Berkshire County boys lacrosse preview capsules, 2019

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Berkshire Eagle staff

Lee

Last year: 10-8, lost in Central/West D-III first round to Hoosac Valley

Coach: Mike Bakaletz (First year)

Key returnees: Homer Winston, Sr.; Walter Boyko, Sr.; Tag Roosa, Jr.

Outlook: The Lee boys have a new head man this year in Mike Bakaletz, a former assistant under the departed Mike Snyder, but the coach has plenty of returning talent to draw on. Homer Winston proved himself as one of the top players in the Berkshires last year and will anchor the midfield, while Robert Carotenuto will join him in the midfield three and Walter Boyko will help anchor the defense in front of returning goaltender Theo Wadinger. Curt Wilton is also returning and can play in the outfield or as a backup to Wadinger in the cage. Tag Roosa and Brock Baumann are two returning attackers for the South County co-op. Jose Sagastume is another returning player and will help in defense, along with Jack Purcell. Caleb Kollmer, Adam Puntin and Brady Whalen are three more returning players for Lee that will see plenty of game action.

Hoosac Valley

Last year: 15-4, lost in Central/West D-III semifinals to Nipmuc

Coach: Mark Harrington (Second year)

Key returnees: Casey Meczywor, Sr.; Logan Leja, Soph.; Josh Paree, Sr.

Outlook: The Hurricanes shocked the Massachusetts lacrosse world last spring by beating Mount Greylock in Williamstown during the Central-West tournament. This year's squad will look slightly different, however.

Mark Harrington has a young group to work with, which will be anchored by returning seniors Casey Meczywor (attack), Brady Larkin (goaltender), Josh Paree (midfield) and Justin Meczywor (midfield). Nate Haley, a Drury student, is only a sophomore, but came up with big moments last year and will be a valuable member of the attack. Defensively, Logan Leja brings experience in front of Larkin, but will have two new defensemen around him after hits through graduation.

Mount Greylock

Last year: 15-5, lost in Central/West D-III quarterfinals to Hoosac Valley

Coach: Jeff Stripp (Third year)

Key returnees: Michael Wellspeak. Sr.; Mac Waynick, Soph.; Will Reynolds, Sr.

Outlook: The perennial Berkshire County power returns this season with another roster stacked with talent. The Mounties, who saw their season end abruptly last year at the hands of Hoosac Valley in the Central/West tournament, return several big-time players at key positions. Mac Waynick and Ben Prescott are two returning attackmen, while Michael Wellspeak brings a wealth of experience back to the midfield, along with Taylor Cummings. Will Reynolds and Brennan McGowan are two senior defensemen to slot in front of Cole Filson in goal, while James Hetherington, an underclassman, also brings experience back to the defense.

Wahconah

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Last year: 15-5, lost in Central/West D-III quarterfinals to Nipmuc

Coach: Joe O'Neil (First year)

Key returnees: Dart Jaggi, Sr.; Matt Fortin, Sr.; Dom Orlandi, Jr.

Outlook: The Warriors have a new coach this season in Joe O'Neill, and while he was an assistant last year, the team has a new set of systems to learn. The team is coming off a solid run to the Central/West tournament last year and will look to expand on that. Dart Jaggi is back as one of the top attackmen in the county, and will have Ernie Lampron and Matt Mathers in the attacking trio with him. Conner Noyes and Dayton Kozlowski are two experienced midfielders for Wahconah, and the defense is anchored by Matt Fortin and Corey Bazonski in front of returning goaltender Dom Orlandi.

The Warriors have strong numbers and depth to rotate through midfield lines. Trey Massaro is a strong long-stick midfielder for the Warriors to rely on.

McCann Tech

Last year: 11-6, lost to Mount Greylock in Central/West D-III first round

Coach: Paul Lange (Fourth year)

Key returnees: Darian Tovani, Jr.; Keegan Dellaghelfa, Soph.; Zavier Martin-Levesque, Sr.

Outlook: The Hornets took a big step forward last season, and coach Paul Lange thinks the team can go even further in its fourth year as a program. The team's biggest returning strengths come in attack and midfield. Darian Tovani and Colby Ghidotti are back in attack to help the Hornets score, while Jason Delisle, Darius Tovani, Evan Knapp and Zavier Martin-Levesque give Lange a solid midfield compliment. Defensively, Justin Horn and Taden Bolte return as long sticks, while Keegan Dellaghelfa is back between the pipes.

Lange said there are a handful of returning players that will also step up into key roles this year, and there are some freshmen that will fight for game minutes right away. The team plays in the PVIAC in the Suburban League, meaning games against Berkshire teams are limited. The Hornets do play Lee and Pittsfield this season.

Pittsfield

Last year: 7-11

Coach: Scott Aitken (10th year)

Key returnees: Justin LaBelle, Jr.; Shawn O'Shea, Sr.; Sean Soper, Sr.

Outlook: The Pittsfield lacrosse team is now a co-op, as Taconic has joined the fold with the Generals. That gives veteran coach Scott Aitken two schools to pull numbers from.

Returning Pittsfield players include attackmen Justin LaBelle, Shawn O'Shea and Jacob Brazeau, while Taconic's Sean Soper and Seamus Hayes will help fill in in the midfield.

Ethan Beach is back for PHS on defense and Ryan Muller is a returning General in the midfield. The defense will use Taconic additions Wyatt George and Takoda Lafont to help out Beach. In goal will be Hayden Plouffe.


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