SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports Special

April 9, 2014

PEABODY TANNERS SPRING SPORTS PREVIEWS 2014

(Continued)

SOFTBALL

Last year’s record: 13-6 (Lost in Division 1 North first round to Acton-Boxboro)

Head coach: Butch Melanaphy (8th season)

Captains: Shannon Pires, Sr., OF/P; Nicole Grafton, Sr., OF; Taylor Dabney, Sr., IF; Shelbi Wilson, Jr., P.

Key Returnees: Dana Colins, Sr., OF; Michelle McHugh, Jr., 3B; Kayla Santos, Jr., C.

Strengths: The Tanners return ace pitcher Shelbi Wilson. They also have a decent number of girls on the JV team who have been playing together since middle school, which adds to their depth.

Concerns: After graduating seven seniors, Peabody has a new group of infielders in the mix. The Tanners also lost a number of power hitters, which could switch up their approach at the plate.

Coach’s Outlook: “Once we get outside and can see what everyone can do on the field, we’ll have a better feel of things. Revere looks like that sleeper of the conference in the NEC Large.”

BOYS LACROSSE

Last year’s record: 11-10 (lost to B.C. High, 11-6, in the preliminary round of the East Division 1 Tournament)

Head coach: Anthony O’Donnell (3rd year)

Captains: Connor Bombaci, Sr. D; Ryan Wolff, Sr. M; Michael Vadala, Sr. A; Josh Fiore, Jr. M.

Key Returnees: Reed Foster, Jr. M; Pat McCarthy, So. D; Jason Marshal, Jr. LSM; Jeremiah Manfra, Sr. M; Cody Wlasuk, Sr. M; Steve Kayal, Sr. M; Andrew Bisconti, Sr. M.

Strengths: Depth at midfield.

Concerns: Inexperience at attack and defense.

Coach’s Outlook: “After returning to the tournament (last year) for the first time since 2009, the Tanners look to make it back in 2014. Replacing the highest scoring duo in the history of Peabody High School (Keifer Heckman and Nick Ouellette) will be a challenge, but the team is eager to overcome it. We have graduated all three starting defensemen and our goalie, as well as three starting attackmen, yet we have lot of varsity returnees who are ready to fill those key roles. I think we are very athletic and a hard-hitting, physical team. Our success will depend on how quickly the new starters grasp the offensive system, find confidence in themselves and follow our team motto: ‘We win as one and lose as one. We need everyone’s best effort every day.’ That’s what I have been seeing thus far.”

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