Spartans boys' lacrosse looking for turnaround season

By Tom Phelan - Staff Writer
Somers - posted Thu., Mar. 24, 2011
Somers High School has a senior-laden boys' lacrosse team, with 20 returning varsity players. Photos by Tom Phelan.
Somers High School has a senior-laden boys' lacrosse team, with 20 returning varsity players. Photos by Tom Phelan.

Although practice officially started on Monday, March 21, it was Wednesday before the full contingent of Somers High School boys’ lacrosse players finally made it onto the practice field at the Somers education complex. Then weather forced them to split the squad for practice the next day. At the end of the week, they had a scheduled scrimmage game at Longmeadow High School.

“We’re looking forward to a good year this year,” said veteran coach Ken McCarthy, as his players scrimmaged. “Last year was a sub-par year for Somers – we were 9-9 and it was probably my worst year in 15 years.”

The Spartans did not win the North Central Connecticut Conference last year, but they have set their sights on that goal this spring. But McCarthy isn’t looking to the end of the year just yet. “I’m not sure we’ll be able to do it,” he said, “but we’re going to give it our best shot.”

The NCCC only has five lacrosse teams. Besides Somers, the NCCC includes Avon, Granby, Suffield and Ellington. The expectations are pretty high, according to the Spartans’ coach. “I think it will be a challenge for everybody [in the conference],” he said. “I think it’s up in the air right now. We want to be one of those teams that are fighting for it.”

McCarthy said the number one item on the team’s agenda is keeping everyone injury-free, but he quickly admitted best efforts are all they can do. “If we get lucky and avoid injuries, I think that’s going to be a huge difference for us,” he said.

The Spartans’ coach said they would focus on the fundamentals, such as passing, shooting and picking up ground balls. They work on those things all the time, according to McCarthy, and they will continue that work throughout the season.

Somers has 20 returning varsity players. Eight of those returning will almost certainly be among the starting squad, when they take the field to host Granby Memorial for their season opener on April 6.

Eleven seniors return for their final season in Somers red and white. Several are planning to play the sport in college. Midfielder Mike Hanna is planning to play on the collegiate level at Salisbury State University. Goalie Dan Bell has committed to play at Western New England College. Defender Garret Ficara will be heading for Endicott College. Senior attacker Zach Thresher has committed to Eastern Connecticut State University.

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