Ashland Boys Lacrosse

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
July, 2018
Article Body: 

After spending three years, 2006-2009, as the Ashland Head Coach for the boy’s lacrosse team, William Graham found his way back onto the field. With a rather young group coming of players coming back the retuning Coach wanted to get back to the tournament as one of his goals.
“Having a lot of underclassmen back (no seniors at all) I was basically looking for a year of growth and improvement, but I also had my eyes set on a tournament berth,” the Clocker Coach said. “The previous coach had taught them a lot, skill wise, but I wanted to go with what worked for me. I was looking toward the future of Ashland lacrosse.”
Ashland went 8-8 on the regular season and earned themselves an eighth seed in the Division 3 Central Tournament where that defeated Lunenburg 16-9 in the first round. Unfortunately for the second year in a row the squad fell to the number one seed in the Quarter Finals, this time to Littleton16-5.
“Collectively we were not afraid of anyone, seedings are given out by a bunch of guys sitting in a room on a particular day – that’s all that means to us,” Graham said. “We play in one of the toughest leagues (the Tri Valley League) in the state so we’re battle tested. We’ve gone through some tough times over the season already.”
Junior defender and Clocker Captain Andrew Dunn was a player that the coach remembers from class and was hoping that he could use his athleticism too help Ashland on the field.
“I had Andrew in class when he was a freshman. He was a very intelligent individual and I was hoping that he’d bring that intellect to the field,” the Coach said. “He was our best defenseman and was given the3 most difficult assignment of covering the other team’s top player. He was a true leader and understands the big picture that we have laid out.”
Offensively Ashland had t3wo sophomore attackers in Dylan Morgan and Brian Gazard who were the Clockers top scorers. Morgan accounted for 49 goals and 20 assists as the team’s leading scorer, putting him near the top of the league, while Gazard was behind him tallying 36 goals and adding 16 assists.
“Coming into the season I didn’t wasn’t to place numerical expectations on anyone. I knew that these kids could play and I just wanted to see what came naturally,” Graham said. “Brian and Dylan have been playing together since they were little kids bad have a good chemistry together.”
While the sophomore duo were the leading scorers, the rest of the team was a balanced affair. According to the coach, different players were contributing on a game by game basis; there was always someone to step up and fill the void.
Senior midfielder Jake Latessa (16 goals and 11 assists) took a lot of face-offs for the squad enabling the Clockers to establish field position.
“Jake was a very important individual to the team in terms of maintaining position on the field,” Graham said. “He was not afraid to be aggressive with the ball in order to get us going.”
Freshman Marcus Millard was given one of the toughest positions on the field as the team’s goalie as a matter of necessity. Ashland had other options that starting a freshman keeper, but Millard showed to be the nest choice.
“As a freshman goalie there is a lot of pressure put on him, not only in stopping the ball, but he is also in charge of the defensive end of the field,” the coach said. “Thorough the season he steadily improved and showed that he was fearless and in for the long term of the program.”
Having found themselves packing their bags and departing the tournament earlier than they would have liked the Ashland Coach is already looking toward next season with this group of athletes.
“The sky is the limit for this team,” he said. “The best part about next year is that we don’t lose anyone and should have everyone back with another year of experience.”
In addition to having the same group of guys back on the field next spring, Graham is also hoping that the town’s youth program will provide the squad with some more younger talent entering the high school when they meet up next season.