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<B>Burr and Burton Academy&rsquo;s Ben Alexopoulos (left) tries to work around a defender during a lacrosse game last season. Alexopoulos is one of a handful of seniors who return to the Bulldogs this season. (Journal File)</B>

MANCHESTER -- The lingering effects of winter may cause the start of the Burr and Burton Academy boys lacrosse season to be delayed a bit.

The boys were scheduled to open their season this Friday, April 11, at Randolph, but that game likely will not go off as planned.

"Randolph is not available to host us," said first year coach Jason Pergament. "Their field is not ready to play [on] and we're trying to figure out an alternative location or date."

Pergament led the junior varsity team to a near perfect season last year before being named as the varsity coach this seasson. The change marks the fourth time in as many years that there has been a change at the position - something Pergament said has been a difficult adjustment for some of the athletes.

"My big thing this year is I want the seniors to know that they have the power to define what BBA lacrosse looks like going forward for the next several years," said Pergament. "I plan on being in this position indefinitely. I'm not here for just a one year stint. I'm looking to build it as a program over the next few years."

Pergament said he will look to the seniors - which include Ben Alexopoulos, Elliot Buckley, Eric Cerra, Will Helmetag, Tyler Johnson, Sam McChesney, Tanner McGrath, Cam Senecal, Andrew Sherras, Zdenek Sindeclair and Tim Swinarton - to provide leadership for the team.

"I'm looking at the seniors to be the collective leaders of the program," said Pergament.


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"I think that having those guys who have experience step in and really teach the younger students how our systems work is going to set us up for the kind of team depth that I'm trying to develop."

Last year the team finished with a 5-10 record and advanced past the opening round of the playoffs before losing to Green Mountain Valley School in the quarterfinals.

Coming into the season, he said that he has three main goals that he has stressed to the athletes, many of which return to the fundamentals of the sport.

"Teamwork has got to be first. I really want to make sure that we can play well together and face the pressure together. And then beyond that I really want to make sure that we have the endurance to play each game to the fullest," Pergament said. "I think defense is going to be key. I think everyone on the field has to play defense from the attackmen to the middies and of course the defenders."

The team's defense and depth are two components that Pergament believes will help lead to success this year. There are 30 members on this year's team - 11 of which are seniors - and Pergament said he plans to turn the lines over quickly to keep the players fresh.

Another key this year will be the play of goaltender Mike Sztorc who has been strong in net for the Bulldogs in recent years.

"He's a pretty extraordinary goaltender. We're really happy with what we've seen from him in the past and he can carry the ball really well too," said Pergament. "So, I think that we're going to have some success on that transition game with how he might be able to take the ball out of the net and move the ball up field in an effective manner."

Pergament also said he feels like the team has a fair amount of depth on the offensive side of the ball. Attackman Tom Morgantini is back this year as are midfielders Alexopoulos, Sherras and Swinarton. Sophomore Jacob Bazyk, who played under Pergament at the junior varsity last year, has moved up to varsity this year and is someone Pergament expects to be productive.

"I feel like there's a lot of guys who can have an impact," said Pergament. "I see a lot of great ball movement. We're starting to really develop the team mentality and move the ball around a lot and share the ball."

Attackmen Max Pagnucco, Sam Anglum, Tommy Grabher, Will Swinarton, Carter Vickers, midfielders Bill Gormley, Nolan Johnson, Scott Trudel, Sean Apps, Tyeshawn Gadson, defenders Chris Kornaros, Jimmy LoMuscio, Murray Senecal, Nikolai Sands, Richard Sherras, and goalie Natty Eisenmen round out the roster.