Last Season: Head Coach Paul Zukauskas and the Lawrence Academy football team had a very good 2016 season compiling an overall record of 6-2 with losses coming at the hands of BB&N and the Brooks School. With a healthy A.J. Dillon the Spartans beat Connecticut powerhouse Cheshire Academy and they also had impressive ISL victories over Milton Academy and Governor’s Academy. With Dillon now a freshman running back at Boston College it will be very interesting to see how this year’s Lawrence Academy team adjusts as when Dillon was out with an injury for the second half of last season the Spartans lost to BB&N 20-17 and they lost at Brooks by a score of 20-0.
Last Season Record: 6-2
ITHMA 2017 ISL Preseason Ranking: # 1
2017 Schedule – Key Games: (8) BB&N (9/23/17) – Running back A.J. Dillon has graduated from LA and quarterback Jeff Costello has graduated from BB&N so both of these teams will be looking for new stars on offense. (5) Noble and Greenough (9/29/17) – A lot of new skill players on both of these teams and they also feature some of the best linemen in the state with players like Ryan Betro of LA and Michael Sullivan of Nobles. (3) Belmont Hill (10/28/17) – Belmont Hill will be a handful to match up against this year with receivers like Jake Bobo and Blake Brookes looking to stretch the field on offense. (4) Milton Academy (11/4/17) – The LA defense will be put to the test against Milton Academy’s running game led by sophomore sensation Kalel Mullings.
2017 – Full Schedule – Taft School (CT) (9/16/17), (8) BB&N (9/23/17, (5) Noble and Greenough (9/29/17), @ (7) Governor’s Academy (10/7/17), @ (10) St. Mark’s (10/14/17), @ (6) St. Sebastian’s (10/21/17), (3) Belmont Hill (10/28/17), (4) Milton Academy (11/4/17), @ Tabor Academy (11/11/17)
Key Returning Players – Offense: Finn Dirstine (OL), Ryan Betro (OL), Cam Reddy (TE), Thomas Greaney (TE/QB), Joey Luchetti (TE), Brady Martin (QB), Spencer Aronson (RB/WR), Justin Barron (WR)
Key Returning Players – Defense: Ryan Betro (DT), Joey Luchetti (DE), Cam Reddy (DE), Thomas Greaney (LB), Josh Arruda (LB), Peter Bryant (LB), Spencer Aronson (DB)
Key Returning Players – Special Teams: Spencer Aronson (KR), A.J. Mastrangelo (K)
Breakout Player To Watch – Look for transfer Spencer Aronson to have an immediate impact at Lawrence Academy this season as he can make big plays in all three phases of the game. A terrific all-around athlete who stands 6’2″ and 190 pounds and he is also a very good basketball prospect. Look for Aronson to contribute on offense, defense and special teams as he has excellent speed and quickness to go along with very good hands.
Biggest Team Strength – This year’s Lawrence Academy team is full of Division 1 college prospects and their offensive and defensive lines should both be very solid. Adding in athletic playmakers such as Spencer Aronson and Justin Barron will help make up for the loss of star A.J. Dillon. Boston College commit Ryan Betro anchors what should be a very tough LA defensive unit.
Biggest Team Weakness – A.J. Dillon was the single best player in Massachusetts high school football last year and his loss to graduation can not be underestimated. Without Dillon in their line-up Lawrence Academy lost to the Brooks School 20-0 raising questions about the Spartans going up against the top teams in the ISL without him dominating on both sides of the ball.
Overall 2017 Outlook and Season Prediction: The Lawrence Academy schedule this fall is very difficult with the Spartans having to play a number of ranked teams including BB&N, Noble and Greenough, Governor’s Academy, St. Sebastian’s, Belmont Hill and Milton Academy. The overall talent they have on both sides of the ball make them the favorite in the ISL heading into the 2017 season but their very challenging schedule will be sure to test the Spartans football program this fall.