2019 H.S. boys' lacrosse preview capsules
ECC DIVISION I
Coach: Gary Wight (17th season)
Key returnees: Sr. A-M James McCoy, Sr. A Robbie Swenson, Sr. D-LSM Richie Galbo, Jr. M Cam Hart, Jr. M Blane Hart, Sr. M Aiden Paterson, Jr. A-M Hunter Lizza, So. D-LSM Tucker Mazzulli, Sr. D Nolan Liska, Sr. M Sunreal Lall, Jr. D Liam Kennedy, So. A-M Ryan Whaley, So. M Evan Tower, Sr. M Alex Jakubczak, Sr. A-M Ben Jakubczak, Sr. G Eric Brodeur, Sr. G Mac Fusaro, Jr. G Nat Highman.
Top newcomers: Sr. A Alec Kosinski, Jr. LSM Branden Matias, Sr. D Deon Seidel, Sr. D Jake Tukey, So. A-M Matt Valakas, Jr. A-M Coleman Groff, Jr. LSM Noah Perry, Sr. LSM Mark Perez, Sr. D Alex Smith, Sr. M Brandon Hall.
Outlook: The Vikings had another productive season in 2018, winning the ECC Division I title, the ECC tournament and reaching the Class M state quarterfinals. McCoy, Swenson and Galbo were all members of The Day's All-Area team as juniors and will lead a talented group that, according to Wight, has a few key positions to fill, but has plenty of experience. The are part of a revamped Division I with Fitch, NFA, Waterford and Woodstock.
Coach: Dave Sabilia (3rd season)
Key returnee: Sr. D Austin Beebe.
Top newcomers: Jr. G Jack Casey, Jr. A Griffen Reuling.
Outlook: The Falcons suffered some major graduation losses from a team that finished 11-7 and qualified for the ECC and Class M state tournament. They have beefed up their non-conference scheduling, opening Saturday at St. Joseph and playing games against Xavier and RHAM. Sabilia said his team is "an eager group looking to word hard and improve each day."
Norwich Free Academy
Coach: Nathan Wheeler (4th season)
Key returnees: Sr. D Danny Benjamin, Jr. D Mason McMahon, Sr. M Rye Walencewicz, So. M Dom Renfree, Sr. A Ryan Foster, Sr. D Marcus Gada, Jr. FO Dylan Chapel, Sr. M Mikey McCormack, Jr. LSM Jonathan Daniewicz.
Top newcomers: Fr. A-M Nolan Brown, Fr. LSM Max Piolunek, Fr. G Sam Sweeney, Fr. M Connor DeVega, Fr. M Alex Gravelin.
Outlook: The Wildcats expect to rebound from a 6-10 season with an experience cast that will be challenged by a talented freshman class that has Wheeler excited about the program's future. NFA must replace a pair of All-Area players in faceoff specialist Chris Ladyga (now playing at Hartford) and goalie Alex Medeiros (now playing at the University of England), but with veterans like Walencewicz, Benjamin and McMahon leading the way, NFA expects to be a factor in the ECC and qualify for the state tournament.
Coach: Scott Hicks (1st season)
Key returnees: Sr. A-M Caleb Holdridge, Sr. D Dylan Eckhart, Sr. A-M, Sr. A Jackson Alloway, Sr. SSDM Dawson Cullen, Sr. LSM Alexander Fayan, Sr. Travis Gladstone, Sr. A Ryan Huta, Sr. D Joseph Lillis, Sr. A-M Peter Lincoln, Sr. FO-SSDM Harrison Searle, Sr. D Alexander Vasilou, Jr. A-M Mason LaForte, Jr. A-M Kyle Jacobson, Jr. SSDM James Hodge, So. G Cooper Alloway.
Top newcomers: So. A-M Alexander Stringer, So. LSM Joe Wyatt, So. D Ethan Welch, Fr. G Jake Kozlowski.
Outlook: It was a memorable 2018 season for the Lancers, who finished 16-5, came within a whisker of winning the ECC tournament title (a 13-12 loss to rival Waterford) and reached the Class M semifinals. Hicks replaces Chris Landry, Waterford's new athletic director, and welcome a veteran team which has plenty offensive firepower with Holdridge (The Day's All-Area Player of the Year), Huta and Jacobson back along with senior defenders Lillis, Eckhart and Fayan. Searle will be stepping into the important face-off role while Cooper Alloway is coming off a big freshman year in goal, although he is being challenged by Kozlowski. Waterford has joined the ECC Division I ranks this spring and should battle East Lyme for top honors again.
ECC DIVISION II
Coach: Joshua Spring (1st season)
Key returnees: Sr. D Jacob Hobbs, Sr. M Seamus McGrath, Sr. M Anthony Rose.
Top newcomer: Fr. A Cameron Reynolds.
Outlook: The Colonels are coming off a winless season and will remain in a rebuilding mode as Spring looks to revive the program, which is now in cooperative agreement with Griswold. Ledyard moves from Division I to Division II in the ECC this spring and Spring said, "as a team we are looking to increase our knowledge of situational game play, play as one cohesive unit, and to excel at the fundamentals.
Coach: Mike Murphy (2nd season)
Key returnees: So. G Steve Turchetta, Jr. LSM Sean Ventresca, Jr. M Tanner Diamantini, So. A Derek Debbis, Sr. D-LSM Ian Anderson.
Top newcomers: So. FO-M Sawyer Kury, Sr. M Ezra Spreng, So. D Zach Doiron.
Outlook: The Indians find themselves in a rebuilding mode after graduating seven senior starters, including all-state face-off specialist Sam Kury. Turchetta is back in goal while Ventresca anchors the defensive midfield group. Murphy said Montville must develop its defense and attack units in order to get back to the state tournament. The Indians are part of the newly-realigned ECC Division I with Bacon Academy, Stonington and a pair of co-ops, Ledyard/Griswold and St. Bernard/Wheeler.
Coach: James Cook (1st season)
Key returnees: Sr. A Roland Long, Sr G Dan Schroeder, Sr. D Emmett Brady, Sr. M Zach Spears.
Outlook: The Saints went 14-4 a year ago and reached the Class S quarterfinals. Cook takes over a program that lost some key players, but returns Brady, an All-Area performer who will anchor the defense in front of Schroeder. Cook expects St. Bernard to challenge for the Division II title and return to the state tournament.
Coach: Nick Warhola (2nd season)
Key returnees: Jr. A Lucian Kronholm, Jr. D Sam Kezer, So. D Kyle Marino, Sr. M Ben Huyhn, Sr. M Aaron Lahah, Jr. A Sean Peglow, Jr. M Marco Tedeschi, So. A Aidan Davies, Jr. G Tyler Flynn.
Top newcomer: Fr. M Christian Hudson.
Outlook: The Bears graduate eight seniors, so Warhola expects some growing pains in his second season with a small senior class and a number of young players. Warhola said Stonington will be "re-focused and re-committed to the team, each other and the future of Stonington lacrosse."
Coach: George Hudson (1st season)
Key returnees: Sr. G James Rollins, Sr. D Henry Lahm, Sr. M Mike Kolisnick.
Outlook: Hudson takes over for JC Flaherty, who guided the Wildcats to a 13-6 overall record and the Shoreline Conference tournament championship. Old Lyme must replace some scoring punch up front, but Lahm and Kolisnick are returning All-Area performers and Rollins provides experience in goal. "We're looking to play fast-paced lacrosse and a lot of transition to get good looks at goals," said Hudson, who expects the Wildcats to be a factor in the Shoreline again.
Coach: Mark Fader (3rd season)
Key returnees: Jr. M Harry Anselmi, Jr. M James Knowlton, Jr. M Eli Bunnell, Jr. M Sebastian Marshall, So. M Alex Shirvani, Jr. A Quinn Furgeuson, So. A Jack Connelly, so. D JD Delaurentis, So. D Ozzie Alam, So. D Grayson Guinan, Fr. D Sterling Frost, Sr. G Nash Mendlinger, So. G Jack Yost.
Top newcomers: Fr. M Robbie Darling, Fr. G Colby Potts, So. D Jake Daitch, So. A Shawn Ciaciura, So. M Nate Marchesi, Sr. M Zain Alam.
Outlook: The Blues have only one senior (Mendlinger in goal), but return three all-conference players in Delaurentis, Anselmi and Knowlton. "The players are highly motivated and excited for a successful season," said Fader, who expects Williams to be competitive in every game on its schedule.