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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
After having their season end in heartbreak in overtime for the second straight year last season in the Division II semifinals with a 9-8 defeat to No. 2 Westwood, the Walpole High boys lacrosse team is out to put some demons to bed in 2019.
Headlining the returns for the Rebels this season is senior attack-man and UMass-Lowell commit Conor Foley. After leading Walpole in both goals and points each of the last two seasons and earning the nod as Bay State Conference co-MVP with Needham’s Jason Child in 2018, Foley welcomes the task of taking on a leadership role as a senior.
“Right now we are focused in on winning game-one,” said Foley of his team’s general goals entering the season. “But overall, our biggest goal is to have a successful season and make a solid playoff run.”
Along with Foley, Walpole also returns goalie Joe McGrath, who fought his way to earning the starting job last year as a junior.
“Having Joe back in net is huge,” said Foley of his fellow senior counterpart. “He is a guy that we can constantly count on to play well, day in and day out.”
Leading Walpole’s defensive unit this season will be senior close D Pat Colburn and junior Marc Hirshom. Both Colburn and Hirshom’s brothers, Rob Colburn and Kyle Hirshom, served as two of Walpole’s captains alongside Darragh Fahey and Ryan Birch a season ago. Despite the elder Colburn and Hirshom having graduated, Foley says he and his teammates are ready to find that next wave of talent and have a successful season.
“Filling the roles of a great senior class like we had last year is always difficult,” said Foley. “Fortunately, I believe we are capable of doing so. We have a lot of guys that have been grinding in the offseason in high hopes of continuing the success our program has had over the years.”
Walpole will host rival Needham to begin the 2019 season on April 4.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0.