By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)
Endicott College senior Tommy Hughes prides himself in one thing: to get better every day.
Getting better every day is a tribute to both past and current coaches, including Eric Hagarty, who have preached those words to Hughes, who has become a stand-out face-off specialist with the Gulls.
“All season, Coach has harped to (my teammates and I) that it’s all about getting better,” said Hughes, who was tabbed this week’s Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Specialist of the Week for the sixth time this season.
“If you better yourself every day then the proof will just show itself,” he added.
Since arriving to campus in the fall of 2013, Hughes has been an integral part to the men’s lacrosse program, capturing an impressive 1,142 face-offs, while scooping 719 ground balls. This season, he led all all CCC face-off specialists with 260 face-off victories, while scooping a league-high 184 ground balls.
Hughes’ success at the face-off X helped the Gulls capture eight league games this spring, along with a regular season crown. The eight wins provided Endicott with the top seed in this year’s CCC Tournament, which began this past weekend with a pair of first-round contests.
Endicott, which returns to the field tomorrow evening, will host Curry College in a semifinal match-up with face-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
The Gulls and Colonels met earlier this season with Endicott claiming a 20-11 victory.
Hughes highlighted his team’s win over Curry, tallying a season-best 24 face-off victories. He also recorded 24 face-off wins in his team’s 15-10 win over Roger Williams.
And due to his squad earning a first-round bye, he, along with his teammates, were able to keep the focus on ‘getting better’ with additional practices the past few days.
“I took more and more face-offs every day (to prepare for this week’s game), while our offense kept shooting more and more every single day,” said Hughes.
Hughes, who hopes to guide his squad to this Saturday’s championship game, knows he and his teammates will have to play their best lacrosse tomorrow evening to extend their season for a few more days.
Of course, Hughes would love to end his career with some hardware – a CCC crown and NCAA Tournament – but instead of thinking about hoisting a trophy, he is keeping the focus on ‘getting better’ every day.
“My focus is to keep getting better and bettering myself, so I can be prepared for upcoming games,” said Hughes.