Jon Dumont cracks a big smile when he hears the word postseason because he knows his Trinity of Manchester boys’ lacrosse team will be a part of it this season.
After three years of toiling through forgettable seasons, the only senior on the Pioneers has helped lead his team to the playoffs for the first time in the program’s near decade history.
“I’m pumped,” Dumont said. “It’s definitely a different feeling. I’m just very pumped.”
Trinity finished the Division III regular season with a record of 7-7 and will likely be on the road for the first round of the tournament on Tuesday.
Mike Couture said the team consistently lost by double digits when he took over the program three years ago and rarely scored more than two goals in a game. Now they’re a .500 program, it’s the first time Trinity has ever won more than three games in a season and now the team is looking for the first playoff win in school history.
“We inherited the ‘Bad News Bears,’” Couture said about the Pioneers when he took over as coach in the 2011 season. “All different colored helmets, uniforms from the ’90s. This year I would attribute it to the one senior (Dumont) and we’re fortunate we have one player from every class that just happens to be an excellent lacrosse player.”
Those players are junior Tyler Tambouris, sophomore Will Towner and freshman Will Shepard. Tambouris leads the team in scoring with 41 goals and 16 assists. Freshman Ben Beals has been a regular in net for Trinity.
Dumont said there is renewed dedication this season not only from the players, but from the coaches as well. He said Couture and his staff have brought a new culture to the team since taking over and now it’s starting to pay off.
“We’ve gone from ‘Trinity will never get there’ to ‘We’re going to be there this year,’” Couture said. “And because we’re a little higher in the seedings, we’re going to play a team we’re competitive with.”
Now the Pioneers are taking it one game at a time and the good thing is that first game isn’t against one of the top four teams. Those top four — Derryfield, Hopkinton, Hollis/Brookline and Plymouth — have a combined two losses among them. Trinity’s tournament game will be against somebody closer to the Pioneers’ level, one they can win, and that alone is reward for the four years of hard work Dumont has put in.
“When you’re winning two or three games a year the future wasn’t looking too bright,” Dumont said. “Definitely, this is a huge milestone for this program and it’s good we can leave a legacy, especially in my senior year.”
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THE PIONEERS aren’t the only ones who made some big strides in Div. III this year. The team they lost their regular-season finale to, Manchester West, has also come a long way over the past four seasons.
This was the first year the eight seniors on the Blue Knights won a game. They won six, in fact, and also made the tournament with a record of 6-9. They will also be on the road for a first-round game on Tuesday.
West coach Chris Beede attributed a lot of the turn around in his program to his two assistants, Jake Flynn and Mike Alukonis. He also said the eight seniors have meant a lot this season. That list includes Zach Ziemba, LeShon Brown, Chris Calhoun, Jared Camire, Tyler Crain, Tyler Halstead, Ryan Askham and Alistair Tenters.
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THERE’S A REASON why the Bedford girls’ lacrosse team is 12-3: It has some good college talent.
Four seniors on the team will be playing at the next level next year. They are Alex Fink at Stonehill, Caitlin Heaps at Colby, Morgan Linehan at Roger Williams and Shannen Healy at the University of New England.