Edward Little High School’s Ganan Mancini, left, turns the corner on Mt. Ararat’s Sean Roberts during their game in Auburn earlier this season.

Edward Little High School’s Ganan Mancini, left, turns the corner on Mt. Ararat’s Sean Roberts during their game in Auburn earlier this season.

In the past, Ganan Mancini has been well aware of Edward Little’s place, and his own, in the Class A North boys’ lacrosse landscape. Too aware.

“Last year and the year before, it was kind of like, ‘I’m from Edward Little, you know, we’re not really that good,’” Mancini said.

The Red Eddies attacker entered his senior season with a different mindset, one more intent on creating a new reputation for himself and his team.

“This season, I definitely came in more confident — it was my senior year, this is my last year to really show what I can do,” Mancini said. “I didn’t really hold anything back. I went out there thinking, ‘I’m better than that person in front of me, I’m better than anyone else on this field, why can’t I do it?’

“I think it’s all mostly up in my head.”

Mancini is the leading scorer for Edward Little, which went 7-5 in the regular season, averaging 12.4 goals while allowing 7.6 per game, and which opens the postseason Wednesday against Messalonskee (7-5) at Thomas College in Waterville.

“Gannon’s strength is using his body. He’s very good at shooting,” Red Eddies junior defender Justin Theriault said.

“I think he just knows when to shoot,” Edward Little coach Jim Dock adds. “There are some guys that just shoot all the time. He knows when to shoot, he knows when to pass the ball. Plus, he has a lot of speed on his shot, and it’s accurate.”

Part of Mancini’s boost in confidence and scoring comes from an increase in his skills, which he attributes to extra work during the offseason.

“I also spent a lot of time on the wall (last) summer,” Mancini said. “Every day, I tried to pick up my stick, and I think that definitely helped, I wasn’t rusty. It’s lust like an everyday thing now.”

Dock, in his first season as Edward Little’s head coach, wasn’t too familiar with Mancini’s game prior to taking over the program, but he has since been impressed.

“Ganan’s been a tremendous player,” Dock said. “He’s got that ability to shoot, carry the ball, to see the field well, cut off balls, or to set up teammates. Having an experienced player like that is really a great thing as you’re coming into your first year as the head coach of the program.”

Dock said that Mancini has had a knack for scoring timely goals this season. Mancini credits his teammates for his offensive production.

One of those teammates, junior midfielder Spencer Frahn, credits Mancini’s work and knowledge of the game.

“He’s got a really high lacrosse IQ, and he’s really one of the more dedicated kids on the team,” Frahn said.

“It’s not always about right place at the right time, it’s more of like being able to read the offense and the defense, and knowing where to be. Instead of having it be a coincidence, he’s there on purpose, and he know what to do then.”

Inspired by his older brother Evan, Mancini started playing lacrosse in seventh grade. He took to it quickly.

“I used to play football, but I also used to play soccer. So it was kind of (the two) combined,” Mancini said. “Soccer’s kind of running, you know, no contact; football’s a bunch of contact. (Lacrosse) was just like a happy medium.”

Lacrosse soon took precedence over the other sports, to the point that when Mancini broke his leg playing football, he stopped playing in order to prevent further football injuries from affecting his lacrosse endeavors.

Now, six years after he started playing, Mancini’s high school lacrosse career is winding down.

The third-seeded Eagles beat the sixth-seeded Red Eddies 14-5 in the teams’ only meeting this season on May 18. Messalonskee jumped out to a large lead that frustrated Edward Little. Mancini finds hope in the way the Red Eddies finished that game.

“We really got to stay focused,” Mancini said. “If we play how we did at the end of the game — you know, we put a few in the back of the net toward the end — if we can play like that towards the beginning, I think it will be a pretty solid matchup.”

Ganan Mancini led Edward Little in scoring during the regular season. The Red Eddies open the postseason against Messalonskee on Wednesday at Thomas College in Waterville.

Ganan Mancini led Edward Little in scoring during the regular season. The Red Eddies open the postseason against Messalonskee on Wednesday at Thomas College in Waterville.

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