2022 Boys Lacrosse preview


The Warriors look to win another title this year. photo courtesy of Kim Weller


This spring, Canton High School Warriors boys lacrosse will be back. The season will kick off on Monday April 4, when Canton High School will play the Rockville-Coventry-Stafford co-op team at home. 

In 2021, the lacrosse team won theNorth Central Connecticut Conference championship after going 14-3. However, the end to their season came about when the Warriors lost to the Granby Bears in overtime of the first round of the state playoffs. Performances by last-years seniors boosted the team to greatness. And with another season of lacrosse and a new group of seniors, the team hope for another strong season.

Warriors head-coach Chris Weller is ready to get the season started. Now coming into his tenth season, Coach Weller says that this season will be one of his most successful yet. “I am expecting that the Warriors make the Class S state tournament and advance past the first round,” Mr. Weller said. 

Last year’s first round loss was very disappointing to Mr. Weller, who coached the team to a 14-3 season, their only losses coming against Newington and Granby.

Despite their loss, Weller believes that the team will do great things together. “We have veteran leadership that had good success last year as NCCC and CCC South champions. The NCCC will be toughly contested this year with some good teams at the top with Somers, Canton and Granby,” Mr. Weller said.

The season looks to be a difficult one, especially for the Warriors. Facing opponents like Newington, Somers, and St. Joseph will be challenging, and Granby is always a rivalry game for the Warriors. 

Coach Weller clearly believes in this team, with a new group of seniors and additonal coaching. The Warriors will have three coaches this season, something Weller is very excited about.  He says that the most challenging thing this season will be “how can we as coaches get the most out of our roster of players. Our roster includes some very experienced players as well as some brand new players. All players are going to be able to contribute to the team’s success this season in some way and we coaches need to figure out how that will happen for each member of the team.” 

The boys are also excited for the season. Canton High School junior Ryan Weller, attackman and Coach Weller’s son, is definitely looking forward to playing this year. His freshmen season on the team was canceled due to COVID-19, so this will be his second year playing high school lacrosse. Last year Ryan had 73 goals and 32 assists. 

However, Ryan understands the challenge it will take this season to do everything again. “I think that the team has a lot to prove this year because we had a very good season last year. So the biggest challenge for us this year is to not get caught up in the pressure.” 

Ryan knows the team wants to win the conference championship again and wants to beat Granby. “Granby is the team that ended our season last year and I know everyone on the team wants that game back.”

Another challenge the boys will face is the loss of last year’s seniors. “They will be hard to replace but I know that we have players on this team that can fill their shoes,” Ryan said.

Canton High School junior Luke DeRitis also feels the same way. The defender, playing his second year of high school lacrosse, knows that even though they are missing some key players, the team has what it takes to make it back. “We definitely are taking a hard hit in losing last year’s seniors, but I think this year’s group is very capable of making a deep run in the playoffs,” Luke said.

This year’s seniors definitely feel the pressure of leading their teammates back to last year’s success. Last year, senior Griffin Weller and Xander Delouriero led the team both offensively and defensively, something that is very unique.  Ryker Bahre, senior midfielder, knows that everyone is looking up to him and his senior teammates for success. He knows that “making sure the whole team is on the same page will help us succeed against other teams.” Along with that, the fact that the team is getting more coaches is very helpful too, something that Bahre is looking forward to. 

Will Walburger, senior midfielder for the Warriors, knows that the team can do well. He also knows that the state tournament will be difficult. “The team wants to go far in the tournament and I think they really want to beat Granby and Newington,” he said, “and to be honest, I really want to end my senior season with a state title.” If done, it would be Canton’s first lacrosse state title ever. 

“The team will do very well this year, and we have the team to achieve that,” Ryker said.