Hornets’ Nest


Boys Lacrosse:

The Manchester Essex boys’ lacrosse team hosted CAL rival school Triton HS on a cool sunny Monday afternoon at Hyland Field.  This was the first time all year the Hornets didn’t have the face-off matchup in their favor, which made possession battle important in the first half.  Sam Athanas struck first for the Hornets in transition making it 1-0 Manchester.  After exchanging possessions throughout the first half, Hornets would find them up 5-2 thanks to scoring twice by Alex Fraser, while Declan Kirk, and Doug Pratt.  The Hornets defense only allowed Triton to register four shots on cage.

To start the second half, Manchester would go man up for a minute, however, did not cash in.  On the defensive side, the Hornets would go man-down twice, and make two big stops to stop all scoring threats from Triton.  Jack Dipasquale would come up big making 4 big saves in the second half to hold the visiting team to three goals in the final two quarters.  Brennan Twombly and Sam Athanas would each tally two caused turnovers in the second half, allowing the Hornets to outscore the Vikings 4-3. Nearing the end of regulation, Jesse Oliver and Chase Dickson would score to help the Hornets secure the win.  Final score was 9-5, where Manchester Essex improves to 8-0 on the season.

Game Scoring: Sam Athanas - 2g, Alex Fraser - 2g,1a, Jesse Oliver - 1g, Declan Kirk - 1g, Chase Dickson - 1g, Doug Pratt - 1g,1a, Quinn Brady - 1g,1a, Mac Edgerton - 2a, Cam Hubbard - 1a and Jack Dipasquale - 7 saves, 5 goals against

The Manchester Essex boys’ lacrosse team traveled to Peabody on Thursday for a rematch from the season opener vs Bishop Fenwick to complete their home and away series.  The first half would be a low scoring game, where Quinn Brady and Sam Athanas would score each in the first quarter to put the Hornets up 2-0 early.  Bishop Fenwick scored one of their own on a following possession, then both teams would be scoreless in the second quarter heading into half 2-1.  There were many big stops on defense which was led by senior goaltender Jack Dipasquale who tallied 8 saves on the afternoon. 

Third quarter would remain scoreless, with settled defensive stops as well as two man down penalties yet still seemed to hold the Crusaders from finding the back of the net.  Seniors Brennan Twombly, Mark Pollock, and Danny Wood would all play lock down defense holding Fenwick’s attack line scoreless all game.  Not until about halfway through the fourth quarter the visiting Hornets would begin to pour it on the home team.  Jesse Oliver would come up clutch once again with four unanswered goals in the second half, while Brennan Twombly and Sam Athanas would also score to seal the deal for the Hornets. Final score on the road was 8-2 in favor of the Hornets, to improve to 9-0 on the season.  With this win, Manchester Essex would punch their ticket to the MIAA playoffs winning already half of their games.

Game Scoring, Jesse Oliver - 4g, Sam Athanas - 2g, Brennan Twombly - 1g, Quinn Brady - 1g, Mac Edgerton - 2a, Declan Kirk - 1a, Cam Hubbard - 1a and Jack Dipasquale - 8 saves, 2 goals allowed.

Girls Tennis:

Coming back after April break Hornets girls’ tennis had three big matches, two against reigning state champions.  The girls opened with a 4-1 loss to the D3 champs Newburyport with Grayson Crocker earning a hard-fought win at third singles.  On Thursday the entire team rebounded with a comprehensive 5-0 win over CAL opponent Amesbury, squeegeeing the courts dry just in time to get the match started and enjoy some tennis in the sunshine!  Friday was a competitive but tough home loss to Hamilton Wenham that saw the Hornets lose 5-0 but play a number of close sets against the D4 champs -- the overall match was highlighted by a two-hour battle at second doubles that Sienna Crocker and Grace Scarbrough ultimately dropped 6-4 in the 3rd set.

Boys’ Tennis:

The Hornets' boys' tennis team had another solid week with wins at North Reading and at Newburyport and a close loss at Hamilton Wenham.  On Monday, the boys traveled to North Reading for the battle of the Hornets and came away with a hard fought 5-0 win.  After a very competitive first set, the first doubles tandem of Jan Vytopil and Sander Breuker cruised in the second to win their match (6-4, 6-0).  The second doubles duo of Finn Birkeland and Jack Lawler won their match in straight sets as well (6-3, 6-0).  Both Charlie Virden and Finn Straub won their singles at two and three in straight sets (6-0, 6-2) and (6-1, 6-2) respectively.  The match of the day came at the first singles spot where Jack Cummins pulled out a third set 10-point tie break 10-8 to win his match (6-1, 6-7, (10-8)).  

On Wednesday, the boys traveled to Newburyport to play the Clippers who were without their first singles player due to injury.  Newburyport showed its depth in the match by still pulling a point away from the Hornets.  Cummins won at one (6-0, 6-0).  Charlie Virden won at two singles (6-2, 6-2).  Finn Straub won at three singles (6-1, 6-0) while second doubles won (6-1, 6-3).  

The real battle of the week was on Friday when the boys went to Hamilton Wenham to play the Generals.  This time it would be the Hornets who were undermanned, missing their third singles due to a conflict.  Despite a brilliant match from Charlie Virden who won his match against the hard serving and hard-hitting Elois Chadel of the Generals, and despite close second sets from first singles, and first doubles, the Hornets would come up short losing 1-4.  The Hornets look forward to the rematch with the Generals at the end of the season for a chance to grab part of the CAL Title. 


Monday and Tuesday, with only two days of practice before our first meet, we focused on starts, and the ‘Digital N’ course for team racing, which includes two up wind legs, with two short reaches and a long downwind leg.  The young team were very familiar with the course by the end of two days of practice.

Having focused on starts and upwind legs, our team jumped into the lead in the first race, reaching the first windward mark with the desired “1, 2, 3”.  In team racing, each team’s score is the sum of their individual finish positions.  The team with a 1, 2, 3 gets 6 points, while the other team (4, 5, 6) gets 15.  Unfortunately, one of our skippers started “going on offense”, trying to use the racing rules to push the opposition even further behind.  Rather than gaining more distance for his team-mates in first and second, he lost his third place and ended up in last.  Further jitters with the other two Hornet skippers caused a Beverly player to get into second place, jeopardizing our win!

At the finish, we had a 1, 4, 5 for 10 points, just beating out Beverly’s 11 points (2, 3, 6).  The coach was on edge at this point, particularly when the team captain’s laconic reply to the coach’s “You had the 1, 2, 3!  What happened?”, was “Just messing with their heads, coach.”

In the second race, with good position at the start, and fast upwind sailing, the Hornets got around the first mark with a 1, 2, 3, and kept it a bit longer.  However, the third place Hornet dropped back to a last place finish, so the race ended with a 1, 2, 6 for 9 points versus Beverly’s 12.

In the final race, we came through with another 1, 2, 6 for an easy win.

Given that both teams had substitute sailors who wanted to race and the conditions were ideal, we swapped in all the extra sailors and had two more races with similar finishes to the first three.

A good result to start the team-racing season.


We knew going into this meet that it was going to be a tough one, because we often scrimmage against Landmark, and their top two skippers are very experienced sailors, who know the rules and sail fast.  The Hornets put up a good showing but were edged out by slightly better boat speed up and down the course, as well as the Landmark skippers taking advantage of their strong tactical ability at mark roundings and better knowledge of the racing rules to force the Hornet sailors into taking penalty turns.

After Landmark won the Varsity match by a score of 3-0, both teams substituted in their JV squad, and at this point, the Hornets turned the tables winning the next three races handily. 


The Hornets beat Wayland with a score of 3 races to 0.

The first race was a nail-biter with Wayland getting to the first mark in first and second.  On the downwind leg, where the following boats often have an advantage, the Manchester sailors managed to get into first and fourth place but were still missing the winning combination at the last mark before the final windward leg.  After the first four boats finished, Wayland was ahead with a 1, 4, 5 combination.  Our last place boat appeared to be 50 yards behind the 5th place Wayland boat which was closing on the finish line.  Catching a new breeze coming in from the left side of the course, Grey was able to ease his sheets slightly, gaining speed towards the finish, while the Wayland boat was pinching and moving slowly.  At the last moment, Grey crossed the line just a half boat length ahead of the last Wayland boat.  Moving from 6th into 5th, Grey was able to switch the score from 10 / 11 for Wayland, to 10 / 11 for Manchester.

With that win under their belt, and the initial jitters laid to rest, the Hornet threesome won the start of the second race and made it to the windward mark with a solid 1, 2, 3, which they held around the remaining four legs of the course for the strong 6/15 win.  And then repeated the stunt, with another strong start and a 1, 2, 3 finish.  So, the week ended with two wins and 1 loss.


The Hornets dropped their only game this week to Georgetown 17-0.  Kyra Levasseur, Anna Gardner, and Abby Taron had the hits.  Anna had a stolen base as well. Anna and Abby Aiello did a nice job pitching in this one, but the Hornets did not play sharp defense as a team. 


North Reading 10, ME 2

Troy Flood pitched 4 innings of solid baseball.  Striking out 3.  Troy Flood had a 2RBI single.  Matt Mckenna was 1 for 2.  Henry Otterbein and Mike Deoreo each scored a run.  We’re a very solid baseball team and the wins are going to eventually start coming our way.  North Reading is very good, and we have to tip our caps to a good team.

hornets nest, manchester, sander breuker, wayland, brennan twombly, henry otterbein, jack dipasquale, matt mckenna, grayson crocker, elois chadel, finn birkeland, chase dickson, beverly player, mark pollock, anna gardner, mac edgerton, hamilton wenham, charlie virden, jesse oliver, danny wood, declan kirk, abby taron, grace scarbrough, alex fraser, kyra levasseur