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Senior-laden HHS boys lacrosse team relishes return

by | May 20, 2021 | Sports

After missing out on the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hopkinton High School boys lacrosse team was eager to return to the field in the final campaign for 10 seniors.

“It’s great to get back,” said coach Dan Norton. “We have been excited to be back out there and the kids have been very high energy and eager to learn. So far they have been like sponges, they are asking the right questions and we are coming together as a team.”

The Hillers will cram 16 games into the 2021 schedule. It’s fewer than they would normally play but it will be done in a condensed fashion due to the delayed start this year. There are a number of new faces on the field, but Norton is happy to have Colin Norred back protecting the net.

“He has a couple of starts under his belt from sophomore year,” Norton said. “He wasn’t the full-time starter, but he would have been last year and he trained last year as if he were the starter.”

Norred is slated to continue his lacrosse career at Springfield College next year.

“It’s a good place for us to start,” his coach said. “We have a lot of question marks in sports where guys are going to be developing into roles. But it’s nice to know the most important position on the field is in good hands.”

Helping Norred out on defense will be fellow senior Nick Leccese. Brian Keefe and Connor Murphy, two more seniors, both bring 2019 varsity experience to the field.

“They will be taking the reins as the leaders of our midfield group,” Norton said.

Junior Owen MacDonald and senior Riley DelPonte also are experienced players who saw time at the varsity level two years ago.

“They really came on at the end of 2019 and we are looking to see them pick up where they left off,” Norton said. “And take some steps forward.”

The Hillers will be hyper-focused on improvement this year, Norton said. While they are happy to be back playing, they’ve already experienced a hiccup related to the pandemic. Tryouts were interrupted by a COVID-19 outbreak, and necessary contact tracing brought the program to a halt for a week. The Hillers then dropped their first two matches.

“I think it’s just the reality of the situation we are in,” Norton said. “To be honest, we thought something like this might happen at some point in the season, we just didn’t think it would be right away.”

Losing out on a week together, after missing all of last season, has the Hillers appreciating the time they do have playing the sport they love.

“I think, for everybody, the past year has been very tough,” Norton said. “So we are tying to have some fun and get out there and enjoy athletics. This group hasn’t been together in awhile. The wins and losses will take care of themselves, we are just going to try to maximize our potential.”


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