“We were loose, pretty competitive and a driven bunch. In youth lacrosse legitimately we might have lost one game and we carried that attitude in high school. It worked to our advantage.”
Players like Kline, then a junior, senior captain Chris Bernard, and sophomore faceoff specialist J.P. Wioncek were the hard hat types. They were the players who were willing to do whatever it took to find victory. Then the Panthers had guys like Jeff Kaylor, Eddie O’Reilly, Mike Sciamanna and Peter Lauranzano, the skill guys who were shifty and creative on offense. Together they were the nucleus of a team that helped advance the game of lacrosse on the North Shore.
The lacrosse boom likely would have happened on the North Shore whether Beverly won the title in 2003 or not, but there’s little doubt that the Panthers helped speed that process.
It’s a maturation process that makes the comparison between these two teams difficult.
Beverly had a lot of skilled players in 2003, but the level of talent was a bit different in 2010.
In 2003, more often than not athletes without great stick skills were limited to defensive positions, where speed and toughness could be used as an advantage.
If you take a look at St. John’s Prep’s defensive players in 2010, it’s a very different situation. Fahey, defenseman Chris Coady and long-stick midfielder Jeff Dube were three of the most skilled players on the St. John’s roster. Fahey and Dube were each named All-American that year.
The Eagles could match Beverly in offensive talent with Campbell, Matt Scalise, Bobby Gallahue, Blackwell, and Jimmy O’Connell. And they still had their grinders, like Macdonald at the faceoff X.
“Those Beverly teams in my opinion were excellent. They were well coached, had good players and it was very difficult to beat them. They were usually the ones that eliminated us from the playoffs,” Roy said.