Darcey, Raider lax set to ball out

Pictured making a save on Needham’s Danny McEvoy (9) last spring, Wellesley senior captain and goaltender Teddy Darcey will look to anchor a talented Raider defensive corps in 2018 before doing a PG year and then heading off to play at Penn State in 2020. Photos by Michael Flanagan

By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

The 2018 season will be the beginning of a new era for Wellesley High School boys lacrosse with new head coach Jim Connolly.

A 13-5 regular season earned the Raiders the No. 6 seed in Division I South last spring. Wellesley took down No. 11 Mansfield, 10-9, in the first round, but fell, 10-4, to No. 3 Duxbury in the sectional quarterfinals.

This season, the Raiders will need to adjust to some new systems and schemes implemented by Coach Connolly. They will need to do so while overcoming key departure from last season’s team, such as fogo and second-leading point-getter Grant Chryssicas, who now plays at Amherst, as well as attack-man Brennan Conroy, who plays at Skidmore.

However, despite having some voids to fill, expectations are still high for the Wellesley boys in 2018, due to a deeply talented core of returning players which features three senior captains: goaltender and Penn State commit Teddy Darcey, Denison College committed midfielder Michael Bomes, and attack-man Nick Marvan.

According to Darcey, the Raiders are amped up to get after it in 2018, and are holding themselves to high standards.

“Our expectation this year is to go farther [in the state tournament] than we have the past couple of years,” said Darcey. “Pretty much, we all just want a good season where the seniors will ball out and the underclass will pave way for a successful future for Wellesley lacrosse. The team couldn’t be more excited to get the ball rolling.”

Also back for the Raiders this season is junior attack-man Hugh Callahan, who led the team in scoring in 2017 as a sophomore, about whom his senior keeper spoke extremely highly.

“Bomes, Marvin, and Callahan will be our guys that can put the ball in the back of the net,” said Darcey. “Hugh Callahan had a great season last year being our leading goal scorer, so this year we believe he will excel.”

Defensively, Darcey believes that the collection of poles which features senior Michael Manning and juniors Anders Pineau and Sean Sullivan are as strong of a unit as he’s ever had the privilege of playing with.

“On the defensive side, we have a lot of returners who played well throughout last year as well as some new guys who should make a big impact,” said Darcey. “Sean Sullivan who came over from Thayer this year has started to shine in the first two weeks at close D. Michael Manning is another close D that I expect to have a great year, and so will Anders [Pineau] as close D. We have a good squad playing close this year, and I couldn’t be more excited.”

As far as the changes in overall scheme from Coach Batty’s system to Coach Connolly’s, Darcey says that the Raiders have acclimated themselves well and that defensively, the main goal of preventing the other team from scoring remains similar under Connolly as it was under Batty.

“At least on the defensive side of the ball, not much has changed as far as X’s and O’s,” said Darcey. “But our terminology has definitely changed. Our new defensive coach graduated from BU last year as a close D, so he gets the game more than anyone and he’s great at what he does, so we are all excited that he’s with us. Offensively, I believe what’s changed is that everything has got to be fast, starting from the clear. We want the ball over the top on a save and a fast break going the other way.”

At the time of print, Wellesley will open up its season on the road at TVL power and defending DIII Central/East champ Dover-Sherborn on April 3 before hosting Brookline on April 5 to open up Bay State Conference action.

For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.

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