Tradition Never Graduates
The family of Burke Walker, who recently moved to Duxbury from the lacrosse heartland of Maryland, decides the game should be played here. JustinWalker, who had played lacrosse in Baltimore, gets together with his 7th grade friend Matt Tighe, and at Burke’s suggestion, they put together a list of 35 kids in their grade who are good atheletes and might want to play lacrosse. The Dads and Burke Walker, who has a deep knowledge of the game, and Jim Tighe, a former player and veteran lacrosse official, put on a clinic for the prospects.
23 of the original 35 kids invest in the equipment and sell candy to buy nets, uniforms, field paints, etc. The team competes in middle-school competition games against Hingham, Barnstable and a few prep schools.
The team of 8th graders travel to Maryland to play in the prestigious Cockeysville Invitational Tournament, the largest junior tournament in the nation. They stun the crowd by advancing to the championship game against the host team – Duxbury loses by one goal.
The Duxbury School Committee agrees to a standing proposal to add boys lacrosse to spring sports, on the condition that the sport is fully funded by parents. Under Coach George Hill, a member of the Boston Professional Lacrosse Team, the Duxbury Squad plays a junior varsity schedule.
The Duxbury team wants to move on to varsity competition. But new Coach Eric Fekete, a Duxbury native, former University of Arizona player and later head coach at what is now Quinnipiac University, decides it best to stay one more year at the junior varsity level.
Under Coach Fekete, the Duxbury lacrosse team competes in its first varsity-level season. The year ends in controversy as Acton-Boxborough elects to declare a rain-out of its scheduled game with Duxbury. A Duxbury victory would have put the Green Dragons in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association state playoffs for the first time.
Duxbury hires former Merrimack College player and Duxbury resident John Wait as head coach.Chris Sweet, a four-time All-American at Ithaca College is named assistant head coach. With the original group of 7th graders now seniors, the Duxbury team begins its tradition as an MIIA playoff contender.
In spite of having no returning starters, the team goes 8-8 and makes the playoffs beating Malden Catholic in the first round, losing to league rival Hingham in the second round. Dan Taylor and Matt Winterle are the top scorers, and Tim Kaufman on defense is named the first team of league all-stars.
Still a young team with many underclassmen, the team struggles to a 6-10 record, losing a number of close contests by one and two goal margins. For the first and only time, the team fails to make the playoffs. Still, it captures the Green Cup from Marshfield in a close 6-5 contest. Winterle and Taylor are the top scorers again, and TJ Wigmore has a record 231 saves.
With a returning group of experienced players, the team jumps out to a strong start with a close win over the favored, non-league opponent BC High. Finishing third in the league behind Falmouth and Hingham, the team qualifies for the state tournament with an 11-5 record. After a preliminary round win at home against Peabody, and then consecutive on the road upsets against number two-seeded Winchester and number four-seed BC High, two busloads of Duxbury youth lacrosse players watch sophomore Tom Daniels score the winning goal against BC High in the final nine seconds. The fired-up team was stopped by the eventual state champs, Concord-Carlisle.
Head Coach John Wait steps down and Chris Sweet steps up. In the regular season, the team goes 13-4 with wins over both Lincoln-Sudbury and Concord-Carlisle, establishing a statewide reputation for excellence. In the semi-finals, the Dragons fell to perennial power Newton North. Leading scorer Tenny Reed becomes the schools first All-American and is named Pilgrim Conference Player of the Year.
At the season opener, league rival Hingham falls to Duxbury, and by the end the Dragons were league champions. In the playoffs,Winchester knocks the team out in the semi-finals. Senior midfielder Tom Daniels is named All-American and five players are named to the league all star team. Coach Sweet is named Coach of the Year.
Duxbury again wins the Pilgrim Conference title with a perfect 12-0 record and receives the number one seed in the state tournament. Season highlights include a visit from the number one ranked team in the country, Garden City of NewYork. Junior attack Jon Sisto and classmate Mike Pisco, defense, are named All-Americans. An upset in the quarter-finals with a loss to Waltham dashes Duxbury’s hopes for a state title.
Number one seed in the state tournament. State Champions. Perfect 25-0 season. Jon Sisto, Mike Pisco and Ben Fuchs are named All-Americans. We are now ranked 14th in the country and have the largest tryout of any Duxbury sport. Duxbury lacrosse players are now on fields at the University of Maryland, Dartmouth, Cornell, Tufts, Middlebury, Salisbury State, Hartwick, Gettysburg, Bates…. with many more to follow! Five first team All-Stars are Ben Fuchs, Mike Pisco, Brenton Pitt, Jon Sisto and Sean Sullivan.
Pilgrim Conference Champions, Division I State Champion Finalists. State championship game was attended by over 5,000 fans of lacrosse. Duxbury finished the season with a 22-2 record and ran its winning streak to 35 in a row midway through the year. Ben Fuchs and Kevin Mullins named All-Americans. Patriot League All-Scholastic were Lee Austin, Alex Bezdek, Ben Fuchs, Matt Lanuto and Kevin Mullins. Boston Globe All-Scholastic are Ben Fuchs and Kevin Mullins.
State Champions for the 2nd time in 3 years. Duxbury finishes the season 22-1, ranked 17th nationally. Tom Levesque and Max Quinzani were named All-Americans. Eastern Mass All-Stars were Tom Levesque, Kyle Sullivan and Max Quinzani. Patriot League All-Stars were Kyle Sullivan and Max Quinzani.
Varsity goes for the fourth consecutive EMASS Division I State Championship Title, defeating Waltham 13-6. Team finishes 22-1, the only loss coming from NewYork Class A runner-up Niskayuna (Albany), 9-7. For the first time in EMASS history, five players came from the same boys lacrosse team – Chris Ajemian, Kevin Gould, Chris Nixon, Max Quinzani (2nd time) and Alec Seifert are named to the High School All American Team. Ajemian, Nixon, Quinzani, Gould and Seifert are named to the prestigious Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Patriot Ledger All Scholastic Team.
Dragon’s play in their fifth straight Division I State Championship defeating Xaverian 14-7, making the win their third state title in a row and fourth out of five. The 22-0 varsity also won their seventh straight Pilgim League championship. Team members Chris Nixon, Matt Fuchs,Chris Casey and Bobby Schnibbe are named to the U.S. Lacrosse H.S.All-American Team. Senior Max Quinzani sets an all time career national high school scoring record, previously held by legendary Casey Powell.
Senior leadership and commitment led to one of the most exciting wins in Duxbury lacrosse in a 12-11 double overtime win over Billerica in the State semi-finals. Seniors gave up their grad-nite celebrations to be at their best for game time. They captured their 5th State Championship against Xaverian in overtime (10-9). Junior defenseman Craig Sullivan was named an All-American. Patriot League All-Stars: Craig Sullivan, Scott Austin, Derek Sweet, and Gus Quinzani. Boston Globe All Scholastic: Craig Sullivan.
The team went into the season defending the State Title and their undefeated streak against Massachusetts teams. Led by Captains Scott Austin, Mark Murphy and Craig Sullivan, along with the eleven other seniors, the Team finished the season with their undefeated streak intact and a Division I State Title. With Gus Quinzani scoring the winning goal again against Billerica, the Team left Harvard Stadium proudly – having never lost to a to a Massachusetts public or parochial school while they played for the Dragons. Three members of the team were named All-Americans (Austin,Quinzani and Sullivan). The graduating Class went on to Cornell, Maryland, Bates, St. Joseph’s, Quinnipiac, University of New England, University of Hartford, Hartwick and Muhlenberg.
It is said that winning a championship takes talent; but winning it again takes character. The Varsity’s sixth straight Division I State Title is testament to the strong character of the hardworking team and its dedicated coaches, Chris Sweet and Tony Fisher. It is significant that for the past eight years DuxburyVarsity has captured the Title in seven of those years. The team’s winning streak against MIAA opponents reached 99 games before losing to St. John’s Prep in front of record crowd at Taylor field. Captains Quinn Cully, Jake Harvey and Kyle Gavoni lead the team to a 19-3 overall season and capped off the 2009 lacrosse season with a pleasant victory over St. John’s Prep at Harvard Stadium. In league play, Duxbury can claim ten straight Patriot League titles with an undefeated record since the turn of the century. Two Duxbury seniors, Quinn Cully and Hakeem Lecky were named to the All American Team. The 11 graduating seniors on the team headed off to Notre Dame, Babson College, Syracuse, University of Vermont, LaSalle, Bentley, Richmond, and Northeastern. Character lives on in the Duxbury Lacrosse team and with the new turf field for the 2010 season the team will work hard with the knowledge that: Tradition never graduates – GO Dragons!
The Duxbury Varsity Lacrosse had some big shoes to fill. Looming before them was the Holy Grail of Lacrosse: the Division I State Title. For the 7 years before them their Duxbury predecessors had been able to capture this dream. The 2010 team knew it, they felt and believed it. For the entire season the pressure was on. Could they do it again? Could they win the state title for the 8th year in a row? The 2010 team was bound together by their strong relationships and a common interest of attaining their goal. The captains: JB Marston, Defense, Mickey Zaverucha, goalie and John Ricciardi, midi lead the team in every way. They had talent at every position on the field. And they had the drive. It proved to be the elusive goal as they were defeated by one goal by St. John’s Prep in the last game of the season. This was one goal in one game – it didn’t affect how the team played or how the individuals will play in the future. The nine seniors went off to play at excellent colleges: Bucknell, Quinnipiac, two to Roger Williams College, Northeastern, Bentley, and the University of Colorado. The overall record for the 2010 season was 22-2-0 and for the Patriot League was 8-0-0.
“Road to Redemption“ captures the exciting and uplifting story of the 2011 Duxbury Varsity Lacrosse season. Stung by the heartbreaking overtime loss to St. John’s Prep in the 2010 State Championship Game at Harvard Stadium, Captains Kane Haffey, Pete Willauer and Brian Barry set the tone for the entire 2011 season with the theme of “Road to Redemption“. In 2011 the Dragons would be determined to once again bring home the Massachusetts Division 1 Lacrosse Championship to the only town where it rightly belonged… Duxbury! The captains challenged their 30 teammates to get focused on the “ultimate goal“ and be willing to pay the necessary price through season – long hard work to make that goal a reality. Towards this end the entire team and coaching staff responded magnificently and on June 14th at Harvard Stadium the three captains once again raised the State Championship Trophy for all to see.
The initial part of that 2011 “Road to Redemption“ however got off to somewhat of a bumpy start. An season opening game overtime loss to Mercer Island, Washington was soon followed by disappointing losses to Garden City, NY and Niskayuna, NY. Eight games into the season saw the Dragons looking at a not so stellar 5 and 3 record. However, from that point forward the Dragons would never lose again, finishing the season 19 – 3. The Dragons stayed totally focused on their objective. In none of those 14 remaining games would any team come within six goals of the Dragons and sweet revenge was finally inflicted upon (you guessed it!) St. John’s Prep 16 – 9 at Harvard Stadium. For the eighth time in ten years Duxbury was the Massachusetts Division 1 State Champion. Mission accomplished on the “Road to Redemption“.
”TRADITION NEVER GRADUATES” The 2012 season began with great expectations for the talented, senior-laden team led by Captains James Burke, Henry Buonagurio, Paul Hellar and Max Randall. Playing together since the 4th grade in Duxbury Youth Lacrosse, the Eastern Massachusetts Town Pride League, SweetLax, the Fighting Clams and Laxachusetts, these seniors developed into a close knit group of high school lacrosse players. The team finished the season with an outstanding 23 – 2 record with losses only to New York powers Irondequoit and Garden City. After the Garden City loss, Duxbury ran the table with 16 consecutive victories, culminating once again with a Division 1 State Championship at Harvard Stadium – the program’s 9th State Championship in the past 11 years.
Post-season awards were numerous with James Burke, Paul Hellar, Matt O’Keefe, Max Randall and Chris Williams being named All-Americans. The team saw an unprecedented 16 graduating Duxbury seniors move on to play college lacrosse (10 Division 1 and 6 Division 3).
To be continued.
To be continued.
To be continued.
To be continued.
To be continued.