The battle-tested veterans are there, the talent is present and the brash and determined newcomers are too, creating quite a few reasons for veteran Londonderry High School boys’ lacrosse coach Joe McCune and his Lancers to be optimistic about what they can achieve during the 2014 season.
After an up and down 2013 campaign that they finished with a 10-9 overall record and hit the end of the road with a 10-4 semifinal-round tournament loss to the tough Bishop Guertin Cardinals, McCune and his guys are more than ready to see what they can accomplish against the opposition in Division I this spring.
“Our team has more experience this year than in the past,” said McCune. “We will rely on our upperclassmen to set a strong example for our younger team members. We have all the physical tools necessary to have a strong year. Developing team chemistry and truly working together will enable us to move forward this year.”
On his list of seasoned returnees are seniors Eric Coburn (defense, bound for Merrimack College to play lax), Nick Yennaco (attack), Erik Kenison (goalie), Sam Hastings (midfield), Brent Bourque (defense), and Dillon McKay (middie), and junior Matt Rimol (defense).
Other returnees from the 2013 crew are seniors Mike Donlan (middie), Aaron Gaudet (middie), Nate Kelly (middie), Conor McGrath (defense), Brendan Wall (middie), as well as juniors Devin Brunet (attack), Lewis Carroll (middie), Tommy Cranmer (middie), Kyle Hussey (attack), Andrew Mitchell (middie), and Teddy Tharrington (middie).
The Lancers’ bunch of promising newcomers includes junior midfielders Shayne Holland and Scott Beedham and sophomores Colby Austin (defense), Max Hastings (attack), David Wiedenfeld (attack), and Nick Donnelly (middie).
A bunch of the LHS laxmen – including Coburn, Donnelly, Austin, and Donlan – are fresh off a Division I hockey championship and would love nothing more than to continue their title-winning ways now that they’ve gotten a taste. But they and their teammates know that it’ll be far from an easy task.
“Pinkerton and BG are perennial contenders for a state title,” said McCune. “They have such strong and well-founded programs with athletes a-plenty. Souhegan (of Amherst) should be a strong team this year as well. All three of these teams return loads of talent. Jerry Holly always has Exeter ready to play and be in the mix. Jeff Reed does a great job with his Hanover squad as well. Truly, most of the teams in D-I have been improving. How things play out this spring will be interesting.”
The Guertin Cardinals are four-time defending Division I champions, and they’ve claimed divisional crowns in five of the last six seasons, beating Pinkerton three of those times.
The Londonderry High contingent will start the new campaign with a significant test right away, facing the rival Pinkerton Astros in Derry next Thursday, April 17.