Western Mass. Preseason Top 10
The Berry Division, which is composed of the region’s Division 3 teams, should be a two-team race.
It always is.
Longmeadow and Westfield remain as the teams to beat. Both are expected to reach the sectional final, which has been the case more often than not.
Longmeadow boasts the region’s top forward in Jack Barron. He has the ability to dominate a game and has been outstanding for the past three years.
But he won’t be able to do it alone and Longmeadow will need to find offense from its newcomers. Goalie Max Loyuk improved steadily as the season progressed.
Longmeadow’s best game may have come against Shrewsbury during the regular season. The Colonials edged the Lancers, 2-1 in a game that could have gone either way.
But once again Westfield proved to the Longmeadow’s nemesis during the post-season. Westfield beat Longmeadow for the Western Mass. title last year.
Both teams were hit hard by graduation and both have some solid newcomers ready to take their place. Westfield has annually been the region’s best defensive teams and this year should be no different.
If there’s a sleeper in the Berry, it just might be East Longmeadow. The Spartans have a go-to goal scorer in Michael Trase.
Minnechaug should be improved. West Springfield was also hurt by graduation and may take a step back, while Agawam is hoping to show some improvement.
Reigning champion Easthampton should be the team to beat in Division 3A with most of its players back. Belchertown could challenge them, while Chicopee and Chicopee Comp usually do well during the regular season, but have not been able to match that success in the playoffs.