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Stapleton is key to Oliver Ames goal

Oliver Ames midfielder Dave Stapleton carries the ball, as Concord-Carlisle’s Mitchell Palmer gives chase.
Oliver Ames midfielder Dave Stapleton carries the ball, as Concord-Carlisle’s Mitchell Palmer gives chase.Yoon S. Byun/Globe Staff

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Oliver Ames coach John Barata is leaning heavily on Dave Stapleton this season, and with good reason. He can put his talented 17-year-old senior just about anywhere on the pitch: sweeper, outside back, the midfield, or as a creator, and receive stellar play.

And with the graduation of David MacKinno (University of Hartford), one of the state’s top keepers three years running, Stapleton will shoulder the leadership role for a squad that has expectation of making a deep run in the Division 2 tournament.

“For him, it’s extremely important that he take the bull by the horns and ride it,” said Barata. “If he has his head screwed on right, he will be, without a doubt, one of the best players in the state and the region.”

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