By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Another lacrosse season is upon us, and the Needham High boys enter 2019 loaded, as always, and ready to be one of the premier teams in Division I South.
Among the many returning names for Needham, maybe none are more impactful on the offensive side of the ball than senior captain and BU-bound attack-man Jason Child, and senior captain and midfielder Brendan Walsh. Meanwhile, Needham’s defensive corps will be led by senior captain and close D Max Silvia.
Child, the reigning Bay State Conference MVP and a Globe/Herald All-Scholastic recipient, says that he and his teammates have a series of goals they wish to accomplish this season.
“We want to win the Bay State [Conference],” said Child. “There are a few teams who caught us sleeping last year, like Natick and Melrose, so we definitely want to get some revenge on those guys. Those are definitely a few early-season goals, but overall, I’d say we just want to play to the best of our potential and have fun with the season. As of right now, we are looking to take the season game-by-game.”
As for some of the holes left behind by departed stars such as attack-man Danny McEvoy, goaltender Andrew McNally, and midfielder John Andre, Child says that he and his team are confident in their group and expect their duo of junior goaltenders to rise to the occasion.
“[Andrew] McNally definitely left a big spot for us to fill this year,” said Child. “As of right now, we have two junior goalies in Seth Kleinman and Christian Bliss that we are confident in.”
Child also gave high praise to his fellow co-captain, Max Sylvia, and says to expect a big year out of junior close D Hugh Curran.
“I would say Max Silvia being a senior captain will be huge for our defense, being a shutdown defender along with directing traffic and teaching some of the younger guys where to be,” said Child. “Hugh Curran will be another major piece of our defense, being a returning starter and shutdown defender.”
With Child serving as the focal point of Needham’s attack, Brendan Walsh and sophomore Nick Sokolosky figure to make up a bulk of Needham’s offense out of the midfield position.
“Brendan [Walsh] will be a key impact player, lighting up the scoreboard from the midfield,” said Child. “Nick Sokolosky is another possible impact player to watch out for at midfield.”
The Needham boys will open the season on the road on April 4 against rival Walpole.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.