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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
A high bar has been raised by generations of great alumni at Wellesley High when it comes to the school’s varsity lacrosse team. In recent years, WHS has produced an abundance of NESCAC lacrosse talent such as Tim Rahill (2015, Skidmore), T.J. Noonan (2015, Connecticut College), as well as players who have gone on to play at the Division I level such as Matt Dziama (2014, Virginia), Kerry Lyne (2015, Union), and David Jennings (2015, St. Lawrence).
In 2017, the Raiders are once again loaded with collegiate-level talent and have high expectations to succeed within the Bay State Conference, arguably one of the best all-around boys lacrosse conferences in the state with the like of Wellesley, Needham, Walpole, Milton, and Brookline battling it out every year for the title.
One of the biggest names to look out for this season for the Raiders is senior midfielder and Amherst College commit, Grant Chryssicas. The duel-sport star in lacrosse and football possesses excellent footwork, resulting in incredible on and off-ball movement and the ability to seemingly break a defender’s ankles at will like he does on the gridiron as a running back. Because of Chryssicas’ excellent footwork and ability to navigate to the open areas of the field, he draws extra attention from a team’s defensive unit and allows teammates to get open in front of the cage. When the Amherst commit does decide to shoot, look out, because he possesses an absolute cannon from both sides. Chryssicas’ shot and dodging abilities should be a main nucleus of Wellesley’s offense in 2017.
Another Raider name we should be hearing a lot this spring is senior attackman and Skidmore College commit, Brennan Conroy. Like Chryssicas, Conroy also possesses excellent footwork. But, in contrast with Chryssicas, who does the majority of his damage in the open field, Conroy inflicts pain on his opponents by dodging from GLE and setting up camp behind the cage. It doesn’t take much for Conroy to slip by a defender and make a break towards the cage from behind the net, as all he needs is a slight opening or seam. With teams having to respect the likes of Chryssicas making cuts into the middle whenever Wellesley possesses the ball in the offensive end, it normally leaves Conroy one-on-one with a defender, and that is a matchup he’ll win nine times out of ten.
In net, the Raiders will once again turn to the services of junior goaltender and Penn State commit, Teddy Darcey, this season. Darcey is the brother of the late former Wellesley and Penn State great, Connor Darcey. After winning the starting job a season ago as a sophomore, Darcey helped lead the Raiders to a 9-9 season and a tournament appearance against the class of the Catholic Conference, Xaverian (13-5 defeat). This year, Darcey will look to build on his performance from a season ago, and possibly help guide the Raiders deep into the state tournament after having committed to play at PSU this past offseason and follow in his brother’s footsteps.