EDITORS NOTE: This is Part 1 of the Eagle-Tribune All-Decade football team, starting with the offense. The All-Decade defense will run next week.
It was a historic decade of offense across the football fields of the Eagle-Tribune area in the 2010s.
Salem’s Max Jacques set the region’s record for career rushing yards, only to see it broken a year later — by former Blue Devil teammate Jerickson Fedrick.
Andover’s E.J. Perry, of course, shattered the area records for passing yards and touchdown passes in a career and single season — the latter previously owned by fellow Golden Warrior C.J. Scarpa.
Chance Brady set Haverhill High’s career rushing record, then set the career rushing mark at Tufts University. And Manny Latimore ran past a Pinkerton legend’s school mark.
Cody Demers led Central Catholic to a Division 1 state title, Jake McElroy and Gabe DeSouza led North Andover to a Division 2 championship, and Methuen’s Bryce Smith was a force on the line.
With so much history, and so many great players, it’s was simply too difficult to choose an All-Century football team, as has been the case with other sports. So we have chosen to name an All-Decade team.
The decision process came down to a combination of statistics, team success and memorable moments when the lights were brightest.
So, we present to you, the Eagle-Tribune All-Decade Offense:
E.J. Perry IV (Andover, 2017) — Our Player of the Decade for 2010s. Set Eagle-Tribune area records for passing yards and TD passes in career (8,754 yards, 114 TDs) and season (3,398 yards, 47 TDs). Two-time Eagle-Tribune MVP (2015-16) and All-Scholastic. Rushed for 1,006 yards as senior. Stellar defensive back. Basketball and baseball star. Started college career at Boston College, now starting QB for Brown.
C.J, Scarpa (Andover, 2013) — Set then-Eagle-Tribune area single-season records for passing yards (2,622) and TD passes (32) as senior for MVC Division 1 champs. In two seasons as starter, threw for 4,429 passing yards and 51 TDs. Eagle-Tribune offensive MVP as senior. Played college football for Division 1-AA Elon, Bentley and Merrimack. Started coaching career for Harvard football, now at Austin Peay.
Bret Edwards (Central Catholic, 2018) — Rare three-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star. Finished career with 4,706 passing yards (fourth in area history) and 54 TDs passing (No. 2 all-time). As sophomore, led Raiders to Division 1 title game (1,917 yards, 21 TDs passing). As senior, threw for 1,326 yards and 18 TDs despite playing with fractured non-throwing elbow. Star high jumper in track. Now QB for UNH.
Jake McElroy (North Andover, 2019) — Scored lone TD in 6-0 Division 2 state title game win over King Philip in 2018. Eagle-Tribune offensive MVP as senior (1,590 yards, 18 TDs passing). In three years as starter, threw for 3,930 yards and 39 TDs. Led Knights to D2 North title game as junior. Began career at Brooks. Won Eagle-Tribune Bishop Award as area’s top three-sport athlete. Will play baseball at Holy Cross.
Andy Coke (Andover, 2012) — In two seasons at Andover High, was two-time All-Scholastic and Eagle-Tribune All-Star (2010-11), rushing for 2,995 yards and scoring 40 TDs. Led Golden Warriors to 2010 MVC Division 1 title. Scored eight TDs and seven two-point conversions in epic eight overtime win over Lowell. Also played quarterback. Began career at Brooks. Started at running back for Brown.
Chance Brady (Haverhill, 2013) — Two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star (2011-12). All-Scholastic as senior (2,063 rushing yards, 32 TDs). Two-year starter ran for Haverhill High record 3,709 yards. Scored 56 career TDs. Played lineman as freshman and linebacker as sophomore. Set Tufts University records for rushing yards in career (2,692) and season (1,099), earning All-American and New England Division 3 MVP honors.
Manny Latimore (Pinkerton, 2014) — Ran for school-record 4,144 yards, breaking Astros’ legend Matt Jordan’s mark. Scored 64 career TDs. Eagle-Tribune offensive MVP as senior (1,672 rushing yard, 21 TDs), and All-Star as junior. Four-year starter scored at least seven TDs every season. Dynamic kick returner. Talented track sprinter. Played football for Lackawanna Junior College and semipro Granite State Destroyers.
Max Jacques (Salem, 2011) — Heart and soul of Blue Devils’ 2009 Division 1 state champs. Graduated as area’s all-time leader in career rushing yards (4,559). As senior ran for 1,904 yards and scored 26 TDs. Two-time N.H. Gatorade Player of the Year (2009-10). Eagle-Tribune MVP as junior and All-Star as senior. Also excelled as kick returner and in track. Started at running back for Division 1-AA Marist College.
Jerickson Fedrick (Salem, 2012) — Set Eagle-Tribune area record for career rushing yards (4,568). Scored 75 career TDs. Eagle-Tribune MVP as senior (1,801 rushing yards, 27 TDs). Eagle-Tribune All-Star as junior. Sophomore on Salem’s 2009 Division 1 title team. Also record-setting track sprinter. Won Bishop Award as area’s top three-sport athlete. Played football for University of Maine and UNH.
Payton Heidtke (Andover, 2018) — Eagle-Tribune All-Star as junior and senior. Left tackle protected blindside for area’s leading passer three straight seasons (E.J. Perry IV 2015-16, Nick Dellatto 2017). 6-foot-3, 265-pounder. Also started at defensive lineman. Was standout heavyweight wrestler and rugby player at Andover. Heading into junior season with Bryant football.
Ryan Barry (Central Catholic, 2013) — Rare four-year starter for Raiders. Two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star. 6-foot-4, 245 pounder protected star QB Mike Milano. Also dominant defensive lineman, made 48 tackles, nine for a loss, and three sacks as senior. Played basketball and was thrower in track. Became three-time All-Northeast-10 offensive lineman for Saint Anselm.
Dan Burrows (Haverhill, 2013) — Intimidating presence at 6-foot-4, 290-pounds with lumberjack beard. Chance Brady followed Burrows’ blocks to school records for rushing yards. Eagle-Tribune All-Star as senior, three-time All-MVC and four-year letterman. Defensive lineman made 65 tackles as senior. Played football for University of Maine. Assistant coach for Hillies last fall.
Bryce Smith (Methuen, 2018) — Two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star. 6-foot-2, 275-pounder protected Eagle-Tribune MVP Jordan Perdomo and opened holes for rushing game that compiled 2,729 yards as senior. As defensive end a terror for opposing QBs. Made approximately 10 sacks as senior and nine sacks as junior. Four-year varsity player. Also star heavyweight wrestler.
Steve Mannion (Lawrence, 2011) — Known for long flowing hair that went past his shoulders, and hard-hitting style. 5-foot-9, 205-pounder dominated as center in Lancers’ spread offense. Eagle-Tribune All-Star in 2010. Also a force at middle linebacker, making 122 tackles as senior, earning MVC defensive MVP. Played football at Pima College in Arizona.
Jordan Labossiere (Salem, 2019) — Left tackle led Blue Devils to back-to-back Division 1 semifinal berths, regular season wins over Pinkerton and 18-4 record as junior and senior. Two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star and All-NH Division 1 South. 5-foot-10, 260-pounder also started at defensive tackle. Earned Joe Yukica Scholar-Athlete Award. Also top shot putter.
Cody Demers (Central Catholic, 2014) — Go-to receiver for Raiders’ 2013 Division 1 state champs, caught game-clinching TD in title game. Eagle-Tribune All-Star as senior (55 catches, 783 yards, 6 TDs). Finished Central career with 1,264 receiving yards. Also dynamic kick returner (27.3 yard average as senior). Starred at receiver at Merrimack College (204 catches, 2,416 yards, 18 TD) despite missing year with torn ACL.
Gabe DeSouza (North Andover, 2019) — Overcame life-threatening heart illness to lead Scarlet Knights to Division 2 state title as senior. In two seasons in North Andover, was two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star and All-Scholastic (86 catches, 1,650, 22 TDs). Began career at Everett High. Also stellar defensive back and kicker (two field goals, 52 PATs as senior). Now starring for Curry College (43 catches, 555 yards, 9 TDs in 2019).
Cedric Gillette (Andover, 2018) — As junior set Eagle-Tribune area modern single-season records in catches (86) and receiving yards (1,149), leading Golden Warriors to Division 1 North title game. Caught game-winning TD in North semifinal upset of St. John’s Prep. Two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star. As senior had 66 catches for 1,002 yards and 9 TDs. Three-sport star (basketball/baseball) now pitches for Merrimack College.