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Oakmont Boys’ Lacrosse: The Comeback Season

A double overtime victory for the Spartans wins them the league title
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Emily Gaudet

To those who have followed the Oakmont Boys’ Lacrosse team over the season, it’s no surprise that the Spartans are now league champs. A team that puts in hundreds of hours on the field before the season even starts is bound to succeed in the long run. Well last night, the Spartans did just that. In double overtime, Jack Norris netted the game-winning goal securing the sweet victory. Leaving the Westboro crowd speechless.

If were are going to talk about their success we have to start at the beginning. After some big wins over Leominster, Nipmuc, North Middlesex, and Westboro, the Spartans were feeling confident in their game. These wins fueled the team to drive this season home. Tough losses to Wachusett, Wahconah, and St. Bernards didn’t dent the boys’ momentum. To many, a senior night loss would’ve been a knife to the gut, but for Senior Captain Tanner Grimley, he pins it as a highlight of his season, “Our hard fight on senior night, even though we lost. I personally played the best I’ve played this season and we worked hard bringing it to double overtime”. Even in a loss, this team continues to pick out the positives. The life lesson persists, not every hard-fought battle will be won, but there are lessons to be learned within them.

As expected the Spartans rallied and trucked an important 5-4 double OT victory over Westboro to secure their title as league champs. When asked why their team was so successful, Junior Goaltender Tyler Nally stated “I give props to the offseason training we all put in, every single day before the season we would all put time and effort into going to the turf on the only off days we had”. Again, it is evident that the pre-season work had paid off!

So what has been the driving factor of this season? Offense or defense? Many guys on the team will argue both! Senior Captain Luke Tzilkowski says “On the offensive side, we have moved the ball better than any team I’ve seen at Oakmont. We have broken any zone defense we’ve seen, and have adjusted well to most defense we’ve seen.” Defensively, this team is loaded. The Senior/Freshman duo of Ryan Crossman and Silas Roy has been a lethal threat to any offense looking to score. Crossman’s veteran experience and Roy’s young energy paired up together to portray the definition of lockdown defense. Both are joined by Senior Cooper Carignan who brings his competitive nature to the sport. An aggressive in-your-face defender who will close the gap and keep the opposing attackers wide. Tzilkowski credits them, “Our defense has kept us in every game. They are playing amazing, and have kept the games close when the offense wasn’t performing how they should.”

Oakmont’s offense has scored 103 goals so far this season while their defense has held opponents off to 93 goals. The 10-goal difference between these stats shows how close some of these games have been. Most games only being won by a goal. The determining factor is the amount of possessions the team has had. The bottom line is, that goals win you games, you get goals by possessing the ball, and you possess the ball by faceoff wins. Sophomore Jack Norris is the faceoff specialist for this operational team. During the game against St. Bernards, Norris went 75% on draw controls. His grittiness in the circle has helped the Spartans out tremendously.

Another huge aspect of this season has been the team chemistry. Senior Nick O’Leary says that practicing every day and building team chemistry was a key factor for their achievements. Sophomore Quin Buckley and Senior Michael McCullin would agree with him stating their brotherhood and team play have been so important. The boys celebrate each other’s successes and achievements and trust me there have been a lot this season. Junior Attacker Nahuel Suarez notched his 100th point in his high school career earlier this season in a 9-6 win over Groton-Dunstable.

No team is complete without an incredible coaching staff. Tzilkowski states “Our offense coach, Matt Fletcher, is also a huge reason for our success. He is just as responsible for our success as any kid on the team. He has created a successful offense this year, through his knowledge of the game and each player’s strengths and weaknesses.” A coach who formats his team in a way that caters to everyone’s abilities is key when looking to win games. Head Coach Sean Nally has had the privilege of watching this team grow in the palm of his hands. He is assisted by TJ Kelly, Brian Billings, and previously mentioned Matt Fletcher. This coaching staff has supported these athletes throughout the season and it’s showing on the field.

The most impressive thing is the turn-around from last season where the team went 3-12. The team is locked in and ready to face the remaining games of the season. If you haven’t been to a game already, I highly encourage you to take the time and go watch. You can catch the boys on home turf on Saturday, May 11th at 10 AM and then away at AMSA on May 17th at 4:30 PM. If you missed any of the home games and would like to watch them you can to go awcm.org and check out the on-demand sports section.

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About the Contributors
Nola Patty
Nola Patty, Sports Editor/Photographer
Nola Patty is a part of the Class of 2024 at Oakmont Regional High School. This is her third year being a part of The Oakmonitor. Her main focus on the Oakmonitor page is sports/sports photography. Nola is a member of the Marching Spartans, and she plays lacrosse for the school as well. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music, watching hockey, and hanging out with friends. Nola has always wanted to be successful, but she never puts it above having fun and making memories. She enjoys taking photos, capturing happy moments for others, and writing about sports. She works with AWCM TV as an Ice Hockey Broadcaster. A long-term goal for her is to work in social media marketing or broadcasting for the NHL. Nola was appointed to the 2024 All-State MASPA Journalist staff.
Emily Gaudet
Emily Gaudet, Sports Photographer
Emily Gaudet is a part of the Class of 2025 at Oakmont Regional High School. This is her first year being a part of The Oakmonitor. Her main focus on the Oakmonitor page is sports photography. Emily is a member of the Oakmont Marching Spartans and is very active in the school's art department. She enjoys capturing special moments and showing others long-lasting memories with her photography. Her goal is to work in advertising or some field of film.

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    Tanner GrimleyMay 10, 2024 at 12:00 pm

    Great article!! Much appreciated.

    Reply