The boys lacrosse season is underway for the private schools and the public schools will begin play Wednesday, so it's time to start rolling out the projections for this season's top teams.
Now, the time has come to reveal which team is ranked No. 1 and considered the team to beat. The top 15 poll, along with the top players to watch, will be available online Sunday morning and the entire preview package will be in Sunday's print edition of The Sun.
Outlook: Can the Cardinals be the first MIAA A team to defend the championship since Loyola Blakefield won its second straight in 2008? Not only did they win it all, they ran the table with a perfect mark in league play. While they lost some key players to graduation, most notably All-Metro picks JT Bugliosi on attack and Brendan Curry at midfield, and opponents will be coming at them with their best, the Cardinals have the depth, skill and temperament to make it two straight. Tons of talent returns, led by All-Metro Player of the Year Jacob Kelly on attack. The team's other senior leaders are defenseman George Walsh, midfielder Connor Maher and long pole midfielder Jack Connelly. Jacob Kelly's younger brother Daniel showed promise in a freshman season that was capped by a three-goal effort in the title game. He'll take on a more prominent role this season. Health is already a concern, with a number of injuries hampering the team in the early going. Coach Kelly hopes the team will get close to full strength by the time league play rolls around, and others getting valuable playing time early will be a plus.