Published June 26, 2019

WAKEFIELD — The WMHS boys’ lacrosse team celebrated their season at their annual banquet recently. The Warriors finished the year with a record of 9-10.

After starting the season 2-6 against a tough schedule the Warriors came back in the midst of head coach Andrew Lavalle stepping down for personal reasons.

Tim Johnson, who had coached the JV team at Wakefield High for 10 seasons, stepped up to lead the varsity team and Wakefield soon after won five games in a row and eventually qualified for the Div. 2 North tournament where they beat Danvers in the first round.

Wakefield lost to eventual Div. 2 State champion Winchester in the quarterfinals.

THE VARSITY boys’ lacrosse awards were presented at the annual banquet. Pictured from left to right is head coach Tim Johnson, Anthony Forziati (Offensive Player of the Year), Derryn Langlois (Ultimate Player), Thomas Harrington (MVP), Matt Petitto (Defensive Player of the Year), Mike Lucey (Coaches Award) and Aidan Cusack (Most Improved). (Courtesy Photo)

The Warriors were led by a strong senior class of Anthony Forziati, Mike Lucey, Thomas Harrington, Luke DiMella, Derryn Langlois, Jake Regan, Aidan Cusack, Dan Guarino, Danny Marinaccio, James Shaw and Ryan Cobb.

Their lone junior was a captain as Cam Souza led the defense. A strong sophomore group included Mike and Matt Petitto, Max Brennan, Malcolm Burns, Max DiMella and a promising group of freshmen contributed on varsity as well including Gabe Brissette, Jake Dubiel and Jonathan Guida.

Johnson was especially proud of how the Warriors overcame adversity all season.

CAM SOUZA earned a Coaches Award at the boys’ lacrosse banquet. (Courtesy Photo)

“It’s been a tough year. They faced so many challenges every step of the way, especially with the coaching change, just to get going with that is tough for any team. Having a cultural change and getting the guys to buy in, there was a lot of ups and downs. Losing Forziati and Langlois put us in a hole and you have to ask other guys to step up, we just had to adapt and overcome almost every day of the season. The coaching staff, I don’t think I’ve met a more passionate group of guys who just love the sport. We needed some new looks to play to our strengths, it was a lot of work and the kids learned a new process in a short time so kudos to them because that’s not easy to do.”

To the seniors, coach Johnson was thankful for how they stepped up as leaders.

“I’m going to miss them all. Over the years you watch them grow into super talents. Mike Lucey came out of baseball with a wicked hockey shot, and to teach guys like that the nuances and little things of lacrosse and see where they ended up their senior year, Jake Regan was the same way, just guys who stepped up over the years, we’re going to miss them.”

The Warriors presented team awards at the banquet. For the varsity, Harrington was named the Most Valuable Player. Forziati won offensive player of the year, Langlois earned the Ultimate Player Award, Matt Petitto won Defensive Player of the Year, Aidan Cusack won Most Improved and Lucey and Souza were co-recipients of the Coaches Award.

For the JV team, Cobb was named Most Valuable Player, Sean Lynch won the Ultimate Warrior Award, Eric Keefe won Offensive Player of the Year, Tim Lucey won Defensive Player of the Year, Nick Roberto was Most Improved and Jake Sowyrda won the Coaches Award.