Tag: Franklin Panthers

Mass. HS Lax: Opening Week Games To Watch

Opening Week!

By Mass. High School Lax (@Mass_LaxHS)

A brand new season of Massachusetts High School Lacrosse is slowly set to begin – there are still a few play-dates and scrimmages scheduled for the next few days. Below are a few games we’re going to be keeping an eye on – of course, there will be others, too – but here are some games to watch, attend or follow on social media!

  • Westford Academy at Lincoln-Sudbury (Thursday, Mar. 30th | 4 p.m.) – This will be a good test for the Grey Ghosts as they take on the two-time defending MIAA Division 1 Eastern Champions.
  • Xaverian Bros. at Belmont Hill School (Saturday, Apr. 1st | 10 a.m. | Scrimmage): We will be keeping both eyes on Tim Gardner‘s squad this season, which begins its 2017 campaign officially next Tuesday, April 4th when they host Walpole before entertaining Catholic Memorial three days later on Friday, April 7th at 7:00 p.m.
  • Duxbury vs. LaSalle Academy (Friday, Mar. 31st | 5:30 p.m. | Scrimmage): This will be the Dragons’ third consecutive scrimmage before hopping into regular season play next Monday (Apr. 3rd) against Whitman-Hanson.
  • Wellesley at Norwell (Monday, Apr. 3rd | 4 p.m.): The Norwell girls lacrosse team will attempt to win their third consecutive MIAA Division 2 crown, but don’t overlook a Wellesley Raiders squad that will certainly be in the mix for the Bay State Conference (BSC) crown this season.
  • Needham vs. Lexington (Thursday, Mar. 30th | 3:45 p.m. | Scrimmage): The Rockets saw their run toward a MIAA Division 1 South Sectional crown fall short to Duxbury last season, but being a new season (and a new tam), one should not overlook Needham, which will begin its season against B.C. High next Tuesday (on the road). As for Lexington, they’ll look to rebound after falling to Lincoln-Sudbury last year in the MIAA Division 1 North Quarterfinals.
  • Needham vs. Franklin (Thursday, Mar. 30th | 6:00 p.m.): Before competing in a play-date with Westwood girl’s lacrosse on Saturday, the Rockets will look to commence their season against a talented Franklin squad, which captured the MIAA East Division 1 crown last season with a 7-6 win over Acton-Boxboro.
  • St. John’s Prep at Reading (Thursday, Mar. 30th | 4:00 p.m. | Scrimmage): The Rockets and Eagles will tangle in what will be a quality scrimmage before Reading commences its season on Saturday, April 1st against Acton-Boxboro.
  • Grafton vs. Shrewsbury (Tuesday, Apr. 4th | 3:30 p.m.): Expect Grafton to make another run toward the MIAA Boys Central/West Division 3 crown, especially after defeating Mount Greylock – a team one should not over look, too.
  • Mount Greylock at Burr & Burton Academy (Tuesday, Apr. 4th | 4:15 p.m.): Mount Greylock should certainly be in the mix for a Central/West Division 3 crown this season – hey, maybe they actually get past Grafton and secure a spot in the state semifinals.
  • Cohasset at Newton North (Saturday, Apr. 1st | 12:00 p.m.): We highlighted this game earlier in an exciting tweet from coach James Beaudoin. The past two years have seen this game head to an extra session, so it is possible we could see a third this weekend.

See a game that wasn’t featured or mentioned? Let us know by sending us an email to MassHSLax2016@gmail.com and make sure to follow us on Twitter at @Mass_LaxHS

Connelly, Sweet Powered Duxbury’s Attack Against Franklin

By Matt Noonan 

DUXBURY, MA – Head coach Chris Sweet made it quite clear on Wednesday that his entire Duxbury team is a unit, not individuals.

Although, against the Franklin Panthers in the MIAA Div. 1 East quarterfinals, Sweet’s notion wasn’t entirely exhibited, as seniors Seamus Connelly and Sam Sweet fueled the Duxbury attack with eight goals and three assists en route to a 15-3 victory.

“All three of our attackman have developed some good chemistry and Sam is more of a set-up guy and understands that’s his role, and Seamus is a great catch-and-shoot guy, [who] understands his role,” explained Coach Sweet. “They’ve developed some good chemistry, and I hope that can continue into the next round of games.”

Both Sam and Seamus, who have spent the entire season together on attack, expressed that the main reason why the Dragons were so successful against the Panthers was due to their ball movement, which opened lanes for various players to dodge and shoot.

“The whole offense [has to] be moving, and if they’re not then we look bad, so really it’s the other three-four guys out on the field that help us out and help us look good,” said the younger Sweet.

“Our whole offense, obviously Sam in particular was moving the whole time, moving the ball quick and luckily I was able to be on the last end of some of those passes,” said Connelly.

Duxbury also exhibited a 2-2-2 offensive formation for a majority of the first half, which allowed Connelly and Sweet to assist the Dragons attack, especially in the first half.

“We were in a 2-2-2 offense for the most part, so when me or [Will Seifert] dodges from behind, we’re looking to the crease and Seamus is on the crease and he’s got the best hands on the team, and he’s the best finisher,” exclaimed the younger Sweet. “So, we just get it to him, and it’s in the back of the net.”

“It definitely all starts with Sammy and Will Seifert behind the goal, they kind of just do their own thing, and I kind of do my own thing up top with the middies, and we got a couple ankle breakers, so it’s easy to put the ball in the net,” Connelly exclaimed.

The Dragons are now two wins away from earning their second consecutive state championship, and will return to their turf on Saturday when they welcome Lincoln-Sudbury to Duxbury, a team that they barely defeated earlier this season.

“It’s certainly going to be tough. We’ve got L-S, and we beat them by a goal [and] by the skin of our teeth a couple weeks ago, so that’s going to be a huge game, and we’re just going to have to ride our seniors like we always do,” stated Connelly.

“We just have to dig deep. It was a close game last time. We’ve just got to come out strong, come out pumped up and they’re a good team, so it’ll be a battle,” exclaimed the younger Sweet.

VIDEO: Ross Tanner (Franklin) Reflects On His Final High School Lax Game

By Matt Noonan 

DUXBURY, MA – Playing in his final game as a member of the Franklin boy’s varsity lacrosse team, senior attack Ross Tanner concluded his career with two strikes against Duxbury’s sophomore netminder Nick Marrocco in the second half of Wednesday’s MIAA Div. 1 East quarterfinals match.

“I got two open netters, so I’ll take that,” exclaimed Tanner.

After Tanner’s strikes had been recorded, Duxbury responded with two more tallies to secure their lead for good, as the Dragons defeated the Panthers, 15-3.

Yet, despite the loss, Tanner exclaimed that his team was focused on earning a spot in the quarterfinals, especially since the senior class hadn’t made it that far in past tournaments.

“We set our goals to get [to the quarterfinals], and that’s what we did,” Tanner said. “We took down Mansfield, [which] was a tough game, blew them out a little more than we thought we were going to, but we got the win, [and advanced to Duxbury].”

Franklin, which ended its 2012 campaign 16-5, will graduate eight seniors, but return 22 underclassmen next season. And even though Tanner ended his senior year without a trophy, he explained that it was still a fun final season with the Panthers.

“It was a great senior year. I’ve never gotten this far [because] the last two years, we’ve been knocked out in the first round, so to get to the third round [was] kind of enlightening”

Mass High School Lax Recap: Duxbury 15, Franklin 3

By Hayden Bird 

DUXBURY, MA – In yet another display of force, the Duxbury high school boy’s lacrosse team downed Franklin to reach the state semi finals, 15-3.

In what was essentially uncharted territory for Franklin’s senior class, which hasn’t made it this far in the state lacrosse tournament, they came in riding an impressive 16-5 record.

Yet from the opening faceoff, it became eminently clear that Duxbury was not in the mood for upsets.

The Dragons (21-2) stormed into the game with five unanswered first period goals.

No respite came for the away team in the second quarter either, as players like Seamus Connelly, Sam Sweet and Henry Narlee continued to dominate.

As always, the key to Duxbury’s success came from their preparation.

“We had a good week of practice and we had Franklin scouted,” noted Duxbury head coach Chris Sweet. “So we came in very confident and I think that showed right off the bat.”

By halftime, the score stood at a lopsided 9-0 for Duxbury.

Duxbury senior Seamus Connelly powered the Dragons offense with six goals. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan for Noontime Sports)

Even with key players like Max Randall out, and others still trying to return from injury; Coach Sweet and his team haven’t missed a step.

“That shows our depth. It’s kind of a logjam of good players,” said Sweet. “Max Randall was out today, but he’ll be back on Saturday.”

Duxbury now moves onto the semi finals against Lincoln-Sudbury this Saturday. The game will be played in Duxbury at 2pm.

Franklin coach Lou Verrochi expressed his thoughts on the year ending for his team by saying, “I’m sad to see it go, but Duxbury is just in a class of their own.”

He then gave a nod to departing seniors by saying, “I can’t say enough about them. They’ve been four-year starters, some of them, and you know they’ve had a great career. I’m going to miss them. It’s going to be tough to replace them, but we’re young.”

Franklin’s Brendan Skidmore Hits the Panthers to the D1 South Finals

The Panthers live another day, thanks to Junior shortstop Brendan Skidmore!

By Brian Willwerth 

BRAINTREE, MA – It’s the one of those moments that any baseball player, at any age or any level, dreams of. You step up to the plate in the bottom of the 9th inning with a chance to win the game for your team.

On Tuesday afternoon, the kid known to his teammates as “Skiddy” got that opportunity for Franklin High School. And did he ever deliver.

Junior shortstop Brendan Skidmore belted a game-winning home run in the last of the 9th to give the Panthers a memorable, 6-5 victory over Xaverian in the Division 1 South championship game.

Skidmore connected on a 3-2 fastball. Less than a minute later, he was at the bottom of a celebratory Panthers’ dog pile, much to the delight of the Franklin contingent watching from the first-base side.  Franklin came into the tournament as the #9 seed.

“We started out 2-3, and then we started to win some games,” said Franklin head coach Dave Niro. “We put things together, and we haven’t stopped yet.”

On a day that felt more like mid-October than mid-June, the game started out as a pitchers’ duel through the first three innings between Franklin’s Bobby Chaiton and Xaverian’s Nick Ahearn. Both pitchers put up zeros through the first three innings.

Xaverian got on the board first in the fourth. Senior Mike Muir walked, advanced to second on a groundout, and then came around to score on an RBI single to center by co-captain John Mullen. Franklin took its first lead in the bottom of the fifth when Jon Skaza singled to right with the bases loaded, giving the Panthers a 2-1 advantage.

Xaverian re-took the lead by scoring three times in the top of the sixth. And again it was Mullen, hitting a two-run double to left to score Chris Hoyt and the other co-captain, Gerard Florentino. Mullen came home on a sacrifice fly by Tim Duggan to make it 4-2. In the bottom of the inning, Franklin came right back. Dan Simon delivered an RBI single to left, and a fielder’s choice from Brandon Eccher brought in the tying run.

Each team scored a single run in the 7th. Florentino’s RBI single to left gave Xaverian the lead. But in the bottom of the inning, with the rain coming down, Franklin tied it at 5 when Tim Garvey walked with the bases loaded. The Panthers would leave the sacks packed.

The game remained tied 5-5 until the bottom of the ninth, setting the stage for Skidmore’s heroics.

“He got me in my first two at-bats on curveballs,” said Skidmore. “He gave me my fastball and I did what I could with it.” He said he knew it was gone the moment it left the bat. It was unbelievable. Best feeling I’ve ever had.”

“I don’t know if I could’ve lasted another inning,” said Niro.  “I’m getting too old for this.”

Franklin will face Lincoln-Sudbury on Wednesday in the Division 1 State semifinals. That game will be played in Lowell.

“It’s great, this time of the year,” said Niro shortly after getting doused by Gatorade. “Hopefully we can get ‘em tomorrow.”