Who's excited for the Super 8?
The 29th edition of the tournament is filled with compelling story lines. The two programs with the most titles in the tournament's history, BC High (six) and Catholic Memorial (13), are both in the field, as are the three lone public schools to capture the crown in Reading (2008), Hingham (2010) and Arlington (2017).
The Spy Ponders, coached by John Messuri, are just the second public school ever to earn the tournament's No. 1 seed, following Winchester in 2001.
The coach of that Sachems team? John Messuri.
St. John's Prep is the sixth team in the field with a previous title (2015).
Pope Francis, Burlington, Xaverian and Framingham are in search of their first Super 8 championships. Both the Cardinals and Red Devils have played in a final, while the Hawks and Flyers are in search of their first final appearance.
The return of both Xaverian and Framingham are noteworthy in that the Hawks won more games in last year's Super 8 tournament (four) than in any of their previous appearances combined. The Flyers are in the tournament in back-to-back years for the first time in program history.
CM's eight regular season wins are the fewest of any entrant into the field in history, but the Knights captured the Catholic Conference title outright for the first time since 2010 -- the last time CM appeared in the final. This is the first time the Knights have made the Super 8 since 2017 and first time they've avoided the play-in round since 2010.
In all, six teams return from last season's tournament (BC High, Pope Francis, Arlington, Xaverian, Hingham and Framingham).
BC High will be in search of its third consecutive title, while Pope Francis will be looking to get over the hump after falling to the Eagles in the final in each of the last two seasons.
John Flaherty (BC High) is the lone coach in the tournament with multiple Super 8 titles to his credit (2018, 2019). Messuri (Arlilngton, 2017) Kristian Hanson (St. John's Prep, 2015), and Tony Messina (Hingham, 2010) all have one title apiece.
Mark Doherty (Reading) and Bob Conceison (Burlington) have each won two Division 1 state championships.