Bean’s Lacrosse Background Major Plus for KP Boys Squad

Ken Hamwey Staff Sports Writer
KP boys lacrosse coach Hal Bean.
Issue Date: 
June, 2018
Article Body: 

Hal Bean is no stranger to lacrosse and that’s undoubtedly a major reason why he’s now the varsity coach of the King Philip boys varsity team.
The 55-year-old Norfolk resident coached for 10 years in the King Philip Youth Lacrosse League, instructing players in Grades 1-8. He also coached select teams in the league, primarily boys under-13 and under-15. Bean, who was captain as a senior when he played for Needham High School, also coached KP’s junior varsity squad for a year.
While at Needham High, he helped lead the Rockets to a pair of undefeated seasons in the Southern Division. In college, he played midfield at Nichols for a year, then transferred to Babson and played for the Beavers for two more campaigns. After college, he played for the Connecticut Valley Lacrosse Club, an adult league team that competed up and down the East Coast. He’s also a certified lacrosse official, calling games in Eastern Mass. for the last four years.
“So many of the KP players know me from the youth league,’’ Bean said. “I met many of the kids when they were in the second grade. That’s a big plus because for them and me, there are no surprises. And, since day one of pre-season practice, they told me they were happy to see me and they were excited and ready to go.’’
So far, Bean’s Warriors have played well, posting an 8-5 record at Local Town Pages deadline.
A transition to a new coach, no matter how familiar he or she may be, almost always has some bumps in the road. But, Bean, who’s inherited a program that’s been to tourney play four of the last five years, not only has settled in quickly, but he’s acutely aware of the attributes needed to build a roster that leads to success.
“I look for players who are coachable, unselfish and add to team chemistry,’’ he noted. “A high lacrosse IQ and situational awareness are also keys. Speed is always an asset and having players with leadership capabilities is a must.’’
Three top-notch leaders include the Warriors’ captains — Michael Curtain (defender), Nate Minkwitz (midfielder) and Colin Devellis (attack).
“Michael is deliberate, motivated, has speed and is solid in fundamentals,’’ Bean said. “Nate is considerate, very fast and has great field awareness. Colin has outstanding technical skills, is a strong situational player and is also an excellent leader.’’
Other key players include Wes Bishop and Garrett Maxwell on defense; Chris Longobardi, Brian McCarthy and Aidan Bender at midfield; Kevin Riggs on attack; and goalie Jeremy Elpus.
“Wes is strong and steady, a great positional player,’’ Bean noted. “He’s instinctive and passes well. Garrett has excellent field sense and is a strong physical presence. Chris works hard, is quick, smart in transition and can score. Brian and Aidan get to ground balls quickly and are fast in creating transition. Kevin is unselfish and quick while Jeremy is a solid communicator who reacts quickly and clears well.’’
Although Bean is totally aware that KP’s youth league “is a phenomenal feeder system,’’ he treads cautiously when discussing the Warriors’ future.
“Coming into this season, our goal was to qualify for tourney play,’’ he emphasized. “We’re one victory away from qualifying, but what’s more important is for our players to improve every day, not only in lacrosse, but also in their educational pursuits. It’s all about working hard and being the best they can be. Focusing on one game at a time is better than worrying about what’s in store long-range.’’
Fully aware that the Hockomock League is a dynamic collection of lacrosse powers, Bean lists Franklin, Foxboro, Mansfield and North Attleboro as title contenders and challenging matchups. “Those schools have talent and tradition and they’re all well-coached,’’ he said.
Bean, who’s a native of West Roxbury, is married and he and his wife Karen have a son — Jake, a sophomore at KP. A graduate of Merrimack College with a degree in business, Bean works as a broker for Draper Kramer Mortgage Corporation.
Hired in February for the KP job, Bean is appreciative of the assistance provided by athletic director Gary Brown. “Gary fully explained all the processes that I needed to know, and with all the storms we had just before pre-season practice, he focused on helping us with field availability,’’ Bean said. “And, I can’t forget the work that coaches like Jack Piatelli and John Wait did at the youth level. They ran the select program that led to winning state championships.’’
Hal Bean’s tenure as KP’s lacrosse coach likely will have some up and down seasons, but it’s fair to say that his background in the sport is more apt to lead to lots of smooth sailing.