Londonderry's Justin Sproul (left) will be a key contributor for the Lancers this spring. The junior attackman is the team's leading returning scorer.

The Londonderry lacrosse team opens up the regular season on April 9, and thanks to the recent snow storm that pummeled the northeast, the Lancers will have a lot of catching up to do in the next 10 days.

"We basically been practicing in a parking lot," said second-year Londonderry lacrosse coach Joe McCune. "So that limits what you can do. It was good to be on the field this week."

Fortunately, practicing conditions have become a bit more ideal due to the warmer weather, and McCune has now had a chance to get a good look at his squad for this spring. More than 90 students showed up for tryouts, leaving McCune with a plethora of talent to sort through.

"In years past we have never had to make huge cuts," said McCune.

The Lancers are coming off an 8-9 season last year, in which they made it to the second round of the Division 1 tournament before losing to eventual champion Pinkerton. A solid foundation from last year's team returns, making McCune optimistic about this spring

"I'm very pleased with the senior leadership that we seem to have," McCune said. "They are a positive group that works very well together."

Londonderry, returns nine seniors that saw significant playing time last year. Goalie Chris Stringfellow leads the pack along with Tom Garside (midfield), Clint Paulenka (defense), Paul Morrison (defense) and Luke Trotochaud (midfield).

Junior attackman Justin Sproul returns as the team's leading scorer. Joining Sproul will be junior D.J. Ryan and senior Nick Sampson, who hope to add scoring punch to a lineup that struggled at times last year.

"We have to be able to consistently put the ball in the net," McCune said. "Consistency and discipline are the two biggest things we need to work on."

Paulenka, Morrison and junior Jim Curro will anchor the defense, which should be a fairly strong. Londonderry should also be able to capitalize on the physical presence that Trotochaud and junior Mike Anderson will provide.

As far as a state tournament run goes, McCune sees his team as being part of the third tier of Division 1. Perennial powers Pinkerton and Bishop Guertin will be tough to beat as usual, and Exeter and Concord could follow closely behind and emerge as a top team.

Meanwhile, Londonderry hopes to take the league by surprise.

"I certainly hope we can make a run in the tourney," said McCune. "We have a good history in lacrosse, and we hope we can sneak up on some teams."

Londonderry will get an early test, as it will open up against Bishop Guertin on the road.

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