hen Matt James took the job as head coach of the Melrose (Mass.) High School boys lacrosse team in 2011, he knew he had some hard work ahead of him.
The program, which was started two years prior in 2009, had a total of six wins in its first two seasons. What James has built since then is an undeniable culture of winning, culminating with a 17-1 regular-season record this past spring.
"We knew a strong season was coming," James said. "We didn’t necessarily think we’d produce a 17-1 record and three All-Americans, but we knew we had a lot of potential. Even two or three years ago, we were looking ahead and we could see things coming together."
Led by the aforementioned All-American trio of Matt Rocha, Jack Wells and Cam Rosie, the Red Raiders beat Masconomet Regional, 12-6, in the first round of the Division 1 tournament before falling, 11-6, in the next round to Reading, the eventual state champion.