Everett resident John DiBiaso finds himself in a familiar position at the end of another high school football season: head coach of the top-ranked team in Massachusetts.
DiBiaso’s Catholic Memorial football team wrapped up an undefeated season with a 23-19 victory over previously unbeaten Xaverian Friday at the Knights’ home field in West Roxbury.
The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Max Preps, and New England Football Journal all listed Catholic Memorial as the No. 1 team in their polls. In fact, CM held the top spot in the polls from start to finish.
DiBiaso’s impact in the CM program was immediate. His CM teams – who wear The Ohio State University replica uniforms – appeared in back-to-back Division 1 Super Bowls in 2018 and 2019. The start of the 2020 fall season was pushed ahead to March of 2021 due to the pandemic.
But despite the continuing challenges posed by the pandemic this spring and losing his starting quarterback and running back to injuries during the season, DiBiaso led the Knights to a perfect 4-0 season against four top-10 ranked teams.
DiBiaso brought nonpareil line coach Mike Milo with him from Everett to West Roxbury. Also on the CM staff as the team’s athletic trainer is former EHS football star Jepthe Soulouque.
What’s it like to be No. 1 in a state with 351 cities and towns and to be crowned as state champion by the pollsters?
“It feels very good,” said DiBiaso. “I’m very proud of the kids. It was a challenge to get through with the COVID and everything. We played a very difficult schedule. The kids hung in there and we played really well. CM is a great school.”
The fact that John DiBiaso is once again king of the Commonwealth comes as no surprise to local fans who saw the Everett High and Tufts graduate build a juggernaut that produced 12 state titles for the Crimson Tide. Many of his players, including Mikey Sainristil (Michigan), Jason Maitre (BC) Isaiah Likely (Coastal Carolina), Lewis Cine (Georgia), and Carlins Platel (Assumption/South Carolina), are carrying forth the DiBiaso/Everett tradition. Former Crimson Tide star Lukas Denis was a Walter Camp All-American defensive back in his junior season at BC.
DiBiaso’s pipeline to Chestnut Hill is continuing at CM.
One of CM’s standouts, linebacker Owen McGowan, who took over at quarterback during the season, will be playing football at Boston College. Three CM sophomores, Boabcar Traore, Datrell Jones, and Jaeden Skeete, have committed to BC.
Meanwhile, DiBiaso has put together another tough schedule for next season. In addition to the Catholic Conference opponents, CM will play three out-of-state games against Bishop Hendricken and La Salle Academy of Rhode Island and Father Judge High School of Philadelphia.
Interestingly, it is unlikely that Catholic Memorial and Everett High would have the opportunity to meet in the state playoffs next season. Under the MIAA’s new playoff system, schools will be placed in divisions based on school enrollment. CM would move into a lower division as it stands right now.
Good luck with that formula. In 2011 and 2012, Everett was moved down from Division 1 into the second highest division, Division 1A. Everett won back-to-back Division 1A titles led by All-Scholastic quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso, the legendary coach’s son who is now an assistant football coach at Vanderbilt University.