By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
We're still a long way from home, but recent improvements in the fight against COVID-19, as well as accommodations made by the MIAA, are going to allow for a closer to normal spring lacrosse experience in 2021.
After the 2020 season was wiped out due to the pandemic, teams in 2021 will play a condensed regular season beginning the first week of May, followed by a full-fledged three-division state tournament, which will conclude at the end of June.
With lacrosse back, the boys from Needham will look to fall back into their annual routine of pursing the Bay State Conference title, followed by making some noise in the Division I tournament.
Leading the Rockets in 2021 will be four senior co-captains: Ithaca-committed attack-man Peter Nowlan, Endicott-committed face-off man and midfielder Thomas Barker, face-off man and midfielder Matt Carbone and midfielder Ruben Melkonian.
Along with Needham's core of captains, the Rockets also return junior Bryant commit Nick Pisano to their attack unit. Defensively, Needham returns senior Salve Regina-committed defensive mid Connor McNaughton, senior Wheaton-committed close D man Mikey Fanning and junior LSM Kyle Piersiak.
"Our goal this year is to go undefeated in the Bay State [Conference]," said Nowlan when asked about his team's main goals for this season. "And, to go deep into the state tournament and make a run at the championship, just like every year. The state tournament definitely gives every one of us additional motivation to work together for our common goal. We’ve been preparing well in the offseason and we refuse to go out quiet this year. Our team this year has some great chemistry already, and we have big expectations, but I think we have enough talent and enough heart to win the whole thing."
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.