A new game at season’s end
WESTWOOD - Midway through the 2011 season, the goal for Duxbury football remains the same as before it started - to win the Patriot Keenan League and successfully defend last season’s Super Bowl victory.
However, a core group of Dragons seniors will shift their focus away from football in college.
“Most of our top athletes are lacrosse [and] football players,’’ said Duxbury coach Dave Maimaron. “We got some baseball players mixed in, and some basketball or hockey guys whatever, but we have a disproportionate amount of lacrosse/football players in our town right now.’’
After graduation, eight starters - Matt O’Keefe, Reilly Naton, Jay McDermott, Seamus Connelly, Max Randall, Andrew Buron, Henry Buonagurio, and James Burke - will play NCAA Division 1 lacrosse.
Wide receiver and defensive back Naton began playing lacrosse in “probably first or second grade.’’ Next season he will play midfield at Yale.
“My dad played lacrosse in college, and we just have a great youth program here,’’ Naton said. “We all had picked up sticks when we were like 6 years old and playing together for that long, you just really start to mesh and you play really well together.’’
Naton and quarterback O’Keefe, who will play defense for Johns Hopkins, connected for two touchdowns in yesterday’s 31-14 victory over Xaverian, and part of the team’s rapport can be attributed to playing lacrosse together.
“Reilly and I always kind of know where each other are on the field,’’ O’Keefe said. “Growing up playing lacrosse was awesome when I was playing with my best friends.’’
The physical toll of playing multiple sports is not a problem, and Maimaron even believes it helps his players on the football field.
“They’re going to the top programs in the country to play lacrosse, but they can play football,’’ Maimaron said. “They’ve all started for us for three years, they’ve won a lot of football games and they can all play at a high level.
“We try to play really fast on offense and defense, and I think it’s just the speed and the athleticism of both sports, that’s the crossover. They’re great lacrosse players but they love playing football.’’