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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The spring of 2017 was a memorable one for Walpole High School boys lacrosse, as the Rebels finished the regular season 17-1 and the earned the No. 1 overall seed in Division II Central/East.
After a stunning 13-12 overtime defeat to Medfield in the sectional title game last June, it’s safe to say that the Walpole boys are gearing up to avenge their tough exit from the tournament last season. Leading the charge for the Rebels this spring will be four senior captains in attack-man and UMass Boston commit Darragh Fahey, defensive long-pole/LSM and Franklin Pierce commit Robert Colburn, as well as midfielders Cullen McGlynn and Ryan Birch.
“I think the expectations are the same ones that we have every season,” said Fahey when asked about what to expect out of the 2018 Rebels. “We want to win the Bay State [Conference] and the state championship. We have had the status of being front-runners in the Bay State and in Division II, and I feel like we have a group of guys that can make things happen this year.”
Despite losing a group of talented seniors from last season’s team, such as Jake Hurley and Thomas Wilber, Fahey and his teammates are confident that the underclassmen present on their roster will be able to step up and make significant contributions in all areas of the field in 2018. Fahey also says that the Rebels should be seeing steady production from their herd of juniors, such as sniping attack-man Conor Foley and two-way midfielder Chase Conrad.
“We’re going to have a lot of guys step up this year, especially since we lost a very solid senior class,” said Fahey. “Conor Foley had a big season last year and I think he’s become a huge asset for us. Chase Conrad is also another guy I think is going to be big for us with his versatility. Dan Hayes and Patrick Colburn [brother of Robert] are both juniors that I think could have a big impact for us defensively. I think a lot more underclassmen will prove themselves and will make a big impact for us. I’m excited to see what happens.”
As far as personal goals for this season, a humbled Fahey says that all he wants to do is to bring an end to his high school lacrosse career in the right manner with the special group of guys he calls his teammates.
“I think just how close we all are and how much chemistry we have is what makes this year’s team so special,” said Fahey. “We’re a big senior class and we’ve all played together since our days in the youth program. I think we’ve spent so much time together and we’re all friends, so it’s made playing this group of guys a lot more fun. I’m excited to finish my high school lacrosse career with the guys that I love and I have made so many great memories with.”
Things may not have ended on the brightest note in 2017 for Walpole High boys lacrosse, but the 2018 Rebels will have the chance to put away some demons and make a lot of noise with a deep and talented roster. Walpole will be tested early out of the gate as the Rebels travel to Catholic Conference power Xaverian on April 3 for their season-opener before hosting defending Bay State Conference champs Needham on April 5 in their home opener.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.