Lunenburg Aims for Another Playoff Run
Head coach: Andy Christiansen (2nd season)
2017 record: 12-9 (Sectional semifinalist)
Key losses: Ethan Gengler (goalkeeper)
Key returners: Eric Christiansen (senior midfield), David Gardner (senior midfielder), Ethan Tuttle (senior striker), Justin DiGeronimo (junior), Jake Friend, Sam Friend (sophomores), Sean Tuttle (sophomore), Peter Hennessy (sophomore), Tristan Shapiro (sophomore), Michael Gardner (sophomore)
Notable newcomers: DJ Shoniwa (junior), Seamus Gordon (junior), Brady Iovanni (freshman), Wes Frank (freshman), Agustine Silvia-Olivera (freshman), Dale Linsbury (junior goalkeeper), Anthony Firmani (junior goalkeeper)
Outlook: Christiansen has a young core group returning with a few valuable upperclassmen who provide leadership. Lunenburg runs a number of formations, and look to be technical as well as creative on the football. Ethan Tuttle will have plenty of opportunities to finish. Christiansen has two junior goalkeepers battling for time in front of the onion bag, and son Eric Christiansen -- the last of a long line of players over the past decade -- can score, too.
Head coach: Steve McCaughey (11th season)
2017 record: 7-8-3
Key losses: none
Key returners: John Liddy (senior defender), Jeff Epro (senior defensive midfielder), Franco Baretto (junior goalkeeper), Yago Miller (junior midfielder), Andrew Sanchez (junior striker), Leo Budzinski (junior defender), Jarrod Fournier (senior defender), Wilson Tahuel Garcia (midfielder), Higor Chanes (striker)
Notable newcomers: Thiago de Morales (sophomore midfielder), Dhiogo Oliviera Madeira (junior midfielder), Daniel Valente (sophomore midfielder), Gabriel Lima (junior midfielder), Alex Miller (freshman striker)
Outlook: The Blue Devils just missed out on the postseason by a point last fall, so Leominster will look to tighten up a bit in the defensive third of the pitch. McCaughey returns plenty of experience in the back, so he will look to players like Liddy, Budzinski, Epro, and Fournier to keep Baretto clear. LHS also has competition for minutes in the middle of the park and up top, with Sanchez back after missing his sophomore season with injury. Yago Miller was a Mid-Wach all-star, and our spies are telling us that his younger brother Alex Miller may be on the small size, but he has goals galore in his boots after spending time in the Revolution Academy. Leominster will look to have better finishes in the final third, too.
Head coach: Jeff Waldron (5th season)
2017 record: 10-6-2 (first round)
Key losses: Christopher TenBroeck, Seth Drahusz, Daniel Offor, Jacy Kretas, Hayden Hammill, Joseph Cuoto, Vincent Sabatino, Samuel Boswell
Key returners: Owen Marr, Patrick Maley, Collin Anselmi, Aidan Murray, Cam Frechette, John Charney, Jake Talmer, Wesley Call, Jack Phoenix, Roody Clemetson, Alban Baboci
Notable newcomers: Mac Patenaude, Seamus McFague
Outlook: The Patriots return a strong group to the pitch this fall. Waldron says the team is well-blended between the veterans and the newcomers, all of whom are ready to compete. Waldron also says there is loads of leadership, and should return to the postseason with solid performances.
Head coach: Demetrios Tyros (first season)
2017 record: 7-9-1 (first round)
Key losses: Nine graduates.
Key returners: Evan Pappas (senior), Dan Dumas (junior), Bryce Berry (junior), Lucas Suarez (junior), Luke Sugar (senior), Dante Suarez (senior)
Notable newcomers: Jack Cravedi (freshman), Jared Podrazik (sophomore), Kevin O’Connor (junior)
Outlook: Tyros is leaning hard on the upperclassmen to show leadership to this bunch. Berry, while anchoring the back line as a centerback in front of his younger brother, goalkeeper Drew Berry, has a big left foot and can get the ball into a dangerous position on free kicks. Oakmont plays a tough schedule -- opening with defending Division 4 state champ Bromfield -- and that isn’t a bad thing; the Spartans need to take full points at every possible opportunity, while parking the bus and defend tough against the heavy hitters.