Milford Hoops Turns to Fresh Faces
By Chris Villani Sports Reporter/Columnist · December 29, 2010
With the football season having come to an end and the focus of many athletes turning to the high school hardwood, Milford High head basketball coach Steve Manguso will turn to some new players to help lead his team this winter, he just isn't certain which players. "I know we're probably going to be about eight deep," he said. "I'm just not sure if it's going to be the same eight."
The Scarlet Hawks lost several key cogs from last year's team, which finished 12-8 and advanced to the district quarterfinals before falling to Fitchburg. Gone are graduated seniors Jimmy Ney, Ricky Morrison, and Mike Spates, as well as transfer Anthony Barry.
Ney and Morrison manned the backcourt for Manguso and Spates was a three-year starter at the forward position. Barry, the Mid-Wach's leading scorer at around 20 points per game, transferred to the Brooks School in North Andover with an eye towards prepping for the college game. Still, Manguso doesn't envision points being hard to come by from this year's team. "I think we can score against most levels of defenses," he said. "We need to defend and rebound, that's always a determining factor, can we stop people?"
Leading the returning crop of Milford players are captains Chris Manguso and Tim Hulyk, both of whom saw action at the varsity level last season. Juniors Jan Fuentes and Chris Casey also bring some varsity experience into the mix, but Manguso will get much of his size from the sophomore class. During the pre-season scrimmages, there were times when the Hawks played three members of the class of 2013 at the same time. "Our sophomore class is very good," said Manguso. "We have a lot of depth in that class."
At six-foot-five, David Mercier literally stands out among the sophomores and played varsity minutes as a freshman. Michael Tracy and Mike Soares are booth six-foot-three, and will battle for time to supply the rebounding Manguso is looking for this season.
Junior Jarrod Casey is expected to run the point for the Scarlet Hawks, and Manguso recognizes him as someone who brings quite a bit to the table. "He's just a terrific all around three-sport athlete," said Manguso.
The veteran head coach figures his team should be in the mix among the other teams in the Mid-Wach League. Manguso tabs defending champion Shrewsbury, along with Fitchburg, as the pre-season favorites. "This league is very good, Shrewsbury has a lot of guys back," he said. "But I think we will be in the pack and we are getting better and hope to continue to get better."