NHIAA Boys' Lacrosse Preview: Traditional powers expected to be near the top again
Once again, Bishop Guertin and Pinkerton are expected to be among the NHIAA Division I boys' lacrosse elite. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader File)
The ScoopPlayers to watch -- Division I: Dom St. Laurent (Bishop Guertin senior midfield), Connor Donahue (BG senior attack), John Miller (BG senior midfield), Teddy Geraghty (Hanover senior defense), Chris Washington (Hanover senior goalie), Eric Coburn (Londonderry senior defense), Tom Haller (Nashua North senior midfield), Mack Walker (Souhegan senior attack), Jake Lisauskas (Pinkerton senior midfield), Brett Connal (Pinkerton senior midfield), Todd Billetter (Pinkerton junior attack).
Division II: Matthew Howe (Bedford senior goalie), Grant Mello (Bedford senior midfield), Dan Colella (Bedford senior attack), Matthew Sanford (Bow senior attack), Devin Calkins (Bow senior attack), Brad Chapdelaine (Goffstown senior midfield), Nate Sweet (Portsmouth senior defense), Jake Geppert (St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover senior attack).
Division III: Jon Lencki (Derryfield junior defense), Ryan Papineau (Hollis/Brookline senior attack), Sam Whitaker (H/B senior midfield), Matt French (Hopkinton senior goalie), James McCluskey (Hopkinton junior defense), Kyle Reisert (Plymouth senior midfield), Jared Kuehl (Plymouth senior midfield).
Notable: Pinkerton coach Brian O'Reilly enters his 32nd year at the helm and holds a career record of 433-128.
The season opens Monday and many of the top teams from last season are expected to be right in the thick of it once again.
Last season, two of the three boys' divisions were won by repeat champions.
In Division II, Bedford won its second in a row by routing Goffstown 16-2 in the final. The Division III title went to Derryfield School of Manchester, a 10-5 winner over Hopkinton.
The Astros return a strong team led by senior midfielder and All-America Jake Lisauskas and junior attack Todd Billetter.
In Division II, Bedford rolled through the regular season undefeated at 18-0 and didn't let up at all in the playoffs, steamrolling everyone.
The rest of Division II appears wide open. It was a very tight race last season with five teams finishing with double-digit wins and the other three schools close behind.
Hollis/Brookline finished third last season and could be poised to make another run with All-State selections Ryan Papineau (senior attack) and Sam Whitaker (senior midfield) back.