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Only Way To Go Is Up: 2018 Boys Lacrosse Preview

By: Quinn Donovan

With the spring sports season upon us here at WHS, some teams have just recently been able to get outside, but they refuse to be affected by the weather. One such team is the Rangers Boys Lacrosse squad who is eager to put in the work necessary to improve this season.

Coming off a difficult season a year ago that culminated in an 0-16 record, the boys are excited to get the season underway and get back to Ranger Lax’s winning ways.

The lacrosse program graduated 17 seniors from the Class of 2016, a team that advanced to the district semifinals with the seniors overwhelmingly carrying the load. The team felt the absence of those players a year ago, failing to win a game despite remaining competitive throughout.

However, with a slew of experienced players back for this season, the boys are looking to get back to the playoffs.

Just a couple of weeks in, playing time appears to be largely up for grabs as nothing has been set in stone through the first portion of practices. The one position that is truly locked in for the season is at the goalie spot, as junior Drew Arnold returns after being named a League All-Star during his sophomore campaign.

Senior Jon Rodenbush, another League All-Star a year ago, will man the midfield spot along with fellow senior Aidan Burke and sophomore Jackson Katz.

Meanwhile, senior Declan Gardner, a St. Rose (NY) commit, will command the attack position. Senior Brian Melanson should control the defense alongside other starters that have yet to be determined.

There is a sense of optimism around the program this year, as Burke comments that “this preseason was the hardest I’ve ever seen this team work. We’ve been looking sharp on offense and aggressive on defense.” He also added that “there’s a good mix of ages on the field from freshman to seniors, and everyone knows what they have to do to help us win.”

After spending the offseason working out and preparing for the spring, the team appears eager to get it underway.

Gardner states that “I know we’ve all been working for this season, and we’re hoping for big things from it.”

After missing the playoffs last year, this year’s squad has their eyes set on making a return to the postseason. Shrewsbury and Algonquin will likely be the teams to beat for the Rangers this year in Mid-Wach A, in addition to tough league opponents Groton-Dunstable and Wachusett.

The Rangers kick off their season Tuesday, April 3 with a big matchup vs. Marlborough.

Photo Credit: Kelly Burneson Photography

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