Why These CRLS Teams Could Win The State Championship

Boone Gross, Sports Editor

As the expression goes, “where there’s a will, there’s a way” and as the new season dawns, every team at CRLS has plenty of will to raise a banner. So here are the pathways for a few teams this season, ranging from the plausible to the downright preposterous.

This team’s problems can be summed up in 3 words: O-Line, graduation, and the red zone. Last season, the O-Line practically sacked quarterback Ben Berinsky ’23 themselves. Graduation took huge pieces, only worsening matters.
However, the quarterback room is relatively sound and has some talent in it to boot. Kevin Leal ’23 seems to have the starting job locked, but with a receiving corps that lacks standouts, there is only so much one can do. So how do they raise a banner?
Well, the MIAA felt pretty generous in making the schedule. Of the 12 games on the schedule, the biggest challenges will be the three-game stretch against Boston English, Bedford, and Weston. Win one of those games, and a playoff berth seems like less of a pipe dream. To do that, the Falcons have to get meaner in the front five and finish drives. Couple that with some luck in the playoffs, and the Falcons have their first State Chip since Teddy Roosevelt was president.

Girls Volleyball
The girls volleyball team has the potential to go far. The absolute catastrophe of an off-season that was predicted seems to have been avoided. The laundry list of 2022 graduates included HUGE names like Amber Gonsalves, Hirani Hiruy, and Reina Stevens. Despite losses, the team returns with a junior core. Setter Mia Benzan, outside Vivienne Little, and middle Kaia McCaffrey have already made an impact. So what is the path to a banner?
The Falcons have all the pieces to make the playoffs, but the tricky part starts in the playoffs. The trick is to avoid collapsing in a tough away match to a higher-ranked team. With only one senior, Sofia Klumb ’23, the team culture needs to be flawless. Every member of the team needs to pull their weight and more. With a rock-solid culture, this team has an open shot at the title.

This team has some of the best camaraderie anyone can find.


The crew team is good, really good. But not because of star boats or one rower pulling at a college level. Truth be told, everyone on this team is pretty similar in raw power. Of course, there are obvious outliers on the team, but that’s not the important part. The important part is that this team has one of the best camaraderie anyone can find. It also doesn’t hurt to be the reigning state champions.

While it’s true that this team is known for its general togetherness, and is currently in possession of the Massachusetts Public School Rowing Association’s championship, there are cracks. Unlike other teams, the problem here is on the sidelines, not the field. There is only one assistant coach, limiting the number of boats available on the water.

Furthermore, the unstoppable girls first boat from last year has lost a few members to graduation, but the depth of the girls team will most likely cover those losses. Overall, this team has a lot of carry-over talent, which is a recipe for success. Come Halloween, returning rowers should have developed enough to make a real splash.

Girls Soccer
Let me get this quick disclaimer out of the way: the Girls Soccer Dual County League (DCL) is BRUTAL. To illustrate my point, 3 of the 7 inhabiting teams were just a win away from the state semi-final, we’re talking about an (almost) All-DCL Final Four!
That sort of collection of power in a single division is ridiculous. If you were wondering how the Falcons did, by the way, they finished 1-12 and missed the playoffs by a full 180 degrees. This is not a bad team, they just haven’t found a spark. Energy is low, and conditioning has been an issue the team has taken steps to address in the offseason. There is a lot of individual work each player needs to put in to beat the powerhouses prowling the DCL and make it to that magic number of .500 and a playoff berth.
The good news is that the work is already being put in. In terms of schedule, the team actually caught a little bit of a break in not having to play Acton and drawing a few coastal school home games (I’m looking at you, Salem). One win against a DCL blue blood, coupled with a few home wins, might be the spark this pile of kindling needs to get hot down the stretch.

Boys Soccer
What can I say? This team has the potential to be great, but the results haven’t come yet. Placed in a division full of powerhouses, the team is going to have to be perfect to make a run this season. Ever since that electrifying DCL run 2 years ago this squad has been hemorrhaging talent. They need to start taking big risks and forward passes.
The schedule takes the Falcons through the fiery heart of the division, where mistake-laden teams suffer. The Falcons struggle to finish counterattacks, and every game becomes a deadlock. Is it a symptom of inexperience, or just a growing pain at the beginning of a long season? Over the course of the season, team cohesion is bound to grow. If they can string together a .500 season, a deep playoff push seems possible. If the players work hard enough, they can get there. However, it’s down to the level of effort in deciding how far they go.

This piece also appears in our September 2022 print edition.