Maranacook/Winthrop coach Zach Stewart couldn’t have asked for a better setup for the 2014 season.

Take a successful team from 2013, graduate just two seniors and return with a large senior class.

Toss in three players as the top three scorers in Eastern Class B along with a top goalie and he results, needless to say, were favorable.

The Hawks finished with a perfect 12-0 regular season and made it once again to the Eastern Class B semifinals.

For his team’s success, Stewart is the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel Boys Lacrosse Coach of the Year. Cony’s Chad Foye was also considered.

Though he had high expectations for his team, Stewart said even he was surprised by the Hawks’ record.

“Coming out 12-0, that was unbelievable,” Stewart said. “The amount of heart, the amount of hard work those guys put in went beyond my beliefs.”

The Hawks’ offense grabbed the headlines during the regular season thanks to the play of Zach Glazier and Toby Smith. The duo accounted for 166 total points, as Glazier scored 54 goals and Smith 47. Adding to the scoring mix was Denver Cram, who became the third-leading scorer both on the team and in Eastern Class B.

If teams actually had a chance to score, the Hawks had one of the best between the pipes with goalkeeper Zach Bessette.

“We knew (Glazier and Smith) were going to be special players,” Stewart said. “But when you talk about guys like Josh Murphy — who wasn’t even starting at the beginning of the year — he had to beat out four very good faceoff guys, that he gets picked to the underclassman (All-Star game) as the No. 1 FOGO. Denver Cram, he was 12th in scoring (overall) in the state. He was third on our team.

“Kyle Morand, Alex Tooth, AJ Stephens, we just have this incredible balance of people that are willing to put in the teamwork to get the wins and they weren’t selfish about it, which was really fantastic.”

Two wins stand out the most for Stewart during the regular season, a 6-1 win over North Yarmouth Academy and a Class A crossover win over Messalonskee in the regular season finale.

“When we came out for the second half 3-0 with NYA and put in a few more goals, even though NYA wasn’t going to be the team they were in years past,” Stewart said, “I knew we were going to be something special.

“In the last game of the regular season we played Messalonskee. It was (tied) 8-8 and I told the kids ‘This game means nothing, it’s all for pride.’ That was the end of the third (quarter) and go out and win 14-9, they wanted this really bad.”

The Hawks defeated NYA 9-2 in the quarterfinals but fell 10-7 to eventual Eastern Class B champion Yarmouth in the semifinals.

Several key seniors — Smith, Glazier, Tooth and Bessette — have graduated, but with strong players like Cram returning Stewart believes the Hawks have enough to make another run.

“We just have such an atmosphere of wanting it and that’s what I’m excited about,” Stewart said. “These kids want to succeed. Will losing (Smith and Glazier) hurt? Yes. Is it the downfall of Maranacook/Winthrop lacrosse? Absolutely not. These kids are going to come back 110 percent just like we did this year.”

Dave Dyer — 621-5639

[email protected]

Twitter: @Dave_Dyer


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