Dominant Defense Carries Mansfield to D2 Super Bowl

Mansfield football
Mansfield celebrates the Div. 2 South title and a berth in the Super Bowl after a 22-3 win against Natick in the sectional final. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


NATICK, Mass. – As the celebrations took place all around him at Natick’s Memorial Field, Mansfield coach Mike Redding was able to smile and joke about the old adage that an ugly win is so much better than a beautiful loss. That counts double this time of the year.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Hornets racked up nearly 100 yards in penalties, had three first half drives stall inside the red zone, and didn’t score a touchdown until the fourth quarter of Friday night’s Div. 2 South title game, but still walked away with a 22-3 road win against top seed, and previously unbeaten, Natick.

It was the defense that carried Mansfield to its first Super Bowl since 2013. The Hornets allowed only 45 rushing yards, six yards passing, had three sacks, and held Natick to only two first downs on the night. Both first downs came on one drive in the first half, and one came by way of a penalty.

“As sophomores they lost in the semis, lost last year in the finals, this year we get there and win it, so every year they just go a step further,” Mansfield coach Mike Redding said of his senior class. “They’ve overcome a lot of stuff, injuries, and it’s a great group and it will be a lot of fun taking them to Gillette. I told them they’ve been through a lot but it’s all worth it when you walk down the ramp at Gillette Stadium.”

Senior running back and linebacker Vinnie Holmes (18 carries, 131 yards) added, “This just means the world to everyone. We’ve just worked so hard for this. Winter, spring, in the weight room, we just knew that this was our goal. We wanted to get to Gillette and that’s exactly what we did.”

On its second possession of the game, Mansfield started to move the ball. Jack Moussette (6-of-11, 64 yards) hit Cincere Gill for a perfectly executed 16-yard completion to the near sideline on third down to jumpstart the drive. Gill (seven carries, 41 yards) then weaved his way for 17 to the far sideline and Michael DeBolt (six carries, 41 yards) added 10 more to the Natick 14.

A chop block penalty backed the Hornets up and, despite a completion and a draw play to Holmes making it a manageable third and four, the Natick defense held firm. DeBolt booted the Hornets into the lead with a 26-yard kick.

The hosts answered right back. Natick started at its own 40 and two plays later were given a boost on a 15-yard penalty to reach the Mansfield 37. Two five-yard runs, including one by quarterback Will Lederman, who had missed the last four games with a knee injury and wasn’t expected to start the final, and an offsides call made it first and five at the 22.

Holmes stuffed a play for a three-yard loss and a pair of incomplete passes forced Natick into a 41-yard field goal by Sam Waltzman to tie the game. It was as close to the end zone as the Redhawks would get all night.

Mansfield again marched into the red zone in the second quarter but an illegal push call backed them off the goal line and a hold backed them up to the 13. In the end, DeBolt was forced to come on and get Mansfield three more with a 21-yard kick.

Natick fumbled the ensuing kick and Mansfield appeared to recover it, but the officials ruled that the ball went out of bounds first. Lederman nearly hit Nick Ofodile on a bomb on the first play but it was dropped. Nico Holmes and TJ Guy stuffed the next play for no gain and on third down Everett Knowlton pressured Lederman into an incompletion.

Vinnie Holmes broke free for the first time on a 53-yard run to get the Hornets to the 32. After a nine-yard pass from Mousette to Danny Rapoza, Mansfield had first and 10 at the 17. Moussette tried two passes to the corner but both fell incomplete and DeBolt came out again to kick a 28-yard field goal and make it 9-3 at the half.

“We moved the ball but just couldn’t finish,” Redding explained. “They’ve got some big dudes and once we got in the red zone, they know we’re not going to throw and it just got tough and then we shoot ourselves in the foot with all the penalties. It felt like at the half we should’ve been up 14, 17-3.”

On the opening drive of the second half, Mansfield was struck by a controversial penalty on Gill. The junior running back was ruled out for the rest of the night, but Redding saw the ejection as adding even more fuel to his team’s second half push.

“I thought it was unwarranted,” he said, “but it rallied the troops for sure and emotionally everybody stepped up and everybody got more physical. Backs were running hard and it was like, this is our game and we’re going to take it.”

Late in the third quarter, Mansfield appeared to convert a third and 14 on a screen pass to Holmes only to have it called back on a penalty. On the next play, Mousette connected with Nick Marciano for a sliding, 15-yard grab. Facing fourth and one, Marciano gained eight on a draw play to keep things moving. Marciano (nine carries, 41 yards) got the call again at the three, running the wildcat and finding a hole on the right side for a touchdown.

“We couldn’t punch one in, settled for three field goals,” said Holmes about Mansfield offense. “In the locker room we were just saying we need to punch this next one in. We need to punch it in and that puts us in a good position to win.”

Chris Graham sacked Lederman to start the next drive and then he and Holmes pressured the quarterback into an incompletion for a three-and-out. Mansfield’s offensive line and running game seemed to have worn down the Natick defense. Holmes and Marciano combined for nine plays and 53 yards, with Holmes breaking an 11-yard rush, to make it 22-3 with just 4:45 to play.

“Defense played great all night,” said Holmes. “Everyone just played their hearts out, played with enthusiasm. It was a great game.”

The Hornets continued to make plays defensively. Graham got his second sack of the night, then combined with Nico Holmes to stuff Natick running back Jalyn Aponte for no gain. On third down, Nick Bertolino stepped up from his cornerback position to make a big hit and a fake punt came up short.

“Oh my God, it’s crazy,” said Graham following the trophy celebration. “It’s great to be able to go back to Gillette. We wanted it so bad, we’ve been working so hard, trying so hard. Every morning in the summer we were up early in the weight room.”

He added, “When we got into the locker room on Monday, we had a note taped on the locker that a Natick player said we weren’t going to score one point on them. That their defense was too god. Well, we came out 22-3.”

Mansfield (9-1) will take on North champion Lincoln-Sudbury in the D2 Super Bowl at Gillette the weekend of Dec. 7. The date and time of the state title game has not been set.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Hornets Swarm Past King Philip Into D2 South Final

Mansfield football Jack Moussette
Mansfield senior quarterback Jack Moussette throws a past in the first quarter against King Philip. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
MANSFIELD, Mass. – The past two seasons, the Mansfield football team has had its hopes of competing for a state championship dashed by rival King Philip.

The Hornets weren’t going to let that happen again this year.

Mansfield senior quarterback Jack Moussette tossed four touchdowns in one of his best performances of the season and junior Cincere Gill accounted for four total scored to help the Hornets roll to a 34-6 win over #3 King Philip.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I was just trying to make the most of my opportunities,” said Moussette, who completed 12-of-17 passes for 230 yards. “We run the ball the majority of the time but Coach Redding told me ‘I trust you, go out there and do your thing tonight.’ I just tried to do the best I could. We had a great game on the ground and in the air, it was overall a great team win, I’m really proud of the guys. The offensive line stepped up big when we needed them too.”

While the Hornets have won the past two regular season meetings (28-27 in 2018, 15-13 this season), the Warriors have been the ones with the last laugh. KP knocked off Mansfield 13-11 in the semifinals in 2017 and celebrated with the D2 South trophy on Alumni Field last season after a 10-7 triumph.

“We’ve won the last two regular season games to win the league title but back-to-back losses, when you’re this close to Gillette…the guys have been waiting a year for another chance,” said Mansfield head coach Mike Redding. “We got the monkey off the back in the league, the playoff thing was like a gorilla on our back. It would have been another long year if we blew this one. But being home, being healthy for a change in the playoffs has made a difference. We’re doing it in all three phases right now and with confidence.

“Every year we play them we seem to get seven and get stuck. Last year in the playoffs, we got seven early and didn’t score. This year we got seven and didn’t score until the end. We harped on that, get to 14, get the 14-point lead, build off that. Tonight we got more than that which is great but extending the lead was critical.”

Mansfield made it clear early on that repeating that feat would be a tough task. After a punt and a red zone turnover, the Hornets got on the board on their third series.

Moussette hit Danny Rapoza (three catches, 58 yards) for 32 yards on first down, and four plays later, used play action before connecting with Gill (five catches, 107 yards, three touchdowns) out in the flat and the junior used his speed to race inside the pylon for a 7-0 lead with 11:54 left in the second quarter.

The Hornets’ defense helped set up the next score. Nico Holmes and Chris Graham combined for a tackle for loss, and the front seven helped pressure King Philip quarterback Robert Jarest (8-for-23, 107 yards, touchdown) into a throwaway that was flagged for intentional grounding.

Stuck at their own 11, KP chose a quick kick from Jarest on third down trying to flip the field. Mansfield took over at the KP 46-yard line and quickly cashed in. Gill faked outside to shake his defender and Moussette delivered a pass on the mark for a 46-yard touchdown with 9:19 left in the second quarter.

“It’s a lot of people to cover and I think their quarterback has come along,” said King Philip coach Brian Lee. “He’s the one piece that’s the difference for them right now. He’s getting better and better, it was tough. It’s a lot to defend, and on a short field, you’re asking for trouble.”

Makhi Baskin broke up a third down pass on KP’s next drive and the Hornets took over at their own 32-yard line with 7:12 left to play in the half. Vinnie Holmes (12 carries, 70 yards) broke off a 17-yard run and Gill hauled in a 27-yard pass but Mansfield was faced with a third down when they entered the red zone.

Moussette faked to his right before dropping off a pass to the left on a screen to Everett Knowlton. Junior TJ Guy came up with a big block to spring Knowlton for an 18-yard touchdown, and Michael DeBolt’s third of four successful extra point attempts gave the hosts a 21-0 lead with 3:41 left in the quarter.

“We had a great night throwing, and I think that was the difference,” Redding said. “Jack was on, we had some good matchups with Cincere [Gill] out as a receiver, Danny [Rapoza] did a good job. I think that was the difference was our ability to throw the ball. We ran pretty well but we had to throw it.

“And our defense was lights out, and the field position was a pretty big factor with the kicking game. We fed off the field position, defense got stops. Now you can take chances on offense because you have four downs. Things went our way from the beginning.”

Mansfield nearly added more points before the break with runs from DeBolt and Nick Marciano helping get the Hornets inside the red zone. But a pass fell through a receiver’s hands in the end zone and KP sophomore Crawford Cantave snatched the interception with under a minute to play.

King Philip looked to have a bright start to the second half when Jarest connected with Alex Behling for almost 30 yards down the sideline but a holding call erased the completion and two plays later, Marciano came up with an interception to give Mansfield the ball back with good field position at the KP 23-yard line.

Four plays later, Gill took the handoff, cut up field and found the end zone with an 11-yard touchdown, and a 28-0 advantage with 7:59 left in the third quarter.

“One thing that was a little disappointing was that we got beat up, we got out-physicaled, out-played,” Lee said. “I’m not sure what was so different this time than last time but it definitely was a big difference. When they are out in front, they get on you. You have to keep it close with them. They are loaded, they have a lot of guys. They are coached well and they believe.”

The Warriors put together their best drive of the game in response. Jarest had a first down pass to Behling and Ryan Halliday (13 carries, 47 yards) barreled his way for a first down. Jarest linked up with Behling again for a 42-yard gain to get inside the red zone.

On the next play, Mansfield’s Joe Plath broke up a pass intended for KP’s Drew Danson, but the loose ball was hauled in by Andrew McKinney along the back of the end zone for a 19-yard touchdown.

Sophomore Mark DeGirolamo recovered an onside kick attempt from the Warriors, and the Hornets needed just three plays to strike. DeBolt hauled in a 19-yard pass, Holmes grinded out nine yards, and Moussette connected with an open Gill for a 24-yard touchdown, and a 34-6 lead with 3:14 left in the third quarter.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We have great receivers,” Moussette said. “Cincere is unbelievable, I worked all summer with Danny Rapoza, I think he’s one of the most underrated players in the league. We have guys on the sidelines like [Joe] Cappelletti that can come in and make plays. We’re loaded with weapons and coach is doing his best to get everyone involved.

“This means the world to me. We got up in the summer every day at 5 in the morning to work out. Our main goal is to win a state title and we wanted to beat KP. We were lucky enough to do it twice this year, I couldn’t be prouder of the team. We really battled and put it all together to show everyone what we’re all about.”

Mansfield football (8-1) will play at top-seeded Natick in the D2 South Final, but the date and time have yet to be posted by the MIAA. King Philip (7-2) will enter the non-playoff pool for one week.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/27/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Game of the Week – Football
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 10 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (C) Johnny Hagan 1-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good.
3rd Quarter: (C) O. Lehane 27-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Football
King Philip, 26 @ Franklin, 14 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
1st Quarter: (KP) Robbie Jarest 25-yard pass to Brian Wassersug, Dylan Conti XP good; (F) Thomas Gasbarro 53-yard pass to Cole Lakatos, Parker Cheuvront XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Ryan Halliday 1-yard rush, D. Conti XP good; (KP) R. Jarest 11-yard pass to Andrew McKinney, XP blocked.
3rd Quarter: (F) Mack Gulla 1-yard rush, P. Cheuvront XP good.
4th Quarter: (KP) R. Halliday 11-yard rush, 2pt pass failed.

Taunton, 6 @ Mansfield, 31 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Michael DeBolt 3-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; (M) Nick Marciano 58-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good; M. DeBolt 9-yard rush, M. DeBolt XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) M. DeBolt 35-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) Nico Holmes 7-yard rush; M. DeBolt XP good; (T) Josh Lopes 1-yard rush, XP no good.

Milford, 41 @ Sharon, 7 – Final

Boys Soccer
Foxboro, 1 @ Attleboro, 7 – FinalAttleboro erupted for three goals in the final 10 minutes of the first half, and added on three more in the second half to earn a big win. The Bombardiers and Warriors were knotted at 1-1 entering the final 10 before Attleboro scored in quick succession. Michael Russo scored four goals in the win.

North Attleboro, 2 @ Franklin, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ King Philip, 6 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this gameSix different Warriors found the back of the net as KP picked up two points at home on Friday afternoon. Ajae Olsen opened the scoring in the 18th minute, finishing off a shot from distance into the bottom corner. Owen Teixeira and Evan McEvoy added first half strikes for KP, who led 3-0 at half. Colin Wesley (penalty kick), Connor O’Neill, and Caleb Casseta-Waxman each scored in the second half.

Milford, 4 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalMilford scored twice in each half to earn two points on the road over the Tigers. Jordan Borges banged in a shot from distance off the bottom of the crossbar to make it 1-0 in 27th minute, and Dan Santos put the Hawks ahead 2-0 just five minutes later off an assist from Pedro Araujo. Araujo converted a penalty kick in the second half to make it 3-0, and Joao Pedro Da Silva capped the scoring for Milford off an assist from freshman Gabriel Godoy. Leo Oliveira and Kevin Gomes combined for the shutout in net while Carlos Terrinha and Leo Coelho had strong games defensively for Milford.




Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 8 – Final

Mansfield, 1 @ Canton, 2 – FinalCanton scored a pair of goals in a three-minute span in the second half to earn a win at home over Mansfield. Freshman Emily McCabe knotted the score before junior Olivia Rodman bagged the game-winning goal to give the Bulldogs two points.

Franklin, 2 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. The Panthers scored twice on first half set pieces to secure the victory. Sabrina Addi’s long free kick was flicked on from the edge of the box by Erin Quaile midway through the half, catching the keeper off her line for the opening goal. Addi scored the second on a corner kick that bounced around in the North box. She finally latched onto the loose ball and lifted it into the back of the net. Lydia Hershey, Colette Petit, and Taylor Ward played well defensively for the Rocketeers, while Alex Moulson played a solid all-around game in midfield.

King Philip, 5 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalKing Philip scored four goals in the final 25 minutes of the game, turning a one-goal game into a big win on the road, earning head coach Gary Pichel the 200th victory of his career. Ally Stanton put KP ahead in the 27th minute on an assist from Chloe Layne, and the duo linked up again in the 57th minute to make it 2-0. Layne added a goal of her own seven minutes later (assist by Ava Tormey), Makayla Griffin blasted a shot from 30 yards out with six minutes left, and Maeve Lawlor (from Brianna Quirke) made it 5-0 in the 75th minute. Taylor Butler recorded her seventh shutout of the season.

Taunton, 0 @ Milford, 3 – FinalMilford freshman Dani Atherton factored into all three goals as the Hawks defended home field with a win over visiting Taunton. Atherton scored a pair of goals and assisted on the other, setting up Jillian Michelson for a goal.

Field Hockey
Franklin @ Walpole – Postponed to Saturday 9/28 at 10:00.

King Philip, 1 vs. Algonquin, 2 – FinalThe Warriors pushed the unbeaten T’Hawks to the limit, the visitors scoring the game-winning goal with just 64 seconds left to steal two points from KP. Makenzie Manning shined in net with 23 saves for KP, who earned a penalty corner with no time left and registered two shots on could before Algonquin (8-0-1) got the clear to end the game. Senior Sammy Robison, junior Grace Crocker, and senior Char Colella all played well for KP.

Volleyball
King Philip, 3 vs. Walpole, 0 – FinalKing Philip defended home court with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-20) sweep over the visiting Rebels of Walpole High. The Warriors’ dynamic duo of Nicole Coughlan (13 kills, one ace) and Catherine Waldeck (11 kills, two blocks) continued to shine while Emma Brooks added four aces and three digs in the win.

Mansfield, 2 vs. Brockton, 3 – FinalMansfield jumped out to a 2-0 lead but Brockton rallied to win three straight as the Hornets dropped a 2-3 (25-16, 25-19, 23-25, 16-25, 10-15) decision at home. It was the third time in the week that Mansfield played five sets. Sam Sternburg shined defensively with 19 digs while Steph Walker had nine assists and 10 service points.

Milford @ Hopedale, 5:00

Golf
Attleboro, 162 @ North Attleboro, 153 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Jillian Barend sank a birdie on the sixth hole and finished with a medalist round of one-over 36 at the middle course of Heather Hill to lead the Rocketeers past rival Attleboro. Jake Gaskin was right behind Barend with a 37 while Sam Gallagher (39) and Brett Dusel (41) also scored for North. Brendan Raymond had a team-low 37 for Attleboro, Brian Houle added a 39, Jack Handy finished with a 42, and Ben Wood chipped in with a 44.

Taunton @ King Philip, 3:30

Mansfield Opens Season With Big Win Over BC High

Mansfield football Cincere Gill
Mansfield’s Cincere Gill tries to avoid being tackled in the second half against BC High. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
MANSFIELD, Mass. – All Cincere Gill wanted was a second chance, and he didn’t have to wait very long to get one.

On the first offensive series after seeing a potential touchdown pass slip through his hands, Gill took the first handoff 64 yards for a touchdown to give the Hornets a two-touchdown lead and sparked Mansfield to a 31-10 win over visiting BC High.

Locked in a tight game, senior quarterback Jack Moussette delivered a perfect pass over the top to Gill, who had beat two defenders. But instead of a long touchdown pass, the Hornets had to punt.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

As it did all night, Mansfield’s defense came through on the ensuing drive by forcing a three and out and getting the Hornets the ball back at thrown 36-yard line. Hornet head coach Mike Redding gave Gill the chance to redeem himself, and the junior back turned on the jets to get around the right side and sprinted to the end zone.

“I told the guys to go pat him on the back, get him back into it,” Redding said after the drop. “And the next series, he pops the big run. That’s a sign of maturity…last year he might have struggled to get the confidence back. But he got the big touchdown the next drive. I like the way he responded, had the big run which I thought was the turning point of the second half. We were struggling [offensively] but getting stops. It was still 10-3 or a close ball game there so popping that long run gave us breathing room.

“With Cincere, if you make a mistake and don’t have a guy to slow him down, he gets momentum and it’s going to be tough to track him down.”

Gill finished with 106 rushing yards and two touchdowns while senior Michael DeBolt (148 all-purpose yards) accounted for 19 points for the Hornets, scoring two rushing touchdowns, kicking a field goal, and connecting on four extra points.

While the Hornets finished with 31 points, it wasn’t until the second half that the offense really clicked. On the opening drive and on fourth down, Gill scored on a 29 yard run with a major assist to Nico Holmes, who came up with a huge block to create some space.

Mansfield only had two more drives in the first half: a 14-play, 52-yard drive ended with a missed field goal. And just before the half, Mansfield settled for a buzzer-beating field goal despite strong starting field position.

Meanwhile, the defense came up with some big stops to prevent the Eagles from tying the game. BC High’s second drive of the game even had a first and goal at the Hornet 2-yard line but had to settle for a field goal. Junior Matt Boen had a sack on first down and a pass break up on second down. After a rushed throw on third down, Cormac Kennelly connected on a 25-yard field goal to make it 7-3.

Two series later, BC High went for it on 4th and 4 from their own 41-yard line but junior Jake McCoy came through with an 11-yard sack. That allowed the Hornets to grab a field goal as time expired and a 10-3 lead at half.

“The defense had a great preseason,” Redding said. “People have talked about our skill guys on offense but the defense has a lot of guys back. We’re not very big at all but we get after the ball, we’re good tacklers. I thought [the defense] held us together because we had some offensive struggles at times, some bad series. When we did that, the defense got us the ball back until we got into a rhythm. That’s big, getting stops when you’re struggling on offense.”

After Gill’s big run put the Hornets ahead 17-3, the flood gates seemed to open up a bit for Mansfield.

The Hornets needed just five plays to score on their next drive. Vinnie Holmes helped the Hornets move the chains early in the drive, but facing 3rd and 10, Moussette hit DeBolt on a screen and he went the rest of the way, scampering 48 yards for a touchdown with Danny Rapoza coming up with a key block downfield.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

After BC High found the end zone for the first time, Mansfield needed just two plays to respond. DeBolt cut into some space along the left side and raced past the defense for a 79-yard touchdown.

“We are [a big play offense], we might get stuffed a play or two but if you can get Cincere or Mike in open space, you can go 60 yards in a hurry,” Redding said. “We might not be able to grind it out on a regular basis, but if the defense makes a mistake, we’re able to pop one. I thought the offensive line played well tonight against a really big, physical front. We threw well enough to keep them honest. I didn’t think we’d score 31 against them but we had a pretty good night offensively.”

Mansfield football (1-0) hits the road for an out of state clash in Ohio next week, taking on LaSalle on Friday night at 7:00.

Football: 2019 Kelley-Rex Division Preview

King Philip football Ryan Halliday
King Philip’s Ryan Halliday carries the ball against Foxboro in the third quarter in 2018. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Kelley-Rex Football Preview

Attleboro

2018 Record: 4-7
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Mike Strachan

Key/Returning Players: Qualeem Charles, Sr., OT/DT; Isaac Gudiel, Sr., OG/LB; Nolan Jaeger, Sr., WR/CB; Jason Weir, Sr., QB/DE; Michael Strachan, Jr., LB/TE; Ethan Cameron, Sr., WR/DB; Justin Daniels, Jr., RB/DB

Outlook:
Attleboro got off to a strong start to the 2018 season, jumping out to a 4-1 record with its only loss coming against eventual D2 South champ King Philip, and allowing only five points per game. But a last-minute loss in a shootout against Mansfield and a fourth quarter comeback by Franklin the following week sparked a six-game losing streak to close out the season. The Bombardiers come into 2019 looking to turn that around and use its experience to make a run at the Kelley-Rex title.

Offensively, the Bombardiers will be led by senior quarterback Jason Weir. At a bruising 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, Weir is a punishing runner and has a big arm to make plays downfield in the passing game. Junior Justin Daniels will be the starting tailback with senior Isaac Guidel and a big offensive line trying to open holes for the running game, led by senior Qualeem Charles (6-foot-5 and 325 pounds), who has a host of colleges recruiting him. Senior Ethan Cameron will provide a weapon on the outside, while junior Michael Strachan offers another threat over the middle from his tight end position.

Charles will dominate the line of scrimmage on the defensive side of the ball as well, but the strength of the Attleboro defense will be its experienced linebacker corps. Strachan, a three-year starter who is getting looks from some Div. I colleges, will be joined by Guidel and senior Nolan Jaeger. Weir will play strong safety, after two seasons at defensive end, and will be counted on to step in to help stop the run. Cameron will be at free safety and giving the cornerbacks help over the middle. Attleboro has a large contingent of sophomores who could step in to contribute right away, including Alvin Harrison, Chris Leonardo, Adam Pearlstein, and Freddy Wheaton.

Attleboro coach Mike Strachan said, “We are looking forward to the season getting underway and with the leadership of our four captains we are looking to be explosive on offense and very physical defensively. The Hockomock League is one of the best leagues in the state with some great teams. We will have to play our very best each week if we are going to compete at a high level.”

Franklin

2018 Record: 7-4
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Semifinal
Coach: Eian Bain

Key/Returning Players: Evan Wertz, Sr., LB; Jack Nally, Sr., WR/DB; Jake Davis, Sr., WR/DB; Dom Natale, Sr., OL/DL; Thomas Gasbarro, Sr., QB/DB; Owen Palmieiri, Sr., RB/DB; Ben Greco, Sr., WR/DB; Xander Honor, Jr., RB/LB; Austin Jordan, Sr., OL/LB; Luke Cunningham, Sr., TE/DE; Matt Lazarek, Sr., TE; Parker Cheuvront, Jr., K

Outlook:
Franklin nearly pulled off the biggest upset of the 2018 season when the Panthers forced perennial power Xaverian to double overtime in the Div. 1 South semifinal. It was a big step forward for the program and head coach Eian Bain hopes it will be a building block for even more success in 2019.

Offensively, the graduation of quarterback Nick Gordon will be a big loss for the Panthers but senior Thomas Gasbarro saw a lot of time under center last year and he will step in and take the starting job. Gasbarro will have plenty of weapons to choose from, as the Panthers have plenty of speedy, athletic players in the skill positions. Senior Jack Nally is a threat out of the backfield or split out wide and his classmate Jake Davis is a solid receiver over the middle or downfield. Senior Matt Lazarek is a potential target from the tight end position and Owen Palmieri is another dangerous ball carrier. Junior Parker Cheuvront emerged last season as one of the top kickers in the Hock and is another weapon that the Panthers can count on if a drive does stall.

The defense is an experienced group. Senior Evan Wertz has been one of the league’s tackle leaders for the past two seasons and he is the team’s top playmaker from his linebacker position. Nally, Davis, Palmieri, and senior Ben Greco give Franklin a tough secondary to throw against and all are capable of coming up with the big turnover to get the ball back in the hands of the offense. Luke Cunningham and Dom Natale will give the Panthers strength at the line of scrimmage.

“The challenge for this group is to continue to improve and build the program,” said Bain. “They need to add their own chapter and their own stamp on the program. We have the right people in the room. We need to play with the swagger and confidence of a contender, but be humble in our preparation. If we stay true to the process, we have great potential.”

King Philip

2018 Record: 9-3
2018 Finish: Reached D2 State Final
Coach: Brian Lee

Key/Returning Players: Ryan Halliday, Sr., RB/LB; Sam Callanan, Sr., RB/LB; Nolan Gunning, Sr., OL/DL; Robert Jarest, Sr., QB; Sean Piller, Sr., OL/DL; Pat Zarba, Jr., OL/DL; Shawn Conniff, Sr., FB/DL; Brian Wasserug, Sr., WR/DB; Crawford Cantave, So., WR/DB;

Outlook:
Despite not winning the league title last year, the target on King Philip’s back continues to grow.

The Warriors might have missed out on the Kelley-Rex crown, but they won their third straight sectional title and made their this straight appearance in the state final, this time falling to North Andover (6-0). While this year’s senior class knows other than Super Bowl appearances, head coach Brian Lee says this group is focused on taking it one game, starting with the opener against North Attleboro. KP has a strong core of players back on the offensive side of the ball, including quarterback Robbie Jarest and running back Ryan Halliday. Both players had really strong junior seasons and should be the leaders of the group this year. The offensive line includes returners Nolan Gunning (left tackle), Sean Piller (center), and Pat Zarba (right guard) while Wyatt Manzi, Jack Collentro, and Griffin MacKay are in the mix to fill the remaining spots. Having an experienced line bodes well for the KP run game that will heavily feature Ryan Halliday plus fullback Shawn Conniff and halfbacks Sam Callanan and Crawford Cantave.

The Warriors’ defense has been one of the best units in the state in recent years, and while the expectations remain high for the group, there will be a lot of new faces. KP graduated its entire secondary so the Warriors are turning to senior Brian Wasserug and Cantave, a sophomore, to take on starting spots. Halliday and Callanan, both captains, will handle outside linebacker duties with Mike Malatesta in the mix for the middle spot. Gunning and Manzi will also see action on the defensive line alongside Conniff. Dillon Conti takes over kicking duties for the departed Cole Baker.

“These kids know how much work, how much effort it takes to get where we want to be,” Lee said. “But it’s all about going game by game, starting this week with a team [North Attleboro] that we have a ton of respect for.”




Mansfield

2018 Record: 8-3
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Final (Kelley-Rex Champions)
Coach: Michael Redding

Key/Returning Players: Key/Returning Players: Jack Moussette, Sr., QB; Michael DeBolt, Sr., RB/LB/K; Vinnie Holmes, Sr., RB/LB; Makhi Baskin, Sr., RB/DB; Nick Marciano, Sr., RB/LB; Chris Graham, Sr., DL; Jason Comeau, Sr., OL/DL; TJ Guy, Jr., OL/DE; Cincere Gill, Jr., RB/DB; Dan Rapoza, Sr., SE/TE; Everett Knowlton, Jr., TE/DE; Matt Boen, Jr., WR/DB; Nico Holmes, Jr., TE/DL; Noah Jellenik, Sr., OC/NG; Andrew Cowles, Sr., DE/OG; Jake McCoy, Jr., OG/DT; Joe Plath, Sr., RB/LB

Outlook:
Looking at the long list of returning players, it is no surprise that expectations around Alumni Field are sky high this fall. Mansfield enters the season with experience at just about every position and with the bitter taste of last year’s South final loss to rival King Philip still stinging. Despite a rash of injuries that forced running back Aidan Sacco to play as an emergency quarterback for most of the season, Mansfield still won a league title and this year’s team may be even more talented, which has ramped up the hype and put the target squarely on the Hornets’ backs.

The line of scrimmage will be a strength for the Hornets on the offensive side of the ball, as they return four of five starters from last year’s unit that allowed the team to rush for more than 2,600 yards. Senior Jason Comeau and reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year TJ Guy will be two key cogs in the line, while senior Noah Jellenik and junior Jake McCoy are also back. Senior Andrew Cowles will step into the fifth spot. They will seek to protect senior quarterback Jack Moussette, who had a cameo under center last year before an injury forced him to miss the bulk of the season. The skill positions will be loaded with athletes. Cincere Gill had a breakout sophomore season at running back and senior Nick Marciano is back after an injury cut short his junior season. Senior Michael DeBolt was one of the top kickers in the league but also gives Mansfield another weapon on the edges, while senior Vinnie Holmes adds a bruising presence coming out of the backfield.

Holmes is the headliner on the defensive side of the ball. Along with fellow linebackers Marciano, DeBolt, and senior Joe Plath, Holmes will be expected to make big plays all over the field. The defensive line will be strong with three returning players: senior Chris Graham, McCoy, and Guy. Junior Nico Holmes will step in as the fourth man on the line. Much like on offense, speed will be a strength and the secondary is loaded with playmakers, including Gill, junior Matt Boen, and senior Makhi Baskin.

“We have a bunch of experience all over the field, but we really have to develop depth with the second team to handle a tough schedule and challenges every week,” said Mansfield coach Mike Redding. “This is one of the fastest group of skill guys we’ve ever had and we could be explosive on offense. We lack a little size up front on defense, but we should be able to overcome that by flying around with pursuit to the ball with our speed.”

Oliver Ames

2018 Record: 1-10
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Ed DeWitt

Key/Returning Players: Cam Perron, Sr., QB; Sam Stevens, Sr., DB; Shane Kilkelly, Sr., WR; Nathan Cabral, Sr., RB; Harrison Webster, Sr., WR; Max Anderson, Sr., OL/DE; Anthony DeCosta, Sr., OL/DL; Nick Gillis, Sr., CB; Jadon Ricci Jr., CB; Tyler Campbell, Sr., LB; Noah White, Sr., OL

Outlook:
There was no question that 2018 was a tough season for the Tigers. Oliver Ames lost by a point in the season opener to Concord-Carlisle and didn’t earn its only win until the penultimate game against Durfee. The Tigers will hope to turn things around quickly with an infusion of young talent under new head coach Ed DeWitt.

On offense, the players will be learning a new system, but there is experience in the backfield to try and implement different schemes. Senior running back Nathan Cabral figures to see plenty of the ball again this year after his breakout junior season in which he ran for more than 1,100 yards. He will be joined by senior quarterback Cam Perron and senior running back Sam Stevens to give the Tigers a strong core. Seniors Harrison Webster and Adam Cann (who is coming off an injury) will give Perron weapons to utilize on the outside.

There will be a lot of new faces on the defensive side, as DeWitt can call on three or four returning starters and will need a number of players to provide contributions on both sides of the ball. The linebacking corps was particularly hit by graduations, although senior Tyler Campbell can provide some experience and leadership in that position and Cabral brings athleticism to the role. Max Anderson and Anthony DeCosta will be important at the line of scrimmage, while Stevens will step into the secondary along with senior corner Nick Gillis and junior corner Jadon Ricci.

“The competition in camp has been great,” DeWitt said. “The players have committed to the program and bought into the day to day work that we need to do. We are focusing on making sure we treat every day as an opportunity to improve and string together some positive momentum.”

Taunton

2018 Record: 6-5
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Brad Sidwell

Key/Returning Players: Mason Frank, Sr., OL/DL; Danny MacDougall, Jr., QB/DB; Woudanly Danger, Sr., OL/DL; Marshall Curt, Sr., RB/DB; Mike Murray, Sr., OL/DL; Josh Lopes, Jr., RB/LB; Brett Heggs, Jr., RB/S; Everett Ferreira, Sr., WR/DB; Javon Franklin, Sr., WR/DB; Dylan Gookin, Sr., WR/DB; Kedrick Santos, Jr., LB/WR; Jackson Wellman, Sr., OL/LB

Outlook:
The Tigers started last season with three straight wins and then finished with three wins in their final four games to end 2018 with a winning record. Taunton enters this fall with a relatively inexperienced roster, but one that is looking to continue the momentum in the program and try to push forward so it can challenge the top teams in the Kelley-Rex division.

One of the biggest changes for the Tigers will be under center. Noah Leonard was the starter for three seasons, but junior Danny MacDougall will take over this year. MacDougall will also see time at receiver to try and take advantage of his athleticism. He will be joined in the backfield by classmates Bretton Heggs and Josh Lopes, who both got time at running back as sophomores. Juniors Kedrick Santos and Devante McPhail will be the primary weapons at receiver. Up front, the Tigers have decent size. Senior Mike Murray will be at center, senior Hussein Kassab at one tackle, junior Marquis Dalomba at the other tackle, and junior Jordan Manning at guard.

Similar to the offensive side of the ball, the Tigers lack experience on defense and are still learning the schemes, but physical scrimmages have helped prepare them for the season. Senior Woudanly Danger is a force at the line of scrimmage and will require attention from opponents and senior Jackson Wellman has been one of the team’s top tacklers from linebacker. Junior defensive end Deandre McPhail adds to the strength of the line. Senior Curt Marshall and MacDougall will be the safeties and senior Cam Carroca will be at corner.

“We’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and trying to get better and to be competitive in the league,” said Taunton coach Brad Sidwell. “We’re definitely inexperienced, but physically we have guys who can do it and we need to coach them up so they’ll be ready to go once the season gets started.”

Franklin Powers Past Mansfield in Playoff Opener

Franklin boys lacrosse
Matt Lazzaro (4) goes behind his back to score one of his seven goals on Tuesday night in a big win over league rival Mansfield in the tournament opener. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin entered the postseason with just two losses (both in double overtime) and with its highest-ever seed (No. 2). The Panthers rolled through a perfect league campaign, going 10-0 in the Hockomock, while compiling both the league’s best attack and its stingiest defense.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

So, all the pressure was definitely on the Panthers when they opened up the state tournament at Pisini Stadium on Tuesday night against division rival Mansfield. The Hornets were playing with house money, having won the final three games of the regular season to qualify for the playoffs and having lost to Franklin by 20 goals a month ago.

When Jake DiSangro scored with just under six minutes left to go in the opening quarter, cutting the Franklin lead to 2-1, the Hornets bench exploded and there was a fleeting moment where an upset seemed possible.

But, the Panthers responded with two goals in 29 seconds and rattled off seven straight goals to close out the quarter with a 9-1 lead. Franklin never looked back, going up by 14 at halftime, and, despite Mansfield scoring the game’s final five goals, comfortably advancing to the second round with a 19-8 victory.

The combination of junior attackers Jake Davis and Ben Greco and sophomore Matt Lazzaro proved especially potent again for the Panthers on Tuesday. Greco and Lazzaro are cousins and Verrochi said they refer to Davis as “the third cousin.” That familiarity was on display as they combined for 16 of the team’s 19 goals and added 11 assists as well.

“They’ve been playing together since they were young kids,” Verrochi said of his attacking trio. “They just really respect one another and they just do a real nice job moving the ball. It’s just fun to watch when they’re on.”

Davis got things going just about a minute into the game with a rip from the left side under the bar. Ninety seconds later, Greco found Lazzaro cutting through the middle and he went behind-the-back to double the early lead. DiSangro answered four minutes later with Mansfield’s first, managing to beat Franklin goalie Will Davis with a shot while being knocked to the ground.

That goal seemed to spring Franklin to life.

Jacob Alexander, the newly-selected league MVP, won the ensuing face-off and quickly got the ball to Greco, who fed Lazzaro for a goal. Mansfield’s momentum lasted all of eight seconds. Twenty-one seconds after that Greco to Lazzaro made it 4-1.

Lazzaro (seven goals and three assists) hit a cutting Davis (seven goals and two assists) not once, but twice to add to the advantage. Greco (two goals and six assists) took one himself, squeezing past the Mansfield defense and beating goalie Joe Plath (11 saves) from a tight angle. Owen Kielty took a hit but still got a lot on a shot from distance to make it 8-1 and then Nitin Chaudhury wound up in traffic for a ninth just before the end of the quarter.

“We tried to slow them down,” said Mansfield coach Tim Frias. “We implemented a zone a little bit to slow down the high-powered offense but they’re good. They’re No. 2 for a reason.”

Despite Mansfield’s switch to a zone defense, Franklin figured out ways to manufacture space and the ball movement continued to open up scoring chances.

“The kids solved the zone pretty well,” said Verrochi. “They were ball watching and we were fortunate to get some good, open looks. Ben Greco, he’s been doing it all year, our fast breaks, our unsettled situations, the kids just move the ball. This is probably the best ball movement from any team we’ve had.”

The Hornets started the second man-down, but managed to end the Panthers scoring run. Connor Quirk beat two Panthers on the far side trying to clear after a timeout and then he raced all the way on goal before tucking it away.

Chaudhury found Davis with his hands free for a rocket into the corner to get the hosts going again. Davis added a side-arm effort off a turnover and then assisted on Lazzaro’s fourth. With just under five minutes left in the half, Patrick Morrison scooped a ground ball in his defensive third and raced forward on the break to find Greco alone in front for his second. Eleven seconds later, Greco to Lazzaro worked again to make it 14-2.

Lazzaro scored his sixth and Tim Kolb got his first to put the Panthers up by 14 heading into the break. Nico Holmes won the face-off to start the third and powered towards goal, flicking a pass to Brady Kessler for the goal to make it 16-3. Davis added two more and Lazzaro one to push the lead to 19-3, Franklin’s largest of the game.

The Hornets didn’t stop at that point and they pushed to win the final 16 minutes of the game. Aidan Sacco got it started with a goal with 3:57 left in the third and, after a Holmes face-off win, Mansfield got a goal from Brian Rockwell.

Mansfield (8-9) would shut out Franklin in the fourth. Holmes got a goal straight from the face-off to start the quarter, Sacco assisted on a goal by Thomas Norton, and Holmes (two goals and two assists) completed his four-point night with a rocket from long-range.

“That’s all you can ask out of a team is play with pride,” said Frias. “In the second half it was the little things that you hope you take away and can build on that. Hopefully we will.”

Franklin (17-2) advances to take on No. 7 seed Natick on Thursday night.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/29/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro, 3 @ North Attleboro, 11 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Franklin, 6 vs. Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final Franklin seniors Gerard Collins and Ben Guzman combined for the shutout, allowing a combined six hits with neither issuing a walk to lead the Panthers to a win over visiting Bishop Feehan. Collins scattered five hits over four innings in his first career start to earn the win while Guzman picked up a three-inning save, allowing just one hit while stirking out one. Scott Elliott paced the offense with three hits, including a double, and two runs scored, Alex Haba added two hits, a run scored and knocked in a team-high four runs, and Cooper Ross had a pair of hits, an RBI and a run scored. JB Floris (RBI) and Joe Lizotte (run) each had a hit for Franklin.

Milford, 2 @ King Philip, 4 – FinalKing Philip’s Terry Murray allowed just three hits in a complete game performance, helping the Warriors earn a win over visiting Milford. Murray struck out five with two unearned runs allowed in the fifth inning. King Philip scored all four of its runs in the fourth inning. Murray and David Morganelli each had two hits, while Chris Sawyer, Tom Weir, and Connor Cooke each had an RBI.

Oliver Ames vs. New Bedford – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 4:00.

Softball
Mansfield, 5 @ Holliston, 0 – FinalSarah Cahill tossed a two-hit shutout for the Hornets to earn a win in the first of back-to-back games against the Panthers to close out the regular season. Cahill struck out 12 in the win. The game stayed scoreless until the fifth inning when the Hornets broke things open with a four-run rally. Sydney Woods led off with a walk and advanced twice on fielder’s choices. She scored the opening run on a Megan Letendre single. Mady Bendanillo drew a walk and then both runners came home on a Caty DeMassi double. Mary Muldoon completed the rally with an RBI-single. In the sixth, Mansfield added a fifth run when Bendanillo drew a bases loaded walk.

North Attleboro, 7 @ Dartmouth, 8 – Final (11 inn.)The Rocketeers fell just short in back-and-forth extra inning battle at Dartmouth. Ashley Cangiano had four hits for North Attleboro, including a double and a triple. Katie Daby and Bella Erti chipped in with three hits apiece while Annabelle Hebard had two hits and knocked in three runs. Both Daby and Cangiano initiated double plays while Hebard finished with six assists defensively.

Boys Lacrosse
Canton, 11 vs. Old Rochester, 3 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery from this game.Canton raced out to a 5-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and never looked back in a win over a potential playoff opponent. Junior Tommy Vaughan had two goals with five assists, senior Griffin Roach notched a hat trick with one assist, Andrew Canto found the back of the net four times, and Davis Allen chipped in with a goal and one helper. Dan Cohen (goal), Chris Lavoie (assist), and Ben Guerini (assist) each had a point for the Bulldogs.

Franklin, 7 vs. St. John’s (Shrewsbury), 8 – Final (2OT)Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game.

King Philip, 11 @ Walpole, 6 – Final

Milford, 4 @ Mansfield, 18 – FinalMansfield won its final game of the season, beating Milford to qualify for the state tournament. Brady Kessler led the way for the Hornets with four goals and three assists, Mike Reed (three assists) and Nico Holmes each scored a hat trick, and Jake Quirk netted one tally and had three helpers. Both Aidan Sacco and Connor Quirk found the back of the net twice for Mansfield, who finishes with an 8-8 record for tournament purposes.

Girls Lacrosse
King Philip, 11 @ Medway, 12 – Final (OT)
Franklin, 10 @ Bishop Feehan, 8 – Final
Mansfield, 21 @ Holliston, 25 – Final

Boys Tennis
Milford, 3 @ Attleboro, 2 – FinalMilford won a pair of matches in singles action and one more in doubles play to edge Attleboro. Brendan O’Shaughnessy won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles and Cam Doherty picked up a 6-1, 6-2 victory at third singles. The team of Ben Johnson and Dylan Wang prevailed 7-5, 6-3 at second doubles to secure the win. Attleboro’s Jared Cooper won 7-6 (7-5), 6-7 (3-7), 11-9 in a marathon match at second singles and the team of Luis Sandoval and Eli Araujo earned a 6-2, 7-5 win at first doubles.

North Attleboro, 5 @ Canton 0 – FinalNorth Attleboro picked up a sweep on the road, winning all five matches in straight sets. Jonah Manso won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles while the team of Vikram Senthilakumaran and Tomas Bentley won 6-0, 6-2 at first doubles. Alex Pfeffer (second singles), Sam Gallagher (third singles), and the team of Will Redding and Isa Siddiq (second doubles) all won 6-0, 6-0.

Mansfield, 4 @ Westwood, 1 – FinalThe Hornets won twice in singles action and twice in doubles play to beat Westwood in their regular season finale. Luke Nickerson didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles and Luke Devine earned a 6-3, 6-3 win at second singles. The team of Sethu Odayappan and Max Bank rallied for a 2-6, 6-0, 6-1 win at first doubles and Sam Donellan and Dheeraj Valluru emerged with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win at second doubles.

Girls Tennis
Canton, 4 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalThe Bulldogs won all three singles matches and added a fourth point through a win at second doubles to knock off North Attleboro in their season finale. Rachel Kupferman (first singles) and Natalie Keppler (second singles) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Sarah Hernandez battled to a 6-3, 6-2 win at third singles. Canton’s second doubles team of Kiara Cerruti and Lily Hazam won 6-1, 6-2. North Attleboro’s Haley Strom and Sam Martino won 6-4, 6-1 at first doubles.

King Philip, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalKing Philip went on the road and swept singles action, grabbing a fourth point with a win at first doubles to close the regular season with a win over Oliver Ames. Erin Regnier didn’t drop a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first singles while sophomores Katarina Schneider (second singles) and Mia Valencia (third singles) each won 6-1, 6-0. The team of Grace Ely and Katie Welch earned a 6-3, 6-3 victory at first doubles. Oliver Ames’ Sarah Morley and Kate McCormick won 6-4, 6-4 at second doubles.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/28/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Attleboro @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/29 at 6:30.
Foxboro vs. Norton – Postponed to Friday, 5/31 at 3:45.
Mansfield @ St. Peter Marian – Postponed to Saturday, 6/1 at 4:00.
Milford @ King Philip – Postponed to Wednesday, 5/29 at 4:30.
Taunton @ Durfee, 4:00 (@ UMass Dartmouth) – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 4:00.

Softball
North Attleboro @ Attleboro – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 3:30.
Canton @ Franklin – Postponed to Friday, 5/31 at 4:00.
King Philip @ Taunton – Postponed to Saturday, 6/1 at 7:00.

Boys Lacrosse
Attleboro, 10 @ Norton, 6 – FinalAttleboro closed the season out with a win over Norton with senior Trevor Koppy shinning in net. Koppy made 16 saves to pace the Bombardiers while sophomore Mike Strachan scored a team-high six goals. Junior Thomas Shipman chipped in with three goals and sophomore Matt Perry scored once.

Mansfield, 12 vs. Dartmouth, 11 – FinalThe Hornets prevailed in a seesaw affair, netting the game-winning the waning moments of the contest. Junior Brady Kessler scored his team-high sixth goal of the game with just over a minute remaining in the game to give Mansfield a win in its second to last game of the year. Kessler scored on a feed from Nico Holmes for the game winner, the being tied at both halftime (6-6) and after three quarters of play (9-9). Mike Reed added a goal and three assists, Jake Quirk finished with a pair of goals and assists, and Aidan Sacco, Connor Quirk, and Jake DiSangro each scored once.

Milford, 5 vs. Dighton-Rehoboth, 2 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Franklin, 12 @ Cohasset, 11 – FinalFranklin trailed just once in the game, down 2-1 early in the contest, but used a 5-0 run to take a lead that it never surrendered in a back-and-forth contest. The Panthers led 7-5 at halftime before the Skippers knotted the score at 9-9 with 17:20 to play. Franklin was able to outscore the hosts 3-2 over that final span to get the win. Senior Annie Walsh scored five goals and junior Erin Walsh scored a hat trick and had three assists.

Boys Tennis
Milford, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final
King Philip @ Taunton – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 3:45.
Sharon @ North Attleboro – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 3:45.

Girls Tennis
Attleboro @ Milford – Postponed to TBD.
North Attleboro @ Sharon – Postponed to Thursday, 5/30 at 3:45.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Norton, 3 – Final

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 05/06/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Baseball
Milford, 4 @ Attleboro, 5 – FinalAttleboro used a walk, a pair of stolen bases, and a base hit to bring in the winning run in the bottom of the seventh to walk off with a win over Milford in a back-and-forth battle. The Hawks took a 1-0 lead, Attleboro responded with two runs to go ahead, Milford answered with three runs for a 4-2 lead and the Bombardiers plated two with the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth to tie it. In the bottom of the seventh, junior Alvaro Espinal walked, stole both second and third, and scored on the game-winning hit from junior Lorenzo Wilson. Attleboro took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Tim Callahan knocked in Rob Furtado (walk) and Espinal singled in Camden Fitzpatrick (single). Trailing 4-2 in the sixth, Furtado was hit by a pitch and Fitzpatrick had a sac fly to knot the score. Ryan Morry was strong on the mound for Attleboro, tossing six innings with no earned runs allowed and three strikeouts. Eoin Kelleher pitched a scoreless seventh inning to earn the win.

Canton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – FinalOliver Ames scored three runs in the bottom of the second to take a lead, tacked on two more in the third and added an insurance run in the sixth to get the win over visiting Canton. Senior Reid Latham pitched 6.1 innings, allowing no earned runs while striking out four. He chipped in offensively as well, going 2-for-2 with a sac bunt. Chris Pearsons added two hits, including a double, scored a run, and earned the save on the mound with two strikeouts. Freshman Jack Richardson had a double and three RBI while Jacob Levine and Jared Spillane (two RBI) each had two hits for OA. Owen Lehane had two hits and two RBI for Canton.

Foxboro, 18 @ King Philip, 2 – Final (6 Inn.)Foxboro pounded out 16 hits, breaking the game open with a nine-run third inning and never looking back to earn a win on the road. Michael Devlin had team-high three hits while adding three runs and two RBI, and Brian Duncan (two RBI, two runs), Kyle McGinnis (two RBI, two runs), James Kaeser (four RBI, run), Sean Yoest (RBI), and Adam Lanctot (three runs) each recorded two hits for the Warriors. Joe Cavaleri earned the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits, three walks, and one strikeout in six innings of work.

Sharon, 0 @ Franklin, 15 – Final (5 inn.)Franklin senior Alex Haba drove in four runs and classmate Scott Elliot went 2-for-4, including a three-run home run, to pace the Panthers to a win over Sharon. Jack Nally added two hits, including a double, and scored three runs, Cooper Ross knocked in two runs and scored once, Jake Fitzgibbons had two RBI, and Joe Lizotte went 2-for-3 and scored twice. Junior Brennan Rivera allowed just two hits in four innings of work, striking out three with one walk. Cody Trotin tossed a scoreless inning in relief.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final Mansfield seniors Jake Gerraughty and Matt Scibilia combined to throw a one-hitter and the Hornets used early runs to get by North Attleboro. The Hornets scored twice in the bottom in the first and added one more in the third but only had a total of three hits in the game. The Hornets took advantage of four walks and two Rocketeer errors. John Carney (run, RBI), Kyle Moran (RBI), and Scibilia each had a hit for the Hornets while Eric Longley (two walks) and Sam Nugent scored runs. Gerraughty allowed one hit, walked three and struck out three in five innings while Scibilia issued two walks and struck out four in two innings of work.

Stoughton, 2 @ Taunton, 6 – Final Taunton recorded 11 hits as a team on its way to a 6-2 win over visiting Stoughton. Evan Melo had three hits and knocked in two runs and Jared Roderick added a hit, a walk, an RBI, and a run scored for the Tigers. Jack Moynihan was strong once again on the mound, allowing four hits and one walk with no earned runs allowed, striking out 11 in a complete game effort.

Softball
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Canton, 8 – FinalCanton freshman Sophia Santos tossed a complete game, striking out four with two earned runs allowed to lead the Bulldogs to a win over Oliver Ames. Nikki Desjardins and Liz Bickett each hit a home run in the win. Oliver Ames sophomore went 2-for-4 with a triple, an RBI and a run scored. Katie Abreu had an RBI, Kalei Clark had a hit and a run scored, and freshman Anna Balestino scored a run for the Tigers.

King Philip, 12 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalKing Philip senior Faith Turinese pitched a complete game shutout, allowing four hits, no walks and striking out four as the visiting Warriors pulled away from Foxboro for the win. KP broke open a one-run game with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by a bases-clearing triple off the bat of Liliana Rolfe. Paige Berdos had three hits for KP while Turinese (three RBI), Rolfe, Grace Kelley (three RBI), and Destiny Goyco each had two hits for KP.

Franklin, 17 @ Sharon, 1 – Final (6 inn.)Franklin sophomore Gabby Colace (2-for-4) knocked in four runs, including a two-run triple in a six-run first inning as the Panthers earned a big win on the road. Junior Tina Pisano had a triple for Franklin and Kristen Smith had a hit and a run scored. Emily Valentino got the win, scattering five hits while striking out eight. Sharon senior Rebecca Clayman went 2-for-2 with a double and scored a run while Julia Earley had the RBI for the Eagles.

Mansfield, 4 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalMansfield scored three runs in the fifth inning and tacked on one more in the seventh inning that turned out to be the winning run for the Hornets, who had 10 hits. The Rocketeers took a 1-0 lead in the third but the Hornets went ahead in the fifth. Mary Muldoon led off with a double, a single from Kara Bendanillo put runners on the corners and both runners scored on a two-out double from Mady Bendanillo. Caty DeMassi added an RBI double to make it 3-1. In the seventh, Kara Bendanillo singled, moved to second on a fielder’s choice from Megan Letendre, and scored on a tag up play from second on a deep fly ball by Mady Bendanillo. Sarah Cahill scattered five hits and had 15 strikeouts for the win, striking out the side in each the first, second, and fifth innings. Bella Erti struck out nine for the Rocketeers while Emily Nardelli and Katie Daby each had an RBI triple in the game.

Taunton, 9 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalTaunton plated five runs in the third inning, one in the fifth and added three more in the seventh to earn a win on the road at Stoughton, qualifying for the state tournament for the 36th straight season. Sophomore Kelsey White allowed just two hits (both in the fourth inning), struck out seven and didn’t issue a single walk for her eighth win of the year. Sophomore Hanna Aldrich paced the offense with three hits, three stolen bases, and two runs scored. Kenzie McAloon added two doubles and three RBI, Tayah DaCosta had two hits, including a double, and an RBI, Haylee Hartung knocked in two runs with a single, and Olyvia Mendonca added an RBI double. Payton Ceglarski had an RBI on a suicide squeeze.

Boys Lacrosse
Canton, 9 @ Mansfield, 8 – Final Mansfield raced out to a 6-2 lead at halftime but Canton rallied to earn a win on the road. David Allen exploded for four goals to give the Bulldogs a big lift while Griffin Roach had three goals and two assists. Junior Tommy Vaughan scored the winning goal with 4:47 left in the game. Nico Holmes had three goals for Mansfield, Michael Reed added two goals, Aidan Sacco scored once and had two helpers, and Brady Kessler and Connor Quirk each found the back of the net once.

Sharon, 9 @ Attleboro, 4 – FinalSharon freshman Ben Shocket won 15-of-17 faceoffs and sophomore Adam Rabb turned away 11 of the 15 shots he faced to help the Eagles earn a win on the road. Drew Litner paced the Sharon offense with three goals and three assists, Brandon Buckman scored a hat trick, Mitchell Director chipped in with two assists, and Daniel Lillenfeld, Zack Waxman, and Brady Daylor each scored once.

Foxboro, 8 @ King Philip, 12 – FinalKing Philip senior Chris Longobardi won 12 faceoffs and classmate Colin DeVellis accounted for six points to help the host Warriors earn a win in a battle of top Hockomock teams. DeVellis scored five goals and had one helper, Sam Mattson scored twice and had one assist, and Tyler Bartlett, David Lawler, Wes Bishop, Andrew Sajdak, and Robbie Tartaglia each scored once for KP. Andrew McKinney made nine saves in the win. Foxboro’s Shayne Kerrigan scored three goals and had one assist while Brendan Tully scored twice.

Franklin, 17 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalFranklin senior Jacob Alexander went a perfect 23-for-23 at the face-off X, leading the Panthers to a big win on the road. Sophomore Matt Lazzaro scored a hat trick and had four assists, junior Jake Davis scored four goals and added one helper, and Ben Greco recorded five points with two goals and three assists. Frankie Ireland scored twice for Oliver Ames and Remi Creighton netted one tally.

North Attleboro, 12 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final

Girls Lacrosse
Attleboro, 10 @ Sharon, 19 – FinalSenior Emma Eberhardt recorded nine points and sophomore Jenna Goldstein had six points to lead Sharon to a win over visiting Attleboro. Eberhardt had six goals and three assists, Goldstein finished with four goals and two assists, Mia Lappen scored four times and had one helper, and Cass Barbera, Maeve Barbera, Maxine Gordon, Bridget McManus (assist), and Athena Merck (assist) all scored once in the win. Amelia Scappaticci had an assist and Rose Wald made seven saves in net for the Eagles.

Mansfield @ Canton, 3:45

King Philip, 6 @ Foxboro, 19 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Oliver Ames, 6 @ Franklin, 19 – FinalFranklin had 12 players record a point in a convincing win at home against Oliver Ames. Sophomore Sydney Hawkins and freshman Anna Grasso each scored their first career goals for the Panthers in the win. Oliver Ames goalie Maddie Kullen had nine saves in net, Olivia Piazza had two goals and two assists, Ella Hogan scored twice with one assist, and Olivia Carroll and Sam Cathie had a goal and an assist each.

Milford @ Taunton, 4:00

Boys Tennis
Attleboro, 2 @ Milford, 3 – FinalMilford swept singles action to earn a 3-2 win over the visiting Bombardiers. Brendan O’Shaughnessy earned a 6-4, 6-3 win at first singles, Riley Lynch prevailed 6-4, 5-7 (4-7), 7-6 (8-5), and Zach Austin earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles to lift the Hawks to a win. Attleboro’s Eli Araujo and Luis Sandoval won 6-1, 3-2 (injury default) at first singles while the team of Tyler Evans and Ryan Solari picked up a 6-3, 6-4 win at second doubles.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Canton, 4 – FinalOliver Ames junior Yusaf Hameed prevailed in a three set thriller, 4-6, 7-5, 7-5, to earl the lone point for the Tigers.

King Philip, 4 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalKing Philip won all three singles matches in straight sets and picked up a fourth point with a win at first doubles in a victory over Foxboro. Nick Putney won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, Marco DiStefano earned a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles, and Jack Cannon emerged with a 6-4, 6-2 win at third singles. KP’s first doubles team of Nate Ihley and Jake Mager emerged with a 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 win. Foxboro’s Justin Neale and Ben Wasserman earned a 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 win at second doubles.

Franklin, 2 @ Sharon, 3 – FinalSharon senior Danujan Thirumavalavan won the first and third sets, both by tiebreaker, to emerge with a win and give the Eagles a victory against the Panthers. Thirumavalavan emerged with a 7-6 (7-3), 2-7, 7-6 (7-3) win in a battle with Franklin sophomore Liam Marr. Alberto Olivei added a 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-0 win at second singles and freshman Rueman Bhattacharyya grabbed a 6-0, 6-0 win at third singles. Franklin’s Saketh Saripalli and Vayshnav Malhotra (first doubles) and the team of Lucas Gulick and Shoumik Sompally (second doubles) both won 6-2, 6-2.

Mansfield, 2 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalNorth Attleboro grabbed two wins in singles action and one more in doubles play to beat the visiting Hornets. Junior Alex Pfeffer won 6-0, 6-2 at second singles while sophomore Sam Gallagher picked up a 6-1, 6-2 win at third singles for Big Red. Vikram Senthilakumaran and Tomas Bentley earned the third point for North with a 6-4, 6-4 win at first doubles. Mansfield senior Luke Nickerson won 6-3, 6-2 at first singles while the team of Dheeraj Vallaru and Sam Donellan won 6-4, 6-4 at second doubles.

Taunton, 2 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton defended “home court” by winning two matches in singles play and one more in doubles to beat Taunton. Sophomore Waseem Sablon won 6-3, 6-0 at first singles, senior Erik Anderson picked up a 6-3, 6-1 win at second singles, and the team of Hassan Khan and LJ Ferrandiz emerged with a 7-5, 2-6, 10-6 win at second doubles. Taunton’s Dylan Kullas won 6-3, 6-2 at third singles and Ryan Hebert and Trevor Hart teamed up for a 6-0, 6-4 win at first doubles.

Girls Tennis
Milford, 1 @ Attleboro, 4 – FinalAttleboro won two singles matches and swept doubles action to knock off visiting Milford. Freshman Ella Lynch-Bartek won 6-3, 6-2 at first singles and junior Jill See picked up a 6-3, 6-3 win at third singles. The team of junior Nicole Matheson and sophomore Lauren Anthony earned a 6-4, 6-3 win at first doubles while juniors Rena Danho and Jordan Bernardo picked up a 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 win at second doubles. Milford’s Juliana France won 5-7, 6-2, 6-3 at second singles.

Canton, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalCanton swept all three singles matches and added another win at second doubles to record a road win at Oliver Ames. Rachel Kupferman (first singles) and Natalie Keppler (second singles) both won 6-0, 6-0 while Sarah Hernandez earned a 6-2, 6-2 win at third singles. The Bulldogs’ second doubles team of Kiara Cerruti and Lily Hazam earned a 6-2, 6-2 win. OA’s first doubles team of Eva Belanger and Morgan Vasiliou won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles.

Foxboro, 3 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalFoxboro picked up a pair of wins in singles play and got a third point with a victory at second doubles to beat King Philip. Pam Nelson won 6-2, 6-4 at first singles, Julia Muise earned a 6-3, 6-1 win at third singles, and the team of Maggie McAuliffe and Neha Jammula earned a 6-1, 7-5 decision at second singles for Foxboro. King Philip’s Katarina Schneider picked up a 6-2, 6-2 win at second singles while Grace Ely and Katie Welch secured a 6-1, 6-3 win at first doubles.

Sharon, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final

North Attleboro, 4 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalNorth Attleboro won both doubles matches in straight sets and picked up two more wins in singles action to knock off Mansfield. Sam Martino and Hayley Strom won 6-2, 6-3 at first doubles, the team of Brototi Nandi and Liana Nichols earned a 6-3, 6-3 win at second doubles, Mae McLaughlin prevailed 6-3, 5-7, 10-5 at second singles, and Olivia Wills earned a 6-3, 6-2 win at third singles. Mansfield’s Lizzy Elsner emerged with a 6-4, 6-4 at first singles.

Stoughton, 0 @ Taunton, 5 – FinalTaunton won all five matches in straight sets, dropping a total of three games in a strong showing. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-0, 6-0 at first singles, McKenzie Lucie picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca won 6-0, 6-1 at third singles. The team of Sam Martin and Brianna Fevrier didn’t drop a set in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles while Ogechi Ariguzo and Kayla Parrett won 6-1, 6-0 at second doubles.

Boys Volleyball
King Philip, 3 @ Norwood, 0 – FinalKing Philip continued to get stronger as the season goes on, this time earning a 3-0 (25-11, 25-14, 25-9) sweep on the road at Norwood. Cam Corey paced the offense with 29 assists and added 15 service points and Max Armour had 11 service points, five digs, and two kills. Eric Altobello had a team-high 12 kills, Jimmy Peterson added seven kills, and Shea Duffy and Mike O’Brien each put down six kills.

Taunton, 3 vs. Brockton, 1 – FinalAfter dropping the first game, Taunton rallied to win three straight to record a 3-1 win (22-25, 25-20, 25-19, 25-23). Gage Kingman had a strong game all around with seven kills, 12 digs, two aces, and going a perfect 14-for-14 on serve receive. Jason Khang was also strong on serve receive (23-of 24), setting the table for a strong attack. Chris LaCourse dished out 36 assists with Tyler Stewart (12 kills, five blocks), Fabio Goncalves (11 kills, three blocks), and Alex Tavares (10 kills, five blocks) pacing the Tiger offense.

2019 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview

2019 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview
Canton junior Griffin Roach scored with 1:38 remaining in the first overtime to lift the Bulldogs to a dramatic victory over Scituate in 2018. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Hockomock League Boys Lacrosse Preview

Attleboro

2018 Record: 5-13
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Kevin Patton

The Bombardiers will boast a relatively young group in 2019 but are still ready to compete in a difficult Hockomock League.

With a total of 14 underclassmen – eight sophomores and six freshmen – there will certainly be learning curves and some ups and downs throughout the year, but those new faces are hungry to improve throughout the season.

Attleboro’s strong suit will be in net as Hockomock League All-Star Trevor Koppy, a captain for this year’s team, returns to the cage. Koppy is one of the most experienced netminders in the league and the Bombardiers will be relying on him for his play plus his leadership as a captain. Attleboro will also rely on the leadership on and off the field by junior captain Tom Shipman, who will be a key piece in the midfield.

Shipman will be joined by senior Zach Thomas and sophomores Michael Strachan and Aidan Diggin in the midfield. All four have plenty of varsity experience so Attleboro will certainly rely on them to guide the way as the younger players are incorporated into the lineup. Sophomore Matthew Perry returns up front while junior Jack Handy is back defensively.

The Bombardiers are hoping junior Bryson Friess and freshman Fred Wheaton will make an impact defensively while freshmen Keigan Conley and Jack Lamothe will bolster the attack. Freshman Ryan Betts will also be apart of the midfield unit this season.

We are a young team…but they’re all ready to contribute quality minutes,” said Attleboro coach Kevin Patton, who switched from the girl’s team to the boys this Spring. “With Trevor Koppy and Tommy Shipman, our captains, they are prepared to lead the team to the next level. I’m looking forward to the future of the program!”

Canton

2018 Record: 10-8
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinals
Coach: Bill Bendell

After missing out on the playoffs in 2017, Canton put together a memorable 2018 campaign that ended in the D2 South Sectional Semifinals. The Bulldogs are looking to replicate that success and make another deep tournament run again this year.

And with a good amount of players back from last year’s squad, there is a lot of optimism that tournament run can happen. Senior Griffin Roach, a HockomockSports.com Second Team selection, will pace the offense again this year. Roach had 30 goals and 17 assists last year and his competitiveness is contagious to those around him. Roach will be joined by classmate Dan Cohen, a Hockomock League honorable mention selection. Cohen is a dangerous player, scoring 24 goals in the regular season last year.

David Allen, Chris Lavoie, Brendan Clifford, and Matt Martin are great athletes and capable scorers as well, while Tommy Vaughan will look to make an impact with his playmaking ability. On defense, the Bulldogs will turn to Brendan Albert and Nick Mackay, who head coach Bill Bendell called two of the most underrated players in the Hockomock League. Both possess a boatload of experience at the varsity level and will anchor the Bulldog defensive group. George Kent and James Murphy will also be apart of Canton’s defense while Shane Marshall, Sam Walsh, Jack Albert, and Carson Campbell will all see time and make key contributions this seasons, Bendell said.

Sophomore Dylan Coyne will take over in net for the Bulldogs and has had a strong preseason so far. Bendell believes Coyne is poised for a breakout year. Jeff Fitzgerald, Tommy Ghostlaw, and Mackay will all be in the running to handle faceoff duties.

“We are very excited about our offensive and defensive potential,” Bendell said. “Our varsity depth is not what we would like it to be at this point, but a few players have shown flashes of potential that make us think we will be much deeper come Memorial Day.”

Foxboro

2018 Record: 15-4
2018 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinal
Coach: Matt Noone

Foxboro will have a young squad with just five seniors this year but that doesn’t mean there will be a lack of experience from the defending Davenport division champions.

Senior Brendan Tully sets the example with his work ethic but is also one of the most dangerous players in the Hockomock League. A Providence College commit, Tully has tormented defenses for the past two seasons. He had 44 goals and 22 assists last year and will be one of Foxboro’s main weapons. Tully will be joined by Bobby Yerardi, who had over 40 points as a sophomore and has improved his game in the offseason. His ability to finish right or left makes life difficult for opponents.

The Warriors bring back junior Shayne Kerrigan for faceoffs. Kerrigan is one of the best in the area on the draw and puts Foxboro in good positions time after time; he will be a key piece in the midfield for the Warriors. Junior Pete Conley, Aiden Stapleton, and Charlie Baughan will make the up the attacking group for Foxboro this year.

Pat Stapleton is one of the most experienced players in the league as well as one of the top defensive players. He will anchor a defensive unit that has been one of the best in the region over the past couple of seasons. He will be joined by juniors Ronnie MacLellan and Will Morrison. All three players have the ability to move up to LSM when needed.

One question mark for the Warriors could be goalie, as Foxboro graduated Hockomock League MVP Jake Addeche. Head coach Matt Noone is confident in his options this season, with four players competing for the time in the cage. Freshman Matt Tully is beginning the season as the starter.

“I am really looking forward to this season as we are young but dangerous,” Noone said. “The best thing about this team is our depth, there is competition for every spot and they love to compete! What more can you ask for?”

Franklin

2018 Record: 16-4
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Lou Verrochi

Franklin has had a lot of success in recent years, and that trend looks like it will continue in 2019.

“The outlook for this season is very good,” said Franklin head coach Lou Verrochi. “It could be one of the best teams we’ve had at FHS.”

The reason for the high expectations is the amount of talent returning from last year’s Kelley-Rex team that reached the D1 South Quarterfinals. Although the Panthers graduated two-time All-American and two-time HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Eric Civetti and starting goalie Connor O’Rourke, Franklin has experience and talent back at each position.

It all will start with senior Jacob Alexander, who has been arguably the best faceoff man in the entire state over the past couple of seasons. Alexander’s ability to consistently win draws gives Franklin a huge advantage and sets the offense in motion. Patrick Morrison, a second-team All-American selection last season, will anchor the defensive unit for the Panthers this year along with Will Harvey, who was one of the most underrated players last year. Will Davis, who saw time in net some last year, is set to take over in the cage and could be one of the top netminders in the league.

The Franklin midfield will consist of Nitin Chaudhury – one of the hardest working athletes in any sport – along with Owen Palmieri and Ben Kolb, who has really impressed in scrimmages during the preseason. Franklin’s attack could be among the most dangerous in the league this year with three legitimate options. Jake Davis (32 goals, 23 assists), Matt Lazzaro (30 points), and Ben Greco are all unselfish but can also finish.

King Philip

2018 Record: 9-10
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals
Coach: Hal Bean

King Philip is hoping that a good amount of returning experience from last year’s team will result in a successful season and possibly a run through the D1 South bracket.

The Warriors have one of the most experienced attackmen in the league in Colin DeVellis, who has been one of the best finishers in each of the last two years. He finished fourth overall in points his sophomore year (22 goals, 36 assists) and again his junior year (45 goals, 29 assists) and is the top returning scorer back from last year. His ability to finish in close makes life tough for opponents but he’s also able to find teammates when the defense focuses on him. Andrew Sajdak and Sam Mattson will also be key pieces on the attack and the three showed good chemistry in their first game this year.

Wes Bishop, who is committed to play at UMass Boston, is a great leader that will anchor the defensive unit. He has a lot of varsity experience and is the type of player that leads by example. Luke D’Amico is another experienced defender that will stand out for KP this year. Tyler Bartlett, Aiden Bender, Chris Longobardi, and Garrett Maxwell give coach Hal Bean a large group of experienced players.

Junior Andrew McKinney is back in goal after splitting time in the cage last season.

Mansfield

2018 Record: 9-9
2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round
Coach: Tim Frias

Mansfield has made the state tournament in each of the last four seasons and will be looking to make it five straight in 2019.

It all starts in the midfield with senior Aidan Sacco. Sacco, who played quarterback this past fall for the Hornet football team, is like the quarterback for the Hornet boys lacrosse team. A lot of the offense will run through Sacco because of his vision and ability to share the ball. He is also a key part of the Hornet defense. His ability to get back and track opponents while also causing turnovers and transitioning defense into offense will be key for Mansfield.

On offense, the Hornets have an experienced stick in the hands of Mike Reed, who will be relied on to lead the Hornets into the playoffs down the stretch. Connor Quirk will also be a key cog for Mansfield this year while Joe Plath, Sean Weber, and Will Nelson are going to be important pieces in the defensive unit.

The Hornets have a strong piece in Nico Holmes at the face-off X. Holmes picked up varsity experience at the position last year and he will look to give Mansfield extra possessions this year in their push for the state tournament.

Coleman O’Brien and Brian Rockwell are battling for the starting spot in the cage.

Milford

2018 Record: 6-11
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Jacob Scordato

After increasing their win total from 2017 to 2018, the Scarlet Hawks will be looking to continue that trend in 2019.

With returning starters back in a lot of positions, second-year head coach Jacob Scordato is hopeful that Milford can make a run at a state tournament berth.

“Our Goal as a team is to make the playoffs, this program hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2012,” Scordato said. “But this group of extraordinary young men are highly motivated on achieving that goal.”

The Scarlet Hawks bring back their leading scorer in Brendan White, who had 45 points last season (31 goals, 14 assists). White is a strong, physical forward with a strong shot. His ability to finish through contact makes him one of the top attackmen in the league. In the midfield, junior captain Danny Farrell is back after a standout sophomore year. Farrell, an LSM, led the team last season with 64 ground balls.

Senior Ryan Pearl will anchor a defensive unit that is looking to improve on last season. Sophomore Evan Hazard had a standout freshman campaign between the pipes last year. He will be relied upon this season to help keep Milford in games as they make a push for the postseason.

North Attleboro

2018 Record: 15-5
2018 Finish: Reached D2 Central/East Quarterfinals
Coach: Kevin Young

After coming close to the Davenport title a year ago, the Rocketeers are ready to make another run at the division title and as well as a deep playoff run.

While the Rocketeers graduated some top talent in the league such as midfielders Jason McNeany and Max Fontes, defenseman Tommy Lockavitch, and attack Tommy Lindstrom, North Attleboro has talent and experience in every position. Juniors Nate D’Amico and Jake McNeany are back after splitting time last season and will be competing for minutes again this season.

Defensively, the Rocketeers bring back three starters from a unit that allowed a league-low 95 goals last year. Junior Brett Labonte had a terrific season and will be joined by classmate Will Yeomans and sophomore Tyler Sarro. Head coach Kevin Young said the trio is tough, vocal, active, and play very well together. In the midfield, senior captains Nick Ward and Ryan Boyle will be key pieces. Ward will also see time at attack while Boyle will be a defensive minded midfielder.

“Nick is a very smart, sneaky threat with great IQ and stick skills,” said North Attleboro coach Kevin Young. “Ryan is just a grinder that all coaches appreciate.”

Junior Dan Conroy takes over as the main faceoff guy and will be joined by Ryan Rajotte, Damien Curtis, Nick Morse, Jack Puccio, Cam Cornetta, and Joe Milosh in the midfield.

The attack will be spearheaded by junior Andy DeMattio, last year’s HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. DeMattio had a tremendous season, scoring 52 goals and adding 22 assists for a team-high 74 points. “He should be fun to watch as he’s picked up some size and speed,” Young said. DeMattio will be joined by junior Jack Connolly and freshman Matt Antonetti.

Oliver Ames

2018 Record: 14-7
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinals
Coach: Ben Devlin

Coming off the best season in program history, Oliver Ames is aiming to have another successful year and hoping to replicate last year’s playoff push.

The Tigers reached the D2 South Sectional Semifinals last season and bring back five of the top seven scorers from a year ago. While the top two scorers — Eric LeBlanc and Owen Gallagher — and their 146 points graduated, there is a lot of optimism in the program because they have reloaded for this year.

Oliver Ames will be young on the attack with junior Sandro Masciarelli and sophomore Remi Creighton, but there is still experience in the position. Masciarelli had 25 goals last year while Creighton will see more minutes this year. The strength of the program will be in the midfield with the likes of senior captain Colin Bourne (30 goals), junior Shane Kilkelly (32 goals), junior Sam Stevens (23 goals), and junior Frankie Ireland (29 goals). That group was a big reason for OA’s memorable season last year and now have a year of experience playing together under their belts.

Defensively the Tigers are looking for senior captains Shane Murphy and Matt Saba to lead the way. Both players were apart of the defensive unit last year and have been a big reason for the program’s improvement over the past couple of seasons. Senior LSM Cullen Gallagher will be a key defensive midfielder while junior Tyler Campbell will likely factor into the Tiger defense this year. Junior Nick Gillis returns as the starting goalie while senior Steve Heino is an experienced backup.

“Our goal is to keep improving each day and keep building on last year’s success,” said OA head coach Ben Devlin. “The kids have bought into the program and are excited and enthusiastic about the season. We don’t expect anyone or two players to replace the production we graduated, but if all our returners can progress like they did last year, we should be in the mix for a tourney berth.”

Sharon

2018 Record: 12-7
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Jon Shocket

Sharon has a strong mix of returners and new faces and is hoping that combination will result in a return trip to the state tournament.

The Eagles will have an experienced defensive group with all three starting defensemen back this year, and all three are seniors. Sam Spencer, Coleman Loftus, and Ronin McCabe are back to give the Eagles a formidable defensive group. Having an experienced defensive in front of new goalie, sophomore Adam Rabb, will help as the season gets underway.

Sophomore Drew Litner is back after a terrific freshman year. Litner can score but he is one of the most unselfish players in the league and does a terrific job finding teammates on the move. He was among the league leaders in assists last year, dishing out 28 helpers. Litner will be joined by senior Brandon Buckman and freshman Zack Waxman in the attacking group.

The midfield will also have a good amount of experience with seniors Daniel Lillenfeld and Mitchell Director leading the way. Nick Stamm and Rowan Barnes have impressed this preseason and should be apart of the group as well. Junior Max Posner could be poised for a breakout year while sophomore Cobe Jacobson and freshmen Brady Daylor and Jace Nestler will be in the mix too.

Returning LSM Tyler Freedman is back after a terrific rookie campaign and could be a top player for the Eagles while there are high hopes for freshman faceoff specialist Ben Shocket, who could be an X-factor for the Eagles.

Stoughton

2018 Record: 1-15
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Pat Healey

The Black Knights enter their third season as a varsity program and are looking to continue to grow as a program in a difficult league.

After being inexperienced last year, the Black Knights are hoping the lessons learned from last year will pay off this year. It starts with the four captains: Sean Doherty, Luke Bainton, Alex Wilson, and Nate Wilson. Doherty and Bainton will do a little bit of everything for the Black Knights and will be two of the top options offensively. Alex Wilson and Nate Wilson will anchor the defensive unit, bringing plenty of lacrosse experience to that group.

Stoughton is also looking for a big season out of junior Foster McLeod. McLeod has shown in the past the ability to beat defenders and create opportunities for others. Sophomores Max Huminik and Mike McLaughlin will also see increased roles after impressing during their rookie seasons in 2018.

Sophomore Thomas Ratcliffe, a Hockomock League honorable mention last year, returns in the cage and gives the Black Knights a steady presence between the pipes. Sophomore Marty Barrett returns as a long pole and will be a key piece of the Knights’ defense.