BERLIN- With a couple of key returning players and a flock of young Mallards ready to step and fill the void left by graduation, Worcester Prep’s boys’ varsity basketball is hoping for some continuity as it prepares for the 2008-2009 campaign.
Worcester graduated six players from last year’s successful team including four off-and-on starters, which would typically suggest the Mallards are in a rebuilding mode this year. However, with two full-time players returning in senior captain Parker McIntosh and junior standout Justin Butler, along with several other players expected to ease into new roles, the Mallards are hoping to pick up where they left off last year.
The tall, lean McIntosh has been on the varsity since his freshman year and has evolved into an outstanding player over the last three years. As one of the Mallard’s biggest players in recent years, he has grown to be a force under the basket, but McIntosh will move to shooting guard this year in Coach Mike Grosso’s offense.
Butler made an immediate impact last year as a sophomore and will start at forward this year, likely in the three-spot. Butler handles and distributes the ball like a guard, but has the size and skill to bang underneath in the front court as well. Just because McIntosh is moving to guard doesn’t mean Worcester will be small inside. At 6’4”, junior Alex Maccari will give the Mallards a presence up front, as will 6’2” sophomore Ben Mumford. Both Maccari and Mumford got their feet wet on the varsity last year.
The only other senior on the roster beside McIntosh is Andrew Canakis, who is expected to make an impact this year, as is junior Jason Pappas. Otherwise, Worcester will rely on a handful of underclassmen who haven’t necessarily made their mark on the basketball court, but are all good athletes in other sports who should be able to transition to basketball.
They include sophomores Matt Carey and Chris Fisher, along with freshmen Colin Maccari and Alex Ternahan, who was the starting goalie on the soccer team and is a standout lacrosse player.
Worcester will play a schedule loaded with Eastern Shore Independent Athletic Conference (ESIAC) opponents again this year. After the Thanksgiving holiday, Worcester hits the floor in earnest in early December with eight games in 17 days.