By Mike Flanagan,
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor -
It’s normally the time of year in Medfield when spring sports are getting into full swing. The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented sports, such as boys and girls lacrosse, baseball and softball, from starting their 2020 seasons. The MIAA is currently planning for a May 4 start date for spring athletics, but it is subject to change, pending further developments in the fight against the virus.
Reigning champions of Division II Central/East, Medfield High boys lacrosse looked to avenge a tough 11-10 defeat to Winchester in the 2019 DII state championship game this spring. With much of its starting lineup from last season returning in 2020, a strong regular season and potential deep run into the state tournament seemed very possible for the Warriors.
“A bunch of us are trying to get out as much a possible and play wall ball, shoot around and go for runs,” said senior captain and attack-man Jimmy Cosolito when asked about how he and his teammates are coping with the quarantine and staying active. “Coach Ice [John Isaf] and all the guys on the team are trying to encourage one another to stay active as we have almost infinite free time.”
Lehigh-committed close-defenseman and All-American senior captain John Schofield, as well Hartwick committed LSM and senior captain Sam Joline, headline the returns to Medfield’s defensive unit. Also returning on defense for Medfield are senior close-defenseman and Endicott commit Jack Gemski and junior LSM and reigning TVL All-Star James Wilder. Holy Cross commit Conor Depiero was set to return to the face-off X to go along with sophomore defensive-midfielder and face-off man TJ Casey.
Medfield’s offense featured the returns of Cosolito, a Middlebury commit, along with with MIT bound attack-man and senior captain Jack McCordic. Senior attack-man James Sherman, sophomore midfield/attack Luke Murphy, junior midfielder Sam Hedges, senior midfielder Mike Tyer and junior attack-man Robert Spaeth were all expected to serve big roles in Medfield’s offense.
“If there is a season, I think we’re looking really good,” said Cosolito. “Leading up to the original date of tryouts, we had about 30-40 guys going to the turf every day after school shooting around, ripping shots at our goalies and having fun. Most of the seniors have been looking forward to this season since about the fifth grade, and are really looking forward to tearing it up, even if it’s only for a shortened season. I have all the confidence in the world in these guys. The kids on this team are some my best friends and I would trust them with anything, so yeah - I have all the confidence in the world in them. From the senior starters to the new kids on the team, I am confident this group of guys knows how to get it done. I’m really hoping to get back out there on May 4, because I think these guys are hungrier than ever.”
As far as coaching goes, few in Massachusetts hold the types of credentials and resume that John Isaf does with his eight state championships and countless number of players he’s helped develop to play in college. Due to the quarantine and delayed start to the season, Isaf and his assistants have been forced to adapt to new coaching techniques through social media and Zoom. The most important thing right now for high school coaches is to keep their players engaged and connected with one another, which Cosolito says Isaf has done an exceptional job of throughout all of this.
“Coach Ice has been Zoom-ing with the guys at least once a week to keep our minds focused on the sport,” said Cosolito. “It’s great to see the guys and talk lax with them. We all miss it and just can’t wait to get back.”
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as game highlights, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.