Associate coach John Carroll has done a tremendous job bringing in enough talent so that NMH will be able to stay with the Winchendon's and Bridgton's of the world down the stretch.
``We usually have a big drop-off in talent between our first six guys and the rest of the team," Carroll said. "This year there's not really any drop-off."
While there is plenty of talent on this year's club, one name has emerged: Seven-foot Oregon native Joe Wolfinger, who has received scholarship offers from Washington, Cincinnati, Georgia Tech and Florida State.
``We haven't had a dominant player in a while," Carroll said of his big man. "Every team we've played against always has a game who can dominate a game and this is the first time that we feel like we have a guy who can match anybody."
Wolfinger singled out one of his teammates, Matt Smith, as the player he's been most impressed with thus far. The Northeastern-bound senior swingman is the top 3-point shooter on the team and when he gets going, the opposition had better watch out.
Alvin Lewis, a Boston native headed to play at UC-Irvine, will likely start at the point guard spot. Colin McIntosh, a 6-7, 190-pound senior forward from Milton, Mass., should get a starting spot and will try and prove to coaches that last summer was a fluke.
Andrew Lyell, who like McIntosh, enters his second season at Northfield, is a versatile 6-5 wing who hails from Rhode Island and was injured for much of this past summer.
Jawaan Wright is a 6-7 ½ senior power forward from Springfield, Mass., who has committed to Loyola (Md.) and Skyler Khaleel is a Queens, N.Y., native who played at Cardozo last season and should give the team more versatility and flexibility. Also expect 6-8 senior forward Jon Tundell to get plenty of minutes for his tough, hard-nosed approach and relentless play.
Other players expected to see action include guards J.R. Currie (5-10), junior Chaz Malloy (6-1), sophomore Isaac Johnson (5-11) and Gary Correia (6-1) as well as sophomore swingman Roahn Sheppard and 6-8 forward Clive Weeden.
``We're all hungry," Wolfinger said of his team. "We all want to win very bad. We're going to work as hard as we can."
``I think last year we turned the corner and barely lost to Winchendon and Brewster," Carroll said. "This year those teams are still the class of our league, but we can hang with them. They always had us in depth in the past, but we're deep this year."