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By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The 2017 season was par for the course for the Dover-Sherborn Regional boys lacrosse team, as the Raiders put together a 14-4 record and earned the No. 1 overall seed in Division III Central/East before winning the sectional title with an 18-7 victory over Littleton.
This season, DS will go for the three-peat in Division III Central/East, but will have to do it without four-time All-American, leading scorer each of the last two seasons, and now-North Carolina Tar Heel Bailey Laidman, as well as now-Georgetown Hoya Jack Mahoney.
Along with the voids left by Laidman and Mahoney, DS must also overcome other key departures from the class of 2017, such as attack-man Hunter Gregory, starting goaltender Ross Barnard, midfielder/fogo Joe Paolatto, and LSM/defensive pole Zach Gustafson.
However, despite all of these major subtractions, DS returns a surplus of talent that will allow them a significant chance of winning a fourth straight sectional crown in 2018, despite playing a total gauntlet of a schedule (Medfield twice, Hopkinton, Westwood, Franklin, Catholic Memorial).
Returning at midfield for DS are senior captain Michael Mastrobuono, senior captain and Sacred Heart commit Jack Dillon, junior fogo Matt Paolatto, and sophomore Erik Nilt.
Also back for the Raiders on attack are junior Henry Kenney, junior Timmy Polk, sophomore John Sveen, and junior Pete Barnard.
Back-boning the DS defensive pole corps will be junior Navy commit Johnny Goudreault and junior pole Cam Roycroft.
The Raiders will be tested out of the gate, as DS will travel to rival Medfield for their season-opener on April 6 before heading to West Roxbury to play CM on April 10.
For funny and incisive sports analysis, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter at @fLAno0, or read his blog at www.flannylive.wordpress.com.