evan Smotrycz and Carson Desrosiers attended Midnight Madness at Providence College this Friday evening.   Division 1 College Basketball officially began this past Wednesday (Oct 15) and practices are now officially underway.  Midnight Madness is a traditional event which occurs the opening weekend of practice at most major division 1 schools.   At these events, the college community, especailly the students come together to celebrate the kickoff fo the college basketball season. 

Posted by: Coach P

     McDonald's All American Scott Hazelton

The Mass Rivals staff willl be at the Rockingham Athletic Complex (RAC) in Southern N.H. this Saturday from 1:00 - 3:00 to provide coaching assistance to Scott Hazelton who is directing a Basketball Clinic.   The clinic is free and is open to all middle school and high school boys and girls.  Scott is currently coordinating basketball operations at the RAC and will be playing basketball this winter for the ABA Manchester Millrats.  On another note, Scott who was a McDonald's All-American will be inducted into the Central Catholic Hall of Fame on November 15th. 

Carson Desrosiers had visits this week from Georgia Tech who saw him and Evan Smotrycz in Las Vegas and California this summer.  After watching Carson workout at Central, the Georgia Tech coach was on the phone to Evan at New Hampton Prep, NHBoston College also made two visits to the Lawrence campus this week and head coach Al Skinner will be traveling from the heights next Tuesday to see Carson.

I visited Bentley College this week to visit Mass Rivals Adrian Gonzalez.  Adrian took me around and showed me around the facility and locker room.  It's pretty nice when you have a college basketball locker with your name above it like Gonzalez does.  Currently the team runs in the morning, goes to classes, and then plays, lifts, and conditions in the late afternoon.   Next week all college basketball programs will officially begin practices in accordance with NCAA rules.  If you haven't been to Bentley, it is absolutely beautiful.   Congratulations to Adrian who is enjoying the fruits of his hard work and a $200,000 free education. 

Posted by: Coach P


Matt Brown at the Notre Dame Football Camp this Summer

Multitalented Matt Brown's dilemma: Focus on football or basketball?

Journal Sports Writer
- Providence Journal

His name is Matt Brown and he is this state's next sports prodigy, with the type of potential that promises to have him one day play in big college games.  The only problem is what sport?

Is it football, where he's already being recruited by the likes of Boston College, Notre Dame, Stanford, Miami and Duke?  Is it basketball, where he already is being recruited by the likes of Georgetown, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, PC, Marquette, USC, Stanford, Miami and Harvard? Which sport?

For Matt Brown, who lives in Barrington, and goes to Northfield Mount Hermon, a Massachusetts prep school, is emerging as one of the more intriguing young athletes in the country, talented enough to be a bigtime recruit in two of the more glamorous sports. And the truth is that Brown would be a great story if he only played one sport, never mind two. We don't get many local kids who are recruited to the types of schools he's now involved with. It happens rarely, and the fact it's happening in both football and basketball is unbelievable, at least around here. He might just be the first. So how does he deal with all this?  "It really doesn't mean anything," he says. "I'm just focused on my season." Then again, being a sports prodigy is not something that has snuck up on Brown. He's been one all his life, even if the stage was smaller.

He is the son of Donnie Brown, the former Providence College basketball player, who moved to Barrington to be the high school basketball coach, so Matt Brown all but grew up in the gym. He went to all his father's games. He played all the sports as a kid. He was the star of a middle-school basketball team that won the state championship when he was in the eighth grade, and already the word was out.

In the ninth grade he was a two-way starter on a football team that won the Division I state championship, and averaged about 20 points a game in basketball, routinely up around the rim at 6-foot-2. The next year he hurt his knee, had surgery, an early lesson that all sports are ephemeral, can disappear in a heartbeat. That spring he had a huge decision. He was going to leave Barrington High School, and all his success and all his friends, all that was familiar, and go off to prep school. "I'm going for more opportunity," he said then.

For he knew then that to get to where the big games were, to have the kind of athletic career he's always dreamed about, he had to get into a more competitive environment. He felt he really had no choice and that's just the way it is. So last year he started at Northfield Mount Hermon as a sophomore, and it wasn't always easy. He was homesick. He was trying to play two sports at a level that's more competitive than the Rhode Island Interscholastic League, and basketball was the toughest adjustment. In football, he could get by on his athleticism. In basketball he had to reshape his game, become more of a guard, learn to run a team. But it was more than just the sports. The experience was new and unfamiliar, he was playing against a lot of postgraduates, and there were times he wondered why he had left the security of Barrington for this brave new world.

Until this past summer. When the world opened up for Matt Brown. He played AAU basketball, going to tournaments here, there, and everywhere. And he went to both the Boston College and Notre Dame football camps. And at the end of the summer he became a commodity, viewed as a big-time athlete, whether in football as a wide receiver/defensive back, or in basketball as a combo guard. Which makes for a busy day, no question about that.

Three days a week he gets up at 5:45 and works on ball-handling and basketball fundamentals before starting his school day. Every day he goes to football practice in the afternoon, quickly grabs something to eat, then goes to work out with the basketball team, then goes to study hall. And he says it's transformed the way he deals with both sports. "I've learned a totally new work ethic," he says. "I've learned to go 100 percent all the time, and that's something I never really did in high school." Because he knows what it takes now. Knows what it takes to play at the kind of level he's trying to get to. Knows that everything comes with a price tag, even sports dreams. Because now he's a junior in high school and he still doesn't know what sport he wants to play in college, although he concedes that, all things being equal, he's probably a better football player. But he also knows that, very likely, he's going to have to choose one.

Then again, he's spent much of his life discarding sports as if they were childhood clothes. Once upon a time he liked baseball and track, too, but those went away a couple of years ago when they conflicted in the spring with AAU basketball. In a perfect world he will make a choice this summer, either football or basketball. Or maybe it will be to try to play both. Right now that's all out there in the future somewhere. But this is for sure: Matt Brown already is a bigtime recruit, both in football and basketball, the kind of potential that few local kids have.

This state's next sports prodigy.

Posted by: Coach P

   Trinity High School teammates Jordan Laguerre and David Madol

The Mass Rivals Elite got together today at Milton Academy for a fall Workout with McDonald's All-American Scott Hazelton.   The turnout was great considering many players are tied up with Football, Prep School committments, as well as high school fall tournaments and games.  Nonetheless, the Milton Academy gymnasium was filled with some of the best juniors in New England including Evan Smotrycz (New Hampton Prep, NH), Carson Desrosiers (Central Catholic, Lawrence, MA), Jordan Laguerre (Trinity H.S., NH), Ryan Canty (St. John's Prep, MA), and Michael Alverez (Central Catholic, Lawrence, MA).   The sophomore group was also loaded with Zach Hurynowicz (Burlington H.S., MA), Donald Celestin (Greater Lawrence Tech, Andover, MA), Anthony Barry (Milford H.S., MA), Rashad Jenkins (Mansfield H.S.), Joe Mussachia (Manchester H.S., MA), David Madol (Trinity Catholic, NH), Kyle Nelson, and Eric Davis (Masconomet Regional H.S., MA).   The Freshman class was represented with Showley Nickerson (Exeter Prep, NH) and Luis Puello (Central Catholic, MA).

In other news, Carson Desrosiers will be working out for Stanford University head coach Johnnie Dawkins tomorrow morning (Monday) at 6:30 a.m. at Central Catholic.  Both Carson and Evan Smotrycz are being recruited by Stanford.

Posted by: Coach P


The Mass Rivals Elite program will be working out at Milton Academy this Sunday from  11:00 a.m.- 1:00 p.m.  A college like workout stressing individual skills and drills will be followed by some intense pick-up.  We expect a talented group to be present for this clinic like practice.

Posted by: Coach P

  Zach Hurynowicz and teammates Jaymie Spears and Donald Celestin had great weekends at the Top 75.

Evan Smotrycz (New Hampton) and Carson Desrosiers (Central Catholic H.S.) both got visits from Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim last week.  Tonight Desrosiers will work out for the Universtiy of Pittsburgh and Stanford University.

Jaymie Spears (Georgetown H.S.), Zach Hurynowicz(Burlington H.S.), and Donald Celestin (Greater Lawrence Technical School) all had great showings at the New England Recruiting Report Top 75 this past weekend. 

The Mass Rivals and Expressions Elite basketball clubs will join teams next weekend for a practice at Milton Academy.  Many of the top players in New England have been invited to the practice.

Posted by: Coach P

  Jaymie Spears and many of his Mass Rivals friends will be competing at the Top 75

The New England Recruiting Report's Top 75 will be held this Saturday at Boston University from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.   Although titled the top 75,  the event will host 120 Freshman and Sophomores from New England.   The event will include a variety of talent (as this was a pay event).  Nonetheless, the event will host many of the top rated Freshman and Sophomores including Jaymie Spears of Georgetown, Zack Hurynowicz of Burlington, Egi Gjikondi of Malden, Donald Celestin of Greater Lawrence Tech, and Eric Davis of Middletown.  The event is sold out.