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Cannons ready for 2019 with young talent, new core

October 19, 2018
After finishing the 2018 season on a two-game winning streak, the Cannons quickly set their attention on 2019. Through a slew of contract extensions and one key trade acquisition, the Cannons have put the momentum gained from the final stretch of games to good use.

“We finished off the 2018 season really strong when we had that core group of guys,” said Head Coach Sean Quirk. “As a staff we thought that if we can keep this group of guys together for 2019, we’ll be in really good shape.”

Since the end of the season, the Cannons have signed nearly twenty players to contract extensions ranging from one to three years. Although there are still some holes to fill and a long way to go before the start of next season, the Cannons like where they are this early in the off-season.

“Our thought process was to sign many of our players to [multi-year] deals because it’s such a young core and we like the potential,” said Coach Quirk. “It’s shows our commitment to them and it shows they believe in what we are doing, and they want to be here.”

The Cannons are hoping this young core, led by returning second-year players Trevor Baptiste, Nick Marrocco, Cody O’Donnell, and Will Sands, will help them compete for a championship in not just 2019, but for years to come.

A sophomore surge for each of these players is also a possibility. For instance, Lizards attackman Rob Pannell had 56 points in his second season, increasing his 42-point output as a rookie by 14 points. Bayhawks midfielder Myles Jones put up 34 points as a rookie and 39 points in his sophomore season, but also saw his goal total jump from 15 to 23. The list goes on and on.

It’s entirely possible that Sands, who had 17 points in just five games before suffering a season-ending injury, elevates his game in his second year. Shack Stanwick’s 13 points will almost definitely increase next year, especially if he plays with the pace he did in 2018. The Cannons are excited to have a surplus of second-year players already signed for next season.

Boston also re-signed Mark Cockerton, Kyle Denhoff, and Tim Edwards to give them some more experience up and down the roster. Cockerton, who put up 29 goals in seven games with the Cannons, is expected to build off that in a full season with the team. Denhoff and Edwards both provided tremendous depth on both sides of the midfield and will again be relied on in 2019.

At the end of the 2018 campaign, the Cannons also said goodbye to long-time Cannons Mitch Belisle and Max Seibald, who both decided to hang up the cleats. While the Cannons will certainly miss their presence, they believe their new core benefitted from the time spent with Belisle and Seibald, who both took on mentorship roles this past season. The young players learned what it takes to be a true professional from two of the best in the business, so the Cannons are comfortable in moving on with this group.

The Cannons have had a lot of roster turnover in the last two years, but they are confident that this new, young core will help them climb the ranks in Major League Lacrosse. They feel their second-year players will all take steps forward and the returning veterans will continue to perform in 2019. Additionally, the Cannons are eager to see what this group can do in a full season together.

“We really like the makeup of this group,” said Coach Quirk. “The guys are starting to bond as a team because they’ve all committed to each other and the organization, which is huge this time of year.”

Though the Cannons still have a lot of work ahead of them, it’s hard not to get excited about the potential this team has for next season. The ultimate goal is to compete for the Steinfeld Cup, and the Cannons believe the core they are building will help them achieve it.

For more stories/headlines by Matt McGuirk, click here.