Boston High School: Mike Stearns

D1 Lacrosse: Franklin 7, Framingham 6

May, 29, 2013
FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Mike Adley stole a pass with less than 30 seconds remaining in the game and Framingham quickly transitioned into the attack. The Flyers, down by a single goal to Franklin in Wednesday’s Division 1 lacrosse tournament game, moved the ball from right to left and put it on the stick of the player that they wanted to take the big shot.

Senior midfielder Joe Igoe dodged and cut through the middle of the Franklin defense to find an opening 12 yards in front of goal. As he lined up a shot, it seemed a mere formality that the preliminary round game would be heading to overtime. Standing in the way was Franklin goalie Jimmy Keane, who snared the shot and sent the Panthers bench storming onto the field.

Keane finished the game with 12 saves, including four in the final five minutes of the game to preserve a 7-6 victory for No. 17 seed Franklin (13-6) over the No. 16-seeded Flyers (12-6). Keane robbed Igoe, Mike Stearns and Amir Rassipour, all from point-blank range to keep the Panthers on top.

“[Igoe] is a great player, he was bringing heat all day,” said an elated Keane after game. “So I knew we had to watch them over the middle and keep an eye on the stick, especially when he goes through a bunch of sticks like he does and just read the ball.”

Keane laughed when asked what he was thinking when the players get into the middle of the defense. He remarked, “I really hope I guess right. I really hope I know where he’s going before he goes there because if not – it’s a goal.”

Keane also drew praise from his head coach Lou Verrochi, who is hoping that he can count on those types of performances from his goalie as the Panthers advance to face the top seed in the bracket, Lincoln-Sudbury.

He said, “He was superb today. When he’s on, he’s just unbelievable, you know. He just stopped everything. He kept us in the game, especially at the end because they had some good looks.”

Framingham took the early lead on a goal from Rassipour, assisted by Jake Cotton. Franklin responded off a turnover by the Flyers defense as Mike Patjane tied the game at 1-1. Just 40 seconds later, Patjane was at it again with an unassisted goal to give the Panthers their first lead of the game.

Both coaches would complain about the sloppiness of the first half and turnovers let the Flyers right back into the game. Jimmy Chin scored twice for Framingham and Cotton struck the post as the Flyers got back out in front 3-2 with a flurry. When Igoe tacked on a man-up goal at 10:27 of the second quarter, Framingham seemed in control.

But it was a game of runs and Franklin came storming back.

Kyle Finamore fired in the first of three goals on the night to make it 4-3 and sophomore Jack Vail scored from a Patjane assist to tie the game heading into halftime. Framingham coach Ed Moy pointed to that sequence as the turning point in the game.

“We had our chances, it was a back and forth game, and I felt the game started to get away from us in the second quarter when we started playing out of control,” he commented.

In the third quarter, the Panthers extended their run to four unanswered goals. Patjane (2 goals, 2 assists) connected with Jake Sargeant to make it 5-4 before Finamore found the back of the net for a second time. Igoe ended the run early in the fourth, but with 6:08 remaining, Finamore netted his hat trick on a man-up goal that seemed to settle the game for Franklin.

Finamore’s three goals were a great sign that the captain may have found his scoring touch for the Panthers.

Verrochi explained, “Finney [Finamore] comes up big in big games. He’s had kind of a quiet season for us; this was a breakout game for him, but he’s the real deal. He can play.”

Framingham came back with a goal by Stearns with just 5:08 left on the clock, but Keane’s heroics allowed Franklin to keep its season alive for at least one more game.

After the game, Moy spoke of his pride in the Flyers’ ability to make the playoffs despite a series of injuries and key players that chose hockey over lacrosse this season.

“Before we even started, we had guys that were hurt or didn’t play and in the season we lost one kid right after another,” he said, “But, these kids kept their eye on the prize and kept going forward. Their determination is something that I’ll forever be grateful for and be proud of.”

Franklin will advance to the first round to take on the top team in Division 1, Lincoln-Sudbury, on Saturday afternoon.
The Bay State Conference has announced its 2013 boys' lacrosse All-Stars, including its Most Valuable Player -- Nico Panepinto of Needham.

Here's the full list, per Newton North athletic director Tom Giusti:

Editor's note: League all-star lists may be sent to editors Scott Barboza ( or Brendan Hall (

Most Valuable Player – Nico Panepinto, Sr. A, Needham

First Team
Nico Panepinto, Needham, Senior Attack
Joey Mariano, Newton North, Senior Attack
Danny Farrell, Norwood, Sophomore Attack
Anthony Wyse, Newton North, Junior Attack
Chris Frye, Walpole, Senior Attack
John Caraviello, Wellesley, Junior Attack
Sam Burrington, Brookline, Senior Midfield
Joe Igoe, Framingham, Senior Midfield
Mike Stearns, Framingham, Senior Midfield
Mikey Panepinto, Needham, Junior Midfield
Mikey Elcock, Needham, Junior LSM
Ned Connolly, Needham, Senior Midfield
Ryan Quinn, Newton North, Senior Midfield
Andrew Volkmann, Wellesley, Senior Midfield
Jack Delaney, Needham, Senior Defense
Zach Kohl, Needham, Junior Defense
Cody Mosgrove, Needham, Junior Defense
Matt Bomes, Wellesley, Junior Defense
T.J. Noonan, Wellesley, Sophomore Defense/LSM
Ryan Andrew, Framingham, Senior Goalie
Jack Curran, Needham, Senior Goalie
Mike Riskind, Wellesley, Senior Goalie

Honorable Mention
Jake Cotton, Framingham, Junior Attack
Brendan Kelley, Milton, Senior Midfield
Mike White, Natick, Junior Midfield
Jack Walsh, Needham, Junior Midfield
Kerry Lyne, Wellesley, Sophomore Attack
Emmett McNamara, Norwood, Senior Attack
T.J. McNicholas, Newton North, Senior Midfield
Ryan MacNeil , Weymouth, Senior Midfield
David Driscoll, Walpole, Senior Defense
Jordan Bayer, Brookline, Senior Midfield
Nick Romig, Dedham, Senior Midfield
Troy Tenaglia , Braintree, Senior Attack

What We Learned: Week 9

November, 8, 2011
The knock on Barnstable the last few years has never been that they've been short on talent, but rather they always seemed a year away.

One five-yard touchdown scamper in overtime, from a floppy-haired sophomore named Hayden Murphy, has suddenly changed everything about that perception. Since junior Nick Peabody took over for the injured D.J. Crook at quarterback, the Red Raiders are 3-1, and a point-after field goal in overtime from being 4-0, led by their youth movement on defense and some above-average speed at the skill positions.

All of it came to a head on Friday night in Hyannis, when the Raiders (5-4, 3-0) emerged with a 26-20 overtime win over previous No. 3 Bridgewater-Raynham to win the Old Colony League outright and punch their first ticket to the playoffs since 2002.

"I just wanted it so bad for the kids," first-year head coach Chris Whidden said following the game. "They've done so much, so much off the field as a team, and they worked so hard in the offseason, I just felt like they deserved it so much."

The Raiders will face Dual County Large champion Lincoln-Sudbury in a Tuesday night playoff following their Thanksgiving showdown with archrival Falmouth. By all accounts, this figures to go a lot more swimmingly than the Raiders' last appearance, a 42-6 stomping by a St. John's Prep squad that saw two kids go to the NFL, another get drafted 17th overall by the Padres, and another go on to play hockey at Boston University.

This time around, the Raiders have speed in all sorts of places, and smart coach in the young Whidden. Witness the B-R game, in which he made a few tweaks on his defensive line to free up hawking linebackers Andrew Ellis, Bryan Hardy and Ryan Litchman, allowing them to get to the sidelines quicker and contain those outside power sweeps that has been the calling card of the Trojans for so many years.

Offensively, speedsters like Murphy have their best days ahead of them. But just as integral to the turnaround has been the emergence of running back Theo France. We've long mused that, given more carries, the senior will prove his worth. Off the field, France is reportedly a workout warrior; and Friday night, it showed, racking up nearly 160 yards on the ground to keep the Trojans honest.

You might have thought the loss of Preston Cooper would be catastrophic for BC High.

As tight end Jameson McShea put it, "He was our offense."

However, the Eagles have gotten along just fine without Cooper because of Deontae Ramey-Doe's hard-nosed running out of the backfield in the last two weeks. The rangy senior running back put in a huge 206-yard, two-touchdown performance against No. 13 Xaverian at a windswept Viola Stadium on Friday night, powering the Eagles to an important Catholic Conference win.

And, while Ramey-Doe admits he could never hope to replace Cooper, he's understanding his new role as a feature back within the Eagles' offense.

"Coach [Jon Bartlett] has told me that he doesn't expect me to be Preston," Ramey-Doe said after Friday's victory. "I just have to run the way that I know that I can run."

What that means is the Eagles have a versatile runner who's tough enough to run in between the tackles, but also fast enough to run on sweeps to outside behind BC High's hulking line, as they exhibited on Friday night.

"We just want him to run hard," Bartlett said, "and he did that.”

Of course, Ramey-Doe didn't do it alone. He had his biggest fan on the sideline for Friday's game, none other than Cooper, himself. After scoring his first touchdown of the game, Ramey-Doe ran over to Cooper with a high five, saying, "That one's for you."

With Lowell quarterback R.J. Noel working his magic again and wreaking havoc with his arm and his feet, Chelmsford was playing for their lives in the fourth quarter of Saturday night's game at Cawley Stadium. The Red Raiders came back to tie the Lions, 14-14, and for all intents and purposes had gained momentum. Not only had Chelmsford lost the lead, they also lost BC-bound linebacker Tim Joy on the game-tying PAT by Lowell. A bad night had just gotten worse.

Then, the Lions offense took over behind running back Eddie Sheridan (168 yards, 2 TDs).

Chelmsford marched down the field on two straight series and the Lions' defense tightened, including Lou Ferrer's huge fourth-down stop. So the Lions escaped and inched closer to a Merrimack Valley Large title.

"My favorite part of the game is getting that one yard," Sheridan said. "I love it."

Several weeks ago, Needham was in the driver's seat to claim the Bay State's large division title. A few key injuries later and a last-second win by Framingham (22-21) last week and the Carey is ripe for the picking.

Flyers quarterback Greg Finley connected with Mike Stearns on a 4-yard touchdown pass with one second remaining to lift Framingham to an improbable comeback win that's thrown the league race into limbo.

Framingham, Needham and Weymouth now all stand at 6-2 in league play. Needham holds an advantage over Weymouth in their head to head record, but with the loss to Framingham, the Flyers can sneak by with a win over the Wildcats in Framingham Friday night. Meanwhile, Needham hosts Newton North on Friday.

To think of the last time a team besides Natick or Walpole represented the Bay State Conference's Herget division in the playoffs, you have to go all the way back to 2002, when a Kyle Beatrice-led Swampscott squad torched division champ Norwood 51-22 in Division 3. That's a decade-long run that, following Friday night's showdown in Walpole, is about to get longer.

The Hockomock League has Mansfield-North Attleborough. The Dual County League has Acton-Boxboro versus Lincoln-Sudbury. In the Bay State, the premier matchup year in and year out is Natick-Walpole, and this year's installment should be no different.

From Reshaude Goodwin to Billy Flutie to Ryan Izzo and Scott McCummings, the rivalry has always featured premiere Division 1 talent going at it. This year's installment will be more of a youth movement, with a strong junior class leading Walpole's stout defense that hasn't allowed a point since its lone loss of the season, to Needham in Week 7.

Natick, also 8-1, battles Walpole's youth with uber-youth. Their starting quarterback, sophomore Troy Flutie (yes, Darren's kid), is on track for 2,000 yards passing and 1,000 rushing. Their leading receiver, freshman Brian Dunlap, is closing in on 1,000 receiving yards and is one of the state's leaders in touchdown receptions (12). Running back Nick Lee, a junior, is 33 yards short of 1,000.

Of all of the league championships up for grabs on Friday night, one of the most underrated has got to be the one going down in Mashpee, where the Falcons will host No. 19 East Bridgewater in a battle of unbeatens, for the South Shore League's playoff berth.

By now, East Bridgewater's superstar, UNH-bound running back Casey DeAndrade, is a household name for his breathtaking speed. Some have even gone as far as to call him one of the best to come through the league in the last two decades. But flying under the radar has been Mashpee senior running back Jordan Keli'inui.

A patient runner with a long frame, live hips, and a compact yet powerful frame at 6-foot-1 and 195 pounds, he's paved his way to over 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns, one of the leading scorers in Division 4. (Check out his highlights here)

This could be a high-scoring affair -- even by the down-tempo South Shore League standards.

BSC announces boys' lax all-stars

May, 26, 2011
The Bay State Conference announced its boys' lacrosse all-stars today, in addition to naming Wellesley goaltender and Penn State commit Conor Darcey as the league's MVP.

Here's the complete list:

First team:
Goaltender - Conor Darcey, Wellesley*
LSM Specialist - Ryan Cassidy, Wellesley*
LSM - Justin Lanzafane, Framingham
Defense - Nate Menninger, Newton North*
Defense - Jake Shearman, Newton North
Defense - Joe Manganaro, Natick
Defense - Jimmy Hughto, Wellesley*
Defense -Matt Ndden, Walpole*
Mid - Mike Stearns, Framingham*
Mid - Cam Brown, Natick*
Mid - Sam Lawrence, Wellesley*
Mid - Charlie Jennings, Wellesley*
Mid - Oliver Saffery, Wellesley
Mid - Mark Riley, Needham*
Mid - Davis Cutter, Needham
Mid - Eli Yannekis, Brookline*
Attack - Peter Crane, Wellesley
Attack - Kyle Guilbert, Walpole*
Attack - Brian Rossman, Norwood
Attack - Matt Hillman, Brookline*
Attack - Will Stenberg, Needham*
Attack - Nico Panepinto, Needham
*Denotes Eastern Mass All-Star

Second team:
Attack - Brendan Kelley, Milton
Attack - Conor Nugent, Framingham
Attack - Nick Foley, Walpole
Attack - Jason Lee, Brookline
Mid - Zack LaFavre, Weymouth
Mid - Ryan Quinn, Newton North
Defense - Matt Kustra, Natick
Defense - Kyle Skinner, Norwood
Defense - Mike Vespa, Needham
Defense - Josh Miller, Braintree
D Mid - Adam Horelick, Wellesley