2024 HS boys lacrosse guide

Hanover High's Wyatt Seelig, left, works to retain ball possession against Hillsboro Deering-John Stark on April 25, 2023, at Merriman-Branch Field in Hanover, N.H. The Bears finished the season 4-11.  (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hanover High's Wyatt Seelig, left, works to retain ball possession against Hillsboro Deering-John Stark on April 25, 2023, at Merriman-Branch Field in Hanover, N.H. The Bears finished the season 4-11. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hartford High defenseman Colby Tierney, right, pursues an airborne ball against Mt. Anthony during the Vermont Division II teams' June 10, 2023, meeting in a state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. The Hurricanes won the first state championship in program history. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Hartford High defenseman Colby Tierney, right, pursues an airborne ball against Mt. Anthony during the Vermont Division II teams' June 10, 2023, meeting in a state title game at Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. The Hurricanes won the first state championship in program history. (Valley News - Tris Wykes) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. valley news file photographs — Tris Wykes

Sam Hambsch

Sam Hambsch

Ben Twarog

Ben Twarog

Landon Norton-Avery

Landon Norton-Avery

Staff report

Published: 04-16-2024 11:11 PM

Modified: 04-17-2024 9:49 AM


Once you’ve finally been to the top of the mountain, what do you do for an encore?

That’s the challenge facing the Hartford High boys lacrosse program this spring. After multiple attempts that came up short, the Hurricanes ran the table en route to their first state championship. Turnover always changes the picture, but Hartford — with a title in hockey and near-misses in football and basketball in the past six months — knows how to win.

Here’s a look at the Upper Valley’s five boys lacrosse teams as the season gets under way:

HANOVER

Coach: Sean Murphy (second year).

■Last year: 4-11, lost in first round.

League: NHIAA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Blake Bouchard (M), Caleb Buskey (M), George Dominiak (D), Veer Patel (M), Mateo Trimble (M), Jack Wilkinson (LSM); Juniors — Wynn Bushell (M, A), Schuyler Clapp (M), Henry Cotter (G), Tanner Longmoore (D), Keegan Murphy (D), John Scherer (A); Sophomores — Sam Bagatell (A), Casper Besana (M), Jack Meyers (M), Phineas Roy-Ollie (D).

Newcomers: Seniors — Roger Lucas (M), Teddy Sumner (M); Juniors — Jai Gregory (M, A); Sophomores — Peter Arvold (M), Ryan Carroll (M, A), Gabe Clerkin (D), Duncan Klinck (M), Connor Reed (M, A), John Taylor (M); Freshmen — Michael Anderson (A), J.J. Bornstein (A), Hayden Clapp (M, A), Silas Clifford (D, LSM), Lou Davydenko (M), Myroslav Davydenko (M), Sumner Finley (LSM), E.J. Frechette (A, M), Hopper Kelley (M), Zach McCarthy (M, LSM), Ben Parker (G), Jake Rotchford (M), Trevor Sanders (M), Hampton Smith (M), Andre Whyte (D), Johnny Woolsey (A, M).

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Outlook: The program’s ranks have swelled with 25 newcomers. Added to 16 returnees, the roster size has nearly doubled. Wilkinson, who led last year’s team in ground balls and caused turnovers, was a second-team all-state player, and Cotter was honorable mention. The two often pair on clears. Four victories during a season would have been unthinkable for Bears teams of yore, so it will be interesting to see if this group can climb above .500.

“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Sean Murphy said of a program that was 11-4 in Division I during 2019 before dropping down a level. Hanover is 11-19 the past two years.

HARTFORD

Coach: Grant Whiteway (7).

Last year: 18-0, won state championship.

League: VPA Division II.

Returnees: Seniors — Brayden Trombly (M), Ryan Spaulding (A), Bryce Soboleski (M), Brody Tyberski (M), Lochlan Park (D), Jack Moody (M), Ezra Mock (M), Evan Lynds (LSM); Juniors — Cavan Benjamin (M), Nicolas Daniels (M), Austin St. Peter (M), Colby Tierney (D) Logan Caffrey (A); Sophomores — Graham Thompson (G), Owen Mock (M), Tyler Spaulding (A), Thomas Thorburn (A).

Newcomers: Sophomores — Connor Peyton (M), Otis Davis (LSM), Adam Wheatley (D), Nate Lambert (D). Freshman — Rex Banning (M).

Analysis: Hartford won its first state title last spring after previously going 0-5 in championship games. Eight seniors graduated. Whiteway touts the attack duo of Spaulding and Caffrey and goaltender Thompson with defenders Park and Tierney. The Hurricanes are 91-27 the past seven seasons.

LEBANON

Coach: Dennis Reilly (1).

Last year: 4-10, missed state tournament.

League: NHIAA Division III

Returnees: Seniors — Danny Keefe (D), James Barnett (G), Ben Twarog (A), Chase Adams (D); Juniors — Keegan Dannehy (M), Bode Price (M;. Sophomores — Benji Madory (A), V.J. Sites (A), Abe Pearson (M), Evan George (M), C.J. Gogan (M), Miles Saunders (M), Noah Lahaye (A).

Newcomers: Sophomores — Logan Mason (G), Scott Hatch (D), Jack Hebert (M); Freshmen — Max Perriello (M), Teo Gruntmanis (D), Zac Moseley (M), Ben Fogg (M), Braedon Rodgers (M), Marek Rogers (D), Gavin Gibsom (M), Austin Engert (M), Jordan Findley (LSM), Ryer Wolcott, (M).

Analysis: The Raiders missed the postseason last spring, a year after posting their first winning season in 11 years and reaching the playoff quarterfinals. Otto Bourne, a standout soccer and lacrosse player at the school, has stepped away from the latter to focus on the former. Previous coach Cole Flannery resigned after four seasons. Reilly, an assistant professor of business, management and leadership at Vermont State University Castleton, was previously a lacrosse official in New Hampshire and Vermont. He touts Keefe, Adams and Barnett and describes Pearson and Madory as “rising stars.” There’s hope that the 10 freshmen will contribute earlier than past rookie classes, based on widespread participation in Lebanon’s youth lacrosse program. The Raiders are 49-113 during the past 11 years.

STEVENS

Coach: Scott Christian (1).

Last year: 0-14, missed state tournament.

League: NHIAA Division III.

Returnees: Seniors — Tyler Christian (M), Jackson Fellows (M), Landon Norton-Avery (M), Brayden Rostron (D), Logan Sanborn (A), Austin Simoneau (M), Ethan St. Amant (A); Juniors — Oakland Hemmingway (G), Connor Premo (A), Barrin St. Sauver (D).

Newcomers: Freshmen — Carter Bastian (D), Ethan O’Neil-Cederman (D), James Greco (A), Cooper Piemontese (D), Patrick Prive (M), Jeremiah Van Alstyne (M).

Outlook: The Cardinals have roughly doubled their numbers, with about 30 players in the program, Scott Christian said, noting that they will field a JV team for the first time in memory. Stevens allowed double-digit goals in every game it played last season and was outscored 181-24. It’s suffered seven consecutive winless seasons and 10 such campaigns during the last 12 years, going 3-156. Scott Christian, father of Tyler Christian, hasn’t coached lacrosse before, although his sons have played a combined 10 seasons.

WOODSTOCK

Coach: Brandon Little (15).

Last year: 9-7, lost in quarterfinals.

League: VPA Division I.

Returnees: Seniors — Owen Kross (D), Jaedon Beardsley (M), Sam Hambsch (M), Lucas Morgan (D), Griffin Piconi (A), Jacob Roth (M); Juniors — Reid Allegretti (A), William Claffey (M), Levi Hally (M), Aidan Keough-Vella (M), Caeden Perreault (D/M), Joey Sluka (M); Sophomores — Ian Coates (A), Kyler Eaton (A), Asher Emery (M), Rowan Larmie (G), Dominic Palazzo (D).

Newcomers: Junior — Gabriel Johnson (M); Sophomore — Milo Farrington (D).

Outlook: The Wasps lost in the playoff quarterfinals for a second consecutive year after a 2021 semifinals appearance. Woodstock, the smallest school in Division I boys lacrosse, last reached the finals in 2003 and last won in 1999. The Wasps are 55-23 the past five seasons.