Connolly will need an excellent group effort from junior center Max Butterbrodt and seniors Josh Syska, Tyler Dooley and Costello. The future strength probably rests in the hands of sophomore wing Ben Judson, who saw action as a freshman last year.
4. Is Bishop Fenwick ready to take the next step? Fenwick coach Mike Kane has been facing a rebuilding project for the past few years, and this could finally be the year the Crusaders make a move toward Catholic Central League contender and state tournament participant.
Junior guard — and CCL all-star — Dom Luoni leads a core group of players that hopes to push the Crusaders to the next level.
Luoni will get lots of help from junior guard Matt Costello, senior center Ben Maxner, junior guard Rishad DeSilva, senior forward Fran Hannon and senior guard Joe Bucchieri. Juniors Travis Maxner and Eric Razney should provide some depth for Fenwick.
“I think we’ll be a strong defensive team; we just need to score,” Kane said. “I think everybody has gotten better, and we have all five starters back. We have a lot of talent, and guys have worked hard over the summer and fall.”
5. Can Hamilton-Wenham make it four straight Cape Ann League Division 2 titles? The odds are definitely stacked against Doug Hoak and the Generals this winter. But, then again, they were last year also. Hamilton-Wenham was a senior-laden team a year ago, but they were very inexperienced. Somehow, Hoak made everything come together and the Generals hung another banner.
This year, however, seems to be a bigger challenge.
Hoak was expecting two players with experience to return, but only sophomore guard James Foye will suit up for Hamilton-Wenham this winter. Jimmy Campbell, Foye’s classmate, saw lots of action in the Generals’ front court last year, but a broken leg suffered during football season will keep him out for the year.