Thursday, March 31, 2016

CMass Lax Preview: The 2016 Grafton Indians

Grafton senior attackman Cole Fontana
By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

Expectations couldn't be much higher for Grafton this year, as the Indians return plenty of talent from the program's first ever state title game appearance. With senior leadership at every level, and several young players that came of age during their memorable run last season, Grafton is poised to be one of the best teams in Central Mass, regardless of division.

A brutal schedule again awaits Grafton, but this group seems more than up for the challenge.

Here's a closer look.


Senior Chase Kapuscienski is finally healthy after playing much of last year on a hobbled ankle, and the long-time standout will likely receive plenty of All-American hype in 2016. But this attack is far more than just one player, as fellow seniors Cole Fontana and Hunter Fraser return as well.

This attack has been playing together for a while now, so expect them to hit the ground running and again be among the best in the region.


It's hard to pick a strength for this team, but the midfield might be it, just because of the depth the Indians have there. Senior Matt O'Brien will handle face-offs and do a little bit of everything, while Anthony D'Angelo, Mike Najemy and Josh Birdsall will all add a scoring punch.

With so many talented and experienced players, all of whom can impact the game without scoring, Grafton's midfield is stacked with the kind of players you win championships with.


Last year, the Indians dealt with injuries to senior captains Youki Azuma and Connor Evans. While injuries are never a good thing, they did give plenty of minutes to youngsters Dan Bartosiewicz and Tom Nicalek, who proved to be two of the best young defenders in the region.

Now juniors, those two will lead a Grafton defense that should again be smothering.


Our reigning Defensive Player of the Year Cadrin Msumba returns between the pipes for his senior season. As with every other position, Grafton is set at goalie, as Msumba should make the Indians one of the best all-around defenses in the entire state.

Joe's Forecast

No team in Central Mass is bringing more back and, considering the Indians were a state finalist last year, the expectations are obviously sky-high this season. Lost in their great tournament run is the fact that the Indians only split the Mid-Mass title again last year with Tantasqua.

Priority one for Grafton will be reestablishing itself as the dominant team in its league, which will be no small task considering what Tantasqua is bringing back, but Grafton will again play the role of favorite.

Loaded at every position with talent and tournament experience, nothing less than a league and district title will do for Grafton this year.


Anonymous said...

Grafton will be a dominant team in Central Mass this year. Except them to do big things with all of those returning players at each position.

Anonymous said...

Grafton's frontline seniors are focused and ready now they just need to stay on the field for more than half a game.

Anonymous said...

^ sounds like one of the seniors parents is upset. Grafton won 17-2, sounds like great coaching to me. No need to be upset about your sons playing time in a game like that!

Gene said...

In the words of the immortal Al Davis: " Just win baby"!