Boston High School: Grant Whiteway



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.

Billerica's Smith commits to UMass

November, 1, 2011
11/01/11
5:06
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Billerica lacrosse goaltender D.J. Smith has commited to UMass-Amherst today, the Laxachusetts lacrosse club reports.

The junior has started between the pipes for the Indians since his freshman year and led the team to a Division 1 semifinal appearance last season. Smith will join former Billerica teammate Grant Whiteway with the Minutemen in 2013.

Our MIAA boys' lacrosse All-State team

June, 29, 2011
6/29/11
2:21
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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

Grant Whiteway is ESPN Boston Mr. Lacrosse

June, 29, 2011
6/29/11
1:41
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ESPNBoston.com and its High School section today announced its inaugural Mr. Lacrosse Award recipient, recognizing Billerica Memorial High senior attackman Grant Whiteway as the top male lacrosse player in Massachusetts.

The Mr. Lacrosse Award winner was chosen by a panel of experts made up of ESPNBoston.com staff, correspondents and state lacrosse coaches. Whiteway will be presented with the award at a later date.

“Grant Whiteway established himself as one of the most feared scorers in Massachusetts during the last four years,” said Scott Barboza, co-editor of ESPN Boston High Schools. “He has many times over written his name into the record books alongside some of the greatest players who have ever played the game in this state.”

Whiteway became one of six players nationally to have ever reached the 500-point plateau for his high school career before finishing with 539 career points (353 goals, 186 assists). The UMass-Amherst commit broke his own single-season state scoring record this season with 115 goals for 181 points.

That followed a record-setting performance during his junior year in which he broke Duxbury’s Max Quinzani’s single-season record for goals (113) and establishing a record for points in a season with 169.

The two-time Eastern Mass. All-American was a four-year starter for head coach Craig Flynn’s team and a four-time Merrimack Valley Conference All-Star.

The Indians’ captain also stood among the nation’s scoring leaders in 2011 in goals, points and points per game average.

“The Whiteway family is synonymous with lacrosse in Billerica and it is fitting that Grant is our first Mr. Lacrosse winner as he serves as a terrific ambassador to both his community and the game,” Barboza said. “There is no finer example of a player who embodies the qualities of skill and leadership.”

Eastern Mass Lax All-Star highlights

June, 22, 2011
6/22/11
6:35
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ESPN Boston correspondant James Walsh checked in today from his day gig at the Needham Channel, providing highlights from last weekend's Eastern Mass Lacrosse All-Star Game, which was held in -- you guessed it -- Needham.

In the piece, Walsh also checks in with Nick Morello and Grant Whiteway of Billerica, Kyle Guilbert of Walpole and Will Stenberg of Needham after playing their final high school games.

The game ended in a tie, but there was plenty of action to go around with the match between the North and South squads ending in an 11-11 tie.

Duxbury waltzes past Billerica in D1 semifinal

June, 11, 2011
6/11/11
8:19
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BILLERICA, Mass. -- After suffering a knee injury in the early part of the season, Duxbury’s Will Siefert made his return to the lineup in the Green Dragons regular season victory over Billerica but was limited to a role on the man-up unit.

Siefert played a far bigger role for the Dragons when the two teams met again, scoring four times to go with three assists and keying a first-half surge that helped propel No. 3 Duxbury to a 19-9 triumph over No. 2 Billerica in the Div. 1 state semifinals at Marshall Middle School.

“We can put him anywhere and he’s going to play well,” said Duxbury coach Chris Sweet in praise of Siefert. “As the season’s gone on, he’s gotten stronger and stronger. We thought back before the game that Will’s first game back after a knee injury was up here on this field earlier in the season when we had him just playing man up so he was excited to play and he showed it.”

Siefert assisted on two of the Dragons first three goals, then closed a back-and-forth opening quarter with a pretty goal in a 1-on-1 with Billerica (20-3) goalie D.J. Smith that put Duxbury (18-3) ahead for good at 4-3.

He added another goal and an assist in the second as Duxbury built an 11-4 lead at the break and added two more scores in the second half.

“What we were doing was we were moving the ball quick,” Siefert said. “We really needed to get that extra pass. Whoever picked up the ground ball, we talked about finding that first guy, run to the sideline and give it to him. I felt like we did that all day and we dominated ground balls and it really helped us out.”

Junior Paul Hellar also had a huge game for Duxbury, scoring five times to go with a pair of assists. Sam Sweet added a hat trick, Bryan Barry two goals and two assist, and Kane Haffey also scored twice. All told, eight Dragons found the back of the cage in the game, thanks in great part to the work of Henry Narlee on faceoffs.

At the other end, junior goalie Henry Buonagurio made several key stops that kickstarted several transition opportunities and completely swung the momentum of the game over to the Duxbury sideline.

Defenseman Max Randall also turned in a spectacular performance, shadowing Indians star Grant Whiteway and holding the state’s single-season scoring record holder to just one goal.

“Defense is a team effort,” Sweet said. “Grant’s had an unbelievable, unprecedented career. He’s a warrior. Max Randall has covered for the last three years and I think head to head, game in and game out, Max has proven himself to be one heck of a defenseman and today was no exception. Max did a great job.”

Added Billerica coach Craig Flynn on Buonagurio’s effort, “It gives them the momentum. They are a great team. They don’t do anything special out there. Xs and Os wise they just play lacrosse, disciplined lacrosse. Well coached and they have some great players out there. You have to give them credit. They didn’t make any mistakes out there offensive or defensively.”

Boys' lacrosse All-Americans announced

June, 1, 2011
6/01/11
2:22
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The Eastern Mass boys' lacrosse All-Americans along with Academic All-American honors were announced today.

The honorees, as selected by Massachusetts coaches through U.S. Lacrosse, the national governing body of the sport, are list below:

EASTERN MASS ALL-AMERICANS
Mike Curley, Billerica, D, Sr. (Plymouth State)
Grant Whiteway, Billerica, A, Sr. (UMass)
Thomas Flibotte, Cohasset, M, Sr. (Deerfield)
Michael Anastos, Concord-Carlisle, D, Sr. (Dennison)
Billy Polk, Dover-Sherborn, M, Jr.
Jeff Williams, Dover-Sherborn, G, Sr. (St. Lawrence)
Bryan Barry, Duxbury, M, Sr. (Fairfield)
Kane Haffey, Duxbury, A, Sr. (Exexter Academy)
Pete Willauer, Duxbury, D, Sr. (Colby)
Kevin Blair, Hingham, A, Jr.
Eric Marcantonio, Lexington, D, Sr. (Laselle
Conor Hall, Lincoln-Sudbury, A, Sr. (Union)
John Powers, Marshfield, A, Sr. (Assumption)
Kurt Hunziker, Masconomet, M, Jr. (UMass)
Tim Towler, Masconomet, M, Jr.
Mark Riley, Needham, M, Jr.
Will Stenberg, Needham, A, Sr. (Albany)
Jimmy O’Connell, St. John’s Prep, M, Sr. (Trinity)
Kyle Guilbert, Walpole, A, Sr. (Merrimack)
Conor Darcey, Wellesley, G, Jr. (Penn State)
Sam Lawrence, Wellesley, M, Sr.

ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS
Calvin Williams, Wayland
Peter Trombly, Acton-Boxborough
Sean Carroll, Hull
John Carrier, Cohasset
Colin Clark, Marshfield
Daniel Cashman, Pentucket
Kevin Dunn, Pentucket
Benjamin Cook, Andover
Evan Katz, Hopkinton
Peter England, Milton
Conor Nugent, Framingham
Jay Rosenberg, Milton
Edan Lewis, Gloucester

MVC announces lacrosse all-stars

May, 27, 2011
5/27/11
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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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