Winter Sports Preview:
Team Record Last Year: 16-4
After losing in the first round of last season’s South Sectional playoffs, head coach Dennis Tobin sees a wide-open field for the sectional title this winter. Coach Tobin has no surprises up his sleeve. From the opening tip-off, he plans keep his patented press-and-run defense intact. With that, the team plans to roll out one of its most intriguing back courts in years. Only in his sophomore season, all-conference point guard Kurtis Henderson projects to start alongside junior transfer Spencer Aronson. Coach Tobin refers to Kurtis as a "complete offensive threat" known to use his strength to score over larger appointments. Meanwhile, Spencer scored on his first five three-point attempts in a preseason game against Attleboro. Defenses may need to pick their poison when facing both guards on the court at once.
Breakout Candidate: Brendan Noonan
Coach Tobin raved about what he saw from the Belmont native in tryouts this year. According to the head coach, Brendan may see increased minutes on the court as a hybrid guard-forward. On a team that plans to play full-court press for the entire game, Brendan’s ability to play both positions at a high level gives them much needed versatility when creating lineups.
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Saint John’s Prep @ Ronald S Perry Gymnasium
Team Record Last Year: 8-8-4
The storied CM hockey program returns 15 players from a team that lost in the first-round of last year’s South Sectional playoffs. With tremendous depth on all four lines, head coach Larry Rooney knows that his players will need to compete in every practice for time on the ice this season. New players Kevin McCarthy, Zach Callahan, and Gavin Hayes offer the roster plenty of competition. Coach Rooney sees a lot of potential in his underclassmen, who he describes as coachable and hard-working. An open goalie competition between Liam Kilgallen, Henry O’Brien, and Etna Bartucca may lead to some tough decisions when the time comes to pick a starter. Whoever he picks will need to direct a team known for fast, aggressive movement up-and-down the ice.
Breakout Candidate: Gavin Havens
It’s not too often that you see a freshman on the varsity team. Especially in a program that consistently produces All-Stars and college-caliber hockey players. However, Gavin impressed Coach Rooney enough to give him a chance on his third and fourth lines this season.
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Boston College High School @ Warrior Ice Arena
When the indoor track season begins at the Reggie Lewis Center this winter, 29 athletes return from last year’s roster. Each athlete hopes to fill glaring vacancies on the full-relay lineup after last year’s cast graduated. Underclassmen Ronan Greene, Misha Bane, and Kevin Hicks may see this as an opportunity to step up and take on new leadership roles at meets. A deep playoff run for this year’s football team prevented Khari Johnson and Hunter Tully from practicing with the team during tryout season. As seniors, their veteran presence will be a key to the team's success.
Breakout Candidate: Darrius LeClair
If Darrius starts the season healthy, expect to see the football All-Star turning heads at the Reggie Lewis Center during championship meets. An injury to his shoulder from the Super Bowl may require him to take some time off.
Head coach Pat Murray sees a lot of potential on a roster dominated by juniors and sophomores. Captains Charlie Naccimben and Ben Chipman offer a strong leadership presence that complements their ability to record competitive times. Both set the tone at tryouts. They arrived in shape and ready to compete, according to Coach Murray. Senior Howie Phu also impressed Coach Murray in tryouts. With a few new dives at a higher level of difficulty, Howie will look to place among the top scorers in championship meets. The roster lists only six seniors, so expect to see a handful of juniors stepping up in key leadership roles as the season progresses.
Breakout Candidate: James McGrath
The eighth grader from Quincy played an important role on the team last season. This winter, Coach Murray saw enough development in tryouts that he expects James to play a central role on this year’s team too. With his solid technique and consistent times, keep an eye out for James during dual-meets.
New head coach Steve Goode brings an impressive resume to the wrestling team. Coach Goode, a successful assistant coach at Boston University, coached over 40 national qualifiers, three All-Americans, and six team conference championships. Now, in his first year in charge, he’ll be tasked with building a contender in a highly competitive Catholic Conference. Look for senior captains Michael Curtin and Matthew Freitas to establish a veteran presence amidst a roster made up of underclassmen.
Breakout candidate: Luke Orup
Last year, Luke made quite the impression as a 90 lb freshman. Now, after weighing into the 100 lb weight class, he’s ready to showcase his refined technique on a bigger stage. It runs in the family, after all. His brother, Ivan, won a sectional championship last year in the 120 lb weight class.