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Counting down the top five Berkshire County sports stories of 2022

Wahconah Celebrates

The Wahconah boys lacrosse team celebrated a breakthrough victory in the MIAA state championship game this past spring.

The 2022 calendar year featured a return to full, regular competitive sports at the high school level and beyond. 

These are the top five local sports stories The Eagle covered this past year.

5. Hurricanes back in state finalGreylock volleyball breaks through

For the third straight postseason, the Hoosac Valley girls basketball team played until the final day of the winter season. The Hurricanes were state champions in 2019 and 2020, and after the pandemic year, were right back in the MIAA state title match. This trip included 22 wins, a 1,000-point scorer in Averie McGrath, a PVIAC Western Mass. crown and the No. 1 seed in the inaugural statewide bracket. Hoosac beat local rival Taconic in the Final Four, earning a trip to UMass Lowell's Tsongas Center for the big one. In Lowell, coach Holly McGovern's squad battled No. 3 Hopedale to a 55-45 loss.

For a few years now, the Mounties of coach Greg Geyer have been building to something, and 2022 was a new peak. After a surprise appearance in the 2021 Final Four, Mount Greylock reeled off an unbeaten record in conference play and captured a PVIAC Western Mass. title this fall, before embarking on a run through the MIAA state tournament. That run featured a five-set thriller at home in the Elite Eight, a snowy-night win over No. 2 Hopedale in the Final Four, and a showdown with Frontier in the Division V state title match. Playing on the state's biggest stage at Worcester State, the Mounties ultimately fell to the powerhouse Red Hawks 3-0.

4. McDermott and the Mounties

It was a repeat victory for the Mount Greylock boys cross-country ski team back in February, with the added wrinkle of Quinn McDermott's individual crown. The Mounties grabbed hold of the MIAA Nordic championships, which were actually held up at Prospect Mountain in Vermont. No matter the geographic location, though, nobody was keeping up with Greylock, which beat second-place Concord-Carlisle by 29 points. McDermott placed first overall in 18 minutes, six seconds, a two-second win over the runner-up. Teammate Ollie Swabey was third overall in 18:12, and Hoosac Valley's Justin Levesque finished fifth.

3. Greylock hoists trophy at Holy Cross

There's being the team of destiny, and then there's winning a state title without the benefit of a base hit. The Mount Greylock baseball team captured statewide attention with their run to the MIAA crown this past spring. The Mounties were clutch in the biggest moments of a 3-1 win over top-seeded Hopedale, despite being no-hit in the game at Worcester's Fitton Field. It capped a state tournament run in which coach Rick Paris' Greylock allowed only five runs in five games as the No. 3 seed. They also earned a PVIAC Western Mass. title during a final in which Jack Cangelosi threw a no-hitter.

2. Nobody catches the Millionaires

On a random weekday night outside Lenox High School, two school busses sped by with horns blaring and student-athletes hollering out the windows. The Millionaires cross-country teams were celebrating a literal undefeated run through Berkshire County. That, however, was merely the starting point. The Lenox boys won a Western Mass. title, and then collected MIAA Division III-C state qualifier crowns alongside the girls in Gardner. Coach Al Najimy's boys crew put seniors Max Adam and Dennis Love in the top 10 at the state championships in Fort Devens and filled in from there to bring home the top prize and complete an unbeaten season. To cap things off, the Greylock boys gave Berkshire County a 1-2 finish.

1. Warriors prove they belong

The Wahconah boys lacrosse team played this past spring season with the phrase "Year 10" on the tails of their jerseys. It's only been 10 years since varsity lacrosse came to the Berkshires, and in that time no team had accomplished what the Warriors did in 2022. Wahconah steamrolled through much of their Western Mass. season, collecting a PVIAC title in the process. Then, as the No. 3 seed in the MIAA state tournament, they did it the hard way. In the Final Four, Wahconah came back in overtime to dispatch No. 2 Cohasset, setting a title match with No. 1 Sandwich. At Worcester State, the Warriors went back and forth with the top seed before pulling out a thrilling 8-7 win. As senior Jonah Smith put it in the chaotic aftermath, “We put Western Mass. on the map, I really think so. They can finally respect us and act like we’re a real team, it’s amazing.”

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