Seamus Connelly '12 exploded on the scene last year as one of the best young Attackmen in New England. After losing in their playoff run last year Connelly and Duxbury are hungry to get back to Harvard Coliseum and get another shot at the Division 1 State Championship.
Duxbury opens up today against Mercer Island (WA) today at 4 p.m. at Duxbury High School and host North Quincy High School tomorrow at 4 p.m.
Next Wednesday (4/13) New England Prep Stars will be at the much anticipated Division 1 battle against Billerica Memorial High School. Game time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
We caught up with Connelly before the start of the regular season in a "One on One" interview:
When did you begin playing lacrosse? What other sports do you play?
SC: I began playing lacrosse in the Second grade. Although he never pressured me into playing, my dad really got me into the sport and has been extremely instrumental in my development as a lacrosse player. I also play Tight End on the football team at Duxbury and play a lot of basketball in my free time.
Who are some of the your role models on and off the lacrosse field?
SC: I'd have to say that the athlete I admire the most would be Michael Jordan. His passion and fire for the game are things that I really try to emulate when I'm playing.
Off the field, my parents are my biggest role models. I have no idea what I would do without their guidance.
What is your biggest strength as a lacrosse player and something that you need to continue to work on to become a better player?
SC: My dodging, field vision, and ground ball ability are my best attributes as a lacrosse player. I need to work on every single aspect of my game, as there is no part of it that I am satisfied with.
How has summer ball gone for you and how has it helped the development of your game?
SC: The past three summers I have played for Laxachusetts. The core of the team is made up of Duxbury players, so it is perfect in that we basically all play with each other year round. The Laxachusetts coaching staff is second to none. It is crazy being around so many great players. Guys like Brendan Glass, who I've worked with for as long as I can remember, David Evans, and Sean Morris have all played major roles in my lacrosse career. Without the Laxachusetts staff or the Duxbury High staff for that matter, I do not know where I would be today.
How did you end up choosing Duke? What made you commit early?
SC: Relative to the time I committed, which was this past July, my commitment to Duke was definitely early. However, I was in contact with Duke since November of my sophomore year, so I felt very thorough in my decision to commit. After my first contact with Duke, I knew that it was the place, if fortunate enough to have the opportunity, that I would go to. My visits there throughout my sophomore year and last summer only strengthened that thought, and the Duke coaching staff made it easy for me to know that I will benefit not only as a lacrosse player during my time at Duke, but also as a man.
I also considered Penn, Harvard, Dartmouth, Princeton, North Carolina, Notre Dame, and Johns Hopkins. Duke first saw me during the summer preceding my sophomore year at the Peak 200 rising junior camp, and came into contact with me after the UMass fall tournament in November of my sophomore year.
What does the Duxbury lacrosse tradition means to you?
SC: The tradition of the Duxbury lacrosse program is very special to me. I know that every time our team steps on the field we are representing our whole town. I moved to Duxbury in the third grade after living in Darien, CT for most of my life. My first memories of the program are of when guys like Max Quinzani and Chris Nixon were here. Those guys really put this program on the map, and followed that with illustrious college careers. I remember running on to the field as a little kid when they won the State Championship, which is still up there as one of the coolest things I have ever done in my life.
What are your goals this year for your team and yourself personally?
SC: As a team, our only primary goal is to win a State Championship, which, for the first time in seven years, we did not accomplish last year. Also, we are aiming for perfection, as always. Personally, my only goal is to do all I need to do to help my team win a State Championship and be perfect.
Who do you view as some of the better teams in Massachusetts/New England that you guys play or may play down the line?
SC: In-state, teams like Billerica and St. John's Prep will be big obstacles in our path to get back to Harvard Coliseum. We have big out-of-state games against the likes of Bishop Guertin, Irondequoit, Niskayuna, and a huge match up against Garden City.
What have your teammates and coaches at Duxbury meant to you over the years?
SC: I have played lacrosse and football with the core group of my teammates for as long as I can remember. Going out to play a sport with the kids you grew up with is an indescribable feeling. My coaches, Coach Sweet and Coach Fischer, have taught me an uncountable number of things pertaining to lacrosse, and many more in my development as a person. They know everything there is to know about lacrosse and also help me with just about everything in life.
With all the talent on your team and a preseason rank of #1 in the state in many polls can you talk a little about expectations and how you guys deal with those?
SC: There is always pressure on us, playing for Duxbury, so this year doesn't feel all that different to us. We try to stay clear of all of the polls out there, but, if anything, that kind of stuff makes us work harder. The work put in this preseason was definitely jacked up in anticipation for that kind of stuff.
What are some of your hobbies and what do you enjoy doing off of the field?
SC: I love to go boating in the summer, along with participating in political debates with teammate, Matt O'Keefe.
Tell us one thing that is unique about you or that most people do not know?
SC: Something that most people don't know about me is that I am the most powerful Pokemon trainer in the entire world.