By MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – Here’s comes scholastic boys lacrosse and the programs in Bristol want to make it a banner year.
All three squads combined for eight wins last season but if things go right for the programs, that figure will easily move into double figures as the Falcons (five wins in 2016) could be the team that takes that next step.
Here’s the deal with our boys playing lacrosse in town:
- PAUL CATHOLIC BOYS LACROSSE
Head Coach: Christopher Kennedy
Last season: 5-11 overall, did not qualify for state tournament play.
Players to Watch: Mike Ranagan (senior, Midfielder); Ben Pyror (senior, Midfielder); Chris Tkac (senior, Midfielder); Brian Rackliffe (senior, Midfielder); Joseph Garvey (senior, Defense); Brendan Tierney (senior, Defender); Jake Palmieri (senior, Midfielder); Conor Brennan (senior, Midfielder); Nick Wright (senior, Midfielder); Eric Passeck (junior, Attacker); Chris Zajac (junior, Midfielder); Peter Longo (junior, Defense); Chandler Wright (junior, Midfielder); William Konikowski (junior); Chris Dionne (sophomore, Midfielder); Jake Sanzone (sophomore, Midfielder); Jared Morrissey (sophomore, Defense); Noah Mendoza (sophomore, Attackers); Spencer Pianco (sophomore, Attackers/Midfielder); Griffen McGowan (sophomore, Midfielder); Christian Sturm (sophomore, Midfielder).
Outlook: The Falcons should greatly improve from its 5-11 ledger last season but the league is tough.
St. Paul hopes to get back the level the program was at in 2014 when the squad won 11 regular season matches.
The Northwest Lacrosse League St. Paul participates in is always loaded with he likes of Lewis Mills and that means the locals have to work extra hard to get there.
The Falcons have a few talented midfielders in the form of seniors Ben Pryor,
Mike Ranagan and Ben Pryor.
And in terms of attack, senior Brian Rackliffe, and juniors Chandler Wright and Eric Passeck will make the offense a potent group.
Rookie coach Chris Kennedy will keep this group focused and a return trip to the state tournament seems to be in order for the Falcons.
Match One (from Saturday, April 2)
- PAUL 13, HOUSATONIC 4
from St. Paul Catholic High School, Bristol
St. Paul scoring – Brian Rackliffe: four goals, assist; Erick Passeck: four goals; Noah Mendoza: two goals; Chandler Wright: goal, assist; John Ivers: goal, assist; Connor Brennon: goal; Mike Ranagan: three assists; Ben Pryor: assist; Chris Dionne: assist; Connor Bogdanski: assist; Kevin Ashworth: assist.
Records: St. Paul 1-0; Housatonic 0-1.
BRISTOL CENTRAL BOYS LACROSSE
Head Coach: Andy Aros
Last Season: 3-13 overall, 1-5 CCC South
Players to Watch: Zach Bouchard (sr.); Dante Coco (sr.); Sage Cote (sr.); Shane Oxton (sr.); Scott Larson (jr.); Dylan Reed (jr.); Cody Runkle (jr.); Cole Staples (jr.); Connor Staubley (jr.); Cody Hildebrand (jr.); Joe Wosilis (jr.); Nick Bouchard (jr.); Alex Barbosa (so.); Josh Cahill (so.); John Duncan (so.); Michael Guzman (so.); Alex Lape (so.); Damian Mahaffy (so.); Isaiah Miller (so.); Nate Roy (so.); Sammy Gonzalez (fr.); Dillion Kelley (fr.); Anthony Sanmartin (fr.); Declan Zukowski (fr.).
Outlook: There’s a senior presence on this squad and don’t be surprised if the team wrangles up six or more victories in 2016.
This squad is athletic with the likes of football standouts Shane Oxton, Connor Stably, Cody Hildebrand and even Isaiah Miller taking the field and this squad is gaining confidence after every victorious effort.
Wins against Watertown (12-11), Canton (8-7) and Bristol Eastern (11-3) were major triumphs last season and it’s off the power of those wins that fuels the Rams on.
The other part of equation that doesn’t help Central out in the least is its tough CCC schedule.
Last season, the Rams had to battle Berlin, Rocky Hill and Tolland who were all the class of the CCC south division at 5-1.
In the end, Central wants to take a step up the CCC South standings and make a little noise out of the gate this season.
BRISTOL EASTERN BOYS LACROSSE
Head Coach: Tim Hamel
Last season: 0-15 overall, 0-7 CCC South
Players to Watch: Corey Babin (senior); Joey Colangelo (senior); Jovan Gourdine (senior); Hansje Kountur (senior); Sean O’Donnell (senior); Jacob Kustra (junior); Garrod Clute (sophomore); Ryan Dall’Aste (sophomore); Alex Durand (sophomore); Zach Hill (sophomore); Rohan Koshy (sophomore); Logan Levesque (sophomore); Keagan Mullan (sophomore); Tyler Varasconi (sophomore); Adam Beaudet (freshman); Ethan Mathieu (freshman); Riley McKenney (freshman); Noah Piazza (freshman); Cody Plourde (freshman).
Outlook: All the squad has to do is win a single game to surpass last season’s record.
Again, lacrosse is still a growing program at Bristol Eastern and several athletes from every sport has taken interest in the Lancers’ program.
A group of five seniors leads this team which includes Corey Babin, Joey Colangelo, Hansje Kountur, Jovan Gourdine, Sean O’Donnell.
There’s opportunity for the underclassmen to get plenty of field time as well but overall, this team is still trying to figure out how to play as a unit while learning the game.
It still may take some time to generate that first victory but Eastern will compete every game under coach Hamel and expect improvements along the way this season.