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Nipmuc Boys’ LAX Looks to Keep Rising

Through its first four years of existence, Nipmuc lacrosse has improved its record each season, and has been to the district tournament in each of the last two years. It's no surprise that head coach Sean Reilly expects nothing less than more improvement in 2011. "We should do better than last year and we want to go deeper into the playoffs," he said. "It is absolutely the goal to win a game in the tournament and if I look forward to the end of the season that's where I want to be."
The Warriors have a good chunk of their scoring back from last year's 11-10 squad. The top midfield line features senior co-captains Josh Smith and JT Adee. It's a duo from which Reilly is expecting a great deal. "Josh was one of our top scorers last year and he had a lot of assists, so he knows when to pass," he said. "JT is going to be a great complement on that first middie line."
Sophomore Colin Jackson not only made the varsity roster as a freshman but scored 45 goals and bolsters a strong returning nucleus on offense that hopes to offset a bit of youth on the other side of the field. Nipmuc graduated long pole midfielder Tyler Grace, who moved on to Northeastern where he is a member of the club lacrosse team. Coupled with the transfer of last year's starting goaltender to Xaverian, it allows for an influx of new talent on defense. Sophomore Tyler McElreath is expected to take over between the pipes. "We are excited for him, he is very enthusiastic and a good goalie," said Reilly. "He is on the young side but we are excited to have him in the cage."
Reilly said one of the primary goals for the program as it continues to grow is to compete with and beat programs like Grafton and Northbridge. Grafton, which finished 20-2 in 2010, knocked Nipmuc out of the tournament last season, despite the fact that the Warriors held them to their lowest scoring output of the season.
This season, the Nipmuc program has 47 players on the varsity and junior varsity squads combined. Reilly did not make any cuts, and credits the strong youth programs in the area for providing a solid base for the high school teams.
"The growth has been explosive," he said. "The trend continues year-to-year with a lot of freshmen and sophomores that came up from youth leagues. It has provided a great foundation and the number of players feeding into the high school lacrosse continues to grow. It has been really exciting."




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