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VIDEO: Boys' Lacrosse Ready to Defend CAL Large Title

Coach Jim Lasalva lost a lot of offense heading into the 2011 lacrosse season, but he's confident his team will get the job done on the field this year.

has one sport in the Cape Ann League Large division - the boys’ lacrosse team. Coach Jim LaSelva’s teams have qualified for the state tournament nine times in the 10 seasons as a varsity sport.

Last year’s club went 15-5, winning the league title before falling to Dover-Sherborn in the second round of the state tournament. The Generals received a bye in the first round of the tournament because of their strong regular season.

“We started as a club team in 2000, moving up to a varsity sport the next year,” LaSelva said after practice Wednesday. “I moved over from Endicott (College), it was very exciting to start my own program, and we’ve been incredibly successful over the years here.”

“We had a great commitment from the community and the lacrosse players over the years, the youth programs, we’ve really built a program we’re very proud of,” LaSelva said.

Almost the entire attacking line graduated from last year’s playoff team, but LaSelva is confident Elliot Burr, Eddie Frick, Sam Martinez, Christian Veletti and Jake Stokes can bury a few goals this season.

Last week, 43 hopefuls hit the practice field, looking to fill spots on the varsity roster for 2011.

“We lost a lot of guys, but looking at what we’ve got heading into the season, we’ve got some exciting possibilities, it’s going to be a fun year,” LaSelva said.

Hamilton-Wenham will face several big tests this season against Masconomet, Pentucket and North Andover and an early challenge in the season opener against next-door neighbor Beverly.

“We kick it off against the Panthers, it’s a big rivalry, the next town over, they’ve got a good program over there and it’s always a good game when we play them,” LaSelva said.

LaSelva has also circled a mid-season game against Norwell, one of the lacrosse powers in Div. 3, as a key game for his club.

Assistant coaches Nick Ristaino and Dan Hayden will join LaSelva running the team in 2011.

The season opener is scheduled for Friday, April 1, at 4:30 p.m. at . The Generals will face Beverly at the North Andover High School field, weather permitting. If the game is snowed out on Friday, they will try to play on Saturday.

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