By Mike Flanagan,
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor -
It’s normally the time of year in Dover-Sherborn 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 III, Dover-Sherborn boys lacrosse looked to repeat 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 Raiders.
Headlining the returns to Dover-Sherborn’s offense this season is Jacksonville-committed attack-man Pierce Gregory. A junior, Gregory says while the delayed start to the 2020 season is unfortunate, he and his teammates are trying their best to stay connected with one another and remain prepared to defend their spot atop Division III - if given the opportunity.
“Everyone is just trying to stay sharp, and that could be getting a run in, lifting, or just shooting on our own,” said Gregory. “It’s definitely been tough because we have to do all individual work. In our group chat, we’ve talked about just doing whatever we can to try and get better and keep up the progress we made in the preseason. Personally, just finding ways to work on my stick skills and be in the best shape I can for the season is my priority.”
In terms of receiving mentorship, Gregory says he and his teammates have stayed very much in touch with DS head coach Brian McLaughlin and his assistants to receive coaching points on how to improve their games from home.
“We have a great coaching staff, and since the quarantine began, they’ve reached out a bunch,” said Gregory. “We did a team Zoom and watched some film from last year, the championship, and some of the playoffs. It was awesome to laugh with some of the guys and reminisce, but also get something out of our down-time.”
As for the overall outlook of the team, Gregory says he and his teammates are confident in the group they have. Along with Gregory, the DS offense returns Colby-committed midfield/attack-man Erik Niit, Skidmore-committed senior midfielder John Sveen, junior attack-man Bradley Peterson and junior midfielder Charlie Alfieri. Back to anchor the DS defensive unit is goalie Matt Gallitano.
“Before the quarantine, the team looked great,” said Gregory. “In my three seasons, there have never been so many captains practices, with such great turnouts as this one. We had a boot camp with Natick, and our team was getting better each day. We were supposed to have a really challenging start to our season with some talented teams on the schedule (Wayland, Franklin, Lincoln-Sudbury), so our captains made a point to be in mid-season form by the time we started, and we really felt that way. We’ve definitely got a lot of talent coming back, from seniors to underclassmen. Our team worked incredibly hard for this year to go back-to-back, and we hope we get the chance to play.”
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as game highlights, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.