2021 H.S. boys' lacrosse preview capsules
ECC Division I
Coach: Gary Wight (19th season)
Key returnees: Sr. D Tucker Mazzulli, Sr. A Matt Valakos, Sr. D Jake Tukey, Sr. A Ryan Whaley.
Top newcomers: Sr. D-LSM Connor Daugherty Sr. M Steven Gonsalves, Sr. D Josiama Higgins, Sr. M Miles Hinckley, Sr. M Colin Marvin, Sr. M Cooper Pazzaglia, Sr. M Ryan Scott, Sr. D Eoin Tricarico, Sr. D Ajay Varma, Sr. M Garisen Wiese, Sr. A Wesley Williamson, Sr. M Kevin Yang, Jr. M Zach Boguszewski, Jr. G Mason Gallo, Jr. M Anthony Gesino, Jr. M Henry Hatt, Jr. A Sean McCusker, Jr. M Ethan Moore, Jr. M Mason Senkow, Jr. D Damon Simonsen, Jr. D-LSM David Stoddard, Jr. D Grant Summers, Jr. M Kevin Thomas, So. G Spencer Sherman, Fr. G Caleb Haylon.
Outlook: Mazzulli, an all-state defender as a sophomore, is back to lead the Vikings following the 2020 hiatus. "We're just thrilled to be back on the field this spring," Wight said, "and feel very fortunate to have an opportunity to compete this year." Wight will lean on his veterans while developing his lineup and depth with a large group of varsity newcomers, many who have been waiting for their chance to get on the field.
Coach: David Sabilia (5th season)
Key returnees: Sr. M James Deichler, Sr. M Josh Letellier, Sr. M-A Devyn Jordan, Sr. M-A Nick Pasqualini, Sr. M-A Luke Frost, Sr. A Ty Peters, Jr. LSM Shawn Beebe.
Top newcomers: Jr. M James Miner, Jr. M Colin Heller, So. G Evan Hicks, So. A Evan Salen, Fr. M Boden Frost, Fr. M Eli Waters, Fr. D Devon Edwards.
Outlook: Prior to last season's shutdown, the Falcons had mixed it up with some of the state's top programs in nonconference games — St. Joseph's, Xavier and Guilford just to name a few. Sabilia returns a veteran, versatile group and Fitch has the advantage of moving to its own turf facility this season between the high school and Groton Middle School.
Coach: Nate Wheeler (6th season)
Key returnees: Sr. D-LSM Micah Tarlton, Sr. A Matthew Langley, Sr. M Sam Thompson, Jr. M Nolan Brown, Jr. A Quinn Perkins, Sr. M Dominic Renfree, Jr. M Connor DeVega, Jr. G Sam Sweeney.
Top newcomers: So. A Anthony Ballestrini, So. M Tom Brunelli, Fr. M Logan Jenkins, Fr. D Nicholas Winton, Fr. G Luke Wotring.
Outlook: NFA suffered some key graduation losses, but Wheeler likes his mix of experienced players and newcomers. "I feel confident with the number of returnees who had lots of varsity experience in 2019 as underclassmen," Wheeler said. They will balance that with a strong group of 9th and 10th graders who are eager to take the field for the first time as high schoolers."
Coach: Paul Deon (1st season)
Key returnees: A Nate Houggy, A Anthony Stone, A Zander Stringer, M Caleb Zane, M Oliver Searle, M Quincy Foren, M Kyle McNeil, D Sam Healy, D Joe Wyatt.
Top newcomers: D Cody Brown, M Michael Hajj, M John Zimmerman, M Tom Quiles, G Jake Kozlowski, D Liam Pickett, D Cooper Donahue.
Outlook: Deon, a former coach at Stonington, returns to the high school ranks after having spent several seasons as an assistant college coach. The Lancers have become one of the ECC's elite programs and Deon has a nice balance of experience and new talent to keep Waterford among of the competitive teams in the ECC.
ECC Division II
Coach: Brian Martin (8th season)
Key returnees: Sr. A Tyler Graham, Sr. M Kellen Paparella, Sr. M Jason Consiglio, Sr. M Jake Chapman, Sr. D Blaine Baillargeon, Jr. M Sam Blumberger.
Outlook: The Bobcats lost to St. Joseph in the 2019 Class S state final and were primed to make another state championship push with a talented senior class in 2020. But the season was canceled the that senior class is gone, so Martin is still trying to put the pieces together for 2021. "We have some talent in every class and a lot of athletes on the team" he said. "We'll see what we can put together." Bacon is experienced in the midfield with seniors Paparella, Consiglio and Chapman.
Coach: Mark Chmielewski (1st season)
Key returnees: Sr. G Seth Hurt, Jr. A Cameron Reynolds, Jr. D Nick Johanson, Jr. M Jack Allyn, Sr. M Andrew Cully, Sr. M Aidan Greeley, Sr. M Richard Hines, Sr. D Joseph Burton, Sr. G Chase Barnett.
Top newcomers: So. LSM Declan York, So. Dylan Freyer, Sr. M Kaine Sherman, So. M Liam Gervais.
Outlook: Chmielewski takes over the cooperative program which will play its games on the new Ledyard turf field. The Colonels have experience throughout the lineup and Chmielewski said his team "is motivated to work on improving their game and eager to compete."
Coach: Nick McAneny (1st season)
Key returnees: Sr. G Steven Turchetta, Sr. A-M Antonio Brown, Sr. M Nehemiah Owens, Sr. M Sawyer Kury, Sr. D Zach Doiron, Sr. M Brandon Pedersen, Sr. A Aaron Simon, Sr. D Gavin LaJeunesse, Jr. M Xavier Haney Jr. D Raphael Vogt, Jr. M Blake Chapman.
Top newcomers: Sr. A-M Ayden Frechette, Jr. M-D Rodolfo Reyes, So. A-M Sawyer Tighe, So. D Tyler Ladia, So. D Charles Taylor, So. D Jordan LaJeunesse, So. A-M Ethan Johnson, Fr. A-M Conor Gaughan.
Outlook: McAneny takes over a program that struggled in 2019 with low numbers. That's not the case in 2021 because not only do the Indians return a veteran cast, but newcomers have also helped nearly triple the roster from two years ago. "The return of many upperclassmen," he said, "and the addition of key players will play a big role in providing the Indians compete at a high level in the ECC."
Coach: Nick Warhola (4th season)
Key returnees: Sr. D Kyle Marino, Jr. G Will Banfield, Jr. M Jake Flynn, So. A Cam Elenteny, So. M Will French, So. M Ben Massengale, So. D Ben French.
Top newcomers: Fr. A Tyler Simao, Fr. M Ethan Mahoney.
Outlook: The Bears will be young this season after graduating five starters and having a sixth transfer to a prep school, so Warhola must be patient and let Stonington develop against another difficult ECC schedule. "We have a young team," he said, "but plenty of hungry players ready to take on the challenge."
Coach: David Howes (1st season)
Key returnees: Jr. M Cam Gouveia, Jr. M Jackson Brenek, Jr. M Charlie Niles, Jr. A Cam Riley.
Top newcomers: So. D Odin Malz, Fr. A Jackson Hernandez, So. A Max Seeley, Jr. D Corbett Brassaw.
Outlook: Howes, the former Fitch coach, returns to the ECC sidelines to take over the cooperative program this spring, and the Saints are young with no seniors on the roster. "It is going to be a rebuilding year," Howe said, "but the team is excited to be back out on the field playing lacrosse again."
Norwich Tech/Windham Tech
Coach: Craig Sylvester (1st season)
Key returnees: Sr. D Riley Hawkins, Sr. G Cole Occhialini, Jr. M Demetri Ryan, Jr. M Dylan Relaz, Sr. D Matt Thorpe, Jr. M Zachery Dziekan, Jr. M Xavier Gifford, Jr. D Joe Cafro, Jr. M Maxwell Clark.
Top newcomers: Fr. D Chris Bradham, Fr. M Adam Farenholz, Fr. M William Doak, Fr. D Landon Traylor, So. G Michael Joly, So. M Ethan Hawking, So. D Connor Fishkin, So. M Seth Cunningham, So. M Darius Jack, So. D Jayden Faison, So. M Jeremiah Irizarry, Sr. D Silven Scolaro, Sr. D James Murray.
Outlook: Sylvester takes over the program and will lean on his experienced players, especially captains Hawkins, Occhialini and Ryan. He also has welcomed a large group of newcomers who are "eager to learn." The cooperative program plays in the Connecticut Technical Conference and Sylvester expects the Warriors to have a competitive season.
Coach: George Hudson (3rd season)
Key returnees: A Owen Macadam, D Mike Battalino, D Keenan Burr.
Top newcomers: A Nick Cox, G Joseph Montazella, D Ford Macadam.
Outlook: The Wildcats will feature several new faces in 2021, but Hudson still expects Old Lyme to make runs in the Shoreline Conference and Class S state tournament. "The new players coming in are going to contribute right away," Hudson said, "and we look to have a successful season."
Coach: Mark Fader (4th season)
Key returnees: Sr. G Jack Yost, Jr. G Colby Potts, Sr. D J.D. Delaurentis, Sr. D Ozzie Alam, Jr. D Sterling Frost, Sr. D-M Grayson Guinan, Sr. D-M Nate Marchesi, Jr. M Robbie Darling, So. M Cody Delaurentis, Sr. A Max Sarwar, Sr. A Jack Connelly, Sr. D-M Jacob Cohn, Sr. D Shawn Ciaciura.
Top newcomers: So. M Ben Xenelis, So. M Amand Sarwar, Fr. M Brendan Li, So. A Jackson DeFelice, Fr. A Cooper Anselmi.
Outlook: The Blues are very excited to get back on the field this spring and be able to compete in a small number of games in the Housatonic Valley Athletic League. "The program has excellent numbers and is led by an outstanding veteran defense and two superb goalies," said Fader, adding the offense is young and a work in progress.
Stories that may interest you
Seniors Matt Valakos and Ryan Whaley accounted for the majority of East Lyme's scoring during a 19-11 win in Saturday morning's Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I boys' lacrosse game.
New London High School graduate D.J. Exum has been named the new head boys' basketball coach at Ledyard.
Walker Baillargeon had eight hits as St. Bernard swept an Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II baseball doubleheader from Windham on Saturday, winning the opener 19-3 and the second game 17-1.
Charlotte Cabral and McKynzi Dawson combined to pitch a no-hitter in the second game as Fitch capped a doubleheader sweep of NFA with a 12-0 win in Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I action on Saturday.