Westborough – There are frequently difficult challenges for new head coaches at the high school level, but for Tim Montgomery it seems like maybe not so much.
Montgomery took the reins of the Westborough High boys’ varsity lacrosse team this season and has led them to an eye-popping 8-1 record while knocking off a host of tough competition. But perhaps more importantly, he has his squad clearly rallying around him and buying into his coaching methods with eagerness and confidence that project to go a long way as the 2016 campaign progresses.
“We’ve had a lot of coach changes over the years and coming out this year were kind of unsure how our coach was going to be and to come out with a fast and energetic start really boosts morale on the team and brings us together as a squad,” said senior co-captain Nick Gallo. “It really makes us feel more of a family because everyone’s invested in it. When you’re 8-1 and start climbing the ranks, people know we’re good.”
“This group of guys is a lot different than the group of guys I’ve been playing with the last four years,” acknowledged fellow senior co-captain Charles Katz. “The chemistry that we have this year is a lot different and I think we can get really deep in the playoffs with the players that we have and the coach that we have.
“We beat some big teams earlier like Grafton and St. John’s and we really believe in ourselves. I think that winning those games can give us the momentum going further on this season.”
The 2016 team is led by senior co-captains Gallo, Katz, Max McGourty and Dan Boucher. All are solid leaders and talented players who recognize the intangibles that make a difference.
“The big thing we have is chemistry,” explained McGourty. “We’re all good friends, we hang out all the time and have been coached over the years by the same people. We’ve all learned from the same roots and work as a team. We communicate well and it makes a big difference.
“This team is a lot different. We’re not the same team we were last year. We’re more disciplined and have better leadership. We’re taking advantage of the skill we have on the field and we’re making up the skill we don’t have with hard work and chemistry.”
“The thing that we have to do is play hard every day at practice,” added Boucher. “We have a group of guys that are ready to step on the field and give it one hundred percent every day. We lock in before and we don’t lock out until it’s over. We see these tough teams come in but we know we’re ready for them.”
As for Montgomery, his decision to make Westborough High his choice for coaching is one that he has embraced and has never looked back on. He and the players have formed a bond early on that may catapult the team deep into the playoffs, but no one is looking that far ahead.
“The number one thing I love about this team is how relentless they are every day,” said Montgomery, who is assisted by Scott Dube. “That wasn’t how things started. We kind of had to get there. The kids are all friends and early on the kids didn’t want other kids to look bad at practice. So it became a challenge for us to challenge each other at practice. But now the kids have a relentless attitude and a lot of the dialogue you hear is them saying to never quit. And having 18 seniors on the team really sets the stage for mental toughness.”
“The biggest thing for us is keeping eyes and ears on our side of the field. One of the things that keeps the guys focused is that we put a high emphasis on just worrying about you and do your job and a lot of the other stuff will come together.”
Members of the 2016 Westborough High boys varsity lacrosse team are seniors Jeff Bernard, Tom Friguillette, Charles Katz, Jon Gross, Owen Smallcomb, Max McGourty, Dan Boucher, Luke Joyce, Nick Gallo, Dan Moon, Matt Kaiser, Peter Gonsalves, Nick Meaney, David Beliveau, Jason Hurkmans, Nathaniel Ricardi, Ethan Ricardi; juniors Trevor McNamara, Luke McGrath, Jake Keaveney, Coryd Callahan, John Ashton and sophomores Griffin Barrierre, Jon Rodenbush and Brendan Gately.