Over the past three years, one of the most consistently successful teams in Acton-Boxborough sports has been basketball led by Coach Rick Kilpatrick and groups of motivated players. The 2012 Colonials won the Dual County League Championship, making it the teams third in a row in the last three years. The expectation coming in for this 2013 team is the DCL Championship. Realistically, however, this goal is far from being achieved. The Colonials graduated the team’s entire starting lineup from the 2012 season, and a total of six seniors all together.
Quite simply, the Colonials do not have many big men. The tallest returning player is Alexander Boyd at six feet five inches, but there are many questions going in for Boyd. Boyd has been the casualty of several concussions and health is a big concern for this team. If Boyd receives another concussion, because of the number he has already received, he may not be able to play basketball for the rest of the season.
Outside of Boyd, the next tallest returning player is Joe Euele at six feet two inches. Euele is a great power forward who provides hustle and energy, however, his height does put him at a disadvantage for the center position in terms of rebounding and defense.
In the summer league, Eustaquio Carvalo has shown potential has a varsity player. Eustaquio has no experience of high school basketball, but he has size; he is six feet five inches. If Coach Kilpatrick can get Eustaquio to rebound the ball well and play good defense, Eustaquio could be a valuable member to this team.
Again, the Colonials do not have a guy that they can go to for consistently giving the team twenty points a night. The players will have to be collectively better than the opponents they face; so instead of seeing two players (i.e. Joey Flannery and Kevin LaFrancis for the 2012 team) score twenty points each, the Colonials will probably see five or six players each score six to eight points. Look for a player like Kyle Foote, a good shooter, to lead this team in scoring.
What The Colonials Do Have:
Though this team is small, the players are quick. Billy Jackman, Tyler Billings, Kyle Foote are all fast guards. AB will probably need to utilize the press and try to force other teams into turnover to really take full advantage of the quickness that the players all have.
2. Work Ethic
One thing that people often see in high school basketball teams is players relying on talent over working hard. This team really won’t exhibit. The one thing that this team does have is a group of players that will work hard. What this could potentially mean is that the Colonials could to a strong eight or nine man rotation with solid contributions from the bench. The team has not been made yet but players like Ben Danzig or sophomores like Kevin McGovern could really make an impact for the Colonials off the bench.
Although the Colonials are certainly not as strong as the past three teams have been, the other DCL teams have not really gotten all that better. AB’s biggest rival, Westford, also lost several seniors and they are in a somewhat of a similar situation to AB. Waltham and Wayland will be AB’s toughest opponents; Waltham has a group of starters that fit well together while Wayland boasts Jaleel Bell, a four year varsity player who will probably have a break out year.
Although it’s a tough goal, the Colonials have a chance to win the DCL. If the players put in the time and effort, results will come about.