SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

April 9, 2014

NORTH SHORE TECH/ESSEX AGGIE HAWKS SPRING SPORTS PREVIEWS 2014


The Salem News

---- — BASEBALL

Last Year’s Record: 7-13

Head coach: Jed Beauparlant (third season, 14-26)

Captains: None named.

Other key players: Andrew Gallione, Sr., 2B; J.T. Bisazza, Sr., 3B/SS; Jeff White, Sr., CF/P; Mike Mitchell, So., P/IF; Matt O’Connell, So, C; Aaron Smart, So., P/OF; Leo Smart, So., 1B/P; Paul Gauthier, So., OF; Cole Murphy, So., OF/2B; Josh Zwiercan, So., OF; Ricky Valenzuela, Jr., 1B/P; Michael Theriault, Jr., P; Kyle Foss, So., OF; Rob Craig, Sr., 3B/P; Andrew Moles, Sr., P.

Strengths: Defense up the middle. The Bulldogs feel good about Matt O’Connell taking over behind the plate and they should be strong with senior J,T. Bisazza holding down the left side of the infield. North Shore also has plenty of depth, with 45 candidates in all grades and a large and talented sophomore class.

Concerns: Experience. The Bulldogs graduated their top two pitchers and a very good run-producing catcher. Seeing live pitching and getting some of the young arms varsity innings early will be a big goal, with the hope that the cream will rise to the top.

Coach’s Outlook: “We want to compete in our league and make the tournament and we feel like we have the talent to do it. As a staff, we’re pleased. We look strong up the middle; that’s the biggest part of your defense and our belief is defense can win baseball games.”

SOFTBALL

Last Year’s Record: 10-9 (Lost in the Division 3 North preliminary round to Boston Latin)

Head coach: Jody Norton (2nd season)

Other key players: Kaera Wyse, Sr., P; Erika Welch, Sr., IF; Alyssa King, Sr., 1B; Ashley Blum, Sr., IF; Lexi Cook, Sr., OF; Krystal Dion, Jr., IF; Christine Cafiso, Jr, C/1B; Kasey Harris, Jr. C/3B; Katlyn Guerin, Jr., IF/OF; Sabrina Napoli, Jr., OF; Diana LeBlanc, So., IF; Kaylyn Countie, So., P/OF; Rhiannon Lane, So., P/IF; Courtney Remson, Jr, IF/OF.

Strengths: The Hawks’ depth. They return the same team from last year and have a ton of veteran experience up and down the lineup.

Concerns: The schedule. The Commonwealth Athletic Conference is now split into three tiers and the North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie is in the top tier with all tournament caliber teams. The Hawks will have to work hard in order to qualify for the postseason. Their non-league schedule is also tough, opening against Division 3 powerhouse St. Mary’s.

Coach’s Outlook: “Excited everyday for practice or games because our players are working hard and are on the same page. Early signs of leadership within the team is encouraging and we continue to benefit from each player pushing one another to get better and improve every day.”

BOYS LACROSSE

Last year’s record: 8-11

Head coach: Jeff Comeau (6th year)

Captains: None named yet.

Key Returnees: Garrett Oman, Jr. G; Sean McDonough, Sr. D; R.J. Conroy, Sr. D; Luke Popoloski, Sr. D; Nick Humerian, Sr, D; Ryan Pacheco, Jr. D; Dan McCormick, So. A; Ian LeFavour, Sr. M.

Strengths: Defense. North Shore Tech/Essex Aggie has an established goalie in Garrett Oman and five players returning with significant experience on defense. Scoring on the Bulldogs could be very difficult this spring.

Concerns: Faceoffs and scoring. Comeau felt North Shore’s biggest issue last year faceoffs, which directly led to the difficulty the team had scoring. McCormick was the team’s leading scorer last year and a number of players have worked hard in the offseason to improve at the faceoff.

Coach’s Outlook: “My hopes are that we (stay above) .500 and compete for a league title. We have the ability to do that.”