2021 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview

2021 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview
By HockomockSports.com Staff

2021 Hockomock Boys Lacrosse Preview

EDITOR’S NOTE: Only teams that responded to HockomockSports.com with information regarding their team and the upcoming season are listed in this year’s preview.

Attleboro

2019 Record: 4-14
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Kevin Patton

Attleboro is a young program and, after the two-year break, also has a young roster, but the Bombardiers have a group of experienced players to lean on at both ends of the field to try and build on the four wins from 2019.

Senior Michael Strachan will lead the Attleboro attack and he’s joined up top by junior Keigan Conley, who played two years ago as a freshman, and sophomore Carter Shelton. In the midfield, senior Dan White and Matt Perry will be joined by junior Ryan Betts. Attleboro has a lot of depth in the midfield with juniors Chad Beaupin and Seth LaPlaca and senior Elijah Turner, who has transferred in from Xaverian. Junior Freddy Wheaton and senior goalie William Runey will be the leaders on the defensive side of the ball. Wheaton’s brother John and freshman Bobby Sawyer will also jump in on defense. Senior Jack Nagy and freshmen Ethan Lyons and Shane Evans will also see action in defense this season. Freshman Harry Wheaton will be the backup goalie this year.

2021 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview

“After missing last season due to pandemic, our team (like all others in the league) is young,” said Attleboro coach Kevin Patton. “However, we do have a lot of varsity experience on the team from returning players. This coupled with leadership from our captains has me excited for the season.”

Canton

2019 Record: 12-8
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal
Interim Coach: Tommy Galvin

Canton came close to winning its third league title in program history in 2019, finishing just a game back of Foxboro, and now the Bulldogs return a veteran spine for the new coaching staff to build around. With a few exciting newcomers, especially in attack, Canton could be ready to challenge for its third title in the past eight seasons.

Experience will be key for the defensive unit. Senior goalie Dylan Coyne provides a big frame and a tough, physical presence in goal. In front of him, senior Jack Albert is a strong on-the-ball defender and freshman LSM Colin Blake should be able to step right in and make an impact. Canton is hoping to limit the transition game and use its strength to keep the opposition away from goal. Senior midfielder Jeff Fitzpatrick is strong on the faceoff ‘X’ and can jump into the attack. Junior Sam Carlino has been explosive through the first two games, with 12 goals already, and he leads a relatively young attacking crew. Sophomore attacker Jeff Chaput and freshman midfielder Brendan Tourgee should contribute to Canton’s offense right away.

“We have a mix of veteran players and new players and I am very excited to see what this group can accomplish this year,” said Canton interim coach Tommy Galvin. “We have great leadership and are a gritty team who plays until the final whistle.”




Foxboro

2019 Record: 12-7
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central/East Quarterfinal
Coach: Matt Noone

Foxboro is in search of a three-peat of Davenport division titles, but the Warriors will also be looking to the future with a relatively young and inexperienced roster. There are only three seniors on the roster this season, so underclassmen will be getting the chance to contribute right away at both ends of the field.

Senior Nick Penders has been on varsity since his freshman season and will be an important contributor both at the faceoff ‘X’ and in the attack. He will be joined in the midfield by classmate Max Biegel, whose athleticism makes him a factor on offense and defense. Junior Tommy Sharkey, sophomore Finn Stapleton, and freshman Tony Sulham will round out the midfield unit. At the back, senior Paul Andrews will add leadership once he returns from a football injury. Junior Jack Avery saw some time as a freshman and he’ll get help in the attack from sophomore Conor Noone and freshman Lincoln Moore. Juniors Dylan Kerrigan and Ben Ricketts will lead the defensive corps until Andrews returns and freshman Adam Addeche will continue a family legacy as he steps in at goal.

2021 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview

“Right now we are shaking a lot of rust off,” said Foxboro coach Matt Noone. “We are young, but we will be tough! I look forward to this young team as they grow and come together.”

Franklin

2019 Record: 18-3
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South Semifinal
Coach: Lou Verrochi

Franklin has developed not only into a league power, having won the outright Kelley-Rex division title in each of the past five seasons, but is showing that it can compete with the top programs in the state. In 2019, the Panthers reached the South semifinal and lost by just one to perennial power Duxbury. This year’s team expects to be just as skilled and athletic as usual with sights set on another league crown.

The centerpiece of the Franklin attack will be senior Matt Lazzaro, an All-American in 2019, and he will be partnered up top by sophomore Luke Davis, whose brothers Will (goalie) and Jake (attacker) are both playing college, and sophomore Jayden Consigli, who moved from Northbridge. The midfield is loaded with athletes, including Owen Kielty, Joe Consigli, Tim Walsh, and Mike Griffin. Zach Harvey will lead the defensive unit along with Ben Harvey and Kyle Palmieri. Senior Jack Maguire will step in between the pipes with freshman Matt Corvi also ready to jump in and play goal when needed. Justin Alexander will be taking faceoffs, following in the footsteps of his brother Jacob who was the league MVP in 2019.

“We have a very competitive group of lacrosse athletes this year,” said Franklin coach Lou Verrochi. “We are looking forward to see what this group can do during our Hock schedule and hopefully advance in the state tournament.”

Mansfield

2019 Record: 8-10
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 1 South First Round
Coach: Tim Frias

Mansfield reached the postseason in 2019 only to have to face Franklin in the first round. With 10 seniors returning this spring, the Hornets will be hoping to lean on their experience to challenge the Panthers in the race for the Kelley-Rex division crown and get playing time for a large and talented sophomore class getting its first taste of varsity action.

The Hornets should have the speed to burn and plenty of aggressive play in the middle of the field with seniors Nico Holmes, Ethan Bruce, and Joe Gormley. Seniors Thomas Norton, Jake Quirk, and Dylan Morris will give Mansfield some versatility and dynamism in the attacking zone. Seniors Ben Johnston, Frankie Kennedy, and Ben Tatusko will be the leaders in the defensive corps. Sophomore Ryan DeGirolamo will step into the cage and anchor the defense.

“There are a number of key young players we look at to play an integral part in this year’s team,” said Mansfield coach Tim Frias. “Our strength will be speed and size.”

North Attleboro

2019 Record: 10-8
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Central/East Quarterfinal
Coach: Kevin Young

North Attleboro finished a game out of first in 2019 and now two years later the Rocketeers will be looking to take that next step and snatch back the Davenport division title from Foxboro. North has a good blend of experience and new faces, strength in defense, and dynamic attackers to challenge for the league title this year.

2021 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview

Defense is going to be a key for the Rocketeers. Senior Tyler Sarro has been a starter since his freshman year and the St. Michael’s-commit is going to be the leader in the defensive end of the field. Senior LSM Sam Gugliotta will add more experience at the back, while Eric Hobbs and James Brennan look ready to step into bigger roles. In the attack, juniors Matt Antonetti, Connor Rupert, and Clayton Billingkoff will try to build on the experience they had as freshmen to shoulder the scoring load this season. Midfielder Jared Vacher is going to step in at the faceoff ‘X’ and North has a pair of new goalies, Ethan McGrath and JT Gallagher, who have had solid preseasons and look ready to compete at this level.

“COVID has hit all sports hard,” said North coach Kevin Young. “We are focusing on getting all players ready to step into any role. It will be a challenging year but, we’re glad to be back.”




Oliver Ames

2019 Record: 14-5
2019 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South First Round
Coach: Ben Devlin

Oliver Ames won 14 games in 2019 and finished tied with King Philip for second in the Kelley-Rex division, but two years later only one player from that team is back as the Tigers look to make noise in the Davenport. Despite its inexperience, the Tigers will be hoping that the underclassmen can step in and help OA challenge for a league title.

The lone player with varsity experience is senior attacker Remi Creighton. One of the league’s most creative players, Creighton had 60 points as a sophomore and will be the spearhead of OA’s attack. Seniors Doug Oliveira and Ross Carroll will also add to the offensive punch and sophomore attacker Ben Reardon will make his varsity debut this season. Juniors Wyatt Frichtman and Wes Tower will both step in after a year with JV in 2019. Senior Brendan Cross and Michael Branagan will be joined on defense by sophomore Jake Manthous and freshman LSM Landon Grothe. Sophomore Noah Isleib and junior Cam Tower will battle for the starting goalie spot.

“It’s tough to replace what OA lax graduated last year,” said OA coach Ben Devlin. “We now have a lot of kids that haven’t played together before and many who haven’t played a lacrosse game in over two years. We’ll be focused on getting these guys on the same page and working off some rust while incorporating a lot of young players.”

Sharon

2019 Record: 7-11
2019 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Jon Shocket

Sharon has a team loaded with upperclassmen this season and, despite missing last spring, the Eagles are hoping that experience will carry them up the standings to challenge Foxboro at the top of the Davenport division.

The Eagles will be hoping to bolster the attack this season, led by senior Drew Litner, who played a part in more than half of the team’s goals as a sophomore. Junior Brady Daylor will be taking on a bigger role in the midfield this season and his classmate Ben Shocket could be ready for a breakout season on the faceoff ‘X’ after being third in the league in faceoff wins as a freshman. Defensively, senior Shea Letendre will be the vocal leader and senior Adam Rabb is back in goal to anchor things at that end of the field.

“We’re very excited about the upcoming season,” said Sharon coach Jon Shocket. “We have several returning starters with a majority of our team seniors and juniors.”

2021 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview

Attleboro Holds Off OA to Earn Chamberlain First Win

Attleboro Boys Hockey
Attleboro goalie Nick Piazza made 23 saves to help the Bombardiers beat OA 5-3 for their first victory of the season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Heading into Wednesday night’s meeting at the New England Sports Village, Attleboro and Oliver Ames had combined to play just five games in the opening four weeks of the season. Even this game was a last-minute addition when OA’s game with Canton had to be postponed because of a rink closure.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

It is certainly not the ideal circumstance to be taking over a program, but first-year Attleboro coach Greg Chamberlain had reason to smile after the Bombardiers held off a comeback by the visiting Tigers and picked up a 5-3 victory. It was Chamberlain’s first win as head coach.

“It’s been quite the interesting ride thus far,” Chamberlain said with a laugh. “We’re just happy to get a game in and my first win, it’s nice. With no state tournament, now is the time to teach. You have to have these guys playing and learning from their mistakes.”

After slow starts in both of the first two games, including a three-goal, first period deficit against North Attleboro on Friday, Attleboro made a point of getting off to a good start against OA. The Bombardiers would take control of the game early, scoring three times on their first four shots.

Four minutes into the game, Aidan Diggin got free in the offensive zone and beat OA freshman goalie Nolan Gemmiti to open the scoring. It took another eight minutes for the hosts to double their lead, but then just 12 seconds to tack on a third.

Nate Parker created the second goal with a long rush down the right wing and then a perfect feed across the crease to Diggin camped out at the back post for an easy tap in. Almost right from the face-off, Attleboro had another rush and a shot by Colin Flynn that found the back of the net.

“The first two games we had bad starts and then marched back, so that was the key to the game today to get off to a quick start,” Chamberlain explained. “Knowing their coaches and hearing they’ve been going through the same thing (with Covid-related cancelations), it was like okay boys let’s jump on it, we’ve been practicing all week.”

Despite trailing 3-0 after the first period, OA had created its fair share of chances. Matt Lawson forced a pad save from Attleboro goalie Nick Piazza with a shot from the point, Sean McCarthy raced down the wing and drew a shoulder stop, and Jack Perron teed up Lawson for a shot in the slot only for Piazza to again make the save.

“We’ve had two Covid issues and been shut down, we’ve played three games, we’ve probably had seven practices so far, so we haven’t really had a chance to work on anything,” admitted OA coach Mike Zucarelli. “They played with passion and heart today and that’s all I ask them to do. Just play for each other and play it’s like your last game.”

Attleboro pushed the lead to four less than two minutes into the second period. On the power play, Parker controlled the puck behind the OA goal, faked like he was heading out one side and then ducked back around to stuff it over the line at the near post.

It looked like the game might get out of hand, but then OA answered back.

Freshman Andrew Livingstone capped a good spell of pressure in front of Piazza by forcing a save with a snap shot from the high slot. After being forced to the bench and being treated for a cut on his chin during the first period, Livingstone returned to the ice and buried a rebound from Kevin Tremblay’s shot from the point. It was his first varsity goal.

The Bombardiers were spurred into action after the goal. Diggin fired a pass to Parker right in front only for Gemmiti to stand tall and make the save. With 7:28 left in the period, Attleboro’s pressure paid off with a fifth goal. The puck was sitting on the goal line and Jake Ward was able to knock it across for a 5-1 lead.

After a tough start to the night, Gemmiti settled down and made six saves in the second period. He stopped an Aidan Dryjowicz chance from the right wing right before OA got its second, as McCarthy finished from a tight angle.

“He put the pads on this year so we could have a JV program,” Zucarelli said of Gemmiti. “He got thrown in our second game against KP and earned his stripes that night. I couldn’t be prouder of that young man right now. He played outstanding today. For someone who’s never played net before this year, he played awesome.”

Down three goals heading to the third period, OA came back out on the ice with a purpose. Livingstone had an early chance smack off the crossbar. Gemmiti came up with another big stop on Parker before the Tigers struck for a third. Ross Carroll cut inside from the right wing boards and went top shelf with a wrister that gave Piazza no chance.

The Tigers kept pressing. OA would outshoot the Bombardiers 9-2 in the third (and 26-14 for the game), but couldn’t find a way past the Attleboro netminder. Landon Grothe (one of the eight freshmen on the OA roster) forced the best save with a shot from the point through traffic that Piazza managed to get a toe on.

“He’s the best goalie in the league,” Chamberlain said. “To have what we have with him is an absolute luxury. It’s a new system too that I’m teaching all of them, so it’s good to have a kid with a ton of poise back there because I want to have the ‘D’ be more aggressive.”

Attleboro (1-2) is next scheduled to play at Franklin next Wednesday. Oliver Ames (0-4) is scheduled to play at Canton on Friday.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.