Boys lacrosse is back in the area and local teams have already started to play games for the first time since the 2019 season.
St. Paul and Berlin led the way locally as each team finished with 13-3 records, but both lost to the No. 12 seed in each of its respective state tournaments.
Newington and Southington also qualified for the tournament, but fell in the first round too.
Now in the midst of the 2021 season, here is a closer look at the local boys lacrosse teams:
Head coach: Jesse Gumpert
Key returner: Jeff Taillon
Outlook: The two Bristol schools join forces this season in a move the team hopes will translate into more wins.
Senior Jeff Taillon will be tasked will leading the team this year after starring for Bristol Eastern two years ago.
Bristol’s first game of the season against Tolland was cancelled.
Bristol will host E.O. Smith on Thursday at 3:45 p.m.
Head coach: Scott Rossi (ninth season)
2019 season: 13-3, lost in first round of Class M state tournament
Key returnees: Ryan Brockel (senior, face-off), Gavin Jordan (senior, midfield), Trevor Miano (senior, defense), Cole Primo (senior, midfield), John McGeever (senior, midfield).
Newcomers to watch: Jack Cannon (sophomore, midfield), Adam Gauvin (sophomore, goalie), Josh Grimm (sophomore, midfield), Bryce Hrubiec (defense).
Outlook: The Redcoats will lack experience more so than most as they lost 20 impact seniors over the last two seasons to graduation.
Berlin will be counting on five returning seniors in Ryan Brockel, Gavin Jordan, Trevor Miano, Cole Primo and John McGeever to lead the way this season.
The Redcoats opened with a 6-5 overtime win over Ellington in their first game, but then dropped its next two against Simsbury and Watertown, to sit at 1-2.
Berlin will visit Westhill next on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
Head coach: Zach Zarookian (fifth season)
2019 season: 11-7, lost to Darien in the first round of the Class L state tournament
Key losses: Matt Bradley, Dan Pestrichello, Scott Robidoux, Jordan Alexander, Owen Freeman
Key returnees: Sam Davies (senior, goalie), Tiago Santos (senior, defense), Kyle Such (senior, defense), Tommy Brescia (senior, defense), Dan Barron (senior, attack), Mike Zapatka (senior, midfield), Trevor Reilly (senior, midfield)
Outlook: Despite an 11-7 record, the Nor’easters played well down the stretch in 2019 as they won their qualifying round game over Conard, 7-4, before falling to the eventual state champs in Darien, 19-1, in the first round.
Goalie Sam Davies returns as one of the anchors of Newington’s defense, along with Tiago Santos, Kyle Such and Tommy Brescia.
Dan Barron, Mike Zapatka and Trevor Reilly will power the Nor’easter offense.
Newington began this season with a 10-1 win over Conard.
The Nor’easters will host E.O. Smith on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m.
Head coach: Ron Chase (13th season)
2019 season: 11-7, lost to New Canaan in the first round of the Class L state tournaments
Key losses: Matt Thompson, Eli Steindl, Seth Bogoslofski, Ethan Thompson, Evan Johanns, Jacob Cardozzo, Garrett Brown, Camden Brown
Key returners: Jack Tedone (senior, midfield), Dawsen Welch (senior, midfield), Glen Somers (senior, defense), Rick Macioce (senior, defense), Rory Missal (junior, attack), Sebby Foresi (junior, midfield), Nate Hunt (junior, defense)
Outlook: The Blue Knights will hope to build off of the 2019 season despite a year off in between.
Southington won its qualifying round game in overtime against Stamford two years ago, before losing to New Canaan in the first round, 15-2.
The Blue Knights bring back a balanced bunch of seniors as Jack Tedone and Dawsen Welch highlight the offense while Glen Somers and Rick Macioce will head the defense.
Southington has started the season 2-2 with wins against South Windsor and Farmington.
The Blue Knights will host Simsbury on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Head coach: Chris Kennedy (fifth season)
2019 season: 13-3, lost in the first round of the Class S state tournament
Key losses: Kevin Ashworth, Connor Bogdanski, John Ivers, Tucker Raymond, David Harrold
Key returners: Evan Zimnoch (senior), Christian Decker (senior), Ryan Bogdanski (senior), Brycen Kennedy (senior)
Outlook: The Falcons will attempt to repeat its 2019 season and then some as they played well in the regular season, but came up short in the state tournament, losing in the first round.
Losing Kevin Ashworth, Connor Bogdanski and John Ivers wil be tough, however St. Paul will boast seniors Evan Zimnoch, Christian Decker, Ryan Bogdanski and Brycen Kennedy this season.
The Falcons started this season with a 7-6 loss to Shelton.
St. Paul will welcome Watertown on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.