Below are the official Hockomock League Hockey All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.
Hockomock League MVP
Mark Sheehan, Stoughton
Hockomock League All Stars
PJ Elliott, Attleboro
Matt Lazaro, Canton
Jackson Maffeo, Canton
Justin Slocum, Canton
Bobby Mullaney, Canton
Aidan Sullivan, Foxboro
Tyler Oakes, Franklin
Nick Jasinski, Franklin
Jake Downie, Franklin
Jack Chaffee, Franklin
Clay Geuss, King Philip
Collin Cooke, King Philip
Evan Remmes, King Philip
Anthony Visconti, Mansfield
Michael Arnold, Mansfield
Brian Ireland, Milford
Andrew Casson, North Attleboro
Zach McGowan, North Attleboro
Matt Mancini, Oliver Ames
Jared Costello, Oliver Ames
Mark Sheehan, Stoughton
Nick Terry, Taunton
Tyler Pietrzyk, Taunton
Jake Parker, Attleboro
Jim Jenkins, Canton
Jeremy Miller, Franklin
Kyle McCarthy, King Philip
Matthew Chirichello, Mansfield
Jonathan Chase, Milford
Paul Baker, North Attleboro
Owen Gallagher, Oliver Ames
Eoin Doherty, Stoughton
Michael Volkmann, Taunton
By Jarett Leonard, HockomockSports.com Contributor
TAUNTON, Mass. – A late goal in the second period sparked King Philip to a huge third period, as the Warriors erased a four-goal deficit with six unanswered tallies to top Taunton, 6-4.
Down 4-0 late in the second period, Matt Smith redirected a shot from Clay Geuss into the net to get King Philip on the board, a goal that gave the Warriors hope heading into the third.
“I think it woke the guys up,” King Philip head coach Paul Carlow said. “We definitely needed that. We certainly were not playing as well as we could at that point and we needed something.”
KP then exploded for three goals within the first four minutes of the third period to tie the game. Nick Connor carried the puck from the right corner to bottom of the circle, and a wrist shot snuck through to the goal line, where Collin Cooke finished it off. Just 38 seconds later, Richard Lucente netted a wrist shot from the high slot, and about a minute after that, with King Philip skating with a two man advantage, Geuss added one of his own to even the score.
“Once we got those two goals that really turned the momentum of the game,” Carlow said. “It gave the kids some confidence and they started skating.”
Cooke’s second goal of the game was the game winner, a rebound from a Jeremy Smith shot that gave KP its first lead of the night while the Warriors were on the power play. Jacob Kelly added some insurance for the Warriors with a drive from the left half wall that found the net. KP outshot Taunton 42-31 in the game but had a distinct 21-6 advantage in the third period alone.
“They played an outstanding third period,” Carlow said. “It took a couple goals to get the confidence and that momentum swing, and then once we had it, it was just a matter of time.”
Zack Albert scored the first goal of the game for the Tigers, burying one on the doorstep after a Nick Terry shot was deflected onto his tape. Tyler Pietrzyk then went to work to extend Taunton’s lead, scoring a hat trick in the second period alone. Pietrzyk potted rebounds on shots from Zack Albert and David Perry and then finished a breakaway set up by a Mike Volkmann stretch pass.
“We knew Taunton was 7-3 going in with some really good forwards,” Carlow said. “We knew what they were coming in. I felt like it was going to be a 50-50 game. I felt like we were very evenly matched and it was going to come down to who wanted it more.”
In addition to the goal, Geuss had two assists for King Philip while Connor, Lucente and Jeremy Smith each had one helper. Evan Remmes made 27 saves in net for the win.
Pietrzyk added an assist to his hat trick for a four point night for Taunton, extending his Division 2 South points lead. Brother Trevor Pietrzyk, Terry, Albert, Perry and Volkmann had an assist each.
King Philip (5-4, 3-1 Hockomock) will now look to build off its third period effort with a trip to Franklin on Sunday night at 6 p.m. Taunton, now 7-4 overall and 1-3 in the league, will face Attleboro on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s our first time we’ve won two straight,” Carlow said. “That third period tonight, I hope it keeps us going in the right direction.”
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
BROCKTON, Mass. – King Philip scored at all the right times and skated away with a 6-1 win over Stoughton at Asiaf Arena on Saturday afternoon.
With the game tied 1-1 in the first period, King Philip scored the all important go ahead goal with less than four minutes to play in the opening frame, then created a two goal cushion less than six minutes into the second and iced the game with three third period goals.
“I think we were outplaying them to start and they got a flukey goal but we rebounded and got the next one,” King Philip head coach Paul Carlow said. “And then we got out of the period with the lead. I thought we outplayed them in the second period even though the score didn’t really show it. In the third we were able to put it away.”
The Black Knights went ahead less than five minutes into the game, converting on a loose puck in front. After the net came dislodged, Stoughton had an offensive zone face off. The puck went behind the net and was deflected by Adam Potter right out in front where senior Barry Cooke backhanded it in with 10:43 left in the first.
King Philip responded just four minutes later, converting on the power play. With just six seconds remaining on the man advantage, Kyle McCarthy ripped a shot that was deflected by Matt Smith right in front to tie the game with 6:45 left in the first. The Warriors then took the lead for good when Jacob Kelly scored off assists from Matt Smith and Sam Ross. After giving up the opening goal, KP held a 2-1 advantage at the first intermission.
The next goal would be an important one and it came from Clay Geuss just over five minutes into the period. The senior took a pass from fellow defenseman Cory Lombardo and stepped into a shot that took a deflection off a Stoughton player and found the back of the net to make it 3-1.
“We played a pretty good first but we just needed to continue with that approach and keep getting pucks on net,” Carlow said. “We ended up getting that big goal in the second. Overall I thought the guys played well. We had guys coming back from injuries, some others that are sick so thing were different but all in all I was pleased with the effort.”
Just 30 seconds after KP’s goal, Stoughton thought they had pulled within one but the goal was waved off due to the net being off. The Warriors outshot the Black Knights 14-4 in the period but Stoughton freshman goalie AJ Scott made 13 of his 40 saves in the period.
King Philip made sure to add another insurance goal early in the final period. Just 27 seconds in, McCarthy ripped a shot from just inside the blue line that went wide but took a big bounce off the boards and came back and bounced in off a Stoughton player and in.
Jeremy Smith then took a pass from brother Matt Smith and Ross and ripped a slap shot upstairs from just inside the blue line to make it 5-1. McCarthy grabbed his second of the game with just over a minute left, weaving through two defensemen and finishing with a wrist shot.
The Warriors had four goals from defenseman.
“We talked to the defense about maybe taking something off of it a little and making sure its getting through or taking a peak and making sure there’s a lane to get the puck through,” Carlow said. “Stoughton did a good job in the beginning of getting in the lanes and I think our D adjusted a little bit and we got pucks to the net.”
Shane Frommer made 16 saves for the win in goal for KP.
King Philip improves to 4-4 overall and 2-1 in Hockomock League play. The Warriors will try to make it two in a row when they travel to Taunton on Wednesday at 6:00. Stoughton (2-5-3, 0-3) will play host to Canton on Tuesday night at 7:30.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Today’s games are listed below.
King Philip, 61 @ Framingham, 45 – Final – Freshman Julia Leroux tallied a career-high 17 points to lead the Warriors. Maddie Purdue added nine points for KP, while Hadley Zolak and Courtney Kelleher each had eight. KP coach Martin Crowley said, “Great win for the kids having to go back to back days.”
Attleboro, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 5 – Final – Sam Larkin and P.J. Elliott had the goals for the Bombardiers.
Canton, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Mike Dadasis, Seamus Pecararo and Matt Lazaro scored for the Bulldogs while Will Walsh had the Tigers’ lone tally.
Franklin, 9 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final – Luke Downie, Ryan Hohman, Joe Lizotte and Zac Falvey all scored their first varsity goals in the win for the Panthers.
King Philip, 6 @ Stoughton, 1 – Final – Kyle McCarthy scored a pair of goals for King Philip while Matt Smith, Jacob Kelly, Clay Geuss and Jeremy Smith each scored once. Stoughton freshman goalie AJ Scott made 40 saves in net while Barry Cooke had the Black Knights’ lone goal.
Mansfield, 2 @ Brockton, 6 – Final
North Attleboro, 6 @ Milford, 1 – Final
Canton’s Peckham Tournament (Canton, Mansfield, King Philip, Sharon), 9:30
Franklin @ Franklin County Tech – Franklin went 4-0 with wins over Maher (64-9), Holliston (38-12), Pioneer (24-6) and Athol (24-9).
Natick Tournament – Milford placed third among 13 teams with 176 points. Carlos Terrinha was second at 113, Brett Kimball was second at 132, Ryan Gray was second at 182, Nick Johnson was second at 195, Nick Marcolini placed third at 106, Eliel Mares was third at 138, Ryan Nesta was fourth at 160, John Niro placed fourth at 285 and Jason Pinto was sixth at 126.
Whitman-Hanson Tournament – North Attleboro won the 16-team tournament with 14 of their 17 wrestlers earning medals.
Sandwich Quad – Oliver Ames went 2-1 on the day, picking up a 48-30 win over Sandwich and a 49-21 win over Melrose but suffered a 53-9 loss to Hingham. Liston Funai (132) went 2-0 on the day with a pair of pins and Pat Mills (22) was 3-0 with three pins for the Tigers.
Taunton @ Quincy – Taunton picked up two wins from Justin Bradley (126), Alex Simon (170) and Santiago Lopez (220). Three other Tigers picked up one win on the day: Cooper Moreton (106), Josh Grasso (126) and Hannah Driscoll (160). Taunton lost to Walpole (15-60) and Quincy (30-54).
Canton, 1 vs. Falmouth, 3 – Final
Franklin, 0 @ Medfield, 2 – Final
King Philip, 5 @ Dover-Sherborn/Hopkinton, 1 – Final
Mansfield/Oliver Ames, 4 vs. Westwood, 3 – Final
By Ryan Lanigan, Editor-in-Chief
NORFOLK, Mass. – King Philip first year head coach Nick Gale strived for continuity through the program’s first six games this season and the team went 3-3.
On Tuesday afternoon, Gale decided to switch it up and it paid off in a big way as the Warriors picked up their biggest win of the season, a 4-0 win over divisional rival Taunton.
“You try to have some continuity in what you do and we’ve kind of kept things the same the last five or six games,” Gale said. “And I thought this would be a good game to switch things up, spice things up.”
KP senior captain Joe Kellett has seen time at center back and in the center midfield but was pushed higher up in a more attacking role against the Tigers. The switch paid off as he put a shot on frame inside the first 30 seconds as the Warriors set their attacking tone early.
“We’ve struggled to score goals so we had to try set a tone early,” Gale said. “Even right off the opening play we wanted to be offensive. I think Joe was a good adjustment up there and he took advantage of his opportunities. You can put him anywhere and he’s going to be a threat.”
Kellett had the first serious scoring chance for the Warriors in the 10th minute. Sophomore Tyler Mann cut a pass back to Clayton Geuss and he centered to Kellett but a sprawling effort from Taunton sophomore goalie Marc DeSousa pushed the shot wide.
But it didn’t take long for the Warriors to create another chance and this one found the back of the net. A short free kick from Taunton in the defensive third turned into turnover when Kellett pressed high and came away with the ball. Kellett took control of possession and found Mann wide open in the middle of the area and the sophomore buried his chance.
Junior Sean Crowley had a chance to level the game for Taunton in the 14th minute. Crowley gathered the ball with his back to goal along the left flank and cut into the middle. He was about to get around his defender and ripped a low shot from outside the 18 but KP goalie Brandon Ziolkowski.
Four minutes later, Mansfield was able to double their lead, this time Mann returning the favor to Kellett. On a corner kick, Mann put his service towards the back post and Kellett came sliding in to connect and find the back of the net.
The Warriors were able to make it 3-0 just over the half hour mark. Will Weir picked up a loss ball and lifted a shot that just went through the finger tips of DeSousa and found the back of the net.
““We set a tone very early,” Gale said. “We wanted to be very offensive today and very direct and we got that result early, which is the first time we’ve really gotten an early lead and held onto it. And I think that really sucks the wind out of your opponent. They challenged a lot, especially in the second half, but we set the tone early and that was awesome.”
Though the three lead felt comfortable heading into the second half, King Philip was able to tack one more on inside the first five minutes of the second half. Taunton was whistled for a foul about 30 yards from its own net. The ref whistled for King Philip to push the ball back and as DeSousa hugged the near post to try and set up a wall, King Philip’s Cam Mullins ripped a shot that floated into the back of the open net. Despite the lack of a restart whistle, the ref allowed the goal to count.
“You can try to set things up [on a free kick] but he’s an offensive minded defender I guess you can say,” Gale said. “He has a nose for goal even as a center back. He took advantage of the open goal and it was a good heads up play.”
Both teams pushed to try and find the back of the net for the rest of the half but neither was able to create a serious scoring threat.
With the win, King Philip improved to 4-3 overall and 4-3 in the division, which puts them in second at the time. The Warriors will be back in action on Friday when they host Franklin. Taunton drops to 1-4-2 overall and in division play and will look to bounce back with a trip to division leading Mansfield.
Ryan Lanigan can be contacted at RyanLanigan@hockomocksports.com and followed on Twitter at @R_Lanigan.
Below are today’s games.
Foxboro, 5 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Foxboro took a 3-1 lead into half before the Bombardiers came back to tie things up with just over 10 minutes to play on a goal from Zach Rodrigues. However, Foxboro’s Devante Teixeira scored his third and fourth goals inside the final 10 minutes to lift the Warriors. Anthony Barreira assisted on all four of Teixeira’s goals and scored a goal himself.
Canton, 2 @ North Attleboro, 2 – Final – The Rocketeers rallied from a two goal deficit with a goal midway through the second half and then in the final seconds to secure a point. Canton senior Joey Basile put the Bulldogs up on an assist from sophomore Ben Waterhouse just over 10 minutes into the game and then freshman Griffin Roach netted his first career goal to make it 2-0 Canton. North replied just two minutes later behind a goal from Zach Matracia and then Gabe Pinhancos knotted the score at two in the final seconds on a free kick.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – OA sophomore Cameron Vella and senior Chris Romero scored second half goals to lift the Tigers. Max Bamford and Romero each had an assist in the game. Head coach John Barata said Keegan Nutt and Nathaniel Cardoza played great in the middle. Jack Carroll recorded his first career shutout for OA.
Sharon, 2 @ King Philip, 4 – Final – King Philip’s Tyler Mann opened the scoring on an assist from Clay Geuss and then added another goal to give the Warriors a 3-2 lead at the break. Will Weir had the other first half goal for KP on an assist from Cam Mullins. KP’s Paul Kelley scored the lone goal of the second half.
Milford, 0 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Mansfield’s Jack Reilly scored the lone goal of the game for the Hornets to open the season with a win. Six minutes into the second half, Mansfield’s Brad Eames’ corner found Chris Elsner, who deflected it on to Reilly for the tap in.
Stoughton, 1 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Taunton’s Sean Crowley put home side up a goal in the 13th minute. Stoughton’s Will Peoples converted from the penalty spot for the Black Knights in the 40th minute to level the game.
Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Hannah Burns opened the scoring for the Warriors and Hailey Maling added a second goal on an assist from Kristen Bortolotti.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Riley Duserick, Julia Hamilton and Casey Bradley all scored for the Bulldogs. North Attleboro’s Haley Guertin scored to cut the deficit to 2-1 on an assist from Grace Guertin. Emily Schramm scored North’s second goal on an assist from Haley Guertin.
Franklin, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final
King Philip, 0 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Sharon’s Victoria Zambello opened the scoring for the Eagles just over 10 minutes into the game and Ally Steinberg added a second-half tally for the Eagles. Natalie Gray made nine saves in goal for Sharon. KP’s Maggie Hall recorded four saves.
Mansfield, 2 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Mansfield’s Jen Kemp scored a brace as the Hornets opened the season with a shutout win. Kemp headed home a corner in the first half and then chipped the keeper for the second goal. Milford coach Jay Mastaj said Nichole Dahlgren played well defensively and Emily Duquette made eight saves in net.
Taunton, 1 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Abby Small scored her first goal of the season and the Tigers picked up a season-opening win. Kayla Wentworth had eight saves for the shutout in net. Stoughton’s goalie Marissa Williams also made eight saves in goal.
Foxboro, 3 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final
Canton, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final – North Attleboro picked up a win 28-26 in the first set but the Bulldogs rallied to get care of business the next three sets (25-8, 25-15, 25-16). Elizabeth Hamilton slammed home 15 kills and had 14 digs, Rye Verille had seven kills and four blocks, Nicole Poole had 34 assists in her first start at setter and head coach Pat Cawley said Olivia Devoe had an “outstanding” debut at libero with 24 digs.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin senior Hannah Chase had six aces and three kills, Aubrie Kutil had six kills, sophomore Meaghan Maguire collected four blocks and Dayna McCue had six digs and an ace.
King Philip, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – King Philip swept 25-17, 25-18, 25-30. Josie Rowean had 11 kills and a pair of aces, Gwen Uyrus had 10 kills and four aces and Carly Adams had 11 assists.
Milford, 1 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Mansfield won 25-22, 23-25, 25-19, 25-12. Cathryn Heavey had 14 service points and 13 assists for the Hornets and Sarah Mullahy added six kills and seven service points. Milford sophomore Julianna Tracy had five kills and four blocks for the Scarlet Hawks.
Stoughton, 0 @ Taunton, 3 – Final – Emily Moor had 14 kills and five aces, Tatum Speicher had 26 assists, a pair of kills and a pair of aces and Aimee Kistner had a good day at the net with three blocks, two kills and added three aces. Stoughton’s Bianca DeSousa had nine assists and five aces.
Stoughton, 186 @ Milford, 160 – Final – Anthony Arcudi had the best day for the Scarlet Hawks, shooting a 37. Ryan Tomaso shot a 38 and Zach Tammaro carded a 39 for Milford.
Taunton, 160 @ Canton, 155 – Final – Senior Jim Jenkins carded a match-low 36 for the Bulldogs while sophomore Jack Goyetch shot a 39 for Canton. Taunton’s Ryan O’Berg and Mario Wilson each shot a 39 for the Tigers.
Sharon, 164 @ Oliver Ames, 148 – Final – OA’s Brady Allbritton shot a team-low 35 for the Tigers while Brian Lambert and Mark Bissonette each carded a 37. Sharon’s Max Avartin shot a round of 35 for the Eagles.
By HockomockSports.com Staff
2014 Record: 12-6-3
2014 Finish: Reached MIAA D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Peter Pereira
The Bombardiers had a great 2014 regular season and then had an even better run in the playoffs, pulling off an upset of second-seeded New Bedford.
This year, the Bombardiers will be looking to get back to the postseason but there will be a challenge after graduating a group of talented, experienced players in the Class of 2015. The good news is that coach Peter Pereira has a good group of players this season. Zach Rodrigues, a player that has a ton of varsity experience, is a good starting spot for a team that will likely be right in the thick of the wide-open Kelley-Rex title race.
Junior Harry Lancaster is also back for his third year on varsity while Junior Coca will be another talented player in the middle of the field for Attleboro. Ahijah Joseph emerged as a credible player during his sophomore year and is back for what could be a breakout junior season.
2014 Record: 13-2-5
2014 Finish: Reached MIAA D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Fran Bositis
For the past four seasons, the Panthers have claimed the Kelley-Rex division title. This year, it could be more of an uphill battle in order to claim a fifth straight.
The Panthers graduated 16 seniors and a good solid chunk of their starting lineup so a couple of strong returning players will be relied on heavily for coach Fran Bositis. Austin Kent is the only starter back and 2015 will be his third year on varsity. Hatim Brahimi had a big sophomore season last year and his junior campaign could be a big one for him.
“The focus has been on just trying to find the right mix of players right now,” Bositis said. “I know that the kids have worked really hard, and are in real good shape physically but we’ve got a ways to go before we call ourselves a good soccer team.”
Senior Nick Parent will see his role increase this year while Danny Geraci and Pat Kapples are two players who have some experience in the back. Henri Guilmette will step in as the new goalie and could have a breakout 2015.
2014 Record: 9-6-4
2014 Finish: Reached MIAA D1 South First Round
Coach: Nick Gale
The Warriors were a tough team to beat last year and that should continue to be the case in 2015. Nick Gale steps in as the new head coach for the program as the Warriors will be a serious content to claim their first division title since 2010.
“In order to compete in a strong Hock league, we’re going to have to play intelligent, team and detail-oriented soccer and so far, this group has welcomed every challenge,” first-year head coach Nick Gale said. “These guys want to learn and compete in everything we do and I feel for these reasons, we will be successful this year.”
UMass Lowell-commit Joe Kellett has been one of the top players in the league for the past two years and with 2015 being his senior season, it would be the best one yet. The 2013 Underclassman of the Year has had to overcome some injuries but every year continues to have a serious impact on games. Kellett will be complemented by senior Clay Geuss in the midfield while sophomores Tyler Mann, Mike Rowe and Larsen Keys could play key roles. Defensively, the Warriors have some experience back with Ethan Edney, Cam Mullins, Ryan Coulter and Colby Koch. The Warriors are expecting to use a mix of youth and experience to take a run at the division title.
2014 Record: 3-8-7
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Steve Sheridan
Head coach Steve Sheridan is hoping there is some truth to the saying ‘defense wins championships.’ The Hornets were in a tough spot last year when they only had one starter back but with six back this season, Mansfield will have a lot more experience heading into 2015.
“My three captains have been very, very good throughout the offseason getting kids together playing,” Sheridan said, crediting seniors Brad Eames, Jared Miller and Chris Elsner for their work throughout the winter, spring and summer. “They noticed the need to be bigger and stronger and I credit their work in the offseason.”
Eames will patrol the middle of the pitch with the Hornets alongside junior James Chotkowski. Jared Miller will get an opportunity up top to try and provide a scoring punch while Sheridan expects big things from Michael Kirejczyk in goal.
However, the Hornets biggest strength will be the defense. Elsner is back in the middle alongside junior Max Gurnon. Sophomore Nick Hyland is back on the outside with some experience under his belt while the other spot is still being highly contested.
2014 Record: 1-15-2
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Geoff Burgess
Similar to Mansfield, the Rocketeers will be relying on their defense this season. With both center backs returning and with last year’s goalie back again, North Attleboro will be looking to make it tough for opponents to score. Matt Coscarella and Gareth King are back in the middle of the defense while Rob Heaney will be back in net.
“I think we are going to be tough to score on,” head coach Geoff Burges said. “[We have] lots of speed and experience there.”
The key going forward for the Rocketeers will be fitting new faces into the offense. Gabe Pinhancos will take on a big role in the center of the midfield while junior Leo Charlebois and senior Yezan Ismail will be relied on up top to find the back of the net.
2014 Record: 3-12-2
2014 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dave Purpura
The Tigers will be looking to get back to the playoffs after missing out this past season. With a good combination of experienced players and new talent, head coach Dave Purpura is hopeful for a bounce back 2015 campaign.
The combination of youth and experienced players could be a good formula with the division race wide open. Seniors Derek Pereira, Austin Botelho and Torin Mizuno are all back with a lot of varsity experience while younger players like sophomores Riccardo Da Fonseca, Daeshawn Duffy, Liam Crowley and freshman Hasan Farahat all could play vital roles this season.
“We are more skilled at more positions this season than last,” head coach Dave Purpura said.”We will need guys to step up and score goals from several positions to make up for a couple of key losses to graduation.”
Along with Mizuno and Da Fonseca in the back, seniors Luke Figueira and Matt Holt will be prominent figures. Sophomore goalie Marc DeSousa is back after earned the starting role midway through his rookie campaign.
“We are definitely a younger, deeper team than last year and I think the attitude and focus of the team is different,” Purpura said. “If we continue to improve as a group we could surprise some teams as we are a program trending in the right direction.”