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April 9, 2013

Lax Lowdown: Looking ahead at high expectations

Lax Lowdown

Matt Jenkins

Only one week of lacrosse has passed, but there’s never a better time to look ahead.

The future seems bright for a lot of our area teams — both boys and girls — so here’s a snapshot of some of the area’s best bets.

There are four teams with rising expectations on the boys’ side of North Shore lacrosse, and two more teams that seem to be headed in that direction.

St. John’s Prep — The Prep program has climbed to such heights that a 12-6 loss to a good Lincoln-Sudbury team in the second game of the East Division 1 state tournament last year is considered a disappointment. The Eagles have a lot returning from that team, and even though they dropped their season opener to conference foe Xaverian this season, they are expected to be the team to beat in the league.

This year’s team is strong on defense with Tucker Mathers, Lucas Bavaro and Brian Uva bringing skill and experience. The Eagles have one of the best faceoff specialists around in Derek Osbahr. They also have talented offensive players in Jack Sharrio, Drew O’Connell, Andrew Gallahue and Joey Cavallaro.

Beverly — Similar to the Prep, Beverly had a disappointing end to last season, losing to Burlington in the preliminary round of the East Division 2 tourney.

The Panthers offense, led by Dom Abate, Brendan Flaherty and Ryan Shipp, should be good enough on its own to make Beverly a more dangerous team this spring.

Hamilton-Wenham — They’re young, but the Generals opened some eyes with their 5-4 overtime loss to Beverly to start the year. Freshmen Cam Macri and Jimmy Littlefield are starting on defense while classmate Jake Merrill should also see a lot of time. How that trio blends with veterans like Matt Vogus, Stephen Turpin and Christian Ecker should determine how far the Generals can go in Division 3.

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