Norwood Boys Lacrosse

Christopher Tremblay
Issue Date: 
July, 2018
Article Body: 

It wasn’t the best of seasons for the Norwood boy’s lacrosse team, but Coach Dan Reyes was pleased the way the team improved throughout the season, although it didn’t translate in their record. Norwood finished 1-17 on the season with their only win coming against Norton 6-5 in overtime.
Prior to the season getting underway, Reyes was looking in the range of 5 or 6 wins, but when junior Teddy Willet, a long-stick middie and defender, tore his ACL in football, things were not looking all that great. According to the coach, Willet was a very versatile and athletic individual that was comfortable moving around on the field.
With Willet already watching from the bench, Norwood suffered another significant blow to the team when junior Jake Smelster went down for the season in the team’s very first game. Smelster was probably the Mustangs best player on the field; over the past two seasons he had reached the 100 point plateau.
“When Jake went down, we knew that it was going to be a tough season,” Reyes said. “If we wanted to have any kind of success, we were going to need players to step up in a big way.”
Mark Dunn (16 goals and 6 assists) and Harry Leduc (15 goals and 3 assists) put up some gritty performances to help keep the Mustangs in their games, but it was nothing compared to Smelster’s numbers.
Junior long-stick middie and freshman Jared Shea, a two-way midfielder, also gave it their all on the field trying to bring a positive attitude to the team despite the Mustang’s hard luck situation.
Norwood’s back-up goalie, sophomore Mike Catalano, stepped up his game when he was finally given a chance to be the starter.
“Mike was primarily the Junior Varsity starting goalie and the Varity back-up, but when he was given an opportunity to play with the varsity team he was not intimidated and made a lot of saves for us,” the coach said.
Defensively, junior Abdallah Khalil, a first year player who was recruited by the coach, brought a strong physicality to the game from his long pole defensive position.
“As a football player, I saw that he had good footwork,” Reyes said. “He was strong and very intelligent while picking things up very quickly.”
Although the Mustangs opened the season with some lopsided games against some very talented teams, Norwood eventually cut a lot of those deficits by the season’s end.
“At our very first practice I told the team that the year was not going to be about wins and loses – it’s going to be about improving and setting the foundation for the future,” Reyes said. “Early on, our games were not close, but we did start to play better, especially against the Tri-Valley League teams (Norwood will be moving to the TVL next fall).”
Despite only breaking into the win column once this past year, Reyes is optimistic about next year.
“Earlier in the season, we lost to Bellingham by 10,” the coach said. “The second time around, we lost in overtime, leaving us with good expectations for next year,”
Norwood will not only be getting Willet and Smelster back for their senior campaigns, but will be venturing out of the Bay State League and into the TVL, a league that is made up of teams more Norwood’s size, which should bode well for Mustang lacrosse fans.