The 2019 boys lacrosse team looks to kick off the season strong. The team has a reputation to uphold ending their 2018 season with a 16-2 regular season record. Unfortunately, they were knocked out of the State sectional tournament in the semifinals by the Norwell Clippers, which was a devastating end for the Whalers.
This year’s Varsity team, captained by seniors Camden Willett, Cameron Bartlett, and Keagan Downey, look forward to an exciting season with the goal of winning the South Division III sectional title, a very plausible goal for them. Some of the old faces returning to the team include seniors Spencer West, Isaac Corbett, Ethan Ferreira, and Ty Harnishfeger, as well as juniors Torane Burton and Joel MacVicar. There are also some new faces on the team looking to fill the shoes of the seniors who graduated last year. Also returning to the team and looking to make their mark are seniors Victor Gamberoni, returning after two years at Governor’s Academy, and Robby Hickman, also returning from Pope John Boarding School where he spent two years. Freshman forward, Finn Kelly, who is very talented, has also established himself on the Varsity roster for the Whalers.
Head Coach Sam Aloisi said, “We definitely lost like four key players last year, but there are a lot of young players coming up and there are plenty of seniors with talent to fill the gaps.” Captain Bartlett also added that “Everyone wants to get better and do well because this year everyone is hungry, ready to compete and go all the way to win the sectional title that we missed out on our freshman year.”
The preseason has been going very well for the Whalers too, according to Bartlett, “Everyone is working hard and preparing for the first game of the season and the coaches are doing a great job of getting everyone in shape for the approaching season.” When asked what would be the team’s driving force for this year, Bartlett noted that, “I feel like it will be our team chemistry because for the most parts all of us have been playing together since we were like twelve years old and we have built a brotherhood among each other throughout the years.”
As the coaching staff and players prepare for the new season, one may notice the addition of Nantucket’s island rival Martha’s Vineyard, who joined the Cape and Islands league this year. The schedule lined up for the Whalers is definitely a challenging one, with them having to play the likes of Division II powerhouse the Nauset Warriors, the Sharks of Monomoy and island rival Martha’s Vineyard, just to name a few.
Senior forward Chance Pollock, who suffered an injury to his arm during football season which is set to keep him off the field for his senior year, said, “For a start, we should make the playoffs but the team should also take it one game at a time and get their fundamentals down before anything.” He also added, “If the team leaves everything on the field after each game then the Whalers should bring the Championship back home.”
A lot of pressure lies on this team because everyone in the community is expecting big things from them, and rightly so, because they have a lot of talent and depth in the squad which could bring home the Whalers Lacrosse Team’s first ever Sectional Championship. This is a big task to ask of the boys, but Head Coach Aloisi is optimistic, saying that his goal for the season is to return to the Sectional Finals. The team made it to the finals of the Sectional Championship back in 2016 and seniors, like Bartlett, who witnessed that devastating loss when they were freshman, are really hoping this year will be their year as he stated, “I feel like we can win this year and end our senior year with a bang and a legacy for others to follow.”
The Whalers wrapped up their preseason with some competitive team scrimmages to try and find the strengths and weakness in the team and how to attack the season. They played their season opener against Falmouth Academy on March 28th, which they easily won 16-2. They have also played against Sturgis East and Cape Cod Academy, winning by scores of 18-3 and 19-3, respectively. The boys hope they can keep this momentum rolling as the season moves forward.
By Tajaun Francis