The combination of lots of impressive returning talent and a new coaching staff intent on making the most of that talent may make the Londonderry High boys’ lacrosse team a power in tough Division I this spring.
New head coach Sean LeBlanc is able to peruse a Lancer lineup that boasts a bunch of seasoned players from a 2014 contingent that posted a fine 10-7 regular-season record and ended up seeded seventh before being eliminated by the second-ranked rival Pinkerton Academy Astros in D-I quarterfinal-round tournament play.
“We have a very experienced and talented group this year,” said LeBlanc, who is taking over for LHS veteran mentor Joe McCune, who stepped aside in order to continue his education. “With an entirely new coaching staff in place, we have thrown a lot at these guys in only a few weeks. The team will have to buy into the new system 100 percent in order for us to be successful. They have responded very well over the past two weeks, and we look forward to seeing them in action.”
Among the returning starters from the 2014 crew are senior midfielders Shayne Holland, Lewis Carroll, Andrew Mitchell, and John Derhak, Lehigh University-bound senior defender Matt Rimol, senior long-stick middie Scott Beedham, and junior attack Dave Wiedenfeld.
Other returning lettermen are senior attack Kyle Hussey and senior middies Ted Tharrington and Tommy Cranmer, junior attack Max Hastings, sophomore attack Sean Snyder, and sophomore midfielder Pete Navarro.
And LeBlanc’s list of promising newcomers includes senior goalie Chris Rowan, junior defender Nick Donnelly, and sophomore middie Merrill Nieman.
“We will need big performances from our senior-laden midfield group, who we will lean on to do a lot for us on both sides of the ball,” said LeBlanc. “We feel we have a very athletic team, and will look to play to our strength by playing an up-tempo brand of lacrosse. Returning starters Matt Rimol and Dave Wiedenfeld will be expected to pace the defense and offense respectively.”
When he looks at Division I and which teams he expects to be capable of ending up in the upper-echelon, LeBlanc points to the usual suspects (Bishop Guertin of Nashua and Pinkerton) along with Bedford, his own Lancers, the Souhegan High Sabers from Amherst, and the Exeter High Blue Hawks.
The LeBlanc era officially began in rather bumpy fashion on the road Monday, April 13, as the Lancers suffered an 18-4 defeat at the hands of the tough Bedford High Bulldogs on that opponent’s home field.
The Lancer boys lacrosse team are scheduled to play their initial 2015 home game against the Manchester Central Little Green this Saturday, April 18.