Perkins returns to Kingswood lacrosse sidelines



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MIKE BERNIER will be back in goal for the Kingswood boys’ lacrosse team this spring. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
April 11, 2011
WOLFEBORO — The new Kingswood boys' lacrosse coach probably already had the proper Kingswood gear before the season even started.

After three seasons away, former Kingswood boys' lacrosse coach Jason Perkins returns to the sidelines this spring, taking over for Matt Jozokos, who guided the Knights to the Division III championship game last spring.

Perkins returns to a Kingswood much different than the one he left after the 2007 season.

"When I left in 2007, they were just starting to talk about the possibility of renovations," he said. "Four years later we walk out onto this immaculate facility we have for athletics."

Perkins and his squad will take to the new Alumni Field for games this fall and though all the Kingswood teams have been spending a little time on the turf, it has made life a bit easier than in years past.

"Everybody's been sharing time on the turf," Perkins said. "It's still nice to have compared to years past when we were scrambling for any type of space."

Another difference this time around is the fact that Perkins is not in the Kingswood building on a daily basis. He still teaches at Noble High School during the day.

"It's a new group of kids, I'm not in the building, but I'm fortunate to have Jim Savage and Bill Tappan back as assistants," Perkins said. "They've been valuable assets to the program."

Joining the coaching ranks this year is John Forbes, a former player at UVM.

"It's nice to have them and their knowledge and their experience to help guide the program," Perkins stated.

Perkins notes that last year's team set the bar high, finishing undefeated and advancing to the title tilt and this year's squad wants to continue that winning tradition.

"The program set a bar last year with a great season," Perkins said. "The kids want to continue that and build a tradition here at Kingswood where it's consistent year in and year out."

Perkins is pleased with the team on the turf, noting they are all working hard every day and come to practice ready to improve, which is all he and the coaching staff can ask for.

"Obviously there was some very talented players that have moved on, but we have a pretty good core of kids who are back with varsity experience," he said. "And we have kids coming back to the program and freshman coming up.

"We want to play to our potential and hopefully that will transpire with us in the show at the end of the season," the Knight coach continued.

The team will have four captains this spring. Seniors Max Gustafson and Alex Lapar will be the anchors of the defensive unit, while junior midfielders Alex Boucher and Cam Whitcomb will also serve as captains. Senior Sam Hart returns to the program as a midfielder as well and Matt Fitzpatrick is back to help on defense.

At the attack position, Perkins will be looking to a few underclassmen to help shoulder some of the load.

Sophomore MacKenzie Tetreault and freshmen Mitch Tappan and Connor Diamond will get their chance to participate, while senior Nick Moore returns to the program and will also play on attack.

Perkins is also hopeful that Jake Vontz, who is rehabbing a knee injury, will be ready to go when May rolls around.

The Knights also have the luxury of returning their starting goaltender. Mike Bernier was solid in net in his freshman campaign and will be back for more this season.

"He had a very good season last year as a freshman and he's looking good again this year," Perkins said. "That's a positive for us, having a goalie of that caliber coming back as only a sophomore."

Perkins hopes the entire team feeds off its hard work and effort and from there, each game will be determined on how they play.

The Knights will open the season with a 4 p.m. game against Windham on Friday, April 15, at Alumni Field. The boys then head to Plymouth for a 4 p.m. game on Tuesday, April 19.

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