Boston High School: Cam Slatton

Recap: No. 11 Lincoln-Sudbury 17, No. 9 Billerica 9

May, 22, 2012
5/22/12
11:11
AM ET


BILLERICA, Mass. -- Brian Vona has been around long enough to know that if his Lincoln-Sudbury lacrosse squad is going to make a deep run in this year's postseason, the Warriors defense is going to come up with big stops in key spots.

Led by sophomore Notre Dame commit John Sexton, the D did just that in the third quarter of last night's nonleague clash with fellow Div. 1 power Billerica. Goals by Peter Walters and Dan Trainor to open the third quarter helped pull the Indians to within two goals of the Warriors at 9-7. With Kevin Farrell dominating the faceoff X, it seemed as though Billerica was in the midst of what could have been a game-changing run.

The Lincoln-Sudbury (13-5) defense dug in its heels, worked hard to get ground balls and excelled in the clearing game after each of Dan Shaughnessy's 16 saves, and returned both momentum and confidence to the Warriors sideline. L-S then proceeded to score seven of the next eight goals and pulled away for a convincing 17-9 triumph.

"It was 9-7 where we were worried," Vona admitted. "They fought back hard and we knew they were going to make a run. They are very well-coached and very skilled. [Cam] Slatton, [Ben Melaugh], [Russ Tedford] and [Walters] - those are there four players who can bring it. We knew they were going to come back and they did. Our defense had to make a couple stops. We've been looking for that for a while from our defense."

He added, "Our defense really played well in the third quarter. That's when I feel like that we set the tone was set for the entire game.

Jordan Dow led the Warriors with five goals, while Colby Hall added three goals and three assists and Henry Guild chipped in with a hat trick. Slatton had three goals and two helpers to lead Billerica, with Walters and Trainor each adding a pair.

Vona also noted that, prior to the game, the Warriors dedicated their performance to program founder and now-retired former coach Andy Oleski.

FILLING IN THE MIDDLE
The wide-open style that Lincoln-Sudbury plays makes them a very fun to watch and has for years. The offensive players, both attack and middies, know how to fill lanes and zip passes back and forth until they find the right shooting opportunity. Such plays led to a 5-2 first quarter and a 6-1 fourth.

The key for the Warriors is maintaining in the middle portions of the game. While L-S outscored the Indians in all four frames, Billerica played its best during the middle quarters. One the defense got going, however, that gave the offense the spark it needed for a definitive closing stretch.

"We just need all the middle too," Vona said with a laugh. "We've been playing well the last few games. We went down to the Connecticut and played a real tough team down there, got off to a fast start and lulled in the middle as well but we came back at the end. I'm proud of the kids."

DIGGING A HOLE TOO DEEP
Although Billerica managed to close to within a pair of goals during that third quarter, having to play from behind all game created problems that, against a team of the caliber of L-S, are just too much to overcome.

The Indians found themselves trailing by as many as four goals at several points, and once the Warriors made a strong push at the end, Billerica simply couldn't hold on any longer. An early harbinger of things to come took place in the opening minutes when a clearing pass was sent back to the Indians cage only to find no goalie waiting to receive it and the ball rolled right in for the first L-S score.

Games like this in the final week of the regular serve as strong teaching tools, something Indians coach Craig Flynn undoubtedly will address with his charges before the tournament begins.

"We started off in the hole, gave them a couple of goals early that we shouldn't have, passing back to the goalie when he's not in the net trying to clear the ball," Flynn explained. "We felt like we could keep fighting back but their offense is very good. They have good attackmen and midfielders and our defense was getting lost in there. We had a lot of mental errors. They have a lot of motion in their offense and it looked like our guys were getting lost out there on defense."

"It's all learning experiences for our guys to get ready for the tournament," he continued. "We'll learn a lot from this and I think we can make a solid run at this thing once we get into it."


WELLESLEY, Mass. – It was this time a year ago when Wellesley stormed into Billerica and ruined the Indians’ opener with a win.

On Thursday, it was the No. 12 Indians’ chance to stomp on the Raiders’ opening day festivities.

Senior attacks Ben Melaugh and Cam Slatton worked their chemistry throughout and worked together to give Billerica the game-winning goal. Melaugh set up Slatton with the a tie-breaking goal with a minute left in regulation for a 6-5 win over No. 3 Wellesley.

Melaugh (2 G, 2A) and Slatton (2 G, A) combined to tally seven of the Indians’ nine points on the afternoon while junior goaltender and UMass recruit D.J. Smith made it all stand up with 15 saves.

“Last year, they took away our first game, so we wanted to come back here and win it,” Smith said.

The game was largely decided by a couple of ground balls in Billerica’s favor in the final minutes.

Slatton’s game-winner was set in motion on a ground ball pick up in the defensive half by junior midfielder Sean Farmer. After the scoop, Farmer ran the ball into the offensive half, dished to Melaugh on the wing who then found Slatton out front. Slatton’s rip from 15 yards out found nothing but twine.

Another ground-ball win by Indians senior long-stick Nick DelMonaco in the final minute, along with some sloppy possession play from the Raiders’ attack, helped ice the victory for the Billerica (2-1).

“I think we generated 25 shots and I don’t think we generated 25 shots last year,” Wellesley head coach Rocky Batty said. “But you take shots, you’ve got to finish.”

SMITH IS SHARP


Smith’s play on Thursday drew high praise from Indians head coach Craig Flynn, who called it the “game of his career.” In addition, it was set against the backdrop of a matchup between two of the states top netminders, as Smith was opposed by fellow ESPN Boston All-Stater Connor Darcey.

“It was a huge matchup between basically the two top goaltenders in the state.”

At no point was Smith better than the third quarter, when he kicked, swatted and gobbled up six saves. Although the Raiders (0-1) possessed for the bulk of play in the quarter, Smith and the Billerica long poles held strong.

“Tommy [McLaughlin] and Brian LeClair, they played great at X covering them and they didn’t let them at the X and didn’t let get past the [goal line extended],” Smith said of the defensive group in front of him. “Danny [Lynch] played on the crease, he didn’t let them get any passes. They played great altogether our D-poles.”

CHEMISTRY EVIDENT


Batty thought his team won a small victory in limiting the Indians’ top scoring duo of Melaugh and Slatton to four goals.

It speaks volumes about the respect opposing coaches have for the pair, who both tallied 100-plus point seasons last year.

Of course, that was done in the shadow of ESPN Boston 2011 Mr. Lacrosse and current UMass attack Grant Whiteway. Now, it’s time for Melaugh and Slatton to shine.

“We’ve been playing ever since we were, what, maybe 8 year old, I don’t even know,” “It’s been a while though. We’ve known each other is and we’re able to find each other.”

MONKEY OFF THE BACK?
Always a colorful interview, Batty joked with reporters postgame that his team was, in fact, fallible.

Certainly, the Raiders entered the season with a boatload of attention as Division 2 favorites, grabbing the No. 3 spot in our preseason Top 25 poll along with a spot in the ESPNHS FAB 50.

While a loss isn’t the way the Raiders wanted to start their campaign, their head coach also admitted it might not be the worst thing in the world.

“We’ll be better for this in the long run,” Batty said.

Preseason MIAA boys' lacrosse All-State team

April, 2, 2012
4/02/12
10:17
PM ET
The high school lacrosse season kicks off this week for many top teams across the state.

Here is our preseason MIAA boys' lacrosse All-State team, as compiled by ESPNBoston.com staff and correspondents.

Attackmen:
Kevin Blair, Sr., Hingham
Peter Crane, Sr., Wellesley
Seamus Connelly, Sr., Duxbury
Jeff Desko, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Jackson Finigan, Sr., Concord-Carlisle
Paul Hellar, Sr., Duxbury
Matt McIver, Sr., Andover
Cabot Noyce, Sr. , Norwell
Nico Panepinto, Jr., Needham
Joey Pasquale, Sr., Weston
Connor Roddy, Sr., Medfield
Cam Slatton, Sr., Billerica

Midfielders:
Dan Delaney, Jr., Lincoln-Sudbury
Alex Eaton, Sr., Westford Academy
Kurt Hunziker, Sr., Masconomet
Jonathan Lee, Sr., Hopkinton
Kyle Livingstone, Sr., Cohasset
Drew O’Connell, Soph., St. John's Prep
Billy Polk, Sr., Dover-Sherborn
Mark Riley, Sr., Needham
Oliver Saffery, Sr., Wellesley
Kyle Soroka, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
Tim Towler, Sr., Masconomet

FOGO:
Clay Richard, Sr., Medfield

Long Stick Middies:
James Burke, Sr., Duxbury
Reilly Naton, Sr., Duxbury

Defensemen:
Henry Bumpus, Sr., Concord-Carlisle
Ryan Cassidy, Sr., Wellesley
Pat Hannigan, Sr., Hanover
Jay McDermott, Sr., Duxbury
Nate Menninger, Sr., Newton North
Matt O’Keefe, Sr., Duxbury
Max Randall, Sr., Duxbury
Paul Tocci, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
Brian Uva, Jr., St. John's Prep
Ian Yanulis, Jr., BC High

Goaltenders:
Jonathan Barton, Sr., BC High
Henry Buonagurio, Sr., Duxbury
Connor Darcey, Sr., Wellesley
Jared Fong, Sr., Weston
Doug Gouchoe, Sr., Concord-Carlisle
Miles McCarthy, Sr., Catholic Memorial
D.J. Smith, Jr., Billerica
Greg Stamatov, Sr., Foxborough

Recap: No. 20 Billerica 40, Lowell 30

October, 29, 2011
10/29/11
12:27
AM ET
BILLERICA, Mass. -- The scoreboard may have said 40-30 in favor of Billerica over Lowell Friday, but it was a lot closer than it appeared. The Red Raiders fought hard, even tying the game at one point, but they never could take the lead.

The No. 20 Indians jumped out to an early 14-0 lead when Byron Ramirez ran for two touchdowns on his team’s first two drives of the game.

Both offenses struggled to score for the remainder of the first half, but Billerica (6-1) took a 14-6 lead into the break.

The fireworks started right at the beginning of the half. On the opening drive of the second half, Lowell (5-3) moved the ball down the field in barely over two minutes. Quarterback R.J. Noel hit Jack Galvin for a 10-yard touchdown, and then successfully executed a 2-point conversion pass to tie the game at 14.

Billerica came back and answered with a two-minute drive of its own, which was capped off when Nick LaSpada found Cam Slatton running a post pattern towards the right pylon and put the ball over his shoulder for the touchdown.

The team extended its lead in the fourth quarter when Ramirez ran for another touchdown, again putting his team up by two scores.

“We came out in the first quarter moving the ball well, but then we stalled there a little bit in the second,” LaSpada said. “At halftime, we made a couple adjustments and came out flying here in the fourth quarter and put the game away.”

Ramirez ended the game with 21 carries for 117 yards and 3 touchdowns. He was Billerica’s leading rusher, but LaSpada was right behind him with 112 yards rushing of his own.

“The offensive line really stepped up, they really helped me do my thing and they did their thing,” Ramirez said. “We really stepped up. We needed this.

“Coach always says to keep running your feet. I always do that. Every time, before the play, I always think about what I’m going to do, and that really helps me out.”

Lowell did not go quietly however. On its next drive, Noel found his favorite target, Gilberto Brown, running in the secondary and connected with him for a 45-yard touchdown pass. It had another successful two-point conversion, making it a 6-point game. The Red Raiders were at a disadvantage all night because their usual field goal kicker, Connor McHugh, was out with an injury. That forced the team to go for two points after every touchdown, rather than kicking an extra point.

The two teams traded touchdowns until LaSpada hit Slatton for another touchdown pass, making it a 10-point game with two minutes to go.

Slatton had seven catches for 133 yards in the game. LaSpada was 15-of-28 for 235 yards and a touchdown through the air.

The Red Raiders turned the ball over on downs during its ensuing possession, finally allowing Billerica to breath easy knowing it was leaving with a victory.

“We have to stay tough, we have to execute play by play,” LaSpada said. “We have to stay consistent. Coach preaches that all the time that consistency is the biggest thing.”

“This win says we never give up, we always stay the course,” Ramirez added. “Coach Flynn always says, ‘Thunder and lightning, we stay the course, we never give up.”

NOEL SHINES
If a quarterback throws for 326 yards and three touchdowns in a game, it would be easy to believe he played for the winning team. Friday, however, those were Noel’s numbers in a losing effort. He threw 178 of those to Brown, who had 10 catches in the game. The dual-threat quarterback is usually prolific on the ground, but the Billerica defense was able to keep him in the pocket. He ended the game with 15 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown. While his numbers are impressive, its his two interceptions that proved to be crucial. The most important was the second quarter interception caught by Slatton in the endzone on a long pass intended for Brown. The ball tipped off Brown’s hands when he jumped to catch it, and Slatton was able to secure it for the touchback. If Brown would have been able to come down with the ball, it would have been a one-score game with six minutes to go in the half. Hypothetically, that touchdown could have changed the entire complexion of the game.

In the third quarter, Noel was picked off again and Ngiiva Mason lost a fumble. While Billerica was unable to create points off the three turnovers, it was the momentum swings that resulted from them that were critical.

“Those were big,” Billerica head coach Peter Flynn said. “The kids stayed the course, they bent, but they didn’t break in those situations. We, as a coaching staff, address all the time how important that is that you bend a little bit but just as long as they don’t go in that endzone, its fine.”

BATTLE OF ELITE QBs
When facing a quarterback like Noel or Billerica’s LaSpada, you have to be prepared for them to take off and try to run and create plays with their feet. Friday, Lowell was willing to take away that part of his game and force him to beat them with his arm. They played with a single-high safety and brought an extra defender into the box, leaving man-to-man coverage on the receivers on the outside. Rather than try to force a play with his feet, LaSpada stayed patient in the pocket and did his damage that way. He still ended the game with 112 yards rushing, but 81 of those game after halftime.

“They were giving me the cover-3 look with the free safety over the top, so I was just sitting in the pocket, finding the open guys,” he said. “There was no need for me to run until we needed the big play so I could step up and do that.”

That was nothing new for Flynn and the Billerica coaching staff.

“This is what we go over all the time in practice,” said Flynn. “He’s seen every defense in practice, from when they bring eight guys to when they drop eight guys. He’s so disciplined. As you could see, he just takes his time, surveys the situation, and makes the correct call.”

'RICA ROLLIN'
It was the Indians’ sixth win in a row after the early season 12-7 loss to Woburn. The team credits that game as a wake-up call and its seniors leadership as reasons for its turnaround.

“This is my fourth year starting with the team, so I looked at all the seniors and said that couldn’t happen again,” LaSpada said. “The first thing I thought of when I came off the field was that wasn’t supposed to happen. So I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

“That was a slap in the face,” Flynn said of the loss to the Tanners. “That was a reality check and wake-up call for the kids. In the preseason we had it pretty easy as far as dominance and in the first game against Burlington our kids did very well and moved the ball and scored a lot. Things were looking really good and I think we forgot what got us there. That really woke everybody up that we have to stay the course, be shoulder-to-shoulder and be one family with one heartbeat.”

NO. 20 BILLERICA 40, LOWELL 30
Billerica - 14 0 7 19 -- 40
Lowell - 0 6 8 16 -- 30


1st quarter
B - Byron Ramirez 8-yard run (Steve Trask kick)
B - Ramirez 17-yard run (Trask kick)

2nd quarter
L - Gilberto Brown 10-yard pass from RJ Noel (2-pt conversion failed)

3rd quarter
L - Jack Galvin 10-yard pass from Noel (Brown pass from Noel)
B - Cam Slatton 35-yard pass from Nick LaSpada (Trask kick)

4th quarter
B - Ramirez 14-yard run (Trask kick)
L - Gilberto Brown 45-yard pass from Noel (Emo Beaudry pass from Noel)
B - LaSpada 5-yard run (2-pt conversion failed)
L - Noel 4-yd run (Brown pass from Noel)
B - Slatton 17-yard pass from LaSpada (kick failed)

Recap: Billerica 20, Tewksbury 14

October, 7, 2011
10/07/11
11:05
PM ET
BILLERICA, Mass. -- At some point, opposing teams and players are going to have to figure out how to keep Billerica junior Matt Clifford from hurting them.

Add Tewksbury to the list of teams he’s torched.

For the second week in a row, the wide receiver/defensive back had a huge night on offense, defense and special teams, scoring all three touchdowns in Billerica’s 20-14 win over Tewksbury in a Merrimack Valley Conference crossover game.

Clifford caught two touchdown passes, returned a kickoff for a score and also made an interception, putting up nearly 300 all-purpose yards. His 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter -- his second kick return for a touchdown in as many weeks -- swung the momentum back in the hosts’ favor and completed the scoring as the Indians improved to 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the MVC.

Tewksbury fell to 2-3 and 2-2.

“Like I said last week, we were great out here,” Clifford said. “Great coaching. We were a little up and down (in the) first half. Second half we came around.”

Tewksbury, coming off consecutive wins over MVC Large opponents Andover and Central Catholic, showed grit and ingenuity after losing starting quarterback Kevin Saunders to injury. Running back Chris Bettano (15 carries, 122 yards) had a successful night on the ground, and the Redmen expertly executed two trick plays in the first half, but in the end Clifford and Billerica had a few more weapons.

Some other quick thoughts on this entertaining contest...

No secondary concerns: Billerica has been solid in the defensive backfield the past two weeks. In addition to Clifford, the Indians also got some huge plays from Nick LaSpada (209 yards passing, 2 TDs), Cam Slatton and Jason Ferri. First, Slatton batted away a sure touchdown pass near the left pylon on fourth down to deny Tewksbury from the Billerica 9-yard line at the end of the first half. Then, in the fourth quarter, Ferri dropped Bettano for a 6-yard loss to force a punt. LaSpada then helped seal the win with an interception on Tewksbury’s last possession. It was the second straight week LaSpada and Clifford each had an interception.

On the 'Mike': Friday night showcased two of the top middle linebackers in the MVC in Billerica’s Brian Thompson and Tewksbury’s Derek Tarpey. Each plays with a high football IQ and hits with authority. Tarpey made a big interception of LaSpada in the third quarter to set up a James Sullivan 22-yard touchdown run and Thompson simply made running between the tackles a difficult task for the Redmen for most of the night.

Thompson is listed at 5-foot-11, 210 pounds; and although Tarpey’s measurements are not listed, he looks around the same. Each plays with that mixture of intelligence and tenacity you look for in a middle linebacker and strike a little bit of fear in opposing ball-carriers.

Redmen keep you guessing: Good luck trying to game plan for Tewksbury’s offense. The Redmen showed a variety of looks and found ways to move the ball in almost every one. The Redmen lined up in everything from the single-wing to the I to the spread and you could almost never figure out exactly what was coming based on formation. Tewksbury scored on a 19-yard reverse pass from Frankie McLaughlin to Kevin Saunders and hit a 63-yard lateral pass from Dean Alves to James Sullivan, both in the first half.

When Saunders went down to injury, the Redmen used two backup quarterbacks -- sophomore Johnny Aylward and junior Zak DiRocco -- in the second half. Tewksbury coach Brian Aylward always seems to have a trick up his sleeve, and it’s very difficult to game plan for everything he throws at you.

BILLERICA 20, TEWKSBURY 14

TEW (2-3) 0 6 8 0 --- 14
BIL (4-1) 0 7 13 0 --- 20

Second Quarter
T - Kevin Saunders 19 pass from Frankie McLaughlin (kick failed)
B - Matt Clifford 78 pass from Nick LaSpada (Steven Trask kick)

Third Quarter
B - Clifford 43 pass from LaSpada (Trask kick)
T - James Sullivan 22 run (Chris Bettano pass from Zak DiRocco)
B - Clifford 91 kickoff return (kick failed)

Billerica's Slatton commits to Union

August, 29, 2011
8/29/11
11:08
AM ET
Billerica rising senior Cam Slatton has committed to playing lacrosse at Union College.

The 5-foot-7 attack, who is also one of Nick LaSpada's top targets on the football team, was one of three Indians players to finish with more than 100 points last season.

Slatton also plays for the Laxachusetts Minutemen club lacrosse team and was a "Best of the Rest"selection on ESPN Boston's All-State team.

Our MIAA boys' lacrosse All-State team

June, 29, 2011
6/29/11
2:21
PM ET
STARTING 10
All-StateAttack - Kane Haffey, Duxbury
The Duxbury captain helped lead his team back to the top of Massachusetts’ Division 1 ranks, scoring six goals in the title game against St. John’s Prep. The All-American scored 43 goals with 18 assists this season and also helped Duxbury football to another Division 2A Super Championship in the fall. Haffey is headed to Phillips Exeter for a post-graduate year.

All-StateAttack – Connor Hall, Lincoln-Sudbury
The Warriors’ senior captain was named Dual County League Player of the Year after tallying 56 goals and 55 assists. The Eastern Mass. All-American was also named the Dual County League’s Player of the year and will attend Union College next year.

All-StateAttack – Will Stenberg, Needham
The two-time All-American finished his career with 432 points for the Rockets after posting 67 goals and 54 assists this season. Stenberg was also a three-time Eastern Mass. All-Star. The Rockets’ captain received Needham’s Leadership and Community Service award and will play lacrosse at SUNY-Albany.

All-StateAttack – Grant Whiteway, Billerica
The prolific Indians captain became one of just six high school players to ever crack the 500-point plateau, finishing with 539 points. Whiteway, a UMass-Amherst commit, also broke his single-season state scoring record (which he’d previously broken last year) with 182 points, including 116 goals, this year.

All-StateMidfield – Bryan Barry, Duxbury
The All-American wrapped up his senior season with 32 goals and 18 assists while helping the Dragons to their eighth state title in the last decade. Barry was also captain of Duxbury’s hockey team and will continue his lacrosse career at Fairfield next year.

All-StateMidfield – Thomas Flibotte, Cohasset
The two-time All-American finished his Skippers career with 285 points, including a 75-point season as a senior. Flibotte, who was also a standout on Cohasset’s football and wrestling teams, will play a prep lacrosse season with Deerfield Academy next year.

All-StateMidfield – Jimmy O’Connell, St. John’s Prep
The senior led the Eagles to their second straight D1 finals appearance, scoring 54 goals for 60 points. The National Honor student will attend Trinity College in the fall.
All-StateDefense – Michael Anastos, Concord-Carlisle
The All-American and three-year starter led the Patriots to a 20-2 season and an Eastern Mass. D2 finals appearance. The Patriots’ captain also served in the same role on C-C’s hockey team and was a DCL/MVC All-Star defenseman. The two-time Dual County League lacrosse all-star will attend Dennison University in the fall.

All-StateDefense – Peter Willauer, Duxbury
The senior captain and All-American built the foundation of the Dragons defense, leading Duxbury to its eighth state title in the last decade. The National Honor Society member will attend Colby College in the fall.
All-StateGoaltender – Connor Darcey, Wellesley
The junior All-American netminder led the Raiders to a 71.0 save percentage while being named the Bay State League’s MVP. The Penn State commit was also aggressive from the crease, scoring a goal and tallying and assist while scooping up 30 ground balls.

SECOND TEAM
Attack – Kevin Blair, Hingham
Attack – Klye Guilbert, Walpole
Attack – Paul Hellar, Duxbury
Midfield – Sam Lawrence, Wellesley
Midfield – Billy Polk, Dover-Sherborn
Midfield – Kurt Hunziker, Masconomet
Midfield – Mark Riley, Needham
Defense – Mike Curley, Billerica
Defense - Eric Marcantonio, Lexington
Goaltender – Jeff Williams, Dover-Sherborn

BEST OF THE REST
Sam Aronson, G, Medfield
Seth Bird, A, Concord-Carlisle
Peter Crane, A, Wellesley
Ben Cook, D, Andover
P.J. Copponi, A, Dover-Sherborn
Dan Delaney, M, Lincoln-Sudbury
Jared Fong, G, Weston
Todd Galvin, A, BC High
Ty Martina, M, Marshfield
Nick Morello, A, Billerica
Connor Nugent, A, Framingham
Joey Pasquale, A, Weston
John Powers, A, Marshfield
Max Randall, D, Duxbury
Garrett Read, D, Medfield
Connor Roddy, A, Medfield
Jack Rodgers, G, Acton-Boxborough
Will Siefert, M, Duxbury
Cam Slatton, A, Billerica
Greg Stamatov, G, Foxborough
Paul Tocci, D, Lincoln-Sudbury
Tim Towler, M, Masconomet

BEST LONGSTICK MIDFIELDER
Reilly Naton, Duxbury

BEST FOGO (Face-off, get-off)
Clay Richard, Medfield

COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim Wilcon, Weston

MVC announces lacrosse all-stars

May, 27, 2011
5/27/11
6:28
PM ET
The Merrimack Valley Conference has unveiled its boys and girls lacrosse All-Conference and All-Star teams, as well as their Players and Coaches of the Year. Below are the All-Conference teams:

BOYS

ATTACK
Grant Whiteway, Billerica
Cam Slatton, Billerica
Matt McIver, Andover
Ben Melaugh, Billerica

MIDFIELD
Ross Murphy, Billerica
Nick Price, Andover
Nick Morello, Billerica
Ian Abrahamson, Billerica
Mike Conlon, Dracut
Ryan Forgione, Central Catholic
Tim Oteri, Andover

DEFENSE
Andrew Basler, Chelmsford
Mike Curley, Billerica
Ben Cook, Andover
Tom McLaughlin, Billerica

UTILITY
Nathaniel Vasquez, Haverhill

GOALIE
Crosby Nicholson, Andover
D.J. Smith, Billerica

Division 1 Player of the Year: Grant Whiteway, Billerica
Division 2 Player of the Year: Nathaniel Vasquez, Haverhill
Division 1 Coach of the Year: Craig Flynn, Billerica
Division 2 Coach of the Year: Dan O'Brien, Dracut
Assistant Coach of the Year: Sean Donahue, Lowell
Man of the Year: Grant Whiteway Jr., Billerica
Sportsmanship Award: Rory Fuller, Dracut

GIRLS

ALL-CONFERENCE
Christine Keenan, Sr., Central Catholic
Erin Masucci, Sr., Central Catholic
Mary Foggo, Jr., Central Catholic
Stefani Vadeboncouer, Sr., Haverhill
Molly Gleason, Sr., Haverhill
Nicole Devoe, Sr., Tewksbury
Casey Brown, Sr., Lowell
Grace Politis, Sr., Billerica
Kelly Pickett, Sr., Chelmsford
Johannah Cramer, Jr., Chelmsford
Meaghan Tuttle, Sr., Chelmsford
Emily Shields, Sr., Andover
Meghan Morris, Sr., Andover
Kate Farnham, Jr., Andover
Anne Farnham, Jr., Andover
Ally Fazio, Jr., Andover
Sara Miller, Sr., Andover
Kelsey Joaquin, Sr., Dracut

Division 1 Player of the Year: Jen Caro, Sr., Andover
Division 2 Player of the Year: Courtney O'Neil, Sr., Central Catholic
Coach of the Year: Phil Rowley, Central Catholic
Sportsmanship Award: Haverhill


LOWELL, Mass. -- You couldn’t draw it up any better.

Teetering on the brink of history, Billerica attack Grant Whiteway entered Friday night’s game with Andover just shy of 500 for his career.

After an eight-point outburst in a win against St. John’s Prep on Wednesday, he stood at 499 and the only question on everybody’s mind was when and how it was going to come.

It was the foremost thought of Grant’s father, Grant II, who paced the sideline, as he always does, in his duty as an assistant coach of the Indians. The game was the final in a full day of Merrimack Valley Conference lacrosse in Lowell and the Indians played under the lights of Cawley Stadium. There was a sizable crowd, which included grade school-aged players from the town youth league, which Grant II created. Most of the children had “500” painted on their cheeks with green paint.

It nearly came several minutes in when Whiteway whizzed one of wide of Andover goaltender Crosby Nicholson. The set play had Whiteway, who typically fires off shots in excess of 90 miles per hour, with a clean look at the cage from 20 yards out, only to rip it wide right.

It finally came four and a half minutes in.

Of course, it was a goal.

“It was relief to get it over with,” Whiteway said after Billerica’s 12-2 win.

With the goal, Whiteway became the sixth high school player in the nation to have reached the 500-point plateau. He joins North Andover’s Jimmy Connolly and Duxbury’s Max Quinzani as the third player from Massachusetts to accomplish the feat.

They’re exclusive company with whom Whiteway is familiar.

“He was a ball boy for Jimmy Connolly and Max Quinzani,” the elder Whiteway said, alluding to the travel team he coached. “He always saw how hard those guys worked off the field.”

Whiteway’s milestone is as much a credit to his family’s roots in the game. Grant II played at UMass-Lowell before he started Billerica’s youth league. Grant III's oldest sister, Jamie, went on to play at UMass-Amherst (where he will go on to play next year) before finishing her career at Merrimack. His middle sister, Brittany, plays at Southern New Hampshire. His youngest sister, Lindsay, is a sophomore at Billerica and a budding star of the girls’ lacrosse team.

It all traces back to the Whiteway’s front yard, where you can often find the siblings throwing the ball around with dad.

“We make sure we’re in the front yard, so the dogs don’t bite us,” Grant II said, adding the family’s English bulldog has a taste for lacrosse balls.

Friday night went about as well as could be scripted.

With the convincing win, the third-ranked Indians claimed another MVC Large division title. Whiteway finished the night with four goals and an assist to raise his career total to 504. Junior attacks Ben Melaugh and Cam Slatton each had four-point games. D.J. Smith was again strong in the cage and Billerica head coach Craig Flynn noted the performances of defenders Ian Abrahamson, Mike Curley and Tommy McLaughlin.

When Whiteway tallied No. 500, the game was stopped and Whiteway was presented a commemorative plaque by Flynn and his father. His teammates flanked him for a photo as the crowd cheered.

“He was born to play Billerica lacrosse,” Flynn said of Whiteway. “He’s the most prolific player in the state. What he did reaching that 500-point milestone, it’s not only great for him, but it’s great for the whole community of Billerica, too. It’s such a big thing.

“There are only three guys in the state who have reached 500 points and now he’s up on the pedestal with those guys.”

And the timing couldn’t have been better.

“I wanted to try to do it last game [against Prep], but it didn’t happen,” the junior Whiteway said. “It was good to do it tonight, we had more people to see it here.”



DANVERS, Mass. -- Grant Whiteway was oblivious to the fact he was closing in on yet another milestone.

While it came as a surprise to the decorated Billerica lacrosse attack — who set the Massachusetts single-season goals and points records last season — Whiteway entered Wednesday’s game at No. 16 St. John’s Prep nine points shy of 500 for his career.

“Did I hit it?” Whiteway shot back when asked if he knew about the impending achievement.

Not quite. But Whiteway and his mates put on quite a show in an emphatic 13-6 win over the Eagles.

The UMass commit tallied an eight-point game with four goals and four assists, meaning Whiteway will likely hit No. 500 during Friday’s Merrimack Valley Conference test against No. 14 Andover.

When he hits 500, Whiteway will join an exclusive club of five previous high school players nationwide to earn the distinction. He will not be the only Massachusetts native represented. Duxbury legend Max Quinzani — whom Whiteway dethroned last year while setting the state single-season marks — is the nation’s all-time leading scorer with 577 points.

“He’s a special player,” Indians head coach Craig Flynn said of Whiteway. “Guys like him don’t come around that often. Once he gets the ball in his hands, it’s exciting to watch.”

Aside from history, No. 3 Billerica (15-2) set out to avenge last year’s drubbing at the hands of Prep (7-7) on its march to the state Division 1 title.

Although things were all even, 3-3, after the first quarter, the Indians began to separate in the second. Then Billerica kicked off a parade of nine straight goals that stretched from the 7:12 mark of the second until the Eagles’ next marker with 1:56 remaining in the game.

The ever-potent Indians offense flexed its muscle with attack Nick Morello netting four goals, while Cam Slatton (3G, 2A) and Ben Melaugh (2G, 2A) also got in on the fray.

However, the most significant change to the game’s complexion started in Billerica’s defensive end.

“Defensively, it’s just playing solid team defense,” Flynn said. “D.J. Smith came up huge in goal for us and made some big saves for us. If we get the ball on offense, we know we can find the net, it’s just a matter of getting the ball down there.”

Indians longstick Ian Abrahamson turned in a strong game, devouring ground balls and setting up the transition game.

“The offense was moving really good,” Whiteway said. “We had a lot of transition that was good. The way we were going on offense, we felt like we could pretty much run anything.”

Billerica still has other impending business to take care of against Andover on Friday. That’s securing the MVC Large title.

Then, there’s the matter of No. 500.

But even after his latest performance, Whiteway had just one thing on his mind — his cell phone.

He hid his mobile in his sneaker to avoid getting it wet in the rain. But, as he changed out of his game cleats, he realized water had still seeped through.

“I should’ve wrapped my jacket around it,” Whiteway said while stuffing the phone into his sock.

Then, from out of his other sneaker, he pulled an iPod, which he then slid into his right sock.

Surprises? The kid's full of them.


BILLERICA, Mass. -- The scoreboard mimicked the style of Lexington’s possession-oriented offense during the first half of Tuesday’s game at No. 3 Billerica. Scoring chances were few and far between, but the Indians were still able to grab a 3-1 halftime lead.

During the second half, things opened up. And, with that, Billerica returned to its high octane offensive style while coasting to a 14-3 win over the 18th-ranked Minutemen.

Sophomore goaltender D.J. Smith (12 saves) and the Indians defense carried the first half, giving way to a splendid offensive display in the second, which was highlighted by a dazzling 7-goal performance from UMass-bound attack Grant Whiteway.

“They like to possess the ball and they were doing a good job of being patient within their offense,” Billerica head coach Craig Flynn said of Lexington’s play in the first half. “Our defense played solid team D and D.J. did a great job in net for us today.”

So what was the change in the second half?

“We told our defense to stay patient as long as they were throwing the ball around like that,” Flynn added. “We knew it was only a matter of time before we got the ball on offense and start to make things happen. In the first half, we had a few bad turnovers where we just threw the ball away and we weren’t giving ourselves a chance to score.”

Billerica (9-2) got five unanswered goals from Whiteway to start the third quarter. Along with Whiteway, fellow Indian attackmen Ben Melaugh (2 goals, 3 assists) and Cam Slatton (1 G, 2A) put on a clinic of ball movement with flawless execution from set up to strike.

Not to be overlooked were the efforts of Smith in the cage along with his defenders. Smith turned away several high quality Minutemen chances in the second quarter to keep the Indians in the lead.

“The defense did a really great job in the first half, only giving them outside shots and nothing really in close,” Smith said. “That helped a lot.”

Billerica came out of the break recharged, winning a lion’s share of faceoffs in the third while flying to ground balls.

All that was left was to sit back and enjoy the show.

“Practice is really where we do all the coaching,” Flynn said, “so when I comes to game day, sometimes it’s fun to sit back and watch with how well they move the ball with each other between our attacks. That can be a lot of fun.”

Player Perspective: Grant Whiteway

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
11:59
PM ET
During a recent lacrosse practice behind Billerica Memorial High School, Grant Whiteway let off a shot from 15 yards out. As ball struck the iron of the goal cage, it let off a resounding “ping” that might have been heard miles away.

Typically, Whiteway’s screeching 90-plus mile per hour shot finds the back of the net. In 2010, he touched the twine more than any other player in Massachusetts history, scoring 113 goals and breaking Max Quinzani’s previous mark. Whiteway also broke the single-season scoring record with 169 points.

“Grant is the most prolific player in Billerica’s history and the team, as a whole, feeds off of Grant and he lifts them up,” Indians head coach Craig Flynn said. “He has some great kids around him that helped him set that Massachusetts scoring record last season.”

More than that, the UMass-Amherst signee is the heart and soul of the Billerica squad.

“He’s a great kid with great character,” Flynn added. “He’s always willing to help. He helps out with the youth leagues and on the field he’s the quarterback of our offense.

“He’s an explosive dodger, he sees the field extremely well. He’s a great feeder. He’s always working on the little things, too, whether it’s shooting or footwork.

We caught up with the Indians star recently to ask him about the upcoming season and his teammates’ burrito obsession.

Q: What was the key to your record-setting success last year?

A: “I played a ton in the offseason and practiced a lot. I had great kids around me, too, that helped out a lot. Cam [Slatton] and Ben [Melaugh], we clicked really well on offense and I played with them all year. Now, Nick [Morello] is back this year and I’ve been playing with him my whole life. He broke his wrist last year and his collarbone the year before that, so it will be nice to have him back.”

Q: Did you have a sense of where you were in terms of setting the record, or are you the type of player who doesn’t like to keep stats?

A: “I had an idea about it. I didn’t know exactly how close I was, but I had an idea. The single-season I record I think I set against Needham in the playoffs. Coach Flynn told me at the end of the game that I did it. It was on the last point that I scored in the game and he pulled me off because we were up by a good amount, so it was nice to enjoy that.”

Q: How do you feel last year’s performance shapes your personal expectations for this year?

A: “It might a little, but just as long as this season ends up the way we want it, that’s fine. I’m not going to be mad if I don’t get the points, just as long as we’re winning, I’ll be fine.”

Q: What kind of expectations does your team have heading into this season?

A: “We want to be right up there again this year. Hopefully, we’ll make a run toward the end of the year.”

Q: What are the areas the team needs to improve upon to make a long postseason run?

A: “I would just say finishing. We came so close last year that we just want to finish it this year.”

Q: How did you arrive at your decision to commit to UMass-Amherst?

A: “My older sister [Jamie] went there for two seasons before she broke her ankle. I was always up there and I got to catch a bunch of their games, so I knew about the program. I just kind of knew right away. They’re a run-and-gun type of team and I like that.”

Q: What has the sport of lacrosse meant to your family?

A: “I started at about [age] 3 or 4 with a lacrosse stick in my hands, as soon as I could walk. My dad played in college at UMass-Lowell, back when they had a program. He’s coached up at the high school and he helped start the youth league in town, back in the 90s, so I’ve been around it since the very beginning.”

Q: How do you get ready for a game?

A: “I need music before every game. I listen to a lot of Lupe Fiasco, some Lil Wayne, a little Immortal Technique."

Q: What do you guys do as a team to hang out outside of school and practice?

A: “Most of our team, we play together on the Raptors. We’ll play three or four tournaments around here and then we’ll take a trip down to Delaware and play the hot beds down there for the past three of four years. But we’re all real close, we hang out together a lot. We take a bunch of trips down to Somerville to Anna’s Taqueria. We’ll take team trips down there all the time, especially during the summer, we’d go there at least once a week, just to hang out and get a bite to eat.”

Q: How do you take your burrito?

A: “I go with the carnitas every time.”

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