Dedicated to defense

By DAN ATTORRI

Monitor staff

Published: 06-18-2023 8:30 PM

You often hear ‘defense wins championships’ when it comes to sports. That certainly describes the Hopkinton boys’ lacrosse team. The Hawks’ offense improved as the season progressed, but their defense was solid from day one through being crowned Division III champions.

And senior captain Steven Reddy, the heart of that Hopkinton defense, was honored accordingly, winning the Division III Defensive Player of the Year award.

The Hawks finished the season with a 13-5 record, with Reddy recording five goals, five assists, 138 ground balls and 78 caused turnovers in those 18 games. He collected five ground balls and caused four turnovers in the championship game against Campbell, while being tasked with marking Andrew Willnus, the D-III Offensive Player of the Year.

Reddy helped hold Willnus to three goals in Hopkinton’s 7-4 title game victory. The Hawks, as unit, allowed just 5.3 goals per game.

“Steven, Cam (Bassett) and Avery (Condon) are arguably some of the best defenders in our division,” head coach Deacon Blue said after Hopkinton’s championship victory. “We know (Campbell) has some potent offense and we had to lock them up. Willnus is always a threat. We put Reddy on him and he shut him down most of the time.”

Blue added, “(He) gives his teammates a spark by setting a fast pace and working hard around the clock. He is a charismatic leader who embodies the heart and soul of our program. Steven’s abilities on the turf can't be summed up by stats alone. He has a big presence and whenever he is near the ball has a singular ability to secure possessions. He constantly creates offense by pushing fast breaks and throwing pin point passes and shots.”

A two-year captain and three-time All-State selection (he was First Team in his junior season and Second Team as a sophomore), Reddy was the runner-up for the Defensive Player of the Year award last season. 

Reddy was also selected for the Lion’s Cup All-Star game, a matchup featuring the top seniors from New Hampshire against the top recent graduates from Vermont. Reddy will continue his lacrosse career playing for NCAA’s Division II St. Michael’s College.

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“I think Steven is the most athletic and most cerebral player I’ve ever coached, and that includes my time coaching at the college level,” said Hopkinton assistant coach Kyle Devitte, who was named the Division III Assistant Coach of the Year. “He is so instinctual on the wings during faceoffs that other teams had to worry more about him than the man taking the draw. He’s the sort of natural talent that only comes along every ten years or so. He’s also a pleasure to coach, is always respectful of his opponents and never ever gives up on a loose ball. St. Michael’s is very lucky to have him next year. He left an indelible mark on our program.”

Both D-III coaching awards went to area mentors, with Bishop Brady’s Frank Lamparelli winning Coach of the Year.

Lamparelli and his players entered this season eager to put the Giants back on the lacrosse map, and achieved this with a victory in the D-III tournament, a 12-11 win over Coe-Brown in the first round. The victory was Bishop Brady’s first playoff win in several years.

The Giants have improved steadily in Lamparelli’s three years with the program, finishing this past season with a 6-10 record and a spot in the quarterfinals after going 4-11 in 2022 and 3-10 in 2021.

Area athletes claimed half the spots on the D-III All-State teams, with Hopkinton earning seven selections, the most of any local program.

Reddy earned a First Team spot as a long stick midfielder, while the rest of Hopkinton’s stalwart defense – junior Cam Bassett (First Team), junior Avery Condon (Second Team) and junior goalie Colby Boissy (Second Team) – were also recognized.

Senior midfielder Lincoln Wilson (First Team), junior attack Patty Buss (Second Team) and senior middie Nick Martel (Second Team) were the other picks for the Hawks.

No. 1 Bow (15-1) had five players chosen – junior midfielder Gavin McCabe (First Team), senior middie Owen Walton (First Team), junior attack Brodie O’Neil (Second Team), freshman midfielder Will Bennett (Second Team) and senior midfielder Canyon Batchelder (Second Team).

Bishop Brady senior midfielder Nate Nelson, senior faceoff specialist Tucker Townsend and junior defender Josh Lamparelli were all named to the First Team, while senior middie Connor Rolson was named to the Second Team.

Coe-Brown senior attack Landon Rafael and senior midfielder Connor Strum, and Kearsarge senior midfielder Matt Berns were also Second Team picks.

Concord senior midfielder Joey Tarbell was named to the Division I Second Team. Pembroke Academy junior midfielder Caden Mix and Merrimack Valley senior faceoff man Nick DeBello were both named to the Division II Second Team.

Selections were voted on by coaches of their respective divisions.

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