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2023 Mercury Boys Lacrosse Team-by-Team Preview

Spring-Ford’s Justin Wixted (9) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against Methacton during a PAC semifinal at Perkiomen Valley. (Austin Hertzog - MediaNews Group)


Head Coach: Grady Wise (7th season)

Last Year’s Record: 5-4 PAC, 8-9 overall

Athletes to watch: Aidan McFalls, senior, attack; Gage Parker, senior, attack; Tyler Diffenderfer, junior, attack; Luke Heimbach, senior, midfield; Ryder Gehris, junior, midfield; Wyatt Yerger, senior, midfield/faceoff; Cole Marinello, senior, defense; Jack Christman, senior, defense; Dalton Barker, senior defense

Outlook: It’s a mixture of youth and experience for a Boyertown team that narrowly missed the District 1 3A Tournament last season. To reach that height and attain their main goal of competing for a PAC championship, Coach Wise hopes to tap into some of the young talent that improves the Bears’ depth.

Boyertown’s strength at the faceoff X will be tantamount to their mission of controlling tempo and time of possession.


Head Coach: Andy Wagner (2nd season)

Last Year’s Record: 3-12 overall

Athletes to watch: Colin Wagner, senior, midfield; Aidan Laws, senior, midfield; Ryan Souder, senior, defense; Jake Meyers, junior, midfield; Jordan Meyer, junior, defense

Outlook: Coach Wagner, back in charge at Boone after previously coaching nine seasons at Perkiomen Valley, says the Blazers need to strike a balance between their experienced returning starters and young talent in order to compete this season. Boone will test their mettle against an increasingly strong crop of Berks County programs, with some nonleague tilts with District 1 programs thrown in for good measure.


Head Coach: Dave Page (2nd season)

Last Year’s Record: 14-6, 2nd place Mid-Atlantic Prep League, runner up Victory Prep Championship.

Athletes to watch: Jesse Corser-James, senior, defense; Billy Stephens, senior, goalie; Cole Bilotta, senior, midfield; Jake Moshang, senior, midfield; Joey Bucci, senior, faceoff/short-stick defensive midfield; Pierce Hart, senior, faceoff; Anthony McMullen, senior, midfield; Joey Asterino, senior, attack; Ben Walt, senior, attack; Owen Zipfel, senior, defense; Andrew Mannato, defense, senior

Outlook: Page’s first season on the Hill was one to remember, as the Rams came within a goal of the Mid-Atlantic Prep League title in a thrilling championship game against Academy of the New Church.
This year, the squad will be plenty battle-tested come playoffs, with challenges against nationally ranked squad including archrival Lawrenceville on the slate.

But with a half-dozen Division 1 recruits of their own and some promising youngsters looking for their first varsity action, Page looks to see the Hill compete in every game in hopes of surpassing last year’s accomplishments.


Head Coach: Ryan Pannella (1st season)

Last Year’s Record: 7-2 PAC, 12-8, PAC Final Four, lost in second round of District 1-3A playoffs.

Athletes to watch: Brenden Sanelli, senior, midfield; Will Little, senior, midfield; Cole Kleger, junior, defense; Wyatt Stemlar, junior, goalie; Michael Maro, freshman, attack

Outlook: Pannella takes over for Matt Saxon, and his goal is to continue the progress the Warriors’ program made over his predecessor’s tenure. This year, that would mean advancing into the championship game at the Final Four and beyond the second round of Districts.

If the Warriors accomplish one (or both) of those goals, 2023 could be a year to remember in the annals of Methacton lacrosse.


Head Coach: Kevin Mo (1st season)

Last Year’s Record: 15-7, PAC runner-up, lost in 2nd round of District 1-3A playoffs.

Athletes to watch: Will Whitlock, senior, midfield; Gabe Dellapenna, junior, attack; Justin Daubert, sophomore, midfield; Sam Hornak, senior, defense; Torin Whitten, sophomore, long-stick midfield; Colton Loughin, junior, defense; Owen Clefisch, sophomore, midfield; Nolan Brown, junior, midfield

Outlook: Mike Zadroga’s year at the helm at OJR yielded a return to the PAC championship game that was once an annual tradition for the squad. While the ‘Cats fell to Spring-Ford in their first final since 2017, new coach Kevin Mo, previously a standout Perkiomen Valley goalie who played collegiately at Seton Hill, inherits a team that’s had a taste of winning and competing on the league’s biggest stage.

With 14 seniors graduating from last year’s squad, matching last year’s accomplishments may prove challenging. But ample opportunities exist for newcomers to take the next step in returning OJR to the top of the PAC.


Head Coach: Mike Kruger (2nd season)

Last Year’s Record: 9-5 overall

Athletes to watch: Jon-Luke Duley, senior, midfield; Nate Winters, junior, attack; Rocky Grossman, junior, midfield; Brenden McLeod, junior, midfield; Justin Murray, sophomore, faceoff; Tyler Merchant, senior, goalie; Will Brown, senior, defense

Outlook: Perkiomen School hopes to take another step forward as a program both locally and on a national level. A schedule including games against opponents from the Inter-Ac, Friends League, MAPL, Western PA, Virginia, and New Jersey should see a team stacked with potential well-prepared for the Mid-Atlantic Prep Championships in May.


Head Coach: Bryan Churchey (11th season)

Last Year’s Record: 14-5, lost in second round of District 1-3A playoffs.

Athletes to watch: Shea Fusco, senior, attack; Bradley Curci, senior, attack; Matt Horgan, senior, midfield; Noah Delo, senior, midfield/faceoff; Vance Junker, senior, defense; Ryan Klimek, senior, short-stick defensive midfield; Tyler Henn, junior, defense; Liam McCabe, junior, defense; Drew Donato, junior, long-stick midfield; Patrick Lamirande, junior, midfield; Jackson Baker, junior, midfield; Luke Hanlon, junior, attack/midfield; Connor Macklin, junior, attack; Bryce Coletta, sophomore, midfield; Jack Leddy, sophomore, goalie.

Outlook: Perkiomen Valley has reached a point as a program where the Vikings expect to annually compete for a spot in the PIAA 3A tournament. The last few years have seen the squad run into Central League powers Springfield (Delco) and Conestoga at the wrong times, leaving them a step short of that goal.

Last year, PV peaked in midseason, scoring a huge nonleague win over Conestoga before falling in the PAC semis and losing to that same Pioneers team in Districts. In 2023, the Vikings are challenging themselves yet again in the nonleague this season in hopes of hitting their stride in time for the postseason.

“Our expectations, goals, and standards remain the same,” said Churchey. “If we continue to work toward becoming the best version of us we can be, we will accomplish the things we desire most as a team.”


Head Coach: Brock Johnson (1st season)

Last Year’s Record: 3-12

Athletes to watch: Will Linko, sophomore, attack; Pat Field, senior, attack; Eric Loftus, senior, midfield; Christian Rosone, junior, faceoff; Dale Mackay, junior, long-stick midfield; Kyle Reedy, senior, defense; Jeff Cappelli, senior, goalie

Outlook: New coach Brock Johnson (Boyertown grad, former King’s College player) made no bones about the fact that the Phantoms are looking to bounce back from last season’s disappointing finish. The head coach is excited about mixing a group of motivated returning starters with a handful of promising newcomers.

“I believe we have a great group of kids on this team,” he said, “and I’m excited to see what we will accomplish together.”


Head Coach: Matt Bildstein (3rd season)

Last Year’s Record: 3-6 PAC, 8-9 overall, lost in first round of District 1-2A playoffs.

Athletes to watch: Connor Gucwa, senior, attack/midfield; Eric Zadroga, senior, attack; Cole Miller, senior, midfield; Hugh Trexler, senior, defenseman; Gavin Vigilante, senior, long-stick midfield; Dillon Murphy, junior, midfield; Sean Fallon, junior, goalie; Denny Owens, sophomore, defense; Ian Young, sophomore, attack/midfield; Ryan Lamson, sophomore, midfield; Joey Moffa, sophomore, defense

Outlook: PJP looks primed to be this year’s breakout team. The Golden Panthers finished at .500 in the regular season in 2022, and lost only one returning starter from that squad. The rest of the unit remains intact, making a return to the PAC Final Four appear likely as well as contention in the District 1-2A postseason.

“I hope our returning experience will help us build off an 8-win season, and that will translate into more wins new heights for this program,” said Bildstein. “I expect us to compete to the best of our abilities, no matter the opponent and to see continued improvement each day at practice and in games.”


Head Coach: Stan Rotay (2nd season)

Last Year’s Record: 3-13

Athletes to watch: Dylan Batche, senior, attack; Bryce Caffery, junior, attack; Jack Silvestri, junior, attack; Cooper Simon, senior, long-stick midfield; Koleson Gale, senior, defense; Garrett Bartosiewicz, junior, defense; Dom Sithens, senior, goalie

Outlook: Rotay is encouraged by the year-over-year growth in the Pottsgrove program. With a greater number of rostered players in 2023 than last year, the coach believes the Falcons’ late-game struggles could become a thing of the past.

“We are playing in a very competitive league,” he said. “But with more kids this year we should be able to stay competitive in games where we simply ran out of steam in last year.”


Head Coach: Kevin Donnelly (20th season)

Last Year’s Record: 15-6, PAC Champions, lost in District 1-3A playbacks.

Athletes to watch: Justin Wixted, senior, attack; Brandon Solomon, defense, senior; Will Fish, senior, midfield; Lance Terrizzi, senior, attack; Charlie Power, senior, goalie; Mike Bendowski, junior, midfield; Ian Evans, senior, midfield; Jake Rogers, senior, defense

Outlook: The Rams returned to the top of the PAC last season, and it took an encounter with eventual state finalist Garnet Valley to derail Spring-Ford’s state playoff aspirations.
This year, SF figures to be plenty battle tested in the postseason. An impressive win last week over Springfield (Delco) is just the start of a nonleague slate that includes two-time defending state champion Radnor, Avon Grove, and Ridley.

High-scoring attackman Justin Wixted (committed to D1 High Point) returns to lead the Rams’ offense, while senior Will Fish anchors the traditionally strong midfield unit that will be a key to Spring-Ford’s hopes of returning to states for the first time since 2017.

“We are focused on becoming the best and toughest team we can be each time we step on the field,” said Donnelly. “We want our last games to be our best.”


Head Coach: Brady McCormick (16th season)

Last Year’s Record: 12-5, lost in District 1-2A semifinals

Athletes to watch: Casey Lamey, senior, midfield/attack; Truman McCormick, senior, defense; Andrew Haney, senior, midfield; Justin Besz, junior, attack; Ryan Becker, junior, faceoff; Lincoln Jones, junior, midfield; Kevin Roseland, junior, attack; Aidan McDonnell, junior, defensive midfield; Michael Scavello, junior, defense; Collin McCormick, sophomore, attack; Nathan Uhl, sophomore, goalie

Outlook: The 2022 Vikings set a new school standard for boys’ lacrosse performance, earning the program’s first postseason victory, and McCormick couldn’t be prouder of the group’s resilience and accomplishments.

“The team has become one that has worked hard to truly build a winning culture back into this program and winning a District game was proof to them that their hard work could payoff, he said. “It has made coaching this team a true joy again.”

The senior years of standouts Casey Lamey and Truman McCormick (committed to Division 1 Manhattan College) mean Upper Merion still has to room to grow. Another step forward would mean a berth in the PAC Final Four at the league level, or a second win in Districts, which in Class 2A means a trip to states. The Vikings have a taste of success at the District 1 level now, and hope to take at least one more step in 2023.



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