WATERTOWN — A new coach brings with him new expectations.
However, first-year Watertown High School head man Kyle LaLonde finds the Cyclones in a rebuilding mode as they try to make some progress in a tough Section 3 Class A National division.
LaLonde is preaching patience with this group, which includes a good number of veterans, but a lot more newcomers as well.
He likes what he’s seen of junior quarterback Nick Lavin, whom he calls a team leader and very intelligent. But Lavin is 5-foot-5 so that may cause some problems throwing the ball. Tyler Hooker is the only veteran running back, but LaLonde has some speedsters in Anthony Gouty and Isiah Dincol.
Up front is where WHS is the strongest with veterans Austin Gibson, Mitchell Netto and Neil Ruperelia leading the way on both sides of the ball. Jonathan Lugo Ramirez is a linebacker to watch.
The Cyclones’ two main problems last year were holding onto the ball and tackling. LaLonde has tried to address those deficiencies immediately and make sure WHS doesn’t beat itself like last year.
“Our goal is to work hard each and every day in practice, then carry that over to games,” said LaLonde, who served as the head modified coach the last three seasons. “It’s not going to happen overnight. But we’ve got to get the kids believing they can be successful again.”
2013 record: 1-7, 0-5 Class A National.
Coach: Kyle LaLonde (1st year).
Players to watch: Mitchell Netto (Jr., OL/DL); Nick Lavin (Jr., QB/DB); Neil Ruperelia (Jr., OL/DE, 55 tackles, 5 sacks)); Austin Gibson (Sr., OL/DL); Tyler Hooker (Sr., RB/DB, 68 tackles, 3 int); Anthony Gouty (Sr., RB/LB); Jonathan Lugo Ramirez (Sr., LB); Isiah Dincol (Sr., RB/LB).