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Norfolk/Wrentham - Local Town Pages

KP Boys Lacrosse Team has the Ingredients for Success

The 2024 King Philip boys lacrosse team is an experienced squad that has depth and experience.

By Ken Hamwey
Staff Sports Writer

For the last five years, the King Philip boys lacrosse program has qualified for the state tournament. By the looks of this year’s squad, it seems like another playoff berth is just around the corner.

King Philip’s lacrosse captains are Donovan DeVellis, Tyler Douglas, Jack Berthiaume and Noah Minkwitz.


Last year, coach Hal Bean’s Warriors finished with a 13-4 record before facing Milton in the playoffs where they lost, 11-7, Only five seniors graduated from that contingent, leaving the current KP team with 15 returnees.

Bean knows he’s got a plethora of players who’ve got experience and can provide depth. But, he’s also got competitors who bring lots of strengths to the table.

“Our team has a high lacrosse IQ, good technical skills, speed and quickness,’’ he said. “We’re also a team that passes well, is strong on offense and defense and our goaltending is an asset.’’

Bean, who’s in his sixth season as the Warriors’ coach, listed four goals that he believes are realistic and achievable. 

“We want to qualify again for the tourney,’’ he emphasized. “We also want to win some playoff matches. Two other objectives are to compete for the Kelly-Rex Division title and to improve our skills in practice and in matches.’’

KP’s senior captains — Donovan DeVellis (attack), Noah Minkwitz (midfielder), Tyler Douglas (defender) and Jack Berthiaume (defender) — all lead by example and by being communicative and supportive. DeVellis and Minkwitz earned Hockomock League and Sun Chronicle all-star recognition last year. DeVellis had 58 goals and 45 assists (103 points) last season and at Local Town Pages deadline he had 19 goals and 6 assists for 25 points in five matches. Minkwitz scored 40 goals and had nine assists (49 points) last year.

“Donovan is instinctive, sees the field well and has a very accurate shot,’’ Bean said. “A great teammate, he passes effectively and has speed and quickness. Noah is strong, fast, has a hard shot, is solid in transition and is superb on defense.

“Tyler is an excellent passer and plays his position in phenomenal fashion. He’s tactically smart, aware of his surroundings and knows what strategy our opponents may be using. Jack is physical, fast and strong. One of our hardest workers, he’s always under control.’’

Three players who compiled impressive statistics last year are junior Hayden Schmitz (midfielder), Mason Thompson (attack) and Thomas Kilroy (midfielder).

“Hayden is fast, has a high lacrosse IQ and is technically solid,’’ Bean said. “He’s quick in transition and he gets good placement on his shot. He scored 36 goals and had 31 assists for 67 points and was a Sun Chronicle all-star last year.  

“Mason has a high lacrosse IQ, listens well and is a great teammate. He reacts well to his teammates during the flow of a game and is a common-sense player. He had 25 goals and 27 assists for 52 points last year and was a Sun Chronicle honorable-mention choice. Thomas is athletic, tall and covers lots of ground. He’s unselfish, works hard and is a team-first player. A fantastic teammate, he scored six goals and had 22 assists for 28 points last year.’’

Three other key competitors include senior Cullen McCarthy (midfielder), sophomore Brodie McDonald (defender), and senior Henry Leclair (midfielder). McCarthy notched eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points last year, and Leclair had five goals and four assists for nine points.

“Cullen is a high character player who gives 100 percent all the time,’’ Bean said. “Solid in transition, he’s got good all-around skills and good hand-eye coordination. Brodie started as a freshman, he’s physical, strong and intelligent. He’s an athletic defender who relies on strong stickwork. Henry is a midfielder who handles faceoffs. He meshes well with all of our lines, he’s got good instincts and has a high lacrosse IQ.’’

Sophomore Finn Cunningham is handling the goaltending chores. A starter on the jayvees last year, he also was the varsity backup to James Boldy. “Finn sees the ball and field well, has good reflexes and moves efficiently,’’ Bean said. “He makes the tough saves and he’s calm and cool under pressure.’’

The 61-year-old Bean has a group of six players who’ll get playing time and be counted on to contribute. They include senior Charlie Morris (midfielder), juniors Aiden McCarthy (attack), Pat Weiblen (attack), and Drew Bowen (defender), and sophomores Nick Longobardi (midfielder), and Jacob Booth (midfielder).

“They’re a fine group of talented lacrosse players,’’ Bean noted. “And, I expect them to make a major impact this year.’’

Bean has high praise for his staff of assistants. They include Tyler Smith (head varsity assistant), Jeff McKee (varsity assistant), Tom Walsh (jayvee coach) and Steve Little who helps at both levels. “They all work well together, they’re great with the players, they enjoy their roles, they’re knowledgeable and I value their input,’’ Bean said.

A native of Needham, Bean relies on a competitive philosophy that focuses on making sure his players reach their potentials and enjoy their athletic endeavors. “If that occurs, then winning will follow,’’ he emphasized. “The players still need to work hard, develop their skills and communicate.’’

Bean also believes that valuable life lessons can be learned in sports. “Athletics can teach kids how to advocate for themselves, how to overcome adversity and be resilient,” he offered. “Other things to be learned are leadership, being good teammates and how to build relationships.’’

Bean’s five-year regular season record as KP’s coach is 58-31. He’s adding to that win number often and he’s also developed a nice streak of tourney qualifications. At Local Town Pages deadline, KP had a 3-2 record.

The Warriors 2024 season should be a positive experience for the coaches and players, and a lengthy playoff run would certainly sweeten the journey.