Inside Stories

Catching Up with the Mill City Eagles

Running Back Josh Pierre-Charles with the carry in a Week 2 victory over the Haverhill Hitmen

As the Mill City Eagles prepare to kick off their home opener this Saturday night at Cawley Stadium, we caught up with Head Coach Michael Isola for a look at everything you need to know about the hometown football squad that’s soared to a 3-0 start that has them sitting atop the East Coast Football League’s East Conference.

How do you feel about the team’s play three weeks into the season?

“We got off to a bit of a slow start as we have added a good amount of new faces into the mix, but I feel that the team is improving each week. This is a really dedicated group, we have leadership everywhere, they hold each other accountable.”

Was a 3-0 start anything you anticipated?

“We had to start the season with our 1st 3 games on the road, which included games down in Fall River MA and Derby CT, so I knew that we would be battle tested early in the season. But I am blessed to have such a great coaching staff and they made sure that the team was ready to go each week. So for us to be 3-0 to start the season, we are beyond blessed.”

What’s been the secret behind the team’s success?

“I feel that it is how we prepare for every practice & every game. We have a lot of guys who have played college ball, so we try to structure our practice plans, film study, weekly zoom meetings and gameday functions as close to a college ball type of setting that we can. The group is very dedicated to success both on and off the field. My assistant coaching staff puts in a lot of work each week, from the drills & game situations that we run at practice. I learn a lot from this group and so do the players.”

Eagles QB Calvin Boudreau prepares to take the snap

Who are some of the key players over the first three games?

– QB Calvin Boudreau (Curry College) 30 of 42 for 594 yds, 9 TD’s & 1 INT. Also 11 rushes for 118 yds & 1 TD
– RB Josh Pierre-Charles (Nichols College) 26 rushes for 124 yds 3 TD’s. KR’s 175 YD’s & 1 TD
– WR Brendon Frost (Hudson Valley College via Nashua South HS) 16 REC’s for 318 YD’s 7 TD’s & 1 2-point conversion. 5 KR’s for 105 yds
– WR Princewell Iwejuo (Nichols College) 66 yds rec. 1 TD
– WR Jose Lazu Jr. (Greater Lowell Tech) 55 yds rec. 1 TD

– LB: Travis Byars (Dean College) 22 tackles
– LB: Derek Capellan (Monroe College) 22 tackles, 3.5 sacks
– DE: Tyler Jameson (Spaulding HS) 9 tackles, 3 sacks
– DB: Alex Alleyne (Hesperia HS-California) 2 INT’s
– FS: Mark Federico (North Andover HS) 2 INT’s
– SS: Xavier Hackett (Nichols College) 22 tackles
– CB: Darrin Cooper (Anna Maria College) 10 tackles

Who are some of the local players on the team?

– Josiah Martinez: Shawsheen Tech
– Randy Leblanc: Curry College via Nashoba Tech
– Jose Lazu: Greater Lowell Tech
– Connor Kochanek: Nashua South HS
– Johnathon Martinez: Shawsheen Tech
– Nick Zullo: Stonehill College via Tewksbury
– Gustavo Ventura: Lowell High School
– Sean Mcmeniman: Nashua South HS
– John Slabcynski: Lowell Catholic HS
– Shawn Surrette: Wilmington HS
– Liam Shockley: Nashoba Tech
– Zack Cook: Greater Lowell Tech
– Brendon Frost: Hudson Valley College via Nashua South HS
– Shawn Clarke: Nashoba Tech

Eagles defenders line up in the red zone

What have they brought to the field?

“They all just bring hard work and dedication. They are all talented, but also physically and mentally tough. They all bring that Merrimack Valley grit to practice and games. They all are pillars in the community with everything that they volunteer within the community.”

Who are the key contributors returning from last year’s group?

“We lost a few key guys to retirement, but the overall youthful core has stayed in tack. Boudreau & Frost anchor an explosive offense and Federico and Jameson have anchored a young, but very physical defense.”

Any newcomers of note?

“I am very impressed with some of the new guys we added. Byars is a dawg out there defensively, wherever the ball is on the field, you will find him. Capellen plays everywhere, LB, DE, NT, he just makes plays. And the “Nichols connection”: Pierre-Charles (RB), Hackett (SS), Parker (DB) & Iwejuo (WR) are all impact players everywhere on the field & they all play special teams for us.”

How many years have you coached the team?

“This is my 2nd year as Head Coach. I was the Defensive Coordinator the 5 seasons prior to taking over as Head Coach. I did want to highlight my assistant coaches, as if it wasn’t for them, we would not have seen the success we have seen; Offensive Coordinator: Connor Mclaughlin: Chelmsford HS Special Teams Coordinator: Jared Natola: Lowell Catholic HS Defensive Line Coach: Steve MacDonald WR’s Coach: Pat Noonan: Dracut HS Offensive Line Coach: Matt Becker: University of Delaware Assistant Defensive Coach: Michael Jackson LB’s Coach: Geoff Macgillivary General Manager: Zach Swale (best GM in the game, Zach has assembled an amazing roster) Trainer: Christine Muller: UMass-Lowell Athletic Trainer.

What’s the game experience like for fans in attendance?

“Fans can expect a fun family environment. Our concession stand is run by the Lowell Jr. High Football program, so you will be able to enjoy some great food while you watch a game. They will be able to enjoy an explosive offense, with playmakers all over the field. And if you like physical football, you will get your money’s worth watching the defense play. But most importantly, these games are about the kids in the stands. Any player or cheerleader in any of the local youth football programs: Lowell, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tewksbury and Billerica are allowed free admittance to any and all home games, by wearing their game jerseys. All kids are welcomed to meet the players after the game.”

What was last year’s record?

“Last years team was 8-2 in the regular season (9-3 overall). We lost in the ECFL AA League Championship and were ranked in the Top 20 nationally all season long.”

Any final thoughts as you gear up for the home opener?

“I am very excited to see what the team can do playing at home. There is just something in the air at Cawley Stadium, you just have more adrenaline pumping and you just feel that you have that “12th Man” right there behind you. Our fans were great last season, and I anticipate they will be even greater this season.”

(Click here to see learn more about the Mill City Eagles)

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